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  • Bikini Girls

    Little girls in bikinis.  Is this okay? Not okay?  Should you even be reading this? Are we going to get arrested for talking about this? I am scared.

    Last week my friend Gita sent me an article about how Gwyneth Paltrow designed a line of bikinis for 4-8 year old girls, and a group called Kidscape was outraged that she was promoting the sexualization of young girls.

    I wasn’t sure what I thought about little girls in bikinis, but I was sure that the 5-year old model was way skinnier than me, so I immediately committed to getting back to my birth weight.  Then…the next day I opened the mail and my mom had sent The Munch a bikini! Coincidence? Irony? Or was the bikini actually for me and my mom was trying to inspire my new diet goals of weighing 7 pounds 4 ounces?

    Of course The Munch was really excited about her new bathing suit and immediately wanted to put it on.  She was at first confused about the idea of a top and didn’t get it.

    Toni: “See… It’s just like Mamma’s Munch.”

    Munch: “Ohhhhhhh.  I see. I see.  To cover my nanas.” (which is what she calls boobs).

    Then she tried on the bottoms, but it was too big,  So The Munch did what any normal person would do.  Took off the bottoms and just wore the top – for the rest of the entire day.

    So now that my daughter not only has a bikini, but is wearing half of one, what do I think about this?  Does clothing sexualize little girls? Or does the observer?  If someone is going to see a child as sexy, does it matter what the kid is wearing? Or does their perversion exists regardless of apparel?  I am not sure – I am kind of the thinking that if someone is going to be turned on by kids, its because there is something wrong with them, and putting the child in a Yves Saint Laurent dress isn’t going to make a shit bit difference.

    But I do think the fashion for children has changed drastically since I was a kid, and there is something creepy about it.  My biggest issue is that kids now look like mini-adults rather than children.

    This was never an issue I had to contend with.  When I was young we didn’t have low wasted jeans or Baby-Tees to chose from.  Clothes were distinctly for kids.  As a pre-teen Pearl Jam was the shit and grunge was what was in style.  All my pants were baggy corduroys, and all my shirts were long sleeve plaids.  In high school, hip hop was the main cultural influence – so again all my pants were baggy and my t-shirts oversized.  I wasn’t hiding my body on purpose, I was just wearing what was considered cool.  I didn’t wear a tight pair of pants, or shirt that fit me, until I was in my 20’s.

    Now leggings, skinny jeans, high heel boots, and tight tops are the current things to wear.  In order for your kid to fit in, they have to be somewhat hip to the trends. But is this look problematic?  I don’t think little boys are necessarily seeing the girls as more sexual -because they are too busy thinking they have cooties, but I do question how little girls start seeing themselves.

    I remember as a child being fascinated by the idea of being a woman. What it would be like to have tits, or my period, were concepts I was intrigued by.  But the truth is that we are women for 80% of our lives.  It is such a short time where we get to be kids, so why not fully immerse ourselves in the experience of it.

    Maybe what kids wear can contribute to their growing up too fast, or maybe it really doesn’t matter.  I tend to believe that valuing your childhood happens within the context of your parents treasuring it as well.  That childhood is more of a state of mind that is preserved through environment.  Maybe once The Munch grows into the bottom half of her bikini I will think differently, but under these circumstances, all I see is a crazy little girl mooning me.

    bikini-blog-(i)

     

  • Women Be Communicating and Shit

    It is a common cliché that women are always wanting to talk about their emotions, but I feel like that is really unfair because that assumption makes me feel condescended towards and that makes me feel angry which makes me feel vulnerable because I am feeling like my feelings are not taken seriously, so then I feel like the whole stereotype is not only exaggerated but I also feel like it is not making me feel good.

    So… this weekend I went to a Kundalini woman’s circle to explore the idea of communication and talk about our feelings about it!

    The yoga teacher starting off by describing how 80% of communication is nonverbal – your body language, tone of voice, and even the way you present yourself all vastly contribute to the way you are perceived.  She went on to explain why it is really important to dress in a way that represents your true essence and soul – with grace and beauty to reflect your true self.  I thought about this point deeply, and then looked down at my shirt that read “don’t be a douche.”  Yup.  Looks like I am on the right path.

    She then starting talking about the importance of diplomacy, how that is a natural skill of women, but we have to be careful not to fall into the propensity of manipulation.  This really made me think.  What exactly is the difference between manipulation and diplomacy?

