Mothers, Murderers and Mistresses: Empresses of Ancient Rome vs #LeanInTogether

I watched  Mothers, Murderers and Mistresses: Empresses of Ancient Rome with baited breath.livia-drusilla

The first episode presented Livia, loved by Augustus, powerful behind the scenes. The argument was that history & men didn’t recognize Livia as a leader or influencer. And that was, according to the program, unfair. I expected to hear more of the power women have yielded and how this power has made the world a better place. Even though apparently, there was little power in women’s hands.

My thinking is that, during this era, there must have been many women in Rome who could influence politics, society and the economy. Rome was a city of 1 million citizens and there were definitely 1000 powerful married men.

Some of these wives, women, could organize themselves and influence the fate of women and society together? Because if there is one man who loves his wife enough to listen to her, then, my limited experience says there must be several men who will listen to their wives. The rule of the thumb, even in society today, is that we cannot all be leaders (presidents, ministers, managing directors etc or for that matter emperors and senators who effect policy). The art of changing societies comes from recognizing this, and doing our best to contribute to change from our lowly places. Women and all others who have an inkling of opportunity. Start stoning me now

Women are powerful in my opinion! We give birth to the boys who become men. 9 months of bonding. Boys love their mothers, which gives every generation of women the power to inspire, encourage & motivate boys so they become the men we need for the good society we need. Because as we women keep repeating, men are busy building careers and bad policies while women are busy raising children and fixing the home, therefore the family, therefore the society. So how come all our boys are becoming the men who don’t respect us, or give us a chance? It can’t be all men’s doing. Am on the ground after the stoning. Kick me now!

Because as a wise man once said, If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.

I am a believer of women’s rights and equality for all. And I like the #LeanInTogether model of thought as  #SherylSandberg presents it. Sheryl requests, begs & commands both women and men to take responsibility for the freedoms and equalities they desire. To change the society into the fair safe place we want for our children.

You’ll love this Japanese Doctor……when you take your next glass of wine

Question: Doctor: I’ve heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?
Answer: Heart only good for so many beats, and that it….Don’t waste on exercise. Everything wear out eventually. Speeding up heart not make you live longer; it like saying you extend life of car by driving faster. Want to live longer?Take nap.

Question: Should i reduce my alcohol intake?
Answer: Oh no, Wine made from fruit. Fruit very good. Brandy distilled wine, that mean they take water out of fruity bit so you get even more of goodness that way. Beer also made of grain. Grain good too. Bottom up!

Question: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
Answer: Can’t think of one, sorry. My philosophy: No pain: good!!

Question: Aren’t fried foods bad for you?
Answer: YOU NOT LISTENING! Food fried in vegetable oil. How getting more vegetable be bad?

Question: Is Chocolate bad for me?
Answer: You crazy? HEL-LO-O!! Cocoa bean! Another vegetable!It best feel-good food around!

Question: Is swimming good for your figure?
Answer: If swimming good for figure, explain whale to me.

Question:  Is getting in shape important for my lifestyle?
Answer: Hey! ‘Round’ is shape!

exitWell…I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.

And remember:

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body. Rather one should should skid into the grave sideways – Beer/wine in one hand – chocolate in the other – body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming ‘WOO-HOO’, what a ride!!!!!!! enjoy life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am so glad that email got #emailSelfDestruct

Love letter to exIf this had happened just 5/6 years ago, it would have saved me embarrassment and shame. I sent a letter to the ex, via email. I regretted it immediately but it was gone. We never got back together, since there was reason for the breakup. OBVIOUSLY.  He showed the email to all his friends. Douche! I had to close my Hotmail account in a bid to pretend that I never sent that email.

So later. much later. much much later. when I said how much I was over him, all his friends looked at me as if I was missing 2 nuts in the head and needed fixing. If #emailSelfDelete was a fact then, the douche would have had nothing to show his friends. They would have thought/believed he was making things up. Which he was all the time!

Enough about me & a little statistics and BI.

