February 8th, 2010 — Victims & Dangers
Anyone who has children should watch the two hours of Oprah’s Conversation with Child Molesters.
The molesters are candid and as honest as they know how to be.
It should make parents Fear Less and tune into their Intuition More.
There are four molesters who confess a great deal: one old man who molested a five year old little girl who loved him enough to call him Grandpa, one adult man who used the words “I love you” to rape four teenagers, one boy/man who used his younger cousin’s parental manipulate, molest and rape her for nearly a decade, and one father who fantasized about performing oral sex on his 12-year-old daughter, until he began touching her in her sleep in real life.
The common themes among these molesters were fantasy first. They all said it stemmed from fantasy first. They all used their victim’s love for them and trust in them to manipulate them. They all lied to themselves about what they were doing, making them excellent liars to the girls’ parents.
When Oprah asked one man if he thought about what he had done to his victim he responded poignantly, “I killed who she would have been.”
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June 3rd, 2009 — Media, Marketing and Advertising
This story ran last week without photographs (sorry BB Mama). The photographs are imperative to the story, so I’m rerunning it. Visit Black Belt Mama’s Blog.
I need to first make something very clear. I’ve never burned a bra (they cost too much money to do that and I need mine); and I’ve never gone more than like two days without shaving my arm-pits (and that was when I had ACL surgery and wasn’t allowed to shower).
I took several women’s studies classes when I was at the University of Pittsburgh. I had some great ones (mostly the literature ones), and I had some not-so-great ones.
One of the not-so-great ones was led by a total whack job woman who was further encouraged in her wackiness by a chorus of crazy female students. I hated the class and felt like it was this giant complain-o-rama about men. I also got berated on a daily basis by a group full of women students lacking basic hygiene skills who told me that because I did my hair and put on make-up, I was catering to men and making myself a sex object.
They considered me putting cherry chap-stick on, catering to men and becoming a sex object. Whatever. I skipped a lot of that class. Talking back to the girl who snorts insults at you while she very publicly sucks her thumb doesn’t exactly feel fair in the grand scheme of things.
My Dad has always classified me as a “feminist” but he seriously has no idea how far off base he is in calling me a “feminist” considering some of my classmates in those classes.
I grew up swearing I would never have kids, and that I was going to be some high-powered lawyer and eat people alive who got in my way. I spent my college years in writing and communications classes. In one of my classes, I spent a semester researching how women were portrayed in advertising, particularly in men’s magazines. I found ads for watches that featured a lifeless woman on the ground with a man’s shadow standing above her. It was eye-opening and disturbing and I told anyone about it who would listen, but I wasn’t exactly the type to swear off lipstick, burn my bra, and start rowdy protests. I’m not that kind of girl.
If you ask Mr. BBM about me and my “feminist ways,” he’ll tell you I’m a “true feminist,” that I will fight for and speak up about women’s issues, but that I won’t be pigeon-holed into a liberal feminist agenda. Yes, I believe you can be a feminist and still be pro-life. I am.
I spent my years after college baffled at who I had become. Instead of going to law school, I got my Master’s in Education. Instead of being the high-powered single girl, I got married at the age of 23. And then, after only working in the real world for two years, I got pregnant and left my career (where I was making more than my husband) to stay at home full time and raise my daughter.
Fast forward to present time, where I am now staying at home raising two daughters, and teaching at the university level. Today, I had three young women do their final speech on how women are portrayed in the media. It was a brilliant speech. They divided it into three sections: women in the 50′s, women now, and the problems associated with the pressure society puts on women.
They talked about the typical 1950′s housewife. They discussed Marilyn Monroe and then they moved into a visual showing the difference between models back then and models now. Some of the pictures were disturbing. When the speech was finished, it was followed by a Q & A session. After listening to these girls, rattling off statistics and facts and hearing them pour their hearts and souls into their presentations, I was shocked to hear some of the questions coming from the audience.
A lot of the guys felt like they were under attack, despite the fact that the girls said their speech was not to blame any individual person or group, but rather to bring attention to the way society portrays women in the media. Even some of the girls got worked up in the audience. “Well, don’t these models have a choice to not be that thin? Well don’t they have a choice to not have eating disorders?”
