My Inner Woman has PMS, My Inner Child is Teething, and My Inner Voice Has Laryngitis

plus a million other things that give me a headache.

Get that D!ck out of Britney’s Mouth… December 2, 2009

Here I go all controversial on you again.  Just to make up for it, here’s a pleasant Dick for you:

You’re thinking..now, Penny, what does that have to do with anything?  Everything.  It is the very essence of my post.  Sometimes, to be truly happy, you need to clean out the muck from other people’s chimneys.  It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it.  (Yes, that was INTENDED to be taken two ways, possibly three.)

The Twitter-verse so far has been fantastic.  I love it.  I’m addicted, even.  Except for one teeny-tiny-almost-insignificant-little-d!ck that keeps showing up right under Britney’s mouth.  It is as persistent as..well..it’s uniquely persistent.  It changes names, it changes accounts.  It doesn’t change size, it’s always tiny, and that makes me sad for it.  Not sad enough to try to save it.  In fact, I wish to annihilate it.  Notice that I refer to “it.”  “It” is what bothers me.  Britney doesn’t.  She’s a whole other story, but that story is right below this paragraph.  Almost.  And it’s entirely relevant as well, so hang on tight with me here.

My first official blog post on this blog, after a couple of pieces written for “artistic value,” was also my most popular post in the short history of all posts I’ve posted, on all my blogs so far.  (Then again, I’m just getting started, so fingers crossed.)  In case you missed it, it was “Me, The Internet and 69.” The objective of that post was to encourage the continual development of a safer, stronger, more useful Internet for us all.  The “69” was the year of our birth, the Internet and I, but you that the high click results on the post were not because of the word ‘Internet,’ but because of that magic number.  (Also, because I used the tag “bikini” in the post, and that seemed to attract a lot of traffic.)

There I go, bravely braving the soot, so you don’t have to. (See how Dick Van Dyke is relevant?)

Why pick such controversial subjects?  Why attempt such “guerilla tactics” to get the message out?  Because the message matters.  We deserve a safer, cleaner, more useful Internet.  We deserve a safer, cleaner more useful world, for that matter.  But it goes beyond the Internet, to something far more creepy about the Britney phenomenon, something that you may have missed.  It’s not about sex.  The people doing this are not peddling sex.  They are not peddling pleasure.  They are peddling EXPLOITATION.  They are peddling OBJECTIFICATION.  They are TERRORISTS with a MYSOGENISTIC agenda.  (Ok.  I’ll stop with the capitals already, but I really am yelling these words.  Hubby can hear it.)

You don’t believe me?  Ask yourselves: what’s the point?  What is the point of showing that you can, as the perpetrators claim, “hack” into “celebrity accounts” and expose their intimacy.  This is not sex.  It is grotesque violence.  This tantamount to virtual gang rape.  Just because the people affected are “famous” and possibly some of them a bit irritating, does that mean that we sit back and allow this type of aggression to take place?

I am not a prude.  Never have been, never will be.  If you’ve read my posts and inferred any prudishness on my part, get your head checked.  Even so, I don’t want to see any images of people “doing things” in my in-box, or showing up in my Tweet feed when I least expect it.  It isn’t about being open-minded, not when it comes to issues like this.  Legitimate blogs and web-sites that trade in what is lovingly called “smutt” and who do not promote exploitation, rather represent consensual concourse and play time among adults are fine in my book.  Live and let live.

These types of Tweets are not in that league.  I didn’t ask for them.  I don’t want them.  I won’t tolerate them.  Most people don’t, I would think.  But I’m wrong.

I know I’m wrong because I understand how markets work.  If there were no demand for this, there would be no supply.  I don’t believe the demand comes from a bunch of horny people looking to have a good time.  The demand comes from a bunch of angry people looking to validate themselves by debasing others, and THAT is what bothers me about it.  That is what has my panties in a bunch! (“I spit your lingo in your face, chauvenist scum!” — sorry that was my dark-side speaking.  Just a teensy bit more aggressive.  We’ll ask her to be quiet now.)

