law, narcissists, politicians, politics, sex, slut shamers, social media

Dear Mr. Pro-Life Guy… it’s time someone reminded you that “no means no”…

No means no.” As a child of the 70s and 80s, I heard this catchphrase a lot. Some marketing genius came up with it for PSAs about date rape. It’s meant to emphasize the importance of obtaining sexual consent before proceeding with sexual deeds.

I never had a lot of problems with people not respecting me when I said “no” to sex. But, before some smartass tries to tell me it’s because no one was interested, I will state that like almost all women, I was occasionally sexually harassed by men. I just mainly stayed out of situations in which I would have to deal with them. I’m not sure why that was. To my knowledge, I’ve never been raped. I did have some unfortunate encounters with a pervert when I was growing up, but he just showed me pornography. He never actually touched me. For that, I’m grateful.

Last night, I had an experience in a comment section with a very aggressive pro-life warrior. I had just read a news story about 80 year old Florida Representative Frederica Wilson. In the late 1960s, Ms. Wilson almost died from a pregnancy that resulted in a stillbirth. Doctors pronounced her baby dead in its seventh month of gestation. However, because her pregnancy predated Roe v. Wade, doctors were not permitted to induce labor. According to the article, Wilson said:

“I had to learn how, first of all, to handle the immense grief that comes with losing a child and the fact that the corpse of that child was still within me. I cried every night and all day. My little body was wretched with pain, weakness and frailty.”

Wilson was commenting about anti-abortion legislation just passed by the House. The “born alive” bill will not go anywhere right now, as the Senate will probably not address it, and even if they passed it, Joe Biden won’t sign it. But it is a sign of what’s to come, as extremist right wingers try to impose their ridiculous anti-abortion views on the majority of Americans. I can’t help but notice that a lot of these folks are men. Quite a few of them are pushing shaming messages toward women who have casual, consensual sex. They claim they aren’t wanting to punish women for having sex for fun. But then, when a woman unintentionally gets pregnant, they think she needs to “lie in the bed she made for herself.”

Sure enough, there were several of these pro-life men opining in the comment section of the Washington Post article. A woman posted this excellent comment:

An embryo at 4 weeks is the size of a poppy seed. A 10 weeks fetus is the size of a pomegranate seed. Besides the contribution of one cell from a man, it is essentially a parasite using the woman’s blood, bone, muscle, etc. Don’t like abortion? Don’t have one. Mind your own business, in other words.

Then a pro-life man challenged her. He asked when she thought abortion should be banned. A lot of us, myself included, responded that it shouldn’t be banned at any stage of pregnancy. I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll restate it for the latecomers. The vast majority of women who have abortions after the first trimester do so because there’s a medical reason. Either she’s sick, or the developing fetus has catastrophic medical problems. Late term abortions aren’t something a person does for fun or convenience. Any person who would do that for shits and giggles is not someone who should be a mother, anyway.

It wasn’t long before a guy named Kenneth decided to harass me with his pro-life views. I usually try to be respectful when I make comments, but this guy wouldn’t let up. He kept hammering away at me, trying to trip me up, challenging my opinions about abortion. I found him very disrespectful and responded accordingly. It reminded me of times when some horny guy wanted to do something sexual, when I didn’t. Fortunately, I never had an issue saying “no”, mainly because for some reason, I was afraid of sex and aggressive men. My fear of sex was greater than my fear of being socially rejected.

However, I happen to know that a lot of women, particularly young women, care a lot about what men think of them. So, when a man comes on to them, they’d rather just give him what he wants. They are willing to give in to his demands for sex. That’s how some of them end up pregnant when they never meant to be. While not every man is an asshole in this situation, a lot of men are.

