Age of Consent

I wrote about the tricky Age of Consent laws nearly three years ago. But (not-so-surprisingly) very few people wanted to get involved with the topic.

I think that’s a mistake. Because the issue of adult-child “relationships” is going to come up again and again in the future. It has the potential to divide traditional, religious Conservatives from the secular, “alternative” ones.

This was apparent just yesterday, when popular bloggers Milo Yiannoupolous and Matt Walsh engaged in a heated social media debate.  You can read about the Milo/Matt situation on one of Matt’s Facebook posts.

Anyway, here’s what I wrote back in 2014:

Cultures at War

I’ve been binge-watching House M.D. on Netflix for several weeks now.  But, the following scene struck me enough to stop the furious pace and transcribe the conversation.  It fits perfectly in a blog discussing cultural differences…

A 17-year-old girl has been stalking Dr. House, very overtly trying to seduce him. Close friends warn him to keep his distance–which he more or less tries to do. But the girl is insistent. Finally, she corners him in a parking garage.

Girl: “In Iceland the age of consent is 14.”

House: “I’m surprised that tourism isn’t a bigger industry up there.”

Girl: “So today I’m jailbait. But in 22 weeks anybody can do anything to me. Will I be so different in 22 weeks?”

House: “22-weeks is enough for a fetus to grow arms and legs.”

Girl: “It’s just a line. An arbitrary line drawn by a bunch of sad old men in…

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It’s All a Big Hoax

Attention, anyone who has been told they are “color blind.”  Don’t believe that! You’re perfect the way you are, and no one should tell you any differently!

Color-blindness is a hoax!

It’s all a scam!

COLORS AREN’T REAL!

And, if anyone tries to tell you they can “see” green or red or yellow, they’re just trying to get control over you.  

Don’t believe me?  Well, here’s a question for all those people who supposedly “see” colors: why can’t anyone agree what they look like?

If other people really can see colors, then they ought to be able to describe them with at least a little consistency, wouldn’t you think?  Do they really expect you to believe it’s just “hard to explain” but “you’d understand if you could see the whole color spectrum, too.”

???

Yeah, right.

If THAT’S not suspicious enough, just Google “Colors aren’t real.”   You will see dozens of articles where expert debate this very topic.

Many scientists will come right out and say, “Colors don’t exist. Our brains have only made them up.

In other words, humans have only imagined them! (Well not ALL humans have imagined them, of course. The brains of colorblind people don’t make up such nonsense.)

Sure, there are scientists who say that even imaginary things are “real” in an important sense. They will say that perception is part of reality. They will say that thoughts and feelings EXIST, though they aren’t made of “stuff.”

In fact, James Jeans said the entire Universe is more like a “thought” than like a “machine.”

 

But that’s just his opinion.  Why should we listen to him?

HE PROBABLY THOUGHT COLORS WERE REAL, YET HE STILL WANTS THE REST OF US TO TRUST HIS BRAIN!  Why would I trust a brain that makes stuff up?

And, that’s why I’m blowing the roof off this “colorblindness” hoax once and for all.

If you’ve been told you’re somehow lacking because your brain doesn’t trick you the way most people’s brains trick them, don’t believe it.

You’re not blind. (What a horrible thing to tell a child!)

It’s the Color-Seeing people who have been indoctrinating each other.

Go ahead and try to prove that I’m wrong.

Both Mom and Dad

They’re having a Daddy-Daughter Date Night at our church in a couple of weeks, but my husband is scheduled to work…

We decided not to tell our 5-year-old girl about the Date at all, so she won’t be disappointed. But I saw something on Facebook today that made me think… “Hey! Maybe I can paint on a beard and solve this problem!”

Please note, this mom is attempting to give her son a “normal” life.

Normal.

Life.

Also, please note the many commenters encouraging her and agreeing that she has done a great job filling the roles of BOTH “Mommy and Daddy.”

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So, there you have it.

The jury is in, and here’s the verdict: a little facepaint and wishful thinking CAN turn you into whatever they’re missing.

Maybe I should dress like a man and start calling myself “Daddy” whenever Luke is unable to attend important events.

But…wait… why stop there?

Are you disappointed your child doesn’t have an “Abraham Lincoln” to look up to?

Here’s a solution:

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Do you want your kid to have a brilliant rocket scientist in his/her life?

