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A cop’s kid …

Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I’m a cop’s kid. I’m as pro-cop as anyone else. I lived in Detroit. Not in a cozy suburb. Not in a little satellite city. I lived IN Detroit. Why? Because that’s where Detroit police officers had to live. In the city limits. Unlike many other police officers my dad didn’t have an address in the city while my mom and I live in the ‘burbs. It was a fairly nice neighborhood. But it was still Detroit and even in the early 70s that wasn’t the most gentile of cities.

My dad’s grandfather was a Detroit cop. My dad’s uncle was a Detroit cop. My dad was a Detroit cop. My cousin was a cop in Houston, TX. That’s four generations of my family who were police officers. In many cases the family members who weren’t cops were firefighters. It’s a long and proud family history. One I am not afraid to share, and even brag about.

My dad survived being a cop in Detroit, MI during the riots of 1967 and 1968. Between my dad, my great-uncle, and my cousin I’ve heard a lot of cop stories. The good, the humorous, the heroic, the tragically sad, and the unabashedly bad.

I support cops.

I remember being a kid and having to tell people my dad was a garbage man because being a cop’s kid in Detroit wasn’t really all that great of a thing. I remember one of my friends from school learning that my dad was a cop and his older brother following me around calling me a “little white piglet.” It was awful. I remember seeing my mom worry every time dad was late. I remember seeing her worry every time the phone rang. I remember knowing that my daddy’s job was dangerous and that he “might not come home.” I had no idea what that meant in reality – but I remember knowing it was bad.

I’m a cop’s kid. I support the thin blue line. My heart breaks with every reported death of a police officer because I know that it could have been my family. I know, better than anyone who isn’t actually a cop, how dangerous that job is and the toll it takes on the people who do the job and the families who love them.

I support cops.

But what I don’t do is turn a blind eye to the fact that there are real problems in our criminal justice system. From racism in the rank and file of police officers to racial bias in sentencing laws … It is everywhere. It is a real problem.

My dad was one of the first white cops in Detroit to be assigned to work with a black partner. My dad an Mike got along pretty well. Mike came to our house. My mom and his wife liked one another. they even hung out together after work. Like partners do. But because he developed a relationship with the guy who he trusted with his life my dad was called a “n****r lover.” And some white officers refused to work with him. In all fairness after he was one of the first partnered with a female officer they called him a “pussy.” The *isms weren’t limited to racism.

Racism was alive and well in Detroit in the 1960s and 70s. It was alive and well in Houston where my cousin worked in the 90s and 2000’s. In the 40+ years since my father’s retirement and the 2+ years since my cousin’s death I have no reason to believe that things have changed drastically. I also have no reason to believe that the racism in the police community is limited to Detroit and Houston.

I am a cop’s kid. I am pro-cop.

I can be pro-cop and cry for the deaths of every officer killed in the line of duty. I can also admit that there are problems in the system that need to be addressed and changed, I can cry and feel my heart break for innocent men and women who are treated differently than I am because they weren’t born white and I was. The two are not mutually exclusive. And if you think they are, or you think I am not pro-cop … you obviously know absolutely nothing about me.

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Posted by on July 9, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

I don’t need your approval

I haven’t been here in a long time. I’m not a very good blogger. It’s a darn good thing I have a career as a nurse to fall back on. As usual, I’m blogging because something bugged me.

Something happened at work on Tuesday that really weighed heavily on me.

My weekend was pretty bad. I was exhausted, trying to adjust to new meds, a close friend’s mom (who was also a friend of mine) was actively dying from lung cancer, and then Sunday morning brought grief on a large scale. This wasn’t the first mass shooting for which I’ve watched news coverage unfold. It probably won’t be the last (sadly). And while each time the thought has occurred, “That could happen any where. It could be anyone. Even me,” this was different. This was the first time in my adult life, in my life since coming out of the closet, that it really hit me. There are people in the world who don’t know me, who don’t care about me as an individual person, to whom I have done nothing … and some of those people would like to see me dead. Me and everyone else even remotely like me. People who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, sexually fluid, gender fluid … people who are different. People who don’t fit some mold. The cis-hetero mold. The Christian mold. The Jewish mold. The Muslim mold. The conservative mold. Whatever it is that sets me apart from them … there are people who will never accept me just the way I am, there are people who will like me “in spite of,” or there are people who wish me ill, and people who want me dead.

