This is For the Women Who Don’t Give a F*ck. {Adult}

Via on Aug 26, 2014

for the women.

Warning: F-Bombs ahead!

This is for the women who don’t give a fuck.

The women who are first to get naked, howl at the moon and jump into the sea.

The women who drink too much whisky, stay up too late and have sex like they mean it.

The women who know they aren’t sluts because they enjoy sex, but human beings with a healthy sexual appetite.

The women who will ask you for what they need in bed.

This is for the women who seek relentless joy; the ones who know how to laugh with their whole souls.

The women who speak to strangers because they have no fear in their hearts.

The ones who wear “night make up” in the morning or don’t own mascara.

The women who know their worth, who plant their feet and roar in their brilliance.

The women who aren’t afraid to tell a man to get the fuck out of her heart if he doesn’t honour her heart.

This is for the women who rock combat boots with frilly skirts.

The women who swear like truck drivers.

The women who hold the people who harass or wrong them with fierce accountability.

The women who flip gender norms and false limitations the bird and live to run successful companies giving “the man” a run for his name.

The ones who don’t find their success a compliment just because they have a vagina.

Women like Gloria Steinem who, when she was told, “We want a writer, not a woman. Go home,” kept writing anyway.

This is for the women who drink coffee at midnight and wine in the morning, and dare you to question it.

For the women who open doors for men and are confident enough to have doors opened for them.

Who use “no” to be in service for themselves.

Who don’t give a damn about pleasing the world, and do sweetly as they wish.

For the superheroes—the single moms who work three jobs to make it. I salute your resilient, cape-flapping, ambitious selves.

This is for the women who throw down what they love, and don’t waste time following society’s pressures to exist behind a white picket fence.

The women who create wildly, unbalanced, ferociously and in a blur at times.

The women who know how to be busy and know how to plant their feet in the earth and get grounded.

These are the women I want around me.

 

Relephant:

Quit Choosing Busy & Start Choosing what we Love.

This One’s for My Skinny Sisters.

Where Did the Ya-Ya Sisterhood Go?

 

 

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Editor: Emily Bartran

Photo: Author’s Own

About Janne Robinson

Janne Robinson is currently residing on the Sunshine Coast, BC learning to cut kindling with her teeth and make friends with the black bears in the woods. You can find her coordinating fundraisers for Veterinarians Without Borders, stretching her soul in yoga, skinny dipping with glee in the moonlight and getting dirty in her garden. She loves Billie Holiday, the smell of freshly cut cedar and whiskys that sway their hips when they walk and know what they are doing. You can connect with her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Please also visit and connect with her Facebook writer's page.

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137 Responses to “This is For the Women Who Don’t Give a F*ck. {Adult}”

  1. Bill says:

    Such women are like big foot. You often hear of sightings but their existence has never been confirmed.

    • jacquie says:

      funny. i've been like this for 47 years, but men seem to be mildly afraid of me . imagine that?!?

      • Janne Robinson jannerobinson says:

        The right man will hear your roar and meet you in your fire Jacquie.

        Don't sweat the ones who can't.

        xx

      • GringaMo says:

        I have had MORE men tell me they don't know what to do with me. I have been told, by a couple, they do not know what to do if I do not NEED a man. I said, wouldn't you rather be WANTED? I had more than one man break up with me because they said they thought I seemed more successful than them. I really do not understand that.

    • MissMary says:

      You have just met your first big foot…..and I stomp loudly and proudly! :)

    • Mindi says:

      Nonsense. Such a woman does exist, albeit, she is not common. She is complex, and difficult and intricate. That's part of her beauty. And I'm in love with such a woman.

    • miss kayla says:

      if this kind of woman is a myth to you, you might want to reconsider the company you keep! <3

    • Janne Robinson jannerobinson says:

      Hi Bill,

      Well, my feet are only a size seven but I can assure you all of me is indeed here, thriving in existence.

      smile,

      Janne

      • Jon says:

        Sorry for you. They do exist. I know quite a few of them. In fact, one of them led me here,
        ' indirectly. Maybe you're looking in the wrong places.

    • Carol says:

      You are not going to find big foot in a bar or on the computer :)

    • j r c says:

      My sister is this woman.

    • GringaMo says:

      Total BS! I suspect you are looking in the wrong places…yes rare, but keep this in mind. Women like this/us do not sit still long. It is hard to hit a moving target. I took a few years off from work and moved to Mexico (for the experience of living in another country)…there are a LOT of women like this here.

    • Shae says:

      Sup. I'm here. I exist.

      Sorry if most men can't handle the fact that I have bigger balls than they do.

  2. Manny says:

    I married a woman like that!! : )

  3. Jesse Simmons says:

    While a lot of the points are admirable and great traits in a person. A lot of these characteristics are selfish, lacking of self respect, and all around an immature attitude toward life, whether you are male or female. It sounds like you’re describing someone who goes out of there way to prove their individuality to everyone rather than simply confidently being themselves.

    • Guest says:

      I can't stand people who say stuff like this is selfish. And lacking self-respect? Sounds like you don't know how to fully enjoy life, nor do you know how to offer respect and autonomy to others.

    • childfreeafrican says:

      Selfish? Which ones?

    • Derek says:

      You're right Jesse Simmons, but people might hate on you for daring to say what you believe. Someone already has. "Don't dare to be yourself, don't dare to rock the boat, just read about it and nod your head yes in agreement."

      • Heidi says:

        And now that the tables have turned- how do you like being told what to agree with, how to respond, etc? Welcome to a woman's perspective mon ami.

    • Kat says:

      This isn't selfish, this is empowering to women who have been held down (and in some ways still are) since the beginning of time. It isn't selfish to be a strong, independant woman who knows what she wants and how to either ask for it or work her ass off to get it on her own. I'm sorry, but people who feel it is selfish for a woman to be empowered just wants to keep a woman down, usually so they can be/feel better than her.

    • Heidi says:

      Hogwash. Four degrees, multiple languages, can haul my own furniture up stairs. I have had a career in which many people have been helped internationally and domestically. I did this in lieu of having children because many others are doing that already. I have been responsible, curse like a sailor, and have loved my life thus far. Men who meet me can't believe I've done so much in my life- more than most men. I chose something other than the white picket fence. Don't you know women who make history are rarely quiet? There is more in heaven and earth than seemingly fits in your narrow philosophy…..

      • Ann says:

        Not all women are like you or the woman this list describes and that's ok. Women come in all varieties. I am quiet; I will probably not make history, but my life still has meaning and value. I have "only" one degree which I'm very proud of. I'm physically strong, but struggle with clinical depression. I have a career in science, and I don't have children, but I plan to. I go my own way, but I get more joy from making sacrifices to lift up other people in my life. Just as not all women fit the domestic, passive mold, not all of us are as bold and apparently accomplished as you, and that does not make us less empowered. Or — more likely — we're beautifully complicated with seemingly conflicting character traits. Any time you hold up an image of what a "real" or "worthwhile" woman should look like, you *still* continue to perpetuate the idea that our value is based on how well we match up with someone else's list of ideal qualities.

  4. Ange says:

    I'm surrounded by such amazing women, and I truly admire and cherish women like these! I wish I were more like them, more courageous, more bold, more daring, more open to expressing my Truth. I think you attract them in droves by simply being their polar opposite! :D <3

    • Janne Robinson jannerobinson says:

      We attract who we are, we are always essentially dating ourselves. This could apply to all company we keep.

      Sounds like you have some great company. Thanks for writing me Ange :)

      Janne

  5. JohnH says:

    Bravo Janne! As a male I particularly liked that none of the list required an "other" to "fulfill" these women. I really like when a woman takes care of herself and knows her boundaries. Please keep spreading the word…

    • Janne Robinson jannerobinson says:

      Boundaries are so important! I love when people can say no to be in service to themselves, it makes my soul engines crank.

