Tag Archive: girlfriend


An annual tradition…superbowl.

Let’s put up an example…a scenario if you will. Let’s pretend (it’s not a far stretch) a young 10-12 year old girl is sitting with her family to watch the supwerbowl. When the following things happen, it’s acceptable and it’s normal.

An annual tradition….sexism at the superbowl. Sexism with the cheerleaders. (Yeah, they are wearing those skimpy clothes to get the fans to cheer. Really?  It’s the superbowl. These are tickets people save for years to get, or do it one time in their life. This isn’t a high school game where nobody is cheering….this is the biggest football game in the US. There’s no excuse for them to be dressed like that except to show off their body parts.) Sexism with the half time show. (Do we really need to show women dancing around in lingerie and strip club gear? Does this have anything to do with entertainment…or does it have to do with showing women as mere body parts again. Plus, women are ok with it…those women are, so it must be acceptable.) Finally sexism in the commercials.

Our friends at the Date safe project have written a post on those commercials:

http://www.datesafeproject.org/2013/sex-tv-commercials-and-the-super-bowl/?inf_contact_key=d4fd3a466116799df8a2b26ea630a68b02c40aa8bb976342113ca380beb5a64d

Check it out.

Now, let’s get back to our 10-12 year old girl.  What did her society, media, parents, youtube, friends, and the news all say….that was a great game, and the performances were unbelievably great.

Girl heard: This is how to be a girl. This is what women do. This is how women dress. This is how women behave. This si what YOU are suppose to do.

Are you ok with that?

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sb1

 

Unless you grew up under or live under a rock, Super Bowl Sunday is likened to a national holiday and whether you celebrate it or not, you can’t help but know it’s coming. You can denounce Super Bowl Sunday all you want, but you can’t escape it. You can even go your entire life without watching one Super Bowl or attending one Super Bowl party, but you still can’t escape from it.  “Back in the day,” if you didn’t want anything to do with the Super Bowl you could just watch another tv station, go out to dinner, go to a movie, or in the most extreme cases barricade yourself in your house turn out the lights and pray that the game would be a complete and utter bore so the neighbors party would end soon and everything would go back to normal. In today’s world, there is no way to escape the Super Bowl even if you want to. With social media, you will get updates whether you want them or not and even be able to watch the commercials the day after.  It is a fact, that you will have friends, neighbors and co-workers who will update you with some trivial piece of information that means nothing in the bigger scope of the world.

Everyone whether they like it or not, can find something they enjoy with the Super Bowl. There are parties, alcohol, fabulous tasting homemade dips and desserts that will take a week on the treadmill just to burn off, and the hilarity of the conversations between friends supporting opposing teams. Then there is the pre-game show, the Star Spangled Banner that no one ever thinks is sung well enough, the half time show, crazy and hilarious commercials, and somewhere in there they play football.  As a woman, I can keep up with the best of them when it comes to calling the game. I’m the woman at the Super Bowl party that is not serving the food or asking the stereotypical girl questions to her boyfriend, “Now tell me again, who is the team in purple?” (As she cocks her head to the right and bats her eyes). As a woman, I can make a room full of men fall silent while they are busy debating what both teams have done wrong and why they basically suck, while I say something brilliant like, “If the quarterback would just take the snap and dive to the left of the center (called a quarterback sneak), then they would get the first down.” I’m also the woman who screams and damns the referee to hell when the foot was clearly in bounds.

sbHere’s the thing, though. I love football, but somehow over the course of time, I’ve learned to hate it and everything it stands for. We all are aware and have been since the beginning of the sport of the male role vs. the female role presented. The women are the cheerleaders and the men play the game. No one is blind to the obvious misogyny in the commercials…just look at this year’s Go Daddy.com commercial. Everyone recognizes the obvious violence in football.  (It’s a sport where people hit each other…that’s a no brainer).  None of that ever really bothered me until a few years ago when we started seeing women as reporters on the sideline. Everyone hailed it as a win for women. I did not. The woman on the sidelines is always beautiful, always thin, almost always blonde, and really just reports on the most recent injuries, the coach’s irritation with his own team, and the “atmosphere” of the crowd in the stadium. The men call the game. The men sit in the booth and report the stats and the men make a lot more money. Football more so than any other sport, is the epitome of violence, misogyny, and ego. It is modern day Rome.

