Monthly Archives: December 2013

The Vintage Prosey Project — A Prioritization “Thing” for 2014

You may have noticed I posted a slew of old blog entries from pros/e/yes today. The reason for this isn’t so much that the entries are truly *vintage* Prosey…for that, I’d have to dig WAY into my old journal archives from places like deviantART and Storm-Artists…which are places I don’t post much of anything anymore. Really, what the project is, more or less, is a unification of both my personal blog and this here blog…focused mainly on the Hump Day Specials (the “Dr. ProsePetals Westheimer Schmexaytime” entries) — for a few different reasons.

First, I have a few writing projects slated for 2014…directly connected with this blog…that I want to ensure I have a handle on without worrying about bringing the stuff from my personal blog that is applicable to sex education. Second, on reflection, I realized that the way I post in my personal blog as compared with here seems almost schizophrenic. I wanted to give any readers here an opportunity to get to know who I am on a regular day…not just while I’m wearing my “scholar hat.” Third, I wanted to make very clear here a few of my points of view that are directly and indirectly connected with sex education…from personal to academic to professional to political…and everything in between. Because sex education is about so much more than just the act of sexual intercourse, I wanted to open the gamut that I generally reserve for “amusements” and “debate-ables” over in my personal blog and bring them here.

So…with that in mind…I went back through my personal blog…focused on specific Hump Day Specials and entries that were either make-up entries on days other than Wednesdays or entries that provided retrospective insights to how I approach the variety topics connected with sex education. With that in mind…the retrospective perspective, loosely classified as “vintage” is as follows (Note 1, the following titles are the overarching themes of each entry, not the actual entry titles; Note2, SEVERAL of these are NSFW):

Masturbatory Politics
“Legitimate Rape”
Welcome to Georgia
Freak Flag
Men and Breast Cancer
Halloween Protection
Delivery and Preference
Christmas Sex Toy Gift Ideas
(My) Children and Sex Ed
Love & Hate (Family Style)
Gag Reflex
Don’t Do That
Prosey Is A Potty Mouth
Baylee’s Story (part 2)
Religious Harm
Sex & Murder
Texas GOP
The Statue & the Pidgeon
Zombie & Vampire Dildos
STD/STI Awareness Month
Permanent Proof of Temporary Insanity
Mishmash & Potpourri
WTF North Carolina?!
The Initial Thoughts on Sex & Food
Egg Drop Soup (a recurrent theme)
Full of Grace (Guest Entry)
Parents & Sex Ed
Sigh VMAs
What’s That Smell?!
More Egg Drop Soup
NIPPLES! *cough* seriously…Race & Reality

So there you have it…a few of the older entries from pros/e/yes.

For reference, “P/L/S” stands for “Peace, Love, & Sushi”…and “~dw” — that’s me.

So…Happy Hump Day! 

…and P/L/S


Vintage Prosey Project: 2014 Prioritization — 11/13/13

Updating the blog here to pull old entries from the pros/e/yes archives…in their original order. This project is simply a unification of my personal blog (with a LOT of NSFW entries) and my professional blog.

Happy Nipply Hump Day!

Man oh man, is it nipply outside today! *reminder to self: MUST buy more long-sleeve shirts for the kids*

Continuing in this week’s vein of observations from “Inside The Bubble” (or “Inside Enemy Territory”, however you prefer to think of it — I don’t think of anti-choicers/forced birthers as “enemies”, but as political/ideological adversaries/opponents, but I understand fully why some consider them downright mortal enemies, and for very real reasons).

Today’s observational share is two-fold. Race and Reality

First, an off-shoot of part of yesterday’s entry. I mentioned in passing the distinct racial factor involved by our adversaries. The matter of racial disparities is nothing new to many of us intimately familiar with the long-standing debate. From the blatant eugenics lies, and why the eugenics arguments are so very deeply misunderstood and deliberately misused by those who do understand the history…to calculated dishonesty about the “safety” of Black women’s uteri. Women of color have long been targeted by anti-choice propagandists, but beyond where they can be exploited, anti-choice establishment neither cares for nor has any use for any women of color.

Two stark points of evidence stand out strongly in contrast to where anti-choice flagrantly manipulates racial divisions in an attempt to pull to their advantage.

First – the demonization of President Obama. This one seems relatively straightforward and only seems overly simplistic until you start really comparing closely the parallels between the Tea Party activists and their racial underpinnings alongside anti-choice establishment. The parallels are uncanny…and I don’t believe in coincidence generally.

Second – and this one is a bit more insidious…the content at NPLA (both the main page and the facebook page). It is a rare day indeed that you’ll see me posting linkage directly to anti pages, but I do so today for a very specific reason. I’m inviting you to go and look…not to comment, not to engage…but -simply- to observe the imagery. Then I invite you…with a bit of admitted sheepish embarrassment…to watch this video. If you don’t want to click through to a YouTube video directly, you can just watch here:

I will say the same thing now that I said a couple of years ago when I made the above video…I was reading, and I was a bit nervous…and when I’m edgy, I get something of a “Squinty McSquinterson” look about me, confirmed by both of my older kids with much good-natured teasing about the look I get. However, as embarrassed as I am…and uncomfortable as I truly was, the racial factor is something I’ve been long aware of, and something I’ve spoken out against many times (right here in this very blog) for the dishonest nature of it on its face. Become familiar with it, because it is not accidental.

For a bit of homework, to research at your leisure, become familiar with what Margaret Sanger actually had to say about race and eugenics. I tend to avoid the eugenics discussions unless I have a sense that the person making assertions is actually sincerely interested in the fuller history, and that is a matter of personal discretion, admittedly. Most anti-choice advocates aren’t actually interested in what Sanger was really about, with respect to eugenics…nor are they typically interested in the history of eugenics, which still exists today. However, I strongly encourage people who are pro-choice to become more familiar with the history, because I’ve seen many a pro-choice cross over to anti-choice on the grounds of supposed (and non-existent) historic racism within PPFA…and ensuring our side understands this particular bit of history is something I care very much about.

Next up on today’s discussion: the realities

…I mentioned on Monday the importance of recognizing where our adversaries are correct. I have to repeat this point, because it’s really super-duper important to understand. When they talk about 50+ million abortions since 1973, they are correct…and while it’s an uncomfortable truth, it changes nothing. Period. The fact is, there would have been far more abortions if Roe had not passed than 50 million. And that, my friends, is a fact that our adversaries don’t want to acknowledge. At all. They don’t like having Romania’s recent history brought up…generally because “communism” or some such other bullshit. Okay…fine.

Let’s look to American history, then…because capitalism. Seriously. All those “crisis pregnancy centers”?! Diverting women (and very specific women, no less) away from abortion to the “adoption option”? You think it’s really about “loving babies”?! Bullshit. They get their profits from adoption agencies. Don’t be fooled…not for an instant.