      Thank you for your words John :)

      Janne

  6. Love this! I once wrote a really short poem inspired by just such a woman:
    http://joyfultohear.com/play/poems/doc/on-the-roc

  7. Mac says:

    This list demonstrates qualities that Americans seem to celebrate, being loud, getting what they want, and outwardly demonstrating high levels of confidence. I find over-confidence to be a bit ego-centred and I guess that is how people characterize the American arrogance. I would think a person who doesn't give a f*ck (about what others think of them) would be characterized as being a bit more humble and one who acts with humility. Also I think its not quite feminist to depict women wearing makeup from the night before and skirts with boots as heroic. It's assigning an outfit or trend to brand a type and labeling it as sexy or something to be emulated, which defeats the purpose of leaving behind stereotypes by creating another. Also I think that women who love and make love deeply and passionately do care alot about themselves, the world, and the people in it, but that is just my two cents.

    • Justine says:

      The author didn't ascribe heroism to wearing makeup. That was just one of the qualities felt to make up a confounding, roiling, admirable whole. Why does it have to be one or the other, Mac? And why pick apart a genuine expression of love for something that perhaps you don't understand? And who needs to be labeled a "feminist" in order to care deeply about women? And who doesn't? And why do clothes make the point, when maybe it is the point reflected in choices, decided on numerous factors? Huh, Mac?

      • Mac says:

        Your questions provide the answer, perhaps it was rhetorical? What do make-up or clothes choices have to do with being a funky, radical, awesome spirit? Nothing. I don't know why this list emphasizes a 'physical look' as in a type of dress or make up for people they want to be around. We can all go out shopping for friends based on what they wear or how much they like to party, but should we? People are not commodities and the physical features, especially those so subject to financial and social circumstances such as clothing should not be a factor to which we assign judgement. Feminist or not is probably irrelevant as you point out, but I do think the author is painting a mental picture of a bad-ass woman and she is putting it out there. The list favoured superficial qualities and not enough of the 'caped-super hero single mom-types or people who are making the world awesome types, which is what I found objectionable. I think the issue that I pointed out in a different comment was that perhaps a piece about not giving a fuck is not best set in a mindfullness journal. I didn't set out to pick apart, but to speak up for those of us looking for meaningful journalism on this site. As other commenters have picked up on the author has a good start, but its time to dig a bit deeper. I think there are several positive statements in this piece, but then there are times when it focuses too much on an physical archetypes. For example: "This is for the women who throw down what they love, and don’t waste time following society’s pressuresFULLSTOP -> and this part isn't necessary (to exist behind a white picket fence.)." Who cares if a person lives behind a white picket fence? Maybe they are great, maybe they aren't but it you assign judgement first you will never know. All people should do what they love no matter what side of the fence they reside.

  8. Johann says:

    Sounds like a rebel without a cause. Or a woman who will never be satisfied and always waiting for the next best thing. A good American woman. Where the divorce rate is sky high and single moms working three jobs can barely keep their head above water and raise their children effectively and properly to deal with a sick culture that is so infatuated with itself a doctor couldn't fix it. Keep flapping that cape as you descend from a bridge or high rise cuz you can't keep up. Keep drinking that coffee and whiskey and see where it gets you. Burnt out and middle aged before you know it. This is all pretty terrible advice but that has become cool now I guess. Very PC. Bad decisions shouldn't define you. Man or woman.

    • Janne Robinson jannerobinson says:

      Hi Johann,

      I assure you as I drink my coffee this morning I am satisfied. I assure you that as I tear my clothes off and jump in the sea and swim in the biolumisence like a fairy, I am satisfied. I assure you some moms are better off alone, divorced raising a child as a single parent– than in marriages and relationships that don't serve them. I assure you as I drink my Ardbeg this evening under the stars at my cabin, I am satisfied. I assure you that my soul is full and over flowing, and far from burnt out.

      Thank you for your words,

      Janne

      • Kitty says:

        I did also wonder about the care-free whisky drinking tendencies of the single mom working three jobs, it doesn't quite fit together. The charcter I imagine from this list is a young girl off to college, free for the first time. Unfortunately, maternal instincts do not allow us to live 'not give a f_ck* lifestyle, and if a mother is…they aren't doing it right.

        • Janne Robinson jannerobinson says:

          Hi Kitty,

          This wasn't about one women. In fact it was about dozens and some I don't even know personally. This was written as an ode to the women that inspire me, the women I walk beside and the women I want in the future to find my side. Some are single moms, some drink whisky, maybe some do both. I also oppose to you using the word "right", I truly don't believe that there is a "right" way to live. We all exist as we see fit.

          Thanks for your voice,

          Janne

          • kellyowens88 says:

            Perfect response. I was thinking the same thing as I read this: this isn't one person. This is an example of the many amazing versions of women that exist….. and are free to exist.

      • Daun says:

        perfection

    • Heidi says:

      Damn straight. A good American woman who has some freedom. Dharma eccentrics are necessary. Female dharma eccentrics- rare.

  9. Ton says:

    I love people the way they manifest and this manifestation I dream of one day but the other way around the next day, there is too much ONE-sidedness, reality is wilderness. Why this attempt to paint a perfect woman, who isn't ….. ;-)
    For me there is no need to be perfectly perfect, which isn't, love you the way you are ..

    • Janne Robinson jannerobinson says:

      Hi Ton,

      I have a belief that we should take the word perfect throw it out the window, and run it over a few times. Nobody mentioned perfect. This is an ode to all the wonderful, wild women in my life.

      Cheers,

      Janne

  10. Rob says:

    Combat boots and skirts…. I don't know about that one… the quick to undress and howling puts me off a little too. I prefer a little seductive discreetness in my mates, a little tact, some mystery and velvety illusions. But I'm on board with the rest!

    • Janne Robinson jannerobinson says:

      Ha,

      Good news is it doesn't have to be for you ;) I actually wrote this for the female company I aspire to keep.

      Thanks for your words,

      Janne

  11. Zeni girl says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE……….this.

  12. Dflood says:

    This is for the women who look nothing like the photo at the top, but still have the confidence to read the article. There is a difference between self-empowerment and shall we say "self-stroking". "My ego's about to cum!" Seriously, I'm all about breaking social and gender norms but I would NOT expect a photo of an ultra-hottie in short shorts to help do that

    • Janne Robinson jannerobinson says:

      Hi,

      That is my wild, wild self (author) above. I wrote this about the kind of wild women I want around me. Some of this was about me, and some of it was about the company I aim to keep. No apologies on using an image of myself to accompany my own words. Perhaps spending some time with why the image was so offensive is worthwhile, it's just a women, like other women in this wild world.

      Best,

      Janne

  13. Bill says:

    I am a 53 year old male who prefers to date women from 45-55. It is like pulling teeth to try to convince women that at this stage of the game it is alright to be anything and everything they want to be. Most are ruled by what their family will say or worse, what media tells them they should be. My last two dates were terrified to step out of the pain their ex-husbands inflicted on them and preferred to live there as opposed to the life of freedom and non-judgement that awaited them in the world I was trying to offer. Guess I'll have to save up my money and go to a TED conference. There seems to be grown up women there who achieve against all odds and don't give a F*ck.

    • Minuet says:

      Sorry you missed out. But keep trying. We are out here.

    • Janne Robinson jannerobinson says:

      There are lots of grown ass women out there who are willing to be accountable for their hearts and past and step forward.

      Keep on keeping on Bill,

      Janne

    • Heidi says:

      Here here. A rational man who sees the truth and voices it. Why are men afraid of women who are self-actualized? Perhaps men who fear such things just took it for granted they would always have the upper hand in any interaction with women. Men who aren't self-actualized themselves…..these guys are a dime a dozen, living off of the power structure begat by their male ancestors. These men deem that they are the heirs apparent. Sucks to be them when they meet a woman of my Bigfoot ilk.

