Zero Tolerance Policy Run Amok - Grieving Teenager Suspended

Sixteen-year-old Kyler Robertson's father was stabbed to death while sitting in his automobile Sunday afternoon, September 9.  Tuesday, Kyler decided to return to Byron Nelson High School, against his mother's better wishes, "to be among his friends."

Byron Nelson High School
Trophy Club, TX
Upon arriving 10 minutes late, a teacher sent Robertson to his Trophy Club, TX high school's office for tardiness.  When his bloodshot, watery eyes and elevated blood pressure were noted, his mother was summoned to the school.  Officials suspended Robertson for 3 days due to suspicion of marijuana use.  He would be enrolled in alternative learning (in-school suspension) unless his mother, at her expense, provided a negative drug test to school officials within two hours.

Nevermind the boy has allergies.  Nevermind a childhood kidney issue that causes his blood pressure to occasionally rise.  Nevermind the boy's father had been murdered less than 48 hours before. 
Kyle's mother, Cristy Fritz, managed to get the boy into his doctor's office in the alotted time, where an exam and a negative drug test indicated no presence of illegal drug.  A sinus infection, though, was found. 

After handing this documentation to the school, Fritz was advised that her son would avoid the in-school suspension, but that a formal appeals process would have to be followed to remove the 3-day suspension from the boy's academic record. This process has only a 3-day window.

“We had other things to do this week than worry about a three-day window for an appeal, a two-hour window for a drug test and my son’s reputation and high school career,” Fritz said.

I'd say.  Like planning and/or attending a funeral?

Byron Nelson High School Principal Linda Parker apologized Friday, September 5. 

Hunter Cooper, 15, was suspended
for wearing this bracelet

Photo: Lezlie Sterling /
This type of zero-tolerance, brain-dead application of rules and regulations makes me physically ill.  Regulations only cover 95% of circumstances, and discretion is the better part of authority.  From a child's hat that was banned because of a toy soldier he attached to it, to the girl suspended for a butterknife, to the first-grader suspended for sexual harassment, to the boy suspended for wearing a breast-cancer awareness bracelet, and so many more -- All of these cases cited "zero-tolerance" policies for the outrageous responses to first-time "offences" by otherwise well-behaved and well-adjusted students.

Where the hell is the actual thought here, people?



Illness Sucks!

Illness has me laid up for a while.  If I'm not posting, it's because I'm asleep most of the time trying to kick this.  Even for the couple of hours a day I'm awake, I can't think well enough to post.

Hopefully my sister-admin can pinch hit for a bit.


The Problem-Solving Process of a MythBuster

Adam Savage speaks at the 2010 Bay Area MakerFaire
Critical-thinking and problem-solving skills are the most important items not taught in the US public school system.  I am a victim of this, and I've only realized it in the last five years or so.  As a result, I'm a big fan of anything that helps teach people about these things . . .

Only 20% of billiards is dropping the ball in the pocket. ~Adam Savage

Hence, this video of a talk that Adam Savage gave at the 2010 Bay Area MakerFaire about his problem-solving process.  Blending his pre-MythBusters experiences into his present-day work, Adam talks about the importance of knowing who you are and what your own motivations are, and how these fit into the problem-solving process.

There's a point in every project that I'm doing where I realize, "I have no idea what I'm doing." ~Adam Savage

Click-here to watch the individuals chapters -- 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 are the most important to the topic at hand, although I enjoyed the entire video.

The last half an hour is an hysterical Q&A, including a great deal about Adam's MythBusters experiences and also about Adam's relationship with his MythBusters partner Jamie Hyneman.


This Week's Curiosity -- European Sex Boxen (i.e. Boxes)

German Sex Boxen
When one finds himself living next door to a red-light district, he laughs it off, moves, ignores it, or becomes part of the scene itself, right?  At least, that's what I'd've thought.

Apparently, residents with homes overlooking Zurich's thriving red-light district are doing none of the above. 

"They get up to all sorts in broad daylight - and we're sick to death of looking at it."

~Unnamed resident Zurich resident

After receiving thousands of complaints, the local police are visiting Germany to study the implementation and results of  "sex boxen," drive-in areas where prostitutes can ply their trade in relative safety and privacy.  The boxes were reportedly first used in Holland in 2002, and, after their success there, have since spread to German cities where they've also been successful.

German Sex Box
"We can't get rid of prostitution, so have to learn how to control it."

~Zurich police spokesman Reto Casanova

Google is coughing up much else on the topic than what I've linked here, but I'm interested in seeing more data. 


