Supergirl

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Given the content of this blog, one might think I was drawn to Supergirl because the show revolves around a badass, crime-fighting female. While being very true, it isn’t the full story.

I have to admit, I wasn’t too interested in watching a female-version of Superman. I mean, I wasn’t all that into Superman or the vigilante scene to begin with.

I actually started watching because I really like Melissa Benoist and enjoyed her in Glee. Hers is the voice I wish I had. While a good amount of the characters on Glee came from Broadway and have perfectly polished voices, hers is my favorite. Her tone is so pure and clear, and her voice has a depth and earthiness that makes it so unique. And her petite size belies the power of her voice!

Also, it’s like her time on Glee was foreshadowing for this show: Dynamic Duets anyone? She sang “I Need A Hero” while in superhero gear. So… the detour is justified!

 

SIDENOTE: Mechad Brooks (James Olsen), Grant Gustin (The Flash), Jeremy Jordan (Winn) and Blake Jenner (Adam Foster) also have stellar voices. Quite the talented cast! And so many Glee alums (another empowering show for so many without a voice). I wonder if there’s any hope of them spontaneously breaking out into song next season…

Anyway, after I watched the first episode I was hooked.  So besides the obvious, here are a few more reasons why I’ve come to love Supergirl:

  1. She’s Supergirl, not Superwoman

While I actually think it’s a bit of a misnomer, I’m still happy with it. The show addresses this very issue head-on in the first episode: why Supergirl instead of Superwoman?

Kudos to the writers for acknowledging a question that most viewers probably had, however, I’d be pandering if I said I agreed.

Despite Cat proclaiming she’s a girl but also a boss and empowered and rich, I didn’t buy it. Cat is beyond the point of being able to claim girlhood and I think the same about Kara. I’m now twenty-nine and feel a very real need to correct anyone who calls me a girl.

I’ve touched upon the unique power and struggle our girls face today, and Kara and Cat are out of the woods on that one. However, even though Kara is more woman than girl, I’m happy girls have a Superhero just for themselves.

Especially since Supergirl is basically covered from head to toe in a practical supersuit and not bearing midriff in shiny black leather and chains.

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  1. Female Leads: 90% of CatCo is owned by women, The President’s a woman, God’s referred to as female, co-head of the DEO is a woman

Supergirl has a bunch of female leads in top positions: a media mogul, superhero, lead undercover agent who occasionally tells her boss/alien what to do, and, for a time, Cat’s in-house council.

While there are also excellent male leads, the stacking of women at the forefront is so refreshing and promising to see. Growing up, I aspired to be like my dad: President and CEO of his own company.

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But I never had the female equivalent of him to identify with. And being female in the business world is a very different experience than being male. Cat has discussed this a few times throughout the show and it’s very validating.

So cheers to Supergirl for placing so many women in positions of power and addressing the issue straight on about what it’s like to be a female at the top. It gives girls watching the show an opportunity to pictures their future selves as powerful and confident women as well.

3. “Let’s settle this like women. What? There’s more of you here than me.” – Flash.

I damn near broke out into applause when the Flash said this. For many reasons:

-he acknowledged he was outnumbered and framed his statement appropriately

-he said to act like women, and he meant come together to efficiently settle a matter (as opposed to acting ‘crazy’)

-he included himself in that, showing that acting like a woman doesn’t mean being weak or fragile but rather being a strong and even-headed person

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Beyond that, it sometimes irks me when I’m referred to as a male (notwithstanding someone calling me “Dude.” I’m from CA, I totally understand). I almost wrote a post about using words like, “Hey, you guys” to a group of people that includes women, but lost momentum with it. It still bothers me though.

Just the other day, the only dude in a group chat of women said something like, “Ok, I’ll be a bit late but I’ll see you guys at the Echo tonight.” (Emo night LA. So much fun!)

I wanted to respond with *LADIES but bowed out. There are many female-centric fights worth fighting but that’s not one of them.