      • JKR says:

        Maybe I'm wrong(?) but you seem to have a vile contempt for men, as you generalize them all to be these intimidated weaklings who get sunburnt by the glory of your sun. Men who happen to be in power and who are comfortable with a "traditional" power structure are content doing the heavy lifting in a relationship, literally and metaphorically. They feel good being the strong one, and women who are into that? Hey, everyone gets what they want out of the relationship. However, rarely have I encountered a self-described "strong woman" who doesn't seek a man who is on their level or greater. No way, no how, will they EVER cart around a man. Nothing is worse than starting out a relationship where the other person is trying to start a pissing war over who has accomplished more in life, especially when a majority of men are taught to derive their identity from their accomplishments-to win the rat race. That's why many (not all) men are sour (not afraid) of a strong woman. A couple of positive magnets will always repel.

  14. Beegirl says:

    How cool to read your article which so describes myself and my wild women friends only to discover at the bottom of the page that we are neighbours. Yay to BC girls who don't give a F**K!

  15. Minuet says:

    We are out there, but it takes a comparable man to know one when he discovers one.

  16. Minuet says:

    Unfortunately most men are intimidated by this type of woman.

  17. Marian says:

    Ah noooo… I can’t be put in this packaging .. and I’m sure many other women reading this will feel the same way. We needn’t be anything other than our lovely enigmatic feminine selves; some days barefoot and others stilettos. Wonder if the next trend will be to have hair on our chests in which case, count me out. Nothing in the world would induce me to drink alcohol in the morning. You have to know that it’s not a good idea to tax your liver in this way. While it may appeal to some to lead an ego rebellion it’s going to take it’s toll.

  18. Deidre says:

    This advice is fun for young women but it's also a bit dangerous and naive to the experience of women of color or women with children. I would not encourage a single mom to get drunk and tear off her clothes, that is just a bit too much. This list should probably be aimed at a more specific target audience (middle class, white women, aged 18-30, without children), who should drink, dance, and have their fun, sexy time while wearing condoms and protecting themselves from STDs. The only single mothers out there I can imagine that don't give a funk are the ones whose children have been taken away.

  19. Marian says:

    No thanks, I’m sticking with my authentic self and agree with others here regarding the selfish ego expression that looks so cool but is a facade for subtlee anger and is probably why men back off (rather than run away) from a perceived potential nut case. As woman we have nothing to prove to anyone when we are already living with joyful authenticity. By all means have a glass of wine first thing in the morning but this is not too good for you in the long term. Even for men. Also, there’s nothing new in communicating your needs to your partner and there’s a good reason to allow a man to open a door for you ~ he is putting you first.

  20. Padma Kadag says:

    Quite a reaction from your readers. Personally, the combat boots and the summer cotton dress against tan legs and just a bit sheer in the correct light…there is nothing more sexy. However, I would guess that you are independently wealthy and have the leisure to live a life like you describe…and good for you. But it is tinged with copious amounts of self(ishness). If at any given moment or every moment while you are enjoying yourself you generate the selfless thought that "While I enjoy this human life in the ways that I do , may I dedicate every bit of it to those who do not have the leisure or moments available for enjoyment. May they benefit from my freedom and joy." Then I think you may find yourself really doing something positive with all that you have. Its very simple to take a moment while shopping or having sex to recognize your joy and give all of it away to others. Don't misunderstand me…certainly you are enjoying all that you have and why not? But there is the option of making it longer lasting and grander.

    • Janne Robinson jannerobinson says:

      Hi Padma,

      I am not independently wealthy. I am an artist working three jobs to make all ends meet. But I'll be damned if I don't live it like I mean it.

      Nothing about my life is selfish in my eyes. Is being sexually empowered selfish? Knowing the importance of boundaries selfish? Knowing you worth, selfish? Is swearing selfish? Holding people accountable for their actions, selfish? Being a successful entrepreneur selfish? Skinny dipping and drinking whisky selfish? Being confident enough to allow chivalry selfish? Not existing solely to be a people pleaser selfish? Is throwing down what you love selfish?

      No, none of that is selfish.

      All of that DOES make an independent, empowered, roaring, brilliant women. A women who seeks what she loves unabashedly. Perhaps the women I wrote about threatened, challenged and frightened you.

      Nothing is "selfish" about being an empowered women.

      I don't really understand where you are going with the rest of your comment, so I'll stop there. Please be careful with assumptions. This was an ode made to ALL women in my life. None of it was about just one person. I am not a single parent, I do not drink wine for breakfast and only rarely do I drink coffee at midnight. This was not about me or one women, it was about dozens, and specifically the kind of company I like to keep.

      Cheers,

      Janne

      • Padma Kadag says:

        Yes…It was assumptive of me to state the independently wealthy part and frankly judgmental. Your "Fuck it all" attitude is youthful and selfish…but no more selfish than I am with all of the things I desire. So I don't see you as being alone. But you are looking for a reaction and you are getting it. You want attention too. Otherwise you wouldn't have written this. You don't understand the last part of my comment above? Regarding the offering all of your fortune for all of those less fortunate?

        • Julie says:

          Oh for goodness sakes! The writer is not ALL of the things she described, nor was she describing herself in the first place. These are traits that she admires. Jumping to the conclusion that even ADMIRING confidence and independence from afar equals selfishness, wealth and attention seeking behavior is crazy. I can't stand this era of outrage! Enough!! Not everyone has to have the same opinion as YOU!

    • Heidi says:

      I escaped a southern white male dominated racist enclave in the US with no money and much willingness to live free and work towards compassionate activity. Women who make a choice to go it alone, outside of male hierarchy and dominance, regardless of income or wealth, are in for a wild ride. And anyhow, any woman can gain merit through right intent of action. She doesn't have to fit into any preconceived notions in any event. Why do people protest so much that a woman be presented as the description in the article above? One word – judgement. And three more words- male hierarchical systems that have spawned war on all women.

  21. Mac says:

    How this article represents a 'mindful' life I don't know, which is the aim of Elephant Journal. This article is sending a superficial message of seeking pleasure through instant sources such as alcohol and sex, seeking attention through nudity and screaming. Neither of these represent a mindful life. In the quiet of your sober mind, through meditation, contemplating the plights of others (yes, think about someone other than yourself), you will find your mindful space. There must be a balance of pleasure and pain in this life, some are more fortunate than others, as this author has clearly demonstrated. I thought Elephant Journal was created as an alternative to the Western message of the egocentric life, but even here it is difficult to shake. Dear author, I hope some of these commenters have opened your eyes and your heart to the possibility of giving a f*ck about others.

    • Skye says:

      How very judgmental of you! The point is, no-one else has the right to tell you how to behave (as long as you are not harming anyone else). I guess you totally missed the point…. Not surprising, but sad.

    • elephantjournal says:

      Dear Mac,

      We here at elephant welcome a plethora, a diversity, a veritable cornucopia! of voices. Why? The web enables comments, such as yours, that are critical yet respectful, enabling community discussion. Let's meet in a field beyond right and wrong, and not seek to ban the ego, but rather to hug it until it relaxes. ~ Waylon

      • Janne Robinson jannerobinson says:

        Dear Way,

        I didn't find this or a few other comments on this article very respectful. Critical and honest, yes. But not gentle or respectful. More yelling and throwing fists than speaking from a place that allows a voice to be heard.

        Grateful for your energy and presence here.

      • Jason W. says:

        Waylon—Can you please explain to me what you mean by "the field beyond right and wrong"? That sounds a lot like the Satanic worldview espoused by Aleister Crowley when he declared "Do what thou wilt." Are you suggesting that there is some redeeming value that can be attained by abandoning the concepts of right and wrong?

    • Janne Robinson jannerobinson says:

      Hi Mac,

      Thanks for writing me. I meditate, wear clothes, speak quietly, read, and usually only drink once every six months. I also love swimming naked, it feels better than with clothes on. I do not view my nudity as sexualized, it's just my body. I LOVE whisky, I worked in a whisky bar with 180 different kinds and I love the story, the land where it grows, how it all comes together. Did you know Bruccladdich is the only whisky distillery in the Islay to employ people with physically and mentally handicapped people? I also love to use my voice. Sometimes when I jump in the ocean and its freezing at night I howl and hoot and make a ruckus, just because. I love how grounded I feel when I meditate, and how calm and grounded and how the world just feels sloooooooowwwwwww.

