An open letter to Ivanka Trump and female Trump supporters

Dear Ivanka Trump and female Trump supporters,

For the last few weeks I’ve been planning to write a post regarding Donald Trump’s treatment of women over this entire election.  Then I watched The Essential Donald Trump on CNN where you, Ivanka Trump,  were interviewed for the show.  You were asked if your father was a sexist. You responded,  your father is not a sexist and you would not be the woman you are today if your father was a sexist.  After hearing that statement, I realized my post needed to be directed towards you and the women who support your father.

First, to Ivanka Trump.  I don’t need to go into all the things your father has said about women over this campaign.  We all know what he’s said.  You said in the interview, that his words don’t matter; what matters are his actions.  I would argue that you are incorrect.  Do you know how many serial killers, rapists and pedophiles have wives and children they go home to every night? Do you know how many of them go to church on Sunday, go to work everyday, behave in a manner where no one notices them and are revered by their friends and family? What I’m saying is actions don’t mean shit.  People can and do hide their true selves from their family, their friends and the public.  The fact that your father put women in positions of power doesn’t mean he’s not a sexist.  I believe the women your father put in positions of power is a diversion.  It allows your father to seem as if he trusts and respects women because they hold important roles in his company.  And that would be true, if he wasn’t confrontational with every woman who questions him, apologized for the atrocious language and behavior he has exhibited and did not engage in unsolicited physical contact.   You may not be a part of the diversion, but you’re his daughter and I believe he loves you.  Of course he doesn’t treat you as he treats other women (at least I hope he doesn’t), so you would have no concept of how your father really feels about women.  Furthermore, his words do matter.  We are living in a world where men believe it is the woman’s responsibility to prevent their own sexual assault and/or rape.  Your dismissiveness of your father’s words, allows men to believe your father didn’t do anything wrong by kissing women without their permission, walking in on women while they are getting dressed and that his description of how he interacts with women when he meets them is normal.  You have to understand that every time you treat your father’s words and behavior as insignificant, you are validating and encouraging a very dangerous thought process regarding women.  You are not responsible for someone’s thoughts or actions, but I believe you have a responsibility to speak the truth and not contribute to the already volatile atmosphere we live in as women. 

I understand completely why you are supporting your father and unlike most people, I am not expecting you to go against him publicly.  Now, whether you support him because you don’t want to lose your position or because of blind loyalty, I don’t know.  What I do know, as a woman, I hope you are at least distressed about what you are doing and I hope you are telling your father in private how fucked up his behavior has been.  If you are not doing that Ivanka Trump, you should be ashamed of yourself.

To the female Trump supporters.  I have watched for almost a year and a half as you have supported a man who has been showing you for a year and a half that he has no respect or regard for women.  Any man, who 90% of the time he comes into contact with a woman, has conflict, has a problem with women.  This particular man has been exhibiting this behavior and mindset for years.   You were confronted with video and audio proof that he regards women as objects.  Your response to this is that men were just being men.  Do you even realize that you are perpetuating a culture that allows men to believe women who have been inappropriately touched, sexually assaulted or verbally abused, shouldn’t take it so seriously? Do you understand you are teaching the young men in your lives this kind of behavior is ok?  I’ve listened to you in interviews and on the campaign trail and I know you want to believe you’re not the same as the women who refuse to support Donald Trump.  To Donald Trump you are the same.  The fact that you support him does not mean he sees you as a person.  To him, because you are a woman, you are us and we are you.   The fact that you don’t recognize that is an awful feeling.  For weeks, I have been distraught because I am a staunch feminist.  I don’t care what color you are, where you come from, how much money you make or your beliefs; if you are a woman, I want to speak for your rights.  Even now, I have to fight for your fucking rights even though you are not fighting for yourself and are willing to put my freedoms in jeopardy.  As a woman, I am disappointed, heartbroken and ashamed of each and every one of you.  This election and your behavior has men asking how women expect to be respected and treated equally when they are willing to support a man who thinks they’re a pussy and tits.  The only thing I can hope for at this point, is you teach your daughters to have more respect for themselves than their mothers have displayed.  Your daughters cannot think Donald Trump’s behavior is how a man should behave.  It will lead to abusive relationships and years of self loathing.

Ivanka Trump and the female Trump supporters, I want you to understand that regardless of everything I have written above, I understand why you’re voting for Trump.  You can’t tell me it’s because of his plans, because he doesn’t have any.  You can’t tell me it’s because he knows so much about foreign affairs, economics, immigration, education or healthcare, because he knows nothing.  You can’t tell me it’s because he’s so charismatic and smooth, because he never answers a question and loses his cool all the time.  And you can’t tell me it’s because he’s a good business man, because he’s filed bankruptcy 13 times.  The only reason you would support Trump is because you hate yourself as a woman, you’re a racist, you hate Hillary, Barack and the Democrats so much that you are willing to put a narcissistic, sociopathic, misogynistic, xenophobic, racist in office.  Or it’s some combination of the three.  Along with all my feelings of anger and hurt, I feel sorry for you.  I feel sorry that you don’t know who you are, who you could be and understand your place in this world; I’m sorry that you don’t understand you’re a part of the feminist movement because you’re a woman; I’m sorry that we still can’t stand together against men like Donald Trump because of women like you.  I know none of this will change your minds, but I’m angry and I want you to know how I feel.  I don’t have the answers to everything, but I know supporting a man like Donald Trump will only lead to the downfall of all women, including you.

