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The new “feminism” is looking pretty male….

20 Sep

Brad and I like to watch stupid things before we go to bed to unwind.  So when Roseanne Barr’s Comedy Central roast popped up on our netflix, we decided that it couldn’t get much stupider than that, so we dove in.  I knew it would be dumb- but I didn’t think it would be so disheartening.  After an intro of Bikini Kill’s song “Rebel Girl”, and after the female comedians proclaimed their feminism, here is what the jokes consisted of (and keep in mind, all the jokes I’m going to reference were told by women directed at the other women):

Fat joke

Fat joke

Lesbian-just-need- some-dick joke

Fat joke

Rich-chick-slept-her-way-to-the-top joke

You’re-now-ugly-because-you’re-old joke

Fat joke

Slut joke

Fat joke

Lesbian is a bull dyke/trying to be a man because she has short hair joke

Fat joke directed at the young thin girl

Young thin girl making obscene jokes and then doing the dumb doe-eyed girl routine

Fat joke

Many you-were-pretty-and-slept-your-way-to-success-but-now-you’re-old-and-ugly jokes

Fat joke

Many slut jokes

Fat joke

The only woman who didn’t participate in the Ladies-telling-dude-jokes was Carrie Fisher… who actually called out the ridiculousness of the rampant “I can only be a funny lady by acting like a stupid dude”, and basically just made fun of how much of a addict she is (which was pretty funny).

I know this was a roast, and I know that the point is to rip each other up.  But ladies- is that all you’ve got?  And with Roseanne Barr as your target- that was the best you can come up with?  Low-brow frat boy humor?  And then you claim “We’re feminists!” while relying on the worst of Misogyny Comedy 101?  Fat, slut, and dyke jokes?  The guys that were roasting Roseanne didn’t even rely on such bottom-feeding tactics… and that’s saying something.

So a big depressed *sigh* for Roseanne and the ladies at her roast…. EXCEPT for the always wonderful Carrie Fisher, who knows that women should be above grunty testosterony humor.

A funny thing happened on Main Street today….

29 May

My son and I took a little break and went down to Main Street today.  Main Street in Huntington Beach is just like Main Street in Anywhere, USA… boutiques and restaurants that are where the masses congregate on sunny weekends.  The only difference between the H.B. Main Street and Anywhere USA Main Street is that ours is a big surfer tourist area because it leads onto a pier, and on weekends it’s not just crowded- it’s packed.  So we’re wandering around people-watching (one of our favorite things to do), and I’m cluing into some interesting behavior.

The groups of “punk girls” with their tattoos and piercings and perfectly manicured “I don’t care about your fashion” look were glaring and mocking the “indie rock art chick” girls for being snobs and the “prissy girls” for being superficial.  The “indie rock art chick” girls with their tattoos and piercings and carefully manicured  “I’m discarding mainstream fashion for retro fashion and craft fair jewelry that makes me oh-so-unique” were rolling their eyes at the “punk girls” for not being cool enough and the “prissy girls” for being superficial.  The “prissy girls” with their perfectly manicured hair, nails and spray tan and designer clothing are looking in disgust at the “punk girls” for being intimidating and the “indie rock art chick” girls for being weird.  I was watching group after group of cultural stereotypes pass each other on the street, giving each other the “evil eye” stare down quickly followed by snarky whispers to friends and noses immediately turning up into the air.  The lady vs lady disdain was uncomfortable- but what really got to me was the fact that there isn’t ANYTHING  different about any of these groups except the end result of how they choose to portray themselves to the world… which makes their disdain fully ridiculous an unnecessary.

When I make sweeping generalizations about the 3 mentioned groups, in NO WAY am I meaning to insult anyone.  Because when I was younger I could have been quickly tucked into the “punk girl” category, over the past few years I probably could have been more easily tucked into the “indie” category, and as I’m getting older I’m getting prissier every day… so I’m a pretty solid combination of all 3 groups.  But the uniforms are usually so extremely defined and well planned, that they can quickly be picked out of large crowds.  But not only that, these groups rely on being defined by their exterior- but loathe each other because of the exteriors so much that it’s almost comical.  Almost.

