I Do...I Do Not

6/27/15






Okay, my intellectual and philosophical readers. Let's get our hands dirty.

Because if you're not prepared to have this conversation for real, then all hope is lost. If you can't even read this whole page, then all hope is lost. If you go searching for blog posts and articles with the shallow intent of instantly ascertaining which "side" the writer is on and then praising or crucifying them accordingly, then all hope is lost.

Gay marriage. 

*Insert blood curdling scream here*



I am going to be frank with you. My thoughts on this subject did not come easily. And maybe my opinions will surprise. I kind of hope they do. Because the long-held, predictable, emotional arguments about this issue, from both sides, are NOT GOING TO CUT IT as we move into the future. We're far beyond stubbornly defending fairy-tale ideals.

We have opened the world up to a myriad of impossible legal, constitutional, and yes, moral, dilemmas. And all because of one absolute TRUTH that has been completely obscured by the most insidious and tyrannical lies.

Marriage...any marriage...is not a human right. It is a civil liberty.

Need clarification? A human right is not given or determined by anyone. We are born to it by virtue of our humanity. It is the basic, instinctual, need for self determination and individualism. The right to think, speak and act as our own free person. It depends on no one, least of all the state.

(by "state", I mean the ruling body, not...Oregon)

A civil liberty on the other hand, must be decided. It is the arrangement of law or civil order to determine what we allow and don't allow in a society when OTHER individuals or groups are involved. It is how we live in the public marketplace. It is how we connect our individual lives with other people.

Loving someone is a human right. Marrying someone is a civil liberty. Got it?

So why would it be such a bad thing to mistake marriage for a human right? Because we must treat human rights differently than all other liberties. Because they must be held higher than all others. They are the very definition of liberty, not a happy little by-product of it. No matter how worthy an idea or pursuit, if it's placed before human rights, then we are no longer free; we are being managed.

And being cleverly managed by someone else can be alright...until it's not. Just ask anyone who voted for Hitler.

You see, to form a marriage requires something from other people, whether some kind of participation or recognition. So it must either be shaped in accordance with human rights, or it must be enforced by undemocratic means.

This is Human Rights 101 my friends. A class of study that apparently hasn't been offered anywhere in decades.

And why would the state agree to pretend that marriage, any marriage, is a human right when it's not? Because we grant it more power and authority when it does. If the gay lobby simply said to us all, we'd like to change your religion to suit our lifestyle, we'd all laugh and say this is a free country buddy. But no one is saying that, except in all those dirty little lawsuits against churches that we aren't supposed to know about. We're only allowed to talk about the right to love, when that has already been established and is already protected.

We're having a human rights discussion that has been completely fabricated for us.

One other glaring misconception that must be noted - marriage can never be equal. Ever. The marriage contract is meant to separate a lesser bond from a greater. It was made to elevate people from a romantic relationship to a familial one. If marriage was truly equal to all other relationships, it would cease to mean anything. And if we were all truly equal to marry, then there would be no objection to polygamy or incestuous union. Even where same-sex marriage is legal, marriage is not equal. A free society acknowledges that some must be excluded.

And this is where you and I might part ways...

Be patient. I will explain.

I don't mind the least bit if two men want to be married to each other. I really, sincerely don't. I know gay people and I care about them. I need them to be free because I need to be free. We've already as a society decided that marriage doesn't have to have anything to do with God - we've provided the option of separating it completely from religion. So whether or not someone enters into a private contract is no skin off my nose. It's a PRIVATE contract. Or it should be. And that's the problem. Thanks to the confusion over human rights and civil liberties, marriage has lost its "private contract" status and has become the business of the state. Therein lies the danger.

Now there are many differing cultural views on marriage, and for most of history, those views have been closely tied to the beliefs of those marrying. The engagement, the ceremony, the roles and duties of family, friends, religious leaders, and the significance for the new couple - all the result of generations of faith and the realities of family and spiritual life in whatever region of the world they hail from. The role of government in every free society has traditionally been to merely act as a protector of that vital culture, not as a dictator.

But as government grows, so does its arrogance, and at some point we allowed the state to determine which cultural rites were more acceptable than others and which religious and cultural leaders would be permitted to represent them. We decided that church and state should share custody, but all that really did was invite the state to run off with the kids.

For example, if I decide to marry according to my faith, I can. But I have to have my marriage sanctioned by the state before they will recognize the union because it would be a Mormon temple wedding and the government can't maintain control if people are running around practising their religion all willy-nilly, don't you know. The state doesn't just recognize my hypothetical marriage. They sanction it. I need their direct approval to commit myself to someone and start a family.

Are we really okay with that?

I could choose instead to simply shack up with somebody and raise kids without getting married at all - but that would conflict with my personal beliefs. So if I want to practise my religion, I must seek and obtain permission from the state.

Ouch.

Now there are plenty of other complications when a couple chooses to marry which legitimately require some kind of government regulation - taxes, property ownership, insurance, custody of children, etc.

But these are all legal arrangements. You don't have to be married to raise children together or purchase property or write a will or set up life insurance. It's possible to manage all of your affairs with just the occasional help of an attorney - an individual that you hire. The supreme court couldn't care less what you do with that power. Run free and pursue happiness!

