Monthly Archives: December 2015

No Such Thing As “Perfect”

perfectThis is absolutely something that drives me crazy.

Many people have this image in their heads about the ‘perfect person.’ The problem is, there is no such thing as perfection.

It doesn’t matter if your ideal of the ‘perfect person’ has an image of body size, weight, shape, hair color, eye color, etc. or not.  That so-called  ‘perfect person’ doesn’t exist.  They’ve never existed.

I’ve known many people who have given up most of their chances of happiness because of that ideal in their heads.  They walk away from someone because they are not the right body shape, not the right looks or even just that a single aspect of their personality (even if it is minor) doesn’t fit in with that ideal.

So, they get into relationships with someone who seems to fit that ideal, but then realize that the human being they’ve found is somehow flawed.  And that means, they weren’t the right person in the first place.  And so, even though there might not be any major issues in the relationship, they walk away because it’s just somehow not right.  Sometimes they don’t even know WHY the person’s not right.

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Loving Your Body Does Not Require Hating Other Bodies

via Body Shaming Is NOT Body Positive.

THIS is why I am a body positive activist, rather than ONLY a fat acceptance activist.  I want every person (yes, including every gender) to be able to see themselves as people, and their bodies as a gift from the Divine.

I have friends who are thin, some would say “too thin.”  But they too have struggled all of their lives with a body that doesn’t necessarily react to food and exercise in the same way that a so-called normal body does.  Whether it is because they have a hyperactive metabolism or because of some other reason (one or more of the body parts that are involved in the production of fat cells), they just can’t gain weight.

They too are shamed for their bodies.  And they are hated because their bodies are different than their own.

Sound familiar? It should!

My ex has what is supposedly a normal body.  Yet, I spent 20 years watching him eat like a racehorse just to be able to not end up as skin and bones.  If he didn’t eat enough, his body started consuming muscle.  Of course, when he hit his 40s, suddenly his metabolism started slowing down – which meant he started to develop a little bit of pudge.  You’d think he’d be happy his body was starting to act normally.  But no, he hated the thought he was gaining ANY fat whatsoever, and STILL hated his body.

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Skepticism and Faith

“Here’s the thing,” I said, long overdue for a rant. “People are always saying that to me – how can I possibly be a skeptic given what I am? Given how much I know about what’s really out there, how can I turn my nose up at any half-baked belief that crosses my desk? Really, it’s easy, because so many of them are half-baked. They’re formulated by people who don’t know what they’re talking about, or by people trying to con other people and make a few bucks. The fact that some of this is real makes it even more important to be on our guard, to be that much more skeptical, so we can separate truth and fiction. Blind faith is still blind, and I try not to be.”

Kitty Raises Hell

Carrie Vaughn

I was reading this book the other day, and this quote by the protagonist just kind of struck me.

You see, as a witch and a Pagan, I hear some rather wacked-out theories on how the world works.  And each and every one of them wants me to validate their spiritual worldview.

First off, not my job. people.  If you want to believe the moon is made of green cheese, you go right on ahead and believe that.  But that doesn’t mean I’m going to take that belief seriously.

Secondly, why, yes, I have had “weird” experiences some with ghosts, some with other entities.  But that DOES NOT mean that every old house is haunted, nor that you (or your family) are cursed by a person or an entity because you keep making all the wrong choices.

Do I believe in some things? Yes, I do. But only after they have been verified to not be something else, something more mundane.  I don’t take any future prognostication as true, not without stringent verification.  Even the more close-to-home things like with empathy (the ESP version) I will only rely on it if the emotion is verified by the person feeling it.

But people don’t want to hear that.

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False Dichotomies

dichotomy

I saw this meme on Facebook, and it stuck in my craw.

Not EVERY female, and not EVERY family. Dad taught me how to plunge a toilet (and talked me through my first snaking of a drain); how to muck around in a “grey water” pipe (i.e. the sewage line going back out to the city sewer from the house) to track down a backup (I’ll admit, this one was because my arm was smaller than his at the time, and fit in the pipe better. You don’t know ICK until you’ve pulled your arm back out of a pipe like that covered to the shoulder in stinky black ooze and scratches on your arm from rough spots in the pipe – which meant I had to know first aid to keep them from being infected by the sewage); how to change a tire; how to change the oil (and the filters); how to check my oil and my tire pressure; and both my sister and I were taught (back in the 70s – and expected to do it) how not only to mow the lawn, but also how to rake it – she was 4 years older, so she did most of the mowing, AND the hand-done weed whacking of the ditch.

AND we had a garden we were expected to help with.

AND we were expected at times to help with some of those “men’s work” chores as well, even if it was only handing Dad tools (so yes, I even know what some of those tools look like).

And, I also learned to recognize certain sounds as being related to certain problems with my car.

AND…I took a lifeguard certification, and a CPR certification and a First Aid certification.