The “almost” is because there’s no reason under the sun for any of these girls to be treating each other like shit, because they are all exactly the same.  There is no difference between a girl getting covered with tattoos and a girl getting a boob job and botox.  There is no difference between a girl spending hundreds on a punk uniform and a girl spending hundreds on designer clothing.  There is no difference between a girl spending hundreds on piercings and body jewelery and a girl spending hundreds on spray tans and hair extensions.  Do you see where I’m going with this?  Every one of these situations is a girl making attempts to fit into their social peer group that they’ve chosen, and spending the time, money and effort to properly adjust their appearance to be accepted in these peer groups.

Take the body modification:  Is there really any difference between unloading huge amounts of money to sit for hours and hours in pain having chemical inks permanently injected into your skin,  and spending huge amounts of money to have a procedure done that puts artificial implants into your boobs?  I know the immediate argument is “But tattoos are an artistic expression and boob jobs are to fit into a shallow social stereotype”.  But really… look deeper.  Both procedures are done so that the girls are more comfortable with their exterior.  Both procedures are done so that the girls feel more proud of their bodies.  Both procedures are done because it is what is socially acceptable in the social groups they have chosen to be accepted by.  On first glance- they seem to be so different… but when you dig down to the root, they come from the exact same place.  And this can be said for every aspect of how these ladies all choose to present themselves to the world.

I guarantee you the average “indie rock art chick” spends just as much money at Urban Outfitters or H&M than the “punk chick” spends on boots and studded belts as the “prissy chick” spends on… well… whatever expensive designer clothing “prissy chicks” buy (I’m getting prissier as I get older, but I’m still broke so  have no clue where those ladies shop).  I’m close friends with ladies from all these groups- and there is no difference between any of them.  The politics might be a little different, the life priorities might be a little different… but that’s it.  So I left Main Street today extremely sad at the fact that so many girls have so much hate for so many other girls just because of how they look- when their attention to detail in how they look is the unifying factor between them all.

So with those observations in mind- ladies, please feel free to ponder this.  And if you find yourself snubbing another lady because of something petty like what social club they belong to (and don’t feel bad if you have because it takes a conscious and continued effort to not do this)… please try to stop yourself.   We ladies have to stop treating each other like shit- especially over things as stupid as what uniform we put on in the morning.  Ladies hating ladies for any reason makes me really sad… so can we please all make a group effort to treat each other a little better?  Thank you and good night.

(ps:  The one group that didn’t get shitty about anyone were the hippy girls.  So thank you, hippy girls, for being smiley and loving like good hippy’s should… or for being too baked to care.  Either way is totally ok by me!  xoxo)

(pps: I almost forgot!  I finally got my jewelry line up and running!  So in addition to the new sunglasses line, I now have necklaces available!  If you wanna see them, click the image below to get swooped away to my webstore.  Yay!!)

Cats with Moustaches, Mirrored ghosts, and wooden whispering bunny necklaces!

It’s all about the boobies….

4 Nov

I am not a “sexy lady”.  I do not wear revealing clothing, lots of makeup, and only wear high heels when an occasion demands it.  I don’t wash my hair very often, and I only shave my legs and armpits when I’ve got some major social event that demands I wear a sleeveless outfit, and the others in attendance at this event would be made uncomfortable by my boy-looking armpits.  You will never see a photo of me in a swimsuit online, or some sexy posing, or anything sexual of any sort whatsoever because I’m just not that kind of lady (there is NOTHING wrong with being that kind of lady… it’s just not me.  At all.).  I’m a modest jeans and t-shirt kind of girl who usually doesn’t smell that great and my eyeliner is always smeared all over my face.

I state this because I got to be involved in a project while I was at Art.Fair 21 in Germany that was all about exposed bodies- and if I could do it… so can you.  This organization is bringing awareness to breast cancer in a really bold and unique way, and I think it’s a really fun way to get attention.  I’m a very “covered body” person- but I was too thrilled that this project exists that I had no problem letting go of that (but because I am a “covered body” person, any icky comments left on here will be deleted.  No one likes icky).

