Tag Archives: women’s issues

Women and Guns Photo Essay

photo credit: Windy Borders

photo credit: Windy Borders, pistolsandpumps.com

My research to write about women and guns has connected me with many thoughtful, intelligent, brave women gun owners and enthusiasts. It’s been an honor to hear their stories.

They’re a beautiful bunch.

Take a look at a dozen of the photos they sent me. They communicate a simple, yet profound message: the entire United States Constitution applies to all American citizens, male and female.

United States Constitution. Bill of Rights.

photo credit: Elisabeth Sitton

photo credit: Elisabeth Sitton

Second Amendment. Bearing Arms:

photo credit: Theresa Wegner

photo credit: Theresa Wegner

A WELL REGULATED MILITIA

photo credit: jldphotographyblog.com

photo credit: jldphotographyblog.com

BEING NECESSARY 

photo credit: Charla Balogh

photo credit: Charla Balogh

TO THE SECURITY 

photo credit: Christel Oliphant

photo credit: Christel Oliphant

OF A FREE STATE, 

photo credit: Val Wagner

photo credit: Val Wagner

THE RIGHT 

photo credit: Jesse Bussard

photo credit: Jesse Bussard

OF THE PEOPLE 

photo credit: Marie Bowers

photo credit: Marie Bowers

TO KEEP

photo credit Neena, hooeycritic.com

photo credit: Neena, hooeycritic.com

AND BEAR ARMS

Tiff with Gun

photo credit: Tiffany Nevil

SHALL NOT 

photo credit: Sallie Molina

photo credit: Sallie Molina

BE INFRINGED. 

Now hear this: One Woman Army by Kate Earl. A brilliant, new favorite. There’s a sweet twist at the end of the video, so watch the whole thing.

cwgcover

Chicks with Guns by Lindsay McCrum

If you liked this post, you’ll love Lindsay McCrum’s stunning book of photography, Chicks with Guns. Real women with the real guns they own.

You’ll also love The Debutante Hunters, a documentary short by Maria White. The film, featuring Lowcountry women who hunt, won the Audience Award in the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. The Debutante Hunters will be released on iTunes this spring.

Disclosure: I am not being compensated to promote Chicks with Guns, The Debutante Hunters, or the U.S. Constitution. 

If you’re a woman who owns a gun and would like to share your story, please email aimee (at) everyday epistle (dot) com.

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Filed under America, women's studies

Women Gun Owners Shoot Straight

Today my first story about American women gun owners was published on The Broad Side, an online women’s opinion magazine.

Photo credit Charla Balogh

click for Women Gun Owners Shoot Straight About Firearms, Violence, Second Amendment, photo credit: Charla Balogh

I’m grateful to the women gun owners and others who generously shared their personal stories for this post. Their impassioned narratives inspire me.

You know that Titanic feeling you get the moment you realize you may have hit the tip of an iceberg?

I’m astounded that my informal request to hear from women who own guns is still yielding heartfelt responses. It’s as if women gun owners haven’t been asked to comment on our country’s current gun debate. Or, if they have been asked, their perspectives have largely been ignored.

I don’t own a gun, but the research I’ve done so far about gun rights gives me pause. What if I want or need a gun in the future and can’t get one because the government says so?

What if, by not exercising my Second Amendment right to bear arms, I inadvertently jeopardize that right for my fellow citizens like the law-abiding women in my article, not to mention for myself, my son, and generations of Americans yet to come?

Our Founding Fathers (and Mothers) must be rolling over in their graves right about now.

Photo credit Marie Bowers

photo credit Marie Bowers

My head is spinning with story ideas to follow (including plans for a photo essay of all the wonderful pictures the women gun owners sent me). But for today, I ask you to click over to The Broad Side to read Women Gun Owners Shoot Straight About Firearms, Violence, Second Amendment. Whether you are pro-guns or pro-gun control, I’d appreciate your thoughtful and respectful comments, and I’d covet your shares of the post.

The Broad Side admittedly skews left. Publishing an article like this is a big step for them, and I admire their courage to do so. I hope you’ll join me in demonstrating how listening to different perspectives on controversial topics is one of the best ways to ensure the health of our republic.

