An Update on “A Letter to Local Media”

Sunday was a productive day for me. I spent the afternoon in a coffee shop writing. I wrote in my journal, composed several blog posts, and then dashed of an email to a local news organization over a troubling news article. Whew boy did my blogging of the email produce so much havoc. I need a time turner so I can go back in time, give less fucks, and have my peacefulness restored. You can read my email published on Fig and Thistle here. I’ve not deleted comments, so you can see how things… got intense.

Here’s what those of you not friends with me on Facebook didn’t see. Come to find out the reporter is young and fresh out of college. Those comments on my original post are from her boyfriend. To make matters worse we are both alumna from the same university and have mutual acquaintances and friends. Messy indeed.

After the 4Chan threat I did call the police. My mama bear side was worried that this young man, in anger, would release information about me to the glee of misogynistic trolls. Ain’t nobody got time for that. The police officer was nice, but wholly uneducated about internet harassment. Lucky for me I have smart, savvy, knowledgeable friends. I at least knew how to document everything in case I did need a restraining order (keep in mind, dude buddy is local).

I contacted the news establishment twice after the original email. They responded to my first email with a “thank-you-we-value-your-opinion-really-not-really” response. When I contacted them the second time and emphasized the harassment I was receiving I got a much better response. The head of the newsroom read my blog post, all of the comments, and said they were completely restructuring how they reported on interviews.

I am no longer being harassed and I managed to make myself heard.

I’m also fucking exhausted. This “incident” occurred about a week after I had some things to say about sexist jokes from the pulpit of a church I was attending. There was some fallout. I had my ass handed to me by some lovely “church members” and a long – very nice – email from my preacher that I emphatically disagree with pretty much 100%. The week before a homeless, mentally ill woman was being mocked by some young men and yours truly had to call the cops – who did NOTHING – and intervene.

Why is social justice and free speech and equality just a big deal. If racism, sexism, homophobia, income equality, poverty, hate, greed, etc… do not exist, PLEASE TELL ME WHY PEOPLE FREAK THE FUCK OUT WHEN I POINT OUT THINGS.

This is just to say that:

I CANNOT EVEN.

cannotevengiphyNO MORE BULLSHIT

BULLSHIT

FRESH OUT OF BOTHERS

BOTHERS

FUCK ITFINGERI’m tired. I’m spent.

I’m taking a social justice warrior break. I’m going to lounge in oblivion and write about novels, my kids,and yarn. Back to pictures of coffee cups, muffin recipes, and ridiculous selfies. All of those drafts of mini-essays on feminism, equality, etc.. never going to see the light of day.

Am I a coward? Nope. I figure the best way I can pursue activism is I am going to raise the hell out of my kids. My three kids are going to grow up appreciating equality; that’s right. I have your quiverfull right here… quiverfull of big-hearted-empowered-liberal-kiddos. Writing letters to dunderheads isn’t working and it is increasing my anxiety. Loving my kiddos and showing them that drinking the haterade isn’t cool? I’m down with that.

dropmic

peace

Summer TBR 2015

Summer TBR 2015

My TBR for the summer. A large neo-Victorian novel, graphic novels, plenty of Shirley Jackson, a bleak novel set in Iceland, a continuation of Forsyte family drama, a novel on my Virago list, and a children’s classic. Talk about variety.

So how did I do on my spring TBR? I finished 7 out of 12 books, not too shabby?

What are your summer reading plans?
goodreads.com

Head Case: My Brain and Other Wonders by Cole Cohen

A hole in your brain the size of a lemon can cause anxiety, confuse you from telling your right from your left, lead you to misjudge distance, and leave the concept of time incomprehensible. There is a chance you will spend your childhood and most of your adulthood trying to mask your problems, be misdiagnosed with a battery of learning disabilities, cause family strife, and above all require tenacity and spunk to navigate your seemingly quirky self in a chaotic world. Cole Cohen tells you exactly what having a hole in the brain is like with wit and candor in her memoir Head Case: My Brain and Other Wonders.