That’s pretty sobering. It’s pretty shocking. It’s pretty freaking scary.

With all of those thoughts running through my head I listened to straight, cis-gender people talking about the tragedy and not understanding why I got teary-eyed just thinking about the loss of lives in my community. The one I waited too many years to vocally join.

In my 20s, when I wanted to desperately to come out, to be me, to be accepted for me, to not worry that my parents wouldn’t love me any more if I was me … I spent a lot of time in a club in Tampa that was a lot like Pulse. It was a night club, it was a hang out, it was a church (of sorts), it was a haven. It was the one place in my life that I could just be myself. Inside those walls we felt safe. If you looked at a woman because she was attractive you didn’t have to worry about someone confronting you if you stared just a moment too long. If you kissed your girlfriend you din’t have to worry about some redneck getting mad and kicking your butt. Not inside those walls. The minute you walked out the doors … that was a different story. You watched your back. You watched the backs of your friends (and everyone was your friend … your family, even if you didn’t know them). The same woman you just danced with, laughed with, held hands with, and kissed – you walked a “respectable” distance away from her because you knew that there was a possibility that between the safety of the club and your car it wasn’t safe to be you.

So what happened at work? After hearing two of the women I work with downplaying the importance of Pulse being a LGBT bar and making it seem, like most straight people, that this wasn’t really about hatred toward the LGBT community, *my* community, I said, “It’s really important that we realize that while this has something to do with religion and extreme religious beliefs, it is also about the LGBT community. This was a ‘gay bar’ 2 hours away from where he lived. He didn’t randomly chose this bar because there were a lot of cars in the parking lot. He was targeting LGBT people.”

That started the two women patting themselves on the back for being people who would love their children “even if” they were gay. And then it happened. The comment. The one that really struck me the wrong way on this particular day when my emotions were as raw as everyone else in my community. “I mean I don’t agree with the lifestyle. But I can’t judge anyone.”

Suddenly it hit me. People who say this *are* judging. They’re saying, “Look at me. Look how tolerant I am. I would love my kid ‘even if’ and even if I don’t agree with your ‘lifestyle’ I’ll still put up with you,” are implying that there is some reason why you need to tolerate me, that there is some reason why it would be okay to stop loving your child, and that there is some reason why I should be seeking your approval.

I want to make this abundantly clear. No matter how much I love you, no matter how much you mean in my life, no matter how long we have been friends, no matter how much I enjoy working with, no matter how much I respect you … I do not need, nor do I want, your “approval” or “agreement.”

I am a member of the LGBTQ community. I am who I have always been. It took me 40 years to come to be comfortable enough with who I have always been to tell other people who I am – to share the truth of me in a widespread way. I have worked hard to get to this point in my life.

You either accept me, as I am. Or you don’t. There is no accepting one part of me and then denying another part of me. If what you “accept” or “agree with” is the part of me that doesn’t ever talk about the same things you talk about … who I love, who I am dating, who I have a crush on, how I’d like to meet a nice woman and go out for dinner (like you talk about meeting men), who I spent my weekend with, how I met someone cool on-line and I don’t know if it is too good to be true … all the things straight, cis-gender people talk about and take for granted talking about … then you don’t really know me. And honestly, who has time for that.

I won’t be rude to you. I won’t be mean to you. But I’m not going to pat you on the back and hand you a medal for being tolerant or tell you what a great job you are doing to being tolerant. There’s nothing wrong with me. I’m a good person. I’m a good friend. I’m honest. I’m loyal. I’m funny. I’m smart. I’m a decent nurse. I’m a pretty good mom. I’m an okay daughter. I’m worth knowing just the way I am. If who I might love some day (if I’m fortunate enough to meet someone) overshadows the rest of who I am then I’m okay with us not being friends.

I am out. I am proud. And I’m not going to be quiet about it.

