Saturday, March 20, 2010

1 Day Until Istanbul

Ah! It has arrived! Now that it is closer, I am very excited!

And no, I have not finished working on my Swiss images from Aug-Nov 2009. I have been spending lots of time with my nephews and they wear me out! I have been very neglectful of my photowork! But that is okay! I will have lots more from Istanbul to add. :)

Well, tons of packing left for Istanbul and my trip back to Florida.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Blogging for International Women's Day

So for years, my friends know that I am a proud feminist. Not many really enjoy that concept, some applaud it and even better a tiny few are feminists as well - including guys! This year, as I find myself becoming more vocal about my viewpoints, I decided to submit my blog for International Women's Day.

So today, there will not be talk of my upcoming trip to Istanbul, or what current photowork I am doing or any new images. Just strictly talking about equal rights and what it means to an everyday citizen like myself.

I like to think that I am unique (even though I know there are plenty others like me :P) in the fact that I am nearly 30 and still single; haven't quite found my place in this wide big world; and is considerably a "lone-wolf". I spend a lot of my time traveling alone (budget-traveling of course!) to new places to see new things and meet new people. I have been blessed as one of those people that hold no grudges or prejudices against others regardless of their viewpoint or beliefs. Living my life behind my camera, I have learned that, "everyone has a story".

In my journeys, I have faced unfairness for being a woman either by other women or men and have met many closed minded people. My travels nationally and abroad have humbled me considerably in realizing that everywhere, the same issues we as women in America suffer with are happening (to various degrees) everywhere. I think as Americans we like to think that women's rights are a "western ideology" when in fact, many other cultures have either had women in power or treated them as equals as long or longer than we have in America. Since I have been following the Iraqi election, I like to reference this article: Iraq's Female Candidates, Activists Or Quota Fillers?

Being that I am looking for something completely different in a life partner, friends have laughed at me when I said that, "I seek my intellectual, emotional and spiritual equal - a person that sees me as their best friend, not as their wife." Being that I am a loner, to be molded into something I am not would be as terrible as taking my basic rights away. Equality is realizing that as an individual, we have strengths and weaknesses, and as a team, we fill in the parts needed to make a complete whole. In the workplace, as a woman, I am no less worthy of equal pay to a man just because I have breasts. If I have the same qualifications as he does, the same drive and motivation as he does, then we should be judged upon our merits and our experiences.

Equality in the household is a new subject for me to experience. In the last year, I have spent a lot of time with my sister raising 2 twin boys in their terrible twos. In German, "hausfrau" (housewife) has a very degrading connotation to it. In America, I have seen that we have lesser respect for a woman who is a housewife. My message to those people who feel as such, it is worth the $800 plane ticket and I want you to take care of my nephews for 2 days, only 48 hours. When I have them (she works part time), it is non-stop cleaning, discipline, attention giving, staying up all night, cleaning and more don't even have a second to yourself. And for the significant others who think that raising children is a picnic and you cannot wonder why your partner just wants to be alone when you come home? You have them for 48 hours straight. *laughs* I was telling a friend, "I will trade with you! I will handle angry bosses and ringing telephones for 7 hours!" Being in Switzerland has taught me a sincere respect for any housewife who actually works in their home and with their kids.

With all that said, I have done the 65 hours of work, cleaned and cooked. In an equal household, each person understand that its not one person job to take care of domestic duties. If my partner (?) and I both work and pay bills, why should it be my responsibility to take care of the house and my partner? If your mama didn't raise you to wash your own ass, then we wouldn't be togther anyways. *laughs* I sent this awesome article to a male feminist friend, She Works, They're Happy but the best paragraph from this article is this: “Women no longer need to marry up educationally or economically, so they are more likely to pick men who support a more egalitarian relationship,” said Stephanie Coontz, director of research and education for the Council on Contemporary Families and author of “Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage.” I believe every bit of that is true for the modern woman. A partnership (I don't like the word "marriage") is about teamwork.

I feel proud to be a woman in the modern world and I feel even prouder that because of modern technology; women, men, feminists, etc are able to convey their ides, share news faster and support each other. Sometimes, I wish I could do more, especially when is see articles like this: Iran Women Rights Defenders Continue Undeterred by Prison Detention

I once joked with my Art History professor when I said, "It always takes a peasant up-rival to overthrow a kingdom." That would be my message to those women in Iran (and everywhere else!) fighting for gender rights. Always remember that united we are strong.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

19 Days to Istanbul, Turkey

As titled above, only 19 days to my trip to Istanbul, Turkey. I am very excited to finally get the chance to see a country that has been on my list for a while! I had said that I no longer want to visit these "expensive to my currency" countries for a while. There are so many beautiful places out there in the world and as an American, I feel proud to be able to go and visit the world, something most Americans have no desire to do. :) Everywhere I go, I have the ability to make friends and I look forward to meet and talk to people and photograph my experience. And I cannot forget my travel partner and good friend that is accompanying me! :D

I am pretty much ready, just recharge my lithium battery for my pro camera and make sure I have enough extra batteries for my, "point-n-shoot". I also just need travel shampoo which I will get at DM in Büsingen, Germany. It's been the only store that I have found to have "travel sized" toiletries.

Also, a big thanks to the other solo travelers and photographers from that have been more than helpful about visiting Istanbul!

Bis später!