AND…my Dad taught me how to shoot a gun, clean a gun, fill the magazine, gun safety and some basic hunting rules.  I’ll admit I’ve let those skills get rusty, so I’ve asked my boyfriend to reteach me.

AND…..I STILL get treated like a trained monkey when I go to a mechanic or a hardware store or a hunting store looking for something specific. If you want to be pissed about supposed dichotomies, be pissed about the fact that the assumption that women don’t know shit about “man things” is the automatic default. Actually, one of the standards by which I choose mechanics and other specialists is by that. If a mechanic tries to play those games, I take my business elsewhere, somewhere that assumes I’m not an idiot just because I have tits and a vagina. I have other standards, such as experience and customer service, but that is a particular one.

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Are You Real, or just Memorex?

Definitions & Information

Image

A representation, reproduction or imitation of a person, place or object.

Identity

The qualities, principles, beliefs, ethics, character, personality, etc. that defines a person as different from others or unique.

Memorex

Memorex is a consumer electronics brand of Imation specializing in recordable media for CD and DVD drives, flash memory, computer accessories and other electronics. It began as a magnetic tape producer and expanded to become a major IBM plug compatible peripheral supplier. It was broken up and ceased to exist after the 1990s other than as a brand.

Memorex Cassette Tape, and how to fix the dreaded loopPersonal Note: My first memory of Memorex as a brand was cassette tapes. If you, like me, were a teen in the 80s, you remember the pain and torture that having a cassette chew itself up made you experience.

Wikipedia

Memorex logo

If you do a Google search for the phrase “image vs. identity” the first page (and most of the succeeding pages) is full of articles discussing corporate branding/identity versus corporate image.  On the first page, there are only 2 items that do not reference corporations.  One of them is a video from Family First founder Mark Merrill (NOT the same as Focus on Family). The other is a page from a movie/TV quote website.

Why is this important?

We seem to have completely forgotten how to focus on our identity, and have developed our image to our identity’s detriment.

We’re teaching our children that image is far more important than identity.  I mean, look at the simple abundance of selfies everywhere.  People are so focused on taking photos of themselves, that they are pretty much missing out on everything else out in the world.

Self-absorption, narcissism and a focus on “how it looks to other people” have always been aspects of childhood and adolescent development.  And there’s always been people who never grew out of those phases in their adult life.

In our search to find more constructive ways to discipline our children, and to teach them to do what’s right, we have somehow thrown away the baby with the bathwater.  We’ve seemed to have stopped teaching the skills of politeness, courtesy and compassion to our children.  In our desperation to encourage the individualism and identity of our children, we have instead taught them how to “look good” rather than “be good.”

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Privilege is Never Either/Or

Privilege is a very difficult word in this day and age.  I know people for whom it is a knee-jerk, automatic sign to stop listening.  And I know people who either use it too much, or use it as an excuse for being selfish and narcissistic.

Thing is, privilege is never a universal.  Every single person in this world has some section where they are under-privileged, and some section in which they are over-privileged.

What it really comes down to is where do you – the individual – stand in relation to the current status quo.  There ARE groups who are consistently under-privileged or over-privileged, but each individual within those groups are not necessarily equally unprivileged or over-privileged.

What are some of those groups?  Let’s start with myself, as I am pretty much all over the board in relation to the status quo.

  • I’m white.  As a white person, the current status quo is skewed in my favor.  Some of it comes from history, particularly history of the choices made by the European countries.  White people, particularly of certain European ethnic descents, have held quite a lot of power for quite a while now.

    Yet, as someone whose ancestors come from Scotland or Ireland (or both), and an assumed amount of German Gypsy (through the mother’s line, same as the Scottish Gordons, so I cannot claim patrilinial membership in either culture), the groups of ethnicities in my bloodline have been fairly consistently on the short end of the stick in the global power plays.


    But, I also have Dutch/Saxony aristocracy blood, even if it was likely lower aristocracy rather than royal (or if royal, either a bastard line, or a female line). Which means some of my ancestors did wield power.

  • I’m poor.  In the current status quo, I have very little power.  In fact, in the worldview of a lot of society, I am just lazy and a parasite on society.

    Yet, the poor do have power, if they choose to.  It is technically considered the “power of the mob.”  And, there’s a right way to use that power, and a wrong way.  Making your voices heard so they cannot be denied, and speaking truth about our situations is the best way to use that power.  Looting, destruction of property, lynch mobs (yes, I’m sorry to say, but every ethnicity has their own variant of the lynch mob – look at the French Revolution, and their response to the French aristocracy),  or other “vengeance” on society is not necessarily a good choice.  Looting and property destruction, sadly more often affects OTHER underprivileged individuals, rather than those against whom you are fighting.  Rebellion is a last resort, just like any other physical punishment.  It is not OK for it to be used as one of the first responses to a situation.

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Therapy Time!

Jenkins: “We cannot help where we come from, but we can choose how it manifests itself.”

