2014 in Review

Yes, I do realize it’s over a week into 2015. Whatever. A writer I follow does this wrap-up every year. I meant to steal it from her last year, but I forgot. I like it so I’m going to do it now.

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?

Traveled to the Middle East. Took a cruise! Made Mr. Lyndsy commit to a lifetime with me. Moved to the Middle East and became a resident of a country besides the US. Became self-employed.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I’m not sure I even made any. I’m sure I thought about making some, but I am pretty sure I didn’t actually finish anything. I always mean to write more than I do. I know I wanted to self-publish a novel in 2014 and that didn’t happen either. I was supposed to do a half-marathon which also didn’t happen and isn’t likely to ever happen at this point.

I won’t be making any for 2015. I know a lot of people like them and I have a friend who said it gives her a chance to recommit to things. I appreciate that, but I’m not feeling it this year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No. I know people who had kids last year and I see them on the internets – super cute, the lot of them.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Not close to me, but a friend’s son passed away and it was really hard to see it happen. He was born with a congenital heart defect and they just couldn’t help him. He was 10 months old and a really happy kid. Everyone who met him, virtually or in real life, was touched by him.

5. What countries did you visit?

Stopped off in the Bahamas on the cruise, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates. Mr. Lyndsy and I were supposed to go to Brazil to visit his family but his work schedule sucked. Hopefully this year we’ll get there and some other places!

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?

Better health and more peace. I’m getting used to the fact that I can’t pick up my foot (except for tripping a few times in December, landing on your knee in a bumpy parking lot sucks) and the pain that I’m still having in my back and leg. It’s frustrating but I’m really trying to just roll with it. I managed to get my student loans to a reasonable amount so I can stop stroking out about money. Being self-employed is great but the taxes are a bitch.

7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

January 3 – Mr. Lyndsy left the US to fly back home and I sobbed forever because I missed him so much.

January 28 – The day my back went out and the last pain-free day I’ve had.

February 22-24 – Fun times at Disney with Joanne and her sister while watching them do a half-marathon!

March 10 – Flight to Qatar to see Mr. Lyndsy

March 19 – Spinal fusion – YUCK

May 5 – First cruise with an awesome friend. Thought I’d had being on the boat for that long but it wasn’t all bad. Quite relaxing actually.

June 28 – Mr. Lyndsy didn’t return any of my calls or texts so I started freaking out that he was run over by one of the crazy drivers here. Turns out he was flying in early to surprise me!

July 2 – Married Mr. Lyndsy!

July 16 – Moved to Qatar

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Yikes, I don’t think I really achieved anything. The half-marathon would have been one hell of an achievement. Perhaps moving across the world counts. Trying to get my life into four suitcases was kind of a big accomplishment for me. OH! I traveled to Dubai by myself! International travel still freaks me out so the fact that I got there and to my destination by myself impressed me.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I found myself turning into a more judgmental person than I like to be. When I saw very clearly what was happening, I pulled myself out of social media and just chilled out.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Oh. My. God. Yes. When my back went out on January 28 I wanted to die. It hurt SO much. I got to the doctor and a massage pretty quickly and I thought things would turn around shortly after that. Not so much. The pain didn’t let up and I started having numbness in my leg, which I knew was a very bad sign. Less than two months later I had a spinal fusion that didn’t go as planned. Now I have foot drop in my right foot and pain in both my leg and back.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Tough call. I’m wearing some really awesome pajama pants from Target, so they come to mind first. The iPhone was great so I could FaceTime with Mr. Lyndsy while we were apart and it’s helped me keep in touch with friends and family since moving. Pretty happy with my Wii U and Mario Kart 8.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Mr. Lyndsy, for sure. He was so supportive after the surgery and recovery. He made sure I had flowers on Valentine’s Day (which meant buying a second set since the first got delayed) and a practical gift to make my life easier. He showed up early to surprise me before we got married. He’s also been great as I adjust to living in the fucking desert.