Each able & willing person is sending on average, 50 emails a day. This includes children since children from ages around 8/9 are quite busy on mobiles and ipads as it is.

computer emailsYou don’t believe me? calculate for yourself and let me know! If you prefer, you can exclude the children.

  • Apparently, over 200 billion emails are sent every day!
  • We are a little over 7 billion on this galaxy. This includes children, old people who cannot use computer.
  • 1.9 billion are children.
  • Over 785 million are either totally or partially illiterate. Can they send emails?
  • Around 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty, so no chance they are going round sending emails?

I assume the extremely poor cannot afford the gadgets needed for emails to fly around, but what do I know? Look at Africa and the IT boom!!

Caitlin Morans feministic rant tickles all my senses

suksHow to be a woman by Caitlin Moran is a fantastically playful rant. Caitlin’s insight on girlhood and womanhood sounds like the instinctive knowledge I feel I should have had. The rant reminds me of my own loneliness through the teenage years. It is a paradox to feel lonely in a house full of people. I was lucky to have my cat, Suki (most often referred to as suks). But Suks never took any long walks with me. [Suks deserves her own post, she is a long story].

Below, I describe 2 of my life’s most lonely experiences.

  1. The arrival of Breasts

In the midst of all the confusion that exists in all big families with a cat, one morning, the breasts appeared. On me. I knew they would come at some time, but I had never given thought to what to do with them when they arrived. I also thought they would arrive eventually, slowly, but it felt as if they came all at once.

I was thin, so once they arrived, it was like two avocados on a stick. In an African family, regardless of where in the world the family is located, that is nothing to be happy about. Some curves are needed for things to be satisfactory.

Apparently, nobody else in the family had given any thought to the eventuality either. So we were all in shock, even the cat. And comments started flying round about breasts on a stick. And what to do with them.

I made a list of what I needed to do with them breasts.

self obsessed

  • to hide them so my family & neighbors could forget that they were there
  • to deal with boys staring at the breasts. Ignore them
  • an answer/explanation why they hurt. Nobody seemed to have a satisfactory answer and googling was not a thing then
  • to change how I moved my arms. that had to be figured out
  • to deal with suks’ flea challenge as a diversion

2. Menstruation or the monthly curse

The menstruation challenge began, also unexpected, and embarrassingly in the middle of the day. Just a stain on my dress, less than a year after the breasts appeared. Once again, I had no clue why I needed that.

This time, I knew I did not need more hysterics in the same year so I kept it a secret. I stole my mother’s money and bought a pair of black knickers, pads & cotton wool. Until then, I had only had white and pink knickers. I should have bought painkillers too but I did not know I needed those either until it was too late.

I informed my mother of my predicament. She took the opportunity to remind me that I was now a woman and could get pregnant if I played with boys. I was 14½. She really said play with boys. I always thought that pregnancy, was a risk, since I was warned off boys since I was like 10.

“Why do you play with boys? you are a girl!” “Behave like a girl! you are not a boy!”

At the end of the first menstruation week ever, I was so frightened by the knowledge that I did not know when the next time would be. All data collected from adult women said was it could be in 2 weeks, in 21 days or in 28 days. So it could be anytime, anywhere and no help was to be had.

Invictus By William Ernest Henley

Sailing in BerlinOut of the night that covers me, black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be, for my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance, I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance, my head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears, looms but the Horror of the shade, and yet the menace of the years, finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.

Unending Love by Rabindranath Tagore

I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times…
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs,
That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms,
In life after life, in age after age, forever.

Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, its age-old pain,
Its ancient tale of being apart or together.
As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge,
Clad in the light of a pole-star piercing the darkness of time:
You become an image of what is remembered forever.

You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount.
At the heart of time, love of one for another.
We have played along side millions of lovers, shared in the same
Shy sweetness of meeting, the same distressful tears of farewell-
Old love but in shapes that renew and renew forever.

Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you
The love of all man’s days both past and forever:
Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life.
The memories of all loves merging with this one love of ours –
And the songs of every poet past and forever.

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