I noticed that Kenneth had some “slut shaming” qualities. He commented to me that a woman who has a one night stand and has an abortion is doing so out of convenience. Obviously, he thinks that’s wrong. First off, the woman shouldn’t be having casual sex. Secondly, if she does get pregnant, she should commit to the pregnancy. Thirdly, if she doesn’t want to be a mother, she should give the baby up for adoption. He makes it sound like this is an easy thing to do. He acts as if pregnancy is easy, painless, and CHEAP.

Kenneth seems to think that he’s morally superior to pro-choice people, because he’s against abortion. Moreover, he thinks he has the right to hammer his views at total strangers. I normally don’t give guys like Kenneth much time, but I was feeling sort of hostile last night. He lobbed his impassioned entreaties at me, clearly getting nowhere, but unable to stop trying. I got increasingly annoyed, as he tried to explain to me– a woman– about pregnancy and the morals associated with it. It wasn’t the first time I’ve encountered this phenomenon.

I finally tired of Kenneth’s bullshit. It was time for dinner, and I wanted to end the conversation. So, after he referred to me as a “pro-abortionist”, I wrote this:

I am not a pro-abortionist. I simply don’t think you need to concern yourself with women’s healthcare decisions. It’s not your business. Especially since I highly doubt you vote for people who care about helping the poor or making healthcare affordable for everyone. Now please leave me alone. I’d rather clean the lint out of my bellybutton than continue this pointless dialogue with you.

As you can see, I very clearly asked him to leave me alone. I even used the word “please”. It’s a very clear indication that I’m saying “no” to continuing the discussion. It was getting nowhere, and my dinner was getting cold. But, not surprisingly, Kenneth came back with more stupid drivel. So I blocked him.

If I hadn’t had dinner in front of me, I might have pointed out that he was acting like a horny man. I refer to the type of man who pressures a woman for sex, won’t take “no” for an answer, and then slut shames her when she gets pregnant! This type of man accuses women of “getting themselves pregnant”. They call them sluts. They don’t want to help them. Instead, they say they should have been more careful. Guys like Kenneth put all the responsibility on women, as they demand to have a say in their healthcare decisions.

A few months ago, I had a similar experience, not on the topic of abortion, but about Virginia Military Institute. I wanted to comment because a number of my family members went there or worked there. Bill and I married there, although he’s not a graduate. My favorite relative, Uncle Brownlee (RIP), was in charge of the physical plant in the 1990s. He was actually at the forefront of making VMI accessible to women. I commented, and a man very soon attacked me for posting something positive about VMI. This guy wasn’t a right wing pro-life asshole, like Kenneth. Instead, it was a left-winger named Kent, trying to school me on how “racist, sexist, and abusive” VMI is.

I’m not going to try to tell people that VMI doesn’t have its problems. It’s not where I would have wanted to go to college. However, I do know that a lot of people– men and women– have done well at VMI and love the school. I think the good far outweighs the bad. Moreover, I have personal experience with VMI, thanks to my family members who attended and worked there. My perspective means that I don’t agree with people who think the school should be shut down for its sins of the past. This left-wing guy, Kent, who likely has ZERO actual experience with the school and probably doesn’t know a single graduate, felt the need to hammer me with his views.

As Kent tried to tell me more about “abuse” and all of the reasons VMI is “terrible”, I asked him to leave me alone. Naturally, he wouldn’t. For some reason, he couldn’t manage to do that. Instead, he came back with two more paragraphs of drivel. It was probably lost on him that he’s pretty abusive himself. I ended up blocking him, too, after pointing out that he doesn’t seem to be able to respect the word “no”. Perhaps he’s more like an “abusive” Keydet than he’d like to admit. I’m sure the strong and brave young women who choose VMI for college can make an informed decision about their higher education choices without Kent’s input, in spite of his penis.

I can’t help but notice that a lot of pro-life men missed the memo regarding “no meaning no”. I’ve noticed that they are also a lot like fat shaming men. Maybe it’s not so much the pro-life types that are like this, but it’s more narcissistic assholes who are. A narcissist can be on either side of the political spectrum, after all. But they do have one thing in common, and that’s the tendency to shame other people. And narcissistic men love to do it to women, especially those they see as somehow morally weak.

