Tuesday, March 31, 2009

who thinks this is perfect?

Motherscribe put together a thought provoking post about some of the more sexually provocative images and products marketed toward our young daughters; and by default, or by design, our sons, too. Please check it out, here.

Coincidentally, just last week I was surfing cable TV when I saw a reality show, "Little Miss Perfect" about pageants for six year olds. You know, where moms make up their girls to look like Fifth Avenue prostitutes little princesses?

Throughout the show I kept thinking, "Who thinks this is perfect?"

It's a trend that the feminist in me finds troubling: Girl as pretty little impractical princess.

Motherscribe's post highlights similar but more disturbing trends aimed at girls and teenagers. The theme there? Teen girl as sexual plaything.

I kept thinking, what do we, as moms and dads, do to protect and prevent our girls from internalizing these messages? From going, "Oh cool. Buy me one, Mom?"

I don't pretend to have the answer.

I do think a healthy and nurturing homelife helps. Being a good role model is important too. Seeing a Dad who respects Mom and doesn't degrade women. Talking about healthy values that apply to girls/boys/women/men, to all human beings, in other words, is an advantage. But more specifically? I'm not really sure.

With my kids, I'm doing what I think will help. I set limits on their clothes, steering them away from provocative attire: no short skirts, no short shorts. I emphasize clothes as comfortable coverings, not showcases for our butts and boobs. I have not yet bought them skimpy bathing suits or string bikini's, aiming instead for full piece suits or tankini's. Of course, they haven't asked yet, either. This is not to say I won't buy skimpy bikinis when they are teens. Just that now, while I still control the purse strings have influence, I talk about the value of diving without having to worry about losing their bottoms. I talk about the freedom of running around the playground without the worry of underpants showing. In other words, here is what you'll like about this choice, instead of focusing on "trashy" or "bad girl" elements, because I don't go there.

Later, I expect, we'll talk about wanting to be taken seriously by boys. Wanting boys to listen to their ideas instead of staring at their breasts. And one way to guide boys in this direction is to dress in a way that is less distracting. But I'm not there yet and know I'll have a lot to figure out.

The other "rule" is no pierced ears until they are sixteen years old. This may seem archaic, and really? It is. But, to my surprise, they haven't complained (much). I tell them that being young is a time to play rough, run fast, ride bikes, do cartwheels and climb trees. They have the rest of their lives to worry about wearing the right color earrings, finding a matching pair, losing the posts, keeping track when they spend the night away, and spending their allowance on jewelry.

With my son? I talk about respecting girls and valuing them as people with minds and ideas, with feelings and preferences, wants and needs. He has a lot of friends who are girls so I know this helps.

Is any of this working? I don't know. But...

Over the weekend our family was riding in the car when we passed a teen neighbor who had just gotten her hair dyed a bright blonde, tinged with blue. One of my daughters said, "Hey Mom, promise me something? One day when I ask to dye my hair, will you tell me no?"

I'd say, so far so good.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

when an instruction manual would come in handy

Or The Valium Fairy.

It's 2am. Lying in bed reading. Ready to turn out the light when ...

Heart jumpstarts into angina mode. Who died? Fumble out of bed. (Damn, that's a loud ringer). Answer phone. Small, quiet voice ... "Mommy?" Aw shit, that's right. Daughters at slumber party ... "I can't sleep."

Relief. No, not relief. This will take longer than bad news call. Make a few suggestions and reassurances. Hang up.

Call number two, ten minutes later: Ask if they watched any scary movies ... "Well, yeah." Which one? ... "Disturbia." What's it about? "Something about a serial killer."

Great. (On the family room television? What the hell?) Talk her through deep breathing (searching for soothing therapy voice to replace pissed off voice).

Call number three, fifteen minutes later: Ask if anyone has scared her or done anything to make her uncomfortable (older sibling in the house). "No. Nothing like that. I promise. " More coaching on the deep breathing. Suggest she read until she falls asleep. More soothing encouragement (through gritted teeth).

Call number four: "The lazyboy chair I'm trying to lie down on? It keeps popping back up." (tears). "Can you come get me?"

No, I say. I am not picking you up. (FuckFuckFuck. Should I?) You can read until morning if you have to. Find a spot next to your sister. Keep breathing, honey, and stop thinking about calling me. "Ok. I love you."

I love you, too.

An hour later? I know she is sleeping. But I am not.