Please read:

Women Gun Owners Shoot Straight About Firearms, Violence, Second Amendment

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Filed under America, women's studies

Championship Shopping

SHOPPING IS NOT A HOBBY,” read the pretentious bumper sticker.

up to 40% off

up to 40% off

That’s true. Shopping is not a hobby. It’s a sport.

Like the Olympics, there are many categories and events. Shoppers with higher incomes excel in Brands, Early Adoption (buy it before it hits the racks), Boutique, Custom, and Couture. Creative divas and penny pinchers make out like bandits in events like I-Got-This-At-Walmart-But-You-Can’t-Tell-Can-You?, DIY, Consignment, Thrift, and Yard Sale.

Me? I specialize in Bargain Hunting New Merchandise, with major wins in the Women’s and Children’s Clothing divisions.

Once I bought a floor-length Ralph Lauren evening gown for $9. Set a personal record. Wore it to my brother’s wedding. Alas, the victory was bittersweet since I got it at Lord & Taylor’s closing sale.

that's me in the $9 evening gown

that’s me in the $9 evening gown

Then there was the time I paid $5 for a wool pea coat for my son. A darling post-season triumph he wore with panache the next winter.

Before the big snow fell this year in Wichitawesome, I snagged a pair of leather and calf-hair, zebra-print gloves at Ann Taylor for $12.

Anything animal print counts as Big Game and earns extra points.

My aptitude is genetic, geographic, and circumstantial. My mother was a Bargainista before Bargainista was cool. I grew up in a textile manufacturing town. We didn’t have a lot of money to spend on clothes. Trained by example, opportunity, and necessity, I have the makings of one of Gladwell’s Outliers.

store full of bargains

store full of bargains

Mom was a pro. At true factory outlets—the kind located in tiny, dimly-lit rooms inside actually factories—she fished out overstocked nightgowns from big cardboard boxes for pennies per pound. She bought me a pair of pants with a small tear at the ankle for $2. Roll up those preppy chinos and no one knows the difference. She waded through piles of Esprit and Liz Claiborne 80 percent off at Dillard’s Clearance.

Full-court bargain shopping may be beneath some women, but that’s where champions are made. Take the Smith & Hawken store in Chicago. Had to reach for it. Bottom of the box. Linen sundress. $16. Nothing but net.

I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way. Impulse buys that were just not right. Like the time I bought a candy pink sweatshirt with “PRINCESS” emblazoned in large, white letters across the front. It cost me less than $10, but I was 34.

“My daughter would love your shirt!” said a neighbor as I pushed my son past her in the stroller on our way to the park. That Sunday I promptly wrapped the sweatshirt in a nondescript, brown paper bag and slipped it to a man at church between praise songs.

“It’s for your 15-year-old,” I whispered. “I hope she enjoys it.”

I brake for designer fashion

I brake for designer fashion

The older I get, the more likely I am to pay full-price for a basic wardrobe piece of superior quality, fit, style, and color. Do the math. A bargain is only a bargain if you wear it. A $100 dress worn 20 times costs less per wear than a $10 dress worn once.

My husband reminds me the cost of my time also needs to figure into the equation. Shopping for sport, especially Bargain Hunting, burns a lot of hours.

But it’s like I tell him, practice makes perfect.

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25 NLT

Madame Onassis got nothing on you.” You Wear It Well by Rod Stewart.

What’s your shopping story?

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Filed under humor, women's studies

March for Life Photo Essay

I didn’t know what to expect at my first March for Life last week. How would I fit in? Everyone knows pro-lifers are patriarchal, angry, white men.

African American women pro-lifers March for Life

This family marches together annually.

Rebecca Kiessling March for Life

The courageous Rebecca Kiessling*.

March for Life

Don’t you love their yellow hats?

Asian American woman pro-lifer March for Life

Chose life for her daughter 24 years ago.

Radical, right-wing extremists.

adopted from Korea March for Life

International adoptee.

March for Life sign to President

Um, Mr. President…

conceived from rape March for Life

Bold and beautiful.

Religious fundamentalists.

secular pro-lifers March for Life

Self-proclaimed secular pro-lifers.

Uneducated.

pro-life generation LSU March for Life

Here comes LSU…

Sienna College pro-life generation March for Life

and Sienna College…

Carnegie Mellon pro-life generation March for Life

and Carnegie Mellon…

Hateful.

pro-life couple  March for Life

Married, marching since 1974.

adopted not aborted father and son March for Life

Thanks, Mom and Grandma.

adoptive mother March for Life

Their Mom and Grandma with her sign.

thou shalt not kill March for Life

Love says.