Why can't it be the same with marriage?

When my dad remarried, his wife wanted to have her favourite aunt officiate at the ceremony. Her aunt is a judge in the province of British Columbia. Sounds pretty qualified to me. But the government of Alberta said nope, not going to allow that. My parents had to pay money to have someone else at the wedding to make it official. Because a JUDGE wasn't good enough for the almighty powers that be.

Something is very wrong with that.

And right at this point, you're probably thinking that this article isn't actually about gay marriage. You're kind of correct. The issue is bigger than gay marriage.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret - at least, it's a secret if you're the liberal media. Yes, there are many people out there that would like to legislate morality according to their narrow beliefs and some do object to gay marriage on religious grounds. There are even a miserable few who cannot tolerate gays. But most...MOST...people really only want to make sure the pendulum doesn't swing too far the other way.

Most people just want to make sure that morality is not being legislated by those who cannot tolerate Christians.

The issue at hand has nothing to do with the approval or disapproval of gays. No government can dictate what's in people's hearts and should not be permitted to try. Even Martin Luther King Jr. knew that. He marched to change hearts and minds, not to gain power over people.

Here is the bottom line. If the state has it's long fingers in the institution of marriage, then it will be forever altering and manipulating the way it is defined, monitored, and sanctioned. If marriage is being dressed up like a human right, it will unavoidably come in direct conflict with real human rights and at that point, something has to give. So which real human right must be quashed in order to honor the fake one?

And because the government can justify its interference by calling marriage a human right, they will tread on the law and on democracy itself and all who disagree are deemed evil, even criminal. A state sanctioned private contract can be forced upon private businesses and individuals. And so it is no longer a private contract. It's a public one. Owned and operated by the state. And all dissenters must be punished, even at the cost of their inalienable human rights. That isn't just legislated morality, folks. It's tyranny.

However, if marriage is actually allowed to be a private contract, with the only applicable governing laws pertaining to consent and child protection (real human rights), then all citizens are free to marry whomever, wherever, however and by what authority (or no authority) they choose and all other citizens are free to attend, celebrate, and participate - or not, as they choose. If you're a baptist, get married the baptist way. If you're a jew, get married the jewish way. If you want to dance naked under a full moon, go for it. Your beliefs. Your family and friends. Your vows. Anything else is superfluous bureaucratic nonsense. Marriage license? What for?

I believe we've reached a place in our society where the only options we've left ourselves are to either regulate marriage as little as possible, or regulate it entirely, at the expense of everything. Because we'll neeeever agree on gay marriage. And it's okay that we don't. But instead of finding a compromise that respects human rights, we've allowed one of our most sacred institutions to become one of the hottest political pawns ever used to disguise the loss of liberty.

Either marriage is one thing only, determined by the state, or it's what we privately deem it to be, in our own lives and in our chosen cultural and religious traditions. I know that many conservative and religious people will balk at that, as if we're losing ground. I understand. Marriage was formed by God. But the reality is, we gave it away and we're not getting it back. We lost that battle a really long time ago when we allowed marriage to go from religious rite to civil contract and created no-fault divorce. We gave marriage to the non-religious and can't snatch it back. The reality is, the best way to defend religious marriage, is to defend the civil right to marry according to personal belief, without the need of state sanction. The reality is, if we can't now allow others to define marriage for themselves, then they are going to define it for us by the nastiest methods possible. And the state is an eager enforcer.

If you lump yourself in with the ferocious gay lobby, don't be stupid enough to celebrate. This is a tragedy for all free people everywhere. The only real victory for all of us, gay or straight, would be to collectively tell the government to step off. Instead we've been fighting over who get's to pick the manner and means by which it rules over us!

In hoping to make some people bend to the will of others, we've actually given the government more power to force us all to bend. Getting the state to agree with you isn't winning. We must tell it that we no longer require it to make moral decisions for us. We will make them for ourselves and allow all others the same freedom.

We must love liberty enough to agree to disagree!

We went about this the wrong way, y'all. We've been doing it wrong for decades. The way it stands now, same sex marriage means trouble for a lot of good people who only intend to live their own lives. Human rights will be violated by the state. They will be. All over the place. No one should stand for that. No one.

I personally believe that gays should be free to marry, by private legal arrangement, or within a cultural practise or religion that freely chooses to allow it, because this is the civil system that we've created. But I wouldn't host a gay wedding on my farm. I would refuse to make the wedding cake. I harbour no hatred at all, I just believe marriage to be a religious sacrament. This balance of your freedom and mine is what we need. This is what liberty is!

Civil liberties - check.
Human rights - check.
state interference - nil

Because isn't the whole point to remain as free as we can while still joining together to form a society? Isn't that what we all want...apart from the cruel and vindictive few who can't wait to wield the heavy-handed fury of the court?

Having to shop around for a florist is not a human rights violation - it's not even a civil rights violation. If one person won't marry you, someone else will. If your church teaches doctrine you disagree with, go to another church. If your neighbors invite you to their gay wedding, you can politely decline and still be friends. If someone accuses you of being a bigot, when you're really not, you will survive. Oh, and you can discuss difficult issues without name-calling for crying out loud. If someone disapproves of your choices or beliefs...who the hell cares?