Update: As I had hoped, my daughter was asleep by 2:45a.m.
I did not get to sleep until 4:30a.m.

Friday, March 27, 2009

what the nuts?

Need to find a birthday gift for a single friend?

Or a "Congratulations, your divorce is final!" momento?

Fret no more. Nuts are the answer. Click here.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

fox news: the new pravda?

As a liberal who has voluntarily ripped out her own fingernails debated with conservative friends, I've been called a "commie pinko" once or twice (name calling: the art of defending beliefs against opponents who use facts to back up theirs).

So I hope I can be forgiven my retaliatory style when it is to Fox News I say, "Your pink is showing."

According to Think Progress, Fox News used a six month old clip of Joe Biden claiming, "the Obama administration is now singing a slightly different tune."

What Fox didn't say was that the clip was taken months prior, during the Obama/McCain campaign, and that Biden was quoting John McCain.

Instead, Fox anchor Martha MacCallum tells viewers to "take a look at what was said during recent interviews this weekend."

Has anyone without a medically disabling memory condition forgotten Biden's stump speech where he hammered away at McCain, claiming he was out of touch with the shaky economic conditions?

Apparently, Fox depends on their viewers not remembering anything prior to the segment aired five minutes ago. Check out the Pravda Fox News clip, here.

Friday, March 20, 2009

brush free

We have food packaging whose selling point is no MSG, no transfats, no animal products, no gluten.

Cosmetic labels which claim no animal testing and petroleum free.

Sunscreens - PABA free.

Water bottles - no BPA.

Can we now have magazines whose distinction is no air brushing?

"This magazine contains no photographs that have been air brushed or in any way digitally enhanced, changed or modified. The women portrayed in this magazine are shown in their natural, un-altered glory."


"All models depicted within this magazine have signed the 10%-or-greater bodyfat pledge. Because beautiful is a woman with a healthy body weight."

I would subscribe to THAT magazine.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

for the smilin' irish eyes

From those of us who wish we had 'em.

If you don't have time to watch the full video, scroll to 3:10.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

have you got the beat?

Merlot Mom asked for song suggestions to help get her exercising. I left a list of some of the songs loaded on my mp3 player, but I didn't have anything very recent to offer.

Then I heard this song on the radio today. It fits my bill - fast beat and .. well .. I just like it:

Shake It by Metro Station. Follow the link and listen, here.
Below is my list, in no particular order. Though, about 10 minutes in, I like to skip forward to Salt n Pepa's Push It ... or Shakira's Hips Don't Lie ... because they get me moving. Then when it's time to slow it down, I skip to John Lee Hooker's Catfish Blues.

So, if you see me on the stairmaster, chances are I'm listening to one of these songs. Without my ear plugs, I can't seem to tread above a slow crawl. And time draggggggggggggs.

Can anyone add to my list?

Shakira: Hips Don't Lie
Jet: Are you gonna be my girl
Will Smith: Get jiggy wit it
Everything But (?): Missing (remix)
Marky Mark: Good vibrations
Stevie Ray Vaughn: Love Struck Baby
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Scar Tissue
Janet Jackson: Nasty
Salt 'n Pepa: Pump up the Jam
Salt 'n Pepa: Push It
M.C. Hammer: U Can't Touch This
Run DMC: Walk this way
Tag Team: Whoomp. There is is.
Yaz with Alison Moyet: Only You (longtime favorite song)
La Bouche: Be my lover
Jellyhead: Crush
Black Box: Everybody everybody
Right Said Fred: Too sexy for my love
Cece Peniston: Finally (club mix)
Fun Factory: I wanna be with you
2 Unlimited: Get ready for this
Kylie Minogue: Can't get you out of my head
John Lee Hooker: Catfish Blues
Fine Young Cannibals: She drives me crazy
Robin S: Show me love (club mix)
Harold Melvin: The Love I lost
Santana: Smooth

Image of workout baby found here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


This mom, not so much.

How about something a little more challenging, say, a few bratwurst, or a can of refrieds? Then I might think about retiring my plunger.

Video first seen at The Daily

Monday, March 09, 2009

stop raining on our rainbow

Is there a limit on how many times one little blogger can link to much bigger blogger in a week's time?


According to Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish, this quote was overheard at a Prop 8 rally:

"There's no such thing as same-sex marriage. Sex is never the same after marriage."

Still, it's hard to joke about something that hurts those who stand the most to gain, or lose, by these legislative initiatives intended to restrict gays and lesbians from marrying.