My mom did pretty well with me getting married and moving away. No complete breakdowns or anything.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Mine, for damn sure. I don’t know what the hell happened to me during part of the year, but I did NOT like what I saw.

Also, what the hell is wrong with people? All over the internet I saw people who just have no respect or regard for their fellow human beings.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Fucking student loans. At least that shit is resolved. Also, no more crazy spending on my credit cards.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Getting married, seeing Joanne TWICE in one year!, cruising with my girl S, having so many people come celebrate my life with Mr. Lyndsy, meeting Mr. Lyndsy’s family and his godmother NOT hating me (she still scares me a little), my family being super supportive after my surgery.

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?

All of Me by John Legend. It was the song that really defines my relationship with Mr. Lyndsy.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

  • happier or sadder? Happier
  • thinner or fatter? About the same I think but I feel better.
  • richer or poorer? Richer all around.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Taking it easy. Work was really stressful and I focused on that instead of my health. Also, I wish I’d saved money better.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

I wish I’d spent less money. Things are definitely looking up now, but if I’d been better I wouldn’t have been as stressed at the end of the year. However, I wouldn’t take back any of the trips to Disney or the cruise, so, I don’t know.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

My mom flew in for a visit and we did Christmas Eve with some friends of Mr. Lyndsy’s family. It was actually quite a bit like spending it with our family – same gift exchange game. My favorite Christmases are the ones where I go to the movies and just chill out with friends and some family.

21. Did you fall in love in 2014?

Yes-ish. I’d already fallen in love with Mr. Lyndsy, but it still grows every day.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

I don’t watch a ton of TV anymore, but Mr. Lyndsy had a bunch of back seasons of Criminal Minds, Person of Interest, Hawaii Five-O, NCIS: Los Angeles, and The Mentalist. I’ve really enjoyed all of those.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No hatred here.

24. What was the best book you read?

That’s a tough question. I read a lot of books and I really enjoyed a lot of them. However, no one book stands out as being particularly awesome.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

John Legend. I do realize I’m behind with him, but it’s cool.

26. What did you want and get?

Mr. Lyndsy is now permanently attached to me. Pretty fucking awesome.

27. What did you want and not get?

Stupid, but an iPhone 6. I miss having a bigger phone. Also, I didn’t get magically healed. That would have been exceptional.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

How to Train Your Dragon 2 was AWESOME. I cried. A lot. Also, Guardians of the Galaxy was pretty fucking fantastic. Any film that has the expression “pelvic sorcery” is going to get high marks from me.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Thirty-fucking-three. I went to dinner with Mr. Lyndsy and a friend of ours to a Mexican restaurant with the most offensively hilarious menu I’ve ever seen. Then to Cold Stone for Cake Batter ice cream!

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

I’m not sure anything would have made it more satisfying. It was a pretty satisfying year. Obviously I hoped for a better outcome with my surgery but I don’t know that it made my life less satisfying.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?

Lazy and comfortable because that’s how I roll. Most days now I don’t get out of my pajamas. Working from home has its benefits.

32. What kept you sane?

Mr. Lyndsy, my friends, family, Disney trips.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Who are we all kidding? Benedict Cumberbatch.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

The killings of black men by cops and the ridiculousness that came after. People need to get their heads out of their asses.

35. Who did you miss?

My friends. After the surgery I wasn’t able to get out and about as much. Less dinners and movies out. Now that I live 8000+ miles away, I really miss a lot of my friends!

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Mr. Lyndsy’s friend N. She is a TRIP and she’s been a great friend since I moved here.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.

Things aren’t always/ever going to go as we plan/want them to. Even still, if we keep going, shit finds a way to work itself out.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

“And even better, I get to be the other half of you.”

Gifts that shouldn’t make anyone’s holiday wish list…

Since it’s the season for gift giving, I just want to throw some things out there that no one should be buying. Under any circumstances.

