Thursday, February 28, 2013

Church Women: Leave Now

Dear Church Women:

There has never been a woman leader of any major religious group (with the possible exception of The Salvation Army) that I can find and that should be shocking to our core.

Our hearts should be shattered that there are no women priests, no women in the leadership of the Catholic Church and virtually none in the leadership of any other church or religion that I can determine.

Why are we all thrilled to have a few women ministers or deacons?

Why are women slaving for religions and churches that have no respect for their ability to communicate with the same Being that men communicate with?

Why don't all women walk out? Why are they cooking and cleaning and donating and serving and teaching for institutions that clearly think that they are inferior beings?

Just askin.

Everyone can read, pray, worship and enjoy the companionship of fellow believers anywhere. So why not go on strike? Just get up and walk out and take your checkbooks with you, women.

Or, become an agnostic or atheist. Just sayin.

Hope I haven’t hurt your feelings!

Your friend,


PS Hope I haven’t committed heresy. I didn’t look it up.

For Julie

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

To Parents & Teachers of Bullies

Parents and Teachers of Bullies,

All to often we focus our attention on how victims can protect themselves at the expense of talking about how to stop bullies.

We all need to be addressing bullies and the parents of bullies -- not just because their children are doing a lot of harm to others.

Parents of bullies are ruining their own children’s lives. And, teachers and coaches may not be helping.

I am a flawed parent and person, but as a social worker, parent and human being, I can tell parents that one of the worst mistakes they can make is let their child grow up unloved, disliked and without the basic social skills to survive in life.

Bullies do not have the basic social skills to be successful in life. Oh, they may feel successful. They may have friends of a certain type. But, they do not have even the most fundamental social skills.

There were bullies on my daughter’s sports teams. I blame the parents (and sometimes coaches) and pity the children. Children growing up with terrible social skills, unable to resolve conflicts, unable to gain admiration, unable to make friends are a tragedy.

In all of the classes and sports my daughter participated in outside school, only one program set behavioral standards (no pushing, for example) and disciplined children for breaking the standards (go to the back of the line). 

I have sat through a lot of children’s activities and I have never seen a coach or teacher of a community program (excepting one) stop children from pushing, shoving, cutting line, shouting, etc. In fact, routinely, aggressive behavior is successful. Maybe teachers and coaches are worn down and the loudest pushiest kid gets the most.
To see parents with no concern for the children who are being bullied and with no comprehension that they have handicapped their own child for life? Tragic!

It takes no time for teachers and coaches to say that pushing is rude, shoving hurts feelings, cutting line is unacceptable and then begin at the end of the line – where the most aggressive children are never found.

Some research show that bullies do not have low self esteem – they like themselves; they are bullied at home; and, they are supported by their parents when confronted for their public bullying.

Don’t be that parent. If you child lacks social skills, you have failed as a parent.

Your friend,


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Dear Baby Mommies

Dear Baby Mommies:

Today, my friend Barb Bates wrote you this letter. I edited it a wee bit and re-formatted it. The words in italics are mine. The rest are hers. We both love you. Young women never recover financially, educationally, in the job market... in any way... from early motherhood.
We love you! Vivian

                         START WITH THE WOMAN IN THE MIRROR

Someone is always sending messages about the responsibility of Daddies. Most times I agree.

 BUT, there is another side that we seem afraid to talk about, SO I WILL agree (about the responsibilities of fathers) and also say that "choice" is very important.

Girls make choices. They choose the kind of men or boys they date. They choose at what age to have sex. They choose whether to have sex. Who to have sex with. When to have sex. They choose whether they use contraception. They choose how reliably to use contraception. They choose whether to also use condoms in addition to a more reliable form of birth control.

Girls and boys don't need to conceive children; that is for married men and women. We as women tend to blame men for not becoming daddies just because a baby is born.

What evidence did this "BOY" give you that this would happen??? That he would become a Daddy just because you had a baby? Some of us have given ourselves to old grown "boys" and we knew they would not make good Daddies but we had sex without protecting ourselves anyway.

Today there are so many ways to keep from becoming a parent. (Not Abortion; that's murder.)

And, there are so many wonderful families longing to adopt children.

We need to STOP bringing children in this world who will probably LIVE POOR, NOT BECOME A PART OF A LOVING FAMILY, DO POORLY IN SCHOOL, USE DRUGS AND ALCOHOL, Have Mental problems, and be filled with self hate.

WOMEN and girls can stop some of the problems in our race and the community. THINK BEFORE YOU SEX.!!!!! Take personal responsibility. Protect yourself and the poor innocent children who need two loving, responsible parents. We all have made mistakes but it is time to STOP placing blame.

Start with the Woman in the Mirror.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Dear Educational Accountants & Engineers

Dear Business Consultants:

Oh, I just love accountants! I have one!

And, I adore engineers -- just bought a new refridg and a new dishwasher. Of course, neither one of them will last as long as an appliance built in 1950, but... I am thinking more and more about that...

So, my son is having difficulty in school and I took him to our accountant and to an engineer for a consultation and they ...

