I’ve noticed lately that there really is power in the internet. When people power together and let their feelings known via petitions or Facebook groups or social media campaigns, people take notice. That seems to be happening in Kansas. (Actually, it’s happened a couple of times in Kansas, but that’s because they keep doing such dumbass crap.)
Last week, the Kansas House of Representatives drafted and passed a bill that ensured discrimination of gay people to provide religious freedom to everyone else. The bill would allow anyone in the state–private or public employee–to refuse service to any gay person if it infringed on their religious beliefs.
Seems to me that someone in Kansas has confused what religion is supposed to be about, but that’s a discussion for another day.
While the bill passed the heavily Republican House, and was expected to easily pass the equally heavily Republican Senate, the idea was quashed when Sen. Susan Wagle, Senate’s president, announced that wouldn’t happen. Many reasons why the bill wouldn’t work have been mentioned.
But a telling quote is this:
As the bill began to pick up steam, it fueled a chorus of growing opposition. The Kansas Chamber of Commerce and the newly formed Kansas Employers for Liberty Coalition released statements saying that the bill posed legal problems for the business community, and that it would strain employer-employee relationships. And a Facebook page titled “Stop Kansas House Bill 2453” has netted more than 50,000 “likes” as of Friday evening.
“Political pages here, if they get 1,000 ‘likes,’ they’re pretty successful,” Thomas Witt, executive director of the Kansas Equality Coalition, told msnbc. “This has exploded in this state. And it blew up in their faces.”
- Sign those petitions.
- Like those pages.
- Tweet those tweets.
- Don’t discriminate against anyone. Ever.
PS Kansas also got busted by the internet for allowing cable lobbyists to write legislation that would limit the expansion of broadband by competitors and in smaller towns. Monopoly, anyone? After the petition garnered many signatures, the piece was dropped with the promise that it would be tweaked. Also, this was a bill that a politician actually said was written by a lobbyist–which seems like a giant no no.
Last week I didn’t feel well and must have watched more television than usual because I tweeted about a lot of commercials. Mostly that I hated them. I even managed to get one changed. Well, I’m sure it was me and the other million people that also tweeted the company about the bad bad commercial. Still, I got a response tweet and I like that. Means they’re listening to their customers.
However, there’s a trend in commercials that alarms me. I didn’t tweet about any of these because the commercials themselves aren’t bad…
Why the hell are commercials encouraging children to be outrageously messy, while their parents and grandparents stand idly by beaming, waiting to clean up the mess?!
What world do these people live in?
Maybe I am the worst mom in the world, but I encourage my kids to be clean kids. I don’t want extra mess.
- You wipe your feet at the door. Take off your shoes.
- Put your plates and cups in the sink when you’re done eating.
- No eating anywhere but the kitchen.
My son never used his potty chair and then ran through the house sloshing his pee all over the floor…
My son never wore his beloved blanky outside, dragging it through the mud while Gramma shook her head lovingly. Gramma would have told him to leave the damn blanket in the house where it belonged because it was getting dirty.
Don’t get me wrong, they don’t always follow the rules. And there was a Facebook discussion over the weekend about things my boys have destroyed in the house. (Beds don’t last long in KlineLand!) But they were certainly not encouraged to destroy things!
My advice: turn off the television and don’t let your kids watch those commercials before they get any bad ideas! They don’t need someone planting the seeds of messiness in their young, impressionable minds! Stop the madness!
PS I really want to complain about the paper towel commercial with the female hockey player spilling on the counter tops, leaving her mom to wipe it up. But the twins destroyed my house–floor thresholds–with their discus and shotput practice indoors. Incredibly, spinning on said thresholds breaks them…maybe the laminate people want to do a commercial here…because the floors are lovely…
On Facebook I came across a thread discussing abortion. It started with an article written by a woman who was happy that she had safe, legal access to abortion because she was not prepared for motherhood.
A few people tried to be civil. A few people used religion as a basis for being against abortion. Someone replied that they didn’t follow the same religion so it didn’t apply to them. Actually, it was a very pleasant conversation as these things go. It went on and on without name calling or shaming…
Until someone made the “keep your legs together and don’t get pregnant in the first place” comment. This is where the conversation always falls apart. That’s when I stopped reading altogether and I assume the conversation went downhill after that.
And that, people, is why we should never have to have discussions about abortion. Because it is such a personal, private issue that it is something that should only be discussed between a woman, her doctor, and her partner.
You don’t need to be involved. I don’t need to be involved. Our politicians don’t need to be involved. Churches don’t need to be involved except with the members of their own congregations who choose to involve them in the decision-making process.