      I also dedicate about six months out of year, volunteer base to raise funding for a group of biologists and veterinarians who work in Latin America with communities to help with street dog over population and create sustainability. Much of my heart and energy goes to animals. I am currently coordinating a fundraiser in Vancouver this summer which has been fun and exhausting with three jobs.

      I am not sure what lead you to think I am more fortunate than others. I feel fortunate and abundant with many things in my life. This article wasn't about one women. It was not about me. I don't have kids. It was a collection of things I admire in perhaps dozens of women, and some I haven't met yet. It was for the women who walk beside me that shake my soul, and those I want beside me in the future.

      I have a heart, just like you, and its not grinch sized, just normal–I do not need to defend or explain or show you, as I can feel it beating now.

      Thank you for your voice.

      Janne

      • Mac says:

        Janne, I am very glad that you did explain yourself anyways. Good on you for your diverse interests and desire to give back while following your passions. You could really let the response you just gave here shine through more in your writing – this is the kind of stuff for the movers and shakers. Why can't a whisky connoiseur also be a world problem solver?

        The first couple lines of your article irked me because young women are getting enough of the 'go ahead, get naked, drunk, and party message from the pervasive Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry pop-culture and with such an overwhelming amount of that already being shoved down our throats no matter how much we avoid the media its hard to escape. Also kudos to you for your work with street dogs, when I lived in Costa Rica in the 2000's it was such a sad and awful problem as I am sure it still is, particularly in Jaco they were being poisoned on the streets.

        I'm a science writer so I am used to getting really critical feedback all of the time, I guess my skin has gotten a bit thick. I'm sorry if my comments have hurt your feelings, it was not the intention. I have assumed that you are more fortunate than others because I have lived and traveled in many different countries and we have to recognize our forunate lot in life and carry this truth with us. Having access to clean water, heath services, and nutritious food puts us among the most fortunate in the world. The fact that you get to do what you love for a living, struggling or not, makes you more fortunate than many Americans in a less materialistic but important way nonetheless. Your voice has the power to reach a lot of people so in a way there is more responsibility to be mindful of the impact of your words.

        I guess I used to be more care-free like you and in some ways I miss that. Living intentionally, caring, being constantly mindful is hard work, especially in today's society. Wouldn't it be nice to not give a fuck? But it actually sounds like you do and the women you want in your life do too. As I mentioned in a previous post, there is a lot of good in what you have written, so keep going. I really hope I haven't discouraged you from writing, but have encouraged you to consider the profound impact your words may have on people. You have received a variety of feedback, so it is yours to do with what you wish and to receive this much is mostly a good sign. Even though I have found some things about the original piece questionable, you should not take it as a complete diss. Take what you want and leave the rest behind. I'll leave you with this lovely Eliot quote.

        “Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.”

        ― George Eliot

  22. Lauren says:

    I love the responses from men telling us what "types" of women they like–as though they think their "special order" details should be a basis for women's looks, wants, feelings. Oh just stop it with that! And the accusations of "selfish" from women! Women, please do stop telling other women that enjoying themselves and making the enjoyment of their own lives priorities is "selfish." There's nothing here that says "take everything from others and don't give back anything of value." That's the definition of selfishness. Unapologetically enjoying one's own body and life is not selfish in the least. I doubt the author was suggesting single moms should work 3 jobs while they drink whiskey all day. It seems to me she's discussing numerous traits of women she admires, and those include enjoyment of life and also being tough as hell. Please, dearies, examine for yourselves why you need to tell women to stop experiencing and expressing joy in their own bodies and their own existence.

    • Jenny says:

      Yes! You said exactly what I was just thinking. Scrolling through the comments reading all these replies from men who are chipping in their 2 cents (which is completely fine) about what kind of woman they like. Hmm…really? Is it relevant to this blog? Does anyone give a shit?
      And the original post is definitely not selfish, I think the people who think that might just not understand the depth of the post.

    • Janne Robinson jannerobinson says:

      Shit yeah Lauren.

      You are so on point. Yes I was describing a handful of different women and I just have a big BRAVOOOOO to all that you said. Get out of my brain already.

      Thank you for your voice, it shines through the rest because it heard what I said.

  23. julie says:

    BRAVA! thank you so much for your wisdom and your roar! selfish? pfft! no way! empowering? love and life affirming? absolutely! you are BEAUTIFUL! i can tell by your words. thank you! namaste

  24. gmm says:

    Hmm….after years of doing the expected, being the expected, saying the expected- you understand- I stopped. My kids were all done being driven around to activities. My oldest was married. I worked a bunch of jobs to make ends meet, not because I don't have a husband, but because things happen in life that are unexpected. I stopped doing- well, I still went to work then came home and did NOTHING I was expected to do. I made a major purchase on my own without input from anyone. I started saying the truth rather than sugar coating things. I hung out with real live people that I had not had time to see for YEARS. We drank, we laughed, we swore, we celebrated. No skinnydipping though. I freeze far too easily. As expected, people in my life were livid. I won't bore you with the ugly details but every single word of criticism in this thread made my skin crawl, because those were the things I heard. I was selfish. I continued to be selfish for that year. Deliberately. Not out of anger, but out of exhaustion. I also knew there was the future- an unknown- coming down the pike and if I did not disengage from the fray and save myself I was not going to make it into that place. When the future did come at me- and it did with no mercy- I was able to pick myself up, calmly do what was needed, and recreate my life into something that I wanted, rather than one I had inherited, with all the expectations and motions inherent. Everybody came around, and now my seeming act of selfishness is seen more as a time of exploring how to be in the world that is always changing. Joy , laughter, daring, silliness, strength to ask for what you want- why are these seen as negative? If it were not for this time in my life, I would be dead from the stress and the anger – both theirs and mine. Thanks for writing this lovely piece. I really wouldn't give a f#ck about what the critics say, my sweet. PS- I am still married.

    • bridgermtnwoman says:

      I love your response!

    • tlj says:

      I so desperately needed to read what you wrote today. Thank you……….I once was fearless……..somewhere along the way I imprisoned myself… and allowed the needs of others to keep me there…….now my world Is crashing down around me………..and I can't continue to hold it up without killing myself in the process…….Thank you, Thank you, Thank you

  25. Elizabeth says:

    I have compassion for all the individuals above that chose to squirm and be uncomfortable by your ode to being proud of who you are, regardless of judgments or concern about what anyone thinks. I find it baffling how so many feel it is necessary to comment so negatively to words that encourage and celebrate our individuality and uniqueness as women. I say keep on stirring the souls even if it makes someone (or multiple persons) take offense. We are all just mirrors. I for one, love this, Janne. This, to me, shouts "Love yourself, just as you are, and if you do, I want your influence in my life!" Hell yea to that!!

  26. Ariel says:

    This was beyond beautiful!!!

  27. kingfisher67 says:

    I will try to say this as kindly as I can. The problem with "not giving a f*ck" is that unless you are a super talented artist, you will never amount to anything and certainly will never be financially successful. You may "feel good" letting it all hang out, but you are sure to alienate a lot of people doing it. The greater challenge in life is to learn how to get your kicks while you are building a successful family or enterprise or both. You will also endear yourself to family and friends this way as well. Good luck!

    • Julie says:

      I don't understand why so many took this to mean you shouldn't ever give a f*ck about anything under any circumstance. As a woman who was always scared to read in class and grew up filed with insecurities, I don't see how this push for women to be more confident can be seen as anything but positive. It's not about not caring it's about not caring SO MUCH what other people think.

    • Janne Robinson jannerobinson says:

      Hello,

      We all have a different idea of what "Amounting to anything" is and success. My definition of success is to move and be moved. To reach out to the world and have people reach right back with as much vulnerability and fire and love as I give out.

      I do let my soul hang all out, she likes it like that. She can breathe easier. Anyone who is alienated by her doing so doesn't need to hang around to listen to what she has to say. And we are all better for that. We don't have to like everyone, that's the beauty in their being a gazillion souls on this planet.

