Books, History, Food, Politics, and Life

Books, History, Food, Politics, and Life
Things through a different light...

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

Had a big day, Aiden was great as always.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Why is it So Hard?

I do not want to live in Middle Georgia.  I do not have any sort of seething hatred for the area and this is not a slight against those who do want to live here (though some people I know take it that way...), but Adam and I have wanted to move out of the area for years and no...we are not confused, and yes we KNOW what we want to do (was told I didn't know what I wanted).... and it is slightly frustrating when someone just assumes you are wrong or you do not know what you are doing or tries to guilt you into not leaving.  

We are not trying to hurt anyone's feelings, we just want to go other places.  In addition, some people have career goals, and mine includes obtaining a PhD in history, and there are no PhD programs in Macon, Georgia.  It is hard to sit and not get annoyed when you are basically made to feel that your family won't even consider visiting you if you decide to move somewhere inconvenient for them.  Sometimes I wonder, when is my life and my family's life about us???

One of the schools I want to go to is UC San Diego and you would think I was applying to a college on the moon... 

What is the stigma with cities or the West?  Do you know how many people act like New York or San Diego are these seats of thunderdome levels of violence and danger??  I don't get it... I never will.  I love cities, it is my dream to live in one.

And no, no place is perfect and I am sure wherever we move there will be things we do not like, but we will be going somewhere we want to go and that is important.  I am going to stay positive and look forward to the coming changes and hope that those who do not support our decisions one day see that sometimes we have to do what is best for us, and what makes us happy.

Who would not want to live here?????

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Have Women Progressed?

Small tiny rant tonight that is on my mind.
Have women's rights issues actually progressed very much since the second wave of feminism in the 1960s and 1970s.  Sure, women have more opportunity now, there are more women seeking higher education than men now... but recently we had to fight tooth and nail just to get an equal pay initiative passed and the violence against women act...which to me is a no brainer...failed once and almost failed a second time.

You hear archaic things again like a woman's place is in the home and even more barbaric concepts about how women who are assertive or dress in short skirts or God forbid act a bit wild at times are "asking" for it, basically excusing sexual violence and assault.

I don't care how short a woman's skirt is or how much she has had to drink in a night... when she says "no" that is a pretty clear indication of how the night should go.

There are men who actually believe that NO means maybe or yes... I know it seems far reaching and completely disgusting... but its still acceptable to think that way.  I've heard conversations that say as much...and it was sickening then and its sickening now to know that some grown men think that way

We just had asinine arguments over "legitimate rape" in 2012... and a girl who got sexually assaulted by a few popular football players gets scrutinized because in rape, the victim is always "shady" or "up to something"....

I don't know what breeds this bonehead logic that women want to be treated like crap, dominated, discriminated against, or that this rape fantasy is somehow cool to talk about, think about, or even write about... but its sick and it promotes destructive and dangerous behavior...

And yes, intelligent men who are not complete barbaric ogre monsters do not think this way... My husband would never disrespect me as a woman and doesn't see the female sex as some lesser creature... He was raised though by a loving, strong willed, intellectual, and no nonsense mother and a loving and equally respectful father...people who would not have allowed their son to be so coarse as to look at a woman in a negative light or treat a woman with any level of diminished respect...
Apparently not everyone gets that education...

After reading a few articles tonight when looking into some stuff for one of my classes on the role of women and the perception of women in society and meshing that with my experience with respectful men and disrespectful men... I find myself shocked that in reality we have sort of stepped backwards because rape is so vague and easy to get out of again... how is this?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Just Wow

Over the years, I have witnessed some pretty nasty things said... sometimes by intelligent people, on the topic of race.

There are a lot of misguided people who believe because we elected a black president...that somehow racism has gone away...

And then this happened....