Helping Any Female Soldier (or Airmain/Marine/Sailor/Coastguardsman)

While reading through this satiric list of useless Care Package items that deployed service personnel receive and responses from those, same personnel, it occurred to me that I haven't sent an "Any Soldier" package.

Female Soldier Training at Annapolis
I decided that I'm going to. 

I ordered a package of Mili-Kit boxes from USPS (free!!).  These boxes are 12" x 12" x 5.5" and only cost $12.50 (at the Post Office) or $11.95 (at to send to an APO/FPO address, no matter how heavy they are! In addition to this box, I will need Customs PS Form 2976-A which I can complete/print or download/print and complete by hand.  Hints on completing it by hand can be found here.

Now . . . How to fill the boxes . . .

I'm sending to female soldiers in a hot, dry environment . . . They need pesonal care supplies.  What would I miss?  Tampons, soap, shampoo, conditioner, lip care, baby wipes (because they can't shower every day), cotton swabs, toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, and deodorant.  A couple of books or recent magazines.  Pencils, paper, and envelopes for letters home.  Got it. 

Who to send to?  From AnySoldier, I've chosen Sergeant Anthony Quail, currently in Afghanistan and expected to be there another year.  He is the contact point for 100 female soldiers.  Anything I send that one female doesn't need, there will be another who will. 
Once a month?  I can do this.  I just wish I could do it once a week.  And that leads me to . . .

The Jane Project doing this as a group!  I've found a wholesale outlet that will sell travel-sized shampoos and conditioners and soaps for less than $50 a case. I'd like to buy a case or two of these and break them up into separate care packages (supplemented with other items) and send them every couple of weeks.  If you're able to contribute, e-mail us, and we'll send you a PayPal address.  If you have any ideas for this project, pls let us know!


Cosmo's Weird "Untamed Va-jay-jays" Cover

Lolly.Jane snapped this picture in the checkout line at a grocrery store and kicked it my way with the Subject line "untamed WHAT?!?!?!?":

(As if women need another negative message about our nether-regions! >sigh<)

As soon as I saw the cover, I asked, "You didn't happen to thumb through it and see what that headline is about, did you?"

"No," she responded, "I was already holding up the line."  That's the Lolly.Jane I know so well . . . Terribly polite and considerate.

I went to the pharmacy to refill prescriptions and was lucky enough to find this issue while waiting.  The Table of Contents doesn't mention anything that relates to this headline.  A search of the Cosmo website for the headline comes up empty. Odd.

Put a headline like that on the cover of your magazine, then not match it in the Table of Contents?  Trying to get me to buy the magazine?  Fail.

Sooooooo, I'm forced to come up with my own definition of "untamed va-jay-jays":

Okay, maybe my interpretation is better described as "rampaging" (vs."untamed"), but this really is the picture that popped into my mind when I read that headline. 

What popped into yours?


Methods to Managing Menopause

Menopause “hit” me when I was 50. Naturally, like most women I was beset by fears that this marked the beginning of a downhill descent. I rushed off to my gynecologist who wrote a prescription for Premarin, assured me it was safe, and sent me on my way.

I left his office with a spring in my step, “Goodie, now I don’t have to get upset about hot flashes, mood changes and losing my sexuality.” It seemed as if all my worries were over, until I began reading reports of increased cancer risks in women who took Premarin. So, rushing off to my doc again to check this out, he added Progesterone which he said would balance the “horse pee” (Premarin’s source). Once again I felt confident that all would be well.

One day after completing a lecture on Exquisite Aging at New York’s Whole Life Expo, I was approached by Dr. Viana Muller who proceeded to inform me that her company offered herbs that were as effective as hormone replacement… without any negative side effects. When I asked her about her background, her answer, “I’m anethno botanist!” made me stand up and take notice. I’d never heard that word before, and was curious about what she knew about HRT.

Along with teaching me about indigenous herbs… those cultivated in the soil of their origin, she introduced me to a term that went on to play a major role in my understanding of how herbs function in the body. That word is “precursor”. It seems that most problems with HRT come from the fact that the chemicals they’re made of are actual hormones. As such they replace the hormones lost in menopause. Precursor Herbs contain no hormones but rather stimulate the body to keep creating its own Anti-Aging components.

Except for a short stint with bio-identical hormones, I’ve been using the herb, ROYAL MACA, from her company, WHOLE WORLD BOTANICALS for 20 years. Yes, aging can be a daunting prospect, but with this magical herb in my arsenal, I’ve maintained unprecedented youth.