It's about time we all grew up.

We cannot protect or expand civil liberties 
at the expense of human rights.

If we try, we will lose both.

It's called "reality".
Whether you're gay or straight, conservative or liberal, it's time to embrace it.

The next step for all liberty loving people? Separate marriage from the state and uphold all real human rights. And we'd best be quick about it.






*As always, feel free to retort on your own blog. If you can't respect my position, you must at least respect my liberty. Thank you.

the Truth About Beauty

6/11/15






Most days, I don't give even a passing thought as to whether I'm beautiful. My few minutes in front of the mirror every morning are quite careless. My closet so familiar, I could dress in the dark. It's only in those every-so-often moments when I find myself walking a few steps behind a beautiful woman in a crowd and notice every set of male eyes turn her way, completely passing over me as though I don't exist, that I pause to wonder where I rate on a scale of one to ten.

Obviously, I'm not a ten.

In an attempt to understand this outrageous injustice, I've read countless articles in magazines and on blogs about society's impossible ideals. You've probably read them too. How do we change the way people see us? they ask. How do we make those extra pounds desirable? How do we make short legs and crooked teeth and gray hair attractive? How do we ensure that no woman is considered more beautiful than another? But I'm not comfortable with these questions. And I'm not sure the answer lies in blaming the media, the fashion industry, Hollywood or men, at least not entirely.

I know. I know. Hyper-visually-responsive males make easy targets.

But can I really actually despise someone for thinking another woman is more beautiful than me? Should I then censure myself for being attracted to one person over another? And if I'm less attracted to a person, does that mean I must appreciate, value or respect him any less?

It's true that we've gotten well out of hand. It's true that we judge too quickly on physical appearance and expect perfection where it cannot be found in reality. I would love to have someone appreciate my particular style of skin, hair and thighs. But even if I managed to coax society at large into admitting that my not-so-flat belly is amazing, I'd still be depending on popular opinion to decide my worth. I'd still be grasping for approval.

Perhaps the real problem isn't that not enough people think I'm beautiful - it's that I need them to in the first place.

Popular beauty is a happenstance. It's a fickle standard of a moment that encapsulates a few people at a time. The high-fashion models that sashay fiercely down the runway were chosen because they fit an ideal that will change. So I can sit back and let them have their moment, because I was destined to have moments of a different kind. Physical superiority is not my gift or my talent. Neither is math or volleyball and I'm certainly not going to complain that the rules of volleyball are unfair to those of lesser athletic ability. If someone is a better writer or photographer than I am (which isn't hard), I'm not humiliated, I'm inspired. So why shouldn't I feel that way about physical appearance?

The truth about beauty is that it's subjective, transitory, and superficial, so shouldn't we be free to enjoy it when we see it and find other qualities to admire when we don't? The truth is, we have become even more obsessed with not being beautiful than we are with being beautiful. We don't take the opportunity to enjoy physical beauty, we envy it. We are scornful of it, even when we try to emulate it. We teach ourselves and our daughters to begrudge others because they fit some mould we claim not to acknowledge. We actually tell ourselves that the really hot people must be in all other respects horrible human beings.

We pull others down in order to lift ourselves up. This is the opposite of equality.

So let me ask you this.

How liberating would it be to sit on a beach next to a bronze-skinned Goddess and instead of inwardly chastising the world for preferring to look at her bathing-suited body rather than ours, we simply smile and go happily back to our book and mango smoothie?

Let her be gorgeous! She deserves to be noticed for it, as one of her many attributes, just as she deserves to be noticed for her grace, her intelligence, her creativity and her kindness. No one loves her based solely on her flawless complexion. The only real advantage to having such a desirable appearance is winning validation from perfect strangers.

Perfect strangers y'all.

Yes, there are those who only date, hire, or befriend the superfluously attractive. But I kinda think they punish themselves, don't you? Don't such shallow people usually end up alone with a bottle of vodka and a copy of Vanity Fair, frantically examining their reflection for signs of aging before overdosing on diet pills?

That's how I imagine it, anyway.

Beauty is not the only quality nor is it the most important. We could manipulate the standards of beauty - in order to fall within them - but there will always be some who just don't fit. There are people who will always be corporeally ugly, no matter how hard we defend them. And that's okay. They are still loved.

You are still loved, whether your arms get jiggly or not.

I am still loved, even though my skin is so pale and thin, I look like an exhibition of "Bodies".

And so I have come to terms.

Whatever happens in the ever-shifting vernacular of political correctness, there will be people who don't think I'm beautiful. And if a man ever falls madly in love with me, no amount of lecturing will convince him that I'm only as lovely as the next woman. This is how human beings work.

Instead of seeking blame for this alleged "inequality", maybe we should be more focused on those qualities we wish to draw more attention to: those qualities that ought to be apparent in the way we speak, act, and treat others. Maybe then we can stop haggling pointlessly over what defines physical beauty and truly begin to recognize and value its many other forms. Maybe we could stop trying to convince the world to change their opinion of stretch marks and actually get them to admire the woman behind the stretch marks.

