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  • The Joke’s on You Bill Cosby

    I generally don’t watch award shows because they’re a painful reminder that I’m sitting on my couch at home, instead of sitting in the front row, waiting for my name to be called. The only award I ever received was for a drinking game while on spring break. I don’t even remember “winning” because I blacked out. Yet I did watch the introduction to the Golden Globe’s this week, hoping Amy Poehler and Tina Fey would say some funny shit and I’d forget about myself for a few moments.

    The crescendo of their banter culminated in a nearly flawless joke about Bill Cosby. It had the perfect set up, impeccable impressions, and was just provocative enough to make me feel uncomfortable. Although Bill Cosby has done nothing to laugh about, making a joke about his actions is an almost perfect revenge, ie using his craft to humiliate him and doing so with actual quality humor.

    There are so many disturbing elements about the Cosby saga. He could have had sex with a variety of women simply because he was rich and famous. The drugging and raping is obviously symptomatic of his desires to have power and dominance over their unconscious bodies. He wanted absolute control and for them to be completely passive recipients.

    I cannot relate to Cosby at all. If I were going to drug a guy, it would be so he wouldn’t try to have sex with me. I would prop his body up next to me on the couch to watch Netflix. Maybe I would use his hands to wash all my dishes…you know, so mine didn’t get all dry and cracked. When he woke up in the morning and look at his chapped fingers, he’d be like “Nooooo. What happened?”

    I find the Cosby story especially depressing when I consider how he had absolutely no interest in the humanity of these women. The more common manifestation of this mentality is when a guy pumps a woman like a rabid rabbit, attempting to fill her with his manhood but doesn’t give a care about her pleasure. Of course many men have evolved beyond this behavior, but many haven’t. When a woman brings sleeps with a guy for the first time, she never knows what to expect. The disappointment is severe when she feels like a filling station rather than a human with feelings and desires.

    “Rape culture” is a daunting problem to solve. There isn’t a simple solution like “just don’t rape girls and women.” As horrific as Bill Cosby’s acts of violence are, I’m grateful it is pushing us to face and address the rampant reality of sexual assault.

    To address any confusion that still lingers around rape, I think the primary concept to consider is “enthusiastic consent.” Mutual attraction and interest is what makes amazing sex amazing. I am willing to bet that the worst sex of your life was because you or your partner wasn’t that into it. Perhaps it was something that happened to avoid an awkward. Who wants to have crappy, apathetic sex? With the endless amount of pleasure tools available, it would be such a waste of time. If we can teach and encourage each other to express and look for genuine eagerness from prospective partners, then perhaps we will take the crucial step towards an authentic sex positive society.

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    January 12, 2015 • Current Events, Musings • Views: 1251

  • Feminism in Not A Plot Against Penises

    If you have a vulva, you not only have to learn the ins and outs of tampon usage, but you are also expected to stand on one side of the feminism fence or the other. You cannot straddle the middle – that would be not only unladylike, but also quite uncomfortable. Yet is perpetuating the idea of feminism helpful, or just further creating a chasm in the gender divide?

    While the majority of women promoting a feminist agenda are not man-hating amazons frothing at the mouth to castrate males with their teeth, this remains the dominant stereotype. Men’s Rights activists are the fastest growing civil rights group in the western world, and are gaining many women supporters along the way. Recently a campaign was launched promoting women who don’t believe they need feminism, which was followed up by a Tumbler blog where kitty cats agreed. If women don’t have the pussies on their side, we have serious problems!

    The definition of feminism is “equal rights for women.” Yet there is a difference between actual definitions of words, and cultural concepts. What does “equal rights” mean for women in America when feminism is no longer addressing constitutional amendments? On paper, men and women do have equal rights. The modern challenge of feminism is much more nuanced than in the past. There are still wage gaps, abortion rights threatened, and absurd policies when it comes to maternity leave – but the current most persistent battle against women is that of public perception. Yet how do we demand equality within the more subtle context of psychology? Feminism is not just about addressing public policy, but the role of femininity within society.

