The Art and The Feminism 8

The Art + The Feminism - Add Your Own Lines

Kim Cornelison

The Art and The Feminism is a sub-series of Feminist Fridays where I share art with you that has somehow inspired or evoked my feminism. I show the artistic inspiration with you, write from my experience viewing or engaging with it, and then ask for your thoughts. This month: this beautiful photograph by Kim Cornelison.


Sometimes you have to draw your own lines to complete the picture. You’ve gathered and collected parts of the picture, throughout your life, from various sources, by different means. When it’s ready to assemble, there will always be something lacking: you. You are the one who makes sense out of your life, out of the things you’ve been given. You are the one who draws the lines, connects the dots, completes the picture. Maybe the lines you draw are outlines—like “insert here” placers for things you’d like to collect in the future. These lines are like your goals. They define what hasn’t happened yet. They help guide you. Maybe the lines you draw are markers for things or people you used to have or know that no longer exist in your picture. You keep them there with the decided strokes of remembering them. You add them into your picture in the form you choose.

Draw your lines. Complete your picture. But make sure it’s your picture.

The beautiful thing about feminism is that it does not always directly relate to a social justice issue or theory. Feminism is a way of living with your mind and heart open to what’s true, healthy, and loving. It is just as much about seeing a message like this in a piece of art as it is seeing a need for justice in a societal problem.

How does this art speak to your feminism?
Plus, see more Feminist Fridays.

Coffee Date 13

coffee date 13
The Coffee Dates series on Clear the Way is an opportunity for us to get to know each other a little better. Every coffee date I’ll answer some questions and I hope you’ll answer them, too. You can respond in the comments. This month I asked my friends to give me a few questions and they asked me the following, so grab a cup of coffee and join me for Coffee Date #13.

What is the one thing that you do each day without fail?

Think too much.

i think too much

 (image via dttsp)

What movie did you love to watch as a child?

I loved Anne of Green Gables. I wanted to be her, her bosom buddy reminded me of my sister, and I fantasized about marrying a dimpled Canadian. While I still don’t have her life and my sister turned out a little different, I did end up falling for a guy who says “sore-y” instead of “sah-rry.”

Where is the most beautiful place you have ever been to?

Vernazza, Italy. I’m so in love with that little town…

So tell me, Dear Readers:

  • What is the one thing that you do each day without fail?
  • What movie did you love to watch as a child?
  • Where is the most beautiful place you have ever been to?

See my other Coffee Dates.
Learn more about me if you want.


July Goals

July Goals

In 2015, I am sharing my goals and aspirations with you for every month of the year. Each month I will show how I did on the previous month’s goals and let you know what my new goals are for the upcoming month. Let’s take a look at my goals for June:

  • Open up more and stray from the schedule a bit on Clear the Way to get more personal I’m gonna make the call: SUCCESS. I opened up Clear the Way to my sisters to bring in more personal posts and shared about my New York trip. Most importantly, I began a newsletter series inspired by this goal. Now my readers can sign up for more consistently intimate content from me that I hope will really inspire them. (And I’m really excited for this!)
  • Complete my two (secret) packages for Clear Creative Consulting I got a lot of work done in this area, but still have a lot more to go. I’m calling this one a half-success.
  • Finish reading the great book I’m reading (recommended by my dear friend, Emilie) I did finish the book and…. WOW! I am thinking of doing a review for this book (something I’ve never done before on Clear the Way) because this book was so incredible and life-changing. I bought two copies for two of the people in my life whom I love most dearly and promptly purchased about three other books by the same author. Color me smitten.

All in all, I think I did great with my goals for June. I am finding the need to remind myself that my “regular series” on Clear the Way are at a point now where they just naturally involve “opening myself up more.” My How Do You Deal series, the monthly Coffee Dates, and especially the Write It Out series are really intimate and personal. I feel really accomplished in regard to my first goal, even if it looks different now than what I was thinking at the beginning of the month. I never realized that LIVING: the clear way would be born of this ambition, but I’m so glad it was. For Clear Creative Consulting, a lot more has been happening underneath the surface and I’m really okay with that. I would like my actual packages to be completed by now, but I believe so much in what I’m doing that this extra time spent doing it is worth it.