Need proof? I modeled for a Dolce & Gabbana ad in a skin tight bathing suit at age 74! Thanks to this chance meeting with Dr. Muller over 20 years ago, I’ve been blessed with a youthfulness I never could have imagined.

Check out her company’s website  A whole new world of indigenous Peruvian herbs will open up for you as it has for me!

~Hattie RetroAge (sponsoring my THE EMPOWERED WOMAN CRUISE in January)

25% of UK Lap-Dancers has a College Degree

An interesting video clip from BBC News recently crossed my desk.  In it, Dr. Belinda Brooks-Gordon of the Birkbeck University of London, strip club owner Peter Stringfellow, and not-present news columnist Kevin Maguire (proxied by a BBC anchor) discuss the results of a University of Leeds study that determined that 25% of UK lap dancers have a college degree and that these women are choosing this profession because they can make more money doing it than they can in more traditional college-graduate jobs.

The video is not embeddable, but you can find it here.  A 15-second commercial precedes the roughly 3.5-minute clip.

At some point I'll see if I can find the paper itself and try to find out if similar research has been done in the US.


Introducing TJP Badges!

For those of you who would use such a thing, we have created simple badges for your use.  Just link them to the main TJP page!

Contributors: For those who have submitted or commented.
Supporters: For those who read, refer others, or blogroll us.
Janes: For those whose submissions have been posted on the front page.

Just in case you need to use them manually and your HTML-fu is not so good . . .

Manual image link HTML example, with border:

 <a href="" target="_blank"> 
 <img src="contributor.png"> </a>

Manual image link HTML example, without border:

 <a href="" target="_blank"> 
 <img src="contributor.png" border="0"> </a>

Soon enough we'll be adding these to the FAQ so that they're still easily findable once they've rolled off of the front page.

Thank you, dear Janes, for your support.  Whether that support takes the form of post ideas kicked our way, comments, submissions, or the occasional visit, we appreciate it!


Choosing to Grow Young

I choose to grow young, not old.

I've been intrigued with, attracted to and dating men considerably younger than myself for a quarter of a century. Twenty five years ago the stigma was much more intense than it is now. In my mid-fifties, when I told my mother I was dating a man 20 years my junior, she had a cow! I learned to never bring the subject up with her again.

Back in the day, we had no terminology, catchphrases or labels. We were simply older women who were drawn to younger men. I broach the subject in my book,  Sexy In Your 60s, How You Can Naturally Reverse The Aging Process & Rejuvenate Your Life, and blog,, which focus on the health of our body, mind and spirit. I share with others, women especially, what's hindered and helped me over the years, things that keep me young at heart and reversing the aging process.

What can I say? I'm a woman who chooses to grow young, not old. My lust for life attracts younger men and that doesn't seem to be waning with age. Quite the opposite. The older I get the more curious they are. They pick my mind, sometimes I feel like Dear Abby. Recently I joined some Cougar/Cub sites to get a finger on the pulse. I've belonged to other date sites and always draw younger men, but not sites that are subject specific. The resounding welcome and dialogue has been fascinating and prompted me to do some research and writing of my own.

The so-called Cougar/Cub phenomenon as many know, is not new. In my book I explore the goddess cultures, go back thousands of years and guess what? Younger men and older women were an item then just as they are now. Regardless, I'm having a difficult time calling myself a Cougar. This excerpt speaks for me:

Not one to embrace the ‘Cougar’ image, I find the explanation confining and not in keeping with a truly seasoned woman, a crone. Ego need not play a part and while every woman reaps the rewards of honoring her body, the body needn’t be the sole reason to attract men, men of any age. Nor do I adhere to the inference that older women are always on the prowl, not able or interested in long term relationships. I believe that women have choices and to categorize us is counter-productive.

A crone is a woman in her third phase of life; maiden/virgin, mother, crone. A postmenopausal woman. I use the book as a platform because the crone stage is the most astounding, powerful, time of a woman's life. According to the ancients, the crone comes into her mastery on all levels including her sexual mastery. Such a hush-hush taboo subject; older women and sexuality. My friend and mentor, Dr. Linda Savage, was instrumental in awakening me to this part of myself. Her expertise flows all through my book. Savage's book, Reclaiming Goddess Sexuality:The Power of the Feminine Way takes us back into history and reminds us the ancient woman-positive cultures have a message about sexuality  that we can learn from today.

On the Internet I found amazing forward-thinking women who have websites and blogs that depict their take on the Cougar/Cub movement. Dr. Fayr Barkley, CEO of caught my attention with her empowering and informative articles. Dr. Fayr mirrors my old school/young school mindset. She brings into focus those things that serve us and points out those that don't. She does women and men a great service by acting as a role model that speaks to the awesomeness of womanhood. I've become one of her biggest fans and am an active participant on her website.