Hopefully you’ve all seen the “i love boobies” breast cancer awareness bracelets.  They are these little fellas:

This is a campaign started by “The Keep A Breast Foundation“.  This group is amazing, and is doing some really creative things to raise money and awareness about breast cancer.  They were at the art fair I was at last week in Cologne, Germany, and I got to be a part of an art project they’ve taken on that I think is just great.  They take plaster molds of breasts, and then get artists to create paintings on these molds, then they are auctioned off.  This is such a fantastic idea, and now that I’m back in the states I am really into bringing more awareness to this fantastic project.

So here are some photos from the show, and the process of making these artworks:

First the cast is taken

Cast is allowed to dry...

Paint it up, yo!

Done! This is Christian Rothenhagen, a fellow artist who collaborated with me on my boobies because I only had about an hour to paint. He is the BEST!!

Boobies on display!

There.  Now the girl who won’t wear a swimsuit in public because of Mid-West modesty has shown the world my ta-ta’s.  And if I can… so can you.  And if you don’t want to show your ta-ta’s, talk to your friends!  They might want to (you can also donate your boobies for a cast anonymously).  And if you’re an artist, or have arty buddies, donate your time and talents and paint some boobies!  The process is SO simple (as you can see in the photos- the cast took no time at all!), and the cause is so very important.

Here are some links so you can investigate further:

Get involved.  Help good causes in fun ways.  And love your boobies.

*I would like to apologize in advance to my family members who have now seen my boobs.  I know you didn’t want this any more than I would want to see plaster casts of you naked.  Please don’t feel like you now have to take plaster casts of your body parts and show them to me to make us “even”.  That is really unnecessary.  Seriously.  Thanks!

“Privacy” is now in the same boat as the tigers and polar bears…

10 Oct

The latest podcast available this week from “This American Life” is titled “Frenemies”.  I’m an avid Ira Glass listener, and many of the podcast topics pluck familiar chords with my life experiences- but this one pulled that chord back and snapped it so hard that it left a physical ache.  If you own a vagina, you know what a Frenemy is.  If you don’t own a vagina, and haven’t existed intertwined in the lives of vaginas, the definition is simple: a person who disguises themselves as a friend, but is really a rival or competitor.  This is mainly a “girl thing” due to the way girls are raised to compete with each other and hate each other- but it does happen with men (though usually in a work related situation).

I’ve had too much experience with frenemies.  One of my first best friends was the epitome of this- and to such extremes her behavior topped the behaviors seen in movies like “Heathers”.  She lead our little pack of girls, and used the most twisted games focused on our insecurities to unleash us against each other.  I learned quickly to not tell her if I had a crush on a boy because she would immediately go after him and try to have sex with him (we were only 13, and this was LONG before I was even thinking about having sex).  She would trash my house when my family went on vacation.  She would set us all up in publicly humiliating  situations, and anonymously terrorize us.  She was such a sick person that her mom called my mom and begged for my mother to keep me from her for my own protection.  Because of all the time I spent with this deranged young lady, I can now spot the games of a frenemy from a mile away.  I can pick them out of a crowd, and I used to be able to keep them at bay.  Until technology hit.

Over the past few years, I’ve had problems with harassment.  Anonymous emails, myspace messages from phony profiles, facebook messages, etc.  They’re obviously from ladies (from the nature of the messages and the passive-aggressive way they’re written, I can tell that they’ve never been from a boy).  They target me and Brad’s relationship.  They are hostile, but worded in the guise of “one lady having another lady’s back”… trying to make me question him, and things that he’s doing when I’m not around.  Trying to cause a riff between us.  This would be hurtful if Brad and I weren’t rock-solid.  But we are- so we always get to the bottom of who’s sending them together as a team.  These are our 2 target ‘problem ladies’.  Brad is too kind of a person, and is open and warm to everyone- so young girls who aren’t stable take his kindness too seriously and want me out of the picture.  These are usually the groupie types, and they see me as a threat to their potential relationship- so they come after me.  The other type of  ‘problem ladies’ are the fully unstable ex-girlfriends (using the term ‘girlfriend’ very loosely) that don’t like that he’s happy.  They reconnect with him, or just bump into him somewhere- and the next thing I know, I start getting contacted.

