Archive | March, 2015

10 Daffodils and Some Strangers

21 Mar

 

1 daffodil for a person who doesn’t deserve to be in my life – kill them with kindness
1 daffodil for my chiropractor
2 daffodils for the cashiers at RiteAid
2 daffodils for the ladies in the parking lot, who went out of their way to compliment my flowers
1 daffodil for one half of a couple in the WalMart parking lot
1 daffodil for my other half at work
1 daffodil for the shelter veterinarian
1 daffodil for a lovely friend who I got to watch Cinderella with

And that equals 10 daffodils I gave away to celebrate the Spring Equinox.

Safe Dating – What is it?

19 Mar

Safety. For whatever reason, it isn’t something I ever consciously think about. I’m not sure why…it could be that I’m just so clumsy safety precautions don’t seem to be useful.

I’m not even sure if I know what “safe” is sometimes.

I’ve decided to try an online dating site, and perform a sort of social experiment in the meantime, that is focused on the date more than the person. It takes the pressure off, which I like. Basically, I make up a date, and if someone thinks it would be fun, they connect with me. If someone else makes up a date I think would be fun, I connect with them. Simple.

Except…what makes a “safe” date? Dinner and a movie? Boring.

What about going for a drive with someone? They always say to not pick up hitch-hikers. Or going to someone’s house? You are only one step away from being held hostage in their basement.

These things don’t scare me, but I wonder if they should.

What is acceptable territory for going on a date with someone you’ve never? What would you steer clear of doing? If you partake in something a little more risky, what safety measures do you increase to combat that?

To Touch a Woman’s Body…

10 Mar

 

According to a post by Nico Lang, the only reason a man would ever touch a woman’s body is because he feels entitled. Here is the actual quote:

When a man touches a woman without asking, he’s doing so because he feels entitled to access to her body.

Being the equalist I am, I wanted to see how folks really felt about this, outside of the context of sex and gender. We give men a lot of slack about the things they do and the things they don’t do. The unfair part is that we don’t hold women to the same accountability. Naturally, I took the issue to Facebook and simply posted:

When a woman touches a man without asking, she’s doing so because she feels entitled to access to his body. Do you agree or disagree? Why?

The responses varied, and I was ever so proud of some of my friends for some of the things they said. Often enough, it’s okay if a woman does it but not okay if a man does it…and that’s not okay!

One friend responded with this:

If it’s a touch on the shoulder, or elbow – the places it’s generally socially acceptable to touch someone – then I wouldn’t agree with the statement (nor would I if the pronouns were reversed). If it’s a more provocative touch, then I probably would agree with it – we’re raised to think men want sex all the time and will welcome any advance, after all

Another friend answered this, bringing to question the definition of the word entitlement:

Isn’t anytime anyone does anything it is out of a sense of entitlement? If we didn’t feel we had the right to do it, or to have it, most of us wouldn’t be doing it.

This one I liked, too:

I don’t think anyone should be touching other people without their ok. If we are to tell men they aren’t entitled to touch a woman, women should be held to the same standards.

And I applauded this one:

As a gut reaction disagree because the patriarchal norm has perpetuated the myth that women aren’t inclined to see men as object, it’s “supposed to be” the other way around. However, continued consideration leads me to be very unsure because there are soooo many factors. So really this becomes a “all women like cats and suck at driving/all men are good a math and like sports” sort of thing.

No one really fully agreed with the statement, but no one really disagreed with the statement, either. I think clarifying the definition of entitlement might help.

Entitlement: the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment

We have a couple ways we can swing our original quote. Unfortunately, no one responded once I posted the definition of entitlement (I think they were onto me at that point). If we sub in the first half of the definition, it leaves us with

When a man touches a woman without asking, he’s doing so because he feels he deserves to access to her body.

or

When a man touches a woman without asking, he’s doing so because he feels that he should get to access to her body, when others might not.

I think the word entitlement is a little loaded, because you don’t necessarily feel that privilege covers it. I am of the mindset that no, we do not touch each others bodies because we feel we deserve to. We touch each others bodies because we are inherently physical creatures that are striving to make a connection.