You know we can all be shocked and sickened by such behavior, thinking that it is rare, but I know people who think this way.  I've heard them use the N word, I know that they truly believe that just because someone's skin color is slightly different from their own...that they are less of a person and I am not kidding.
Now, I do not willingly speak to this person, I do not like this person... but I know them and have known them since I was a child and it disgusts me when I see things like what happened above.

Racism is alive and well and its insidious and disgusting...
All one has to do is read the comment section or the 13wmaz comments on facebook to realize that not only is it alive, but there are quite a few people who over the last decade or so have regressed and while they used to whisper this stuff in private with their like minded friends, now have ways of expressing their disgusting and backwards thoughts in the open and because no one completely ruins them for it...they keep doing it and its becoming OK and acceptable and its shocking.

I've been called lazy, I've been called a welfare queen, and told that I need to teach my "people" how to not act like animals on a public forum because my name is Lashonda and they assumed I was black....

Welcome to Middle Georgia right?  Where an hour away they still had a segregated prom a few years ago....
And people wonder why I want to move away from the south
(before you say racism is everywhere... I know it is, but some places are worse than others)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

School Post

This is technically a school post I suppose.

Taking a class on the American West busts some misconceptions I had about a few areas of the United States prior to their inclusion into the country... some prior to being a country at all.  Specifically a few things stood out...

What do you mean there were tons of different countries facilitating a huge and complex trade system in the Pacific Northwest during the early 19th century when most people thing it was some woodsy wasteland????

Russians?  Yes Russians... so many Russians in fact that they petitioned Catherine the Great to give them the money to colonize and claim areas in the Pacific Northwest as Russia.  

There were Russians, British, Californians, Mexicans (technically from the same country but you wouldn't dare say that to the Californians), Anglo-Americans, and tons of native groups... there were forts, vast trade houses, villages, cities... I was pretty much like wow... and yea I knew some of it... 

This goes to something I said a few weeks ago to someone who took my words completely wrong and thought that when I said:  "They didn't teach history right then..." as "You are an idiot."

Now I know that those two statements are completely different, but I cannot make this stuff up.

I've believed this for a long time... since I learned that Columbus never made it HERE or the fact that history books stop talking about Helen Keller as a kid because they really do not feel like getting into the fact that she was a pretty aggressive women's rights activist in her time or that she became a communist....
(I guess it hurts her image)
OR that most students do not even know what the Whiskey Rebellion is.... to be fair, the Whiskey Rebellion is a personal pet peeve because I believe that it says a lot about the instability of the United States in the beginning and how quickly the United States went to war over the same tax issues that supposedly caused the Revolution only a few years prior... excise taxes... and yet those who rebelled...needed excise taxes... Its a big deal and a text book I have from about 10 years ago that I used in a paper I wrote on the topic... mentions it in passing in one paragraph...the book is on American history and its pretty big... but the Whiskey Rebellion gets a paragraph...kind of.  

The rebellion took years mind you... years... and it gets a paragraph.


Back to the West....we don't hear about how integrated many societies out west were for a period of time and how important it was for men who wanted to be successful in the West to marry into native groups... only once the American squatters refused to stop encroaching over and over onto native lands, bringing their own racial classifications did those systems and cultures start to break down... relegating anyone who had mixed heritage into a lower class where people lost their influence, their businesses, wealth, and their lands... just because they were part Indian.

It is one of those nights...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Poverty and Obesity

One thing a lot of people do not really consider when discussing the obesity problem that plagues the United States is poverty and the availability and usage of healthy and nutritious foods.  

No one is saying that everyone needs to be skinny, but everyone needs to be healthy and excusing bad habits by flocking to the gym after feasting on junk food all day is not the answer...and those people are not the people I am talking about either... while some people choose to be obese...  some people have no choice and that is becoming more and more evident.

Did you know most of the poor neighborhoods do not have ready or close access to grocery stores within an easy distance... many of these people, living in cities and urban areas are faced with doing a great deal of their shopping at a "Corner store" that does NOT have vegetables, fruits, or anything remotely fresh....