We could teach young people to stop whining about the rules whenever they're made to feel inferior and actually move forward boldly in life on the strength of their character!

It's not about abolishing the idea of physical appeal, because that is a losing battle if ever there was one. But let's put it in it's place. Give it only the amount of attention it warrants. Nod and smile and move on.

The most important truth is not that we are all equally beautiful.

It's that we really don't need to be.




*Photo by the oh-so-talented Devon Durocher*

Equalism

6/5/15






I know so many women who know they aren't feminists. They feel it deep within themselves and while they know it, it may sometimes be difficult to explain.

It's always a little difficult to explain the things you feel instinctively in the soul.

Especially to other women who insist that you join them in the angry ranks of fainting-couch feminism or be branded a traitor or heretic.

So I love a good video clip or article that puts things in simple, conversational terms so that every woman who wishes to defend their natural instinct and their need for reason and fairness has a few practical talking points to draw from.

Equality means being treated fairly, under the same rules, with the same human rights and civil liberties, and given the same opportunities.

The current brand of feminism is about punishing people for any advantage whether real or imagined, changing the rules for some, demanding additional rights for some, denying civil liberties to some, and controlling opportunities for the sake of getting a manipulated result based on narrow ideals rather than individual choice.

Feminism versus equalism. That is the reality of gender politics today.

Thanks to Lauren Southern for this clip. And thanks to all other true equalists who bravely defend the men who are being thrown under the bus by raging entitlists.

And hey, whoever came up with the term equalist, you are awesome.

I won't ever again have to say to someone, "Well I am technically a feminist but..."


People who Need People

3/26/15






I wonder if there was ever a time in our society when people knew that being proved wrong was really just an opportunity to embrace truth.

Do you know what I'm saying? There must have been people somewhere in our sometimes illustrious world history who had the humility to graciously change their position or concede a point. Right? I mean, with all our closed-minded talk of "tolerance" these days, there has to be a few people kicking around who actually know what it is to be open-minded. To listen and consider information rather than desperately fend off the unfamiliar and unpopular. To actually care more about people than ideas. To rank honest participation in the discussion much higher than winning the argument or deciding the rules.

Are you out there?

Anyone?

Well, yes, I know you are because I've met a few of you. But only a few.

The rest of the world only grants their stingy approval to those they can agree with. To those who think the same, even though that is just an illusion. No one thinks the same. It is a physical impossibility.

So here's the thing. I've felt rather surrounded lately by people who throw their membership in the moral majority around like it's a sledgehammer, destructive, vindictive, and holier than thou. They claim that because they are strong in number that they should use the law to bring the entire community to their ideal standard - for everyone's sakes. And the funny thing is - for the most part, I live on the very same moral plane as these people. I follow the same codes of honor. I cherish the same values.

I'm not kidding. I'm a total goodie goodie. I have never dropped the F-bomb in my life. I've never tasted alcohol. I would rather wear a pirate costume to the beach than a bikini.

I'm one of those.

Until I'm faced with a person who is completely unlike myself. Who uses different words, wears different clothes, and follows a different moral code...and I don't freak out.

But I do feel suddenly and obviously displaced from my own tribe because I don't freak out. Because I don't feel the irrepressible need to make other people more like myself.

Anyone else feel this way? Do you also try to talk about liberty and get blank stares from around the table? Do you also defend the more unpleasant bits of human behavior and get the "you dirty traitor" glare?

I have my beliefs and I feel pretty darn confident that I'm right. But there have been times when I have had to revisit my own convictions and alter my moral course. That is a part of being human. And it's crazy hard. It's also crazy necessary.

I happen to believe there is a benevolent God who has laid out a plan for happiness that I choose to follow. I believe He wants me to moderate my speech, dress, etc. But the indisputable fact is that it is impossible to prove or disprove the existence of God, and my truth can only be my truth.

So...

That slovenly young male who hangs out in a parking lot and has a vocabulary of maybe ten words - at least half of them curse words - he doesn't frighten me. I understand that he grew up with different standards of dialogue than I did. That he speaks the way his family speaks. The way his friends and co-workers speak. I can forgive him that.

I grew up saying "eh" like a Canadian. Who am I to judge?

And that girl who has no clue how to apply makeup and wears tights in place of real pants? She doesn't offend me. She's just trying to feel accepted and wanted, even if it is in all the wrong places. And I would love to help her feel valuable instead of objectified and judged, wouldn't you? I don't fall for that whole slut-shaming myth but I do believe in seeing the person beyond the disguise and most of the time, a slutty outfit is nothing more than a disguise - one that often leads to heartbreaking life experiences.

That raging feminist I love to talk about, with the lame anti-male sign that makes me stare in wonder at the fact that she thinks she's actually fighting for equality - I can honestly appreciate that she thinks she's doing the right thing, even if I disagree to the core of my being. She's out there, taking a stand which is more than what most people can say. So let people have their socialist/censorist protests, whatever they may be. A picket sign and catchy phrase won't change my mind about anything. Ever. I might think that certain people are mentally challenged (sorry), but I promise I won't find them the least bit inconvenient to my position or my life and I don't believe that they're "evil". And neither should you.