      I don't have an interest in building a successful enterprise, maybe just piles of books. I don't know if I want to have kids, but I have family I love very much so. My friends and family at present appreciate me as I am, sans enterprise or fiance. We cannot all live exactly all the same, we cannot all have the same beliefs, core goals, moral, definitions of success–that's what makes living so dang fun.

      Thanks for your voice!

      Janne

      • kingfisher67 says:

        Whenever we try to go "all out" in one direction or another, we usually discover that a moderating influence is needed to make it work or you will quickly get into trouble. Likewise, in your great zeal to be your authentic self or to be liberated, you are overlooking that there is give and take in this arena as much as well. And by the way, I do not care if you have an enterprise or a business (and I like your blog), but if you or anyone decides to go in that direction, you learn quickly that it is more important to be an accommodating person than to be a wild and ferocious creature. Peace out!

  28. Teri says:

    I have read this ODE at least ten times and forwarded to handfuls of beautiful female friends who I’m blessed to have in my circle. The good news, for those who leave negative, judgemental comments, is “what other people think about me is none of my business.” It has taken me 45 years to take of the “worry about what everyone else thinks coat” and accept myself just as I am, with all my perfect imperfections, right at this moment. Does it mean that I don’t care about loved ones or society in general? No. It means that I stop caring or worrying if fulfilling my wants, needs, desires don’t hurt others in the process. It means stop judging those around us (not simply claiming you’re not judging) and start cherishing all the quirks and adventures in your day. That is, embrace life, live passionately, love fiercely, and forgive (yourself) easily. And, don’t give a fuck what others think in the process. :)

  29. Jessica says:

    I am a single mother with two children and though..I dont drink often because I work 2 jobs and ACTUALLY spend time with my kids…I still get my time for me…sometimes its a yoga class sometimes its a whiskey romp through the woods or the city…most of the time my kids are with me..but im happy to say ive raised them wild as I can..they go to festivals hikes to tops of mountains snowboarding hot springs bat caves earthships etc…sometimes I bring some wine with me (not for the kids) im certain I am not doing it wrong .their dads are not around I do not feel incomplete..I feel whole..and not bcus of three jobs because I figured out how to be with them and enjoy them…even without child support from their father…i give a fuck about my health and my kids well being ..idont give a fuck.about peoples assumptions that I need a man to make this work..or that i need to work myself to the bone and not be available to my kids..i work hard and play hard…mom style..never putting my my children at risk and never abandoning my own spirit..its not easy..to be a fuckin rockstar mom..i do my best though…my kids are independent thinkers wildly imaginitive and creative. ..fun loving ..sometimes very introspective. .have great social skills and highly intelligent…I made good babies without giving a f about how it appears to others…I know other moms like this with and with out a partner…rocktars all the same..raisin free minds ….

  30. Leah Elisheva says:

    As "one of those," I can tell you that I am printing your great work and taping it on the refrigerator! (Where all great quotes get posted). And I applaud, adored, and appreciate what you have done here. BRAVO!!! Again and again and again!!!!!! Cheers! – Leah

  31. englishthistle says:

    I'm a bit baffled by the commentators who seem to think that the article is saying women should encompass ALL of the qualities listed above. Nope. Amazingly we have the ability to choose which of these we want to express and which we don't or can't because they're simply appropriate to our situation (eg; I'm not a mother). Some of them I aspire to. I think I will print this list off and post it where I can see it every day.

  32. Jennifer S. White jenniferswhite says:

    Damn girl, this was great and every time you write something it hits big with readers! So excited for you!

    Jennifer

  33. Sophie says:

    This writer has allowed her ego to take over her heart. Nearly all of her articles on ej are accompanied by a flattering photo of herself and, though she preaches love and acceptance, she also wrote a piece about having an abortion "because she wants to write a book and make a documentary and BE A SUCCESS." (It doesn't get much more selfish than this, does it?) I used to LOVE ej – I felt they published pieces of very high quality. But, recently, it seems they will publish anything and everything. I've also noticed that they tend to promote the same authors again and again and again (not because they are wonderful writers, but because they are "featured authors"). Once in awhile, I come across a piece that makes my heart glow (and I treasure these moments), but these pieces are rarely promoted on their main page and quickly fall off the radar. For the most part, I'm just really disappointed by the kind of self-indulgent crap (like this) that a site like ej (that prides itself on so-called mindfulness) publishes. As for this writer, I feel she needs to do some serious soul searching and stop letting her ego lead the way because, frankly, it's exhausting. (Thank you for hearing me out.)

    • elephantjournal says:

      Hey, you! Thanks for the comment! We love and need respectful criticism, all of us.

      So let's keep this constructive. There's a ton of good articles on elephant–make sure to get our weekly or daily newsletters, where we share our best, not just our main FB page. The problem with FB is also why it works for so many people–you only see what the most folks are liking or sharing or viewing. So we dooooooooooooooo share many great articles, but they don't get seen. That's why we have dozens of focus pages on FB for family, meditation, bicycling, adventure, everything. So you can find the good stuff on our site, on FB, or via our newsletter.

      Also, as I commented to a similar reader: "We here at elephant welcome a plethora, a diversity, a veritable cornucopia! of voices. Why? The web enables comments, such as yours, that are critical yet respectful, enabling community discussion. Let's meet in a field beyond right and wrong, and not seek to ban the ego, but rather to hug it until it relaxes. ~ Waylon

    • Julie says:

      Your opinion of this article is just that.. your opinion. Plenty of other people, myself included, found this article to be inspiring and thought-provoking. Suggesting that there is an issue with the writer's EGO because you disagree with her content is totally inappropriate. Her piece on abortion spoke to many other women faced with that issue and probably provided comfort to many. In the age of the internet, I don't understand why people constantly feel the need to label opinion pieces "right" or "wrong". If you disagree with the writer's content, stop reading it. She is pouring her heart and soul out and to label it selfish and self-indulgent is totally unnecessary.

    • Janne Robinson jannerobinson says:

      HI Sophie,

      Hello! Thanks for writing me and using your voice. We all have one to use. I have and do use images of myself to accompany my articles, mainly because as an columnist with EJ part of the work is finding an image with it. Sometimes I get tired scrolling all the free websites to find an image, and sometimes I don't like the images chosen when I don't have my own.

      We are all mirrors of each other. I think that when something really irks us and get under our skin there is often something we are personalizing.

      I did have an abortion, I am at peace with my choice. Your words do not anger me as they are through your eyes and my eyes know my own heart very well. I do want to write a book (many), film a documentary and of course live up to my own definition of success. Which is to simply exist to move and be moved. To reach people and be reached back at. My words have moved you in some which way or form, so whatever I'm doing is working.

      Elephant Journal has a plethora of other contributers, and I am glad that you enjoy some of the content they produce.

      Best,

      Janne

    • Cat says:

      How judgmental! She made a strong and difficult choice in her decision to not have a child, and your response to it is precisely why women cannot be more open with the fact that we ALL are entitled to have different opinions and choices in the matter. When I was 21, my birth control failed and I became pregnant. Much like the author, I chose to have an abortion because there were many things I wanted to do with my life, and frankly, I don't want children or to be a mother. I have never once regretted that decision, but I do certainly wish that women could be more open about it without having to endure judgmental remarks like yours.

      Janne- I don't typically comment on EJ articles (though I am an avid reader), but please don't listen to the ugly, hateful remarks! This was a wonderful article, and I hope to read more from you soon, beautiful soul!

      • Jason W. says:

        Cat—the hypocrisy contained within your comments is utterly staggering. First, you excoriate someone for daring to express a dissenting opinion; then—without missing a beat—you embark on a lecture about people's universal right to express differing opinions. Come again?

