I Am A Mother Of Two Children And I Cannot (And Will Not) Support Feminism Tara Kennedy-Kline

I’m a wife, mother, sister, daughter, business owner, sports nut and beer lover, but I am not a feminist. I may have been at one time, but then I became the mother of two boys and I realized that I cannot align with a message that has changed into something degrading, offensive, accusatory and opposed to the morals and messages I am teaching my kids.

You see, I’m kind of psyched to be raising my boys as gentlemen. I am proud to raise them to be hard-working and dedicated providers. I am raising them to treat the women in their lives like princesses, and to make eye contact with, and say hello to, everyone they meet. I am raising them to appreciate the beauty in a person based on what that person believes and how that person makes my boys feel, not on what that person is wearing or how much of their skin is exposed.

want my boys to be chivalrous, to open doors and carry heavy loads, to ask a girl out on a date and pay the bill without expecting anything in return. I am encouraging my sons to tell girls when they think those girls look beautiful. I love that my boys want to surprise me (and eventually their partners) with gifts, and the spontaneous hug or peck on the cheek from time to time to show their love.

But, the latest campaigns by the feminist movement are telling boys they are wrong if they do these things, or anything else that would make a girl feel stereotypically “girly,” or my sons to act stereotypically “gentleman-like.” The FCKH8 Campaign would have girls tell my sons to “fuck off” if they called them pretty or reached for their hand without permission.

Hollaback! sends the message that if my sons make eye contact with, or say “hello” to, a woman they don’t know, they are a predator, or at the very least, a “creepy douchebag.” #YesAllWomen wants my boys to know that the fact they have a penis makes them a threat. They cite the statistic that 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted, but seem to ignore that they are sending the message to little girls to assume 100% of all men are rapists.

#FreeTheNipples preaches to end “slut shaming,” yet what they are really doing is flipping the shame of “sluttiness” from the girls who expose their breasts (and bellies and butt cheeks) to the boys who look at them. TakePart.com supports teen girls spin doctoring age-old terms like “boys will be boys,” which is more about farting, burping, and falling out of trees than it is sexual harassment. They make claims like “dress codes are the result of boys not being able to control their sexual urges,” but how about encouraging all students to simply dress with decency in a public institution designed for education and growth, instead of focusing on elevating social status and hooking up?

Teaching my boys that they are somehow wrong, perverted or bad if they look at what is being flaunted in front of them is also making the job of parents a thousand times harder to have that conversation about steering clear of “easy” girls. And, let’s not assume for one second that there aren’t plenty of them.

When the term feminism turned from being a message of empowerment and gender fairness to basically a list of rules, restrictions, idiosyncrasies, offenses and grievances directed at all things male, I tapped out. I do not believe that opposite sexes can ever be completely equal, as there are very specific limitations for each gender.

I also believe that there is nothing wrong with many of the gender roles that have been honored throughout history. I want my sons to love unconditionally and I want their partners to do the same. I want my sons to choose a partner who honors their manliness, strength, valor, chivalry and masculinity, and I am raising them to honor the qualities and virtues in their partner as well, even if those qualities include being maternal, ladylike, demure, and feminine. I don’t want my sons to ever have to submit to the anger of a woman who believes she is justified in treating him with disrespect based on the feminist movement.

I support fairness for everyone, but as long as being feminist means suppressing masculinity, it cannot possibly be called a “quest for equality.” Respect is earned, not demanded. There will never be a time when I will tell my boys not to treasure, protect and admire the women in their lives because “Women don’t need a man to feel valued.” I say, “Value all people and the gifts they bring.” Only then will the world be truly fair and equal.

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Oh look I have a blog…

Yeahhh…. I’ve been neglecting this a bit.

Frankly i’m not sure who reads this, nor what they would want to see on here. Which is odd as there are bloody thousands of you reading now! A comment or two would be great 😉

My other use for the blog was venting, or planning, but recently things are all going well and i’m on top of everything…for once. So venting also isn’t really needed.

If there is something you want to know, read, see, whatever, comment below and i’ll get on it!

Aspire to Inspire.

Ambition.

Is ambition a gift? Or is it a curse?

I’m starting to wonder. There was a time in my life when I didn’t care, at all. There was nothing I wanted, no aspirations or anything alike.

My god is that a different time because now I want the world. I want my gym, I want my apparel, my physique, my health, my strength, my education, my qualifications, my girl, my respect. A little more than I had once even dreamed.

So have I moved forward? Well yeah i suppose I definitely have, yet things are, in a sense, harder than ever. ‘Proud but never satisfied’ seems to play a role here. i love what I have, I am grateful and am proud of all I have achieved so far, but with every goal reached, new ones grow and take hold of me. Being ambitious brings a better, more interesting and more passionate life, but this goes hand in hand with struggle.

