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That everything is fixable/cleanable/replaceable.

Except people.
Queen Bull
The hardest thing that I have learned in my short short time here, and ladies, PLEASE correct me if Im wrong or if this needs amending, is that people who dont want to be 'fixed', wont be. And that no amount of love and support will change that while they sit in their sorry hole.

and that in order to have vices, you have to be ashamed of what it is you are doing in the first place. But we can thank Misters Wilde and Grey for that.
queen bull, I think that goes hand in hand w/ what dolor had written last month.. that for some people, being unhappy or broken is just what feels most natural to them on their deepest level.

to me what I have just started realising as I creep closer to the high end of my 30's, is that eventually, you need to deal w/ the ugly stuff of your past and really actually Mean It. talking about it in the vague abstract is only pretending and another form of running from it.
I wish I had known back then that someday it would be ok to talk about it and realised it was never. my. fault.

every day really Is a new chance at being better.
wow. lots of good ones in here lately! bunny be mine, dolor, queen bull, persimmon, polly, lustfullypink....oh, hell, everyone! everything that everyone has said i wish i'd known sooner!!

here's some more:

think VERY long and hard before you say something hurtful. once those words are said, you can never take them back. and as girl trouble says, what you do *will* come back and bite you on the butt.

as long as you think you are green, you will grow. it's when you think that you are ripe that you begin to get rotten.

start saving money NOW.

smile. it confuses your enemies.

it is better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

it's okay to ask questions. how else will you learn?

tell the people that you love that you love them. every chance you get. you may not get another chance to.

saving yourself for marriage may be a crock, but it certainly helps you get better at blow jobs!
QUOTE(vixen_within @ Jul 13 2008, 11:34 PM) *
Those are great ones Persimmon Grrrl.


I totally forgot about this thread; I'm glad it was bumped up again.

I heart all the girls growing up right now. It's hard, and I have your backs.
....that you're allowed to change your mind.
... to take a good long objective look at your future in-laws & their relationship before you marry bc think it or not, it WILL affect your marriage.

.. that near midway through your life you will probably do a total self-analysis & feel every bit as neurotic at 30+ as you did at 13 all over again, proving the more things change, the more they stay the same.
... to not ignore your gut. Your intuition is always right. To keep listening to your intuition so you become more confident as time goes on that what it's telling you is correct. And to follow what it's telling you.

That there are 3 kinds of people in life: Those who ignore what their gut is telling them, those who hear it but are too afraid to follow it, and those who go with their gut. That if you ask the people you admire how they got where they are (whether it's emotionally, job wise, health, etc) and at some point they'll always say they just followed their gut, even though it might have been against the grain.

That it's better to have tried than to wonder how it would have turned out if you did.
...that nothing is genuinely black and white. there's always grey.

take risks.

it's ok to fail. that's how you learn things.

you ARE worth loving. no matter what anyone says.

you DON'T have to be like everyone else. in fact, it may be better to be different.
Peaches Lulu

I'd add:

Always fall in love with yourself. A fast glance in a mirror or a long slow mental embrace is mighty medicine sometimes.

Become who you wanted to be when you were ten. It's all still there.
that you are not defined by your mistakes.

that you can live happily ever after.

to not over-think things.
..that you're neither too little or too much, and you don't have to prove yourself to anyone.
you can always get back to whatever you think you lost.

you didn't lose it, you just hid it from yourself.
solid gold persimmon_grrrl

there is plenty of time to be an adult. enjoy being a child. it is very fleeting, and most adults spend the rest of their lives seeking their younger, more vibrant, not even more pure, but more honest, more present selves.

thanks, vixen within.

Maintain a savings account
Talk to strangers
Question authority
The more you embrace your geekiness, the more people will think you're cool.

Almost everything you'll read in magazines will be tosh.

If your hair is long enough to tie back in a ponytail, it's too long and doesn't suit you. Get it cut!

Its so easy to forget what its like to be a teenager, so keep a diary. You can read it later to remember all the fun things you did and how silly you were. Also keep letters from friends, so you can show them when they're older.