The entire “keep your legs together” argument is simply insulting. Women aren’t whores. Birth control methods fail every day. No birth control method is 100 per cent effective. Even sterilization methods can fail initially. Women aren’t running around getting abortions willy nilly. Did you know that that reason abortion opponents have to make such a big deal about the 20 week limit is because so few women get voluntary abortions at that time? Women requiring abortions after this point are faced with heart-breaking decisions that don’t require input from you or me.
Women also aren’t stupid, and have considered their options. Adoption and motherhood were probably the first things they considered since getting an abortion isn’t an instantaneous happening. So don’t belittle them by pointing out how easy these options are. Unless you’ve given up a child for adoption or been a single mom in exactly this woman’s situation, she doesn’t need your advice. If she wants your advice, she will ask.
Because the reasons behind each and every abortion are varied and personal, there can be no blanket regulation for any of them. Which is why we need to stop talking and let the women who need abortions take care of them in private with their doctors. Look to the right and the left, and understand that the women a lot like yourself might need abortion services someday. It’s not only strangers or prostitutes or women who look different or women who are younger…they’re just women like you who need help.
It’s time to trust that each of us knows what’s best for our own bodies. I don’t want to be responsible, I don’t want you to be responsible, and I don’t want a politician to be responsible. I just want women to be safe, with legal and easily available abortions.
For me, some the hardest parts of Body Positive Parenting have been dealing with outside influences. At home, I can control lots of things. I can control the messages. I can control the food. I can set the mood. But once my kids walk out the door, everything is out of my control.
Unfortunately, not every person our children will encounter will foster the same Body Positive image/atmosphere we are. They will use diet terms, suggest diets, reward with food, and do their unintentional best to derail all the hard work we have done at home.
Don’t give up, though, because we can get through this! As long as we are consistent with our message at home, it will begin to sink in and will be there in the back of our sons’ and daughters’ minds when they hear something different. If nothing else, it will make them ask questions, which is always a good thing.
This is a time to pick your battles. When I hear that they are learning the calories in/calories out formula for weight loss in Health class, I spend time explaining how that doesn’t work because bodies aren’t combustion engines and everyone is different. It was a good conversation to have at home, but I didn’t feel the need to contact the teacher.
However, when a teacher said something about it being good that my son was trying to lose weight, I took the time to explain Health At Every Size. I don’t know if it changed her behavior but I hope it gave her another perspective.
Like anything else we teach our children at home, our kids will carry with them the messages they hear regularly and see practiced at home. If we continue using the Body Positive message for ourselves, our friends, our family, and our children, it will sink in eventually. This is something we want them to carry throughout life. It’s not a fad or a flash…it’s a lifestyle.
I’m talking about the Dove personal care people, not the chocolate people. As far as I’m concerned, the chocolate people are still tops with me!
But Dove the personal care people are like that one friend you have–we all have one. She’s not a particularly close friend. You don’t see her all that often. But when you do, you come away with the feeling that you’ve been bitch slapped more than once, formulating retorts 24 hours too late, and reeling from the never-ending stream of insults disguised as back-handed compliments.
Dove is trying to sell us shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and now deodorant to make our armpits look lovely. Did you know your arm pits are ugly? You probably didn’t until Dove told you they were ugly. And you need their product to make your armpits more attractive.
Thank God, Dove is here to save us from our ugly armpits!
I’m getting tired of these personal care products, diet products, whatever products, coming at us as a friend. A nice, caring, well-meaning friend…who wants to sell something. It’s like that mean girl from high school who now sells Amway and has your number on speed dial.
Trust me when I say Dove is not your friend (again, the chocolate company very well may be your friend…) and they are making things up to sell you a product. You do not have ugly armpits. Armpits are armpits. They are neither attractive nor unattractive…they just are. You don’t need a special deodorant with special ingredients to pretty them up. You can raise your arms no matter how they look. Whether you shave or not, you can raise your arms and reveal your armpits.
Do yourself a favor, buy a deodorant from a company that doesn’t make you feel bad about yourself. Skip anything from Dove. (Except the chocolate people…it’s Valentine’s Day soon…they have the hearts…perfect size…) Send them the message that we’re not buying into their marketing bullshit anymore. We’re tired of being made to feel bad so we’ll buy something to make us feel good. Our armpits are just fine, thank you very much!
Ladies, it makes me sad to hear every conversation about insurance coverage of birth control being qualified with it being used as medication. Because we have every right to use birth control for its intended use as pregnancy prevention.
It’s 2014 and it’s time to stop being embarrassed or ashamed about our sexuality. There’s no need to apologize if you are simply choosing to use your insurance money to pay for birth control because you do not wish to become pregnant. Whether you are married or single, it is your right as a human being to have sex, to enjoy sex, and to protect yourself from pregnancy while having sex.