        Furthermore—characterizing her clearly-expressed and objective criticism as "ugly" and "hateful" simply because it didn't comport with your own opinion is shameful. Do you understand that the use of such hyperbolic-nonsense diminishes the value of words, and the ability for everyone to communicate? More importantly—have you no respect for people who have been subjected to real ugliness and real hatefulness? If you do, then how about dropping the sanctimonious neo-liberal code words in favor of accurate, descriptive terms. English is an expansive and elegant language, when used responsibly. Rank-propaganda masquerading as enlightened opinion is insulting to everyone with even the most moderate sense of culture or intelligence (if you catch my drift…)

        shalom

        • Janne Robinson jannerobinson says:

          Dear Jason,

          Some of the most powerful and influential quotes of our time were said in four words or less. I appreciate your passion for language, but, I'm just saying– a sentence jammed full of dressed up words can sometimes come off like a monkey wearing silk, and at the end of the day, we both know it's still a monkey. I got lost in your silk and went looking for a banana.

          Best,

          Janne

      • Janne Robinson jannerobinson says:

        Hi Cat,

        Thanks for having my back, sister. Thanks for baring your soul too. You fiery fiesty beautiful thang.

        I hear them all, but I always remember that often what other people see is through their own eyes. People all experience everything different… art, people, all of it. It usually has less to do with us, and more to do with them.

        Thank you for your words, your support, your strength, your voice and your love.

        Janne

  34. Xenia says:

    Truly inspiring… Tears have come to my eyes reading this… Thanks for writing it!

  35. MRM says:

    AH-WOW So HARDCORE!

  36. Jason W. says:

    FYI: One reason Gloria Steinem continued writing is because she was secretly working for the CIA. I neither begrudge nor endorse the opinions in your article – but I do suggest that women educate themselves about the groups responsible for the massive social-engineering that transformed the very essence of human society over the last several decades. Women will have to make up their own minds whether or not they are better off today than they would have been had the elite oligarchs of the world not indulged in this program. Speaking as a man (with two sisters, two nieces and a wonderful mother)—I don't necessarily buy into the notion that women were liberated from some oppressive patriarchal system. They certainly were liberated from their traditional and sacred role as nurturers of children (i.e., shepherding the future generations of humanity). The logic that this role is somehow less honorable than "working for the man" 40 hours a week continues to elude me. With women entering the workplace, the oligarchs doubled their wealth (and power) by doubling the tax base.

    I hope this is a lesson to all (men and women) that everything is not always as it seems. The "liberal feminist" icon – Ms. Steinem – was not looking out for women — or advancing their cause. She was advancing the cause of elitist authoritarianism at the behest of the CIA. Perhaps it's time to reconsider the idea that restraint and modesty are actually more authentic expressions of female dignity and power than previously realized. As a man, the Jackie-O type woman (characterized by meekness—i.e., exercise of power under restraint) is both incredibly appealing and worthy of honor. Not so much with the over-sexualized careerist—who seems to have bargained away honor in return for "respect." I would much rather honor women, than (merely) "respect" them.

    Just an opinion to consider…

    • Carrie says:

      The thing is, Jason, that while you and others may find it more attractive for women to be meek, mild and "dignified", some women don't fit into that mold. And for those who don't, we shouldn't feel this pressure to when we can celebrate the things in our lives that make us happiest. Perhaps being fiercely independent and choosing not to be a mother or be married is what one woman wants. Why is she deemed selfish, by societies standards, instead of letting her celebrate what makes her happy? Plenty of women do whatever they need to in order to fit into this mold that we're told makes us more/most attractive to men. And plenty of women who do that live unhappy lives as a result. Plenty live happy lives being that woman. Point is, women should be free to live that Jackie O like life or one completely opposite of that or one somewhere smack dab in the middle. We should stop being so determined that everything has to be a certain way or it's just the wrong choice.

      • Jason W. says:

        Thank you for your response, Carrie. :-) I want to ensure that my comments aren't misrepresented. I never said "mild" nor "dignified." I did mention "expression of female dignity" — but somewhere between my expression, and your interpretation / response, it appears to have acquired a negative twist. Perhaps I'm reading too much into your response, but you seem to have restated my words in such a way as to suggest that I am claiming a unique authority or ability to objectively determine what makes a woman "dignified". I am certainly not doing that.

        Rather, I was expressing an opinion that, at this point in history, since we now have extensive information on the people, programs, and goals of some formerly secret social-engineering schemes, as well as sufficient data to analyze many of its effects and outcomes (e.g., marriage & divorce rates, reproduction rates, academic performance, crime, happiness, depression, spiritual fulfillment, etc.)—it might behoove us (individually/collectively, both men and women) to consider revisiting / reevaluating some of these issues after integrating this new data, and checking to see if it changes our understanding in any fundamental way(s).

        I made that suggestion for two reasons. 1) Many of my own personal opinions have undergone rather significant changes in recent years as a result of encountering new information. 2) Many women who participated in the first "wave" of feminism now expressly reject (and resent) it—as they've grown to realize that it was a carefully-executed psychological deception, with results that can only be described as a complete inversion of what was promised. Feminism, Communism, Marxism, Liberalism, Modernism (of the Catholic Church), and many other leftist "revolutionary" ideologies based around the fundamental-rejection of traditional Christian culture, feature striking-similarities. Namely: 1) they all tend to promise "liberation" from some perceived source of oppression—and 2) they all tend to deliver an exact inversion of the things they promise.

        To your points—I offer no objection whatsoever to every single woman choosing her own destiny—whether single, married, or any number of other dynamic options. Neither was I suggesting that every woman should be like Jackie O, or that this was the ideal or only dignified female archetype. I was simply stating that many men (myself included) find that type of woman attractive/impressive. The reason I wanted to share that view is because, with so much overt sexuality in our faces every day, I suspect that there are many women out there who don't realize the extent to which men find the "less-is-more" look/attitude attractive. I can only speculate, but I wonder if some women might not be delighted to learn that information.

        Two final thoughts:
        1 — There is no such thing as "pressure from society." The pressure is internal (i.e., your conscience)– and you alone have the power to affect that.
        2 — you mention "society's standards"… What standards might those be?

        • Jay says:

          Bravo, Jason!
          I spent a good chunk of my early childhood listening to Gloria Stienem on the radio. My mother was the very first generation to be sold the bill of goods that they were nothing unless they worked. Worked AND raised children. You know, so they could be ALL they could be….and roar and stuff. More correctly, worked to pay someone else to raise the children. Being "just" a mother was now somehow oppressive.
          I would be one that you labeled as completely against the entire "feminist" movement. I watched it destroy my mother and quite a few women of her generation and I have watched it destroy many of my peers. Multiple divorces, raising children alone, working very hard to just keep everyone in shoes; all the while feeling "unfulfilled". My children's generation is riddled with the ills that this social experiment has caused.
          You touched on over sexualization…no pun intended…but it's now shoved down women's throats from the time they are preteens that they must be sexy; and to be fully a woman, also need to be sexually active. Virginity is passé….over rated, apparently. Being with just one man is apparently oppressive. No, girlfriend, you must EMPOWER yourself by having promiscuous sex. We all know how powerful a woman *must* be to pick up a man in a bar for sex. Whew! Tough work there. Roar!
          Not sure "empowered" would be what I'd be feeling walking into work in last night's make-up and yesterday's clothes.
          I highly doubt many women feel empowered walking in to get an abortion. I'll bet none feel empowered walking out. It's not something you get over by ripping off your clothes and skinny dipping under the moonlit waves, or wearing combat boots with a frilly skirt. Not something you'll get over by drinking whiskey in the morning, though many try. The visual is like a new twist on the Modess….because ads. Just got an abortion, stumbling down the beach, drunk, cussing like a sailor, wearing a frilly skirt, and combat boots.
          Feminism…..because.
          Compare that scene to Jackie-O, then tell me that "we've come so far".
          I don't think it's oppressive to turn my body over to a man for sex knowing that he will take care of me and any children that we make together. One faction of extreme feminism believes that any sex act with a man is rape, as such oppressive….and another faction of feminism considers it empowering to have sex with whoever they want to on a whim, just don't marry him, because then it would be oppressive.
          If you end up with a nice house with a picket fence, just kill yourself now because you're worthless.
          I do not think it is oppressive to be completely in charge of shaping the next generation of adults while having a good man by my side all the while. I do think it's oppressive that the current trend is to turn our off spring over to strangers to raise from nearly birth on so that we can be another cog in the workforce. It is an insane system that we've bought into that suggests that someone other than a child's mother is best for raising that child.
          It's an insane system that fully endorses teenagers having promiscuous sex. How empowered are we making our daughters by saddling them with the heavy burden of either an abortion or having to raise a child without help from the father. It is a sick society that condones and encourages 13 year olds having sex. Encouraging 13 year olds to make life changing decisions without consulting their parents. If we allow teenagers to have sex and have abortions, then why do we have a mandatory drinking age? Why do we have an age limit on buying cigarettes or for having a driver's license or to sign a legal contract?
          How empowering is it that parents no longer have ultimate say-so in the life of their 13 year old daughters?
          Working 3 jobs as single mother doesn't feel empowering. It's exhausting. Growing up watching your mother being exhausted isn't very empowering, either.
          One has to wonder if the author of this article would feel so "free" and "empowered" if she was chubby and a tad homely.
          How empowering does it feel that half the men that responded to this article basically did it to cyber-cat call the image of a feisty female? It's irony at it's best that an article espousing the joys of feminism brings out sexual objectification in half the men that read it.

