Harvey Weinstein

You are probably done with hearing about all this crap. So am I but I have to point out that now, after all the women have come forward, the men are backing them up. And we as a culture are applauding these men for being brave.

They are not brave. The women who suffered in silence for decades were brave. The ones who sacrificed careers for physical safety were brave. The ones that spoke out were brave. Waiting until it’s a media hurricane then stepping up to condemn the behavior is not brave.

All of a sudden my news feed is filled with male celebrities coming out and saying how they suspected or even knew, but did nothing. They apologize and we applaud. They are forgiven. What could they do to stop these horrible events?

Really? They get off the hook that easily? They witnessed or had knowledge of systematic rape and/or harassment and they turned a blind eye for decades. Now all they have to do is stand in front of a camera, appear humbled, and recite rhetoric about rape culture being bad for everyone.

No thanks, boys. We don’t need your lip service. We don’t need you to validate our experiences. You say you find the behavior abhorrent but what did you do? Did you help? In anyway, did you help? Did you believe them when they told you? Were you supportive or dismissive? Or did you just turn around and ride the wave of success that cost so many so much?

Boys, we don’t want your words. We don’t want to validate your long awaited moment of clarity with applause. I won’t share your video because you finally (FINALLY) evolved to realize that women are people. Also, I won’t absolve you from the role you played in perpetuating the subjugation of half the population.

You knew. You saw. Your silence and inaction makes you complicit in the crime. You are not an ally. You and your silence are the reason the problem persists.

VWW- Dating (and why I want more than a dick pic)

 

Date: noun a social appointment or engagement arranged beforehand with another person, especially when a romantic relationship exists or may develop

Dating: verb-A form of romantic courtship typically between two individuals with the aim of assessing the other’s suitability as a partner in an intimate relationship or as a spouse. The result of dating may at any time lead to friendship, any level of intimate relationshipmarriage, or no relation.

The Urban Dictionary has a more realistic definition of the nuances that are modern dating.

 

 

I fucking hate dating. I hated it before there was technology and I hate it even more now. Lets put aside the fact that swipe culture and the anonymity of the internet has created short attention spans and an increased level of shallowness. That rant is for another time. I want more than a cock.

That seems that all a modern man is willing to invest is his cock. Sometimes it is blatant in sending of unsolicited dick picks (Please, just stop!) Or they say they only want casual and that means that you have no value as a person but they don’t want to actually pay for a whore. They will try to avoid dates because your pussy isn’t even worth the cost of a cup of coffee. Instead they offer some version of Netflix and chill. WTF is that? Hell, I’d be happy if a man offered to permit me to see where he lives. Often they only want to come to my place. I guess it’s easier to leave. The old-fashioned ones will lie. They will pretend to be the things you want, will act like they have a genuine interest right up until you sleep with them. Then it’s all “I don’t want commitment” and “I thought we were just having a good time.” Ugh! We were until you decided I had no value and it was OK to treat me like I had no value.

 

What every woman thinks when opening a text and seeing a dick pic

I feel like this is the narrative inside the average mans mind; “What is the minimum effort that I can put forth to get her to fuck me. If I like fucking her what is the minimum effort I can continue to exert to get her to keep fucking me, but only when it’s convenient for me and never for her. Because she isn’t real and doesn’t matter. All that matters is that I get my dick wet and get to live out some of the porn fantasies the internet has shown me.”No one is allowed to have feelings anymore. Emotions might as well be herpes. Actually, I think saying I had herpes would be received better than if I said I enjoyed spending time with a man.

Examples from my recent experience (names changed because I have integrity, not because they deserve it). Carlos has been texting and fucking me since the spring and I just realized that he may not remember my name. Jack is married and claims to be in an open relationship. He only wants sex and only on Tuesdays. So, what do I get out of that? Dennis and I had great conversation and amazing chemistry. But I realized that he never asked me any questions, nor did he compliment me on anything that wasn’t sexual. He wants to fuck me, but I don’t think he likes me or finds me attractive. Then there is the growing trend of men that claim to be “ploy”  and the assholes that think this is licence to act like fuck boys,

Is it too much to ask for a man who knows his masculinity lies in his strength of character and not in his pants?