Never before have I read a memoir that so precisely allowed me to experience a host of memories and emotions that are not mind in such a funny, intimate, and educational manner. We follow Cohen from her brain scan in her mid-twenties, back in time through her struggles as a child, her college education, and the difficulty of work and “adulting” when concepts like time and distance are imperceptible. Relationships with co-workers, boyfriends, family, and friends have their challenges and Cohen constantly tries to navigate a balance between allowing people to help her and asserting her independance. Western and Eastern medicine, philosophy and science, and large does of creativity are coping mechanisms and highlights how little we humans know about the science of the brain.

What I enjoyed most about this memoir is Cohen’s highlighting of what it is like to be someone with an “unseen” handicap or differing ability. As one with PTSD, anxiety, and chronic depression I have difficulty articulating to others how I can look fine, but have a brain working against me. Many of the coping skills Cohen details in her memoir like (DBT therapy) I have used to help me function.

With her tenacity and positive outlook Cole Cohen offers so much hope to those who struggle with quirky brains. The writing is effervescent and inspiring; a 5 star read!

~~~~~~~~~~~~

This book was released by Henry Holt and Company in May of this year. The publisher provided a copy in exchange for an honest review.  

A Letter to Local Media

This is in regards to this “gem” of an article on Access North GA.

“I am writing in regards to the article about abortion rates written by Ms. Alyson Shields. This is single-handly the most skewed reporting I have read in local media in years.

First of all I think it is appropriate to disclose that the director of Choices, Ann Gainey, is the wife of Al Gainey – a community member who has had a longstanding relationship with WDUN both on-air and off-air. This creates a blatant conflict of interest and deserves some disclosure within the article.
Also, the article only reviews the opinions of an incredibly biased, religious-based source. By simply interviewing or discussing decreased abortion rates with Planned Parenthood or the CDC  would have created more balance.
The reasons Ms. Gainey has cited are rooted in bias. Abortion rates are indeed down, but the reasons are not those cited by Gainey. Sex education, more access to birth control, over-the-counter availablity of Plan B, and access to women’s health care and free birth control thanks to the Affordable Care Act have decreased abortion rates.
I feel this pathetic piece of “journalism” Ms. Shields has written warrants a more balanced perspective. I expect to see a retraction and a new article with  the element of research, quailty of journalism, and an eye to truth. I will be sharing my email to you on social media.
It should also be noted that leading scientists in women’s health and mental health decry the false information and shaming provided by these “crisis pregnancy centers” (check out the article by Bryant et al, in the peer-reviewed journal Contraception published in 2014). This a start, but any investigation into current scientific or public health literature refutes crisis pregnancy center claims.”
Share the hell out of this.

Capsule Wardrobe Additions: Inspiration

I assessed my current wardrobe and after donating three trash bags of clothing I was left with 22 items: 12 tops, one skirt, two pairs of pants, three dresses, one cardigan, one pair of ballet flats, and a pair of turquoise converses. I also kept three pairs of pants and three shirts that are slouchy and comfortable and those are for house cleaning, playing outside, and getting messy with crafts or baking. Also a pair of flip flops and two pairs of fake Toms for around the house.

The pieces I need to buy are three tops, two skirts, one pair of pants, one dress, one cardigan, and two pairs of shoes. That will give me 32 items and endless combinations. Because I live in Georgia it shouldn’t be to hard to modify my wardrobe for the autumn. Adding more cardigans and fleece tights usually does the trick.

Now how the hell am I going to pay for this. Whelp, I have a $50 giftcard for Payless so my shoes will come from there, but the Modcloth shoes are inspiration. I have some Old Navy coupons and they are usually good on sales. The ModCloth items will be the most, but worth it. I picked up some extra cash doing some freelance writing and when that check hits it is earmarked for clothes for me.

This will mark the first time I’ve bought clothing (excepting $68 I spent on bras and panties last month) since March of 2014 when I spent less than $100 on sucky Lane Bryant clearance clothes. Most of those clothes I ditched in the purge.

Can I just throw-out that I feel profoundly priveleged and vapid with spending money on clothing for myself? Seriously, I feel weird. But hey, pretty colors and materials…. ohhhhh… ahhhhhh…. Also, one last note, why is it so damn difficult to find beautiful shades of plum?

Capsule Wardrobe additions

Dress
modcloth.com

Red top
modcloth.com

Yellow top
modcloth.com

Top
modcloth.com

Old Navy skinny pants
oldnavy.gap.com

INDIE HAIR shoes
modcloth.com