The sickening reality? I wouldn’t change a thing.

I like pushing, being ‘obsessed’, dedicated, passionate. I couldn’t stand the person I once was, now ironically I am damn happy to be me but the world (people included) seem to be throwing it back at me. Life’s a bitch I guess.

ANYWAY – Be proud to be you! But don’t get satisfied with what you have, strive for more, every-single-day.

Aspire to Inspire.

Six Months

Holly India Dexter

Earlier, I was thinking back to exactly six months ago, 11th May 2014. It was a Sunday, reasonably chilly for Spring, and I was getting ready for a first date with a virtual stranger. (OK, it’s 11am so I may not have been getting ready yet… but bear with me.) What was happening with my life six months ago? I was about to take my AS/A Level exams. I had a job which I hated in Primark. I was the only single one out of my close friends. Yes, I was happy, as I’ve always been a highly positive person, but there was always that disappointment when the weekend rolled round and I knew my friends would be having cosy nights in whilst I was at home with my family. Turns out that May 11th was going to put a stop to that.

I won’t go into all the details…

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6 Months

What can you do in six months? How much can change?

This post is looking at the past 6 months in two ways.

1- Its been 6months with my gorgeous girlfriend and as this is my damn blog, i’ll brag as much as I like.

2- 6months of life progress that I personally wouldn’t believe (6months ago)

But i’ll combine them both as they do, at times, go hand in hand.

So, the missus. This girl, my god this girl. It’s taken 21 years, but i’ve found someone who will put up with me, who understands me, does’t judge me and, most importantly, loves me. Who could ask for more than that? Of course this effects me in a number of ways. The confidence in myself from being accepted by someone quite so outstanding, is quite astonishing. The motivation of having her to impress has kept me in check in my nutrition/training. Having her to vent to, to listen to me, to help me and just to help me relax has made me relax, open up, adapt my lifestyle more freely and just enjoy myself more.

My own progress of competing, qualifying for nationals, completing a spartan race, progressing my apparel, sticking with my training – in part….a bloody big part, goes to her. Maybe I could have done it alone, but would I have? Would it be anywhere near this enjoyable?

Not a fucking chance.

So to her, I can only say thank you. You’ve changed my life for the better. With you beside me, I fell no limits, I envy nobody and I get to enjoy being me; because I have you.

Just a little update

Any of you familiar with this blog or my other sites, or even just with me, will know I’ve got a fair amount to keep running and that I can track, so here is where we are at:

Social Media:

Blog – Hundreds of followers who I adore and thousands of views.

Instagram – recently passed 500 followers and now receiving offers for both rep work and modelling work.

Sports person page – Near 100 followers, limited growth.

My training:

6 day hypertrophy/strength training.

PR’s – Squat 150kg (soon to be 160), Bench 110kg, Deadlift 220kg

Prepping for british nationals and possibly tough mudder.

Training others for free, still.

Daily cardio (45minutes, LISS and HIIT)

Weighing 73kg, BF: 12-14%

3000 cals

Progress to be made all round.

Aspire to Inspire.

You gotta want it.

I’ve been lifting weights for over 2 years, but it’s also a hobby that’s made me next to no money while costing thousands in man-hours. So while it would look all hardcore for me to put on my tightest T-shirt and sneer, “I do this shit because it’s hard!” the truth is that there are many times my own motivational fire needs a little stoking.

So how does a hard-training guy or girl like you stay motivated to hit the gym day after day, year after year? Truthfully, for motivational techniques to work, they must be both intrinsic (from within) and sustainable. You need concrete, no-nonsense ways to set you on the path toward a lifetime of hard, focused training.

So while having the gym staff call you Mr. Olympia may fire you right up for the upcoming leg workout, it probably loses its edge once the novelty wears off.

See, for a goal to be effective, it must be specific, and more important, have a deadline.

I regret not setting more goals early on. Of course, I always had “aspirations” a look I wanted to achieve, strength levels I wanted to reach but they were too loose and were seldom accompanied by a hard deadline.

Goals are important, but at the same time it’s crucial not to become goal-obsessed. You simply will not reach every goal you set for yourself. I don’t care how much of a machine you are; at some point, you’ll fall short. The trick is to not get too down on yourself when it happens. Remember that every failure also presents an opportunity to learn. Dust yourself off, reassess, and start anew.

Think of how many goals are made in a drunken haze every December. Now think how many of these goals are abandoned by January. I get it, life is busy. Goals get swept aside.

