What Should A 4 Year Old Know? How To Be Happy, That’s What……..


Stumbled on this article this morning.  It is just simply awesome.

I’m a great deal more concerned with mud pies and blowing bubbles than numbers and letters.  I am also much more focused on teaching the boys that whatever they are interested in, be it dinosaurs, cooking, painting/drawing, or playing with dollhouses, is not only okay….it’s awesome.

I think if we all spent more time building up our kids and teaching them to be secure in themselves, we’d have a lot less jacked up adults.  Gracen has a phenomenal kitchen set-up in his room, with an apron and chef hat, multiple burners & grills, and cash registers with a shopping cart for buying food.  He loves it.  He also has a vacuum cleaner and brooms and mops.  He has a toy iron, and ‘washes’ his clothes.

At least a couple times a week he cooks me something wonderful and we ‘eat’ it (usually Darth Maul Stew with artichokes).  Do I think there are traditionally girl & boy themed toys?  Yes.  Do I stick to the generally boyish themes?  Not on your life.  He gets what he is interested in, and plays with what he likes.  When he gets older, he’ll be a well adjusted person who knows how to cook and clean for himself, & how to wash his own clothes.  He also has tools, swords, cars, engines that can be disassembled, and superhero outfits, which are sometimes in use all at once (a la Samurai Delicatessen).

I really do believe the best investment we can make in the future is to concentrate on molding intelligent, creative, compassionate, empathetic, happy kids.  That isn’t to say that it isn’t also very important to help them reach their potential academically.  It absolutely is.  One complements the other, and both are important for a well adjusted adult.  I just want to be sure they are happy, safe, and healthy while they learn.

Be Part Of A Solution, Not A Problem…….


Very thought provoking. The Steubenville tragedy and subsequent trial shined a light on an ugly problem that occurs everywhere, all the time, to all kinds of people.

Nobody has the right to do anything, to anyone, ever, without their clear consent. A shake of the head means NO. A whisper means NO. An uncertain “I am not sure about this…” means NO. Silence means NO. Lack of consciousness means NO. Any kind of diminished capacity for understanding the situation means NO. A YES, given under any sort of fear, pressure, or duress, means NO. If the answer is not a clear YES, it is NO.

It does not matter whether the object of your desire is male, female, or transgender. It does not matter if they are straight, gay, bisexual, or any other sexual orientation. It doesn’t matter if you bought them dinner, or gave them a ride home, or picked them up in a bar, or met them running naked through the street. There is NO excuse, EVER, to rape someone else. If you rape another person, you are a rapist. You are wrong.

If you stand by while it happens, you contributed to the rape, and you are wrong. Nobody gets to be neutral in this situation. If you do not completely support the victim, you are supporting the rapist. You are adding to the problem. Slut shaming a victim is effectively raping them again. Outing their name (looking at you, news networks) to make it easier for others to torment them is assaulting them again. Making excuses for the rapist is assaulting the victim again. It makes no difference what they were doing, or where, or with who. What kind of person you think they are is immaterial. Whether you agree with their life choices is immaterial.

If you are not part of a compassionate solution, you are part of the problem. Period.

The Belle Jar

I don’t have to tell you that Steubenville is all over the news.

I don’t have to tell you that it’s a fucking joke that Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond, the two teenagers convicted of raping a sixteen year old girl, were only sentenced to a combined three years in juvenile prison. Each will serve a year for the rape itself; Mays will serve an additional year for “illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material.”

I probably don’t even have to tell you that the media treatment of this trial has been a perfect, if utterly sickening, example of rape culture, with its focus on how difficult and painful this event has been for the rapists who raped a sixteen year old girl then bragged about it on social media.

And I almost certainly don’t have to tell you that the world is full of seemingly nice, normal…

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Great post! I found this interesting. I also have a Pinterest. You will find next to no fashion or frills on it. That is largely because sifting through Pinterest and pinning the things you like is very much like going to the mall. You are surrounded by things that both interest and disinterest you, with a few things that might offend you or that you might be indifferent to. You pick what you like, and move on, leaving the rest behind you.

Are your choices wrong? Nope. Are others’ choices wrong? Nope. Just different. Pinterest is what it is. It is a social platform where people find common interests. I am puzzled that anyone could find that a threat to feminism, unless they want us to reject anything sufficiently militant and focus on what they feel to be properly feminist pursuits.

Come to think of it, that is pretty much the attitude that gave birth to feminism in the first place, no? For me, feminism is about freedom of choice, empowerment, and the ability to enjoy our lives and make our choices without being directed down ‘acceptable’ channels.

I certainly consider myself a feminist and I am damn proud of it. I would still think so if every piece of furniture I had was baby doll pink and covered with frills, and my own Pinterest board was nothing but catwalk stills and home design and pictures of myself in a retro kitchen dressed like June Cleaver.

