My Feminism

•January 10, 2014 • Leave a Comment

My feminism is sex-positive.  Sex is not the be-all, end-all of a woman and what she can do.  Who, when and how she has sex is nobody’s business but hers.  If you are safe, sane and consensual with whatever your kink is, then that kink is your own business.  Do what makes you feel good.  What you do in the bedroom doesn’t affect anyone else’s life – just yours and your partners.

My feminism believes that porn is fine, so long as it is between two consenting adults who are practicing their sexuality safely and sanely.  A woman has the right to do with her body what she wishes.  If she wants to accept money, goods or other services for sex then she should be able to – but only if she wants to.  Or hell, if you just get off on other people watching you fuck, that’s fine too.

[I firmly believe that making prostitution as safe and as legal as the porn industry could reduce a lot of problems and bring tax revenue to states – rather than costing taxpayers millions to arrest, prosecute and keep a man in jail just for wanting to pay someone to lay him.]

My feminism realizes that other factors are involved in oppression, and can result in people who are both simultaneously oppressed and privileged.

My feminism knows that gender is a social construct, but doesn’t mind if you’re a girl that likes pretty things or a boy that wants to play sports.  Embracing aspects of both gender roles, a single gender role or no gender roles is what makes us all unique and not mannequins.

My feminism knows that the current socialization of gender can be harmful to others, but that those with body dysmorphia are not only uncomfortable with their gender, but with their biological sex too.  And it’s okay to want to transition to the opposite sex.

My feminism knows that biological sex and gender are two different things, and one of them is constant while the other is a social construct.

My feminism also knows that acknowledging biological sex is not the same as “enforcing gender roles” and that each sex had different upkeeps and physical/medical things that go along with it.  Happy and safe and healthy includes getting the proper medical care for your biological sex, regardless of what gender you identify with.

My feminism believes gender should be abolished, but realizes that it is an idealistic/utopian goal that doesn’t necessarily work in the real world, and it doesn’t shame women who want to be feminine or men that want to be masculine.

My feminism realizes that the patriarchy hurts men just as much as it can hurt women, and that men can be allies and not enemies.  Not all men are the vocal, hateful minority.  There are many good men out there who would like to see the same rights given to women that they have.

My feminism recognizes that the patriarchy hurts men by forcing them into masculine gender roles they’re not comfortable with either and that it silences male victims of traditionally female-victim crimes.

My feminism recognizes that, just as straight people can be allies for the LGBTQ community, men can be allies for the feminist cause.

My feminism doesn’t prioritize any woman over another, because to do so would cause oppression for the women you don’t prioritize.  All women are equal.  In fact, all humans are equal.  Non-white women are not more special than other women, and lesbians are not more special than heterosexuals.  We’re all in this together.

My feminism recognizes that, while trans people who were raised male might have some male privilege, that by being trans they are subject to a lot of hate and violence and that makes them allies to the cause.  Trans people have just as many struggles as the rest of us, and to ignore or marginalize them is what provokes anger from them – and rightfully so.

My feminism doesn’t marginalize you because of your biological sex or your gender identity.  If you’re trans and you go through the long and arduous process of reassigning you’re gender, you’re entitled to be treated as the new biological sex you are.

My feminism supports gender equality, because the moment you decide that one sex/gender is superior, you have bought into the patriarchal lie that someone has to be better than another.

My feminism understands that relationships between men and women in society are complicated and multi-faceted.  Women have experienced chronic oppression in history, but that not all history treats women badly.  There have been many kick-ass and famous strong women in history.  It is something to be proud of.

My feminism supports all other forms of feminism, so long as the individuals that are a part of it don’t promote hate and violence.  There are always going to be fringe people who spout hate and violence and crazy-talk, but they are not to be taken seriously and they are not the basis by which to judge all other feminists.

My feminism understands that completely breakdown and anarchy is not the way to fix the problems of the patriarchy.  That process is long and complicated and that sometimes that change that we seek will happen slowly – by teaching your children to be better than the society they’re born in.

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This is why no one takes feminism seriously.

•January 9, 2014 • Leave a Comment

This is, in actuality, a response to another blog post that one of my *ahem* friends decided I needed to see.

The post can be found here.

Okay, so I can’t hold this in anymore.  And I’m sorry to my readers for some of the graphic things that may be in here.  I’ll try to warn you about them so you can skip them.