What!?! Am I a freaking lunatic? What do accountants and engineers know about children. Ahhhh... Maybe I should consult and MBA?

None of them know a stinkin' thing about children, human growth and development, neuro-science, education, child psychology... or education. Oh, I love accountants when tax season rolls 'round, but for our educational system, why not do something radical and listen to experts on children and learning?

Here are a few reasons that we should stop listening to business people and why business models or factory models should not be applied to education:

+ The growth and development of children is far more complicated than even the most complicated business.

Genetics, physical and mental illness, nutrition, poverty, parenting, physical or emotional abuse, community environment, alcohol and drug use/abuse and dozens of other factors play a role in school behavior and learning. But, most important, early development is very determined by neurological development.

+Children vary enormously in their achievement of developmental landmarks and in reading. Some children read in kindergarten and some don't read until second grade (or even later) but early and late readers are often reading on the same level by the end of 2nd or 3rd grade.

+ Individual children don't grow steadily. They grow by leaps and bounds -- and then plateau. Children may appear to be completely stalled at reading and then progress 2 or more grade levels in a single year.

+ The competence of a given teacher or school is not the easy black and white issue that so many people would have us believe.

Some teachers and some schools are a better "fit" for some students than others. There is no universally agreed upon "great teacher in a great school." My daughter loved grouchy older male teachers! The grouchier the better for her.

Not every teacher is the perfect teacher in the eyes of every parent or all the other teachers. Parents don't agree on teaching styles, or homework or discipline or humor in the classroom or affection or paying compliments or ... There will never be a time when fellow teachers and parents are in agreement about teacher competence because we all have differing values and differing standards.

So, of course, we all want excellent schools and teachers. No, none of us have the same definition. Yes, we want "high standards." But, I want to be listening to experts in education, child development, psychology...

I don't want schools run by businesses. I don't want a business model of education. What about you?

Oh, I still love engineers and accountants and... But, I do think appliances should last longer!

Your friend,


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Dear Chickie La La: Love Thyself!

Dear Beautiful People:

That is you.  Everyone. All of us.

Summer is just around the corner. It is the end of February, after all! Time to go out and buy a bunch of glossies, diet books, miracle vitamins, power drinks... and get ready for swimsuit season.

Swimsuit season is otherwise known as "self-hatred season." Sorta.  Kinda. Except there is some research indicating that most people rate themselves as more attractive than other people rate them. Hmmm... Huh... Uhhhh... What could that mean?

It is very confusing. Preoccupation with one's own appearance is rather... well.. there is no other way to put it. Narcissistic.

I mean, like... Chickie La La, just how important do you think you are? Do you think you are THE ONE that everyone is looking at on the beach? Are you THE ONE, and the only one that everyone is looking at on the dance floor? Even if you were giving a speech, what are the odds that you would be THE ONE that everyone was looking at?

So, "If you can't have the one (body) you love, love the one (body) you have." I took some literary license there. You only get one body -- unless you believe in reincarnation. Then, Chickie La La, it could get a lot worse.

I have it on good authority from a 100 year old Tibetan monk that women who are overly preoccupied with their own appearances (we are not talking about legitimate mental illnesses here) come back to earth as rhinoceroses.

I made that last part up.

Chickie La La, you are lucky if one person is looking at you. All those other people judging you? They don't even know you are alive. They are thinking about themselves because they believe that they are the center of the universe! They don't know you are the center of the universe. No one told them! Get over yourself sweetheart!

Oh, I hope I didn't hurt your feelings? Are you an orphan? Raised by wolves? Hasn't someone told you this?

People watching is my hobby. Save money on tanning and nail salons and the most expensive hair salon. Don't waste money on magazines and diet books and wonder remedies. Wear beautiful clothing that fits you and wear a smile. Didn't I just see you leaving the salon with a $200.00 hairstyle wearing jeans that don't fit? You didn't need highlights, baby girl! You needed jeans that fit.

Get a life. Do some good. Join a club. Take dance lessons. Take all the money I just saved you and go on a great vacation.

Whatever you do, love your body! You are not going to be getting another one and the only life you have is this second. This breath is your life. Do not waste it either in hating yourself or over-estimating yourself. Just live!

Love, love, love is in the air!

Your friend,


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dear Girls 2 Women: My Parents' Rules

Dearest Girl & Women:

Ahhhh... You are so easy to love! You make the world go round! You give birth to... everyone and every thing. We women are the very first incubators! We incubate and birth and nurture the world. 

And, we hope that there are a host of others joining us in nurturing children, including terrific fathers, families, extended families and communities.

Too often there aren't.

So, if I were an anxious fearful person g... wait right there! I am an anxious fearful person from a long line of anxious fearful people and depression era parents and grandparents!

Of course, I would love to give everyone advice! Parents, you betcha, I know just what to do to increase the likelihood that your daughters will be safe and secure throughout life. Schools? Yes, I know just what to tell you! Communities? Yes, just ask?

You could ask Nicholas Kristoff, also. He's more famous than I am (huh!) and he writes about the condition of women in third world countries. Because much of the advice that he offers applies to women everywhere.

Here is what Girls 2 Women need to do to increase the odds that they will have safe and secure lives.

