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The Truth Is Never Wrong

6 May

The house is quiet now
I can feel the silence getting loud
The truth is never wrong
You never know what you got until it’s gone
Let your thoughts be memory
Her smiles and all her favorite things
Don’t let go of your faith
Even though there’s not anything anyone could say-

-She’d say
Live every moment like it’s your last
Treat every day like you’re never going to get it back
Love everybody with all your heart
You never know who’s hurting and losing a big part

She’d say
Baby, don’t you cry
I’ll be with you, I’ll send my love from the other side
Time will heal you
It’s been said
One day soon, all the pain you’ve been through
Will make you stronger than you ever knew

Don’t waste time on fear and doubt
Spend your whole life making her proud

She’d say
Baby, don’t you cry
I’m always with you
I’m sending you my love from the other side.

 

Nothing Good Can Come of This — Rawr

16 Sep

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There’s a hollow void in the sky tonight. It’s swallowing us up, stealing our dreams. It isn’t expansive, but it is empty and everything we hope for gets lost within. The stars aren’t out tonight, but it is only me, cold and alone, who looks upon the great sea above me for answers. I’m missing you and it is evident that this feeling will encompass every piece of me until, by some miracle of God, I am able to forget. Then and only then, piece by piece, will I be whole again. For without you, I am a broken puzzle.

Tell me why you left me like this, with nothing but my thoughts and my old, tattered dreams of us together. It is impossible to rid myself of all these feelings, of all this sorrow that weighs down on me like bricks sinking to the ocean’s sandy bottom. I see myself floating in the great abyss of anguish and it is all I can do to keep from drowning. Maybe I should stop trying to stay afloat. Maybe I should let the current of regret and memories wash me away.

Until I met you, I was a lonely speck of dust sitting on the bookshelf of life. No one gave me a second glance, but you did. And for a time, I was the envy of the stars. I was higher than the moon on that summer night when we swam alone in that quiet pool of solitude. The wind has swept that summer away and replaced it with cold abandon. Suddenly you were gone and replaced by a physical ache so great I cried buckets.

Apparently love isn’t always enough. That’s something that has been told to me over and over in music, books, and in the testimony of others. I always thought that I was different. Maybe I could be the one to finally achieve that perfect love that would never end or be altered. Even now, I’d give up everything for the promise of a love never ending.

But that is something that no one can guarantee.

If you could write it in stone and promise me that everything will work out, I would escape my doldrums tomorrow and fly with you on a journey to infinity. That is impossible, though, because we are only human.

So, before you go, let me remind you of all that you are leaving:

  • You’re leaving behind a girl with the ability and the desire to love you unconditionally. A girl who will never question her feelings, who will do and has done everything for you that’s humanly possible.
  • You’re leaving a girl who would physically alter the sun’s rotation for you no matter how much it burned.
  • You’re giving up a love so big that this heart couldn’t contain it. My heart has burst with all the love I gave and all the pain your actions reaped.
  • You are turning your back on something beautiful.

But I have learned that everything beautiful is finite. What’s the beauty in something that lasts forever? A rainbow is momentary, like the flap of a butterfly’s wings or the first smile of a small child. Beauty can only be captured in photographs, in memories, and things that fade and die. If we were to last forever, maybe it would no longer be beautiful. Maybe there is beauty in the pain that stems from your leaving me alone.

I sleep alone like I used to sleep before I met you. I forgot how lonely it was to wake up with no one there. I got so used to waking up to that sleeping face of an angel that now it haunts my dreams. In these dreams you are mine and no one else’s. They are selfish dreams of hope where I bask in the prosperity of you throughout my REM cycle. And then, like a patch of clover on a dreary morning, my hopes are trampled with the harsh awakening to reality. Maybe this is why I sleep more than I ever have before. Maybe longing for you is so stifling that these phantom versions of you are better than the alternative. Maybe you’ll haunt my dreams forever. At least, then, a semblance of us remains. My dreams will never wither and die like we did.

I used to believe that there was a wonderful plan for my life. I thought that my perpetual loneliness and un-fulfillment was only a temporary stage in my life and that one day replacing it would be eternal hope and joy. I believed that you were my silver lining, the prince that would un-cage my Rapunzel-like life.

You helped me let down my hair, so to speak. I never thanked you for that. You changed my life, boy, and you gave me something to look forward to every day that I woke. Now, I only wish for each day to pass with the swiftness of the birds so that I will be one day closer to seeing you again and hoping you’ll change your mind.

I can’t hope these things forever. I cannot allow my life to be controlled by this vague notion of one-day reconciliation. I cannot allow my entire existence to be moldable like putty in your large, familiar hands. Those hands once held mine in the dark during the movie and I knew that I wanted to hold those hands forever. Now I’ll never have that chance again.

I want to curse you for robbing me of what is possibly the greatest love of my life. You were my best friend, my lover, and my confidant. I trusted you with every minute detail of my lamentable existence. I wanted to know everything about you. I wanted to bury myself deeply into the warmness in your eyes and never again be released.

The sky looks like rain again. The cold is seeping in through the fabric of my jeans. I haven’t felt alive since last we kissed. I never expected to never show you affection again.

Life has a funny way of sneaking up on the unsuspecting.

