toxic masculinity

WHY are we so focused on empowering women that we FORGET to teach, empower & encourage boys to grow up as men?

In the last few months it has turned my stomach & messed with my brain… Why has bashing & demonising the opposite sex, become so important in order to show the strength of women?

It has made me think of what the term toxic masculinity actually means – does it mean that being masculine is toxic? does it mean that all men are toxic? that men should not be?

Let me go back to where I believe this all started. & I know right here so many will roll their eyes & stop reading what I have to say (& that is okay).

Genesis 1:27 So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; MALE and FEMALE He created them (The Amplified Bible).
We’ve been created in the image & likeness of God – that entails that we’ve been created with purpose & inborn traits that the opposite sex does not have. HOWEVER, with the fall of man (first sin by Adam & Eve – Genesis 3), the world was corrupted. MALE & FEMALE were corrupted, so much so that the purposes, innate qualities, principles, standards & truths of who we were created to be was corrupted.

If there is such a thing as toxic masculinity, then there should also be a thing as toxic femininity?

The use of the word TOXIC is subjective & damaging to all, as it is used to shame & diminish. Toxic behaviour should however be exposed by the name of the action & not by gender, for both genders, so that there can be a united fight against the actions. Taking corrective measures by instilling pride & ownership of true masculine & feminine traits. Teaching, empowering & encouraging boys & girls to grow into men & women who follow biblical standards of what it is to be a man or a woman.

Suddenly I look around & realise – each person has a role to play.
Starting at home with both parents setting the standard to be followed. Teachers, mentors & influencers not just spewing the social narrative, but truly building the next generation into becoming greater examples of how to overcome & be the best we can be. Friends & family encouraging & standing with the parents to build the next generation. NOT just allowing social media to brainwash us with leftist ideologies (wanting to destroy biblical truths & standards). Learning to dig deeper & think beyond what we see and hear.

Remember the following…

hard times create strong men
strong men create easy times
easy times create weak men
& weak men create hard times…

Do I believe there is a thing such as toxic masculinity? NO.
I do believe in traits that can be seen as toxic in both men & women – that does not make masculinity nor femininity toxic.

with my brain melting, I think I need some more coffee…
so until the next piece
be safe & be BLESSED

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sitting pretty

what goes where? one of the first questions I asked before trying to climb onto a bike… (& to this day, I’ve gotten so many different answers & viewpoints). the most simplistic answer – feet on the pegs, become one with the rider & the bike & most important – SIT STILL!! (somehow, it is exactly for that reason that I’ve been pushed into learning to ride my own)

as a pillion (riding passenger), I had to learn to find the most comfortable spot – becoming one with my Wolf & the bike at the same time – seems only fair to say almost as if making love… not pinching him with my legs or constantly trying to look over his shoulder(s) in order to take charge of what was going on…. finding the perfect balance… I guess that being so comfortable (& that on a speedbike) I actually fell asleep (& it didn’t happen just once), even though we held speeds in excess of 200 km/h should say something about the way I learnt to sit on the back of the bike….

I’ve also learnt that every pillion has to find their own most comfortable seating position – although most will say the same thing… become one with the rider and the bike!! when out riding – lean with the rider, don’t fight against what they’re doing!! (& if you do feel the need to move about – forward & backwards – otherwise you might just throw the bike off balance)

something else I wondered about and found different answers & opinions on is the whole thing of where hands have to go (although most males would say – please rather hold onto us than placing hands on the bike’s tank). I found the easiest for me was holding onto my Wolf in a massive hug.

HOWEVER – the words “SIT STILL” rang in my ears very often, especially when I started to dance on that same backseat I’d fallen asleep on… I had no choice – not that I regret any moment of it… I had to learn to ride on my own!

funny enough – I asked the same question once again – what goes where!! my Wolf just laughed, told me to relax, find a comfy spot & just go!

now knowing each different style bike calls for a specific seating position that suits the bike – you as rider have to find the comfy spot that works for you! whether it is the standard / neutral riding position (an upright position with hands resting comfortably on the handle bars, back up straight & feet aligned with your shoulders on the foot pegs), the cruiser position (much like the neutral position, just with legs stretched out in front of you resting on the foot pegs) or almost crouched, leaning into your speedbike… you have to relax and have fun!

& now I’m really in need of some extreme wind therapy (but racing bikes on the pc screen will have to do…)
until the next piece pops up,
stay blessed & ride safe!!

refresh….

Why is it so difficult to face a blank page with thoughts burning in your mind wanting to be imprinted on a page or to appear on a screen? & then the many questions of where to begin…

Somehow it clicks & the sentences starts to flow

I lost myself & found that my creativity & Carla spark was dying an extreme slow death… It still scares me to think that I could get so busy & in the process lost so much of myself! I fell off the wagon big time – not just mentally, but also physically…. To such a point where I found myself burning out!