Vivian's Parents' Rules

1. Girls must get an education.

We all know many people who do not want their children to go go college and who actively discourage it. They do not promote vocational training. They do not save money for their children's education. Many women do not get jobs or second jobs so their girls can go to college and start life debt free. Fathers do not get second jobs. They do not get advice for their children. They do not visit schools or apprenticeships. They never talk to a counselor.

So, when your girl is 30 and being abused and has no place to go and no money and 3 children and no way to earn a living... Just sayin'.

Send your girls to school.

2. Girls must have a profession, occupation or trade. 

It has to be a profession or a skilled trade or occupation.

3. Delay marriage. 

4. Delay parenthood. Early marriage and early parenthood are economic disaster for young women and, for young men. My parents said so.

5. Every woman has to have a job until retirement is paid for or she dies -- which ever comes first.

My father was a tough man. And, life is tough. A homemaker was just a woman on the brink of abandonment and starvation or a man working too hard -- one of the two -- in his view. Harsh, I know. But, then he had gone hungry and I haven't.

A career, a job, is a wonderful thing! My grandmother was widowed at 26 and did not remarry until her early 50's -- just before retiring. She was a single woman living and working in "the city!" My mother worked and I thought she was a rocket scientist! I couldn't wait to own a brief case and go to work every day -- I hated school!

6.  Every Girl 2 Woman has to have a savings account for emergencies, a retirement plan and a Social Security (fingers crossed) account.

7. If a husband is unreliable or dishonorable, he's gotta go. Hey, my daddy made these rules!

8. Girls, you gotta live below your means. Way below your means. Or you will never have security. And, living beyond your means means (get it!?!) that:

+You bought a $200,000 at the top of the market, paid nothing down, the market went down and now you owe the bank $200,000 for a house worth $150. You're screwed.
+You bought a car that is now worth less than you owe, you cannot afford the payments and... you're screwed.
+You have 3 children, your husband moved to IL, you cannot collect child support and... Your credit card payment is higher than your income... so you're...

9. Stay close to friends.

10. Stay close to family. Take care of each other. Never become isolated.

11. Have a secret account somewhere. JK. Not really. Sort of. Hmmm... Cannot decide...

Hey, these are insecure times. Don't just be safe! Aim higher than that! Be secure, because... well, my daddy said so and he was a ring-tailed SOB and what he says, goes!

Your friend,


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Dear Friends: Let's Have a Revolution!

Dear Friends,

I am inviting you to a Revolution. 

IF we valued women and children, our statistics would prove it.  IF we wanted women and children to be safe, they would be. Our stats show what we value.

My biological clock is ticking. No, not that one! I am 60, and I do not want to die until I see vast improvements for women in this world.

So, my fellow country wo/men (that means women and men, of course!) including true believing feminists, what is it going to take to end and/or drastically reduce violence against women?

First, let's ask some questions and then let's have a Revolution!

Why isn't the religious right -- and the political right -- dedicated to ending domestic violence and sexual violence against the beloved women and girls in their lives? They should be the heroes in the story! What would Jesus do? We all do the answer to that.

I would expect to be on the same side as Conservatives on many of these issues.

Transvaginal ultrasound? Why would the most religious and politically conservative people in our country want to force such an invasive and often painful procedure on women and girls? I am beyond mystified.

Why do conservative religious and Republican wo/men associate women's reproductive health with sexuality with promiscuity? I don't know. When granny goes to the GYN, why does Representative Moron think she's a hussy?

Maybe he only pictures a 14 year old or 30 year old going to the OB/GYN?

Why don't religiously conservative Republican wo/men concern themselves with male reproductive health care, men's sexual behavior and the costs?

They do not associate having a prostate screening with male sexuality with Viagra with promiscuity, do they? I think not. 

Why aren't Conservatives protesting vasectomies?  Does Medicare, Medicaid or insurance pay for penile enlargement devices and procedures? That means that I am paying and, believe me, I do not want to be spending my money on sex fiends.

Why aren't the religious & Republicans up in arms about male sexual performance enhancing drugs such as Viagra? Why isn't Rush Limbaugh going on a rampage about male sex fiends? About the epidemic of sexual violence? About domestic abuse?

Why do Republican wo/men want to limit access to birth control and make abortion inaccessible and illegal? Really. What is the real reason. I have to say, and I usually have an answer to everything, that I have no idea.

Why aren't men outraged that their beloved daughters, wives, nieces, mothers, sisters are being domestically abused and sexually assaulted in epidemic numbers? 

Why doesn't every church have a domestic abuse shelter, a rape crisis center and financial assistance? Instead of huge buildings and pretty big salaries for ministers?

I have no idea! None!

The only possible explanation I have is that men are assaulting women in such epidemic numbers that they are terrified of being called to account.

And, what will it take to end it?

I think it will take a revolution of bigger proportions that the Civil Rights Movement of the 50's and 60's.

It will take a leader of the magnitude of Martin Luther King, Jr. Not a bureaucrat. Not a politician. A leader.

It will take women and men who are ready to do anything for equality. 