Embracing geekiness=very important!!!!!
Not sure where else to post this, but this was on today and I thought it was so cute and funny. I think I had to write the same letter at the same age. I think I had to write one about getting pantiliners, too.
that is hilarious. I wrote a note to my dad kinda like that, but it was about getting a speeding ticket in his car and being too afraid to come to him in person to tell him. heh.
Wow, I love it. "I'm in 5th grade now, dammit!!!"
I'm not sure where to post this, so I'm going to put it here. I have an 11 year old cousin, and she is into all this new crap for young girls that makes them totally self-conscious and has no idea about even the mildest of feminism. I don't want to just throw her into it head first by giving her an issue of bitch or BUST or something, so I thought I'd ask you guys. She kind of looks up to me, so I think I have an opportunity here.
What are some things I could give her, like light reading material or a movie or documentary or something, that would kind of open her mind to the idea? I'm going to start hanging out with her more soon and talk to her and things and try to get her into some new music that isn't like, Hannah Montana or the Jonas Brothers and all that crap. I just want her to know that she doesn't have to be like everyone else and I want her to grow up feeling empowered and intelligent.
What are some things that helped you guys when you were younger?
Buffy worked for me!
QUOTE(Persiflager @ Feb 5 2009, 05:23 AM) *
Buffy worked for me!

Prophecy did the same thing with her younger sisters....don't know exactly what age she started at, and I'm pretty sure she was only showing them select episodes (season 6 isn't exactly 11-year-old-friendly!). Maybe she'll have some advice if you want to go that route.

There's also a magazine called New Moon that I've heard good things about. It's geared towards girls 8-12, so she's towards the end of the spectrum. I don't know where to go after that. In my day (oh, I'm old!) I started reading Sassy at age 12 (my mom got me the subscription). Made me who I am today. I'm not sure if there's anything comparable these days.

A couple months ago, prophecy posted a link to this organization: Girls Rock! Chicago. Don't know where you or your cousin is located, but it looks like there's similar programs all over the country (here's their main website.)

There's also Girls, Inc.- they have chapters all over the place.
polly - that camp looks really cool. Since I read hellowren's post, I've been racking my brain, trying to think of what or who helped me when I was younger, and I cannot think of any female role models that I had. Seriously. I work in a very male-dominated field, (a field I always wanted to be in) and all my role models were always male. The three things that I can remember that had an effect on me were 1) my parents. we had a tenuous relationship, but I will say that not once in my life was I told that I couldn't do something because I was a girl, or should do something because I was a girl. The point was always driven home to me that if I wanted to do something, then just get on with it and do it. and do it well. So I do believe that thanks to them just bringing me up that way, I never felt like I couldn't do something. 2) I had a teacher in HS who had worked in a segment of the industry I work in, for a little while. She was super cool and I always wanted to be just like her. ha 3) Reading Maya Angelou's autobiographical series of books. Now, I'm about as white as white gets, and have not even remotely anything in common with her upbringing. But the fact that she came from nothing and is what she is now, and got herself there, is so inspirational to me. She has gone through all sorts of stuff, had a glamourous stage career, etc. before she started writing. But what her books impart is that she did all of that because of not being afraid to take chances and do just what was in front of her, not over thinking it, or talking herself out of it.. not saying no to anything that came her way and just doing it. She followed what she felt was her calling, and never denied that. Following it took her all over the world and brought her back again. Her writing (and life) shows me that anyone can have an exceptional life, it's all in listening to what your passion is, not denying it, and doing what just falls in your lap, because it's not an accident. (Paolo Cohelo's "The Alchemist" is an amazing allegory for how that all works - not a kid book tho)
Oh, I've just remembered an author I really liked when I was 12/13ish. Tamora Pierce wrote some nice fantasy books, and my favourite was the 'Song of the Lioness' series - it's about a teenage girl who disguises herself as a boy to become a warrior and (natch) becomes the best.
To be honest, what I remember about being young is being really into awesome music (Nirvana, Hole, Smashing Pumpkins, Silverchair, etc) and absolutely loving Buffy. I think I was 12 when it first came on.

hellowren, what kind of stuff is this little cousin actually into? Despite not being into all the boy bands and girly crap, I still had a totally distorted image of myself (although, come to think of it I was an avid reader of Seventeen magazine). In fact, I came in here to say that I wish I could go back in time and slap myself in the face and yell, "YOU ARE NOT FAT!!" to my 12 year old self. I am fat now and I hate it but I look at old pictures of myself and I can't believe how self conscious I was. Of course there were always girls that were skinnier than me who felt the need to harass me but I was a totally normal size and I wish that I had listened to my mom when she told me that I was just fine. Argh!
I believe my sister was 12 or 13 when I started her on Buffy and we definitely did an abbreviated viewing, but I think seasons 1-4 are fine for adolescents. Yes, there's some sex stuff, but nothing that they don't already know. I think Buffy's sexual exploration in the later seasons is just a little too complicated for a pre/early teen to comprehend (hell, sometimes I don't know if I comprehend it). She loved it - still does. I think Buffy works because the way it addresses gender is subtle enough to not seem corny and girl-powery, but it's still very powerful.