4. “I don’t normally inhale” when Supergirl saved agents and that guy from some fumes… funny!

In the realm of good versus evil, it’s expected of the good guys to stay on the straight and narrow. While I completely understand this, it gets boring and predictable after a while.

Hearing Kara make a joke about not inhaling smoke was like the equivalent of my Type-A nana banging her knee and saying, “SHIT!” It’s unexpected for something not so sweet and nice to come from someone so pure and good. Or in the case of nana, a curse word coming from someone so tightly strung.

It also makes the lead character a bit more relatable and realistic. We can all be good human beings constantly trying to be better, but we are bound to fuck up every once in a while.

C’est la vie.

5. Good wins out.

There are plenty of shows dramatizing unfortunate things that happen all over the world:

-The Wire: narcotics and law enforcement in Baltimore

-Homeland: terrorism

-Law and Order SVU: really messed up, sick, and disturbing crimes

-House of Cards: vengeful politicians cheating the law

-Breaking Bad: teacher turned BAMF meth dealer

-The vast majority of reality TV: junk food for the brain

Now I know I’ve listed a few holy grails there but please don’t hate me just yet. A lot of these very popular and successful shows depict the darker side of our world but also highlight the humanity in it.

And that’s nice.

But sometimes I just want good to win. Period. Those shows exist because messed up stuff like that actually does happen. The last thing we need is even more of it streaming through our various devices and glamorizing an awful reality.

I know Supergirl and Once Upon A Time and Vampire Diaries are all fantasy but I appreciate how much the good triumphs over evil. It’s not real but at the end of the day, after reading cases on rape or assault for law school, I want nothing more than a fantastical show where the good guys win.

We have enough depressing reality. We need more shows that promote positivity and truth and love. In my humble opinion, of course.

6. It’s passes the Bechdel Test!

And it occasionally turns the test on its head.

If you’re unfamiliar, the Bechdel Test is as follows:

  1. The movie/show has at least two women in it
  2. Who talk to each other
  3. About something besides a man

One of the first things I noticed was that Supergirl knocked the Bechdel test out of the park. The show has a ton of women in it who speak to each other occasionally about men but also about work, life in general, and flying around National City without being seen.

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But later I also noticed that the show turned would have violated the test had it been between men and not women! For a while in the beginning, the dudes didn’t have much to talk about besides Kara. Obviously that didn’t last long but it was interesting to see that turned around.

7. Despite being an alien, she’s very human

Supergirl isn’t unattainable in terms of being like her. Well, minus her super powers of course. Desipte her impeccable timing and saving many lives, she’s not completely perfect or invincible.

She is obviously vulnerable to kryptonite, especially the red kind that makes her into an evil person. But even on a human level, she messes up occasionally. She has no idea how to speak to men she’s interested in, and she feels real pain when she and her sister are not getting along.

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Occasionally she needs to ask friends to help her, which shows that it’s perfectly fine to ask for help. Our society seems to place a lot of pressure on the individual to do everything themselves since needing help is a sign of weakness. But that’s bullshit and Supergirl knows it.

8. New spin on old story

This is a favorite theme of mine: expanding on tried and true stories. I loved the sequel to Alice in Wonderland because it continues, but doesn’t really change, the story. And I sincerely hope Once Upon A Time goes on forever expanding on stories from my childhood.

Perhaps it’s just me but I appreciate the creativity and thought put into continuing a story that generations for years have loved. And Supergirl seems markedly different from all the superhero movies being put out, that seem to be on some necessary rotation where they MUST come out with another one in 2-5 years (I’m sure it’s legal in nature…)

Supergirl isn’t just another remake but a continuation of the legend that is Superman. She allows us to continue to enjoy the morals and messages Superman started years ago. And most importantly, we get to see this timeless story in the eyes of a female.

