Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Rape Culture: Know what it is and end your contributions to it

Since April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I kicked it off with some upsettling infographics and facts and I'm ending it with a post on rape culture. I'd rather talk about something else too, believe me, because I am sick to fucking death of banging this drum, but I will keep going until the rape culture is smashed. We've got to stop this shit and unfortunately it will take every single one of us to do it. 

To start, we can stop acting like rape culture is a popular new buzz phrase bitchy feminists have come up with in the past few years because they have no sense of humor. 

It's not. 

It's when sexual assault, rape, and general violence are ignored, trivialized, normalized, or made into jokes. If you think those things are a rarity or anything outrageous you hear about (Brock Turner) is a one-off or isolated situation, you're mistaken. And also fully immersed in rape culture. Because this shit happens every day and it has forever. Rape culture exists because we don't believe it does. 

And it's a very hard cycle to break from, even for women and feminists. We were raised in this culture. We've heard victim blaming on the news, read it in the papers and online. It's been around us since the beginning of time. We've said the things you should never say as an automatic reply to stories we hear. It's ingrained in us to not make a big deal out of things, to let it go, to look over our shoulders, to shrink in situations where we might be vulnerable, to think well why was she walking alone? 

On a very, very basic level:

What can you personally do to end rape culture? 
-Stop blaming the victim. It doesn't matter what she wore or how much she had to drink or where she chose to walk alone. She wasn't asking for it and she didn't deserve it. If the thought comes to mind, eradicate it. 
-Never, ever say well it wouldn't have happened if...
-Do not insult this issue with but what about women who cry rape. Seriously. Don't. For no other crime do we attempt to give the accused the benefit of the doubt. Imagine hearing well there are those kids who just say they were molested ...or I'm sure they didn't mean to break into your car, it was just a misunderstanding. Etc. 
-Cast off outdated ideas about sexuality. She wasn't asking for it because she's a person who's had sex. Stop calling women who have sex sluts and whores because they do it and like it when it's consensual. 
-Know women are full human beings with the right to bodily autonomy. 
-Recognize that most rape talk centers around female victims but that there are male and LGBTQIA victims as well and that if women are afraid to step forward as victims, those groups are even more so. 
-Don't laugh at rape jokes. 
-Teach your daughter to take up more room, not less, and that if anything ever happens she should come to you because you will believe her and fight for her. Find a self defense class but at the same time try not to be so heavy on the protect yourself message even though that goes against everything we as women know. It is every individual's job to protect themselves but girls should not have to be MORE careful than boys. 
-Teach your sons not to rape. Boys will be boys does not apply here. 
-Teach all kids about enthusiastic consent - it's not just about a no. It's about a conscious, enthusiastic yes. Flirting is not consent. 
-Speak up. Rape culture grows in silence. I've been on the end of you're too sensitive/it's a fucking joke when I've spoken up about rape jokes and that feeling sucks, for sure. But not saying anything and giving something pervasive, damaging, and ugly room to grow feels even worse. 

Reductress viciously satirizing rape culture to show how fucking insane it is:

Which is what we all need to do: turn rape culture on its head and kick it in the ass on its way out the door. It's way past time. 

National Sexual Assault Hotline, accessible 24/7 via 1-800-656-HOPE or

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

April Recommendations

Some things I think you should add to your list, if applicable:

1. Debbie Rae Designs bracelets - I wear the same earrings and necklace daily. I'm uncomfortable in rings. Bracelets are my thing. Debbie is one of my BFFs and I've been wearing her bracelets for years. Most people I give gifts to have received one as a gift - that's the highest mark of something I love, to give it to someone else. These are just a few of the ones I have. She has bracelets, necklaces, and earrings on her new website, and she does custom designs as well. Click here to get to her website.

2. KEEP Collective bracelets - Like Debbie's, I consider the KEEP bracelets and charms I have to be my totems. I wear a mix of Debbie's bracelets and KEEP bracelets. They're like symbolic personal armor or something. I don't like going out into the world without my totems. I buy KEEP through Tiffany. Mother's Day shipping cutoff is 5/6.

3. Eye creams - Where my old ladies at? In the morning I use R+F and at night I use Estee Lauder.

4. Yoga for Beginners 30 Day Challenge with Fightmaster Yoga - I am not a yogi. I'm not bendy, my brain doesn't stop going, and I don't want to spend a lot of time attempting to achieve some nirvana or be kumbayahing around town. I did this for 30 days and I loved it. If I loved it, you might love it.