          • Jen says:

            Hey Jay and Jason, I think it is more empowering to be able to walk away from a man who beats you and be able to get a job and support your children, if you wish. "The good old days weren't always good", an old cliche that is more than true. "Feminism" is just having equal rights and opportunities.. that's it. There is a reason why so many women were ready to escape their lack of opportunities. One of these reasons was abuse. Many women could not economically leave their abusive husbands because of a lack of opportunity in the job market paired with a lack of birth control, which WAS an INFLUENCE FROM THE CHURCH. WHY??? Women with many children cannot leave their husbands because they have their children to think of. So quickly we forget this. So quickly we forget the millions of women who were killed, discarded in mental institutions by their loving husbands unjustly, or lived through years of horrid physical or emotional abuse, so their children could be economically stable and have opportunities in life. I don't know about Gloria Steinem or the CIA. Frankly, I don't give a shit. I watched my mother leave a physically and emotionally abusive relationship. I watched my drunk/high father brutalize and belittle my mother. Should she have stayed there? Was that her womanly duty? Or was it better for her to leave, get a degree, and support us on her own? Luckily, she was able to do that in the early 1980s. Do you know how many women put up with this treatment for a lifetime? Do you know how many families have a history of abuse that keeps perpetuating because of it? Have you any idea the pain and heartache that goes on and affects multiple descendents of these types of families? I am happy that the contributors above feel that going back to "traditional" female roles would be utopia, but it never was utopia, and frankly that is why so many women believed in feminism. Jackie O herself would most likely agree that women should have equal opportunities and not be treated like possessions or dogs. To the above contributors who believe that feminism is an evil, I am happy that you have the luxury of this belief. Perhaps you have never seen your mother nursing multiple wounds to her face? It was not "Jackie O" in my house. And I do not have the ignorance or the luxury to believe that "Feminism" is an option or "conspiracy". For me and my family, it was a means of survival. I do not know where I would be today, if I never witnessed my mother walking out the door of pain and into the role of provider. Not because she WANTED to, because SHE HAD TO. Even though, in those days, churches were still influencing abused women to stay with their husbands and excommunicating them for divorce, as if they had a choice. So you can continue to dream of a "utopia" without feminism that NEVER EXISTED. In Irish catholic culture, my story was not a rarity. Is what we have today perfect? No. We are in a state of flux. You see women had a revolution. we learned that we did not have to only be mothers, if that is what we wished. We learned we ARE strong, as well as gentle and that gender roles are really bullshit. MEN are just beginning their revolution. They are leaning it is fine to walk down the street strapped with a baby bjorn, and still be considered strong as well. That they can cry, and that they can feel, and they can even stay home with the kids while mom works if that works for their particular family. Because men are also Natural Nurturers- they just lost it along the way somewhere. The journey of life will always be difficult. we are here to discover ourselves and see beyond what society has prescribed for us. When we discover what makes us happy, we learn what makes others happy as well. So we have a responsibility to ourselves AND to others and that is truthful whether you are a man or a woman, soul or human, or really a combo of all of these, which is really what we all are. I am sorry about your experiences with feminism. It saved my life and my family. And I would not blame it for your mother's multiple divorces etc. No on walks down the aisle and thinks "Hmmm can't wit for divorce!". I think the circumstances of your ancestor's behavior was much more complicated and you should probably ask for particulars or step in their shoes a bit more. I doubt it was the fault of the CIA, Gloria Steinem, or feminism. Open up and begin a new story. The old paradigm is over… let's make the new one better. We can start by thinking there isn't a wrong or right.. there merely is life that we learn from.
            Good Day.
            Sincerely, A happy, non-CIA, non Steinem influenced individual who believes that women's rights are just human rights.

          • Jay says:

            Breathe, Hon. Really, take a breath.

            It's funny that you chose to directly insult my family. I didn't directly insult anyone in my response to Jason. I may have insulted Gloria Steinem, she can take that up with me, if she so choses.

            My mother glaming onto feminism as a direct result of her poor feelings about herself do to the way she felt society looked upon her. The way society looked upon her was a direct result of the poor decisions she'd made. She was a single parent of 2 in 1965.
            If your mother was married to an abusive drug addict, that was a direct result of poor decisions that she made. It wasn't "the church's" fault, nor was it the fault of being Irish, nor was it the fault of forced "societal norms", nor male oppression in a patriarchal society.
            Your mother faced hardships because of her poor choices, my mother faced hardships because of her poor choices. From the sounds of it, they both wanted someone other than themselves to blame for the consequences of those poor choices.
            Poor choices in men is not a viable reason for a revolution, nor change in paradigm. .

            "My ancestors"? Since you decided ahead of time that they were these weak willed, cowering women, let me set the record straight. The women in my family were strong and capable long before the feminist movement. My grandmother on my mother's side raised a family and was a professional musician, at one time in the New York Women's symphony. She was a teacher for quite a few years, and in her retirement years taught music and worked as a flower arraigner at Woodies. She didn't need the money, she did it because she wanted to.
            She traveled from Washington, DC to Japan post war via a cross country, 7+ day trip on a train before she boarded a ship for 3 weeks, with 2 small children. One of whom was still in diapers. They didn't have Pampers back then, btw. She learned flower arraigning, among other things, during her several year stint in Occupied Japan. Taught English while there, as well.
            She was traveling to post war Japan. Everything she needed to make a home, she needed to bring with her, or have shipped ahead. She set up an entire household across the world out of 5 steamer trunks. She didn't travel as a poor women, but she certainly didn't travel as a rich woman.

            My grandmother on the other side ran a rooming house after traveling alone as a teenager from Scotland. Bet she could cuss well enough to make a drunken sailor on shore leave to blush and could likely drink them under the table, as well. I'm not sure that you understand what a rooming house was, but suffice it to say, she could hold her own. I'm pretty sure she was a woman who didn't give a f*ck.

            My great grandmother on my mother's side was Lanape Indian, chose not to go to a reservation in 1916, and later ran the family farm after my great grandfather passed away. Do some research on what "women of color" were treated like at the turn of last century.
            She did what she "had" to do, did it well, and did it with pride and dignity. The family still owns that farm land, and none of us (my generation) grew up on a reservation. All of the girls graduated from Teacher's College and all of them married after being in the workforce. There were 12 surviving children. She lost 2 small children in a house fire. Had she felt "oppressed", I have a hard time believing she could have successfully raised so many well educated and successful children. She, herself, had maybe a 3rd grade education.
            The other great grandmother on my mother's side came to America on a ship with several small children and a husband in failing health at the turn of last century. All of her children (5, 4 surviving) got college educations long before it was common place for college to be open to anyone who wanted to go, especially to fairly new immigrants.

            I come from a long line of people who were not "oppressed" by what society expected of them. Until my mother….when she decided, via listening to the voices of the feminism movement, she was somehow a victim.
            The entire current feminist movement is based on women being victims.
            You cannot label yourself as oppressed without first labeling yourself a victim.