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I’m really glad Supergirl got approved for a second season because I can’t wait to see what she does next! In the meantime, I’m keeping myself busy by binging on the domino effect this show has had on me: Dare Devil, Jessica Jones, The Flash, Arrow 🙂

Added after season 2:

9. The introduction of non-heterosexual characters

While I identify as straight, I really appreciated watching Alex’s self-discovery. I clearly have no idea what it’s like trying to be straight all my life and then finally finding out I’m not. But I think this plot line might help those who don’t understand what it’s like living in a society that assumes you’re straight and taking that assumption as a self-truth.

My aunt and uncle still don’t believe my cousin is pan because she’s had boyfriends in the past. What’s more, her mom ‘has a lot of experience working with lesbians’ and ‘cousin just doesn’t come off like they do.’

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As with most issues, I think it boils down to communication and empathy and letting go of unfounded fear. Having more shows that include characters who are not straight is important because it opens a world to people who have a very narrow, biased opinion of non-heterosexual people.

(And for anyone who’s scared of the non-heteros due to the threat it poses to their person beliefs, don’t tell them Glee exists, SHHHHHH!)

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Finding Balance in a World Askew

The video above can be misleading in light of the rest of this post so let me just clarify that somethings you don’t have to try to do, while others you should constantly try to strive for.

We live in an time of quickness, our world is rapidly spinning faster and faster. Ok, the earth isn’t spinning faster. At least I don’t think… but maybe it is? The universe is expanding in size but I don’t know if that necessitates faster… whatever I’m not talking about the earth’s rotation, I’m talking about our pace of life. It’s whirling by us and we’re grabbing at whatever we can before it leaves us in the dust.

Or at least that’s what it feels like.

Instant gratification in regards to things is okay on a few levels. Food when we haven’t eaten in hours, water when we’re dehydrated, clothes and shelter when we’re cold and need a fire to warm us. Even less viatally essential things, like how we NEED that song we just heard on the radio

RIGHT NOW!

I get that. But it’s not an absolute truth of our humanness that we are entitled to get everything we’re due immediately. In fact, in some cases, it’s the opposite. Not the entitlement part, we are all most certainly entitled to that which we already possess. Rather, the more ethereally essential stuff. We have so much potential, it’s there within us, but we need to tap into it to get it. This is what takes time and energy and concentration, all of which is counter to the way the majority of our world functions.

I’d be willing to bet that if I stood on a busy street for an hour and asked people what they wanted most in life in one word, a good majority of the answers would be love or happiness. However, in our daily lives we act in opposition of the desire to have those two precious aspects of life. Achieving these isn’t like ordering a book on Amazon and getting it delivered directly to your Kindle (or Apple store and iPad if you swing that way). They take time and concerted effort, such as looking seriously from all angles at the things that aren’t making you happy and finding out why. Or meditation. Where you have to sit still and be quiet and not think….

how do people do this!?

I can’t last more than 10 minutes.

In previous posts I’ve detailed how I felt when I was in a place of unfortunate confusion which caused me distress in my life for about 10 years. The first glimmer of coming out of that was a book my Dad got me for Christmas: The Meaning of Mary Magdalene: Discovering the Woman at the Heart of Christianity. It basically told me what I knew to be true in my heart. All of what I was reading was very new and different but, in a way, I felt like these were things I already believed, I just hadn’t put them into words. After that I felt I’d figured it out.

I’m so enlightened now, I got the messages, thanks! Ready for enlightenment, any minute now!

Of course it didn’t come. And what was worse was that while I felt renewed and changed, the fact that everyone else around me and the rest of the world hadn’t changed too made me frustrated and angry. I only felt peace when I’d read the book before I went to bed. So I started reading more books on various topics: NDEs, Gnostic and synoptic Gospels, biocentrism, psychology, history. These might seem scattered and distant from the book that sparked this exploration but they were really all related.

One topic led to another.

I wanted to soak it all up and what I found was that it’s all connected. Based on what I was reading and what I took for my own beliefs, there was no opposition between science and my beliefs. In fact, they complimented each other very nicely.