And last but not least, that pungent person pushing the shopping cart full of filth and begging for quarters - the one you pretend not to see or smell - I could imagine that I know exactly how he got to this ignoble place, but I'd be full of crap. I couldn't possibly know. How could any of us possibly know? The only thing I do know, is how my God treated people like him...

...how He treated people like all of them.

I'm not a great person. In fact I'm deeply and hopelessly flawed.

But I have learned one thing at long last. People matter more than policy.

PEOPLE MATTER MORE THAN POLICY.

Yes, I just shouted that at you.

Being a part of some moral majority (or angry minority) does not grant us the right to be so bloody scornful. Or to fearmonger.

I was told recently that my failure to feel threatened by a group of trash talking males must indicate that I've never been in any real danger. That is correct - in fact, it's my point. I've lived across the road from drug and arms dealers, had a mentally ill neighbor threaten my life, been evacuated more than once from a NYC subway for bomb and anthrax threats, even had a deranged ex-family member try to break into the house when no adults were home. And no, I don't think I've ever been in any real danger. Because we, in our pretty little western bubble, aren't often in real danger. But we tend to imagine that we are, perhaps to feel like we aren't so removed from the rest of the world. That we aren't so ignorant or so privileged.

Tell that to someone living in Nigeria.

I would suggest that you're not really afraid that loitering youths are going to cause you harm, but that you are actually afraid of being forced to confront differences you aren't very good at handling. If a homeless person asks you for spare change, they have not hurt you. If an unruly teen spews a long string of curse words within your range of hearing, he has not hurt you. If a scantily clad woman walks by you in the grocery store, she has not hurt you. If protesters carry their signs and chant their slogans past your place of business, they have not hurt you. There is no danger. There is no threat.

Except for the danger and the threat posed to these individuals by the moral majority and their ideas of coerced decency.

You can argue that there is a "potential" for vandalism or underaged drinking or harrassment or whatever if that makes you feel better. But if people commit a crime, we punish them according to the laws that would punish us for the same act. The law already protects all of us from harm.

The real issue at hand is whether or not it's a good idea to legislate morality. By that I mean creating laws that don't have anything to do with criminal activity, but are meant to punish people for behaving immorally, according to a very narrow selection of philosophies. It's giving government and police the power to usurp human rights in favour of making the more "respectable" part of the community feel more comfortable.

Comfortable. Oh yes I did.

Comfort is not a human right and never can be. Freedom of speech, movement, worship, and association - now those are human rights.

We talk much of democracy and it is the cornerstone of freedom, but it was always meant to be the best way to protect the rights of the individual. The mob can never be allowed to form a tyranny. That's not what democratic people do.

And once we give the government the power to control even a small portion of our lives - they almost never give that power up. They keep it far beyond its intended usefulness. And then that power is used against those who fought for it in the first place. The moral majority wants to ban unacceptable language but is horrified when that same ban is used to prevent a family from praying over their food on a picnic in a public park. They're happy to outlaw a protest one day but howl in rage when that same law prevents a club fundraiser or church barbecue.

Our own moral code reigns supreme on our own property, as it should. But the public arena is a place designed by nature for differences. Government is formed to protect those differences, not to sort, rank and quell them!

It's not the moral code that even matters - it's giving authority to government to dictate what the moral code is. You will agree with the town council or federal government one day, and disagree with them the next. They should not have the power to tell you what is right and what is wrong, unless an actual crime has been committed. An actual crime. With an actual victim. Instead of an indignant "model citizen".

So what do we do with people who are rude, inconsiderate, loud, obnoxious, and vulgar? It's a legitimate question and we can look to our own moral code for the answer.

We love and respect them anyway - and more importantly, we give them reason to love and respect us! That goes a lot further with people than unfair and discriminatory laws. These are people who feel our judgement every time we look in their direction. But what if that wasn't the case? What if they weren't made to feel like it's us versus them?

Think of every encounter with someone who appears to you to be a little rough around the edges as an opportunity for the moral majority to become more patient, kind, and just. Golly, but we need that.

We need them. We all need people who are vastly and irreconcilably different from ourselves.

And if we are free, then so are they.





*As always, I welcome you to retort on your OWN blog. If you can't respect my position, you must at least respect my liberty. Thank you.

Fifty Shades of Bull

3/5/15




Perhaps you were wondering if I'd end up posting  a rant about this whole "rape culture/consensual abuse" circus. It seems just the kind of thing I'd jump on, doesn't it? I do have an opinion, naturally, but to me it's really all one foundational, underlying issue. And I've been hesitant to broach it, mainly because we're all supposed to be strong, modern women, and I shouldn't HAVE to.

You should just know.

You should know that love doesn't hurt or humiliate or rank titilation above tenderness and kindness.

You should know that you're going to feel like a loser after a one night stand because sex is as much emotional and intellectual as it is physical.

You should know, by golly, that if you set out to use another person without regard for their feelings or circumstances, you, they, or both of you are bound to get hurt.

But you DO know all this. You know it. You feel it. That's the problem. No matter how much we try to convince ourselves that sex can be a meaningless romp or a playground for the self absorbed, we know that it can't be.