Sincerely,

Cynthia Pulley

 

 

 

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.

The Bachelor and Other Shows Contributing to the Delinquency of a Woman

It is amazing to me that women still want to be on The Bachelor when you consider their record.  The Bachelor has been on for 17 seasons and there have been two marriages.   Women who go on The Bachelor hope a man they do not know, is going to pick them from 25 women he doesn’t know, while the women cut each other to shreds to show the man how much they care and the man makes out with all the women he can.  All of this is happening while the man and the women try to convince us that they will form a relationship with each other, strong enough, to get married in 13 weeks, only spending hours with each other.  It is one of the most degrading shows for women on television.  It doesn’t even make me mad, I am just sad that this is what we have come to.

The Bachelor is not the only show that contributes to this mess.  There is The Bachelorette, Flavor of Love, all the Real Housewives shows, Love and Hip-Hop, Basketball Wives, 16 and Pregnant, Bad Girls Club, Making Mr. Right, Dance Moms, Jersey Shore, Keeping up with the Kardashians, Teen Mom, Toddlers and Tiaras and so many more.  Reality programs are probably the biggest offenders, but they are not the only ones.  There are a few non-reality shows that are doing the same thing: Sex and the City, The Good Wife, Mistresses and Soap Operas.

There are reality and non-reality programs that try to portray women in a positive light, but I should be able to channel surf without seeing on every third channel: a woman with her butt out, a woman who is screaming at another woman or a woman who is fighting with another woman.  No more pregnant teens glamorized on TV.  We should not accept a program where a woman has sex with someone’s husband, but then condemn the real thing.  No more of our sisters portrayed on TV as crazy, loud, insecure, ignorant, desperate, violent, greedy, selfish, compliant women who will sleep with someone to get what they want.  These are the images that our daughters, sisters, nieces and cousins are seeing even if we try to counter those images by talking to young girls and women.  When the negative images of women dominate reality programming and reality programming dominates television it is hard to counter those images

When these images and concepts of women permeate our conscious and sub-conscious it begins to tear us down.  We start to believe the lies they tell us and begin to live the life they depict on television.  We start to believe the only way to get ahead is with our bodies, we start to believe that our voice does not need to be heard, we start to believe that we are not good enough and we start to believe that only ‘I’ matter and not ‘we’.

This representation of women is not only the fault of television and other media.  We, as women, have to take some responsibility.  We are responsible for how the representation makes us think about ourselves, we are responsible for contributing to the continuation of this representation by television (I am guilty of this myself) and we are responsible for being the ones to say No More.  It is not easy to look away from a train wreck, but I would hope that if you saw someone struggling, you would at the least call the police and at the most, go over and help pull them out.

Who is the Beholder of Beauty?

A friend sent me a link to an interview with Dustin Hoffman on his role in the movie Tootsie.  http://www.youtube.co/watch?v=xPAat-T1uhE

In the interview, Dustin Hoffman talks about not being beautiful as a woman.  He says he went home and cried because he thought that he was an interesting woman as Tootsie and told his wife that he had probably missed out on meeting some great women because he would not have talked to a woman that looked like Tootsie if he met her at a party.

Since we got out of the Renaissance, when baroque women were considered to be beautiful (roughly between 1400s-1800s), we have been dealing with a convoluted sense of what beauty is.  Just like men, women come in all different shapes and sizes.   But it seems that women who do not live up to some crazy standard of beauty are ignored.   A woman’s personality, intelligence, accomplishments or humor does not even come into the equation.

We have all felt unattractive at one time or another, but what if you may not be that outwardly attractive woman or you do not conform to the dimensions a woman is supposed to have: your nose is too big, you’re too fat, your eyes are too close together, you’re too dark, you’re too tall, you’re too skinny.  But who decides that? Why can’t a woman who has a bigger nose be seen as attractive, why can’t a woman who is tall be seen as a possibility? And what does this do to a woman? We want to think that we don’t need or want validation from anyone for our own self worth, but we all want to be recognized at the very least as a human being and then, we want to feel that we are  just  as good as all the other women around us.  When we are ignored because we are deemed unattractive, it hurts and makes us question.

