Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Local politics and knitting.

I'm still learning at my age and with, at times, my challenging health. None of us gets a free pass at life, do we? Roll with the punches, etc. Importances shift and swirl and change. Observations become keener and sharper. Letting go of toxic people becomes easier. Personal growth takes on a new meaning as I learn into the grave.


I recently persisted with a form of knitting that I didn't have the patience for all my life - or, you know, adapting the instructions for it which never worked and resulted in awkward bulges and then I would toss the results. So I sat down and wound all these bobbins to hang off the back of the work and persisted in learning and finally mastered intarsia a couple of weeks ago. It felt good and satisfying and fulfilling.


I've had my battles at the local political level too. I've been up against some old guards, bleeding deacons, buzzards, in my efforts to create outdoor community spaces that are used daily. I was drowning in negativity and mockery. Frankly, it wore me down. I've only 3 months left on my municipal term and I'm trying to push through some more town enhancing changes and it was endless, soul destroying battles one after the other at our monthly meetings.

I gave up. I've got too much other stuff on the go which is sapping me until I move and I thought: conserve your energy, f*** them all. I'm just too tired and each battle is chewing another bite out of my soul.

I mentioned how dispirited I was to my clerk (who is quitting at the end of my term, he is equally disillusioned) and he said: "Go down fighting, don't let the bastards grind you down."

And I thought to myself: there in one sentence is the difference between men and women and our cultural conditioning (I don't believe in the concept of 'gender'). Women are taught to be subservient peace makers, men to assert and dominate.

I've worked in so-called male positions all my life, starting with my first job in Ireland. And too many times to count, I subside at meetings as the men talk/yell/shout over me. As the men talk/yell/shout over me today at meetings even though I'm technically their boss, until I bang the table loudly and tell them to stop. I dread these confrontations, not so much as before, but yelling shouty men have the power to make my heart pound, as in my experience it was always a prelude to violence.

So I took his words to heart and thought: No, I won't shut up, I will continue to speak my truth and whether they adapt my ideas or not, I'll leave "unground".

16 comments:

  1. You must be true to yourself.
    Love your knitting bobbles.
    Maggie x

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    Replies
    1. It depends on the self, Maggie. The self we are conditioned to or the self we aspire to? Most women submerge or subsume their natural talents and brilliance I have found.

      Intarsia is such a pleasure now. Before, I found it too picky and awkward.
      XO
      WWW

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  2. I am thrilled to have persisted to find someone interesting over 60. & Canadian extra bonus! Your accomplishments are inspiration, please find some common ground with the resistance, to accomplish your agenda & make fireworks when you can! Bravo!
    Very nice to have found your blog! Until next time, xDebi

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    Replies
    1. Why thank you Denise. I'm over 70 now but hesitate to change the name of my very old blog which has sentimental value.

      XO
      WWW

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  3. I admire any smart person who has the drive and the patience to be involved in politics of any kind. Committee work, alone, drives me nuts! For there are too many stupid people in this world, and it's not only the sensible and practical who enter public life. And then it's impossible to please everyone, and idiots will criticize foolishly and baselessly. Oh, I can't do it! Thank goodness there are those who will take it on. It's a dirty job, but somebody has to ... You've got guts, girl. -Kate

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    1. You're right Kate it can be a battleground. And very time consuming as I'm on several committees too. I don't u derstand why the blowhards yell on and on about the magical past when life was simpler and unchanged. I've lost it a couple of times.
      Vision isn't part of some people's makeup.

      XO
      WWW

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  4. I was unaware, until very recently, WWW of your public service! I'm impressed, also sympathetic to your difficulties too. There aren't many occasions when I'd advise a woman to take a leaf out of Maggie Thatcher's playbook - but this is one of 'em. "The lady's not for turning" etc. Even life's villains can teach us the odd lesson. ;-)

    I had to look up intarsia - seems like a way to do colour patterns in knitting without all the back woven-in strands necessary in Fairisle patterns (which my mother used to knit during the War (WW2 - clothes for me mostly), presumably to keep her from falling into full panic mode when bombs began to drop in our city.

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    1. I hope my link to intarsia works! Yes, different to fairisle.

      Yes it can be a battleground at meetings. Frankly I'll be glad when my term us up.

      XO
      WWW

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    2. I've always liked Nellie McClung's directive: "Get the thing done! and let them howl."
      -Kate

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  5. "Women are taught to be subservient peace makers, men to assert and dominate." Not always WWW!

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  6. My own MO in such a position is to say "F U" and walk out. Not the best I agree. So if you stay and fight I will admire you, if you give them the finger I'll say "Right on."

    Your bobbins look interesting, what are they made of?

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  7. Good for you. Give them a run for their money and don't let them rule the roost. I get tired of all those yelling and shouting men as well (who usually dominate the quiet men as well as the women). They're the adult equivalent of small children screaming for an ice cream.

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  8. Good on yer! Give 'em Hell. They're just puffed up with their own little bit of power and importance. Really, men are just little boys in long trousers. Often spoilt, they like to bully and throw their weight about. If they start to get to you, just imagine them, all in a line with their trousers down, sitting on the toilet. It usually works wonders.

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  9. Didn't know you were involved in government/politics -- Yes! Keep at it! Men shouting escalating does often raise the spectrum of potential violence, more so than such from women. Can be very intimidating as some men intend while others don't seem to understand or realize they have that effect. Women who choose to confront or challenge are left to risk what could occur. Generally, in most public situations nothing ever happens, so keep speaking up.

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