This attempt to pacify LGBTQ people by saying, “Oh I think that who you are is somehow not right. BUT LOOK! This is me, not judging. See how cool I am being here?” is the type of fundamental dishonesty that prompts people to say that the Pulse club attack wasn’t an attack on the LGBTQ community. This type of dodging the issue, of being able to pretend that you’re not really being a bigot as long as you can say, “I don’t agree/believe … but,” is why some Americans are today able to pretend that the massacre at Pulse was just random violence and that it is all about “radical Islam” or “terrorism” or whatever. I don’t disagree. It was about terror. It likely was at least related to extreme and radical religious views. But it was primarily an attack on the LGBTQ community and we need to never forget that, because we still have a lot of ground to cover to be fully equal and we cannot let people pretend that there isn’t hatred in the world for the LGBTQ community. We cannot be quiet as our lawmakers pass laws designed to protect this kind of hatred and dress it up in the First Amendment.

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

The Truth About My Empty Nest

There are times when I wonder if I am either the most cold-hearted mother or the worst mother on the planet. Those moments when I think that someone is going to come up and demand my membership card for the Mom Club back. Am I a fraud? An impostor? Have my motherly instincts been hijacked by a mommy body snatcher?

It’s that time of year when I see so many moms (and some dads) lamenting sending their kids off to college. So many posts and articles about what it means to say goodbye to kids who are moving into the next phase of their lives – which of course means parents who are moving into the next phase of their lives. It seems that every social media post, every blog post, every article, every conversation sounds the same. “Woe to me, my child is leaving me.”

This is where I start to wonder if I am exceptionally cold, a really bad mother, a realist, or simply the only one willing to be honest. Because what I think every time I read one of these whinging ravings of self-pity is, “Well duh! That’s what they’re supposed to do. That’s what we raised them to do.”

My daughter is not now, nor has she ever been, my possession. She is her own person. She belongs wholly and solely to herself.  From the moment I knew I was pregnant I also knew that my job – my only job – was to teach her how to be her own person. To teach her to be strong enough and independent enough to go out and build her own life. Yes, of course I hoped (and honestly expected) that that life would overlap with mine. I never thought she’d stay forever. Honestly? I didn’t want her to.

Some of these parents who are bemoaning the empty nest and crying about how their “babies are leaving” are sending their children to colleges that are in the same state – a few hours away. These kids will come home to visit, to raid the refrigerator, to con mom into doing their laundry. Weekends, holidays, and summer breaks when the kids come home are in store for most of these empty nesters. It’s not like they will never see their kids again.

In December 2013 my daughter, B, married her high school sweetheart, J – who is active duty military. B continued to live with me for another 5 months after the wedding while they got paperwork ready and then she moved to be with her new husband. At the ripe old age of 18 B flew the coop – she emptied the nest. She didn’t just go away to college a few hours away. She moved to another country. Roughly 5,000 miles, an ocean, and 7 time zones away. She left the nest to start the grand adventure that is her life on my 45th birthday. I got a little misty-eyed at the airport as we were saying our goodbyes. I sniffled a little as I shared a Cinnabon cinnamon roll with my mom (in lieu of birthday cake) at a truckstop on the way home from the airport. Yet the overall feeling was one of joy. She was on her way into the world to start writing the newest chapter of her life story.

I miss her. Of course I do. I might wish that the first time she moved out wasn’t quite so far away. I might wish that the time difference between us was less than 7 hours. I am not crippled by her leaving. I have not sobbed breathlessly for hours because she’s gone.

Have I cried? Yes. I admit that a couple of times I have cried. Those times have been, without exception, when I have been sick. The first time was before she even moved out. J and B were on their honeymoon and I had the flu. By the time I got home from the wedding I had a fever of 101 and I felt like death warmed up. I was sitting on the couch feeling dizzy, weak and generally awful. I started to ask B if she would get me some orange juice and I realized she wasn’t home. Then my fever addled brain added in that I wasn’t due at work for several days, my mom wouldn’t be coming to check on the dogs because she knew I was home, and B wasn’t coming home for a few days. It then made the leap to, “I could die and no one would even notice!” That dire thought led immediately the thought of my cats snacking on my unfortunate remains. At that point I started to cry – certain that my lot in life was to die alone, unnoticed, and to be eaten by cats. Once I stopped crying I got up and poured filled all 4 cat bowls to overflowing, hoping that would buy me enough time to avoid the indignity of being cat food. I woke up the next morning feeling much better and no longer in a fever haze to find the embarrassing and incriminating evidence of my overreaction still filling my cats bowls.

