Entries Tagged 'Victims & Dangers' ↓
November 4th, 2011 — Victims & Dangers
I’ve noticed a new trend — younger and younger kids are on Facebook and they are trying to Friend me. At times these kids are as young as 8 and they are usually kids of my friends or relatives or friends of Ainsley’s.
I don’t Friend kids and I think all adults should strongly consider whether they should or not. (Personally, I don’t allow Ainsley to have a Facebook page for the reasons below, but that’s a parent’s call.)
- If you are my Facebook Friend then you probably know that I am likely to repost an off-color joke, not-for-kids essays that I might publish on The Girl Revolution, say something that might offend the kids parents or post an article on sexuality or some other issue that isn’t meant for a child audience. I don’t particularly want to change my FB habits.
- There are several hundred people on my FB page that I don’t personally know. They are people that I have networked with online. They are people who know me from this blog. They are people who have Friended me because I said something funny on one of their friend’s posts. These people often make inappropriate-for-children comments on my posts and the kids would read them.
- Any one of my Friends could be a child predator and could use my page to scout for kids. You never know. People are always shocked when they find out someone they know is a child molester. Someone could see a kid comment or like one of my posts or sift through my Friends list and ask a kid to Friend them.
- As much as we try to educate them, I don’t think kids are sophisticated enough to reject Friend requests, especially if the person seems innocuous and is flattering to them.
- Child predators often pose as kids and make friends with kids. Kids are not sophisticated enough to discern between a real kid and a fake kid. Sometimes parents aren’t either. These people are well-practiced in what they do.
- I’m not convinced that most parents are proactive enough in monitoring their kids online behavior.
- I don’t want to be responsible kids’ Internet safety, except my own.
- I don’t want to be a negative or questionable influence in a kid’s life. As I said, I don’t want to censor myself for kids. If an adult is offended by my comments then I trust them to UnFriend me or block my comments. I don’t trust kids to be smart enough to be offended by inappropriate content.
- As a parent, I would be concerned if my children were friending a bunch of adults, save Grandma, aunts, uncles and cousins.
- I don’t particularly want to engage with children online. I enjoy the conversation of adults.
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October 5th, 2011 — Disney Princess Culture & Fairy Tales, Education, Media, Marketing and Advertising, Victims & Dangers
I have lowered the price on Love Distortion: Belle, Battered Codependent and Other Love Stories.
My intention with this book is to help parents understand the way the culture sets girls up for victimization, coercion and manipulation by distorting what love is. Some of the messages are subtle and some are overt.
My intention is for people to read the book. Therefore, I’ve lowered the price to $3.50 plus shipping and handling. Which covers the cost of the book only.
Simply click here and order NOW.
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September 29th, 2011 — Politics & Legislation, sacred feminine, Victims & Dangers
I’ve been Pro-Choice since I read Orson Scott Card’s classic Ender’s Game, in which, the government limited the number of children parents could have, based on some sic-fi reason of intelligent selection, only parents who had especially bright children could get a waiver to have a third child who might save the world. I figured if the government could make birth choices — well, then they could control birth choices. China controls birth choices. The United States controls birth choices. I don’t like the idea of that at all. I think parents should make birth choices. Since mothers carry the responsibility of birth, and the primary responsibility of raising said children if dads choose to skip out, then mothers should be allowed to make the choices around the carrying of the child.
So, I’ve been Pro-Choice. I’ve been a supporter of Roe v. Wade. Roe v. Wade holds that the termination of pregnancy is lawful until the viability of the fetus or if the mother’s health is in danger.
With current science, the viability of the fetus is changing every day. Meaning, younger and younger babies are living outside of the mother’s womb. More babies are being saved with medical intervention. Michelle Duggar’s 19th baby, Josie, at 25 weeks, weighed only 1 lb. 0.6 oz., and she lived. Not only has she lived, but she’s thriving after the first year of a lot of medical intervention. Premature babies that never would have lived in 1973, when Roe v. Wade became law are living full, meaningful lives.