I think those Rock n' Roll camps for girls are the awesomest thing ever, I so wish they had 'em when I was young (I did just read they're starting Ladies Rock Camp for adults, but it doesn't seem as fun). There's a documentary that was just released on DVD about the original camp in Portland, OR (where Carrie Brownstein and Beth Ditto are among the instructors): Girls Rock!

When she was 15 and started asking me about sex, I got her this book , written by the woman who runs I read through it before I gave it to her and I was surprised at the comprehensiveness (it even addresses fisting) and the sex-positive and girl-positive tone. I really wish this was my teenage sex ed.

Unfortunately, there is no mainstream mag that even resembles Sassy these days.

As corny as it sounds, I think the best way to have a positive impact is to lead by example; be the adult female that your cousin looks up to. Kids at that age are way smarter and more savvy than most people give them credit for and they know when they're being force fed feminism or anything else and their naturally rebellious tendencies will cause your best efforts to backfire. wink.gif If music is what she's already into (even if it's crappy), try that route first - just give her something that's in the poppy-genre, just a little less vapid, maybe Pink or someone similar? Don't try to totally convert her taste. Also, never underestimate the power of angst when the hormones kick in full force; my sister went from Brittney to the Ramones almost overnight. rolleyes.gif
Things to know as a growing up girl:
Trust yourself and your instincts and give them credit.

Don't lie to yourself. If something makes you feel shame or guilt, not generically from societal or social pressures, but from something you did, pay attention. Be honest with yourself and know where you stand with yourself.
Stop second guessing yourself. You can do it. People will laugh, but it doesn't matter.
be yourself and stay in the moment.
QUOTE(hellowren @ Feb 4 2009, 03:24 PM) *
I'm not sure where to post this, so I'm going to put it here. I have an 11 year old cousin, and she is into all this new crap for young girls that makes them totally self-conscious and has no idea about even the mildest of feminism. I don't want to just throw her into it head first by giving her an issue of bitch or BUST or something, so I thought I'd ask you guys. She kind of looks up to me, so I think I have an opportunity here.
What are some things I could give her, like light reading material or a movie or documentary or something, that would kind of open her mind to the idea? I'm going to start hanging out with her more soon and talk to her and things and try to get her into some new music that isn't like, Hannah Montana or the Jonas Brothers and all that crap. I just want her to know that she doesn't have to be like everyone else and I want her to grow up feeling empowered and intelligent.
What are some things that helped you guys when you were younger?

I just want to say that when I was young I was into Barbie dolls and Duran Duran and New Kids on the Block and Seventeen magazine and V.C. Andrews books and all of that stuff and I still turned into a pretty good feminist because people respected my choices and no one told me what to like. To this day I hate being told what to read or listen to and I get tired of feeling like the music I listen to isn't cool (it isn't. I would rather stick a fork in my eye than listen to the Ramones for more than 5 minutes.)
Just respect who your neice is and try to understand why she likes what she likes and be a good role model w/o enforcing your own ideas of what she should be/like and you will be doing the best job that you can.
Aww the Ramones... Kittenb has a good point tho. There is a big difference between making sure she has all the information and has the chance to at least listen to different music and read different books or magazines, and trying to convince her that her favorite stuff isn't cool. You do have a good opportunity here though - I had a favorite auntie who I looked up to and I did change my ideas about what was cool or not just based on her opinion. And I still think she is the coolest. I would think movies and books are probably the simplest and least intrusive thing. My aunt used to bring me to events and fundraisers for the feminist groups and charities she worked for, they do things like fun but informative documentary movie nights, charity music shows, etc. maybe they have things like this where you live?
It's definitely about choices. It's kind of funny how things turn out though. My brother actually used to make me listen to Nirvana and Guns N Roses. I didn't like it much to begin with but then Nirvana grew on me a lot and let's face it, there are some decent G N R songs. And Nirvana led me to Hole which led me to the whole riot grrrl concept. Keep in mind that during all this I also read Seventeen magazine and felt like I was really into fashion (it still interests me). But I think that by 8th grade or so I ripped up a bunch of my old issues of Seventeen as a statement.

I guess what I'm saying is that most people are a mish mash of different things. As long as the little cousin at least has access to a different point of view then maybe she'll get into it. Or maybe not.