B came home for a visit in January and was here for 2 weeks. I adored having her visit. It was lovely to spend time with her. At the end of the 2 weeks she was glad to be going back to her husband and I? I was glad to be sending her back to her husband. I love my daughter more than I have ever loved any other human being and more than I will ever love any other human being. But having my nest to myself is nice. I like it. I’m glad she moved out. We both needed it. It was time for us both to move into a new phase of our lives and of our relationship as mother and daughter.

I wonder – am I the only one who is secretly, or not-so-secretly, happy about having an empty nest? Am I really so rare? Or are there others like me, maybe not as outspoken about it, who don’t share in the socially expected grief of children growing up?

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Cravings and Expectations

Yesterday was a rough food day – or at least it felt like it was going to be a rough day. I was craving rich and creamy mac and cheese. That doesn’t seem particularly realistic when trying to switch to a whole foods plant-based diet that includes minimal added fats. There wasn’t anything on the Happy Herbivore meal plan this week that really seemed like it was going to satisfy, so I went to The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook and modified the nacho uncheese recipe (left out the olive oil and subbed in smoked paprika for the chili powder) and put that on my cooked pasta. It was fabulous! It totally satisfied my craving.

Later on I started really craving a chocolate brownie. But there was no way I was going to get in the car and drive 20 minutes round trip to sabotage myself. I tried just ignoring the craving, but that just started making me feel grumpy and deprived by my new lifestyle. That just wasn’t going to work. Then my amazing daughter, B, reminded me of the HH chocolate mug cake. I remembered making the mug cake a couple years ago and I remember it being more like a dark chocolate (which isn’t really to my taste), so I used vanilla soymilk and added some additional sugar.

The first bite felt a bit disappointing. It wasn’t the hyper-sweet flavour that my head was telling me to expect. The temptation was there to just ditch the health mug cake made with white whole wheat flour and no added fats and head to the store for a preservative-filled, HFCS-laden, super sweet pre-packaged brownie. But laziness and the desire to not put on a bra won out. After the third bite of the mug cake I had adjusted my expectations to get them more in line with my goals and it hit the spot!

A key step in making this transition is accepting these new healthier options for what they are – delicious, plant-based, whole foods that will move me toward the goal of being healthier and not expecting these foods to be exactly what I have always eaten. Eating what I have always eaten is how I got to be overweight – clearly accepting that and changing how I view food is crucial to maintaining this change.

On the upside – I managed to satisfy not one but two cravings yesterday and still kept it plant-based and healthy.  Even better there was no “day after the splurge” 2+ pound water-weight gain in evidence on the scale.

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2015 in Food Fight!

 

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Plant Strong!

A little over a week ago I recommitted to a plant-based whole foods lifestyle.  My iron deficiency anemia has reared its ugly head again and after about a month and a half of high dose iron supplementation I’m feeling a bit more human – more energy, not out of breath as easily, less muscle fatigue, fewer headaches, less mental confusion. But I still wasn’t feeling great. I wanted to do more to help optimize my health.

I’ve also gained quite a bit of weight – on a body that really couldn’t afford to gain any more weight.

Then my mom had to have a surgery to her blocked superior mesenteric artery. It was a tricky surgery because all of her arteries are in really bad shape. She watched Forks Over Knives and committed to a plant-based whole foods diet to try to halt progression of her arterial disease.  So we’re doing it together. Mom suggested keeping a journal of our journey to a PBWF lifestyle – and well since I don’t really like writing things by hand I figured I would just blog it.

Since B got married and moved out I’ve been finding it difficult to drum up the motivation to meal plan, grocery shop, and cook for one. I’ve found some help for that with meal plans from Happy Herbivore. The Happy Herbivore (Lindsay Nixon) has great cookbooks with simple recipes that aren’t super complicated or filled with odd esoteric ingredients, but her meal plans are even better because they come with shopping lists and instructions for cooking ahead so you don’t have to cook every day. This comes in handy on the days I work. I mean let’s face it, after working for 12 hours the last thing I feel like doing is coming home and cooking.

I’ve slipped up a couple of times and given in to the convenience factor while at work – but I’ve stuck to it pretty closely for a week now and it is getting easier.

