Thursday, January 28, 2010

It Looks Like Someone Has Daddy Issues

Years ago when I was an undergraduate at the university, I remember the Jewel album "Pieces of You" came out. At the time I can remember hearing the song "Daddy" for the first time, and it was so liberating because it was one of the first times that I had publicly heard someone give a big "fuck you" to one of their parents. If you read my previous post about my mother, then you know what I'm talking about.

I just found the song on youtube and it has Spanish subtitles:




I love how she calls out her big ole hypocrite dad. Now that I am a little older, I just realized that it reminds me of one of my very favorite poems by the bad ass poet Sylvia Plath. Sylvia Plath pretty much socks it to her dad also. I wonder if this poem influenced Jewel's song:



Purchase the Daddy song by Jewel

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Young and Talented? Watch Your Back!!!

On Friday a teacher made an appointment with me and asked if I would sponsor her as her mentor in her college program to get her administrative credential because she wants to be a school principal. I said that of course I would.

During our conversation, she began to cry and stated that she has asked her principal and vice principal if they would give her leadership positions at the school because she wants to develop her leadership capacity. They just blew her off. The principal said that he would support her, but delegated it to a female vice principal.

Apparently it's been months and the vice principal has refused to give her any leadership assignments. This teacher is one of our best teachers, which the principal has told me on numerous occasions and I have witnessed with my very own eyes. Yet the vice principal talks down to her, puts her down, tells her that she doesn't have certain skills to complete an assignment and so on.

Two years ago this same teacher came to me in the same type of situation at another school. When she came into the district I was the one who hired her because I recognized that she is extremely talented. I can't fully explain all of her qualifications because she was actually the first person in the state of California to attain two certain degrees. She has to be about 26 years old or so, yet she has multiple certificates from programs that she has completed, and she also has two masters degrees and is finishing up her school counseling degree and administrative credential.

I just can't explain enough what a kick ass teacher this young lady is.

Five years ago I hired her, and she became the target of a nasty clique of teachers. They harassed her, made fun of her, spread rumors about her, told the principal that she didn't understand things, etc. This almost devastated the teacher because she is very sensitive and a couple of times the teachers made her cry. As a result, they nicknamed her "la llorona" after the mythical woman (Mexican myth) who roamed the countryside at night crying and looking for her children.

The teacher finally made an appointment with me and explained the situation. I was quite aware of the viciousness of these teachers, because I had faced similar attacks by them years ago when I was teaching. One of them is still hot after me, trying to make me look bad as much as she can.

I told the young teacher, "Suck it up and NEVER let them see you cry. They are just jealous of you because they can sense that you have a lot of potential. Don't allow them to tear you down".

You see, at the time she was beginning to believe that there was something wrong with her. However, she sucked it up and carried on.

For a couple of years her principal constantly underestimated her, believing all the rumors about her incompetence. Her principal also didn't include her in leadership positions in the same manner that is happening to her at this moment.

I eventually intervened and worked with the teacher to get her transferred to what we thought would be a better setting. And it was a great setting for the first year-until the bitch vice principal came and started to block the teacher from developing to her full capacity. Now this vice principal is trying to tear her down, put her down and break her self esteem much in the same way that the nasty clique of teachers did to her two years ago.

So we've come full circle again, and on Friday she was sitting in my office crying again. I allowed her to cry and cry and then I said, "I'm just going to be blunt. You better just get used to this crap and in time you will grow thick skin. People are always going to do this to you because you are young, you are a woman, you are a Latina, and you are extremely talented. People will always try to block you from developing to your true potential, will always try to convince you that you can't do something, yet you need to just believe in your own capabilities. If people don't mentor you or give you leadership opportunities, just trust in yourself and keep searching for other people who will. There is always going to be something about you that threatens other people, and they will try to bump you down to their level to make themselves feel better".

I hope that I am not brainwashing this young lady into being cynical or jaded, but it's the only advice that I know how to give. Well, I could tell her how to chop off heads, but I suppose she's not yet ready for that.

I give this advice because it's all I know, having been in the same type of situation as her my entire life. As a teacher I always watched the lame asses and butt kissers get the leadership positions. To this day people try to talk down to me, make me look bad, and sabotage something that I am working on. When I applied for a management position, all the naysayers told me that I was too young. In fact, my boss refused to write a letter of recommendation for me when I applied for this position because of all the rumors that he heard about me. He has since apologized and claims that everyone seriously underestimates my potential to this day.

