The Breastfeeding Dilemma

Baby and mom

     Boobs were not created for men.  They were not even created for women.  They were created to feed babies.  Even though mothers who breastfeed in public are using their boobs for their intended purpose, there are people who have a problem with this. All women should take issue with these people.

      The men and women who are disgusted by the sight of a mother feeding her baby in public are uncomfortable because breasts, to them, are for sexual gratification or to entice; their secondary purpose. This belief system derives from a section of our society using religion and morality to continue the premise that the female entity has the ability to seduce a man to lose his senses. So, when a female breast is spotted outside of the bedroom, no matter its function, they think of sex.  It is like the baby attached is invisible.

      A total stranger’s distorted feelings about the female breast cannot be a factor in how a woman chooses to feed her baby. If she wants to breastfeed from her breast, she should be allowed to do so without feeling she is committing some distasteful act. If people do not want to see a mother breastfeed her baby in public they should either stop staring at her tits or stay home! No mother should ever have to cover her self up, be embarrassed or feel shame because she is feeding her baby. And, to the people who will make the argument that a mother can bottle feed? On behalf of all women: Do you know how hard it is to pump and how long you have to pump, to get a bottle of breast milk?! Fuck you! If a baby is feeding, look away.

    We as a society should look at a mother breastfeeding her baby and behold the miracle in it. As adults, we should be able to recognize the difference between feeding a baby and a breast that is intended for sexual purposes.  If you are an adult and you are not able to make this distinction, you need to do some soul searching and figure out why boobies make your ass so uncomfortable.

A Daughter’s Virginity

daughters

I would like men to stop protecting the virginity of their daughters.  Your daughter’s virginity should not be your focus.  Your focus should be:

  • Making sure your daughter believes in her self-worth, and her value as a human being.
  • Ensuring your daughter knows how to recognize someone who respects her and loves her.
  • Making sure she understands she needs to have her own money.  
  • Helping her realize young boys may not be on the same page she is when it comes to relationships and sex.
  • Making sure she understands sex is not just a physical act, but an emotional one.
  • Instilling in your daughter the importance of education. 
  • Making sure your daughter knows her own body, so if she has sex with herself or with another person she gets what she needs.

Nothing is guaranteed.  You can do all of this and your daughter could still have sex at an early age.  What I know is guaranteed, when you make your daughter believe the most valuable thing about her is her vagina, she starts to lead with that.  Focus on the developmental needs of your daughter and hopefully, she will make the decision on her own to handle her virginity accordingly.  How about this: How about you men start protecting the virginity of your sons?

The theory and practice of feminism

feminism

I still call myself a feminist even though feminism is something dirty and unnecessary to many people. The movement, its members, its mission and its definition have been stolen, seduced, twisted, and hijacked. Feminism is not complicated: give women the same opportunities, respect and value you give to men.  That’s it. It is not about hating men or making men subservient to women. It is also not about lesbians, world domination or choosing a woman’s life path for her. Men and women who want to maintain their misogynistic lifestyle, developed those concepts of feminism.

In theory, I am a feminist.  In practice, I am not so sure. Since the start of the feminist movement, the issues or concerns from women of color were not a part of the mission. Most do not believe this has improved as women of color are not the face portrayed of feminism. And it is not only women of color. Many marginalized women have this feeling of neglect from the movement. If all women are not a part of the objectives of feminism, are not the neglected women fighting someone else’s war?

We do not have the luxury anymore of privilege, ignorance, racism, ego or selfishness. Those in charge or the face of the feminist movement need to decide what is important. Although some of us hope a change is coming in the next two years, in case it doesn’t, we have to be prepared to practice our theory together.

Women

Source: Women

The Versatile Blogger Award

When ever I write something, If one person reads it, it feels like a thousand people read it to me.  I especially love when the result is a conversation, for or against, my position.  So, when I found that someone had nominated my blog for an award, I am humbled.  Thank you so much Meli, The Dream Yogi.  I appreciate the recognition and your support.

I didn’t know a lot about this award, but I understand it is a way for bloggers to recognize each other.  Below are the 15 bloggers I have nominated and to give everyone an idea about me, here are seven things about me:

  1. I have been writing since I was a child
  2. When I was in high school, I wrote a one-act play for an African American Studies class that was performed at a local play house
  3. I love hip-hop (even though I am older and it has changed)
  4. I am a very very novice body naturalist
  5. When not writing, I am reading or doing cross stitch
  6. My goal for my writing is to start dialogues, that may result in change
  7. I’ve been with my husband for over twenty years and I’m thankful every day because I know how crazy I actually am.