Another woman, Linda Franklin, her website , and  author of  
Don't Ever Call Me Ma'am, impressed me with her life experiences. She too is empowering women and mirrors my opinion that regardless of our age, we are never too old to try or do something different. No one could have told me I would publish my first book at 64, or, for that matte,r speak out about my lifestyle as it pertains to younger men. Like Ms. Franklin, I encourage women to reach for their dreams and not let social dogma get in their way.

Dawn Marie Ellison, founder of, caught my attention. She sees the cougar/cub relationship as "a spiritual, emotional and sensual connection and not merely sexual." Ellison's comment speaks worlds. The ancient cultures teach  the balance of the sexual and the spiritual. In Pagan Society there was no rift between Spirituality and Sex.  Both were seen as true and vital forces, dancing in beautiful symmetry.

Regardless what we choose to call ourselves; kittens, pumas, cougars, cleos or just women, the key to it all is to stand as role models for the young people, acting responsibly and with integrity. The reality show mindset the media sells our children and grandchildren doesn't always represent the positive side of life. Much of it is based on dysfunctional conditioning that doesn't serve anyone.  It's up to us as women, cougars or not, to set the bar for those who learn from our actions; the children.

~ Joan M Bunney
   Author, Speaker, Advocate for Social Change

Girls Bug Teachers Lounge

I am torn amongst giggles, disapproval, and jealousy at the story of two Swedish girls who bugged their school's teacher's lounge in an effort to improve their grades.

English-language Swedish news site TheLocal brings us this story of un-named teenagers fined $270 each for their activities:
The pair, who are in their mid-teens, came up with the idea after finding a key to the staff common room. They bought basic bugging equipment in a gadget shop, waited until the end of the school day, and planted the device in the staff room.

The girls, who attend a middle school in the capital, planned to listen in on a meeting the following day at which teachers would decide their grades. They were hoping to glean information that would enable them to get their grades improved.

The plan might have gone off without a hitch if one of the girls in her enthusiasm had not revealed all on Facebook, according to Metro. The girls were prosecuted for trespass and arbitrary conduct and fined 2,000 kronor ($270) each by Stockholm District Court
Good Lord, how did I not think of this back in the day?! 

As for my ultimate reaction -- I think the giggle fit wins, since that allows me to vicariously live through them.  :-)


Want a Raise? Wash Your Vulva, Dammit! (Part 2)

We recently introduced you to a disgusting full-page Woman's Day magazine ad in Want a Raise? Wash Your Vulva, Dammit! (Part 1).  As promised, here's the follow-up . . . now that I'm clear-headed enough to write it.

Let's start from the top of their list . . . 

Vaginas are NOT dirty or germy in their natural, healthy state!  Health professionals have finally manged to, for the most part, eradicate the idea that we need to douche to maintain the health of our vaginas, but the myth that they smell bad is still out there. Vaginas have a smell, and much like other smells that humans have, the smell varies from woman to woman.  Sometimes it's earthy, sometimes it's sweet, sometimes it's stronger than other times.  Just because the pubic area has a smell all its own doesn't mean there's something wrong (with it or its smell or with us), or that it's bad, or that something should be done about it.  

The male genitals also have a smell all their own, one that also varies man to man.  No one markets "scrotum freshening" products to them because regular soap use is considered sufficient.  This should apply to the vulva as well, but we're supposed to feel our "most confident" by "staying fresh" down there.  Hear me, women: The only reason our natural smell could possibly affect our confidence is because we've been programmed to believe there's something wrong with it (and, therefore, with us).  Fight that programming!

The first mention of actual practical advice is not mentioned until #4!  The model is dressed in a suit, so we must assume that she is some type of a career woman in a professional environment.  This is a woman who has her act together, who's over the age of 25, who stands on her own two feet.  This is a woman who already knows how and when to feed herself and that scheduled work hours are an expectation to not be ignored. How dumb does Summer's Eve think such a woman is?  Clearly, they think she's so dumb that feeding programmed insecurities, promoting eating schedules, and lecturing about expected arrival time are more important points than creating "a list of all your important contributions and accomplishments."  A brilliant method to approach your target audience is assuming basic stupidity. 