Here’s another thing I learned. Much further away from the stadium, somewhere in someone’s home, is a woman and a man in an unhealthy and unstable relationship. With football comes an increased level of alcohol, gambling, yelling, and increased levels of testosterone. Images of sex and violence wrap the evening in a scene of tension. As it was explained to me once, “You don’t know what it’s like to pray for a team to win, when you really could care less about the outcome, just so he won’t take it out on you if they don’t.” This isn’t about hitting, because we always seem to jump straight to the extreme. This is about using sports as a reason to tear another person down. “My team didn’t win, so the house isn’t clean enough.” (Yeah that makes sense). “My team didn’t win, so we are going to have sex to prove I’m a man.” sb3(ummmm….o.k. like that’s going to change the outcome). “My team didn’t win and because I’m drunk, I’m going to find a reason to make this YOUR fault.” The house isn’t clean. The kids aren’t quiet. Dinner wasn’t good. You never do this, you never do that, you are always making my life miserable. For some, sports is an everything, always, and never proposition.

For some reason in this world of ours, sports is a bi-product of self-esteem. “If my team wins, then I get bragging rights for an entire year.” “If my team doesn’t win, then everything I am is worthless and always has been.” Entire communities will base their reputation on their sports team. We rally around the team and build it up. We will base our entire self-worth on the team we support. We base friendships on sports and billions of dollars dictate our mindset.

sb4I’m not sure I’ll ever completely give up football or some of the other sports I love to watch. I can’t however, close my eyes to the vile amounts of money we spend on them while we ignore our fellow man. I can’t ignore the fact that our world could be different if our priorities shifted to the love of each other vs. the love of a sports team. I absolutely can’t ignore the fact that there are men in this world whose own self-worth is so low, that they base their entire mindset on a 20 something quarterback and a ball. Last night when the 49ers missed the two-point conversion that would have tied the game with less than 10 minutes left, I can’t help but wonder how many cuss words were hurled, walls were hit, sports artifacts were thrown, and how many women sat on the couch praying for that ball to make it into the endzone.

 

30 sexiest ads of 2012 as done by adrants.com   

(Caution!!!!  These are ads that are deemed “sexy” therefore you will see gratuitous focus on women’s bodies. Click at your own risk.  However, all of these ads were on TV at one point or another during 2012.  )

There is a very good reason I put this link here. We experience the world through our senses. Eyes and ears play a very big role in this experience. Through the eyes and the ears we get over 60% of all stimuli needed to experience our reality. Feelings can be created with a combination of using our eyes, ears, and brain – the brain will then create a visceral feeling we can actually feel on our skin. Taste and smell are so interrelated that they are often left off this spectrum, but that’s ok because in many experiences they are only 30% of our sensations – and the brain does wonders filling that part in too.

But wait…if we are experiencing our lives through these mediums, that means TV and ads actually create and develop the way we see the world. BINGO!!!

(BTW – Scent is intricate in creating a relationship…but we are being taught to bypass that for visual. It has been found that if we bypass our sense of smell when it comes to a relationship – we have very little basis for that relationship other than physical.)

Since this is true – The advertising agencies are selling us a “reality” that is simply not a reality. However, they are engaging our entire brain to make sure we see it as reality. This is fine and dandy when you know it….

BUT MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW IT!

Therefore, you have people looking at these ads, porn, and TV shows that all show women as mindless bodies walking around wanting only us. Then men are taught that these mindless bodies is what they are suppose to want. They go out in search of these mindless bodies (hence the cat calling, and street harassment – see it’s ok, because women aren’t real people, (yep you guessed it) they are just mindless bodies) and then are disappointed when these mindless bodies speak.