    Femininity is devalued across the spectrum, seen as more of a weakness than an asset, and considered fundamentally irrational. This ethos is deeply engrained, as being feminine is thought of as “less than,” or an insult. This is a corrosive consequence of systemic sexism. Yet we are becoming hypersensitive to a point of PC blandness. Parents are petrified of anything that will contribute to potential gender stereotypes and are in a constant state of panic to impose on their children. Yet just because a little girl wears pink and likes princesses doesn’t mean she will grow up to dot her i’s with hearts, or become a stripper in Tampa. I don’t think the answer is to blend the sexes completely to breed omni-gender babies with Barbie crotches – although that would be advantageous when it comes to changing diapers.

    We can’t obliterate gender completely, yet to deprogram the socialization of thousands of years is proving to be an almost endless challenge. How do we inspire people to “think different” and why didn’t Apple address this issue with the iPhone 6? We can’t force people to change their opinions by saying “Hey sexist men – respect and honor women now or I will shove my lady-gun up your pee hole.” Or “Hey sweetie who doesn’t think you need feminism – your opinion about not needing feminism is only valid because of feminize so…” We don’t live in a post racial or post sexist world because our minds are still holding on to the sentiments that have shaped our history – even when officially the structure has evolved.

    Many men and women are still attached to past paradigms when it comes to gender roles. I don’t think they consider that their definitions of masculinity and femininity are ultimately constructs that have been created through centuries of conditioning. I am pretty sure they assume this is the way things are because this is they way they are supposed to be. Convincing someone to reevaluate their understanding of the world is complex. Once someone has a conviction, it takes a lot to open minds and hearts.

    Even though feminism is not trying to take over the world to create a matriarchy where men are subordinate to women as we spend the days flicking their balls and making them carry heavy bags – a lot of people are scared of change. They don’t know what it will mean for them personally, and fear the effects will be negative. These aren’t evil people, but they are unconsciously afraid that within this this ever-changing landscape they will lose their identity.

    Feminism can paint the picture of what the world will look like within this new frame. The conversation shouldn’t just be about what we are against, but what we are for. A feminist future is not an apocalyptic crisis where the family unit is destroyed as women pillage the earth for the remaining cotton for their ever-flowing menstruation. It is one where both genders have the freedom to pursue their true essence in an authentic way. The pressure for men to be one way and women to be another is oppressive. Rather than living our lives as we are supposed to, we can start conducting them as we choose to. Feminism is not a plot against penises, but rather an opportunity for a cultural episiotomy to sew up the tear between the genders so we can collectively evolve.

    And now my present to you… a picture of the penis snake.

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    November 3, 2014 • Current Events, Musings, Vagina Stuff, Women's Business • Views: 3822

  • Like A Girl

    Advertising has obviously taken a major hit in the past decade with the changing landscape of media. It is getting harder for companies to penetrate their products into your psyche, so they are trying a variety of new methods to get people actively engaged. Even though I have a deep seeded fear of major corporations and how the laws of Wall Street ultimately compromise them, I have been noticing initiatives where companies are sponsoring messages intended for the betterment of society. The interesting result in these types of initiatives is if the campaign is potent and has viral potential, the people then brand ambassadors and do the marketing for them.

    “Always” (the company that makes pads and tampons) recently sponsored a video and complementing crusade around the idea of doing something “like a girl.” The way the message is presented is incredibly potent, and immediately makes you want to post on Facebook or forward to friends. They ask these people (women, men, and one boy) to do certain activities “like a girl.” Fight like a girl, run like a girl, throw like a girl… When each of these people would “act like a girl” they did so in this flouncy, silly, unserious, uncoordinated way.

    The producers of the video then ask little girls to do these same movements, who in turn seriously enact the tasks at hand. They don’t run like a stereotypical girl, but rather how they themselves would run. The contrast was obviously a stark reality check. The video ends with the participants talking about the idea of doing something “like a girl,” and how it affects the self-esteem of young women knowing that the way they do things is considered an insult.

