#WomensLives :: Unifying voices through #TellYourStory

If there is one thing you should know about me and social media, its that I place Twitter at the top of my list of must-use social media tools. Don’t get me wrong, I love Facebook and spend way too many hours a day on it, but its Twitter that I turn to most for day-to-day information. It’s helped me get through traffic back-ups, severe weather and lets me feel not-so-far-away when something happens back home in Texas.

So needless to say, when the headline, “In Turkey, sometimes it takes a hashtag to be heard” came across PRI’s Across Women’s Lives, it jumped out at me. It talks about the  Twitter campaign #sendeanlat — or #tellyourstory — started in Turkey for women to tell their own personal stories about experiencing violence, or in many cases their attempts to avoid the violence.

It came on the heels of 20-year-old Özgecan Aslan being raped and stabbed to death by the driver of her bus. She was on her way home from college to visit her parents in southern Turkey when her life was cut short. According to women’s rights activists in Turkey, the tragedy was just one story of women being harassed, raped, beaten and killed with little-to-no consequences for their attackers.

Through the #sendeanlat / #tellyourstory hashtag, the stories of women going out of their way to avoid violence are just as staggering as the harassment they experience despite their best efforts. Through the hashtag(s), there is a wonderful strength in numbers, and I hope authorities are listening.

Three that jumped out at me, one from the article, two  I found reading the hashtag feed myself:

 

Why did these jump out at me? Because they all read like something I would do/have done. Right here in America. Because even if the law is far more strict regarding rape, murder and other violent acts, it doesn’t mean women here don’t still feel the need to be proactive against potential violence.

I used to keep an empty can of husband’s chew on the dashboard of my truck at all times. I’m not entirely sure when I quit doing that. But my hope was it would keep the truck from looking like a woman drove it. I’d often keep a baseball cap in my truck. When I drove home from going out late at night, I’d often throw it on so that perhaps my silhouette would look a little less feminine. I doubled that focus after a Central Texas woman was run off a rural road, kidnapped, raped and beaten in 2006.

When my husband goes on the road, I go out of my way to try to hide the fact he’s not home. I’m careful to keep certain things about my day the same, whether he’s home or not. I refuse to go to the grocery store at night alone. When I was bartending, I loved that most of our regulars refused to let us bartenders walk to our cars alone after closing.

Meanwhile, a tweet like this also stood out to me:

Not long ago, I had someone who left me feeling endlessly uncomfortable. Someone who left me literally sobbing my heart out driving home a few times, because he was so oblivious to how he kept “crossing the line” with me. It got to where I wanted to dress up to go out with my husband, but I’d find myself dressing way down just to avoid comments from this person about how I looked. I almost threw out my favorite pair of boots, because he felt it okay to make leering comments about them.

That’s not okay! That’s NEVER okay! Not here, not in Turkey, not in any country. And perhaps if we can all step up and tell or stories, we can empower each other and open other’s eyes.

Won’t you join in… Please. #sendeanlat … #TellYourStory

#womenslives#WomensLives is a media partnership between Public Radio International (PRI) and SheKnows Media, BlogHer‘s parent company, aiming to change the portrayal and coverage of women in media. I felt our standing up for ourselves fell right in line with this initiative. 

In Turkey, sometimes it takes a hashtag to be heard

 

Valentine’s memories

Oh Valentines Day… A day people either love or hate. For me… It’s one that makes a lot of memories through the years.

I remember in high school, the parade of girls called to the office to see flowers sent by their boyfriends. My first taste of the day feeling like it was more about showing off to your friends than being shown love by someone.

My first concert ever was on Valentine’s Day. Bryan White headlined in 1997 in Waco, Texas. I’m serious when I say this Valentines was a pivotal one In my life. It lead to my going to Fan Fair that year, which made me fall in love with Nashville. It lead to me meeting the people who would eventually lead me to meeting my husband.

One of the first times I ever got flowers in general was on Valentine’s Day from a guy thanking me for being his friend. He became my husband years later.

In 2006, I was struck with an abscessed tooth on Valentine’s Day. It lead to years of extensive dental work (still a work in a progress) that gave me a new smile and a new confidence I never thought I needed.

Valentine’s lands during tax season, so I’m usually in Texas. As such, it’s been five years since I spent the day with my husband. But every year he’s sent me flowers. At work. And I gotta admit… I love, love, love it.

Flying right now to Nashville and I am all kinds of excited to spend this evening with my husband. Love him with all my heart, and I can’t wait to just curl up on the couch together with Netflix and our cats.

I confess… I asked for flowers again. Because I just love getting flowers. Never thought I’d be that girl, but I am.

And yes… Yes there will be pictures. Consider it me parading to the office to see my flowers and show off to everyone else.

Roses

Five on Friday :: Feb. 13, 2015

fiveonfriday2015

Oh hey, hey, its Friday the 13th!  Let the fun begin…

1. I made these this week for Valentine’s day:

redvelvetcookiesThey were amazing. Oreo Red Velvet Cookies, dipped in vanilla goodness, with red and pink lip candies. Oh my gosh, so good.

2. I made these for National Pizza Day:

pizzas'I used Portobello Mushroom caps instead of dough. Scrape out the gills and snap off whats left of the stem. Then just used pizza sauce and layered in yummies — this time just pepperoni, olives and mozzarella cheese — and baked at 375* for 15 minutes.

3. I discovered Vivian Maier yesterday… this woman’s amazing photography reminded me what I love about photography. I’ve gotten sucked into focusing on making money doing it. I’ve forgotten what its like to just go take pictures in normal every day life.  I miss it. I need to get back to that.

4. I’m flying back to Nashville tomorrow for Valentine’s Day. It’ll be the first one I’ve spent with my husband in a few years! But I’ve jam packed into the time I am home a LOT of stuff. A big thing is making sure this benefit goes off without a hitch:

Drenon Benefit

I can’t wait for this night of love and support for dear friends.

5. Last Sunday, I got together with two women who mean more to me than I could ever tell them. PicMonkey Collage

 Camera@Low

Have a great week, everyone!

The wife of a touring musician tells it like she sees it…

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