Are you crazy?  I mean, have you been diagnosed?  Because this, this is nuts.

For one, I’m not even going to talk about how insulting this is to men.  I mean, this insults your own father.  I don’t know your family history, and you don’t have an “about me” but I’m going to assume you have a mom and a dad like everyone else and that at some point they decided to have a child and that child was you.  So you’re saying your dad raped your mom and that your mom didn’t really want to have you as a child?  Because that’s what you’re saying.

Even if it’s not true of you.  Maybe you are the product of a rape, and that’s a hard thing to wrap your mind around.  Maybe your mom decided to do in vitro, or your dad left when you were really young.  But essentially what you’re saying is that every child that’s born (almost every child) is going to be a product of rape.  *looks at my dad sitting across from me*  Yeah that’s not happening.  I mean, look at my family.  My daddy is in a wheelchair (he has CP, been disabled his whole life.  This is not new) and my mommy has beaten up Marines.  I don’t really believe he could rape her even if he had wanted to.   My parents loved each other for a long time, and even though that didn’t last (let’s be honest, nothing in life is everlasting and unchanging) there was certainly no rape involved in the making of me or my little sister.

Not to mention the worry I have for any family you might want to start.  God forbid you end up giving birth to a boy.  What are you going to teach him?  That his penis makes him less of a person?  Are you going to be okay if the boy turns out to like girls?

So besides insulting every good man that has ever wanted to settle down with a good woman and raise a family, you’re insulting so many, many more people.

First, I am a rape victim.

If you wanna know the story, go to my blog(s).  I’ve enumerated it a lot and I’ve talked all about the fact that I put his ass in jail for 25 years too.

I am an open and outspoken rape “victim.”  To be quite honest, I’ve never personally liked the term “victim” but whateves.  I didn’t know the man.  I was 15.  I was on my way to school.  It is a moment I have never forgotten and it is a story I have told numerous times to numerous people.  I am not afraid of it.  It was never my fault, and it doesn’t define who I am.

But you, obviously, don’t know what rape is.

RAPE IS NOT AN ACT OF SEX.  IT IS AN ACT OF VIOLENCE.

While a rapist may receive some sexual gratification in the act he performs, rape is not an act of sex.  Sex is only a small part of it – like the kidnapping of a woman you plan to skin.  The actual gratification comes from inflicting the violence on the woman.  In my previous example, the actual skinning of our fictional woman would serve the same purpose.  This is why we hear about serial killers receiving some sort of sexual gratification during the act of murder.  Murder is not sex.  It is violence.  Rape is not sex.  It is violence inflicted on a woman in the same way murder is.

You cannot talk about rape if you don’t actually know what rape is.

Your definition is of rape is also all sorts of logically wrong.  A good, useful definition of rape would be “any sexual act committed against another human being without their consent.”  And I am a consent advocate so consent, to me, is defined as the presence of a yes, not the absence of a no.

For two, I am a woman and this is still insulting.

It assumes that a woman, any woman, doesn’t have any libido.  Women don’t experience any biological drives to have sex.  That’s all men.

Wrong.

So very wrong.

You can’t turn off a woman’s biological drive to reproduce.  That is how our species carries on.  That is how we populated the Earth.  Animals experience it and so do we or humans wouldn’t exist.  So before you talk about how “men have screwed science and it’s not the truth,” use the brain God gave you a little bit.

What you are saying is that any woman who is, by societal standards, normal and sane cannot possibly have a sex drive and want to a) have sex with men and b) settle down and start a family.

It is not wrong to want to have sex.
It is not wrong to want to have sex with men.
It is not wrong to want to find a partner, male or female, to settle down and have a life with.
It is not wrong to want to have children and to start a family.

None of those things make you less of a person.

It’s insulting to your own family to say that.