To these types, a fat woman is weak because she eats too much and dares to be in public when she’s not attractive to him. This is annoying to him. A pregnant woman who wants an abortion has the nerve to reject the sperm of the man who fucked her. She should have kept her legs crossed, just as the fat woman should keep her mouth closed. What they see as a lack of discipline is disgusting to them. But they never seem to look at their own behaviors, do they? The hypocrites!

I don’t have time for hypocrites, nor do I have the energy to waste on guys like Kent and Kenneth. My mind is perfectly good, and I have the ability to make my own decisions and form my own opinions. I don’t need help. When I ask to be left alone, I mean it. No means no.

Maybe if more men like Kenneth respected women who say no to them, there would be less of a need for abortion. Either way, it’s none of his goddamned business if a woman wants or needs an abortion. Women like me are going to fight for the right to make our own healthcare and education decisions without help from anti-choice assholes like Kenneth… and Kent, for that matter.

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first world problems, healthcare, sex, slut shamers, social media

Repost: I could jump on the FYI bandwagon tonight…

Here’s a repost of my reaction to Kim Hall’s viral blog post about braless teenaged girls in towels or pajamas. I’m sharing it to go with today’s partial repost. It was written for my original blog on September 5, 2013, when I was living in Texas. I’m mostly leaving it “as/is”. I think it’s a pretty good post.

Yesterday, my Facebook feed was positively littered with links to a certain blog post written by a Texas mother of four who wrote an open letter to all the slutty girls out there not wearing bras and taking selfies before they go to bed.  I could link to that post, but I don’t see the point of doing that.  It’s all over the Internet.

To be honest, I’m of a mixed mind about this woman’s post.  I am generally not a fan of people taking slutty looking selfies.  If they are teenaged girls, I figure it’s because they are caving to some kind of external message that they need to be “sexy” in order to be desirable.  I think that’s sad, but I sort of understand it.  Growing up is hard.  Still, if I were a mother, that would not be something I’d want to encourage.  On the other hand, I don’t think “slut shaming” is good, either.  I think it’s best to encourage common sense. 

Of course “Mrs. Hall” immediately made her post the subject of scorn when she included photos of her handsome sons in their bathing suits at the beach.  Her daughter was wearing a modest one piece tank suit and it looked like they were just having clean family fun.  But if you’re going to be complaining about “scantily clad teenaged girls” who might give your sons boners, you ought not post photos of your boys dressed in a similarly scantily clad fashion.  Yes, I know that on the beach, it’s perfectly acceptable to be wearing a bathing suit, while most people don’t think of pajamas or nighties as clothes you’d see in public.  But the fact is, we still see a lot of skin on those boys… and if your point is that girls need to cover up, you’d best take care with your own photos.

Apparently, Mrs. Hall then thought better of it and posted another version of her post with photos of the kids covered up.  But the damage had already been done and lots of folks began posting rebuttals.  These days, America is pretty polarized when it comes to morality.  We have a lot of really religious folks out there who are trying to take back the country, as it were, and at least by my observations, seem to be taking things to extremes.  We also have a lot of folks who are proudly atheist and are also taking things to extremes.  The people in these two groups may not be as many strong as those of us in between, but they are very loud, and some of them are very articulate.  Consequently, the Internet becomes inundated with viral posts that both speak to and repel people who identify with these two groups.

I have friends on both sides of the spectrum, so I’ve seen the FYI post for girls a number of times already.  I have also seen rebuttals and parodies.  I found the initial blog post hypocritical, smug, and ill-conceived… but I also understood where the mom was coming from, even if she came off as quite sanctimonious. 

