Monday, October 8th, 2012
Our internal dialogue is a funny ol’ thing. It takes us on a journey each and every day – bigging us up during our triumphs, sending us into wallowing states of despair at other times, that pesky little voice dictates how we feel about ourselves for better or worse. Many let the words of others weigh in on their personal value but I disagree – people should really be able to say whatever they want about you, but it’s only how you feel about yourself that matters (I’m not saying people should be complete assholes to you but ultimately, how that effects you says more about you than them). What I’ve noticed, especially among women is that the negative voice chatters loudly away under the surface and I got to thinking the other day, why are we so mean to ourselves?
Monday, April 30th, 2012
When I started running, it was a solitary experience. Running at 5:30am, under the cover of darkness, hoping no one would see me having to take a walk break and nurse a stitch. For my first half marathon in October 2010, Charlie Dark came to my aid and offered to run it with me. Without his support that day, I would most likely still be on the course in floods of tears. That day, I realised the importance of a little encouragement. When I asked if people would like to run my next half marathon in Paris with me, I honestly expected two people to reply. Twenty did. And so, Team Bangs on the Run was born. A happy accident to start with, it has become more than I could ever have imagined.
Friday, April 13th, 2012
What a whirlwind period of awesome it’s been in the life and times of Bangs of late. Racing in Berlin, starting Spikes & Heels, just having so many damn awesome people in my life – I wake up every day high fiving life! To add to it all, myself and two of my Team Bangs on the Run girls are featured in the May issue of Zest Magazine. We did the shoot a month or so back and had an absolute blast doing it (which is pretty evident from the finished product methinks).
Thursday, December 8th, 2011
I’m not sure when it becomes such a benchmark, but it does and it seems to for all women: ‘By 30, I’ll have done X, Y and Z.’ The big 3-0 carries a lot of weight with womankind. It’s not like it’s explicitly said, but we’re expected to have ourselves ‘together’ by thirty. We should be married with kids and a good career. It’s around the mid-20s that the panic starts to set in if you’re not on track to achieve such perfection. Can we give ourselves a break? Exactly what are we in such a rush for?
Tuesday, November 29th, 2011
Women are constantly divided up into factions, by society and increasingly, by ourselves. But the one group that seems to have been gaining ground over the past few years is ‘real women’. This term is constantly bandied about, lest we forget how ‘real women’ should look. But the more I hear it, the more irritating I find it. ‘Real women have curves’? Oh really? So, any woman devoid voluptuous hips and a cup size that runneth over is faking it? Enough of this madness!
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011
Fitness is pitched to women purely as a weight loss tool. Like, that’s the only reason we should do it. Not to feel good, not to clear our minds, strengthen our bodies, or be healthy. Our end game should always be weight loss. And this, my friends, is bollocks. Naturally, I’m on a mission to change this silly notion and I invite you all to join the crusade!
Wednesday, February 9th, 2011
The main reason I want to run the Paris Half Marathon is because it’s on March 6th. March 6th was my grandmother’s birthday. She passed away in 2004, aged 94. She was a huge part of my life and even now, I miss her terribly. I’m not sure why I felt like running 13 miles and sweating my ass off on her birthday would somehow honour her memory, but I have an ounce of strength, determination or guts in me, it’s down to her, so I feel she’ll be with me on that day.
I wrote the blog post below three years after she passed. As race day draws nearer and the training gets tougher, she has been on my mind more and more. I’m reposting the post here today to keep me focused. Running for me, is about bettering myself in every way. If I can be even half the woman my grandmother was, well then I’d really be on to something.
Here is the original post, from 2008:
Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010
Balancing womanhood and the workplace can be tough. And I’m not talking about the whole notion of ‘women have to have it all’ – husband, kids, kick ass job. I’m talking about how we often have to bury traits that make us women in favour of walking the tightrope and getting ahead. The recent release of PR mogul Kelly Cutrone’s book, If You Have to Cry, Go Outside, made me wonder, do we have to check out femininity and emotions at the door before the work day?
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think we should all be blubbering messes if someone doesn’t make our coffee right, but there are times when we need to be a little more aggressive, a little more assertive or a little more vulnerable and as women, being just the right amount of those things to keep everyone happy is hard.