Clearly there is a problem.  There is a recurring demand, an endless stream of losers seeking to raise their own self-worth by stomping on another’s.  When something becomes viral, as this picture has done, it is because there is a demand for it, whether overt or covert.  Now think about that: there is a demand, a considerable one, to exploit, violate, objectify, degrade women.  You knew that, right?  Here’s what you may not have considered.  What do I mean by covert?  The answer lies in another key question: Why isn’t it stopped aleady?  Why does it perpetuate?

I understand bots.  Got it.  I know that people can write code to generate millions of ID’s and do whatever they please.  But, really, our programming isn’t up to par with squashing that a bit?  Furthermore, the accounts have links to web-sites.  Are those web-sites just floating from server to server like flies, changing IP addresses every few seconds?  Are we not able to track and toast them?

I really don’t know these answers, and I am open to comment.  If we do not have that technology, then that is a golden business opportunity for the next Internet Genius to develop and market.

I’ll tell you what I suspect.  I suspect we’ve become passive about this and similar predatory behavior, to our detriment.  Through our passivity, we perpetuate the problem.  We have not made stamping things like this, like child exploitation, like other forms of regression to a base, low, sub-human form, a sufficient priority.  We have not made safety a priority.  We have not made children a priority.  We have not made women a priority.  We have not made Humanity a priority.

These images are powerful dangerous things.  They are not just an ordinary nuisance.  If they are like mosquitos, they are like mosquitos carrying Dengue Fever.  The objectification they represent is deadly to our humanity.  It is an affront to all of us, regardless of gender.

If you’ve followed my blog, you may have picked up on a theme.  I am a little bit obsessed with the images of two iconic women who have hystorically been objectified.  I’m fascinated by their parallels and their contrasts.  One was a powerful and solid dame, and she handled her image to her own interest.   She managed it entirely.  She OWNED it.  The other one was a divine, intelligent, sensitive soul.  She didn’t handle it well.  Sadly, it broke her.

I might lose the argument, if we had it, but I believe that Marilyn Monroe was an unbelievably intelligent, witty, beautiful woman.  She may have been an unrecognized genius with tremendous potential.  She would have made a wonderful woman leader, if we hadn’t allowed her to be sucked dry and spat out like the frail skin on a grape.

That is what happens when we turn a blind eye to exploitation.  We lose our shining lights.  If we don’t kill them, we drive them to kill themselves.

So what about Britney?  I personally think it’s not her fault.  She isn’t annoying me daily.  What is annoying is how she is being used and abused.  What is annoying me pondering why, with all the power and features we have on this Internet, this kind of thing can go on so often, so easily.  Why should I care?  Why should you care?  Because it’s not just about Britney.  It could happen to any of us.

Even if it were only about Britney, why pick on the poor girl?  She has enough trouble.  She needs help, guidance, hope.  She doesn’t need to the victim of our laissez-fair attitude to this type of viral mail.  She has been exploited enough already, even from childhood, even by her parents.  She doesn’t need anything adding to her already significant low self-esteem, to her grief.  As I said, it’s not about Britney, or Paris, or Tila Tequila, or anyone else like that..it’s about all of us.  Women and Men alike.  About the kind of environment we want online and off-line.  Do we want a savage society that ravages the vulnerable, or a gentle society that aids them?

We need more empowered men and women in this world.  We need more shining lights.  Maybe Britney will never be a shining light, but how will we ever know if she keeps getting crushed?  Have we ever allowed her to be anything but a dumb blond sucking on a lolly pop?

It’s called desensitization.  The more we tolerate this sort of image propagating our space, the more we re-enforce the message behind it, the more women are objectified and victimized, the more they are abused, the greater the tragedy for all humanity.  These things are not unrelated.  These things are intimately linked.