Ugly.

I'm worth waiting for March for Life

“I’m worth waiting for.”

Really, really old.

birthday pro-lifer March for Life

You say it’s your birthday?

face it March for Life

Face it.

young pro-life women March for Life

Defend life.

Curmudgeons who don’t have any fun.

pro-life drummers March for Life

Boy band.

Definitely not cool.

pro-life jeans sign March for Life

He got a little “change” in his pocket.

nose ring pro-life March for Life

Pro-life generation, nose rings and all.

Illiterate.

a person is a person March for Life

The wisdom of Seuss.

Insensitive.

pro-abortive couple March for Life

Brave couple.

They don’t care about women and children.

mom with stroller baby March for Life

Marching mom.

mother with baby March for Life

Mother and child.

mother with babies March for Life

Stroller brigade.

life counts child on shoulders March for Life

Watching from Daddy’s shoulders.

In fact, they don’t care about women’s rights at all.

new wave feminists March for Life

New wave feminists are pro-life.

me and Jewels Green of Feminists for Life

Me and Jewels Green of Feminists for Life.

personhood for all March for Life

Personhood for all.

Totally irrelevant.

Capitol Hill March for Life

On Capitol Hill.

Not enough of them to cover in the news anyway.

March for Life 2013

Is this enough?

March for Life 2013

How about this?

March for Life 2013

Or this?

Just a handful of loonies.

Constitution Avenue view March for Life

View from Constitution Avenue.

Who aren’t going away anytime soon.

Old Glory March for Life

Old Glory in the March for Life.

40 years too many March for Life

40 years too many.

God’s plan looked foolish to men, but it is wiser than the best plans of men. God’s plan which may look weak is stronger than the strongest plans of men. 1 Corinthians 1:25 NLV

Let Mercy Lead by the timeless Rich Mullins.

pro life chick

pro-life chick

“Various media outlets put the estimate for this year’s March for Life crowd at between 500,000 and 650,000.” Catholic News Service

The March for Life is scheduled for January 22nd of both 2014 and 2015, marking the 41st and 42nd anniversaries of Roe v. Wade.

Every picture tells a story. What’s your favorite?

*I was surprised and delighted to run into Rebecca Kiessling in the crowds at the March for Life. To hear her story, please watch Reclaiming the Human Center of the Abortion Debate or see Rebecca’s website.

Also, if you haven’t already, please see my written report on BlogHer Walking the March for Life for the First Time.

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Filed under America, life, women's studies

Shampoo

In a few short years, I’ve gone from washing my hair every single day to betting how many days I can go without washing my hair.

bloggess wannabee back

who’s that girl?

I suppose I could call it a matter of health. Most hair stylists agree. It’s not healthy to wash your hair every day. (I’m speaking of women here. Men, wash at will.) Over washing can mean over drying, especially as we get older and our hair loses its natural moisture and shine.

Good grief. That sounds like a shampoo commercial.

What was once a luxurious cleansing ritual now results in tresses crisp as sun-dried straw. Not pretty. Plus it takes so long to blow dry. Once upon a time, I thought nothing of spending hours on hair and makeup. Today it’s different. Pardon me, but I need to wash and go.

You know, I think it all started with that child I have. My hair was voluminous and glowing when I was pregnant with him. A few sleep-deprived months after giving birth, my hair (and the rest of me) looked tired. I barely had a moment to shower, much less dry and style. Besides, who has time for hair when there’s a boy’s childhood to be lived? There are Legos to assemble, imaginary wars to fight, books to read. Alas, I succumbed to the inevitable. I got mommy hair.

I cut it short. Then shorter. Then shorter. Then I saw myself in a photo. Shocked back to my senses, the race was on. A race more grueling than any marathon. Many of you recognize this perilous trek. Cursed is the day you agreed to layers and bangs. Your psyche bears the scars of the race to grow out your hair.

Since crossing the finish line about four years ago, I’ve kept my hair long. Pinterest helps me cope with impulses. When I see a photo that inspires me to cut my hair like hers, I pin it instead. Then I can think about it before I act on it. Maybe I’ll cut my hair short again some day. For now, I’ve relinquished my daily shampoo in order to preserve some semblance of health on my head.