      • Janne Robinson jannerobinson says:

        High five Carrie.

        Janne

  37. Shauna says:

    Wow! The comments are very enlightening…so much diversity of reaction, and not much of it seeming to 'get' that this was a simple ode to any woman who embraces life with gusto and passion, does what she chooses despite societal norms and whatever voices may be in her head telling what she 'should' do, and lives in the present moment…with sheer glee at the beauty and magic of life. If that is not mindful, I don't know what is. She is connected to herself and others, and loves life. The specifics don't matter, and these were just examples…so much judgement here, and that's the whole point isn't it? Listen to MYSELF and my heart, my soul, and enjoy every moment. Which I do. Thanks, Janne! ♥

  38. Juan Ito says:

    The woman who doesn't give a fuck is not a woman who actually *does* all of these things, but a woman who *would* do any of these things if she wanted to, without regard to what other people think. Which is as it should be.

  39. Deborah says:

    Lauren & Elizabeth, I couldn't agree with you more. My perspective of this piece was so very different than what I am reading here. My daughter actually posted this to Facebook with this saying "This is for my mother, who taught us the beauty and value of wild, unbridled, raw passion in all aspects of life, and who has refused to ever let it dwindle. Thank you for that."_When I read those words from my daughter it brought tears to my eyes. My girls have grown up, living a life full of passion for all that they do. They take care of themselves, work hard, laugh often and love deeply and with wild abandon. Does that mean the give of themselves freely… No! It means they are not afraid of their own bodies or their own sexuality. It does not define them or control them! They respect themselves and others. They are not afraid of Love! They are kind, compassionate, empathetic women. They are strong, yet vulnerable, fun and yes sexy! Not for any one else but for themselves because it makes them feel good about themselves. I did not read this and think it was describing one woman, it describes the traits the author respects in the women she has met. Traits I am so very happy that I was able to pass on to my daughters. I think we all admire someone who stands out from the crowd, someone who shows up as their authentic self and doesn't care what others think of her. This is what I got from the title and the only one who's opinion really matters is your own anyway. From my experience this is also the woman who cares very deeply about others. She is not afraid and does not judge, She loves herself, therefore is able to love others with all that she has. I too want to be around these women. Thanks Janne! I'll drink wine with you anytime!

  40. Ben Ralston Ben_Ralston says:

    Awesome wicked goosebumps piece. Here's to those women, and for what it's worth: Yes, "These are the women I want around me".

  41. Marc says:

    I found the “single mom working three jobs” line pretty interesting. I have never met a woman like this. However, I have met several self-proclaimed victims that can’t seem to make it without the assistance of our government-supported social programs. I guess that is just their way of not giving a f*ck. I would love to believe this all to be true but instead I see it as a fantasy held by non-f*uck-giving women who project an image of strength and self-reliance upon themselves.

    • Jen says:

      Well Marc, maybe you should get out and observe life… there are plenty. I also love your portrayal of the welfare-mother. So stunning and original. Really insightful. Thanks for buying into every stereotype in the universe. Open up. Use your own eyes. Talk to welfare mothers. I was on welfare when I was a child and I am now a teacher, department chair and contributing member of the community. Oh, why was I on welfare? Maybe it was because my father was an abusive drug addict and alcoholic who beat my mother on a regular basis. Now as a child, I was a victim, so I would like to personally thank the federal government for feeding me, as I was not yet old enough to support myself. Love and light and enlightenment to you. There are so many stories beyond the stereotypes. Peace.

  42. Jas says:

    This is coming from a woman who has wasted many of her precious years giving a f*ck about all the wrong things and is finally getting over it – preach!!

  43. peoplewhostillloveprose says:

    You've inspired me to write a poem I have been thinking about for weeks. THANKS!!! I LOVE your imagery. I hope you like my message :)

  44. sunshine says:

    I love this and understand quite clearly that it speaks to a set of women who are the true representative of ‘I’m every woman’.

    So many sisters tend to just long to be and live and die never releasing any of the fire they have inside of them…so sad they never live their music they just EXIST.

    Not me, so thank you for exposing just that little insight into the lives of other quirky and wonderfully free sistas!!!!!

  45. Stephanie says:

    I read this a few times…just loved the energy of the piece :)

    I was left thinking about what society deems as milestones and what we conventionally celebrate. This makes many of us crave bigger moments and can leave us feeling less than, not good enough, and alone. What if we acknowledged and embraced the concepts/pieces you wrote about as successes, accomplishments, milestones? To not gloss over those spirit enhancing moments even if they are fleeting :) Parties for the soul!!

    This piece warmed me because simultaneously it celebrated my uniqueness yet also connected me to other women in the universe :)

    Thanks for the lovely gift! Steph

  46. Davey says:

    God I love girls like this. Whoever it was that convinced women that promiscuity is a means to empowerment is my personal hero:)

    Party on Janne!

  47. Debbie says:

    I have been widowed for over 5 years, after 35 years of marriage….and even during those years I was the breadwinner, housekeeper and jack of all trades. In fact, this past week, I have been busy rebuilding my sundeck. Male neighbour came around and asked me if there was anything I would NOT tackle!! Nope, I said….I will try to do as much on my own as possible. Girl power?? not really, just proud of myself and my abilities. HItting 60 and not slowing down for anyone!

  48. Lisa says:

    Calm down people. I hardly think this list means "Things to Do Everyday"!! While some are – most are just having experienced or are willing to have an open mind…..

  49. Dani says:

    It seems that those who automatically jumped on the author, assuming she must never do anything to give back to her world, mistook this list as an all-encompassing (and proscriptive) to-do list for women everywhere. Just because volunteering, or being a single-mom-playing-the-role-of-both-parents, or taking care of an aging parent, etc., wasn't specifically listed, why should it be assumed that those things are missing from the lives of the women for whom this was written? The thing is, in our culture and society, those things ARE the 'norm' for women. They aren't news. They're expected. And generally, taken for granted. The things in the list are still 'new' enough in our culture that they do seem selfish and outlandish and strange, and yes, even just plain wrong to some people. For example, I know several men — young men in their 30s — who attach symbolic meaning to the simple act of a woman ordering a beer or something like whiskey at a bar. And those assumptions are NOT that she prefers beer or whiskey to wine or fruity cocktails — they are negative assumptions that she's trying to prove something or that she's somehow advertising that she'll have sex with them (maybe she will and maybe she won't — that probably depends way more on whether or not they're dicks than on what she's drinking). That's the kind of crap many women are still fighting. I'm nearly 50. I spent all of my life, into my early 30s, being a 'good girl' : straight-A's, raised strict Catholic, always told to mind her 'reputation' in ALL things, and gave up a promising life (Including college and a career, and possibly a family at a younger age) to take care of my physically and mentally ill mother after my dad divorced her. Nobody in my extended family said a word, because it was what daughters did. I finally married in my mid-30s, and had a child a couple years later. I'm now divorced from an emotionally abusive man. For the first time in my life, I am some of the things in this list. I'm learning how to say 'no' for my own good. When my son is with his father, I'm allowing myself to have fun with friends, and do some of the crazy things other people did in their 20s and take for granted — simple things like singing karaoke, learning how to dance, and yes, having sex with someone I'm not married to. I don't dress or wear my hair like most other women my age. And people tell me I look healthier (I AM healthier!) and that I look younger and happier than I did 10 years ago, when I was doing what I 'should.' Since I've stopped giving as much of a f*ck, interestingly, I am also closer to my son, as my stress level is lower and I'm freer to laugh and spend time with him, not just 'doing' for him. I AM freer to give to others, and I do. I am ALSO learning mindfulness to help keep me in the moment when those old deeply ingrained messages of what I 'should' be doing, and what is 'wrong' and 'bad' about me keep looping in my mind. I was forced to hide who I am for most of my life, and who I am is a loving, giving person, who just also happens to like sex, drink strong dark beer, drive a 4WD vehicle, wear high heels and pencil skirts, bake cookies and love to give them away, and swear around my friends. Multifaceted people! Imagine that!

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