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We have a serious problem

“1 in 4 women in college today has been the victim of rape, and nearly 90% of them
knew their rapist.”

The above statistic makes me sick to my stomach. I have a daughter that will be off to college in a few years. But I also have a son. And as much as I pray for her to stay safe and smart, I’m teaching him to not be a rapist.

The statistics and numbers are staggering. Alarming. The case of campus rape and assault has been in the news a lot lately. The president addressed it in a speech. Rutger University students are creating apps to have on mobile phones to keep women safe on campus.

There’s nail polish that changes color in a drink to detect if it’s been rufied.

That’s great. But we have a problem folks.

We’re not changing the culture of our society. As brutal as it sounds, and like describing a middle eastern third world country, we are a rape culture people.

The United States of America is still a rape culture.

Why?

Because we still put the responsibility on the woman to keep herself safe. The problem is we aren’t teaching our sons to NOT RAPE.

Now while I really appreciate these apps and I will probably have my daughter download them on her own phone (You can read about the apps here.) But it troubles me when I keep hearing of all these measures for women to protect themselves and I don’t hear how we’re changing our culture and society for men to protect women instead of victimizing them. Girls are responsible to not dress provocatively. They can’t wear short skirts to school or school dances. Heaven forbid a boy would be distracted. Girls need to be responsible to not drink too much at a party. They need to stick together in a group. They need to check in with their friends. Reasonable measures indeed. But how nice it would be if men were gentlemen. Saints even.

We need to change when even fashion can dictate what’s cool for guys.

What about male clothing that promotes rape? Can you believe there are shirts with that message?

Foulmouthshirts.com (I will not offer the link, you can take my word for it) has shirts on their website, mind you, in over 350 colors and font styles, that read,

“It’s not rape. It’s a snuggle with a struggle.”

Idakoos.com sells shirts that read “I Love Motionless Girls”

People. This is war.

We have to stop this. It’s a huge battle on a steep hill, but can we please instill in our boys to respect women?

I know it’s not fun to teach our kids the birds and the bees. I know the conversations can be awkward.

But we need to be straightforward about sex, boundaries and respect. We need to talk to them about porn and not to download it. Yes. It’s degrading to women. So be up front with your boys. Tell them that is not how people have sex.

Tell them what is not okay when it comes to dating a girl.

Can we show them that the Ray Rice’s of the world and the Kobe Bryants are not heroes. Yeah. Remember Kobe was found not guilty of raping that woman in a hotel room, but I don’t believe it for a second that he’s innocent.

But let’s focus back on the campus situation. Women working together to protect each other is a great thing. Yes. Apps, buddy systems, staying sober; all of it, is important.

These are necessary since according to the Department of Justice, a college campus of 10,000 students could experience as many as 350 rapes per year.

If those numbers are unsettling (I attended the University of Washington, a campus of 50,000 students, that’s a potential 2400 rapes per year.) and make you want to bring your pitch fork to your nearest university, then listen to this:

Every 21 hours there is a rape on a college campus.

43% of college men admit to using coercive behavior to have sex, ignoring the woman’s protest.

1 in 12 college men admit to fulfilling the prevailing definition of rape, but don’t consider themselves rapists.

Only 10% of victims even report the rape.

And this is only the surface folks. There’s more stats where these came from. Shall we grab our torches now?

Do women just run around being all victimy? Or are young men predators? I’m sure most of these sons are good kids in all other areas.  Clearly we aren’t doing enough to keep them from thinking this behavior is okay. That along with teaching them to hold doors open for ladies, we haven’t pointed out it’s not okay to hold them down for a ‘snuggle with a struggle’.

What has to change? Let’s not make it the woman’s job to protect herself.

Is it some good ol’ boys club that encourages this behavior? That ‘bro code’ is more important than the safety of their girlfriends, co-eds and friends?

We need to teach our sons what rape is and not to do it. That there is no ‘gray area’. Where are the good boys? The gentlemen? Where are the young men to intervene in these frat house or dorm room situations? Because what is more important than a can of pepper spray to a woman, is a man setting an example and pulling back the curtain on his friends’ repugnant behavior.