I have to wonder if all this dryness has to do with our environment. No, not global warming. I’m talking about humidity. My hair was raised in Southern humidity. Most of my time in the Midwest has been spent in the drenching, river town seasons of St. Louis. It’s only recently we moved to the arid prairie-land of Kansas. Even the snow is dry here. Surely that must take a toll on my hair.

bloggess wannabee

I am not the bloggess (as if there was any confusion about that)

One of my friends has her hair done at the salon each week. She swears by the blow out. Says she doesn’t have to do a thing between visits. My stylist suggested pricey keratin treatments to make my hair like silk. Moisturized, manageable, lustrous silk.

But I know stress shows up in my skin. Makes sense it would show up in my hair. Forget the humidity, the expensive treatments, the weekly blow outs.

What I need is a vacation.

And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Matthew 10:30 NIV

Props to the 90s and Swedish bands. Beautiful Life by Ace of Base.

What do you and your hair need?

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Filed under humor, women's studies

Reader’s Choice ’12: Whisper

Darin Grimm picked a story I was afraid to publish.

Darin Grimm

Darin Grimm

The subject has torn our country apart. We cannot seem to settle it. The night before this story ran, I recited Psalm 56:3 to myself so I could sleep.

Who would have dreamed Darin, a farmer and president of AgChat Foundation, would be a fan of this post?

“It takes a VERY devisive topic, and presents it in a compassionate way,” he said. “A way that I saw shared by a couple of people that I’m pretty certain see this issue differently than you do.”

There are more stories brewing that scare me. But this one was first.

Darin’s Reader’s Choice is:

Whisper

matchlight

click to read Whisper

readers choice

One month from now, January 22, 2013, will mark 40 years since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in the United States.

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Filed under America, life, women's studies

Color Theory

Carole Jackson is my hero. She wrote Color Me Beautiful

Had I been born a decade earlier, odds are I’d have bounded into the 80s as a spry 20-something yuppie with color swatches tucked safely under my right elbow. I’d have been ready at a moment’s notice to whip out the swatches and illuminate women to their correct seasonal palette.

fuchsia

fuchsia

In case you don’t know, Color Me Beautiful is the most successful of all color typing books. First published in 1980, Color Me Beautiful is to color analysis what The Godfather is to mobster movies. All subsequent books advising women of their best colors owe their existence to Ms. Jackson’s four seasonal palettes. Depending on the combination of your hair and eye colors and your skin tone, you are either a Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall. The colors that make up your seasonal palette are the colors that look best on you.

Modern fashion advisors (Stacy and Clinton) try to buck the system and deviate from Ms. Jackson’s palettes. They say you can wear any color you want as long as you choose the right shade. This is America; you can wear any color you want. Some colors that aren’t in your seasonal palette may even look good on you. But you and I and Ms. Jackson aren’t interested in good; we want best.

We want to wear the colors that look best on us.

As Paula Reed writes in Style Clinic, “Find out what colors light up your face, bring out the color of your eyes, and flatter your hair and wear them—all the time.” Touché!

Ollie Jean Owen

Ollie Jean Owen

Ms. Jackson and I have been together now for years. My mom picked up a first edition Color Me Beautiful book at a garage sale. Mom was a Bargainista before Bargainistas were cool, but that is another post. Prior to my mom, the book belonged to Ollie Jean Owen. I know this because Ollie signed the inside cover. I wonder if she read the book. Maybe color theory didn’t stick with her or she thought she’d mastered it. For whatever reason, Ollie’s copy landed in the garage sale pile. Little did she know she sold a diamond for a dollar that day. If she’s still around, I hope she’s wearing her palette.

Mom color analyzed me, a teenager, as soon as she acquired the book. I was and still am a Winter. Mine is the only palette that includes pure black and white. Orange is dead to me. My yellow is lemon. My browns are limited to chocolate so dark it looks black (also my favorite flavor at Baskin-Robbins).

