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Bell Tower that is. Probably not in the style of Charles Whitman, or that German soldier, ass-hat from Inglorious Basterds, but one where I rain down a storm of insults and expletives because I’m just so damned pissed off of late.

Where do I start? With the GOP’s attempt to redefine rape? With the South Dakota’s attempt to legalize murder? I can also throw in the Federal govt’s attempt to pull funding away from Planned Parenthood – again. Or do I go with the publicizing of Lara Logan’s sexual assault as a pre-emptive measure because some other a-hole of some other news agency thought it made for a great story? Or how about this despicable misogynist, Nir Rosen, who thought Logan’s experience was a humorous affair?

We’re just past Valentine’s Day and I’m not feeling the love from the men. I feel like it is open season on women and women’s’ rights, and that we’re half a step away from legalizing honor killings in this country.

Seriously dudes?? WHAT THE FUCK? I woke up today feeling like it’s not 2011 but 1918.

So here’s my 2-cents and then I’m done.

  • I am sick of the idiot men who comment about the “tragedy” of Logan’s experience and how all Muslims are evil when in this country, the United damn States of America, 1 in 6 women can expect to be raped and only 6% percent of rapist will ever serve prison time.  However, Logan wasn’t raped but sexually assaulted, not that many people, men or women, learn the difference. But here’s the fact of the matter: Logan’s assault wasn’t about religion, it was about the same damn thing assaulting a woman is always about: a man feeling free to dominate a woman simply because he fucking could.
  • We are a country of majority rule.  The majority of Americans support a woman’s right to choose. And while we’re at it, Pro-Choice does not mean Pro-Abortion. And Planned Parenthood is exactly that: an organization dedicated to the education of women and men on family planning while providing access to contraceptives. No one in this country does more to prevent unwanted pregnancies than Planned Parenthood. No other entity in this country provides low-cost, basic medical services to women than Planned Parenthood. So anyone who wants to yank their funding while damning abortion is a complete moron.
  • Abortion being “murder” is a matter of opinion, whereas killing someone who performs what is a legal activity in this country is, in fact, murder.
  • Nir Rosen, while removing the offender tweet, quitting his job, and apologizing profusely, still doesn’t get what is most disturbing about what he did. His response: “i apologize and take it back. joking with friends got out of line when i didnt want to back down. forgot twitter is not exactly private“. Whether or not it was a private conversation, whether or not you were “just making a joke”, rape and sexual assault are not hilarious frivolities, they are extreme acts of violence. And what is most horrifying about you, Nir Rosen, was that you heard a woman was raped and your very first instinct was to make a joke. I hope this event kills your career.

I’m trying to remain positive despite all this news right now. I’m trying to be thankful that I live in this country when it sucks to be a woman in about 75%  of the other places I could be living. But that being said, it isn’t always a party here either.

Men, you are all officially on my fecal roster until such time that matters improve. In the meantime, get a clue.

I was just reading CNN online when I noticed an article about a court ordering two men to have their noses and ears cuts off. Obviously, a story like that makes you do a double take.

So I click on the story and as I am reading about these “poor” Pakistani men, I then get to the part of the article where the men were sentenced this very specific punishment because they committed this same act on woman.

Apparently, a young woman and her family refused an offer of marriage from a young man (maybe because they knew bad medicine when they saw it?) and in retaliation, the young man and a friend attacked the woman, strangled her, and performed this truly heinous act upon her.

It’s incredible how an opinion can turn a 180 on a situation, because while I at first exclaimed “WTF? We’re allies with these people?” as soon as I read the rest of the story, I more or less was saying “Well done! Bravo!”

Of course, if you at all follow the news, this is also coming from a country where last year three young women were beaten and buried alive for daring to choose their on husbands and three women who came to their defense were murdered as well. And four years prior to that, a woman was savagely gang raped when coming to the verbal defense of her brother falsely accused of a crime…And these are just the stories that somehow make the world media. Imagine how many are left untold?

I know, I know, turn the other cheek, and an eye for an eye makes us all blind, but here’s the thing: It pretty much sucks to be a woman on about 75% of this planet. So if a country wants to make an extreme example out of a pair misogynistic bastards who commit a horrific violent act against a woman, I am perfectly content to let them do so.

Merry effen Giftmasukah.

Morbidity and Mortality, or M & M’s, is a practice where doctors discuss the events surrounding the death of a patient and how they may either prevent futures deaths of that nature or how to perform a better job in general when faced with such events. It sounds sick and twisted, but I get how it can be a useful practice. If we did a post-mortem on all our mistakes in life, we’d be the better for it.

