Shades of Grey

18 Feb

I am so over hearing about what a horrible risk the 50 Shades of Grey movie is for the values of America and how God is going to smite me if I go see this depraved, women hating perversion of a movie. Let me just preface this as saying that I have not seen the movie, nor do I plan to while it is in the theaters because, A, the movies are never as good as the books50-shades-of-grey-sortie-soiree-paris-sadomasochiste are and I just don’t want to ruin it for myself and, B, I refuse to pay that much to see a movie anymore. However, I have read the books so I am not like most of the people who are commenting on this topic without any frame of reference.  Let me also preface this by saying that I am a survivor of rape and domestic violence so the subject of both is particularly sensitive to me.
50 Shades of Grey is NOT the second coming of the Antichrist. It is not a violence laden book written to exploit women or to glorify rape or non-consensual sex. It is a story of a young couple who participates in premarital sexual relations, something that regardless of whether it is right or wrong goes on thousands of times a day every day in this world. It is a story of a women who loses her virginity to a man who enjoys having control. It is a story of a womans sexual awaking, her personal sexual revolution if you will, her discovery of what pleasures her and what she finds enjoyment in. She enters into this arrangement fully aware of her choices and the consequences of them.
Now, I am not an expert on the BDSM lifestyle although I do know a little about it. I know that there are people in the BDSM community who detest this movie and the books because it is not an accurate depiction of the lifestyle. This may be completely true, I’ve never known of any Dom/Sub that actually went through with a legally binding contract like Christian and Ana do in the story. What I do know is that true BDSM is never abuse; it is always consenting and everyone that I have ever had the chance of meeting from within this community goes to great strides to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all involved. If the truth be told, although the person in the submissive role has chosen to enter this role on their own it is the submissive who holds the control of the situation at all times, with a simple word or gesture all play can and does come to an end until the submissive is again comfortable with the situation.
Today, I read an article on line in which Olympian Lolo Jones goes to great strides to blast the film and books as well as members of the BDSM lifestyle. I applaud Ms. Jones for having the moral fortitude to remain a virgin in this day and time but for her to take to social media and basically shame an entire group of people, well, way to not cast the first stone there. She is quoted from her Twitter feed as having said, “…God didn’t create sex for that purpose…”. Ok, so since you and God are on a daily speaking scheduled, what did he create sex for? Procreation would be the standard answer and yes, you would be correct, it was created for procreation but I somehow doubt that the Lord created this act expecting us to never find some pleasure in it, otherwise our bodies would not have been designed to experience an orgasm. So, my thought process is that if he created us to feel orgasms and planned for us to enjoy the act of sex then why would he frown upon our exploration of such an act and what brings us pleasure?
There is nothing wrong with basic “vanilla” sex and if this is what you enjoy then bravo, however, there is also absolutely nothing wrong with exploring all avenues of sex, weather it be the addition of watching a porn video as foreplay to adding a few toys to the mix to exploring your darker side with some role playing or a little bondage. If you discover though the course of this exploration that something does not tickle your fancy then there is no harm in having found out but to go your entire life wondering what it would be like to experience something and then miss out on the chance to discover something that would bring you some pleasure, well, that to me is a travesty.
Basically, what it boils down to is what happens between two consenting adults in the privacy of their home (or in an accepting safe environment) is between them and no one else. It is never anyone’s place to pass judgment on what someone decides to do, even if it is something that you yourself find abhorrent. There is but one judge in this world and he died on a cross some 2000 years ago so until you learn how to walk on water keep your sanctimony and your hands to yourself.


The Ghost of Christmas Past

16 Dec

Can I just say that I am shocked and appalled at the moment! After reading a recent comment thread on a post from an old high school friend of mine I was completely disheartened to find that there are so many modern parents who are skewing the notion of Santa and therefore depriving their children of a traditional childhood rite of passage.

The post started off innocent enough, just a curious mom wondering about what age her friends were when they stopped believing in Santa Claus; somehow it took a turn from there.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with logic and reality but at some point enough is enough.  Said friend admits that her daughter really doesn’t get the concept of Christmas yet (in all honestly she is probably still a little young to fully grasp it) but she also touched on another point for a different blog I have been working on so, Voila! The Girl in the Black Flip Flops brings you a twofer special today!