Although I’ve known for close to three decades what colors I’m supposed to wear, staying within my palette has been a process. Four short years ago my closet was an overflowing mess. Nothing to Wear? by Jesse Garza and Joe Lupo initiated the detox. It remains my favorite closet purging book. It’s So You! by Mary Sheehan Warren was a godsend, as was I Don’t Have a Thing to Wear by Julie Taggart and Jackie Walker.

paint swatches

pick your palette

Sheehan Warren offered an updated color chart based on Ms. Jackson’s palettes. So did Garza and Lupo in their 2008 book Life in Color. But you know there ain’t nothing like the real thing.

For wardrobe color correction, I returned to Ms. Jackson’s pages.

Today I love and wear every item in my closet, and every one is in my palette. Well, almost every one. I keep a favorite mistake, purchased on a shopping trip to Chicago with my BFF. She’s a Spring. The blouse spoke to me from the rack with its vibrant reddish-orange, stained-glass design. I HAD to have it. So while my fair-faced friend bought two black dresses meant for a Winter like me, I bought a shirt that should be worn by a Spring like her.

With the exception of that blouse, the rest of my closet sings of navy, true red, fuchsia, blue, indigo, emerald, black, and white. It’s been a good year for jewel tones. Ms. Jackson would be proud, and so would my mom.

When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet. Proverbs 31:21 NIV

My Yellow is also Coldplay with their strange, mesmerizing song.

What’s your best color to wear?
What’s your favorite mistake?

This post marks our 300th. Thank you for reading!

 

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Filed under family & friends, humor, life, women's studies, writing & reading

The Duck Index

My yoga instructors offer a wealth of material for blog posts. 

Boomer explained a concept I must share with you. Something she learned from her yoga instructor. A practice called the Duck Index.

image by cursedthing, creative commons license

image by cursedthing, creative commons license

Many years ago, Boomer’s instructor gave her this advice: only do what brings you the joy of a three-year-old feeding a duck. 

“We all have to do things we don’t like to do,” said Boomer to my class. “We can’t only do the things we enjoy.”

True. We all deal with dirty dishes, smelly laundry, complicated tax returns.

“But imagine the happiness of a three-year-old feeding a duck,” she said. “We can choose to do more things that give us that kind of joy.”

Boomer put the joy of a three-year-old feeding a duck on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the greatest. She called the scale the Duck Index and began measuring experiences against it. She started saying no to as many things as she could that didn’t rank six or more on the Duck Index.

No to another volunteer opportunity when her volunteer hours were already maxed out. No to lunch with a demeaning colleague. No to a last-minute dinner with friends when what she needed was a night off.

“I could have done those things,” she said, “but someone would have paid for it. Either I would have paid for it in resentment and fatigue. Or those around me would have paid for it because I didn’t really want to be there.”

Sometimes saying no without guilt is difficult. But the more I do it, the easier it gets. The more it makes sense. 

Do I want to do this? Do I have to do this? 

If I don’t want to and I don’t have to, who will pay if I do it anyway? 

Can I say no to this, so someone who wants to do it can say yes? 

Can I say no, so I can say yes to what I want to do?

“Shoulders back and down. Don’t wear them like earrings,” said Boomer as our class continued. “Pay attention. You control where your shoulders sit.”

I am not the center of the universe. I am not in control of all the events in my life, but I am not a martyr or a victim either. I can place my shoulders back and down. I can say no without guilt. I can say yes to what brings me joy. So can you.

Pay attention. Your duck is waiting to be fed. 

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Ephesians 4:1 NIV

Wake on up from your slumber, baby, open up your eyes.

What scores 10 on your Duck Index?

 

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Filed under life, women's studies

Field Trip to Visit Mommy Brain

It happened when I guest posted with the cowboy blogger. It happened when I guest posted with the baseball blogger. And today it’s happening again as I’m guest posting with the mommy blogger.

Dana of Mastering Mommy Brain

Dana of Mastering Mommy Brain

I’ve written a post I think must be my very favorite so far—and I have to let it go to debut on someone else’s site!

I’m verklempt. But I can think of no better place for my little post to be today than on my friend Dana’s all-things-motherhood blog Mastering Mommy Brain.

Fly and be free, little post. Go spread your wings and do your work to bring courage to the mommies out there, left and right. They are true super heroes. Little do they know their own strength to direct the future of our country.

Please click to Mastering Mommy Brain to read The Mommy Vote Counts.