I want to find someone I have a connection with. I’m not talking marriage. I don’t really have an end game in mind. It would be nice to have some companionship to enhance the physical relationship. Someone who will hold my hand, put their arm around me, and watch a movie to the end before trying to get my clothes off. Really, I am setting the bar pretty low here.

There Goes the Neighborhood

Perhaps you are aware of the growing concern over antibiotic resistance. It is rapidly becoming a concerning issue. Many of our antibiotics no longer work effectively. Long gone are the days of penicillin and amoxicillin. Several of the antibiotics developed only a few years ago are no longer working.

You may ask how this affects you? We live in a first world country. We have health care, sanitation, and public services that ensure a certain level of hygiene. This is only an issue in less developed areas of the world, right? Nope. This is going to directly impact all of us and sooner than we thought.

The World Heath Organization (WHO) published a list of bacteria that they have prioritized as the biggest threats on February 25, 2017. This is the breakdown of the bacteria and the strongest antibiotic that organism is resistant to:

Priority 1: CRITICAL

1. Acinetobacter baumannii, carbapenem-resistant

2. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, carbapenem-resistant

3. Enterobacteriaceae, carbapenem-resistant, ESBL-producing

Priority 2: HIGH

1. Enterococcus faecium, vancomycin-resistant

2. Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-resistant, vancomycin-intermediate and resistant

3. Helicobacter pylori, clarithromycin-resistant

4. Campylobacter spp., fluoroquinolone-resistant

5. Salmonellae, fluoroquinolone-resistant

6. Neisseria gonorrhoeae, cephalosporin-resistant, fluoroquinolone-resistant

Priority 3: MEDIUM

1. Streptococcus pneumoniae, penicillin-non-susceptible

2. Haemophilus influenzae, ampicillin-resistant

3. Shigella spp., fluoroquinolone-resistant

Five of those bacteria; enterobacter, staphylococcus, campylobacter, salmonellae, and shigella, are often contracted by consuming adulterated food. The CDC has a very simple chart that details the estimated numbers. The numbers are estimated because most individuals suffering from a food born illness don’t report it. Usually we attribute it to a stomach flu. Those 24 hour bugs you hear people complaining about in the office are most likely food poisoning. And if you think you know what caused it you are most likely wrong. It takes days and sometimes weeks to develop symptoms. I don’t remember what I ate over the weekend, let alone last week.

You are probably thinking that this is not something of major concern. After all, we have regulations, rules, and laws to keep our food safe. That is what the USDA and FDA are in place to do, ensure safe food. Without going into the current shortcomings of both these agencies (because nothing is perfect) or delving into the debate about country of origin lets take a look at the proposed future for all the agencies that keep food born illness at bay.

The current administration wants to reduce regulation. It was a major part of their campaign. They say it will be good for business and that will be good for employment. But consider that part of that includes reducing the number of inspection on food and drugs. The executive order to reform regulations was signed on February 24, 2017. Now, by executive order, these agencies will need to remove two regulations in order to institute one new one. Now would be the time to call your congressmen and tell them what parts of the food code you want to keep. While you are at it, ask them to pressure the new administration to put all the USDA information back on the public website. It appears to have been a miscommunication, but the data is still not available. This doesn’t just impact the public, industry professional use that as well. Last week a colleague needed data and had to call congress and file a request. We all know how quickly they move. Want more opinions? This article from late January had the opinion of several top people in the food industry.

So to summarize this for you there is a rapidly growing concern that our science is not keeping pace with the bacteria, it puts the general public at risk, half of the concerning bacteria can be contracted through food, the white house wants to reduce regulatory oversight of many organizations including the USDA and FDA, information is being removed or withheld, and there really is not a plan once the antibiotics stop working. Stop and think about what that would be like, or check out the BBC if you can’t imagine. Now go get a stiff drink, because you are going to need one.

Thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving. And on this day let us not forget the true meaning of this beloved holiday. The brutalization of indigenous people.

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Yup, it’s still happening as we speak in North Dakota. Sure, the authorities are denying that they were intentionally targeting individuals with water hoses in below freezing temperatures, but what did you expect them to say? Do you really think they would stand in front of the press and admit to valuing human life so little? Do you think that humans have evolved to prioritize equality over ego? If you do I want to know what rock you have been hiding under because that fucker is impenetrable!

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So eat your turkey, drink your booze, and make sure you take some time to shop, shop, shop for those good deals. Don’t give a moments thought to people standing in the cold trying to peacefully protect not only the water that affects them, but the water supply for all of us. Don’t ponder for a second that these are the people who have been lied to, stolen from, demonized, and systematically abused by both the government and the rest of the population. Forget about the violence, the forced sterilization, and the diseased blankets. Turn a blind eye, again, to what our tax dollars are supporting.

Because it’s Thanksgiving, the day we feed into the fallacy of an inclusive America.

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Expiration Date Approaching!

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I feel like I am approaching my expiration date as a woman. Sure, we tell each other woman are attractive at all ages, but who are we kidding? In this declining civilization with its emphasis on the perfunctory aesthetic the desire for superficial expressions of worth have gained significance in the social strata. Whether the fault of changing values, the sound bites media sensationalize, or the internet and social media removing our human interaction the result remains that there is an increasing amount of value placed upon outward appearance. This is true for both men and women. Though, as usual, women bear the heavier burden as historically they were nothing more than property and an extension of a man’s wealth and status. To have an attractive spouse and /or daughters was a symbol of prosperity. Much the way we view cars today. Think that has changed? Just look at fashion or gossip magazines. It’s still all about the outer package. We may propound ourselves to be more enlightened about such things but the truth is we still judge women more harshly than men in regards to physical attractiveness. Agree or disagree, my point is that I am approaching my expiration date. How do I know this? The amount of young men who approach me for the Cougar Experience.

Young men, vital and alive, exploding with the promise of the unknown future. These men approach me with all the bravado and pomposity that their egos and some alcohol can produce. They come up to my table, they interrupt my conversation, and they think that I will be impressed by their rudeness. They know that I am older than the girls they normally approach. I am some mythic beast, a gauntlet thrown down before them, K2 that needs to be conquered. I am an “older woman.” I’m not sure what bawdy stories get passed around among the post college young adult males about the sexual prowess of older woman but I can gather from their demeanor the tales have grown to epic proportions. This is not an attraction borne out of biochemistry and pheromones. It’s not a vestigial evolutionary instinct. No, this is an entirely socially constructed bucket list challenge and I am their target. They are going to bed this cougar and live to tell the tale complete with embellishments and photographic evidence of flesh wounds endured at her hands.

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It makes no difference to these young men that I have no interest in their quest. I just want to enjoy my meal, my show, the book, my coffee. But alas, I am confronted with a fine specimen of masculinity at the height of its potential, complete with the confidence that only comes with either youth or the privilege of white male mediocrity. I am inundated with flattery and blatant lies, they pretend to fall at my feet and adore me with false worship thinking, incorrectly, that is what I want. They know my youth is fading, to their eyes it is already gone, they believe the honeyed words with make me delusional enough to believe that they have an actual interest in me. They cannot comprehend why someone teetering on the edge of obscurity and staring into the abyss of middle age and looking down the barrel of the loaded gun that is menopause would deny myself a night of adventure with an exuberant creature such as themselves.

