Friday, December 16, 2011


As a follow up to a previous post, "Honor" requires MARRYING YOUR RAPIST in Afghanistan. And despite international outcry for her treatment, the victim is seriously considering doing so to "save the family name."

I'm not judging her: I'm judging her FAMILY. First, a family member rapes her and SHE'S sentenced to jail. For what exactly? For "sex outside marriage" even though she had no choice in the matter. Now she's being violated again: family is supposed to protect you, not force you to marry someone who assulted you for the good of the family's name. What the hell does their NAME have to do with any of this? She endured a horrific ordeal at the hands of someone who should've been trustworthy, and was failed by her kin and country over and over.

I wish this woman could find the courage to tell them all to fuck off and leave the country: at this point Amnesty International or another refugee service could get her out. Unfortunately as is the case with so many women brought up under oppressive social mores and abusive conditions, she'll likely stay and raise her daughter in the same culture that forces her to marry a man who raped her.

In my head, I know that this is a cultural practice that has gone on in many societies for centuries all over the world.

In my heart, I'm so utterly discouraged and saddened by the calculated subjugation of half the human race simply because "it's always been that way." I'll never understand what the hell is so terrifying to these abusive, ignorant, idiots about respecting the equality of women.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Life is HARD.

For my dogs. Which I typed as "gods" by accident once during this post.

Also, life is apparently exhausting: 

Exhausting to the point of looking dead:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Oh Don't You Worry Your Pretty Little Head, Honey

This morning I feel like I've been sucked into a Twilight Zone alternate universe, and it's a bad, bad version..

The democratic President whom I have supported has taken away a major female right to privacy and medicine. Teenage girls can now overdose on asprin or cold medicine just like normal, but they can't get the morning after pill because it could be dangerous if taken improperly. Huh. So can asprin and cold medicine. Even more horrifying was the President's argument: he has two girls of his own. So...your children (neither of whom are 15-18 years old) and what they understand about medicine as 10 and 12 year olds decided for you whether a young woman can read directions on a medication box? But teenagers of both sexes can still buy condoms and other OTC medications with no problem? Why do you not see the sexist, unfair, ridiculous issue here??

Saudi Arabia BEHEADED A WOMAN FOR WITCHCRAFT yesterday. Sorcery and witchcraft aren't even ON THE BOOKS in Saudi Arabia as crimes. She was beheaded for what exactly? Did she drive? Was she encouraging other women to take care of themselves? Hmm.

Women in Afghanistan face acid attacks for what crime? For saying NO to a marriage proposal! In one recent case the women's entire family was disfigured with acid, including her father who supported her in refusing marriage to a warlord thug. He was beaten and forced to watch as his wife and daughters had acid poured on their faces. Disfigured doesn't even begin to cover the pain, horror, and utter ruination these women faced. Consider that in Afghanistan women are barely allowed to read (depending where they live) or work, and so are generally still dependent on finding a husband to care for them. Now consider that a disfigured woman there is nearly guaranteed to be thought unmarriageable. Not only did her attacker violate her horribly, he essentially ruined her chances at life in that culture.

Amongst all these attacks against the female in the world, our First Lady, theoretically the most powerful woman in the world (if you consider the US to be the most powerful, most free country in the world today)? She's wearing a certain designer's dress (big news!) and helped win the world jumping-jacks record. Michelle Obama had a chance to DO something while she was in office. She chose to be as opposite of Hillary Clinton as possible and embrace a backward "women are only concerned with food, fashion and children" image. I'm so very very disappointed.

Mr. and Mrs. Obama: it's your JOB to not only protect people's rights in this country, not take them away. Also, having two girls of your own should prompt you to set a better example to women and girls everywhere. World "superpowers": I'm ashamed of all of you for stepping back and allowing human rights abuses to happen to women and girls all over the world under the guise of "cultural normalcy" instead of standing up and telling oppressors and abusers to stop.

With shows like Pan Am, Mad Men, and Playboy Club taking over and 12 year old girls wearing "Juicy" across their asses, should I be surprised that feminism is a dirty word and equality is taking a giant leap backward? I suppose not. But should I stop being angry and trying to do something to change it? No way, and neither should any other feminist or humanist out there.

We aren't eye candy. We aren't punching bags. We aren't mindless, animated sex toys. We aren't cooks, maids, or laundresses. We are women: as entitled to respect and equality as men, and more than capable of getting out of the boxes we're shoved into.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

10,000 Words

And counting!

Ever feel like a second chance is standing there hitting you in the face with a board? Yeah. I"m there. I figure I have about three more weeks, maybe four, before some of these resumes I've been sending start to pay off, especially since I'd like to get back into reinsurance, which means everything is now on hold until after year-end financials are finished.