Break the cycle: Make reviewing your goals a priority. Just spend five minutes every morning reminding yourself how important your goal is to you, and how you’ll eventually reach it, no matter what trivial challenges life might throw your way. Personally I go through this during morning cardio sessions. I remind myself why I am on the bike, why I train, what I am working for and that it’s all about progress.

On the surface, working out is shallow.

A fitness lifestyle seems all about you and your goals, not to mention the requisite social media updates and pre- and post-workout selfies. These all eventually ring a little hollow.

At a certain point, you need to find your own motivation. Certain mind games and articles like this can help reset your focus and maybe offer a little perspective, but at the end of the day you have gotta want it.

Aspire to Inspire.

I guess I cracked

I wrote a post here in the early hours of last night. The post has been removed because it was petty and childish, as well as showing weakness I refuse to represent.
The post was me discussing elements of what I do that can be taxing. Specifically friends and support. The reality is I have lost people, but that’s okay. The people I’ve lost in all this did not support me when I needed them most, they still don’t. So who needs them?
I think my irritation is the lack of those people in my life, rather than the resentment towards those I’ve let go.
I may seem like I am whining but think about it, I mean really think. Could you do it?
Could you blindly pursue changing your entire life, without so much as a ‘you’re doing the right thing’ or ‘don’t give up’. Could you wake up everyday, train, study, train, control food intake, refuse nights out for recovery, refuse social events for a better chance of reaching goals. Could you take being laughed at, judged, mocked, by people who were your closest friends?
There is more but you get the point. I knew all of this when I started so I hold no ill will to these people, just an observation. We all stumble, have bad days.
This isn’t even to say I’m truly alone in this. 6. 6 people I could turn to. 4 of which would do it without asking. 1 who actively supports me. 0 who can do this for me. Nobody I know is capable of advising me, of directing me, which is fine! I like doing this for myself.
Okay now I’m just babbling. You see my point. Don’t let the world change you, don’t let hardships ware you down. A message to myself as well as all of you.

Aspire to inspire.

Big and Strong

If you’re reading this article, I’ll bet I know a few things about you.

First, you probably have two overriding goals when it comes to weight training – you wanna be big, and you wanna be strong. And by “big,” what I mean is that you want to look the part – muscular and lean.

Second, I’m betting that you feel torn between these two goals. In other words, on one shoulder you have – “Screw what you look like, all that matters is what you can do!”

And of course on your other shoulder, another voice is telling you, “No one knows what you can lift, all they know is what you look like.”

I know these things about you because, well, we’re chasing those goals, and we all feel conflicted about pursuing two objectives simultaneously, trust me I am one of them.

Although there are exceptions, most bodybuilders admire the amazing strength of powerlifters, strongmen, and weightlifters, and most strength athletes want a physique that reflects their capabilities.

I’ve been torn this way since my early days of training. Granted I started focusing only on aesthetics. I wanted those damn abs. With a bit of time I came across for lifting heavy (in retrospect to my weight). Sure there is ego in there, but its an incredible feeling ripping heavy shit from the floor.

IT IS POSSIBLE TO HAVE BOTH.

So far I would say i’m pretty strong (220 deadlift today, squat 150 and bench 110) from pure determination with no coach or professional traing, just my own work. As for aesthetics, well i’ve worked for them too and compared to day 1? Shit I look like a god (by comparison).

I love to able to set an example, even if it has been done. But my beginnings, my methods, achievements and current abilities, maybe I can make my point – No matter what, you can do everything you want, anything you want, you just have to work for it.

Aspire to inspire.

Day 2 – Get shit done.

Another morning post as, well let’s face it, I have shit to do.

Monday mornings tend to be when the world whine, go through the motions and just try and make it through the day, I’m not one of those people. Nor am I one of those who eagerly await a Monday morning for a fresh start …  No I hate that too. Frankly if you are waiting for Monday to start a fresh, you’ve wasted too many hours.

I’m a different breed, I don’t usually know the day, very rarely in fact. I go at each day with the – What has to get done today. So what’s today for me? Today for me is cardio, study, heavy bitching deadlifts (so excited) and then more study. The list is more specific than that as every morning I write up my to do list for the day, mostly because there is rarely anything left from the day before unless it’s a larger project.

I think this is a methodology more people should apply to their lives. Living by calender days is a mistake and constructs your efforts for you. Waiting for a Monday can waste 6/7th’s of your life. I saw a concept in a film once (In time) where they talked about a life lesson, the idea was not to live each day like it was your last, its reckless and idiotic, we all want a future. No instead, live each and every day as if you had come back in time just to relive that one day, enjoy it, marvel at every little detail of joy and wonder, love it and don’t waste a damn second.

Aspire to Inspire.