I brush this all off.  I never respond to any of it (because that’s what they want).  I never get upset because I know that it’s just the pathetic attempts of lonely and broken people to get attention- so why bother emotionally investing in it.  Brad will confront who he needs to confront, and cut these people out of his life.  But the problem is that the more technology advances, the more tactics they have to get to me.  The more invasive they can become.   Technological harassment in our culture has become and epidemic- and I don’t understand why more isn’t being done to stop it.

The latest harassment I’ve received was from an 8 digit text number.  This person knew me and Brad’s name, and details about my life.  This is someone who knows us.  This is a frenemy that has missed my radar.  Through some investigating I found that this number is actually from an ipad/iphone app that allows you to send untraceable anonymous text messages.  Why does this exist?  Why, with the recent suicides of so many children due to technological bullying would Apple allow for this app to be available?  What positive function could this serve?

So I did further investigating trying to figure out how this person has my unlisted personal cell phone number… and I was horrified.  For $0.95, you can find out someone’s current address, the names and ages of all their relatives, their phone number, yearly income, and how much their house is worth.  For around $20, you get more- their academic info, all their employment history, everywhere they’ve ever lived, etc.  And for $50- you get everything.  Absolutely everything you could ever want to know about a person that has ever been documented.  How is this legal?  Maybe if you’re dating someone new and want to find out if they’re married or have a prison record this might prove useful… but aside from that, how is this ok?  Anyone with an internet connection can find out absolutely everything about you.  Which leaves every single one of us wide open.

Stalker laws are about 30 years outdated and leave the victim fully unprotected.  Kids are killing themselves left and right because they are getting bombarded by threats and hate via technology.  Innocent unsuspecting people’s information is fully exposed to every type of predator out there… and not only is it legal, but company’s are profiting off of it.  HOW IS THIS LEGAL?!?!?!  Social networks have done everything they can so that you can make your profiles private.  Email has a function where you can trace the IP address of any email you receive to exactly where it was sent from (so if the person sent if from their computer, you have them nailed).  But with people using their phones as their primary computers now, why are these cell providers not doing more to protect their customers?!  I can’t even block incoming numbers on my Blackberry.

We’re going to check with a lawyer this week and see why private personal information is allowed to be given to strangers for a measly fee of $50.  Why it’s legal for predators to have such access to everything about us, but doctors have to have a signed consent form to even talk to a previous doctor.    People are dying and killing themselves because the sickest fuckers in our society have the upper hand- and the companies that we pay monthly services to are giving them the weapons to attack with.   This all needs to stop.  We need to feel safe.  And right now, none of us are.  So Brad and I are going to try to get some solid reasons why our privacy is for sale to the highest bidder, and I’ll keep you all posted to what we find out: ways to protect yourself, ways to combat this, and possible legal ways you can retaliate if you’ve been a victim.

And to the lady out there who got a hold of my number and is trying to play games with me… I know you’re reading this (because it’s what ladies like you do… stalk and watch and hunt for a reaction to fuel your fire).  I don’t care about you.  You can send me anything you want.  You can say anything you want.  If you need this to be able to look at yourself in the mirror, then I’m not going to take that away from you.  But know that every little thing you send to me, I show Brad.  And we laugh.  At you.  And then we forget it and go back to loving each other.  You’ll never have that love and security in your life.  Why?  Because you suck, and karma knows that.  The more you do this, the lonelier you’ll be.  And you’re just making Brad and I a stronger unified force.  So thank you for that.

Pushing the garbage out of the nest…

4 Sep

When I was 16 and arrived home from my 2 year group home stint, I had to socially “clean house”.  The emotionally unruly, psychologically broken, and behaviorally challenged individuals in my life had to go.  The constant whirlwind of  drama they produced was an attractive distraction to my mundane teen aged Midwest suburban existence-   but it came with a price that was just too high (ie: the previously mentioned 2 year group home stint).  So I socially purged, clung to the anchor of my grounded and solid friends to ride out the repercussions-  and all was well.  For a while.