And obviously, from your description of sex, you’ve never had it.  (Ahem, for those who don’t like things graphic, you might wanna skip this next paragraph)

For one, I know plenty of men that don’t have anything near a “large member.”  I mean….average being about 5 or 6 inches….I have dildos larger than most of my boyfriends.  And that’s just talking about length, not width.  Width can actually be more problematic.  But I’ve been with skinny, short men and short, wide men and long, skinny men.  A man’s dick is about as different as each woman’s set of boobs.  On top of that “forcing her to be completely naked” is only really what happens in porn.  I’ve had sex outside, in movie theaters, in churches, in beds, on couches, in pools, on floors, in/on/around rolling chairs…for some of those, I was completely naked.  For others it was “pull the undies aside” and I never lost a shred of clothing.  “Banging himself against her with the whole weight of his body” is also wrong, and really only applicable if you’re talking about doggie style.  I’ve been on the bottom, where his whole weight against you would actually crush you and it’s actually hard for a guy to move like that so usually they prop themselves up.  I’ve been on top, where it’s me doing all the slamming and shaking and him mostly laying there and feeling me up.  I’ve reverse cowgirled it, where all he can do is feel my back and booty and I grind back and forth and there’s no slamming involved.  I’ve been on the bottom where I’m lying down and he’s standing up and there’s no weight on me at all.  I’ve been bent over things, I’ve been lifted and twisted in all sorts of ways.  My hunny in particular likes to have both of us laying down and him behind me and it’s a lot of back and forth grinding and no actual slamming and certainly no weight on me.  I’m tiny after all.  [I’m not actually over “shaking her like he would stuff a corpse” because WTF kind of description is that to begin with?!  How would you even know how to stuff a corpse and on top of it, I’m sure it doesn’t happen quite like that.]  “Then using her insides as a receptacle for his penile dejection” is also kinda misleading because that’s not where his cum can go.  I’ve swallowed cum, I’ve had guys jack off on me (yay titty fucking!) I’ve had boys cum in my and around me and I’ve had guys cum in condoms and towels instead (mutual masturbation can be fun too.)  And I know what an orgasm feels like, I’ve had them and nothing you say can make me think I haven’t.  Female orgasms aren’t a myth.

(Y’all squeamish people out there might want to skip this paragraph too.)  What about oral sex?  Is it okay for a woman to want to suck a man off?  What about a man who wants to lavish his tongue on my most intimate bits?  I had a boyfriend whose favorite breakfast was my pussy.  What about masturbation?  My fingers are wonderful for some things.  But fingering myself can be awkward and painful.  Yay for sex toys!  But wait!  Doesn’t that mean, if I use a dildo, I’m raping myself?  I can’t possibly enjoy being filled up, but I’ve done it to myself.  How does that fit in your little black and white sex world?  I haven’t even gone over people who like sex that’s shades less than vanilla.  Women who use strap-ons to penetrate their male counterparts as part of the game.  Women who strap a man down, put a cock ring on him and ride him until she can’t cum anymore.  The whole point is that these men are not in control.  There are also women out there who are so sick of having to be in control of everything – their bills, their house, their job – that all they want to do is give it up to someone and let it all go.  Are you saying those woman are asking to be raped because they want to give total control over to a man?

Ahem, so now that we’ve gone over the fact that you’ve never had fun sex in your life, let’s talk about your privilege a little.

See, your problem here also assumes that the only correct way to be sexually active is to be homosexual or asexual.  You believe that you should either never have sex or that you should only have sex with those of the same biological sex as you.

For one, let’s agree that your sexuality isn’t a choice.  I don’t like vagina.  I like boobies, I’ve kissed woman and I’ve been in a few threesomes.  But I’ve never gone down on a woman or fingered a woman or anything like that because I am not interested in vagina.  I like cock.  I like being filled and stretched and pounded and occasionally I want to be metaphorically ripped in half by a giant man dick.

For two, let’s check that cishet privilege.

What about our trans brothers and sisters?  What about a MTF trans who enjoys having sex with men?  Is he a gay man because he was born a boy?  Or is he now a woman who is being raped by men?  What about a MTF who enjoys sex with women?  Was he a rapist before his surgery and he’s okay now?  Or does the surgery not matter to you and even if she’s post-surgery she’s still “male” and it’s therefore rape?  What about female trans?  What about a FTM who likes sex with boys?  Was she raped before her surgery, but she’s a man now so it’s okay?  Or is it always rape because she was born a girl?  What about a FTM who likes sex with women?  Was she okay when she was biologically a girl but now she’s a rapist because she’s a boy?  Is it different for pre- and post-surgery transsexuals?

