Am I arrogant? Am I proud? Am I everything you have been describing out loud? Do you have a clue what its like to be me? If you could spend time in my shoes perhaps it would cure your vision of me. I was born into a world in which I will never fully belong before I learned to speak I sang sorrows song. My eyes see things others ignore. My voice was once stolen , yet later restored. I am not perfect in any sense yet I will no longer straddle the fence. I have come to the end of me. To the beginning at dark Calvary. My saviors voice echoed in pain Now his mercy is all that remains. For Jesus himself alone understands how I feel as a child without both hands. I do not any longer languish in sorrow for my God has arisen and he holds tomorrow.
Candace Casey aka Cccasey5150
First off I feel the need to clear the air here. Catcalling is not simply telling a young woman that she is good-looking nor do I consider whistling in and of itself a form of cat calling. To me cat calling is more along the lines of shouting out garbage of the following variety: Hey baby you got any fries with that shake! ( this is actually clean compared to the types of obscenities that most dudes shout at the women they see passing them every day. ) There may be some individuals who don’t view street harassment as a serious issue. I however am not one of them for one thing I have always disliked the fact that random men feel the need to tell me that my butt looks great in a pair of shorts ( as if my sole validation comes from weirdos liking my butt) When the only reason I am wearing shorts is due to the fact that it is 90 degrees in the shade
This is just an example of the “positive” aspect of street harassment. Being judged solely by your physical appearance is bad enough but there is an even more insidious aspect of street harassment. When a young woman is being ridiculed based on the fact that she is not pleasing to the eyes. Such as the overweight girl who is being called a “cow” by the random guys who see insulting her physical appearance within her own earshot as some sort of strange bonding ritual. Unfortunately I have experienced and witnessed both forms of harassment and I know that both aspects left me feeling degraded and embarrassed. The more aggressive harassment I experienced from young men often left me feeling threatened and unsafe. A young lady never really knows whether or not the guy harassing her today will become her stalker tomorrow. The worst aspect of street harassment for me was when I felt my personal space violated. I have always been a private person and I am not really the kind of individual who ever wants to be touched by strangers. The guys I knew who ascribed to Pick up artist theory seemed to not grasp the concept of personal boundaries. That is they wouldn’t allow me to assert mine. Continuously putting your arm around a young woman who is literally pushing you away is not OK and pushing a young woman back to you when she is clearly trying to get away from you is assault. Experiences such as these left me very traumatized. For a great deal of my life I was convinced that the majority of young men that I encountered did not see me as a human being . This made life very difficult for me because I am by nature a fairly social person. I wanted to be liked but I also wanted to be respected.I think this is the hardest part of street harassment for me a guy who shouts obscenities at me clearly does not respect me. No matter how attracted to a young man I have ever been I could never reduce him to nothing but his looks.I do not as some men flagrantly claim “demand respect because I am a Woman” my being a woman has nothing to do with my need to be respected. My need for respect stems from my status as a human being. In conclusion I could never in a million years shout obscenities of any sort to random men for the following reasons .1. I respect men and I have a moral aversion to the practice of reducing anyone to nothing more than their physical qualities. 2. I am actually quite shy around the opposite sex , even more so if I actually like the guy in question. 3. Men are human beings , human beings don’t exist so that I can “ogle ” them. I appreciate a good looking man as much as any other girl but I also understand that there is a human being with a heart and a mind behind that amazing physique. When I talk to a man I am not just aware of how soft and kissable his lips might look while he is speaking I am also attentive to his words. I prefer to be the kind of woman that the man I love feels as if he can trust me and confide in me. After all I have always been the confidant and counselor amongst my female friends. Why shouldn’t my husband enjoy this aspect of who I am as well? Continue reading Catcalling : why I don’t take it as a compliment.