Pornography references have no place in a advertorial about navigating the workplace!  Yes, I'm sure it was an oversight, but it's an oversight that should never happen.  Supporting documentation is a practical reminder (although so basic as to be an almost unneeded reminder to our career woman), but dear God, "You made me look good" in the "XXX project"?!  Really? No one caught that?  I would hope that a full-paged ad in a national publication would be an expensive enough endeavor that Summer's Eve would have focus-grouped said ad, but apparently that didn't happen.  If it had, some one would have mentioned "the XXX project".  Women fighting for equal pay don't need any fuel in feeling like a piece of meat.

Supporting documentation shouldn't be a list of approval quotes!  Returning to Western-culture female programming, approval is not what women in the workplace should be focusing on -- Productivity is.  Fluffy happy approval notes are suitable for informal employee feedback or appreciation, not compensation negotiation.  Documentation from superiors should include concrete items, such as tasks completed early, extra duties filled, money saved, expectations exceeded, etc.   If the job includes providing a service to others, such happy notes are useful as a method of supporting claims of high customer satisfaction but are groundless as an actual productivity measure. I've seen enlightened as well as barbaric managers make this same mistake, so seeing this advice given is doubly outrageous because if the subordinate doesn't fight it, the battle could very well not be fought.  Fight that programming!

Talk is cheap and silence is golden, but there's a fine line between a conversation and a question/answer session!  While the ad's advice to respect silence is apropos because too many women who are victims of approval-seeking programming will fill any silence of longer than two seconds with inane chatter, remember to not go too far in the other direction.  Warmth, a certain level of likability, and team cohesion are important to your long-term value to the company, and your manager is well aware of this.  Appearing cold, uncooperative, disrespectful, unfriendly, or just plain stoic probably won't help your cause.  Confidence and strength must be balanced with cooperation and respect in order to shine your professionally brightest.

Don't let the conversation get personal?!  This is a particularly tacky bit considering this ad is for a female genital perfume product. Is Summer's Eve trying to tell us that, without guarding against it, our boss will be nosing around our crotches during the negotiation?  Or are they, as I suspect, trying to imply that our externally-programmed vagina-insecurity is somehow valid rather than being an imaginary paranoia fed (in the past) by ignorance and (currently) by companies trying to market their unneeded products to another generation of skittish women they helped program?  That the only way to not offend everyone around you is to use their product so that you have a certain fresh linen smell about your nether-regions?  I can't say this strongly enough . . . Fight that programming!

The "bottom line" pun is offensive!  I can't decide whether or not this was an oversight of the caliber of "XXX project" or an intentional pun.  Either way, it sucks because females sit on their genitals.  The ostensible advice, to remember that your value to the company is based upon finances, is lost in the subtext (if I can even use that word) of your value being tied to the "bottom line".  If this had been written anywhere else, it wouldn't be offensive.  The context is both what brings out the pun and makes it offensive.

Staying "fresh" isn't important; staying "clean" is, and is really IS simple! We don't need a special product for our vulva -- just washing with normal soap daily does the job.  The lesson your mother taught you when you were a tot has always applied and will continue to apply until the day you die.  Your vulva and vagina need no different cleaning care than any other part of your body, and it certainly doesn't need deodorant! If you're worried that it does, then see your doctor to make sure nothing's wrong.  When your doctor tells you you're healthy, that your feminine smell is within the normal (wide) range of variation, throw all those damned products in the trash and learn to love yourself!

There is good advice available on this topic, why not use it?!  This is an advertorial, and that means that the point was to push their product.  While I understand that this means at least one of the number points had to be about the product, did it have to be #1?  Why not #8?  Besides the alternative advice I've offered above, there is at least two quality online articles on why women have a difficult time asking for raises that not only offer insights as to why this is but also practical advice on how to do so but also how to prepare to do so.  Why go with the air-headed powder-puff Tiger Beat-oriented information instead of the gritty, real deal, when the information is out there?  Laziness, ignorance, and a least-common denominator mindset is why.

Men receive practical advice, women receive garbage and insecurity! Check out these two articles, targeted towards men, that offer advice on how to ask for a raise.  You won't see much crossover between these advice pieces and the Summer's Eve Woman's Day advertorial. Why is this?  

We are valuable, and our perspective is all our own.  We must keep refusing to participate in that which reduces us.  Only with vigilance and constant contrariness will we achieve that which is ours to claim: cultural equality.


The path through these woods I would like to know, but the answer lies in the distance though.  On this, the darkest night of the year, my little horse must think it queer to pause when there is no answer here.  She gives her harness bells a shake, knowing there must be some mistake.  The answers are myriad, dark and deep, and we have traveled miles without sleep. Between the woods and frozen lake, let's light the torches and grab our skates. They will not see us stopping here until long after we have refused their fear. *


Hattie Slams Howard Stern on His Own Show!