So I’m managing a contract on behalf the school. Lot’s of undergrads, young students, kids really, some of them girls. Thankfully, I have a pretty even-keeled bunch. My cohorts, however, have a much different group of students. And that is where the problem lies. I’m 36, I have years of experience managing companies and people, my fellow managers are 23 without such experience.

There is a young girl, recently turned 21, who is on another team and is going through some “stuff”. My fellow managers have not yet noticed only to say that she is behind on work and may need replacing. They don’t know what to say, what to do, and they are going to turn it over to school faculty to deal with. Clearly, this is something I don’t need to be involving myself with. I am busy with school, busy with life, and no time to be dealing with the turmoils of a 21 year old girl.

But said 21 year old girl is in a class with me and when she got out of her seat the other day, we happened to lock eyes and then I saw it: she’s ready to break. And by break, I mean, utterly ready to lose her shit…mind…shit, whatever…

So I invited her out for a drink, forced her really. I heard her story: break up with her first serious boyfriend, ending an unhealthy friendship, moving out on her own, a sick parent…basically everything that throws you into a tail-spin. She tried to justify it by saying she was just stressed. I told her it was deeper than that and that she was a mess. She admitted she was and began to cry.

I don’t have time for crying. I don’t have time for this girl’s problems. I’m so swamped with school and life at any given time that I can barely keep my head above water. I don’t have time for this girl and her tears.

But she got to me.

She did, she got to me. I know what it’s like to have your world fall down around your ears while trying to deny to yourself that your world isn’t falling down around your ears. I know what it’s like to be cut-off, to not have anyone to talk to. I know what it’s like to be so overwhelmed by the coming weeks that you can’t see your way through the next 24 hours. She got to me.

Mostly though, I know what it is like to be surrounded by women, older women, women with experience, who have been there…and frankly, these women, they could give a damn that you’re there now, in the trenches. They make you dig your own trench, even if that trench is being dug in the wrong direction. Because they are busy with their own lives, or they feel there is something to be learned by digging a trench alone, which truth be told, teaches you nothing. Digging a trench may make you stronger, endure more, but it doesn’t make you smarter, doesn’t prevent you from making the same mistakes that required the trench digging in the first place.

And while I hate those women, I also want to be them. I don’t have time for this. This 21 year old girl and her problems. My own problems are much bigger. But she got to me.

So I heard her out, she received a talking to, and then we made a plan. We planned how she was going to get through the next 24 hours. Then the next 48. Then the weekend. Come Sunday night, the planning starts anew.

She has my number with strict instructions to call if she needs to melt down. Another thing I don’t have time for and I fervently hope she keeps it together and doesn’t call. But if she does calls, I know I’m sucker enough to answer.

By nature, I’m not a particularly good or even nice person. I try, but I usually fail. But Sailor is a nice person, the nicest I know, and I am surrounded by so many nice and good people I wonder why I can’t be the same. My instinct is to take care of myself, my needs, and be selfish with my time. Sure, the girl got to me, but the instinct to pull away remains the same. To not be a nice person. I’m willing to admit that this now, what I’m doing with this girl, is abnormal behavior.

But I’m in it now. I’m hoping for the best. I hope she can pull it around. I know she will because I will make her. I’ve gone out on a limb, now I expect acorns. I’m hoping my involvement remains minimal. I’m hoping this won’t be a massive time suck. I’m hoping there are no more tears.

Because while I want to be a better person, I don’t have the time for it.

This chick sums up everything that is wrong with the world in my mind. A bride is suing her florist for delivering the wrong color flowers to her wedding. The flowers cost about $27,000 and she somehow feels entitled to over $400,000.

Chicky-poo needs to get a life. In a world where women suffer genital mutilation, are sold in sexual slavery, are stoned to death for being the victim of rape, can be married off as child bride in an incestuous union with a cousin, and imprisoned for showing too much hair from beneath their ha-jib, every single damn day on this planet… if being delivered the wrong flower color is the worst thing that ever happens to her, she should consider herself lucky and call it a day.

As a feminist, it often surprises me how little I care for other women. No, really, they piss me off to no end. In fact, my best friend and I really only became friends out of solidarity for hating other women.

Mostly this is because women serve to be their own worst enemies. As I have said before, the problem isn’t with men (entirely), it’s with us and the ridiculous things we do that set ourselves back as a species.

Here’s some examples set forth by my female comrades yesterday that I am taking issue with:

A girl on campus yesterday was walking around wearing pink micro-sweat-shorts with the word “Juicy” written across her keister. Upon walking past some young men, the men started making comments. I was there, nothing offensive, but this girl chose to become incredibly indignant and threw back some fairly nasty words at the men. A bit undeserved, I think.

