After the Season 6 finale of "Game of Thrones" I felt the overwhelming compulsion to go back to the beginning and start watching it all over again. I love the show, and have retained quite a lot, but I don't take notes in general and sometimes get distracted and I know I lost a lot over the last several years. So with that in mind, starting with Season 1, Episode 1 I watched with utter dread as each moment drew me closer to things I knew are terrible.
Interesting, I had completely forgotten it was Jon that gave Arya Needle. All I cared about in Season 6 was that she get Needle back and kill the Waif.
And of course all the scheming and framing of Tyrion started early.
I'm only on Episode 3, but I'm impressed at how far the story has progressed in six seasons. I hope to come back and share my impressions during the re-watching in preparation for next season.
So if you read my second to latest post, you know that my dog was diagnosed with at least one mast cell tumor this past Monday (today is Thursday). Yesterday, she had surgery to remove four lumps; the one that had been identified as mast cell, and three others. She is currently doing a great impression of Frankenpuppy or Joaquin Phoenix, take your pick. She is laying next to me in bed, in a black t-shirt to protect the incisions on her shoulder and abdomen and she is drugged to the gills.
I'm feeling a little less bitter and hopeless than I did the day I got the news. People have come out of the woodwork to offer support. Emotional, physical, financial support from friends, family, complete strangers. Angel's story has literally gone around the world as a friend from college lives in Italy and has challenged some of his friends to donate to help us. I am overwhelmed with gratitude. And I am hopeful that the biopsy results will be good. I should know more next week.
In even better news, tomorrow I will be adding my signature to a Custody Stipulation that gives me sole legal custody and primary physical custody of my daughter. Meaning that I don't need to ask my ex-husband for his consent to make any decisions about her care, and she and I can move wherever suits our needs best. This is a huge weight off my mind and is something long overdue. I would be celebrating more, but I literally have not slept since a few hours Tuesday night. I am too old for all nighter's anymore and am very much hoping Angel sleeps more tonight so I can get some rest.
I will hopefully get back to reviewing and discussing entertainment soon. Life simply got in the way.
This past Sunday was the two-hour long finale episode of Showtime's Penny Dreadful. Which as a fan of the show I did not realize was truly "The End" until the title card appeared, even though with the death of Vanessa Ives it seemed pretty likely that it was over.
I'm left conflicted. This was a logical conclusion to the three season story arc, but this show was so unique in current period or theme dramas that I selfishly wanted it to continue for years. My feelings toward characters have grown and changed and evolved over and over and I was consistently entranced and provoked with each episode and revelation.
For instance, with the introduction early in this season of "Doctor Sweet," I had an argument with my father (also a fan of the show) over whether or not he would prove important in the coming events. As we now know, he was super important and pretty much the catalyst for the end of the show.
The real question about Penny Dreadful though, is what made it so special? In a world of television currently dominated by The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, Penny Dreadful wasn't given the same level of attention or appreciation. The only way I could get conversations at work going on about this show was to urge co-workers to check it out and catch up. Many had never even heard of it, in contrast to those who don't even have HBO knowing a whole lot about Game of Thrones or even non-genre lovers knowing that everyone and their sister is worried about someone named Glenn on The Walking Dead. Penny Dreadful was a quiet Gothic ensemble drama that drew from the origins of science fiction and horror to give us characters like Dr. Frankenstein and his "monster," and Dracula, and the "wolfman," and Satan, and witches, and even Dorian Gray. There were explorers and mystics, scientists and psychics, whores and johns, and dying children. The colours were often dark and dreary with the faint touch of rot always at the edges, illustrating a time and an era that is fading and falling apart at the seems. There was copious quantities of blood and violence as well as the "smaller" acts of cruelty that honed and sharpened the women in the show into a towering examples of power.
The real strength of Penny Dreadful rested firmly in the hands of the female characters. There were many "big strong men" who were either trying to be heroes, or actively villains, but the women and their responses to their environment and history are what compelled me to keep watching. A few of the men were shown to have atypical relationships to the women around them and they were also engaging in their complexities.
