vesta_aurelia: Fangirl your Armor (Default)
Menstruation.

Yup. MuM's the Word!

It's fascinating really. I had to read through the Euphemism page. And the research he's (yes, he!) done into the historical ways women dealt with "that time of the month."

That's one of the holes that the historical novels never cover -- and should. Goodness knows, they cover the OTHER bodily functions :P
vesta_aurelia: Fangirl your Armor (Default)
Today marks the martyrdom of the woman they called the last of the pagan philosophers.

I leave you with some quotes attributed to her. It ties in rather nicely with some other philosophies on my flist today:

"Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than to think not at all."
"To rule by fettering the mind through fear of punishment in another world is just as base as to use force."
"All formal dogmatic religions are delusive and must never be accepted by self-respecting persons as final."
"Fables should be taught as fables, myths as myths, and miracles as poetic fancies. To teach superstitions as truth is a most terrible thing. The mind of a child accepts them, and only through great pain, perhaps even tragedy, can the child be relieved of them."
"Men will fight for superstition as quickly as for the living truth – even more so, since superstition is intangible, you can't get at it to refute it, but truth is a point of view, and so is changeable."

vesta_aurelia: Fangirl your Armor (whacka thwap)
A buddy of mine mentioned in an email that I was "Determined and driven," which I freely admit is true and accurate.

I'm not dealing well with other people's reactions to it, however.

Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are Shire Workout Nights. I'm only able to make the Monday night session, with the other obligations and with the event season in full gear.

The first Monday, I'm the only one who showed up. And I showed up promptly at 6pm, which is when it starts. I fully expected the same thing to happen again -- but I was wrong and the rest of the shire came. It wasn't too long until I realized that Shire Workout Night was Shire Social Night with Weights. (Kind of like how Fighter Practice is Shire Social Night with Armor.)

Now, Michael/Nichollas knows what he's doing, but the rest of the guys are:
a) very haphazard about doing full sets
b) not choosing weights that solve their strengths challenges, instead of their machismo
c) whipping through the exercises so fast that they're hurting their joints and not getting the full exercise (the release is as important as the clench, guys...)

And the gals are:
a) complaining about how they can't do this exercise or that exercise, how it's too hard, too heavy, too much
b) sitting on the sofa, chatting
c) doing a few haphazard exercises and then stopping

I was in my workout zone, which is very similar to the fighting zone, which is very...zen, I guess. When I'm in my workout zone, I'm filling my body, maintaining awareness of muscle and balance and I can even feel my toes flex as my weight shifts. My mind is so full of my body, that I don't have any room for anything else. I can hear and accept information/data/environmental input, without reaction or analysis (that all comes later), and keep doing what I'm doing. What I was doing at that time was my third set of split squats (easier on my knees than full squats).

Michael/Nichollas was getting to his second set (he's easily distracted, I've seen) and was attempting to inspire/challenge/cajole the ladies into doing some exercises. He said, "Go on! Go for it! Look at Vesta!"

Their reply was, "Oh, well, Vesta." And the tone.... the tone of voice was this odd mingling of dismissal and unattainability. Along the lines of...SHE can do it, but I can't.

I was so startled by that tone that I almost fell out of my workout zone. I'm sure I hesitated into my next squat, lurched and stuttered a bit.

I have powerful reactions to this. They are so many of them, and they conflict with each other.
One is frightened and frantic and it says:
I'm not doing anything extraordinary! I'm just doing my workout. Is what I'm doing so unusual? It's not unusual. I'm not unusual. So why did you say that? It must be unusual -- it must be freakish, wierd. I'm wierd again. I didn't mean to be wierd again. I came to be part of the group, not be an outsider again. These ladies want to be fighters and I can't even inspire them to do a workout. I'm some kind of freakish inhuman impossible thing to them. I'm a total failure at inspiring people.

One is defensive and angry and it says:
Oh, come on! If *I* can do this, YOU can do this. You don't really want to do this, do you? You just want to complain about how you can't do this. I said I was coming here to work out, and now I'm working out. I made myself a promise and I'm keeping it. I know what I want and I'm willing to work for it. I don't respect people who say they want something and then don't do anything to attain it. I went outside with you and did the yoga stances, which I suck at, yet I did them cheerfully. A few I found helpful and useful, so I'll do them again. Then went back in to finish my sets while you stayed outside to talk. If you stopped complaining about how you can't do things and just tried to do them, you would find that you actually can do them. Perserverance is not difficult, if you really truly want something.

