I am a feminine feminist

Some people still think of Feminism like it’s a dirty word! It’s not a lesbian, who no longer washes or shaves and hates men. What’s fun though…. is that it can be.

You can also be a feminine feminist!

I can never own enough dresses. Dresses work no matter what season. Throw on some leggings and boots during winter and get your legs out in summer. My colleague loves pink! Pink errrryythang! So what? It’s just a colour.

A Feminist just wants equality for all. They have a belief that you can be whatever and whomever you want to be. Blokes can be feminist. Don’t be scared and confused. It’s time to educate yourself!

feminist

dictionary.com

Feminine definition

It seems that we are in the fourth wave of feminism. How sad, that this is the fourth time we are trying to make a difference and get the world to stand up and listen so that changes are made. How many waves will it take?

The first wave of feminism came about from the suffragettes who worked hard to get women the right to vote. This continued throughout war times when the traditional role of women started to change and women found themselves working outside the home for the first time.

J.-Howard-Millers-We-Can-Do-It-poster-from-1943-495x640

J. Howard Miller’s We Can Do It poster from 1943.

The second wave of feminism was in the 70’s with Germaine Greer at the forefront. Women were still fighting to reduce inequalities, and change the roles of women in the family, the workplace, and to gain reproductive rights. “Feminists: What were they thinking?” Netflix Film interviews the women that posed for a book of photos “Emergence” by Cynthia McAdams during the height of this movement.

Be a good girl…. well that implies that we weren’t good girls. I’ve only known that ‘no’ can be a complete sentence in the last 10 years. (Jane Fonda)

In order to change it, we had to become disobedient (Judy Chicago)

Our bodies, our lives, our right to decide.

We want equality, we want it now (protesters chants)

The women’s naked body was no longer reserved for pornography. The body was a source of pride and of health. The body was to be celebrated and enjoyed.

The third wave of feminism came about in the 90’s- individuality and diversity was the goal. (As an 80’s born child, I don’t recall anything about this movement but I certainly had the privilege of looking and sounding just like one of the guys. There were less gendered experiences).

The fourth wave of feminism is now! This movement is to eliminate sexual harassment, assault, and misogyny. Think of the #metoo campaign where women are standing up and speaking out. We need to end violence against women. White Ribbon Australia states statistics like:

One woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner.
1 in 5 women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15.

It’s not widely spoken about outside of teaching circles but the Australian Government undertook a Royal Commission into Family Violence and subsequently developed a program to be taught in schools ‘Respectful Relationships’. “Evidence shows that gender-based violence can be prevented by working with the whole population, and in this case, all schools, to address the attitudes, beliefs and knowledge that supports the prevention of violence.” (Department of Education)

Respectful relationships

227 recommendations were made! If we still need to make that many changes, what are you going to do differently?

Even if you are not female, everyone has a Mum, or Grandma, or sister, niece, cousin, aunt, girlfriend, wife and/or female friend. I want you to consider…. how could you NOT be a feminist?!

 

 

Mr Big

I had my first Hinge app date last weekend with Mr Big. He described himself as 6 foot 3 inches but didn’t have many full body photos. He used words like lovely and proper sentences when chatting. The famous Mr Big from Sex and the City is notorious for being Carrie’s love of her life but also seriously noncommittal. I hoped he’d bring some excitement but not be that hard to get.

We hadn’t chatted online for long as I wanted to see what he was like in person. Earlier that day I had my nails done and therefor had nothing to do but sit and think. I ran through some date conversations and thought through some insightful answers to ‘why are you still single?’ and ‘how would you describe yourself?’, ‘tell me about your family’ and even ‘what’s it like being a teacher?’

He asked me…. nothing!

The date began finding a table in the air-conditioned pub as it was 38 degrees and organising beer. He then spent ten minutes telling me about his favourite TV show ‘American Gods’ and talking over my shoulder. Well he certainly wasn’t looking me in the eyes.

He said get me any beer. My approach was that at least I’d enjoy two beers if nothing else- I’ll get the first and then he can buy me one. If it’s not going well, we part ways. Well that’s a bit like the drunk trying to decide whether to drive or not… you think you’re not impaired and all is well. So after two, we said let’s find a spot on the water for another beer! We also need food. This is probably where it went wrong (if we didn’t already know in the first five minutes).