Lily, played so beautifully by Billie Piper, starts out as a prostitute named Brona Croft, who is dying of consumption. She is a survivor and does what she has to to survive. She briefly has an almost romance with Ethan Chandler (the wolfman of the story), but she catches the always selfish and self-centered eye of Dorian Gray and ultimately is killed and resurrected by our dear Doctor Frankenstein. She is his third, and most perfect, "creature." Re-imagined as "Lily Frankenstein" she starts out innocent and without memory of her previous life, but as time goes on she starts to remember all the cruelties and pain and degradation that she suffered at the hands of men. Initially she tries, unsuccessfully to seduce "John Clare," the first Frankenstein monster, to join her in murder and domination, but he is ultimately too sensitive and gentle a man to go that route. Instead, she connects herself to Dorian Gray and together, they cut a bloody swath through London while she collects a small army of fallen women, training and teaching them to kill the men that hurt them.
Lily is consistently assumed by the men around her to be only a prize or token that they can use as they see fit. Dorian wants her for her immortality and cruelty. Frankenstein wants her for her endless and perfect beauty and because he feels entitled to her. Doctor Jekyll wants to test his latest serum on her because why the hell wouldn't he use an immortal female test subject? None of these men see Lily as a complex and complete individual with her own needs and desires and strength. Frankenstein is perfectly willing to erase her memory again and drug her into compliance to have unlimited access to her flesh. Dorian kills her favorite companion to make a point, and had given her willingly to Frankenstein because he was bored with her. He was bored with her. Lily is tossed around like a doll between the men who think they know what they want and what she is. What Lily is, is strong. She survived the death of her daughter. She survived the abuses of man. She survived the resurrection process. She survived Frankenstein shooting her in the chest for insulting his manhood. She survived being with Dorian Gray. She survived, and she found her voice and her purpose and she fucking terrified the men around her. Lily was an example of what men fear in women. A willful, dangerous, woman with a purpose that has nothing to do with serving the needs of the men around them, and will gladly kill any that get in her way and any that hurt her sister women in any way. Lily is a take no shit, show no mercy dynamo and one of the most intriguing and interesting characters I've seen on screen in a long time.
Ethan Chandler, the gunslinger from America, and a werewolf, starts out the story on the run from his past in America. He has linked up with Sir Malcolm Murray the explorer. Ignoring his habit of getting all furry and toothy during the full moon, he is a rather kind, albeit stand-offish man who falls very hard for the prostitute Brona Croft. Obviously that romance is doomed as she is dying and when she is resurrected as Lily, she no longer remembers, or desires the tender attentions of Ethan.
Ethan ultimately falls in love with Vanessa Ives, the glue that holds the ensemble cast together. Vanessa is where the story starts and ends. But she is cursed and does not feel worthy of love or happiness and ends up sending Ethan away. Briefly he hooks up with a witch, Hecate, and dabbles in intense darkness and violence against those who hurt him previously. In the end his love fulfills a promise that ends the story.
The reason I included Ethan in my admiration of the strong feminist story is because never does he assume any weakness in the women around him. He never sees them as objects to be either used, or protected, or manipulated. He expects the women to be strong, assumes they have their own power, and is comfortable being with or next to women who make their own choices. Ethan was played by the gloriously attractive Josh Hartnett and was one of the most classically handsome characters on the show. He could have easily been portrayed as a "lady killer." Instead he was shown to be a romantic at heart, being gentle and loving and very reluctant to cause any hurt to the people around him, always attempting to atone for his past. Except of course for when he does encounter his, truly awful, father again. But he comes back from that moment stronger for having closed that chapter of his life.
Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) is the heart of Penny Dreadful. She is a complex and fascinating character, so artfully written and acted that it was a joy to watch her for three seasons. Vanessa is convinced that she is cursed to be the Mother of Darkness. She seduced her best friend's fiance on the eve of their wedding and destroyed a life-long friendship that ends up leading to her friend's death. That friend being Mina Murray, Sir Malcolm Murray's daughter, and a very public victim of Dracula. Vanessa spends the series alternately fighting against, or welcoming, the darkness she believes is irrevocably a part of her. She is strong, and fragile, faithful and damned, loving and cruel, depressed and cheerful, alternately and all together. Vanessa is poised and educated, articulate and multilingual, both innocent and seductive. Eva Green's sharp features and dark eyes add to the hypnotic aspect of her performance. Vanessa may be the pivotal character in the show, but each and every other character has their own arc and actions and reactions independent of her and her destiny. Vanessa isn't crazy (even though she spends quite a lot of time in an asylum), she is in fact being pursued by both Satan and Dracula who each want her to spawn darkness on the world. That she was a virgin until she seduced her friend's fiance and then does not have sex again until her relationship with Ethan, and a third time with Dracula himself, adds to the level of innocence in the strong and seductive body of Vanessa Ives. She carries herself as a woman with experience and maturity, though when it comes to relationships, she is unskilled and clumsy. Unfortunately her last act and acceptance of her own sexuality is her undoing as she does in fact spawn a plague that is spreading and will only end with her death. This is probably my least favorite part of the story. Vanessa truly was cursed and doomed and she was pretty much killed by owning her own desire. Not the most positive message. But she did choose to die instead of letting the darkness spread, and she was killed "with love" by Ethan. The one man she truly could have loved.
Penny Dreadful is a strong, dark, gripping Gothic fairytale that takes us through many stories and many lives and I wish it could have continued. I understand why it ended when it did, but selfishly, I wanted more. I hope that it opened the door for more unique period dramas to come.
I adopted the world's best dog last year. Her name is Angel Heart Henry Williams and she's so fucking awesome she has her own website. Angel has not had it easy. I adopted her March 18th 2015, by the first week of April she was spayed and vaccinated. Soon afterward we started treating her for serious allergies. Eventually I had her tested for allergies and she came up allergic to life. So I put her on allergy shots. (This stuff isn't cheap.) Then she tore both cruciate ligaments in her knees and I got her orthopedic braces. That worked. But now I had a lump on her shoulder tested last week and it came up as a mast cell tumor. This is very not good news.
I work part-time. On average 22 hours a week. I spend the "rest" of my time being Mama and trying to get my life in order. In the last few months I have spent $1700 on summer camp for my daughter (that's the discounted for poor people rate by the way), $1500 for an attorney to fight for sole legal custody of my daughter, $400 on a broken axle on my car (which was also a discounted rate because my mechanic has worked on our family's cars for 20+ years), and summer clothing for my daughter and food for the dog and food for the kid and I and gas... The estimate for surgery is about $1000. She's scheduled to go in this Wednesday.
I had a total meltdown this afternoon. I was NOT expecting this news. The worst thing about this is, I am really starting to feel that no matter what we do, there simply is not justice or fairness in the Universe.
I was raised Pagan, Wiccan actually. Yes you read that right. I was raised Wiccan. I don't identify as Wiccan, I'm more eclectic, but drawn to the Norse mythology more than anything. I have always believed that prayer or magic or miracles do happen because if enough people believe in something strongly enough, it must have power. But with the shit I've gone through over the last few years, and especially since I've been actively trying to be a positive and kind and helpful person, I am struggling. What benevolent force would put Angel and I through this bullshit? Why would my car die in an intersection with both my daughter and my dog in the backseat? Why would the sweetest rescue dog in the world have to go through all of this? Why do I live as gently and kindly as I can, work to the best of my ability, treat those around me with respect when I know people who are total assholes are getting everything they ever wanted. I mean my ex-husband didn't pay the mortgage for four years and I now have a foreclosure on my record thanks to that crap, but he's fine traveling around the country doing his thing while I scrape together what I can to put my kid in summer camp and save my dog's life.
Fuck this noise. All of it.
I might feel differently tomorrow, but right now I'm dying inside and hoping I'm doing the right thing. In the mean time, I have set up a GoFundMe page for Angel's surgery and I'll do the best I can for her.
As mentioned in a previous post, I'm divorced. I've been divorced since 2014. Previous to that, I had been married since 1998.
So here I am, single, a mother, I have a six-year-old and I live with my parents. I'm also 41-years-old as of this month. I am living the dream I tell ya. The thing is, as much as my daughter is the love of my life and I would do anything for her, I don't want to be a nun. I'm not Catholic and I don't think celibacy is really my thing. I mean I went to a Pure Romance party this past Friday and I was the only one there without a partner of some type. So I spent way too much money on a vibrator I don't really need. It was pretty, don't judge me.
