It’s Thursday already! And although it’s early August, it feels more like mid September. As I write today’s post, it’s about 59 degrees outside and overcast. I don’t normally like to include weather reports in my posts, but this is kind of unusual, even for Germany. Not that I’m complaining. This year, at least we have a nice, green lawn in the backyard.
I just checked my spam folder for my Hotmail account. I got another one of those “I’ve infected your computer” emails. This time, the message was different, though. Sure, there were the usual threatening words about how, if I don’t pay them, they’ll send my contacts pictures of me doing unmentionable things. But this time, they included several graphic dick pics of some balding guy with a beard and the threat that next time, the photos could be of me. Trust me, it wasn’t what I wanted to see… especially first thing in the morning.
It’s funny, though, because they would never get such graphic photos of me, even if they could video me doing “nasty” things. It just plain isn’t possible. Was sending those nasty photos supposed to convince me to pay them? I don’t know. But it didn’t work, and it was really gross. I reported the email to Outlook, not that I think they’ll do anything about it.
I also came across a stupid blonde joke this morning. Check this out…
I think blonde jokes are stupid, mainly because I’m a blonde, and I’m not dumb. I mean, some people might call me dumb, but I know I’m not a dim-witted person. I have blonde friends– natural blondes, mind you– who are also not deserving of the dumb blonde stereotype. I spell it with the “e”, because blonde jokes are always directed at women. You rarely hear someone making fun of a blond man.
Wikipedia tells me that the “dumb blonde” stereotype comes from 18th century Europe. Blondes were supposedly more desirable, but less intelligent than brunettes. It’s sad that in 2023, people are still promoting this idea through lame jokes. I was a big fan of the old sitcom, Three’s Company, back in the 70s and 80s, and Suzanne Somers played a “dumb blonde”. When she left, her character was replaced with a clumsy blonde, Jenilee Harrison,… then came Priscilla Barnes, who played a smart blonde. But, Priscilla’s character didn’t do that much to change the stereotype.
When I was younger, I did have sort of light brown hair for awhile. But I started getting silver hair when I was 24 years old. I’m now 51, and I don’t use haircolor anymore. My hair is now naturally blonde again. Not only am I not dumb, but I never had that much luck with men, until I met Bill. Then, I really hit the jackpot. I think he married me for my mind, rather than my looks. When I ask him, he says it’s because he felt comfortable with me. It wasn’t because of my blonde hair and blue eyes… although my big boobs probably did play a part.
The funny thing about the above interview is that Barbara Walters is acting like Dolly looks like a “freak”. I guess in 1977, Dolly’s appearance was pretty extreme. But then, I can think of other people from that era who were also pretty extreme in the way they looked. In 2023, that look is nothing, though. Now, so many people seem to be covered in tattoos and piercings.
In 1977, we couldn’t conceive of some of the stuff that is going on today, with some folks trying desperately to take us back to that less liberated era, and other people fighting desperately to keep evolving. It certainly is a strange time to be living… but I guess that could be said for almost any time in history. Imagine how people felt during World War II, when Hitler was trying to take over Europe. Maybe then, it also felt like the strange times would never end.
Watching the news every day, as Donald Trump gets into an ever deeper legal pit of quicksand, I wonder if his reign of the absurd will be ending anytime soon. I don’t think he’ll be president again, but I do think his influence is going to make life more challenging for a long while. He opened a Pandora’s Box of delusional weirdness that may never again be squelched in my lifetime. I have to admit, though, it is kind of satisfying to watch his legal woes pile up.
I am also quite proud of Joe Biden for telling Alabama to stick it and deciding to keep Space Command in Colorado. Fuck those anti-choice people. In Colorado, the whole force will be more ready, because females and LGBTQ folks can get the healthcare they need in PRIVACY. This is about military readiness. In Colorado, it’s more likely the military will be ready to deploy than they would be in Alabama, where politicians want to force people to gestate.
In any case, as the old saying goes, “nothing endures but change.” This weird stuff isn’t going to last forever. I do wonder, though, if I’ll live to see the end of it. It’s got me feeling a little unsettled.
Yesterday, as I was writing my blog post, I was looking for a clip from the show, Avenue Q. I didn’t end up finding what I was looking for, but I did watch a very reassuring video of the original cast singing the last number, “For Now”. “For Now” is a comforting reminder that everything in life is temporary. Times will either get worse, or they’ll get better, but the one thing we can all count on is change. Just as I had platinum blonde hair as a child, that turned kind of dishwater blonde, then light brown, and has now gone back to platinum blonde, change is a given, and it’s a constant. I’m sure eventually, my hair will turn white. If I manage to live that long, that is…
Speaking of change… my life changed when I saw the video below. I had never seen it before today, but it’s been around for 16 years.
I’m all over the place with this blog post today. I had meant to write about a different topic entirely, but I got sidetracked by that disgusting spam email with the actual dick pics. And now I’m a bit traumatized. I need some eye bleach, because I can’t unsee those pictures.