The memories of our happiness fade with each rainy day of solitude I endure. My love is steadfast. It is forever and because of this, it is deeply hideous. It is not one moment etched in time, but ions of seconds and minutes and hours that I go on without you.

You, on the other hand, are doing so much better. You have something new, something fresh, and different. But that something is not me and never will be. I think that’s what hurts the most. I was replaceable – easily replaceable to the one person who I ever really loved. If I could be replaced by you, how could I possibly be anything permanent to anyone else?

People say that love can last forever, but I’ve never seen that. I’ve lived two decades under the umbrella of hurt and never have I witnessed a truly happy ending. These figments of the human imagination are only storybook fables.

The tears burn my weathering cheeks as each vicious gust of wind blows. We only grow older. We only lose time. Nothing done can be erased like these words on this page. Maybe that is why I live so often in a world of fiction. I can remind myself that none of it is true, except that all of it is. Every word written has meant something to someone. There is pain and misery and heartache and death in words.

B/c a fb status and the responses rubbed me the wrong way…

15 Sep

My initial instinct to call someone out on their use of what I may consider to be bad terminology would have disrupted a very respectable, as well as valid, political opinion that was worth inheriting… to my own extent but nonetheless, still valuable.  I look back to so many times that I may have heard something worthwhile if I would have just held off on taking offense to a term used or the way one may have expressed their viewpoint.

In 2004, I was introduced to the term “flip-flop,” an insult popularized that election year by one John Kerry — the chronically indecisive Democratic nominee. Eight years later, Mitt Romney wears this badge of dishonor; though make no mistake — the terms “somersaulting” and “flip-flopping” have had roots in politics for centuries.

And that doesn’t come as a surprise, considering our society has long valued strong leaders with conviction. Some would say Kerry’s flip-flopping lost him the election, which illustrates the consequences of not going balls-to-the-walls with your beliefs. He was confused and weak, and that seemingly made him unfit to lead. (While I hardly think changing your mind is a crime, perhaps doing so in the face of an election extends the question of indecisiveness into one of integrity and honesty. Maybe Kerry wasunfit in those regards, though who am I to say?)

But the celebrating of those who are steadfast in their positions extends beyond politics: individuals who are passionate and confident in their convictions seem to be viewed as stronger, more intelligent, and more capable. They are the heroes in films, they are the ones who rally us to go to war, they are the people who we aspire to be. Someone who knows what they believe in, whatever that is.

Conversely, if you are someone who doesn’t live for the art of debate, who isn’t completely sure of what and who you are, you might feel a bit down on yourself for not meeting this standard. The people who seem to achieve the Western idea of greatness have a power that the “lesser-thans” don’t — the power to commit to an idea.
The power to believe so strongly in something that they cannot be convinced or swayed otherwise.

I am, in this scenario, one of the lesser-thans. I operate on intuition rather than belief; if my intuition tells me something new because of knowledge I’ve gained, I’m open to embracing the new perspective — until more information becomes available to me, at which point I’ll undoubtedly change or “flip-flop” again. And I thought this made me undesirable or that I was failing to aspire to a certain ideal, but then I read something that changed how I view the strength of conviction.According to David Cain, having strong beliefs is not necessarily something to be proud of:

Believing something is not an accomplishment. I grew up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they’re really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because “strength of belief” is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you’ve made it a part of your ego… Wherever there is a belief, there is a closed door.

So are those with the strongest convictions really the people who should be emulated? We know on a base level that impenetrable beliefs aren’t always noble. Sometimes they’re plain scary, in the case of radical religion or Nazis or the fringe Tea Partiers or the KKK. But what are your strongest beliefs and are you willing to question them?

Let’s think about something most of us have experience with, like monogamy. Do you believe that, when you’re in a relationship, sex with other people should be off-limits? Even though humans have the primal instinct to mate, even though you most likely know people who cheat, are in open relationships, are polyamorous, are divorced — do you still believe that monogamy is the healthiest way to be in a relationship? If you had the option to be in a happy relationship or a monogamous one, what would you choose? Why?

To someone whose identity is not at stake when we discuss monogamy, the happy relationship may sound like the obvious choice. But to someone who has built their life around the pursuit of finding their one true love, of marriage, of growing old with someone — entertaining options outside of monogamy, suggesting that monogamy is not synonymous with happiness becomes an attack on a belief system that has shaped the person; thus it becomes an attack on the person. This is what having strong convictions does: it causes religion, political views, love, morality to latently become a part of our personhood. And once that happens, it becomes difficult to acknowledge or listen to other perspectives because they feel like personal attacks on our perspective and subsequently, on us.

But asking someone to open their mind is hardly done nefariously. In the essay “It’s Okay That You Said Something Racist,” the author illustrates how the goal of calling someone out for making a racist comment is not a personal attack, but an attempt to teach or discuss another perspective.

And know this, you will get called out. I’ve called two people out in the last week and the stories are dramatically different. When eating at a Japanese restaurant, my friend leaned over to me and said something in a stereotypical Japanese accent. I shot him a look, and said, “What?” I think he replied, “Whoops,” and then thanked me for catching him later. Honestly, I can’t even remember exactly what happened because it wasn’t a big deal! It never has to be. It’s only when people are closed minded that fireworks break out. Later that week, someone used outright racist imagery to advertise an upcoming party, and those responsible we called out, albeit sarcastically.
Instead of acknowledging and apologizing, or even throwing the snarkiness back in our face, the party organizers continued to feign ignorance, insult us and others, and defend their right to do racist things even in the wake of thoughtful, well-rounded commentary. Obviously, they didn’t know how easy and common this is. Instead they choose to freak out and be personally insulted.