I learned to live two lives: one in the material world, chugging away at a desk job, and one lost in a book, blowing my own mind with all the new things I was learning. Once I quit that desk job, I seriously considered taking a solid break from the world and absconding to a remote Native American village to soul search for a few months. The Type A side of me wouldn’t allow that so we met in the middle and I went to music school for a year. In essence though, I think it had the same affect. I got taken out of my droll 9 to 5 and was able to simply live life with very few cares.

I know, I’m very blessed and very thankful.

I have a point, I swear. It’s this: 100% in the material world or 100% in the spiritual world doesn’t work for the vast majority of people here. I’m no different. I had to learn how to balance myself between the material and the spiritual aspects of myself. Because we are both, at the moment, and ignoring one and indulging in the other will only make our time here harder.

One big take away for me was that it needs to be a consistent practice. I know many people who have the ability to incorporate a life change as easily as flipping a switch. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people. It takes me a long time to change, but once I made the effort, it was like,

how come I wasn’t here all along?

Because it’s usually so much better than where I was before. However, in order to avoid mistaking the next step for reaching my spiritual apex, I need to keep a few things in mind:

  1. I know nothing: while I do celebrate achieving the next enlightened step, it’s merely a step.
  2. There will always be more to learn: there is no possible way for the vast majority of us to figure it all out.
  3. Keep going: once I’ve reached that next ah-ha moment, don’t dwell because there will always be more to explore.
  4. I’m in control: everything I decide to put in my face is my decision, so if I become angry at some inane Instagram post, it’s my own damn fault and I should’ve unfollowed that person a long time ago.

Number 4 is really important. It doesn’t only apply to social media but to places we decide to go and people we decide to be around. We can’t control other people but we can control ourselves. Choosing to be around certain people and doing certain activities to our own liking will ultimately make us happier and really set the foundation to allow us to grow in the direction we sincerely desire.

While I’ve demonstrated the various ways I’ve struggled with and somewhat found balance, I also understand that everyone is different. We all need to take a moment, a deep breath, and ask ourselves how we might find our own happy, spiritual equilibrium in our ever changing world.

Again, this takes time and patience. Which is why I tattooed the ancient Celtic symbol for balance on my wrist where I can get a daily reminder:

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So we all have our process and tricks… what’s yours?

RE: Why Chivalry Is Dead, From A Man’s Perspective

Dear John Picciuto,

Thank you. Your post on chivalry, er its absence nowadays, was beyond validating. Especially coming from one of the male variety. Not that it’s less than true coming from the female perspective, it just gives the message more clout when it’s no longer one-sided.

I’m pretty sure the universe was drawing me to your post on chivalry because I recently had an unfortunate realization. I met a very nice, respectful guy. We hung out a few times and it was very easy and comfortable, no pressure, just taking our time getting to know each other.

Or so I thought.

Two days ago we hung out and he said that he couldn’t quite figure me out. Which, apparently, in guy speak meant that he wasn’t sure if I was interested in him as more than a friend or not. I told him I certainly had that inclination. He was further confused because I’ve only been acting as a friend towards him.

Yes, that is correct, I told him.

I explained that in getting to know someone, whether my intentions are for an acquaintance or a life partner, I always get to know them as a friend first. It doesn’t matter how physically or initially attracted to a person you are, if they annoy the shit out of you or can’t hold a conversation it just won’t work.

After I let him know that I could possibly see him as more than a friend, it was like a switch was flipped. Suddenly his hands began to encroach on my bubble. I vocalized and physically demonstrated that I wasn’t ok with that.

This really confused him.

I realized I went from one category in his mind (a friend) to another (more than a friend) and in doing so, I had become something he felt he had license to paw at. Despite telling him I wasn’t comfortable with that, physically distancing myself, and explaining why I didn’t want him doing that, he just didn’t hear it.

My nice guy was a fraud.