Here are my goals for July:

  • In an effort to limit distractions (the topic for this month’s LIVING: the clear way newsletter), I want to limit my time reading informational articles online and I’ll be giving up all alcohol for the month
  • Cover a 5k distance at least once a week (a sad goal compared to where my physical health has been in the past, but an honest goal for where I’m at right now)
  • Package my efforts for Clear Creative Consulting so that I can help other bloggers and small business owners

Wish me luck and let me know if you have any goals for July in the comments.

OWI: Gillian | Sister


The One Word Inspiration series is a guest post series on Clear the Way which asks different visiting bloggers to share whatever they are inspired to share when they hear only one word. The word changes each month and this month I’m doing something a little different: I’m having my two sisters contribute for this month. Please welcome my younger sister, Gillian, as she shares her inspiration from the word sister.

The word “sister” is very emotional for me. I think of someone who looks out for me, and I think of someone I look out for. Having a sister means having someone to share your life with in a deeply meaningful way that is unique to sisterhood. It means having someone to call when you need a favor, when you need to talk, hear advice, share a laugh. It means having someone in your life who knows you to your core and will always be there for you.

Being a sister means loving someone unconditionally and doing your best to be there for them. Being a sister means you have a permanent room in your heart reserved for that person until the end of time. I am a sister to five people and, although there are waves of closeness and distance between myself and my siblings, the love never fades. Even though my childhood seems so far away and the memories can be fuzzy, each of my siblings know me on a level that is different from the rest of the world.

That being said, as a feminist, I do believe that women as a whole are “sisters.” Here, the word is appropriate in a different way. It is sometimes a challenge to view other women as sisters when I don’t know them personally, or especially when I’ve been hurt by them. It is impossible to feel the same love I have for my own sisters and brothers for everyone woman on the planet. Yet, I do feel love for all women. I wish I could abolish the oppression that women suffer, and while I can’t do that, I can at least treat every woman and girl with respect, compassion, and love.

Do you have any sisters? What does the word sister mean to you?

How Do You Deal with Depictions of Women in the Media

women in media

This week’s Feminist Fridays post is another installment of the How Do You Deal series. Because there are certain issues in life and in feminism that are tough to talk about on our own, the HDYD series allows many voices the opportunity to share in these discussions, making it easier for us to talk about our beliefs, opinions, and feelings. Each month I ask contributors how they deal with an issue and we each share our thoughts on the matter. This month we are talking about depictions of women in the media. Here are my feelings on this topic:

I often feel disappointed, angered, and depressed after I interact with most forms of media that depict women because there is so much lacking, so much wrong, and so much that is truly hurtful and violent. At other times, though significantly less frequently, I walk away from a depiction that is inclusive and inspiring. The images of women in media (and the politics behind these images) can really overwhelm my passion on both sides of the spectrum—both for and against. For me, the best way to deal with all these depictions is to boycott or otherwise reject the negative while embracing and sharing in the positive.

Now let’s hear what my contributors had to say about depictions of women in the media and feel free to share your thoughts on the matter in the comments.


Setting aside the number of movies that fail the Bechdel Test, the disparity between speaking roles between men and women (even in kids’ movies), and the unnecessary sexualization of female characters, I want to gripe about a fairly minor thing. I am a woman who wears glasses. I do not, have not, and will not wear contacts. While I love a good makeover montage, I’m sick and tired of makeovers that include a woman losing her glasses. Why can’t a woman be beautiful while wearing glasses?

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Seema - subtle hipster - bio

There have been strong and weak female characters portrayed in the media for decades. I understand the characters destiny and development is in the hands of the writers but with the lack of empowerment and self-respect depicted in the storyline has lost me as a viewer of many popular tv shows. I remember watching a clip of The Little Mermaid in my cultural anthropology class and how the characters of the women (Ariel and Ursula) are designed to either show “good” versus “evil” with the use of colors and shapes. I like the show GIRLS because it does shed light on the many variations of female identities but other shows which I won’t name have started with super strong female leads with one weakness (usually a man that needs to clearly go away) that develops rather than dissolving. After a tough year, I binge watched a Canadian sci-fi show with a badass female character which helped me build my self-esteem again. Imagine that!