However, when the speaking happens…advertisement, TV, and movies are here to save the day again. They have taught men that it’s ok not to listen, just as long as you say the right thing to be able to touch more of the bodies you’ve been taught to lust after.

In the end, it becomes very frustrating that everything we see says we should be able to have and should want the mindless bodies….but they all have minds.

However, male privileged has taught us that we don’t have to listen to this nonsense…we can use power and control to create fear, and then the mindless bodies will act right.

Then we have domestic violence!

Is this jump too radical…not according to the brain science that we are unearthing on a daily basis. This is a culmination of data from the likes of great speakers such as Jean Kilbourne – creator of the Killing Us softly videos, and her multiple books about the perception of women and how that perception creates violence.  There is also the Media Literacy Campaign that shows time and time again how the media creates views and ideas of our own reality that is often not a reality it all.

So what do we do?  Contact each and every one of these businesses that ok’d these advertisements and say…NO!  This is not ok!

When we speak in one voice, we end the problems and the violence!

 

love2I was visiting a friend of mine in an “Assisted Living Facility”.  She is an able-bodied woman who can do a lot of things, but she is forgetful and her 2 strokes have left her footing not what it use to be. After the 6th fall – she decided she needed some help.

well, as I was there she was showing me all the awesome things that were around the complex. She also showed me the bus schedule to EVERY cool place anyone of the 70+ age range would want to go. We eventually ended up at the shuffle boards, it seems the whole place eventually gravitates to this area during sundown. It also helps that the shuffle board area looks out at the Gulf of Mexico…a great place to hang out and watch the sun go down over the water.

One of her friends, Glady, asked me what I did for a living. I explained that I educated people about preventing domestic violence.

ge1Her eyes grew twice their size, then slowly dropped to their normal volume. She sighed and went back to watching the sun. A few minutes later, she touched my arm again and asked what the statistics were now.  I explained they were 1 in 4 women would be a victim and 1 in 9 of men would be a victim. She sighed again.

Just as the sun peeped out of existence and people started to wander home, she patted me on the shoulder. She smiled and told me this story written down the best I can remember:

purple3When I was a young gal I helped battered women…my mom as the first person I helped. I told my grandpa what was happening. Grandpa came over with a shotgun, there was a struggle and the next day mom and I patched three holes in the hallway. However, dad was never seen again and mom smiled a lot more. When I was 19 i got a job as a secretary for a hospital. A woman came in with a split lip that needed 5 stitches from a fly ball.  This was 1951, there weren’t many women out playing ball those days. She sat down and told me her tale of abuse – I was flabbergasted this happened to more people than just my mom. I told her to call her dad…he’d do something. But she was fatherless. The nurse sewed her up, and she left.

In 1961 I became the first victim advocate, and I opened my house to any woman who needed help. My husband helped, and we built an add on that looked like barracks for people to live. He and I got weapons permits and weapons to match…those men didn’t come around after some buckshot went over their head. Then I got on the women’s lib bandwagon…I even have some of my old buttons. That was the day…we were really doing something.

animal abuseNow, I hear that this is still going on and the stats are even worse. How sad is that!  Then she raised her voice: How long do we have to fight this________  ________ ____________ abuse? (You can fill in the cuss words) I worked to end abuse and maintain women’s rights for decades, and my husband died still at his desk at a women’s shelter as I did an intake form. Up and had a heart attack right then and there.

How long does this have to go on?

When I got done listening to her, I was amazed! her question was very heart-felt and a question I have to ask many many times.

love3In Pinellas County,  there are two women who are directors of Domestic Violence centers. they have both spent their years fighting for the rights of women and fighting to keep their centers open. They have held victims hands as the blood ran from their face. they have stood next to victims as their abuser yells and glares at them in a court room. they have lobbied congress, the senate, and the state. They have enacted laws, legislation, and movements that are remembered and used to this day.  They, like Glady, were on the lines when women’s rights and VAWA were being decided and discussed. they have made money, they have given money, they have given their voice, and their lives to end domestic violence once and for all.