Frugalista Blog tells us we need to teach our boys not to rape

I’m sickened after hearing even some of our senators and state representatives that still think there’s some justifiable reason to rape a woman.

No. There’s not.

What if she’s drunk? Nope. Not then.

What if she’s passed out? Nope. Not then.

What if she’s wearing a short skirt and you’re kissing her? Nope.

What if she came over when your parents weren’t home and you both got naked? Not even then.

I’m telling you moms and dads- it’s time we teach our boys about how to band together and honor women, and not just teach our daughters where to kick a guy in the groin or buy her magic rufie nail polish.

Are you with me?

For more information and sickening statistics-

http://www.crisisconnectioninc.org/sexualassault/college_campuses_and_rape.htm

https://www.rainn.org/public-policy/campus-safety

My thighs are flabby, and I’m trying to love them anyway.

The other day on my Facebook wall I asked if people could have one wish, what would it be for. About 95% of you said you want to be skinnier, or be able to eat what you want and not gain weight.

I should also add that people wished to be richer too. I wouldn’t mind that either.

But as far as weight goes, let me try and help. Ladies listen up.

I want to tell you that you are just fine.

You want to fit in that swimsuit because online websites like E!Online post pictures like this one-

with a headline called ‘Bikini Body Wars’ and have viewers vote on which one looks better. Really? There’s mommy wars and now bikini body wars? Because I think it’s great to line up three women who look amazing all in their own way, and let the scrutinizing public pick which one ‘rocks a bikini’ the best.

Insert big eye roll. Oh wait, I just saw my brain.

The Girl made a comment to me in the car when I pointed out someone we know who has what I called, ‘a beer gut’ (he does like beer). She said, “well you have a mom gut.” Ouch.

That stung. I told her that I have a perfectly fine tummy that has squishy skin from having babies, but please don’t imply that I am fat.

I sat in the front seat facing forward and pouted a little. How am I to continue my own body love and try to encourage her to love herself, if she makes flippant remarks about my flab?

She apologized and said she was only joking. But it still hurt. Now this isn’t to get all down on Emma. She was just being a sarcastic teenager, which 90% of the time, we banter back and forth and have a good laugh afterwards.

But that particular moment, I wasn’t feeling it. I felt like crying instead. I felt like screaming, “I can’t be perfect, I can just be me!”

Later, she and I had a private exchange that ended in hugs and tears. She apologized again and told me how beautiful and chic I am. Which surprised me because I thought she thought I was a dork.

I told her that I’m always praising her wonderful body for the way it is. And it means a lot if she would do the same for me. That even though I’m older, my thighs are dimpled, my butt jiggles when I run, and my boobs look like sad, sad strawberries left in a food dehydrator too long, I still need acceptance. I work for how I look. I try to take care of myself and do things for my health, inside and out.

And then I realized, I need to stop describing myself with these words- flabby, jiggly, strawberries…

I think she saw me as a woman at that moment, and not just her mom. I’m hoping it was a breakthrough. This is when the tears came and we hugged it out.

I want us all to have these breakthroughs. To be forgiving of each other and ourselves. To know that if you are doing what you can to eat reasonably well, get in some exercise and look after yourself- you don’t have to look like Gisele Bundchen or Jennifer Aniston or Kate Beckinsale. Do I try to improve how I look? You bet. Here’s one way I’ve done it- read here.

I want to be sinewy and sleek. Toned and taut. But hey, I’m okay if I’m not those things. Remember this post about me in my bikini? Am I Fat?  I’m a little soft and squishy, but I think I look damn good.

I want you to say that about yourself too. I want you to look in a mirror and realize that you look damn good. Whatever you’re trying to change- if it’s for your health and strength- keep doing it. Great! If it’s because you think you need to because of what 3% of other gals in this world look like, then pause, and tell yourself how good looking you are right now in THIS moment. Not tomorrow. Not after your diet. Now.

