Social Issues

Change Of Heart and Thoughts on the Women's March

If you actually read this whole thing, THANK YOU!!  I wanted to lay out this transition I have been going through in the last year, it's been awkward and I feel like a hypocrite sometimes.  I'm still trying to finding my place in what I can do.

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At this time, eight years ago, I was not a happy camper.  I thought this country was going to go down the toilet. All the Liberal Hipsters got their way, wouldn't shut up about it, and I wanted to hibernate until it was all over.  People placed the Obamas on a pedestal before doing anything and I was just rolling my eyes the whole time.  I was a big skeptic.   Society became TOO Politically Correct and it bugged me, I blamed Obama. I blamed Obama for a lot of things I didn't like about society, even as I write this, I think I partially blame him for Trump becoming President (there's a bunch of factors there, not just him). 

Anyway, throughout those years I talked my shit, criticized President Obama, and felt like not enough "Change" was happening. Sometimes I came across as a real dick.  In 2012, I was not going to vote for him, I was going to vote for Mitt Romney, even though he was a Mormon and I was concerned about him pushing his Conservative views, he was the Governor of Massachusetts, how bad could he be? I did not feel threatened or disgusted by him.  I changed my mind in the voting booth.  I don't know why I did, maybe I felt like voting for Romney was a waste, that the country wasn't in the position for a shift? I honestly don't know.  Meanwhile, throughout all of this, I remained Pro-Choice and supported Equal Rights. I continue to have both liberal social views and conservative fiscal/foreign views.  This is why I am a registered Independent because I have a hard time following either party to the T.

Once his second term began, Republicans started prepping for 2016 and there were 34,694,842 people running for the Republican ticket, Trump was the joke of the bunch - which isn't easy to pull off because there were a few.  Hillary Clinton was picking up momentum and once again I was thinking "UGGGGGHHHH! Am I even gonna bother voting next time??"  Mitt Romney and John McCain were both weak candidates.  I was hoping for a better Republican candidate because there was no fucking way I was going to vote for Hillary Clinton! bleech! 

Fast forward to the home stretch and it's coming down to Trump & Clinton, this is really happening. Trump doesn't stand a chance, right? I mean the Obamalovers will come out in full force, and then Bernie Sanders happened and threw a monkey wrench in the whole machine (I also blame him but I give him credit for trying to be different).  Early on, I actually agreed with Trump on issues about better border control and the economy and then he started talking about a "wall" and registering Muslims and my gut started to tighten, this ain't right.  And his insults! The childishness!  I watch Clinton take it all and remain professional, I respected that.  I know politics gets ugly and smear campaigns are a regular thing, but Trumps behavior was not what I look for in a President but almost half the country didn't care and elected him anyway.  I sure didn't, I voted for Clinton. Donald Trump made me fucking vote for Hillary Clinton!

The sense of dread I felt Election night was just too overwhelming, I hated it. I never felt this way over a new President before, not for Obama, not even for George W. Bush!  My heart was changing. I'm older, I see things differently.   Are my rights threatened? Personally?  I don't think so but I can see how they are for others, and that's not cool. 

I did not attend any of the Women's Marches that happened on January 21st but I followed closely the news coverage on TV and online, mostly through Facebook Live.  I was so happy to see so many of my friends filling my feed who did march in various places, or from others who also could not attend but still shared their support.  Overall, I am lucky to know such great people. While I bitch about how annoying Facebook can get, my feed was full of a lot positivity over the weekend and I felt hopeful.   That march was HUGE! Or as Trump says, "YUGE!"  I felt it was a little unfair that Pro-Life Feminists were not allowed to march (yes I really said that).  This march should have been as inclusive as possible.  But the images don't lie Press Secretary Spicer, the people came out!  Maybe even more people came out after hearing that horrible Inauguration speech? 

Just because you didn't march does not mean you care less. There is still much that can be done.  One step is to check out 10 Actions for the first 100 Days, which is a new campaign hosted by Women's March. It includes prompts of what you can do now that the work begins now in your communities.

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Shut up Facebook, everything is fine!

Fucking Facebook!! I hate to start a blog post with the "F" word but you know how maddening Facebook can get, especially when politics are involved. I've had to block and mute people because they don't know how to debate and discuss issues like an adult.  You don't have to agree with me, just be respectful, and maybe grow up while you're at it.  I'm not a complete Facebook hater. I'll be writing another post painting Facebook in a positive light soon. I just need to get this off my chest.