Oh and also, I love the Ramones.
quitting doesn't make it a failure

i can't MAKE anyone else happy

relax, no one else gives a shit what i'm doing, they're worried about being fools themselves
That you have to plan where you will be in the next 5 years. That your biology and your mind may not be ready for you to have kids but biology should take precedence because your eggs just won't be as healthy as you age.
wow. I understand what you're driving at, number1, but I would probably have put it "you should keep biology in mind" rather than "biology should take precedence." I think that it would be a pretty bad call to have a kid just because my biology was capable, even though my body and mind weren't ready. Then again, my priority if I have a kid is to be in a healthy, committed relationship where we decide we both want a kid, not to just HAVE a kid to have a kid.

so I suppose that's my growing up girl thing - That its ok if, for whatever reason, you don't end up having kids.

wow people actually responded to me. haha.
to reply, I know that forcing it upon her will not work, I'm just trying to ease it in. I don't want to overwhelm her with a bunch of radical feminist bullcrap, I just want her to know about it. I've been looking for like, a women's rights documentary of some sort. Kind of like a feminist history type movie. I can't seem to find anything that's sort of all-encompassing of the history of it.
I got her this book on amazon called The Looks Book. it's about developing a positive self-image for young girls. My aunt said she liked it but isn't really much of a reader at this point, so I thought maybe a movie would be good. I'm also gonna make her a PG rated riot grrl-esque mix cd. however that will work lol.

anyway, any feedback/comments are totally welcome. smile.gif
a relationship is not a healthy relationship if you censor yourself out of fear that the other person will withdrawal his/her love/friendship if you don't.
I'm with KittenB - being told how to think isn't good for anybody. Not that I'm saying that's what you're trying to do, Hellowren; just saying that, when you approach this issue, keep that in mind. Provide her with a little context about women in our society, but don't go trying to replace the things she likes with the things you like. Depending on how sheltered her life has been, 11 isn't that young - chances are, she's already noticed that society is sexist and she just hasn't learned to articulate that to herself yet. I was a very sheltered kid, and I was certainly aware of it. If you're hanging out with her and you see or hear something that you find sexist or offensive, say something about it - that's setting an example and promoting critical thinking. But there's no need to go into feminist theory or history with her or anything like that. She'll come to that on her own. What an 11-year-old needs most is the freedom to be themselves without fear of judgment, and that's all you need to give her. All a girl needs to be a feminist is the belief that she is just as valuable and entitled to the same rights as any male, and that's obvious to anyone who was raised to think for themselves.

I think one of the most empowering things a girl can do is get involved in sports. She'll learn that her body is strong and needs food and love and care to be stronger. She'll learn that looks aren't important, and she's just as valuable a human being when she's all sweaty and muddy and she's wearing ugly old shorts and her hair's a mess. She'll learn to be independent if she does sports on her own, or she'll learn to be a part of a team. The more time she spends preoccupied with improving her skills, her game and her fitness, the less time she'll have to think about what everyone else thinks of her and how fat she is and how to please boys and all that stuff that made us miserable when we were 12. It'll give her some focus, some discipline, something to aspire to. And the peer group she'll get involved with will share all these things with her and help to reinforce it. Plus, fitness is good for her emotionally, as well as physically, and will help with the adolescent mood swings. As her cousin, and not her parent, I know it's not your role to be signing her up for teams or anything, but maybe you could take her out to kick a ball around or something and pique her interst that way. If she's not into the idea of playing sports, maybe try and get her interested in martial arts or self-defense classes. Those are empowering on a really obvious level and most kids love the idea of being able to kick someone else's ass. If you're really concerned about her, or if you just have that kind of relationship with her parents, maybe you could try and put a bug in their ear about it. I think it's invaluable, and has kept me out of trouble for years. If I hadn't committed myself to fitness when I was 11, I'm 90% sure I would have developed an eating disorder eventually. But it's hard to hate your body when it just won you a game or did 200 situps or ran 5 miles.

For the most part, though, remember what you and your friends were like at her age and don't expect her to be any different. Just be her cool big cousin and try to expand her world a little. She'll grow up fine.
That's a great point about sport, epinephrine - I'm just starting to get into fitness now, and and wish I'd started years ago. I never realised it could feel so good!

I've thought of another one - sometimes the best thing you can do is talk to her, ask her what she thinks, and take her opinions seriously. My dad always treated me as if I was a person worth listening to, so I always felt that way growing up.
I honestly wish I listened to my mother in area, and one area only: I wish I waited longer to lose my virginity, and thought twice about a great deal of the people I have fooled around or slept with.

I totally believe a woman has the right to satisfy her needs on an as-needed basis, but at 14, 15, 16, and even 17/18, I hadn't really developed those needs yet. I was sexually curious and ready to try, but more of those guys than I like to admit were poor decisions and I was blowing them or fucking them for all the wrong reasons. It took me a long time to learn that. I'm not ashamed or bothered by my number, really, and I know people who are a lot worse off than I am....I just feel terrible about how many times I let a guy use me, and didn't realize how I was being taken advantage of until I was older.