5. Sunset and Sunrise App - If you're going to attempt to catch it and you're a dork like I am and like to get there a certain number of minutes before it comes up or goes down, this app is the closest to being on the nose. I've tried many sources. It's $1.99 on iTunes and it's worth your two bucks. 
I'm linking up with Lauren & Bre for their Add it to my list linkup, which they're doing the last Tuesday of every month. What have you been using or doing lately that I might want to add to my list?

Linking up with Lauren & Bre

Monday, April 24, 2017

TWTW - the first one home in a month

I almost forgot what it was like not doing a gaht damn thing Friday night, but my dogs helped me remember. Wings for dinner, frozen berries and some reading for dessert, and four episodes of Season 3 of Bosch.
We were equally lazy Saturday morning until it was time to go to the March for Science in Doylestown. We were originally going to the Philly March, but the Doylestown March was organized by high school students and helped by Rise Up Doylestown and many local sponsors and we felt the need to support them in that huge undertaking. Kids, you rock! And you give me hope for the future. It was a great day despite the damp cold and rain and I was really happy to see large turnouts in the 600+ science marches around the world even though media coverage of the marches sucked. Climate change has us all in the soup together. I made sure to rep Mother Earth in my choice of attire.
After that there was almost a massacre because I got hangry and I think we all know how that goes. We settled in at Andale Latino Grill in Feasterville for really freaking good food. It looks a little hole in the wall-ish but damn. It was delicious. I picked up a few things at the grocery store including $5 flowers and spent the night doing a face mask, purging dressers, and reorganizing for the spring/summer seasons.
Sunday morning I took care of the weekly food prep: breakfast is an egg bake with ham, cheese, and broccoli; lunch is pork chops over sweet potatoes and broccoli;  snacks are celery and PB, cucumbers, and yogurt; dinners are baked buffalo chicken pasta and salmon with steamed broccoli and rice. I also made the egg part I need for breakfast burritos to freeze. I'll finish making them this week.
Then we picked up our friend Bob and headed up to the Nakashima House to hear Regina Brave, Charles Whalen, and Loren Bagola speak. I met them along with the men's significant others and Regina's granddaughter the day before and had a total wow, I'm meeting fucking Regina Brave moment. She is a warrior for the sovereignty of the indigenous people and the energy coming off of her is tremendous. As a reader and a writer, I love to hear people tell their stories. It was wonderful to hear her tell the stories of her people. Not so wonderful are the stories themselves of what the US government has done to the native people. All three were an emotional listen - Regina with her stories of all the things she's seen in her 80+ years, Loren with his stories of violence he saw inflicted on the water protectors on the front lines at Standing Rock, and Charles with a mix of both of those things along with his thoughts on water and the environment and passive resistance. Standing Rock is not over. There are people still standing for the water, and they are out now speaking to spread their stories. There is a treaty. We are in violation. We need to listen. Here's Grandma Regina at Stanford last week. Not to mention that the water from the Missouri feeds the greenbelt. If that gets poisoned, we're all fucked. 
Charles at the Doylestown March Saturday / Regina Brave here and there / Charles & Regina at Nakishima Sunday
The Nakashima Complex is really beautiful and is open to the public on Saturday afternoons. If you're in the New Hope area, check it out. George Nakashima's story is pretty incredible too. It is fucking crazy to think one of the preeminent furniture designer-craftsmen in the U.S. was interned in a Japanese relocation center. The grounds and buildings are gorgeous and my fat ass sat in a Nakashima chair.
Other Sunday things: purging of the closets, reading, nail painting, Sunday night blues.

The only thing I needed to do this weekend was go to Target. The only thing I didn't do? Go to Target. You know how that goes. 

Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for Weekending

Friday, April 21, 2017

Reducing & Reusing

Tomorrow is Earth Day. Ways I try to reduce my impact on the environment:

1. Be cognizant of packaging. Plastic is bad, no matter how you spin it. I avoid things packaged in plastic when I can. Do I need produce bags? No. So I don't use them.

2. Don't use paper plates and plastic cups unless we have a large crowd. Which is hardly ever anymore.

3. Tote groceries in bags kept in trunks. I only accept plastic bags when I need trash can liners. If I'm only buying a few things and don't have a tote with me, I say I don't need a bag, thanks. We don't need the plastic bags.