I’d like it to stop.  I believe I am not alone.  Not just the Twits, but all of it.  I’d like to see that we all pick up our chimney sweep toolkit and get all the soot out, for good.  Won’t you join me?

Chim-Chiminee Chim-Chiminee Chim-Chim Che-ree a sweep is as lucky as lucky can be.

..and that was a Penny for Your Thoughts.

 

Soylent Green is Make-Up! November 23, 2009

In Memory of all the Grand Women Victimized by Body-Image

In Memory of All the Grand Women Victimized by Body-Image

I’m not sure if you missed it.  I’m not sure how you could.  It made me lose my lunch, when the Twitter-verse started Tweeting about the Peruvian crime ring selling human fat from their victims for use by Cosmetic Companies.  If there was ever a reason to check labels carefully and check the contents of your cosmetics, this is it.  But my mind didn’t stop processing the information on that thought alone.  Immediately, I thought, wait… Where there are buyers there is demand, where there is demand there have to be suppliers, and it’s highly unlikely these Peruvians gangs are solely responsible for supplying that market.  Consider what I am saying here.  What do so many women rush to do now a day?  Liposuction.  That’s right.  Think about it.  How many women (and men) around the world have gone and butchered themselves, paid for the service, of removing unwanted fat from their bodies?

I was afraid that I might be right on this one, and a quick check on articles on this bizarre situation only served to confirm my worst fears.  Here is a quote I pulled directly from an article on the Associated Press.

Dr. Adam Katz, a professor of plastic surgery at the University of Virginia medical school, was incredulous when told about the Peruvian ring.

“I can’t see why there would be a black market for fat,” he said. “It doesn’t make any sense at all, because in most countries we can get fat so readily and in such amounts from people who are willing and ready to donate that I don’t see why there would ever be a black market for fat, of all tissues.”

 

“Donate it?” How cynical do you have to be?  What?  Do people walk in and say, “Please take this lard of my hips so, across the globe, an unwitting woman can place it on her lips?”  If there were ever a doubt that the cosmetic industry and the plastic surgery industry see women as life-stock, as fuel for their machine, then this quote makes matters clear.

 

We need to consider: at what price beauty? I’m all in favor of cosmetics.  I’ve been known to use them liberally as an art-form, a form of self-expression, or just as a pick-me-up.  But surely I do not want the product of another woman’s suffering on my skin.  I am personally not a fan of plastic surgery, especially not of liposuction, but I am not trying to pass judgment on another for what they feel compelled to do.

 

What needs to be judged heavily, and needs to be more heavily regulated, is the industry that exploits and uses us so casually.  It’s all well and good to arrest a rouge bunch of sickies in Peru, but who is doing anything about all the “respectable” professionals doing the very same thing every day?  Notice that no buyers have yet been identified.  I am digging, and if I manage to uncover names, I will re-post a list.

 

We can’t wait on government to do this for us, ladies, so wake up!  So long as we cooperate, we will be used and sucked dry to put a penny in someone else’s hollow pocket.  Many of us have greater financial freedom than we have ever had.  Let’s use our pennies wisely.  Let’s finance freedom.  Let’s stop paying a fortune for pretentious cosmetics made for us, from us.  Let’s do our research and buy plant-based products.  Be weary of the word “organic.”  We are organic.  Look for plant-based products.

 

But most of all, ladies, let’s stop buying the hype.  We’re all beautiful.  Some maybe fit the common “aesthetic” more than others, and it doesn’t matter a hill of beans.

We’re all going to get wrinkles..the more we smile the better.

We’re all going to get crows-feet..the more we wink the better.

We’re all going to get chubby..the more to hold onto the better (ask a man if you don’t believe me–a good one).

Want to get a nice blush on your cheeks?  Do some healthy exercise (sex is my personal favorite).

Wear confidence, not a mask, and you will blow people’s minds.

Be strong.

Be proud.

And stop being a product.