But they know little of women. They are cavorting with what are still girls. Young women who are still playing games, who have time on their side, who haven’t yet settled into their own skin. These girls have not blossomed into women. They have they physical presence of a woman, but not the internal fortitude. The cougar hunter hasn’t developed they skills of honesty and vulnerability, they can’t balance guarding themselves with being genuine. They can only replay the schema that has generated results for them in the past. They know not what a woman wants from a man. And not a man of media construct, but a man who can vanquish his own demons as well as the demons hiding under the toddlers bed at 3 am. A man who knows how precious time is and that to waste a moment of someone’s time is a crime too heinous to consider. A man who understands that being inebriated is not having fun, who understands that enthusiasm is the best gauge of consent, who respects the space and decisions of another person. A man who is discreet.

No, the cougar hunter will get nowhere with me. The posturing, the genuflecting, the capitulation to prescribed gender norms is usually diverting. But not enough to waste an evening. Not enough to try to get them to leave, because the youth never understand when they have overstayed their invitation. Not enough to revisit the unskilled encounter that all women remember too well from their own youth. Nor do they understand how unflattering it is to be singled out as approaching antiquity from the perspective of the youth obsessed culture. I enjoy watching them try though.

Perceptions and Patronizing Assholes

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I find myself stuck in the middle of the age divide. And believe me, it is a divide between “young” and “mature”. There seems to be no middle ground. Professionally I find that men, though occasionally a woman or two, which are older than I am are shocked to find out my age. The response is always “I thought you were much younger.” Why? Because I am immature? No, I highly doubt that with my attitude. It’s easier for them to dismiss my ideas and authority if they believe their perception of me as young. If I am young I can be inexperienced. If I am inexperienced I can be challenged, dismissed even, as not understanding the nuances and inner workings of any given topic. If I’m older and therefor wiser I have the experience, the log time if you will, to justify my position not only in the company but at the table. If my age is known and therefore my experience I can’t be written off as a “girl,” just some kid that is full of idealistic philosophies with her head in the clouds dreaming of boys and puppies and unicorns. If they see me as a peer they have to regard me as an equal with my feet grounded and heels dug in ready to work. It creates cognitive dissidence and they hate me for it. So the only thing left is to go after my appearance. That I’m not pretty.

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I’ve never been pretty. Not in the mass media, magazine photo shop, female sexuality as commerce sense that has been shoved down our throats as a minimal standard of female worth. I have zero fashion sense, I can’t and won’t wear heels, I hate make up jewelry and nail polish. My hair is brushed but rarely styled. Though I can totally rock a bun! I know the image that conjures is a frizzy haired hag in mismatch, ill-fitting stained clothes clomping through the halls but the reality is that I am presentable. Clothes are clean, pressed, and of neutral color and pattern that they all work together. Shoes are simple, comfortable, and practical. Skin is clear and clean, hair is clean and brushed. Generally this is the same criteria applied to the men. Do I look like I put effort into it? Nope. But I do look acceptable.

Back to pretty, I’ve never participated in the soul sucking, self-depreciating, time killing mania that is pretty. Not to say that the individuals that participate are in some way inferior. I mean, if you find some intrinsic joy in curling your eyelashes and waiting for paint to dry on your fingertips who the hell am I to criticize? But I’ve never been interested. I’ve got shit to do. Things to learn, books to read, fun to have. I can’t worry about my hair or if I am carrying last year’s handbag. The distance between pretty and me has always been a gaping chasm I never bothered to try to cross. As I approach my best by date it gets farther and farther away. Currently it’s just a dot on the horizon, so far away that I often look at it and wonder if it’s really there. I’m confident in who I am and what I do, the contribution I make and I shrug and move on. Pretty doesn’t concern me, pretty is irrelevant.

 

The Baron Sends a Minion…

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Too often is this in my head!

I recently encountered one of Baron Von Fruitroosters minions. Oh, he seemed normal enough but that was only a facade meant to draw me in.

The dialog was polite and slightly witty. He explained that he was new in the area due to business and was looking for suggestions for food, etc. That quickly devolved into him expressing his desire to attend a swinger club and demanding requests for my sexual preferences.

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Starts off well, then this happens

This loser got a strong dose of the radioactive nipples! Of course I had to monologue first.

