FYI if you’re a self-righteous (but creepy) mom

To the mom who is overly obsessed with the dress of teenage girls.  Maybe change your priorities so that your righteous, perfect little boys don’t see girls as you do.

offensive post (links to actual post - feel free to go & leave a comment)

offensive post (links to actual post – feel free to go her post & leave a comment)

Also, in this post, why am I seeing a random picture of your chaste boys shirtless & flexing?  Is this post about muscle tone, or your recent vacation day to the beach?  No, it’s a judgmental post on what teenage girls wear in pictures posted on the internet.  So… um… why did you chose THIS post to put up such pictures of your boys?

Being a woman in this world is tough.  I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there is a global trend to disrespect, degrade, declassify, and rape women.  There’s a rape culture in the US, where comedians do stand-up routines where they make jokes about rape.  Women are *literally* paid less than their male counterparts for the same work put forth.

Raising a young lady in this world, a world that objectifies women, is tough.  [I am including you in this statement, because it is clear that you are objectifying these young girls]

I have a lot of little girls in my life.  From newborn girls that my friends have, to teenage nieces.  Guess what?  I make a concerted effort to NOT tell them them how cute they are.  They are FREAKIN ADORABLE.  And yet, it takes so much willpower for me to not say that everytime I see them.  Instead, I tell them how SMART they are.  How FUNNY.  How CHARMING.  And CREATIVE.  That they are STUBBORN & SASSY, but I wouldn’t trade that for the world, because so am I, and we are all FORCES.  Forces for change.  Forces to be reckoned with.  Forces that will bestow compassion and love unto the world.

When raising a young girl, you tell her to hold her head up high and stand up straight, with your shoulders back.  Well, I guess you see this pose as “a seductress with an arched back”.  Why don’t you see her as I do?  And because of the way you see her, you push that viewpoint onto those impressionable young boys that you’re raising.  By your sexualizing these young gals, you’re making them sexualize the girls as well.  Even if they weren’t in the first place.  Why are you putting this spin on the girls?

People dress differently in different parts of our own country, let alone the world.  When you looked at pictures in old National Geographic magazines, of tribal/aborigine people, did you sexualize them?  I know I didn’t.  Why is this objectification of women/girls the first thing that comes into your head when you look at pictures?  Also, what makes you not think that these pictures of your boys & husband (??) in this post would NOT be seen in the same light?  What an odd combination – this judgmental post on pictures with the particular pictures you chose.

Maybe teach your boys to not judge people by how they dress.  Maybe they dress horrid.  Maybe they are completely covered up – does that make them prudes?  If they show skin, does that make them loose?

It seems to me that you are looking through your son’s fb news feed, actively searching for pictures that you think might be provacative, then bringing more attention to them by hiding those friends of theirs.  What do you think this accomplishes?  You realize that they can still go to that friend’s page, & they will likely inspect that picture, scrutinizing it to comprehend why it is so offensive to you?  Do you want them to not be friends at all with this girl?  So then, you’re teaching young men of tomorrow to shun women who may dress immorally (as defined by you).  To judge, jury, & sentence women based on dress?  But you don’t want us judging your boys, right?

Girls are raised from such a young age with these societal ideals of beauty that they must live up to.  In every country.  The view of beauty changes depending on culture, but all young girls face it.  OUR GIRLS JUDGE THEMSELVES ENOUGH.  THEY DON’T NEED YOU.  Or your teaching your boys how to judge them.

Why are you not focused on raising your boys to respect women.  Not to look at them as physical beings, but as complex personalities.

public_shaming_051013-400x470

It’s not the responsibility of all the teenage girls to look and dress how you deem appropriate.  However, it IS your responsibility as the mother of boys to make sure they grow up to treat others with respect.  Not to differentiate between how they view other boys or girls.

What if your son is gay?  Would it be inappropriate for them to be friends then with a young man who, say… posts a picture of himself and his brothers & father, shirtless & flexing on a beach?  Wouldn’t your gay son find that a sexually-charged photo; one that would result in the blocking of that friend?

If you had faith in that you raised your sons to respect others for who they are on the inside, by the ‘content of their character’ instead of the physical package or dressing, you should trust them enough to view others in the proper light.