Otherwise, we would't feel so damned ashamed when we do something monumentally stupid.

Here's the thing about shame. Like pain, it's a useful tool. Pain tells your body that there is something not quite right. Shame tells you're soul that there is something not quite right. This is why they call it the "walk of shame". You know, instinctively, that you have done something to your detriment. Not because of anything as insipid as reputation. But because you have settled for less than you deserve. Your soul is crying out for better.

Women who wake up the morning after feeling wretched are not shamed by society or by some guy. They have shamed themselves and that awful feeling is not a punishment, but a warning. It's your soul trying to take the blinders off your eyes.

The very foundation of humanity is knowing who you are and being true to yourself. Otherwise, we are just sheep, being herded along by the ones with the big sticks. But as women we are being told that our intuition doesn't matter. That if we put ourselves in a situation that feels risky, we aren't responsible for the results. That if we feel badly for something we've done, it has to be someone else's fault. That if we make a mistake, we must be a victim instead of a thinking, feeling, self-determining human being.

But that doesn't help us. It doesn't change us. It only makes us feel powerless.

The rape culture craze that has lately imprisoned higher education is based on the supposition that a woman is a helpless damsel in distress, so delicate and fragile that if a man unexpectedly kisses her, she's going to fall to pieces. Sexual assault, a real and serious issue, which should be the focus of actual law enforcement, against actual criminals, has been diluted and mocked to the point where the woman who was drugged or beaten is grouped with the woman who regrets a drunken makeout session. The man who goes a little too far with a girl he's already slept with several times is grouped with the psycho who gets off on hearing his victims beg and scream.

As much as we repeat the mantra, "no means no", we aren't actually expecting a woman to say no anymore. We aren't expecting her to be master of her own fate or even exercise reasonable judgement. We are assuming that she is weak and powerless! All she has to do is regret her choices. All she has to do is feel uncomfortable and embarrassed. And we make her an instant victim and hero of the cause. And we crucify the poor shmoe who thought he was getting lucky.

In other words, we manipulate and disrespect them both.

But I didn't mean to get so drunk, she says. But I was thinking no, she claims. I thought it was okay, but then realized later that I didn't like it. He shouldn't have taken advantage. Whah....?

Let me get this straight...you go out and get so drunk that you can't say no, and you're supposed to rely on a guy who's likewise wasted to determine that you're too drunk to have sex with? You're making a man responsible for deciding whether or not you're fit to have sex? And you don't find that sexist? Are you kidding me?

You got yourself to the place where you couldn't say no or didn't want to say no when you should. You put yourself in the company of people who are looking for the slightest bit of encouragement to use you. You did. You. You and only you have the power to jump into a bad situation with both feet...or to avoid one.

And when did women decide that they shouldn't have to...I don't know...communicate to their potential partners? When did we decide that because our girlfriend or older sister regaled us with exciting stories of college hook ups it's somehow the guy's fault that we got what we wanted? If you get drunk at a frat party, you damn well know that you're surrounded by guys looking for casual sex. You know it. And yet you came. And you started drinking. How very smart of you.

Now, lest you begin to think I advocate taking advantage of a drunk girl at a party, smack yourself upside the head for me. Thanks. NO WOMAN in the WORLD thinks that it's okay for a guy to take advantage of a drunk girl at a party. But you have to admit, that some of the responsibility must fall on the person who chooses to BE a drunk girl at a party. The fact is, the radical feminist social engineers of our day have gone to a lot of effort to convince us all that women want casual sex just as much as men and that it's harmless as long as it's "consensual". We are telling guys, practically screaming at them, that we like casual sex. So put yourself in the guy's position. You go to a party intent on hooking up and meet a cute girl who's had about as much to drink as you have and who responds very favourably to your advances. Score. You have a great night - at least what you can remember of it - and part ways sometime before dawn...you think. A week later you're being investigated on sexual assualt charges, your career path is about to tank, and everyone thinks you're a rapist. Great. And the girl? She didn't make a stupid mistake, oh no. She was a victim of your brutality. Of your criminal act. Except that it wasn't criminal. They didn't even call the police.

Can I make a suggestion? Can I suggest that a woman who isn't sure if she's been assaulted isn't really uncomfortable or embarrassed because she's been conditioned to accept abuse at the hands of men, but that she's ashamed in the real and powerful sense of the word. Ashamed because she knows in her heart that she was reckless and irresponsible. That she agreed to be used. That something was not quite right. And that she was a part of that wrongness. It's sad. It's heart breaking. But it is what it is.

She was told that she ought to want to hook up with some cute guy at a party. And she believed it...until it happened. And then she felt like crap. She was told that exposing herself in some public way is liberating. It's her body, right? But then the smartphone-captured evidence rears its ugly head. And she feels like crap.

The feminists think we shouldn't have to feel like crap. They are convincing us that anger and recrimination are much easier to handle than remorse. They expect us to come to college and happily swallow all their lies about sex - and then blame others for the hurtful and humiliating consequences.

If we want to blame someone, blame them! They told us a big fat, dangerous lie! And we were stupid enough to believe it.

