Hardcore Om

A Basic Bitch’s guide to basic misogyny

Over at New York Magazine, Noreen Malone questions the very essence of the Basic Bitch, or modern day “casual misogyny” as she calls it. Every girl who wears a sweater, wants a steady career and family, and likes anything that’s ever been on Pinterest can be coined a Basic Bitch and that’s sad. It’s modern day misogyny, Malone says.

Buzzfeed’s resident scholar, Anne Helen Peterson, weighs in:Basic girls love the things they do because nearly every part of American commercial media has told them that they should.

'Basic' is, at bottom, a stereotype. And like all stereotypes, we fling it at others in order to distance ourselves from them. These people are this thing; therefore, I am this other thing. Stereotypes are deployed most fervently — and with the most hostility — when the group wielding them is most anxious to distance itself from another group that, in truth, isn’t so distant after all.”

“Basic Bitch” was used in black cultures before it transferred to the pumpkin-spice wielding millennials of today. I’m guilty of making this easy stab quite often. With my friends; sarcastically on my Instagram; my most popular through Haikus.

But Malone and Peterson are right. While the Basic Bitch was what we were all searching for in a term, it’s become not only mainstream, but a stereotype to throw at others to show how different our unique Selves are. Not unlike the Hipster, it’s overdone and has  and seen its day. 

What was once another lunchroom label is now a term to categorize and criticize most women for simply being women in modern day consumerist culture. Let the Hunger Games begin, declares Vice, but count me out. I call truce.

Kirtan, Kali, art and Barbie

Last week, I was interviewing a talented yogi, teacher, and Kirtan singer for my thesis project and an upcoming That’s What She Said piece. Kirtan is a method of chanting - often in Sanskrit - used for reaching higher energy frequencies. It’s a practice in the same lineage as of yoga and often practiced by the same groups of people.  

I’m an Amanda Palmer lover, not as much for her music as for her outspokenness and what she chooses to share in the art community. While writing my piece on Steph Schwartz’s Kirtan practice and feminism, it was through Amanda Palmer that I came across Kali Barbie. I’ll write more about Kali later, but for those who don’t know, Kali is a Hindu deity. She is known as the Dark Mother Goddess. Apparently an artist took it upon his or her good self to depict Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and Kali among other religious symbols in Barbie form and people are none too happy.

But what else is new in the worlds of art and Barbie?

Music is my boyfriend

I never intended for this blog to become personal. It’s a thin line to cross, though, and all it takes is one clumsy misstep to go too far. In the past month, I’ve garnered a concussion via kitchen cabinet, had my heart broken more than once by the same dude, and fallen up the stairs countless times (not at all out of character for me). After accumulating multiple self-induced injuries, I think I…

View On WordPress

This week in Women are People too…

What the hell is personhood?

Amendment 67 is on the table this upcoming election day. If it passes, it will not only ban abortions in Colorado, but many forms of birth control, such as the pill and IUD, and will restrict access to in vitro fertilization. 

Personhood USA is the group in charge. They’re based in Colorado and claim to be “protecting women.”

Jen Caltrider at The Huffington Post  posted an informative piece about the facts of Amendment 67 earlier this week as did Cosmopolitan

Unless you want the government and a bunch of crazies in charge of your body and family, deeply consider taking a stance. If you have the ability to vote - one women a hundred years ago struggled hard to gain for you and all women in this country - use it! Amendment 67 is on the ballot next month. Many women around the world still do not have the freedom to speak with their vote; take the opportunity to speak your mind.

In the meantime, check out what artists such as the always-badass Amanda Palmer, are doing to get the promote awareness of reproductive rights across America. If a mass demonstration lip-synching “Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett and sending the videos to the Department of Peace doesn’t gain some attention, then I invite you to think of another plan that will (i.e. voting?!)

This is why music matters. The message that strong female role models portray in their words, body language, and in their politics, is send out to the world. Music is often not just music.
Music goes beyond a place and time, and it goes beyond the person creating it. The person creating it has a powerful role, however; how they use that role is what interests me. 
This is why I’m studying feminism within the music industry today. Queen Bey ain’t the only one making waves. Who else is out there? The Riot grrrls tore up the 1990s and they’re making a come back. What women (and men?!) are among the new generation of Riot grrrls?