1. Haribo Sugar-free Gummy Bears

Sugar Free Gummies

These will ruin your stomach if you eat more than five. And everyone eats more than five, because they’re tiny and delicious. I’m not sure what’s in them that causes such digestive issues, but take it from me and my personal experience. You don’t want to eat these. Unless you’re constipated and desperate to change that.

2. Taxidermy Pikachu Mouse

Taxidermied Pikachu

I appreciate being Pikachu’s fan. But I think this takes things a bit too far…

3. Taxidermy Meerkat

Meerkat Meerkat 2

I think this is actually going to give me nightmares.

 

4. Make Your Own Vagina Mold

Mold Vagina

Uh, right. I haven’t figured out why this exists yet. I also can’t believe it would work all that well or that it could be all that safe.

5. Edible Chocolate Anus (The Anus that Made Britain Great)

edible-anus

(Image)

I don’t think I’ll ever look at chocolate the same way again. Also, was there a model for this anus? If so, who was it? I’m not sure that would change my opinion on whether it should exist, but they’re fair questions.

What have you seen that you wouldn’t give anyone, ever?

Just Say No to Societal Pressure

Just over a year ago I met Mr. Lyndsy. I was 32 and not sure it would ever happen. I had more or less accepted the possibility that I could be single forever. That sounds bleak, but I really believed that if that’s what was meant to be, my life would be full of other amazing things.

It was hard to get to that place. Something happens to single women when we turn 30. I’m not even talking about the ticking of the biological clock. You look around you and realize that the vast majority of your female friends are either engaged, married, pregnant, or have kids. Well-meaning family and friends are constantly asking when we’ll be walking down the aisle, or, if it’s my parents, “When am I going to get some grandchildren?” (Getting married or a significant other was optional as long as there were grandchildren. My mom even once told me, “Now would be a good time in my life for you to have kids.”) My poor grandmother’s face when my cousins and I are like, “Yeah not sure when or if there will be kids.” You’d think we told her we’d killed my grandfather and added his body parts to a stew we served her.

And the way my dad asked, it was like he thought I was intentionally avoiding finding someone to be with. Like I was purposefully withholding grandchildren. So I got a dog. My mother refused to be called “Grandma.” I pointed out that Buddy may be the only grandchild she got, so she should learn to love it. She wasn’t buying it though she did love the little guy quite a bit.

There is a lot of societal pressure on women to “settle down” and have populate the planet. Yes, we want to propagate the species, but the timeline we’re asked to be on these days is a little crazy. To ask us to have that going on or done by about 30 is too much. We are going to college in record numbers. There are more women in college than men these days. Being 30 and married with multiple children was a lot easier when people weren’t going to college like we do now. College is a process of exploration. By immersing yourself in it, you learn all kinds of things about yourself and it changes what you’re interested in and often what you’re looking for in a significant other. Chances are good the person you’re with then won’t be the guy you marry, especially if you go on to get another degree.

Not to mention that you just don’t have time. I wasn’t one of them, but I knew a lot of people who dedicated significant amounts of time to going to class and studying. When I went to the law school orientation they stated explicitly that if we were not in relationships we shouldn’t get in one, if we could cut ties with people in our lives it would be a good idea. At least one marriage that I know about ended during the first year of law school. Couples broke up. It’s a tough process where the professors try to strip you of your humanity and empathy. It’s probably a little like dating a serial killer. A good friend of mine wouldn’t even consider dating while he was in dental school because of the amount of work he had to do and pressure he was under. I’ve also seen the same when people go to medical school.

That’s how you end up 30 and still single. Once you get out of school at 26, 27, or 28 you get shoved into some crazy job where you work 60+ hours per week to prove yourself, maybe to yourself, almost definitely to your employers. A couple years out of law school I was working 80 hour weeks and was in grad school full-time. Dating was’t so much an option then. Grabbing a bite to eat outside of my apartment became a luxury.

