Mansplaining

I’ve already mentioned this great story of one man’s ignorance and how he blanched, in another post! – I do hope he really learned something of importance to him and was able to change his attitude and his values. How many times this happens to us and sometimes without our noticing, until we consciously watch out for it and bring it to attention. The teller of the story says –   Most of my life, I would have doubted myself and backed down. Having public standing as a writer of history helped me stand my ground, but few women get that boost, and billions of women must be out there on this 6-billion-person planet being told that they are not reliable witnesses to their own lives, that the truth is not their property, now or ever. This goes way beyond Men Explaining Things, but it’s part of the same archipelago of arrogance.      http://www.motherjones.com/media/2012/08/problem-men-explaining-things-rebecca-solnit

I note and have reblogged the post of one of my fellow adoptees  in which she mentions the further criticism of #flipthescript by an adopter blogger who has managed to do it again!  Insult and anger adoptees and I have written about this elsewhere – the comment that once you’ve read one angry adoptee you’ve read them all! I’m still astonished that we can be so lumped together in a sort of homogenised bundle of easily dismissed ‘stuff’ that is not ‘the beauty of adoption’ and how patronising, stigmatising and brutal it feels! Adoptism at it’s worst!

Happy to say my weekend and my Mother’s Day contained no examples of mansplaining or adoptism, even though I had one or two things explained to me by men and non-adoptees!  One of them was the magical CosmicTone, how it is made and used. I had an opportunity to play one and was convince I need one in  my life! (  https://youtu.be/kIVMDWjf7gE  ).  It was a beautiful day with no meltdowns, no triggers and plenty of spontaneity, music, food, laughter and adventures. Truly the first time, although last year came close. I had lots of hugs from people I love, some of whom have been in my life a long time, others not so long. I had some beautiful conversations, had my jacket stroked by a talented and creative designer, who told me he was anal about his work and the beautiful new shop he and his partner have set up. He wants it to look like  a walk-in wardrobe and is fast achieving that goal. And what a wardrobe it will be!! rollies

Full of wonderful shoes and boots, amusing and colourful socks, purses, clothes to make you feel like a Queen. Nothing like a dose of chic, glorious style to make you wish you had $5,000 to spend on clothes and treats and forget about the problems of the world for a few minutes. How much I needed that escape. Life has been overwhelming lately in it’s horror, it’s abundance of the inappropriate, the offensive, the cruel, the ugly and the brutal.  Just prior to this act of spontaneity – who knew the shop would still be open at 6 p.m. on a Sunday? – we spent time in a retro café with good food and coffee and plenty of  vinyl, most recorded around the time of my birth and songs I know from listening to them on the radio at the house of my a-aunt who had my a-Gradfather living with her. He was an amazing relative to have and I adored him, was slightly frightened of him because he was loud, and continue to be in awe of all he achieved as the descendent of a freed slave who came to Australia via Nova Scotia. Amongst his skills he was a music hall artist for a time and had a huge repertoire of songs, including one about a Yorkshire puddin’, one of my favourites. He was gentle and loving towards me always and favoured me with the striped black and white peppermints he loved. They were hot and nearly blew my head off, but I never refused because I loved the gesture and the connection. He was dapper, always immaculately dressed and wore patent leather shoes for dancing, which he continued to do until well into old age. I danced with him on his 80th birthday at the big birthday bash he threw at the Masonic Lodge of which he had been a member since his early adult years. Twirling round the parquet floor beside the marble pillars and tiling in the arms of a true gentleman, was quite something.

During Mothers’ Day afternoon we visited one of my favourite small seaside towns; one with many memories from childhood, my teens and later. My Daughter spent her 30th weekend here and it now holds thumbnailspecial memories for her too. All the beautiful old stone buildings are intact, well looked after and in use, including the Town Hall and the Council Chambers.  I have relatives who settled here way back  in the 1830’s after a perilous journey from Scotland and a shipwreck just as they reached journey’s end. They drifted for 5 days in an  open boat  before a storm took them to the shore and they were saved. My amother’s grandfather was a babe in arms and grew to be many things, including an Member of Parliament, who’s funeral was attended by 10,000 people. There is still a memorial to him in the town he lived in for most of his life and I was privileged to lay flowers on it for one anniversary.It was a beautiful day which I’ll remember for a long time. Thank you to all those who made it so stress free and easy to enjoy.

Here at Poddler’s Creek today, it is raining intermittently, leaving the old River Red Gums shining in the sunlight, the bark a tapestry of colours and the birds enjoying the many treats that occur on days like this. Sadly we have just lost two ganders to the fox, a big red dog fox, and the flock are nervous and grieving. We’ve kept them in for part of the day to help them feel more secure for a time and will pen them in early tonight.  In the days when I was out and about all the time working in the garden it was a big deterrent and we rarely had losses to the Goshawks or foxes. It is hard to live with, life is so confronting and the challenges hard to take along with everything else at times. It is important to balance these times with things that renew, inform, excite, indulge, and so on. Always late to the party, I have just discovered Hilary Mantel, thanks to a great interview with Phillip Adams on Radio National. She is erudite, amusing, direct, and a joy to listen to. Of course I immediately bought “The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher” and am reading it straight through, more or less – who wouldn’t? It has reminded me of how much I love short stories, both to read and to write, and I woke this morning with one half written in my favourite form – ‘true fiction’, for want of  a better description. Who knows what is the truth and what is imagined? Who knows what is remembered and what dreamed or told by another?  Enjoy your day!

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