Now here are my nominations for this award.  I read these blogs regularly and I find them entertaining, educational and informative.  If you have a chance, check them out.

Cynt

“Why Won’t You Educate Me About Feminism?”

The Belle Jar

He doesn’t hate women.

Above and beyond everything else, he wants you to know this: he does not hate women.

He has two daughters, for god’s sake, and a wife that he adores beyond anything else, and a sister that he texts every day and a mother who is the strongest person that he’s ever known – yes, stronger than any of the men he’s met. So don’t think that this is because he hates women.

If anything, his real problem is loving women too much.

See, he just wants his daughters to grow up safe and happy. And to be honest, some of the things that you’re saying – that these feminists are saying – are troubling to him.

He just wants to have a sort of academic chat. Peer to peer. Grownup to grownup. That’s all. He’s not saying you’re wrong – not by a long shot! He…

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The Five Worst Things You Can Say to a Blogger

A Morning Grouch

So, I’m no blogging genius.  When I first started blogging I had zero idea of the etiquette, cultish followings, or blogging cliques that existed.  I pretty much started this as a procrastination tool.  I’m still half-assed and hardly an expert; I have been dragging my feet even getting my self-hosted site up and running (does that even make sense?) because I have almost zero clue where to start (but dammit, I will learn, eventually.  I will).  But even with all that, I am starting to get some idea of what the blogging world is all about.

There are some phrases non-bloggers may or may not realize are not a good idea to say to someone who blogs:

1.  I read your blog. With no follow-up.  Oh. Thank you? You read it. But you didn’t say what it was exactly that you read. Or if you liked it. Or hated it. Or if it…

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How to think about cheating

If one of my girlfriends came to me and told me her significant other was cheating on her, I would not tell her to leave her partner.  However, as a general rule that is exactly what I think should happen.  Over the last 10 or 15 years, I think it has become more acceptable for people to allow cheating as normal behavior in a relationship; especially women.  I think women in this country have been socialized to believe it is more important to maintain the relationship at the expense of their dignity and their requirements.  Women see cheating as an element of a modern relationship.

An exit should be the rule because trust can NEVER be gained again.  When infidelity occurs, trust is broken.  When you break trust you cannot learn to trust again.  Now, I do believe women can choose to ignore their feelings and decide they are going to live with the fact that the person cheated.  But who wants to live like this? Always on edge, always wondering.  Trust is not a learned behavior.  It is earned.  This concept of learning to trust again comes from therapy.  Lots of couples attend therapy as a way to salvage their relationships.  The design of therapy is to accept the behavior happened, figure out how both parties are at fault and then find a way to trust again.  It’s all bullshit.  The fault with the design is that no one should accept bad behavior, there is only one person at fault and the trust is gone.  Even if a woman finds a way to go on in the relationship, the trust they had before the cheating is dead.

Here is how I want women to begin to think about cheating: Your significant other put their penis, mouth, tongue in another persons vagina, butt, mouth,  as a choice.   They said the same words and performed the same acts, sexually,  they did to you.  Or, maybe they did something different to this new person, which might make it worse.  Their clothes did not fall off by accident and they did not just let it go too far.  They chose to have sex with another person, on purpose, instead of dealing with what ever they felt were the issues in their relationship.  I also want women to begin to put the blame for the mini destruction of their lives where it belongs.  I want them to start blaming their partners, not the other person.  I believe this notion is one of the reasons it is so easy for women to stay with someone who betrays them.  When the  other person is to blame, their partner is seen as a victim and pseudo forgiveness can occur.  When women think about cheating for what it is, they will be a lot less likely to stay in this kind of relationship.

I understand there are many reasons women choose to stay after cheating happens.  There are the children, fear of being alone, the need to win, money, career and even love.  These are not reasons; they are excuses.   These excuses make it easier for women to lie to themselves about their partner and give them a reason to continue in the relationship.  Along with all the above concepts, I want women to stop using their children, fear and their need to win as excuses to let people treat them like they do not matter.  I am sad to say, that I see these women everywhere; my neighborhood and television.  I do not want these women to be the role models for our daughters.  No woman with self esteem chooses to stay with someone who in effect has told them that they are not good enough.    But this is not how these women are portrayed.  They are seen as strong for enduring this tragedy.  Young women see this.  We need to start teaching young women that they should not accept this kind of behavior from anyone.  They need to know that choosing to stay is not strength, it is weakness.  We have a chance to change the mind set with our young girls and women.  I do not want young women to continue this view of cheating as a normal element of a relationship.

This is the Culture of Sexual Violence

This is the Culture of Sexual Violence.