Asking a person to rethink their belief system is not to personally attack them, it’s giving them a show of faith. It says, “I believe that you are capable of reason,” not “You’re an idiot and you’re wrong.” Questioning your beliefs, testing them, changing your mind, “flip-flopping” does not make a person weak. I’d argue that it does the opposite — it allows us to entertain various perspectives, which in turn allows us to grow wiser, more rounded. Why are we afraid of giving power to people who can admit when they’re wrong, who can evolve, who place value in learning and growth? Isn’t that preferable to someone who sticks to their decisions and worldviews ’til death do them part?

Nietzsche once said, “We often refuse to accept an idea merely because the way in which it has been expressed is unsympathetic to us.” But we fancy our beliefs as infallible only when they are heavily tied into our identities. If those are the grounds on which we defend and argue for them — not logic or objectivity — are they worth having in the first place?

Trust Issues

11 Sep

Self-esteem problems. Paranoid. Crazy. Clingy. Those are some of the phrases often associated with questioning the person you’re dating and their whereabouts, tendencies or loyalty. Maybe you have a suggestive tone or ask in an insinuative manner, but people generally don’t take kindly to being doubted or accused, whether it’s happening falsely or it’s justified.
The thing is, the current state of dating isn’t doing trust any favors, even if you’re a confident individual.

It’s tough because even if you’re a highly sought after, hot commodity, or well aware in your own mind that you have plenty to offer and appreciate, there’s no ignoring the common, shiesty fuckery that goes on these days. We can’t pretend like we don’t see or hear of boyfriends and girlfriends — really good ones — being cheated on and screwed over without the slightest clue what was going on. We all have a friend or know of an acquaintance who has gotten screwed over, and seeing how miserable it made them can make you want to install a heavy-duty security system around your emotions.

That blindsided broken heart business is no joke; so if anyone so much as walks up our driveway, the premises must hastily be locked down. You’re on private property, back up — quit asking all those questions and trying to get to know me/break in and steal all of my stuff, before running off like a bandit.

Moral compasses are like electronic devices, ruined when people douse ‘em in booze. Loyalty has become lukewarm allegiance that weak-willed people try to alter the meaning of, so it can fit whatever is currently convenient and justifying of their behavior. It’s just a meh, whatever type of thing, which is slightly terrifying if you believe you’re involved in something exclusive. In that sense, cheaters can have an effect on everyone.

Knowing people are becoming more willing to cheat, and others are willing to help them means that you simply can’t trust the billions of other people in this world, but you have to trust the person you’re dating so much, you don’t believe there’s anyone out there who can seduce or influence ‘em. That’s pretty friggin’ hard.

Imaginations are active, man — our generation drinks a lot of Starbucks and watches a ton of movies, we can’t control these unpleasant, suspicious thoughts sometimes. This leads to trust-related-arguments, which can really strain a relationship. People don’t like being questioned, people don’t like feeling the need to ask questions and hypothetical worries and preventative measures can ultimately lead two people to their demise.

As long as cheating and breaking trust become taken less seriously, treated casually and remain a common trend, we’re going to see more guarded people, and can you really blame them? Taking people’s feelings lightly, treating their hearts like that pair of old, reliable shoes that you love to wear sometimes for comfort, but don’t care how scuffed or beat up they get — that’s not okay.

This deceitful, behind the back stuff is just about the most abused, horrible thing you can do to a person without facing penalties from the law. The cops won’t arrest you for cheating on a boyfriend, you won’t get probation and a parole officer randomly checking in on you, making sure you’re not being a jerk to your next girlfriend. There’s no 100 hours of community service required, but you can do the community a service and simply refrain from getting officially involved. If strictly hooking up is your thing, hey, different strokes, nobody can knock you for doing what you prefer. My only wish is that people be honest and clear to each other, so everybody can know exactly what they’re getting into.

I suppose folks well aware of their guarded ways could be honest too. I’ve yet to see, Hey, baby — come checkout my trust issues! used as a pickup line, but I’m fairly certain it’d go over poorly. Which leads to the troublesome truth: honesty is going to become a rarity. If a person strictly seeking sex knows the person they want to hookup with wants more than a casual encounter, they’ll hide the truth nicely, packing it under a pile or counterfeit interest. Then there’s the other side: guarded, untrusting individuals who have to pretend to be normal because nobody wants a clingy, crazy person. Both types want something, so they fabricate or lie to get it.

The reason it’s natural to side with exclusive, relationship seekers is because they’re the ones who end up hurt. The hookup seeker may fake exclusively dating until they get what they want, then move on about their business. A cheater may remain in a relationship to have the best of both worlds, hoping they don’t get caught. The thing is, that always leaves somebody with a scar. It breaks hearts, it changes lives and even those who don’t experience it personally can be changed. The best daters can hope for is to not get screwed over, because they can wait and wait for an eternity, but even a commitment doesn’t guarantee safety.