When I was 22 and found myself married, with a baby, a full-time college student and working, I again had to socially “clean house”.  The drunken haze of my first couple years at college rolling around the “punk bar scene” had slowly pulled my guard down, and I again found myself surrounded with emotionally unruly, psychologically broken, and behaviorally challenged individuals.  But within the few years since the last purging, the drama stakes had been hiked up astronomically. The emotional toll of being surrounded by these people’s self-inflicted destructive behavior (which the term “madness” doesn’t even begin to cover it) was too much for my very full plate.  So again, my sane and grounded friends held my hand while one by one, I removed the madness (in some cases making phone calls telling people that I loved them, but they needed to lose my number).  Again, there was a backlash from these people- but eventually all was well.  For a while.

Now I’m 34.  Long remarried with a handful pre-teen child, working a day-job while trying to keep my art deadlines and business afloat during a dead economy.  I had desperately hoped that by my age, the embarrassing and disgusting drama of my teen aged years and from my drunken years would be gone.  I had all my fingers and toes crossed that by this point in my life the “rolling around in your own shit and calling it art” was done.  The pathetic need to pick and poke at people to cause a stir, and the “dwelling in your own misery that you created because you’re bored” was far behind us all.  I hoped that the traumatically broken mindset of “bonding through trauma” and “staying in the sickness” because of some pathetic romantic ideals set by Bukowski (or some similar bullshit) had died after people had gotten their coffee-shop poetry out of their system in college.  Because, ya know- we’re adults and all that jazz.  We have kids and mortgages and day jobs and careers and bills and responsibilities- so who has the emotional resources for crazy nonsense?  Because I don’t.  But, apparently many do.  And like before, the drama stakes have been hiked up even more because we all have more to lose.  And I have, yet again, found myself in the position of having to socially purge.  I’m very lucky to have found a small handful of really solid people out here in Orange County (and of course I have my tried-and-true friends back in Kansas whose love I never have to question), and I can burrow into them while I systematically tell all the crazies out here to fuck off… but it really makes me sad that at this life stage, I’m still having to purge.

So here’s to cleaning house.  If I don’t accept your repeated attempts to be my friend on facebook, or if you have found yourself removed from my buddy list, or you don’t see me out with Brad at your social event- take that as a sign that you are either too much of a handful for me, or I’m done with you trying to pick at my life/marriage/etc.  There’s a difference between leaning on a friend, and sucking a friend dry then jumping up and down on the carcass.  My carcass has had enough.  Walk away peacefully.  I have.

Hopefully at age 45 I won’t have to do this again.  I don’t need anything else to make me more reclusive.

Extremities vs Hard Candy… which kind of lady are you?

9 Aug

We’ve recently jumped into the world of streaming movies from Netflix through our Wii.  This is trouble for me.  One of the reasons why I got rid of our access to television a decade ago (aside from the fact that the majority of what is on TV is complete dog shit, and I wasn’t going to pay hard-earned money for dog shit) is that I am a TV junkie.  I will watch that dog shit obsessively, foregoing all other responsibilities.  “Saved By The Bell” 9 hour marathon?  I’m watching it.  Paula Abdul reality show? I’m watching it.  Infomercials?  Yup… those too.  I’m so much happier and more productive with that dog shit far away from me.  Then we held Netflix’s hand and took that technological jump- and now I’m fucked.  Fortunately I can grab my laptop and sit in front of that damned idiot-box and do work, or draw/paint in front of it.  But I see big trouble on the horizon.

Putting that aside, I watched a 1980’s Farrah Fawcett movie the other night called “Extremities”.  For those who haven’t seen it, it’s a “sexual assault victim gets revenge” movie- or that’s how Bradly explained it to me when we sat down to watch it.  I LOVE the “women getting even” movies.  Love love love love love.  My favorite modern movie of all times is “Hard Candy” (if you haven’t seen it… go do it.  Now. Don’t worry, I’ll wait….).

So, when watching Farrah, I was soooo hoping to see an ’80’s version of “Hard Candy”.  But it ended upsettingly.  Or at least it was upsetting to me.  Here’s the comparison of the 2 movies, and where I start to wonder if I should be having a moral dilemma- but something in me isn’t working properly. (There are spoilers here- so if you don’t want to know how these movies end, don’t read any further.)