You know, the one thing that I really came away with is that I’m sort of glad I didn’t have kids.  I wanted them, but raising kids is so complicated.  Even without the FYI blog post, there was an article about how overweight kids are having “fat letters” sent home.  Childhood obesity is no doubt a big problem, but shaming people is rarely the way to get them to reform.  And there are just so many reasons why people get fat.  Could be a simple issue of too many calories, not enough exercise.  Could be because the kid is lonely and eats to soothe emotional pain.  Could be because the kid is being bullied or abused by other kids, their parents, or someone else. 

I just don’t see how sending home a letter about the kid’s BMI is the school’s role.  Unless the school’s staff is going to help the parents do something about the problem, I don’t see why they are more qualified to “diagnose” obesity more than a medical professional is.  Medical professionals also have the added ability to determine how obesity is affecting the children in question.  Moreover, kids whose parents don’t care aren’t likely to care if they get a letter, though the kid probably will. 

Of course, if the school sent home a letter about my BMI, my parents would have been embarrassed and would have taken it out on me.  I remember being in 9th grade and weighing about 115 pounds.  I was weighed in front of everyone and the coach made some comment about how I must have had a big lunch.  I was humiliated, even though now I realize that I was nowhere near fat at that point of my life.  I would love to be that weight today.  Maybe after I’ve been dead a few months…

I got a lot of “fat shaming” from my parents even when I wasn’t overweight and struggled with fucked up eating habits for years.  I’ve reached a point at which I don’t care as much as I used to, but the memories still hurt… and probably had a lot to do with why I was so old when I finally had a real relationship with a man.  Fortunately for me, he turned out to be a great guy who treats me like gold.  It could have easily gone the other way, though.

Anyway, I guess the point of this post is that there are an awful lot of people self-righteously sticking their noses where they don’t belong.  Mrs. Hall’s open letter may have resonated with a lot of people, but she probably should have addressed boys and girls, not just girls.  And she should have practiced her own counsel.  And the fat shaming asshats are not doing anything but making childhood more miserable with their letters home.  Adolescents are vulnerable, especially when it comes to matters pertaining to their self image.  Eating disorders are serious problems that can wreak havoc on those who  have them and those who love them.  

Childhood obesity is a problem.  Teen sex, especially when it leads to consequences like pregnancy or diseases, is a problem.  Something does need to be done about these issues.  I just don’t think shaming is the way to go about it.  Growing up is tough enough. 

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controversies, modern problems, music, sex

Repost: Getting a little sick of hearing about “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”…”

Here’s a post I wrote on December 14, 2018. I’m reposting it as/is, because it goes with my fresh content posted today. And yes, I would probably pause if Bill Cosby sang this… but it wasn’t written with guys like Cosby in mind. Why should a classic song be banned because of a few “rapey” bad apples? Why don’t we ban rapey creeps like Bill Cosby and Donald Trump, instead? The song is innocent.

Last year, I wrote a post on my music blog about the controversy surrounding the holiday classic, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”.  I remember a few murmurs last year about the “rapey” lyrics of the song, which was written by Frank Loesser and originally intended as a “parlor act” for himself and his ex wife, Lynn.  Someone wrote a very informative Facebook post about the history of the song, and its original intent.  I decided to write about it on my blog.

This year, it seems “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”, which was never meant to be a holiday song, is more controversial than ever.  Radio stations across the United States have been pulling it from their playlists in the wake of the #metoo movement.  The song, which was written in 1944 as a “call and response” between a man and a woman, was never intended to be a date rape anthem.  In the 1940s, it was improper for unmarried couples to spend the night together.  In order to look respectable, a woman had to protest an invitation to stay the night, even if she wanted to stay.  And the man who was inviting her had to appear to be concerned about her welfare.  Otherwise, her reputation might be negatively affected.

Unfortunately, people have a tendency to see and hear things through modern lenses.  In 2018, lyrics like “Say, what’s in this drink?”, especially in the wake of Bill Cosby’s drink drugging scandal, seem inappropriate and tasteless.  But in 1944, no one gave a thought to a man spiking a woman’s beverage.  It was more a comment about the potential of a drink going to one’s head.