Then, I saw the dumb blonde joke, and wondered why so many people think women with light colored hair are dumb. I think it’s a mistake to underestimate people… especially those who are beguiling. There have been many blonde performers who have milked that stereotype all the way to the bank. While I congratulate them for making money, I also think it’s sad that some people feel compelled to promote a negative stereotype to make a living. No one should be encouraged to act “dumb”… at least not unless it’s being done for a very good reason. I don’t think getting rich is a particularly good reason to act dumb.
Anyway, if you managed to follow me through this convoluted morass of a post, I offer my congratulations. Maybe I am a dumb blonde, after all. But I would never park my ass in first class when I paid for economy. 😉
Well… I suppose it’s time I closed this post, and got on with the day. It’s Thursday, so that means vacuuming. Yecch. Maybe Noyzi will get a walk. He didn’t get one yesterday, because of the rain. I’ve also got to buy some new dress shirts for Bill. So… I’m off to tend to my chores. Have a good one, y’all.
Here’s another repost. I wrote this for the original Blogspot version of OH on October 28, 2015. I’m leaving it as/is, and sharing it again because I think it’s a hilarious story! The featured photo is one of me, taken January 22, 2022, while wearing my Mister Rogers middle finger ballcap. That was one of my more entertaining Amazon.de purchases.
Last night, just before drifting off to sleep, I read a funny news story about a woman who managed to ward off Planned Parenthood protesters with a funny chant. Sunday of last weekend, 29 year old Mary Numair was working a shift at Purrington’s Cat Lounge in Portland, Oregon when she noticed some people with signs standing outside. One of the women was holding a sign that read “Abortion kills children.”
Being the type of person who helps others, Numair went outside to tell the protesters that they were at the wrong address. When one of the women insisted that she and her fellow protesters were in the right spot, Numair decided to launch a counter protest. Using cardboard and rudimentary art skills, she made a big sign that read “Dear PP, Thanks for helping me with my yeast infections!” She drew a stick figure of a woman with big boobs and a smiley clitoris. Then she went outside and joined the protesters.
A few years earlier, Numair had chronic yeast infections that were not cleared up by the over the counter medications available at stores. She had no health insurance, so she went to Planned Parenthood for help. They helped her and she stopped suffering. No more itching, burning, or weeping “down there”. I’m sure it was a big relief AND she didn’t go broke getting a cure.
The protesters called Numair a whore within thirty seconds of her arrival, but she simply held up her sign and started chanting “Yeast infections!” She bent down and asked one of the kids if he or she knew about yeast infections. Then she did cheerleader style high kicks. The protesters were horrified and offended, even though one of them had called Numair a whore. But I guess the idea of someone’s recalcitrant yeast infections being cured by Planned Parenthood’s medical providers was too much for them to stomach. Within a half an hour, they got the hell out of Dodge.
Reading about Numair’s impromptu counter protest made me think that I need to pay a visit to Portland, Oregon sometime soon. I love that there are people in that city that aren’t afraid to chant about yeast infections to get obnoxious pro-lifers to move on. I also love that they have a “cat lounge” there and that Numair could feel free to counter protest without fear of being fired. Thinking about it further, I think it’s very appropriate that the protesters made a mistake and set up their picketing in front of a business that specializes in pussies…
On another note, I noticed that on a link to a different version of this story, a man named Frank wrote…
And you can go to any drug store and buy the cream instead of a billion dollar waste of government money!!!!
So I wrote, Her infections didn’t respond to the creams. She needed a prescription and was not insured. May you experience something similar.
And he wrote…There are prescription strength ones that are now OTC… And I buy my own W/O the gov.. I have experienced it! Shove it!
So I wrote,
She wasn’t able to use those medications when she had her yeast infections. She needed the ones that aren’t available OTC. If something is “prescription strength”, it can’t be sold OTC. That’s what “prescription strength” means. And if you have experienced vaginal yeast infections, I’m sure that’s a part of your life that should remain private. So…
Ordinarily, I wouldn’t bother to comment to guys like Frank… who is clearly an asshole with the intelligence of buttcrud. But I just made the above Mr. Rogers meme yesterday and felt the need to share it with more than a few people. And may I just say that I hope Frank does get a stubborn yeast infection in a place where the sun and Monistat don’t shine.
It’s hump day, which means Arran is going to see the vet for chemo. Bill is coming home this afternoon. Hopefully, he’ll get home early enough to take the dog to the vet. However, I have my doubts I’ll get that lucky, as I look outside and watch the snow fall. Yes, that’s right… on the Ides of March in 2023, it’s snowing. It’ll probably be gone in an hour or so. For now, it’s sticking.