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Do you want to be “Mommy” AND “Daddy” AND “teacher”  AND “best friend” AND “superhero”???

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Ta-da!

Great mommies will be all of those things (and more!) So, that costume ought to do it, right? (Plus, don’t forget the really humble, totally not-attention-seeking post about yourself on Instagram, when you encourage people to share!)

If your child is missing someone important in his/her life, just find a good tailor/seamstress and fill that void!

A father is just a mom with a ball cap and goatee. So they can be replaced by any single mom with good intentions.

Right?

Riiiiiight?

Or, maybe my daughter will just stay home from the Daddy-Daughter Date this year, out of respect for the #1 Man in her life.

Because maybe…just maybe…to pretend it’s possible for a well-meaning woman to do a daddy’s job is to insult the good fathers everywhere.

As Tough as a Private School Girl

I followed my husband into the dimly lit comedy club and waited for my dad to get there, too.

It was “Open Mic” night–after 9:00pm, in the middle of the week–so it wasn’t easy to bribe a babysitter.  But I’d asked to come along in order to see my budding-comedian husband deliver five minutes worth of jokes he’d been polishing.

Luke was glad for the support, but he and my dad both warned me that 95% of what I was going to hear was just “shock humor.”

Sure enough, the men I’d arrived with were the only ones whose performances were vulgarity-free and genuinely clever.

I’m not exaggerating when I say EVERY other man on the line-up peppered his act with every type of profanity you can even think of.

There were jokes about mother-in-laws being “witches.”

Jokes about bosses that deserved to die for being such “brick heads.”

There were jokes about the various ways ex-girlfriends liked to “freak,” and how they’re still fun to “get freaky” with, even though they’re crazy and good for nothing else–and are probably worse “witches” than their mothers.

And one, very drunk man delivered the same rambling monologue, which (I’m told) he delivered every week, about the reasons he wants to beat up a fictional person named Chad.  (“Freak you, Chad!” “You’re a freaking freak!”)

Clearly, it was just mindless rambling for over two hours.

 

 

But, the honest truth is, I had a great time watching how the night played out. Really, I enjoyed being immersed in a culture I don’t get to experience very often.

And, if I were a more sensitive person and had been soooooo offended that I couldn’t handle one more expletive or reference to the female body, I always had the option to leave.  

I’m sure I would have been encouraged to do just that.

In fact, I’m positive that, if I tried to interrupt the person on stage with a personal grievance or moral lecture, the other comics would have told me where to shove it…because I witnessed an exchange with an offended audience member the night I was there.

One of the newbies was on stage, doing his very rough and awkward “routine,” and reading his notes off a napkin.   I don’t remember the punchlines exactly, but he said something about suicide.

At that point, a woman in the front row spoke up and told him it wasn’t funny.

Keep in mind, the comic was NOT a professional.  He’d never dealt with a heckler before. So, he wasn’t sure what to do other than blink at the woman with his mouth open.

Sensing his weakness, she kept going: “I have a friend who killed himself, and it’s not something you joke about.”

At that point, the amateur blew out a lungful of air and started stuttering.  “Wow. That’s just…Wow–that’s terrible.  I’ve never had this happen before.”

The other comics in the room started shouting encouragement: “Just keep going! Do your thing, man! Do your set!”  But the woman was still speaking, also.  The comic looked back and forth, from his friends to the woman, saying, “I don’t know what to do. Wow. I just–just–wow.”

Eventually, the audience started shouting at the woman:  “Be quiet! Let him finish! It’s not your turn!”   And she quieted down long enough for the comic to recover (kind of) and hobble through the rest of his time.

A few minutes later, the woman did what she should have done in the first place: she walked out the door.

————

The whole situation left me wondering: what makes a person think they have the right to control another person’s speech?

Where is that magic line between, “I just don’t agree with what he’s saying” and “I need to STOP him now, because what he’s saying is THAT BAD!”

As a religious, Conservative, mother-of-three–there were plenty of things being said that night which I thought were unnecessary and inflammatory.  Much of it revealed (in my opinion) that lost souls will say virtually anything to feel important for a few minutes, including promoting things that are downright WRONG.

But they have the right to say them to whoever will listen, don’t they?

If a bunch of single, white guys want to meet weekly and pass around a microphone for their hate-tinged, drunken rants, I’m pretty sure they’re allowed to do that in the United States.