It’s only been a week but I can already feel the difference. I’ve lost 3.8 pounds, I’m sleeping better, and I’m starting to feel more like myself. I think that the iron supplement is helping, too, but that the PBWF choices have really given me a boost.

On Thursday mom had an angiogram to check the status of her bypass and things look good. When we left the hospital we were both STARVING after no eating for more than 12 hours. We decided to stop on the way home for at late lunch. We picked a place that looked like it would at least have salad and instead we found Zoe’s Kitchen had a lot more than just sandwiches. We got a hummus plate to share and then we each got a quinoa salad on a bed of greens that was enormous. We really pigged out. But I am so proud of mom. Even when super hungry she made the choice to stick with her very new (one day old) plan to eat plant strong!

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2015 in Food Fight!

 

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Throwing it away

I hate it when I wake up, grab my phone to take a glance at social media and what I missed while I was sleeping and one of the first things I see pisses me off. I’m often annoyed by things I read, but to get really pissed before even having a cup of coffee cannot be good for me. I should probably wait until I’ve had that coffee before reading anything – but since I know my routine won’t change I’ll just vent about this mornings ire-triggering post on FB.

I use different social media outlets for different things. FB is for following actual friends and family to see what is going on in their lives. Twitter is for following and interacting with other atheists, feminists, and LGBT allies. Instagram is for following cats and dogs to get a smile or a laugh when the aforementioned sites get too serious.

Today’s share of internet stupidity came via FB, posted by a friend. It’s a meme – photo of an old couple with this caption, “When asked how they managed to stay together for 65 years the woman replied, ‘We were born in a time where if something was broke you fixed it, not throw it away.”

I’ve been married and divorced twice. Yes, you heard me. Twice.

I got married the first time at 19. About 4.5 months into the marriage my husband, who was in the Navy, survived a horrific and tragic training exercise that claimed the lives of 47 of the 58 men in his division. He didn’t just survive a terrible ordeal, later the Navy in a mind-blowing stunt of epic stupidity tried to deflect blame for the incident by blaming my husband, and later his best friend (who died in the explosion) for the blast. We spent the next year defending both his name and the name of his deceased friend. He and I both suffered from PTSD. It was the kind of thing that would have torn apart even an established marriage. But we didn’t have an established marriage. We had a very young, fledgling marriage. We didn’t throw anything away. We didn’t fix it because there wasn’t anything left to fix. Our lives blew up into a million pieces the day that explosion happened and there was no way to go back to who we had been before.

The second time I got married I was 25. I thought I’d chosen a good man – and everyone I know thought he was great and a “perfect match” for me. We were friends – I would have said he was my best friend – before we were anything more and the marriage seemed wonderful for 15 years. What I didn’t know (and let me tell you that what you don’t know can surely hurt you) is that my wonderful husband had been cheating on me. Not just once or even twice – but for the entire time we’d been together, even before we got married. I got married under false pretenses. My ex-husband didn’t marry me intending to be faithful. Hell he didn’t even date me intending to be faithful. In this instance there wasn’t anything to fix because there had never been anything real there to begin with. The entire marriage was a lie based on a foundation of lies. By the time I figured it out I couldn’t do anything but leave. But before I left I put myself through months of hell trying to fix what wasn’t even there.

It’s so easy, especially for people who have never survived the trauma of a divorce, to spout or share such simplistic platitudes. It is so easy to sit in judgement of people you don’t even know and say that they just “threw it away” because it was broken without the least bit of knowledge of how broken it was, how it got broken, and how much effort had been made to fix it.

Whenever you say or share some simplistic bullshit like this meme you’re engaging in some serious hubris. “Oh yeah! I agree with this because what it’s talking about could never happen to me!”  Who knows, in the middle years of my “wonderful marriage” I might even have said the same thing because I truly believed every lie my ex told me. I truly believed he was a loving, faithful husband who would always put his family first. I truly believed that we were the kind of people who would fix it rather than throw it away. Because even to me (and I was standing right in it) our marriage looked like something it wasn’t. It looked whole and strong and real. It wasn’t. It was an illusion. So to people who don’t know the reality – we looked like the perfect couple with a great marriage. So when it all ended seemingly suddenly after 15 years it probably looked like we just threw it away because it was broken.