See here, sister: If you are going to wear clothing that has words blazing accross your ass, then be prepared for commentary. You planned the party and issued the invitation, so deal with the consequences.

Later in the day: 

Having a whiskey with Sailor Man at the bar and watched as a young man offered to buy a girl a drink. She was dressed to the hilt, sitting with another girl at a bar mostly frequented by men. Upon his offer, she snorted at him, said she had a boyfriend and promptly turned her back on him.

WTF? Whatever happened to manners? Would saying “No, thank you” have killed you? Was the harmless brush off of “thanks, but I have a boyfriend” too difficult to manage? I appreciate that it is not an easy thing to buy someone a drink, but dearheart, being a total bitch in the face of compliment, is certainly uncalled for.

Buying drinks can be complex social behavior. It can imply an agreement of sorts or it can not. I assume a guy buying me a drink is certainly doing so with the intent of the drink evolving into something else. So I always inform said man that I am married. Full disclosure in negotiations. If they still want to buy the drink and be social, then hey, who am I to complain? Free drink.

I was trapped in airport hell two months ago and two gentlemen saved me from a crush of fat, red-neck, sweating goons harassing me at the bar. Although I was incredibly grateful, I did inform them I was married and they still extended the offer. Turned out that they were marines who had served multiple tours in Iraq and getting ready to deploy again. They bought me drinks, I bought them drinks, we talked and laughed for a few hours and it was all terribly civilized. My kind of way to spend a day, good drinks, good company, good conversation.

Aside from the rise of being unjustifiably rude, women are denying themselves simple joys. Someone though you were cute enough to try to get to know you better. Someone commented on an outfit you easily wore for provocation. Why has this become a bad thing? I always accept compliments from men on my appearance if it’s sincere and not wierd and I almost always accept drinks from men providing the situation is safe and the guy doesn’t creep me out. You never know who’ll you’ll meet and what you’ll learn.

And don’t give me that crap that the invite is only based on looks. That doesn’t justify rudeness. And who cares if it is? Maybe that’s the introduction, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hit ’em with your smarts.

Channeling sexual power for the greater good is a very modern feminist ideal. But with that power comes responsibility. The responsibility for remaining a civilized human being. You want to wield that power, then by all means, please do so. So long as you understand what comes with it.

A friend of mine promptly changed her name when she got married. In fact, she couldn’t wait. Her last name was Weed, her father, unbelievably, is named Richard and goes by “Dick” (needless to say, he is of a an older generation).  Not changing her name was, in her mind, a non issue. I didn’t think her name was so bad, but then I didn’t live with it.

When I was married four years ago, I had the obligatory talk with my husband-to-be over the matter. He was surprised I asked because he always assumed I would keep my name. He was right, of course, and I did. It never crossed my mind that I would ever change my monicker. I was 30 when we married, I already had a career well under way and I had lived what I hope is a full third of my life by that point, so why mess with a good thing? Besides, who would I be otherwise? My name is as much ingrained in my identity as a person as any man. Easy choice.

My husband is an only child of a fairly traditional family, so this was certainly something new. With only a female cousin and another uncle who will not be procreating in this lifetime, there came the concern about “The Family Name” and carrying on my family name apparently was of no great concern and it wasn’t an issue to to them until chose to make it one.

But why isn’t this something women think about? As I am in the middle of a wedding year from hell (6 weddings, all out of town, in six different states. Thanks Guys!) I am constantly floored by all this mindless wedding tradition that women are so eager to sign up for: the huge expense, the white dress, being given away, the lifting of the veil, changing your name, etc., if you truly consider where these traditions come from, it’s no wonder women only make 77 cents on the dollar, have not held higher office, and and are still largely second class citizens in this country.

Because we allow ourselves to be.

We outnumber men and vote in higher numbers, but we still seem to choose antiquated options for ourselves and part of that, I think, starts with how you begin your life a partnered person. Hey, if you want to pretend to be virginal property transfered by one man to another and labeled and branded as such, then, I guess, you have that right. Feminism is about choice. But make sure you understand that you are choosing something. The white dress has a meaning, as does the veil, as does being given away, as does changing your name.

I proposed to my husband, I wore an orange wedding dress (sans veil), my dad was present but not involved in the service, the whole affair cost us about 10 ten times less than the average amount (which is $25,000!), and I have kept my name. It’s a good question to ask why I bothered with any of it and the answer is simple: as a couple with mutual social and financial interests, being married gives you the greatest legal protection to secure those interests in this country.