And, if the equally-drunk crowds demand to hear more about “witches” and “brickheads,” then who am I to show up as a visitor and force them to play by my rules?

“Excuse me, gentlemen, but there’s a lady here tonight. So, please don’t say anything your grandmother wouldn’t like…”

I heard looooots of references to genitalia.  I heard looooooots of disrespect for human life, especially females.  Does that mean I had the right to call the cops and ask them to arrest all the “misogynists?”

Should I have declared war and burned the place down?

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Above is a picture of a riot that took place on the campus of UC-Berkeley, because a speaker was coming.

If you are a liberal who’s so offended by the raunchiness of Milo Yiannopoulos that you have to escalate the situation from a war of words into violence, then this private-school-graduate housewife is calling you out.

Grown-ups don’t settle things with fires and fists.

In America, we have the chance to pick up a different microphone, if we want to explain why we agree/disagree with what’s being said on stage. But answering words with weapons is what mindless punks do.  People who don’t speak very well have to lash out.  People who feel trapped because they know the other person is making better points have to lash out.

And ladies in comedy clubs with no sense of humor (and the children they left at home) are all known to lash out.

But grown ups are supposed to know better.

If you can’t take it when someone with a microphone says ugly things, then may I suggest at least growing some skin as tough as a private school girl’s?

A New Approach to the “Rape Problem”

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It’s the year 3017, and we’ve reduced the cases of rape in our society to as close to “zero” as any of us ever dreamed possible.

It’s fabulous!

Once we started giving men the choice to control their own penises–and stopped punishing them for things we may not agree with–the statistics showed a dramatic drop in rapes!

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There was a time when our country criminalized and punished men for choosing to engage in sex with someone who didn’t want it.

But, of course, that didn’t solve the problem.

Punishments for rapists were harsh; women marched against “Rape Culture”; and the  best and brightest minds on the planet tried coming up with ways to prevent the violence.

But reports of assault (especially on college campuses) continue to climb.  Clearly, it wasn’t working!

Making rape illegal wasn’t the answer!

No one was able to come up with a viable, workable solution for the problem.

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I can hardly imagine what that must have been like, back in the year 2017, when rape was illegal.

I mean, I understand why some people didn’t support a man’s right to choose. (Personally, I could never rape someone.)  But, we know we’re muuuuuch better off now that we have solutions for making rape safe and rare.

Sure, they still happen.  But, statistically, we’re better off.

Now that rape is legal, the number of rapes has dropped!

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It’s so brilliant that it’s amazing to consider people 1000 years ago didn’t have the courage to legalize rape.

Now society understands that we need to be supportive of men who are making a rape decision.  We know that, most of the time, with the right love and encouragement, they will decide not to go through with a full-blown rape.

Most men settle for simply kissing an unwilling woman on the cheek, or quickly patting one of her breasts, rather than violently penetrating a female blob-of-cells.

So…since the instances of violent rapes are down, it’s mission accomplished. Things are MUCH better than they used to be.

Problem solved.

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I can’t think of anything more compassionate and understanding than decriminalizing rapists, which results in a workable solution to this problem…

All we have to do is respect the complexity of the issue, and trust men to do what’s right with their own bodies!

Repeat after me: “It’s your penis; your choice.”

Such a simple solution to the “rapes will happen anyway” problem.

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Help, I’m Being Brainwashed!

He made his wife think she was crazy.

That was the plot of the 1940’s movie, Gaslight.

In order to hide that he was a wanted murderer, the villain married an innocent woman for cover and then framed her for being insane, every time she grew suspicious.

Thus, making someone believe they are crazy has come to be called “gaslighting.”

Oxford dictionary says it’s “manipulating (someone) by psychological means into doubting their own sanity.”

It’s a very, very popular term in feminist circles.

That’s why I think it’s time to ask ourselves whether accusing someone of “gaslighting” is, itself, the most common example of psychological manipulation…

Are feminists intentionally causing their ideological opponents to doubt their own sanity, by suggesting (over and over and over) that those opponents are predators with internalized hatred of women?

Feminist: We demand equality!

Non-feminist: How are things currently unequal?

Feminist:  See? Doubting that we need Feminism is EXACTLY why we need feminism.

Non-Feminist: So, disagreeing with you is proof that you were right all along?

Feminist:  You’re trying to make me sound crazy! I’m not going to take this gas-lighting!