Although I’m definitely not a fan of “rapey” comments or song lyrics, I do think it’s ridiculous that people are clutching their pearls over an old song like “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”.  Of all the things a person could get outraged about– like, the fact that our president brags about grabbing women by the pussy– a classic parlor song that was never meant to be inappropriate seems like a poor choice to me.  “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” has never been a favorite song of mine– especially when James Taylor sang it with Natalie Cole– but I don’t necessarily dislike it because of its lyrics.  It’s just that there are other holiday staples I like better.

The larger issue, to me, is that I believe there is a place for “the inappropriate”.  I don’t like to see books, songs, movies, or artwork banned.  I remember in the 80s, there were conservative Christian groups lobbying to ban classic books like Slaughterhouse Five and The Catcher in the Rye.  I remember some people were outraged that students were reading books like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and To Kill A Mockingbird.  In those days, it seemed more like banning books was more of a conservative idea, to keep students from reading things deemed indecent or immoral. 

Now, it seems like the liberal left wants to do the same thing with certain classic songs, like “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”.  Maybe some people would say it’s different because Loesser’s classic seems to promote “date rape”.  I don’t see a difference at all, though.  Even if the lyrics were “rapey”, which they really aren’t, the song is still a classic.  It should be heard and examined by people.  You don’t have to agree with the content.  Just don’t presume to make that decision for other people.

I just read an interesting New York Times piece about “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” which, once again, explains the song’s original intent.  I’m glad to read that many folks aren’t taking this song banning business lying down… although I have read some surprisingly vitriolic arguments with people over this issue.  People like controversy, and “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is enjoying new popularity as a download, even as radio stations are striking it from their holiday playlists.  Good.  Frank Loesser wasn’t intending to promote date rape or anything else untoward.  His song was intended to be a lighthearted, flirtatious, fun look at a couple in an era when respectable unmarried folks didn’t spend the night.  I think people should consider the context before they start demanding bans.  And then, after they do that, perhaps they should read a classic banned book.  The opportunity to learn will present itself accordingly.

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Duggars, holidays, mental health, religion, sex, silliness

Repost: I’m grateful for orgasms…

I am reposting this article I wrote for my original blog back on November 22, 2013. It’s not that I don’t have another topic in mind for today. I just saw this in my Facebook memories and realized that yes, nine years later, I am STILL very grateful for orgasms. And I just wanted to spread the news.

As it’s November and the month of Thanksgiving, there have been a number of Facebook posts recently about gratitude.  Many people post something they are grateful for every day in November.  In the spirit of gratitude, I too have been posting things I am thankful for.  I try to keep my thanks upbeat and light-hearted, though.  I figure there are enough schmaltzy posts about being grateful for good health and happiness or a supportive family.  I like to give other things their due.

So I am grateful for odd things like clean underwear, modern plumbing, and Jagger’s swagger.  And yesterday, I was grateful for orgasms.  I posted that thought and was amazed by how many “likes” it got.  Some people thought it was funny.  Some thought it was shocking.  Some people, who know me, thought it was typical.  But yes, a lot of people apparently appreciate the ability to have an orgasm.  And you know, it’s something that many of us probably take for granted.  I’m aware that a lot of people thought my post on Facebook was funny, but when you think about it, the ability to have and enjoy an orgasm is really a much more serious subject than meets the eye.

Back in the late 1990s, I took Prozac for awhile.  It wasn’t the best drug for me and pretty much killed my ability to have an orgasm, not that I had a sex life at the time.  I just remember that even when I was in the mood for a little self abuse, it took forever.  It was very frustrating.  I remember thinking of Kurt Vonnegut’s short story, “Welcome To The Monkey House“, a story about overpopulation and indecency and how people of the future were ordered to take a drug that took all pleasure out of sex.  In the story, a druggist had taken his family to the zoo and was appalled when they saw monkeys masturbating.  He came up with “ethical birth control”,  a drug which didn’t actually render anyone sterile, but just made sex unappealing.  Because the world was overpopulated, everyone was required to take the druggist’s birth control pill. 