I’m not saying you’re a creep, I’m just saying your creepy.

let’s talk about guns

On Friday, December 14th a horrific thing happened. So horrific, that I can’t even tell you about it. That day was actually the first time in a decade that I did not use any sort of media, save the initial way that I found out. I got a tweet sent to my phone, something about a shooting. I was at work, at my desk, so immediately I clicked on google to check the news. As my cursor hoovered over the ‘Google News’ link, I stopped. Instead, I got up from my desk, and went to the desk of our social media person. If she tweeted it, she must know about it. So, I simply asked her.

She said there’d been a shooting at a school. At an elementary school. And children were killed. She was trying not to read about it too much, so she didn’t know much more than that. That was when I decided that I also didn’t really need to know much more than that. Elementary school? That meant 5-10 year olds. I really did not need to know any more than that 5-10 yr old children were killed for no good reason.

How did it come to this? Why? How?

That day, I did not watch any sort of news. Not online, radio, or tv. I didn’t check The Facebook. I couldn’t do it.

The next day, out of habit, I clicked on my facebook app soon after waking. I initially saw posts about guns. Pro- and against. I didn’t even scroll. Just on the screen when it opened where talks of guns. I instantly turned it off. I couldn’t do this. I couldn’t discuss guns. This wasn’t the time to discuss guns. I had heard (overheard really) enough to know that there was a man, mentally unstable, who got a hold of the gun & went on this rampage.

I couldn’t talk about guns. This actually had very little to do w/ the 2nd amendment, and EVERYTHING to do w/ caring for one another. Caring. Not enabling. Instantly I was reminded of celebrities who had spiraled out of control, only to die well before their time. Rock stars w/ entourages, entire staff of ppl solely for them, and yet no one says a word as they slowly kill themselves. Let alone their family. I know I’ve written about this before.

God knows that if I gain a good 10 lbs, I’m reminded that I need to exercise & eat right. I’m reminded of my family history of diabetes. But more importantly, I’m reminded that there are ppl in my life that love me, and love having me around.

If I’m doing something wrong, I get lectured. Lectured. It’s a funny word. Such a negative connotation. But usually lectures are for the greater good, non? You attend lectures for knowledge. When your parents/elders, or siblings/equals, lecture you, it’s b/c they want to see you well. Live well.

So, this was not really the time for talks on guns. It was a great moment to call to the attention of America to look out for your fellow man. Do right by them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

That being said…. I”m not saying there is no discussion about guns to be had at all. I’m just saying that the time for gun regulations was after the Columbine shooting. How did those boys get those guns?

Notice I said regulation, not prohibition. God forbid I insinuate taking away anyone’s right to an amendment that was conceived at a time when men forcing themselves upon their enslaved women was not considered rape. For as progressive as we think we are, we hold onto some pretty archaic truths.

At any rate, I do have friends who are licensed to carry a concealed weapon, and they do; and I have no issues with it. I’m not concerned with those licensed to carry. Statistics prove that they’re not the ones killing others in society. It’s the unlicensed carriers.

There needs to be regulations on how folks go about OBTAINING guns. Gun shows. Internet. Street solicitation. Guns are readily available. And not just small handguns, like a pregnant girlfriend of mine carries. But semi-automatic machinery, built for combat. Assault weapons.

We went after Iraq for weapons of mass destruction that they did not have. Why not stop the assault weapons trade here in our own country.

I’m not glad this happened so that we are FINALLY ready to have a conversation about this. The time for conversation about this has long gone, time & time again. The time for this conversation was in ’99, after Columbine. I understand we were stunned then. We could not imagine that something like this could have happened, or could ever happen again, as we were all on the same page that it was horrific. Other shootings happened, but they were spread out, and not like the Columbine shootings. Not by a youngster, and not at a school.

But then in 2007, an 18-yr old shot up a Salt Lake City mall. Who’d imagine, in the midwest? Two months later, Virginia Tech. This time was the perfect time to discuss gun control laws. But nothing. That same year, a couple weeks before Christmas, another midwest mall is shot up, this time by a 19-yr old w/ a semi-automatic. If 1999 & COlumbine was not the time for these talks, then 2007 most certainly was the most appropriate time. Three shootings by young men who should not have had access to those guns, shot 74 ppl.

We also had an opportunity as a nation to have this conversation again in 2011, when Gabby Giffords was shot, along w/ 18 others.