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I absolutely despise the depiction of women in the media. Not only is there a lack of body types, there’s a lack of ethnic backgrounds, and when they’re shown, it’s the “sassy black friend” or the “funny fat friend”. We need to show more body types and ethnic backgrounds in the media to show that diversity of any kind is not only “acceptable”, but that it’s a beautiful thing. No two people are the same, so why can’t the media properly depict that?

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While I’m happy that there’s been somewhat of an improvement in the presence of strong[er] female characters in the media…it’s 2015. It’s pretty upsetting that with the few depictions there are of Asian females in the media, there are all of about two stereotypes that they fall under: the submissive, goody-two-shoes model minority…or the sexy, mysterious “dragon lady.” On the whole, women are still very often depicted as sexual objects to be “won” by the protagonist, and the focus is still almost always on their appearance. What about brains, personality, talent, kindness, and passion?

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The fact that female politicians get more attention for their clothes than their debating skills, actresses get questions about diets and family troubles instead of their work, and women in advertisements always are white, tall, thin and ridiculously photoshopped, often makes me feel both angry and helpless. It’s a vicious circle, since these representations both have an impact on, and are a result of, the role of women in society. Things are changing, but I wish they would change more quickly, and when I see certain things I can’t believe that this still happens in 2015. I know I can’t make a massive change as an individual, but I’m hopeful that by empowering women in my everyday life I’m part of a larger movement that will also change women’s place in society and therefore also their representation in media.

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My experience with women’s representations in the media has been one of simultaneous pessimism and optimism. The tendency for women to be portrayed as sexual objects, or as something whose sole purpose is to support men, is pervasive; but there are bright areas of empowerment and progression. Because of this, I believe that the way forward is within ourselves. We must stay true to our belief in gender equality and not be discouraged by the present delusions of feminism. We are like diamonds that shine no matter our surroundings; let us show the world that their fabrications will always pale in comparison to reality.

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lix bio

The reason I care about harmful depictions of women and minorities in media is we’re still outrageously underrepresented: when people don’t see as many women, the ones they do see are expected to speak for and represent an entire gender, and slammed when they don’t. That’s incredibly limiting for storytelling, and makes it easy to fall into stereotypes thinking, “oh, if I round this person out organically, people won’t relate,” which is of course untrue.

The flipside: all media is flawed, and if we boycotted everything problematic, we’d have nothing left. I don’t judge anyone by the standards to which they hold the media they consume, so long as they don’t make excuses for the issues within it. Likewise, when I watch a show, I critique because I care, and I think they — we — can do better.

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So now you tell us:  How do you deal with depictions of women in the media? Do you relate to anyone above?

Plus, see more Feminist Fridays on the blog.

Write It Out | Eight

Creative Writing Prompt- Write about your favorite road trip

The Write It Out series serves as an opportunity for us all to explore our creative writing in a supportive and collaborative environment. Each month I will share a prompt along with my writing inspired by it, then invite you to participate. For this month, write about your favorite road trip.

my favorite road trip

We know each other enough to know we have a lot to learn,
but we’re both interested.
I can drive a stick, but not your car.
I’ll sit in the passenger seat this time.

We’ll ask questions, we’ll laugh, we’ll camp our way there,
stopping to see friends and cats on the way.

We’ll camp underneath the stars in Joshua Tree.
You’ll make me coffee outside the tent in the mornings.
I’ll take you up the ferris wheel at Balboa.
You’ll beat me in skee-ball.

We’ll go to Salvation Mountain when it’s hot
and the Getty when it’s breezy.
You’ll ride a horse for the first time.
And I’ll notice on the drive home that I could really love you.

I am very curious to read about your favorite road trip and remember, you don’t have to write a poem. You can write anything you want: a short story, a long poem, free prose, etc. If you do write something, make sure you link up. See the details below:

  • write from this month’s prompt and post on your blog
  • submit your post below where it says “click here to enter”
  • use the graphic I created for your post (if you want to)
  • encourage your readers to take part, too!