So… I’m sitting here now, wondering what to write about today. And I noticed that my friend, Patti, left a very insightful comment on yesterday’s post. I want to give her proper credit for making the leap that I didn’t quite make yesterday, when I wrote about Republican Representative Rob Harris of South Carolina proposing that women who have abortions be subject to the death penalty, and a new bill proposed in Massachusetts that would offer prisoners the chance to donate organs for time off their sentences.
Patti wrote this, and I had a big AHA moment (bolded emphasis mine)…
At the beginning of these anti-choice laws popping up the last few years I stated it was a matter of bodily autonomy. You can’t force someone to donate organs or blood no matter who needs it – you can’t even take it from a corpse without permission of them prior to death or from a family member afterward. These two issues are actually entangled as they are inching more and more away from bodily autonomy and being able to compel people to give up an organ or blood to someone who “deserves” it.
What’s even freakier to me is that these are two very different states. South Carolina is extremely conservative and Republican. Massachusetts is famously liberal. Rob Harris, who authored the South Carolina bill advocating for executing women who have abortions, is a Spartanburg Republican who happens to be a registered nurse. Representative Carlos Gonzalez, of Springfield. Massachusetts, a Democrat, apparently worked as a social worker, although I haven’t seen evidence of him having a social work degree.
If Gonzalez doesn’t have a social work degree, he’s technically NOT a social worker— in the same way that someone who didn’t go to medical school or nursing school isn’t a physician or a nurse. I hasten to add, I don’t know what he studied in school. I’ve casually looked, but the information isn’t coming up easily this morning, and I’m not willing to spend more time looking for it right now.
The point is, both Harris and Gonzalez (especially if he is a social worker), should have more respect for the self-determination of all people. It makes no sense to me, whatsoever, that a nurse would think and outwardly state that executing people who have abortions is an appropriate course of action. I would hope and expect that nurses, above all, should seek to preserve health and life. And when death inevitably occurs, they should have a compassionate attitude.
Nurses (and social workers) are in a unique position to see the many complex situations that would cause a person to consider having an abortion. Yes, sometimes they’re done for the sake of convenience, which could also be the safest and wisest course of action. I studied social work and public health and worked in South Carolina, and I have an idea of what people who are unexpectedly pregnant can be up against, even if the person has some means.
A young woman who is just launching her career, isn’t involved with her partner, and doesn’t have the financial resources to take care of a baby, should have the option to terminate the pregnancy if that’s what she deems best. Being pregnant has a huge effect on a person’s life and their finances. So, allowing a termination early in the pregnancy is probably a lot kinder than forcing that young woman to endure pregnancy and choose to either give the baby up for adoption, or forgo her own financial security. Yes, I would hope it would also mean she’d be more careful about contraception, but even people who are careful about contraception can experience failures.
I might feel differently if I saw evidence that Mr. Harris advocates providing financial resources for pregnant people. Unfortunately, all I’ve seen from him is a line about personal responsibility, and how the unborn must be “protected”. Does that just mean forcing the woman to gestate? Or is he also proposing making sure that the pregnant person has housing, food, medical care, reliable transportation, help finding work and affordable child care, and all of the other things needed to have a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery? I notice he makes no provisions for cases of rape or incest. Does he also think a ten year old pregnant child should be forced to birth or risk the death penalty? People like Harris never seem to have an answer to those questions, do they?
Say what you want about how dystopian Gilead is in The Handmaid’s Tale, but at least the pregnant women in that story get what they need to stay healthy. In our increasingly dystopian country– the United States, so called land of the free– we don’t offer any help to the people some politicians want to force to give birth under penalty of execution if they don’t. It’s sick and WRONG, and I am so very weary of MEN like Rob Harris trying to legislate morality and impose draconian penalties on pregnant people. Mr. Harris will NEVER have to face an unintended pregnancy or the direct consequences related to pregnancy. He should sit the fuck down, and shut the fuck up! I hope he loses his nursing license! He’s not fit for the profession.
You’d think the Democrats would be more mindful about ethics. But Carlos Gonzalez, who was evidently influenced by his dear friend with kidney disease on dialysis, seems to want to compel incarcerated people to donate their organs. I know, on the surface, it sounds like the incarcerated people would have a choice. Maybe that’s how it would start out, anyway. However, Mr. Gonzalez doesn’t seem to realize that offering desperate people a deal that gives them a year off their prison sentences in exchange for a kidney is, frankly, putting us on a slippery slope. How long would it take before that idea would extend to people on welfare, for instance.
I like the way Patti put it in her comment.
“…they are inching more and more away from bodily autonomy and being able to compel people to give up an organ or blood to someone who ‘deserves’ it.“
Politicians tend to be powerful, influential people. Mr. Gonzalez would like to save his friend’s life. He explains:
“He’s a father of three children and is in stage 4 of kidney failure,” González said, adding, “I love my friend and I’m praying through this legislation that we can extend the chances of life for him and any other person in a similar life-or-death situation.”
Would Mr. Gonzalez feel the same way about someone who wasn’t a father of three? How about someone who is single? What about a person who is homeless or mentally ill? What about someone with Down Syndrome, or another genetic disease? How about a prisoner? How about someone like Jared Fogle?