That same mentality that would shame me for walking away from the illusion of a marriage that was never real was born to make a virtue from a broken social system that kept thousands of people in abusive relationships. 65 years ago divorce was almost impossible to attain. Women couldn’t file for divorce and you have to prove grounds for divorce – like adultery. Women couldn’t leave husband who beat the crap out of them or their kids because they couldn’t work, they couldn’t have a checking account or credit in their name, they couldn’t buy a car, rent an apartment … in short they couldn’t support themselves. They would have been branded with a Scarlet D and shunned from so-called polite society. Even their kids would have worn the stigma of having a single-parent. The choices were stay with your abusive/drunk/cheating spouse or live in abject poverty and be relegating to being the lowest of the low class. So people (mostly women) stayed in horrible situations that couldn’t ever possibly be fixed because they had no other choices.

I was lucky enough to be born in a time where I wasn’t obligated to be stuck in a bad marriage to a man who, even when caught and confronted with the pain his actions caused his wife and his child, wouldn’t stop cheating on me. Even with the support of family and friends (including the friend who shared the meme I’m ranting about), even with the ability to buy or rent a place to live, have my own bank accounts, have credit in my name, and get a good job – leaving was scary and harder than you might imagine. But not as hard and scary as staying in a dysfunctional relationship that was toxic to me and to my daughter.

I’m proud to have set an example for my daughter – one of not accepting less than I deserve from other people, one of not sacrificing myself and my well-being to satisfy the social expectations of others, one of not tolerating abuse, one of standing strong for myself and protecting my child.

Go ahead and share your silly meme if it makes you feel better about your life. I hope that you think that meme is an accurate reflection of a long-term marriage because your marriage has never faced and of those “broken beyond repair” moments and you honestly cannot imagine what irreparably broken looks like and all of your challenges could be fixed. But I fear that all too many who share this meme with such an air of self-congratulation have turned their suffering into virtue and are staying in a bad marriage because it’s the “right thing to do” – even when it isn’t.

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

The Thousand Words Picture

Note: I’ve edited this post to make it clear that I do not equate being sent a dick pic with being physically assaulted and/or raped. I am not comparing the impact of the two very different acts.

Yesterday I posted a very quick blog post that may or may not have made much sense. I was mad and I was trying to prove a point. I promised to provide some more detail when I had time – and I’m still a little pissed off so I’m going to follow through on that promise to vent some frustration.

Friday was a normal day on Twitter. Read some things that were funny as hell. Read some things that made me think. Read some things that made me mad. The usual gammut because I follow some really amazing people on Twitter. I was having a conversation with someone about the hazards of online dating. Out of the blue, with no provocation, a random idiot posts (not a direct message but a publicly available post on my TL) a photo of himself naked with the comment, “rate me.” At first I was just stunned that anyone thinks that is acceptable behaviour, much like the first time anyone ever flashed me (remember back in the day when skeezebags had to have the guts to show you their genitals in person?). My initial reaction was to just delete it and move on. That last approximately 3 seconds before I got mad. I retweeted the original tweet, complete with unappetizing photo. Suddenly @bigcockjim2 (henceforth known as Mr. Limp Dick) gets a case of the shy and demands I remove the photo from my TL “b4 people repost it.” I didn’t immediately delete the post. I let him sweat a little and reminded him that he should have thought it through before he posted a nude picture of himself on a public social media site. Remember kids, once it is out there you can never really get it back. After a couple of hours because the guy was so unattractive that I deleted it as a public service to my Followers and my own poor eyes who really didn’t want to see that hanging around on my TL. I figured that was the end of it and I moved on.

Maybe it was a rough night at work. Maybe it was not enough sleep. Maybe it was a lack of coffee. But yesterday I woke up and I was still pissed off that so many men seem to think that it is perfectly okay to send an unsolicited photo of one’s dick to women. They really seem to believe that we all want to see their penises. Or at the very least, even if we don’t want to see it, that they somehow have the right to intrude on our personal space and our minds in such a way. They fail to recognize that this, like catcalling, is an assault on us. There seems to be a collective failure to understand that the unassuming penis can be, and often is, a weapon used against women in some very heinous ways. So having the temerity to send a picture of a penis to a women you don’t know, who didn’t request the photo is a threatening action. It says, “I don’t give a fuck about you, what you want, or your personal autonomy. I’m going to do whatever the hell I want to do. So look at my dick, Bitch!” It is a reminder to us that some men will use their penis as a weapon.