But every time we qualify the use of birth control as a medication, it puts us on the defensive and makes us seem guilty. Which we aren’t, no matter how hard some people might try to make us feel.
Using birth control of any type is responsible adult behavior. Using it doesn’t make you a slut (thank you, Mr. Limbaugh) or a sinner. It puts you in control of your life to some degree. (Because few birth control methods are 100% effective.) It allows you to plan your education and your career. It lets you choose when to start your family.
Despite it being 2014, the United States treats sex with a two-faced complexity worthy of middle-schoolers. We love to flaunt sex everywhere, but hate to admit to being sexual. On the flip side, we are a nation with no problem with ogling the scantily-clad breasts of Victoria Secret models, but freak out when someone breast feeds. Yes, we have a problem with sex.
It is time that we put a stop to this. Insurance covers Viagara. Yes, as some have pointed out, women get benefits from the use of Viagara. But men get benefits from the use of birth control since they are crucial to the creation of new life. Unless they are ready to be fathers and support their offspring, then birth control should be in demand by all parties in the sexual relationship. Birth control is not a woman-only benefit.
If you use birth control for medical reasons, great. But if you don’t, and you use birth control for–well, birth control–don’t hide from it. You are doing nothing wrong and are doing everything right. Stop letting other people, their hang ups, and their mixed messages about sex confuse you. You are the healthy one.
What is it with those Palin chicks? Seriously? Every time something remotely controversial happens, Sarah and Bristol are out there giving us their opinions. Some might like hearing Sarah’s opinion since she is an adult with a checkered, half-assed political career. But what has Bristol done? Single mom on a dance contest? Cancelled reality star? Not exactly the moral or political leader of the world.
Yet, Bristol felt the need to tweet something about Wendy Davis, basically calling her a husband/child ditching, baby-killing Texan.
Wow, Bristol. Where’s your law degree from Harvard?
Conservative opponents of Wendy Davis came unglued when they discovered that some of the details of her rags to riches story didn’t add up. For instance, she described herself as divorced at 19 when she was only separated. And she only lived in a trailer for a few months.
What makes me sad and angry is that Wendy Davis had to give any amount of time to a nobody like Bristol Palin–a reality-star wanna be. She has nothing to say that makes a difference to the intelligent people of our country.
I find it interesting that Davis’ parenting is being called into question at all by conservatives. Where were they when Sarah Palin was prepared to leave her newborn son and young children while she went off to be Vice President? Maybe Sarah should do something for all women right now and come out and call the critics of Wendy Davis out for their stupidity. It would be a uniting action.
I do hold hope for Bristol Palin. She’s still young. Maybe in a few years she will see that the world isn’t so black and white. That one woman’s decision isn’t always the right decision for all women. Or maybe she’ll learn that every thought doesn’t have to be tweeted.
It’s one thing to tell yourself you’re going to be body positive, quite another not to fall back into your old patterns of policing your own and other peoples’ bodies. It’s not easy changing a life-time of behavior!
Especially as women, we’ve been programmed practically from birth to be hyper aware of how the women around us look and dress. Don’t believe me? What dominated the “news” Monday morning following the Grammy awards? Yup, all the discussion about best and worst dressed. Fashion flubs. Hair disasters. Watch and hear enough of these discussions and it’s easy to make the transition to your own life and to the people you see around you.
Parenting adds another layer of difficulty because we say the right things most of the time, but don’t always do them. Have you ever told your children not to swear, then let loose in traffic? I know I’m not the only one. Or lecture your kids about the importance of eating a healthy diet as they watch you drink a diet soda for breakfast every morning?
Children want to emulate their parents. We’re their models for how to be all grown up. So they “catch” our good actions and our bad actions.
Do you want your kids moaning every time they see themselves in the mirror? I’m so fat! I’m so ugly! I’m so old! When did this happen??
Do you want them tearing through the clothes in their closets, swearing nothing fits and they have nothing to wear?
Do you want them looking at a classmate and whispering, “No one over a size 2 should ever wear leggings?”
That’s where our self-policing comes into play. We need to be aware of the messages about body image that we are sending to our children through our own words and actions. Not only will it help their mental and physical health, but it will do us a world of good also.
Keep practicing being body positive. It isn’t something you do for three or four days and have mastered. There will be days you slip up. Forgive yourself and start back up. Find things to compliment in other people. Whether you do it to them personally or not, you’ll still instill a change away from the critic that’s been living within.
Compliment your children on their actions and behaviors, not on their appearance. It’s all to easy to fawn over pretty little girls, but should that be the only thing we notice? Aren’t pretty little girls also artistic, smart, athletic little girls? I use girls as reference because I don’t thing boys get the same reactions.