Sigh. Let’s finally discuss guns. Please.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • December 11, 2012. Clackamas Town Center, Oregon. 22-year-old Jacob Tyler Roberts stole a rifle & killed 2 people along w/ himself.
  • September 27, 2012. Minneapolis, MN. 36-yr old Andrew Engeldinger at Accent Signage Systems lost his job, & killed 5, wounded 3, before killing himself.
  • August 5, 2012. Oak Creek, Wisconsin. 40-year-old US Army veteran Wade Michael Page killed 6 Sikh temple goers, injured 4, before killing himself. Religiously motivated.
  • July 20, 2012. Aurora, CO. 24-year-old James Holmes killed 12 & wounded 58 at a midnight premiere showing of The Dark Knight Rises.
  • May 29, 2012. Seattle, WA. Ian Stawicki opened fire on Cafe Racer Espresso, killed 5 & eventually himself after a manhunt.
  • April 6, 2012. Tulsa, OK. 19-yr old Jake England, and 32-yr old Alvin Watts shot 5 black men (3 died), in a racially motivated shooting spree.
  • April 2, 2012. Oakland, CA. A former student, 43-year-old One L. Goh killed 7 at Oikos University, a Korean Christian college. It was the 6th-deadliest school massacre in the US & the deadliest attack on a school since the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre.
  • February 27, 2012. Chardon, OH. Thomas “TJ” Lane killed 3 fellow students at his Chardon High School, injuring 3 others.
  • October 14, 2011. Seal Beach, CA. 41-year-old Scott Evans Dekraai, killed 6 women & 2 men at Salon Meritage hair salon.
  • September 6, 2011. Carson City, NV. 32-yr old Eduardo Sencion walked into an IHOP & shot 12 people; 5 died, including 3 National Guard members.
  • January 8, 2011. Tucson, AZ. 22-year-old Jared Loughner walked into a political event at a Safeway market & opened fire, killing 6 & injuring then Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ, shot in the head). Among the 6 killed were Arizona District Court Chief Judge John Roll & a 9-year-old girl. 19 total were shot. Loughner sentenced to 7 life terms plus 140 years, without parole.
  • August 3, 2010. Manchester, CT. Omar S. Thornton, 34, gunned down Hartford Beer Distributor after he was caught stealing beer. 9 killed, including Thornton, & two injured.
  • November 5, 2009. Fort Hood army base, TX. Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan opened fire, shooting 43 people & killing 13.
  • April 3, 2009. Binghamton, NY. Jiverly Wong, 41, opened fire at an immigration center before committing suicide. He killed 13 people, wounding 4.
  • March 29, 2009. Carthage, NC. 45-yr-old Robert Stewart walked into the Pinelake Health and Rehab nursing home, looking for his estranged wife who worked there. He killed 8 people. Stewart was sentenced to life in prison.
  • February 14, 2008. Northern Illinois University. Steven Kazmierczak, 27, opened fire in a lecture hall, killing 6 & wounding 21 before killing himself
  • February 7, 2008. Kirkwood, Missouri. Charles Lee Thornton, opened fire during a public meeting at City Hall. 6 died & 2 injured, before Thornton was killed by police.
  • December 5, 2007. Omaha, NE. 19-yr-old, Robert Hawkins, walked into a department store at Westroads Mall, & opened fire. He killed 9 & wounded 4 before killing himself.
  • April 16, 2007. Virginia Tech. Student Seung-Hui Choi, shot 56 people, 32 died, in the deadliest school massacre in US.
  • February 12, 2007. Salt Lake City. 18-yr-old gunman Sulejman Talović shot & killed 5, wounded 4 at Trolley Square Mall.
  • October 2, 2006. Lancaster, PA. 32-yr-old Charles Carl Roberts entered an Amish schoolhouse, separated the boys from the girls, then bond and shot the girls. 5 young girls died, 6 were injured. Roberts then committed suicide.
  • March 25, 2006. Seattle, WA. 28-year-old Kyle Aaron Huff started shooting at Capitol Hill; 7 died, 2 injured.
  • March 21, 2005. Red Lake, MN. Teenager Jeffrey Weise killed his grandfather & grandfather’s girlfriend, then opened fire at Red Lake Senior High School, killed 9 people & injured 5 there. Weise then killed himself.
  • March 12, 2005. Brookfield, WI. 44-yr-old church member Terry Michael Ratzmann entered a church meeting at a Sheraton hotel, and opened fire. He killed the pastor, the pastor’s teenage son, and 7 others, before killed himself. 4 others were wounded.
  • July 8, 2003. Meridian, MS. Doug Williams entered a Lockheed Martin plant where he worked, and started shooting. He shot 14 people, targeting the African-Americans, & killed 7 before killing himself.
  • December 26, 2000. Wakefield, MA. Edgewater Technology employee Michael “Mucko” McDermott shot & killed seven coworkers at the office. He was sentenced to 7 consecutive life sentences. McDermott claimed he had “traveled back in time and killed Hitler and the last 6 Nazis.”
  • September 15, 1999. Fort Worth, TX. Larry Gene Ashbrook opened fire at a Christian rock concert & teen prayer rally at Wedgewood Baptist Church. He killed 7 & wounded another 7, almost all teenagers. Ashbrook then committed suicide.
  • July 29, 1999. Atlanta, GA. Mark Orrin Barton, 44, murdered his wife & two children w/ a hammer, then shot up 2 Atlanta day trading firms. Barton killed 12 including his family & injured 13 before killing himself.
  • April 20, 1999. Littleton, CO. Deadliest high school shooting in US history. Students Eric Harris & Dylan Kiebold shot up Columbine High School, killing 13 & wounded 21 others. They killed themselves after the massacre.