My perspective has changed from when I read that book as a freshman in college, as a 16-year-old kid. I, now have these little kids, five and nine. They aren’t just “cells,” as I have heard some pro-choice abortion activist try to minimize them as. They are people. It bothers me. They aren’t hypothetical anymore.
A 20th Century Debate in a 21st Century Reality
The debate should be different than it was in 1973. Yet, somehow it’s not. I find this incredibly frustrating.
In 1973, there were hardly any birth control choices that were reliable. Condoms sucked. The birth control pill was like 75% effective. There was no Nuva Ring, no Depo Provera shot, no Norplant, no Ortho Ethra patch.
In 1973, having a baby out of wedlock probably did ruin your life or at least drastically change it. Your parents might kick you out of the house or disown you. They sent you off to relatives to avoid the shame you would bring to the family. You would get kicked out of high school, you might be forced into a terrible marriage. You would likely not go to college. You would likely be doomed to poverty. Certainly there was a terrible social stigma.
Today, I’m in my late 30s and have known lots of girls who have gotten pregnant out of wedlock and it’s been long enough that I’ve seen it play out. Here’s the thing — it hasn’t ruined their lives. . . . I know it’s crazy, right?
In fact, some of these women are the best mothers I know. Some of them married the baby-daddies and have solid marriages and went on to have other children and have careers. Some have been kick-ass single moms. Some had abortions and went on to have other children out of wedlock and went on to be great single moms. Some gave their babies up for adoption and went on to have families. Some had their babies, were single-moms for a time and then married and had more children and normal lives.
Having a child did not ruin their lives. Didn’t ruin one single life. Not their’s, not their baby’s. Isn’t that funny? It turned out to be a total fiction, meant to scare us into not having sex, I guess.
This year two women close to me chose to go through unplanned pregnancies, one very young and one in her 30′s. Several relatives of mine also went through the same experience. It was beautiful to watch how warmly those babies were received into this world. It was wonderful to watch how the mothers were warmly embraced and supported during their pregnancies and after. It was an honor to participate in. Was their road harder? Harder than my own road of witnessing 9/11 in my last month of pregnancy and experiencing devastating postpartum depression with my first planned pregnancy? Maybe. Maybe not. Is their future less bright because of their unmarried status? Maybe. Maybe Not. When I look at their future I have no problem seeing a very bright future in front of any of them. I don’t see a scarring social stigma of unmarried, unplanned pregnancy attached to them anymore. In fact, what I see is motivation, they have been motivated to stop playing childish games and get a move on in their futures, enroll in schools and seek out their futures with ambition and energy that they had not exhibited before.
Need I mention that the President of the United States is the son of a single mother, the product of an unplanned pregnancy? Probably not. Though I do think it’s relevant to the conversation at hand.
The Morning After Pill
But, the real turning point for me has been the invention of the Morning After Pill. With the invention of the Morning After Pill, I simply don’t see the need for most abortions anymore. The Morning After Pill prevents the egg from dropping so no pregnancy can occur. You can use it five days after sex and no pregnancy will occur.
Which means if rape, a date rape, a bad decision, the condom breaks, a drunken episode you wish hadn’t happened, something you don’t quite remember occurs or you get slipped a roofie, you can take this medication and though grief may be had, babies will not.
See, for me, this should make everyone happy. It’s a brilliant and necessary compromise. This should be legal and available for everyone regardless of age and without parental consent. It should be over-the-counter without a prescription, right next to the condoms on the shelf in Walmart.
The Pro-Lifers have a point. It’s Life. Life is essential. Life is beautiful and lovely and worth protecting. So are women’s choices. So are women’s rights. So are women’s bodies. Sore women’s dignities.
But, the reality is that girls and women will make bad choices sometimes. The reality is that men and boys will violate girls and women sometimes.