My friend also eludes that her daughters lack of Santa knowledge is possibly due to her own lack of care to decorate for the holiday finding it all “a hassle for short term fun”   Where have I heard this similar sentiment recently?  Oh! That’s right! A lovely little piece written by a one Hannah Bird of the Nauvoo Times, an LDS blog site featuring Ender’s Game author, Orson Scott Card.  In this blog, Ms. Bird speaks of the dangers of the recently found holiday tradition of the Elf on the Shelf.  Now, if Ms. Birds objections to this holiday past time were of a religious nature then I might be inclined to turn the other cheek; however, it seems that her chief complaint with the doll is that it adds even more pressure to keep up with the Jones to already over worked woman around the globe.  And here we have come full circle back to my friend who finds holiday decorating, “a hassle for short term fun.”

Oh, I am beginning to think that quiz I took the other day on Facebook to find my real age was right because I feel very old at the moment.  Maybe it’s because these women have this precious gift that I myself was denied in having children, and as luck would have it, small children.  Maybe it’s just that I have watched Fiddler on the Roof a few too many times and can hear Tevye singing Tradition in the back of my head but I can’t help but feel like somewhere along the way we have lost our sense of the wonder and mystery that is this time of year.  It is not just my friend and her lack of enthusiasm for adorning the Christmas tree, after all, I myself have opted for a small table top Charlie Brown tree my mom bought me as a gag gift a couple of years back for the last few years.  It’s that there are so many of the commenter’s that feel the same way.  When did we stop taking time to foster imagination in our children?  It shouldn’t be about how tired you are at the end of the day or how much you have left to do, it should be about seeing that look on your child’s face the next morning when she rushes though the house in search of what mischief your elf has been up to while she slept.  It should be about the excitement of your son as he races to the tree on Christmas morning in hopes of finding that one special gift he has had his heart set on for weeks now.  It’s the look of pure joy, innocence and adoration that make it worth it to me.  No matter how tired my parents were there was one thing I could always count on in my house and that was that Santa would come and eat the cookies I left for him and that even if everything in the world was going wrong, come December, I would always remember that I had a family that loved me and I had a place to always call home.  I could only tell you a handful of the things I ever got for Christmas, only the most memorable stick out in my head to this day, but as I have gotten older it is those warm and fuzzy feelings that I cling to.  To this day, I have yet to miss the local NBC news on Christmas Eve (even though we only watch FOX or ABC the rest of the year) to see Santa on the radar.  There has only been one or two Christmas Eve’s that I have missed driving through the neighborhood looking at the Christmas lights.  We still only open one gift on Christmas Eve (Usually the PJ’s that mom has stashed for us somewhere) and there are still Christmas cookies for Santa and the reindeer, even if Santa is in Heaven now.

Having children is about sacrifice.  When you have them, your life is no longer really about you anymore.  Those children become your world.  What I would give to have that opportunity that so many seem ready to squander away.  It’s not even really a matter of Jesus vs. Santa either; we always knew the reason for the season and Mom was always there to remind us what we were really celebrating, but without that magical wonder that my parents cultivated in me and my brother, I don’t really think that we would be the caring, sensitive people that we are today.  Maybe if we taught our children how to dream and believe in magic again this world wouldn’t be such a cold and callous place to live anymore.

The Facts of Life

31 Oct

Abraham Lincoln once said,

                “You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time.”

This inevitable fact of life was driven home for me earlier this week.  I made the mistake of sharing a blog that I had just written and posted on my blog site for all the world to see on the Facebook feed of a Fat Acceptance group that I was a member of;  yet the crushing blow came not from a nameless, faceless internet troll but from a comrade in arms.  It was the deciding factor in a long and sometimes painful coming of age for me.

I will not rehash the aforementioned blog here (If you want to read it, here is the link to it) I will summarize by saying it involved a night out at a country-western dance club, my wonderful and too damn sexy for his own good boyfriend, me and several girls who made it known throughout the night that I was not good enough for him and that he should be with someone like them because, after all, they were beautiful and I was not.

Upon sharing this blog with my fellow fatties, believing that there would be camaraderie and sisterhood and all that other mumbo jumbo I promptly had a bucket of very cold water dumped on my head as I was informed by a member (and might I add moderator) of this group that I had just devalued my boyfriend by referring to him as a prize to be won.  I want to share with you the conversation that occurred between myself and her and various other members of this group so that you can make a call for yourself;

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Now, if this had been the first time something like this has happened in this group I could have turned the other cheek and rolled my eyes and said ok, whatever; but this was not the first time that something like this has happened and it made me really rethink my involvement in these kinds of groups.  The purpose behind me joining this group was to have a foundation of support in my fight against sizeism yet here I am defending myself and my point of view against someone with the same small mindedness as all the sheep out there just in reverse.  It was, needless to say, a giant slap in the face to come to the final conclusion that this was not a membership that wished to associate myself with any longer.  After all, 9 times out of 10, the members of this group came across as hard core, almost militant feminists so it should have come as no surprise to me that my more traditional, conservative point of views would clash and lead to battles like these, except this was the first time it had led to a battle like this.  In the past, at the slightest hint of conflict I would tuck tail and run not wanting to be the bad guy but this time I had a vested interest in the conflict, after all, it was my personal experience that was being disparaged.