4. Pack lunch foods in reusable bags. These babies can go in the dishwasher.
5. Keep a set of silverware at work so I don't use plastic. I was just reminded I wanted to do this by Steph in one of her zero waste kitchen posts so I'm new to this practice. Since we use more utensils in a house of two people than all the Duggars combined, I didn't want to bring any from home to leave at my office permanently so I got these from Amazon.

6. Glass or stainless steel straws. Sarah got me a glass straw for Christmas a few years back. I added another as well as a set of stainless steel straws so now I'm not throwing them out all the time. The stainless steel ones I bought last year came with cleaning brushes too.

7. Hang clothes to dry. I hang a majority of my clothes to dry instead of using the dryer. When we have a large yard, they'll all be hung out to dry.

8. Group errands together, walk, or use public transport. I schedule my errands for one day instead of multiple days polluting the atmosphere with my car. I take the asshole train to work, and at the shore I park my car and walk or bike everywhere until I leave. I also run as many errands as I can at the shore since I'm on foot or bike and during lunch at work since I'm on foot then as well.

9. Carry drinks in a reusable bottle. I love the S'well bottles because they keep drinks cool all day on the beach even when left in the sun. I detest plastic water bottles. If you are traveling via air, just make sure your reusable bottle is empty until you get through security.

10. Vote for people who know science and climate change are real. 

11. Pick up trash I see on the beach. Enough shit is in the oceans, we don't need our trash washing out there.

12.  Use cloth napkins, cleaning cloths, and hand towels. Paper towels are for dog accidents only.

13. Look for ways to reuse items or donate them instead of trashing them. I do put shore furniture out on my curb at home, but that's because it doesn't last for more than 10 minutes before a picker snaps it up.

14. Don't let the water run. While brushing teeth, washing dishes, etc. etc.

15. Compact fluorescent bulbs. Even though they're ugly.

Areas I need improvement on:
-To go coffee cups. DD doesn't make a reusable cup big enough to hold a large. DD, are you listening? I'd like a reusable cup that holds a large.
-Composting. I don't do it, but I should.

What do you do in your daily life to be more environmentally friendly?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Thursday Thoughts - got a photograph, picture of

1. Philly friends, today is the 5th Annual Food Truck Pop Up benefiting Dining Out For Life Philadelphia from 11-2 at 13th & Locust. Go forth, eat, and support an awesome cause. Stop by The Tot Cart. If you're looking for a place for dinner (or lunch if you can't get to the Pop Up) that will benefit this worthy cause, check here. You didn't want to cook today anyway, did you? Of course I am working at home today because the guy is coming to fix the oven. I've been without an oven for two weeks.

2. Saturday is the March for Science in D.C., nicely coinciding with Earth Day. There are marches for science in many other cities and suburbs as well. To find one near you, click here. Put your SPF on, grab your sign, and bring a trash bag to clean up after yourself. MFD and I will be at the march in Doylestown. Science plays a very real role in each of our lives every day. To hear politicians enact a war on science and see a trend toward discrediting scientific consensus and restricting scientific discovery is alarming. The March for Science champions robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity; calling for people to unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for political leaders and policy makers to enact evidence based policies in the public interest. How can anyone be unable to get behind that?
3. I love when utility covers are arty.

4. I've not been watching TV. I'm excited for this. I love Harry Bosch.

5. I'm mulling over a number of subjects I feel the need to address in writing but have not reached the point of being able to articulate them in the way I'd like for public consumption. Thursday Thoughts was first published here in February 2012 and has continued ever since because it's how my brain works: all over the place with a little bit of commentary on this and that. If you are a regular reader, you know that my longer posts on one subject are fewer and farther between than my bullet point rapid fire posts. That is the truest glimpse into my brain you will ever get.

6. Articles I liked this week: What Happens When Women Legislate and Fox News finally fires Bill O'Reilly - two decades too late. Article I read but hated because it made me die inside: First Protected DREAMer is deported .

7. I could not stop laughing at this.

8. I need bar soap storage ideas for the shower in our apartment at the shore. My stupid soap dish keeps falling off the wall and besides I like to have two soaps to choose from plus MFD has a soap and I have a face soap and now this sounds like a ridiculous amount of soaps, I know. Anyone? Bueller? Ayudame, por favor. The shower is very tight.

9. Reminder: 10 out of 10 times, you already know. You just don't always listen.

10. E-card of the week: Today is National High Five Day, after all. Yes, there is such a thing. It's also 4/20. Will I ever reach an age where I hear 4/20 and don't think of weed?

Virtual high fives to you.

Linking up with Kristin & Joey 

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