When I shared this at a conference, a woman asked what purpose would be solved in having a revolution and why did we have to be hostile to men.

The purpose is to bring attention to enormous problems women face in our country and world wide that are not being solved -- and, are getting worse.

And, no! A revolution to stop violence against women is NOT hostile to men! It is hostile to criminals. 

We need men on our side. Our fathers, husbands, uncles, sons and brothers are (usually!) men! They are (hopefully) are strongest allies.

But, no matter how peaceful, loving or well intentioned we are, I think we can expect resistance. Look how hard it was to pass VAWA!

It will take women who are ready to march in the streets; face the police; face the military; face police dogs; face water hoses; and, face arrests.

Because we are still facing and still fighting the same battles that we were fighting in 1969.

I love women. I love children. And, I love men. I don't want them to be brutes.

But, it is going to take a revolution to end the brutality against women. No one is going to give us anything.

Much love,


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dear Me! You Are a Bigot and Didn't Know?

Dear Bigots!

Think! Think! Think!

Vulgar language alert! The words aren't so interesting that you should read this just because it's vulgar, though. Sadly, I am not very creative at cursing and vulgar language. I have actually tried to improve my skills, but I couldn't find any good articles. Well, that's another post, for sure!

I may have past the "I gotta go" line this week. Wisconsin is just too damned cold for me. Emotionally. Not the weather, you blowhard weather cowards. If I ever hear anyone bragging again about how Southerners cannot drive in snow, I will blow. See all those cars and trucks by the sides of the road in Wisconsin? Ever wonder what that means? Think!


I would like to remind my dear friends that there are many things you might not know about your friends -- or the person you are sitting next to at dinner, for God's sake! 

I am a Southerner. And, a Hillbilly. (Look "Hillbilly" up in a dictionary, for Jesus' sake!) According to many that makes me White Trash. Do my friends know that I lived in a trailer? Oh, yeah. Trailer Trash.

Not a week goes by that someone doesn't tell me that they, "...hate Southerners and the South" and make derogatory comments about Hillbillies, White Trash (which, according to Wisconsinites, includes all Southerners), and Trailer Trash. 

Yes, they say this right to my face and continue right after I have told them 3 times that I am a piece of Southern Hillbilly White Trash. Hmmm?

Yes, the kind and compassionate people of Wisconsin make fun of the impoverished people of Appalachia who have their teeth pulled because they cannot afford to have a $1,000 crown. This "makes my ass crave buttermilk." That's a Hillbilly saying. No idea what it means. Spent my childhood confused about that.

I have my teeth if you count crowns. What? I went to college. NO! I have a Master's Degree. Are you confused, yet? I have lived on both coasts and 4 states. I have traveled to... maybe 18 countries and 3 continents. I am an atheist. I have had a career. 

Yes, I am a Southern White Hillbilly White Trash Trailer Trash Liberal Cannot Be Defined White Woman. Just like everyone you know:  Cannot be defined by a label. There is no place and no person that can completely be defined by stereotypes...

And, there are always things you don't know about the people you are talking to.


 I have lived in WI 35 years. Here are my prejudices about Wisconsin.

Wisconsin: most prejudiced state in the USA. I thought I had died and gone to hell when I moved here. One thing I fucking hate about WI is the stinking prejudice and the gross generalizations that I face every fucking stinking day of my life here is this open-minded progressive state.

Oh, yeah, folks here are polite sometimes, but not warm.  And, I do have some wonderful friends. Maybe they are the exceptions to the rule. Because Wisconsinites are not open minded, not welcoming, not easy going, and not socially adventuresome (unless it involves guns and fishing rods or snow-mobiles). 

I was a nice person when I came here. Look what you did to me.

Well, I won't even bother you with what I think of uptight, cold, unfriendly Germans -  but, half my family is Jewish and you have NEVER heard me engaging in the same stereotyping. Wisconsin is frosty and it ain't the weather.

Ever tried to get a Wisconsinite to try something new? Not an adventuresome people. Unless it involves wearing guns to the mall.

WI is full of white trash, drunks and pedophile priests. WI has the Posse Comitatius, Scott Walker, Paul Ryan and is home to the likes of Joe McCarthy. 

Wisconsin has parents who take sports far more seriously than education and get into fist fights at high school sporting events. Not a very progressive state. Where did that rumor come from.

My Southern Hillbilly parents were Democrats & union supporters in Appalachia. My mother had a Master's Degree. We belonged to a church that was pretty damned liberal. My father was born in Harlan County, USA -- home of some of the most violent union battles in the country. He was a heavy equipment operator and wore his IUOE button every day. We had medical care and dental care. Are you sitting down? We had teeth. Blows yer mind, don't it?

My mother tried mightily to establish a teacher's union in our home county. She worked until she had that retirement plan. She advocated for sex education -- back when it was controversial the first time. She believed in family planning and contraception -- and, choice. I never heard a racist word in my home.

Contraception was available in my home county in the twenties and thirties from physicians. My grandparents practiced family planning while... never mind. 