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A friend posted an update about something they saw on TV regarding the incoming administration that upset her. A comment was left to just not watch tv, change the channel.  This set me off.  Does saying something like this really fix anything? Comments like this are not helpful or useful, it's just more internet junk.  Ignorance comes in many shapes and forms. I know people who have narrow minded views when it comes to social issues, religion, and politics.  People who would just change channel, cover their ears and go "Lalalalalalalalalala!"

I am trying really, really hard to not avoid these people, because avoidance and burying your head in the sand solves nothing.  I'm not going to change the channel, live in a religious bubble, and avoid politicians I don't like no matter how hard they are to look at, seriously, looking at Donald Trump makes my skin hurt.  I also want to understand why people, especially why women voted for Trump. It would be easy to just call them all racist, misogynist, and ignorant but there's more to it. 

It's almost a knee-jerk reaction to just cut someone off when they tell you to just change the channel, or (my favorite) say your views are wrong because "the church says..." or "the bible says...." GTFO with that, that is not a valid argument for me. I've been getting this argument on Facebook more when it comes to issues with LGBT.   I'll talk about where I stand with religion in another post because it's just too much. 

I can't just say that Trump is going to be a horrible president because I think he literally looks like a bleached out ass hole.  I can say he's inexperienced in politics, point out his flip-flopping, his bullshit and pandering about how things are going to be "really, really great" and it's all "very, very complicated stuff", he's a walking contradiction - you don't know which Trump you're gonna get,  his hot-headedness, he's made many global leaders uncomfortable (especially our allies), he never apologizes for what he says no matter how inappropriate, his unbelievable ability to deflect serious issues......I can go on.  

Don't shy away from those with opposing views but you also do not have to deal with abuse from trolls.  Facebook is FULL of trolls. I was watching live coverage of the march on Facebook and there were trolls leaving comments about women going back to the kitchen, the snowflakes need to shut up, and a bunch of other nonsense which, again, is just more internet junk contributing to nothing.  What I'm saying is, don't change the channel, stay informed and let others know.  If there is an issue you feel strongly about, it is just as important to understand the opposing view which will validate your argument even more.   

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Protecting Planned Parenthood

I love Planned Parenthood and support them 1000%. I am so fortunate to live in a state like New York and not Texas where I can easily access their services if needed.  It is so frustrating when Conservatives and ignorant, religious folks try to box Planned Parenthood in as a one-stop abortion drive-thru. They share pictures of aborted fetuses for shock value without regard for how many lives Planned Parenthood saves.  With Congress returning to work this week, I have some concerns.

PPP

Planned Parenthood is one of the nation's leading providers of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, and the nation's largest provider of sex education. Planned Parenthood also works with partner organizations worldwide to improve the sexual health and well-being of individuals and families everywhere.

The reality is, abortions are just 3% of the services Planned Parenthood provides. The bulk of their work is to provide STD & HIV testing, Pap tests, breast Cancer screenings, educational programs to prevent pregnancies, assist with birth control, and so much more.

Why is Planned Parenthood such a threat?!?! The bigger question is, why are women seen as such a threat?  Women are not trying to take over, they just want to be treated equally and live a life of liberty and pursuit of happiness, you know, from the Declaration of Independence.  It is the 21st Century and men are still trying to control what a woman can do with her body, what the fuck?!?

The next administration looks to have a bunch of old, white, men who want to restrict or remove services that could potentially SAVE lives.  In addition to our next Vice President, Mike Pence, the next Secretary of Health & Human Services, Tom Price, wants to end funding for Planned Parenthood.  He's also got some pretty fucked up views about birth control.  He believes life begins at conception (!!!!), so birth control=murder.  While in Congress, he opposed a law that would prevent employers in DC from discriminating against women on birth control or have had an abortion. Face it, the man hates birth control.

From Planned Parenthood's Action Fund blog

Even if you don't need it for yourself, think about your family, friends, and stand up for Women's rights and help Planned Parenthood keep their doors open.

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Don't You Want To Be A Mom??

I recently read an article on viralwomen.com, I Would Rather Travel The World Than EVER Have Kids. Being childfree, I identified with this SO MUCH. Only I wish I got to travel as much as the author does. I don't think I ever wrote about choosing not to have children. Not here or my previous blog.  It wasn't a secret, I'm pretty open about it, everyone that knows me knows that I don't plan on having children. 

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I can't remember when I decided I was not interested in being a mother.  It happened after I started dating Mike but I don't recall a moment or an awakening.  Even before that I was wishy washy about having kids.  I was never good with kids and I have low tolerance for crying and nagging. I would get annoyed hearing a loud kid at the grocery store, restaurant, or just out and about.  Nothing about being a parent ever appealed to me.  I don't have a biological clock and there is not a drop of maternal instinct in me.

