Tag Archives: women

Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

Photo of Maya Angelou

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

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Miley Cyrus Supports Free The Nipple Campaign With a Peep Show

Miley recently tweeted this

mileyfree
To thank New York State for having laws that don’t make exposing women’s nipples in public illegal. The free-the-nipple campaign is a quest to erase censorship laws that bar women from tossing their shirts or for things like mothers being able to breastfeed in public. Currently it’s only legal for women to be topless in 23 states, though even in those states, they are routinely harassed and arrested anyway. Though I support the Free-the-nipple campaign, I cringe at Miley and her Christmas heart pasties. Plus, the weird part of her campaign contribution, is she’s not actually baring nipples (she probably wears less during a concert). She followed up on the controversy (obviously) with a tweet that said, “It’s not about getting your titties out. It’s about equality. ❤️”

Chris Brown Recent ‘Guardian’ Interview Explains A Lot

chris brownFor the past few years, Chris Brown’s image has been that of a womanizer, misogynist, bad boy jerk. And of course that incident with Rihanna, where he beat her up, bruised her face and failed to really act remorseful about the incident is still looming over him, four years later.

In a recent interview featured in the Guardian , we get a taste of Chris Brown’s past and things sort of start to explain themselves. He talks about “losing his virginity” at age 8, which is obviously rape- but it’s sadly apparent that he doesn’t even realize what’s wrong with the incident- in fact he proclaims that it’s better prepared him for a future of sleeping with a lot of women.

He lost his virginity when he was eight years old, to a local girl who was 14 or 15. Seriously? “Yeah, really. Uh-huh.” He grins and chuckles. “It’s different in the country.” Brown grew up with a great gang of boy cousins, and they watched so much porn that he was raring to go. “By that point, we were already kind of like hot to trot, you know what I’m saying? Like, girls, we weren’t afraid to talk to them; I wasn’t afraid. So, at eight, being able to do it, it kind of preps you for the long run, so you can be a beast at it. You can be the best at it.” (Now 24, he doesn’t want to say how many women he’s slept with: “But you know how Prince had a lot of girls back in the day? Prince was, like, the guy. I’m just that, today. But most women won’t have any complaints if they’ve been with me. They can’t really complain. It’s all good.”)

Every single part of that interview response is sadder and sicker than the next. It’s no wonder he appears to be ill-adjusted, violent and acts out. In the interview he talks about his mother often being abused by his step-father and then entering into the music business at the age of 13. I think any psychologist would say he’s probably on par or even done pretty good for a boy who’s had a lost and abusive childhood. I find it disturbing that he speaks to a generation of boys as a celebrity. I really hope his fans and non fans alike can see that being abused at 8 doesn’t make you a “beast” as he called it- or actually maybe it has.. but not in a good way.

Food Week.. Like Shark Week, But Better!

When is food so much more than food?  Pretty much at all times.  Food is cultural, food has racial ties, has religious significance, food is represented through holiday traditions.  Availability and choices for food differ between economic lines.  There’s even a gender divide between traditional expectations for food preparation.

Food nourishes us, energizes us, keeps us alive, gives us disease, can bring us down.  It will make or break you.   Lack of, can bring weakness, the wrong combination can cause distress, over abundance can cause obesity, food allergies, which we’ve seen a rise in, can even cause death.   Comfort food, food addiction, anorexia, bulimia.  Food is everything.  You are what you eat; you are what you don’t eat.

Honestly I’m not super enthused about cooking all the time.  I’m okay at following recipes, but I freeze up when having to think on my feet in the kitchen.  I usually Google how to prepare anything I make by scratch.  Dinner-time is often crazy-time at my house, and sometimes I wait too late to make dinner, and then I get frustrated at making a complicated dish because I’m already way past hungry, and the kids are way past cooperating.  I knowingly make poor choices sometimes because it’s easier.  I let my kids eat things like chicken nuggets too often because they don’t want to eat other things.  I make a big dish and it goes to waste, or my husband is working late, and it seems pointless.  All excuses on why I take the easy way out.

I may not be that interested in cooking, but I’m very interested in the sociology of food.  Food is like a medicine, (in some instances even like a drug) and if we are what we eat, then it only makes sense that socioeconomics are a big issue when talking about food.   Economic status and education levels often determines what kind of foods we eat, and whether we are able to make certain choices in our diets.  Diet related illness like diabetes, heart disease and obesity often trend based on sex, race, and economic status because it’s related to the types of foods these groups tend to traditionally and culturally eat.  We have witnessed obesity on the rise, especially in children because of the shift in our society’s food choices, trends and portion control.  We are eating way more chemicals and way bigger portion sizes than our Great-grandparents ever did.  We are also eating different proportions of certain food groups than generations before us.  Today we tend to eat meat as a main course with veggies on the side, where in the past; vegetables had a bigger real-estate on the dinner plate.  Not to mention the availability of ready-made easy processed choices like never before.  Many (more than generations before) families have two working parents, or are single parent homes, and being home to cook all day isn’t as common or as convenient.  Why spend hours making homemade sauce and meatballs when I can conveniently buy them already made from the store?