Can we discuss the gun problem in the US now?

Clinton liaison for Israel & Palestine

Am I the only 1 who thinks that sending former US President Bill Clinton to motivate a treaty & peace between Israel & Palestine, is a likely solution?

He almost had them at the cusp of something back in 2000. No one has come close to what he’s been able to do in extreme foreign circumstances.

UPDATE (Nov. 21, 2012): I knew it! Well, I knew it’d take a Clinton! I just had the wrong Clinton pegged! I saw Hillary Clinton do her whirlwind tour yesterday, from Myanmar/Burma to Israel, Egypt, & the West Bank. AND NOW LOOK! CEASE FIRE. THANK YOU, Sec. Clinton.

Florida’s blue

So. Florida has finally gone blue. That is, it’s electoral votes are now called for Obama. Four days later. Only most of America is done with the election, and we’ve already discovered that we can definitively call an election without Florida.

Now, I think you know where I’m going with this, as this is not the first time I’ve proposed that we get rid of Florida.

Let’s just saw the doggone appendage off! Who’s with me!?

forgive student loans

I’ma put in my 2 cents too.

When you get a student loan, you sign a PROMISSORY NOTE to get that loan. PROMISSORY. You LITERALLY PROMISE to pay that money back.

Teaching impressionable, quick to jump young adults that you can just take money for free is irresponsible. If anything, we need to tackle the issue of rising tuition costs that are out of control. NOT teach our youth that you can sign a promissory note for tens of thousands of dollars & just ask them to be “forgiven”. It’s not like you ate your co-workers piece of cake. It’s TENS of THOUSANDS of dollas! And you signed a paper after “loan counseling” PROMISING to pay it back! Are we teaching STUDENTS, those who are signing up asking to learn, that reneging on your word is the way to start your independent life?!?!?!

For the record, b/c for some reason, my personal experience will be questioned & thought of as relevant — I did take out loans. I was not given a free education. I am the daughter of immigrants. I did work 80-90 hrs a week during my summers from college, & I did take 10 yrs to pay off my loans. But I did pay them off, & I’m glad I did. My student loans taught me to budget, be responsible, & helped me raise my credit score. And if I do say so myself, my credit score is pretty spectacular!

bully the movie

There’s a new movie coming out, “Bully”.

It’s gotten an “R” rating by the Motion Picture Association of America, ONLY due to the usage of the “F-word” in this film. But the words used are those of children, ages 11-17, told to other children. There are much more violent & adult-themed movies given a rating of PG-13.

But this movie, one that should prob be shown in schools, one that is teaching our youth of the real consequences of bullying, has been given an “R” rating, & will not be seen by those who need to see it most.

These kids already know these words. Geez, I am shocked by how much kids know these days. I certainly did not use any type of bad words when I was a kid. I never saw a movie that had the “F-word” in it until I was 18; and my jaw dropped when I heard it b/c I was in a large public space & there it was, coming off a huge movie screen. But these kids today? They hear bad words & see questionable content everywhere. I don’t remember songs with bad words on the radio when I was a kid either. But I hear stuff on the radio now; & even when they attempt to bleep stuff, you know what they’re bleeping.

Anyway, I’ve signed this petition. It was started by a Katy Butler, a high-schooler in Ann Arbor, MI. I heard about this on the Ellen show today (it was a previous episode on my dvr); and I had to post about it. Katy has started this petition to change the rating to PG-13 so that this movie can be seen by those who need to see it most.