The fact is, you’re going to put your heart in another human’s hands, giving them full responsibility for it.
Knowing that we’re imperfect  creatures, some wear and tear is to be expected, let’s just hope it’s not shredded to pieces as a result of complete and utter carelessness.

Classic

5 Sep

Michael Solana

 

Major Decision Making Players:

Barack Obama

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

On Syria: Wants to bomb it

On Iraq: Did not want to bomb it

Major difference: Barack Obama is now in power

Likes: His daughters, his wife, Hawaii

Does not like: Bad press

Last spotted: Defending the Syria air strike

Notable quotes on bombing stuff:

“The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” 2007

“[No I totally didn’t mean it like that srry].” 2013, paraphrased

John McCain

Derek Bridges

Derek Bridges

On Syria: Really wants to bomb it (and maybe invade it)

On Iraq: Wanted to bomb it

Major difference: No major difference

Likes: Bombing things (a lot — more than he likes losing presidential elections, even), invading things, war

Does not like: Torture

Last spotted: PLAYING A GAME ON HIS MOTHER EFFING IPHONE DURING THE MOTHER EFFING SYRIA HEARING, JESUS CHRIST, ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME, OMFG

Notable quotation on bombing stuff:

“War is a miserable business. Let’s get on with it.” 2001

“Scandal! Caught playing iPhone game at 3+ hour Senate hearing – worst of all I lost!” 2013, Syria hearing

Nancy Pelosi

pelosi

On Syria: Wants to bomb it

On Iraq: Did not want to bomb it

Major difference: Barack Obama is now in power

Likes: Gay people, drug legalization, botox

Does not like: Texas, probably (unconfirmed, but come on)

Last spotted: Naked, riding a winged, rainbow-colored unicorn above the capital, raining glitter down upon her people like some kind of reverse Book of Revelations shit (or some legitimate Book of Revelations shit, I suppose, depending on your politics)

Notable quotes on bombing stuff:

“[The issue of whether or not we should bomb Iraq] is about the Constitution. It is about this Congress asserting its right to declare war when we are fully aware what the challenges are to us. It is about respecting the United Nations and a multilateral approach, which is safer for our troops.” 2002

“[No I totally didn’t mean it like that srry].” 2013, paraphrased

John Kerry

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

On Syria: Wants to bomb it

On Iraq: Wanted to bomb it

Major difference: No major difference

Likes: Being taken seriously, rich person things (wind surfing, ‘the Cape,’ brie), other rich people, botox

Does not like: Difficult questions

Last spotted: Just, like, SO OVER all of this nonsense at the Syria hearing about whether or not the president needs congressional approval to randomly bomb other parts of the world, you guys! He’s the president! Just do what he says! WTF!

Notable quotes on bombing stuff:

“I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force, if necessary, to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.” 2001

“In America, you have a right to be stupid if you want to be. And you have a right to be disconnected to somebody else if you want to be. And we tolerate that — we somehow make it through that.” 2013, not about bombing stuff, but true (I hope)

Rand Paul

Mark Taylor

Mark Taylor

On Syria: Does not want to bomb it

On Iraq: Did not want to bomb it

Major difference: People are kind of listening to him now!

Likes: The constitution, weed, ‘Aqua Buddha’

Does not like: War, ‘Big Government’ (but just the government in general, really)

Last spotted: Invoking Madisonian political thought and the U.S. Constitution during yesterday’s Syria hearing while John McCain straight up ROLLED HIS EYES like ‘omg, look at this LOSER talking about the FOUNDING FATHERS. LOL they’re DEAD, Rand. get over it.’

Notable quotes on bombing stuff:

“While the President is the commander of our armed forces, he is not a king. He may involve those forces in military conflict only when authorized by Congress or in response to an imminent threat. Neither was the case here.” 2011, when Barack Obama was bombing the shit out of Libya

“The war in Syria has no clear national security connection to the United States and victory by either side will not necessarily bring in to power people friendly to the United States.” 2013

John Boehner

On Syria: Wants to bomb it

On Iraq: Wanted to bomb it

Major difference: No major difference

Likes: Crying (see above)

Does not like: I don’t know but look at all of these pictures of him crying, haha

Last spotted: Not actually sure, people keep quoting him but no one really seems to care what he has to say, or where he is, which is maybe why he’s so sad

Notable quotes on bombing stuff:

*The sound of John Boehner sobbing uncontrollably*

Slut-Slamming – That’s Enough of That Noise.

3 Sep

There’s nothing in the world that unites people like hatred. This is why the internet exists. We like to joke that the internet is pictures of cats, but hate rules the interwebs, the thing that unites disparate cultures and gives people of various backgrounds, ethnicities, classes and sexualities something to agree on. From Anne Hathaway’s smile or Kristen Stewart’s frown, we need sitting cultural ducks to shoot, and the reason for our hatred doesn’t really matter. At the end of the day, it’s not about Gwyneth Paltrow or even the 1% lifestyle she represents but the hatred itself, hate as a self-fulfilling prophecy.

This week, Miley Cyrus happily fulfilled our socio-cultural need for hate, a force that brought together people who wouldn’t normally have the same opinion on anything. In a great XOJane essay on the subject, Laura Barcella mentions that on her Facebook feed, a friend who is usually a badass warrior for social justice updated her status to say: “Is it just me, or is Miley Cyrus a dumb cum slut?”

