Category Archives: women’s issues

Introductory V-blog

 Ok Here it is, my first official Vid-blog. I did a brief chit chatty experimental version that some of you may have seen on Facebook, but this is the actual Nanakoosa’s Place chapter one version. I hope you enjoy it and I will be working on more installments which will consist of specific topics and issues that are relevant to my audience. As always feedback and suggestions are welcome.
Peace,
Jenny

© 2010-2012 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by   Jennifer Hazard

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The Perfect Body

What image comes to mind upon hearing that phrase…”the perfect body”? Remember in the 70’s Bo Derek was a “10”, in the 80’s, well I’m not sure what the heck was going on there but a lot of people were into aerobics, jazzercise and fitness gurus. In the last couple of decades things have improved…slightly, slowly. Among my daughters’ generation it is desirable to have “booty”, a nice big juicy butt. This is good because many women carry their weight in their hips, thighs and butt unlike the androgynous teenage boy look that was sold to us in the 60’s and 70’s. But to have a look or body type become “vogue” is precisely the problem. It’s hard enough keeping up with wardrobe style changes (I don’t even bother) but body type changes? Hah. If thin is in, thick is out, if thick is slick thin is out; meanwhile as the trends change we all living in the body genetics gave us.
There has been much to say, written, discussed and filmed to address the impact of the media (especially advertising) on women’s self image. It’s not breaking news that many of us, especially younger women compare ourselves to unrealistic ideal that we see in the media. When I was a teenager and into my early 20’s it didn’t even occur to me that the bouncy curls and wild waves that adorned women’s’ crowns were actually permed, styled, sprayed, teased and otherwise cajoled into looking that way. I honestly thought that was how they looked naturally. My own hair was fine, straight and would not hold a curl no matter how hard I tried. I actually cried one night because my boyfriend was flirting with a “Big Hair” girl. And the worst part was it never occurred to me at the moment that any man shallow enough to choose one woman over another based hair volume was probably not someone I’d want to be with anyway.
Now getting “older” and having sustained a certain amount of wear and tear, I am extremely grateful that I have eradicated the deadly sin of envy from my frame of reference. We are pressured to look a certain way when we are young, and as we age we are pressured to maintain that ideal which isn’t even realistic for a young woman much less a 50 year old who has had babies, fallen off motorcycles, washed hundreds of thousands of dishes and all the other experiences that can affect how we age.
Plastic surgery which began as a quirky trend utilized by celebrities has now become disturbingly commonplace. It’s not only the extremes of actual surgical alteration that is becoming normalized, If a woman resists dying her hair as it grays she is either “so brave” (a phrase often delivered condescendingly) or is simply seen as eccentric. Once again the “old hippie” stereotype is invoked to dismissively invalidate a woman’s conscious, self affirming choice.
On the flip side I would be a hypocrite if I condemned women who do choose to dye their hair, go to the gym to maintain that perfect tone, or even get some “work done”. After all we’re talking about our bodies, our choice; Choice being the key issue. If a woman chooses this route because she can afford it and she does it for herself with self awareness and confidence, I say go to it. After all I have altered my body with tattoos, piercings and the occasional purple or blue hair coloring; but I have also come to appreciate and love the scars, the stretch marks and all the imperfections that each tells a chapter in my story. Does this mean I’m always happy when I look in the mirror? Hell no, I haven’t transcended vanity, I’m only human. But I no longer allow those disappointments (I’m talking to you cellulite) to drive me to making obsessively poor choices including berating myself for not living up to some unrealistic Ideal.
This is a topic I’d like to follow up on, there’s so much more to be said. In the meantime I’d love to hear my readers’ thoughts and experiences with body image: either in comments here or on my Facebook group (see link in sidebar) I’m also including a link to The Now Foundation’s “Love Your Body” campaign. They have some wonderful projects, especially those designed for college age women. I strongly encourage you to check out the link!
http://loveyourbody.nowfoundation.org/

Peace…and Love your Body, it is your temple.
Jenny
© 2011 Nanakoosas Place, by Jennifer Hazard


Check the Road Map

2011-09-07T08:31:18.989-07:00

 

Overcoming a slump. Maybe it's the summer heat, maybe it's the recent life changes I've experienced (yes, one of them is "the change" menopause) maybe it's the let down after the excitement of discovering I've successfully conquered liver disease after a year of grueling treatment. Whatever it is I'm stuck. Like a lady wearing lead shoes, every step feels laborious. My brain seems to be on vacation somewhere. As Aerosmith once said “my get up and go musta got up and went” But I think I know what the “problem” is: freedom. Yes, that’s right, freedom. I’ve written before about the methods some of us can use to employ our anchors, our responsibilities as excuses for not pursuing our dreams. A job, a family, health problems or a lease whatever it is that we believe binds us does indeed bind us. Those beliefs become safe and cozy. We are not asked to challenge ourselves because we have other things to do. It’s a pretty rare phenomenon to be freed of the majority of one’s responsibilities within a very short time. As so often happens in my eccentric life, I find myself knee-deep in anomaly. You would think (or I would’ve thought) I would be eager to fill the blank page before me with words, colors, opinions and adventures, but instead I am truly at a loss for what to do next. At present I am in another city helping my partner relocate for an employment opportunity. Things being what they are with our economy that seems to be happening more often these days. I suppose I’m lucky, the new job is only 500 miles away from home and reasonably manageable by bus. I can’t help but feel that it only adds more confusion and uncertainty to my already obfuscated view of the near future. I was reminded along the 6 hour drive here, that every journey requires and occasional rest stop. Eat, pee, stretch your limbs and take another look at the map. The rest stops have always been an integral part of a road trip, ever since I was a small child travelling across country with my parents in our over packed pale blue VW Beetle. Now is the time to revisit the road map, check out the routes and their alternates, be advised of detours and prepare well before taking to the highway into life’s next chapter.
© 2010-2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.