Both of these ladies began their career working to help victims, create gender equality, and end domestic violence. Now, both of them are close to retirement age, and we are still working towards the same end that Glady was working towards so many years before them.

How long does this have to go on?

How many children have to be taught to act like this?

How many homes must be destroyed?

The real question – How will we, the next generation, change this status quo?

 

 

 

 

 

When will Domestic Violence end?

When will the abuse stop?

These are questions asked by victim again and again. They endure the pain, they endure the abuse, they endure the shame…and then they do it again and again and again and again!  After the bruises and the pain starts to heal they ask:

When will the domestic violence end?

When will the abuse stop?

These are questions asked by our DV shelters and prevention professionals. When is this all going to stop?  when will this end?  We take tons of people in every day. The ratio of 1 in every 4 women are in an abusive relationship has been found in multiple studies and data information…but what is really going on?  Why do the number keep happening?

A big reason is people like this priest in Italy:

http://news.msn.com/world/italian-priest-sparks-outrage-over-blame-of-women-for-violence-3

When a person decides to make comments that it is the victims fault…

When a person decides to make comments that a woman’s role in the abuse she suffers is how she takes care of the abuser…

When we want the finger to pointed at the victim…

When we are telling the abuser that what they did is right, but what the victim did was wrong….

When we say that the way a person acts will cause people to hurt them…

We are increasing the likelihood of this happening again. We are taking the blame of the “violent one”. We are deciding that the victim is always at fault. This can’t happen!!!

Then to add these statements to the mouth of a respected church official…it is coming from the pulpit. Essentially coming from “god”. Really people?  We can’t do this!

God does not say beat people up, hurt people, abuse people….those are actions of mortals and men. Those are actions that are not condoned in any way shape or form.

when we start publicly blaming the victim of abusive crimes…we tell the abusers that their actions are ok.

Are we seriously telling the abusers that their actions are ok?  What do you think?

 

happy6

Happy 11th day of prevention..I’m glad you’re here!

On the 11th day of prevention I…

thanked everyone who I know that are respectful, nonviolent, and promote domestic violence prevention!

THANK YOU!!!!!

Those people who do the right thing all the time are often not thanked. Everyone loves being thanked for what they believe they should be doing…this kind gesture will go a long way in the coming year.

Please make sure you watch to the end of the video!

Ellen’s video speaks for itself!

This blog has commented on this stuff before…but this typifies the feeling we at opt4 have about these gender specific merchandise that seems to come our every year…..it needs to stop!

We have it everywhere…pink scooters that come with stickers of flowers and bunnies, pink houses that says “you can be the mommy”…what if i want to be the daddy…the pronouns you and I are pretty significant when marketing and advertising.

We have to end these gender specific nonsense that points out that women are so vastly different from men. The reality is…the genders are A LOT most alike than we want to admit.

If you want to talk about gender specific, here are a few of the ONLY items that are gender specific:

Ladies: Tampons, Pads, moon cup (and yes men, you can buy them…it’s ok. Stand proud that there is a woman that believes in you that much), reproductive health stuff. Also…bras, girl diapers, and…that’s about it.

Men: jock straps, nose hair and ear hair trimmers (somehow women just don’t have this problem as much…or they’re better at hiding it), prostrate health stuff, testicular health stuff, and….that’s about it.

So lets band together to start writing letters, making youtube videos, etc about gender specifics going away. bye bye now.

 

 

 

happy3

On the 8th day of prevention I…

didn’t fund sexism by buying things that are  sexist!