Touch serves many purposes other than those serving the agendas of sex and power. A touch on the shoulder can mean hey, this is important…listen! just as a grab of the hand could mean don’t step out in front of that car. A pat on the back can mean good job! A hug can mean thank you. We all strive for the human connection, and the reason we are lacking it is because we’re becoming a culture of hands off without asking. To other cultures, it is not only normal and acceptable, but a kiss on the cheek during greeting is welcomed.

It is stupid to ask to hug someone, to hold someones hand, or even to kiss someone. It is very important that we learn how to read body language, because it is more important in this age of technology than ever before, but it is also okay to say no in whatever fashion you feel appropriate for the situation. Someone comes in for an unwanted hug? I don’t like hugs, sorry/thanks! A date tries to kiss you? Head turn. Someone tries to hold your hand? Pull your hand away, and tell them I’m not interested. 

 No matter how interested in doing any of those things I am, except maybe hugging, I would probably tell them no simply because they asked. I have enough awkwardness in my life other  than having someone asking me every damn time they wanted to hold my hand.

The final thing I will say about this article, is that at one point the writer states

In an office environment, such unwanted touching constitutes sexual harassment (although a great number of women decline to report it, due to factors like social pressure or fear of workplace retaliation.)

Maybe I’m in the minority here because I don’t consider touching like this sexual harassment, but if another member at my work asked me to make a sexual harassment claim, I would decline to report. My decline, however, would have nothing to do with “social pressure” or with “fear of workplace retaliation”. And I think this statement is very presumptuous.

Do you agree or disagree with the reason behind a man’s touch being due to entitlement? Do you feel the same way of a woman’s touch? Do you think we should ask before every touch? Why or why not? Do you have a different solution rather than just asking?

Feculence we Proclaim at our Servitude #1 [Shit we Say at Work]

9 Mar

Me: What!? Show me his testicles!
Other staff: Ugh! Shouldn’t you take him on a date first???

Aside 6 Mar

Left hanging by not one, but two friends this evening. Fabulous.

Aside 3 Mar

I think I’ve discovered a topic for my next video blog, and it wasn’t something I’ve even ever heard of prior to today. Be excited. Be prepared.

The Art of Forgiveness

1 Mar

Anyone who says forgiveness is anything less than an art has never had to forgive someone of something monumental.

Forgiveness. It comes in many forms, and sometimes comes with “forgetting”, though I don’t know if that part is every truly enacted. Acceptance is probably better to do than forget, because if you accept you no longer have to feel the pain or frustration or whatever emotion is tied to the forgiveness.

Sometimes, we will forgive someone almost instantly. Say someone accidentally trips me, or smashes my hand in something…acceptance is almost immediate, and forgiveness isn’t even questioned.

Then, you find yourself in a situation similar to myself.

A very long, long time ago I had a friend, who I cut out of my life. It was partially intentional, and partially just the course of life. There weren’t any single events that caused my decision to do this, but rather a series of events that showed me how unhealthy our relationship was. No matter how many times I would forgive her, I could never fully accept the state of things. Thus, they kept piling on one another, as did the emotions tied to these events.

It was almost sudden, how our friendship ended. And I know that I made the right choice, because the time following were wonderful and amazing, and I didn’t have any of that toxicity in my life.

But now, older as I find myself, acceptance has brightened my past. I no longer feel the emotions that were once tied to all the things I kept forgiving. When and how that happened, I am unsure. What I am sure of, is that while I can look back to that point in my life and no longer feel pain, frustration, and guilt, I can still look back and feel the pleasure of when times were good. We shared some really good moments, and I know that I owe part of who I am to this former friend.

With this almost rose-colored view of our friendship comes a subtle desire to re-connect. I don’t know if she would be interested, and I don’t know how similar we are to our former, high school selves. Without her in my life, I do lack the ability to reminisce on what happened to be so many nights with just the two of us. But opening that door is scary, too. Obviously, there was a problem with our relationship, as I never forget. It’s hard to say if that problem would still exist and if having her back in my life would be healthy.

I just want to open the door slightly, and peek inside, but I don’t know if there is a way to do that. Something tells me this is either all or nothing.

Do you say “forgive and forget” or another variation? If you’ve cut someone out of your life, do you ever let them back in? Why? What do you think of the saying “if there was a problem then, there will be a problem now”?