And dear sweet Emma; you are beautiful now and you will be beautiful in 30 years when you have the same stretch marks and cellulite that I have. And I hope you have a child that tells you that you are the most wonderful woman who is beautiful inside and out, just like you told me that night.

 

 

 

In The Powder Room today- Not Just a Girl…

Lately there’s an overload of social media, young narcissist pop-stars  and rehab celebrities; I crafted this post from some inspiration I came across last week.

Okay, ironically, yes, I came across the inspiration from social media- shush.

But really, I think this is just a dose of some goodness we need.

Read on here at In the Powder Room-

Emma and Amelia Earhart by Jaime C Moore

 

Wife Confession: I enjoy the hubs away on business trips. Short ones, of course.

I think the further into marriage and kids you delve, the more you realize how much you like to be alone. Or is that just me?

I love my kids, I love my husband. Blah blah blah. You know this to be true. But come on. I love being alone. I’m the Greta Garbo of my peers. Leave me alone to bask in the glow of the reality TV show from my flat screen. Let me nap with the dog on the couch. Let me go poop by myself and change my maxi pad without interruption.

So when McSweetie had a business trip this week, I felt more sense of me time than just when he’s at work. Why? Maybe because after the kids go to bed, I rule the family room and the remote. Okay, I rule the remote most nights anyway. BUT. I got to sit around, pass gas, drink wine and watch all the Lifetime movies a girl could want. And they were holiday Lifetime movies. Even better.

So hubs comes home in the evening from the airport, kids are happy to see him, yada yada, and I’m moaning on the couch  before it’s time to tuck in the boy. I’ve heated up the hot pad twice and stuffed it in my pajama pants. This my friends, is a clear signal that Aunt Flo has come to town and she’s brought her suitcase. Did McSweetie notice this? Not so much. He asks what’s wrong. I mouth ‘cramps’ and give that all knowing look like, ‘poor me, I has armageddon uterus.’ What does he do? He gives me the exasperated look like, ‘didn’t you just have your period’, and says to me “that’s not what I was expecting.”

I stayed quiet, popped some Aleve and reheated my heat pad. I waited for him to fall asleep on the couch while I concocted this entire speech in my head.

Here goes:

“THAT’S NOT WHAT YOU WERE EXPECTING? REALLY? Yeah, well, newsflash bucko, it’s been 25 days since the last one. I’m sorry I wasn’t greeting you at the door wearing nothing but a trench coat and had the kiddos already tucked in bed sleeping soundly so we could have wild monkey sex on the dining room table. Which if you hadn’t noticed already was cleared off of its crap from the last several months.

Yeah, and another thing. You probably thought, ‘oh bummer, looks like the wifey isn’t up for some lovin’ tonight. Whoa is me, I won’t get some.’ But did you ever think- ‘Awww, poor thing. Look at her. She’s done all the chores and even scrubbed the base boards (I did actually, can you believe it?!) and she has an achy uterus and feels poorly.’

But did you think that? Hmm, did you?? NO. Of course you didn’t.

You don’t care that the pain I feel in my baby box slightly resembles that of the first few hours of labor. Where my endometrial lining is screaming at me and I have pain spasms all the way down my butt. Yeah. So there.

Don’t mind me. I just dropped off your dry cleaning, kept the children alive, washed the sheets, scrubbed the base boards (Did I mention I scrubbed the baseboards?) and cleaned up some crap from forever ago, and am sitting here being miserable in my female-ness that I have NO CONTROL over!

So yeah. Go fall asleep on the couch. No nookie for you.

Men.

Frugalistablog for President?

It’s time we had a woman in office.

But I don’t think that gal is me.

The fancy state dinners and meeting the Olympic champions and winners of the Superbowl would be fun. I’d love being in the balcony at the Kennedy Center Honors. But holy shit. The scrutiny of public office would put me in a state of the runs. There’s not enough pepto and chamomile tea to comfort that twisted feeling deep down in that lower intestine of mine.