I wanted to keep you abreast to my encounter with Howard Stern – just in case you had not heard…

Let’s go back a bit…

For months, I’d been telling people, “One of these days I’m gonna be topless on the Howard Stern Show!” I figured that being on the show would encourage other women to follow in my tracks.

Hattie RetroAge
Brazenly proclaiming what fun that would be– with strategically placed pixels, of course, I joshed, “Someone’s gotta do it…and thank God, that someone is me!”
 Tired of society’s view that being a sexy senior is a curiosity to sniggle at, I decided to show the world that this “old broad” was living life according to her desires and having sex with men half her age!

Well, my prophesy came true:

One of Howard’s producers was member of my Health Club. I asked the enrollment manager to pitch an appearance for me, and I got booked for the following week.

My decision to appear was filled with both vanity and valor. Vain because I was exhibiting my breasts like a go-go dancer and valiant because I knew I would be teased, insulted, and even laughed at. Nevertheless, this was my opportunity to get my RetroAge® message across. Knowing that I would be inspiring women to be powerful, sexual and beautiful made me impervious to any derision. Besides I knew it would be great fun!

Briskly entering the studio, I let Howard know he wasn’t dealing with your typical “old hag,” as he had been referring to me all morning on the air. In an attempt to taunt me, he leered, “It’s really disgusting for old women to sleep with young guys.”

Here was my chance to best him at his own game.

“You know, Howard, when an old guy sleeps with a woman young enough to be his daughter, society respects and reveres him. But just let an old woman sleep with young guys, and society reacts like she’s sick and disgusting.”

Then, strategically dropping my melodramatic delivery, I leaned toward him, smiled, and slowly added, “Well, Howard…


I’m sick and disgusting!”

This unexpected comeback rendered him uncharacteristically contrite, “Okay. Hattie, you are good looking, but you’re much too old for me,” whereupon his sidekick Robin Quivers shot back, “And you’re too old for her, Howard!”

Howard Stern
Everyone in the studio cracked up.

Possibly to save face, Howard summoned the producers and engineers from the control room, asking them one by one if they would fuck me. To a man, they replied, “You bet we would!”

Then he jabbed, “Are your teeth real?”

Everything’s real,” I replied, coyly playing with the bejeweled collar of my desgner jacket. The shock jock looked down at his notes and, almost as a dare, said “It says here that you’re going to take your top off. Is that true?”

“Yes, it is,” I replied, calmly removing my jacket. I was determined to get as much mileage as I could out of this TV appearance. I knew that the network would cover my breasts with pixels, so I wasn’t completely exposing myself… and it would be years before my grandchildren would see a tape.

Perhaps I didn’t alter Howard’s oft-uttered repulsion for older women, but It certainly gave the TV audience a good look at a senior who hasn’t chosen to been cut, stitched or injected to be sexy.

It made for a wild show that was aired three times.

Not bad for an “old hag.”

What can I say… he got the breast of me…

~Hattie RetroAge

Video: The Making of a Prostitute

Entitled "The Making of a Girl", this video from GEMS (on our blogroll) describes in specific terms the making of an American prostitute . . . The average age of introduction is 12. 

The video talks about how children are inducted, the tools that prospective pimps use, and the weaknesses in our society that make indoctrination possible when the target child is already aware of at least some of what will come as a result.

Without understanding the problem, there will be no solution.  Try to understand.


Letter of Support: "My Sun Went Out When He Said He Needs 'Time'"

We've decided to post a very long comment of support that Lolly.Jane left for Riot.Jane in response to My Sun Went Out When He Said He Needs "Time" . . .


My Dear Riot.Jane,

I have VERY LITTLE TIME either physically or emotionally to devote effort or even thought to anyone outside of my immediate view. I've had to take this view for a while now, as you well know, to stay sane.

That being said, despite the fact that you're not in my immediate view, I have thrown my entire support behind you and your BF because you are two people that I hold in very high regard.

You both are so brave and intelligent and honest in all things equally.  You're both open minded. You both make me laugh with your honesty and bluntness, but also with your heart and soul and amazing senses of humor.

As I've mentioned before, your BF was unequivocally my inspiration to go back to college. And just in case I haven't mentioned it before, I consider you to be the most interesting and uncompromising voice of modern feminism that I've heard in years.

You both do talk fast, so it sets people in a place where they HAVE to listen.  Ordinarily that would be the extent of someone, but YOU have something to say.  That, and your writing is equally valuable, and well thought out.

(OK, personal admiration in the extreme, check...)