He was content on being a nice and respectful friend since that’s all he’d get out of me. Once he saw the line was just a bit further ahead, he suddenly felt able to cross it and go beyond the line. I started to wonder if this description of a guy I’d been formulating over the years was just a lie I was telling myself because he can’t possibly exist.

It went something like this:

  • Is Male
  • Has enough depth to contemplate spiritual questions about life and beyond
  • Has enough emotional intelligence to vocalize how he is feeling about something
  • Has enough worldly intelligence to pursue a career he is passionate about
  • Likes the idea of children
  • Can see me as a whole person and not possibly forever arm candy

I’m not going to go into more personal specifics but you get the general idea. However, I started to think I was asking way too much. I was starting to think this person will never and has never existed. Until I read your article. It was a shining beacon of hope for my possibly-impossible man. However, I think I found one thing that I disagree with you on:

Chivalry isn’t dead. It’s just changed.

It used to be, due to societal norms, that chivalry was opening doors, paying for dinners, and pulling out chairs. And once that was achieved the woman became a housewife and lived with her bread-winning husband happily ever after (stereotypically, of course). But society has since changed, and as such, so has the female outlook on life. Don’t get me wrong, I like some of the old chivalrous ways. But I’ll split dinner with you and if I’m first to the door, I’ll open it for both of us.

Women have taken a more substantial role in contributing to society today compared to when the ideals of chivalry were first formed. But instead of also changing the ways men and women interact on personal levels, the old ways were simply ditched. So you’re right, dating is now a lost art and you have to, like, try

Who does that nowadays? Instant gratification! Ammirite?!

Instead of catering to (again, stereotypically) a weak woman, you now can be attentive to an outspoken woman with ideas and dreams of her own. This can be best done over a dinner or walk in the park or really ANYWHERE that allows for conversation. This is how it starts. Talking. Seeing each other as people first. Becoming friends.

So I don’t think it’s simply a matter of women demanding what they’re worth. We’re doing that already and all we’re getting in return is silence from the other end. It’s not a one-way street. Along with women gaining a louder, more confident voice, men too need to realize that we’re human beings who deserve basic respect. As mentioned before, an idea gains clout when it’s no longer one-sided.

So thank you, John Picciuto. You are, so far, the one male voice who gives me hope that the idea of getting to know someone as a person first just might no longer be one-sided.

Yours truly,

headphonegrrl

Girls

I’m not one to judge another woman on her appearance. How we choose to present ourselves to the rest of the world is our choice because it’s our body. However, I can’t help but be concerned for the young, impressionable girls out there who see women who modify themselves to the extent that society expects them to. This became very real for me when my 12 year old cousin asked me a question. We were in the car with our aunt and her partner on our way to a family dinner. The conversation wasn’t more than 3 minutes and went something like this:

Cousin: Elle, when did you get your first boyfriend?

Me: (like the good cousin I am I lied outright) College, why do you ask?

C: A lot of girls in my class have boyfriends. And they wear make-up and do their hair and have cute clothes.

Me: Oh wow, in the sixth grade? (Attempting to hide my shock and judgment) Well do you want a boyfriend?

C: Not really.

Me: What do you like about school then?

C: I really like my math class. And science is fun too.

Me: How do you feel about clothes and make-up?

C: I like high heels! But I’d never wear them to school. My friend says I don’t have style (I can’t remember what she was wearing exactly but it most certainly clashed).

Me: Don’t worry about your friend. You dress how you want. And if you’re more interested in books than boys right now that’s just fine, too. In fact it’s great! Boys and clothes and make up will always be there, trust me. The best thing you can do right now is focus on what you find interesting. Like math! That was my favorite subject.

And that was that. She didn’t say it but I could tell she felt validated by what I said because… well,

I’m kind of a big deal.