It’s hard of course, because there is a complete double standard when it comes to these things. Men can be assholes and no one bats an eyelid. A woman acts the same way and she’s a bitch, subject to office gossip. You see, for men, they’re just being men, it’s alright if they’re a little pushy and aggressive in getting their points across. For some reason, dependent on the workplace of course, it still ruffles a few feathers if women act the same way.
I haven’t read Kelly Cutrone’s book. From what I’ve seen of this woman, she’s a walking stereotype and often seems to be just unnecessarily mean, relishing making her servants feel uncomfortable and less than. Cutrone, sadly, is similar to many female bosses I’ve had, who for the most part, have been unbearable. (Not for a second am I suggesting I’m a breeze to work with – if you can tell anything from this blog, it’s that I’m very opinionated and I don’t often keep those opinions to myself, which can be problematic). The women I’ve worked for have been insanely bitchy and demanding (with the possible exception of one). As women in power is still a relatively new phenomenon, these women are taking their leadership cues from men, when really the message needs to be that you can be feminine and powerful without being a bitch.
We’ve all been in the bathroom at work and seen a girl in tears and can instantly put it down to one of three things; horrible boss (man or woman), late night break up or she’s the target of a colleague’s plot to destroy her (in her own head) – if she’s particularly unlucky, it’ll be all three. Many of us have had that bathroom cry, because God forbid we express an emotion in the office.
Sooner or later, there’ll come a time where we can be assertive without being perceived as bitchy, passionate about a topic without being perceived as over emotional and disagree on a tactic without being seen as catty. Maybe then we won’t have to go outside to cry. Maybe then, we won’t have to cry at all.
Thursday, June 24th, 2010
A couple of days ago, I did a post about domestic violence, exploring the idea that a man should never hit a woman. I wanted to take a look at it from a different angle, generate discussion and shed more light on the fact that it is not only women who are victims of domestic violence. A commenter on that post has accused me of being a woman hater. Here is her comment:
Miss Bangs and Bun….be honest….are you a woman hater??
all you seem to do is have little digs at women all the time??
Are you on a mission like Cosmopolitian magazine to make women feel crap about themselves??
Your posts always seemed to geared toward dissing, cussing or tearing women down one way or another. You never say anything nice EVER!
Domestic violence is a hefty issue and every situation is so different! It’s clear you have no personal experience of DV. It’s opinions like yours that stop women speaking out…Maybe speak to some women you have and get a better understanding and maybe abit of compassion. Violence against a man or a woman is NEVER acceptable or the answer to any relationship problem! Your such a great writer, it would be fantabulous to see you write something positive about women!
I think this raises some interesting points and would like to thank whoever wrote it.
So, let’s examine: am I a woman hater? Well, considering I am a woman and I think I’m pretty damn marvellous, no, I’d have to say I’m not.
It’s important to understand, this is a humour blog. My particular brand of humour is observational and leans to the cynical side. As such, I take situations, try to look at them from a different angle and give a perspective that differs from the ones you may read everywhere else.
The reason it may come off as though I hate women is because traditional women’s media does nothing but blow smoke up our asses. You, it seems, have fallen into the trap of believing what that particular brand of media has shoved down your throat. Me? I’m a realist. Are we all domestic goddesses? Hell no. Are we all skinny? Do we all have perfect jobs? Are we all sugar and spice and all things nice? Most definitely not. Women have changed throughout the ages. I have a huge interest in women’s issues from the 1920s-1960s. Those were times where women had class, there was etiquette that was followed and we actually behaved like ladies. There’s been a real shift in the way women present themselves and are perceived. We’re still fighting for equality. I genuinely just want us to do better, be better, grow, learn and progress.
What I try to do here is explore that. I’ll hold a mirror up to us and make us look at the parts of ourselves that we’d rather not believe. There are unsavoury elements of being a woman that lie in all of us and I’m not exempt from that. A lot of this is as much for self analysis as it is anything else. Sometimes when I write something, I’m just throwing it out there to gauge opinion, hear what others think. Through those debates, I’ve learned many things and they’ve helped me to look at things in a different light.