But …even setting the profiteers aside, because they’re disgusting and bad enough all by themselves… what about the folks who sincerely see adoption as the “more ideal option” in the face of 50+ million abortions in the United States since 1973? I mean, people who are authentic (and trust your gut on this count, folks)…

Well…I have another bit of homework for you, to familiarize yourself with. Most of us have made the “foster care” argument, and it’s no less valid for it…but tends to get dismissed because “those children are alive” — and ignores completely the actual history of orphanage institutional practices in the United States after WWII…and why. It ignores the relatively recent history of Newt Gingrich (back when he was still speaker) suggesting that we should re-open the institution of orphanages, regardless of the body of evidence showing the actual harm.

These are implications that anti-choicers (even sincerely well-meaning ones) abjectly fail to grasp…and we need to be open to raising awareness and educating people on the facts in the face of misguided “morality policing.”


Enough for today. I have other work to do. I am undecided about which observation to share tomorrow…I’m debating on opening up about biology, which I would normally cover on a Hump Day…but it’s such an in-depth topic that I don’t presently have the energy to delve into it. Today’s entry is meaty enough, of course…and I encourage you to really consider completing the “homework” assigned above. We have to know the actual counter-discussions where their propaganda shows only half-truths and distortions.

Anyway, off I go back into the so-called real world. Happy Hump Day!


Vintage Prosey Project: 2014 Prioritization — 10/16/13

Updating the blog here to pull old entries from the pros/e/yes archives…in their original order. This project is simply a unification of my personal blog (with a LOT of NSFW entries) and my professional blog.

Dr. PruthPetals Westheimer’s Hump Day Thoughts

G’mornin’! Hope you are having a sunshine-y Hump Day wherever YOU are. Here, it’s overcast…like the sky is making ready for Halloween or somethin’… All throughout the neighborhood, there are fall-type Halloween decorations. I love Halloween, and am looking forward to putting the bloody handprints on the door windows…the gigantic orange & black window covers on in the office, and getting the ghosty & jack-o-lantern lawn bag filled either later this weekend or some time next week. Gotta keep up appearances, you know.

Which, interestingly, is what today’s entry is about. Appearances.

I’ve noted before that pictures can (and frequently do) tell lies. Photographs are interesting things, come to it…because they hide more than they reveal. At the same time, they are a snapshot of a moment in time, and can…by their very visual nature…grant recall of both precious and precarious pieces of histories. One of my very favorite movie lines ever is from “The Brothers Bloom” by the character of Penelope Stamp (Rachel Weisz) ~ “I don’t know about ‘truths.’ A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells, the less you know.” To me, this is a simple statement that is…simply…true. I could offer a variety of examples from my own albums…but really, I don’t think I need to. Most of us, on some level, can identify with the sensation…particularly looking through any old family albums.

Given where I live…but in no way unique to where I live (just slightly more pronounced, in my observation)…appearances are of the utmost importance. Oh…people make as though that’s not the case…but I see it frequently. Perhaps because of my personality…perhaps because I genuinely no longer give even half a shit about appearances…I have found myself in a (strange) position of being…oh, I guess the word would be “perplexing”…to some of the folks with whom I interact. I find that mostly amusing most of the time. My friend Mother Goose put it this way: “…it’s fun never knowing what you’re going to say.  Just when I think I know how you’ll react or think you’ll respond to some issue, you surprise me.”

That made me laugh. That sentiment has been expressed in far less kind ways also…which is fine. Somewhere along the way, I stopped caring about what people see on the surface, and I stopped caring about surface in others. I couldn’t tell you precisely when that happened, but it did…and I’m glad of it.

What, you might be wondering, is the purpose of this topic …and in a Hump Day writing, no less?

Well, the topic of appearances has quite a lot to do with sexuality and sexual interaction, come to it. Appearances play a role in our assumptions about others. Just this past weekend, in a very innocuous situation (getting a haircut), a conversation I was sharing with the woman cutting my hair revealed her concern for a friend of hers…who had/has concerns about a possible STI contraction. When I (gently) probed for details, the response revealed where those surface/appearance assumptions can (and frequently do) come into play. When I asked how long her friend had been with [the guy], she responded, “about 3-4 weeks.” I explained that, for certain STIs, including the particular one she expressed concern about, there is an incubation period in which no symptoms manifest. Her response was, “Well, my friend is not like that (whatever “that” means)…she goes to church and all that. The guy, though…? He’s one of those weirdos, you know…a ‘freaky’ type of person.”

I just looked at her and said next-to-nothing. I mean, I responded, of course…but ignored the judgmental commentary…and suggested that her friend be examined by a gynecologist to determine one way or another what was going on. I left the conversation at that. I was already annoyed by the very-cute-but-not-what-I-asked-for haircut; being under the weather didn’t help my mood much; and, of course, I don’t know her friend or “the guy”…so I wasn’t about to assert anything — either in support or defense. I just said the most obvious and neutral thing that came to my mind. I placed the conversation in one of my mental bins to consider later…paid the bill…and left the salon.

On consideration, I’m reminded of several things, actually. Thanks to a conversation with an old friend, my “review” of the 50 Shades trilogy surfaced in my thoughts (and a note to said old friend, there is my take on the story for your review, Profesora!). My thoughts also flipped to yesterday’s entry, when I mentioned the “anti-drug” concern within my community because an affluent 16-year-old high school student was found dead after a heroin overdose. Further, even one of the closing comments I referenced from facebook (“they were probably upset when their free lunch *** errrr *** I mean EBT card did not work over the weekend.”) speaks to this same conundrum.

(Quick directed Note #1: For the sake of ensuring understanding why I included it in my thoughts yesterday…I was patently unfair in a comment I made on my own facebook timeline after I read that comment on another old friend’s wall…where I said “It’s pretty bad when you feel sympathy for a friend’s situation (minor though it is) and have to leave the thread because of an ignorant asshole’s comment.” — I should not have said that…I don’t know personally the individual who made the dickish comment at all…he might be an asshole, he might not be, and I shouldn’t have called him any name at all. Still, the commentwas dickish, which was what I was referring to, and my personal integrity won’t allow me to reference something here without making the [applicable] friend aware that space in my public blog has been utilized in such a way.)

Anyway, back to that conundrum…the three above examples…just three out of gajillions…speak to the incredible disconnect existent to what we see and what may or may not even be remotely true. In the case of the 50 Shades trilogy, one of my many complaints about the books was the assumption that because someone is into domination/submission in the sexual realm that they must somehow be “damaged goods” ~ when such is likely NOT the case…even remotely. Or, at the very least, no more damaged than any of the rest of us in the American population…particularly with the sexual mixed messaging that is all around us. In thinking on that affluent kid who was found dead (you know, because drugs), why does it come as such a seeming shock that affluence has anything to do with substance dependence and addiction? Further…why is there a seeming shock that when that affluence bears white skin, it is somehow something that demands public awareness raising? Lastly, of these examples given, why…if someone happens to qualify for EBT or some other form of public assistance, why is the assumption that they’re on a free lunch ride or some equally dickish bullshit?