Pls sign this petition: MPAA: Don’t let the bullies win! Give ‘Bully’ a PG-13 instead of an R rating!

You may also want to contact the Motion Picture Association of America: ContactUs@mpaa.org
Phone & Fax # for offices in major cities: http://www.mpaa.org/about/contact

Trailer for the movie:

219 slaves

I know everyone’s talkin about taking the N-word outta Huck Finn. Just a reminder to those who think it’s no longer going to be offensive, there will still be 219 instances of the word “slave”. If I read 219 instances of the word “slave” w/in 300 pages, it’s still going to make me sick to my stomach.

They’re taking out the “n” word & the “in” word (that’s nigger & injun to those of you who haven’t heard yet). There are 219 instances of these words in the text, if you include the Table of Contents.

Here’s why I don’t mind it.

First, it’s ONE publishing company offering up ONE different version for a targeted demographic audience. Some of these students would actually prob not ever read this book if not forced to do so in school. We’re talking the deep South. Highly conservative ppl who likely have convinced their boards of education to not teach evolution. But I think we all remember some lumps of mass that we went to middle/high school with, & how they did nothing in class.

We live in a capitalist society, & I’m all for capitalism. Someone down in Alabama (a liberal prof, actually) found a need to push a product that can generate demand. He’s a smart dude. His daughter’s African-American friend felt uncomfortable being in a classroom w/ other kids reading the n-word here & there.

I don’t know if you remember your pre-teen & adolescent years, but they’re not easy for those who feel “different”…. & for the record, everyone feels different.

I despise censorship. But I also feel that if 12-17 year olds are reading this in a mixed class…. and I don’t mean “mixed” in ethnicity, but I mean it in terms of “mixed tolerance”…. then, some of those punks are going to emphasize that word w/ the mentality that they’re getting away w/ calling someone that. I can see some 16-yr old boy, raised by bigoted parents, sneering at someone else in the class as he e-nun-ci-ates the word clearly & deliberately.

This one publisher offering up this one edition of the book, targeted toward middle/junior-high schools is not censorship. It’s an opportunity for the text to be offered up to a greater audience. They can always pick up a copy of the actual text, then or in the future, from a bookstore/online/library.

I remember being 6 yrs old, & having a picture book of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn & Tom Sawyer. My parents bought me tons of “learner books” of stories & tales, so that I would read more & learn English. [You have to remember, I did not speak English when we first moved to the States when I was almost 5 yrs old]

There were picture books of it, then the original text by Mr. Twain. This new version is like a “stepping block”.

You know I’ve complained about the TX Board of Education stripping their curriculum… taking out Thomas Edison & wanting to teach more about country music!

Part of me is just scared of the direction some schools in the South are taking. It is my hope that this new edition limits the excuse that the book should be banned altogether in some schools, & that the students will learn upon entering the world (or from their parents) that it was not the truest version of what Twain wrote.

It is & will always be available in the uncut form everywhere else. I’ve watched edited versions of rated R movies on tv when I was 14. & I like that they play “radio edited versions” of certain songs/raps on the radio, b/c I don’t want some 8 yr who’s not going to understand it to hear it. I’m happy w/ letting my kids read the unedited (uncensored), rawest form of the book…. when they’re at an age when it’s appropriate for them. Even now, as an adult, I have an edited version of the Bhagvad Gita… b/c I don’t understand the old text, & I want to be able to read it, but need a version that I can comprehend.

Also, I am of the belief that Mr. Clemens wrote this book for adults. His fellow adult citizens of this country which, even after the Civil War, did not accept the end of slavery. So, it makes sense that a version w/out (what we consider) expletives is offered to a younger audience, just as is done w/ music on the radio or tv. Explicit versions of other media are still easily accessible for the youth via other venues (home/internet/library/stores).

Lastly, I certainly hope no one thought he was racist. He wrote a formal letter, asking to be able to pay tuition of a gifted young African-American, saying he was ashamed that this bright man was held down all his life & could be someone great one day, w/ his financial help.

“We have ground the manhood out of them, and the shame is ours and not theirs, and we should pay for it.”

This was from a letter to Francis Wayland, Dean of Yale Law School; written the same year that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published. In this letter, Twain offered to pay the tuition of a black student at law school. He also paid the costs at a Southern school of a black student who became a minister.

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