That sounds a lot like many of the other comments I’ve read across the internet, calling Miley a “whore,” “slut,” “trollop,” “tramp” and just about any other sex-shaming charge people can think of to throw at her. On Thought Catalog, someone wrote an article entitled “Leave Miley Cyrus Alone,” which wasn’t even a defense of Miley at all, but a critique of the ways in which outrage like this is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If this is the media you choose, this is what you should expect. And instead of actually reading the piece, folks commented that they wouldn’t leave her alone because she’s a skank and she “deserves it.”

I remember in my Junior Year of high school, our English class had to do an exercise where we debated whether a woman who wears skimpy clothing on the street deserves to be harassed. What surprised me most wasn’t that there were guys who agreed with that statement, but that girls stood right along with them. “You have to know how men are,” one of my classmates said, who was a good friend of mine. “If you present yourself that way, you just have to expect certain things.”

To an extent, that’s true — and it’s very sad. It’s not right that a woman can’t walk down the street and not get whistled at or harassed. My roommate had a guy come up to her the other day and yell, “YES!” so loudly that it startled her and dropped her phone. She dresses conservatively, and often asks for my opinion if she feels that she’s dressing immodestly. The word “immodest” has actually been used. Another friend of mine was once pinned on a bus by a guy who then began to masturbate at her. It had nothing to do with what she was wearing, but who she was — a woman over whom he could exert power.

It was a crowded bus. No one even tried to stop it.

We often give men the sole blame for slut-shaming and harassment, but weall contribute to a culture that degrades and abuses women, one that labels the expression of Miley Cyrus’ sexuality as “white trash.” I think that the entire performance was an artistic failure — from ill-advised choreography to overt minstrelsy — but very little of the backlash has even been about that. Apparently in society, it’s not that bad to be a racist. The real crime is being a slut.

You probably don’t give a damn about Miley Cyrus specifically, and neither do I. However, I would love to see Robin Thicke subjected to the same criticism after the performance, a married father who passively let Cyrus gyrate all over him. She’s all of 20 — still young and very, very dumb — but he should know better, especially after all the criticism he’s gotten for “Blurred Lines.” The performance literally recreated the fucked-up power dynamic of that video onstage, yet another scantily clad woman performing for the male gaze, and no one even batted an eye.

It was every bit as weird and predatory as critics suggest his song is, yet the Thicke backlash machine has been virtually silent. When photos of the performance were reposted to mock the scandal, Robin Thicke was even replaced with Beetlejuice, lampooning Cyrus’ sexuality but erasing Thicke from the picture altogether.

This reminds me of the Super Bowl performance where Justin Timberlake “accidentally” ripped open Janet Jackson’s costume to reveal her breast. America didn’t get upset with Timberlake for exposing her. They were mad at Jackson for having a boob. They say that all press is good press, but the incident killed her career. The album she released in the wake of the controversy tanked, after recently having two songs go to #1 on Billboard. Since then, she’s only had one solo hit, the modestly performing “Feedback,” but none of her old success. Meanwhile, the incident helped launch Timberlake’s solo career, making him one of the biggest stars in the world. It’s the double standard on crack.

You can see a million examples of this in the media, “exposing” a woman’s sexuality as a means of discrediting her. You can suggest sex, and Jennifer Lawrence can make her career by wearing a sultry red dress to the Oscars in 2011, but to show it — or God forbid, actually have sex — is a different thing altogether. Kristen Stewart could initially get fired from Snow White and the Huntsman 2 for sleeping with her older married boss, but he got to keep his job — before intense criticism righted the situation. I know people who still won’t watch an Angelina Jolie movie (a fucking decade later) but love Brad Pitt.

Here’s some icing on that cake for you. Back in college, I was enrolled a Middle East Studies class during Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency. I, a huge Hillary fanboy, proudly wore my fucking “Hillary For President” button everywhere, and a girl who sat behind me gave me hell about it when she saw it on my bookbag. “How could you vote for her?” she asked me. “I could never respect a woman who stayed with a cheater.” Even when Hillary wasn’t having sex, she couldn’t catch a break. She was still the one getting shamed.

I then asked my classmate if she would vote for Bill Clinton if he ran again, in some alternate universe where that’s possible. Without hesitation, she said, “Of course, he was a great president.”

This isn’t about Miley Cyrus, Angelina Jolie, Kristen Stewart or Hillary Clinton, but a society that expects different things out of men and women — one that enables toxic masculinity and blames women for not being good enough. If they just behaved differently, it wouldn’t be like this. Think of the Steubenville girl who was blamed and slut-shamed for being dragged around while she was passed out, while men she trusted took photos of her unconscious body. People wanted to know what she was wearing, what she had done.

Think of the girl who was shamed for giving a blowjob at an Eminem concert, while the recipients were celebrated, given a million hi-fives by the internet, as if they weren’t even involved. Trust me. It takes two to suck a dick. Sometimes three — but never one.

Men are merely bystanders — even when they’re getting some, too — and one of the comments on the latter controversy sums up the backlash nicely: “This is why men fear having daughters.” Many wondered what Billy Ray Cyrus thought of the performance, the estranged father that Miley Cyrus wants nothing to do with. This idea is yet another reminder that men own female sexuality, whether they are their own fathers or the fathers who stand above them onstage, knowing that at the end of the day, their reputation is going to be okay.