I’m not suggesting that we not trust our senses…not at all. We have senses for a reason, and trusting our intuition is one of those evolutionary things that has kept us alive as a species for…well…millennia, honestly. However, the balance to trusting our intuition is recognizing that our intuition can be (and all-too-frequently is) flawed…and wrong. This is just as true (and perhaps especially true) with respect to sexuality and sexual interaction. Assumptions (positive AND negative) frequently…all too frequently…are disastrously incorrect.

Of course, one of my main personal focuses in terms of education in this realm is the assumption (by parents) of “Not my child” ~ which is a combination assumption and denial…but I’m not writing about that specifically today. It is just (sadly, yet) another example of wrong-headed assumptions that are made…because of a gut-clench and/or knee-jerk.

I touched (very lightly) on the topic of assumptions…and my frustrations with those assumptions…in Monday’s entry (which is what the imagery reading “NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR BROKEN WINDSHIELDS”) is all about. It’s fitting, too, that the image of Ted Cruz & Sarah Palin is at the top of that entry, because they (and people like them) are disproportionately guilty of wrong-headed assumptions that have disastrous outcomes.

(Note #2: See? I told you on Monday that I would eventually connect the dots…)

Anyhoooo…enough for today. I have more thoughts on this topic, but I’ve said about all I wish to right the moment about them. For now, I have other research to attend to that I’ve been putting off (what I mentioned last week). More about that tomorrow or Friday.

For today: Happy Hump Day!!


Vintage Prosey Project: 2014 Prioritization — 10/9/13

Updating the blog here to pull old entries from the pros/e/yes archives…in their original order. This project is simply a unification of my personal blog (with a LOT of NSFW entries) and my professional blog.

Hump Day Special ~ Land of Eggdrop Soup (Remember That Place?! Well, We’re Back)

Good evening! I know I’m late posting today, but that could be because I put out a request for topics and either everyone went weak-kneed or nobody could think of a topic (or more likely, something in between those). The topic that has been on my mind for today -while educational- was just way too serious to sit down and write about…so I opted to just forgo a PruthPetals’ Schmexaytime Special for today. Before the afternoon was finished, though, I would come to regret that decision…since a far more serious topic jumped into my awareness.

Yeah yeah…if I took the active time to routinely follow the forever-going, emotionally and mentally draining topic of abortion, I would never-ever-ever-ever-ever write about anything else. There is -quite literally- always something transpiring in this particularly touchy realm. Just…always. I have friends and allies who remain steadfast on the battlefront…and I was correctly called out on the real reason I avoid this particular topic, which has to do with a personality trait an academic tendency I have to avoid acutely emotional topics in favor of topics that I can analyze from a safe emotional an objective distance. And…it’s true. Really. The subject of STIs across the teen population, and the continuing debates surrounding sex education in public schools is the area I choose to more directly focus on. I remain determined to keep (the majority of) my independent focus on developing a resource for parents, healthcare professionals, and educators.

All that being said…about the time my daughter came home, I happened across a link of a clip from Maddow’s show last night (posted by a friend of mine in one of my group pages, so “happening across” was more or less “put in my line of vision”)…and hedged on clicking right away. I saw the headline and immediately shared to my wall (sight unseen) with the comment: “If you happen to be pro-choice…then take a DEEP BREATH before listening.”

I don’t know if I was really telling people who happen to read what I post…or if I was warning myself…or what. I just had an instantly guarded feeling about the headline (like flinching from a fake), and decided to wait a few minutes before actually clicking through. Now…I happen to respect the hell outta Rachel Maddow. I don’t always agree with her…but generally my views are aligned with hers, and I appreciate how she presents topics. Even presented in an even…almost completely neutral tone…this story sent a few chills down my spine. The conversation on my wall under the Maddow link gives some idea that I’m really not emotionless, not entirely without deeply subjective views…even while I tried to not look at the situation through a hyperbolic lens. I’m not keen on alarmism, and I shy away when I see people in total freak-out mode (or I become completely emotionless and hyper-analytical…which is probably worse in some ways than backing the hell away and completely disengaging).

Taking a deep breath after my initial reaction to the story…I decided what I was going to do. I didn’t really know enough about the story, of course…and I knew right away that I needed to research and read about it for myself. (Remember, I avoid the abortion discussion as much as I can, generally…and usually only engage when specifically sought out for comment…it is important to remember that here. The idea of digging into a story this potentially explosive is not something I’ve been asked to do…and I wasn’t precisely thrilled.) And…turns out…my initial gut-clench at the first headline I saw was nothing compared to the even more visceral reaction I had upon actually digging deeper into the story.

Peter Batallion, the district court judge who ruled — denied — Anonymous 5’s waiver for parental consent used to serve on Omaha’s Metro Right-to-Life committee –self-explanatory…AND was once an attorney for Operation Rescue –an “extremist” anti-abortion group (and yes, I would personally agree with extremist in this instance). As if the girl’s home situation weren’t bad enough, and legislative stupidity put her in an unnecessary tangle in the first place…the higher court added insult to injury, because even though there was vehement dissent within the state supreme court, they refused to address the matter of bias by the district court judge AND refused to even consider whether Anonymous 5 even had the right to decide -independently of the state- to have an abortion…which is legal in Nebraska. (A bit of relief in this particular quagmire, RH Reality Check is ALL OVER this, including the heartbreaking points that Anonymous 5 has two younger siblings, ages 7 and 9 years, who she has effectively raised — which undercut’s Batallion’s assertion of lack of maturity, period. A more or less sterilized version of the same history can be found over at National Partnership for Women and Families.)

Nebraska is a funny little ol’ state on the topic of abortion…it is one of the most restrictive, with respect to parental consent laws (as of 2011), and it has its own hinky bit of history connected with Roe…and funny this. Roe naturally came to mind, seeing as my own personal reaction to this case involved a comment that this situation appears to have all the hallmarks of being potentially more explosive than Roe. And that thought was underscored by a curious little sentence I read in one of the above-linked articles…

“Suzanne Gage, a lobbyist for Americans United for Life, the group that pushed for the parental consent law, said the group’s attorneys are studying the ruling.”

Hmmmmm. Yes…I’m sure they are studying it in microscopic detail. AUL has Nebraska ranked at #6…on a list of safest states for fetuses. AUL has been a significant force in getting states to implement more restrictive parental consent laws in the first place, and their goal (as almost all pro-choice champions KNOW) is to upend Roe. So you can bet your ass they’re studying the ruling…because they want this type of ruling to be repeated in other states…that is their goal. And that is part of why I see this particular case being explosive. Not just because of the details of the case itself…but because it is not a hypothetical anymore. And worse, this non-hypothetical is a minor. Political ideologies at play that are deliberately working against one of the most significant SCOTUS decisions for women that we all rely on, that has been torn away bit by bit, to actively remove her choice because she happens to be a minor…and set a precedent for a forced birth, by the government indirectly, and by anti-choice zealots hiding behind judicial robes. Yeah, this case has the distinct potential to be highly explosive, and not just in Nebraska. And, because I had to subject myself to this …so that you, gentle reader, wouldn’t have to… I know, too, that LifeSiteNews and its followers are celebrating. That happens from time to time…but this has a different bent to it… (despite the assumptions that because the attorney won’t comment on Anonymous 5’s current pregnancy status that must mean she obtained an abortion from evil Planned Parenthood [oh gawd, I hope so!])