All of our children deserve to know that they are so much more than their looks. They are all incredible beings who have a lot to offer to society. Just like the people who are raising them. Let’s give everyone a break and appreciate what we have and what we are today…perfect just as we are.
This week we hear from author Marilee Brothers about her latest novel, Baby Gone Bye. Enjoy an excerpt of the first chapter of this intriguing story of a teen father.
Picture this: a house full of males suddenly “gifted” with a tiny baby girl. Those of you raising sons will probably shudder at the notion of an eighteen-year-old boy who must now be both mother and father to an infant. Former bad boy, Gabe Delgado, lives with his father Ernesto (Papi) and his brothers Simon and Henry. Gabe is now on the straight and narrow path, having received corrective action from his father. He’s looking forward to his senior year in high school and hoping to earn a basketball scholarship. His life changes forever when the baby appears on his front porch with an enigmatic note attached to her onsie.
The child is undeniably his. She has birthmark shaped like a blue rose on her right buttock, as do all the Delgados. Papi insists it the sign of Spanish royalty. Having no clue to her real name, the baby is dubbed Birdie for the chirping sounds she makes.
Giving her up is not an option. Papi says, “Gabriel, she is a Delgado. She belongs to us.” Consequently, Gabe is immersed in 24-hour baby care, sleep-deprived and hauling Birdie to the school nursery while trying to keep up with a heavy class load. His social life is non-existent. He quickly discovers his former friends have little interest in his new life. To further complicate matters, the baby has some special qualities—magical qualities—that make her highly desirable to shadowy organization dabbling in biogenetics. Birdie is in danger.
The following excerpt is from Chapter One when the Delgado family is under the impression the baby is a boy.
The hall clocked bonged seven times. Startled, Gabe leaped from the couch and placed the kid in his car seat. “Man, is it seven already? I’ve got a date. Can we put this on hold until tomorrow?”
Without waiting for an answer, Gabe headed for the stairs.
“Gabriel.” The steel in Papi’s voice stopped Gabe in his tracks. “Look at me.”
Slowly, Gabe turned to face his father. He heard Simon whisper, “Dumb shit.” Henry giggled nervously.
“Gabriel,” Papi repeated. “Do you remember when Rosie was a puppy?”
Gabe shifted his weight from one foot to the other, wondering if he was about to step into something stinky. “Yeah,” he said carefully.
Papi’s dark eyes snapped with intensity. “And how did you take care of her?”
Gabe rolled his eyes heavenward, trying to remember Papi’s three cardinal rules for puppy care. “After she eats, put her outside to poop. Play with her. Put her back in her crate.”
Papi clapped. “Excellent!”
Gabe grinned. This was going well. He’d soon be on his way.
“Now, Gabriel, tell me this: How do you take care of a baby?”
Uh oh. Gabe felt beads of perspiration pop out on his forehead. “Well, um, I guess you’re saying it’s the same concept. Right?”
Papi strolled up nice and close and gave Gabe his shark’s grin. “So, after you feed him, you will take him outside to poop, play with him and then put him back in his car seat?”
Right then, Gabe knew he was screwed. He glanced at his brothers. No help there. He’d already stepped in it. Might as well go all the way. He looked his father square in the eyes. “Naturally, I won’t take him outside to poop, but I’ll feed him and play with him.”
“And, you will start this…when?”
“First thing tomorrow morning.”
Papi said, “And tonight?”
Gabe squirmed. “Remember what you said earlier? We’re Delgados. We stick together when there’s a problem.”
“Ah, now I understand.” Papi stroked his chin. “You assumed one of your brothers or your father would take care of your child while you went on a date. Is correct?”
Gabe flushed. “I would appreciate it.”
“Gabriel,” Papi said again. He pointed at the baby. “That is not a puppy. It is a tiny human being who needs round the clock care. Care that will be given to him by you, his father. Do you understand?”
Before Gabe could formulate an answer, he heard the amazingly loud rumble of baby flatulence. All eyes turned to the child, whose face was bright red as he clenched his fists and strained.
Simon snickered. “Looks like you forgot to take him outside to poop.”
Papi handed Gabe a container of baby wipes and a diaper. “Better get used to it. He’ll be doing that a lot.”
That’s when the Delgado family found out he was a she.
A former teacher, coach and school counselor, Marilee lives in Washington State and writes full time. Her books include Castle Ladyslipper, a medieval romance, The Rock and Roll Queen of Bedlam, winner of the 2010 Booksellers Best award for romantic suspense, along with the Unbidden Magic series, Moonstone, Moon Rise, Moon Spun, Shadow Moon, Midnight Moon. Her latest book is Baby Gone Bye. Marilee is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Pacific Northwest Writers Association and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Visit her website, her blog, and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.