I was so stressed about money and worrying my family by being unemployed last time around, I didn't write enough. This time I'm determiend to finish one of the books by year-end (the full first draft, I mean). When I hit a block for the day I work on notes for the other series I have percolating in my brainpan. According to my little nanowrimo counter on my phone, I have to put in 1900 words per day until the 31st to reach 50,000 words, but that likely won't be the end of the story anyway, so I'm just going to keep writing until I reach the end.

And then start again.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The Apocalypse is in Elementary Schools

Let me preface this post with two details: 1) I went to elementary school long before the Columbine shootings allowed schools to capitalize on fear and 2) I don't have children of my own.

I, however, don't believe that common sense about children requires having them. I've posted on this before regarding the KINDERGARTNER who was expelled for kissing a classmate on the cheek. On six year olds suspended for having a butter knife in their lunch pail.

Yesterday, I found yet another example of idiot administrators in our schools. Know what the best part of this idiocy is? It's the goddamn "Free Love" generation making a big deal about normal childhood behavior. That's right, the hippies have gotten so tightassed after THEY had children they've oversexualized EVERYTHING.

There is NO WAY a six year old kissing a classmate on the cheek or giving a hug is "molesting" them. THere is no way this fourth grader saying his teacher is "cute" is wrong. Innocent affection IS NOT WRONG, you reactionary fools. All our school administrators are doing is creating a whole generation of adults incapable of normal human interaction, incapable of affectionate and respectful relationships with friends and family.

I sincerely hope the family of this kid sues the administration either in court or in the media and skewers them for their shameful behavior.

Monday, October 10, 2011

"Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition."

 “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Steve Jobs, Stanford commencement speech, 2005.

I've seen this quote pop up on a few of my favorite blogs lately, and regardless of your view of Steve Jobs as a businessman or visionary, I really don't see how anyone can argue the man was inspiring. Not only did he build and head one of the most successful companies of our time (hey, I said ONE of), he chose not to jump through the hoops everybody said he should do first. He took Frost's road less traveled indeed, successfully.

Then he proved that life is short.

Sure, it's never too late to follow your big dream and stuff, but it's also the perfect time to start, isn't it?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Rights are RIGHTS.

BBC News Feature: Saudi Women

This article was buried in the Mid-East section of today. It was hiding behind the various articles about rape as a weapon of war against women in Libya, sexual harassment and abuse against women in Egypt, etc etc etc.

It horrifies me that "etc" is applicable here.

Saudi Arabian women have been hidden away from the world for centuries, and blaming it on Islam is just stupid. Muhammed's wife owned her own business: there is NOTHING in Islam that says women are the slaves of men, and yet that's how they're treated, under the guise of "protection." Protection from what? Themselves, mostly, because the bottom line reasoning is that women can't be trusted, can't control themselves, and are vessels of temptation. Some countries came out of the backward thinking of the Middle Ages where Woman = Sin. Some clearly never grew up.

Women's rights abuses are a tribal community issue, not a religious one: the ancient tribes in the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Africa are traditionally male-dominated and patrilineal. Hiding women away under burkas/abayas/scarves isn't mandated by the Koran, and female circumcision isn't a religious requirement; these are tribal social controls adopted into the local version of a larger religion. Decent men are being told by the people in charge that keeping women in the home, under the thumb of their husbands/fathers/brothers is really "for their own good" and that the honor of a family depends on a woman being virginal and quiet. Why? Because women can't  control ourselves and our bodies? Or because men can't be expected to control themselves when - GASP - a female is around? The implication that men are really just animals is just as offensive as the idea that women are there to serve and be protected.

One of the most disturbing quotes in the BBC article was a man who, uncomfortable, told the journalist "we give them their rights." I beg to differ, sir. You don't GIVE anyone their rights: by definition, RIGHTS are something they have anyway. Instead Saudi Arabia has, indeed, created the "largest women's prison" on this planet, and we as human beings in the entire world should be ashamed, outraged, and disgusted.

It's all a load of crap that excuses human rights abuses that should shock the world, but instead headlines of a Libyan woman being dragged away from journalists for reporting her rape get no response. Even a pretty white girl's assult in Egypt, which actually got some attention, is universally brushed off as "well she shouldn't have been there." An 11 year old in Texas is gang raped and the defense attorney says she asked for it. An 11 year old. All women have the right to be human. To control our own bodies, our own minds, our own lives.

The fear, shame, and discomfort that seems to stop the world from stepping in and saying enough needs to be purged, because the moment we blame an 11 year old girl for being raped and accept that in some parts of the world a woman is literally just a piece of silent property for a man to do anything he likes, we've lost our humanity.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mitch the Cranky Fairy

I'm working on completing a short story that's been in the works for years (inspired by one of my favorite former characters at the MN Renaissance Festival). There's a submission deadline tomorrow, so hopefully I'll have it polished by then...but here's a snippet.

Something clinked next to his ear, and it smelled like goat breath. Mitch cracked one crusty eye…a giant black hole of a nostril whuffed an inch from his face. He started with a yelp and sat up, but the world spun around him and he abruptly toppled back onto the grass.