Now, your relationship has also been an inspiration to me - I think that it fully involved both of your best qualities to the extreme, and you are both so engaged beyond the distance.  This is the sort of thing that I defend 300%, whether I have "time" to or not, because I feel that its good for you both, and a testament to the ability of something to survive beyond the barriers.

(relationship admiration, check...)

Sooooooo... let me put my money where my mouth is... if your boyfriend says that he needs time....well, that sucks great amounts of unpleasant things, but he wouldn't say that if he didn't mean it.  He may be confused about the exact cause, but he would need the time to figure it out, and it sounds like he's asking for that.

So, yeah.  Suckage in the extreme, but understandable.  But here's the important part:

I am fully behind this decision despite it injuring my friend, Riot.Jane, but if I turn out to be wrong in my support, and this is frivolous, or bullshit or something, then I will withdraw my support from all things her BF. He may not be aware of it for years, it may never affect him, but I will make every attempt to be sure that he knows that I went from someone who would drive all night, and spend all my money to help him, to someone who wouldn't piss on him if he was on fire.

You make think this unfair, but I am aware that I'm only getting one side of the story and I'm accounting for that.  Be aware that, as much as I adore you, if he were to (God forbid) break up with you, and he had a VALID reason, I'd still support him.  On the other hand, if he's bullshitting, he better make DAMN SURE I never find out. 

I suffer enough fools in my life.  I love you both because you're NOT the fools in my life, or if you're foolish, it's for valid reasons. In a way, I hold you both to a higher standard, I guess, because there's a level of honesty with you guys that I don't get with a lot of other people.

There are so many people (personally and professionally) that I have to be always nice with, and always hold my tongue; everything has to be put through a filter.  I realize that this is self-imposed and based on my need to be liked and accepted, HOWEVER it can be EXHAUSTING. You try to be all things to all people, and you end up being nothing to anyone.

Being kind and filtering yourself is an effort you naturally make for biological family because you've the societal and ever-nurtured pressure to do so.  Its an effort that you CHOOSE to make for friends; there's no more's to support it (quite the opposite in fact, if we're to believe the popular media. Close friends are always betraying each other - I just can't live like that!).  I think it more valuable the older that I get, and you'll note that most of the people that I give that consideration to have been my friends for over a decade.

(But that's ME - I only bring it up to highlight why I will storm the gates of Heaven for you both.)

You both should feel free to talk to me for whatever you need. I am here for both of you, as I always have been.  This roadblock sucks, but it is part of building relationships with people; I feel confident that both of you will emerge from this with a stronger relationship, whatever the outcome.  So, I'm going to put my love and energy to getting you through the hurt and confusion of now, and into that stronger point - whatever is healthy and right for both of you. Be careful with each other's hearts, but be honest to your own. :-*

Oh, a note to your BF: Everything that I said about you, applies to Riot.Jane as well. I feel fairly confident that neither of your is capable or willing to engage in that level of prevarication, so I'm secure in my decision.


My Favorite Books: "The Handmaid's Tale"

In the continuing series of Riot.Jane's favorite books . . . In no particular order, this is the third:

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

The only one of my Five Faves written in my lifetime (1985 publication), this novel extrapolates American sociological currents first spotted in the 1980s, currents that have since become waves, to logical (if horrifying) conclusion.

The opening paragraph of a NYTimes (login required, copy here) interview with Atwood that I can't beat sets the stage:
The President and Congress have been assassinated by right-wing religious fanatics who have overthrown the Government and set up a monotheocratic [Christian] dictatorship based on biblical principles in a land they now call Gilead. Women may no longer possess jobs, or property, or money of any kind. Pollution has sharply reduced fertility, and certain women, selected for their ability to breed, have become slaves - Handmaids - forced to try to conceive through joyless copulation in bizarre menages a trois [sic] with their Commanders and the Commanders' barren wives.
As an agnostic who has been terrified for years about the rise in political power of US Christians trying to dictate the details of my life per their Good Book, I can't recommend this novel too highly.  Atwood is somehow able to give voice to the very real temptations of humanity, to the darker parts of our psychology that allow bad things to happen, to the fears that paralyze me when I try to verbalize them. 

I am personally convinced that America is on the path to becoming a Christian theocracy and that, if we don't stop it in time, the only difference between other religious theocracies and us will be the details of the government-enforced dogma.