I now have a schedule!

I can juggle many projects at once….

Hello friends,
I realized that now that I’m getting serious about this whole project for “Women with a Past” that I’ve been brewing in my cauldron for the past year it’s probably a good idea to create a schedule. This will work for both my benefit (I’m not known for my ability to stay “on task” as they say on report cards) and for the convenience of my readers and contributors. This schedule will commit me to writing, and therefore maintaining focus on my mission, on a daily basis. I know from experience that once one commits their energy and applies consistent effort, magical things can happen. Here’s to hoping for lots of Mama Mojo, Women’s Wisdom, Survivors Solidarity and Feminine Fierceness.
Here is the schedule:
Monday’s Musings and Mish Mosh: my own thoughts and musings, usually focusing on a particular issue or topic. Please feel free to send in suggestions for topics. 
Tuesday’s Tribute: Each Tuesday will feature a bio of a Heroine, past or present, who has stood up for the rights and freedoms of women.
Wednesday’s Women’s Wisdom:  Guest posts, artwork, projects and contributions. 
Thursdays Thoughts: Quote for the day, and reflection
Free for All Fridays: Friday is the day to keep it light, have some fun, tell some jokes or maybe post a video as we prepare for the weekend.
I will welcome anyone interested in guest posting or introducing yourself and any projects you may be working on. I just ask that you submit your posts to me by email at nanakoosa@yahoo.com with “guest post” in the subject line so I can review them before posting. If I have questions or concerns about content I will contact you as soon as I am able so we can discuss the issue and let you know when your post will be featured.  Post topics are not limited to recovery, surviving domestic violence or sexual assault.  Although a part of my mission is to empower and support survivors, we all have a “past”, by the time we reach mid life we have all struggled at one time or another and we have all overcome challenges.   Even if you are a survivor or in recovery, don’t feel you have to limit yourself to those experiences. Having said that, do be aware as readers that many women are interested in sharing their stories of survival and recovery which can be upsetting or triggering.  In respect to that I will indicate in the headline if the story of that nature.
My next step is to compile a mailing list for a monthly newsletter! If you would like to add your name to the mailing send an email and I’ll sign you up.
I want to thank everyone who has volunteered to contribute, and everyone who has been reading my blog faithfully as I’ve negotiated my way through getting my “cyber legs” in the past year. Your words and support are golden!
Peace,
Jenny

© 2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard


Link to the Like Minded

Hello all,
 I’m back from my hiatus from internet, with a renewed vision of what role the internet and social media play in my life. While my internet was down I spent time writing “just for fun” with the idea that I could use the material later for blogging if I chose to. One of the pieces I started took on a life of it’s own and is still in process. I had started pondering the power of social media and writing that is available to anyone, regardless of economic status, education, gender, age etc. It is an equal opportunity forum, giving voice to people who would otherwise not be heard publicly. We can educate one another, support one another and organize around united causes and values. Indeed it has always been my mission to target a population of women whos inner lives, thoughts and wisdom are invisible in our society. It was a lovely case of serendipity when I came across this article and website almost as soon as I first logged back online after 2 weeks.
 Enjoy, Nana
 A Good Virus: Social Media Storytelling by Kathleen Sweeney
 © 2010 Jennifer Hazard


An 11-Year-Old Bride Escapes

Follow link for an amazing, sad, inspiring story…one of so many. I’ve always been interested in other cultures and their implementation of, or disregard for, human rights. In college in my Women’s studies courses I found the curriculum to be extremely Eurocentric (no surprises there). There is so much work to do in the cause for Peace, Equality and Justice, but I’d like to remind all of us including me, that there are atrocities being committed against women and children all over the world. Often these atrocities are condoned by the culture in which they occur whether covertly or openly. Since our ‘involvement’ in the Middle East we have heard more and more stories from women who are finally able to speak up. And we hear the stories of the amazing courageous women who provide shelter and safety for these women. I think that once in a while at least, it’s important to look outside of our own culture(s) and remember that oppression against women and children is worldwide; and often happens in situations and conditions in which the level of horror and powerlessness is beyond our imagination. And yet we also discover amazing stories of hope, courage and compassion that cross borders, cultures, and economic status. I’d like to propose a reader challenge. When we were kids we played a game where we would spin the globe and with our eyes closed put a finger on a spot on the globe, stopping its rotation. In our game we would pretend we were going to travel to wherever our finger landed and imagine glorious, dramatic and sometimes gruesome adventures we encounter. I challenge my readers to do the “globe game” and then take some time to research the Human Rights conditions in that area, and especially the role of women and children. This can be fun…it can be educational. It can open our hearts and minds to a world we never knew existed. Give it a try, I’m going to do it too. I’d love to hear your discoveries!  © 2010 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard


Long term effects of abuse finally getting attention

Domestic violence victims have higher health costs for years after abuse ends
Victims of domestic violence endure significantly higher health costs than other women for three years after the abuse ends, a new study finds.

Well Duh, right? But seriously click on the link to read article, I’m looking for more statistics and stories about the long term effects of abuse. This was part of my original mission for creating this blog because it is a painfully overlooked area in Domestic Violence treatment and research.
Peace,
Jenny

© 2010 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard