Tuesday, November 26, 2013


"According to an Activity Summary posted on the Cedar Rapid's official website, there have been 669 assaults in 2013 from January to September. The website does not define assaults, but as there is a "Misc. Sex Crimes" which rates at 548, it may be that sexual assault is also in that list. There were also 451 known cases of domestic abuse in town, and 63 cases of stalking.

In our community, one of the largest provider's of help is the Waypoint center. Waypoint offers shelter and support for those who are experiencing homelessness, poverty, domestic violence or sexual assault. It also provides service to over 600 children of varying socio-economic classes, and 24 hour hotlines for people in need."

The above is part of a paper on community resources that I wrote. I've really learned a lot in my investigation class. I'd think I'd like to volunteer at Waypoint or ASAC. I want to see if I have the disposition to handle it. If I follow the path I'm thinking about, I know that I would be dealing with people at some of the worst times in their lives. I need to know if I'm the right kind of person for the job.

I'm Back

I'm trying really hard right now. Last year was good for me to explore ideas about women. Now I want to see where I can put this into action.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Southern Gothics

I love southern Gothics like I love air and if I could I would spend my entire life wasted on them. I found this cool piece the other day describing the genre and I'd like to share! My love for them is initially why I liked SPN in the first place because that really was the best description for it.

"The decaying ruins of the old American South are crawling with ghosts. Spirits stilted in time, haunting overgrown forests and hiding in forgotten places so overgrown with the unkillable greenery that they bear no resemblance to what they once were. It is just an ocean of trees, suffocated by the Japanese invasion of creeping vines. Time has stopped, and they have been left behind. Even the trunks of the strongest oak trees bend in defeat of the southern sun that would melt any other setting built of less resolve. Old plantation homes turn to dust that dances in the wind, carried off to parts unknown and leaving behind nothing but the legend once held within their walls. The creek of a rocking chair on an old wooden porch and footsteps crunching against gravel roads create a soundtrack to this journey.

Crumbling towns too small to grace the pages of any map becomes the stage for a cast of colorful characters who stand at the brink of a dying culture and look to the rest of the world with an unwavering pride and determination that can only be found in the Deep South. You won’t find a celebration of the southern belle on the arm of her handsome beau. Broken souls and broken bodies walk the desolate streets in rags passed down from better days. Our hero is an outsider, hindered by some grotesque abnormality of mind or body. Their world is a lonely one, plagued with a soul crushing sense of abandonment. They do not belong in this world because everything here fights to snatch away the innocence that society places such a high value on. But such a fleeting idea will turn to ash in their hands and slip right through their twisted little fingers.

Their world is a violent one. Tensions ride high on the backs of racism and classism and sometimes it is the wild and untamed children who must rise in revolt of the ideas of the bygone age of their ancestors. They balance on the edge of a knife, forced to balance naivety against desperation. Our heroes will soon learn what they are capable of in the face poverty and alienation."


Friday, April 26, 2013

Notable Women In American History

A list of women who have made notable contributions to America's development.

Anne Hutchison---Created antimonism. Was banned from her colony in MA in 1630's for her views in NY.

Abigail Adams--wife of John Adams and John Quincy Adams. She was a political activist for women's rights and had political influence over her husband.

Phyllis Wheatly--former slave who wrote poetry.

Abigail Pitcher---brought water to fallen contintal soldiers.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton--first US patron saint. Parochial education founded in MA.

Elizabeth Clovis Lange---founded the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the first black Catholic order in the US

Sojourner Truth (1797-1893) Preachaer that raised money for abolition of slavery and women's rights. Helped black Union soldiers.

Dorothea Dix 1802-1887) Nurse that advocated for improved conditions in asylums, prisons, and poorhouses.

Harriet Beecher Stowe--Wrote Uncle Tom's Cabins, an antislavery novel that enraged the north for the conditions and the south for what they called exagerations.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton--A friend of Susan B. Anthony, she fought for women's suffrage when the 14th and 15th amendment to address women's rights. She helped organize the convention at Seneca Falls in 1848. There, in NY she read her Declaration of Sentiment, which listed the discrimination of women, and adopted an 11 step resolution. This document was signed by 68 women and 32 men out of around 300.

Susan B. Anthony---A Quaker, she fought for women's suffrage. She believed that men and women were equal. Inspired nation-wide suffrage movement. Friend of Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Lucy Stone---She was the first woman in MA to earn a college degree.  Advocated equality and abolition.

Julia Ward Howe---Wrote "Battle Hymn of the Republic", and helped form National American Women Suffrage Association.

Harriet Tubman--She helped run the Underground Railway, freeing more than 300 slaves. She also helped union soldiers in SC.

Elizabeth Blackwell---the first female doctor. She recieved her degree in Geneva in 1849. Trained women in medicine.

Mary Baker Eddy----Founded Church of Christ, Scientist.

Mary Walton---Manhattan inventor, helped reduce emissions and noise emaluation.

Louisa May Alcott---Little Women!!!!!!!!!!!

Annie Oakley---a great shot of the West.

Jane Addams---started the Hull House, she was famous for helping disadvantaged people. In 1931 she shared the Nobel Peace Prize.

Nellie Bly---often went as a undercover journalist, sided with the poor people. She exposed corruption and abuse in mental hospitals.

Emily Greene Balch---In 1947 won the Nobel Peace Prize. Founded Women's International League of Peace and Freedom. Advocated for peace in WWI and WWII.

Anne Sullivan---friend and teacher of Helen Keller.

Margaret Sanger---advocated family planning and contraception.

Jeanette Rankin---first woman ever elected in Congress. One of the few to vote no on WWI and WWII.

Frances Perkins--first woman in the US Cabinet. She was an important component of FDR's New Deal as Secretary of Labor.

Eleanor Roosevelt---US Rep to UN, wife of FDR, Democrat, fought for racial equality.

Sunday, April 21, 2013


"“High school, it seems, has changed. It has become competitive. Young men and women — 13 to 18 years old — must work more or less tirelessly to ensure their spot at a college deemed worthy to them and their families. So rather than living their adolescent lives — lives brimming with desires and vitality, with vim, vigor, and brewing lust — these kids are working at old age homes, cramming for tests, popping Adderall just to make the literal and proverbial grade. And for what? So they can go to a school that puts them in debt for the rest of their lives. School has become a great vehicle of capitalism: it quashes the revolution implicit in adolescence while simultaneously fomenting perpetual indebtedness.”" ===Daniel Coffeen, The Scholastic Swindle: Quashing Adolescence


I need money so bad for school right now it's not even funny. I'm going to die dude if I can't pay for school. Someone send me links to scholarships so I don't have to eat Ramen out of the plastic carton and use my water only on Mondays and Wednesday's. PLEASE.

The other day at school in the cafeteria there was some big ruckus set up with posters about a 100,000 scholarship. My interest was piqued, but I could tell immediately that it was a scam of some sort just by the people and the way it was being offered. 100,000 dollars is a lot of money, it's not something colleges just give out for free. You have to earn that kind of money. You have to earn ALL your money. And you have to do it the right way because if you don't you might just lose it all.

I was looking at the average tuition rates for Iowa and there like 8,000. It's a great school----close but not too close to home and family and friends, 2nd party school in the country, part of the Big Ten, and is definitely one of the best schools in the country. But I don't know. Something in me wants to get out of Iowa, dude. I wanna go places. I want to go somewhere warm and meet people with a different twang. I want to see the ocean or skyscrapers that go to like the 70th floor. 

I know I shouldn't complain and that fact is that I'm probably just going to Iowa. It's pretty much perfect for me and I have some money saved up for it already---half of a year of tuition, hahahahahahha//cries.  But I don't. Something inside me just wants to leave and I feel like I need to answer it just once to see if it's not just baby-bird syndrome wanting to test its wings. 

This has been a post about college. But seriously fools send me some money I'm desperate I don't want to join the workforce after high school or God forbid end up at a local community newspaper because I would just end it right then and there that is literally one of my biggest fears.


P&R Part Dos

I'm just going to keep talking about TV because I'm tired and TV doesn't require a lot of thought. My parents bought ice cream and I ate way too much way too fast and I have the metabolism of a fat infant. Also I have an hour until the time ends. So I'm just going to keep writing about Parks & Rec Characters because that's easy and because I love them.

I love Tom Haverford. He's ambitious, spunky, and funny. His perfume Tommy Fresh may smell like shit apparently, and some of his actions have been pretty horrible (usually to Ron--for example, shooting him in the back of a head on a hunting trip, or bringing Ron's exwife Tammy on a date to get back at ron for dating his ex-wife, Wendy), but his personality isn't the worst. He's Leslie's secretary or something, and owns part of the Snakehole Lounge. He's the show's character that keeps the series up to date with the real world, like with technology and TV. When he's not making an ass out of himself to women and to potential business partners, and just lets himself be, he's actually really funny and genuine and excitable.

I adore Donna Meagle. She's beautiful, strong, caring, and thoughtful. She doesn't take anybody's crap and she knows what she wants. She's very self-possessed, and she always brings out the best in everyone else. I hope she gets more screen time! She's also a part owner of the Snakehole Lounge with Tom. Also, she has a Mercedes, which is like the love of her life. She generally gets along with everyone, but if she doesn't like you, she'll let you know, like with the annoying dude that's friends with Tom.  We don't know much about her background yet, except that she has a brother, and that she loves Twilight and LOST, but I'm eager to find out more!

Andy Dywer is a gem. He's so stupid, but endearing and earnest and wants so hard to help and make people happy that no matter what he does you know that he's trying his hardest despite the odds (which he doesn't always understand). He used to date Ann Perkins at the beginning of the show, but he moved out after his legs healed and Ann got sick of him schmoozing. He's now a shoe-shiner at the Pawnee center and is currently dating April and working his music career, haha. One of the things that I love about Andy is that he virtually can become friends with anyone if he wants to. The only character he wasn't terribly fond about was Mark, and that was because he was dating Ann when Andy wasn't over her yet. But he manages to bring out the best in people like Donna, and he's pretty much a giant dorky, lovable puppy.


Parks and Rec

So besides working and playing with the new puppy, I've been watching a ton of Parks & Rec this weekend. It's super hilarious---reminds me of a mix of 30 Rock and The Office. I have to admit, I didn't like it that much at first, but now that I've started the third season, I am LOVING it. Besides it being funny, I actually really enjoy the characters and their growth. So I'm going to write 100 words about each of my four favorite characters and that will be a blog post.

Leslie Knope, played by Amy Poehler, is kind of like the female Michael Scott in the first season--that uncomfortable, formal, high-aspiring boss that makes everyone uncomfortable. But as time goes on, she really grows into her own person, and moves away from that frame she was based off of. She's a great role model for everyone, and the show does not hide from the fact. She's kind, caring, considerate, ambitious, passionate, and good-hearted. She doesn't stop no matter what.

Before I started watching, I had seen pictures of Ron Swanson--and Infinite Drunk Ron Swanson---so I had never heard his voice. I was actually really surprised! It's so smooth and deep! Anyway, Swanson is definitely one of my more favorite characters in TV, period. He hates people, but he he's level-headed, makes good choices (unless it's in concern to his ex-wife, Tammy), and he genuinely does care about the people in his department. There's this one episode where he gives Leslie some advice on the guy she's dating, and it was really insightful and considerate----and it spoke tons about his character. Since then, he's always stuck out in my mind.

April Ludgate. She's the secretary to Ron Swanson, and as he put it---he can't fire her, because it would be literally impossible for him to find someone who does a worse job. Right now she's dating Andy, and it's really really cuteeeeeee. I like how Aubrey Plaza plays her. She manages to keep April her typical antisocial self but give her layers and feelings too---definitely not a flat character. It's little things, like when she gets flustered about talking about Andy, or when she's having a buddy moment with Ron and then barely smiles that make me like her.

Ann Perkins ahaha. Played by the lovely Rashida Jones, Ann is a local nurse and Leslie Knope's best friend. She's kind of awkward and quiet, but she sticks up for herself and takes care of people when they need her. My favorite side of Ann is seeing her as a nurse, because she does not mess around. A lot of people don't like her character---calling her flat and awkward, but I actually like her. I wish she had more story lines besides just dating, but there's something about her that feels real. 


Sunday, April 14, 2013


I'm not nearly smart or cool enough to be interested in science, but when presented with concepts that are somewhat easy to understand, my mind gets freaking blown. This post is a SCIENCE appreciation post.
#1 Dude grows lil ecosystem

"For the last 40 years it has been completely sealed from the outside world. But the indoor variety of spiderworts (or Tradescantia, to give the plant species its scientific Latin name) within has thrived, filling its globular bottle home with healthy foliage.

Yesterday Mr Latimer, 80, said: ‘It’s 6ft from a window so gets a bit of sunlight. It grows towards the light so it gets turned round every so often so it grows evenly.

‘Otherwise, it’s the definition of low-maintenance. I’ve never pruned it, it just seems to have grown to the limits of the bottle.’

The bottle garden has created its own miniature ecosystem. Despite being cut off from the outside world, because it is still absorbing light it can photosynthesise, the process by which plants convert sunlight into the energy they need to grow."

#2 What happens when you cry in motherfuggin space

#3 Cool natural patterns (from a blog dedicated to natural patterns and fractal art)

"Crystals, guys. More natural patterns.

The top image is a Lichtenberg figure, which is created by discharging an electric current into an acrylic pane, which is then decomposed, showing the pattern of current discharge.

[ That’s why it looks like lightning. Same concept, different medium. ]

It’s a dendritic pattern, showing fractal symmetry and self-similarity at all levels.

The silver crystals to the left are native silver, which grows in dendritic patterns. Similar patterns may be found in gold, copper, and other metals.

…Bismuth, to the right, is a little unique. Its crystals are still self-similar, though, and look about ten times as cool, in my opinion."
#4 Sweet ass ice caves

"Ice Caves Around the World

Ice caves come in two forms. A cave formed entirely of ice is actually called a glacier cave and as the name implies, forms in glaciers. Water runs through or under the glacier and forms a cave.

The other type of ice cave can be any cave type (limestone, lava tube, etc.) that has ice in it year round. These caves trap cold air. Water entering the cave freezes and stays frozen year round.

Glacier caves can be found in the Pacific Northwest and ice caves are found in many locations where temperatures drop below freezing. Once cold air enters the cave, it generally stays there.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


More poems because I've made myself and I'm too lazy. Sundays are corrupt. The curtains shift quietly with the breeze. Night is long but I am longer. I don't care for anything, right now. These poems tear me apart and I don't forget them.

Bath 5---Jen Silverman
If it’s one drink, it will be two. Wisteria tangling
around your wrists. Here is where you buried your

father. Here is where you buried your brother.
Here is where they will bury you, when the

time comes. No wonder you drink yourself down
toward the earth. Home is where the shovels lie.

Earth and earth and earth. Stones crowd your sleep.
Granite and salt, sand giving birth to

the fortress where even your lovers sigh. Silent
underfoot. You dream yourself toward them.

You are foxfire, you are phosphorescent. Your
mouth like whiskey. Your eyes like whiskey.

You baptize yourself in sorrow, again and again.
You baptize yourself with bourbon and brandy.

You swim downward, fast salmon, heedless, handsome,
death is in you, it has captured your ear. You have your

father’s jaw, your brother’s chin. When you were born
they bathed your small body with their fears.

Each scar they’d earned became manifest on your skin.
Their love aches like a badly set bone. When the river takes

you, it will be no new baptism. Just that same, ancient sacrifice.
Just that rush, that rushing, and then you are gone.

Why I Believed, As A Child, that People Had Sex in Bathrooms--- Cecilia Woloch

Because they loved one another, I guessed.
Because they had seven kids and there wasn't
a door in that house that was ever locked —
except for the bathroom door, that door
with the devil’s face, two horns like flame
flaring up in the grain of the wood
(or did we only imagine that shape?)
which meant the devil could watch you pee,
the devil could see you naked.
Because that’s where people took off their clothes
and you had to undress for sex, I’d heard,
whatever sex was — lots of kissing and other stuff
I wasn't sure I wanted to know.
Because at night, when I was scared, I just
climbed into my parents’ bed. Sometimes
other kids were there, too, and we slept
in a tangle of sheets and bodies, breath;
a full ashtray on the nightstand; our father’s
work clothes hung over a chair; our mother’s
damp cotton nightgown twisted around her legs.
Because when I heard babies were made from sex
and sex was something that happened in bed,
I thought: No, the babies are already there
in the bed. And more babies came.
Because the only door that was ever locked
was the bathroom door — those two inside
in the steam of his bath, her hairspray’s mist,
because sometimes I knocked and was let in.
And my father lay in the tub, his whole dark body
under water, like some beautiful statue I’d seen.
And my mother stood at the mirror, fixing her hair,
or she’d put down the lid of the toilet
and perched there, talking to him.
Because maybe this was their refuge from us —
though they never tried to keep us away.
Because my mother told me once
that every time they came home from the hospital
with a brand new baby, they laughed
and fell in love all over again
and couldn't wait to start making more.
Should this have confused me? It did not.
Because I saw how he kissed the back of her neck
and pulled her, giggling, into his lap;
how she tucked her chin and looked up at him
through her eyelashes, smiling, sly.
So I reasoned whatever sex they had, they had
in the bathroom — those steamy hours
when we heard them singing to one another
then whispering, and the door stayed locked.
Because I can still picture them, languid, there,
and beautiful and young — though I had no idea
how young they were — my mother
soaping my father’s back; her dark hair
slipping out of its pins.
Because what was sex, after that? I didn’t know
he would ever die, this god in a body, strong as god,
or that she would one day hang her head
over the bathroom sink to weep. I was a child,
only one of their children. Love was clean.
Babies came from singing. The devil was wood
and had no eyes.

On Engagements

While I may be utter shit at relationships, I was watching Eclipse the other day (shut up) and realized that I may not be as bad as what some teenagers, and indeed, some adults, hope their engagement will be like. Here's the scene, a moment that is literally the ideal of an engagement:
Besides the complete lack of chemistry, the only thing these two have discussed about getting married is whether not Bella will become a vampire, and if she does, she won't have kids. What's sad is that even the discussion of kids is actually surprising for this movie---in most romances, the happy couple almost never discuss whether or not they want kids. In epilogues of these movies, children are almost always a given. When in reality? Having children is a huge fucking choice and it's not for everyone.

Something that irks me about a lot of romance movies is that couples almost never talk about what they want, besides simply being together. That's nice and all, but you guys are going to have to work as a team. If the two love birds don't want the same things in life (one person wants six kids, the other doesn't), or if their careers or aspirations are taking them in different directions, getting married isn't going to help solve that dilemma. Actually, it probably make it worse, with one partner having to sacrifice their dreams in order to help support the other partner. Which is just a breeding ground for long term resentment and relationship instability. 

Like, why can't people in movies just talk? About what they want. What they want for themselves, or together. About communicating, about making choices together, about learning the line of where to put yourself first or your partner. You have to be 110% clear on where you want things. And while this can be hard--and frightening, or embarrassing, if you really love someone, I think, then you're willing to shove through that bull crap and treat them with the same respect you would want them to treat you with, as equals. 

Back on engagement: one of my worst fears is a surprise engagement. If someone proposed to me without talking to me about getting married first, I would probably break up with them right then and there. It's inconsiderate and rude. I don't even care if I would get painted as a cold hearted bitch or monster, I don't even care how much time or effort they put into it, I would be furious. Call me unromantic but real life is unromantic. Breaking out champagne and roses and getting engaged without discussing it first isn't a good precedent for when bills are coming in red ink and making major health decisions for our kids. Actually, screw weddings, too, because they're expensive and shitty and everybody hates each other at them, anyways.

Loving Your Body

I recently read a post by Sarah Moon called 'On being a female body at a Christian college'. In it, she discusses about how she and all others of our gender were blamed by important, leading male figures at her college for having a female body that influenced men. For example, Moon wrote about on how the husband of her Resident Director was granted a meeting with her and other young women on the topic of modesty. That it was a woman's job to be responsible to be modest, or else men will masturbate with her in her thoughts. If that wasn't disturbing, creepy, and inappropriate enough, he then blamed girls for his porn addiction.
"I talked to many women who were present in that meeting who expressed that they left feeling ashamed and dirty. I know that every time I passed that man on campus from that day on, I wanted to turn invisible. I'd tug my skirt down and pull my jacket over my chest, and I'd resist the urge to get sick to my stomach thinking about him masturbating to me, and it being my fault." ----Sarah Moon
While Moon later came into terms with her body, and eventually learned to love herself, it angers, saddens, and frightens me that she had to deal with such blame at all.

Women should not be blamed for the weaknesses of men. Our bodies are ours, and nobody should have a choice or say in how we present them or how we care for them. This is a huge part of rape culture, blaming women for literally being just women. On how our bodies are not viewed a majority of men as not really ours, as objects to blamed for their own desires.


While I've never really struggled with my weight, my boobs have always been something of an insecurity to me. I'm 34 DD and growing up I had to share bras with my mom, who was already a cup size too small by the time I was in bras. It was inadequate and hurt my boobs, but how the hell was I supposed to know bras didn't work like that? It's not exactly something we talked about, and I didn't have any other older girl friends to go to for support. My cousin had constantly made fun of me for being smaller than her when we were growing up, and that contributed to my insecurity.

Even now, they're kind of a problem. I have back pain and I can't fit into dresses or shirts that don't have enough room for my chest. I got teased for my cleavage. But as I've gotten older, and with more experience with bras, I'm much more comfortable with my chest, and I've learned to embrace it. It's still a bitch to find cute tops, but I have hope.

Sarah Moon, I'm sorry you had to go through something so hurtful. Many, if not all, women struggle with their bodies, but not all of us can say that we've been blamed to our face for the immaturity of men who perceive US to be the problems. I'm glad you've learned love your body, and yours is a story I hope we can all draw inspiration, courage, and self-acceptance from. Thank you for sharing.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Marina & The Diamonds

The first time I saw a picture of  Marina online, with her bows and heart-shaped mark under her eye and curly hair, I passed her by with the idle of thought of great, another teen pop star that's going to fade in three months. A welsh singer-song writer about the age of 27 by now, Marina is a solo artist, with the Diamonds part being a reference to her last name, Diamondis, and that it stands for her fans, not her track band. I didn't think of her, didn't really care for her at first. I didn't really start to appreciate her until I heard her song Sex Yeah, a song that I ended up playing so loudly on repeat in my room in the summer of 2011 that I ended up jacking up one of my speakers. The lyrics:
"Nothing is provocative anymore / Even for kids / No room for imagining /'Cause everyone's seen everything / Question what the TV tells you / Question what a pop star sells you /Question mom and question dad /Question good and question bad."

"If history could set you free (from who you were supposed to be) /If sex in our society (didn't tell a girl who she would be) /'Cause all my life I've tried to fight what history has given me
If women were religiously/Recognized sexually/We wouldn't have to feel the need to show our ass, / Just to feel free /Been there, done that /Got the t-shirt/Sold my soul/And yeah the truth hurts /Tired image of a star /Acting naughtier than we really are"
Well I actually enjoyed the music for this song, the lyrics really blew me away. It's so rare for "successful" female pop stars to write about female sexuality without somehow relating it to men or superiority/inferiority to other women. Marina identified as a feminist in 2010 in interview for the magazine Company, and I think that you can see this is in a lot of her lyrics. In an interview with the Charlotte Observer in 2012, Marina commented on her feminism:

“Sometimes, I think it’s circumstantial in terms of how you’ve been brought up and faced oppression, or felt different than your male counterparts,” she says of her willingness to own the term. “My dad was a Greek man. He treated me differently than a boy. That angered me. And I was stubborn and headstrong, and you apply that to what happens in your life.
“I enjoy when I see female artists speaking about feminism and acknowledging it’s this something to talk about.”

Steubenville and the Media

"Cry all you fuckin’ want, your tears don’t mean shit to me. Your tears mean dick to me, just so you know."--Jersey Shore, in a moment of truth.

As I've mentioned in a brief post earlier, it is time for an update on Steubenville. The trial began in February, and the verdict was reached half way in March. The 17 and 16 year old, Trent Mays and Ma'Lik Richmond, were found guilty. Both will be sentenced to at least a year and two years

The two boys gave statements to the court following the verdict. “I would truly like to apologize to (the victim), her family, my family and the community,” said Mays,who addressed the victim by name. “No pictures (of the victim) should have been sent around, let alone be taken.”---From the NY Daily News, report from Christian Red and Teri Thompson

What a horrifying statement. It's an apology for leaving evidence of the crime, instead of the crime itself. For getting caught, instead of taking away the rights and voices of human being, humiliating her and shaming her.

The reaction from the media has also been horrifying. For example, CNN's coverage, which sympathized with the rapists, and didn't mention a word of the victim. You can watch it here. Candy Crowley and and Poppy Harlow lather them in praise---what a shame it is for these good students to lose their promising futures, what an emotional event it was.

Tweets are accusing the reporters of turning the clock back on feminism with their misplaced compassion and blame-the-alcohol banter. Some are labeling the women as rape apologists. "What about the promising life of the rape victim?" asks one Twitter user, while another posts, "Wonder if Poppy Harlow found it hard to watch those boys laughing after the rape, too?" [link]

Some people are so outraged with the poor reporting that there has even been a petition created on Change.org demanding on on-air apology for sympathizing with the rapists.

ThinkProgress and HuffPost  have both written articles noting the trend of the victim-blaming from not just CNN, but ABC and NBC. A lot of the blaming comes from the fact that she was drunk, that if she hadn't chose to go drinking and be under the influence it would have never happened. This may be true--but the argument completely misses the whole entire fucking point of the magnitude of such a heinous crime.

When we glorify rapists and shame the victim, we take a step back. The lesson learned is not that rape is bad----but that in some possible cases, that it is deserved. That rape is not bad because you are doing something unspeakably horrible and evil to another human being, but that it could hurt your life. And that---that's pretty fucking scary.

I'm alive

Ok, so the internet is down right now because we're painting the house, which apparently means that we have to disconnect the router. SO, I'm going to have to write these blog posts with out any internet links or research, which is really annoying, because on my gmail I had this list of topics I wanted to discuss on, but I don't have any access to information to help make a somewhat decent post. Bear with me as I ramble and put you guys up to date on my life.

Today is Easter, and as you can tell, I'm a lazy ass and started all my posts five hours til midnight. How I spent my day was crawling out of bed, candy, going on Tumblr, cleaning, sleeping, cleaning, eating, roughhousing with Maddie, then finally reaching toward the idea that I might need to settle down and actually do my homework.

I've been terribly unmotivated as of late with my homework. It's the weather---staying on the computer all day and working on textbooks and doing online quizzes makes me want to crawl out of my skin when the sun is out shining and the thermometer is peaking 50.

Thank God for Spring. This winter felt like it was never going to end. I worked my ass off all through last term. I pretty much gave myself a break in March, because I was afraid I was going to go crazy and snap if I added on any more pressure on myself.

Which I have plenty of, now that we're getting closer to the AP tests. I'm taking the AP Lang and US History tests, both of which I badly need to start preparing for. I have two stories for Torch for next issue. I'm taking the SAT and ACT in June because I don't have any money or time for it in the spring. I have a job which I'm afraid I might lose because I'm a shitty salesperson. The old anxiety is starting to creep up on me again, and I hate it. I'm trying my best to squash it down.

The other day Dr. W came into my class and started talking to us about making sure we're ready to graduate for next year. I felt like I was going to throw up when she was done. I'm pretty much doing everything my own way---not the recommended courses like four years of math and science. Journalism and Paralegal/Pre-law for me, but I hate feeling like it's not enough. I don't even feel like I know what I'm doing anymore.

Things are going to get better. This is just my last dip in my springtime depression that I always seem to go through every year. I'll be ok. 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Why can't I just sleep?

"When I'm not working, I definitely I like waking up at noon.Jena Malone "

"Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it". ~Richard Whately

"I like my coffee black and my mornings bright." ~Terri Guillemets

It's almost 11 as I write this. Why can't I just sleep. I mean, even Kids Health says I need 8 and half to nine hours of sleep, not the weak and terrible number seven hours of sleep. Teenagers are at the age where they need to be healthier more than ever, because that's when they're growing up, that's when their brains and bodies are getting to their prime. Which is actually kind of depressing, when you think about it, because what the ever loving crap this is supposed to be my prime? Dude I look like the love child of Uncle Fester from the Adam's family and Debby Ryan who plays, haha, Bailey in the Suite of Life of Zack and Cody damn. 
Anyways it's finals and I just cannot focus anymore. I've studied for like six hours on math alone, man. It's too much. I still need to start on my Spanish, but I'm worse at math so I need assistance there more than I do here. But on the bright side, MY DAD CLEANED OFF THE NASTY BANANA STUFF OFF MY CALCULATOR AND my mom got me new batteries so now I have my own calculator that actually works!! Woohoo. So that's my life.
Ok, I will try to go to sleep now. Wish me the best of luck. I will update this in the morning.


Oh my freakin' god I didn't pass out til one it was too much. I think part of the problem was that I drank so much freaking DR. PEPPER at dinner and so my legs were all shaky when I went to bed and wow that was just not a very good idea. This lack of good ideas in my life is actually a disturbing trend I've noticed in my life so far and it kind of needs to stop because it sucks and I hate it.

How the hell do you do matrixes for math, anyway?

I stilll need to study for Spanish. I woke up at 5:00 first. Then 5:30. Then I said, screw it screw screw it and fell asleep, only to wake up forty five minutes later.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A favorite character

I'm obsessed with TV and reading. It's terrible. I get characters stuck in my head, and they won't leave. Anyways, I was planning on writing about this for a long time coming, but I also need lots of blog posts, so I'm going to write about some of my favorite characters!! And by that I mean one!!! I actually have a lot more, but these are the ones that are dear to my heart as of right now, and possibly forever.

Dean Winchester, Supernatural
Dean Winchester Guy Image 01

Ok, so the basics: Supernatural is a tv show on CW about two brothers who run the family business: saving people, hunting things. Supernatural things, from ghosts, ghouls, to demons and angels. AND DESPITE THE TERRIBLENESS OF SEASON 6 AND 7 THIS SHOW WILL TAKE YOUR SOUL AND CRUSH IT IN TWO BUT YOU DON'T STOP WATCHING IT BECAUSE THEIR YOUR CHILDREN.
Anyways Dean is the oldest brother who practically raised his brother Sam. He's gone threw a crapton of angst, is an alcoholic, isn't as funny as he thinks he is, and his general outlook on life has really gone down these past few seasons, especially after he went to hell, which is like his major arc. Anyways DEAN IS MY FAVORITE I LOVE HIM SO MUCH BECAUSE OF REASONS. He's so messed up and he gets angry at everything and screams and drinks and is pretty much a full blown serial killer at this point but then he says things like, "Destiny? Don't gimme that holy crap. Destiny, God's plan, it's all a bunch of lies, you poor stupid sonofabitch! It's just a way for your bosses to keep me and keep you in line! You know what's real? People. Families. That's real. And you're gonna watch 'em all burn?" Even when he's hit point zero his deep and profound love for his family beats satan and saves the world. aND HE'S A DORK TOO always quoting vonnegut and reality tv shows and wow he is just so precious and he's such a mother and a mommy's boy (even though his mom died!! :( !! sad)and I just have a lot of feelings because he's so complex and I'm really not good at explaining his complexities because you have to watch the show and I could write my doctoral thesis on the character that is Dean Winchester.

I mean just look at him he's so precious
~cutie pie~

and he hoLDS BABIES (>>>>hands)

What I'm not obsessed.

Some feminist quotes

Really inspirational!!! Quotes from here.

Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, "She doesn't have what it takes." They will say, "Women don't have what it takes." ~Clare Boothe Luce

The emotional, sexual, and psychological stereotyping of females begins when the doctor says, "It's a girl." ~Shirley Chisholm

Women belong in the house... and the Senate. ~Author Unknown

Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels. ~Faith Whittlesey

Nobody will ever win the Battle of the Sexes. There's just too much fraternizing with the enemy. ~Henry Kissinger

I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naïve or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman. ~Anaïs Nin

Man endures pain as an undeserved punishment; woman accepts it as a natural heritage. ~Author Unknown

I see my body as an instrument, rather than an ornament. ~Alanis Morissette, quoted in Reader's Digest, March 2000

I'm tough, I'm ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay. ~Madonna Ciccone

You don't have to be anti-man to be pro-woman. ~Jane Galvin Lewis

When I see the elaborate study and ingenuity displayed by women in the pursuit of trifles, I feel no doubt of their capacity for the most herculean undertakings. ~Julia Ward Howe

Men are taught to apologize for their weaknesses, women for their strengths. ~Lois Wyse

No woman is required to build the world by destroying herself. ~Rabbi Sofer

The test for whether or not you can hold a job should not be the arrangement of your chromosomes. ~Bella Abzug

Instead of getting hard ourselves and trying to compete, women should try and give their best qualities to men - bring them softness, teach them how to cry. ~Joan Baez, "Sexism Seen but not Heard," Los Angeles Times, 1974

I've yet to be on a campus where most women weren't worrying about some aspect of combining marriage, children, and a career. I've yet to find one where many men were worrying about the same thing. ~Gloria Steinem

A man has every season while a woman only has the right to spring. ~Jane Fonda

How good does a female athlete have to be before we just call her an athlete? ~Author Unknown

The world has never yet seen a truly great and virtuous nation because in the degradation of woman the very fountains of life are poisoned at their source. ~Lucretia Mott

To tell a woman everything she may not do is to tell her what she can do. ~Spanish Proverb

Women are not inherently passive or peaceful. We're not inherently anything but human. ~Robin Morgan

Men will often admit other women are oppressed but not you. ~Sheila Rowbotham

Every time we liberate a woman, we liberate a man. ~Margaret Mead

I would have girls regard themselves not as adjectives but as nouns. ~Elizabeth Cady Stanton, "Our Girls"

Some of us are becoming the men we wanted to marry. ~Gloria Steinem

Several men I can think of are as capable, as smart, as funny, as compassionate, and as confused - as remarkable you might say - as most women. ~Jane Howard

Not only is women's work never done, the definition keeps changing. ~Bill Copeland

Men weren't really the enemy - they were fellow victims suffering from an outmoded masculine mystique that made them feel unnecessarily inadequate when there were no bears to kill. ~Betty Friedan

Scratch most feminists and underneath there is a woman who longs to be a sex object. The difference is that is not all she wants to be. ~Betty Rollin

When two people marry they become in the eyes of the law one person, and that one person is the husband. ~Shana Alexander, State-by-State Guide to Women's Legal Rights, 1975

Why is it that men can be bastards and women must wear pearls and smile? ~Lynn Hecht Schafren

Easy is an adjective used to describe a woman who has the sexual morals of a man. ~Nancy Linn-Desmond

It starts when you sink in his arms and ends with your arms in his sink. ~Author Unknown

No one should have to dance backward all of their lives. ~Jill Ruckelshaus

The reason there are so few female politicians is that it is too much trouble to put makeup on two faces. ~Maureen Murphy

We've begun to raise daughters more like sons... but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters. ~Gloria Steinem

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Kid Food

I used to eat the nastiest crap as a kid. Like, you know how when you're really little, you'll experiment with just about anything, as long as you're the one making it? That was me. That was all of us.

God, let me tell you the horror stories.

For one thing, my siblings and I all used to eat this horrible confection of croutons, ranch, and cheese. We'd put them on a giant plate together and separate them into three little sections. Then, we'd take our croutons, dip them in the ranch, and then the cheese so it would stick. And eat it. We used to eat so much of it and oh my god it smelled so bad. At the time, I thought it was the greatest shit ever. But holy sweet mother of god, once I got older and stopped eating it, it made me want to gag. Especially since we were all really little when we used to do make it, so all my sibling's breath used to smell HORRIBLE, lol.

My cousin, KJ, and I used to eat nasty stuff all the time together. I remember one time, when we were about either 11 or 12, she was on this medicine that used to give her weird cravings at weird times. Once when we were at our grandmother's house, she made me eat one of her testings. It was like this mix of a crunch bar which she melted pepperoni on the top of in the microwave. It tasted so bad. The pepperoni juice had melted into the chocolate, and it made me feel like my stomach had flipped from top to bottom.

Another thing we made up when we were younger was Poor People's Pizza. The secret recipe was:
1) take one plastic plate
2) Put a flour tortilla on top
3) start pouring tomato sauce on it. or salsa
4) put as much shredded cheese on it as you possibly can
5) then pepperonis
6) microwave it until however long it takes for the cheese to melt and for the plate to meld into the tortilla to enjoy the carcinogenic goodness.

Even with these failures/ possibly cancerous successes, we actually did make some damn good nachos. We'd take doritos, melt cheese on them, and than dip them in salsa. If you're starting to sense a trend, you're completely right: our diets really did consist of melted cheese and whatever sauce would be slathered with it.

So this has been my food blog post, in appreciation of Christina's wonderful food blog. Can't wait for cupcakes Thursday!

Feminism v Women's Rights

“Equality is not a concept. It's not something we should be striving for. It's a necessity. Equality is like gravity. We need it to stand on this earth as men and women, and the misogyny that is in every culture is not a true part of the human condition. It is life out of balance, and that imbalance is sucking something out of the soul of every man and woman who's confronted with it. We need equality. Kinda now.”
― Joss Whedon

“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.”
― Rebecca West
(^^Good Quotes)

This is a short post on a much longer thought process I have on this.

While they are the same thing, there seems to be much more negative connotations to the word "feminist" to "feminism" than there is to "women's rights". The word feminism has history, nuances, and different ideologies and movements associated with it. Saying women's rights is usually a lot more direct, and it usually tends not to distract from whatever the woman/feminist is going to say next. Both men and women who don't want to hear someone talk about the issues of women will instantly be skeptical, mocking, and close-minded when the word feminism or feminist is attached to it. Some men and women will still scoff if they see the word women's rights to an article. And really, there's not much you can do.

Also, a lot of people don't seem to realize that there are different types of feminism, which is another reason that there is so many people cut off from it. Women's rights is a universal term for our issues; feminism comes in 32 flavors. Radfems, liberal feminists, cultural, conservative, socialist, ecofeminists. It's incredibly complex---and somewhat vicious. It actually kind of makes me sad. Instead of forming a united front and trying to actually achieve rights for women, we tend to get stuck arguing with each other on what it just means to be a feminist, what other people are saying are feminists, arguing our ideas all day to people who, at the end of the day, may not even care.

I write about women's rights because it's important to me. I defend my ideas, I critique others. Words are powerful, and ideas don't die. But I want to move my ideas into action. I want to actually help other women who may not have gotten help while everyone is caught up on the word feminism---both for and against.

To clarify, I'm by no means saying that everyone is like this. But it's important to understand not just what the

word feminism means, but what other people---incorrectly or not--think it means.


"Feminazi is a term popularized by radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh and in use since the early 1990s. It is a portmanteau of the nouns feminist and Nazi. The online version of the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the term as used in a "usually disparaging" manner, to describe "an extreme or militant feminist". The term is used pejorativelyby some U.S. conservatives to criticize feminists that they perceive as extreme."

I really hate this word. Almost anyone who uses it? Uses it only to discredit feminism/women if they're discussing their rights in a manner that doesn't please them. Feminazi is an insulting way to instantly discredit anything a woman has to say next. It requires no skill to use, and a woman doesn't actually have to be a feminist to suddenly be termed a feminazi. If you're a woman, and you're speaking your mind, you are automatically a feminazi.

A lot of people tend to use this term for misandrists (women who hate men). What do we call men who hate women and try to police their rights? Usually, something along the lines of Mr. Senator or Father. The truth is, men controlling women don't have a derogatory term that can be applied to them---that's because if a man who acts hateful of the opposite sex, that's normal.

Remember when I wrote about the Nice Guys? They're huge on this. They tend to think their entitled on calling a woman a bitch or a slut or a girl who only dates douchebags if they don't agree or try to have a romantic/sexual relationship with the supposed "nice guy". Their misunderstood! They just want a nice girl to love! Well, the first start to loving a woman, hun, is to start treating her like one. Not some lifeless piece of cardboard that's there to please you and suck your cock. Trust me, I know those ones. For men who are surprised by this (which I highly doubt you are, given), don't be. Women have to put up with this shit all the time. Woman is a human being, same as you, and she has the rights to her choices on her body and mind. If she doesn't want to have a relationship or sex with you, don't be mad. If you do get mad, then this is probably a sign that you are exactly the problem I am talking about.

So stop using the word feminazi to a woman who voices their rights, and maybe start listening to what they have to say before you try to shut off their ideas from you with one word.


OK, so I really don't have a lot of time for the in-depth blog posts that I love to do. That's why I'm going to outline what I will do, or have started, or am working on, because if I tell you it might motivate me to actually write them. Also, I am so friggin' desperate for enough blog posts tonight, it's not even funny. My hands are susceptible to fall off by the end of the night after all the shit I'm gonna have to type up. Sorry, paper blog babies, but this blog is actually graded, and a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

I'm currently working on a couple of different pieces. One has to do with education in America and the current cynicism on the real worth of academic success, and how this cynicism is effecting the career choices and school effort teens are putting into their education today. This one's gonna be longggggg. I'm excited for it. I want to have lots of different sources for it, like economics professors and sociology professors brought in to talk about it. As a teen, this issue is super important to me---and I think it would be important to parents, too. People are concerned, more now than ever, about their future. I think it was about 53% of all college grads can't live on their own after college, now? I can't remember the exact fact, so don't quote me on that.

The next is a piece about stalking. As someone who has been stalked before, I can really relate to this piece. Stalking is a huge and incredibly serious problem. And it's fucking scary, too. The number of women I know who have been stalked or been monitored by other men--like they own them, or want to possess them, like they'e not a human being with the right to exercise their own choices---is terrifying. Unfortunately, I have far too many sources I could write about in this issue. Mostly I'm going to focus on personal accounts, why men act the way they do, the difference in male and female stalkers and how society views and treats them, what can be done to resolve the issue, and how we address it to men who don't take it seriously. Security and safety are the main thing to address as a human right--and when stalkers do what stalkers do, they rip that away from women. So yeah, it needs to be wrote about. Because their is a tremendous silence, I feel, on this issue. That, or it's simply mocked at.

So that's what is upcoming!

The War On Men

Remember how I earlier I talked about researching for that essay I was working on? Well, I did a lot of research. And during my research, I managed to stumble upon the work of Suzanne Venker, author of 7 Myths of Working Mothers, How to Choose A Husband, The Flipside of Feminism, and her articles called "The War on Men" and "To be happy, we must admit women and men aren't 'equal". To be honest, I had never heard of her before I found her articles online, and when I first read her articles I read them completely unbiased (It wasn't until I was done reading until I realized I was on FOX). I read "The War on Men" first, and when I was done, I was pretty uncomfortable---and not in the way that something that's true and gets to the root of the problem but you don't want to face it because it's too painful is true, but in the way  of watching someone make a fool of themselves is---- plainly speaking, I suffered extreme second-hand embarrassment after reading Venker's article.

Here, let the article speak for itself.
"In a nutshell, women are angry. They’re also defensive, though often unknowingly. That’s because they’ve been raised to think of men as the enemy. Armed with this new attitude, women pushed men off their pedestal (women had their own pedestal, but feminists convinced them otherwise) and climbed up to take what they were taught to believe was rightfully theirs. Now the men have nowhere to go."
What? Is she implying that women being successful and independent is bad for men? Take what they were taught to believe was rightfully theirs. Who says it can't be rightfully ours? Are men the only ones entitled to being successful? And what is this about having our 'own' pedestal? As if success for a woman means not infringing on the success of a man?

Ugh, I can't decide what else is a good quote---so I'll just post the rest because there is so damn much too say on this.
"Contrary to what feminists like Hanna Rosin, author of The End of Men, say, the so-called rise of women has not threatened men. It has pissed them off. It has also undermined their ability to become self-sufficient in the hopes of someday supporting a family. Men want to love women, not compete with them. They want to provide for and protect their families – it’s in their DNA. But modern women won’t let them."
Oh, lord. Sweeping generalizations about men and women is prevalent throughout the whole thing. Be warned: through the whole article, Venker continues to reinforce detrimental stereotypes of what women and men should want, claiming that they are a "good" thing.
It’s all so unfortunate – for women, not men. Feminism serves men very well: they can have sex at hello and even live with their girlfriends with no responsibilities whatsoever.
It’s the women who lose. Not only are they saddled with the consequences of sex, by dismissing male nature they’re forever seeking a balanced life. The fact is, women need men’s linear career goals – they need men to pick up the slack at the office – in order to live the balanced life they seek.
So if men today are slackers, and if they’re retreating from marriage en masse, women should look in the mirror and ask themselves what role they’ve played to bring about this transformation.
Fortunately, there is good news: women have the power to turn everything around. All they have to do is surrender to their nature – their femininity – and let men surrender to theirs.
If they do, marriageable men will come out of the woodwork."
I am so sorry, Paperblog and readers. I will come back to this as soon as I am not swamped with finals with a presentable argument.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


If you read my last post with Olivia's scientific magnum opus, then you must surely understand that as her sister, I have a desperate need to prove myself of some worth in the light of her shining achievement. So, in what I believe is called "fairness", I have decided to post one of my own greater works---a piece on journalistic history that I had written for my Journalism class as a young freshmen, in hopes to impress my adviser  GL, and prove my worthiness and readiness to join the ranks of the real school newspaper. If you have any interest in publication of what is clearly a masterpiece from a fourteen year old's brain, please email me or contact or leave a message and I'll have my people call your people. And now...

Journalism History
by bailey
The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved is the first appearance of what the world calls “gonzo” journalism, a hastily thrown together style by the legendary Hunter S. Thompson. According to the student Encarta, gonzo journalism is a style characterized by first-person narrative, high subjectivity, and more of the journalists' personal experiences than the actual event. In his book The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time (page 106), Thompson’s own words on gonzo journalism are:
 'Gonzo journalism is a style of reporting based on William Faulkner's idea that the best fiction is far more true than any kind of journalism - and the best journalists have always known this. Which is not to say that fiction is necessarily 'more true' than journalism - or vice versa - but that both 'fiction' and 'journalism' are artificial categories; and that both forms, at their best, are only two different means to the same end.'So how did this unorthodox style come about? According to The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time, as Thompson's deadline for the coverage of the 1970 Kentucky Derby approached for Scanlan's Monthly, Thompson became desperate. He started to rip out pages from his notebook, numbering them, and sending them to his editor. By doing so, he created a whole new form of literary expression, which ultimately became his trademark.
Gonzo journalism has lived on by evolving and adapting to modern technology- specifically, blogging. A blog is a site where a person can post anything- news, opinions, and personal accounts- unedited, raw, and straight to the point. Blogging is a way for many people to tell their stories they way they see it. Much of blogging is based on current events and personal experiences- just like gonzo. The style is not only a modern trend, but now mass media via internet- you can find thousands of blogs devoted to just one or all subjects.
Gonzo journalism is just one example of how journalism can never truly die- instead it will adapt, evolve, and continue on informing the public as long as there is a story.

Please Enjoy

Please enjoy this scientific masterpiece, "The Digestion of a Strawberry", that I found while perusing old word documents on the document file on our computer. This educational wisdom has been passed unto the world by my sister, Olivia, who delved into the deep and mysterious inner workings of our bodies in sixth grade, and produced this document as an assignment for her Science class. As you will see, my sister clearly surpassed all expectations given and really set the standards for all upcoming eleven year children. None of the original document has been edited, in efforts to keep with the originality and voice of our young Elizabeth Blackwell. Please note the special capitalization the writer has put into this piece---if a word is capitalized, that means it is crucial to the process taken place within the article. Olivia breaks literary boundaries with her complex use of tenses and narrative, but when have geniuses, indeed, ever needed boundaries? The quality of this was definitely already proven when we learned, upon receiving the paper back after grading, that she had indeed earned an 'A'. As fully deserved. With this preamble, I now proudly present to you, the people, enlightenment. 

Digestion of a Strawberry.
by olivia
When I took the bite of the strawberry both chemical and mechanical breakdown began. Mechanical chews, and smashes the food against the roof of my mouth, chemical brakes the smashed bits of food into smaller pieces with chemicals like saliva.
The broken up food goes down the esophagus, through the sphincter muscle, and into the stomach. The stomach stores the food already eaten and mechanical and chemical breakdown take the food and turn it into a liquid, the liquid then goes into the small intestine.
The small intestine breaks it down even more to soak up the nutrients so my body can absorb the vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates (carbs), and fats all with the help of the gall bladder, liver, and pancreas. The pancreas releases a liquid that will neutralize acid and digest proteins and fat, the Liver produces bile that allows nutrients to get to the bloodstream and removes toxins, and the Gall Bladder holds bile until my body needs it.
It goes through the Large Intestine. The Large Intestine prevents harmful bacteria from staying around. The broken down food travels through the Large Intestine to the Rectum and after a while out of the Anus.

Let's Not Kill Feminism

I recently read an article on the Canada Free Press (CFP) titled "Feminism is hateful & hated. Let's kill it!" by the conservative Kelly O'Connell. The point of the article was to argue against feminism and explain how it was bad through its historical growth and how it has effected the dynamic between men and women. Connell is a women who encourages patriarchy. The whole thing left me with one massive headache. This is a quote that sums up the end of her argument. Read it and see what I mean.
"The answer to the question—“If the Women’s Movement is Dense, Obnoxious & Contradictory, Why Does it Persist?”: is—Because we let it. America is in desperate need to revive its respect for men, fatherhood, polite society and masculine-based religion. This can only happen when men themselves stand up for their dignity and demand a return to roles as leaders in politics, religion, family and society. Until this happens, expect women to walk all over wimpy men until confronted by real men."
Throughout the whole article she talks about how disrespectful women now are to men and how feminism inspires women to be lesbians and how men need to step up to take back their place. It was a painful read, but at least it provided me some insight to how people who oppose feminism think. And that insight is horrifying.

Women who oppose feminism somewhat horrify me. Feminism, at its basics, is about rights of every kind for women. While there are different groups and movements and degrees at feminism, to say you disregard feminism as whole because you actually disagree with one part----like men who discredit feminism because of the radfem movement---is so, so, so detrimental to women.

I feel like a lot of people who dislike feminism or women's rights movements have never had to deal with issues that many women specifically or usually deal with, and I'm not talking just about periods are finding the right size of bra. Like the issues of having to be wary of walking alone at night, or facing sexual harassment at work from clients or co-workers. Feminism helps deal with those problems, either by educating people about them or providing help for women who need it.

Feminists, are, at the core, people who care about women. For example, Planned Parenthood is a huge advocate about sexual and reproductive health care, and they primarily deal with women. A lot of people hate it because of abortions and birth control---but I doubt that any of those people who disagree with it have ever been placed in a situation where having access to such is critical.  PP helps with women who are in those situations, and that can mean the world to these women. That's feminism: helping women who can't get help in a world where feminism is told that it doesn't matter. Where women don't matter.

Still, people are going to laugh and mock. You can look at that in three ways: horrible, because they don't think women need their rights or have already "attained" them; good, because that means they've never been in a personal situation where they've had to deal with violence or injustice towards women; or just plain evil, where they want to rip women down because they think it's their right as a man. Some may think that's just ridiculous, but they are really men who think that way. And there are women who have to live with those men.

So let's not kill feminism. Because if we kill it? Women go down, too.

Teen Stress

I'm screwed, I'm screwed, I'm screwed. 
I literally have no free time left. At all. At all. At all.
Besides the 13000+ blogs I need to make up, I also have like, a week's worth of AP US HW I need to complete, the AP US test I need to start studying for, the math test  I need to study for tomorrow (I can't do math), the oral final in Spanish I have to study for tomorrow, the two science quizzes I have to make up, the science packet I have to do, the six hours of volunteering for my application for National Honor Society, the IGNITE powerpoint thing I have to do, the three scholarships I have to apply for (financially, it's not an option not to apply anymore), the extra credit opportunities I need to take just to get my GPA into something  that could get me into college, and the 20 freaking hour weeks I work in between school and driving people and feeding myself and sometimes showering or simply sleeping and talking to other human beings and convincing them not to hate me and it's all rounding up to be all in the same week, lsdsdlfkalkfd fuck. 

I know I'm whining. I know that a lot of other kids are way more busy and have a lot more stress to deal with. I'm not the only one. So let's talk about the facts.

In article by Sue Scheff, from the Examiner, "Teens and high school stress: 15 facts parents should know", Scheff gives a variety of facts (from other news sources, so there is a actually a multitude of different sources collected into this one article, so I'm counting this as enough for me). Such as:
"It starts much earlier than high school: Increased college competition means increased high school competition. Increased high school competition means increased middle school competition. Increased middle school competition means increased elementary school competition. Once students get to the last four compulsory grades, the pressure to constantly excel and perform has already been shoved into their growing bodies. So when kids do succumb to the pressures, chances are they may very well have been lurking beneath the surface long before freshman year.
Female students feel it harder than their male peers: A survey conducted by the Associated Press and MTV discovered that of the 85% of students claiming they experienced "stress at least sometimes" (if not more than that), most were female. Forty-five percent reported they felt it "frequently," compared to 32% of their male colleagues. Most disconcertingly, the trend seemed to reflect an increase in stress and anxiety levels when compared to surveys from the year before — at least 10 points higher, says MSNBC. Interestingly enough, students hailing from mid-range income families experienced far more pressure than those from low- or high-income ones.
Girls are more likely to suppress their stress: Not only are female students more likely to experience hefty amounts of stress, they also typically handle it more discreetly than males. However, the boys don't always handle it healthily, either — according to Dr. Roni Cohen-Sandler, they typically react to the anxieties by dropping out mentally. Social pressures push girls towards constant perfection in school, extracurriculars, appearances, relationships and friendships without ever growing ragged or showing signs of exhaustion (what sociologist Michael Kimmel refers to as "effortlessly perfect"). In fact, 55% told the psychologist they place almost unnecessary amounts of stress on themselves to maintain society's near-impossible expectations of flawlessness.
School ranks as the highest stressor in high school students' lives: For both females and males between the ages of 13 and 17, school stood as their primary conduit of super stress. Once they hit the 18-to-25-year-old demographic, work supplants academics. But high schoolers face down more anxieties than that, including (but not limited to) bullying, broken homes, substance abuse (or the temptation towards substance abuse), relationships and sex, jobs, extracurricular activities, appearances and more. Girls and young women in particular find themselves petrified for safety reasons at a higher rate than their male counterparts, as they're more likely to be the victims of rape and sexual assault.
GPAs are increasing: In California, at least, where state schools saw a significant rise in the GPAs of incoming freshman between 2003 and 2009. Petaluma360.com's Colleen Rustad noted that UC Davis transitioned from a 3.86 to a 4.0 average, and Berkeley witnessed an increase from 3.58 to 3.61. So while some modicum of positivity can be squeezed out of the overworked teenagers' plight, the serious mental and physical health tolls often render them a rather Pyrrhic victory instead.
Parents can exacerbate the situation…: Even the most well-meaning, loving moms and dads (or grandparents or aunts or uncles or legal guardians) run the risk of contributing to Little Junior or Muffy's ever-mounting anxiety. Although parents and guardians should encourage and support their kids' academic and (within reason) personal goals, they should stay alert for signs of burnout as well. Success (ethically earned, of course) is always great, but should never take precedence over the health, safety and overall well-being of a student, either. The likelihood of entering an Ivy League university even with a perfect record sits between 7% and 18%, and there's no shame in pointing kids toward more affordable — and still thoroughly viable — options requiring less strenuous high schooling."
And personally, I've seen a lot of these statistics in ones who make these statistics in the real world. Not just in teens, but in young adults who go to college. Everyone is working their ass off. It is so, so hard to get anywhere, because there is always a hundred other people trying to get to the same spot---and in this age, only one gets it. It's mentally and emotionally depleting and there's always more to do.

The other I was sitting in my AP US class and there were these two girls talking about the project coming up due in a week. One girl had already finished it the night before, because--"I was so bored last night and I had nothing to do, so I just did it."



Seriously, how?! How did this one random girl in my class defeat the odds?! I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. She's always well-dressed and brushes her hair. But it kind of makes me internally scream because I'm literally drowning in all the crap I have to do and the only time I get to let all my stress out is when I rant on my blog, my intricate version of angry tweets saying things like "FML" and " I try so hard and no one even cares xxx". So I suppose I really am an attention whore, too, just more subtle. Which is just another thing to add on to my list of things that are stressful: my shitty, shitty, personality.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

So earlier this week

I was at the mall (not work) when this group of teenagers came in, loud and obnoxious, lookin' like they'd just crawled out of the clearance rack out of Hot Topic. There was about two or three short girls and then this one dude, not much taller than the rest, whom one of the girls clung on to like she was about to drown. They were probably in middle school, so I had no idea why they were at the store at like 9 a clock at night, but their conversation pretty much went something like this (or the best I can remember):

"If I'm a faggot, then you're a female lesbian!"
"No, you're a female lesbian!"
*Roaring, squeaky laughter*


Man, and this kept going on and on. They walked away, but I could still hear them yelling out the homophobic slurs. They walked past twice, and then sweet baby sugar face Jesus, finally disappeared.

Is this like a stage everyone in middle school has to get through? I remember being that stupid, unfortunately. But saying that, does this mean that it was all fine and well for them to be running around the store, screaming like that? No. So part of me wonders if it's just a lack of education, or understanding on their part. Or maybe it's just a lack of caring....they certainly didn't care about their hygiene.

To be fair, high school is not much better sometimes. I'm lucky because I'm old enough to get into more advanced classes so I'm not stuck with people with often lesser propriety, and my social group is pretty small, but fantastic and accepting and intelligent. Certainly have enough sensitivity and tact to at least keep bigotry to themselves, in any case.

But sometimes I still find the assholes. I see boys---jocks, mostly--- run around, yelling homophobic slurs, hitting on each other, pretending to be gay, all in the name of teasing each other, having fun. That wouldn't bother me as much as it does if there wasn't so much condescension in their voices as they do. Like it's a bad thing, like it's wrong, unmanly, unnatural.

Girls do it too---we side-eye other women who don't wear makeup or don't wear the right clothes, warily giving them cold-shoulders because the common misconception/theory that if a girl doesn't wear makeup or chooses not to dress up everyday, she must be a lesbian. Actually, no---the only thing that makes a lesbian a lesbian is a girl who is sexually & romantically into other girls. Some girls don't wear makeup because they don't have time, or they like themselves enough not to, or they simply don't want to. I didn't wear make up for the longest time, actually, because it embarrassed me. I didn't feel pretty enough to wear it, as absurd as that is. I felt like a clown with face paint---and I'm pretty sure there were days where I looked like one, too.

Lesson is? Think before you speak....and use deodorant.


"My hobbies include
Editing my life story
Hiding behind metaphors
And trying to convince my shadow
That I’m someone worth following”
----Rudy Franscisco, from "My Honest Poem"

Ok, in clarification that I don't view myself as any special snowflake or anything for quoting generally obscure  poetry, and the fact that I'm going to talk about some of my favorites---but in all honesty, I really do enjoy poetry. I'm picky and to be honest, half the time I don't understand what I'm reading or don't understand it until later, but I think it's beautiful and sharp and poignant. At least, the ones that have meaning to me on a deep and personal level.

The thing about poetry is that everyone has their own interpretation and experience with a poem. That it can mean one thing or many to one person and be seen as an entirely different portrayal by another is one of my favorite things about the complexity and craft of poetry; and that I have read poems that have given me goosebumps by the honesty in them, or by reducing me into tears because sometimes reading them can be painful and true, is another. 

I wouldn't consider myself a snob in poetry, simply because I haven't read enough or studied it enough to know everything. I like what I like; I appreciate what I can; and I criticize as fairly as I can. My tastes can be somewhat generic, perhaps---I love Cummings and Plath, Crane and Poe; Hughes, Shakespeare, Eliot, Silverstein, Frost. 

I also really love listening to spoken. Sarah Kay, Dana Gilmore, Shira Erlichman, Kai Davis, Camonghne Felix, Yani Mo. Alllll women, interestingly enough.

Anyway, let me share some of my favorites so I can get enough words!
Nostalgia - Alberto Blanco

There is the sky. Now I can see it.

There is the open sky
waiting for the best I can give.

Left behind are parents,
friends, givers of advice...

The dream toys of childhood,
the tree of desire,
night in the depths of the pool,
the park that witnessed our first kiss...

I see it all in the distance
like a body that awakens
in a remote part of the landscape.
I look at it as if it were false.

We have arrived at life
by saying farewell to everything we've loved,
to that which was given,
to all those we love.

But there, at this moment, is the sky.

The World Does Not Belong to You, Though You Belong to the World,

for this is not a marriage,
living. Only you have
given your hand and
climbed into the carriage
of Morning. Where do you
think you’re going? Morning
owes you nothing. She is

fickle, she is strong. Only
to Morning does Morning
belong. As she takes you
into the day, onto the old
wide way of the world, she
sings so intimate a song you
may begin to believe she

loves you. You may even
come to believe you somehow
guide her along sometimes,
but you are wrong.
You think you are a pitcher
taking the mound, but it’s
the other way around.

—Todd Boss, from yellowrocket: Poems (W. W. Norton & Co., 2008)



No matter which way you look at it----whether in terms of deconstructing social norms, self-identity, roles, spirituality, sexuality, culturally, religiously, psychologically, emotionally, physically---- when you start digging deep, discussing and studying gender can become quite the heave.

For example, if you're going by the traditional western standard that there are only two specific genders---male, and female--- even then, discussions on gender can be a headache. Because even when you're dividing gender into two separate categories (and assuming that both genders are in relation to the sex they are born to), there is still controversy and unending opinions on both genders that both men and women are always contemplating, even if they're not exactly viewing their thought processes in terms of gender studies---but still, there it is.

Like, what's the difference between men and women? To what extent does your gender have in effecting your experiences, interpretations of experiences and events, and choices? What does it mean to be a man and woman? And for each sex, by guidelines should we govern ourselves? What is the proper etiquette and norms for each gender, and how should we treat those who don't define or respond to those boundaries? Is it still important to be a lady or a gentlemen? Is chivalry dead? Can we now punch girls? What do we consider properties of masculinity, and is brutality still a trait in association with such terms? What is right for one gender, and wrong for the other?

And everyone does this everyday. Adages and metaphors on men and women or stupid, sexist quotes like the Lock and Key example are just some of the many ways we try to define gender in our culture. And that's just the traditional western views on genders---in many eastern cultures, there are many different recognized genders. Here's a good post to help you learn more:

"Going beyond the Western gender binary - unlearning our backward cultural conditioning

In Western colonial society (which dominates many aspects of the globalized, capitalist world today) we operate under the presumption that there are only two genders, male and female. But gender is a social construction. One’s options for what gender they identify with are shaped by the culture they are born into. Biological factors are most-often the primary driving forces that choose among the available socially-constructed gender categories.

Cultures around the world have different ways of talking about, thinking about, and identifying gender. It’s often a challenge for (particularly cis-sexual) Westerns to think about other ways gender can be socially constructed. Westerns have the false equivalency of gender and sex drilled into their eternal psyche from the time they are very young, and re-enforced through examples popular culture. There is no biological reality to gender. Many Westerners have the bizarre belief that one’s XY-sex-determination should also inform one’s gender identity, a socially constructed role in society.

In some cultures, there is no distinction made between gender and sexual orientation and the same can be said for sexual orientation - our culture socially-constructs the options and our biology helps us identify which socially-constructed option feels most ‘right’ and best resonates with us.

I’ve attached some photos to offer some examples of non-colonial, non-Western construction of gender. They’ve all been uploaded onto our Facebook page photostream in case you’d like to ‘like’ or ‘share’ them there. There are literally hundreds of ‘third-gender’ identifying peoples around the world. The eight I’ve chosen are mostly examples I remember from some of my anthropology courses but if you google ‘third genders’ you can find many lists and examples.

Who cares? Why it matters.

The most obvious reason to care about the way our culture has constructed gender and sexual orientation is to deepen one’s capacity for solidarity with people who identify as transgender, transsexual, and others whose gender or sexual identity exists outside of binary Western culture.

But there are other reasons as well. Western culture’s binary nature often creates non-sensical, problematic binary identity constructions that are inherently problematic. For example, I believe that Western masculinity (dominance, aggression, lack of communication, lack of emotional expression, etc) is inherently problematic. I believe that to be the reason why most acts of large-scale-violence and terror are committed by men (see: 100% of the mass school shootings in the United States), and I believe it fosters a degree of internal misery within people who heavily adopt these particular ‘masculine’ traits.

In the age of information, and the age of global connectivity, there is no longer any reason (particularly for young people) to feel isolated or restricted to Western definitions of gender, sexual orientation and identity in general. I think the social ramifications of a generation where more and more people begin to identify outside of the gender binary would be tremendous, and I think we should all consider how we can unlearn our cultural conditioning to embrace other, perhaps less exploitative and dominating identities.

Background information on the identities depicted in the above images:


Hijras are male-body-born, feminine-gender-identifying people who live in South Asia (mostly in India & Nepal). Many Hijras live in well-defined, organized, all-Hijra communities, led by a guru.

Although many Hijras identify as Muslim, many practice a form of syncretism that draws on multiple religions; seeing themselves to be neither men nor women, Hijras practice rituals for both men and women.

Hijras belong to a special caste. They are usually devotees of the mother goddess Bahuchara Mata, Lord Shiva, or both.

Nandi female husbands:

Among the Nandi in Western Kenya, one social identity option for women is to become a female husband, and thus a man in society’s eyes. Female husbands are expected to become men and take on all of the social and cultural responsibilities of a man, including finding a wife to marry and passing on property to the next generation through marriage. Female husbands may have lived their lives as women and may even be married to a man, but once she becomes a female-husband, she is expected to be a man. Women married to female-husbands may have sex with single men uninterested in commitment in order to become pregnant, but the female-husband (who is often an older woman, often a widow) will father the child of said pregnancy and treat the child like her own.

Two-spirited people

Two-Spirit is an umbrella term sometimes used for what was once commonly known as ‘berdaches’, Indigenous North Americans who fulfill one of many mixed gender roles found traditionally among many Native Americans and Canadian First Nations communities. The term usually indicates a person whose body simultaneously manifests both a masculine and a feminine spirit. Male and female two-spirits have been “documented in over 130 tribes, in every region of North America.”

TravestiIn South America (with a large presence in Brazil), a travesti is a person who was assigned male at birth who has a feminine gender identity and is primarily sexually attracted to masculine men. Therefore, sometimes the distinction between gender identity and sexual orientation is not made. Travestis have been described as a third gender, but not all see themselves this way.Travestis often will begin taking female hormones and injecting silicone to enlargen their backsides as boys and continue the process into womanhood.

The work of cultural Anthropologist Don Kulick (a gay male by Western definitions) in Brazil demonstrated that gender construction in Brazil is binary (like Western gender construction), but unlike Western gender construction, instead of having a male-female binary, there is a male-notmale.

In this particular construction of gender:
Males include: men who have sex with women, men who have sex with Travestis but are never on the receiving end of anal sex, men who have sex with men but are never on the receiving end of anal sex.
Not-males include: women, men who receive anal sex from ‘male’ gay men or from Travestis.


Fa’afafine are the gender liminal, or third-gendered people of Samoa. A recognized and integral part of traditional Samoan culture, fa’afafine, born biologically male, embody both male and female gender traits. Their gendered behavior typically ranges from extravagantly feminine to mundanely masculine


Waria is a traditional third general role found in modern Indonesia. Additionally, the Bugis culture of Sulawesi (one of the four larger Sunda Islands of Indonesia)has been described as having three sexes (male, female and intersex) as well as five genders with distinct social roles.

Six Genders of old IsraelIn the old Kingdom of Israel (1020–931 BCE) there were six officially recognized genders:
Zachar: male
Nekeveh: female
Androgynos: both male and female
Tumtum: gender neutral/without definite gender
Aylonit: female-to-male transgender people
Saris: male-to-female transgender people (often inaccurately translated as “eunuch”)

Kathoey (often called ‘ladyboys’)Australian scholar of sexual politics in Thailand Peter Jackson’s work indicates that the term “kathoey” was used in pre-modern times to refer to intersexual people, and that the usage changed in the middle of the twentieth century to cover cross-dressing males, to create what is now a gender identity unique to Thailand. Thailand also has three identities related to female-bodied people: Tom, Dee, and heterosexual woman.