This is what being President would be like for me: I would come up with great ideas and policies. And then they would always have a flip side of how they wouldn’t work.

Every 3rd Friday of the month is free lip gloss day at Sephora.

This just in- the Council of Shoe Addicts is concerned that you didn’t give their platform a voice. (see what I did there? Platform?? Nevermind.)

Oh crap. You just can’t please everyone.

How about this one-

Whenever you file your taxes early you get a kitten.

This just in- Dog lovers aren’t pleased.

Christ on a bike!!

This just in- Roller bladers that like Jesus feel left out.

Oh for the love of cheese, I can’t win!

 

How about let’s have International High Tea day! All the countries of the world will join in tea and scones for everyone!

This is a good id… WHAT NOW???

Forget it.

Don’t even get me started on the criticism. The comments on my hair and clothes would be relentless.

But here’s the thing. I want rainbows, puppies and cupcakes for everyone. I want children to not go hungry. Animals to have warm, safe homes. I want veterans to have employment. I want world peace. I want fabulous schools and education for all.

Call me an optimist, call me an idiot. I always want the best for people. What I want, isn’t what everyone wants. So the means to an end doesn’t always match everyone’s ideals.

This is why I would suck at politics. I would spend nights crying in my pillow wondering why people didn’t like my ideas. My feelings would be hurt by the jokes the late night television hosts would use to slay my personality quirks and make fun of my Drew Barrymore-ish lisp. The pundits would have a field day with my policies.

I have to believe that Jon Stewart would have something nice to say about me.

So, luckily, you don’t have to vote for me.  But do vote, please. Someone fought for that.

Am I Fat?

Well I’ll save you the trouble of answering that. No, I’m not.

But I still struggle with how I look, as does 99 % of the females in this country do too. I want to focus on my inner beauty. I do. But most of the time I’m a little distracted by the outer train wreck that is my aging self and I forget these important things.

I need to tell myself,  I’m okay. You need to tell YOURSELF that you’re okay. But some things in the media have been bothering me and I will get them off my chest.

Sports Illustrated swim suit model, Kate Upton, has been called fat. Fat?  Hmm, here’s a picture of her-

I’m sorry, who’s complaining?

and here-

How many folks would let her eat crackers in their bed? Show of hands please.

And here’s a blog about what the hell is wrong with people out there calling her fat. I knew about ProAna, (how-to Anorexia website) but I didn’t know about Thinspirational lingo. Gag me. And not in the Bulimia way folks.

 

So when I ask, Am I fat? the answer is still no. But I would be considered a plus size model in the industry. Plus size!  I waver around a solid size 6. My jeans are sometimes an 8, because they’re jeans people!  So Plus size? I don’t even shop at Lane Bryant. Why would I be Plus size if I don’t wear Plus size?  I’m an average size 5’6″ , one hundred and firthnmumpteen pounds.  Even my feet are an average size 8.

My BMI is healthy, my proportions are right- I’m like 34, 27, 38. Okay, I’m 32, 28,39. Whatever. It depends on the time of the month. However, nothing, and I mean NOTHING, can help with the dimples, dots, divets, veins, stretch marks and pimply pale skin that is me. Between the barnacles, skin tags, 3rd nipples…did I just say that? I mean, my dermatologist says it’s just my skin overactive in the mammalian variety, whatever.. ANYWAY, it’s not pretty.

 

I am not a plus-sized, woman. I am a healthy, 40 year old, soft and squishy mom of 2!

Comments from people on Kate Upton article read,  ‘oh, she’s pretty, but she could tone up a bit’. Really people? You are going to knock a woman for being a bit, uhm, womanly? Reading fashion magazines and beauty magazines is dumbing down our senses. We are conditioned to see size zero perfectly airbrushed models that DON’T EXIST in the real world! Nit picking over every fold, inch, pudge or dimple is dangerous. Stop seeing just the hole when there’s the entire donut to focus on! A donut with chocolate icing and extra sprinkles that is so wonderful, you forget there’s a hole.