When I see a dog, I lose it - Awwww! Look at that dog! He looks soooo sweet!  Oh I want a dog sooooo bad!!!

Some women react this way when they see a baby, not me! Not ever ever ever.  I like babies, babies are cute, but they're not my thing.  Thankfully, my brother has two girls so there goes the pressure of giving my parents grandchildren.  My parents never asked me about having kids and I don't think I've ever actually told them that I am not having kids, but they know.   

Luckily, when I accepted that I will not be a mother, Mike was okay with it and sorta feels the same. He can take it or leave it, but he will never pressure me into changing my mind.  I worry that he will resent me for taking fatherhood away from him, it makes me really sad if I think about it too long.

The truth is, I am selfish, there are things I just want to do for myself.  I want to be able to come and go as I please.  I'm very selfish, and I'm okay with that.  I also believe that not everyone is cut out to be a parent (men and women) and there should be more awareness and talk about this to help them realize that.  It doesn't make us bad people, it doesn't make us less of a person, or some kind of weird social pariah.  

There is a downside to choosing this life.  The older you get, the less friends you have because everyone else is having kids, they don't have time to spend with you, they connect with other moms  to talk about mom-stuff and you're just left on your own.  There's also the issue of who will take care of you when you're old? Well, I plan on staying independent for as long as possible and I don't think having kids just so they can wipe MY ass when I'm old is fair.  These are not good enough reasons to change my mind. 

Traditionally, becoming a Mom is a right of passage, it's part of being a Woman.  If you do not want this, there's something wrong with you!  While there has been a shift of attitude and more couples are choosing to live childfree, the stigma is still there.  Adele said the following about being a mother in the December issue of Vanity Fair

“I think it’s the bravest thing not to have a child; all my friends and I felt pressurized into having kids, because that’s what adults do,” she says. “I love my son more than anything, but on a daily basis, if I have a minute or two, I wish I could do whatever the fuck I wanted, whenever I want. Every single day I feel like that.”

I appreciate her saying this.  This is the part of parenting people don't want to talk about.In "It's a Wonderful Life" one of the lines that makes me laugh is when George Bailey is having his meltdown and he says to his wife "You call this a happy family? Why do we have to have all these kids?"  It is not always perfect, no matter how much they try to show it is on Facebook and Instagram.  Parents should be more open about the hardships of being a parent. I know it's not easy.  You're also not a horrible parent if there are some days where you wish you didn't have kids, it's OKAY!!  

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Sharing #GivingTuesday Love Every Day

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On Tuesday, November 29th, it was #GivingTuesday which I guess was created to help people not feel so bad about over abundantly spending their money on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday (do we rest on Sunday?).  But seriously, it is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving as a call to action in the spirit of giving during the Holiday season.   It is nice to have a special day that brings focus on charity and giving, I'm all for it!  The holiday season especially tugs on the heart strings and it's' hard to turn away.

I don't see anything wrong with telling others who you donate to, how else will others learn about the charity?  I couldn't donate much, but I did send some bucks to Guiding Eyes For The Blind, who I have supported for years, and an organization I recently learned about, National Network Of Abortion Funds.  The Washington Post has a piece about how there has been a significant increase in donations since Trump was elected.  This is inspiring!  I know that the day after, I was motivated to do more.  I set up monthly donations with Planned Parenthood and GLAAD and will be giving to more, especially to those causes as risk of losing funding under the Trump administration.

Even if you can't donate cash, spreading the word is a good way to still support your favorite charities. I spent #GivingTuesday tweeting out a bunch of causes I support 100%. In case you missed it, I wanted to share the love on my blog too: 

I'm especially drawn to causes that fight for women's rights, protection of animals, LGBTQ rights, and promoting positive sex education.  While it's not #GivingTuesday anymore, these charities accept donations all year long.   

What causes are you passionate about? 

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Why Can't We Be Facebook Friends?

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It's been two weeks since the election and I'm still feeling raw.  Facebook is not helping but I can't stop looking at it.  There's so much bullshit and nastiness and hypocrisy, ugh, I hate hypocrisy so much.  Friends and family members are getting unfollowed over this.  I wonder if I would cut someone off because of this election? I did not anticipate this much of a divide even though as of this writing, Clinton is leading in the popular vote by 1.5 million.  I understand that people I'm friends with did not vote for Clinton because:

  • they really don't like Hillary Clinton
  • they really don't like President Obama 
  • they really don't like Political Correctness
  • they're tired of lifetime politicians running the country
  • they believe that this is the CHANGE that will make their lives better
  • they think he's gonna bring back jobs and fix the economy

They are willing to overlook all the negative traits Donald Trump carries because hey, nobody is perfect right? We all say and do stupid things sometimes.  