When I need hope in times like this, I fondly remember a letter that was posted to the Good Men Project, where a father wrote to his daughter about her burgeoning sex life. As she grows up, he was sick of the idea that her sexuality needs to be protected — while he waits for her boyfriend on the porch with a shotgun. “You’re not me,” Ferrett Steinmetz writes. “You’re not an extension of my will.” Telling her I Hope You Have Awesome Sex,” he continues,

Consensual sex isn’t something that men take from you; it’s something you give. It doesn’t lessen you to give someone else pleasure. It doesn’t degrade you to have some of your own. And anyone who implies otherwise is a man who probably thinks very poorly of women underneath the surface.

“No matter what you think of Miley Cyrus personally, it’s about time we all started respecting the right of women to make mistakes and get messy — because that’s what sexuality is. It’s exploring yourself, in ways that no one else gets to decide for you. Now next time, if Miley Cyrus could her explore that without the help of giant racist teddy bears, that would be even better. ”

– Niko Lang

 

 

 

 

 

 

We, as women, can not afford to degrade one another (publicly, media or even in a basic social setting) by demoralizing them due to the mistakes they have made.  Instead; finding understanding in such a situation and seeing this as a possible ‘cry’ for help &/or offer guidance.  After watching another woman fall to the ground-  Other women, (myself included based on my initial reaction- but in a more subtle way) have stomped on Miley Cyrus and kicked her back down as if WE will not allow her to get back up on her feet.  I ask you this- A Grandmothers, mothers, daughters, sisters and aunts – AS WOMEN- are we setting a good example on who we are as a whole by incriminating Miley Cyrus who has previously and still will be envied by our younger generation?  Is this what you would do to your very own daughter?  I pray to God not.  

The performance was not justifiable, do not get me wrong- I do not find that behavior acceptable but what I do find is a young woman who needs to be heard.  Art is a way of expressing yourself; music, dance, singing, etc.  SO DO WE NOT SEE THE BIGGER PICTURE HERE LADIES?  I’m not saying you have to praise this young woman for the performance but  I ask that you support Miley Cyrus with a little respect because the name calling and slut-slamming is disrespecting who we are as women altogether.  

If I were at that performance and if I were a famous singer/songwriter with tons of credibility– Even with the entire world watching, I would have stood up from the audience, proudly boss walked my best woman walk up on stage and once the performance ended, just gave the girl a hug.  Because, JUST. MAYBE., that’s all she needed- comfort and for the world to just stay silent for 60 damn seconds before throwing her to the wolves.          Example of what not to do:    http://www.zimbio.com/Celebs+React+to+Miley+Cyrus’+Raunchy+VMAs+Performance/articles/DtOEelKTc_Y/Alexa+Chung

I am disappointed in social media- not that I have ever been a fan- BUT most of all– I am disappointed in the reaction I have seen on my FB news feeds, in the press (STILL!) and more importantly the fact that Miley Cyrus is the topic of discussion in social settings, at events & even at a fundraiser that was being held in order to guide & mentor the younger generation.  That does not mean that every person in that particular organization contributed to any of the Cyrus bashing but the fact that something like this can shake women so much they follow the lead of the social media, as well as those in the great ‘ole blogosphere, and contribute to the hate in this world.    Does it really make us feel THAT much better about ourselves to call Miley Cyrus a “slut” or “twerk”. 

Bullet Point:  Empower women to be their very best.   I honestly think, as a whole, we can do better than this- name calling is not the answer ladies.  I’m sorry to say but we have a long way to go but I do believe that we’ll get there.

One by one; one day at a time — It’s possible.

It Happens to the Best of Us– A Valuable Lesson

2 Sep

Rejection sucks. It’s not as bad as being heartbroken from a relationship, but it is one of those experiences I often wish there was a special place in hell for. Rejection is like being the kid who isn’t picked on either kickball team during recess. Have you ever gotten an ulcer or stomach ache or indigestion after eating the wrong thing or eating too much? It’s sort of like that. Except that the ache is your ego being bruised. One of my friends once described rejection as being as painful as “being laughed at by a thousand people.” Or something like that.

Most of the time, I never know what to say to people when they get rejected. When I’ve been rejected in the past, it’s often been a good time to make an appearance at Dunkin’ Donuts.  And there is a high correlation between the number of donuts I purchase and how much I really liked the guy that rejected me.

Sometimes I substitute donuts for wine. I’ll usually go on a long run the next day too. This is my simple formula for dealing with rejection: eat donuts, drink wine, and run. Everything will be okay afterward.

I suppose I could also tell you that eventually you’ll get over it. That it’s not you who has problems. And I could tell you to find the next attractive person you meet and kiss them passionately to make yourself feel better. And I could distort that quote by Dita Von Teese and say, “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be some special snowflake out there who decides that they don’t like peaches.” I could tell you all of this and it could very well be true. But it won’t negate the universal truth that dealing with rejection is not fun.