They lied to us because they have this mistaken idea that men are living the high life, allowed to exploit others free from shame, guilt, and compassion and that we should be allowed a slice of that moral relativity too. But there is a fatal flaw to their way of thinking. They make the dazedly incorrect assumption that such loose behavior doesn't hurt men.

Of course it does!

We've just, as a society, come to expect too little of our men and let them carry the burden of shallow relationships and poor decisions for generations - a burden that we could help to lift, but instead, aspire to share. We could help them to chivalry, integrity and sincerity, but choose instead to cast off these values from ourselves. In the past we made excuses for them because they were beyond reproach. Now we make excuses for them because we despise them. Because men are "like that".

I know of a few...million...men who might disagree. Or who at least should disagree. Vehemently.

And even if all men were pigs...why then would we want to be pigs too? Why are some women so consumed with being as shallow, indifferent, selfish, and cruel as the worst of men? Like it's some sort of right?

These social engineers are trying to convince us that we want a fictional liberation. That we can't only be legally free to be promiscuous, we must want to be. And we must be rewarded for it by having all the natural negative consequences removed. Just tell me this. Do you actually want it rough? Do you want it casual? Do you want to be abandoned sometime in the early hours of the morning? Do you want to be expected to text racy pictures? Do you want to be appreciated only until a firmer body or more bendable will comes along? Do you want to limit human interaction to a fix you seek out when you're depressed or bored...like scarfing down a pint of ice cream but with much worse repercussions?

If the answer is yes, then I would venture to say that most of you don't actually like these things, you just think that men like you more for pretending to like these things. Honey, that is the opposite of true feminism. And it's destructive to both sexes.

Seriously, if your husband/boyfriend came home from work and said to you, "Honey, you aren't going out with the girls tonight because I want sex and I'm thinking I might try choking you this time," how would you react?

Laugh. Projectile vomit. Kick him to the curb. All in that order.

This is what you want, they tell us. This will make you free.

But our hearts and our souls and our common sense are all telling us otherwise.

Young women who don't know how to deal with the hurt are being encouraged to lash out. And young men who only believed what the feminists were telling them are paying with their futures.

And that brings us to the most bizarre part of this whole human-hating witch hunt, which must be confusing our poor young men to the point of delirium. You can't even kiss a girl without her express permission on a college campus, and yet droves of starry eyed women went to see Fifty Shades of Gray. I'm pretty confused by it all myself.

Now, I'm a libertarian and a capitalist. I welcome publishers everywhere to print as much smut as they care to. I also welcome you, as thinking, feeling, human beings, to read and watch as much smut as you care to. Just as I welcome you to drink diet soda and eat at McDonalds. It's your body. It's your mind.

Choose your poison.

But please stop being stereotypical sexually repressed soccer moms for crying out loud!

And don't think that by persuading hosts of young men that some women like to be choked, whipped, scolded, or commanded, that you're not muddying the dating pool for yourself, your friends or your daughters. Don't be foolish enough to think that it's all fantasy and therefore harmless.

Because it is art imitating life. 

I am making this point very earnestly to you. Because some women are hurt and humiliated by their partners. Some women are raped and beaten and isolated. For real.

And apparently hundreds of thousands of other women enjoy watching. Because they aren't going in droves to the theatre for the social commentary, the believable performances...or the writing (oh gosh, the writing!). They aren't going because they want to see a woman escape, triumphant. They go to sit in the dark and giggle and sigh and fantasize about rich and handsome sociopaths.

How is it pleasurable to re-enact crimes perpetrated against others? To fake the fear, rage, despair and suffering that haunts the victims of such real-life acts for the rest of their lives? To me that seems monstrously inhuman. A blatant mockery. Their dignity in exchange for your arousal.

We are spurning and scorning the real human interaction of love and intimacy and glorifying the false, the staged, the affected. We are teaching our youth to fake love and avoid the real thing. We have an amazing built-in moral compass and we're being taught to hate and distrust it.

The real issue at the heart of so-called rape culture, at the bottom of Fifty Shades, and at the crux of male/female relationships, is that women and men are being taught to accept garbage as food. We are being given rancid meat and told that it's supposed to make us retch a little. Um...NO! Sex isn't supposed to make us feel great for a moment and then awful for days afterward, like crack. It's supposed to add to our lives and enrich our love. Anyone who tells you differently either wants to get into your head or into your pants.

Neither one actually cares about you.

You are going to have to be the one who cares about you. You are going to have to be the protector, the decider, the master of your fate.

You will have to be the one who chooses which company she keeps, what kinds of parties she attends, what kind of men she dates, how she communicates her wishes, and how she demands to be treated.

Otherwise, you're just sheep, being herded along by the ones with the big sticks.






*As always, feel free to retort on your own blog. If you can't respect my position, you must at least respect my liberty. Thank you.

Monsters

2/17/15



I know...it's February. And these are Halloween pictures. But aren't these two just so cute in a horrifying and creepy way? In my family, we have enjoyed several years of Halloween princesses, fuzzy animals, peter pans, Harry Potters and other beloved characters from childhood literature and film.

And then came October 31st, 2014, when my niece and nephew became of an age to spurn the cute and fuzzy, and demand instead, bloody bullet holes.