This is why music matters. The message that strong female role models portray in their words, body language, and in their politics, is send out to the world. Music is often not just music.

Music goes beyond a place and time, and it goes beyond the person creating it. The person creating it has a powerful role, however; how they use that role is what interests me. 

This is why I’m studying feminism within the music industry today. Queen Bey ain’t the only one making waves. Who else is out there? The Riot grrrls tore up the 1990s and they’re making a come back. What women (and men?!) are among the new generation of Riot grrrls?

(Source: ginainterrupted)

THE THEORY OF RELATIVITY

The following was published on 10 September 2013 on www.oregonsportsnews.com

image

I’m naturally a high strung person; I always have been. I consider myself easygoing, openminded, and wholeheartedly accepting, but I am an archetypal Hermione Granger. I tend to care too much for my own good, sometimes resisting the natural flow of life without even realizing it. Maybe one day a light will dim in my mind, inspiring me to just let go, but today was not that day. Tomorrow might not be either and I’m okay with that; I have homework to do.

It takes me a long time to feel resistance when it seeps into my being. Sometimes I think I’m open and aware before realizing I’m thinking too much. I’m judging. I’m judging myself, my actions, and I’m even judging myself for judging myself.

That chaturanga sucked. Elbows in.

You can downdog better that! Lock it up!

So… hum. So hum. Sohumsohumsohum. I AM. Focus!

Stop thinking so much and just savasana already. Breathe. Relax. Stop, brain!

“You are the least yogi yogi in the world,” a good friend said to me after practice one night.

Here’s the thing: I’m a passionate person and I’m an intense person. I like caffeine - maybe too muchI like bungee jumping. One time in college, I hitchhiked to Morocco for spring break. I tend to push myself to extreme limits, but I’m still a Hermione; I am me. That judgmental voice in my brain tends to remain a little cautious, even when I’m living at my edge. I find it hard to turn my brain off and give in to gravity; to trust the ways of the world and just allow myself to be. Maybe this means I resist a little too much, a little too often.

Resistance can serve us, however; it can be our ally, helping to tune out negativity. It can help us do what we want and ultimately, that is what is important. In the end, if we are not living our lives according to our own truths - our svadharma - what is the point?

If I choose a strong practice one day go with that nit-picky voice in my head telling me to keep my elbows tucked and my belly in, then that may serve me in the moment. If what I’m searching for counteracts what I’m being told I “should” do - either by myself or anyone else - then following that feeling may serve me best, both on and off my mat.

At my yoga teacher’s training, we meditated for two hours every day. Meditations sometimes led to visions that didn’t make sense at the time. In between detailed plans of what I’d eat for lunch that day, I’d often see myself free falling backwards into darkness. Sometimes a hand would reach out to me. I could only assume this meant something at the moment, but as time goes on, it’s making more and more sense.

There is power in giving in; going with the flow; and doing exactly what you want. No one is going to stop you from doing things your way except you. If you put your best self out there - your free flowing, natural, true self, without forcing or resisting anything - others will feel that. People will see how much you care and will have ultimate respect for that rather than stopping you. Rather than living in self-judgment, caution, and resistance: give in. Give in to gravity. Give in to yourself. Resist the can’ts, shoulds and should nots of the world; but don’t resist yourself.

Six months after witnessing myself fall into oblivion, this is my practice.

A JOURNEY OF BEING

The following was published on www.oregonsportsnews.com on 27 August 2013.

I’m starting graduate school today. It’s a day I’ve been waiting for nearly six months. It’s been six months of uncertainty and busting my butt. There were several months of vulnerability and some well-earned cynicism thrown in for good measure. It hasn’t been an easy road, but I do have more patience, a new tattoo, and an even better sense of humor to show for it. My devotion to my practice got me through it and although it’s been a challenge, everything I’ve learned along the journey made me a stronger person. In the words of a new yogi friend, “It’s all a practice.” A practice I am extremely grateful for.

I jumped up and down on my bed out of sheer joy when I found out I was accepted into grad school. It was pure exhilaration. I was deep into my yoga practice and in love with my life and friends in South Korea, but I was ready to head “home” to America. This letter of acceptance could only be equated to receiving an owl from Hogwarts. Future stability had been granted to me; I had a way “out.”