What exactly would make a person “deserving” of receiving a prisoner’s donated kidney, bone marrow, or blood? Would they have to be a “good” person? Who gets to decide who warrants getting a kidney? What will the criteria be?
And what are the proposed standards for allowing prisoners to donate? Will they get counseling from a lawyer? A psychologist? How about a physician who will talk to them about potential drawbacks to donating, rather than just assessing their health and suitability for donating? Isn’t a vital organ worth more than sixty days off a prison sentence? Isn’t it worth more than a year?
At least Mr. Gonzalez uses the word “love” when he proposes his bill. Rob Harris just sounds hateful toward women. He says:
”We have a problem with abortion, we don’t respect all life,” Harris said. “So, what my bill uniquely does is that it protects all life by defining life at conception. We have to ask ourselves as a culture, whether we believe life begins at conception or not. The ramifications of that are the same for anybody else who would take another life.”
Harris added that the bill’s intent was not to subject a mother who undergoes an abortion to the death penalty, but to save babies.
”The state has become an abortion destination, so what are we doing to stop abortion?”
When asked about whether the media’s focus on aborting mothers potentially receiving the death penalty weakens his bill or the chances of the bill passing, Harris said, “The laws are already on the books about murder, and all that stuff. I’m not arguing to change any of those laws. The bill is forcing our culture to decide, is this really life inside?”
It blows my mind that Rob Harris seems to imply that abortion is the biggest issue threatening human life in 2023. We can’t even protect the already born babies from the gun toting nuts that his party actively courts. We can’t even stop six year olds from shooting their teachers. We can’t stop a virus from killing people before their time.
Rob Harris dares to suggest that the way to make life better for everyone is to execute women who seek abortions and don’t want to have to explain why they want or need one to people like him? I would be much more impressed with Rob Harris if he was more concerned about the health and safety of people who have already been born and whose lives are being threatened every day by violent people with guns. And regardless of what his “intent” is, when he presents his ridiculous idea that women who have abortions should be executed, the fact is, presenting those kinds of bills can have terrible consequences for real people.
I really think Rob Harris needs to kicked out of the nursing profession. He clearly doesn’t really care about people, especially women. He doesn’t work for half of the population of South Carolina. He’s apparently for conservative men with money, and keeping women and people of color at a lower level. And his bill, regardless of his “stated intent”, displays a disturbing desire to punish and control women!
As for Gonzalez… I think his heart may be in the right place for people like his friend with kidney disease. However, as a politician, he’s supposed to be serving all people, including those whom he may not think “deserve” a donated organ. And yes, that means he serves prisoners, too. I think his bill does prisoners (who are still human beings) a disservice, but I also think that precedent could ultimately take our society in a direction it really shouldn’t be going. I don’t know how Gonzalez feels about abortion, but as Patti rightly points out, his idea isn’t so different than Harris’s draconian “pro-life” bullshit (for the unborn, anyway).
Our society is rapidly turning into a place that is blatantly just for the “haves”, and not for the “have nots”… Either way, the people who will be the most negatively affected by either of these proposed bills are going to be the poor, people of color, women, and people who have made mistakes. Those who are lucky enough to have money or connections won’t have to worry at all. And that’s just wrong and immoral, especially in the so-called “land of the free”. Both of these legislators from different states and opposing political sides need to reset their moral compasses. Likewise, voters need to wake up and take notice, and stop tolerating these extremist ideas. We all need to come together to make life better for everyone, not just the so-called “deserving”.
July 9th is now kind of a day of infamy for me. Today is the anniversary of my father’s death, eight years ago. Since that day in 2014, the world has changed in so many ways. I’ve also lost a lot more relatives and turned 50 myself. I’m getting old… and cranky, like the proverbial old bat screaming about people on her lawn.
I’ve watched things change so much, ever since I was a young person. Nowadays, there’s so much confusion about things that used to be so simple. There was a time when I wouldn’t think twice about referring to someone as a man or a woman. Nowadays, it’s not so clear. If you say or write the “wrong” thing, you can quickly find yourself at odds with someone you don’t even know, and they might be labeling you as an “ist”.
Take, for instance a crazy Twitter feed happening on Mark Hamill’s page right now. Last week, people were sharing the “We Will Adopt Your Baby” photos. I wrote about that myself, a lengthy essay about how adoption isn’t a panacea against the need for safe and legal abortions. Pretty soon, celebrities began tweeting joke “we will adopt your baby” photos. Mark Hamill was among them. I only know this because of Ex, who is a Mark Hamill fan, and I enjoy watching her antics. I have never even seen Star Wars in its entirety, but you can’t really be an American child of the 70s and not have heard of Star Wars.