I was shocked.
The presenters hadn’t done any blaming, only pointing out various facts and stats, and they were being eaten alive by an audience hungry to throw the blame back on them. I stepped in and redirected at times, but when all was said and done, I was sad and disappointed about it.
I’ve frequently heard women say that today’s women don’t care about women’s issues the way women did 30 years ago. I obviously had a couple students concerned about it enough to create an entire presentation on it. But the opposition they were met with was downright shocking.
Is there no one out there who cares that high fashion ads are using women in violent ways to get their point across?
The above ad is for a shoe by the way, not gang rape, in case you weren’t clear. Spain and Italy banned the ad saying it is no way was related to what they were trying to sell and that it was violent towards women.
And this one below? If you said shoes, and not stuffing some dead girl in the trunk of a car, well, then you would be right. You can read more about this ad here.
And then there’s this one. Obviously advertising a man’s suit. . .
Visit the site where I found this one for even more disturbing ads.
I think that we’ve become so used to seeing violence against people, and women in particular, that these images don’t have the same kinds of effects that they used to have on people. And personally, I think that’s a terrible shame.
As a Mom of two young girls who I don’t want ever exposed to this kind of stuff, I think it’s time that we started a little movement of our own. Companies who put out ads like this need to be contacted and told that their ads are disgusting, and that the public doesn’t want to see stuff like this. It’s simply not healthy.
To contact the US Dolce & Gabbana offices, you can write or phone here:
Dolce & Gabbana USA Inc.
148, Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10013
Loula is a company based in Melbourne, but you can email them at: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To contact Duncan Quinn, you can write or call here:
8 Spring St.
NY, NY 10012
According to a review I read online, the man himself actually mans the store quite often.
If you aren’t bothered by these ads, or if you’d like to see more of what I’m talking about and what my young women in class were talking about today, then watch this:
There any many sites out there drawing attention to this kind of garbage and taking a stand against it. All one needs to do is google “violent ads women” and you’ll find them no problem.
Will you join me in being outraged?
Will you join me in doing something about it?
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April 15th, 2009 — Politics & Legislation, Victims & Dangers
There are some things worth paying taxes for . . .
Roads. Schools. Libraries. Police Force. Fire Men. Health Care.
Top on the list is enough FBI Agents and resources to hunt down and prosecute Sexual Predators stalking our children for their own sick psycho-sexual pleasure.
I’m pretty much willing to pay whatever it takes to lock those deranged animals up.
Oprah made it easy and wrote a sample letter. You just have to copy and paste, sign your name and click senate.gov or congress.gov on her site and whalla you’ve taken political action demanding that the United States Government protects its own children.
We can bail out banks and car manufacturers and they totally screwed up.
Our kids are innocent and we can’t throw them to the wolves. They deserve our protection. They deserve to have the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act funded.
Find the money.
Click Here to Take Political Action.
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March 19th, 2009 — Media, Marketing and Advertising, Reviews & Giveaways
My husband and I declared date night and thought it would be an extra-special treat to spring for dinner and a movie. We couldn’t even remember the last time we went to a movie together.
We didn’t have many choices, so I caved to Watchmen. Supposed to be about super-heroes he said. There were girl/women super-heroes so I was interested.
Guess what happens to the girl super-heroes? Violently raped and beaten by one of the a-hole male super-heroes. Another female super-hero was violently raped and beaten and then murdered by pornographers, but “she deserved it because of her whorish-lifestyle.” At least I think that’s what happened, it was cryptic and I had my eyes closed and my ears plugged to avoid ingesting more violent rape of women on-screen.
In fact, most the super-heroes were really violent, angry, mean, cruel, heartless murderer-slash-rapists who dressed up in costume to commit their crimes and yet kept talking about how they were “saving the world.” Huh?
About half-way through the movie one of the super-heroes shoots a Vietnamese woman he impregnated. She asks him to acknowledge his coming child and refuses to disappear so he shoots her in cold blood. Kills his own unborn child and its mother. He’s remorseless.