What about those with a different gender identity who don’t want the surgery?  A woman who looks like a boy, takes testosterone and still wants sex with boys.  Is she being raped?  She doesn’t identify as female though.  Or a man who identifies as females, might have the breasts and takes estrogen but doesn’t want to go through gender reassignment surgery.  If she likes women, is she raping them?

I mean, I’m a woman.  A vagina is a lot of work to begin with.  Regardless of whether or not I have sex, I should get a pap smear every year to make sure I don’t develop cancer.  After 40, I should get mammograms to make sure I don’t have breast cancer, which I could have received from hanging around my mother when she smoked and has nothing to do with whether or not I’ve had sex with a man.  Cancer itself can come from numerous sources and has nothing to do with whether or not I’ve had sex.  I will still have to deal with a monthly period.  My body, regardless of what I do, will prepare itself for pregnancy and then violently get rid of all that stuff if I neglect to get pregnant.  I will still cramp like mad, both in the front and in the back.  As a teenager, before I decided to have sex, I had a month where my cramps physically threw my back out.  Had nothing to do with a penis.  I would still experience vomiting from my cramps.  I would still experience fatigue that has nothing to do with sex and everything to do with being a woman.  Fatigue that interrupted my daily life and made it hard to stay awake for things like school and work.  The only way to stop any of that is to remove your uterus surgically.

I mean, I hate to break it to you but no one gets out of life alive.  Even if I never had sex in my life, I could die at any time.  I could have been born with cancer.  I could get hit by a car, or someone could rob my store and shoot me.  I could be knifed in a holdup by another woman.  Life is sort of a violent thing and pregnancy is not the sole killer of women.  I could have a heart attack, or a stroke or an aneurism.  All of that could kill me and none of it has anything to do with my gender.

I mean, as woman in the 21st century, we’re lucky that we don’t necessarily need intercourse for pregnancy.  Back in the day however, intercourse was really the only way to get the semen from men (which is necessary for pregnancy) to where it needed to be to get pregnant.  I mean, what was a woman going to do in Ancient Egypt if she wanted a child?  I don’t think they even had turkey basters then!  In vitro doesn’t always work either; even now sexual intercourse is the best way to assure a pregnancy.

But even more important than all of this is the fact that you, as a woman, are helping the patriarchy by saying this.

For one, it gives men an excuse to not take anyone who calls themselves a feminist seriously.  Because they will all classify us like you and then we don’t get anywhere because we’re deemed “crazy.”  Why should men listen to us, why should they work with us on anything if we spout nutty bullshit like this?

For two, it strengthens rape culture by nullifying the feelings of any woman who has actually been traumatized by rape.  Now, a woman who has been traumatized by a man taking advantage of her in any of the numerous ways that he could have done that has to sit next to a woman who hasn’t gone through any of that and hear about how she’s been raped and it’s so dehumanizing.  That other woman, the real victim?  She’s going to shut up real quick.  Well, if all sex is rape then what happened to me?  Is what happened to me what happens to every woman who has sex?  Then why should I go to the cops?  All those rapists they put behind bars doesn’t mean anything because it’s other rapists putting them there.

All you have done is give the patriarchy more excuses to ignore us, and more reasons to shut up women who have truly experienced something unforgivable.  And it’s all because you bought into the men’s idea that one gender has to be the superior one.  The moment you believe women are superior to men, and not equal to them as human beings all around, than you’ve bought the bullshit.  You bought into the lie that someone has to be better than another.  The reality is, we are all humans and we’re all in this together.

The other reality is that you bought into the patriarchal lie that sex is the be-all, end-all of male/female relations.  It’s not.  It’s really not a big deal at all.  It is one of the smallest things in the spectrum of things that needs to be addressed.

You want to be a “radfem”?  Then be truly radical.