    Even though I am not a big fan of the company Always, as they produce products to shove up one’s poon that are made with GMO cotton laden with pesticides and chemicals – I still REALLY wanted to share this video! It was incredibly well done and a fascinating concept to address. That point where girls starts to loose their self-confidence because they become aware that their “girlyness” is subpar, and something to make fun of.

    The irony is that most kids, whether boys or a girls, are crazy uncoordinated when they are young. Watching them throw, catch, whatever, is pure comedy because they are still learning to control their bodies. Those children that choose to pursue a physical path will become less awkward regardless of gender. The reason why girls got a bad reputation is because in the 1800’s we had to wear corsets and would pass out if we stood up – how can you throw a perfect spiral in that condition?!

    I think this generation of kids can redefine this silly assumption.  All we have to do is encourage the physical growth of our little girls with the same passion as we do our boys.  Not that they have to be Russian gymnasts or anything, but reminding them to be strong and to push themselves to try new things.  Then the saying “like a girl” will quickly fade into the past like all those other colloquialisms that make no sense to modern people – like throwing a baby out with the bath water…. because seriously who does that?

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    July 1, 2014 • Current Events, Musings, Parenting, Women's Business • Views: 2183

  • Finding Femininity

    “Mamma, can I paint my nails?” was not a question I expected my two-year old would ask me.  Not that I have anything against nail polish, but since I never paint my nails I wondered where The Munch had been exposed to this practice.  But then I remembered how her sexy babysitter has red toes, and then realized of course The Munch wants her feet to look sassy like hers.

    The Munch is often around women.  She observes how they behave, and identifies herself as a female like them.  When I spend time with my friends and Munch, she sees herself as one of the girls.  You know, a couple of gals hanging out, just one happens to be slightly bossier than the rest and infinitely more dramatic considering The Munch is ready to cry without any shame under any circumstance.  Actually, come to think of it she fits right in.

    Munch is beginning to notice elements of femininity and wanting to apply them to her own being. But part of her fitting into this world of feminine culture means that she is enacting behavior that is way beyond her years.  For example since a few of my friends are pregnant, The Munch looks at that as an experience she should be having too.

    Munch: “Mamma, I have a baby in my tummy.”

    Toni: “You do?”

    Munch: “Yeah, it’s a teeny tiny baby.  Do you want to feel it?”

    Toni: “Sure.”

    Munch: “In my tummy, my baby has her paci, and her bottle, and her toys, and her teddy bear, and a lollipop in case she gets hungry.  Can you feel the toys in there?”

    Toni: “I sure can Munch.”

    Simone De Beauvoir talked about how we are born male or female, which determines our biology, but masculine and feminine traits are purely a socialized phenomenon.  She believed there was nothing inherently different about baby boys or baby girls, and that gender is enforced through conditioning.

    I love Simone De Beauvoir and even named my dog Mona after her, but now that I have a daughter I feel conflicted by her hypothesis.

    I don’t see myself as intentionally conditioning my daughter to have feminine traits.  I am not even sure I consider myself to be all that feminine.  It is not like I go around wearing pink talking about my period all day. I just sometimes where pink and talk about my period on the days it’s happening.  Is my womaness a genuine part of my personality, or just something I picked up as a child from other chicks who picked it up from other broads who picked it up from other skirts?

    Is this something that I should be stopping?  There is nothing overt I am doing to make Munch interested girly shit.  These are decisions she is making on her own volition.  I never pushed baby dolls in her face and demanded she play with them.  Those were the toys that she naturally gravitated towards. Maybe that is because she sees me mothering her, and in turn wants some to mother- because I am her example.

    How can I break this cycle of conditioning femininity when much of this influence is a consequence of my simply existing, and allowing her to observe other women?  Femininity isn’t something you find under a rock, but discover through being around other females you adore.  The young emulate adults the admire, and even if I am the biggest “tom boy” in the world, there will still be traits she picks up from other broads she respects.

    Kind of like The Munch being really excited that her “poe nails” are painted red just like her babysitter’s.

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