There has to be something available for women and girls in these cases. But, that something doesn’t need to extend into the lives of babies. If something happens, women and girls should know . . . they can do something quickly and efficiently.
We can educated them about what needs to be done, so they are ready and they can quickly go to any store and get the Morning After Pill. We should educate about it, like we educate about the use of condoms. Let’s just be done with this 30-year-old unsavory, hostile and embarrassing battle that has run its course and has gotten very, very stale.
Before you think I’m speaking from my Ivory Tower, in my younger years, I assure you there were plenty of times when I woke up and my first thought was, “Oh my God, I made a terrible mistake!” But, I assure you, it was my very first thought. And after a date rape, I did take the Morning After Pill, and it wasn’t pleasant, but it was better than the alternatives.
Hope & Reality
Will the Morning After Pill resolve every single instance in which every single woman might want to seek an abortion? Of course, I am not that naive. But, I don’t want to keep having an outdated 1973 conversation about abortion given 21st Century medical advances and a lack of social stigma about untraditional pregnancy timelines and circumstances; my tolerance for legal 2nd trimester abortions is gone because I consider them “viable” as defined by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade; I no longer believe many of the hypothetical fictions and “justifications” often touted by Pro-Choice advocates are acceptable reasons for getting an abortion; I think we can do a hell of a lot better job educating about birth control methods and providing access to them; we should be making better use of and educating about the Morning After Pill; and I think we should be romanticizing the hell out of adoption as a beautiful option.
Comments Note: You are welcome to leave a comment on this post. However, due to the history of hostility on both sides of this debate I request that comments left follow this form, Agree/And (agree with something in the post, then make your statement as an AND statement rather than a BUT statement). For instance, “I agree that science and medicine has changed the viability of a fetus, and I also feel that the Morning After Pill won’t resolve the issue of mid-life pregnancies in the case of women who . . . “
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August 9th, 2011 — Disney Princess Culture & Fairy Tales, Girl Culture, LOVE & Other High Risks, Media, Marketing and Advertising, Mentors, Role Models, Peers, Mother-Daughter Emotional Osmosis, Victims & Dangers
The Girl Revolution is proud to announce the release of Love Distortion: Belle, Battered Codependent and Other Love Stories.
Order Now for only $9.99.
In this compilation of blog posts, I draw a parallel between the reality of dating violence, domestic violence, molestation, rape, date rape (if there is such a thing) and cohesion with the messaging of todays culture and media. Taken from almost 900 blog posts, I’ve chosen 30 posts that draw a concise and compelling picture of the Girl Traps, most stemming from a distortion of the word Love.
Love Distortion takes a critical look at the Disney Princess Culture and the messages within that set girls up for dating violence and disastrous expectations about transforming bad guys into loving guys, the messages encouraging girls to give up their voices, their talents and their families for the “love” of a boy or man.
Love Distortion also takes a harsh look at other girl culture phenomenon like the Twilight Series and Bella’s willingness to give up her mortality, family, education and future to be with Edward; Gossip Girls, and their emotionally violent and disastrous games to achieve “success” with boys; Hannah Montana and other extensions of the Disney Brand; and posts about dating and domestic violence and the ways in which the word Love is used to coerce and manipulate girls and excuses violent and sexually predatory behavior against girls.
Love Distortion clearly explains the distorted thinking about love on both the part of the girl or woman and the boy or man in a violent, manipulative or abusive relationship. The book makes the connection between the thinking of participants in unhealthy relationships and the cultural messaging we are all inundated with day in and day out.
So as not to leave readers with defeated feelings, Love Distortion provides resources for more positive messages about, what I call, Authentic Love. Readers are given concrete exercises to do with their sons and daughters so as to prevent the distorted beliefs about love that they are inundated with through television, literature, music, Internet, video games, movies, advertising, radio and even, other adults in their lives.
Order Now for only $9.99.