Most of my friends are aware that I chose to be single before I met my husband Jonathan in 2006. Yet the majority of them perhaps assume that decision stemmed solely from my commitment to living a godly lifestyle and my quest to stray from one night stands or avoid early pregnancy and STDs. A few of them are well aware of the fact that my visible disability or “deformity” resulted in my younger years to issues regarding self esteem, body image and my ultimate quest to discover my own identity apart from being defined solely by my looks. Like many American girls I had somewhat of a love/ hate relationship with my body. While on the one hand there where times I felt truly good about my appearance there where others that I wondered if anyone could ever truly love me as I was in spite of my missing limb. My adolescence was my preparation for what it would feel like to be a woman and at first I think I was very embittered toward the opposite sex for the sheer fact that I was well aware that they either dismissed me as a freak or saw me as a victim to be preyed upon. They did not realize that there was a spirit in me that could not be broken. It was love. True genuine heartfelt love. Young men often assume that in their quest for sexual conquests they merely have to either bring a girl to the point where she falsely believes no one else will want her to bed her or they do the exact opposite tell you silly things like that you look like some gorgeous actress you are fully aware you do not resemble all in the hopes that you can be conned into laying on your back for him. In any case I had already decided that I did not want to have sex until I was good and ready and for me a number of things were necessary for that to happen 1. I had to be with a guy who not only listened when I spoke but made it clear he cared about my thoughts feelings and ideas
2. I had to be with a guy who made me feel beautiful because I had had enough men tell me I wasn’t. The way I saw it . I can be alone and feel “unpretty” having a man who reinforces my deepest insecurities about my own body is ten times worse than having no man. At least when I am unattached I can enjoy the fact that there are men who find me attractive when I am with a guy who attempts to take my self esteem (that I have worked toward having for an entire lifetime) away from me I realize that I am selling myself short I am settling for something that more closely resembles bondage than love and I am not interested in a counterfeit. One of my favorite quotes often reiterated from the pulpit growing up was the following “Once anyone has tasted genuine love there is no accepting any substitute or counterfeit”. I do not remember the first time I heard this or even which one of the many gifted ministers I have known who first said it. I just know that the words resonated with me because I was blessed to grow up in a home where I was literally surrounded by genuine love. My mother and my grandparents and extended family took a very hands on parental approach with me and my two brothers. I won’t say they never made mistakes because they are human beings and would be the first to admitt that they did.I will say however that I was once very saddened during my college years when I read an article that suggested that the average teenager or young adult did not feel that they knew of at least three trusted adults that they could turn to in a time of crisis. This was perplexing to me because not only did I know that many adults most of them where in my own home. I feel very fortunate now that out of neccesity because of our poverty we housed three generations under one roof. Yet in the end it was this family unity that set the solid foundation in my life for walking in genuine love. It was also be thi
s place that I called home that gave me the strength to at times stand apart from the crowd. This proved indispensable in regards to my relationship with the opposite sex. I was fortunate to have had known
many young men as a girl who made it abundantly clear
that they admired and respected me. These where the young men whom I called my friends. It is kind of funny now to me when I think about the way guys assume friendship with a girl is some kind of consolation prize because as a young lady I never truly loved a man who refused to treat me as an equal. That resolve is even stronger in me now that I am a grown woman . Ironically it was the guys I dated who were the most critical of my outward appearance that led me straight back to the altar. Rejection by man rather than leading me to seek further validation from man led me safely runn
ing into the everlasting arms. Why? Because I knew no matter what anyone made of dust said about me that God saw the real me. The Candace buried beneath the surface. I was also fully aware that the right man would see me as clearly as God did. So to the Chagrin of those who assumed insecurity leads a woman to make poor sexual choices I chose instead to defy that notion by defining my identity based on my understanding of how not only God viewed me but by choosing to live in the world of books and ideas rather than seeking to “fit in” in a world that I clearly was never going to belong to I chose to listen selectively to those who not only knew my hearts deepest depths but valued me for the wisdom and insight God himself granted me. There are those who don’t really know me who erroneously assume that I think I am perfect ( the concept of me ever saying this about myself to those who genuinely know me is utterly ridiculous). Not only am I glaringly aware of exactly how imperfect I am I at times struggle with even feeling like I am equal to anyone else. This is a darkness that has haunted me all of my days and it is not an easy thing for me to share with others but I believe genuine accountability begins with transparency. When I met Jj I was a broken mess . I am surprised in all actuality that he could even see my face through the veil of tears that at that time in my life was my almost constant companion. Its odd to me because at that time in my life I was actually surrounded by people who treated me with the utmost respect and kindness. My female friends often looked to me as a counselor and confidant and my male friends often used words such as “brilliant, beautiful or witty”. To describe me but I had such a deep feeling of inadequacy left over from my youth that in the words of Kathy Mattea I was ” standing knee deep in a river dying of thirst”. In my heart I wish that I could say that that all changed from the very moment I met Jonathan but that just is not exactly how our love story