No really, I am, but just to her : ) She has 3 older female cousins on my side of her family and we rarely get to see her so we’re like celebrities to her. I was the same way with the my older cousins. So I know what I said stuck with her. Shortly after the visit, I got a text from her showing me the acceptance letter she received to be apart of a college prep program… in the sixth grade!

My little nerd, I was so proud.

That was over a year ago now and although I think I gave her the right message I’m back to being in a panic. I can only imagine being her mom. The latest issue between them was regarding Cousin getting her own Instagram account. Cousin and Mom were fighting about it and Mom finally caved but also got her own account so she could keep an eye on Cousin. I can understand both sides completely, but I would not want to be in my aunt’s shoes.

If you consider the bombardment Cousin’s brain is getting from these images compared to any positive influences she’s getting, it’d worry anyone. Although I grew up in a less technological world, I can completely understand my parents desire to shelter me for as long as possible. Granted, I don’t condone it, but I can understand. Absolutely! Cousin’s not even my daughter and I want to keep an eye on her at all times.

I know the children are our future, but I think we can get more specific:

girls are our future.

It’s really quite simple if you think about it. When you build up one gender and confine another, you limit society overall. This is perpetuated by the built-up gender once it reaches adulthood and has progenies of its own.

So the solution?

Easy. Encourage both young genders to do and be whatever they like regardless of [INSERT SUPERFICIAL IDENTIFIER]. This, of course, includes any aspirations children might have. Cousin, after finding out that I’m applying for law school, said she wanted to either be a lawyer or forensic anthropologist (we both like the show Bones on FOX, where the main character is a crime fighting forensic anthropologist).

I told her those were two very good professions to aim for and she could do anything she set her mind to.

I think I read somewhere that you shouldn’t tell kids that but I disagree. My parents told us the same thing and that allowed us to try every new idea we had. It also showed us that sometimes when we tried really hard we failed anyway. I think that’s an important lesson, too. You can try your best and still not get the results you were hoping for, but guess what? That’s life. My parents also told us many times that

life’s not fair.

That might be the most important thing a young girl needs to understand: life’s not set up to be fair to you. They should know it young so they’re prepared down the line. Pessimistic? Sure, but the best offense is a good defense! Maybe if they realize that early enough, they’ll be more prepared in the future. So when they get their first big-girl job (as my Dad put it, as well as “child who is finally off the payroll”) and notice that her dude co-worker who is doing the same job is getting paid more, she doesn’t think less of herself because of it. Which is something that can happen easily.

Just because we’re treated a certain way by others and society doesn’t mean we should internalize it.

This is SO easier said than done.

When you’re a teenage girl, it doesn’t matter how many times your parents tell you you’re beautiful and special and loved. Teenagers never listen to their parents! They turn to friends and what they see in social media to validate themselves. So all we need to do is find an equally powerful mechanism to counteract the damaging influences of social media and the like.

BAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Ok so that’s out. What else have we got? Society is too big a beast to tackle. Hell, even a city or small town is too big. The only thing we can do is be the change that we want to see. I do this by mercilessly stalking Cousin on social media and maintaing a close relationship despite our distance by being penpals. Oh, and investing in things like this blog and organizations that seek to strengthen our girls.

Changing the world is a monumental task. But if we go one person at a time, it’s more than a possibility. It can be reality.

Shall we?

Being Female, a Feminist, and Loving Football

I love my San Francisco 49ers. That team has held a special place in my heart for as long as I can remember. And not just because I’m from the Bay Area and I love football. When I was young, it was rare that the whole family was together, unless it was a Sunday and we were watching our Niners.

My parents started their business when I was one. And while I’m incredibly proud of them for creating such a success together, it wasn’t without sacrifice. My Mom stopped working full-time when I was eleven, but my Dad continues to be engrossed in his rapidly expanding new enterprise. This meant we didn’t see Dad very much. But one thing was always certain:

he was home on Sundays and that’s when we would watch our Niners.

