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Sunday, 30 November 2014

Menstrual cups

19:46 Posted by Afro Latina , No comments


I need to write about something light. Sometimes I feel I am too old school to try certain things. So I take my time, and it means I usually take longer than other people and I presume that is why I hardly ever appear to be acting in accordance to the age I have. From the very moment I understood myself as a person, and that also took a little while more than usual, I decided I would do things in my own time, not in the frame of others. It clearly does not work if you conceive of yourself in capitalistic terms, but if you take profit out of the equation, you realize it actually is liberating, and you then feel good about yourself.


The whole introduction above is just to illustrate my difficulties in starting new things, like creating new habits. I've been struggling to eat better these days, but I realize I have so many deeply entrenched bad habits that eating well is something that would require a gargantuan effort on my part, and I don't know if I am quite ready for that. Isn't it crazy that we are not really ready for things that would greatly improve our lives? There you go, sometimes we just aren't, and there is no point in fighting hard to prove otherwise. On the other hand, if we never fight our comfort zone, we will never reach there and it makes me angry that we need to think in such terms, but it is just true that certain things will only improve with practice. I am not, for obvious reasons, talking about the lives of the workers that never seem to get any better, regardless of how much hard work they put in whatever they are doing. 


Then there is this new trend, which is using menstrual cups instead of pads and tampons. I run a blog with a few Brazilian friends of mine, and one of our most popular posts is about said cups. They are what every modern, environmentally conscious girl seems to be doing right now. I reckon whoever designed that might be floating in an Olympic-size swimming pool filled with money. That idea seems unappealing to me, though. Anyway. There is this cup, and there is me, and the thousands of excuses I have been giving myself in order to avoid it. But you know, we women who bleed, we hear about things. And we want to try them. Because trying new things is what keeps you feeling awesome and a little less preoccupied with your decaying cells and all privileges you are slowly losing due to a clock that won't cease gulping all your milliseconds away. 


I want to try this cup. The main challenge I think I will face is the second day of my menstruation, that one which looks a lot like I am about to drown in my own blood. Because no matter how much my friends assure me that it won't be an issue, I just don't seem to be able to come to terms with going out and having to take that thing out to empty it in some random toilet. In my mind, I go and take it out and throw the blood away. Then, what am I supposed to do with a dirty cup in my hands? Just reinsert it into my vagina? I don't know if I feel comfortable with that idea. I would need to rinse it off somehow and I just cannot picture myself getting out with a cup that will be probably dripping blood and washing it in some sink where other ladies will be probably washing their hands and they would gape their eyes in horror and I don't even wanna think about what would happen next.


I could get two cups, I reckon. That would save me the hassle of having to worry about washing it before I can tuck it in again. Yes, I think I am comfortable enough with two cups, even though I will have to carry a dirty one in my bag. But why is it that we feel blood is so dirty? What's so inherently wrong about touching your body, touching your blood? And why is it that we should spare others the view of our very red fluids? Why can't we all bleed together? 


Well, I've seen some pretty cool art done with menstrual blood. Google it, you might even want to try making some art for yourself. I will probably do that if I get to wear the menstrual cups :D


  

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

They shall not pass - Não passarão!





I should have gotten used to it by now but bigotry makes me feel incredibly sad. Today a guy directed some racially charged abuse towards me and I know that is probably always going to happen not only to me but to many, many people everywhere on this planet but the thing is I feel so sorry for this guy and at the same time the whole thing is representative of such a tragic system that well… sadness is the only thing left to me at the moment.


I suppose this is a very daring thing to do. You see, I am a woman, but on top of being woman, I am also what some would call "of color". So I decide to get out in the open to fight for my rights to have a body. I decide to go fight for the right to be a person, because the way things are today, we women are relegated to a status that is lower than personhood. But then, people see me there, daring to wear a tee with the sound print "MY BODY, MY RIGHTS" in it and I suppose it is too much for them to take, really. Because, if they regard women to a lower status than that of men, to us women of color there is nothing left, really. It was like they were saying "Do you want rights? But you're just an animal, you cannot think". That's precisely what that guy said to me, with other words, obviously. But you know what? I just gotta be strong, and I will keep on swimming, like Dorie from Finding Nemo. Except that I will not forget, and those very words he said to me, I am saving them: there will be some literature. 

And don't worry about me. I will be able to laugh again. I will laugh, I will swim, I will rise. But all this is still very, very unfortunate. 

Friday, 21 November 2014

06:10 Posted by Afro Latina No comments
Just came across this one and its brilliance had me post it here. I cannot believe only now I am getting to see Anton Kennemeyer's work. I'd totally post it to my fb wall but away from social networks for a a while.