Extremities:

  • Woman gets assaulted by a rapist/murderer and gets away.
  • Woman realizes that the police won’t help her, and our laws aren’t set up to protect her.
  • Woman is stalked and attacked by predator again- but gets the upper hand and the predator is at her mercy and can do whatever she wants to him and won’t get caught.
  • Knowing full well that if predator is given to the authorities, he will eventually get out and come after her again.
  • She lets him live… because it was the right thing to do.

Hard Candy:

  • Girl is aware of a rapist/murderer who stalks his victims online.
  • Girl realizes that the police and the laws are not set up to protect her, or any other girls.
  • Girl gets in situation where the predator is going to take advantage of her- but gets the upper hand and the predator is at her mercy and can do whatever she wants to him and won’t get caught.
  • Knowing full well that if the predator is given to the authorities, he will eventually get out and come after more young girls.
  • He does not survive… because it was the right thing to do.

Do ya see where I’m going with this?  Which is the “right and moral” thing to do here?  When I watched “Hard Candy” for the first time, at the end I stood on the couch and screamed “YYYEEESSS!!!!” so loudly I woke up Sully and scared the cats out of the room.  And after watching “Extremities”, I sat there utterly bewildered and disappointed, because she didn’t get revenge… I saw her getting screwed by ethics.  Brad and I had a little debate after Farrah about what the general population would do in this situation- and Brad thought that the general population would pull a Farrah instead of a Hard Candy.  His reasoning is that people would not want to stoop to the rapist’s level and act like an animal, and people are also afraid of getting caught.  This baffled me- because I would “Hard Candy” all over the place an never lose 1 second of sleep… but I accept that I’m just an animal, so I can act like one if the situation dictates it.  But it made me wonder if I’m WAY off target with my lack of respect for human life if that life is attached to a monster.

So this goes out to you, my little bunnies.  I want to get a feel for just what’s going on out there in the minds of ladies (and fellas) pertaining to this.   Here it is:

You or someone you love has been attacked by a serial rapist- but you’ve found yourself in a situation where you have him cornered and he can’t hurt you- or anyone else.  He’s completely at your mercy- but you KNOW that if you turn him over to the police, he will either walk or get out after a short amount of time.  You KNOW he will come after you again, someone you love, or just keep doing what he does- there’s no question about this.  In this situation, you can kill him and never ever get caught… so do you do it?  Do you go vigilante and take out the trash; or do you go humanitarian and take your chances with the law taking over?

No knee-jerk anger answers- really think about it.  Which one are you?  Farrah or “Hard Candy”?

Now… to lighten things up a bit after a heavy topic… I ate fried butter at the county fair last week, as well as a fried Klondike bar… and I feel no regret or shame about this at all.  That’s how I roll.  Can I get a fist-pump for clogged arteries?  Holla if ya hear me…

Highly recommended reading for all you ladies out there….

12 Jan

Brad was supposed to be on tour right now, but because of transportation issues he was home last night.  He’s been gone the past weekend, so I had armed the bedroom like I do whenever he’s out of town.  As he jumped onto his side of the bed, he almost impaled himself with the machete that I had hidden under the covers.  When Brad is out of town, my whole house is booby-trapped.  This is something I started doing when I was a single mom, and it’s the only way I can sleep soundly when Brad is on the road.  I used to laugh and admit that it’s probably a little overzealous.  But I’ve been reading this amazing book that is teaching me to no longer laugh at that gnawing feeling in my stomach that tells me to protect myself.  Because I’m not nuts… the world we live in is.

A little over a month ago, the Omniscient Stevil Kinevil and his lovely lady-friend were visiting my corner of California, and we went out for some drinks.  We got on the topic of safety and stalkers, and I told them about a stalker that I had in college who went so far as to break into my apartment while I was asleep inside.   That experience taught me to sleep with a croquet mallet, and booby-trap my house when home alone at night.  They suggested that I read an amazing book called The Gift of Fear: and other survival signals that protect us from violence by Gavin de Becker.  So I promptly went home, ordered it, and waited until I had the time to start reading it.  For a month it sat on my desk, staring at me- and I staring back longingly.  But the night before last I finally decided to pick it up and just take in the first couple pages- and now I can’t put it down. Seriously… this book is already changing how I watch people, and how I pay attention to my own reactions to others.  And I can’t think of a better book that should be mandatory reading for every woman of every age in our society.