The War on Women

I hate the phrase war on women, but it is appropriate for what I believe is happening in this country.  It seems that everywhere I turn, women are being targeted.  The attitude of society towards women has not changed since Adam gave Eve that damn rib.   Since the beginning, women have been perceived as prey and something to control.  And although much has changed in this country, there is a war and it is still wages on.  Those waging this war use certain rationalizations to justify a war they deny.  Some of them are subtle and some of them are blatant.  All of them present as a way to dictate the lives of women.

Reproductive Rights

Reproductive rights are one of the more controversial justifications for this war.  Everyone argues about pro-choice, pro-life and the ethics and morality of contraception.  Here is the bottom line: the only people who should decide what a woman does with her body are the women who own the bodies.  Men have no say at all.  The only time a man should have a say in the decision about a woman’s body is when it directly affects him.  If not, men don’t get to have an opinion about reproductive rights.  And no one tries to tell men what they should do with their bodies.  Do people feel this way because women can get pregnant? Is it because women are supposed to save themselves for marriage thus not needing contraception? When there are two different sets of standards, there is no wonder that many women feel they are under attack.   Think about it this way: There is no situation in this country, in which a majority of women get to decide an issue that only affects men.  If you think of one, leave it in the comments section.

Words

The words that people say are not really about dictating the lives of women, but the concepts that people use in their conversation allow them to target women.  I have come to believe that most people cannot handle the reality of the awful things that happen to young girls and women in this country.  I think they make statements that allow them to dismiss what they do not want to acknowledge and at the same time further their own agendas.  In doing so, they say things that make you believe no one cares about women in this country; even a little.  I’ll give you a few examples of what I mean:

 1.”In the emergency room they have what’s called rape kits where a woman can get cleaned out”

­­–Texas state Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, on why there shouldn’t be a rape or incest exception in Texas’ sweeping anti-choice bills.

2. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
—Rep. Todd Akin (R-Missouri). His lost his Senate bid in 2012.

3. “It’s Jessica who’s having to have her body live with the ravages of this vaccine.”
—Michele Bachmann, (R-Minn) on the “dangers” of the HPV vaccine

4. Rush Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke a slut for “needing lots of birth control to manage her sex life.”

5. “Understand though, that when we talk about exceptions, we talk about rape, incest, health of a woman, life of a woman. Life of the woman is not an exception.”
— former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh

I found about twenty of these statements; I am sure there are more.  To see some other winners go here.   There are people out there who listen and believe statements like these.  This is what perpetuates the beliefs that women need to be protected from themselves, the violence against them is imagined and women’s needs are not important.  Maintaining these beliefs is what makes it ok to ignore the appalling actions towards women.

Violence

Violence against women has been around since the beginning of time.  The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence states that 1 in 4 women is a victim of domestic violence in the US.  1 in 6 women have experienced an attempted or completed rape.  In 2011, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported that over 11,000 sexual harassment complaints were filed with their office; Over 70% were made by women.  Finally, in 2012, the NCIC reported there were over 330,000 young girls and women who were reported missing in the United States.  When a society perceives women as objects and/or prey, it is easy to understand these statistics.  The attitude that contributes to this violence is not one that people are born with; it is a learned behavior and we are teaching it.  There are too many factors to mention here that contribute to teaching this behavior but in general terms it is the things we say, the things we do and the things we allow.  It is not just men who are taught to see women in this way.  Women are taught a similar attitude, but in a different way.  We teach women not to love themselves for who they are; we teach them they are not good enough; we teach them that they need to have a man; we teach them that their bodies are dirty, etc., etc.  When this is what we do, I am not surprised by this information.  I am sad and pissed.

When you grow up in an environment where it is ok to treat a woman as if she is an object, not important, insignificant and a prop, this will be the end result.  Although there are many of us fighting against this war, there are so many more that see none of the above as an issue.  No one can look at these statistics and say there is not a problem.  They choose to ignore it because it is easier to pretend and live in the world they have created in their minds than to change the mess we have created. The really depressing part of all this is that we begin teaching all of this at a really early age.  There are children’s beauty pageants which sexualize children, magazines that make 14 year olds look like they are in college, the amount of child pornography in existence (most of it is girls), and our inability to see the importance in educating young girls.  Along with all of this, we still have certain beliefs about what women’s roles should be, a lack of equal pay in this country and the existence of Title IX.  If the war is to end, the first thing that should happen is we stop portraying girls and women as objects and as prey.  It is a very large concept to overcome, but we need to understand that none of this is because women are weaker or not as good; it is because of how women are perceived.

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