Atwood gave specific voice to my fears later in the NYTimes interview (emphasis mine):
I delayed writing it [the book] for about three years after I got the idea because I felt it was too crazy. Then ... I started noticing that a lot of the things I thought I was more or less making up were now happening, and indeed more of them have happened since the publication of the book. There is a sect now, a Catholic charismatic spinoff sect, which calls the women handmaids. They don't go in for polygamy of this kind [as in the book] but they do threaten the handmaids according to the biblical verse I use in the book - sit down and shut up.

... You could say it's [the book is] a response to 'it can't happen here.' When they say 'it can't happen here,' what they usually mean is Iran can't happen here, Czechoslovakia can't happen here. And they're right, because this isn't there. But what could happen here?

It wouldn't be some people saying, 'Hi, folks, we're Communists and we're going to be your new Government.' But if you were going to do it, what would you do? What emotions would you appeal to? What groups would you utilize? How exactly would you go about it? Well, something like the way the religious right is doing things.

And the ultimate result of that process would be the union of church and state, which this country since 1776 has striven to keep apart, with great difficulty, because the foundation of this country was not separation of church and state.

We're often taught in schools that the Puritans came to America for religious freedom. Nonsense. They came to establish their own regime, where they could persecute people to their heart's content just the way they themselves had been persecuted.

If you think you have the Word and the right way, that's the only thing you can do.

The book is an instructional and cautionary tale not just for atheists and agnostics, but for all religious people who honestly can't understand why the atheists and agnostics have become as aggressively anti-religion as they have.  This book explains the reasons behind the rise of The New Atheism (see the works of Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, and Hitchens) in response to undercurrents nee waves (soon to be a tsunami) in recent modern America.


My Sun Went Out When He Said He Needs "Time"

While I'm trying to figure out exactly what it all means, I'm feeling as if I want to die.

You can see what happened to my sun . . .

When I realized I had a four-day weekend and could request and receive a fifth day in order to go see him, that was top sun.

When I called him to tell him this good news, and he seemed noncommital about it, that was the second sun.

When he called me that night to tell me that he'd thought about it for five hours and didn't want me to visit, that was the third sun.

And when he continued, telling me that he needs "time," my sun went dark.

Apparently, my troubles are too much of a handful.  Apparently, being a medical guide and being emotionally attached are different, and the latter is too much to bear.  Apparently, a flare-up of my medical condition requires emotional recovery time on his part.  Apparently, I'm not as happy when with him as I am when with two friends who recently moved back from out of state.  Apparently, this disturbs him.  Apparently, this all caught him by as much surprise as it caught me.


He said to leave him alone for a while.  He said he's not breaking up with me but doesn't know what else to do.  He said he still loves me and wants to be with me.  He said he's at a loss but has to protect himself.  He said he wants me to be happy to see him and that I'm not.  He said that I am not enough at ease with him to relax and enjoy myself.  He said there's something wrong between us that he can't specify yet.  He said he's always been afraid that I would disappear one day because someone else did it to him before.  He said that I've never dispelled the feeling.

He said.


Introducing Joan M Bunney: Couger Advocating Change

Joan M Bunney
We recently wrote about how we met and will shortly be introducing the work of Hattie Retroage here at TJP.  When we initially contacted and introduced TJP to Hattie, we had no way of knowing that she would distribute our self-written letter of introduction to a like-minded woman and author Joan M Bunney.  Joan promptly contacted us:
Dear Jane:

I am a friend of Hattie Retro-age, and like her, choose to reverse the aging process naturally, no chemicals or toxins allowed in or on my body.

I'm also an advocate for social change and speak out on relevant issues all having to do with the children's well being. Born in 1945 I've watched this health epidemic of the body and mind happen over the decades.

I wrote a book, Sexy InYour60s, to share with others, women especially, what I've learned and applied and why I'm growing young not old; a new mindset.

I've been to your website and would love to contribute, be a part of your blog. The 'older' I get the more relevant the subject matter. The elder woman is stepping forward to share accrued wisdom that will help to make change happen.

I've attached my media bio, my Sexy In Your 60s website that holds my book and journey thus far. I am just beginning the second half of life. The ancient goddess cultures tell us the seasoned woman is in her mastery at this stage of life. My purpose is to awaken women of all ages to this truth by using myself, much as Hattie does, as a live testimonial.

About to launch a new website, to celebrate the cougar woman rather than demean her. Like Hattie, I've been attracted to and dating younger men for a quarter century. The website in part will dissuade the naysayers and the bad press. The rewards of aging are endless. ...

Best regards,

Joan M Bunney
Author, Speaker, Advocate for Social Change
Joan and the admins have corresponded in more depth since receiving her initial e-mail, and we're quite pleased to introduce Joan to TJP!

We are excited to see her work and grow from her contributions.