So, since I recognized that I was fighting a losing battle by trying to defend myself in the ensuing comments and since I saw that my foe was the type of person who needed to have the ultimate last word, I made a conscious decision and just stopped.  I made a decision that it was pointless to argue with someone who refused to see the world past the end of their own nose and that any point that I tried to make was just going to be wasted on her.  I copied the comments and promptly deleted myself from this and other drama wrapped groups.

This was the day that I left the Fat Acceptance movement.  I realized that underneath the well meaning cause that these women had taken up was a underlying snarkiness that would never allow them to prevail in this cause because they were, for the most part, unable or unwilling to lay down their selfishness for the better good.  I still believe in everything that I believed in before this day, I just don’t believe in this particular sect of the movement any longer.

I understand now that, like me, most of these women grew up in a society that crapped on them and fed them lies to belittle them, to shove them into a corner, no make them go away.  Most of these women did not have a strong foundation of family and friends to support them in their self discovery and so, now, most of these women haven’t the first clue when it comes to what a healthy, functional relationship really is or how to sustain one once they have found it.  Most all of the women that I have come in contact with during my time in these groups have formed such a wall around themselves that they almost demand complete independence from any outside force, they feel that they are the captain and sole master of their destiny and I’m sorry, but nothing can function if you are unwilling to step back and be weak for just a moment and allow someone else to be strong for you.  Most of these women have convinced themselves that they do not need outside validation but how can that be when it is human nature to crave love and compassion and companionship?   These things go hand in hand with one another.  And while I will agree that “…external factors should not be the sole measure of one’s worth” I also believe that no man is an island and that without those external factors you can not be a completely whole person.

Not everyone that I encountered in these groups were bad, I have come away having met some pretty awesome people but, to quote a line from the prophet Madea,

“Only two places on this earth you’re gonna have peace, your grave and your house. Now if you wake up in your house and you’ve got no peace something is wrong. “

This Time the Fat Girl Won!

28 Oct

Dear girl staring at me wondering what he is doing with me,

Yeah, I see you staring .  I can see the wheels turning in your head as you look me up and dothe time the fat girl wonwn with your judgmental glances as you try to figure out what he is doing with this fat girl when he could so obviously have his choice of any girl in this place.  I know you are staring at him too, trying to catch his attention, trying to flirt with your eyes, trying to nonchalantly suggest to him that he come over and talk with you.  I also know that if I was to look away long enough you would discretely slip him your number and maybe even, not so discretely, give him a little peak at what would be waiting for him.

There was a time when I would be intimidated by you and your obvious lack of class and your flagrant disregard for that ring on a very important finger.  There was a time when I would have backed down and almost handed him over to you with a ribbon on his head.  There was a time when I would have gone home and worried and cried over not being “pretty” enough to make him stay.

Those days are gone.

You see, this tall drink of water that gets to spend the next hour or two as your eye candy, well, he is coming home with me.  That’s right; he IS coming home with me, just like he does every night and has done every night for the last two years.  That is the difference between a man and a boy and make no mistake, just because that buff hunk of masculinity that you fawn all over at the gym may have the body of a Greek god, does not make him a man.  A boy is concerned with appearances and putting on a show to fit in; a man, he is concerned with substance, more than just the vapid dissection of Kanye’s proposal to Kim.  He looks to see who will be a good mother for his children, who will raise them with morals and values, he is concerned with finding someone who will be there with him through thick and thin and not just till the money runs out.

You ask yourself what he sees in me and I will tell you, he sees me.  He sees my heart and my soul; he sees what is under all the pretentiousness and make up and he is mature enough to understand what truly matters at the end of the day.  So, while at one time you and your seemingly flawless perfection would have had me quivering in my flip flops, now it just amuses me.  I get to sit back and have a good laugh with my sexy beau at your expense, secure in the knowledge that stare and flirt as you might you are not even a blip his radar.


This time the fat girl won!

Thanks for Playing Our Game Today!

26 Oct

winnerJust to the west of the city of Ft. Worth there sits the small community of Aledo, Texas.  This close-knit community of less than 1800 people has been embroiled in a controversy these past few weeks centered around the Aledo High School football team.  One would think when they hear this that perhaps the team is playing ineligibleble players or there is a steroids scandal but one would be wrong.  What else could it be you ask?  Well, it seems that the Aledo High School football team wins too much.