Dating since I left my husband has been a challenging, infuriating, roller coaster of suck. So far my best relationships were with a woman I'd known for about four years before we got together, but it ended badly nine-months later, and a man who I only met for "coffee" in a grocery parking lot once or twice a month. I did date a man for about 10 months who turned out to be a narcissistic sex addict who introduced me to the swinging scene and got progressively less interested in consent as he got bored with me. Wow I have great taste in people.
I've tried websites. I had Tinder and tried Plenty of Fish. Tinder was an abject failure. One person had lied to me about being single and his girlfriend, his live-in girlfriend, called me at 3 o'clock in the morning. I deleted the app almost immediately after that. I hadn't even met the lying jerkbag in person. POF has resulted in some dates and I was sort of seeing someone for about three and a half months and he decided I was a negative person (actually he was the one spouting doom and gloom all the time, but his meds were off) and dumped me via text. Then I reconnected with someone after about a year and half and had a good reunion, but he hasn't responded to me in over a week, so okay...
I know I'm not exactly the shiniest of gold rings out there, but it is disconcerting to have people meet me or check me out online and spout things like "I can't believe people aren't throwing themselves at your feet daily" and then I actually try to put myself out there and get rejected in such a spectacular fashion.
Dating at any age is hard. But dating as a 41-year-old single mother it is downright terrifying. Not only do I have all the insecurities that come from trying to find someone I get along with, but I have the challenge of protecting my child and myself from predators, navigating the socially awkward situation of having had to move back in with my parents, and explaining that while I'm generally a pretty positive and optimistic person, I have a fuck-ton of baggage and am still wading through a fair amount of it.
How to put that on a dating profile?
As an added bonus, I don't really look my age, but then I have to work extra hard to maintain the illusion of youth (I don't lie about my age), because my child is so young. People assume that I would have an older and more independent child, but she's six, and therefore I don't have the freedom I would if she was older.
The whole thing is farked and I'm exhausted. I am also lonely. AT 2am in the morning when I'm absolutely convinced I'm going to die alone and only whatever pet(s) I have at the time will be there to eat my corpse, there's not many people I can turn to and ask to convince me that everything will be alright. At least I have a dog I can cuddle. But honestly, it isn't the same.
Judging from my limited experience I have to wonder if this is different for the men who are also dating at "a certain age." Though I think they have more freedom to pick and choose and walk away, hence the dearth of stand-up men willing to take chance on a woman starting over in her 40s.
I'm not looking for a knight in shining armor to rescue me from my situation. I just want someone to treat me with dignity and kindness and see what happens. I want someone to put the same amount of effort into knowing me, that I put into knowing them. I just want to feel appreciated.
In the mean time, soon enough I'll have another pretty, waterproof, rechargeable vibrator to add to the collection. At least that won't ignore me when I reach out to it.
This post may seem incongruous in line with my previous post regarding rape culture and specifically my rage at the sentencing of Brock Turner.
This post is about something else, related perhaps in that it is about violence, but different. I am responding to the terror attack on the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida during the early morning hours of June 12th. As of the most recent numbers I have seen, 50 people have been killed and 53 injured. There had been about 350 people in the club enjoying their Saturday night out with friends and loved ones. And then a man walked into a bar and nothing funny happened. As far as is currently known, he specifically chose the target because it was a gay club.
This was the worst mass shooting in American history. And it happened at a QUILTBAG establishment. Our brothers and sisters were enjoying themselves, and then someone full of hate, for whatever reason, decided for himself that they didn't deserve to live.
My first instinct when I started reading about the attack, the very first emotion I had, was hurt. All I could think about were those people hurt and killed for no reason other than being who they were, with people who loved them for it. I didn't know the suspects name or what his reasoning was, and even now I'm really uninterested in learning more about him, he's dead and will never tell his story. What I wanted to do was hold onto the victims and their families and loved ones and tell them that I love them. That there are so many people who love them. That we won't let hate win.
The reason behind the shooting was hate. Very rarely does anyone kill someone out of true honest love. The only answer to this violence, the only way to prevent it from repeating or spreading, is love.