You are not Elle magazine. You are not Vogue, Company, Glamour or any of the others. There’s more to us than that and it’s not always pleasant. If that offends your ‘rainbows and unicorns’ mentality, then I apologise, but like I said, I’m a realist.
As for your comment that I ‘never write anything nice, ever!’ well, I’ve had this blog for two and a half years and I highly doubt you’ve read every post. If you had, you would know that isn’t true.
In reference to me never having experienced domestic violence, may I direct you to this post where I discuss going through a court case because my boyfriend at the time assaulted me. If you’ve gone through the fear and intimidation of the court system, restraining orders etc, trust me, it’s not possible to not have compassion.
Your comment highlights exactly what I was talking about. You say ‘it’s opinions like yours that stop women speaking out.’ Once again, you’re believing the hype. Believe it or not, it is not always women who are the victims. My post was trying to draw attention to that. And yes, I took a look at what a lot of people are not willing to admit – that sometimes women’s behaviour can escalate situations unnecessarily. I see nothing wrong with discussing that if it makes a woman think twice about the way she’s acting and treating people. We are not always right! As I stressed in the post, I do not condone domestic violence and I think it’s equally as wrong for a woman to hit a man as it is vice versa.
In short, if you want the same old drivel, pick up any women’s magazine – they’re all the same. But here, I’d rather present you with something that’ll make you think. If you really read my blog, you’d see that I’ve gone to bat defending women just as much as I’ve questioned our crazy ways.
But thank you for the comment – you have given me food for thought, indeed.
Wednesday, June 16th, 2010
We’ve come a long way ladies. The Suffragettes laid down the gauntlet, our mother’s generation burned their bras, our generation….well, our generation had Destiny’s Child singing about Bills, Bills, Bills (where we should expect a man to pay for everything) and then Independent Women (where a new memo went out saying we should pay for our own stuff) – confusing times. But the overall message has been that we are the shiznit. We’re all snap our fingers, you go girl, I don’t need a man, he’s not good enough for me, you deserve better – we’re a chattering, nattering sea of awfulness. That’s right, I’m just gonna go right ahead and say it – we’ve started to believe our own hype and are now completely up our own asses.
Being that we’ve been raised on a steady diet of ready-made celebrity crap, we’ve somehow convinced ourselves that nothing and no one is good enough for us. Well ladies, it’s time to have a little reality check. Not all of us are that spectacular. I’m willing to bet, you’re not half as interesting as you think you are. But you’ve watched enough MTV and TMZ to convince yourself you are. I’m not saying you should settle, relationship wise, but maybe you should think twice before looking a gift horse in the mouth.
Example: a while ago, someone I used to have on my Facebook, who is a single mother of three children (to two different fathers) and former stripper, posted a status update along the lines of: ‘My date for tonight just cancelled. Couldn’t handle the fact that I have kids. His loss!!!’
OK, that’s his loss? Seriously? I’m pretty sure that guy’s not crying himself to sleep at night about not looking after your three kids. Let’s be realistic. Now before all the single mothers get their knickers in a twist, no, I’m not saying you don’t deserve love, but at least be realistic about your situation. You will be hard pressed to find a man who wants to sign up for that. At least have enough sense to say to yourself ‘yes I want a relationship and I’m aware that my situation may be a lot for someone to handle.’ Take responsibility. But don’t snap your fingers, act like you’re the baddest bitch in town and that the man is missing out.
Women see Kanye West dating Amber Rose, who’s biggest claim to fame is shaking her ass in a few videos, and think men of that calibre should just flock to them too. Where women before us fought for equal rights so that we could better ourselves and get into better positions in society and the workplace, women now prefer to leech off the ideal of us being equal, do absolutely nothing about it and expect men to fall over themselves to take them out.
Bitch please! Get something going on in your life! Stop turning away perfectly good men because you think you can do or deserve better. A lot of women can’t and don’t. Get over yourself and get your head out of your ass. You aren’t wonderful merely by ‘being’ – try actually DOING something and you may impress someone at some point in your life.