You read that right, they win too much, and not only that but they win by large margins.  In fact, every game this season has been a large margin of victory and this unbalance in power is where this story begins.   It’s a typical October Friday night in Texas, the stadium lights are shining bright on the Bearcat Stadium, its Band Parent night and the crowds in the stands are cheering on the undefeated home team.  Opponent Western Hills High from West Ft. Worth is having a bad season so far, having lost all of their games to date but no one expected this kind of blow out.

Coach Buchanan, after scoring an uncontested 28 points in the first quarter of play, makes the decision to pull his first string players and keep the ball on the ground for the rest of the game.  He searches his brain to try and make this a fair fight, doing everything but telling his boys to take a knee.  When the dust had settled Aledo walked away with a 91-0 victory over the Western Hills Cougars, it wasn’t until the next day when it hit the fan.   A lone parent from Western Hills, a Father of one of the players struggling with the words to console his son after the game, files a complaint on the Western Hills HS website alleging that the lopsided victory was, in fact, nothing more than a case of bullying.

This father, and I am sure others who opted to keep silent, wondered why the Aledo coaching staff didn’t ease up when it was so obviously clear that the game was in the bag.  Why did they not have mercy on these boys who were so clearly out of their league.  Despite the fact that support has been overwhelmingly in favor of the Aledo team the controversy has gotten me to thinking about exactly what message we are sending our children.  It occurs to me that there are lists of a words and phrases that are red flagged as trigger words and should one of those words dared to be uttered then we immediately jump to conclusions and cry that the sky is falling.  More often than not we are over sensitized to bullying and the consequences of it.  Don’t get me wrong, I realize that bullying has come a long way from the name calling and snickers of my childhood, with the popularity of social media and the vast array of technology available to our children there is no escaping the reach of the school yard bully.  However, with that said, at some point we need to teach our children to have a thick skin about things.  Do I still get my feelings hurt as a grown woman?  Sure I do but now I have the perspective to know that words are just that and only have the power to do what I give them.  Because of this we have raised a generation of whiny over sensitive people who are so concerned about being fair that they are not concerned about what is right.

In this case, the Aledo football team has worked hard to get where they are, undefeated and surely heading to state championships in the next few weeks.  Is it right to look these boys in the face and tell them that they need to play down to a team that, for all intents and purposes, appears to have not worked as hard which is evidenced by their winless season so far?  Is it right to tell the Western Hills football players that Aledo is just a big bad school yard bully picking on the weak?  At this rate we might as well hand these boys their worthless participation trophies and send them packing off to college unprepared for the injustices that await them in the real world.  Instead of teaching these kids that hard work pays off and that as long as you know you have tried your absolute best then there is nothing to be ashamed of we are telling them that when things don’t go your way all you have to do is pout and cry the loudest about how unfair it is and someone will step up and change the rules halfway through the game.

NEWSFLASH PEOPLE!! Life is not fair, it never has been.  If it was I would have inherited my millions by now and be retired on some mountain top and never have to work another day in my life.  By handling this generation with kid gloves we have done them a major disservice and in turn have performed a disservice to our nation by not preparing the next generation of leaders to make the hard choices when someone will surely have to make them.  When did we stop valuing hard work and how to we start to value it again?

An Homage to Autumn

22 Sep

Fall has arrived.239-sun-through-leaves

Well, almost; its close enough really to get me in the spirit.  This is, after all, my most favorite time of year.  I can practically smell the wonderfulness that is fall; I can feel the crisp air in my bones.  I wait all year for this and finally it is here.

What are a few more lingering warm days of summer when the state fair is less than a week away?  Hay rides and hoodies are waiting for me in the weeks to come.  Hot cocoa and the sound of leaves crunching beneath my feet are just within reach.

Soon, everywhere I look I will see the familiar comfort of orange and browns all around me.  It will be time to pack away the tank tops (and, dare I say flip flops) in exchange for long sleeves and socks that will bring me back to the cozy reminders of long distant childhood memories.  Any day now I will smell the inviting scents of that miraculous time of year, the delicious smells of cinnamon and pumpkin, turkey and yams.  Even more familiar the musty smell of damp barnyards and the sweet smell of fresh cut hay as it is baled for the upcoming winter.

Soon, it will be hay rides and pumpkin patches, festivals and parades, laughter and bittersweet memories of the once lush and lazy summer that has morphed into the fresh promise of new beginnings.

Ahh, autumn, my old friend…you have come back to me at last.

Dear Daughter: The Postscript

29 Aug

Dear Daughter: The Postscript.