I couldn’t force myself to post a map from AUL, so I posted the one from Guttmacher, via MJ.

So yeah, this looks like a rather intense situation, and one that I don’t wanna don’t wanna don’t wanna will continue to follow for developments as I remember to force myself have adequate time to review in-between other topics I follow more closely on a regular basis. I haven’t seen any indication of NARAL or ACLU involvement in this case — to let a fb friend know that I did look for that, but didn’t see anything. I have my doubts that either organization will get involved at this point…not from a lack of desire or willingness…but because Anonymous 5 is presently legally represented, and a question of conflict might be at issue. I’m speculating, of course (and I’m not an attorney), but I wouldn’t count on involvement other than vocal support via media outlets.

I have tons of different -darker than my usual- concerns about this case, but for the time being, I’m going to set this blog down and leave this entry as it is for the time being. I have more digging to do tomorrow…for tonight, I wanted to more closely familiarize myself with the situation up in Nebraska so that I would be better prepared for when I do start digging more deeply. In any case…all the links here (and a few others that gave a lot of duplicate information) are included for your click-adventure pleasure.

Wishing you a bouncy remainder of your Hump Day…and hopefully you’ll rest easy with pleasant thoughts.


Vintage Prosey Project: 2014 Prioritization — 10/2/13

Updating the blog here to pull old entries from the pros/e/yes archives…in their original order. This project is simply a unification of my personal blog (with a LOT of NSFW entries) and my professional blog.

Dr. PruthPetals Westheimer’s Schmexaytime Hump Day Special: What’s That SMELL?

G’mornin’! *raises coffee mug*

Soooo…last week, I was asked a question. It was (to me) a very interesting question, actually…and one that, turns out, is a quite common question.

There is an age-old joke about how women have a smell “down there” ~ frequently made by male partners who fail to realize they have a smell of their own “down there” that is not altogether different. I wrote about this point before, quite a while ago, when I asked my husband (and a few trusted male friends) if they could smell themselves. Their answers were consistently, “No,” and I couldn’t help but laugh…because as many a heterosexual, sexually active woman can verify…men you do have a smell of your own…and frankly, it’s not altogether different from our musky smell fragrance. Now, I will grant that…if a particular smell is beyond the normal “musky” smell (meaning, if the age-old joke about fish) actually smells like fish, then one or both (or multiple) partner/s probably should get checked out by a doctor to rule out or confirm/treat a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Rule out? Yes…rule out. Because while an unusual aroma wafting from the holiest of holies might be an indication of an STI…it also might not be. As noted at the beginning here, I received a question that is very interesting (at least to me) that is actually a very common question…and it has to do with penis-in-vagina (PIV) sexual intercourse during or shortly following menstruation. The question asked was (paraphrased), when my husband and I have sex right after my period has ended, there’s this really godawful smell…is that normal? And…the cynics among us would -based on anecdotal evidence- assume that one or the other of the married partners might be carrying an STI…or, as one common non-STI answer might suggest, the female partner might have bacterial vaginosis (BV). No, BV is not actually an STI…and yes, it is very common among women of childbearing years…and it is an infection/condition caused by an overgrowth of normal bacteria that exists in the vagina. blahblahblah…it’s normal

However, what about when (as frequently happens), neither partner has been cheating, neither partner has an STI, and a normal condition such as a yeast infection or BV has been ruled out (consistently)? What then? Well…funny you should ask. I came (*cough*) across the term “fermented cum” in a discussion board about this topic…and I couldn’t stop laughing for a while.

Once I stopped laughing (and once visions of pH sticks had cleared my head), I set to the business of digging (*cough*) a bit more to find “more serious” answers –meaning, here, citations, because I don’t expect you to simply take my word for anything– to supplement the comments and punchlines that were rattling around my head.

First off…fermenting. When I think of fermenting…generally…I’m thinking about food preparation. This time of year now, I do a bit of pickling and fermenting of foods in preparation for winter.

See that mess of freezer bags? That is about…oh, a dozen or so…bags of sauerkraut that I’ve prepared for the coming winter. And more to the point…

…(*cough*)…with many thanks to my VermAunt, I’ve taken a liking to quick pickling. Lots of phalluses in that image, eh?

What’s your point, Denise? Okay, okay…fine…my point is that foods ferment in similar ways that other…oh, I guess fluids is what we’re discussing here…ferment. A change in the pH balance of those foods fluids. Generally speaking, I don’t pH test foods before I put them through a pickling process…I simply follow a standard recipe. I haven’t attempted the art of fermentation with low acid things, because I would probably have to invest in pH test strips and a whole new recipe book in order to ensure that I don’t get (or give my family) something like botulism. But the point is, pH balance plays a HUGE role in things that ferment…including bodily fluids…including said bodily fluids that exist both in the vagina AND in the penis. On the one hand, in very real ways, we are what we eat…except that (and on the other hand), some of these matters are simply biological realities as part of being members of the animal kingdom.

I mention the point about being animals before moving on because, well…most animals use their sense of smell for their very survival. We human animals seem to have really lost a bit of that sense, except for a few pointed things. We take for granted exactly how primal…visceral…fundamentally instinctive our sense of smell actually is. A smell can snap us back to a childhood moment (in wonderful ways at times, and sometimes in downright emotionally triggering ways)…a smell can be reminiscent, a smell can make our mouths water…and -as pertinent here- serve as a quick biological warning that something isoff. By “off,” I don’t mean necessarily bad or dangerous…just off.

As in…pH balance is off-kilter. I read an article in the Jamaica Observer, and was surprised to see this actual topic right there…and written quite plainly. The focus was strictly vaginal smells throughout the menstrual cycle, and the pointed note that just after a period, the smell gets funky. And it does. That is normal. As the article also notes (and this is something I’ve written about many times), women need to leave it the fuck alone. Short of getting medically screened (again, to ensure no BV is up in there…or some other bit of bacteria)…the vagina cleans itself out as part of the cyclic process. There is an entire feminine hygiene industry out there making profits on eliminating smells…and making matters far worse. I remember my mother preaching about the wonders of vinegar/water douching…but as an adult, and thinking on the process of fermenting foods…I can’t help but wonder — how do you know you have the correct pH balance in the douche itself (I don’t give a good goddamn, either, about Massengil technology, come to this, because…), and for that matter, how do you know what the precise pH balance is up in your vagina? (And…to drive the point home, I also remember my mother talking about smelling like salad dressing for days after douching.)

Of course, for women truly concerned about their wafting aromas…there are plenty of message boards filled with information…but much of the information falls into the category of Things You Can Never Unsee…(and I’m only sharing the more tame ones I encountered)…and there are a few really terrific informative websites you can go to and read if you like, including this one, BUT…all of those pages focus on only ONE HALF of the equation.