ShoutOut! JMU

I recently read an article on how Pinterest is “killing feminism.”  When I first discovered the article, just a couple of weeks ago, I knew immediately that I wanted to do a blog entry on it, as I’ve felt pretty strongly about the issue since Pinterest’s inception in 2010.  I’m surprised at myself as I write this post though, because my opinion has radically changed over the span of the past two weeks.  Had I written on this subject in the midst of my initial passion, I’m sure I would have regretted it later.  You see, I initially had the idea that women were being superficial in using Pinterest, and that maybe the social media outlet was giving us a bad name.  But what exactly about women loving fashion is so wrong, and how is that a threat to feminism?  Isn’t a bigger threat when we start thinking it’s okay…

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Does A Non-Deed Count As A Good Deed?


So Chik-Fil-A has reportedly taken the bold step of ceasing financial support to hate groups.  11 Alive posed the question ‘Do you think this helps or hurts the Atlanta company?’

Hmmm.  Don’t need to think long or hard about that, at least not in regards to whether the purveyors of intolerant chicken rise or fall in my estimation in light of this new information.

All this does is put them back at the square one of not doing anything intentionally harmful or discriminatory.  So after all this controversy, the best they can apparently manage is to do nothing at all.  Well, I’ll take nothing at all over the knowledge that they actively finance hate groups and dogmatically driven legislation, but it would be nice to see them take a further step and join the ranks of those who are actually trying to do something positive.

So…….it won’t hurt them, but I see no reason why it should help them, either.

Raising Awareness, One Story At A Time………


I spent the last hour reading post after post on Patriarchy Survivor.  I stumbled across the link to it totally by accident while surfing Liberal and Feminist sites on Facebook (which often seems to yield the most interesting online locations to visit).  Once I got there, I found I was unable to stop reading.  According to the About Me page, the blog is devoted to the stories of survivors of personal & domestic violence, and told in their words.  There is also a link to the Facebook page to submit your own personal story.  I believe this is a powerful thing, and cannot say enough good things about anyone who wishes to raise awareness of these issues.  Please visit her.  If you have a woman in your life you hold dear, I cannot believe you will not take away something of value.  I certainly have, and I plan to visit again often.

Another Skirmish On My Wall…….


See, here’s the thing.  I keep my Facebook alive mostly because it is the easiest way to keep in touch with several old friends I will almost certainly never see in person again.  Unfortunately I cannot stand to see others continuous ideological, religious, & political posts without posting some of my own.  Wouldn’t you know it, every time I do, it seems I pee in somebody’s petunias.

I didn’t post any commentary on this one when I re-posted it. I thought it covered my opinions pretty well without any extra help from me.

This was followed shortly afterwards with this:

It is far more exhausting to think of new and creative ways to form tactful answers than to comment on original posts. Remind me again why I am working so hard to avoid hurting the feelings of those with no regard for mine?

Now here’s where I am genuinely curious about internet etiquette.  I make it a habit never to post argumentative commentary on friends’ posts.  If I feel I just have to say something and I know it will either offend my friend or  go completely against what they believe, I go around their re-post to the original page and post my comment there.  I tend to think that is just the tactful, polite way to behave.

While I certainly would never seek to bar my friends from posting or make them feel their opinions or thoughts are unwelcome, I still kinda’ think it would just be more polite to simply re-post on your own page and make your comments there, or do it on the main page.  If you don’t agree with a post, why argue on their public wall?  That puts the first poster in the position of either having to defend their post or to let contrary opinions stay under it, and all in front of every friend who can access their wall.  It just seems a bit tactless to me.  Sometimes it seems to me that many social media sites are slowly being taken over by a cacophony of squabbling.

What do you think?

Thank you to the Facebook page of Liberal Hippie Nerd, from whom I re-posted the above graphic.  It’s a great page, check it out sometime.

The original exchange on Facebook has been altered.  I noticed I had left out the key word “not” in my comment on the upper percent.  It now reads “not to pay a decent percentage.”  What can ya’ say, you forget some of those connecting words when you are typing long responses.

Cringe-worthy, Yes…..But Mostly Sad……..


I avoided watching the RNC live because I knew ahead of time it would only make me yell at the television.  My kiddos already probably think I am goofy enough without watching mom yell “AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!” at a tv, I think.

Once I started hearing all the buzz, though, naturally I had to check out what the fuss was about.  Oh, Clint.  Bless your heart.  Did you learn nothing from watching Charlie Sheen self destruct in front of the world?

I positively hurt for you while watching your surreal and frankly odd speech.  I grew up loving your gruff, no-nonsense characters in movies from The Beguiled to 2 Mules For Sister Sarah.  As I got older and began to follow your politics I seldom agreed with you but still respected you as a man true to his convictions.

This, though, was just dreadful.  I was embarrassed for you, and I can only imagine how you must feel in the backlash with senility jokes pouring in from every side.  No-one should have their deterioration on display like that.  It really isn’t funny.  It calls to my mind the descent of my grandmother, little by little, until she became almost a  caricature of the woman I had known by the end.

I am a little sadder today.  A man I have respected for a great many years, an icon of my movie watching youth, a man who (even when I abhorred his political ideology) stood for  his beliefs unspooled in front of all of us.

Sigh.