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July 13th, 2011 — Victims & Dangers
I’ve been missing in action on The Girl Revolution for a while.
I’ve been struggling fiercely, to be quite honest. For months now, I’ve been fighting feelings of failure and despair. Fighting the idea that I should just give up on this losing venture – The Girl Revolution. I realize it’s all a matter of perception – that this venture is a failure. It has cost me a lot of money, even a great deal of relationship capital as I poured my time and energy into a project that doesn’t pay off at the expense of earning an income doing something different.
With the lack of Success of TGR Body, the venture I had hoped would bring the blog into the realm of a profitable venture, it has increased my feelings of failure. I poured money into TGR Body thinking it would pay off. It hasn’t.
My marriage has gone through a recent struggle, my doing, that thankfully has passed. But, the anxiety and trauma of the rough patch lingers for me.
I’ve been diagnosed with peri-menopause and my hormones are trashed out. It is amazing to me that every woman on the planet goes through this phase without killing herself.
I’ve spent more of my time doing paying work and my freelance writing career is definitely alive in Colorado where it was dead in Texas. I’m enjoying the work, but the days are so very long and the work is sporadic. The kids are at home all day, but completely independent. My husband is focused on his to-do list. Most days I count down the hours until I get to slip into an unconscious sleep.
I fear terribly the day I’ve looked forward to for five years – the youngest will be in Kindergarten. If I am lonely now and the days are long now, how alone will I be when the kids are at school all day, the husband is at work all day?
I feel maybe I should get a full-time job, but I’m applying with no offers. Also, I can’t think of anything more terrifying than to get a full-time job in this state of depression and anxiety.
Anxiety and depression have taken over my life – again – and I struggle to find the right doctor, the right talk therapy, the right alternative therapy. I have gone to M.D.s for depression and anxiety medication and they have tried this and that pill. Some made me far worse, leading to the diagnosis of Bi-Polar disorder. I’m on day two of Seroquel XR, which thankfully is bringing me out of a downright painful manic phase. I’ve gone to therapists for EMDR, a rapid eye movement technique designed to take away the sting of past traumatic events that impact my life right now. The therapist had such a terrible demeanor – abrupt and frankly, rude – I felt like I was paying someone to be as mean as I was to myself. I have tried acupuncture and talk therapy, I found a therapist who does both. My favorite treatment has been Neuro-Emotional Technique or NET, in which I have a physical way to rid myself of the negative, heavy energy tied to past traumatic emotional events that are impacting my feelings and perceptions today.
It occurs to me that I began to feel really, really, really bad when I decided to abandon The Girl Revolution. Four-and-a-half years is a long time to devote one’s self to a venture that isn’t turning out the way I had hoped. Is it delusional to think that this blog matters? For a few months it has appeared so. Yet, the more I abandon it, the more I think of it as a failure I’m going to walk away from, the more I think I must have a different purpose – the more depressed and anxious I have become.
PURPOSE. That’s what The Girl Revolution has meant to my life. I started it to pull myself out of deep depression. What do I want to live for? What will give my life purpose and meaning? I had asked myself. If I could make things a little bit better for girls, I could live for that, I told myself.
And it worked. I devoted my time and energy to it as if I could single-handedly change the world for girls. I had unrealistically high expectations. Life Changing words for the people who would read them. A better, more equitable and respectful childhood and future for girls. It’s definitely something worth fighting for. But I also had unrealistic expectations that are egoic in nature – Best Selling Books, Agents, Income.
I’m so worn out from the tremendous anxiety and depression of the last six months that I’m willing to consider the idea that The Girl Revolution is still my purpose and to surrender my expectations of it.
Perhaps, this website never was for other girls. Perhaps God gave it to me because I needed a purpose like I need water and air. Without it I will die. I will just give up all hope and faith and love.
Please, if you’re out there and my words have helped you along the way at some point – PRAY for me to find a way out of the anxiety and depression that has engulfed me.
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