The Mommy Vote Counts

mother & son on Capitol Hill

Click to go to Mastering Mommy Brain to read The Mommy Vote Counts.

 

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Filed under America, blogging, family & friends, women's studies

The Politics of Friendship

It’s mid-October. The leaves are changing. The frost is on the pumpkin. And Americans are sick of politics. 

seesaw

seesaw

That’s understandable. We’re in the heat of a presidential election. The airwaves are filled with negative ads. Conflict permeates the country.

Within this microcosm of months leading up to the 2012 election, I co-founded a public forum to discuss the issues with Lisen Stromberg, a writer who usually disagrees with me. Am I a pundit? Hardly.

I’m just an American citizen who discovered she, like every other American citizen, has a voice with which to speak about issues that matter to her.

Notice I didn’t say I discovered my opinions. I wrote about controversial topics like Food, Inc., Roe v. Wade, and Chick-fil-A before the election stage was set. My views have been formed by my beliefs, experiences, and observations. Same as yours have been. I simply began to voice my views more formally and in good faith that civil discourse would rule the day.

My sharing has been met with applause in some camps and disdain in others. There have been retweets and hate tweets. I’ve been unfriended and blocked. I’ve picked up a subscriber or two along the way.

Funny thing is, all this posting and dialoguing takes place outside the context of real life.

My closest friends see me as a person, not a 600-word opinion. We don’t hold identical beliefs. Do I love them any less? Of course not. What kind of friend would I be if I did? Two of my best friends don’t even read my blogs. Another nearly stopped reading once she realized we see things oh-so differently.

These women humble me and keep me real.

Perhaps I am the neighbor who offered a coat and waited with her for the fire truck when her preschoolers locked her out of the house in the snow. I am the postpartum disaster who fell asleep on her living room couch while she rocked my infant son. I am the wardrobe coach who commandeered the dressing room as we shopped for clothes for her to wear when she returned to work. Or the lady who lunched beside her and spoke freely of losing loved ones to disease. Or the nomad who lost her spaghetti colander in the move.

At the end of the day, at then end of the election, regardless of who wins or loses the White House, we will all be left with each other. Does that mean we stop voicing our opinions? Stop talking about issues in order to preserve the peace?

My late friend Alex would say yes. Why let politics get in the way of friendship?

Silence is certainly a strategy. But as my husband told me, your friends love you for who you are. You are free to speak with respect and without fear in their presence and they in yours.

They love you none the less.

A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need. Proverbs 17:17 NLT

One Thing Remains by Kristian Stanfill. Reminds me of true unfailing love.

Is it better not to speak to preserve the peace or to speak trusting your friendships will hold fast?

 

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Filed under America, family & friends, women's studies

For the Love of a Scrunchie

Scrunchie. Fabric covered rubber band. Vintage hair accessory. Friend of the weary and downtrodden, color-treated and conditioned Gen X tresses.

scrunchie leopard print 100 percent silk

scrunchie fierce

“Do they still make those?” said my stylist when I mentioned tying my hair up in a scrunchie for yoga class.

“I don’t know if they still make them,” I said. “But they’re magical.”

My hair stylist is in her twenties. She doesn’t know the power of the scrunchie.

In my hair history, I’ve owned sponge rollers, velcro rollers, hot rollers, steam rollers, curling irons, crimping irons, banana clips, bobby pins, barrettes, crab claws, and an ocean of ponytail elastics. I have not owned a Flowbee, and I’m resisting the urge to buy a flat iron, though my BFF swears by hers. Her flat iron, that is. Not her Flowbee.

scrunchie close up

pair of scrunchies

The scrunchie has staying power.

I’ve saved two from the 90s. I keep them safely stashed behind my collection of plastic, hotel shower caps. Secret weapons of my hair care arsenal.

Scrunchie A is a cotton calico gem from 1992. It boasts a saturated red that glows like rubies. Bought it on clearance at the Gap for $3. (I remember all my significant fashion purchases the way I remember song lyrics.)

I wear it to the pool. The cotton dries fast, and the bright bathing suit colors of this past summer breathed new life into the 20-year-old accessory.

Scrunchie B, my favorite, is a silk-covered leopard print. It’s fierce.

My sister gave it to me in 1995. Little did we know animal prints would become the new neutrals. Thank you, Ballard Designs. Ordinary scrunchies may fall by the wayside along the runway of trends. The leopard scrunchie goes to yoga class.