“This movie should be called ‘Plotless Gratuitous Violence,’” I muttered.
“Want to sneak out and go see Madea?” my husband suggested.
“Yeah, that will be funny and light. It’s PG-13. Tyler Perry’s funny,” I say.
I sit through another preview – ears plugged eyes slammed shut - so horrifically violent that even my husband closes his eyes so as not to take in a graphically violent depiction of Satan and evil spirits torturing and killing an entire family.
Aside from the pot-smoking uncle and the wanton criminal behavior of Madea it’s almost appropriate for 13-year-olds, you know, if they are 25-year-olds.
Then there I am – plugging my ears and smashing my eyelids together – trying to avoid ingesting yet another very graphic, long violent rape and beating of a woman. Tyler Perry takes 13-year-olds (and the rest of us) through an examination of prostitution, how a smart college girl might end up on the streets, how she might be raped and beaten into submission by a pimp (he shows us how in graphic and horrific, bloody detail). How she’ll need a Pretty Woman moment to save her.
Hysterically funny, really.
There was a 9 or 10-year-old girl, with her family, sitting right in front of us and no one bothered telling her to close her eyes and plug her ears.
I spent nearly the whole “romantic evening” with my eyes closed, shoulders hunched up, and fingernails digging into my ears to avoid taking in and internalizing the atrocities in these movies. Of course, the most violent and horrific of these atrocities were committed against girls and women. But, you know, sometimes they “deserved it” because they were “just whores.”
What the Bleep is going on in the distorted, jumbled, sick and violent minds of film-makers?
How are people watching this kind of graphic violence against women (or humans in general) as entertainment?
How desensitized have we become as human beings?
Hear no evil. See no evil. Speak no evil.
I guess that rules out the movies entirely.
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February 27th, 2009 — Disney Princess Culture & Fairy Tales
By now no one will be surprised when I say that I’m not a huge fan of Belle from Beauty and the Beast.
Some might see Belle as a redeeming character because she is smart and loves to read. She is, after all, bright enough to tell Gaston, the quintessential good-looking football player type, where to go. Good for Belle, even though all the other village girls love Gaston, she thinks he’s a moron and is looking for something different.
When her mad scientist father gets held as a hostage by the mean ugly beast, Belle, the loyal daughter, finds him. Selflessly, she trades her own freedom so that her father can go to the invention festival. What?!?
Here’s the first lesson we need to tell our daughters, Your dad and I will never, ever trade you for anything. If you are ever held by a beast or anyone else we WILL bring the police and find you or die trying. If you are ever kidnapped or someone tries to take you then you should do anything you can to get away. Scream, bite, scratch, kick and run as fast as you can.
The rest of the story is basically how Belle is such a good and sweet young woman that she transforms the compassionless, angry, self-absorbed, violent, ugly and mean beast into the Prince he always was inside.
Basically, the story is just early training for future battered women everywhere. This is Stockholm Syndrome. Women love to love their abuser and fantasize that eventually she’ll love him enough that he’ll start treating her with love and respect. Every woman who gets abused desperately wants to believe that her compassionless, angry, mean, self-absorbed jerk of a husband or boyfriend has a kind prince locked inside and if she is just a good and sweet and forgiving enough wife or girlfriend then she can change him into a sweet guy.
What kind of codependent crap are we feeding our daughters at bedtime? We’re setting them up to be victims with this story. Is it any surprise that 30% of women put up with abuse at some point in their lives? Come on!
I recommend telling our daughters the truth.
If you marry a mean and selfish or violent beast of a man you will never, ever change him into a nice guy. People are who they are. No one has the power to change anyone else. Don’t waste your life trying.
The best thing to do is to marry a guy who is already good and sweet and kind and generous. Find someone who treats you with respect from the beginning and skip all the fairytale drama.
Here’s the Challenge: add, if not completely replace some of these princess horror stories with stories that have good messages like The Practical Princess, and other liberating fairy tales. And give your daughters a new perspective on the old messages found in Disney’s version.
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