Tag Archive | Culture

I live


During the last five years, my life consists of nostalgic moments in which I drown in grief but every now and then – I emerge as though some part of me struggles to catch a breath of air. An image or most likely something I read sparks something in my mind that reminds me I continue to live. Somewhere buried beneath the layers of sadness, loneliness, and depression is the person I am. One of the things he loved about me is my ability to unabashedly express my opinion on random topics. I often forget that I hold two degrees and will have a third in a matter of months. I forget that I am educated and capable of establishing well-informed opinions on so many issues. I forget that I am capable of writing so many things because I focus on struggling to breathe during the rare moments I emerge from grief.
This morning, I saw a meme that reminded me I still live.

13979_835437979849666_8032690525724461015_n      I am outraged. I forgot that I am educated because my initial response was “Are you freakin’ kidding me?” What a ridiculous, misogynistic, and ignorant declaration. Saying such a thing suggests a few things to me – the person who wrote it is a pedaphile; the person who wrote it is a blithering idiot; and the person who wrote it is indoctrinated to follow a misogynistic principle formulated centuries prior to this one. The unknown author suggests that wearing makeup and sexy clothing somehow spurs impregnation. What? The first suggestion is that allowing a girl to wear makeup at the age of 10 sets a chain of events into motion that will culminate in her becoming pregnant at 16 years of age. The ironic part is that the person who thought of such drivel most likely supports child beauty pageants. Little girls play with makeup. They just do. Now, if a 10-year-old-girl wearing makeup arouses someone who has crossed the threshold of puberty into adulthood, I propose the problem is not with the child but with the aroused. It’s that simple.

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Allowing a child to date at 12¬ years old, what an odd concept. I thought that only happened when Jeff Warrens was around. Oh wait, that is not dating so much as rape and marriage. I don’t think Jeff Warrens ever considered the concept of dating. I suppose I live with blinders because I was not aware that children actually dated that early. Yes, I know they hang out in groups and have hayrides, but I think of dating as boy drives up in car, picks girl up at door, and so on. So, I suppose on this one – I’ll have to agree. I don’t recommend dating at twelve years of age.

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The anonymous author then tries to convince readers that allowing a girl to wear “sexy clothing at 14” will result in pregnancy. I assume the author has not been shopping lately. Short of buying clothes sold at the local polygamist yard sale, it is difficult to purchase clothes that some warped pedaphile might not perceive as “sexy.” I suppose a parent could use duct tape to bind any hint of breast development and dress the child in layers of feed sacks, but even then, some twisted mind might imagine the child to be a miniature adult. No, a 14-year-old girl does not need to wear clothes commonly associated with prostitution, but I think we need to be realistic and understand that the idea of “sexy” originates in the mind of the beholder. Oh, and parents should forget about high-heeled shoes. In addition, forget about the cheerleading craze because they wear short dresses and cheerleaders are commonly associated with the idea of “sexy.”
I am convinced the unknown author responsible for this meme is a twisted misogynist or bitter woman indoctrinated by twisted misogynists. Girls don’t become pregnant at 16 because of any of the reasons the misguided meme author suggests; they become pregnant because they either willingly or unwillingly had sex. A novel idea to avoid unwanted pregnancy is to learn about sex education. Teach your daughters and sons that while sex is a beautiful part of life, it also brings adult emotions that they are not yet prepared to handle. Teach your children about birth control. I recently read an interesting story written by a woman who underwent the common indoctrination of how she would burn in hell if she had premarital sex. She later experienced a multitude of emotional and marital problems because of it. Look at the facts, our country has the highest rate of teenaged pregnancies and STDs. The idiotic method of teaching young girls to be ashamed of and hide their sexuality is not working. The misogynistic method of teaching young boys that it is perfectly fine for them to react physically when a young girl catches their fancy is not working. Why don’t we consider following the educational pattern that many other countries are successfully practicing in teaching the facts, the financial and emotional aspects, and the consequences, whether good or bad, of choosing to become sexually active?
Yes, I live and continue to think. I imagine the mysterious meme author also assumes that Jon Benet Ramsey’s parents invited the assault and murder of their daughter because they allowed her to essentially play dress up. That upsets me tremendously. The type of people who think that way are of the mindset that a woman who dresses provocatively invites rapists. While I don’t agree with beauty pageants, my disapproval has nothing to do with sex—it has to do with teaching young people that superficial beauty is somehow essential to happiness. But, I also have a big problem with teaching young girls to be ashamed of their bodies. The methods we try are not working. A cliché suggests that if one continues to try doing something one way, with the same failed results, one might be insane. Let’s do the math and consider a different method by educating boys and girls alike.
©Relinda R.

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Free Speech or Financial Gain


“ I realize how depraved it was to instill false guilt in an innocent child’s conscience, causing a distorted image of life, God, & self, leaving little if any feeling of personal worth.”
Mary Griffith

I think much of the current problem regarding the Chik-fil-a controversy is that Dan Cathy is using a business to promote his personal religious/political stance. I use the term “political” because this declaration comes on the heels of the president’s public acknowledgement not to discriminate against gays. Of all the “attaboy” posts I have seen on Facebook, only one commends Cathy on exercising his right to free speech. However, he is not exercising free speech as an individual; he is exercising free speech as the spokesperson for a 2 billion dollar business. When we try to insert religion into government, the result is many people arguing about God and what the Bible states, rather than individuals researching the spoon-fed political propaganda they are consuming. We will be witnessing many politicians jumping on the big Chik-fil-a controversy bandwagon to help promote a political agenda. Appealing to self-professed Christians to cash in on their religious convictions is an excellent tactic for political sparring. In the meantime, a war is brewing between those who support gay marriage and those opposed to the concept.