Even if they are close to a grocery store... look on your cereal isle... notice...
all the sweet, sugary, bad for you cereals are close to the ground... easier to get to... 

It is OK to eat cake, it is OK to have chocolate and soda and even something that is "bad" for you... but a lot of Americans live off processed foods, fast food, and sugar, sugar, sugar...

There are a few books out right now that connect obesity and poverty and the lack of access to wholesome and good foods.... and for every person who decides that its simply OK to feast on processed and bad for you food and maintain no sense of a healthy diet by choice... there are more who eat what they can get... because they may not have the access to a vehicle or transportation to a place that might have a fully stocked grocery store.

Its upsetting.  When 40% of the country is not overweight, not a little bit unhealthy... but Obese... that is a wake up call... its one of the biggest killers in the country and yet no one cares. People eat what they want in some sort of obtuse rejection of "authority" like eating whatever you want regardless of how sick its making you is some sort of freedom or right... if you want to be unhealthy, sick, and less productive...that is your business... but the trend, the demand kind of fuels the system...
Kids see people with these habits and they think these habits are OK and they are not.  Then there are the kids who have no option and while they go to bed hungry, with their stomachs growling, they are also overweight... facing the highest numbers of diabetes and obesity related health problems this nation has ever seen...

I don't eat a perfect diet... and my family loves to eat, sometimes decadent foods, but there is this thing called balance and knowing what you put in your body and setting up at least an environment at home that teaches our son good foods, bad foods and how to balance it all so he may not struggle with the same issues.   

hunger and obesity, linked in the US, so shocking... and instead of work together to fight it, there are so many people who get indignant because they want their processed fat and corn syrup without thinking of the consequences... 

Monday, March 11, 2013


Lots going on...

Still diligently working on my Master's degree and I hope to finish that up within the next year to year and a half. 
Aiden is growing so quickly and he is already almost 12 weeks old!    Adam and I are pretty enamored with that little kid....

trying to set up goals / plans so we can be somewhere else in a few years, no offense to those who like Middle Georgia, we just don't and while no place is perfect... when you decide its time to work on getting somewhere else, then you know that the place you live in isn't for you.

We have a few places in mind, all equally awesome and hopefully obtainable.  

We will be going down to Florida in a few weeks for a wedding and a much needed break, a breather will be nice!  cannot wait!!!
It will be a much needed recharge...

Reading a few books right now, all equally interesting... sorry I am vague and jumping around, I am tired.

Have a good night!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Discovering "The Feminine Mystique"

Growing up with two working parents in a middle class home is pretty much easy living to some extent.  My sister and I had the proper support at home from parents who both nurtured our needs and also pushed us to be whatever we wanted to be, even if that conflicted with what they thought we should be.  
I was never told to go to college to find a husband.  I was told I should go to college to get a good education.
I was never told that because I was a girl, there were certain things I should want to do like be a wife and a mother and while I was encouraged to do "girly" things, there was always someone in my family encouraging my intellectual curiosities and telling me to do whatever I wanted to do... no matter how challenging.  

I had two grandmothers who came from post WWII America, one who served in WWII in Europe and the other who also worked her entire life and BOTH were strong, assertive, and independent females who never told me to settle for anything but what I wanted out of life.  

So the world of the housewife was this alien thing that I literally saw on television and never experienced for myself.

Yes I am married... I have been married for almost 13 years to one of the most amazing people on this PLANET.  He too is progressive, intelligent, and he would NEVER put constraints on his wife... this man is willing to put himself through any hell necessary for me to achieve my dreams of obtaining a PhD and becoming a college professor.  He has never referred to by body as some asset, he's never made me feel like an item or a toy or some sexual object... and I will be honest, he is one of the only males I know who hasn't. I have friends who cannot speak about a woman and not sound horribly sexist and misogynistic... treating women whether they know it or not like lesser creatures... objects and that is disgusting.   
Adam spends time telling me I'm a genius, loving me for who I am, and fixing me dinner after he gets home from work... he is beyond amazing...  He doesn't treat me like a woman, he treats me like a person, an equal, no different.

