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These are my thoughts, yo.

Filtering by Category: MommyBlog

International Women's Day Is About Raising Boys

jasmine banks

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Huzzah! International Women's Day. What are we celebrating? All things vagina! Woohoo!... which as it turns out are INTERNAL. I know we call the "down there area" vagina, but it isn't.  Your goods, va jay jay,  lady garden, tender flower, and all other euphemism (ad nauseum) is called VULVA. IF there is one day to get this right, it is today, International Women's Day. Which brings me to why International Women's Day, for me, is *actually* about raising my sons. "Yeah, yeah yeah," you think, "yet ANOTHER day that is supposed to be about women, and here we are talking phallus." Well. IF you are a MOTHER of a SON sit down and lets have a chat.

International Women's Day, of course, is a day for me to reflect on motherhood, womanhood, the women who helped raise me, and what my life is like with my lady plumbing. It is  ALSO about me raising my sons, because they can grown up shaped by the world OR by me to be several different kinds of men.

They could grow up to be the kind of men who ignore the rights of women and attempt to legislate women's bodies.

They could grow up to be the kind of men who call women whores based on their desire to be responsible for their bodies.

They could grow up to be the kind of men who say it was the woman's fault. She was dressed in a short skirt. She was basically asking for it.

They could grow up saying that unwanted pregnancies of ANY kind are good lessons to teach women that what they are doing (read: HAVING SEX) is wrong.

They could grow up to be the kind of man who is convinced that a woman doesn't have a whole sense of self apart from her "spiritual leader". 

They could grow up  be the kind of man who hates women so much, who is so buried in misogyny, that even another man who could  be portrayed as "feminine" elicits violent responses. 

SO on International Women's Day I am embracing one of the most POWERFUL positions I have as a woman. I am a mother to BOYS who will grow up to be MEN. I am exercising my power to teach my sons, Isaiah and Tobias, to  be feminists.

I vow to teach them that women are beautiful and complicated PEOPLE who have the same power and ability as men.  I vow to teach my sons that they are in charge of their bodies, thoughts, and actions as women should have the right to be in charge of their bodies, thoughts, and actions. I vow to teach Isaiah and Tobias that "feminine" and "masculine" is a wide range of things and are all acceptable definitions. I will teach my sons about what a vulva is, where the clitoris is, and why making love is more important than making porn.  I vow to edify my sons and help them understand that their masculinity or femininity (because YES men have femininity in them as well) is not defined by the stereotypes and gross exaggerations, but are as unique as the finger prints on the people who bear them.. There are no "girl colors" or "boy colors". These, dear boy, are just colors. We all have equal rights to them. I vow to teach them to be respectful and honest husbands and partners who know how to say "I'm sorry."

I will teach my sons that love is love. People are people. NO  matter what.

And.

Grace and Love (love for everyone) are the most important things.

I am raising sons to be good people, and it is the most feminist expression of power that I have ever exercised.

Happy International Women's Day!

 

Walton Arts Center Shrek The Musical {GIVEAWAY} :: The Magic of the Performing Arts

jasmine banks

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My elementary school teacher, Tana Frantz, took me to my first performing arts event. It was a piece called "Dancing In The Rain", being performed at the Gaslight Theatre in Enid, Oklahoma. I was starstruck.  The theater was small and old with huge velvet red curtains on the stage. My best friend Paige and I were invited by Ms. Frantz to attend the dance performance together and we chattered on about how "cool" we were. We sat in large theater seats and we struggled to keep the seat from flipping up with our tiny legs. The dancers were in black with yellow slickers. I remember the way they danced and gracefully unfurled their bodies in all sorts of striking stances. They spun in circles holding their umbrellas adorned with polka dots. Their movements were etched, forever, in my memory. After the show Ms. Frantz took Paige and me out for Sherbet ice cream at Braum's, but I was so anxious to get home so I could practice. During the performance I began to hatch all my plans to be a dancer/performer. I had a small pink umbrella that was just perfect to recreate the performance. I was going to be a dancer! This is the beautiful thing about The Arts: The Arts propel the imagination into places that we've never dreamed of. Our senses awaken and our brains expand. For moments in time we get to join with an artist to experience the execution of their vision. It is a rare gift.

A few weeks ago I took Isaiah to see STOMP courtesy of The Walton Arts Center. This was his first performing arts experience.

I didn't see much of the show. I was too busy watching him. His face was glowing and excited and he kept wanting to jump up to dance along with the STOMP cast. I was so eager for this to be the best experience ever. I wanted the same kind of nostalgia for him. I was elated when, at dinner after the performance, Isaiah announced he needed drum sticks to be a drummer. Just like I went home, grabbed my umbrella, and began mimicking the dance moves I saw that night with Ms. Frantz, Isaiah sat at dinner tapping and clanging the silverware determined to recreate his STOMP experience. This, friends is the pure magic of the performing arts.

 

The Walton Arts Center brings so many amazing opportunities to the people of Northwest Arkansas. The staff at WAC work hard to create culturally diverse  and unique experience for each person that walks through their doors. I have enjoyed amazing shows that the Walton Arts Center has hosted like Avenue Q, Guys and Dolls, The Hungry Caterpillar, and STOMP.

NOW it is YOUR chance to get in on a show with the Walton Arts Center. I am giving away two tickets to see Shrek: The Musical 

 

Shrek The Musical will be running from October 30th -November 4th at the Walton Arts Center. One of my lucky readers will have the chance to win two tickets to see the show either Oct. 30th or Oct. 31st.  Follow the directions of the Rafflecopter below and BEST OF LUCK! Also makes sure to check out WaltonArtsCenter.org for other amazing shows and performances in our area

a Rafflecopter giveaway