Honoring the Females in Your Life with GEMS

E-mail we received from the Girls Educational & Mentoring Service (GEMS):

Mother's Day is quickly approaching!

As an annual celebration of the women and girls in our lives, GEMS invites you to upload your favorite photos of you and your mother, daughters, or other amazing, influential women and girls in your life. Share your photos and stories with us as we honor women this holiday! We set up a special Shutterfly page so that supporters can easily upload your photos: http://gemsmothersday.shutterfly.com.

Very Old and Very Sexy…An Oxymoron?

Hattie RetroAge
There was a time when I would have judged that combination to be not only absurd… but totally repulsive. That’s no longer the case.

What happened to turn that around?

Here goes…

When I was about five years old, my immigrant mother took me to the Steam Baths in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. Just a mere pre-schooler, choking in the heat, I peered up with disgust at what I perceived to be “fat, old ladies”. Then and there I decided if that’s what being a lady looks like, I’ll never grow up.

Generation -- The Repetition of Addiction

Karin L. Burke
Generation: Because the act of writing about my alcoholism turns out to be the act of writing about my father’s alcoholism, and recovery from my addiction is actually a recovery from his.

They say that. That alcoholism is a family disease. Give or take genetic tendencies, we are who we are because we are what our parents gave us. It is common to hear a drunk, or maybe even a normal person, say they swore to never be like their father while shaking their head and looking off into the distance. That gaze, that middle distance, turns out to be important. It turns out to be the thing we have to look at.

Having Coffee With The Lunatics In My Head

Sometimes I wonder how many individual nutcases are loose in my head. Seriously, when I consider the things that I believe concurrently, many of them mutually-exclusive, I have to wonder when it was that I began renting out rooms in my mind and where all of that rent money is going. After all, it's not going up my nose or the pocketbooks of prostitutes, so I should have a really wicked savings account built up with the rent money from these freakin' lunatics . . . 

Oh, and by the way you lamers, the rent is due!

Some of the things that I believe:

Sexy Sundays | The Ins & Outs of Anal Sex (Part 2) (NSFW)

In our first Sexy Sundays post, The Ins & Outs of Anal Sex (Part 1) (NSFW), MellissaY and JohnY introduced us to the topic. There's so much more information that's important to the topic, that we've decided to post a follow-up. While there is a wealth of information available in many places under many larger topics (anatomy, physiology, psychology, sexual health, etc.), we thought that gathering much of it in a single place would be useful to others.

The vast majority of the below has been means-tested in our own personal lives. It's gathered from years of reading on various related topics, and referenced by the only book I've seen on the topic: The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women. More in-depth information on these topics (and some not even included here) are available in this book. It's a light read, but a good primer. Recommend.

Ad Vocabulary Re-Enforcing Gender Stereotypes

Crystal Smith, author of The Achilles Effect, blogs about the the impact of kids’ popular culture on young boys becuase she has been regularly disappointed by the film and television offerings available to her two young sons.

She has analyzed the incidences of words used in advertising toys for boys and girls during after-school cartoon blocks.  She discussed this a bit in her book, but now she has tranfsormed the collated data into wordclouds. 

While admitting that this is not an exhaustive study, she finds the graphical representation quite interesting and a place to begin a discussion.  I agree.

Who Can Become an Addict?

In Compass of Pleasure: How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, and Gambling Feel So Good, brain scientist and neuroscience professor at Johns Hopkins University David J. Linden, PhD, describes the physiological processes of how the human brain reacts to different types of pleasure.  He's found that the effects of both our vices and our virtues are virtually indistinguishable within the brain.

In an interview with Salon, he briefly discusses the biological causes vs. societal reactions to addiction.  A particularly striking paragraph (emphasis mine):

Riot.Jane Guest Blogs for "The Business Coach for Moms"

Lady T contacted me and asked me to write about workplace dress for her audience.  This is a thorny topic with a wide variety of perspectives.  I thought about the issues again and realized that I hadn't changed my mind since this past August when I blogged about the topic.  She's posted my thoughts, Owning vs. Emphasizing Your Femininity, on her blog today.