One of the few times I decided to “just go for it” and be direct and straightforward with a guy about being interested him, it was met with silence. The fact that the medium was texting just made the whole thing more pitiful. (I actually really hate what texting has done to our communication and relationships. But most of us are forced to communicate this way, and so here we are.) I had to swallow the bitter pill that his silence meant he was just not interested. And while I am usually the queen of, “Don’t take things personally,” it’s really hard to not take it personally when someone “personally” doesn’t like you back.

I may not have been excited about being rejected but I am glad it happened that way. Why? Because most of the time when we like someone, we go through the mental torture of wishing and hoping and wondering if they like us too. And the beauty of being honest and straightforward even when you’re rejected, is that you no longer need to put yourself through the mental torture; you now have an answer. Now when you’ve been rejected, it may not be an answer that you like, but it’s an answer nonetheless. And it’s an answer that you can deal with it.

Because mental torture is not an answer; it’s not something anybody should be putting themselves through when there is an alternative.

The more I think about it, the more I want to live my romantic life the way I live all other parts of my life – direct and straightforward. It’s such a waste of time to live any other way, really. Whenever I want something in most areas of my life, I will either go for it or ask for it if it’s something I can’t obtain myself. And if I don’t get it, I live with the fact that I tried even when I failed. The truth is I have recently become extremely tired of these silly games that people play when they are interested in others romantically. The whole thing actually bores me half-way to death and I really wish we could all make a universal pact to stop it. But alas, the only person I can really change is myself.

Being direct and honest with people about liking them will almost always bring out that fear of being rejected, as it should. And rejection can make you feel (temporarily) insecure and filled with self-doubt – that is a reality.

But the alternative is being stuck in a mental purgatory over whether someone likes you back or not.

And one great thing rejection ought to teach you is to be kind but honest with people who you may not be interested in. And to be mindful of not putting them through any mental purgatory either.

Still, the greatest thing about rejection is that once you know, you know. And while you can spend time analyzing every minuscule utterance or gesture or interaction to try to understand the situation, chances are the person didn’t even really get to know you.  So you don’t have to try to understand; rejection means chalking things up to better luck and moving on. Hopefully, without any bitterness in your heart.

Because you might run into someone who likes peaches one day. And it would really, really, suck if you lost out because you had become a bitter peach. 

Oh & have I mentioned I randomly came across this free book you can download until midnight tonight?

Check it out on my previous post.

Beauty Tips for the Bereaved

1 Sep

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When it’s all over, they stand together at the edge of the ocean.  The mother’s arms are locked tight around her daughter, lifting her high just before each wave crashes into them.  She can feel the undertow that sucks the cold sand from beneath her feet, pulling the child’s body away from her.
 “Let’s go out farther, Mommy!” the child shrieks above the thundering sea. “I want to see a shark!”
The mother’s arms tighten reflexively around the little girl’s wet shoulders as the water breathes in and out around them.
“We’re out too far already!” she shouts over the cries of a seagull as it dips and glides in the wind above them. 
They are knocked backward on the shifting sand by the weight of the water, then pulled at the knees, forward and away, by the same force.  Even as she kisses her child’s salty neck, tickling her, she is quietly measuring their distance from the shore, careful not to slip backwards or let or let the tide whisk them out to sea.
 “Mommy here comes a big one!  Lift me up!” says the girl, and jumps into her mother’s embrace.
The water crushes into them, knocking them off balance as it frizzles and swirls towards the beach.  Before they retreat to shore the mother leans down, holding the girl tight. 
She cannot see her father’s ghost anymore, but somehow he is still there. ‘I have survived an unforgettable experience,” she thinks, smiling to herself in triumph. ‘Thank you, Dad.’
She will teach her daughter to find the strength inside of herself, to move through the world, and conquer her own fears.
“Do you feel that?”
The current under the moving waves is even stronger than before.  The girl stares into the great, loud chaos of the sea and nods.
“That is power.”
The girl understands, even if everyone else doesn’t   Her mother always talks this way.  The mother kisses her daughter’s cheek, tasting salt.
“That is you.”

 Free Download until Midnight September 1st:  Beauty Tips For the Bereaved

(I’m sure it’s for a good cause … or something like that.)

 http://www.amazon.com/Beauty-Tips-Bereaved-ebook/dp/B00DSTV0LS/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Blog:  http://rubypearlslips.blogspot.com/

I Have A Perfect Body

30 Aug

I have a perfect body.

My legs are extremely long, extending me all the way up to the exact height of 5’7.  My knees perfectly in the middle that bend when I tell them to (My left knee pains me every so often due to an injury back in my early 20’s but I can make do with what I was given).

My arms are tan, with elbows that are a little knobby.   My shoulders that sometimes feel like they are being over-stretched like in high school Physics class, right before the rubber band in those pulleys broke – I love every single freckle on my over-stretched shoulders, I really REALLY do.

My face is slim and I have high cheek bones, I also have a knot that’s barely noticeable right above my left eyebrow (my sister kicked an iron bar at my head and knocked me out– that story will one day resurface to it’s fullest potential but that’s not for today).  

My skin is tan and I’m extremely grateful for how one day in the sun produces such a beautiful color.  

Admittedly, I’ve struggled my entire life with how I look.  I was a little pudgy as a child (as most of us are at one point). I had extremely broad shoulders and my back was “too muscular” (Yes, this was one of my biggest complaints as a teenager).