Anyway, some people are pointing out to Mark Hamill that his son, Nathan, supposedly pressured an ex girlfriend to have an abortion. The girlfriend, name of Maegen Chen, refused to have an abortion and had the baby in 2016, a girl she named Autumn. That information spawned all sorts of emotional responses from strangers who seemingly had only one thing in common– interest in Mark Hamill. And before too long, people were being called “racist”, “sexist”, “classist”, and “ableist”, just to name a few.
Someone brought up that adoptive couples just want white, healthy babies. Someone else responded by asking what the first commenter thought of white couples adopting babies from Asia, and whether or not they’d call them racist. The person responded that that was more of an “ableist” move, than a racist one. And here I sit, bewildered at the preponderance of strangers judging each other and their life choices– hurling pejoratives with “ist” at each other. There’s just so much negativity and hatred. Half of them think more babies being born are the answer to making the world a better place. Half of them have completely lost their senses of humor. And just about all of them are guilty of harshly passing judgment on people they don’t know, simply because their opinions differ. Everybody has a story that colors their worldviews and informs their decisions. One person’s life choices might not be the right choices for the next person.
I wasn’t surprised to see Ex had weighed in on this controversy. She’s not one to shy away from drama, which makes her strangely entertaining to watch. Once again, I shake my head as I see her posting things that are perfectly reasonable to anyone who doesn’t know about her. Like– if I were to only meet her online, I’d probably have a pretty good impression of her. On the surface, she and I seem to agree on a lot of things. But I know what is beneath the surface, and I’ve watched people I love be badly hurt because of her. While I like to try to give strangers the benefit of the doubt, unless they give me reason not to, in her case, I know better. It’s a reminder that people are rarely exactly who they seem to be. See below.
I did kind of chuckle when someone referred to her as a “heartless dipshit”. He doesn’t know how accurate that name is. It’s true, you know. She writes about what it takes to raise a child, and seems to be very compassionate and loving. Yet this is the same person who forced her three eldest kids to disown their fathers when her marriages to her two ex husbands failed. This is the same woman who made her older daughters drop out of high school, take out student loans, and give her the “change” from whatever wasn’t used on tuition. The daughters then had to pay back the loans themselves. Or, at least younger daughter did. This is the same woman who hangs out on Twitter and other social media outlets while my husband’s 31 year old daughter looks after her mother’s “severely autistic” son. Ex definitely talks a good game, but the reality is, she’s full of crap.
Yep… Ex really does talk a good game. She’s very good at it. That’s probably how so many people have been charmed into her sphere, only to get burned. I wrote yesterday about how I find Twitter to be a cesspool of nasty people hurling insults at each other. I find such an environment to be frustrating, because being mean to other people is not the way to change anything. At best, all it does is temporarily relieve some angst. Maybe there’s a brief surge of satisfaction when someone lobs a verbal barb that stings. But in the end, the person who is insulting is still the same miserable person with the same selfish, mean-spirited personality that eventually comes out and turns off the best people.
I see her tweeting all of these social consciousness memes and comments that make her look progressive, kind, and thoughtful. But then I remember the way she treated my husband, his family, and her own children. And I realize that if Ex can be like that, so can a lot of people. She’s not particularly special… although I would say that the fact that she gets away with the things she does is pretty extraordinary. But that doesn’t make her special, per se. It just makes her very lucky. I look forward to the day when her luck finally ends.
Anyway, Bill just called me to breakfast. We’re having cheese souffles. So I’d better end this post and get on with the day… with the valuable reminder that no matter what people say or write, good or bad, chances are that they’re just “talking a good game.” And underneath, it’s entirely likely that they are completely different people from what shows on that exterior facade. That works both ways, too. That person who called me a “fucking idiot” for being”too liberal” might actually be a pretty decent person once you get to know them. And a supposed mensch like Ex, tweeting positive platitudes and kindly thoughts about the plight of special needs children and adoptees, can be a complete monster. So keep that in mind, fellow life warriors.
This morning, I got a private message from someone who read my recent rant about pro-life men who make me want to hurl. I was surprised to get that message. As of this morning, that particular rant only has four views. However, it does have two likes, which is somewhat unusual for my blog. My posts, by and large, don’t get “likes” very often. 😉
The person who wrote to me indicated that she felt my post was “poignant”. I thought that was an interesting observation. Maybe it does seem poignant, though, that a middle-aged woman who has always had the right to choose would be so disgusted by men with “pro-life” attitudes. Very soon, the risk of pregnancy for me, personally, will no longer exist at all. So, if Roe v. Wade does get overturned, it won’t matter too much for me, at least not in terms of whether or not I would be forced to bear children. If the United States turned into an actual Gilead, as depicted in Margaret Atwood’s book, The Handmaid’s Tale, I would either be a wife or a “Martha”. Or maybe I’d just be a “working stiff” who wears grey. The bottom line is, my actual purpose– according to some men– will soon cease to exist. But, you know, even when I was still young, a lot of men didn’t think I was fulfilling my “purpose”. They probably felt like a vagina was wasted on me.