The story was also about how people were encouraged to visit “ethical suicide parlors”, where beautiful, tall, virginal women would help people voluntarily kill themselves as an effort to keep the world population of 17 billion people stable.  There was a group of rebels who refused to take the birth control and therefore were able to enjoy sex.  And indeed, they did enjoy it frequently.  One of the characters kidnaps a “suicide hostess” who is very much in favor of the laws.  The characters force the woman to allow the birth control to wear off… which, of course, gives her the ability to know what she had been missing.

I have always liked the story, but after taking Prozac, it became very profound to me.  It’s been years since I read it, but I do remember Vonnegut describing what the ethical birth control did to people and how it made them feel… kind of numb in the sexual regions.  And that’s how Prozac made me feel, too.

But at least I had the ability to stop taking the drug.  I eventually switched to Wellbutrin, which was a much better antidepressant for me.  My nether regions came back to life and my depression finally lifted.  I was able to make decisions.  Later that year, I met Bill online and the rest is history.  You might say Wellbutrin actually helped me finally get a sex life, though it took a few years.

I am very grateful not to have been raised in a belief system that thinks of sex as a dirty thing.  It’s bad enough that we have a number of religions that discourage masturbation and subject members to humiliating interviews about their “habits” and refer to masturbation as “self abuse”.  There are also belief systems that promote the idea that enjoying sex is a sin and that it should only be done for the purpose of procreation. 

There are a number of religions that forbid members from admiring others, even to the point of forcing young men to look away when a pretty woman walks by or worse, forcing young women to wear shapeless garments that obscure their figures and veils that cover their hair and face.  This is all done in the name of avoiding lust or, heaven forbid, immorality caused by an orgasm.  An early episode of the fundamentalist Christian Duggar family’s reality show featured someone shouting “Nike!” when a pretty but “inappropriately dressed” young woman walked by.  It was a code to get the boys to lower their eyes, lest they be “defrauded”– that is, driven to lust by the tempting appearance of a beautiful woman.  Can’t have those young men having boners, can we?  Not until their wedding nights to women who are hand-picked by daddy… and may or may not be all that attractive or interesting. (ETA in 2022– oh, how innocent we were about the Duggar family in 2013!)

There are also a lot of women who, unfortunately, can’t have orgasms because they have been subjected to female circumcision.  Female circumcision is a horrible misogynistic custom practiced in certain countries around the world.  It’s considered a rite of passage in some places, perhaps even celebrated to some extent before a poor girl between the ages of birth and puberty is forcibly held down as her genitals are brutally mutilated by other women or even the local male barber, who may be a local health practitioner.  It involves removing part or all of the clitoris and sewing up the labia, which makes the eventual enjoyment of sex very difficult.  This procedure can be done with or without anesthesia.  It can cause significant health problems and gynecological difficulties.  It can also cause death.

Women who have had their clitorises amputated can’t experience orgasms.  They may or may not know what they are missing, which seems like a small problem in the grand scheme of things.  Just the idea of trying to recover from such a brutal operation, as routine for them as having wisdom teeth extracted is for many Americans, is hard to fathom.  It really is food for thought if you happen to be lucky enough to be a woman living in a place where female genital mutilation is not common.

So yes, during this season of Thanksgiving, I am very grateful for orgasms… the ability to have them at will, and for the sweet man who still inspires me to have them.  Orgasms are one of life’s most wonderful gifts.  May you enjoy your orgasms as much as I do mine…

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domestic violence, Duggars, sex

A whole lot can change in a week’s time…

Howdy folks… it’s a beautiful, cool, sunny Sunday morning in Germany, and I’m sitting here thinking about the crazy events of the past week. A week ago, Bill’s daughter was still pregnant, awaiting the birth of her son. A week ago, twenty-one citizens of Uvalde, Texas were still alive and presumably well. And a week ago, we still didn’t know Josh Duggar’s fate. Much has happened since May 22, 2022. Although I know it could be said at any time, a lot of lives began, changed, or ended in the past week.