Don’t get me wrong. I still care about my appearance. I want to be presentable, respectable, approachable. You and I, we have to wear clothes in public, so we might as well put some effort into it. And we need to do something with our crowning glory while it clings to our heads.

But I find, as the decades roll by, there are compromises to be made on the personal catwalk of life. 

good-bye glamour

good-bye glamour

Comfortable shoes instead of stilettos, so the plantar fasciitis doesn’t anger the wicked sciatica. Untucked shirts and higher rise jeans, so I can belly laugh with abandon rather than sucking in my tummy or perpetually donning Spanx to squash the muffin top. Sweat pants worn occasionally even though fashion experts rage against them and the flip-flops.

Best regards, Vogue, GlamourElle, Stacy and Clinton. I’ll keep my scrunchies and wear them when I must. Because to me, they’re the epitome of style: comfortable, confident, magical, fierce.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30 NIV

From 1990, Groove is in the Heart by Deee Lite. Unless you’re wearing a scrunchie. In that case, groove is in the hair.

Do you own a scrunchie or other outdated fashion item you just can’t let go of yet?

 

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Filed under humor, women's studies

The MOB Confronts Cattiness Against Boys

meangirlstshirt

my skills make boys run

Walking through Target when a t-shirt catches my eye in the girls’ department.

Excuse me?

I’m a proud member of the MOB (Mothers Of Boys). I don’t see a shirt in the boys’ department reading, “My Skills Make Girls Run.” That would never be tolerated. As a grown-up girl, I’d be unhappy if it were.

Then there’s the sign I saw in Kirkland’s.

Where’s the one reading “Boys Rule: Your IQ Test Has Come Back Negative?” Kirkland’s would be boycotted post-haste if that sign ever made it to the shelves.

chicks rule sorry

sorry. your IQ test has come back negative

The battles for women’s suffrage, educational equality, and Title IX were difficult. Necessary. Admirable.

Today women earn only 77 cents per dollar earned by men working the same jobs. Women hold only 17 percent of the seats in Congress. Women are victimized by domestic violence . Poverty rates are highest for families lead by single women. There’s still work to be done.

Is this how we want to do it? By using little girls to demean little boys?

The notion that it’s acceptable to degrade boys isn’t new. I love the old Schoolhouse Rock songs and often feature them in my posts. My seven-year-old son and I can sing the lyrics to nearly all of them.

But there’s a line in Unpack Your Adjectives that makes me want to crawl under the table. My heart breaks as my son laughs along, unaware of the politically-loaded, mean-girl, angry-woman sentiment behind it:

“Girls who are tall can get taller,
Boys who are small can get smaller,
Till one is the tallest
And the other’s the smallest of all.”

This is 2012, not 1950, 1969, 1975 when Unpack Your Adjectives first aired, or Thelma and Louise’s 1991. The vitriol is overkill.

Women pursue education. They earn more advanced college degrees and bachelor’s degrees than men.

Women join the workforce. More than 70 percent of all mothers with children younger than age 18 work outside the home or are looking for work outside the home.

Women hold power in the voting booth. In the 2008 presidential election, about 66 percent of women voted compared to 62 percent of men; that’s 70.4 million women compared to 60.7 million men.

Girls play sports. A 2008 report from the Women’s Sports Foundation found 69 percent of girls participate in organized and team sports. That’s nearly equal with the 75 percent of boys who participate.

Sisters, hear me when I say I’m indebted to you. Now can we please celebrate the partial victories, keep on keeping on, and leave our kids out of the combat?

chicks rule. you're right. you're not worthy

you’re right. you’re not worthy

Think about what we’re communicating to our daughters. What we’re allowing to happen to our sons. Will this attitude ameliorate animosity or deepen it? Solve inequality or perpetuate it?

Teach respect. Work for equality. Rise above the hurt and the hate. Burn the cattiness with all the gusto once used to burn the bras.

My son isn’t responsible for your pain. No amount of discrimination justifies using our children as pawns in an ongoing, grown-up fight.

And He took the children in His arms, placed His hands on them and blessed them. Mark 10:16 NIV

Sweet Child O’ Mine by Sheryl Crow.

This is just my opinion. What do you think?

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