So here we are, 30, single, and maybe getting a chance to start dating. Guys our age aren’t as worried as we are. After all, they can have kids in their 40s and it’s not a big deal. We’re scrambling to find a decent date; see if we can get something going. Also, it’s not like we’re going to strike gold the first time out either. “You have to kiss a lot of frogs to meet your prince.” Sad, but true.

If we’re lucky, by 32 or 33 we’re with someone who’s got long-term potential. By now we’re attending at least 2 or 3 bridal showers per year. Whether we want kids or not it’s a little like torture because everyone is asking when we’ll be popping out some spawn. We suppress the urge to suffocate everyone who asks with the toilet paper and candy bars that act as diapers and baby poop. Our significant others can’t figure out why we’re suddenly losing our shit when we get taken out for a romantic dinner and there’s no proposal. Or yet another anniversary comes and goes without a ring.

If everyone could back off with the questions we might be able to maintain some semblance of sanity. For those of us who want marriage and children, we already feel it. We get a reminder every year on our birthdays. We’re watching the clock tick down, knowing we aren’t where we want to be. The best thing anyone can do is be supportive of the choices we’ve made and when we freak out, remind us that we’re on the paths we’re meant to be on, and that we’re making a difference being who we are.

 

1

When last I checked, I am not cattle

I don’t know if you know this about me, but, I’m not cattle. Despite the obviousness of that statement, it doesn’t appear that the government here gets that. Allow me to explain.

I suppose it all started because fraud was sort of running rampant here in Qatar. It was pretty easy to get a loan and once people had them, they’d take the money, just walk off their jobs and leave the country. There was nothing that could really be done about it. People would go buy a Ferrari for the week or weekend and abandon it at the airport. To fix that, they started requiring Exit Permits before someone could leave the country. The employer has to give the okay which is usually a guarantee that someone is coming back. (This only applies to someone who is working here and sponsored by a company. I will be able to come and go as I please.)

Also, per the rules, expats who come work here are entitled to accommodations or accommodation pay. It’s part of the contract. People who get married get a bump in compensation to cover the cost of housing the spouse and the same thing happens when kids come into the picture.

So we can see how this might cause a problem. “Oh yeah, I got married. More money, please!” Uh, not so fast.

Our certified marriage certificate from Florida wasn’t enough. It had to get certified by someone in the central state government, the Secretary of State, and then someone in the Qatari embassy in the US. That took… a while.

Not only that, Mr. Lyndsy had to send his DIPLOMAS through the same process. What that has to do with us getting married, I have no idea.  It also took a while. We also sent in birth certificates and something else.

That only got us so far. I had to have blood drawn to test for HIV/AIDS and to get it typed (the blood type goes on your national ID card, still haven’t figured that out), and I have to have a chest x-ray to make sure I don’t have tuberculosis. Because they make everyone do this, they have the process down somewhat efficiently. Except that you get processed a bit like cattle.

You go in, get a number and wait to get called to the registration desk. They sent me to “Room 7” where a woman scanned my barcode into the computer, wrote “OK” on it, and rudely sent me out of the room, without actually telling me where to go next. It probably doesn’t help that her English seemed to be limited to “Okay, go.”

Then I had to go back to the registration window to show that the paper said “OK.” They charged me $28 and told me, in very limited English, to follow the arrows on the floor. I looked at the paper I was holding – Laboratory and x-ray. I asked somewhere where to go and they told me again to follow the arrows. The red arrows indicated the Laboratory so that’s where I went.

I had to check in with someone else who put me in another line. I waited behind a few other women (because well, there are only women in this facility – like in a lot of the medical places, only women are allowed in certain parts, and only men in others), until a scary woman stabbed my arm for blood. She told me to “Go” when she was done. I walked back to the waiting area I’d just come from and asked where to go next. They indicated that I should follow the yellow areas to the x-ray.