We’d eat a meal together gathered around the television and at half-time my sister and I would go in the backyard with Dad to throw the football. Dad would be all-time QB, using his hand to draw out plays, and my sister and I would switch off on defense and offense. After running around a bit we’d go back inside to watch the rest of the game.

Although I wasn’t as captivated by the game back then as I am now, I was enthralled by how my Dad talked about the team. They weren’t just great players, they were great people. He would describe them as “class acts” and “real stand-up guys,” especially compared to other teams and coaches. A few of my bedtime stories were football stories. I remember how my Dad would describe Joe Montana entering a huddle, like he was in it, too. It’d go something like this:

“Joe stepped into the huddle. All the men were nervous, a lot depended on this next drive. They were down by three, deep in their own territory with less than four minutes left in the game, and Joe Cool couldn’t be calmer. He even pointed out that John Candy was on the sidelines, and immediately everyone relaxed. Because in that moment they knew they were going to win the game with their cool-as-a-cucumber of a quarterback. Joe knew, their coaches knew, hell, even the other team knew. And that’s exactly what they did. They charged down that field like they owned it and won the Superbowl. No jeering from our Niners, no endzone dances, just pure elation that they’d done it together and they shook hands with the other team. Joe and his teammates were real class acts. They deserved to with that Superbowl.”

Yes, I’m absolutely idealizing the time and circumstances in my foggy childhood memories. I’m not saying that things were perfect back then. I’m sure there were players, Niners or not, who had the same issues with violence and how they treated women as players do today. And all the other reasons players keep getting themselves arrested.

But that doesn’t mean the ideal can’t be reality.

This isn’t the first time an organization has taken notice that, for some odd reason, they have a higher instance of domestic violence than the national average. One example of an organization that changed its ways is our military. Hmmm… football is a violent sport and our military trains people to kill. I wonder if these activities could have some psychological repercussions we might want to address?

The good news with our military is that they reacted and set in place policies and procedures to prevent this from happening and if it did, to create safe places for abused people to go. They call these Case Review Committees (CRCs) and they are comprised of many different people who are there to help: psychologists, lawyers, substance-abuse counselors, social workers, and many more.

Of all the people in the NFL, I would think Roger Goodell would be for this.

He’s already screwed the pooch a few times over by opening his mouth and letting his personal thoughts on the various matters tumble out. He should really set an example for all the men in the NFL by saying something like, “This is out of my expertise. I believe it would be in the best interest of the NFL to organize a committee to take care of these types of instances. Not only would they give the cases the attention they need but they would know how to help prevent league members from being violent in the first place.” Unfortunately, he did not say that. He’s even sticking around instead of GTFO like he should and silencing anyone who might speak up against him.

The current system of punishment in place is the NFL taking playing time and money from the players. And that’s it. What’s it like when they return? They’re not required to go to therapy or even an anger management course. They just return to the field feeling like a criminal and its back to business as usual… until it happens again. This is not a solution.

The NFL has an immense amount of power and influence.

The Superbowl is hands down the most watched event in the U.S., period. And the best part is that there’s a large population that only watches it for the commercials. Not only can the NFL tap into that power but they can choose advertisers who would support, if not at least not directly oppose, their positions. However, they need to firmly take positions such as treating women right, leaving the physical violence on the field, and setting an example for young men and women. This can be achieved if serious concentrated effort is put into the movement that addresses what has happened as well as preventing it from happening in the future.

Until then, I, along with the other 11 females in my fantasy football league, will continue to watch our Niners and cheer for them while trying not to feel too conflicted about the sport we thoroughly enjoy watching. Because the solution isn’t to stop supporting football. It’s speaking up and attempting to change what we love into something that’s continually getting better.

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(not a random baby, that’s me dressed in my very first Halloween costume. Faithful since birth!)

Don’t Call Me Crazy

I might have a new guy in my life. I say might mainly because I’m jaded but also I’m not sure in what capacity he’d be around. I think he’s not sure either because the other night, as New Guy was leaving, he mentioned going on a date sometime for fun.