Thursday, 20 November 2014

01:06 Posted by Afro Latina No comments
Life is that very moment you download a new operating system and cringe at how stupid developers can be, so you feel like crawling into a dark hole where you could stay forever, with your teethy mouth gaped and your eyes firmly shut, so you could feel the decay of each cell in your body in peace. But then you resign to the fact that said developers are like gods and they actually get to tell you that whatever change they have implemented is an <<enhancement>> and you don't really want to go back to the previous OS because that would feel even more stupid and there is nothing else to do besides being annoyed for a few days and then getting used to it. Why, we tend to get used to shit.


Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Over sharing

15:38 Posted by Afro Latina No comments




I realize it's been a while I don't drop by to say a word, it is not one of those cases where words went missing from my head, they are still there aplenty, it is just that I cannot usually get out of my state of complete apathy in order to have any sort of clarity and write things down. On the other hand, the longer I stay away, the better I realize that I might never achieve such state of lucidity, so why not stream a bit of my consciousness here anyway? 


This is not a post about anything. I don't want to rant, I don't feel like complaining about stuff, I am not really willing to be self-indulgent and pity myself and then give a tap on my own back and say Girl, you are super cool and awesome and beautiful and great. No, I am past that, I promise. Today I just want to write about nothing special. Like the day I have behind me. 


I've just shared with himself that I spent a good deal of my day plotting the best, cleanest way to end my own life. He gasped in horror and retired to his room, feeling extremely disappointed that I would ever ponder on such baffling topic but it is what it is: I was wondering how I could possibly die without getting too graphic, shocking too much, leaving scars on people. As I was not able to give those three questions a proper answer, I did what I always do whenever such thoughts cross my mind - I muffled them.


I think what separates me from people who actually let go of themselves is that I lack the courage to hurt myself. In short, the what ifs prevent me from being gutsy enough to say enough is enough and just go away. I know I am perturbed, I have always been like this, but the very fact that I am now able to talk about it feels a bit liberating. I want to talk about death. 


The other day I had a brief conversation with a guy at a sauna. I love saunas, they sort of remind me of the heated place I come from, and I am not joking. So there I was, enjoying some heat and thinking about life when this guy starts small talking to me and the conversation was soon to become philosophical. He's probably in his late twenties and has never had a job in his life. You don't miss what you never had, he said. I was mulling over that for a few days and I must confess I have nothing conclusive to say, but I do tend to disagree with his statement, and I am not sure if I will be able to explain myself as I have this maddening ear pain which prevents me from thinking clearly now and I do think the pain is also one of the reasons why I so earnestly wish I ceased to exist. 


But why do I disagree with that statement? In short, I think I've never been really free in my life. I need a parenthesis here, I don't blame anyone. Maybe it's the whole system I was born into. Or maybe it's me. We could even say it's an amalgamation of both. The thing is, I really wanted to be free. I would love to have a life of my own and not have to give anyone any explanation about my actions whatsoever. It's as if I secretly wished the people I love the most did not really exist in my life, and I know it's a rather daunting thing to say, but it's true, and again, they are not at fault. When I look back in time I sort of realize that saying yes to India was actually an attempt at freedom, which did not happen de facto. You cannot be free when your only option in life is to move from the hearth of your parents to that of your husband. Even if they are the nicest and most loving and awesome people alive. This is not about love, it is about independence. 


And that's pretty much what I've been thinking about since I traveled to Portugal in the end of October. I've been contemplating on my ineptitude to be independent, I've been wishing I had the courage to say to myself, loud and clear, that I am enough, instead of being so vulnerable and in need of care. Somehow I got convinced along the way that I am the one people should look after. At some point in my life I was made to believe, not only by others but most importantly, by myself, that striving for a secondary career would be enough. I thought I really did not need a career, because somehow in my mind I would be occupied minding my children (they never came, I am childless, and although English is not my mother tongue I do understand the difference between being childfree and being childless, so I did use the correct term here) and the main income should be that of the man, and what a pathetic human being I used to be. 


There is no point in being consumed by regret, I suppose. My mantra is It could have been worse, after all. I guarantee that I've grown in ways I could have never predicted. The only thing that still keeps my flame flickering is knowing that I am able to empower myself through writing, even though I completely abhor most of what I do, but that's because I am not really keen on myself, so I would obviously hate anything that comes from me, perhaps being infertile is not a bad thing after all. Nature knows I wouldn't be able to cope with a mini-me anyway. What I did not know, until very recently, is that I would probably be happier if I had some sort of independence. 


Do I regret having become a feminist? Not even a tinge. These things happen to shake things up a little. There is a lot I need to deconstruct inside of me. For the time being, I am a bit paralyzed, but I feel I will be able to get to a more lighter state, and it will probably feel unbearable, but I do want to try it anyway. No, I've never had it. But I do know I need it. I want to appreciate people for what they really are, not for what they can provide me with. I think I might be getting to that stage where I finally learn that relationships do not necessarily need to occur in capitalist terms. Although I am pretty much a stray cat who got adopted and now has food and a roof over its head, I am confident I will be able to provide for myself, soon. Perhaps that's the only hope that prevents me from going ahead with the project of killing myself.


The only thing that made me smile today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3b6LU-nBzLo