Really asshole? You are a 55 year old man, not some college kid. Show some class! In what universe is a grown woman going to listen to your slobbering, mouth breathing demands for sex and just rip her clothes of and give it to you? Why do you think that your existence and the fact that you paid me attention should equate utter gratitude and acquiesce from me? I’m a person, not some convenient hole that exists for you to get your dick wet. Manners!!

He then became indignant. As if he was owed something for the initial two minute conversation that wasn’t offensive. Clue-by-four asshat, you are not owed pretty, or my time, or access to my body. You are owed nothing but the common courtesy you have failed to show me.

I’m busy. I don’t have the time or the patience to deal with your inability to interact properly with other adults. Hitting him with the nipple lasers was a public service, really. He has been shrunk down to binary code and captured on an app on my phone. I still haven’t figured out what to do with these bottom feeders once they are in the phone. Suggestions are welcome!

Being Cassandra

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I spend far too much time in meetings. Most of that time in a quiet state of simmering rage. Being that I handle regulatory I often have to advise on the law. Fun! This would be frustrating for anyone but it’s only compounded by the fact that I am the only woman on the team and I am perceived as being considerably younger (less experienced) than the rest of the team.

Imagine, if you will, sitting every week and reading the FDA food code and translating it into the vernacular. I tell them we need to do XYZ to be compliant. They go into these long yarns about how it was done some other place they worked. Right! Because regulations never change over time. I reiterate the importance of following the code and explain the consequences if we don’t. I’m ignored. Then, lo and behold, it comes to pass that a visiting official writes up the very thing I was expounding upon.

It sucks to be the prophet. Legend has it that Cassandra went insane. I believe that. I often feel the need for medication so I can just stop caring. But I was cursed not only with knowledge but also integrity. Pity us, the ones that persevere when faced with a wall of ignorance and ego. We try. We always try. It’s just that we are never believed.

Know that each time you see a product recalled in the news that there is a quality professional throwing a pile of papers in the air wishing that she could shout “I told you so” at all the useless ass-hats she works with. But we can’t. That would be unprofessional. And I am nothing if not a fucking professional.

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Blood Flow

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It occurred to me that most miscommunication is a direct result of only seeing things from your own perspective. As such, this might contribute a great deal to the so-called battle of the sexes between men and women. So here is the thought process that set this off.

I was pondering a date I had where I had mentioned to the man how I don’t like grocery stores. I explained why; that they have too many choices, most of them are not food, I don’t like being advertised to, my dislike of branding, etc. He heard none of that. What he heard was “I have never been to a grocery store.” Not sure where he got that or if he thought I had been raised in a cave as opposed to the American Megalopolis that is the Northeast, but he was convinced I just hadn’t seen a grocery store.

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So that is where he chooses to take me. Now when we walked in and he grabbed a cart I should have bolted. There is something wrong with us women at a social level that we swallow our instincts for self-preservation in order to not offend, but that is a rant for another time. Anyway, he pushes the cart through the doors into the produce section. Here he begins his tour of the fruits and vegetable and explains organics to me. (He works in IT, I’ve spent the past 18 years working in food manufacturing specializing in regulatory. I know organics). It goes on like this through each aisle. He was explaining it to me and showing me boxes and cans like I just arrived from behind the Iron Curtain.

He was so full of himself and his ability to enlighten me to the horror that is American consumerism that he failed to notice my utter disgust, mainly at him but also at his dietary choices.  He saw no reason not to multi task and was doing his shopping on our date. Oh yeah, he is a winner. After we check out and I help him load his cleverly disguised corn-based food like products into his car he says “I’d really like to take you to dinner sometime.” Really? Then maybe you should have done that instead of ignoring my comments (truly, it’s like I wasn’t even speaking) and acting like a white knight that saved me from my ignorant peasant life of Supermarket free-living. I bolted and was grateful I didn’t mention I am not in the habit of watching television. I shudder at what that would have been like!

