New Blog!

Hey everyone, I’ve started a new blog for myself, and it will be filled with my writing, please check it out and give it a follow! I should be updating it more than I’ve updated this one in the recent years.

I’ll be adding my poetry and stories to the site for  the next few days. It’s called Midnight & Mahogany, please check it out!

Paper Doll

Does it make you feel good to make me feel small?
When you’re pushing me down, does it make you feel tall?
Pointing out my flaws ’cause you wanna erase them all
Does it make you feel good to make me feel small?
Betcha didn’t think I knew what I was made of
Thought I would lay down
I wouldn’t stand up
Well listen up ’cause you got it all wrong
This is your song, this is your song
I’m not a paper doll
Can’t make me what you want
You just build me up and tear me down
Enough’s enough
Go, leave me alone
Cut me down but I won’t fall
I’m not a paper doll
Did somebody make you feel invisible?
Is it true hurt people hurt people?
The way you hate and break
It don’t make no sense at all
But you’re not gonna make me feel invisible
Betcha didn’t think I knew what I was made of
Thought I would lay down
I wouldn’t stand up
Well listen up ’cause you got it all wrong
This is your song, this is your song
I’m not a paper doll
Can’t make me what you want
You just build me up and tear me down
Enough’s enough
Go, leave me alone
Cut me down but I won’t fall
I’m not a paper doll
I’m not a paper doll
Can’t make me what you want
You just build me up and tear me down
Enough’s enough
Go, leave me alone
Cut me down but I won’t fall
Oh, you’d love if you crumble me up
In the palm of your hands
Well, I bet that sucks
‘Cause now you know you can’t
Does it make you feel good to make me feel small?
When you’re pushing me down, does it make you feel tall?
I’m not a paper doll
Can’t make me what you want
You just build me up and tear me down
Enough’s enough
Go, leave me alone
Cut me down but I won’t fall
I’m not a paper doll
I’m not a paper doll
Can’t make me what you want
You just build me up and tear me down
Enough’s enough
Go, leave me alone
Cut me down but I won’t fall
I’m not a paper doll
I love this song, but every time I hear it it makes me think of you. You told me I was the abusive one, but you pointed out every flaw I had and tried to change me to become your perfect girlfriend.
For a long time I rolled over and took it. I let you morph me into this girl who you wanted.
But now I’m very glad who I am now. I won’t be changed by you. Years later and you no longer hold power over me.
Bethany

Painted Plastic

I didn’t grow up with porcelain faces
But instead painted plastic
I always wondered what it’d be like
To care for something so beautiful
Would I be different if I had?
Or would you break like everything else I touch
I am like Midas, change on my fingertips
But my fingers do not create gold
I create destruction and despair
Nothing good comes from these fingers
So maybe its good I didn’t grow up with porcelain faces
But with, instead, painted plastic.

-Mahogany Etchings

Tucked Between

My joy is the long fingers tucked between mine.
No space between to give room to dark clouds of doubt.
Squeezing, grasping, to keep my demons out. 
I guess this is what you could say my love is.
Not a person, not flesh and soul though intertwined, but my heart resting comfortably in the embrace of yours, oh so kind. 
Perhaps one day my dreams of my heart being not only comfortable, but joyous too, are reachable and attainable.
Yearning for another, the need so strong, compulsion so forceful.
Those feelings are not dark, but bright and colorful.
The same kind that make you choose to run and make your sensible mind scream “be careful.” 

-Mahogany Etchings

Monsters

Some people have monsters deep inside
for some they aren’t that deep
Some people keep them locked inside
and others let them free

Where did the come from…
are we born with them?
Maybe we created them…
or maybe others created them in us

I’d like to think my monsters aren’t my fault
but I think I know… at least a few are
I’d like to think that when they escape, it’s not my fault
but I know… and I know, this time for sure, it is

And the worst kind of monster is the one who lets them escape

-Mahogany Etchings

Emotional Work: How Women Are Trained for the “Second Shift”

Emotional work, something many women know all too well but maybe have never had a specific term for. Many women, even in America, are expected, because of gender roles, to do a type of labor that the phrase “emotional work” has been coined for. This type of labor is also known under the terms “second shift” or “third shift.” Emotional work refers to a type of responsibility that is both found at home. Emotional work is a multifaceted issue, but one explanation of emotional work is “women are expected to do the majority of emotional care for their family, on top of their job and housework; the so-called ‘triple shift’” (Bryant).