My father believed that all women should go to college; have a career; get a retirement plan; and, work until they were able to retire or died -- whichever came first. He just hated seeing women sitting at home. I just love redneck Hillbillies, don't you!?!

When I turned 18, my parents ordered me to go register as a Democrat "OR ELSE."

I mean this with all love! Prejudice and stereotyping are just that. No matter whether it is aimed at a white 60 year old white Southern aging hippy, impoverished Southerners, working class Midwesterners or an impoverished black 20 year old.

♥ Oh, if you don't like the South and Southerns, go F yourself in a snowbank. Prejudice is prejudice.

After all, you people have elected Scott Walker twice so far and Paul Ryan owns you. Posse Comitatus. Just sayin'.

So, I'm havin' a William Faulkner party soon. Hope y'all will come. 

Hope I didn't hurt yer feelin's! If ya cain't take the heat, then get out of the kitchen you bunch of prejudiced Krauts. Oh... is Kraut a derogatory word? I didn't know that. You mean... kinda like "cracker, white trash, trailer trash, Hillbilly...?"

Buck up!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Dear John Stossel: Get Corporations Out of Education

Dear John Stossel:

Oh, I just love it when Fox has a program that I know something about! Because, I do a lot of research, but I am a little lazy and it saves me time when I have already done a little research on child development and education!

So, listen up, John Stossel! Get your money grubbing corporations out of our school systems!

1. It is always about the money, isn't it? Destroy our public community institutions so that corporations can take them over and make $$$$. You do not give a hoohaw about education. Teachers and unions are the scapegoats. Yeah, well, I do not want my tax money going to private corporations and private religious institutions!
2. Without unions, management hires their friends & relatives, the least qualified (to pay them less) and transfers or fires the teachers that speak out against their policies. And, if a VIP's niece wants your job, she gets it. I speak from experience. Oh, I hope I didn't hurt anyone's feelings!
3. YES, teachers can be fired. But, parents, other teachers and management have to step up. Maybe it isn't easy and it shouldn't be. Yes, we can improve the quality of teachers, and we should!
4. Teachers do NOT make more money that accountants or nurses. That is beyond silly. They do not make more money that social workers. Only 25% of the gen pop of WI has a college education. 100% of teachers have a college education, many have master's degrees and some have a Ph.d. Many pursue additional training at their own expense.
5. College is not just advanced high school. It costs about $100,000 to get a college education at a state university in WI. At current starting salaries, teachers will never pay themselves back for going to college. There are few scholarship and "student aid" usually consists of loans.
6. Teachers do not get paid a year's salary for 9 months work. When my mother first began teaching, teachers were paid monthly for 9 months. Then, the school system began offering the opportunity to get paid every month -- through the summer -- for their 9 month contract for budgeting convenience.
7. It makes no sense at all to use a factory or business model to educate our children! Where are the voices of educators and our doctors, pediatricians, psychologists, social workers, child development experts, brain scientists, etc. I DO NOT WANT BUSINESS CONSULTANTS OR FACTORY MANAGERS TELLING US HOW TO EDUCATE OUR CHILDREN!
8. There will never be consensus on what makes a good teacher for many different reasons. So, one of the magically fantastic principals that Stossel is glorifying for firing teachers (one was fired after one day), in truth, doesn't even know whether a teacher is effective after one day. Some teachers are effective for some students and not for others. Some are effective with some populations and not others. People differ on what they value in a teacher. My daughter loves grouchy old men and very strict teachers -- other students dissolve in tears.
9.  And, don't give me any shit about everything depending on the teacher. Students who are hungry, cold, poorly dressed, insecure, abused, lonely, afraid, without resources (such as books, music, art supplies, etc.) at home... are not going to score well on tests even if God Almighty is the teacher. Yes, I believe that schools in poor rural and inner city schools can do better. But, cold, tired, abused hungry kids are pretty are pretty damned hard to educate.
10. Students in schools without resources are not going to perform well on tests. And, do not take my tax money and give it to a private corporation or religious school. There are schools in our country that do not have desks; do not have books; do not have supplies; and, are not safe. Put the money into our community schools.

So, Fox and John Stossel, take your business model and put it in the stock market where I hope it blows up in your portfolio.

I want people who are concerned with and knowledgeable about child development, brain science, learning theory and education AND NOT MBA'S OR FACTORY MANAGERS to be running our schools.

I want our schools run by local communities. I want teachers represented by unions. I want everyone in the USA earning a family supporting salary.
So, thank you. Thank you very much! Why, I love discussion!


Dear Jerks -- Errr Learning Beings

Dear Immature Jerks

Oh, dear! I meant to say, "Dear learning and growing human beings." Because I know that you can learn and grow. But, I know that someone has to love you enough to tell you not to be an ass.