There is another half. And that, gentle reader, is (for my heterosexual readers) your male sexual partner. Like it or not, my dear male friends, the pH balance in your dicks also contributes to this wonderment of post-menstrual, post-coital aroma. You can look at your female partner all you like and say, “Eww, what’s that smell?!” (and thank you, guys, for getting THAT song stuck in my head!)…but you’re gonna have to own up to something. Your ejaculate isn’t without its own contributing factors to that smell. See, the vagina isn’t a vacuum; neither is it lined with teflon. Meaning, what you put into it will -at some point- come out…but it doesn’t simply slide right off like something cooked on a teflon-coated frying pan. And for all the conversational avoidance of this particularly sticky topic, it also seems to be a very common topic of concern for men (and their partners)…as seen here and here and here and here…and into other things I’m not linking that also fall into the category of Things You Can Never Unsee….right along with the all-too-common “Are You Circumcised?” bullshit question that raises my hackles and motivates me even more to get sex ed information out to parents about male children and the importance of recognition that penile hygiene (circumcised or not) is a distinct part of sex education for young boys…just as much as vaginal hygiene is a distinct part of sex education for young girls…but REALLY, parents need that particular education.

In any case…my overarching answer to the question of when my husband and I have sex right after my period has ended, there’s this really godawful smell…is that normal? ~ ruling out all other things…YES, that smell is TOTALLY normal. Particularly as we get older, and our hormonal balances (yes, in both women AND men) change. YES, certain bodily fragrances become stronger…and it is also quite possible that our sense of smell becomes more acute as we get older, and our other senses begin to gradually diminish as a normal aging process. Combine all these things and you’ve got a cocktail from…(*cough*)…well, I think you’ve got the idea.

With that…Happy Hump Day!


Vintage Prosey Project: 2014 Prioritization — 9/18/13

Updating the blog here to pull old entries from the pros/e/yes archives…in their original order. This project is simply a unification of my personal blog (with a LOT of NSFW entries) and my professional blog.

Hump Day Absurdity

Today has been something of an absurd day…and taking inspiration from David, I decided to treat it accordingly…

18 September 2013
Bill Me Later
9690 Deereco Road, Ste. 705
Timonium, MD 21093
ATTN: Billing Department
To Whom It May Concern:
I write to you in reference to an email sent to me dated 11 September 2013 (Attachment 1), notifying me that my September statement was available for viewing. Per the instructions in the email, I clicked the nifty hyperlink to Log in to PayPal to view your billing statement or make a payment (and I sincerely appreciate that hyperlink, as I would not have known otherwise to log in to my PayPal account in order to view my current Bill Me Later balance and when it is due).
Upon logging in to my PayPal account, I saw that my statement from Bill Me Now was indeed ready to view (Attachment 2). The September statement indicated that my Bill Me Later balance was $0.00, that my available credit is $310.00 (yay me!), and that the Minimum payment due (by 10/07/13) was $0.00. Seeing that the balance was $0.00, due on 10/07/2013, I might have assumed that the email and statement were automatically generated and simply disregarded them as unnecessary.
Today, however, I received a check in the mail (USPS, of course, not via email) in the amount of $0.01. I am thrilled by the spectacular customer service generated by your organization that not only do you send emails reminding customers that they owe you money, but that you are also kind enough to send them money in order to pay said bills.
Rather than cashing this very kind check your company sent to me and writing an entirely separate check in the amount of $0.01 payable to your organization for the bill of $0.00 that is due on 10/07/13, I figure I’ll save on that bit of extra human expenditure and simply enclose the check you sent me as remittance for what is due. I’m sending this extra, extra early…way before the 10/07/13 bill due date…as my way of expressing my sincere appreciation for the spectacular customer service rendered. That personal, human touch means so much more than words could possibly express.
Should you have any questions or concerns regarding the contents of this letter or any of the enclosed attachments, please feel free to contact me at the telephone number noted at the top of this page. Thank you again.
Attachment 1: Email dated 09/11/2013
Attachment 2: PayPal’s Bill Me Later Statement, 
as instructed in email dated 09/11/2013
(see Attachment 1)
Enclosed check
Happy Hump Day!


Vintage Prosey Project: 2014 Prioritization — 8/28/13

Updating the blog here to pull old entries from the pros/e/yes archives…in their original order. This project is simply a unification of my personal blog (with a LOT of NSFW entries) and my professional blog.

Hump Day Special: No…We (Really) Can’t (Seem To) Stop…

Good afternoon! For those who read yesterday’s entry, you might have some idea of what today’s entry is going to be about. For those of you who haven’t, well…welcome to Hump Day.

Yesterday’s entry title was actually missing a word – “Solely” – it should have been titled, “If You Are Focused Solely On The Sexualization, You’re Missing The Point” — and as you might have guessed, yesterday’s and today’ entries are about the already infamous VMA performance being talked about all over the interwebz. I didn’t want to watch it…I was not even curious. I had seen the original videos by both Ms. Cyrus and Mr. Thicke (both of his, as applicable to the VMAs)…and I am, admittedly, beyond an age of interest in anything related to MTV.

That said…yeah, for the specific purpose of today’s entry, I made an active point of pulling up the VMA performance. To actually watch. My initial, honest-to-Abraham-Lincoln reaction was *yawn*. It was the same basic reaction I had on Monday, with my double-dose entry, with an added mental thought of, well, this is just basic club scene shit, not really any big deal…and if I were in a club, I’d think Ms. Cyrus was a rather awkward dancer. However, I also made a very distinct point to watch a bit critically, for the very reasons I noted yesterday.

So before I really dive in…I am going to preface with a few points of note, gentle reader, so that you can decide for yourself if you want to read further. First, this is going to be a very long entry – what is known here as a “ramble-rumble” style entry. If you don’t like reading very long blogs, then you may wish to bow out now, with no offense taken. Second, I will be discussing matters of media, race, sexualization, and perpetuation of historical stereotypes…in conjunction with where those things intersect with my own research. What this means is that while I will work diligently to keep the writing “light”, I may delve into a bit of academic mode in this entry. Third, because I am a middle-class, heterosexual, white woman…there are facets of this entry that I am going to be touching into that I am still, very diligently, working on improving and expanding my personal understanding (and am asking for help from those who understand more fully if I err, which I probably will). This is important to understand…because in my stance as a researcher, my personal view is completely irrelevant…but I’m not writing right now as a researcher. I’m writing as myself, and speaking only from my point of view, while drawing from the research I have conducted from a less personal position. Fourth, and finally, if you are of the mindset that I might be “over-thinking” the topic, I would encourage you to just walk away now. Because I would much rather take the time to think about it, even over-think it (not to the point of ridiculous navel-gazing, but enough so that I haven’t maybe overlooked something important) than to not bother even attempting to think about it at all. If you are the sort who wants simplistic, elementary school discussion, go buy a fucking bumper sticker and don’t waste either of our time here. With love, of course.