In all of this I’m guilty of not paying attention to my gutfeelings (even though I would rather call it the nudgings of the Holy Spirit)… not taking it seriously…. I do believe God used friends and family around me to open my eyes to what was going on – even though I did not listen, nor wanted to take them serious… I had to emotionally & physically break down to see what they were seeing – to see the deep pit I was digging myself into.

& then the big realisation… I took a lot of unnecessary things onto my own shoulders – not allowing others to stand with or even help me. Ignoring biblical principles of allowing others to help carry my burdens, & with me being overburdened, I was not able to help others carry their burdens.

Own hurts & insecurities also over complicated so many things – especially talking about frustrations of what was going on & then to take advice… Where with many it started to feel that their ideas of what I should be attempting was more important than my actual well being – that they just wanted to say something, even when they did not have the full picture of what was truly going on. To such an extent that I did not want to share the darkness I was going through.

Thankfully I have a support network that did not give up on me, even when I was trying to push them away. & most important of all – God never let me go! I was pushed to a point where I had to take some serious introspection…

I had to make a decision to say enough is enough!! & from there I had to take the difficult steps to unburden myself & start to take care of me for the first time in a very long time… Saying it is okay not to be okay, but not getting stuck in it – to step out & get going in a relearning process of self care.

In this process I’m relearning the value of my support network, the value of time for things that lights my Carla spark & figuring out a routine that works for me. & yes, that includes taking better care of my physical & emotional health. ALSO to work on & grow my relationship with God to ensure a healthy balance in all aspects of life!

I am truly thankful for my Wolf who has stood by my side & encouraged me to not lose hope nor faith in God (even in the darkest of times where we both felt like throwing in the towel). God has truly been gracious & we have been blessed in ways that I could not even try to comprehend!! ALL HONOUR & GLORY & PRAISE TO GOD!!

until the next pieces….
kind regards from this side of the screen

dressed for success…

I dare you to think of a biker, any biker!

I can promise you everyone has a different image popping up…. whether you think of the image & idea portrayed by the media (bikerchicks being overly sexualised & bikers looking all gritty), those bikers who really just don’t care about what they look like & wear what is comfortable or even those bikers looking like they just walked out of a bike shop with brand spanking new gear…

every single biker has their own reasons for wearing what they do & usually the type of bike you ride plays a major role in what you’ll wear…. but most of them will tell you that they dress for the slide & not just the ride AND that sweat will be chosen over blood any day!

let’s clarify (for those not acquainted with the lingo) what is meant by kit / gear…. biker kit / gear is basically that which you wear when going riding….

asking around as to what is seen as the most important piece of gear – the most prominent answer is full kit!

most answers however include to never go riding without a helmet as your head that carries your brain is probably the most important part to be protected!! (read the rest of what is to follow with the understanding that everything is of equal & vital importance, not to be left out) now with that, include a proper riding jacket – with padding in all the right places…. also a set of riding gloves…. don’t forget a good pair of riding boots to protect your feet & ankles…. & then also remember riding pants – whether it is leather / denim / or other textiles…. now don’t forget the most epic piece of awesome versatility, more commonly named the buff & just a smudge of brightness for visibility!

I guess everyone has their own perspective as to what they need to wear and what they’re comfortable with (and also what falls in their budget)…
my Wolf and I choose to wear all the gear all the time – because we choose to dress for the slide not for the ride…. the fact that we’ve seen what it is to go through a crash & have the right protection vs going through a crash without gear has settled our minds as to why we’ll gear up when we head out riding

knowing that gear can take quite a bit out of your pocket, it usually leads to not necessarily wearing full kit all the time – but wearing the most protection that you can afford… for a lot that will usually be a good helmet, a decent riding jacket & gloves. that while riding in a pair of normal jeans and standard boots. & we understand this, all because I did not have full kit to start with & we had to save up to get that which we needed to be correctly protected.

however, we’ve come across some pretty weird outfits on bikes & usually cringe at the thought of what could happen should that bike take a slide…
some of these include people with flip-flops or even some serious stilettos…. those who think it sexy to ride with a skimpy skirt / dress…. yoga (or is it rather gym) pants / or must I call it leggings (& not the padded or kevlar kind)… & I know each person has to make up their own mind of what they do want to wear….

I guess in it all, we’ll always choose to dress for the slide & not just the ride!