As I was reposting the two book reviews I added this morning, I watched the latest episode of Fundie Fridays on YouTube. The host, Jen, had a guest named Mickey Atkins on the show. Mickey is a social worker, like I would have been if I hadn’t become an “overeducated housewife”. The two of them were discussing Lori Alexander, aka “The Transformed Wife”. Lori Alexander, for those who don’t know, is a very controversial figure on social media. She believes that women’s sole purposes for being is to make babies and be housewives. I don’t generally pay a lot of attention to Lori’s posts, because I disagree with almost everything she says or writes, and I generally don’t think it’s productive to pay attention to her dumb comments. However, sometimes, when she says or writes something that is especially offensive, I will take note of it. I do casually follow Fundie Fridays, as well. I don’t watch it every week, but I do watch often enough. So, even though I think The Transformed Wife shouldn’t have a platform, I decided to listen to Jen and Mickey talk about her this morning as I multi-tasked.
Listening to this video led me to look up things I have written about Lori Alexander. In the process of doing that, I ran across some old posts on my original blog about related subjects. It occurred to me, as I was reading, that men who “concern troll, and “fat shame” women, are a whole lot like the pro-life men who make me want to hurl. They REALLY have a lot in common. And, I also realized, that whether or not they know it, a lot of pro-life men and fat shaming men are probably motivated by the same thing… the desire to have sex with, and ultimately control, women. I think a lot of men are, deep down, offended by women who don’t do what society expects of them.
A lot of men think it’s a woman’s duty to be pretty, friendly, agreeable, and sweet. They think it’s her role to be willing to have sex with them– and only them. She is to turn them on and, when she gets pregnant, be willing to have their babies. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the man will feel like he needs to stick around and help raise the babies. It’s only that to be “good”, a woman is to be attractive and appealing. A smart woman with an opinion– especially if he doesn’t think she’s attractive– is offensive to a lot of men. And women who get pregnant, and then decide to reject the pregnancy, are repulsive to certain men.
Notice that I specified “certain men”. Not all men are like this. My husband, Bill, is not like this at all. He’s a kind, supportive, loving man who doesn’t mind that I’m overweight, opinionated, and often unlikable to other people. Bill loves me for who I am, not what I look like, and not just for my sex parts. I realize that I am extremely lucky, too. I don’t know how I got so lucky, but I did. My husband is an absolute gem.
But I know from my past life, and even incidences from my current life, that not all women are nearly as lucky as I have been. Every once in awhile, I run into a guy who seems determined to remind me of what they think should be my place. I see them do it to other women, too. They firmly believe that women are here to entertain them, satisfy them, attract them, and serve them. They aren’t here to be someone in and of themselves.
So how did I come to this conclusion? It started with a post I wrote on my original blog about a group called “Overweight Haters, Ltd.” Back in 2015, a woman named Kara Florish was riding on The Tube in London when a middle-aged male stranger placed a business card on her lap.
The man quickly got off at the next stop and disappeared in the crowd, leaving Kara sitting there, stunned. Kara posted on Twitter, commenting:
“I am not upset myself. I am smaller than the national average and not exactly obese, but this is hateful and cowardly and could potentially upset people struggling with confidence and eating disorders. Please tweet and share this if you are also outraged. Plus – to the person who wrote this card, go back to school, you can’t spell ‘beautiful’.”
I didn’t actually write about this incident until several years later. Florish wasn’t the only one who got a card from this vile group. In another article from The Guardian from 2015, it was reported that another commuter, a man named Sean Thomas Knox, witnessed a woman getting one of the cards. According to the article:
“Young man just got on train at Oxford Circus, gave printed card saying YOU’RE FAT to overweight girl. He jumped off. She read it, [and] cried.
“Am 99.9% sure this wasn’t staged. She didn’t even realise I was watching at first. Her stunned, desolate reaction was very real. Then tears.”
Knox described the man who handed over the card as a “hipster.. smartly, trendily dressed” with a beard. “Perhaps it was a piece of conceptual art,” he tweeted
“It lasted a few seconds, but the card in that photo [Florish’s] is the same card I saw, in the girl’s hand. And her shock was real.”
I’ve seen a lot of comments fat shaming men leave for women online, too. They often couch their opinions as “concern” for women’s health. But, when it really comes down to it, I think men are less concerned about health as they are their own sex drives. A lot of them seem to think it’s a woman’s duty to be pretty for them, so they will want to have sex with them. And then, once they have sex, if the woman gets pregnant, she should want to have the baby. To not have the baby is to reject the man. A lot of pro-life men simply can’t deal with that kind of rejection. It’s a terrible assault on their egos. Notice, too, that a lot of pro-life men– especially those who are religious– also pressure women to be pleasing to them and pretty, but not sexy or, heaven forbid, slutty. Slutty women end up as handmaids, you know… or they work at Jezebel’s. 😉
Think I’m way off base on this? Consider something that happened to me back in February 2018. I read an article about a woman who had given birth to a baby girl she named Parker. The woman then left the newborn infant outside in the cold. Parker later died. Her mother was arrested and charged with murder, which was eventually reduced to a conviction of manslaughter. She was sentenced to nine years in prison.