Can I digress for a minute and make wrestling analogy (again with the wrestling!)?

I was a fan of Chris Benoit. I thought he was really cool and great in the ring. That immediately changed in June 2007, the day I found out he killed his wife and son and took his own life. A lot of wrestling fans still say he's one of their favorite wrestlers. For me, that one act cancels out all of his accomplishments in the ring.  Fuck that guy!!!

I am having a very hard time giving Donald Trump a chance especially when:

  • he continues to make as ass of himself on Twitter (can someone change his password??)
  • his cabinet picks and considerations continues to be alarming and a threat to women, foreigners and LGBTQ
  • he was endorsed by the KKK
  • he is not doing enough to speak out about the continuing vandalism and attacks on people done in his name

Notice I didn't bring up anything prior to the election, this is all recent!

Where does this leave my friends?  I don't think they're racist or sexist jerks. I do think they are tired of seeing others benefit while they get shafted. They feel strongly enough that they are willing to overlook the threats faced by others because the greater good is coming, or they're just complacent.  I want to understand, I really do. 

It's okay to disagree with me, we can talk about that, but don't belittle me.  I know what it's like to share different views as most of your friends. I did not vote for Obama in 2008.  I was not a member of the Obama Fan Club. This put me in the minority with a lot of my friends who were all "Yay!!! Hope and change!!" While I was thinking, "We are fucked." But I did not troll around Facebook trying to burst people's bubble with reality checks.  

I'm tired of being around negative people. I have been negative for far too long. I don't need this shit in my life. We are in a fragile time where we need to build each other up, not tear each other down because we don't agree. Let's find some common ground. Life is short to be wasted on people who won't support you or try to make this world we all live in a better place.  I know you're more than just who you voted for.  You can have your views and opinions but your actions say more about who you are.  If you voted for Clinton and you don't say "Thank You" if I hold the door open for you, I'm gonna think you're a dick.  If you voted for Trump but you volunteer at homeless shelter, I'll have more respect for you. If I know you and voted for Trump and all you got to say is, "Get over it you sore loser! You're all a bunch of cry babies!" then you're not my friend, g'bye.

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You're Not A Feminist??

For a very long time, I've said that I wasn't a Feminist, I didn't like the label.  I didn't understand what it meant.  Turns out, I wasn't alone in my Feminist misunderstanding.  

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I generalized being a Feminist as a bunch of angry, hairy armpit, no makeup wearing, man-haters. In my mind, it was normal to think women and men should be treated equally.  I'm not gonna make a stink about it.  Plus, I LOVE MEN!  I also love Gentlemen and chivalry.  Mike always opens car doors for me, and most doors for that matter. If I'm in an elevator and a man walks out before me or another woman, I think "What an asshole!"  I like the idea of a man taking care of his woman, I am not gonna spell it "Womyn" and stop saying words like "Mailman." Call me old-fashion, just don't call me a Feminist, right???

When I was younger I hung out with a lot of guys.  I was used to "guy humor" and wouldn't get uptight when they would say raunchy things. I loved all the Hair Metal bands and all of their music videos included almost naked chicks dancing around - that didn't bother me.  I grew up watching Pro-Wrestling where women where considered a joke, especially in the WWE, the worst was in the mid to late 90s. I'm talking "Bra & Panty" matches, wrestling in pig slop, food fights, a lot of them posed for Playboy, most of the women in the WWE practically "wrestled" in thongs and were paraded around in stripper outfits.  In ECW, you pretty much HAD to wear a thong before a guy slams you through a table. I thought it was stupid, but I kept watching. 

You know what else I love? Strong women.  Women who can go into a man's world and not be intimidated, who can take charge, kick ass, and take names. I always admired that too.  Back to pro-wrestling for a second (bear with me), there has been a shift in how women are treated.  There is a difference between "Pro-Wrestling" and "WWE."  The WWE is a spectacle with advertisers to cater to.   When I was little, I wanted to see women fight with the men but that hardly happened.  WWE tried it for a little bit with Chyna and Beth Phoenix, but these were BIG, muscular women.  They still won't allow it, however, other wrestling promotions like Chikara and PWG, to name a few, allow intergender fighting and I love it!  Sometimes the women win, sometimes they don't, but it's all done right and tells a good story.   