Lady T coaches and empowers women to change the world through entrepreneurship. She provides motivational workshops, spiritual retreats and one on one coaching that helps moms grow purposeful, flourishing home businesses. You can click here to learn more about this mompreneur expert and click here to to read my thoughts on one facet of existing as a woman in the workplace.


Words for the Co-Dependent Set

Megan DaGata
What did I do? What can I do? How can I help? What else do you need? Where am I? Ahhh . . . The life of the co-dependent soul. Yes, you are an angel from heaven and an addicts dream.

WAKE the F--- UP!

I don't know how else to put this. I am not going to sugar-coat it for you . . . And I don't think I can. If you are in a relationship that you feel you are doing 90% of the work, then you need to check out your priorities. Ask yourself a few questions for a change . . . How am I? Do I like myself? Do I have enough self respect to leave? Do I make myself happy being in this relationship?

Understanding Human Warfare

I am currently reading American Gods, by Neil Gaiman.  Twice already I've laughed out loud, and twice I've been made to really think about the nature of Man.  This was one of the latter:
There's never been a true war that wasn't fought between two sets of people who were certain they were in the right. The really dangerous people believe that they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do. And that is what makes them dangerous.
-- Neil Gaiman, American Gods

"The Breast Milk Baby" Controversy

If you haven't heard, a new doll (i.e. toy for girls) will be introduced to the US market this spring.  Called "The Breast Milk Baby," it was introduced in Europe in 2009 by Spanish toy company Berjuan Toys under the name "Bebe Gloton" (transliterates to Baby Glutton). The Bebe Gloton version already available at Amazon.

Americans are, to say the least, conflicted about the existence of this doll, much less its marketing to little girls and parents.  Quite a bit of vitriol has been spouted about it, and I really couldn't understand the the spazz-fest that seemed to surround any mention of it.  There doesn't seem to be much middle ground in opinion regarding this doll . . . People seem to either love it ecstatically or hate it violently.

Sexy Sundays | The Ins & Outs of Anal Sex (Part 1) (NSFW)

We're introducing a new feature -- Sexy Sundays!  In this feature (which we hope to post every week) we will discuss topics related to everyone's favorite activity. We're always looking for ideas and contributions, so get those e-mails to us!

This, the first Sexy Sundays post, is an overview of anal sex written by a couple who want to share their experiences with same.  The next Sexy Sundays post will address the nuts-and-bolts and techniques of the topic with lots of information for beginners! 

Unintentionally Insulting? "Guide to Dating Fat Women"

I stumbled across Guide to Dating Fat Women, a piece at MadeMan.  MadeMan is a website that bills itself as a service "giving guys the info they need to live life well . . . smart advice on everything from beating a speeding ticket to scoring a hot model."

I think the fact that it was written by a woman might have given me some hope for the quality of its content. Regardless of why, upon first glance I expected something weighty and insightful, maybe even a bit witty.  What I found was anything but . . .

Maintaining a Sex Life While Co-Sleeping

Bess Bedell
Bess Bedell has agreed to share her experiences maintaining a sex life while co-sleeping (children sleeping in the same bed as the parent/s).  She's shared her experience and offers advice to fellow parents interested in the topic. 


Being a parent is hard. Being a parent and having a gratifying sexual life can sometimes feel impossible. And when you throw a baby in the middle of the bed, smack center between you and your spouse - sex can become a rare commodity. The number one concern of many parents is: If they co-sleep with their baby, how will they ever have sex? As a co-sleeping mom who has had 1-2 children in the bed with her every night for the past 2 ½ years, I can help you with that question.

Even Nurses Get Duped By Doctors

Laura Giesman, NP
Laura Giesman is a nurse practioner that has shared her personal experience with a ENT whose treatment style leaves something to be desired.  We're quite pleased that she's sharing this with us, and we look forward to seeing more of her work. More information about Laura, her practice, and her website can be found at the end of her post.