Here are some of my parents rules:
+Do not be an ass.
+Do not act like an ass.
+Do not act like an ass where people can see you.
+God can see you.
+Yes, YOU are accountable.
+No, it does not matter what other people do, who did it first, how many other people did it, how big they are, how popular they are... Do not be an ass; do not act like an ass; and do not let people see you being an ass.
+Yes, you have to stand up to other people who are being asses even if it is a little dicey. Anything short of life-threatening and you have to man up.
+Yes, I know that you are very small girls. I don't care. Yes, it is a misogynistic saying. Yes, you have to stand up to other people who are being asses and I don't care what that means as long as it is short of life-threatening. Then call for help.
+NO! I don't care if you are popular or not. Why are you even asking such a stupid question?
+Do. Not. Be. An. Ass. Stand tall. Even is you are the smallest person in your entire school. Do the right thing.
+I define being as ass, not you. It includes all violence, all breaking of the law, all bullying, all vulgarity, all breaking of the 10 commandments, all rude behavior, sleeping in church, making fun of people and anything else that suits me at the moment.
+Of course that includes no fist fighting with your sisters.

So, of course, the 11th Commandment is, "Thou Shalt Not Use Vulgar Misogynistic Language."

Just in case your parents did not tell you... just in case your teachers did not tell you... just in case your Sunday School teachers, neighbors, grandparents... didn't tell you, misogynistic language is ugly insulting language about women.

Ugly insulting rude and rotten words about women include: slut, bitch, whore, cunt, pussy, skank... I would like to take away the power of these words to wound, to horrify. I want to take away the magic. When you use those words, you make an ass of yourself, not the girl.

Jerks of the world, when you use these words, people look down on YOU!

I often wonder if men -- and boys -- know that there are girls that would not go out with them; would not want to be seen in public with them; would be embarrassed for their friends to know that they had ever gone out with them because they act like asses. 

There are girls that will never go out with you, wonderful people who will never associate with you and jobs you will never get (not because they are all snobs) but because you are a vulgar, crude, rude Neanderthal. And, your parents should have taught you that.

Damn, I have insulted Neanderthals again. So, if you are rude and crude and thinking it is cute and clever, you might wonder what your references say about. What real men really think about you. Wonder why someone really turned you down.

Did you know that there are web-pages (and some very good ones!) dedicated to helping men figure out how to be better, kinder, more loving, more skilled, and more sophisticated men? Find one. Improve yourself and watch your life improve.

I love you! I really, really do!


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Dear Fellow Feminists: Where Are You?

Dear Fellow Feminists:

I was asking myself what is it going to take to end, or drastically reduce violence, including sexual violence, against women and children when it occurred to me how many women there are who don't know that they are feminists!

What do you call " American constitutional lawyer, conservative activist, author, and founder of the Eagle Forum?" I call her Phyllis Schlafly and say she has made an outstanding career and big bucks out of fighting feminism. The more people that show up to protest, why, they call that "earned media!"

There are a lot of us who are feminists and don't know it. So, if you are earning a living, supporting a family, paying the bills, doing the recording keeping, paying the taxes and also, perhaps, doing the housework and taking care of children, you, my dear, are a feminist and a domestic slave!

 If you believe that women are equal to men under the law, you are a feminist. That's my rule.

If you believe that women have the same legal rights as men, you are a feminist. If you believe women have the right to vote, you are a feminist. If you believe that women have the right to work for a living, go to college, be doctors and lawyers and telephone line wo/men, dig ditches, join the military, you are a feminist.

If you believe that a man with comparable training, doing the same job and working the same hours as you should make more money than you, you are not a feminist. If you believe your daughters don't have the right to go to college, hold jobs, have careers or have equal protection under the law, you are not a feminist. 

Don't say, "Oh, I'm not one of them feminists..." because you make me want to throw up. Oh, that was a little harsh. OK, I stand by it.

So, my fellow country wo/men all of whom are feminists, STOP RUNNING FROM THAT WORD!

Oh, sorry for screaming, because I do love women! I was born a woman. I was born a feminist. Or, perhaps it was my boyfriend who argued vociferously with me that he had seen my grandparents in town when they lived in Detroit. Maybe that turned me...


I was a teen during the 60's. I would love to say I burned my bra publicly, but I was living in a very rural area and no one else would have joined me. 

Oh, neighbors would just have said, "Oh, that Vivian. Last week, it was nudist colonies. This week, it's bra burning." They would have shaken their heads -- with a little pride and a maybe a slight smile. Country people are very tolerant. They are stuck with each other for other for 100's of years.

So, I graduated from college, worked in a small town a year, moved to the city. Joined a consciousness raising group sponsored by NOW. Quit wearing a bra. Quit shaving my legs. Believed in open marriage. I was single and there was not a man around who liked the concept. No idea why.

So, is it time for a revolution or what!?!

Women, I love you! Wake up!

Your friend,


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Dear Parents: Only Our Sons Can Stop Rape

Dear Parents of Sons:

Here is another great conversation starter! Read this over the dinner table! To your teens! At basketball practice. At football practice!

Only men and boys can stop rape.

I love all parents. What a job. I think we can all do better. 

But, only men and boys can stop sexual assault. I do love men and boys. Not a man-hater. Why, my husband is a man!

Our beloved girls and women need to be safe, healthy and happy - free from all forms of sexual assault and all forms of violence and fear.

We love our boys. Don't we want them to be safe, healthy and happy? Out of jail? Out of civil court? No parenthood until adulthood? Strong and moral? Don't we want them to be loved, cherished, admired?