With those things in mind, if you’re still here for the ride…well, make sure your seat belts are fastened, and that your tray tables are in their upright and locked positions. We’re about to take off…


My thoughts begin with the idea that we are all, truly, connected. Before you mistakenly think I’m going metaphysical here…getting gooey and Kumbaya…let me dispel you of that outright. I mean in a far more literal, physical, here and now kind of way. Our very humanity is what connects us. Our flesh and blood and common ground…and yes, shared histories. The very moment we, as individuals and societies, attempt to divorce our present day from the histories that shaped it– that moment is when we crystallize a present that is completely out of touch with the very ever-present reality around us. Dimensionally speaking, we human beans have a kind of nasty habit of only considering our personal history as the springboard, failing spectacularly to recognize that our personal frame of reference is directly connected with others…and worse, expecting others to conform to our personal worldviews. So it is here that I begin…with love of my fellow human beans, as flawed and frail as we can be (and are)…to work from a starting point that I hope will make sense to others.

One of the flaws…the frailties, if you will…of humanity is our ability to dehumanize each other. Enter the Miley Cyrus fiasco that is not just her fiasco. Too many people have ignored Robin Thicke, given him a pass, for his contribution to this mess…and that is not a point that I have missed. Either in the sense of gender disparity and bias, or in the sense of dehumanization. Some of the oldest arguments surrounding sex and sex/gender roles can be made on just the deafening silence about his contribution to the performance alone that would turn this entry into a writing that would give War and Peace a run for its money. But as it is, most of the criticism, condemnation, and armchair psychoanalysis is presently (and predictably) being directed at Ms. Cyrus. Some is questionable, some is laughable, some is downright ludicrous. Yet there is some criticism that actually raises important questions and deserves consideration.

My initial reaction to the entire situation (without having watched the performance, and not wanting to watch it) was disgust at the level of slut-shaming being hurled at Ms. Cyrus. I’m still disgusted by it…and it is still occurring all over the place. I stand firm in my position that if all you can say is “skank” or something equally useless, then go buy a bumper sticker and step out of the conversation. However, where my mistake (and it certainly was a mistake) was — was my failure to recognize that there was more going on in that performance than I thought about, and I really should have taken the time to consider the larger picture. The element of sex in the performance, to me, remains no big deal…in and of itself. Miley Cyrus is coming into her own as a sexual being…making quite a lot of noise doing so…which is certainly her choice. She has every right to do that, like it or not. It is her body and her life…and if she chooses to exploit it, that is her decision. Where I have a few concerns is the matter of profiteering…and the fact that it isn’t solely her own body and sexuality that she is exploiting.

Amid the criticisms is something I want to make a point of noting: in making this performance a way to scapegoat Ms. Cyrus for things like “forcing parental choices” or turning this into something that defines everything that she is, that is also incredibly dehumanizing. My pointing that out is not an attempt at making “relative” the issues…it is just something that needs to be addressed. She, too, is someone’s daughter…while she may not be a little girl, she is someone’s little girl…and at the end of the day, her infamous performance does not define who she is entirely as a human being. It defines a choice she made…a choice that has distinct consequences…and some of those consequences are not hers alone to bear, because she chose to objectify others. (We’ll come back to those bears in a while, don’t you worry.) As an advocate for and champion of choice, I am also a believer in reminding people that the right of choice comes with it the reality of consequence. The responsibility half of the equation when we start talking about our rights. So, when I noted that it isn’t solely her own body and sexuality that she was exploiting, I am not criticizing her as a person (I don’t know her personally); rather, I am criticizing a choice that she made, and very publicly, that does not affect solely her…even while she will likely capitalize on it, netting millions…which was part of the point.

One argument I have gotten when I have pointed this out is that the black dancers did so voluntarily. Yes, that is true. Certainly. I’m not arguing that point in the least. However, let me toss a couple of thoughts out for consideration. Has anyone asked them, the dancers, I mean -at all- how they felt about the specific choreography? It is entirely possible that none of them cared about it, since boiled down, it was just a dance routine, after all…that they were getting paid for. (Hint: that is another big difference — they’re getting paid for their work, but they are not making millions in profit from this routine.) Also, if this dance routine were happening outside of a televised event…you know, here in the real world…say, at a club…would Ms. Cyrus’ hands have been all over the ass of a black woman without first looking her in the face, maybe with some sort of introduction, and gaining direct consent? (Hint: this is a point that actually touches into both main performers’ songs, come down to it.)

…which brings me to something that is getting overlooked by my fellow white folks, including my feminist-minded friends. The matter of ignorance (willing or innocent, I won’t guess at) regarding “black culture.” I am placing the phrase in quotation marks, because black culture is not a singular thing. Most white folks I know would not say they’re “of European descent” –honestly, it’s understood that Europe is actually a continent, and when we talk about “our culture,” we tend to be a little more specific than “European” — …and then turn around and act 17,000 kinds of surprised when -you know- other people outside of a “white normative” have multiple facets to their cultures…whether we’re talking about any ethnic or racial matter, frankly…culture is not a borg-type thing. (Sorry, the geek had to come out, if only briefly.) It is not singular. Like every culture we can think of or name, there are many facets…and we waste a lot of time that boils down to stereotyping based on what we don’t actually know because we haven’t bothered taking the time to consider the histories. This is not about “white shame” (and yes, I had that thrown at me) — it is about being a human fucking being…and making the effort to see outside of your own predefined “normative” in some small effort to understand why Ms. Cyrus’ performance just might have touched on the pulse of a few non-white folks’ nerves. Further, it’s about more than the slut-shaming (which is an important issue that feminists are rightly upset about); however, like the mistakes of the Women’s Liberation Movement, certain mistakes seem to be getting repeated… Seems we can’t stop…*cough*

And that brings me to this.

There is just no legitimate explaining away something right in front of your face, at all. Once your eyes have seen, what you saw can never be unseen. Diane Awerbuck pointed out, “Saartjie Baartman is not a symbol. She is a dead woman who once suffered in a series of cruel systems. The best way we can remember her is by not letting it happen again.”

Yet that is precisely what has happened and is happening. Z.A.C. said it differently, in a way that might make a bit clearer the problem of part of the dance routine of Cyrus’ performance:

“We also made note in that article of how black womens’ bodies were censored in music videos. There was a Lloyd video that, in its original version, there is a short snippet where Drake’s girl Maliah twerks close-up in the camera. On MTV, that clip is either removed or Maliah’s butt is blurred out. The conclusion: black women’s bodies are too obscene for television. 

There is so much to be enraged about regarding Miley Cyrus’s performance last night. Well-documented, and totally obvious, is the fact that Cyrus is using black culture to harden her image, to transition her from Disney Star to legitimate pop star, so that she can stay relevant and—essentially—keep making money.  

But there’s also the message that MTV is clearly sending: that there is something inherently dangerous or offensive about a black woman’s body. When we do it, it’s a crime—it’s too hot for tv—but when a white woman does it, it’s a laugh, or it’s edgy. And she gets to headline their biggest show of the year.”

The images Z.A.C. shared explain more succinctly:

Go ahead. Click to see the above images side-by-side, full size.

