Rapist Brock Turner, Judge Aaron Persky and How to Not Feel Only 1000% Repulsed at the Situation

To be honest, I’ve avoided all but the headlines over this horrific Brock Turner rape case until today. It hits particularly close to home for me, because as a virgin in college, I was raped while blackout drunk. Afterward, I tried to bring it up to him, but he insisted that he hadn’t done anything wrong. I felt so much shame and blamed myself, my drinking, my inability to take control of my body. I still deal with the aftermath of it; I finally told my parents what happened a few months ago, 10 years after it actually happened. I never confronted the dude about it again and he remains friends with some of my friends to this day.  I think it confuses him why some of us avoid him and I wonder if he even remembers it as it was- sex without consent. It put me on the fast track to figuring out who I am and what I believe in… that my body is MINE and no one else’s.

I’ve seen the headlines and the posts all over Facebook the past few days, but it wasn’t until this video came across my Twitter that I took some time to really consider it. And actually, even though the video makes my stomach turn and tears well up in my eyes, I actually feel some kind of solace watching Ashleigh Banfield passionately read the victim’s letter. I can almost feel her rage and I believe there is something special about women standing up for other women that is palpable in this video. It gave me pause, and lead me to conclude that society has made huge steps in the past 10 years in identifying and bringing to the surface the systemic problem of rape culture. I see my friends on Facebook, women AND men, rallying behind the innocent women, furious at the rapist. I see that 200,000 people signed a petition against Judge Aaron Persky who gave him such a lenient sentence. I see USA Swimming banned him from membership, and the Twitterverse has taken up arms against the ignorant father who defended his rapist son. We still have a long way to go to end rape culture and the people who allow it to go unchecked, but I truly feel that if what happened to me 10 years ago happened today, I might have the courage to say something and to publicly defend my body, knowing that my experience would not be shoved under a rug. Yes, some trolls may still say I deserved it for being so drunk or wearing a short skirt or whatever, but that those voices would be drowned out by the voices of the people fighting and demanding justice alongside me. Let’s keep standing up and fighting and see how much further we can get in the next 10 years.

The Moral Code of Teen Sexuality

Disclaimer: I am not even close to having any teen daughters that I need to talk to about sex and in fact the idea of having to do so is quite jarring. I want to be a cool mom, I want my kids to trust me and talk to me about everything and be their friend but I can imagine that it ain’t easy to tell your 16 year old who was just a tiny babe what seems like 3 months ago that you are proud of her for having sex for the first time on her terms. And like, what really is the appropriate age to have sex for the first time? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ But I’ve got about 10 years before I have to think about that, so I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. What really struck me about this segment from my favorite morning talk show ~ The Brian Lehrer Show ~ is how much I related to it as an exploration of the struggles of my own teenage past. Hearing Peggy Orenstein so vehemently denounce abstinence teaching as a method of birth control just made my heart flutter! She generously, clearly and bluntly puts into words how important communication about sex truly is for young women, and makes me feel like progress is happening in our world. Because if teen girls to have the ability to own and explore their sexualities, then we are equipping them with the ability to say “No” until they are ready to say “Yes,” and truly be stewards of their own bodies. And when that generation of women (and men) grow up to be of child bearing age, they will be that many miles closer to gender equality, maybe even ~ dare I say~ at the finish line? If we correct the way we talk to girls about sex from a young age, can we correct the gender gap entirely?

Also, this book sounds awesome if you are a Mom of a young girl.

A Case for Restoration

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about 1/4 way through the process, before the new sink and floor were laid down.

Why does no one make the case for restoration? Why do I feel like the only person in the world who think it’s worth spending a little extra time to keep some things around, versus gutting and starting over? After meeting with two contractors this weekend and having our family over and all of them saying the same thing, I’m starting to feel like I’m taking crazy pills!