 

In the words of the infinitely knowledgeable Philosopher of the 20th Century:

I’m no model lady. A model’s just an imitation of the real thing.  — Mae West

 

…and that’s a Penny for Your Thoughts

 

If you missed my previous post on beauty and make-up:  see it again!

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words a Video Clip Paints a Million

 

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words, A Video Clip Paints a Million November 15, 2009

I spent a good amount of time yesterday, posting additions to this blog.  I wanted to give it life and body.  I wanted to help explain my message and my mission.  What I am so worked up about.  Why Feminism matters today more than ever for the good of men and women alike.  And then a great man sent me a great Tweet and showed me another great man who really gets it.  This brilliant artist put everything I want to say in a form so beautiful, so sublime, that I am not sure I could ever write enough to match it simplicity and beauty.  I can only reference it, and tell you that you must see it.  We all must understand this message, and do something about it.  So, with no further a-do, here is the earth-shattering wonderful short video from visionary artist Andy Huang. It is entitled Doll Face, and it has left me speechless.

 

The Waist Land October 28, 2009

A Shout out to my friend T.S. – Fellow Cat Lover!

I have seen with my own eyes the Sibyl hanging in a jar, and when the boys asked her “What do you want?” She answered, “I want to die.”

April was the cruelest month for breeding

And May left me in dismay, desire a memory stirring

No more.

Winter fat left on the bone,

Bloated without

Purpose, forgotten snow, no feeding

Little life, dried tubes.

Summer rained its showers and I could

Not wear bikini in the sunlight,

Bloated indoors

And drank coffee and talked for hours to

Kein Lieblings, kein mere.

Where were children on sled?

I was frightened.

He said fight.

In the mountains there you are free.

I looked to breasts and said, How-

Out of this stony rubbish?

The roots that clutched,

The branches that grew

Were snatched and torn

And I could feel nothing but the sun beats,

No cricket, no relief, no waters left to

Pour out of the red rock.

Not even the shadow of the red rock.

And just the shadow rising to meet me,

Fear in a handful of lust.

You gave me daisies a year ago,

When I was known to be the unwisest woman in Europe,

Living with a wicked bunch of cards.

I see crowds of people, walking round a ring.

Thank you.

One must be more careful these days.

London Bridge fell down, fell down, fell down

And Bethlehem and Elysium went down with it,

And I was left a crowded flower

Spent.

I had not thought death could undo so many,

With my nails I would have

Dug out his hollow eyes!

And still I cried, and still the world pursued,

The words pursued, jug jug, to experienced ears and

I was found wanting when I was tried.

You said remember those were pearls.

Their eyes.

Nothing.

Their lips.

Nothing.

No rose, only thorns.

Good night, angels, good night, sweet angels, good night, good night.

By the waters of Silver I sat down and wept,

By the waters of Seinne I sat down and wept,

By the waters of Duero I sat down and wept,

By the waters of Elbe I sat down and wept,

By the waters of Liffey I sat down and wept,

Dragging my slimy belly on the bank.

Et O ces voix d’enfants, chantant dans la coupole!

Unreal World

Under the red fog of a winter’s moon.

Hardly aware of my departure,

My brain allowing half-formed thoughts to pass:

‘Well now that’s that’s done: and I’m glad it’s over.’

Smoothing hair with automatic hand,

Music playing on my iPhone,

‘This music crept by me upon the waters’

And the waters spilled upon the banks,

Out out damn spot.

He promised “a new start.”

What should I resent?

Who can connect nothing with nothing.

Left only with broken fingernails on manicured hands,

My people haughty people who express

Nothing.