And all of this comes from these unrealistic  images that tell us that we are not good enough.  As everyone knows, the average woman is not 6’0″, blonde, D cup breasts, size 2 waist, with an Anglo nose and high cheekbones, but it is what we are bombarded with on a daily basis.  When you have been socialized like this for 20 years, when you go to find a mate, what will you look for? And a better question is what are those of us who don’t look like that supposed to do?  We are left feeling that we need to change in order to not only attract a mate, but to even be recognized.

I am acutely aware of changes.  Women like Melissa McCarthy and Gaby Seidibe are on television and in movies, there are more commercials with Black actors shown during White shows (believe me it’s a new concept) and women are writing, directing and staring in prime time television shows and movies.  These are not trivial achievements.  These mediums are how most of society understands beauty and these changes in that medium are the beginning of undoing 100’s of years of societal brainwashing.

There is nothing wrong with seeing those perfect looking women in magazines, television, movies and videos, but I want to see women who look like me.  I want to see women who look like you.  If we start to see them, maybe we won’t think of beauty as described above.  Maybe men and women will have a more realistic view of who we are.  I don’t have high hopes of changing the minds of older men, but we can try to do better with the new generations coming up.  Maybe when they behold beauty, they will behold us all.

The George Clooney Effect

The only reason I am writing about this is because I just saw the story and it really helps to illustrate a point that I think all of us should think about when it comes to women and marriage.

According to the CDC, in 2009, there were over 2,000,000 marriages in the United States.  The current divorce rate is approximately over 50%.  With these kinds of stats you might think, why would anyone get married? And that is not really the question.  The question is why are so many people getting divorced? Is it because they choose the wrong person; they are not really ready to get married; they have preconceived notions about marriage that do not live up to the reality? It is probably a combination of all of the above and other reasons not listed.  These statistics make me think that we need to think differently about marriage.

For years, there has been all this speculation about whether George Clooney will get married to one of the women he has dated.  Articles have been written, his relationships tracked and his psyche analyzed.  Most of these people following George’s life like this think he should be married or at the very least they question if he plans to marry.  I want George Clooney and any man who feels like he does to stay single.  Don’t get married George and will all of you stop asking him if he’s getting married.

When a person has made it clear from their actions and their words that they will not be in that kind of committed relationship, we should go with that.  I call it the George Clooney Effect.  We need to stop making the George Clooneys of the world feel that they have to conform to our ideas of what their lives should be.  Marriage is forever and it is really hard.  You are bringing together two people raised in different households, with different values and trying to mesh them together in one life with as few complications as possible.  Who would would want to complicate this even more with someone who is indifferent or just not interested in marriage? You want to stand before your friends, family and maybe God, with someone who at least has the same beliefs you do about marriage.  If you have to talk them into it, you should probably walk away.

When I saw a few days ago that one of the lead stories was George Clooney and Stacey Keibler breaking up, I thought to myself, why does this surprise people?  The woman is in her 30’s she wants a family I am sure and George Clooney has no intentions on getting married; at least that’s what he had been saying for at least 10 years.  I don’t know why the lead story was not Stacey Keibler dodged a bullet.  She is not going to marry George Clooney, who doesn’t want to get married by the way, so she has a better chance of not getting divorced in five years after she gets married and become a single mother.  This is the way we need to start thinking about marriage not ‘poor Stacey Keibler.  George wouldn’t marry her.’  I want women to see the George Clooney Effect, believe what the man says, don’t convince him of anything and find someone who wants what you want.

The start of a beautiful relationship

I decided to start blogging because I believe I am a writer and I do not have my words out in the universe.  I am working on that, but until then, I think this will help to hone my craft.

Everything that I write is about women.  Most of my ideas for books come from things that I see around me, but not all that I see becomes a story in my head.  Since there is a lot of stuff in my head, I thought this would be the perfect place to get down all those other thoughts that are not going to be a story.  I want us all to learn, do better and be better.  Now that is not to say that I have all the answers, but I would at least like to start the conversation.  I want to share what I believe and my opinions with the world and see if the world agrees or if I am crazy.

I want to blog about everything women: the good, the bad, the ugly and the absolutely insane. Some of you will not like some of the things that I have to say and that is ok. I am open to another opinion other than mine and am willing to discuss all points of view. I hope that this blog becomes a place that all women can talk openly and honestly about how they feel about what I have said or what their sisters have said.

Just because this blog is about women, does not mean this is a blog to bash men.  I do not want this to be about hurting men.  I just want to write, to try to uplift women and talk about our issues.  I do not know how often I will be blogging, but I hope that when I see or hear something that interests me or upsets me that I will blog about it.  I will try not to make my posts extremely long and I will try to make them interesting.  This might even be a place that I have ‘guest’ bloggers (really my friends) come and write something for everyone to read.  I may have a lot of opinions, but there are some things that other people might know better than me.

Now, this does not mean that we do not welcome the voice of men out there.  If you have an opinion about what was said, please feel free to chime in.  We will not hurt you…I promise.

See you Soon

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