Stand up and say that we should all, male and female, be allowed to walk around naked without fear of rape or objectification.
Stand up and say that you recognize that women can be just as violent and judgmental as men.
Talk about the fact that there are women who have raped men out there, and that rape culture has marginalized those men because they don’t fit into the ideal of what a rape victim is.
Talk about the fact that there are women who have physically and emotionally abused men, and that those men have been marginalized by the patriarchy as well.
Next time you see a woman in a bar being harassed, speak up and help get her out of there.
Next time you see a woman harassing a man, speak up and tell her it’s not acceptable.
Next time you see a woman hit a man, call the cops on her.
Realize that there are men on our side, and that they are not the enemy.
Realize that the patriarchy hurts men just as much as it hurts women by making men believe that they have to fit into an ideal of masculinity that they aren’t comfortable with.
Believe that our sexual freedom is the key to our freedom from oppression, and that means that others get the freedom to choose things we might not agree with.
Be an advocate of “Enthusiastic Consent.”
Believe that there are women out there who will enthusiastically consent to sex with men, and that’s okay
Realize that sex is complicated, full of grey areas and that none of it is black and white.
Realize that people are complicated and all of us have different kinks.
Realize that these kinks exist on a spectrum and, so long as a person behaves in a way that is a) safe b) sane and c) consensual, then you have no right to judge them for what they like.
Believe that we have the right to have a family and a career; that we don’t have to pick one or the other.
Believe that a woman’s choice to have a family is just as powerful as her choice to be a lawyer or a doctor, because she will help shape that child.
Believe that not all men will raise children to buy into the patriarchy.
Understand that there are men out there with no women to help them raise their children, and they’re doing just fine.
Understand that women can be molesters too, that they can rape children and be general scumbags.
Teach your daughters not to hit back and teach your boys not to hit in the first place.

Maybe, just maybe then I will consider you a “radfem,” if you feel you need to use that term.  I don’t.

 

Why I Get Mad When I See My Republican Friends on Facebook “Poor Bash”

•October 2, 2012 • 2 Comments

If you guys wonder why I get pissed off when you pretty much bash the poor, it’s not because I’m liberal, it’s because I’M FUCKING POOR!

I work four days a week, full time hours. I go to school two of the other days, leaving me one day off maintaining my house.

IT IS NOT ENOUGH.

My gas bill is on the LICAPP program (one straight balance, regardless of use. Really good in the winter when the bill would otherwise shoot up straight past $200.) I’m applying for HEAP, which I qualified for last year and will qualify for this year. I qualify for SNAP and I’m seriously thinking of taking it as I could use help getting food for the house each week. I don’t qualify for welfare because I don’t have a dependent kid (you need one of those to be on welfare, by the way.) I barely have $20 for myself to last me through a week for emergencies.

I got my music player over a year ago. I bought it used, I paid for only half (my dad splurged and put in the other half for my birthday present. But wait, I’m poor. I don’t deserve new things for my birthday right?) I got a new computer almost a year ago. I got it because a) the 15 year old monster laptop I had had for 5 years died and b) I was going back to school and a computer is pretty much necessary for that now. My mom and dad split the cost for me. Dad saved up for three months to be able to even do that. I wouldn’t be going back to school this semester if my mom hadn’t been kind enough to pay the over a grand I owed that financial aid wouldn’t cover. I got a new phone for my birthday because mine was dying and restarting itself for some odd reason, but my mom bought it, not me.

My mom finally found a job that lets her have money like the rest of you seem to magically have. But she’s moved away. She’s in South Carolina. Not exactly easy for me to just beg money from her all the time.

I have a tattoo, but I got it four years ago. I have a piercing but I got that two years ago. It was a good two years for me between haircuts and the only reason I got one was because I visited my aunt and she cut it. The last time I got clothes was over a year ago and I didn’t get them at the mall. I didn’t even get them at KMart or Target. I got them at the thrift store. I own a pair of American Eagle jeans. I bought them used for $3. The pair of Old Navy Jeans I have? I got those back in high school. The last time I bought sneakers was a year ago, at Payless, and their Youth sized sneakers because those were cheaper. The last time I bought fancy shoes I got them at Amvets for $5 a piece. Most of the shoes I love that I show off? Not new. At least a couple years old. My work shoes are so fucked right now but I can’t afford to drop the $30 for new ones. By “so fucked” the soles are half off, peeling away at the base. My feet get wet in the rain. I have at least 2 bras falling apart. One of which I can no longer repair. To stay healthy, the recommend you replace your bras every two years. I haven’t had a new one for at least 4 years. My bras are $32 a piece. I’ve needed them for weeks. I can’t afford to get them.

I keep hoping that my wisdom tooth that’s falling apart will just stop hurting. That the tooth that needs the root canal will just stop being sensitive. Because I can’t afford to get them fixed. I can’t afford to get my wisdom teeth removed. They told me to get them out 3 years ago. My annual doctor’s visit for my pap smear and stuff costs me over $200. I need to go so I can continue taking my birth control. Which a) helps out with my period, the main reason I take the thing and b) is cheaper than condoms for the amount I have sex since I can’t use latex condoms, I’m allergic.