It’s not devastating. It doesn’t have the lasting repercussions of a physical assault – sexual or otherwise. It’s not traumatic as a personal verbal assault can be. It doesn’t have the same fear inducing power as men catcalling on the street. So why do I care? Why get so mad about some random asshole on Twitter? Because this is one symptom of the larger disease. Our culture blames women for being victims of crimes. From rape to robbery to domestic violence the message is that we “asked for it.” That we are somehow responsible for the actions of others. If a man gets out of hand and grabby at a bar and you complain then it’s your fault for going to a bar. If a man mugs you and steals your purse then it your own fault for being in a bad neighbourhood, not parking under a streetlight, having the temerity to go to the mall alone … the list of excuses for men to perpetrate violence against women is lengthy and we’ve all heard it.

The same collective mindset that allows men to believe that it is acceptable to send up photos unsolicited and unwanted of their genitals is responsible for justifying blaming women for being victims of physical violence. We’re just women. We don’t count. And hell, we probably really wanted it anyway.

With that thought in my mind I posted the following rant on Twitter, 140 characters at a time. I posted the screen shot I took of his original post, complete with nude photo.

It’s rant time. Yesterday some scumbag motherfucker Tweeted me a nude pic of himself. Completely unsolicited. Clearly he thinks this is ok. Except that when I retweeted it he suddenly had an attack of the shy and demanded that I remove the Tweet. Apparently he thinks he can tell me what to do. Clearly in his mind I am not a human being. I’m just a woman to be assaulted with pics of his limp dick and told what to do. In reality I am a very opinionated person. A feminist. A humanist. And today, maybe because I had a rough day at work last night … or I haven’t had enough coffee yet … I’m a bitch. I’m the bitch that’s going to stand up and say go to hell you limp-dicked asswipe! I don’t listen to the dictates of men like you. Don’t want your nude pick spread around the Net? Here’s a thought don’t post it on Twitter. And don’t send it, unsolicited, to a woman you’ve never met asking her to rate you. Because I’m going to do that and ask my friends to. So for all the fans of the badly named @bigcockjim2 – rate away my friends.

 

Halfway through my rant, and before I posted the screen shot I get a message from a different account saying, “You do listen.. You took it down.” He was so impressed with himself and in such a hurry to congratulate himself on the little woman doing as he said that it took it a while to sink in that I put up the screen shot. What ensued in the following couple of hours was Mr. Limp Dick using 3 different accounts telling me to remove the screen shot.

When I told him that I was also going to write a blog post and put the screenshot on my blog the man in question informed me that it is not possible to do that because the photo was posted and Twitter and could not (as in not technologically possible) to be used on another site. He’s clearly not the brightest and technology is not his friend. So I proved him wrong, yet again.

At one point he told another woman who was helping me attempt to show Mr. Limp Dick the error of his ways, “Tell that bitch to take my pic down b4 people repost it.”

There it is. The big man (read that with a heavy dose of sarcasm) sends the little woman (more sarcasm) a nude photo of himself that she didn’t ask for and when she stands up and says, “Hell no I’m not putting up with this shit,” she’s a bitch. Surprising isn’t it?

Look, I know that not all men are like this. But enough are that every woman I know has had enough experiences like this that we know that we should feel nervous and cautious when dealing with men. When in truth, no human being should have to feel nervous about interactions with other human beings. Sadly, Mr. Limp Dick and his ilk are so ensconced in their sense of entitlement that they simply cannot understand why women don’t want random men sending pictures of their dicks. They are even less able to understand why some women will buck the status quo and actually say or do something about it when it happens. No doubt Mr. Limp Dick was very upset that I didn’t respond like a good girl and either fawn all over his sad little limp penis in all its non-glory or ignore it and pretend that it never happened. After all, isn’t that what good girls do? They pretend it never happened so their reputation isn’t tarnished, because on some level it is the woman’s fault when a man acts badly.

Maybe if more women stood up and openly shamed the men who act like this we’d have fewer men who believe that they have some sort of right to behave in such a disgusting manner.

And to think people still ask me why I am a feminist and why I think feminism is necessary …

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2014 in Leaning Left