Part of me got hung up earlier today while working to think through some of what was bugging me about that. It’s easy to say “racist” (which would imply a perception of racial superiority)…but a friend of mine’s dad half-corrected my thoughts when I dared to voice them with him. To him, the more applicable (and just as horrible, if not worse) idea involved is “xenophobic.” I personally feel that both ideas are at play…but my focus isn’t entirely on that. Partly, yes…but not entirely. And while thinking on that, an article I read the other day kept colliding with my thoughts…this one. Click through. Read it. I’ll wait.


I’m not a Rihanna fan. I have nothing for her or against her. I know nothing about her, nor will I pretend to. I can look at the above image and state plainly that I think she is beautiful. And…I hear the song “Umbrella” and wanna drive ice picks in my ears. Nothing about her talent (I like her voice okay) or her beauty (she’s stunning)…I just can’t stand the song. That, though, has everything to do with my personal music preferences and nothing to do with her. (Oh, yeah…and I’m getting old…but whatever.)

Here’s where the big but comes in…and it is a but worth seriously considering. The song “We Can’t Stop”…was originally written with Rihanna as the intended performer. I am not going to assume that Rihanna’s interpretation of the song would have been in remotely the same universe as Miley’s interpretation, in terms of art and presentation…but I can’t help but wonder… If the performer on Sunday night would have been Rihanna, what would the public response have been? I mean, considering how she was thoroughly excoriated by our American media for celebrating her own cultural tradition at Carnival? Which, by the way, is not a sexual gratification experience. It is a celebration of life…it is a celebration of people…it is love-filled. I’ve only celebrated Carnival once, many years ago, when I lived in Panama…and it was incredible. Truly incredible.

It is we, Americans, I mean (and quite predominantly white Americans), who seem to apply our rigid Puritanical origins and morality-based expectations to celebrations (and other cultures generally) that we don’t recognize or understand (and don’t bother trying)…we slap a sexual identity on something where one simply is not existent. This was as true in Hawaii as it is anywhere else…and the original hula is something that was not sexual. Done nekkid? Yep…and missionaries’ wives were shocked and appalled that the “savages” were in some state of undress…dancing. *gasp…the horror* — and while some of us (SOME) better understand today that hula is a kind of storytelling, and an honor to the gods of Hawaiian lore — a lot of folks continue to have this stereotype of Hawaiian dancers in either sack cloths…or coconut bras and grass skirts. It’s easy to dismiss it as ignorance (and many do)…but when just recently a different brand of the same horror of missionary wives of more than a century ago is on full display at one woman’s participation in a celebration of her own culture that is no more sexual than hula…? What this suggests is that we really haven’t come all that far. I won’t even get into the religiously-stilted roots of all of that (because that is a HUGE component)…because I would just get a headache ripping it all to shreds. I’ll simply pimp Darrel Ray…again.

By reinforcing stereotypes, the insult that was meted to women of color is their bodily and sexual agency, integrity, and autonomy takes a lesser role than one young white woman’s choice to exhibit her own sexual independence (for profit). That is quite a disgusting insult, come to it…and it’s bigger and older than Ms. Cyrus. She’s just the most recent person playing the game…at the expense of others. I’ve heard said that her predecessors were somehow different…that there was something artful involved, or some subversive challenge to the establishment. I’m not here to argue that today…there are people far better equipped to engage in that facet of the discussion…but what it got me to wondering was…

was there any artistic or subversive merit to Ms. Cyrus’ performance? The teddy bears jump out at me for a few reasons. (See? Told you the bears would be back!) There is a seemingly symbolic message that goes beyond the “Pokemon” accusations…and snarky comments about Japanese porn. I’m not really trying to deeply analyze this, because it was just a question I wondered about…and initially, when I saw the teddy bears, I was reminded of “Donkey Rhubarb” — which actually is kinda cool and creepy all at once, and contains a weird symbolism even (excuse me, artistic merit)…but then when I watched the performance itself…and Ms. Cyrus’ shift out of the first costume into the second…the entire ass-smacking incident struck me as even further insulting. Why? Because it was so carefully worked out. Dancing around awkward cutesie-poo with the teddy bears (self-focused), then shifting to completely sexualized in the bikini thing (remaining self-focused) – without any recognition to others whatsoever. So whatever artistic merit there might have been was, itself, subverted by a hyperfocus on self, rather than a shared focus…which I might not have been quite so concerned about. Meaning, if the shift would have included a face-to-face interaction with the dancers (you know, as a recognition of their existence, even only symbolically) after the teddy bears were tossed, then I might find it a little less offensive. Who knows? Perhaps Ms. Cyrus will have some future explanation that will knock everyone’s socks off…but I somehow doubt it. I mean, honestly, one of the lyrics states clearly, “Don’t care nothin’ ’bout nobody…” If I am wrong about it, I will offer up the necessary apology.

Anyway, those teddy bears…and the seemingly repeated references to “all growed up” (again)…also have cause a bit of armchair psychoanalysis all over the interwebz about “Daddy Issues.” This bit is slightly off-topic, but I’d like to address it briefly. Is it possible she’s acting out against her father? Sure…it’s possible. I doubt it, though. Of course there could be some sort of sordid something there…wouldn’t be the first time that has ever happened. Or, their relationship could be just an ordinary father/daughter relationship (I don’t mean the saccharine televised relationship, either) — in which case…what woman in the U.S. doesn’t have some sort of “Daddy Issues”?!?! I’m not going to even speculate, because I don’t know them personally, and anything is possible…but my immediate response is not likely. BUT…this does bring me to something I noted yesterday that I planned on touching into in today’s entry.

Where all of this intersects with my own research…which happens to be about parental perspectives, specifically regarding daughters. My focus centered on sex education (with STI prevention at the base), and what parents perceive to be contributing factors to STI transmission. Different themes surfaced, including communication, shame, perceived promiscuity (as a sub-theme), media influence, alcohol and drug use…among other things. Another of the sub-themes that surfaced was gender expectations, connected with a few of the other things…and that was quite interesting to me then…and just as much now, in connection with this topic. During my research interviews, the entire notion of “only bad girls” do certain things…and “my daughter is not sexually active”…without ever really connecting “good girls don’t have sex.” Really…the notion of keeping daughters “girls” forever is nothing new…the denial about female sexuality (when, in fact, OMIGAWD, THIS)…except within very rigidly-defined parameters that many of us agree are simply archaic. And, as it always has been, it is not only organized by gender…but it is (and has long been) also organized by race in this country. Never mind that there has been no increase in promiscuity statistically…there has been decreased access to preventive care and services for health in poorer communities. I don’t think I need to point out the seeming obviousness of the members of our population who are disproportionately affected by poverty. These facts tend to bust up the narrative that black women (and other women of color) are somehow more promiscuous than white women. They aren’t. Not in the least. These are points of fact that I’m not the first (nor will I be the last) to name bluntly.