When we first talked about redoing our bathroom, I was all for installing new tile and a new shower in replace of the tub. But, as I lived in the bathroom a little while, the pale yellow 4×4 squares and built in porcelain soap and toothbrush holders really grew on me. They reminded me of my childhood bathroom. Granted, the bathroom I grew up in was a lot fancier than this one. It had a thin trim tile with blue tulips with green leaves that went around the room near the top and a yellow and white mosaic floor. It was classically 1920’s (The house was built in 1919), and I lived in that bathroom from age 3-18. So naturally, I have a real obsession for all old houses and old fixtures, things with “character” and “charm.” But still, I was ready to part with the yellow tile in our new house, especially considering how cheap … wait for it... how cheap subway tile is! Continue reading

We get by with a little help from our friends

Well, the best laid plans of mice and men and new homeowners sure have gone awry. This weekend I showed up to Radley Cottage with a trunk full of new tile, mortar and grout, ready to start making our bathroom shiny again. The bathroom renovation has been on our to do list for months and now that the holidays (and many amazing visitors) have come and gone, we can afford to tear the thing apart. I had planned that this tile laying would take one, maybe one and a half weekends total. That plan was literally flooded out of the house when we arrived late Friday evening to the sound of something rushing and spraying inside the house. We found the handle had burst off of the hot water in the tub and water had been shooting strait out at such a force for who knows how long. The entire house was drenched in condensation, like it was sitting inside of a giant sauna.

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Introducing Radley Cottage

me with our money tree in front of the house

me with our first purchase -a money tree- in front of the house.

Well, we need help with the name. “Radley” is a combination of his last name and mine, and cottage is all we can agree on, though “mountain haus,” “chalet,” and “izba” have been thrown out as options. Leave your suggestions in the comments!

I should apologize for being a lazy blogger as of late, but rest assured I have not been lazy IRL. Continue reading

Get What You Want, When You Want It

My reward for not taking no for an answer: taking in this view all weekend!

My reward for not taking no for an answer: taking in this view all weekend!

At this risk of sounding totally bratty, I’ll admit that much of my life I’ve felt and acted quite entitled. I’m very much a product of my parent’s upbringing, which was to assure me that I could “be and do anything you want” or with hard work, “accomplish anything you want.” As a child and teenager I was a daddy’s girl and there wasn’t much I longed for that I couldn’t have. Some of that would quickly change while I was in college and the economy crashed, my parents almost declared bankruptcy, I graduated when the job market was the worst it’s ever been (at least, in my lifetime) and I had to learn to fend for myself. Continue reading

Men Who Stand for Women’s Rights: Jimmy Carter

This TED Talk by former President Jimmy Carter is one of the most refreshing things to come across my news feed in months! It’s not often that an old, white man has such an empathetic view on women’s civil rights that takes the side of the feminists, but Jimmy Carter does it here with such a natural passion! Continue reading

The State of the Union and White Women as a Pretext for Racism

The events of this last week in Charleston have shocked me beyond belief and yet are too familiar a story. We cannot continue to deny the consistent undercurrent of racism in this country. For many of us, it’s hard to imagine how and why this could happen but the bottom line is that racism continues to take American lives and at some point, we have to put our foot down to protect our own people. While this may feel like an extremist act, it is the act of a mad man echoing the racism of the culture in which he is surrounded. He was enabled, superficially by our lenient gun laws and intrinsically by the values of major groups in this country. The permissiveness that exists in -specifically- the south, allows deep seated racism to continue has been out of hand for some time. Older white generations look back on the 1960’s and 70’s and with all good intentions say, “But look how far we’ve come!” And it’s true, and we are thankful. But that contentedness, that position of accomplishment says “OK! We’re done here! That was hard but now I can stop thinking about it. We fixed it.” It’s hard to keep going, it’s hard to pick that flag back up and get back to work because I’m only 29 and I’m exhausted about it too. Every time we hear of another police officer assaulting a person of color I sigh and think, “Again? Really?” I truly don’t know how Black America can wake up each morning and continue with such fervor, with such passion and hope. It’s exhausting, its demoralizing but damn it, it has to stop. Continue reading

Feminist Lisa Frank Tumblr; Ironic Misandry at it’s best

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Quote by Florynce Kennedy

We are OBSESSED with this genius Feminist Lisa Frank tumblr! Recently, Lisa’s people have fired back at the tumblr and asked for a cease and desist, but we are coming out in support of FLF, who’s “About” section reads: “dismantling the patriarchy one rainbow kitten at a time.” Truly, what is more empowering than reclaiming images of rainbows and unicorns from our girl-hood as flags of feminist glory?  Please Feminist Lisa Frank, never stop posting! Continue reading