So here- tell me I’m fat. Go on, I dare ya. (Okay, please don’t. Yeah, thanks.)

Would it be fun to be a svelte, tone, size 2? Yes.  But I’m glad I’m HEALTHY, STRONG, and HAPPY!

I’m 40 and freaking fantastic!

Take that stupid magazines- you can suck my 3rd nipple. (DID I JUST SAY THAT?)

Samantha Brick can be MY friend, and I wouldn’t be jealous. I promise.

I’m a little excited over here in blogger land. I recorded my first VLOG!! Yep- you get to see my sweet mug and then some!

So here’s a little background on this ditty:

Samantha Brick is a woman in the UK who says life has been so hard being pretty. Women hate her and are backstabbing bitches because of her good looks. She has never been a bridesmaid because the brides feel threatened she will steal their groom.

She has had to dress down at work for fear of being TOO attractive. Also- she can’t wait to age when the wrinkles and gray hairs make her look more average.

Wow, this chick is a piece of work.

Here’s the articles from the original UK post-

Women hate her because she’s beautiful

Her article proves women are bitchy because of the response world wide

Here’s my response:

It’s a little rambling, a little long. But I have visual aids and wear a tiara. So it’s worth a look. Enjoy!

Happy National Mental Illness Awareness Week.

Okay, so I’m a few months off. It was actually back in October. But don’t you think every flippin’ week should be Mental Illness Awareness Week? What about National PMS week? Oh wait, never mind.

My mom gave me an article from the New York Times Magazine (“All the Rage” by Ayelet Waldman) that flipped a light bulb on in my head like a dark attic lighting up for the first time in years (insert blond jokes here, if you will). It was about a woman’s diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder II that was really her body needing SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor). Chemicals in a woman’s body that metabolizes Progesterone the week before Aunt Flo and that is what causes our roller coaster mood drop. So she wasn’t Bipolar at all, just really PMSing! BAD!  Apparently, we also go through mood shifts right before ovulation when our luteinizing hormones surge- aka estrogen. Apparently, these really fuck up our brains . Yeah, no shit!! I’ve discussed my PMDD and Dysmenorreah before with you.  I’m not going all WebMd here, just making some realizations that might help me and help us all.

Thank you Ms. Waldman for a candid and eye-opening piece.  Could we have your article printed on boxes of Tampax please so everyone gets this information?

I should just call my blog the Freakin PMS blog, I know! I seem to always write about it. Well, there’s a lot of mommy bloggers out there writing about diapers and shit and they don’t call their blogs, ‘the diapers and shit blog’. If there is one called that, please send it my way, cuz that’s probably some funny stuff.

So where was I? Right. Complaining. Again. More like, enlightening you all on your own vicious cycles. Ohh, wouldn’t that be an awesome name for an all girl indie-bitch rock band- The Vicious Cycles!! Okay, if THAT already exists, then I want to know and buy their single on iTunes.

I feel like everything in my life is related to my hormones. The good days, the bad days. The productive days. The please-honey-don’t-touch-me-you-mother-fucker-asshat days, to the -gosh-you’re-the-sweetest-husband/father-anyone-could-ever-want days. To the I’m so strong and awesome when I work out, to I’m so fat and gross and pathetic. Anybody else relate?

The woman in the article said she kept a journal of every week of every month and recorded her sleep habits, irritations, moods, etc. She saw patterns develop and could anticipate what hormones were doing what when. She knew what anxiety medication to take, what hormone therapy to take when, when a glass of wine was helpful (not everyday as you might think!) and when she was most productive, and least effective. She knew when to anticipate the honey badger days, or the honeymoon days.

I guess what really inspired me was how much she took control of her situation. Not just laid around feeling crummy, home in her bathrobe with a half-melted pint of B&Js Americone Dream opened next to her on one side, and a bottle of vodka on the other. And just happening to check Google calendar and ‘oh whaddya know’, notice the date. Sound familiar? Too familiar. No kidding.