So I got older, and my feelings started to change. I found myself getting more angry watching the news.  More assaults, victim-blaming, slut-shaming, Bill Cosby, yet everything was the woman's fault.  Why did she wait so long? What was she doing there? What was she wearing? Who told her to get stupid-drunk?  Okay, I admit, I've asked these questions too.   Maybe this is where other women will disagree with me but I feel like as long as some men will continue to think that they can be as predatory as they want, women should stay alert and have their wits about them.  I don't have much faith that this behavior from these types of men will go away.  Sure you can go out and party, drink, smoke, but when you let your guard down, you're unfortunately putting yourself in danger and making yourself vulnerable, especially if you are some place not familiar with strangers. Consider it a part of self-defense, don't lose your judgment!  I hate that I even need to say this at all.

Then there are stories about privileged college boys getting off easy by a crusty old judge for sexually assaulting a woman on campus, even after getting caught red-handed.  Of course, there's all the Trump bullshit too.  Yeah, very angry.   Then the election happened and I yelled out "WHAT IN THE LIVING FUCK IS HAPPENING?!?!?!?!!"  I mentioned previously how scared I am.  Many rights of women, Muslims, and the LGBT community could be taken away. This is not right.

I think a woman should be able to do whatever she wants, if she wants to run Yahoo, be a Mom, be a Stripper, it's all good!  Women should not be limited in their reproductive rights or any other rights.  I am still a little hung up with the "Feminist" label, but I have a better understanding of it.  Being a Feminist comes in all shapes and sizes and can mean many things.  You can make it just about putting women first, or make it about equality and fairness for men and women. No one should try to make another group feel inferior. Everyone can be a Feminist, in a perfect world, everyone would be.

Recommended Reading

  • Bridging the Gap Between White Feminist and Women of Color - The Mary Sue
  • 4 Reasons Anti-Feminist Women Hate Feminism (And What They’re Missing) - Everyday Feminism
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    Let's Start Today

    Doing nothing for others is the undoing of ourselves.

    Ok, after a fluff post, it's time I did some writing therapy.  So here we go.

    I am more scared for our country now than I was after 9/11.  Since Election Day, the reports of harassment and vandalism throughout the nation is just sickening. How far are these hateful people going to go? I worry about domestic terrorism more than Islamic to be honest!

    "Not all people who voted for Trump feel this way!" Prove it!  

    Hundreds of hate crimes have been reported since Election Day. Supporting our next President does not give you the right to openly show your hate.  Do NOT use our next President as an excuse to act on your hate. You are wrong, there is no way around it.  When you leave sarcastic comments in a Facebook discussion, anonymously leave a threatening letter on your neighbors door, vandalize someone's car, verbally/physically assault someone, or are just quick to shrug off the genuine concern that half the country is feeling - just shows that you do not want move forward. Don't you want to move forward and "make America great again?"  

    America, with all it's faults, is already a great country.  This country is great because it's dealt with serious shit and has come out of it better - The Great Depression, Watergate/Vietnam, Reganomics, 9/11.  We get through it because there are many people who are willing to put in the work to help this country move forward. I will do what I can to support the LGBT community and stand for equal rights for women and PoC.  We will somehow get through the next 4 years, but it will not be pretty.  

    Our next election is in 2018 where in addition to your local elections, all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 33 of the 100 seats in the Senate will be up for election. Start your research now, you're already staring at your phones refreshing your Twitter/Facebook/Instagram, take a moment to look up who your local reps are and see if they jive with your views.  Don't wait four years, start today!

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    Let's Turn This Shit Around

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    Well.....

    Here I am after another long unexpected break. How you doing?  

    I'm writing this the day after Election Day and like half of the nation, I'm very disappointed in our President Elect.  I've been upset with previous elections but ooooh boy, this was a doozy!   My stomach was in a knot all night, I didn't go to bed until after 1:00 am but I pretty much knew what the outcome would be. It's a wonder I got any sleep at all. 

    Today I spent most of the day watching MSNBC, moping around, being a bit of a doom and gloomer, and stuffed my face with some Dunkin Donuts.  Then I cut that shit out.  There are causes I always felt strongly about but I haven't been too vocal about it and I want to change that.   If anything good has come out of this election personally, it's made me want to do more and be more involved in the causes I care about.

    I can't believe in 2016, there are still those who are afraid to just go about their lives.  I am Independent, Pro-Choice, Pro-LGBT, Pro-Sexual Freedom, and a supporter equal rights for everyone.  There's been a shift in my thinking the last couple of years as more and more bad shit is reported on the news, and it's making less sense. This election in particular brought out the ugly in a lot of people and and it's disheartening.  I don't want to live in a country where people are afraid of getting hurt or worse, just because of who they are.  I can't just #facepalm and complain to Mike about it any longer.

    Has this election lit a fire under anyone else's ass?

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