There are two terms which sometimes are used interchangeably for this phenomenon and another similar phenomenon. The first, the correct term for this paper, is emotional work. This refers to the emotional care at home. The second term that is sometimes used for this phenomenon is very similar, emotional labor. Emotional labor however, refers to emotional regulation in the workplace (Hochschild). Arlie Hochschild coined both of these terms. The term emotional work was coined in 1979 (Hochschild). While emotional labor was coined in 1983 in her book The Managed Heart (Hackman). In the easiest explanation, emotional labor refers to when a person is getting paid for their regulation of emotions, in contrast, emotional work refers to emotional management that is not compensated and involves personal relationships. Women are most often the people who do the most emotional work and it is expected of them. It’s expected that when a couple has a child, the woman stays home and watches it. It’s naturally assumed that women are better caretakers, are more emotionally adept, and remember important things for relationships, such as birthdays, concerts, and information about individuals. In addition women are expected to do housework which also falls into emotional work.

This mentality of men being the breadwinners and women doing the housework most likely originated from how women were historically discouraged from working outside of the home. While there is still some discouragement, there are far more openings for women to be in the workplace. What then when both partners work full-time jobs? Often the women are still pushed to work a “second” or “third” shift when they return home. This isn’t to mean that these jobs aren’t important or that some women don’t dislike doing it. However there is an inequality in the work done at home, especially with things such as childcare. Because of this many researchers believe that women wouldn’t receive equal opportunity in the workplace until these inequalities are rectified (Yapp).

Emotional work in an average household can take various forms and be recognized by several factors. For example an easy way to spot emotional work is to see who takes care of the majority of household duties, especially if both partners work full-time. Which parent drives the kids to and from school the most? Which parent spends the most time talking to the children? Which partner inquires about the other’s health and well-being? Which partner keeps the household running? Which partner does the planning for holidays and vacations? Which partner alters their sexual desires for that of their partner’s? This person is most likely the one who does the emotional work. More often than not in heterosexual relationships this person is the woman.

Women in heterosexual relationships will often alter their own sexual desires for that of their partners to reduce marital conflict and enhance intimacy. Several studies about emotional work have been done on heterosexual relationships, the findings of which all pointed to women taking on more emotional work in these relationships in all aspects (Umberson, Thomeer, and Lodge). Although in heterosexual relationships the person doing the emotional work is most often a woman, this does change when the couple is of the same-sex. In lesbian couples, the couple is actually more likely to have an equal share of the emotional workload than that of a heterosexual couple (Umberson, Thomeer, and Lodge).

Emotional work has been pushed upon women under the premise that women are just naturally better at this sort of thing. However, while women might be better at these sort things in the majority of instances, that’s not necessarily true because of biological factors. In fact the reasons that this might be true is because of sociological factors. Women are often socialized to be emotionally aware and it is expected of them to be in charge of emotional care. In contrast men are often socialized to suppress their emotions. The mentality is that men should be the breadwinners while women take care of the house and children, and be emotionally adept.

Emotional work is an interesting concept that is intricately tied with movements such as feminism. This is because the expectancy of women to do emotional work is so prevalent. Often times emotional work is overlooked or denied. Sometimes it is said that this is just how women are based on biology. However, it is a result of socialization and is a concept that many women can relate to.

Works Cited

Bryant, Lee. “Feminism.” History Learning Site. N.p., 16 Aug. 2016. Web. 12 Dec. 2016.