As usual, I have a bunch of things on my mind. Some of it is pretty ludicrous and probably shouldn’t be shared. But, because I’m an inappropriate person who enjoys saying and writing shocking things, I’m going to share a ridiculous thought I had the other day as I watched Jim Bob Duggar storm out of the courthouse to his vehicle. Jim Bob was wearing a mask on his face, but it was pretty obvious that he was flaming pissed. Just watching the man walk, completely ignoring the press who peppered him with questions, I got the sense that Boob was seething. How dare the judge sentence Josh to 151 months in prison, when so many people had “vouched” for his quality as a human? /sarcasm

And it’s very inappropriate that I thought about this… as a masked Anna came out after Jim Bob, flanked by members of the legal team representing Josh Duggar. Man… the Duggars sure seem to have embraced the masks, haven’t they? It helps hide the wholly inappropriate facial expressions a number of them have made in the wake of this legal scandal. I thought about the obvious anger expressed in Jim Bob’s walk, and the energy that was emanating from it. And I wondered if he was going to go home to his wife and demand that she be “joyfully available” to him, so he might get out some of that energy…

Anna Duggar comes out after her father-in-law, who looked as mad as a wet rooster.

Yeah, I know… it’s inappropriate as hell. But this family wrote the book on being inappropriate, didn’t they? And based on what Danica Dillon said about Josh Duggar, and their alleged rough encounter in a hotel room, I figure the apple probably doesn’t fall far from the tree. Did Josh learn his technique from a book? Was it only from the videos he watched? Or did he learn from watching dear old dad?

Michelle is probably pretty pissed, too.

I think about Michelle Duggar’s speech to her daughter Jill, just before she married her husband, Derick Dillard. In her advice, she remembered being a young bride, preparing to marry Jim Bob. A friend gave her what she thought was very sage advice about being a good wife. The story goes:

She told me: “Michelle, I know you’re so excited. You’re a bride-to-be, but some day you’ll be at this point. I’ve been married three years and I’m still happily married. I have one child, we’re expecting our second and I’m big pregnant. You’ve got to remember this. Anyone can iron Jim Bob’s shirt, anybody can make lunch for him. He can get his lunch somewhere else. But you are the only one who can meet that special need that he has in his life for intimacy. You’re it. You’re the only one. So don’t forget that, that he needs you. So when you are exhausted at the end of the day, maybe from dealing with little ones, and you fall into bed so exhausted at night, don’t forget about him because you and he are the only ones who can have that time together. No one else in the world can meet that need.”

“And so be available, and not just available, but be joyfully available for him. Smile and be willing to say, ‘Yes, sweetie I am here for you,’ no matter what, even though you may be exhausted and big pregnant and you may not feel like he feels. ‘I’m still here for you and I’m going to meet that need because I know it’s a need for you.’ ”

Michelle went on to say that Jim Bob would “lay down his life for her”. That seems to be an unfortunate choice of words. He would lay down his life for the only woman he can lay in his life… or so he tells us, anyway. I don’t know if Jim Bob is a faithful husband. I’ve never seen any indication that he isn’t faithful to Michelle, so I’ll assume he is. But obviously, he has a very strong sex drive… just look at all of the kids he’s fathered. And obviously, since Michelle was so free about giving the “joyfully available” advice to her daughter, and the rest of the women of the world, it’s something that is probably expected of her in her marriage. So I wonder, when Jim Bob came storming out of the courthouse, obviously looking like he was mad enough to spit nails, did he go home and work off that energy by splitting logs, stacking cinder blocks, or playing basketball, like LDS missionaries do? Or did he request his wife’s availability in the bedroom for a joyfully available power fuck? I mean, what soothes the savage beast more than a willing helpmeet, ready to do her duty?