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The Mansplaining statue at the University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio, TX (of course!)

Back to perspective. This is what I have come up with. It’s a flawed theory that assumes many erroneous, though commonly held misconceptions. However, these are integral to my theory, so go along with it.

It is widely accepted that the male of the species only have enough blood to operate either the brain or the genitals (thank you, Robin Williams). Being a marvelous feat of evolutionary hydro engineering I can kind of see how this correlation without causation myth has come to be ingrained in our culture. And since our cultural beliefs do in fact influence our behavior it’s not that much of a leap to use this as my hypothesis. So, yes, I think this is crap but that isn’t important. What matters is that a vast majority of people do think this is valid. They accept it as fact and weave it into how they perceive the world around them.

What I began to wonder is that if men believe that they only have enough blood flow to successfully operate either the brain or the penis do they then project that belief on to women? Do they think that women only have enough blood to operate either the brain or the tits? And if so, given that the tits are always demonstrating the same tensile strength, does that justify the long-held belief that females are of inferior intelligence? Is that why men are always trying to explain thing to us?

When Men Talk About Feelings

It is a widely accepted dogma* that women like to discuss their feelings. Men are all about remedying a situation and have no desire to analyze. The conjecture is that this creates much of the disparity between the sexes. It has been the basis of books, sitcoms, and countless comedy acts. Even with our progress in LGBT issues and greater acceptance of the gender spectrum this bias persists. I have stumbled upon an exception. I know that another common axiom is that the exception proves the rule. That is rather faulty logic.

If there is one place that men love to discuss thoughts and feelings it is in meetings. There is one constant to every single meeting I have ever been involved in and that is there will be men gathered around a table blowing hot air. Place a bunch of male executives at an overpriced, highly lacquered table and present them with something new and they will dissect it like a twelve-year-old girl with a text message from a crush.

There will be meetings, committees, subcommittees, and action plans. None of the action plans will be implemented until each member of each team has gathered data and presented it in power point. They will utilize charts, graphs, pivot tables, and the never-ending litany of meetings. Meetings where we talk about how the project feels, what each executive and manager thinks about the project, and what possible road blocks could present to impede progress. It will take a minimum of three meetings, spaced no less than a week apart, to decide on a plan of attack.

In the mean time, the women involved in said meeting (usually just me) are watching the deadline inch closer and closer. The women (me) wonder how we are going to have time to implement anything if and when we ever decide on a game plan. First there is the sense of exasperation as the women (me) are forced to listen to each executive voice their concerns (fear of change) in turn. Then there is aggravation as no one ever wants to hear a different point of view unless it is a new reason that the project won’t work (justifying the fears). Somewhere around meeting number three the women (me) will take notes and formulate a strategy. They (me) will then begin to quietly but assertively execute that program. By meeting number four it is apparent that change is happening and the project is taking shape. At meeting five the men congratulate each other on a job well done. The women (me) get asked to type up all the minutes and compile a report on the project.

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The woman in green- I make that face every meeting

I hate meetings like this. I am a list maker. There is always a list, either allegorical or prosaic. My goal in life is to cross items off of those lists. Now, I don’t ever want the same thing to enter back on to the list therefore I am a big fan of getting it right the first time. When I am presented with a new task I want to find out what I need and just make it happen. Discussion ad nauseam is infuriating. Let’s just get to work and get it done. But we can’t. Because everyone has to feel 100% comfortable with every bit of minutia before we can effect change.

This is when I really want to break out the radio-active nipples and shrink those whiny ass, disconnected, blow holes down into binary and incarcerate them in the phone app. The talking would stop, I would not longer have to deal with the egos, and there wouldn’t be a chain of command in my way of progress. Because nothing sets off executives more than stepped upon toes!

*Disclaimer: I do not personally subscribe to the gender normative behaviors that are prevalent in western culture. I don’t think that anything is inherently male or female, masculine or feminine. My interpretation is that these are gross generalizations of accepted segregation of roles based on social labels that are outmoded.