& now it seems that I’m truly in need of wind therapy & maybe, just maybe some coffee…

Regards from this side of the screen!

die stilte verbreek…

en skielik, na ‘n te lang stilte het die woorde en gedagtes net te veel begin raas – so dat ek nie net pen op papier moes sit, maar eerder moes oorskuif en my gedagtes op die skerm kom vasvang….

mag ek hardop wonder of dit net ek is wat sukkel om te skryf? dat wanneer dit moeilik raak en die tyd te min (omdat ek te veel aandag aan andergoed as aan myself begin gee) dat al die ander dingetjies aandag steel en krieatiwiteit so staan en versmoor… dat die ‘bum to chair’ mantra nie eers werk & dat sinne opdroog nog voor my vingers om ‘n pen gevou kan word & wat nog te sê oor die sleutels van die rekenaar sleutelbord te laat gly… dat ek tot daardie besef moes kom dat ek vir te lank stil gesit & in die besig wees begin verdrink het.

so asof dit vir ‘n hele ruk my moes kom pla, die hele ding van na myself omsien, spesifiek die hele ding van fisiese en geestes gesondheid – hoe die twee hand aan hand stap en hoe mens balans moet vind om sodoende as geheel gesond kan wees. daardie ding van besig wees eer & mis dat ons mense aanmoedig om hulself as laaste prioriteit te stel, om alles en almal bo hul eie waarde te stel – om als gedoen te kry ten koste van hulself…. en skielik spring daardie sêding in my gedagtes rond – “if you don’t make time for your wellness, you’ll be forced to make time for your illness.”

met skaamte sak ek nou my kop, want dit is hoe ek moes leer – dat my liggaam net eenvoudig besluit het tot hier en nie verder nie… & ek wou dit nie ernstig opneem. dankbaar vir die netwerk rondom my wat wel voet by stuk gehou het om my te help om hierdie ding uit te kan sorteer (en dit alles in liefde)

ek dink nie dat ons as mens maklik besef hoe vinnig ons die idee van besig wees vereer, maar glad nie daaraan dink om tyd spesifiek vir onsself & daardie dinge wat ons juis uniek en spesiaal maak te maak nie.

wat is die groot ding wat ek hieruit moes leer – dat daar tyd vir alles moet wees – geballanseerd leef!!

maar nou kort ek eers koffie…
so tot ‘n volgende keer
groete vanaf die kant van die skerm!

twee wiel kronkelpad

wonder soms oor die kronkelpad avontuur waarop 2 wiele ons nou al geneem het… van daardie eerste keer se verkeerd sit, daardie kopskud oor ek nie kan stilsit, die ongeluk, en dan sekerlik ook die fandamily wat ons gereeld oorval om te hoor hoe ons 2 wiel vind verloop…

ek laat Wolf steeds glimlag oor daardie eerste paar ritte waar ek sonder om te besef hom te styf vasgeknyp het tussen my bene & my arms amper dubbel om hom gevou het…. dit het egter redelik vinnig verbeter…. want as ons iewers wou wees is die partytjie kar agterwee gelaat en het Sarah ons gevat waar ons wou wees…

die eerste blootstellings aan die sy van my Wolf het die motorfiets lewe vir my heel nuwe kleur en betekenis gegee, so dat ek geweet het of ons iets op ons rug het of nie & maak nie saak wat ons ry, dit is fandamily die!! dink die feit dat ek aan die sy van ‘n semi celebrity in die biking gemeenskap hier waar ons is getrou het, het seker ook so bietjies bietjies baie gehelp. veral met die bekendstellings aan almal by die drags, die dayjols, die massrides…. alles goed wat my lewe kom inkleur het. tot op ‘n punt so dat as ons nie sou groet ons amper in die moeilikheid sou wees 🙂

dit is ook die motorfiets familie wat sal uitwys dat hierdie maltrap nie stil agterop kan/kon sit… & dit dan ook een van die vele redes dat ek die stokke self wou vat & beheer oorneem… met daardie gogga wat gebyt het, het elke kans wat ek kon neem ‘n geleentheid geraak om self op 2 wiele rond te rits. (selfs nou nog waar ek my buurman probeer omkoop met lekker koffie)

in ‘n oomblik het ons 2 wiel avontuur egter amper tot ‘n einde gekom… daardie oproep sal ek nooit vergeet – toe my hart tot in my skoene gesink het & ek die wete gehad het iets groot is verkeerd (so dat ek nie eers die foon wou antwoord). dat my Wolf daardie dag daar kon opstaan met Sarah se linkerkant weg geskuur (wat self ‘n groot storie was – elektronies niks fout, net meganiese & kosmetiese skade)… en daar het baie dinge vir ons gestop, altans so het ek gedink…
steeds was daar 2 wiele in ons avontuur, al was dit die sjinese oranje gevaar (ons praat nie in ons huis daaroor) – waarop ek so elke dan en wan my selfvertroue wou opbou tot op die dag waar ons dit ook moes groet…

al kan ons nie nou rondrits op 2 wiele nie, is ons droombord elke dag sigbaar. & die biking fandamily het ons nie vergeet & los ons nog minder uit om ons te herinner om uit te hou en aan te hou tot waar ons weer in staat sal wees om die avontoer verder te vat!