So in essence... I have had a considerable amount of support throughout my life.

Reading Friedan's iconic The Feminine Mystique shocked me and the responses I have read to it have shocked me more.
Her book involved the diminished status of middle class housewives in the 1950s and how these women, void of identity were miserable and suffering.  They were taught by the media, society, academia, and everyone around them that a woman's true place was as a doting housewife and mother and that role was the only role that would be sufficient and fulfilling to women.  Friedan addressed the sentiment in the world that women who wanted to be single, who didnt want children, or who wanted careers were somehow off and wrong and a woman should be innocent, doll like and subservient to a man. 
I hated reading the book, not because I thought Friedan was wrong or the women were whining (many of the things I read in response even now responded to these obviously unhappy women as lazy whiners and that shocked me... how can we dismiss such unhappiness and depression...)  One person talked about how they would LOVE TO BE A LAZY HOUSEWIFE... and I thought to myself... how strange and wrong...and dismissive.  

First... just because a woman stays at home and takes care of a family and does not have a job does not mean they live a life of leisure and luxury.  Taking care of a child is hard work, it is a job and its often a full time, no rest, thankless job... so to dismiss that as lazy is ignorant.  

Second... not every person is geared for a specific role just because their gender.  I kind of despise gender roles.  Not everyone wants to be a wife or a mother and that is OK.  Not everyone wants to be a husband or a father and that is OK.  Some people want to do those things, but they also want to have jobs or hobbies or careers...and thats OK.

What I learned from The Feminine Mystique is that anything that deprives a human being of a sense of identity is dangerous... and in Friedan's study... the root of that deprivation was society.

Even today we have a hard time letting go of anachronistic gender roles that limit people.

For example...  I've heard  "Its nice your husband lets you go to school."  Nice person, wasn't being vicious or rude or condescending... and so I wasn't offended.  It was just a reminder that some of these gender role things still exist.

Women are still looked at as objectified almost flat creatures.  When I have people my age who have some sort of inner belief that women should be dominated or are sexual objects and are thought of as these almost plastic giant boobed and dumb things they see in porn instead of thinking, intellectual, equal creatures... it tells me we have a LOOONG way to go.  

I just read in one of the books I am studying that one state had a law that pretty much said that once a woman says "I do" and is married to a man, he cannot for any reason be accused of raping her and that law didn't get repealed until the 1990s!

Another law said it was acceptable to beat your wife except for certain days of the week... I AM NOT KIDDING... that law existed until the late 1960s.

Basically I realize the reason I do not enjoy my women's history class has nothing to do with the content not being interesting... and more to do with the fact that reading this stuff infuriates me.  

The Feminine Mystique  did a few things for me...
It made me appreciate choice.  A woman should have the same choices as a man in regards to what they want to do with their lives... marriage, family, career, whatever they want to should be acceptable and not frowned upon.
I want to be a wife and a mother, but I also want to be a professor.
A friend of mine wants to be a mom and maybe get a job too if she has time.
another friend of mine has no interest in marriage or children.

My son will grow up to look and respect a woman as an equal just like his father was raised to think.  

After the discussions I've read in regards to The Feminine Mystique where one guy said women should submit to men because the bible said so and also said that since feminism happened divorce has risen... and after just listening to people I know talk about women, I know we have a long way to go... especially since the last two years politically have been steps back for women.... we wont even get into "Legitimate rape" and other disgusting comments like it...

I suggest every woman I know read The Feminine Mystique... it will make you angry, but its interesting to know what middle class women in the 50s had to contend with and how society attempted to force them into a peg they truly didnt fit into.  
All women need is equal identity and choice, I don't understand how in 2013... that is so hard to accomplish.  

Friday, March 1, 2013


Not really a lot to talk about this week... been a bit busy with school stuff but I do have...