I commend Dan Cathy, but not for the same reason as most. Personally, I think the manner in which he declared his opposition to gay unions is unethical, but I will spare you that rant. I commend him because he just wittingly managed to persuade many people to support his business, along with all the organizations to which he currently contributes funds and they do not even realize it. I am curious about what else his “biblical” perspective includes. He is treading on a minefield of prejudices and judgment that threatens the fabric of society. This is precisely how cults originate. He just gained a massive following by asserting his religious stance on gay lifestyles and promoting those beliefs as those of his business. I wonder which political party he supports and how much money he contributes to that party.

Cathy created an even larger platform for those seeking to make abortion illegal and countless other ideas, which I shudder to consider. The problem is that the majority of those jumping on the Chik-fil-a bandwagon, believing they are supporting a Christian idea will have no idea of exactly what else they are promoting. They may fail to recognize that they are practicing discrimination at its ultimate, which eventually leads to war. Few people are supporting Cathy from a stance of protecting free speech; the majority is only doing so because of the biblical stance of condemning those who practice homosexuality. They just are not realizing that they are also opposing many other things, including sexual equality. I have never before considered a restaurant owner’s religious or political stance as I ate there because I did not think it was relevant, but this whole debate may make me reconsider my choices of where I eat.

I emphasize that this is merely my personal opinion and I am not promoting a political agenda. I am a concerned individual because I fail to see how Cathy’s revelation contributes anything positive to societal woes. We are all stuck on this planet together and divisions such as these threaten our security. These divisions rarely “work themselves out.” Diversity is a wonderful thing, but when it reaches a boiling point and civility gets lost in the madness, warfare looms dangerously close.

©Relinda R.

Ranting and Bitching While Wondering…


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                                                                                             Photo from babble.com

   

     It just happened to me again. I was channel surfing, believing that I might find a suitable program to watch since I have about 200 channels. While continually tapping that little arrow on my remote, I wondered what happened to television during the last 30 years. It seems as though we gave up on sitcom escape and settled for ugly dramatic reality. Just as I was cursing the television for allowing so much rubbish on the air, I ran across a program titled, “Toddlers and Tiaras,” again. I am ashamed to admit that this is the second time this outlandish program caught my attention. I could feel my brain cells melting again as I watched. Why do I do these things to myself? It took months to recover the brain cells I lost last time I watched the show. While I question these mothers’ sanities, I also question my own for watching. In my defense, their stupidity mesmerized me.

     I just find it so ironic that people complain when little girls become obsessed with weight and looks, but we allow them to be judged like cattle. Some of these children are just babies and are subjected to massive amounts of makeup and told to “wiggle their butt.” Really? There was one little girl of about nine years or so wearing false teeth and dancing like a showgirl. She also displayed the attitude of a spoiled little brat. Not one of these girls demonstrated unique talent unless shaking your butt and pursing your lips counts as talent. Oh, I have heard the arguments about pageants being so crucial to a child’s health. Come on—that is bullshit. Teaching a child that looking pretty will determine his or her future is ridiculous. I actually see two possible outcomes. First, the child will believe that appearance determines success, welcoming a host of emotional disorders including Anorexia and depression. Second, while the child may adjust well to being displayed like a show animal; he or she may turn out to be a narcissist or worse—a sociopath.

     Yes, I am ranting. All children are beautiful. Teaching them otherwise is atrocious. Let us discuss the mothers on the show. The majority of them appear as though they have not missed any happy meals but they starve their children. Could this be an attempt to recapture some semblance of youth by living vicariously through their children? Apparently, winning Grand Supreme or something like that is very emotional. I remember my brothers showing cattle. The titles are similar—Supreme…Grand Supreme. Ladies—get a clue. Find a hobby, perhaps knitting, preferably anything other than putting your child on display like a show animal. Teach them that good morals and caring about others will pave their road to success. Whether they have won “Little Miss Grand Booty-Shaking Supreme” will have little, if any, impact on their future. 

     I know that some people may be horrified by learning that I object so vehemently to beauty pageants. If that is the case, I encourage you to watch this program. Once you see how utterly ridiculous it is, I think your opinion might change. These little girls will become young women soon enough; let them be children while they can. There is no need to parade them like cattle, teach them to show all their teeth in a fake smile and encourage them to “shake their booty.”  One cute little three-year-old became very emotional upon learning she won “Grand Supreme” or some other crap-title and threw a tantrum on stage. Her mother said, “Oh, she’s crying, but I know that she is just thrilled deep down.” Hmmm, really? Let’s evaluate. The little toddler was screaming, trying to rip some giant tin crown from her violently teased hair and throwing money on the floor. I failed to see that “thrill” her mother claimed.

     My favorite pageant mother’s defense is the claim—“Oh, she loves the attention and competition.” The children are CHILDREN, for God’s sake! They would love playing on a swing or in a sandbox! Be honest. The mommies (and even some daddies) love the attention and competition. I find it sad that they need a group of judges to validate their child’s beauty. If they fail to see their child’s beauty of innocence, then they are missing one of the most important experiences of life. Some of the things these insane mothers tell their children are disgusting. “If you don’t listen to mommy and shake your booty, you’re going to be a loser.” That is unacceptable. What would possess a mother to say such a thing to her child? What happens to these little girls when they lose? Will they become the next generation donning black trenchcoats and sporting sawed-off shotguns? I hope not.

     There—I am through bitching and ranting about the absurdity of beauty pageants. Wondering—I will never be through pondering the stupid things we do as we struggle to blend in with a constantly evolving society.

©2012 Relinda R.