I guess the attention isn’t such a good thing after all…

Personally, I don’t think it’s much of a stretch. I think Jim Bob is an angry person. To me, he comes across as very narcissistic. Narcissistic people are often full of rage and shame. They hide behind charming, attractive facades that can fool people. I think Jim Bob is good at presenting that friendly, “Christian” image, at least at first. But over the years, I’ve read a bunch of stories about people and their dealings with him… and what tends to happen when things go south. Also, he seems to have some pretty tone deaf ideas about women and sex. He supposedly told his daughter, Jessa, before she married Ben Seewald:

“Both of you’ll like the physical relationship, but the guy, that’ll be kinda the main focus. But, for a woman, communicating is the most important thing.”

He also said:

“Be careful what you’re good at doing, because you’ll probably do a lot of it.”

And…

“If a woman is raped, the rapist should be executed instead of the innocent unborn baby. Rape and incest represent heinous crimes and as such should be treated as capital crimes.”

Obviously, he can’t see that his son, Josh, is a monster who would hurt women, AND innocent babies. And he clearly doesn’t think Josh should be executed for what he’s done. Josh got some of that stuff from somewhere… and based on what we’ve been hearing about the Southern Baptists lately, it stands to reason that the Duggars probably have similar views. I know they aren’t “Southern Baptists”– they have even more fundamentalist beliefs. They clearly live in a world where abuse is rampant and tolerated. So it’s not hard for me to imagine that when Jim Bob got home after seeing his eldest son sentenced to over 12 years in a federal prison, he had some anger to process. Hopefully, he processed it in an appropriate way, and there wasn’t any abuse. But frankly, my guess is that he’s probably pretty miserable to live with, especially when he’s angry. And he was clearly VERY ANGRY after the sentencing hearing.

No, the Duggars technically aren’t Southern Baptists, but they do come from a similar, and more secretive, world.

I hope that Michelle Duggar is okay… and I especially hope the other girls who are still under Jim Bob’s roof are okay. I hope Anna will be okay, and somehow she can be helped out of the situation she’s in… but unfortunately, she’s going to have to wise up and ask for assistance. Most of all, I hope the children are safer than they were. Unfortunately, I don’t think Jim Bob is a whole lot better than Josh is. Having grown up with a father who wasn’t a sex pest, but did take out his anger on me, I do worry that the people under Jim Bob’s control might be at risk.

Moving on to a more pleasant subject…

Now that Bill’s third grandchild has been born, my status as “granny” has come up again. I mentioned that Bill has a new grandson, and someone questioned my wording, wondering why I wasn’t claiming the child as my grandchild. This person explained that as Bill’s wife, what’s his is mine, too. And he tried to tell me that because younger daughter and her family need love, I should think of myself in a grandmotherly role as I offer that love to them. Bear in mind, I have never met this guy, and he knows nothing about our story.

Once again, I found myself briefly explaining the odd circumstances regarding my relationship with Bill’s daughters. I have only met them in person once in almost twenty years of marriage. It’s only been a few years since Bill and his younger daughter have been talking to each other. And, although I grow to like and trust her more and more as time passes, I don’t feel comfortable with the designation of “granny”. In fact, I don’t even know if she’d want me to make that claim. I would be very honored if she did, but I’m not about to make that presumption, especially since her mother is trying to pass #3 off as her “dad” and grandfather to her children. It’s clear that younger daughter doesn’t see #3 as her dad at all, but Ex is still apparently entertaining the fantasy. So I don’t want to stir the pot by referring to myself as a “granny”… especially since I barely feel like a stepmother, even in the technical sense.

I do hope, though, that I can get to know younger daughter and her family better. Bill is very happy to have them in his life again. And he couldn’t be more overjoyed about having another grandchild.

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