I have weighed everywhere from 113 lbs to 135 lbs throughout my twenties– At all points on my sliding scale, Ive always been battling the scale–  I’ve always found something to dislike about myself.   At my thinnest, it’s how pointy my nose looks and as odd as it may sound my nostrils have always seemed to bother me.  Alongside that, my butt was too small and not “plump” enough– whatever in the hell that meant to me, I don’t know anymore because I think it was just another term I liked to tack onto my delusional description of myself.   At my heaviest, I hated my “big” hips and would paralyze myself obsessing over how wide they made me look while facing forward.

One of my best friends- she’s stunning.  (she is beautiful in every sense of the word, and is Hispanic with a naturally stunning features from head to toe — She worked hard to keep up with her great figure but God definitely built her without any identical features between the two of us). I admired that type of beauty that I couldn’t seem to fibd in myself so many years .

 I’ve never been any larger than a C cup and I’m fairly positive I never will  but I have been smaller.  Regretfully, naive and vain, I allowed myself to alter God’s work but even with great results I still wish I hadn’t.  It is what it is and I’m not ashamed nor proud; it’s just a fact.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been trying to be more positive about my physical appearance.  I knew that if I were to just take a big step forward by learning to appreciate what I’ve got, that full length mirror would find it’s way out of the closet and stand upright in the most unavoidable space I have available in my house.  

It wasn’t until today, I hit a notable turning point.

I tell my best friend how stunning she is all the time. I tell my grandmother that she looks just as beautiful as she did in high school.  My sister has an amazing body and has dedicated herself to an admirable routine, working out and healthy eating habits in such a way are truly inspiring.  The results she has worked so hard for are unimaginable.  My other sister– Her hair falls perfectly in place, no matter what. It’s thick and wavy and free of any dye or highlights.  Long or short it never seems to fail her and curves around her face bringing out the color in these enchanting little freckles she has all over her nose; they’ll make any man fall in love– guaranteed.

 Why do I tell all of these women in my life that I think they are perfect, but I can’t seem to tell myself the same thing?  Amy Poehler said, that when we talk to ourselves or about ourselves, we need to imagine talking to our daughter or sister; to the women that we have strong bonds with and even the women that we don’t know but compliment anyway .

When we tell them that they’re beautiful, we’re not lying because they are beautiful.

So Am I — So Are You.

While I will never be that perfect size between too skinny and to chubby.  I may not have been given every feature that I’ve admired those models in fashion magazines–

I am still as stunningly beautiful in my own ways.  

I have a body that gets me out of bed every morning, allows me to bend and stretch it in any and all ways that I ask it to.  It has been with me through every moment of my life; it’s strong enough to get back up every time I fall down, healthy enough to breathe in so much life; a world that I believe in with an unwavering love.  

This body, this life, the image I see in my mirror–Well, she is beautiful, stunning and she is loved.

The bump on my forehead above my eyebrow? It has a story- THAT little story has forced a grin onto my face every time I take notice in that bump.  My pointy chin that I’ve failed to mention until now?  Well, it comes from my Father’s side of the family, we all have it and it identifies me with those that I love– my son has my chin, my son defines outstandingly handsome and I love his chin so I love mine.   My shoulders?  Years beyond years of hard workouts; swimming competitively and playing water polo – Morning and Night – A dedicated athlete; it wasn’t just a sport but a lifestyle, one that I can still be proud of taking on at my very best.

 From my gorgeous sisters and best friend. Those beautiful features I have admired in others– I have them too. My torso is just a bit longer, my hips are curved perfectly and my hair is, well,  just how it is– even when the humidity makes it crazy, no matter how closely it gets to resembling some sort of frizzy, curly afro. It is mine and I love every strand.  

I got out of the shower this evening and stared at myself in the mirror, realizing every single detail so that as I did I could accept all parts that are just as beautiful as every person that is reading this post.  

It really was an unfailing opportunity to find the power in love at it’s fullest potential-
             -I’ve realized there is so much to love about myself:

Like my bright blue eyes that change with the weather.

My curvy hips and waist that make me look like a woman, especially when I strut around in nothing but my underwear.

My neatly cut hair that blows around when I have the windows down in my car.

The color of my skin and how breathtakingly soft it is.

The sound of my voice.

Unbelievably amazing lips.

Two hands with ten fingers and two feet with ten toes.

My bellybutton (no matter how weird I think bellybuttons are, I have always thought mine is cuter than all the others).

The little dark freckle that stands out more than any others– placed perfectly on my chest.

 

All of this, every thing I saw in that mirror today is who I am, it reflects where I come from and what I love. It is ME. 

 

My body is perfect because it is mine. 

A Childs Poem <3

29 Aug

My Mum once gave me some advice:

Feed your slug and eat your rice,
Comb your hair and keep your ‘elf.

And always, always be yourself.

You’ll feel really good inside
If you wear your horns with pride.
Keep your fangs and fuzzy ears,
Never mind the shrieks and jeers.

You’ll be loved by very many,
If you show your green antennae,Your monkey tail and purple nose; Confidence, it always shows.

Preen your wings, your giraffe’s neck.
Eat your teacher, what the heck.Style your hair like a banana,
Bare your teeth like a piranha,
Take your eyeballs off the shelf

And always, always be yourself.

– Stella –