    On a micro level, they are both using tactics to persuade another to do what you want.  Is it the intention behind the coaxing that makes one more benign than another?  There are so many little ways women are taught to be manipulative, but it is a mostly innocent.  Flirting with a cop to get out of a speeding ticket, or coyly asking for help for someone to carry your suitcases.  Women use their sexuality as a means of manipulation but sometimes that is because it feels like a convenient weapon to use against those who have power over you.

    But on the macro level, comparing diplomacy and manipulation has much greater ramifications.  It isn’t like world leaders are harmlessly batting their eyes in the hopes for peace in Kashmir.  Most political discourse is manipulative rather than diplomatic, yet that has become a societal standard.  It’s hard to commit to the authenticity of diplomacy when the tactic of manipulation is not only effective, but also a cultural norm.  I think men and women often rely on their powers of manipulation because it is the easiest way to get what you want.

    Although women often fall back on the strategy of using sex appeal to manipulate men, in truth, it is only a superficial tactic.  You aren’t really being respected in those moments, but distracting them momentarily by the butt on your back or front.  In order to truly get long-term admiration you have to conduct yourself through the nobility of your soul.

    We then went on to do this meditation where we had to look at the tip of our nose and say a mantra 10,000 bagillion times.  And you know what came up for me? That I hated that stupid mantra, and I hated communicating, and hated a whole bunch of other shit too.  The entire time I was supposed to be one with all things sacred and holy while unlocking the secrets of communicating through my highest-self all I could think was “I fucking hate this shit.”

    So I think I am well on my way, what about you!! Check out my shirt! Don’t be a douche!!!!

    women-be-communicating-blog-(i)

  • Got It Going On


    I know I am not supposed to tell my daughter she is pretty because then I am enforcing all sorts of longterm damage.  You know,  defining her self-worth with beauty,  making her vein, or self-conscious.  It is so easy for women to become obsessed with their looks because culture is.

    But sometimes The Munch looks so cute, and I can’t help myself. The words just vomit out of my mouth.

    Toni: “Munch, you are so pretty!”

    Munch: “I know Mamma.”

    Toni: “You know your pretty?”

    Munch: “Yeah.  I know I am beautiful too.”

    (Yeah, pretty sure she knows she’s got it going on)!

    beauty-munch-blog-(i2)

     

     

    April 5, 2013 • 2 years old, Musings, Talking and Not Talking, Women's Business • Views: 822

  • Emotionally Exhausted

    The mind-body duality is a philosophical conundrum that has been pondered for thousands of years.  In my understanding, the mind is this ethereal idea that is associated with the brain, but doesn’t necessarily reside anywhere.  Who is to say that your mind is in your head, it could be in your heart, stomach, penis… or the little man in the canoe.

    Your mind may not even be yours alone – it could be just a tiny fraction of a collective mind that we all share.  Floating around as part of a giant network of energy, suspended in the quantum universe that you are plugged into for all eternity.

    The body, however, has an expiration date and will decay over time.  It ages, excretes, sweats, leaks, expels, and can embarrass you with its strange noises – like queefs.  But the body is simple.  It is a mechanism that serves you – not an emotional terrorist like your mind.  A tired body from being challenged physically feels like an accomplishment, where a depleted mind from emotional exhaustion can feel depressing.

    Feeling emotionally drained can come in many different forms.  Getting into a fight with a loved one, a stranger being rude, your boss demeaning you, comparing yourself to others, paying bills, family events, or having your period 3 times in 6-weeks.

    The mind-body duality should be called the mind-body marriage, but between a couple that has been together for 50-years and is all crotchety and resentful.  Because if something is affecting the body, like oozing blood out of your lady parts, your mind will also be impacted. Right now my body may be provoking my mind, but does my mind have to be such a bitch about it?

    I need to take a break from all this….

    emotionally-exhausted-blog-(i)

     

    March 27, 2013 • 2 years old, Health, Mommy Body, Mommy Mind, Musings, Relationships, Women's Business • Views: 1714

  • When you are talented you don’t have to be pretty

    Although the culture at large is obsessed with physical beauty, being an attractive woman can become the defining attribute of your identity.  Men of course can be vain and care deeply about their appearance, but there will still be societal expectations of him beyond his defined cheekbones and sculpted buttocks.  Yet for a woman, sometimes, just being pretty can be enough.