And the wedding was a freakin’ blast! We had such a great time, but we also carefully removed many activites of the traditional cermony because to us, actions still hold meaning. In this “hey, lighten up, it’s just tradition” attitude about weddings in this country, it is important to us to be mindful of our actions and what they say. If and when we decide to start a family, our children will be taught that same mindfulness.

My decisions work for me. I won’t pretend they work for everyone. My husband reminds me that not every women is cut out to be a ultra-liberal feminist, and I hate to admit it, but he’s right.

But I like to believe it isn’t asking too much for people to think before they act. 

mannequin3.jpg 

Ladies, if I could have your attention, please, we have a few short announcements:

1. In case you haven’t heard, we’re all supposed to be 6 feet tall now, so do remember when you go shopping for pants, that you will have to add on an additional $10 for hemming. I know, the average woman is still only 5’2, but please, work with us.

2. Oh, and to further fufill that height requirement, poorly made, stilleto heels will be available for you at a price comparable to your monthly grocery bill.

3. In addition to the pants that only cover you one inch above your crotch, high waisted pants that didn’t look good back in the 80’s are now back to  further embarass you as well.

4. Large sized clothing will now be cut to fit smaller frames, but for convenience sake, will retain the “large” size tag.

5. Fitting rooms will continue to have garish lighting and mirrors tilting at a downward angle, so rest assured, you’ll still look like a troll in whatever you try on.

6. Customer service at retail establishments will continue to be snarky, unhelpful, and will never have your size.

7. Oh, new development, shirts this year will be empire cut and balloon shaped, however, you arms must now be the size of broom handles in order for the sleeves to fit.

8.  This year grey will be the new pink, and yellow will be the new brown.

9. Now, just a reminder: you are required to wear oddly hued tights with high-heeled ankle boots. Please check with your insurance company regarding coverage for high risk activities, because we’re fairly certain that emergency room visits for ankle sprains, ligament tears, and cut appendages are not covered.  

These rules are subject to change without prior notification and management shall not be held responsible for the bitching, complaining, any and all ensuing eating disorders, and violence against department store clerks.

Thank you for your continued cooperation and have a good day. 

Sailor Man and I were in Ireland in 2004 for the month leading up to elections, and I was astounded at how much attention the citizens of Ireland were paying to our political race for president. The presidential debates were televised nightly and discussed in great depth the following day in most newspapers. It was all anyone, who discovered my husband and I were Americans, wanted to talk about. And the most common question we fielded from men and women alike was “Why don’t you vote Hilary in? She’d be grand”.

See, Ireland is a country that has already had a female president. In short, they overcame their fear of the vagina.

I’m not saying this in support of Hilary for president, I haven’t yet made up my mind as to who I’ll be voting for this election (as opposed to the last election where I voted for Kerry on the “Sucks Less” platform). But the thing is, I have a serious problem with people who vehemently oppose Hilary Clinton without any thought as to why.

I have men in my office who revere  Bill Clinton. And I do mean revere, but when it comes to Hilary? “Can’t f*&^%$# stand her!”. Hmmm, they share the same politics, wouldn’t be surprised if they shared the same brain, so interest piqued, I ask why this is and the response I receive is “Just f*&^%$#@ do! Can’t stand her”.

Here’s the thing guys: it’s perfectly okay if you don’t like Hilary’s views, politics, hair, tone of voice, whatever, but saying you “just f*&^%$#@ do” is not good enough and makes you appear as an idiot who is afraid of the vagina.

Pakistan had a female Prime Minister in the 1980’s and yet we can’t manage to get a single woman into higher office here? In America? Home of the free land of the brave? Let us not forget that Pakistan is muslim country  for crying out loud! 

Have a drink, see a therapist, do what ever you have to do to get over it already, but please, for love of all things good in this world: have an honest and real opinion  on this issue because Vaginaphobia is a terrible, terrible thing.

  

Oh, Isiah, what happened to you man? As a Detroiter, it pains me to see what you have become, a jackass.

According to you, women exist for the privilege of being called a bitch. Now, technically, your reference was that in comparison of a white man calling a black woman a bitch as opposed to you, a black man, calling a black woman a bitch, which is apparently, okay, because you make a “distinction”. 

This does not endear you to me.

Did you ever stop think that maybe black women, or any women at all, don’t want to be called a bitch by you either? Have you asked?  I don’t know you, but I’m fairly sure you wouldn’t respond well to being called a cocksucker in your place of business.