Yeah!  I congratulate you..this is a very very big thing to do. There are so many toys “for girls” or “for boys” that force our children into gender roles that are simply not accurate and promote sexism and ultimately violence towards the gender seen as the weaker or the “slave”.

Do not buy things from companies that promote their products through sexism, or are working to sexualize our girls before they are ready.

happy_holidays_039

 

 

On the 7th day of prevention I…

bought presents for my families and friends that promoted and helped preventing domestic violence.

We go out and buy “things” all the time for people, and that’s wonderful…but, we could be doing more. What if we donated $5-10 in the name of our friends and relatives towards domestic violence prevention programs?  They would have a vested interest in the cause, and you’ll probably spend less money.

If you truly have to give a “thing”…there are multiple organizations selling holiday gift items where the proceeds go to preventing domestic violence.

A few ideas:

NCADV – National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Every state has a coalition against domestic violence

Your local shelter might be as well.

This is a Christmas Song?

Before we speak about the song…let us look at a scenario:

man: Want to stay the night?

woman: No.

Man: Well you can’t leave because it’s cold.

Woman: That’s ok. I need to leave.baby2

Man: But it’s warm here, and cold out there. Stay.

Woman: No, I need to leave.

Man: no you don’t, you need to stay here. It’s too cold for you to go out.

Woman: No, I really need to leave.

Man: No you don’t.

Woman: Yes, I do….

This could go on and on with the man constantly asking her to stay and breaking her down till she finally gives up (gives in) and stays. This is a perfect example of not respecting a woman’s “no”…sounds a lot liek rape to me.

Sounds a lot like disrespecting women.

Sounds a lot like sexual harassment.

However, this is exactly what this song represents. She keeps explaining that she needs to leave, and he won’t let her leave. If we add another element…what if he’s her only ride home?  Then she’s really stuck and she can only plead with him.  As this song goes on, you can almost see him pulling on her arm to get her into the bedroom, as she says NO!

What part of no means no does this guy not get?

Here are the actual lyrics:

Back here=Bing Crosby
Indented=Doris Day

I really can’t stay baby3
Baby it’s cold outside
I gotta go away
Baby it’s cold outside
This evening has been
Been hoping that youd drop by
So very nice
I’ll hold your hands their just like ice
My mother will start to worry
Beautiful what’s your hurry?
My father will be pacing the floor
Listen to the fireplace roar
So really I better scurry
Beautiful please don’t hurry
Well maybe just a half a drink more
Put some records on while I pour

The neighbors might think
Baby it’s bad out there
Say.. what’s in this drink?
No cabs to be had out there
I wish I knew how to break the spell
Your eyes are like starlight now
I’ll take your hat your hair looks swell
I ought to say no, no, no sir
Mind if move in closer?
At least I’m gonna say that I tried
What’s the sense of hurtin’ my pride?
I really can’t stay
Baby don’t hold out
(Both) Ahh but its cold outside!

I simply must go
But baby it’s cold outside
The answer is no
But baby it’s cold outside
This welcome has been so nice and warm
Look out the window at that storm
My sister will be suspicious
Gosh your lips look delicious!
My brother will be there at the door
Waves upon a tropical shore
My maiden aunts mind is vicious
Gosh your lips are delicious!
Well maybe just a cigarette more
Never such a blizzard before

I’ve got to get home
But baby you’ll freeze out there
Say lend me a coat?
It’s up to your knees out there!
You’ve really been grand
I feel when you touch my hand
But don’t you see?
How can you do this to me? no rape 1
There’s bound to be talk tomorrow
Think of my life long sorrow!
At least there’ll be plenty of invised
If you caught pnemounia and died!
I really can’t stay
Get over that old out
Ooooooooh!
(Both) Ahhh but it’s cold…….Outside

It’s quite scary to think how a young man listening to this song might think this is how a man should act. It’s even more scary to think that a young girl would learn this is how she should respond.

use this song as a teaching point for your kids and students…we need to eradicate this way of thinking out of our minds and lives.

baby

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