    When a woman is gorgeous it can excuse her from being anything else.  That is why it is always surprising when a stunning girl also happens to be smart, or good at science, or interested in politics.  The “sexy professional” is a concept so absurd by cultural standards that it has become a cliché Halloween costume… in the realm of myth, fantasy, and the ridiculous.

    Even though I know all this, and can identify the meaninglessness of judging women for her looks, I still do it everyday of my life.  I will flip through a magazine or watch a movie and think: “Well, she is not that pretty.  Her left eye is lower than her right and she has this weird dimple thing going on when she talks.  Her forehead is too small and there is a something funky going on with her left ear.  Oh, and her ass is kind of flat and flabby.”

    What am I even talking about?? Why do I do that?

    First of all, all these women are somehow in the spot light and therefor have even more pressure to be aesthetically perfect.  Which is bizarre considering how many foul looking men are able to be in that same position but are critiqued on skill alone.  Then I realized that the women I evaluate the most are the ones that I am not blown away by their talent.  I mean they are okay, they don’t suck, but they aren’t brilliant.  When a woman is really masterful at her craft, be it Lena Dunham, Adel, Brittany Howard, Meryl Streep, Toni Morrison, Janice Joplin, Virginia Wolf, Martha Graham… I don’t give a flying fuck in a rolling doughnut what they look like.  I will maybe rip apart Brittany Spears for her hair extensions showing and having a frozen grin plastered to her face, but that is because she is only mediocre at singing.

    So being excessively beautiful may stunt your growth as a human, artist, or thinker because people’s expectations of you will be lower.  You wont have to push yourself as hard.  Beauty can conceal your averageness.

    Supposedly I am not supposed to tell my daughter she is pretty all the time because that will infect her psyche and she will start to believe her beauty is tied with her self-worth.  No doubt.  This is true, and I down with this idea.  But I also don’t want her relying on her lovely face, and be unexceptional in the rest of her life, because it was too easy to invest more in her genetic disposition.  That sounds lame!  I would so much rather The Munch impress people with her endless genius than her tits or ass.  Of course I don’t want to give her a complex and never acknowledge her adorableness, but at the same time most insanely attractive people are also insanely boring.

     

    when-you-are-talented-blog-(i)

     

     

    March 18, 2013 • 2 years old, Mommy Body, Mommy Mind, Musings, Women's Business • Views: 858

  • I am Woman

    Today is “International Woman’s Day” and my friend and I decided we wanted to make a video honoring this momentous occasion.  We had a brainstorm session to think about what defines our woman-ness, and talked about boys and our periods while eating chocolate and crying.  Even though women are the majority in the world, we are still a marginalized group, and it is only disempowered people who need days celebrating themselves to remember to be proud.  It is not like there are heterosexual white men taking to the streets having parades shouting “I am straight, I am white, get used to it.”

    I guess part of being a woman is admitting that I am disenfranchised.  And that is kind of my fault considering we are voting for the men who subjugate us.  There are more of us then there are of them, and we are giving our power away willingly… kind of like ants or termites or locusts.  If they really wanted to take over, all they would have to do is get together and organize… and then crawl all over us.  I think if my body were covered with swarming beings I would give them whatever they want.  Not a bad idea ladies!

    Being a woman is cool because you have a warm pocket to store things when your hands are full, but it is also really hard.  Every 3 minutes one of us dies from childbirth and 1 in 3 women will have been raped or beaten in her lifetime.  That is a lot of pain and suffering to endure.  And considering that every person enters this planet through their mom’s magic baby door, all that sorrow is being transferred to the children regardless of gender.  If the women are in anguish, all of humanity will feel that grief.

    My yoga teacher said the other day “I believe there will be peace on the planet when there are no more tears between women.”  Although this may sound idealistic to think about “ultimate world peace,” I really appreciated the metaphor.  Women turn to each other for comfort and consolation, and when we no longer need that support then we know major transformation has occurred.  Although we will probably always cry about our periods because leaking blood really does make saltwater pour out of your face.