For some reason, a man decided that the comment section was a good place to rail against abortion, even though this story had NOTHING to do with abortion. He pointed out that had the mom aborted Parker, people would be applauding her choice. A lot of women responded to him, including yours truly. I dared to tell him that I didn’t think men really needed to chime in on this issue, since it’s never their lives or health on the line when someone gets pregnant. A few days later, I got a private message from someone who was looking for advice on apartments in Alsace. After I responded to the PM, I noticed I had another one from a “stranger” named Jason. Jason wrote this to me:
Interesting that Jason, who is presumably “pro-life”, doesn’t realize that I used to be someone’s developing fetus. And yet, he felt the need to invite me to commit suicide. Sadly, when I complained about this to Facebook, they said there was “nothing they could do about it.” However, I’ve been “on restriction” all month for writing a comment that referred to “dumb Americans”. Go figure.
Now, I’m not going to tell you that I enjoy being referred to as a “cunt”. It’s not a nice word. And no, I don’t like it when people call me “fat”, because I know that’s basically akin to “ugly” in some people’s opinions. Nobody likes to be insulted. On the other hand, I am already married to a wonderful guy who doesn’t think I’m a “fat cunt”, and would be devastated if I died. But this comment did make me realize that Jason must be very, very frustrated by women who aren’t afraid to speak their minds, and would happily deny men, both access to their cunts, and respect for their views.
You see, my guess is that Jason isn’t gay. He probably really enjoys having sex with women. And a lot of women have probably denied him sex. At the same time, he’s presumably here because some woman had sex and got pregnant. He probably passed through his mother’s “cunt” when he was born. So he actually owes everything to a cunt, doesn’t he? But he thinks that, as a man, he should have power over women. A woman who tells him and his male brethren to STFU is very threatening and offensive. So he calls me a vile word and advises me to kill myself. Makes a lot of sense, right?
As a woman, I have been sexually harassed by men, even though I don’t think I’m conventionally “beautiful”. It started on the playground when I was a little girl, when little boys would try to make me give them some “sugar” (I grew up in the South in the early 80s, and that was a euphemism for kissing). It continued as I got older, when bigger boys would grab me and try to touch me or kiss me, and when the neighborhood pervert, who referred to himself as “The Home of the Whopper”, showed me pornography. Then, it continued when boys would make comments about my body– negative or positive– or try to humiliate me with cruel jokes and pranks. In college, I remember meeting a guy at a party, and within a couple of hours, he was trying to stick his tongue down my throat. I was shocked and horrified, and I asked him to stop. He then proceeded to treat me like I had given him blue balls or something.
I got harassed when I lived in Armenia by men who exposed themselves to me. It happened three times that I can remember. I was lucky. I knew a woman who was harassed and violently assaulted. She had to go into the hospital. On a trip to Turkey, a man felt my legs as I tried on shoes that I desperately needed. Another man grabbed my breast when I was trying to find a bathroom. Not two hours later, when I was changing clothes, a different man came into the dressing room, called me “sexy”, and asked me to come with him. The female friend who was traveling with me was also harassed, although she wore men’s shoes and had shaved her head. The trip, which was mostly amazing, culminated when we got stuck on the border with Georgia and the customs manager propositioned me. And no, I wasn’t looking sexy. I had on shorts, a t-shirt, and wore no makeup. He still wanted to have sex with me… and, of course, that was ALL he wanted. He thought I would give it to him, because I’m an American woman, and women from the USA are supposedly “loose”. I was a virgin at the time.
A couple of years later, when I was back in the States, I worked at a country club. One of the members, a guy named J.J., was notorious for hitting on all of the women who worked at the club. It didn’t matter if the female he was targeting was a minor who was still in high school, or if it was the matronly dining room manager who was in her 60s. None of us were spared his attentions. One day, he followed me into the linen closet, which unfortunately was in the men’s locker room. Thinking the locker room was empty, I had gone in there to get tablecloths and napkins. He cornered me, and tried to paw at my breasts and kiss me. It was absolutely appalling, and yes, I said “No”.
And… I have also been fat shamed by men. It started with comments from my father, who would tell me that no man would find me attractive (he also didn’t like my outspoken personality and vulgar language). He would touch me and tell me I had “fat” I needed to lose. Sometimes, he called me names, like “hog”, or referred to me as “retarded”. As I got older, some men would body shame me. It happened a lot in Armenia. I would get stopped by strangers on the street trying to sell me Herbalife, or they would flat out tell me I was “fat”. But it also happened in the United States, or on vacations. Regular readers of my blog might remember when I wrote about the man on SeaDream I who was surprised by my pretty singing voice and said to Bill, “Now I can see why you’d love her.” He made similarly disgusting comments about women, revealing the attitude that he felt like it was a woman’s duty to be beautiful and available to him. And if she wasn’t those things, he could call her a “fat cow” (he literally referred to his late wife in this way– she had just died of breast cancer).