played out. To the average observer Jj and I are possibly the most unlikely pair. While I tend to be more quiet and reserved and am fairly selective with the company I keep my outgoing husband is friendly with everyone he meets. While I tend to be somewhat of a philosopher and poet my husband is far more likely to find humor in the most unlikely and even unfunny situations. Where I am ” thrifty” and “conservative” Jj is generous and extravagant. I prefer keeping a schedule. Jj is impulsive and spontaneous. I am a night owl who prefers to sleep in Jj is an early riser. While my work style is slow and meticulous Jj is a whirlwind of fun and often forgets to complete projects because he is easily distracted. We are the living embodiment of the following saying: Opposites attract. The thing that first attracted me to Jj wasn’t any one factor it was a variety of different things. To begin with the first thing I noticed was the fact that his face was often buried behind the pages of a thick novel the bookworm in me saw a man after my own heart.Then there was his generosity which was exemplary considering the fact that he was homeless at that time. Not to mention the fact that he genuinely seemed to care about people and was very good at comforting people who were broken or sorrowful without even realizing that this was what he was in fact doing. His kindness and his sense of humor to me where his defining attributes especially considering the fact that I was the kind of girl that sometimes took life and myself way too seriously. Like I told my cousin Jeremy who likes to tease me about how “old we are getting” I found in Jj my fountain of youth. Our union has not been without its share of trials. My insecurities at one time almost drove us apart and at one time so did his struggle with addiction not to mention the forced adoption of our children against our will and despite our better efforts. That is the beauty of genuine love however it is not shallow arrogant or self seeking. Real love plummets the depths. Real love asks the hard questions and real love provides us with genuine answers to those questions. When I asked God as a young woman “Could anyone ever love someone like me?” His answer was not only that he himself loves me but that there would one day be a man in my life that loved me so much and with such abondon that when I was convinced that there was no life left in our marriage he dug in his heels refused to give up or give in and said “Whatever it takes to fix it, whatever it takes to win her back that is what I will do because I love her, and she’s worth it and I am a better man with her by my side” .Jonathan’s voice besides the voice of God himself has at times been my greatest gift , my greatest source of comfort and strength. He does not know this because just like me he is human and plagued with self doubt and similar feelings of inadequacy but there are times that he is my strength and the rock that I lean on. When I walked out on him it would have been easy for him to become embittered or angry but instead he chose to go to the altar and ask God to fix our broken marriage. He showed me that a real man prays for not preys on his woman. Its funny because during my younger years I viewed many of the guys I met as arrogant because they appeared to assume that their attention should flatter me because in their estimation a girl like Me must not have been used to male attention I often said this “That idiot is under the false impression that he is God’s gift”. Jonathan once teased me about the fact that his name literally translates into this: The Gift of Jehovah. I never really thought about it until today but it has been true that Jonathan has been my greatest gift on earth aside from salvation and the births of our 3 beautiful children. I thought I knew what love meant before we met but he has daily proven to me that love is patient. Love is kind. Love does not envy or boast. Does not seek its own way or will is not arrogant or proud does not behave innapropriately is not easily provoked and thinks no evil.Does not rejoice in inequity but rejoices in the truth.Bears all things believes all things hopes for all things, endures all things. And beyond that Love cannot fail. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 paraphrase mine) Jj won my heart by simply proving to me that he esteemed me and held me in high regard. That is all that I ever wanted and he did not even know that about me. I love him more now than I did the day that I said I do and I will love him with my last breath.Jjmylove Jonathan my gift from Jehovah. Happy Anniversary to the man who went above and beyond the call of duty for his ” lady” I am proud to call you my man.
Continue reading Jonathan: God’s gift to me
The worst words I read in this entire article where : Invade her personal space without apology. As a very introverted woman every arrogant egotistical jerk I have ever met who deliberately invaded my space has led me to feel nothing but rage and contempt. This misogynist crap makes me sick.
Candace Casey aka Cccasey5150
This makes me sick even thinking about the fact that any man would do this garbage to get the upper hand in a relationship. Oh wait these guys aren’t actually interested in “relationships” after all women to them are nothing but uncharted territory to be plowed. Guess what my brothers : Some women wont hook up with you even if they are attracted to you for the following reasons1 Some of us live by a moral code that forbids us from even engaging in hookup culture. 2 A woman seeks a man who treats her as an equal, when the guys around us whom we adore and admire make it clear that they adore and admire us we reciprocate and tbh assuming every girl you meet is in fact attracted to you only serves to make you look like an arrogant bastard. No self respecting woman on the planet wants to be nothing more than some macho meat heads arm candy. Seriously boys get over yourselves before she looks over you. Your problem lies herein: you are relating to women as if we think like you do. You falsely assume encouraging us and making us feel like royalty we will treat you like peasants when the reverse is actually true when you treat a good woman as a queen she will rightly acknowledge you as her king. If she doesn’t she is not the one but clearly you are not wise enough to understand or care because you are so preoccupied with quantity you have forgotten and forsaken quality. In the end your “bad boy” reputation will prove your undoing when you finally decide you have met the “one”and you will have no one to blame but yourselves. How sad.