Have you ever watched the tv show “Criminal Minds” about the group of behavioral analysts who solve crazy murders and find serial killers?  I own the box sets of the first couple seasons (I got them because I just loooove Mandy Patinkin and his crazy eyebrows), and that show was fun for me to watch because I loved ‘reading’ the behaviors of the bad guys to try to figure out what they were going to do next (and I loved watching Mandy’s eyebrows).  This book is exactly that- teaching women to really watch and analyze the behaviors of others to keep ourselves safe…. but most importantly, to reintroduce ourselves to our long lost and silenced intuition.

The book is written for primarily women, because men of all ages and from all parts of the world are more violent than women.  De Becker states in a note in the first pages that having the book be “politically correct would be statistically incorrect”- and that alone is greatly appreciated.  I’m only a little more than halfway through since I’m only able to steal moments here and there to read… but the amount of  information that is packed into the first 50 pages alone is overwhelming… but all broken down into the most basic of common sense.  We live in a brutal and violent culture; we passively accept the violence and brutality; but we ignore our own most primal instincts of fear and cling to the sham that people are above violence, leaving ourselves wide open to be victims of our brutally violent society.    In the 20 minutes it’s taken me to write this, approx 25 women were raped.  de Becker made a chilling analogy that “… if a full jumbo jet crashed into a mountain killing everyone on board, and if that happened every month, month in and month out, the number of people killed still wouldn’t equal the number of women murdered by their husbands and boyfriends each year.” That sincerely makes my stomach hurt.  But what is fully amazing is that for all the “unpredictable behavior” that people display- it’s actually quite predictable.  It’s just that we’ve been conditioned to ‘turn off’ that little voice inside our head that says “Hey- that guy standing by my car in this empty parking garage looks sketchy as fuck… run!”.  Instead, we’ve been reconditioned to think “I don’t like this situation- but I don’t want to make a big deal out of what probably is nothing, and I don’t want to go back to work/the store/etc to get someone to walk me to my car over silly paranoia”.  Silly Paranoia is actually the last of our animal instincts that lets us know if a situation/person/place is safe or not… and that Silly Paranoia could be the difference between walking away safe, or being assaulted or worse.  Our instincts have been given a cute little name, Women’s Intuition, and dismissed as fleeting hysteria.  But 77 women raped an hour (which is the most current average number) isn’t hysteria- it’s a reason to prepare ourselves for what’s out there.  We shouldn’t live in fear- but we should learn to listen to what our bodies and instincts tell us, and to really watch the people around us so that we no longer have to be afraid.

As I was reading the first few chapters of this book, I kept thinking of my college stalker.  At the time, I was astonished and shocked that he went to such frightening lengths to get to me.  But now, reading this book, I can see that all the signs were there.  He somehow knew my class schedule and was always waiting for me.  He started showing up at the restaurant my boyfriend worked at, sitting for hours and just glaring at him.  He somehow got my unlisted number and began calling all the time.  But I though that he was just clingy and awkward, and I didn’t want to be mean.  Then he broke into my apartment on the one night of the week that I was ever alone there.  All the behaviors prior to him breaking in were warning signs that it would escalate- but I didn’t want to pay attention to them because I didn’t want to “hurt the poor socially inept fella” or believe that anyone in my safe little life could be a predator.  But they can.  And it’s time for us to start really seeing the signs for what they are, and being mean if we need to in order to keep ourselves safe.

So every one of you- get this book (it’s only a couple dollars used on Amazon).  Mothers, get this for your daughters (it’s a heartbreaking read at times, so keep age appropriateness in mind and save it to give to your daughter when she’s a little older).  Brothers, boyfriends, husbands and friends- get this for your sisters, mothers, girlfriends, wives and lady-buddies.  It really is that amazing and powerful.  Scouts honor.

Off I go to run around with Bradly until he goes back on the road (yay for babysitters and nights out!).  Happy reading, and every one of you have a safe and wonderful night!!!