In my mind, I didn’t make too much of it and saw it as nothing really different than what we’ve been doing so far (which is eating dinner that I cooked, this time someone else would be cooking it and we’d spilt the bill). I told him I’d hold him to that since, although I’ve only known him a short time, he seems a bit flaky.

This triggered some kind of reaction in him and he made damn sure I was aware that he “really sucked” when it came to relationship stuff because women can be “crazy” and “psycho,” he must have said psycho like 7 times.

Then he attempted to back track in a patronizing manner when he stated that women are so much smarter than men and get away with lying. He told me that if he lied to me I could spot it from a mile away but women are smarter and can get out of anything.

Oh yeah… he didn’t just step in it.

He got that shit all up in his treads and stomped around.

Naturally I looked him straight in the eye, kept nodding my head as he dug that hole deeper and deeper, then sweetly said we’ll tackle that topic next time. As much as I really would have loved to watch him immolate himself solely with his words, it was late and he was half way out the door.

Now to put this into perspective, New Guy is most probably used to women jumping on the opportunity to go on a date with him. And if they get that far, I’d bet it’s not long before they start fantasizing about marriage and children. That’s because New Guy is a model:

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Regardless! He brought up a topic that gets me quite heated and probably not in the sense he’s used to when it comes to heating women up…

When men say women are crazy, they’re really saying they don’t understand why a woman would have a certain reaction to something they did or said so they call it insanity. When in reality, they just couldn’t imagine themselves reacting in that way, and if they did,

well shit they’d have to be nuts!

I’ve read many an article about how calling a woman crazy undermines her reality. Basically, in calling her crazy you’re saying that her natural reaction to something is so intense she needs to suppress that part of herself and calm the fuck down.

And all those articles are spot on. Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t make it weird or crazy or wrong, you are just ignorant and too lazy to try to comprehend.

This, I believe, is where the root of the problem lies. I’d say that all men (and by men I mean cis heterosexual men, sorry to leave others out but they’re my only specialty when it comes to dudes) should take a course in psychology but New Guy has a degree in that and… well… you know.

There is a book by Louann Brizendine called The Female Brain and it was one of the best reads I’ve ever had. She also has a book called The Male Brain. Both are about 150 pages and very readable for the non-scientific mind. She tracks the brain from the womb to death and uses A TON of scientific evidence to back it all up. In fact, the books are actually closer to 200 pages but the last quarter is all the support for her findings. In a nutshell this is what I gleaned from them:

After reading the Female Brain –

I’m NOT nuts!

After reading the Male Brain –

*sits in stunned silence because it’s all been explained*

Even if you don’t read the books, the big picture is that we are made differently. Yes, women tend to be more emotionally charged but we are naturally like that. Therefore, telling her to suppress those emotions or down playing them or telling her that her emotions are insane hurts more than it helps.

Actually it just hurts the situation, it never, ever helps.

What would help is if men grasped the basic message Brizendine was getting at: we are made differently. Accept it. Attempt to understand it. Then apply it to your interactions with women and, oh, I don’t know, perhaps have a healthy, calm conversation about the real issue at hand?

Because after you understand and stop calling your female friends/lovers/family members insane, then you can start accepting those feelings within yourself. Another damaging part of calling women crazy is that if men show those emotions as well, they associate negative connotations with those emotions and suppress them, which never turns out well.

Although Brizendine wrote two separate books, it wasn’t because we are two completely different beings. No one is completely male and no one is completely female. I know lots of females who are far too logical for their own good and many overly emotional males. Unfortunately it seems anything remotely female is labeled as a negative. And it’s not. It’s part of who we are.

We are thinking AND feeling human beings

and suppressing any of our natural urges will only hurt us and those around us.

More empathy and understanding in any interaction will help all involved in a situation. So the sooner men comprehend our emotions and stop calling us crazy, the sooner we’ll stop calling them idiots for not even trying to understand in the first place.