Yes, I suppose eventually, cute must be traded in for scary and horrifying. It's just so hard to admit that they're growing up. And it's hard to realize how many new fears and worries are looming just ahead for these little people. Real fears that actually do include bloody bullet holes. I, like their parents, would love to keep fear out of their lives. To shield them from all those awful possibilities and responsibilities and inevitabilities.

In life, there are two types of fear: the fear of things that might happen and the fear of falling short. 

And the second is by far the worst. 

You aren't really afraid that there's a monster in your closet. You're afraid that if there is, you won't be able to face it. You might fail. You might get hurt. You might make the wrong decision. You may have to think and work and sacrifice and do things that are difficult. Those are the fears that come as you grow - harder to face than any imagined childhood boogyman. 

But there will always be monsters of one kind or another. So it's pointless to be afraid of them. The only real courage is the courage to believe that you'll handle it. Whatever it is.

The problem is, we live in a world obsessed with monsters. Seriously, by watching the news you'd think we were completely overrun. But the real threat is the fact that we are so darned afraid of not being able to deal with them, that we don't deal with them. We try to deflect the danger with warning labels and countersuits, diversionary bells and whistles, heaps of political rhetoric, carefully crafted speeches and sophisticated remote control bombers so that we don't have to get too close to the carnage we cause. But most of all, we toss around excuses meant to relieve us of the responsibility. To cover our butts in case the monsters win. So we never have to be wrong.  

What it all comes down to, is being afraid of ourselves. Have you not read "the Monster at the End of This Book"? Read it. It's enlightening.

We face plenty of monsters every day, those figurative and those shockingly literal. But empowerment doesn't come from knowing that you are the best - it comes from knowing that you'll do your best. Invincible people can never be brave, only vulnerable people can. You want to know how to defeat monsters? You know and love yourself and you know and love your life.

Monsters. Schmonsters. Let 'em come.

Let them look me in the eyes and know me, and then they'll be afraid.

Release the Kraken

1/22/15





Well, we marched right through that door marked 2015 folks, and while you can close a door, you can't un-open it. Whatever was hiding inside Pandora's box has already been released, as inevitable and unstoppable as the kraken. We dared the universe to make or break us when we hit the restart button on the calendar and now it's on.

I always feel a little unsettled at the beginning of a new year. Excited, but unsettled. Because it's the unknown. It's the future. And we're in the thick of it.

What will 2015 bring? Well for me it's about finding impossible things. Like a medical specialist who knows ANYTHING about my condition. And an editor who likes novels about guardian angels (there must be one out there). If I can just find these particular needles in this haystack of a world, then 2015 could just be the best year ever. At this point, I'd settle for coming in somewhere in the top five.

So I'm considering myself on the cusp of greatness, as I do every year, because it's bound to be true at some point in my life. I suppose we're off to a good start as I just published my first column. Yes, that's right. Someone was crazy enough to give me a column. It's for an independent magazine in my own humble neck of the woods, but I get to write whatever I want. And you all know how much I enjoy writing whatever I want.

So here is my first blurb about life and whatnot. My nieces and nephews were quite impressed that my picture is in a real magazine with real pages that they got at the grocery store!

Onward and upward y'all!



A Little More You, A Little More Me
*Featured in Quirk Magazine, Jan/Feb 2015*

Breaking a promise to yourself is a shockingly forgiveable offense. Others might be wounded if you betray their trust, but when you break a promise to yourself, you can basically just shrug your shoulders and eat cake. This is the time of year when people overindulge in goals and resolutions almost as much as they indulge in leftover Christmas baking, straight from the freezer. Because making a goal on January 1st and then forgetting it by January 15th will never result in any significant consequences. Not even remorse. I suppose it's just human nature but I'm still sincerely ashamed of us! Because if there's anyone you can truly rely on, it ought to be yourself.

I once made a New Year's resolution to become a fabulous soccer player. Anyone that knows me will find this completely laughable. It was the sport I longed to play when I was a kid but my mom made me take piano lessons instead. So as a fully grown woman, I bought a soccer ball and persuaded (coerced) a friend to kick it around with me. But there was a slight hiccup...or two or three. I have no athletic ability, little time to spare, no appropriate ball-kicking space, and while I have this idealistic vision of being sporty, I'd really rather be reading a good book. As you may have gathered from my clever foreshadowing, the project was an utter failure.

Because I had made a promise to myself knowing full well that I lacked the ability to fulfill it.

This goal setting tradition of ours is called a "New Year's Resolution", not "This Year's Fantasy". So after looking back on several foolish trials of former years, I've realized that the trick to a successful 2015 kick-off is to promise myself that I'll be truer to myself. That I'll develop the skills I have, improve upon the things I do half-heartedly, and become just a little bit more of the person I already have the potential to be. A little more truly me.

And not somebody else.

There are no soccer balls in my future. But there are books and languages and recipes and music. Making promises that you can and will keep is a way of being your own champion. It's taking your real life, at the very core, and making it better and happier. It's a way of proclaiming to the universe that 2015 is going to be the best year ever.

Because who's to say that it won't?


Here's the link to Quirk Magazine!