Non-feminist: So…now you’re suggesting I’m psychologically abusing you?

Feminist:  Gas-lighting! Gas-lighting! Gas-lighting! YOU are the one who hates women! I’m NOOOOOOT crazy!

Non-feminist:  Um… Okay…

First of all, doubting our own sanity isn’t a bad thing.

Another word for that might be “introspection” or “conducting an honest evaluation of ourselves.”

Do you start feeling a little crazy when people question your ideas/opinions?

Well, maybe those ideas/opinions of yours really are bad ones. And maybe hanging onto bad ideas will make people a little nuts after awhile.

(Maybe women really aren’t paid less than men for doing the EXACT same work?…  Maybe being unable to get free birth control is NOT the human rights violation of the century?…)

Stopping to ask ourselves “Am I crazy” is healthy. It’s a good thing!

If someone inspires us to ask those tough questions, we shouldn’t automatically accuse them of gaslighting.

We should thank them.

That said, psychological manipulation by someone who knows what they’re doing is no joke. 

It’s also called “brainwashing,” and it’s malicious…intentional…

Gaslighting and brainwashing take careful planning and patience by a vulture who makes every move deliberately, as a form of control.

In other words:  not everything your Republican cousin says is “gaslighting.”

Therefore, if you accuse him/her of “gaslighting” with every breath, maybe you’re the one trying to cover up something by manipulating people into not trusting their own minds…

Nobody Likes You, Trump!

As thousands of women march on Washington, I believe the point they’re trying to make is, “Nobody likes you!”

Sure, you have to dig a little to hear that message…past the “pussy hats” and desecrated saints. You have to look past the I ❤ Abortion T-shirts and ignore phrases like “blow up the White House.”

But I think that’s the gist of what they mean.

“Trump (and the rest of his administration) can’t fix our problems.”

“He’s not popular.”

“None of us like him.”

And if I’m correct about that underlying message… well, then, okay!  I agree!

Trump is pretty gross and weird and unpleasant.

Did you hear me?

I said, if you’re looking for a President everyone wants to be friends with, then Trump isn’t the guy.   

Nobody likes him!

(Well, okay, there certainly are wing-nut supporters who put him up on a pedestal and claim he’s the key to America’s Greatness.)

But there are lots of people who voted for Trump that don’t worship him.

What you need to understand is: many, many of Trump’s “supporters” don’t depend on him to bring Hope and Change.

No, that would be a certain OTHER President we elected with great adoration and fanfare:

 

The word on the street is, Trump’s inauguration was attended by relatively few people, and that some were even paid to be there.

The size of the crowd in support of Trump, compared with the size of the crowd marching against him, has been brought up over and over again today.

Like here. And here.  And here.

Critics keep reminding him:

“You’re not even popular!”

“Nobody likes you!”

And, because Trump hails from Reality TV land, where ratings and popularity are everything, he takes this personally. Whenever someone suggests that no one likes him, he feels the need to respond with “nu-uh, EVERYBODY likes me!” And then he makes silly claims, like beating Hillary in a “landslide.”

(It’s possible that Trump may have a slight ego problem.)

But, here’s the truth:  Trump isn’t as popular as Obama.  People don’t like him as much.

 And, if I have to choose between a President that people don’t much like and a President that people worship, then I’m going to choose the guy we don’t like. 

I know this is strange for Americans who are confused (as Trump is) and believe this whole election has been a long episode of Dancing with the Stars.

But we’re not supposed to be hiring a celebrity. Politicians aren’t meant to be objects of worship.

The President shouldn’t be an American Idol.  


So, yes, women who are marching to tell Trump he’s a loser… You’re right.

He has bad hair.

He says stupid, off-putting things.

And he doesn’t have NEARLY the fan club of the sex-symbol who left the office.

 

Obama won the office (twice) on a wave of childlike faith that he would rule with amazingness and make everything wonderful.

But–on the flip side–I hope Trump’s unpopularity will make him a better President than Obama ever was.

Conservatives want to keep the power of government small. We believe NO politician can fix our problems, because we must fix them ourselves. Most true Conservatives aren’t going to show up at an inauguration like it’s a U2 concert.

It’s hard to keep the government small when you’re obsessed with the Prez and wish he was your BFF.

So, I like this trend, America!  Keep electing the people no one likes!

(And, for more reading on a similar topic, I wrote about Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education: the unpopular Betsy DeVos.)