Posts Tagged ‘being a role model’

it’s a jungle out there.

23 November 2010

the surreptitious nature of the above picture is intentional as it emphasizes something i want to write about. i’m not going to beat around the bush waste time, so i’ll just come out and say it: why are we women still so uncomfortable with our bodies that we have to make up silly words to hide our embarrassment? have we really come so far, advancing out of the kitchen where we were barely more than birthing machines to our present lofty position where we earn about seventy cents for every dollar that a man makes, to now sit idly, watching it all crumble like so many cookies we eat when our cheating boyfriends break up with us? did we learn nothing from rosie the riveter?

are we really content becoming carrie bradshaw, waiting for charlotte york to sell her ring so we can pay off our massive shoe debt? are we going to run towards big every time our situation becomes particularly hairy challenging?

i for one think we’re better than that. i don’t think a utopian society is required before we can snatch reclaim our genitalia. we need to be able to stand up to oprah when she insists on using slang to describe something that is intimately ours. right now eve ensler is turning in her grave. well, she would be if she were dead; believe me, though, she’s definitely spinning in her desk chair, in a very angry and perplexed way, due to this injustice.

i don’t want to live in a world where my daughters have to hear adult women use terminology that even their young innocent minds know is damaging and pathetic. i don’t want to spend another day at the breakfast table where they ask me why their heroes are always failing them. i just want to eat my bacon strips pancakes and talk about the things they want to achieve. i don’t want them to have to worry about obstacles placed by other women’s insecurities.

as women, we know we are smarter than men, we know we are more patient, our dual role in and out of the house is proof that we are better multi-taskers, and we are more in touch with our feelings. it’s about time we took a stand and said, fuck you, cosmo magazine, this is my vagina and i am proud of it.

animal identification team.

18 May 2009

so, yeah, there is some kind of dead animal there, maybe an armadillo, anyway, who cares what it is. this declaration, delivered abruptly and dispassionately, was an attempt to leaven the enthusiasm i displayed while telling the story, but, of course, her interest was further piqued. she answered, you have to go back — and i’m coming with you.

we drove together as the events i had just finished describing to her repeated in my head. namely, while knocking on the front door loudly i was startled by movement behind and above me. wrens had built a nest in the porch’s overhang, and the mother bird had moved swiftly to an adjacent tree to chastise me. next her young tumbled to the ground near my feet and tried to hide itself, awkwardly fluttering into the patchy bushes that lined the house.

i weighed that which had transpired, determining that i was responsible for the baby bird. after all, it was forced into this world, before it was prepared, due to my error. however, before i could act as a surrogate — teaching it how to fly, passing nourishment from my beak to its darting tongue, keeping it warm when the temperature dropped — i had to find it. on hand and knees i pulled back tiny branches to get a glimpse within and beneath. i combed the area gingerly, nothing escaping my sight, until something stopped me and i jumped to my feet. just beyond where i was patting the ground sat a large oval mass of fur.

it was too large to be a rat; it’s posture was inconsistent with a sleeping cat curled into a ball. my best guess was that it was a furry armadillo. i was convinced that it had consumed the bird i was charged with protecting, which left me reeling with paroxysms of sadness broken only when my friend arrived home. she suggested that we follow the protocol pertaining to these situations. that is, we poke the unknown creature (she had summarily struck down my armadillo-judgment) with a stick. she, being braver than me, leaned toward the dead animal, nudging it. she jumped back, insisting that the carcass released a foul odor, and i was inclined to believe her as my own sense of smell is not well developed. we parted, she going to work and i to lunch, hoping that the scent wouldn’t linger and, moreover, something larger would carry the source away.

on the return trip, i was scared. not only had i failed at mothering a bird but i had further alienated myself from the spirit world by disrupting one’s final resting place. at this point, i thought, i may as well build a house on an indian burial ground. i imagined an eagle pecking out my liver for all of eternity. on the other hand, i had gone this far, so, upon arrival, i grabbed a stick and walked with purpose, hand covering my nose, toward the spot. i prodded the animal, finding it tougher than expected, as if it were in the process of turning to stone from the inside.

as my courage peaked, i noticed something peculiar and threw the stick aside. i gasped, reaching to grasp the object and retrieve it. the peculiarity i had spotted was a small white tag attached to the leg of a stuffed hedgehog, muddy and water-logged.

i sent my friend a text telling her i’d gone back to her house to find that the animal was a large hedgehog. i told her i had set it on her porch for her. for the next few hours i received messages berating my actions. of course i’m angry; you left a corpse on my steps. why can’t you call someone to pick it up?

later she phoned from home to call me a fucking asshole. she had approached cautiously and then laughed while again wedging the stuffed animal between the house and bushes where it belonged.

causes of teen pregnancy.

20 January 2009

i’m dismayed by the fact that many convenience stores are placing condoms behind the counter or otherwise cordoning them off from the consumer. obviously the extra security does little to dissaude me from purchasing, but it’s not hard to imagine a young girl, already worrying that she will be labeled dirty for having sex, choosing to remain unprotected rather than face the added stress of conversing with everyone in the store about her body.

there exists this idea, whether perpetuated by customer or clerk, that items one buys together have to be used in that manner. sure, a cart containing spaghetti, tomato sauce, mushrooms, and one pound of beef will always generate a comment about tonight’s dinner, but handing the cashier a carton of eggs and a bag of apples doesn’t mean we’re preparing fruit omelets later. certainly, then, there can exist some detachment in regards to association.

condoms are not afforded the same respite though. if you don’t believe me, bring a pornographic magazine, pregnancy test, and box of condoms to the register. bring any two things — condoms and razor blades, condoms and bananas, condoms and diapers, condoms and duct tape. on one level you want to buy something else to deflect attention to the condoms, on another, that practice only further emphasizes the condoms in your hand.

we are embarrassed because, for some reason, we think the person behind the counter is going to be judgmental, even though we are having sex in a comforting environment while they are restricting patrons from purchasing cough syrup under fluorescent lighting. why not make the transaction fun then? joke about the big night you’ve planned. flank the condoms with a couple bottles of wine.

on a recent trip to the pharmacy, i notified an associate to unlock the case. a younger man motioned to an older woman, directing her to help. which ones do you need, honey? in shock, i replied, magnums…ob-vi-ous-ly. from behind me, an elderly black man, sitting beside his wife and waiting for his prescription, began to laugh. i turned, pointing at him, he knows what i’m talking about.

i proceeded to the cashier, on whose face happiness reigned, as she spoke with a woman and her two small girls. she waved excitedly until the family had exited through the sliding doors. then it was my turn. her expression completely changed, as if a stopper had been pulled and her spirit instantly drained, as i handed her the black-and-gold box. she spoke in a robotic, rehearsed manner, asking if i had one of their discount cards, giving the total, bye.

next time i would tell her that she is the reason so many teenaged girls get pregnant, but i bought a twelve pack, so it’s unlikely she’ll still work there by the time i polish off the entire box.


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