A way out of what? I was only slightly aware of the complete black hole of the unknown I’d soon launch myself into. As the days neared and the fear of the unknown settled in, the stability and love I grew accustomed to in Seoul seemed to shatter. I flew out of the country and my adopted family was torn away from me. It felt like I was separating from five pieces of my own soul; it was pure heartbreak.

Yoga has helped me heal. No matter how much I struggled to find a regular physical asana practice while traveling and moving around the world, the core of my practice has continuously grown stronger. Yoga kept me motivated; it kept me passionate; and ultimately, it kept me going through the tough challenges.

Yoga teaches present moment awareness. It means unity. Unity of the body to the mind; of breath to movement; of our souls to the universe and to all that is around usEverything is connected. Nothing is separate. My practice is constantly teaching me to let go of a desire to control. We cannot control future situations or anyone else’s thoughts, words, or actions. We can only be responsible for our own actions and attitudes toward situations.

My teacher once said, “The power of present moment awareness can heal everything - goodness and virtue will enter into the moment.” I’m finding this to be true more and more lately. What will be will be and our lives will continue to flow on; however, each action, reaction, and the energy we cultivate will affect everything around us.  This is Karma. This is also known as being a decent human being.

We cannot change the past; we cannot change the future. All we can do is here and now. Whether that is on the mat or off makes no difference.

With pure gratitude and an open heart, Namaste. 

LITTLE BOXES MADE OF TICKY TACKY

The following was published on www.oregonsportsnews.com on 19 August 2013. 

A few months ago, an old beau told me I was messy. I took offense to this because messy makes me think dirty, and dirty means smelly. That’s gross. I’m none of those things. I am a classy lady, dammit. A classy lady with a lot of papers on my desk.

I thought back to this conversation and back to He Who Shall Not Be Named. Although we’ll forever be connected by a complementary distaste of stupid people, a love of good music, and a set of matching tattoos, I’m finally at peace with why we’ll never “work out.” But that’s how Karma works, isn’t it?

I have big, huge ideas. I have life goals and dreams so big that I can’t contain them inside a neat little box with a bow in the recesses of my brain. My desk reflects this in its constant clutter. No matter how hard I try to keep it aesthetically tidy, it’ll forever be a realm of organized chaos.

Some people like their lives to be compartmentalized. They like neat little containers for their things: their papers, their knick knacks, their thoughts, their ideas, their time and their life plans. I’ve realized that I’m not one of those people. My ideas don’t fit into nice little drawers. I don’t have a solid five year plan. The house in the suburbs with the family and the cubicle job is not in my foreseeable future. That future looks more like a Jackson Pollock painting in my brain. For now, I’m grateful that Future Me will at least be attending graduate school for the next two years.

That’s not to say I don’t plan ahead - in fact, I do just the opposite by working my butt off everyday - but who’s to say that the HR department at my dream job will decide to hire me after graduation? Or that my home will still be here tomorrow? Or that my dreams, goals, and life will take me in the same direction as I’m feeling now?

Yoga has taught me to move with my breath and to flow. That is Vinyasa; that is my yoga practice and my life is no different. I can breathe through difficulties. I can conquer resistances I didn’t even know I carried. Walls can melt away, allowing me to expand, open, stretch, and grow in ways I didn’t even realize were possible.

Once we start putting our lives into boxes, however, we contain and put limits on ourselves; we can no longer flow. We must use labels. I’m a student; I’m a teacher; I’m a daughter; a sister; I’m 24; I’m brunette and short. These are superficial; they’re impermanent and they can change in an instant. Except the “I am short” part. That’s forever. 

Ask yourself - despite these ever-changing labels - who am I? If you can remove the superficialities and the impermanence, the only thought you may hear is silenceI am. I exist. “That is the point,” explained my teacher. “Once you can touch the present moment, there’s nothing else to do. That is enlightenment.”  

If you’re the type of person who enjoys arranging your life into boxes, then by all means, organize away, my Type-A friend. Every once in a while, though, see how it feels to peek over the edges of the walls. Breathe some air. Maybe jump on top of that box, stretch your legs, and keep this Tibetan proverb in mind:

“Tomorrow or the next life, you never know which will come first.”

Om shanti & Namaste, friends.