Some men, especially in the military community, are very offended by smart, opinionated women, especially if they’re considered “fat” or not pretty enough. I’ve gotten tons of shit over the name of this blog by men in the military community, as well as some rather clueless women. One time, a military man commented on a blog post I wrote that was shared on Facebook. He wrote, “Ugh. I hope she at least has children.” WTF, guy? I responded that I didn’t have children, and I would be very happy to tell him why I didn’t, if he really wanted to know the gory details.
Frankly, I think it’s probably a burden to be really attractive to men. I remember another incident, back when I was in my late 20s and thinner and prettier than I am now. I was at a bar, and one of my co-workers, who was slim and pretty, was dancing to music. We were friends, but hadn’t come to the bar together. A guy tapped me on the shoulder. I turned to look at him, and he asked me if my co-worker was with anyone. Obviously, he’d spotted her and wanted to meet her, presumably because she was very attractive. But instead of asking her, he approached me, the less threatening “fat friend”. I think I told him that we hadn’t come together and if he wanted to talk to her, he should man up and talk to her. I’m not her “fat friend”, there to help some guy score.
Lori Alexander, who thinks that women need to stay home and pump out babies for their husbands, also fat shames women. She says that it’s a woman’s duty to be pleasing to her man. And if her man thinks she’s too fat, she needs to do something about it. And she needs to let him have sex with her, no matter what… even if it happens while she’s trying to sleep or isn’t feeling well. In that sense, I guess she’s in agreement with famously pro-life mom, Michelle Duggar, who told her daughter, Jill, to be “joyfully available” to her new husband, Derick. The year after the public heard about this advice, the news came out that Jill was one of four of the Duggar daughters who were molested by their eldest brother, Josh. We all know where Josh is right now. Mr. “Pro-Life” father of seven is currently sitting in a jail cell, awaiting sentencing for receiving and possessing images of child sexual abuse… and some of the female children being abused were in diapers!
So yeah… I don’t think guys who would deny women the right to bodily autonomy are interested in protecting babies. A lot of those guys wouldn’t bother to stick around if a woman got pregnant out of wedlock, and they certainly don’t want more of their paychecks going to providing social welfare safety nets. These guys– Josh Duggar especially– use women for their own gratification and then condemn them as “sluts”. They are repulsed by women they see as sloppy and out of control, whether the lack of control is regarding food or sex. And so, if you pay close attention, you see that a lot of fat shamers and pro-life males respond to women in very similar ways. They have a LOT in common!
I think, deep down, most of these pro-life, hyper-religious, fat shaming guys are obsessed with sex, and controlling women. They hate that a woman has the power to do something they can’t do, and a lot of them are offended when a woman has the nerve to have a vagina, but doesn’t “do enough” to be attractive. Or, worse, she’s attractive, but denies him access to her vagina. Or she gives him access, but then doesn’t want to accept the grand gift of his sperm, which created a developing fetus. Remember… the vast majority of us owe our lives to a woman and her vagina.
I’ll leave you with one last anecdote. A couple of days ago, I read a Facebook post about the 1987 film, Dirty Dancing, which was released when I was 15 years old. A lot of people forget that the reason why “Baby” has to learn to “dirty dance” is because Johnny Castle’s partner got “knocked up” by Robby, the asshole waiter. She had an illegal abortion, which made her very sick. The poster pointed out that the film was a reminder of what could be at stake if women in the United States lose access to abortion. One male commenter wrote this:
What is the script was flipped? What if Robby was a loving caring father that wanted the baby, but Penny knew that if she had the baby, her life would change, and she didn’t want that? Robby would have no legal say in it, and would be forced to see his child killed. Not all guys are douchebags. And not all women are angels. If a person, male or female, doesn’t think they can handle being a parent, then don’t take the risk of it happening.
Naturally, I had to respond. I didn’t even address the fact that this dude used the term “douchebag”, which is, in and of itself, a very offensive and sexist pejorative. Who uses douchebags? It’s not men who use them; it’s women. And, in fact, we aren’t repelled by “douchebags” so much as what comes from using them– the residual nasty smelling stuff from a woman’s private area. It’s the “waste” that is repellant. Personally, I consider the term “douchebag” to be akin to calling a woman a “cunt”, but since that was the term the guy used, I went with it in my response to this hypothetical “loving, caring father” who would be “crushed” that his child would be killed by heartless Penny.
If you don’t understand that it wouldn’t be Robby’s health or life on the line, and you think another personshould be compelled to stay pregnant for someone else’s sake, then yes, you ARE a “douchebag” (not that I would use that term). Guys who want to be fathers should find women who want to have babies with them.
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