You don't have to like everyone. You don't have to tolerate the things they do. But you have to recognize the shared humanity that we all experience. I am a female liberal Democrat feminist vegetarian attachment parenting pan-sexual divorcee. How many ways do you think I can be hated for simply existing? The thing is absolutely nothing that I just labelled myself affects anyone else's life other than my child, anyone I have a relationship with, and the animals I don't eat. Me being a Democrat is simply how I view and identify with the current political spectrum. I believe in social programs and equity. I am pro-choice and pro-sexual education. I believe that we can be better. I am a feminist because I believe that men and women and those that lay between the binary are all worthy of respect and equitable treatment in our society. I don't hate men. I don't want all men to disappear or stop being men. I simply do not believe that women are a second class of humans and that we have just as much right to personal autonomy as men. I am vegetarian because if I eat meat I get deathly ill and I think that current farming standards are disgusting. I chose attachment style parenting because I knew my daughter would be my only child, and I needed to make every second count as much as possible and it made sense to me. I am pan-sexual because that's how I was born. I simply refuse to not acknowledge that I could fall for a person of any sex or gender identity. And I'm divorced because my ex-husband was an abusive alcoholic who was killing me slowly, but some people would still say I should have stayed.
There are so many reasons there someone who focuses only labels could choose from for which to hate me. But what about how I go through my daily life? I try to be a better person each day than I was the day before. Given an opportunity to be kind, versus being selfish, I do my best to be kind. I'm not perfect, and there are days when I'm lost in my own little world of concerns, but it is my goal to live in a way that teaches my daughter to be a good and kind person.
Love really is the shorthand answer. And it doesn't have to be an all encompassing divine love of all with no recognition of the self. It just has to be a basic respect that we are all in this together. Men and women, straight and queer and liberal and conservative and all the fucking colours of the fucking rainbow... We are sharing this blue marble hurtling through space. Our lives are sparks in the cosmic wonder of existence.
Love would allow us to work through the mental health system in this country and find and fix the flaws.
Love would allow us to acknowledge that a person's Second Amendment Right does not make gun control legislation a violation of civil liberties.
Love would allow us to recognize that honestly, no one needs an assault rifle to protect their home.
Love would help us work together to find common sense solutions that would keep our loved ones safer at schools and movie theaters and restaurants and clubs.
Love would ensure that people who should not have easy access to weapons, would not have easy access to weapons.
Love would put our children and brethren first, before inanimate objects and the perceived power they bestow upon the bearer.
Love would give people the opportunity to see the victims as the people they are, and not the labels that could be pasted upon them.
Love would bring communities together and let us say "enough" of the divisions.
Love would let us reach out to a person in need because it is the right thing to do, regardless of the labels.
Love is the answer.
I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
I am furious, steaming mad, and shaking with rage over the Brock Turner case. But I don't want anyone to forget the case of the 11-year-old girl gang raped in a small Texas town in 2010 and how the media, the town, AND THE INVESTIGATORS questioned what could have drawn the men (21 of them) involved into such an act. The girl was reported as "dressing older than her age" and hanging out in more dangerous parts of town. In short, she was asking for it. ELEVEN YEARS OLD.
Every single man involved was convicted. Every single one. But even with video evidence of the crime, SHE WAS SHAMED and those "poor boys" were excused for so long it took well over a year to finally sentence the last of them.
I am very happy that Brock Turner's victim has been strong enough to say the things that needed to be said about what it means to be so violated. Victims are consistently re-violated by the system and the media. Rape is the least reported of violent crimes, and the least understood by anyone who hasn't been impacted by this atrocity.
I don't want anyone to forget the women who won't, can't or haven't yet reported their assault. Or the men who struggle with the same decision. I don't want anyone to forget that rape is NOT ABOUT SEX. This isn't about attraction. It is about power, control, access.
I don't want anyone to forget that you probably know a victim of sexual assault if you are blessed enough to have not experienced this violation personally. Actually, I can confirm that if you are reading this, you are familiar with a victim of sexual assault.
I don't want anyone to forget that if someone uses claims of rape to get back at someone, THAT DOES NOT INVALIDATE ANYONE ELSE'S EXPERIENCE! Just as MRA's and apologists are quick as bunnies to spout "Not all men!" MOST women who report rape, the vast majority of the vast minority of actual victims, HAVE BEEN ASSAULTED and each and every account should be taken just as seriously as any other reported crime.
I am angry and I am frustrated and I am DONE!
I am DONE with people so quick to judge the woman who drank too much, while excusing the man, because he was drunk.