In this waiting area they just tell you to sit down, in order, in a row of chairs. We got there early so I was in the front row. By now, even though I was in fleece pants, I was freezing. I don’t know if it’s because it’s so damn hot outside most of the time or what, but a lot of the buildings in here have the AC cranked so low that if you don’t think about it, you’d think it was winter outside. I didn’t have to wait long, and they called all of us into the row into a room. There were about 7 dressing rooms and they had us all take off  our tops so that we could get the chest x-rays. There were a lot of Muslim women in line with me and older Indian women and it was pretty obvious that even though it was just women, they were really uncomfortable.

As we all got into the gowns, they had us line up to wait to go into the x-ray room. Again, we stood in a line as they took x-ray after x-ray. Forget any kind of privacy about this. I got a look at at least 4 sets of x-rays. It was also a problem because the vast majority of the women in line don’t speak Arabic, and the techs don’t really speak anything else. Fortunately, there were some women in line who spoke Hindi (I think), and could help some of the older women who didn’t understand what they were being told to do.

I was thrilled to finally escape into the blazing heat. Poor Mr. Lyndsy had been standing outside waiting for me (since they wouldn’t let him in) and he was melting. We had to drive to a separate facility 15 minutes away to get my blood typing done. Big shocker, I’m still O-.

What’s crazy is that they got my results already and unsurprisingly, I’m totally clear! Now to wait for the fingerprinting. Not sure why they do that since it’s not like they’re going to do a background check on me…

I’d read about other women’s experiences with this and I was like, “Oh come on, it can’t be that bad.” But no, it really is. They do treat you like cattle. I won’t complain too much though since it’s been the smoothest part of this process so far.

 

Put Your Claws Away

For a good portion of my life, guys were my best friends. I had female friends, but I seemed to get along better with men. I rarely really stopped to think about why, just accepted it and had fun. Every now and then a female friend would say, “I’m so jealous of you that you….” It never made any sense to me, because I had always looked at whoever said it to and could immediately come up with a ton of things that they could do or that they had done that I would like to have or experience too. More often than not I was just excited to have them in my life so I could put myself in a position to have those experiences as well.

As I got older, I started to notice a trend in my friendships with women. I was friends with a lot of lesbians and women who had a good idea of who they are and what they want out of life. That reduced any kind of feelings of jealousy and meant that we could just have fun together and grow from the support we provided each other. Even still, it doesn’t come as easily as my friendships with men.

I’ve given a lot of thought to why recently and I think it has to do with our need to compete with each other.

Men Women Socialization

I have no idea who said it, but it seems accurate. And it’s a problem. A big one. What exactly are we fighting over? Why are we competing with each other? What’s our end goal?

Is it that we’ve been taught that the only way to feel good about ourselves is to make others feel worse about themselves? If everyone subscribed to that theory, the end result would be that we all feel bad about ourselves. What’s the point of that?

Comparing one woman to another is like comparing an apple to an orange. When it comes to men, some like apples and some like oranges. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with the apple or the orange. People just have their preferences, and that’s okay.

When it comes to recipes, some call for apples, some call for oranges. That doesn’t mean that the apple or the orange has more value. Just in that particularly situation, one was better for the project than another.

There’s enough room in the world for apples AND oranges. Women are at a severe disadvantage in our society. People freaked out when Lego made a scientist set that didn’t include male Legos. Why? It’s not like male Legos are ever in short supply. Women make 77% of what men make for doing the same job with the same qualifications. How does that make sense? Women are expected to control male behavior by modifying their own. They have to dress modestly so men aren’t tempted by sexual desire. They have to change how they speak and respond to something so men doesn’t feel uncomfortable instead of the men taking responsibility for themselves.

To even begin to overcome these problems, women have to work together. We have to stop with fake the compliments. We have to stop tearing each other down publicly and in private. How we think is how we act.

We need to start praising each other for our accomplishments. One woman’s accomplishment is an accomplishment for all of us. Look at the newest Nobel Peace Prize winners,  Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi. Their accomplishment has done great things for women all over the world.