Stone: “You’re saying, what we’re made up of, is different than what we’re made of.”

Jenkins: “I’m saying family ain’t easy. But then again, neither is anything else…”

The Librarians (TNT)

Season 3, Episode 3 – Ending quip

CHARACTER BIO: Jacob Stone

ACTOR: Christian Kane


Born and raised in Oklahoma, Jacob Stone has spent his entire life trying to fit in with the cowboys he works alongside over at the oil pipeline. But the truth is, Stone is a genius when it comes to art, architecture and history.

Maybe it seems strange to you that during such a hectic time of year for most families, that I would take the time for myself, and have a therapy session – particularly since a portion of my therapy is about my family, and my interactions and choices related to them.

Let me iterate again: This is not about the people in my life, but about my thoughts and feelings, and perceptions and/or misperceptions of them.

I went into therapy thinking that the primary subject for my therapy would be discussing the shambles of my marriage.  Please note, I’m not blaming it 100% on my ex-husband, as much as there are many people who think that he should shoulder 100% of the blame.  I made bad choices as well.  It took both of us to make the kind of mess we ended up with.

But, the reality is, I have spent more time with this therapist discussing my family than we have spent discussing my ex-husband.  And, the more I think about it, the more sense it makes.

When I think back to the woman I was at 25 (my age when I married him), and my relationship to my parents at the time (and my understanding of them at the time), there are many stories I told myself about my parents, their opinion of me (or at least what I thought that opinion was), and our relationship in general.

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The Myth of Life

I hear so much crap about how fairy tales are bad, sexist and unrealistic.  How myths and legends are horrible, and place unrealistic expectations on us.

Thing is, we all live our own fairy tales, our own myths, our own legends.  The only choice we really have is whether we are the heroes or villains of our stories.

The thing is there are so many of these stories, from many sources.  Every culture has them, not just European, not just the Grimms.  And one of the things I had access to growing up was some of those other stories from other cultures.  I could recognize that each of those cultures all had stories, and that they all have things to teach us.  I could see that there is wisdom everywhere, if we just look for it.

And it’s not just our past that has stories, even our current story writers can teach us to make better choices in our lives.

Yes, there are things we learn from those stories that aren’t necessarily good.  But, the reality is, it’s not the story that is the problem but our perception and understanding of the story that is the problem.

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Polyamory is Racist and Classist? Really?

via “Polyamory is for Rich, Pretty People”

Seriously? There are people that think this way?  I’m not just talking about the subject of the post, here.  I’m also talking about the fact that the writer, while attempting to persuade others that the concept is ridiculous, unfortunately undermines her basic premise in the whole article.

Let’s do what she tried to do first.  No, polyamory is not just for “pretty, rich, white people.”  Polyamory is for anyone who feels that it is the right way to live.  That means it is not just for the rich, but the poor and the middle class.  Not just for the pretty or pretty and thin, but also for those of any shape or size.  It’s not just for white people, but people of any ethnicity.

Look, I have been polyamorous since before I even knew what it was. I came across a non-monogamous concept in some of the books I read as a teen, and the concept resonated with me strongly.  I have always been taught that loyalty to family is a basic principle, and for me that also includes chosen family (i.e. family who is tied by mutual love and respect, rather than by blood).  So, I can honestly say I have been polyamorous since puberty.

I’m poor, and have been all of my life, except for a brief interlude as lower middle class in my young childhood.  Yes, I’m I’m white, but I’m dating someone with Filipino blood, and I have numerous poly friends of many different colors and ethnicities (yes, African-American, Latino, Native American, Polynesian, etc.). And, I have been fat my entire life, and have had over 60 lovers, some of whom were attractive and some of whom were not – and only ONE who ever said that I was an unsatisfying lover.

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The U.N. Sent 3 Foreign Women To The U.S. To Assess Gender Equality. They Were Horrified.

via The U.N. Sent 3 Foreign Women To The U.S. To Assess Gender Equality – They Were Horrified

I gave this issue a lot of thought, and I also did some research on the three women that the U.N. sent to assess gender equality in the USA. All three are members of the U.N Commission for Human Rights Working Group on the Issue of Discrimination Against Women in Law and in Practice. In fact, Dr. Eleonora Zielinska is the Chairperson (and the main person required to report to her superiors in the Commission), and Dr. Alda Facio is the Vice-Chair.

Dr. Zielinska is from Poland, Dr. Facio from Costa Rica, and Dr. Frances Raday has dual citizenship between Israel and the United Kingdom.  All of these countries also still struggle with gender inequality. Poland, for example, offers more access to resources and assets, but less civil liberties (it is assumed partly due to recovery after the downfall of communism in the country) as is Israel (more due to religious doctrination than to political doctrination),  the U.K. is the opposite (greater civil liberties, less access), as is Costa Rica.  In the same reports, the U.S. is more similar to Poland and Israel than to the U.K. and Costa Rica.

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