I am DONE with warnings to women to not walk alone or leave a drink unattended or show too much skin.
I am DONE with people judging a woman's worth or intentions when she dresses for attention. Or for damn comfort.
I am so fucking DONE with "what was she expecting?"
She was expecting to go dancing, or hook up, or get to her car, or go home to her kids, or go food shopping, or get blind fucking drunk, or just make it through a day.
She was NOT expecting to be raped by a friend, a first date, a boyfriend, a stranger, a gang, a husband, a family member, a teacher, a preacher, a counselor...
No one deserves to be violated. Ever! A rapist is a rapist is a rapist. The victim was the target, not the cause.
I need to take a break from raging over injustices. Don't worry, I'll be back at it soon.
Wednesday was my birthday. I'm now officially "in my 40s." In that, I am 41.
For my birthday, I decided it was time to proudly let my Geek Flag fly and proclaim my eternal and unending love of The Doctor.
I have been in love with Doctor Who since I was 9 or 10-years-old. I remember Tom Baker's mile long scarf and K9 eagerly helping Sarah Jane. I remember random episodes of other Doctors. I remember that sound... If you have ever watched Doctor Who, you know the sound. The Tardis, appearing and disappearing. The theme song. There is something undeniably identifiable about Doctor Who that just doesn't exist anywhere else.
When I heard that the show was being rebooted in 2005, I was as excited as a young child for Christmas or birthdays. I didn't care who would play the Doctor. I didn't care about anything other than the Tardis would be back, there would be a companion, there would be adventures through time and space. HE WAS COMING BACK!
Then he was here, 9 came and grabbed my hand (okay Rose's hand, shut up) and said "run." And my heart ran away with him in the Tardis again. It was "Fantastic!"
Then that season was ending and 10 made his appearance, tall and dark and lanky, grinning at us endearingly until angered and then causing destruction with a whisper. He was my anchor during my pregnancy and my daughter's infancy. The oncoming storm called "Allons-y" and I went.
I was concerned when 11 took the reigns as he seemed so young and puppy-like. That galloping puppy reminded us that bad things in life don't make good things unimportant, and to make our stories good ones. He hollered "Geronimo" and leaped into adventure, and I followed.
Then there was 12. The previous "Nu-Who" Doctors had shouted for us to follow along with them, this one, this amazing incarnation of a timeless Time Lord, yelled "Shut up!" and I listened. I listened to the man with the face of a Pompeii patriarch, reminding him that he saves people, that's what he does. Even when they are pudding heads. And I knew this, this man with the lines on his face and the attack eyebrows and cross arms, this is the Doctor I've been waiting for. This is the Doctor I have needed. This is the Doctor I dreamed about.
Now one of the best characters ever introduced to the Whoniverse is absolutely the indefatigably adventurous River Song. River is a human conceived on the Tardis so she is essentially part Time Lord. She is also the Doctor's wife eventually. She is not his traveling companion and they both pursue other romantic interests when separated. And they are coming together in the wrong order. River says "Hello Sweetie" and you know, without a shadow of a doubt, that something epic is about to happen.
Back to my Geek Flag flying.
I designed a tattoo to exemplify my love and lessons from this silly Sci-Fi show from the BBC. On Monday before my birthday, I had my favorite (and regular) tattoo artist, install an homage to the geekiest of geeky television. I included the Tardis, and the sonic screwdrivers of both 12 and River Song. And connected everything with simplified "Gallifreyan" representing my daughter and me. My daughter loves the show almost as much as I do.
This tattoo is on my right forearm and is covered by full length sleeves, but I'm completely in love with it and what it means to me. I wish I could thank everyone involved in this creation from the United Kingdom. And especially Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi, Billie Piper, Freema Agyman, Catherine Tate, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, Alex Kingston, Jenna Coleman and all the writers, directors, crew, show runners... Everyone. I am so grateful that this silly show from my childhood matured and reappeared when I needed it most.
If you haven't heard of the Brock Allen Turner rape case, Google "Stanford Rape Victim Letter" and be prepared to be very very angry. If you have heard of this case, on top of all the high profile rape cases of the last several years, you will understand the inspiration for the following.