I said yesterday, plainly, that I am no expert (not even remotely) on black culture. I am, however, leaning more and more toward intersectional feminism, and I am trying to understand at least some of the issues outside of my own personal cultural normative, because I believe that ALL women need to stand together…not just some of us. I believe we need to be building bridges of understanding and learning from and about each other…so that we ALL can reach a place of authentic equality. To a hopeful time when one power- and attention-hungry individual (male or female) can no longer use another person as a novelty in order to promote their own brand of bullshit. Because we are all connected. Whether we want to be or not is irrelevant…the fact is, we are. What harms one of us ultimately harms us all. And that is worth defending against. That is worth the discussion. That is worth taking the time to at least try to understand more about. Maybe imperfectly…but even in the attempt, a better bridge is built. And on this day of days, that is worth attempting.

Otherwise, we really won’t stop continuing to see this sort of shameful ignorance in the future.


Vintage Prosey Project: 2014 Prioritization — 7/31/13

Updating the blog here to pull old entries from the pros/e/yes archives…in their original order. This project is simply a unification of my personal blog (with a LOT of NSFW entries) and my professional blog.

Happy Hump Day ~ On “Normal”

Not much in the mood for writing today…even though much has come up on the topic of sex and sex ed today. Today’s discussion was about an article about a study called “Male infanticide leads to social monogamy in primates.” The conversation was interesting, with three participants (myself a part of that trio) being extremely critical of the study itself.

It’s a study worth reading, actually. The results of the study are interesting, and in keeping with the original assumptions and methodology. My critique is that I believe the initial assumptions going into creating the hypotheses are flawed…based on many other studies, my own included. If a hypothesis is flawed, the methodology and execution of the research can be flawless…but the results will still be useless…and that is what I perceive to be the case with this study.


Good effort, though.

That’s really all I’ve got for today. Well, it’s not…but the topic that is on my mind is not one I’m ready to write about yet. Maybe next week.

Happy Hump Day!


Vintage Prosey Project: 2014 Prioritization — 7/10/13

Updating the blog here to pull old entries from the pros/e/yes archives…in their original order. This project is simply a unification of my personal blog (with a LOT of NSFW entries) and my professional blog.

Happy Hump Day

When people learn that one of my objectives is to educate parents in the realm of sex education, the reactions are … different. I’ve been thinking about it a bit, because I don’t want to delve too much here, with respect to what I’m working towards…but answering (at least partially) one of the most common questions I get asked.
What is it that parents need to know?
The answer (answers, really) to that question is not singular or simple. It is a multi-layered question with several different answers.
Really, though, if I had to narrow down a quick answer simply: Sex education is not just about what adolescents learn toward the end of elementary school, during middle school, and in high school. The information dispensed is often mediocre at best. Sure, learning about menstruation is important. But the “just nuts & bolts” approach is not sufficient. True sex education isn’t something that is limited to that topic.
Sex education is a lifelong area of learning, and truly, parents need to know more. I have found that parents truly do not know how much they don’t know. Also, parents need to be helped to understand that sex education is more than when girls start their periods, when boys start getting wet dreams, and how babies are made (alongside the “just say no” approach prevalent in Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage sex “education”). There is a lot more to sex education than these things.
I thought about this yesterday while we were sitting in the pediatrician’s office, looking at one of the many pamphlets in the room designed to help educate parents. There were a few pamphlets about menstruation and such (of course)…and there was one pamphlet about the HPV vaccine. I was reading through that pamphlet and was amused by the section that discussed why boys receive the vaccine. Of course, being a parent x21 years, I’ve seen countless pamphlets over the years, along with the handouts given after well-checks about “Where Your ___-Year Old Child Should Be Developmentally” — and I feel like we have a long way to go in terms of helping parents understand why sex education needs to begin at home, before “The Talk” — and we need to ensure parents have the tools they need for exactly that.
In the image at the top of the page…the question of “What Should Children Know?” ~ well, that is a great question of course! But it isn’t the most pressing question, in my opinion. The pressing question is “What Should Parents Know?” And as far as “When Should [Children] Know It?” — that begs another question entirely…when should they know what precisely? Sex education goes far beyond what information they’re getting at this point…and the more pertinent question is “When Should [Parents] Know It?” ~ and “What Exactly Do Parents Need To Know?”
Answering those questions, gentle readers, is part of one of the objectives that I am working towards.
Happy Hump Day!

Vintage Prosey Project: 2014 Prioritization — 7/3/13

Updating the blog here to pull old entries from the pros/e/yes archives…in their original order. This project is simply a unification of my personal blog (with a LOT of NSFW entries) and my professional blog.

Hump Day…Looks Like Egg Drop Soup To Me…NSFW

Initial Egg Drop Soup rant…the slightly calmer update…and the Land of Egg Drop Soup revisit, complete with the Broken Cherry on a Tuesday video embedded.

When I made the video…and later when I wrote the Land of Egg Drop Soup entries…I was emotionally charged. As I am now. Except…right this moment…I’m very deliberately disconnected. By choice. Because I know I have to mentally distance myself if I’m going to write in any sort of coherent fashion.

When I wrote those entries, I knew I wasn’t writing in any sort of vacuum. I knew that I wasn’t the only person feeling like my brain had turned to egg drop soup. It just felt like –in those moments of anger and frustration– like I was the only one who saw egg drop soup.

Well, I’m here to tell you…we are ALL in the Land of Egg Drop Soup now.

Please read this. I’ll wait, honest. It’s really short. There’s even a graphic if that helps. Hey, I’m even including the graphic here:

…and yeah, I know I’m making it larger than I usually do in here. Click on it, it should get even bigger…just in case you have difficulty reading it.

For some folks, the above might be shocking. For me, it’s not. At all.

Presently, I’m simply numb. I’m looking at seven states. Seven.

The above chart is as of two days ago. No, not all states are listed there, obviously.

Anyway…when I got up this morning, there was little in the news about what I observed last night. I read this blurb about Chairman Cook…and sighed. Of course, you can now find the news in HuffPo…and in NBC…and even over in FNN. Amazingly. I haven’t looked at how each example given chose to spin the story…and I have deliberately avoided the comments sections (no thank you!).

Regardless, seeing that…I don’t think it’s in any way alarmist or hyperbolic to state plainly that what is happening in Texas, in Ohio, in North Dakota, in North Carolina…coming soon to other states now that the precedent is set…

…there’s going to be a bit MORE ugliness coming to those states, and to a state near you.

…and the reason that this particular entry is labeled as NSFW is THIS is what the Land of Egg Drop Soup looks like:

No. I am not going to pixelate the image the way I chose to in my video.

That woman pictured above is DEAD. In a pool of her own blood. She was MANY women. She was a wife. She was a daughter. She was a mother. She was a sister. She was a friend.

She was a LIVING HUMAN BEING. That is what these laws do.

Taking away access away from millions of women to safe, legal abortion…which is a Constitutionally-protected RIGHT…to “save” a fetus that cannot sustain its own life without its host…thinking that they’re somehow going to stop abortions from happening? Look at that picture. That is coming to a city near you, Texas…Ohio…North Dakota…etc…

I’m done for today, because the very subversion of language that compels people to call themselves “pro-life” makes my head hurt.