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Katrina is a realistic and passionate optimist focused on actively challenging the way others think about themselves, others, and their world.  She has a Master's degree in Speech Language Pathology, is a certified Adult & Kid's Yoga Instructor,  and founder of Bagus Kids, a child focused company inspired to create fun, mindful products for children.  Katrina is an avid world traveler and do-gooder working for causes in children's education and the environment. You can follow her humorous, personal reflection on Life, Dating, Feminism & Political Social Change here at  Breathe, Smile, Listen 

That's Just The Way It Is

That's Just The Way It Is

That's just the way it is.

Things will never be the same

That's just the way it is

awwww yeah

We gotta make a change...

It's time for us as a people to start making' some

Changes

-Tupac

 

Before I continue on with my story I want to take a few steps back and then a giant leap forward.

Prior to leaving that relationship, I suffered through far too many of his family dinners.

His family, self proclaimed Right Wing Conservative Christians, (I do not think all in this category would behave as they did, but it offers a general perspective.) weren’t exactly the most considerate people.  The first dinner I had with them they invited his ex-girlfriend. Yes that should have been a sign but I always like to believe the best in people. The remaining dinners weren't much better (not so shocking I know). They consisted of political fun like saying Democrats hate America (my parents are Democrat) and openly discussing the importance of their daughters purity and virginity. Not only was that uncomfortable, they'd go on to laugh off their single son's partying, bachelor parties at strip clubs, and "dating" around.  Confused? Well I was.

Then one night after the usual steak, bread, and wine dinner. I'm a vegetarian that sometimes eats fish. I had enough.

I just has an epiphany! Perhaps they were trying to make me more like Jesus by limiting me to his diet (minus the fish). Well, whatever their reason I'll always be thankful for their quality wine while listening to absurdities. 

 Pumped up on bread and wine I said to my boyfriend, "That doesn't make any sense the way they talk about your sister versus your brother. Can you see the hypocrisy? The double standards?"  "Yes Katrina." he replied. " I see it but what do you want me to do? It's different for men and women. That's just the way it is." 

Immediately Tupac's "Changes" played in my head. Yes, Tupac had much bigger social issues he was fighting but he was all I had to comfort me in the moment. One woman can't fight the system alone.

Side note: A few years later I saw Tupac. There he was up on stage, alive and well (with slightly blurry feet and no signs of aging).  He didn't die and still fights on.

Okay now take a giant leap ahead many years.

I'm talking with my (different) boyfriend.  He brings up a rumor regarding a woman his friend was with. I reminded him, it's a rumor and not our place to judge. Plus, I had met her and really liked her.

He agreed but then felt the need to continue on, listing more of her rumored past he continued to conclude it made her a "slut" not suitable for his friend.

"Wait a second" I stopped him. "Your friends don't exactly have stellar pasts. Why is that laughed off and even praised but she is labeled a whore?  Do you see the hypocrisy? Do you see the double standard?"

Without hesitation he responded, "Yes, Katrina. I see it but that's just the way it is."

I immediately had a flashback. Shit. Is this really happening almost word for word again with a completely different type of guy?

Tupac's "Changes", started playing in my mind and again I found comfort. But then NO....

NO Katrina. Not this time. Snap out of it. Tupac was shot dead, admit it was a hologram you saw, and recognize you are standing in front of yet another man telling you "that's just the way it is."  

Let's all take a moment of silence to acknowledge that Tupac is in fact dead and we are still far from done fighting for changes, no matter how small, that are necessary in all of our lives.

Thank you.

 I'm not here to tell you what you should or shouldn't think is acceptable behavior for yourself or others. What I am asking is that you maintain those standards equally.  If there is behavior you don't deem acceptable for the women in your life (friends, mothers, wives, sisters, daughters) then that behavior shouldn't be acceptable for the men in your life either.

From now on, anytime you hear others trying to use society's "accepted" double standards, I invite you to take a breath, smile, listen and then speak up loud to say "NO."

And let them know…. "That's just the way it is."  

Let's make some changes.

"Changes" Video as a reminder of the important social changes Tupac was actually addressing. The song speaks to the racism and poverty in his community that is still relevant today. 

And now back to my story....

With Love XX

Kat

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The White Picket Fence

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