And there's this other sensation, that I'm afraid of. I'm so frightened of it that I'm ready to cry.
It says:
I am extraordinary. I know what I want and I'm willing to work for it. This IS freakish and wierd IN THIS SOCIETY (both SCA and mundane). But that says something unfortunate about this society, not me. I am stronger and more fit than many women I encounter, even women who are taller and larger than me. My body is strong and I work to keep it strong. When I was injured and my body got weak, I worked to make it strong again. And it is again. When I seek something, and fall down, I tend to pick myself back up again. Over and over. Because I really want it. This is extraordinary. I like this about myself.

I feel like I ought to feel personally responsible for the women who want to be heavy fighters, no matter who they are. Even if they talk about how they want to be fighters but don't do the work. They're waiting for their Primary Trainer to inspire them, to guilt them, to cajole them and browbeat them and make them do the work it will take to get to where they want to go and to get to do the things they say they want to do. 

And I just don't have time to babysit them. They know what to do. They have exercises listed to do, they have weights to grab to do those exercises. And they'd much rather sit on the sofa and chat. They're nice enough gals. I just don't think they really want to be fighters -- at least if it's going to take this much work.

So. People. Reactions. Stuff.

vesta_aurelia: Fangirl your Armor (Default)

That's what we called it, anyway.

There were a dozen of us (10 from my workplace and our coordinator's sister and sister-in-law) who spent the weekend together at Whaleshead, just north of Brookings, Oregon.

Awesome weekend. We're talking about doing it again, in the autumn. Maybe the Mt Shasta area....
Somewhere where nature breathes back at you, anyway.

vesta_aurelia: Fangirl your Armor (candle on the water)
Courtesy of Moravius Piscinus Horatianus Quiritibus, of Nova Roma:

AUC 1168 / 415 CE: Martyrdom of Hypatia at Alexandria at the hands of a Christian mob.

"There was a woman at Alexandria named Hypatia, daughter of the philosopher Theon, who made such attainments in literature and science, as to far surpass all the philosophers of her own time. Having succeeded to the school of Plato and Plotinus, she explained the principles of philosophy to her auditors, many of whom came from a distance to receive her instructions. On account of the self-possession and ease of manner, which she had acquired in consequence of the cultivation of her mind, she not unfrequently appeared in public in presence of the magistrates. Neither did she feel abashed in going to an assembly of men. For all men on account of her extraordinary dignity and virtue admired her the more."
~ Socrates Scholasticus, Ecclesiastical History, from the PG, Volume 67. Columns 767-770.


I remember the first time I heard of Hypatia. I was stunned. Impressed. Delighted.
Then infuriated. 
Hypatia and the Library. The two most glorious things about Alexandria, destroyed by selfish little men, selfishly afraid of the truth. 
...
Sounds awfully familiar, these days.

Memento Hypatia.
Hypatia In Aeternum.

vesta_aurelia: Fangirl your Armor (vesta HELMED)

courtesy of Gnaeus Equitius Marinus of Nova Roma

Q: In Ancient Rome, it seems that most women were not referred to with a full three-name name (tria nomina). Was that indeed the case?
A: Yes, that is correct.  Throughout most of the Republic women had only their father's nomen in feminized form:  Aurelia, Hortensia, Flavia, Iulia.  If there were two daughters in the same family, they were distinguished from each other by some agnomen, such as prima, secunda, maior, minor, etc...  During the Principate women began to have two and three part names as a matter of course.

Q: Did they only have praenomen+nomen without cognomen?
A: In antiquity the girls had neither praenomina nor cognomina.  Their names were made up of nomina, agnomina, and occassionally a filation.

Q: Is it true that gens (clan) is defined by the nomen, and domus (house/lineage) by nomen+cognomen, whereas there is no indication of familia (family) in the name?
A: Yes, Yes and Yes (in the sense of the immediate family, nothing is going to distinguish my brother's family from mine, other than the choice of praenomena we give our children).

Q: Now, suppose that Quintus Horatius Flaccus and Lucia Iulia Amanda are married. After some years, they get four children, two girls and two boys. What should the children be named?
A: [praenomen] Horatius Flaccus for the sons
[praenomen] Horatia Flacca for the daughters

Q: Was it standard practice in Ancient Rome that women kept their `maiden' names as married, and did not take their husband's names.
A: Yes, that is correct.

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