We surprisingly got in to Arbory, a very popular floating bar on the Yarra river but it was clear from the start there would be no seats- standing room only. I couldn’t imagine him casually standing and sipping a beer, and us both squeezing into a corner somewhere, he was big. Tall but also had quite a girth. I had a game plan. We made our way to the toilets to suss out the layout and on the way there he walked behind and placed his hand on my hip (Controlling, possessive? It was nice! Bit of a spark, of a spark). The short walk pushing our way through the crowd made up our minds that this wasn’t going to work here, let’s move on.

The problem with leaving one place on a Friday night with the after work crowds on a great summers evening is you’re pretty much shit out of luck finding anywhere else to get in. We ended up at TGI Friday’s! TGI bloody Friday’s. Clearly impaired. Hungry.

He squeezed into a booth with him remarking “isn’t there any normal tables?” We quickly ordered more beer and food. The food wasn’t good. The ambiance for a date was appalling. We were by the river but we could have been in a shopping centre. I can’t even remember what we talked about here. He started yawning. At one point he threw into conversation that he didn’t really know what he was looking for. I realised the initial excitement of the unknown possibilities had quickly died.

I walked him to his train station, possibly trying to overcome the fact that we’d just been to TGIs, and stood on my tippy toes to plant a quick kiss on his mouth goodbye. As I turned to walk away, he giggled!

broken heart love sad

Photo by burak kostak on Pexels.com

It’s been a week now and we haven’t spoken. Neither of us cares enough to even say I don’t think we should pursue another date. The whole evening, he spoke at me. I spoke back of course, but he didn’t ask me any questions about myself. I learnt about his family, his housemates, his work, his friends….  was it nerves or he couldn’t even be bothered to get to know me? Do you know what, I’ve got nothing to lose here. I’m going to ask him! This will be an interesting social experiment… stay tuned.

Chalk and cheese

I had two dates last weekend!!!! Go me! They were as different as chalk and cheese- what a strange expression. I thought the same as http://www.phrases.org.uk “There must be many pairs of things that are more different than chalk and cheese.” They claim it’s popularity is as simple as they are short and snappy words that alliterate. I’m going to work on coming up with another one.

Mr Suave was from an online dating app, the other was a ‘blind date’ (of course we checked each other out on Facebook first) set up by friends. Where Suave was tall, the other was short. Suave had dark hair, the other was greying. Suave had beers with me, the other coffee. Suave went halvies on the costs, the other let me pay. Suave lives within a reasonable distance, and the other is an hours drive away. Okay, it’s clear who I’m leaning towards.

At school, we teach the kids to identify similarities and differences, and usually make them put it in a Venn diagram! It’s also a reading strategy to compare and contrast which allows them to understand the book better and make real life connections. So what did these guys have in common that made them a good match for me?

They were similar in that neither of them owned a pet but agreed dogs were better. They both had their own home (whether rented or owned, we didn’t go into it) and had good jobs. Stable work that they somewhat enjoy, most days. Interestingly, I didn’t go into their family situations and neither did they. I think that’s a sign that we didn’t need the small talk about who has siblings and what age they are. Both were able to hold their own, and conversation flowed along the standard path of ask a question, respond yourself with a story, ask another……

Both were respectful- they didn’t try to touch me up or talk dirty!

But Mr Suave had it all.

He dressed well for the date and looked great in a floral (I don’t care what you think, I’m man enough to pull this off as fun and happy) shirt and nice shoes. As we sat down with our beers, I asked a bustling table and group standing if they minded us sitting down next to them. He handled it cool, calm and collected when a very drunk guy leaned in and told us with a slur and a wobble that you should just take things and not ask as he might have said no. We talked and laughed our way merrily into a second drink and then agreed to a third at a different bar he wanted to check out over the road. The third beer then turned into an espresso martini that he ordered for me as I had said I love them. We made our way over to a comfy couch and moved closer as it had got colder. Then it starts to become a blur…. We leaned in for a kiss and he suggested….. dancing! So off we went, walking hand in hand down the street and when I complained about walking in my heels, he ordered a taxi the rest of the way apologising to the driver “Sorry man, I know it’s a short trip. I’ll pay you extra.”