Grass? The last thing he remembered was the taste of lovely grape-wine this morning. On the bridge post…wasn’t he on the bridge post? He opened his eyes, slowly this time, and groaned as he sat up. He felt like the full Thumper battalion drummed a marching tattoo in his skull, and his antennae drooped to brush his knees. He hauled himself up and tried to pull the wedge of cloth from his butt. The drums only pounded louder, reverberating in his sinuses for an eternity. Mitch flitted back up to his post (wobbling only a little in his landing) and abruptly the drums stopped.

Blinking in relief, the fairy looked straight into the eyes of Jeffrey’s father, King Robert of the Seventh Marsh. His steed, a royal goat in full panoply, stuck its nose in Mitch’s face for the second time that afternoon.

“My Lord!” Mitch dropped to one knee, landing roughly on the tip of his much-abused antenna.

“Mitchell,” said the sylph Lord quietly, thunder in his blue eyes. “Perhaps you could explain exactly where my son has gone.” Mitch shivered.

“I, well, er…” The throbbing resumed in his head as Mitch tried desperately to find an excuse, but as the pain peaked the confession dribbled from his mouth in a rush. “I couldn’t talk him out of it, Your Majesty! I tried and tried…he just left this morning, Majesty, and promised to be back in a few hours.” Sweat dribbled between his shoulder blades and down the back of his shabby trousers.

“THREE DAYS MITCHELL!” Full force thunderclaps shook the bridge, and Mitch looked at his King in horror. “It has been three full days since he left!”

“But…I…”A soldier investigating the scene held up the bottle for Robert’s inspection.

“Fifteen year old Napa, my Lord,” the rabbit-faced man said crisply. His Majesty sighed and gave Mitch the look.

In that moment Mitch was quite sure he was lucky that Sylph powers couldn’t literally eviscerate with their eyes. His wings fluttered wildly, a nervous tic causing a few more rips along the tattered edges. His pale face flushed all the way past the tips of his pointed ears. Mitch looked at his tiny feet and wrung his hands in terror, certain his next breath would be his last.

“Mitchell,” said the King softly, bending down to eye level with the minor fairy.


“GO GET HIM!” The Voice of Power blasted Mitch ass over antennae from the post. He landed hard and scrambled to stand at attention. “Don’t return without him.”

“Yes SIR! Right away my Lord!” The Thumper soldiers snickered as the entire line watched Mitchell limp down the stone bridge, trying to pick the tights from between his cheeks before he disappeared into the mists.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Value of an Aunt

Recently a friend told me I'd never understand his feelings because I didn't like kids and don't want to have any. Before I could protest, he apologized for the tone and clarified: he meant I couldn't truly love kids in their entirety, because I don't have any (and therefore don't experience the diaper blowouts, temper tantrums, and projectile vomit right along with the baby giggles and other fun). I haven't written about this for a few days: it took me some time to consider and process and get beyond pissed-off.

I wholeheartedly agree with this person that being a Dad is 1) something I'll never understand (um, specifically I'LL NEVER BE a Dad, but generally we don't plan to have children so I won't be a parent) and 2) that a parent's love for their child is a deep level of understanding I can't reach unless I have a child myself. I include ALL forms of "having" a child in that statement, including foster children, adoption, natural birth, etc.

The knife twist of his comment is that I'd like to have a family, but our lives right now are totally unsuited to raising a family, and until/unless we really want them and are in a place to make our lives about kids, we're not having them. Maybe my husband's and my views do make us selfish, but I'd rather be ready and have no regrets before changing everything for children. If that makes me a selfish bitch, well so be it. I'd rather be selfish no-kid-family than be a selfish bitch with kids who suffer for it.

In the meantime, I find an incredible amount of value being an "aunt" to my nieces/nephews/friends' kids. I'm fairly empathic and understanding: people talk to me all the time about their personal problems, relationship issues, etc etc. Seriously, random people on a plane will tell me all their shit. So it's not that weird to me that my friends' kids feel like they can talk to me about stuff they may not want to bring up to their parents, and trust that I'll tell them the truth. And not being their parent, I can tell them the truth and they may listen.  I don't have the same parent/child relationship that can make both sides uncomfortable and cloudy when touchy teenage things come up, and being an aunt instead of a parent I can point out stupid behavior or give advice without being seen as judgemental or overprotective.

I grew up with a lot of aunts and uncles in my life: they're still important people in my life and I still look to them for the occasional reality check on stuff I don't feel comfortable talking to parents or siblings about. Family dynamics are a fascinating, compliated minefield of relationships: there are times as a teenager I know my aunts' influences kept me from royally screwing up. If I never have my own children, my goal is to be that resource for the kids in my life if they need it. I don't think that makes me any less loving or more selfish than a parent.