Not all accomplishments have to be Nobel Peace Prize winning to matter. A promotion at work is a big deal as a lot of fields are male-dominated. Getting healthier physically and mentally is really important because it means a woman feels better and that is always a good thing. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. In a time when people thrive on tearing each other down to feel better about themselves, that link is weak indeed.

The next time a friend posts a picture of herself in a short or tight dress because she’s been working out and it feels good to her to wear clothes like that, congratulate her on her hard work instead of thinking to yourself that she’s a tramp for sharing the picture. The next time a woman you know does something new and challenging to her, don’t think about how she’s bragging, share in her accomplishment. I think we’ll all find that when we start doing that, we all feel better about ourselves. The easiest way to feel good is to share good.

Hiding from the Sun

Having grown up in the State of Florida, I thought I knew what there was to know about living in hot places. I hated almost every minute of the oppressive heat and humidity. In recent years the winters haven’t even provided much relief.

And then I moved to the Middle East desert. NOW I know what hot is. It’s almost the middle of October and it’s still over 100 degrees regularly. There’s just something not right about that. I keep hearing that things will cool off, but every time I check the forecast it just doesn’t seem to be happening. Of course, when the people here talk about the early cooling off, they mean temps regularly in the 90s, rather than hot enough to boil water.

The crazy temperatures combined with the fact that I can’t wear a pair of shorts outside means that I haven’t been out exploring the city all that much. When it cools down, I plan on heading out to get some pictures of the buildings and landscape. Of course, one flat area of the desert pretty much looks like same as another, but I’ll try to grab some pictures.

I think one of the things I’m always struck by is the number of phallic structures around. And when I get a chance, those are what I usually take pictures of. Like The Torch.

The Torch

 

And there’s more where that came from. When it stops being so damn hot outside.

Possessor of the Penis, Please Read

Hello, Possessor of the Penis!*

I do hope you’re well as you read this. It’s just me, Lyndsy, wanting to have a chat with you. I do hope you’ll read this all the way through, even though it was written by a Possessor of the Vagina.

I want to start by saying that I’m not angry. Or emotional. Or on my period. I’m putting that out there because your first inclination once you read this will likely be to comment that I must be one of those three things. Those are the usual go-tos when women express thoughts about how men interact with us.

With that out of the way, I want to share a few things with you.

  1. Emotions are normal parts of being alive. Telling a woman to calm down is telling her not to be alive. That you have trouble expressing yours is your problem, not ours. Some days, things are shit. That makes people sad sometimes. Other times it makes them angry. Just because you personally don’t understand why someone may be feeling a certain way doesn’t mean what they are experiencing is invalid. My husband spent a lot of time screaming at the screen during the World Cup, I didn’t tell him to calm down even though it’s an event that gets repeated every four years. I let him get all excited about cars and video games too. Those are his things. Let the women in your life do their thing.
  2. Contrary to popular belief, women do not sit around plotting how to accuse men of sexual assault or domestic violence simply for shits and giggles. I have never once thought about it and I have actually been the victim of both in the past. Has it happened? Yes. But, just because it has happened in the past does not mean that your favorite athlete the victim of a devious scheme. Rather than jumping to the defense of your favorite steroid-taking ego maniac, think about what the woman might have to gain. In reality, it’s not much. More thean likely, she is already feeling shame and like it was her fault. People are going to scrutinize her personal life in ways no one’s life should ever be scrutinized. Do you want national media asking you about the number of women you’ve slept with throughout the course of your life? Or about those nights you can’t remember? Didn’t think so.
  3. For all the self-proclaimed “nice guys” out there – if you’re single, there could very well be a reason for that and it likely has nothing to do with the fact that “women just like the bad boy.” Really, we don’t. However, crushing on your best friend’s girlfriend doesn’t make you a “nice guy.” It makes you an asshole who has no respect for your friend and his relationship. Being friends with a woman, cozying up to her with the hope or expectation that she will one day want to have sex with you does not make you a nice guy. It makes you a creep. Invest in a woman because you find her interesting, intelligent, fun, etc. NOT because you want to slip your meat into her love mitten.
  4. Leadership is best done when you mix traits stereotypical of men AND women. Aggression and inflexibility promote anger and distrust among a team. Your employees may perform out of fear, but they’ll perform a lot better when understanding comes into play. When discussions are had instead of lectures.
  5. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If you want to go out three nights a week to hang with your bros, then your significant other gets to do the same. If you don’t want to do laundry or mop floors, don’t expect that she does either. Households are shared responsibilities. You don’t get to slack off and expect her to do all the work. If you’ve talked about it and agreed to it, that’s fine. But if you want her to be happy, encourage her to have and pursue her own interests. I am sure you’ll find that the happier she is, the happier you are.
  6. Male privilege is a real thing. Women do seriously make less than men do, for doing the same jobs. And it’s not that women are less capable than men. What seems to be forgotten is that we need men and women doing all jobs so they get done as well as they possibly can. More perspective is better. Different ways of looking at problems. Finding things that the other can’t see because it’s outside their realm of experience.