Well, all my readers know I'm a nurse practitioner. But we get sick too and need to go to practitioners and doctors! So I'm going to share a personal story with you this time...because what happened to me happens everyday to someone out there. And it's wrong.

PC Air Adds Kathoey to Cabin Crews

I've been fascinated for years by the societal phenomenon of the kathoey (or ladyboy) of Thailand.  The kathoey are men who live as women within their own society.

The kathoey generally pass very well (as snapshots show) partially due to the diminutive size of many Thai males, partially due to inexpensive sexual-reassignment surgery, and partially because of sheer determination.

Introducing "Current Research!" Page!

Hello, Janes & Joes!

We often try to gather data, input, and opinions from others while writing posts.  In an effort to reach more people than just our e-mail contact list, we've introduced a new page to TJP.  

On "Current Research!", you'll find information on what we're currently seeking for posts-in-development.  When a new post idea is being developed, we'll place information on what we're seeking on that page, and when a post is completed or an idea scrapped, we'll remove that info from the page.  We'll probably also post on the main page when we are looking for something on the "Current Research!" page, just as a head's up to you, Dear Reader.

We're currently seeking input on a post about the breast-feeding doll, so check out the "Current Research!" page and participate if you can!


An Atheist at Prayer

Karin L. Burke
I am not mature enough to be a Christian. I don’t have the moral flexibility necessary to embrace a thing so dangerous. Nor do I have the capacity to align myself to some other creed; there is attraction to other myths, and other stories, but ultimately similar difficulties come up. All this difficulty between language and practice, love and violence, power and corruption. No matter how attracted I am, I remain with a sense of being inauthentic, a kind of cultural predator. Someone suggested – since it does seem to be a monastic, embodied and mindful life I’m trying to find – that I become a Buddhist. “Acknowledge the fact that you are” a Buddhist said. But I am too aware of culture to think I could do such a thing without coming dangerously close to racism.

The Wrong Lessons to Teach Your Child 101

Some Michiganders and Ohioans are on the front lines of living lessons we shouldn’t be teaching our children, namely that physical violence is the proper response to not getting your own way.

Within the last month, a mother-daughter team attacked a discount department store greeter in Ohio, and a mother-father team attacked a school crossing guard in Michigan. Both attacks occurred with children of the attackers present, and both attacks occurred in public places with witnesses present.

Victim-Blaming Part 2: The Reasons We Do It

In Victim-Blaming Part 1: Texas Gang Rape of a Child, we discussed the facts around the case of a gang-raped 11-year-old girl in Cleveland, TX.  We touched upon the victim-blaming of the 11-year-old victim that is occurring in the press and among the local populace, and we reminded readers of the case of Samantha Kelly, who died by suicide Nov. 8, 2010 after being terrorized by her town and schoolmates.  The Kelly case is pertinent to this discussion of victim-blame because that assault, victim-blame, and suicide occurred between the Cleveland girl's first and final assaults.

Victim-Blaming Part 1: Texas Gang-Rape of a Child

In Cleveland, Texas, 19 suspects have been charged in the sexual assault of an 11-year-old child. While heartbreaking, this is not earth-shattering news. All too often, we hear of things like this and shake our heads, and maybe some of us say a prayer for the victim.

The details of this particular case are particularly noteworthy.

This child was assaulted repeatedly over the course of six weeks in late 2010 by different individuals/groups at different times in different locations. The perpetrators ranged in age from 14 to 27. Cell-phone-recorded video and photographs were widely disseminated to non-participants.

Broadband Research = Free Wireless Router!

Techies wanting to play a part in research that will provide US consumers with accurate broadband statistics (and maybe receive a free wireless router in the process!) should consider joining the Test My ISP project.

The Federal Communications Commision (FCC) and SamKnows are joining forces to test, measure, and provide reliable US home broadband connection statistics by placing 10,000 routers in homes across the country. They're actually distributing 10,000 free Netgear WNR3500L wireless-N routers pre-loaded with testing firmware to participants.