To Copenhagen I came

Burning burning burning burning

as the final judgement was passed

Burning

O Lord Thou pluckest them out

O Lord Thou pluckest

Water

A deep sewn well is the very

Profit and Loss

As I rose and Fell

Passing the stages of age and youth

Lost in the whirlpool

Turning the wheel that looks inward

You picked my bones

As I rose and fell

Then there was red on frosty gardens

Agony in flowery places

Shouting and Crying

Palaces a prision

And reverberation of thunder

In my Spring over distant mountains

She who was dead is living

With a little patience and a little

Water

Spring

Pool

Summer

Drip drop drip

Water

Who is the third that walks beside us

When I look there are only you and I together

But there are footsteps beside ours

Ah the Murmur of maternal lamentation

Over endless pains, and stumbling on cracked earth.

Da

Dada

Dada Dayadhvam

Each in our prison

We have lost the keys

Each in our prison

At nightfall

Revived for a moment broken Aerolas

The hand expert

You see calm

Your heart responded Gaily,

When invited by controlling hands.

I sat upon the shore.

Shall I at least set my lands in order?

falling down falling down falling down

My fair lady

Don’t rain on my parade and

Leave me singing in the rain

Of men

Hallelujah

Hello Dolly

These fragments I have shored against my ruins.

Why then I’ll fill you,

Erogenous mad again.

Datta. Dayadhvam.  Damyata.

Shantih shantih, Chianti

 

Are you there God? It’s me, Penny. October 18, 2009

In honor of the woman my mother wouldn’t let me read for fear I might figure out periods and commas! No flower can bloom without a dose of Blume. (You can bet this rebel with a cause was reading it in secret anyway so there mom :-p)


My body is changing and I don’t know how to manage it.  I’m not thin like I was before.  Weight just seems to show up each morning from nowhere, no matter what I eat. OK, you see all, you see me nibble on chocolate.  But c’mon!  It’s not any more than I usually ate?  OK, it’s more, but c’mon!  I just lost my job..I..just lost my business for heaven’s sake, and now you want me to start over without a chocolate high to keep me sane!?  You’d better send me a sign.  You did it for Moses.  You did it for Sarah.  Why not for Penny?  It wouldn’t have to be a big sign either.  No parting of seas or great bolts of lightning.  Nothing scary.  I am freaked out enough as it is.

Tell me what to do with my hair.  That would work.  For a start.  Is long hair really not the thing to do at 40?  Hubby likes it.  Or so he says, but you know him.  He’s so sweet.  He says everything is perfect, even when we both know it’s not.  Should I get a perm?  Will that cheer me up?  Highlights?  My hair has gone dull dishwater blond again.  What a horrible name for a hair color.  Who the heck came up with that?  Hairstylists wanting to push Highlights, that’s who.  “Ooooooh, you have such an interesting shade of blond.” they coo, “It’s pretty.  Dishwater Blond, but very rich.  It could be nicer with some highlights, of  course…”  Boom! Sold.  You know me.  I’m very open to suggestions.

I don’t know why I get up in the morning.  I used to get up at the crack of dawn, knowing I was Queen of the World, Empress of my Domain, you remember?  Yes, with the Power Suits and the PowerBook, armed and ready to Divide and Conquer my Territory.  If I wasn’t supposed to have gone into the sales thing, why didn’t you tell me sooner?  If I was supposed to be a homemaker like mom, why didn’t you just shoot me down when I first started.  I would have taken the hint?  You let me rise to the top, and then be thrown off a cliff.  That was just plain mean.

OK.  Sorry.  Not really your fault.  Free-Will and all that.  Fine.  My fault.  But what now?  What comes next?  You have got to send me a sign. How about using Twitter? I’m on Twitter…are you?  Yep.  I have become a Twit.  Or is it Twitterer..I don’t know yet.  Just getting to know this stuff.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to start again?  I guess you do, with the Great Flood and all that.

So, I’ve been loyal and faithful and good and kind, and done what I was supposed to do, so could you possibly find a minute to let me know what comes next?  I realize it’s a big universe, and I am only a tiny spec, but could you please, pleeeeeeaaaaassse, take a second for little ol’ Penny, and tell me for starters, do I get the perm and the highlights or just cut the whole thing off?