I live in a house with the front door unable to close and the inside one so warped I can barely lock it. There’s a giant hole in my ceiling. It’s freezing but I won’t turn on the heat til at least October, and November if I can manage it. My winter boots are two years old and were given to me by someone’s dead mother.

I AM POOR. You elitist right-wing jackasses talk about ME when you talk your shit. You talk about me and half the people I know and hang out with on a regular basis.

Being poor means that I know there is no such thing as a menial job. There are only menial attitudes. No job is beneath you. Any and every job is worth your time because you need money. School books aren’t just annoying, they require a book deferrmant and more red tape and hoops to jump through because you can’t just drop $100 on a book.

I AM POOR.

Remember this.

[There is a longer, more involved and better structured response coming.  This was what I immediately posted on Facebook.]

A More Serious Writer’s Block

•August 26, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Writer’s Block asked:

Sex education in schools is always a topic of discussion.  What are your thoughts on the matter — comprehensive sex ed, abstinence only or somewhere in between?

This should shock no one, because anyone who reads this blog should be able to tell I’m a staunch liberal.

Answer

Rape-Culture, Quickly

•July 6, 2012 • Leave a Comment

This was too long for a status message on Facebook.

A quick note on some of the stuff I’ve been reading lately (I got here by reading a book review, mind you.  Damn linking.)  I don’t believe that “women taking precautions to prevent being raped” equals a “prevaling rape-culture” or “victim blaming.”  For the most part, all of those “precautions” I’ve read are common sense things (and we know common sense is lacking in this society) and are useful for simply attempting to avoid all sorts of bad things in general, not just rape.  Y’know, not going to a car in a dark parking lot alone at night itsn’t just good for preventing rape but preventing car-jacking or an armed robbery.

I am a rape victim (most of you will know this) and while I do NOT condone victim blaiming (it is ALWAYS the perpetrator’s fault.  ALWAYS) I don’t necessarily believe that knowledge of common sense Do’s and Do Not’s for women (because as much as I am an equalist I understand that biologically men and women are built very differently and that can carry with it certain advantages and disadvantages) means that a culture is “victim-blaming” women that may not have even been sexually assulted in their lives.

Sometimes, society is too politically correct for it’s own good.

EDIT:  The book review I was reading was on thebooksmugglers.com and was about the YA novel “Sister Red.”  The passage one reviewer read as “victim-blaming” I totally didn’t, though I do understand her point.  Quickly, the novel is a gorey retelling of “Red Riding Hood” where the two sisters hunt down what are mostly werewolves (I haven’t read the book myself, though I am interested in it.)  These particular werewolves like to hunt down pretty young women.  One of the sisters calls the pretty girls standing outside a club “Dragonflies” and she destests how they dress and act to attract desireable attention.  However, this is a world where most people DO NOT KNOW that these werewolves exist.  Nor do they know that the wolves feed on attractive young women.  She and the main male protagonist talk about how these girls look like they want to be eaten and if they knew better, they wouldn’t dress that way.

While you can extrapolated that to “well if you dress a certain way you’re asking to be raped,” if you take it IN THE CONTEXT OF THE STORY then it makes more sense.  Listen, if I knew that werewolves existed and were feeding on attractive young women, then I might not show so much skin and shit either.  While the way you dress in real life does not influence your chances of getting raped, IN THIS BOOK the way you dress DOES influence how tasty you look to a werewolf.  And lemme tell you, if a woman KNEW that wearing a dress was going to get her brutally and painfully murdered by a wolf intent on eating her, she’d think twice about wearing that dress in public.  IN THE CONTEXT OF THE STORY the comments and thoughts make perfect sense.  They are not blaming the girls for dressing like that because the girls know it will affect their survival chances.  They are remarking upon the fact that if they knew they were gonna be dinner, they might dress and act a bit differently.

You can read their review for yourself here.

A Quick Rant

•May 30, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Why is it everyone I encounter seems to think the only way to do things is either not at all or to the absolute extreme?  What happened to moderation?  You don’t need to eat fast food for every meal, but it doesn’t have to be completely off-limits for the rest of your life either.  You don’t need to never move off the couch, but you also don’t need to fill every second of you day with being busy and “doing something.”