These are my views and my values -- as a human being.

Have you talked with your sons about the sexual molestation, in Steubenville, Ohio recently.  Google it -- for the shock of a lifetime. This case is a great starting point for discussion with our boys and with our girls.

Personally, I think boys over the age of 11 know right from wrong. But, let's start drilling in some values anyway. A few parents seem to be lacking!

Have you had this talk:
Boys need to know that it is deeply immoral and illegal to have sexual contact (that includes mouth, anus, vagina, breasts, etc) with persons who are intellectually or emotionally impaired, under-aged (defined by law), intoxicated or incapacitated by drugs. Of course, this includes gang molestation and rape. 

Read this aloud:
It is wrong and illegal to stick fingers, objects, penises (or tongues) into the mouths, anuses or vaginae of girls who are unconscious or semiconscious; to drag or carry their bodies around like sacks of potatoes or to transport their bodies in automobiles; to take pictures of them or video them; to pee on them; to send pictures & videos to others; to scream with laughter at an unconscious victim being molested.

Yes, it is actually illegal to invade the personal physical boundaries of other people -- especially their sexual, internal, personal, private boundaries. Just a thought.

Do your sons know that threats of violence, even via electronic media, are illegal? Verbal harassment is illegal. 

Do your sons know that men have been arrested and convicted for grabbing a woman's buttocks? 

Does your boy know that possessing pix of naked girls on his phone or computer put him at risk of possession of pornography or distribution of pornography charges?

Have you had this talk with your sons -- and daughters:
Witnessing sexual violence (or any violence) and not stopping it or getting help is wrong. Taking pictures or filming such a hideous crime is wrong. Talking about, laughing at and vilifying the victim is wrong. Peeing on the victim is wrong. Telling the name of the victim is wrong. Sharing pictures and video is wrong. Not cooperating with the police is wrong. 

Have you had this talk:
Would your son (or daughter) be ready to stop sexual molestation at a party -- or get help? 

Have you had this talk:
Shaming the victim and supporting the perpetrators is wrong. Even if they are football players. Even if the team is a winning team. Even if the perpetrators are very, very popular. Shaming the victim and supporting the perps is wrong and shame on anyone who does it.

Ask your son: 
What if it were you? What if you were unconscious and a group of boys pulled your pants down and stuck their fingers in your anus, stuck their penises in your anus, Stuck their penises in your mouth? Peed on you? Screamed with laughter. Took pictures! Sent them round to numerous people! Blamed you and called you a slut because of something you did in 9th grade.

Yes, we really do have to tell our teens this. They are not just "picking it up."

Do you want your son to be arrested for inserting his fingers into the vagina of an unconscious girl at a party? Or having a pic on his phone.

Do you want your son to be arrested for peeing on a girl at a party? 

For transporting her unconscious body? 

Have the talk. Yes, NOW. BEFORE it happens. Before high school. Are you kidding me?

This is not all that unusual. Even right in your own home town.

How about the shame that you would feel just knowing that your son had no moral compass at all.

Yeah, don't even think about blaming the victim. It would not matter if the victim had been sexually adventurous previously or were drunk as a skunk and stark naked on Main and Broadway. You wouldn't expect your son to assault an intoxicated homeless man and steal from him, would you?

And, you wouldn't expect your son to be sodomized if he were drunk and unconscious just because he's not a virgin, would you? Or, would you?

A real man would stop the molestation, cover the victim, call for assistance and testify. Or, if you son or daughter were in danger, get help first.

Of course, being a violent sexual offender wouldn't just ruin the victims' lives -- it would ruin your son's life. And, yours. You and your son would bear the stigma forever. 

We need to know the hearts and souls of our sons and learn how to cope with the sexual rage some of them feel and the disdain toward women that many men feel. 

Our sons cannot be healthy and happy if they cannot express their sexuality in healthy and safe ways. And, we have not done our jobs if our sons do not know right from wrong and are not ready to stand up for anyone needing help. 

It was my goal to find some excellent resources for parents of sons but I could not find any information for parents on educating their sons about sexual coercion and rape. I "Googled" every thing I could think of. I found group programs but nothing for the individual parent.

Programs must be there, but I could not find them.

Talk openly with your sons about this case in Stuebenville, Ohio and find a good film to watch about the effects of molestation on women and how to help.

Love to all,


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Dear Parents of Boys - A New Sex Education

Dear Parents of Sons -- A New Sex Education:

Here is a great "love letter" to read at dinner, Sunday School, your next family meeting, sex education class or ... anywhere, really!

Sex education. Now that is a job. I began searching the internet for what I thought would be a great practical modern sex education program for boys 

Couldn't find a good program, so I wrote my own!

These are my views and my values and not medical or legal information! This is love letter, after all. And, this is the internet -- not Grey's Anatomy!

So, I am writing from my heart as the parent of a daughter and a former social worker who has worked with many women who have been the victims of sexual assault. 

My experience has been that sex education programs in the schools are not very helpful and that parents provide far too little information that is far too impractical and far too late.

+Start early!
+Be specific! 
+Be very, very concrete. Our children are very stupid when it comes to sex.