At the club, he paid for both of our entry costs ($20 each) and put our jackets together in the cloak room. He bought me a coke as I said I’d really had enough and we danced and made out for the next hour or so. He laughed at me as I danced to The Nutbush (OMG, I can’t believe I did that on a date!) and I laughed at him as we both enjoyed S Club 7. When I went to the toilets and realised how messy I’d become, I told him I had to call it a night and he put me in a cab home. We text all the next day… and lived happily ever after. Ha ha. No, we’ll see………

woman wearing white dress dancing on brown sand

Photo by Gabriel Augusto on Pexels.com

I didn’t put my best foot forward when I met my coffee date. I had drank too much with Mr Suave so I was still a bit tired and shaky. I’m not a morning person so I had dry shampooed my hair and I didn’t feel as banging as I had last night. Because of the alcohol, I also had a (diabetic) hypo during the date and whilst I tried to hide it, my speech wasn’t coming out the same and I couldn’t think of the right words. I might have got away with it as nervous and cute… but I probably also seemed like a downright drip! This date lasted an hour.

Chalk and Cheese.

I really like cheese- Mr Suave has to be the cheese!

Fishing for information

I currently work as a Primary Teacher but my previous career was in Recruitment and Human Resources so I can talk to anyone, about anything! However it’s not a good sign when I hold up the conversation from both ends during a date. Maybe I over talk because of nerves. I think it’s also an indication that my date isn’t that into me. It’s certainly telling when they don’t ask me as many questions or can’t be bothered asking me anything!

I recently met a man for a date in the park walking our dogs and conversation flowed as we got to know each other. However I realised I was doing it again. I was asking all the questions. Telling him things without being asked.

We were talking about street art and making connections, I offered up that I have two tattoos. Let’s think about the art of conversation….he might ask….

Where are they?

What are they of?

Why did you get them?

But instead….. nothing!

The date continued on and we had a few beers but afterwards, I didn’t hear from him again. So to me, who is asking the questions is important.

A lot of online dating and apps now don’t have forms that you have to complete with information to join. The disadvantage with that is that it leaves all the questions to when you match with them!

However the apps that only match you based on questions don’t necessarily find people that you’re attracted to.

Common questioning is

Where do you live?

How long have you been single?

What are you looking for?

Do you want to come to my place or I can come to yours? (Stranger danger)

I’ve also been asked

Do you live alone? (Creepy!)

I just joined Plenty of Fish, POF (again) to see if I would get more conversations and dates than Bumble. POF doesn’t have a location filter but the age range can be applied as well as a lot of fields-

  • Height
  • Body type
  • Wants kids, has kids, does not
  • Ethnicity
  • Job title
  • Income range
  • Religion
  • Intent (casual, dating, relationship, marriage),
  • Education level
  • Smoking status
  • Drinking habits
  • Personality type
  • Star sign
  • Eye colour
  • Pets
  • Language
  • Longest relationship
  • Ambitious-ness

It also shows ‘about me’ and ‘conversation starters’ that they’ve come up with.

I think that soooo much information is supplied, it’s almost harder to start a conversation as you’d look a bit stupid if you ask a getting-to-know-you question about info that’s already been supplied. So does it overcome the basic small talk for status info that Bumble and Tinder takes hours to determine they are the wrong type of fish, or does it create a different problem for conversations? Hopefully it does alleviate the small talk and can fast track to the important stuff.

It tells me that in under 24 hours that 160 guys are interested in me! None have sent me a message to say hi or ask a question 🤔😫😭

With all these info fields available, these 99+ guys are just using the Russian Roulette type swiping feature. Come on guys, put in some effort to getting to know us. We are worth it!

How to catch a fish

“Success is when preparation meets opportunity” (Nick Cummins, The Bachelor Australia)

The times they are a changing. Gone are the days you were guaranteed to meet someone out on the dance floor and if over 30, there’s no more single friends to introduce! So we resort to online dating and trying to get matches. Most sites are random. You throw in your fishing hook in a designated pool/area and decide whether each one you (swipe right) try to pull up or (left) let off the hook. Then you try to strike up a conversation. Hopefully make a date. See if you get along for a second date. But that fishing line can get snagged and snap at many stages.

One of Matthew Hussey’s strategies is to ask a man (in real life) to take a photo of you to break the ice and make contact. But what if you can’t see a man you want to approach? I figure that is probably still better than seeing someone you like but not knowing how to approach them. I have probably let many opportunities pass me by over the years! I’m working on being prepared.

So what are some of the options for online dating in Melbourne?

  • Bumble
  • Tinder
  • POF (Plenty of Fish)
  • Ok Cupid
  • RSVP
  • eHarmony

I’m using Bumble at the moment. The success rate seems to be about 1 in 5 matches with 50% response rate.