New research confirms what most of us suspect and many of us know first hand: anti-same-sex marriage measures lead to increased psychological stress and anxiety for GLBT individuals and members of their families.

In one study GLBT persons were interviewed in depth about their reactions to anti-gay marriage proposals. In another study family members were questioned.

Several themes emerged. Respondents reported a range of unpleasant experiences. Many felt baffled, fearful, alienated and inferior or as "less than human by our government and public."

People were afraid of such serious things as being physically attacked. Others reported fears of losing custody of their children.

Another study compared individuals living in a state where anti-gay marriage amendments passed compared to those states where there wasn't an amendment on the ballot. As predicted, GLBT people whose fellow citizens voted to ban same-sex marriage reported higher levels of psychological distress compared to those living in states where no amendment was on the ballot.

There is a silver lining: Social support helps. Expressions of concern and encouragement from loved ones and members of supportive groups helped relieve some of the anxieties and fear.

Hence my decision to post about these studies. To show that even boring, straight people who take married life for granted stand behind the right of all Americans, no matter their sexual orientation, to be treated fairly under our laws.

The three studies discussed are listed below. You can click on the highlighted links to read the full articles.

“Marriage Amendments and Psychological Distress in Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual (LGB) Adults,” Sharon Scales Rostosky, Ph.D., and Ellen D.B. Riggle, Ph.D., University of Kentucky; Sharon G. Horne, Ph.D., University of Memphis; and Angela D. Miller, Ph.D., University of Kansas; Journal of Counseling Psychology, Vol. 56, No. 1.

“Balancing Dangers: GLBT Experience in a Time of Anti-GLBT Legislation,” Heidi M. Levitt, Ph.D., Elin Ovrebo, M.S., Mollie B. Anderson-Cleveland, B.S., Christina Leone, M.S., Jae Y. Jeong, M.S., Jennifer R. Arm, M.S., Beth P. Bonin, B.S., John Cicala, M.B.A., Rachel Coleman, M.S., Anna Laurie, M.S., James M., Vardaman, M.B.A., & Sharon G. Horne, Ph.D., Journal of Counseling Psychology, Vol. 56, No. 1.

“Negotiating connection to GLBT experience: Family members' experience of anti-GLBT movements and policies,” Jennifer R. Arm, M.S., Sharon G. Horne, Ph.D., and Heidi M. Levitt, Ph.D., The University of Memphis; Journal of Counseling Psychology, Vol. 56, No. 1.

Image source, here.

Monday, March 02, 2009

in which she discovers she likes to be dominated

I've had clients who were into all kind of kink. Try it, they said, you'll like it.

Uh, thanks but no thanks, I was thinking.

But recently? Tried it. And I gotta tell ya. That dominance and submission business? To my great surprise, I liked it. No wait. I loved it.

It wasnt' even my idea. Who knew SAM knew anything about D & S? Let alone that he would spring it on me out of the clear blue? In the kitchen!

I was standing at the sink, cleaning up after a mediocre fantabuloso dinner, made by moi. I was just at the point of getting this stubborn, baked-on, crusted-on foodstuff off the pan when he made his move.

Or, made me move.

It went like this:

SAM, using his tired husky, most-manly, take-no-shit voice, said,

"Move out of the way. Come on. Now."

And then, using his elbow bulgy, most-manly bicep muscles, he nudged shoved me to the side and said demanded,

"Here. Let me get these dishes. You get outta here."

Now. I have never hailed myself as the submissive type. But I found myself meekly sliding over and backing away, quiet as a mouse, like a good little sub should.

I watched his back butt as he rinsed and scrubbed caressed the dishes.

And let me tell you.

I felt the earth.


Under my feet.

I decided then and there I had to grab his dishrag shirt, rip it right off his body and wipe the stove down sweat off my brow because I know he never wipes down the stove I had to have him right then and there.

So, interested readers, do you feel your heart beat intensifying?

Well, as much as I'd like to give you more, that's all you get. There's your glimpse.

Sorry, but an old kitchen hag a demure and obedient submissive has to preserve the fantasy honor the vow of silence.

Oh, and men? I hope you are taking notes.

When I am asked, in all seriousness, for my professional opinion about female libido enhancements, my standard reply is this: there is only one scientifically proven female aphrodisiac -- a man with a scrub brush in his hand.

Now go and spring some of these moves on your special someone and see what happens.

Image source: Here. Well, on second thought, I'd rather not link there.