But the real thing to think about is how much less enriched your lives would be without the women you love. Seriously, stop and think about what your life would be like if women stopped being part of it. Women are finally realizing that we should have each other’s backs and not put up with the bullshit that men have been spewing for years. If you don’t shape up, you’re going to find yourself without the women you love so much. Don’t let it happen to you.

*And yes, I realize that not all men act like jackasses. But, even if you don’t, chances are good you know someone who does. Instead of letting it slide next time, put the dipshit back in line.

Public Shaming is NOT Okay

I was ecstatic last week when the Gators managed to pull out a victory over Tennessee. Treon Harris, freshman quarterback, comes out of nowhere and the Vols are left crying in their ugly orange outfits. Unfortunately, the victory was almost immediately overshadowed by the allegation that Harris sexually assaulted a female student after returning from the game. I’m proud of how the University of Florida responded to the allegation. He was immediately suspended while the investigation was pending. This is huge at a time when other universities (yeah, I’m talking about you FSU) don’t immediately look into serious allegations like that.

The allegation has since been withdrawn by the woman who made it. Harris has been reinstated and will play today. I should be overjoyed, but I’m not. The circumstances surrounding the withdrawal make me pretty uneasy.

Harris’ attorney released a statement on Thursday, which stated that the woman and Harris had been corresponding by text message from the time the game ended until he arrived back in Gainesville that night, that they knew each other before that, and had socialized together prior that evening. But, he also included that she had been sexually intimate with someone else prior to being involved with Harris, and referred to her as a “sexual aggressor.” He detailed that a number of witnesses saw them together beforehand and that everything looked like they were having a good time. They exchanged messages the next day.

I can tell you from personal experience that that does not mean that a sexual assault did not occur.

I obviously have no idea what happened between this woman and Harris. What I do know is that Harris’ attorney shamed a woman for absolutely no reason. What she did or didn’t do with someone else prior to being involved with Harris is irrelevant. She could have slept with the entire football team before spending any time with Harris. None of that sheds any light on whether Harris sexually assaulted her. Just because a woman enjoys sex does not mean she wants to have sex with every man she meets.

Let’s say it together now. Just because a woman has multiple sexual partners does not mean she automatically consents to sex with every man.

Also, women can change their mind about whether they want to have sex with someone. Maybe the woman thought it was something she wanted to do, but when put in the situation, the idea no longer appealed to her. Maybe she thought one thing was going to happen and Harris wanted something else. No one but the two of them will ever know.

What I do know is this: Harris’ attorney made public statements about her sex life, insinuating that she was a sexually aggressive whore and that no one was going to believe what she said anyway.

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want that to happen to me or anyone I care about.