2 Days Late, but a Few Thoughts I Had on International Women’s Day
● Upon reading a brave young lady’s account of being sexually assaulted at a metal show,
I was reminded of the time I confessed to a past boyfriend my deep dark secret of being
assaulted myself. And how he called me a liar. Same boyfriend a few months later got
angry at me for yelling at one of his customers at the bar he worked at because the
customer grabbed my ass, and was equally handsy with other ladies at the same time.
● Taking a walk last night, I was hollered at by an SUV full of young men. Contrary to their
intentions, I was not flattered, only thankful I was on a busy street so if they tried to
physically assault me, at least I was in public and would maybe get help from passers by. Continue reading
On the Bullshit of Toy Departments
I love Christmas; it is easily my favorite holiday. Even after converting to Judaism, I won’t give it up. I have a huge family and we all love it. Some of my best memories from childhood center around Christmas. We were poor growing up, but it was the one day my parents made sure was just magical and I carry a bit of that magic in my tinsel-loving heart still. I go crazy every year – I buy all of the gifts, bake all of the goodies and have all of the fun. I get giddy over surprises and can’t act like an adult when I have wrapped presents under the tree and can barely keep from telling people what I’ve gotten them. I’m the opposite of a Grinch, which is why my rage at toy departments bums me out extra this time of year.
My father remarried after I graduated from high school and they quickly started giving me more siblings. I first noticed the gendered nonsense of the toy department at Target when I started looking for gifts for the young’uns. There are pink aisles filled with Barbies and ponies and dress up sets and play kitchens. There are blue aisles with superheroes and Legos and weapons and every type of vehicle. Then there’s a green aisle with the educational gifts, which is where I did my shopping while sneering at the idiotic gendering of children’s toys.
Seriously – if you’re a girl and want a toy at Target, you are being told you must like princesses and glitter and stuffed toys and tea parties? And if you’re a boy, you like fighting and cars and videogames and fighting and fighting and fighting (the violence of toys is a whole other peeve). That’s it! Nothing else! I mean, unless you want to cross colors…like a freak. It’s just so so so incredibly enormously stupendously seriously stupid. So, yeah, I quickly avoided the toy department completely and everyone got books (which are filled with a whole other passel of gendered nonsense, but I don’t have the time or energy for that today).
Anecdotes Aren’t Data
So, maybe you’ve read this article about the state of daycare in the US. Maybe you haven’t. Would you like to be incredibly depressed? You would? Awesome. I’ll wait while you take a few minutes to read it. [drums fingers] All done? Wonderful. Here’s a tissue. You’re welcome. It was that last bit, wasn’t it? And all of the other terrible things.
I’m lucky. Very lucky. When I decided to actually follow through with my pregnancy, I did so knowing that I had support. I had support from my friends, and from my family. My parents, while not wealthy, are certainly well-off enough, and kind enough, to help me out of a tight spot if necessary. My child’s father, while not a bastion of support, was (for better or for worse) (probably for worse) still around, and he worked nights, which allowed me to return to work after 6 really fucking short weeks and work 12-14 hour days (after being screwed out of my short-term disability pay and almost being screwed out of my health insurance…but that’s another post for another day). So I wasn’t concerned with the cost of childcare.
But as time wore on, I started noticing things at home. Like how the top shelf of my baking cabinet had been decimated. Or my new Urban Decay (bought on clearance, thankyouverymuch) eyeliner had been smeared on my bathroom wall. I knew my child’s father was not doing his job. Granted, he did work nights, but it was at a bar. And I really REALLY doubt he was forced to stay there til the 5 or 6am at which he normally came home. My then 2 year old son was busting out of the baby gate and having his way with my home. In my kitchen and in my bathroom. Cue heart attack. Finally I said FUCK IT, and managed to hire an old friend of mine to watch E 3 days a week hoping to assuage my fears. It was definitely helpful, and I trusted (and still trust!) her with the care of my child. After I gave E’s dad the boot, I had to find a place for him the remaining days because I knew his father was the most unreliable. After making half-assed arrangements with friends (god bless them) and being late to work more times than I could count, I finally sent him to a co-worker’s sister’s home daycare. It wasn’t a nightmare, but E wasn’t having a great time, and they gave preference to their own (horrible brat) granddaughter over ALL of the other children. I had to come up with a better solution. Continue reading
Cuccinelli Needs to STFU & GTFO
We have MSNBC on all day, every day in my home. Scott and I are loud and proud liberals, which can be a little tough living in the Richmond VA area. We live in Eric Cantor’s (uugggghhhhhhh) district and there’s lots of Tea Party license plates and road signs along my daily commute. Our neighborhood is primarily working class African-Americans, which is awesome and means I don’t worry about my car getting defaced for the Obama stickers. But outside our little pocket, we’re surrounded by our political foes.
The Governor’s mansion is currently occupied by Bob McDonnell, or as Rachel Maddow calls him, Governor Ultrasound. A while back, he tried to make trans-vaginal ultrasounds mandatory for all women seeking abortion services, even when medically unnecessary and against doctor and patient wishes. The governor obviously has never had a trans-vaginal ultrasound, so he had no idea how invasive and uncomfortable the procedure is when it *is* necessary. That little attempt to diminish women’s reproductive freedom garnered a lot of national attention and left me angry and embarrassed of my state. But he’s just the tip of the intrusive, faux-conservative iceberg.
Our Attorney General, and Republican gubernatorial candidate, is Ken “The Cooch” Cuccinelli. He’s the worst. When he came in to office, he altered our state seal on pins and around his office because OMGTITTIES. I refer to him and McDonnell as faux-conservative because they are. They’re anti-“big government” when it comes to social programs and services – Medicaid, welfare, food stamps, Head Start, free school lunches and a whole litany of services that directly affect me and mine because of the whole autism thing – that I just can’t even get started on because I’ll have a ragestroke and now isn’t a good time for that. So, small government, nanny state, free market, job creators, blah blah fucking blah.
Please Stop Telling Me That I Want More Children
As a lady, I find myself in the position of having my decisions publicly judged on a daily basis. From the old dude who tells me to “Smile!” because “It ain’t that bad!” to all sorts of legislators telling me what I can and cannot do with my own body, every day feels like a goddamn shitshow. But the one that’s really been the hair in my ass lately? People, some of whom I barely know, playing concern troll for my son’s lack of siblings. No, really. This is a thing that happens. I was just as surprised as you are! People really seem to care about the contents of my uterus, and seem to be surprised, offended, or a combination of the two when I tell them that I would prefer that it has no further occupants. Sigh.
Dudes. Duuuuuuuudes. Here is a secret about me that actually is not a secret at all if you talk to me for more than, say, 20 minutes. I don’t really like kids. Let’s back up because GOD KNOWS the shit flies like a swarm of killa bees when you make statements like that. I love my son. He’s mine, I made him. He is hands down the worst roommate I’ve ever had, but jeez, yeah, I love the shit out of that kid. And my friends’ kids? Sure! They’re okay too. Many of them are adorable, and some keep my own child occupied so we can sit on the porch with beer and Parliaments. But generally speaking? If given the choice of being around a bunch of kids and the opposite of that scenario? I will choose the latter. Some people are kid people, just like some people are dog people, others are cat people, and some are CENTAURS. (For the record, I am none of those things.) (Sorry if you thought I was a centaur.) Babies are cute, but I like to give them back to their rightful owner when they get fussy or poop up their backs. Kids are loud and mean and if I wanted loud and mean, I’d hang out with…well, me. I’d hang out with me.