Candace Casey aka Cccasey5150
Another idiotic article from the dreaded pick up artist community that makes assumptions about how men think women feel or think as if we are all just carbon copies of one another. You want to know what happens boys when you play these kind of archaic games with a womans heart.? You open up her deepest insecurities make her doubt herself to the point
where if she has a modicum of brains or self respect she flees from your presence and into the arms of the first man with whom she feels safe and validated by. What men seem not to comprehend is even that “hot” chick you assume knows that she is stunning has insecurities. Trust me on this one even Supermodels have at one time cried themselves to sleep at night because they wished they could be someone else. While not automatically telling a woman that she is beautiful may have some merit particularly if the woman in question is the intellectual type most women have insecurities but a man who uses these insecurities to his advantage has already proven himself unworthy of her. Why do you think so many young women develop crushes on older men? Because they for the most part dont play these childish games The answer is simple a woman looks to a man for the security she sometimes lacks in her own heart. So if you want nothing more than a conquest go ahead and be that jerk (also if you want every self respecting woman you ever meet to lose all respect for you go ahead)in my estimation a man who employs this type of technique is one small step away from being a rapist. A self respecting woman can not be “conned” into going to bed with you she either goes of her own free will or she doesnt its that simple.
Candace Casey aka Cccasey5150
I saw it in my email again Another one of those ridiculous rants from a guy who is mad at every woman who ever existed for the fact that he feels his ex screwed him over in court. Let me start by saying I don’t cast doubt on this man’s claims but I think he has been blindsided from the bigger picture by virtue of being unable to see beyond his own experience. His assumption that men are always the breadwinners or that they always take the riskiest jobs to me seemed somewhat myopic. My father may be a truck driver for example but so is his sister. His other sister is a nurse and while to many that may not seem risky nurses deal with literal life and death issues every day. I also know dozens if not more female Emts that however in no way means that I don’t believe men are important my uncles and grandfather worked construction but when my uncle was a man short his sister roofed right beside him he even commended her for her unflinching work ethic. When some of the men he knew chose to coast through life my aunt chose to hold down three jobs so she could move into her own apartment. It is not 1812 boys it’s 2016 and things are not the same as they were back then. Within the subtext of his email I could not help but notice his bitterness because he mentioned women complaining about their needs not being met I can only assume this was a frequent complaint of his ex wife. Then he of course is silly enough to ask what needs a woman could possibly have besides being clothed and fed or having a roof over her head. Well lets start with this glaringly obvious statement: Women are not children .If we could not already provide those things for ourselves before a man came along it is not very likely that we are mature enough to be considered “wife material” .If a man is not intelligent or mature enough to realize that a woman has 1)a need to be heard 2) a need to be understood and 3) a need to be loved and a need for a partner who recognizes that she is more than just an overgrown child I doubt he is “husband material” either. I am sorry that this individual can not currently rise above his own victim mentality. It would be so easy for me as a disabled woman to play the victim in regards to my experiences with the opposite sex if I chose to. I had some truly horrific experiences during my younger years. From the 8th grade boy who left me stranded on Valentines day because he did not want to walk me to my table. To my first boyfriend who dumped me at a party on our first official date in front of all of my friends. Or even the guys in high school who assumed that I would be insecure and easy. The truth is however that I knew better than to blame every guy I ever met for the way a few lousy jerks treated me. I have always had plenty of guy friends who have treated me with as much kindness as my female entourage. Not to mention that I grew up with two amazing brothers and have had countless mentors and teachers of the male gender whom have been inspirational to me. The assumption that I “hate men” due to the fact that I care about issues affecting other women is somewhat skewed. After all regardless of what anyone who wrote books such as Men are from Mars women are from Venus would have us to believe Adam was made from the dust of the Earth and Eve was made from Adams rib. Men and women not only come from the same planet most of our physiology is complimentary to one another. As a believer and as a wife I see so much of this divine truth every day. My husband and I balance one another out in so many unique ways. In the areas that I am lacking he excells and vice versa. As man and wife we have in many ways perfected the art of Marital compromise. For example today my husband went across town to go visit his friend and I spent the day with my aunt. I had a lot of fun and my apartment got fumigated and I did some cleaning. If a marriage ever wants to last till death do us part than it will require two individuals committed to not calling it quits and making it last a lifetime.
Candace Casey aka Cccasey5150