Friday, 25 December 2015

A Secret Santa Story

I'm part of a tight-knit theatre group, and within that group, there are about ten of us that are quite close friends.

This year, we decided to do a Secret Santa- something fun within five to fifteen dollars. I thought of  the idea, and was excited to see it executed.

We wrote all the names down on a piece of paper in between dance numbers, including everyone that was part of our circle so that no one would feel left out. Then, we stuck them in a baseball cap , the only hat we had at hand (try saying this out loud five times fast!),  and each picked out a name. I was really excited about who I had received- she was a potterhead and a feminist like me. We had only begun to become friends, and I couldn't wait to start planning her gift.

At first, I thought a little about what I might be getting, but it didn't excite me as much as the thought of my person's face as she would open her gift. In fact, I almost forgot that I would be getting a gift too, until the day we all exchanged gifts.

She tapped me on the shoulder and presented it to me, voila! Fuzzy slippers and a bag of delicious candy cane hershey kisses. I really liked them. The kisses didn't last long, but the slippers will be useful for a very long time.

But it didn't compare to the joy I got when I saw the reaction of the person who I had gotten a gift for- utter delight as she spoke in a high-pitched voice I didn't quite understand. I had tied in a couple Harry Potter references in with chocolate and candy, and a cute unicorn stuffed animal because she loved unicorns. That was my favorite part.

Receiving gifts, though it is great to get something new and fun and useful, doesn't match up to the fun of sneaking around, spending time planning, creating and personalizing a gift for someone else. It really doesn't. And their reaction is the best part.

I think, this Christmas, I'm going to take away real appreciation for giving vs.receiving. That was my favourite part of Christmas this year.

Merry Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa/Stolstice/Festivus/ whatever unknown holiday you celebrate

-Oakstar

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

The Crazily Inspiring (secret) Agent- Chloee's Gift!



A slightly unique award name, for a very unique blogger.
Dear Chloee, I present you this award for being an undercover secret agent, trying to rectify what's left of humanity. You are inspiring in a mad way, you connect to people by relating to them with Gifs and self deprecating humor, and one does not have to dig deep to find a very inspiring post- thanks to you, I will go eat that cake. And I won't share it. Though you don't outright say in your posts that you are trying to inspire people, and you might not even realize that you are inspiring people, you are very inspiring, in your own special way.

Check out Chloee's blog here.

Also, thank you very much to maddie from Social Casualty for my lovely award. It's so thoughtful.
                         
Happy eve of Christmas eve, bloggers :)


-Oakstar

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Slut Shaming

Slut shaming. 

I used to do it. 

Most of my friends used to do it. 

And still, some of them do. The most amazing people I know.  

I wasn't aware of it for a very long time. I used to walk around, see a girl wearing a short skirt, and think: slut. What about the time I thought my friend was a slut because she liked three guys at the same time? Or the countless women on television shows  that had just too many boyfriends in one season?



What does it matter to us what someone does in their own home, or the exact width of their tank top shirt, measured in index fingers? It's not hurting anyone. It's not any of our business. 

In a world riddled with negativity, death, disease, and poverty, we let ourselves continue to judge. It just seems we would pick anything to judge people. 

Slut. It's such an ugly word. The word  itself just screams of judgement, torment. It's name-calling, bullying. Trying to make women feel inferior because they sleep around, or kiss more than one guy, or because the only way they can make a living is prostitution. It's sad, but it's the truth.  

Why can't we just accept people for who they are? Sure, you might have different values. But we are not there to control anyone else's lives but our own.

And here's another problem: why is it when a woman sleeps around, she is called an ugly slut, but when a man does, he's a major player? There's some blatant inequality for you. 

I like tank tops. The skinny strap ones. I also like short shorts. Not the ones that look like underwear, but that barely scrape by the dress code. Long shorts annoy me. 

Does that make me a slut, or indecent? Sadly, a lot of people would say yes. But guess what? I wear skinny strapped shirts and short shorts for myself, because I like them. That's my decision. 

I don't want to see people walk around naked, so I do think there should be some form of a dress code in public place. But in schools, they should be teaching people not to rape, instead of teaching people how to not get raped. 

Once upon a time, my friends bra strap was showing. A teacher called her on it. They said, "Why is your bra strap showing, young lady?" My friend replied defiantly, "Because I'm wearing a bra." 
Then there's the time another friend of mine was nearly sent home because her leggings revealed that she (gasp) has a butt, and that other time... It goes on. But by sending a girl home from school because of her tank top that might distract the boys in the class, you are valuing a boy's education over a girl's. 

I'm trying to stop using the word slut. I'm trying to look at someone's heart, not their skirt length. Sadly, it's been drilled into my mind. I slip up sometimes, see that girl with the short skirt, and jump to conclusions. The word slut pops into my head. 

So next time you see a girl with short shorts, first, look at yourself. Catch yourself from using the word slut. Then, look at her. Inside her. See her heart? Look at that instead.

-Oakstar

Sunday, 13 December 2015

12 Days of Blogmas- Day 1

Hiya!

I've decided to participate in GirlRadio's 12 Days of Blogmas series this Christmas season. Click here to check out her blog and feel free to participate :)

Today's-err- prompt, I'd guess you'd call it, is to write a poem describing the holidays.

Two posts ago, I wrote a poem about almost exactly that, so I'll be sharing that part of the poem today.

A warm candle's glow
illuminates
the distant trail.
Music, gingerbread, white snow drops fall  from the Heavens above. 
A snowman beckoning softly, to I, a weary traveller.
A promise of gifts,lights, and laughter to rejuvenate the solemn heart.
A glimmer of  hope, caught dancing on a sleighbell,
to guide the way.
The  trail is iced, but I will proceed with caution.
Christmas awaits. 

Thank you so much for hosting this series, GirlRadio!

-Oakstar

(Happy birthday to Taylor Swift!)

Monday, 7 December 2015

Acceptance

After days spent contemplating over things and analyzing life and human nature, an abundance of epiphanies hit me over the head.

I'm growing curious as to why some people struggle to realize that equality, especially in this age, is necessary for a truly giving, sharing, whole society.

Equality.

No matter your gender, your race, your sexual orientation, your religion, the color of your eyes.

It shouldn't matter.

not mine


Why do we need to be the same in order to accept one another? Why do people judge one another on something they haven't experienced?

We have to grow together, as one unified earth. But in order to do that, we have to accept that not everyone will be the same. There will be differences. We will disagree.

But there are things, some small things, that we can almost all agree on. The power of love, or something as simple as kittens are cute.

In order to make a change in the world, we have to accept that people will disagree, people will be different. We can't always be the same.

 Other cultures are not failed attempts at being our own. Religion, as long as it's not hurting anybody, can be practiced freely. Marriage equality, is it that hard to realize that we're all human, and we all want to love? Women and men can be whatever they want to be. A slut is not a lesser human being than you.

Why can't we all just dig down and accept... all of this stuff. It shouldn't matter. Why do we all have to be the same in order to be treated the same?

We need acceptance.