    Check out our video here!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfkRqAQi8Iw&list=UUF5kIqRyZih4EgbpCSw6Ugg&index=1

     

    March 8, 2013 • 2 years old, Current Events, Mommy Mind, Musings, Women's Business • Views: 873

  • Be like that… just not around me

    Sometimes I have to remind myself that my toddler isn’t going to be a child forever.  Soon The Munch will be a woman, and no longer throw her facecloth in a fit of rage because she doesn’t want her mouth to be washed.  She will instead throw her shoe, probably at some guy’s head, but chances are her mouth will be clean.

    The qualities of her personality that may annoy the shit-fuck out of me now, are the same attributes I want The Munch to have as an adult.  She is a very willful person, has strong opinions, is never shy about communicating what she wants, and has no fear expressing her discontent.  As a female, I think these are really important traits.

    So many women feel disconnected to their own needs because they have become accustomed to prioritizing others.  I know in my own life I have the hardest time making decisions and not considering how it will affect those I love.  I have never done anything purely for myself and not felt insanely guilty.  Although I have opinions, I am afraid to share them if I fear they are too controversial or may hurt someone’s feelings.  It is not easy for me to communicate what I want if I believe my desires might upset someone, and I don’t always express my displeasure at someone to avoid confrontation.

    I have definitely had to do a lot of soul searching to find my inner strength when it comes to dealing with people because more than wanting to stand up for myself I just want to be loved.  Love me okay? Please??!!! Will you just fucking love me already!!!??

    So all these traits of The Munch I really respect, and want her to maintain far into her future.  But is there any way I can squelch her sprit just when I am dealing with her?  Like I could just dampen her spark until she is out of the house?  So maybe I wouldn’t have to fight with her everyday about going pee before taking a nap in my bed so she doesn’t pee while she is sleeping.  Is that too much to ask?  I am not that into doing laundry and people are starting to notice I smell like urine.

    (Maybe if I wrap her up in a blanket there will be a barrier to absorb some of the moisture).

    March 6, 2013 • 2 years old, Baby Brain, Behavior, Musings, Parenting, Women's Business • Views: 924

  • Can I Please Still Be Bitchy?

    I went to this women’s mediation circle over the weekend to get all up in my feminine moon energy… you know, just penetrating my inner goddess.  Sometimes my female essence needs a good stuffing.

    It started off with a lecture about the current state of woman-ness, and how competition is a product of the times, and not the natural state between sisters.  Where once humans were nomadic and lived off the land, the birth of agriculture fundamentally changed society, our relationship to nature, and the role of women.  The disempowerment of the woman was solidified when she became the property of man, like cattle or land.  For her to have control of her life or influence on others she would have to compete for the right mate to help provide that for her.  Women were conditioned to contend and judge each other in order to survive, but that does not mean that is how we have to be.  Instead we should aspire to achieve community, cooperation, and support.

    Alright!! I dig it! I want to be all one and together with my fellow priestesses.  I see the beauty in others and I am totally down to appreciate the shit out of the lovely land mermaids that surround me.  I am all about being part of a sisterhood that aims to embolden these sacred vessels life.  I want to be a part of a communal cauldron of feminists.  But the no judging part?? Like, I can’t judge these chicks and make fun of them in my head? Not even for a second?? Really??

    Maybe it is my makeup, or maybe I am slightly cunty, but I like to judge the crap out of everyone and everything.  I can’t help but see the absurdity of life, and laughing at how crazy we all are.  It is not like I am just judging other people because I spend a lot of time judging myself too.  But although I am totally down to join the Army of the Amazons, can I please at least talk about everyone behind their back still???  At least to myself????

    So after the lecture we did this crazy Kundalini yoga class that ended with us going around in a circle and sharing our experience.  And of course, we knew it was our turn to talk because we were handed a heart-shaped rose quartz.  If you weren’t holding the crystal it was not your turn to talk goddammit.  I really related to what these women were saying and valued how they shared their souls.  And although I was genuinely moved by their wisdom and vulnerability… I was still giggling to myself every once in a while.  If some one closed her eyes for too long, or paused for a few minutes for the their words to sink in – it amused my ego.  But that doesn’t mean I didn’t honor the moment and wasn’t totally grateful.  I would like to think it is possible that I can still be my bitchy judgmental self, but still be part of the movement.

    See… we are having fun even though I am judging her!

    March 5, 2013 • 2 years old, Adventures, Musings, Women's Business • Views: 708