The article even mentions having your husband in on the process and when you are about to go all honey badger on him over the dishwasher or credit card bill, he looks at the journal and realizes the week, writes down his misgivings, and saves them for when you are in a good mood. Nice husband. Not sure all will want to play by those rules. I’m going to have a dry erase board in my bedroom color coded like the kids’ after school activities and car pool charts of my moods, sleep patterns and irritations each week- so he’ll know when I’m heading into my honey badger days. Maybe I’ll find one on Pinterest that someone has crafted themselves.

Oh dear god, please don’t tell me THAT exists too! Someone came up with a Flow Chart on Pinterest?? Get it?? Flow chart??

I crack myself up! (Must be a good week.)

And there’s something else lurking around the corner. My daughter will be 12 soon. 12. We know what THAT means. James is clearly relieved we have only one daughter. He’s already outnumbered with just me. I know, I’m a freakin’ force to be reckoned with. When Emma comes along, OH BOY…Satan’s Exacta.

Did you see Modern Family? You know what I’m talking about- “Satan’s Trifecta’.

Modern Family ‘Monsteration’ episode

Thanks Amazon. This makes menstruation look fun for sure.

A happy uterus is a...happy uterus? Are MY ovaries purple too?

well of course there's an app for it!! This is for conception, not mental health. I might try it anyway.

Oh- don’t be an asshat and forget to vote. Scroll up and click on the Circle Of Moms badge and vote for me. Thank you!

Please excuse me while I complain

I’m feeling a little honeybadgerish now. Or stabby. Or just downright bitchy.

My apologies. If you don’t like swear words, rants, or any references to PMS, then stop reading. Or if you are married to me, you can stop reading also.

Yes, hormones can do a number on us all. Why even men can be total dicks if they have too much testosterone. Think of steroids. Dickwads.

Now there’s estrogen. Good lord, how much of this stuff do we need coursing through us? Well, enough I guess to keep us from growing facial hair and large Adam’s apples. But geeze. Sometimes I would just love to be some asexual being crawling along the ocean floor.

Or a honey badger. I think a honey badger doesn’t know the difference between a good day, and a PMS day. They just don’t give a shit.

Namaste Mutha Fuckahs!

Yesterday I got all mad at the hubs for leaving dishes in the sink and dishwasher over the entire weekend I left him alone and took the kids to the beach. Maybe I wouldn’t have been so mad if going to the ‘beach’ didn’t require a 4 hour drive in the pouring rain and a weekend of my two kids bickering over what DVD they get to watch in what bedroom. AND, getting to cook and clean just like at home. Not that I am not grateful for our wonderful friends having us over to their family beach house. But there wasn’t room service, laundry service or any nannies. I did it to give the hubs a break. Not make MORE work for me.

Okay, I’m over it. It’s fine. He’s sorry. I’m sorry.

My apologies for this ridiculous, useless blog post. Unless of course, you are feeling stabby too and maybe this helped you from actually stabbing someone, or something.

Stolen from the Bloggess' Zazzle store. Get some. It might cheer you up.

Ladies- love yourselves!

I am doing this for my benefit.

I am constantly beating myself up for not being ‘perfect’.

The fact that I didn’t work out that day, what I weighed at the dr.’s office, how I forgot to give the kids their vitamins before they went to school. How the kale I had good intentions for but got all slimy forgotten in the back of the veggie drawer in the fridge. How I’ve spent James’ mid life crisis sports car money on eye cream and ‘youth’ serums.

So here’s a picture I will make full size for my bathroom. Except looking at it makes me think that this girl has some serious muscle tone I am lacking. But still- it’s a good message.

No stick skinny folks here. No offense to anyone stick skinny. Just trying to make myself feel better.

And when you’ve got five minutes- watch this video. For the sake of yourself, your daughter’s and granddaughter’s- we need to remember there’s so much out there than what’s in a magazine.

Kate Winslet- “I don’t look like that video.”

Feel free to share, copy, put on a t-shirt; whatever. I know I will.