For example, if 100 men liked me, I would then find 20 are a mutual match. If I contacted all of them, I would get a reply from 10. From that, at the moment, I’d be lucky to get 1 date.

What are the best days to fish?

I’ve had the most responses on Wednesdays and Thursdays as well as Sundays. There seems to have been a big increase of the amount of guys online since the Bachelor Australia started 2 weeks ago! (Screening Wednesdays and Thursdays but it could be a coincidence).

When you are talking online, you need to have some talking points in mind. The most responses I have received have been after saying Hi and asking them a question about something in their profile or pictures.

I got 0 replies with these lines

Hey there 😁

2 truths & a lie…. ready, set, go!

These got 1-2 responses

There’s a lot of pressure making the first move, be nice to me 🤣

What’s one destination you haven’t been to yet or that you must go to before you die?

Almost Friday, can you describe your weekend ahead in 3 emojis?

Friday nights I get less matches but it seems easier to start a conversation ….they just don’t really go anywhere. I think Friday & Saturday chats are for quick hook ups. I got 3 replies with just ‘Happy Friday 👌’

I’d really rather talk to single people in person. I heard somewhere that if you read a magazine backwards in public, it’s meant to mean you are available! Some other countries have small gestures to show whether they are available. In Samoa, if you have a flower over the left ear you are taken, right side you are available. In Ireland, if you wear a Claddagh ring on your left hand and you turn the ring pointing away from you, this indicates you are looking for love. India has different coloured bindis where single or widowed women wear black or white bindis, with red signalling married.

Apart from traffic light parties at University, what could we start in Australia?

If you have one of these customs in another country, do they work as signals?

What online chats have worked for you?

Stumbling around in the waves

There was a strong wind today, causing the sea to lurch and sway with big foamy waves that tried to grab at my shoes as I walked along. Literally and metaphorically, the sea churned. It just wasn’t my day.

After walking along the beach this morning, a potential ‘great man’, stopped at the traffic lights ahead of me and took off his earphones, making himself available for conversation but I was so focused on making sure my dog was going to be friendly to his tiny, delicate whippet that conversation starters left my brain. As he moved the headphones back on and walked in the opposite direction, probably never to be seen again, great lines came to me!

“Good ear protection from the wind”

“Cute dog, what’s her name?”

“Hi, what’s your name and do you have a girlfriend?!”

What’s clear is that I need to practice the art of conversation. Matthew Hussey, dating coach, and his new show ‘Single Wives’ had them try three opening lines to approach men on the street. It seemed super scary but once they had done it, so simple! One was simply asking if they could recommend anywhere good for lunch. I have to stop hesitating or being nervous and just ‘Hi’! I’d much rather have real life experiences than online dating.

Later on, after surviving the crowds in the city to meet friends, I managed to inject the needle of my insulin pen into my finger as I went to inject into my Type 1 diabetic stomach on the train.

Got my foot trapped in the security door as it slammed closed on me at my friend’s apartment.

Missed my bus.

Smashed my phone!

It wasn’t just an awkward fumble that caused the phone to leap out of my hands, or lurch like the sea. My friend had been talking to me about fertility treatment and she warned me to be prepared ahead of my first consultation. She had ‘only taken folic acid tablets for 6 weeks’ and recommended I start straight away. My kind friend helped me out with her left over bottle of tablets as I left her place. I was already feeling like I should have stayed in bed for the day. As I walked to the bus stop with a huge bottle of tablets, the label screamed out at me “Pregnancy and Breast Feeding GOLD”. Not
mentally or physically prepared for this announcement to be made in my head or anyone else’s, I hurriedly tried to push the bottle into my tiny, black (Single and ready to mingle, no baggage here) bag and attempted to close the zipper. Imagine if a potential ‘great man’ looked in my direction and saw it. Things had to go to make room so in I went with my designated search claw and out came the phone.

And if one search claw proves inadequate...you may need the second.

Rationally, I could protect the phone in my hands. It was surely a good choice. But as the wind whipped around me and my barely there cardigan, freezing at the bus stop, my hands failed in their only job and lost grip on the phone. Down it went, onto the concrete floor. Cool as a cucumber, nothing to see here, I quickly picked it up and maneuvered it into my back pocket until the bus came.

Once I had taken a seat, it was time to inspect the damage. Yep, the top half was completely smashed. Although it still worked, it was a sign that it was time to just go back to bed for the rest of the day! The wind and the sea won today.  Sometimes it lifts me up, sometimes it sends me (and my phone) crashing down.