Example: During my daughter's first week of high school, she overheard a conversation at lunch about who had already been "fingered" and who hadn't. She wasn't ready for such lunch time conversation. Neither was I!

The range of experiences of teens is astronomical. I have a friend who had her first kiss when she was 16 and I know man who first had intercourse at 13. 

So, if we parents want to get there first with the correct information and promote our own values, we have to start early. Parents, what do you think of 6th grade to begin talking about sexuality?

As a parent, I want very young children, to know and feel confident using the names of every body part and have no shame in discussing them. I also want children to know the names of every body part of the opposite sex with no shame attached. 

If we want our children to be able to tell us anything and share anything with us, we may need to more about sexuality than we know now! There are many books on sexuality in the library and book stores.

I am almost old enough to be  my child's grandmother and I did not realize how much the world has changed. I was far, far behind.  

The culture has changed tremendously and just because "dating" doesn't exist anymore and kids are hanging out in groups does not mean that they are not having sex. Many parents assume that because their teen hangs out in groups, they s/he is not sexually active. Do not count on it.

Have you, the parents of boys, discussed these topics:

Boys need to know that girls are often very vulnerable to their approval. Sadly, some girls will engage in sexual behaviors that they do not want and that they regret in order to gain approval, to attract boys, to get a boyfriend. 

[And, parents of girls need to teach them that it is better to never have a date or never have a boyfriend than to engage in sexual behavior that they do not want in the hope of gaining a boy's approval.]

Boys,  "man up." Boys must set standards for their own conduct --a combination of your personal values, your religious values and their own chosen values.  No matter what a girl is willing to do, a real man, even if he is 14, will stick with his values! And, girls will love it!

Boys must know that sexual coercion, emotionally bullying, threats end relationships, etc. are not acceptable. It is not acceptable to make relationships contingent upon sexual behavior. Ever.

A daughter needs to know that both parties need to be enthusiastic partners in any activity. He can say, "NO!" And, she can say, "NO!"

Boys and men need to know that he has to have a very willing, confident and sober "YES!" to proceed with any sexual activity including kissing.

[Of course, young people (I define that as under 30 :-) are immature by definition. It is our job to help them understand others. Many boys think that girls have all the cards -- and girls think that boys have all the cards.] 

Some young gentlemen are taught to ask, "May I kiss you?" "May I put my hand here?" "May I touch you here?" "Are you ready for this now?" I think this is wonderful. 

My standard: Sex is for adults. No sex before monogamy. Have a timeline in mind in advance for each relationship. Many relationships will end before getting to the intimacy stage!

If a boys thinks he will marry around 26 and wants to begin having sex at 16 with about 4 girls/year -- does he really want to have had 40 partners before he marries? Maybe, maybe not. 

No one is ready for sex who can't face any & all consequences. Are you sending your son off to college or work and do you suspect that he is sexually active?

My definition (and I think most doctors would agree): If an activity includes the mouth, anus or genitals, it is sex. Oral sex is sex. STD's can be transmitted by the mouth or anus.  

How much do our sons know about the anatomy and physiology of girls? Have you had that talk or read the book?

Boys need to know that girls are more vulnerable to STD's because their sexual organs are internal and are a "spongy" material while a boys are external and are "skin" -- less vulnerable to STD's.

Is your son ready to face STD prevention and pregnancy prevention? Boys need to be ready to carry their 50% of all responsibilities. 

Do you sons have enough money to afford routine STD testing & treatment?

No form of contraception is 100% reliable. Is your son prepared to pay 50% to keep pregnancy test kits on hand? 

Girls need to begin visiting the OB/GYN when they become sexually active -- over the age of 18 or 21, of course.

Is your son able to accompany his partner to the doctor and pay for 50% of the bill? He is an equal partner and this is one of the costs of adult sexual behavior. 

Is your son able to pay for half the cost of oral contraceptives -- the most reliable form of contraception? We want him to be an equal partner.

Does your son have & know how to correctly use condoms? Are you sure?

Have you and your son talked in detail about what would happen if a sexual partner of his got pregnant. Abortion? Keeping and rearing? Adoption? Have you had that talk? 

How would you feel about abortion, rearing a grandchild or having a grandchild adopted

Does your son know the cost of these various options and are all of you prepared? 

Does your son have the money for the cost of an abortion? Is he and are you ready for a paternity suit? Can he pay child support? 

Does your son know about the high incidence of rape and that the likelihood is that some girlfriend of his has been molested.and will need his complete and total understanding and support?

Only boys and men can stop rape. Girls and women can only be so careful. Are you aware and is your son aware that it is deeply immoral and illegal to have sexual contact (that can include fingers, mouth, anus, objects, etc) with persons who are intellectually or emotionally impaired, under-aged (defined by law), intoxicated or incapacitated by drugs. It is too sad that most rapes are committed by males on their own friends and acquaintances.

So, let's get busy. We have work to do. Start talking!

Who knew sex was such a romantic topic!  

Don't forget: These are my views and my values and not medical or legal information! I have worked with many young women and heard many sad stories.