As far as education playing a role in food choices, many health pamphlets or nutrition resources is written by college level writers.  They can be hard to understand or discarded altogether as unimportant by people with low levels of education.  Meal planning and nutrition research is hard enough for well educated people; even blogs like this may not be accessible to those who aren’t searching for nutrition information specifically on the web.  Even worse is the fact that food labels, advertising campaigns and packaging are tricky and deliberately designed with our food ignorance in mind.

One the other hand, there’s also a rise in specialty food diets and trends, like The Paleo Diet for example, which is a diet based on what foods humans ate in the Paleolithic Period.  Organic and anti GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) is hot right now, but one, I think there’s some false sense of what that is, and two, there is clearly a higher cost associated with healthy eating, hence the inequality gap in who can participate in certain food trends and meal choices.  Organic food is more expensive.  When you are pinching pennies; it is hard to justify the costs of purchasing less food, even if it is higher quality.  People with lower economic resources are less likely to have the luxury of looking at the long term benefits when they are simply trying to fill their children’s tummies.  Other choices like soda or Kool-aide is cheaper than 100% juice or milk.  Same as organic, it’s hard to justify purchasing less actual food, if we don’t believe in the difference or have the ability to make that choice.  I can feed all three of my children on the dollar menu cheaper than I can buy a gallon of organic milk, so to some, it seems like a no-brainer.  Food shelters and some government assisted programs for example, may not allow participants to even make those choices for themselves.

Poor food choices are often cheaper in the short term, and often easier or faster to prepare.  If you’ve seen extreme couponing, items that we often are able to find coupons for are processed food items, made by big corporations.  Things like poorer, fattier cuts of meat are cheaper in cost.   “Fast Food” is often fast, easy, tastes good, and pretty cheap.  The trade off, of course, is that the nutritional quality is highly deteriorated.  In most restaurant foods, calorie, fat and nutritional content is way askew from what we ought to be consuming, followed by the most decadent desserts, of course.  On top of this are things like coffee or alcohol, which is food that we consume recreationally, that we don’t really think of as food at all, instead it’s used as a stimulant drug, or a relaxation tool, or in social situations or continued on a daily basis because of addictive reasons.

Many people are interested in trying to go back to non-processed foods.  This is actually harder than it sounds.  We often don’t think about or realize how many things we eat currently that are comprised largely of chemicals and not actually “real foods.”  This does to some extent have to do with sneaky labeling.  Food packages advertise something has “real ingredients,” failing to also promote that the item has a whole list of processed non-food ingredients as well.  This is common in many breakfast foods: things like frozen waffles and cereal or cereal bars that are marketed as ‘fortified’ and ‘whole grain’ or containing ‘real fruit,’ so we think that we are making conscious choices for the ‘most important meal of the day,’ when we are actually eating processed foods that are composed of a mile-long list of chemicals.

Since I think food is so important, and interesting to look at and dissect, I’m dedicating all of my blog posts this week to the subject matter.  So there you have it, welcome to Food Week… Just like Shark Week, but better.

I am including several charts that show stats portraying obesity trends among both children and adults by race, or poverty.

Why You Don’t Want To Date A Disney Prince

When talking to my single friends that are looking for love, I keep hearing the women ask, “Just where are all the Princes anyway?”  From the time that women are very young we expect our lives are going to end up like a Disney Movie.  We look for the handsome prince to scoop us up, sweep us off our feet, and carry us off into the sunset on the back of a white horse and onward to the castle in the sky.  Snow White sang our mantra, “Someday My Prince Will Come,” and that little tune warms our hearts and we nod with hypnotic visions of what love is supposed to be like spiraling in our eyes and unrealistic expectations in our brains.

So now when we’re in our 20’s & 30’s and 40’s and single or divorced or even in an imperfect marriage, we question: “Where is my prince, my knight in shining armor, why can’t my life be like the movies?”  Well, I’m here to say #1 we don’t live in the movies and #2 maybe the prince doesn’t really exist.  *Gasp*  The same childhood movies that fool us into thinking what a prince is really supposed to be like, is also the same movies that show us plainly that these princely guys may not be the dreamy men that we think they’re cracked up to be.

Take Snow White for example.  Her so-called “prince” is actually kind of clueless and scary.  When The Prince finds innocent Snow White in the woods after being lost and confused, he scares her half to death.  Snow White actually runs away from him.  This is where the story should end, but the Prince doesn’t take the hint at all, he shows up and kisses her when he thinks she’s dead.  This kind of freaky postmortem lust is pretty disturbing, but somehow in the story, it makes birds chirp, dwarves dance and awakens Snow White to her senses where she promptly falls head over heels for the man she ran from.  We all know a good kisser is a plus, but come on, no man, no kiss, is that good.

That brings me to Cinderella and her prince, Prince Charming. So Cinderella meets Prince Charming at the ball, he instantly falls in love with her, yet even after an entire night of dancing he doesn’t even bother to learn her name.  Jerk.  So then The Charmer has the brilliant idea of finding the girl he “loves” by proclaiming he will marry the woman who fits into the shoe he’s carrying around.  Now, how many of your friends have the same shoe size as you?  I mean, luckily he found the right woman, but what are the odds? I’m pretty sure it was basically a ploy to fulfill his foot fetish and was really willing to pick the girl with the most appealing foot.  This feeling of kismet is tempting, but keep moving Cinderella, you can do better, at the very least find a man that can recognize your face and remember your name.

Moving on to Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip. First of all, he still lives with his parents. Ugh. This tells us he probably doesn’t have a job and isn’t very ambitious. Then, he’s another one who kisses girls while they’re sleeping. This is called Date Rape, ladies. Stay away!

Moving on to Jasmine and Aladdin. Where do I start?  Aladdin is a reckless, homeless, bad boy, thief that lies about everything he is to get Jasmine to like him.  If this was real, all your girl friends would tell you how bad this guy is.  Once a liar, always a liar.  Dump him immediately.

What about Peter Pan? This guy starts the relationship off by being a creeper peeping tom watching Wendy through her windows at night.  This is not endearing ladies, this is creepy. Then we find out Peter is an immature player (hello, Tinker bell, Tiger Lilly) that refuses to act mature.  We have all dated guys like this.  All he wants to do is play video games and run around with his friends.  You can not change him. He will never grow up. Avoid!

While growing up, who hasn’t wanted to live in a magical castle. Too bad in Belle’s case this meant living with a controlling, verbally abusive, self centered monster like the Beast.  Next thing you know we’re going to see them on an episode of 20/20 with a relationship gone awry story.  I’d suggest he get anger management classes immediately and Belle get the hell out of that situation before it’s too late and things get worse.

Then we have Flynn Ryder from Tangled.  He’s another thief that gets incarcerated.  Keep moving Rapunzel, a guy with a rap sheet is not a catch.

 

 

This brings me to Prince Eric from the Little Mermaid. This guy doesn’t care about who he’s with as long as she’s a good singer. This seems very shallow to me. Eric goes back and forth from this Ursula/ Vanessa character and then to Ariel so easily, we all know he’s not being genuine with either one.  Another thing, Eric seems so clueless, that even when they’re on a date and they’re in a boat, under the glow of the moon and romantic music is playing, Ariel is dropping hints all over the place, he still can’t take the initiative and just “Kiss the Girl.” We all know this guy is a Mamma’s boy and we would totally have to do everything for him and teach him everything from scratch.  I don’t know about you, but I need a man that can do things for himself.  This guy is totally going to be leaving his clothes on the bathroom floor and knows absolutely nothing in the bedroom. No thank you.  Next. 

Then we have Captain John Smith.  First of all, he needs to respect boundaries and should not be kissing Pocahontas when she already has a boyfriend. Then, in talking to Pocahontas, he reveals his true racist feelings, saying his people have improved the lives of the “Savages.” Come on Pocahontas, don’t degrade yourself like this.  Find a man who appreciates you for you and respects your culture.

So after running down the list of all the so-called heroic princes that we all love, I have to ask the question: Are women really that naive or are we taught from our youth to pick the wrong men?  I am pleading with all women out there, please don’t be like Snow White.  Please don’t stare dreamingly up to the sky and sing how someday your prince will come and imagine being with a man that you don’t even know whether he exists or not. Get out of the house and hop on your own white horse.  Don’t dream about the castle in the sky, because this is more unrealistic that the American Dream.  We all know neither one exist in the way that fairy tales tell us they do.  I’m sure there’s a great guy out there for you, but he’s not from the Disney movies, and frankly thank God, because those guys are losers!