I hope if I have sons, I am able to raise them to be respectful to women.
classy lady
I wish I would have realized (back in the day... which was a Wednesday....) that guys who strung you along, kept you waiting by the phone, passive aggressively yet oh so subtlety tried to push your limits- sexually or otherwise, were sooooo not effing worth it.

Despite my many feminist critiques of the book- He's Just Not That Into You taught me more about what I deserved in relationships than 3 years of therapy, go figure.

Ladies- don't put up with BS. We are awesome, brilliant, gorgeous women and we deserve the best.
I'm so glad I was thinking about this thread this weekend. I've read lots of good information I can apply to my own life.

I really liked this one...

QUOTE(Beauty & her Bass @ Jan 6 2007, 11:43 AM) *
Only the people who don't really like you for you care about what your outside appearance is.

For the past month, I've looked at pictures from when I was a teenager 'til my 20s. I never knew how much I did not like myself, especially my appearance. I look back at those pictures and think, "I looked pretty good." I wish I would've appreciated myself more when I was younger. For 2010, I'm working on accepting myself. I guess there is no time like the present.

star, don't forget that in the future when you look back at recent pix of yourself that you'll think the same thing!
star -- I feel the same way. I look back on a time in my life where I hated my body and thought I was sooo fat (about 16-19) and I think, damn.. I looked good. I have to learn to love myself more. I'm trying, but it's hard. I wish I could go back and tlel my 16 year old self to buck up and not be so self conscious.
This doesn't quite fit the theme, but it fits better here than any other thread I can think of. It's certainly something that would be better to know about sooner, rather than later:

Why you should never talk to the police (besides name and DOB) if they think you're a suspect. Even if you're innocent and every word you say is the truth.

Video features a law professor talking about US law and taking the fifth (much, much more interesting than it sounds). Comments afterwards talk about relevance to Canadian context. Not sure how it would work in other countries.
i went out this weekend for the first time since BOXing day. i was talking to my friends little sister. i'd give her 21 or 20. bleached hair, icing of makeup, great short skirt, most amazing heels and the talent to walk in them. she was sweet but slightly vacant. there was a cosmo mag floating around. (you wouldn't believe the shit that mag perpetuates) she had it open to a page with this headline: why men are attracted to skanks. i shit you not. a friend has since told me that the article wasnt too bad and was encouraging inner beauty but i say why even allow the word skank an all that comes with it to exist? i told the little sister about marrying the two mary's. she said affirmative things like 'i know right?' but its impossible to say if she got it. lol, linds said she definitely did not, she woke up and told her boyfriend about how this 'old chick' was pulling some 'jesus shit' on her last night. lol, but i have faith. i like to think she got the gist.

marrying the two mary's is a mission of tori amos's (i swear i dont work for her, her music's just getting me thru a lot right now) its a beautiful concept, one i think we've all touched but i think she puts it very eloquently:

"In traditional christianity the false split gave us 2 characteristics: the virgin Mary and the Magdalene. Of course, within the psyche they must be joined, not polarized for christian women to feel whole. The Virgin Mary has been tripped of her sexuality but has retained her spirituality; the Magdalene has been stripped of her spirituality but has retained her sexuality. Each must have her wholeness. I call this 'marrying the two Mary's'

"There are so many people who come to my shows with this division in them. It seems that you cant be though of as a Divine Mother type and have the respect of those around you if you're also the sacred prostitute. We divide and and conquer on the deepest of levels, by cutting off our own spiritual Being from our own physical Being. Talk about painful. I lived it myself at one point. To have sex, I had to take on a character, because I couldn't be the me that i know and look at in the mirror and express all the different things i wanted to. Basically I didn't know how to 'do what i did under the covers' and then turn around and pick up my glasses and books and go to the library as the same person. I am both of those creatures; they are one person; but it was proving difficult to gather all those pieces and have them live together as one integrated Being. And, of course, I see it in the world all the time - the men go to the mistress and then to the wife. and the wife gets resentful because she's not allowed to experience or express that overtly sexual side of herself, and then the mistress gets vindictive because she doesn't get Christmas or Easter.

"The piano is the bridge that resolves these elements. Music has an almost chemical quality. And there's more than one voice on the piano. You have 2 hands. One can be playing a celestial melody while the other is doing quite the opposite. The joining of the profane and the sacred, or the passionate and the compassionate, happens right there on the keyboard. It reconciles a bond severed a long time ago. There's so much shame around passion's innate hunger, which sometimes can be deemed profane, but music can access its reality: that which has been sacred but has been severed."

I thought this was a cool idea. Sadly, I wasn't ever a journal person. Too many trust issues to write shit down.
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