This is why I don’t go on Facebook any more.  Every time I do it seems like I see someone else’s stupid post about the new extreme thing they did to “try and live a better life.”  What happened to living the life you want to live?  Why do you feel like you have to live up to everyone else’s standards of a “better” life?

The stand-out post this time was of a woman who, in an effort to show her child that there’s more to life than TV, canceled the cable.  Well, that seems like a stupid thing to do.  Because when it’s cold or raining or he’s sick, why not have it around to help ease things?  You don’t cancel the cable, that’s the extreme way of doing it.  How about showing by example?  How about taking him out of the house and playing with sidewalk chalk with him?  How about teaching him jump rope or the hula hoop?  How about sitting and reading instead of watching TV yourself?  There’s nothing wrong with limiting the use, but there’s also nothing wrong with watching TV either.  I grew up very active, always going outside and reading.  But I still watched Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers.  I still watched Jeopardy and the news with my family every night.  There’s nothing wrong with having a TV.  The wrong comes when you let it dominate your life.

I hear people complain all the time that their kids won’t eat what they tell them or won’t do what they tell them.  Well you wanna know my parent’s secret?  Why they never had kids like that?  It’s not because they were super harsh and we were scared of them.  And we certainly weren’t the world’s most well-behaved children.  Their secret?  Do it yourself.

That’s right.  If you want your kids to eat veggies, don’t let them see you pushing it around on your plate avoiding it.  Eat it yourself, because that lets them know that it’s not something you’re just telling them.  It shows them that you believe what you’re saying yourself.  If you say “eat your broccoli, it’s tasty” and then don’t eat any yourself, what are they gonna think?  But if you chow down on a mound of it, your children are more likely to do the same.

If you say “don’t watch TV, read a book” and then spend 2 hours dicking around on the computer what are they gonna do?  But if they see you reading, actively reading something you enjoy, they’re gonna be interested and ask about it and want to do the same.  If you want them to go outside more, let them see you taking walks.  Invite them with you.  Don’t drive down the street because you’re too lazy and then expect your kids to be the epitome of active.

Why does this country have to have only the ridiculously obese because they can’t put the fork down or the totally health-nut skinny people who preach the gospel of vegan to you?  Where are the moderates?  Where are the people who go “I cook my own dinner 6 out of 7 nights of the week.  My dinner consists of a meat, a starch and a veggie.  One night a week I give myself a break and I eat out or order a pizza or something.”  What’s wrong with that line of thinking?

Why do we feel that exercise needs to be structured and include fancy machines and classes and routines?  Why not walk to the store and do bicep curls with the groceries on the way back instead of trying to block out 30-60 minutes of a rather busy day anyway to do something that, let’s face it, most of us aren’t really excited to do.  We pay money for gym memberships and classes so we can feel like we’re doing something worthwhile when that money could be better spent on something that you need (like food or the electric bill) or on something that you actually want to have in your life.

There is nothing wrong with owning a computer, owning a cell phone, owning a car or owning a TV.  There’s nothing wrong with paying a cable or an internet or a satellite bill.  There is nothing wrong with eating at McDonalds or a pizza parlor, or going out to eat at a restaurant.  There is nothing wrong with sleeping late on the weekends, going to public school (or paying for college) or working a minimum wage job.  Stop with the crusades, with trying to find some big meaningful thing to do.  It’s not necessary.

Because we all end up in a tiny pine box.  A mighty small drop in a mighty dark plot.

All About Iron

•November 12, 2011 • 1 Comment

I don’t know if any of my followers have actually ever noticed this, but I can be a bit of a smart-ass.

For instance, on a recent picture a friend shared on Facebook, there was a sign that said “Beer, now cheaper than gas! Drink, don’t drive!”  And a particular friend of hers said:

“Ben Franklin said that “Beer was a gift from God.” Perhaps, this represents what happened when the great Franklin Delano Roosevelt said “What this country needs right now is a drink.” Chill out. Relax/ Buy American.”

The man has a point.  But my smart-ass had to butt in with:

“Except the quintessential American beer, Budweiser, is now owned by the Germans.”

It is, by the way.  The Germans bought it from us, because we can’t keep hold of anything of ours.

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