I have a daughter. Currently she is six-years-old. She is my only child. The only child I will ever have from my body. She is my light and love and life. She is the person who taught me what love is. She is the reason I left my husband and have worked so fucking hard to make myself a healthier, happier, more complete human. She is outgoing and brave and fast. She is annoying and intrusive and doesn't respect anyone's privacy but her own. She can talk non-stop, or not at all. She has ADHD and impulse control issues. She is going to be taller than I am, soon.
She is being picked on at school by a boy in her class.
If anyone tells me, or her, that any boy teases, pushes, pokes, pinches, harasses, annoys, bothers, verbally denigrates or otherwise hurts my little girl, is doing it because "he likes her"... I will get violent.
That attitude, that boys hurt the girls they like, that's the very first step toward the culture that allows a convicted rapist to be sentenced to THREE MONTHS of jail IN PROTECTIVE CUSTODY because his life shouldn't be too harshly affected by his "mistake."
That attitude, that boys hurt the girls they like, that is the beginning of the lifetime of conditioning that men receive that tells them if they want something, they get it.
That attitude, that boys hurt the girls they like, that "boys will be boys" is why rape victims are asked "What were you doing? What were you wearing? Why were you out alone? Why did you drink alcohol? Do you have sex? Do you have a boyfriend? Do you have sex with your boyfriend? Do you cheat?" And on and on and on...
That attitude is why rape victims are victimized over and over and over.
That attitude is why rape is vastly under reported.
Men and boys are not the default, the desired, the primo members of society. They share this planet with women and girls. They are responsible for their actions in the world and to the people around them. THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS. They are not gods. They need to know that if they want something, and they can not have it, it is not theirs for the taking. INCLUDING PEOPLE! Women and girls are not put on this earth to satisfy the desires of men and boys. We are here together. We are in this together.
Ever hear the phrase "fake it 'til you make it?" How about the concept of acting something until it becomes natural? Like faking confidence for public speaking until it becomes easy?
Men... Especially those men who have this idea that they are allowed access to anything their greedy little hearts desire... WE ARE IN THIS WORLD TOGETHER. Fucking act like it. Act like you understand that women have autonomy. Act like you respect those around you to have their own lives, their own desires, their own accountability. Act like if there is an incapacitated human being, you will protect that person from harm, even if there is a part of you that is horny and frustrated. Act like the hero that person needs. Act like this until you feel it. Act like this until you believe it. Act like this until it is TRUE.
Do not "act out."
Tonight my six-year-old daughter "bridged" from Daisies to Brownies in Girl Scouts.
This was a pretty casual event that involved an "international dinner" and earning of their final flower petal for their tunics. (I made colcannon, recipe follows.) It was hosted at a member's home and everything took place outside in the scorching June Mid-Atlantic evening. Yay for SPF50.
I was hiding from the sun (I really don't look almost 41 for a reason) and chatting with another mom from the group and had mentioned how my boss is very involved in Cub Scouts and therefore gets filled in on all my Girl Scouting adventures with my kid. The other mom jumps in and starts talking about how Boy Scouts is so much different than Girl Scouts because her son's troupe involves everyone in the family and they all get to go to every event and the Girl Scouts isn't the same.
"But maybe it's the troupe leader."
And that's when my internal monologue kicked into high gear because lets look at some well reported and known differences between the Girl and Boy Scouts.
Girl Scouts... Pro-Choice, LGBTQ inclusive, non-dogmatic regarding "god" in their practice (whatever floats your boat counts).
Boy Scouts... None of the above.
I don't give a shit if I'm the only person in the family that goes to my kid's scouting events... If I end up partnered with a woman, I won't be prevented from volunteering (this is not out of the realm of possibility). If my kid ends up queer, they won't kick her out. If my child starts talking about Odin when the subject of God comes up, that's going to be okay.
So fuck the family bbq with the Boy Scouts. I'll take my Girl Scouts every time.
5lbs Potatoes (Any thin skinned good boiling potato works)
2 Small heads of cabbage
3 Bunches Scallions (Green Onions)
3 Sticks Butter (Or Half Container Earth Balance)
Milk (Or unflavored Soy Milk)
Salt and Pepper
I'm Kirsten. Some things you could label me with; tattooed, geek, mama, animal lover, weirdo, nerd, writer, movie and TV addict, lazy, ambitious, insomniac, feminist, LGBTQ+.