Duncombe, Jean, and Dennis Marsden. “LOVE AND INTIMACY: THE GENDER DIVISION OF EMOTION AND ‘EMOTION WORK’: A Neglected Aspect of Sociological Discussion of Heterosexual Relationships.” Sociology, vol. 27, no. 2, 1993, pp. 221–241.

Hackman, Rose. “‘Women Are Just Better at This Stuff’: Is Emotional Labor Feminism’s Next Frontier?” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 08 Nov. 2015. Web. 12 Dec. 2016.

Hochschild, Arlie Russell. “Emotion Work, Feeling Rules, and Social Structure.”American Journal of Sociology, vol. 85, no. 3, 1979, pp. 551–575.

Umberson, Debra, Mieke Beth Thomeer, and Amy C. Lodge. “Intimacy and Emotion Work in Lesbian, Gay, and Heterosexual Relationships.” Journal of Marriage and the Family, 77.2 (2015): 542– 556. PMC. Web. 12 Dec. 2016.

Yapp, Robin. “Working Women ‘Still Do Housework'” Daily Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, Web. 12 Dec. 2016.

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today…

My world crashed down on me, and I thought I wasn’t good enough. I thought I was going to be alone. I hated myself more than I have before and I wanted to die.

All because my rapist got married.

Today…

I’m looking at my life and I love myself and who I’ve become. So today I’d like to thank my rapist – because I’m ten times stronger because of the hell I’ve been through. I hate him for hurting me, I do, but I love him as a Christian. It hurts to see him preach in front of a congregation. It kills. But I’m more compassionate because of him.

One year hurts, but makes me thankful.

Bethany

 

My Culture (Almost) Scared Me Out of Intimate Friendships

The amount of pressure that people have put on both Christians and non-Christians alike to get married is immense – and for some people it’s isolating.

“This leaves lots of people feeling inadequate when they’re without a significant other. Romantic relationships, like all close relationships, affirm people in the assurance that they are greatly valued and treasured by someone else. That’s a wonderful thing. But like all good things, we have a habit of distorting the goodness of relationships, and treating romantic relationships like they are the only ones that can make us feel whole.”

Marriage isn’t the only thing that defines people and it’s important to remember that. There are people who will never get married, some who don’t want to, some who can’t, or maybe some who lost a loved one, and that doesn’t diminish their worth.

The culture we live in also pushes a hyper-masculinity, which can really damage people as Joe points out. Stop shaming men for showing emotions. Stop shaming men out of having guy friends.

“We need to stop shaming men out of having intimate friendships with one another. It’s a good thing. Having close friends that you look forward to seeing in the future is healthy. Having friends that you can turn to in times of trouble is wonderful. When did it become wrong for men to be emotionally attached to others? All of us experience loneliness from time to time, but I feel like so many men bring it on themselves. Vulnerability is hard, but we shouldn’t stop being vulnerable just because we’re bad at it. Despite what the world around us says, being open and honest builds relationships, and that open honesty should extend to your friends. If it doesn’t, we’re giving ourselves a more bleak and isolated life than God designed us to live.”

I feel like many of these issues intersect with one another. Homophobia, hyper-masculinity, and yes, even feminism, can all intersect and interact with one another. When men are pushed to shield their emotions, it can put a lot of stress on friendships and marriages, especially between a man and a woman because a woman is expected to shoulder these emotional responsibilities.

Do You Care About Injustice?

Today at my old college there was a protest over a professor getting fired after he was accused of sexual assault. They don’t believe the girl who reported him – but why is this what these students care about. This an only this. I don’t even know if this man is or isn’t guilty – but what I do know is that the college ignored injustice for years. So why now?

Where were these protests when I was dismissed from the college after reporting a sexual assault? Where were these protests when the boy was found not guilty even though he admitted it and I had proof? Where were these protests when the boy was allowed to stay on campus if he wrote a paper on the sanctity of marriage. Where were the protests when a serial rapist was allowed to graduate? Where were the protests when administration stayed silent?

Where were these protests when this college refused to take our sexual assaults seriously. 

Is it just because you cared more for this professor than you did for any of the students? Because you don’t care about assault survivors? 

Bethany