Years ago, I instinctively felt that I needed to accrue a mountain of degrees, credentials and certificates in much the same way as this young teacher has done. I did this because I had the instinct that a naysayer or jealous person might be sitting on an interview panel if I applied for a job. In my case, this is exactly what happened to me, and my boss later told me that a few people were trying to block me from the position yet I was more qualified than the other candidates.

As a young girl my aunt once told me, "You are a Latina and a girl. You need to make sure that you look better on paper than many other people because if not you will be blocked from many things that you want to do in life. You need to be more qualified than most white men".

I've always carried that thought with me, and it has served me well. I have had to claw my way into positions of leadership that might not have been available if I had not stacked up the credentials on my resume. I have forged ahead when people have told me to not do something because I believe in myself and my abilities. I can only hope that this young teacher sucks it up and continues to believe in herself and excel. I hope that I am not making her jaded and that she will learn how to swim with sharks and not get bitten.

What are your opinions? Has anything like this ever happened to you? What would you have told this young teacher?

Next Question: Does this kind of crap happen to MEN on this type of scale? Male perspectives always welcome! 


Beat Them At Their Game: 
Ambition is Not a Dirty Word: A Woman's Guide to Earning Her Worth and Achieving Her Dream
The Corporate Dominatrix: Six Roles to Play to Get Your Way at Work
The 48 Laws of Power

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Confession: I Hate My Mother

I feel compelled to make a confession, and I am sure that my brutal honesty just might make someone wiggle or be appalled by what I have to say. But I'll say it anyway because it's just something that I have to do to come to terms with some issues that have been hanging over my head.

I think that I hate my mother. Well, my father too, but that's another case entirely.

I know that this is supposed to be something really taboo to say, right? But I just can't help thinking it every time that I speak with her. The hatred has been growing and building up as each year goes by. I keep waiting for the magical time when I am going to have patience, or forgive her, or all that crap that people tell you will happen when you get older. Yet as I get older I tend to dislike her even more.

I've got such complicated feelings about my mother. Sometimes I admire her for all that she had to overcome in her life because she has survived many tragedies. Sometimes I feel sorry for her, because even though she is not alone, she has managed to alienate herself from everyone around her. On other occasions I try to excuse her behavior, because I really think that she is mentally ill. But most of the time I just hate her guts.

Maybe it's not hate so much as the fact that I wish that she would just disappear and stay the hell out of my life.

I once told a counselor many years ago that I would feel relieved if she were to die, because I wouldn't have to continue to deal with her abusive behavior and her ability to make everyone fucking miserable. I was so ashamed to admit it at the time, but my counselor told me that many people have told her something similar over the years.

I later confessed this to my boyfriend, and he said that I "didn't really feel that way" and that I was just acting out because I was angry. He told me that if she were to pass away that I would feel so guilt ridden that I wouldn't be able to live with myself. He told me that I would always beat myself up for not having spent quality time with her.

I think that the only thing that I will mourn when she is dead and gone is something that I never had-a functional, loving mother.

It's easy for him to tell me that I am just acting out, and that I "don't really mean" what I am saying. Yet he never had a mother who pulled out his hair until his head bled because of something trivial, like not having vacuumed in a straight line. His mother might nag at him, but he can at least sometimes have decent conversations with her that don't always resort to name calling, cursing, criticizing and put downs. Oh, I can go on and on, but why even bother?

All I know is that my life is wonderful when I manage to avoid her for months on end.

My mother left home when she was about fifteen years old and she never talked with her mother again until she was forty years old after her mother had a stroke. She never allowed us to visit her mother and wouldn't talk about her mother at all. All these years I have brainwashed myself that my mother was just repeating what had happened to her and it wasn't her fault. The older that I get, however, and the more that I see that she is able to function like a normal human being at work without smacking the shit out of an employee, I refuse to accept that she has no control over her behavior.

I am able to break convention in so many ways and I never give a shit what anyone thinks about me, but for some strange reason I have not completely been able to break away from her and cut off all contact because I have been so brainwashed by society that I am supposed to forgive her because she is my mother and she sacrificed for me in many ways.

Perhaps me blogging about this taboo subject is a small step that I am making towards just closing up my heart and trying to cut off all contact with her.

I bring this topic up because on Thursday she contacted me and told me that she had a lump in her armpit near the lymph nodes and that she will be having an operation on Monday. Someone else might be upset about this news in regard to their mother, but I felt nothing and carried on with my life. She has been calling me with a worried sound in her voice all weekend and leaving messages (because of course I have been avoiding her).

Due to that nagging little voice in my head that has been imposed on me by society, I thought that it would be respectful to call her tonight and chat with her for a couple of minutes since she will be having surgery tomorrow morning. She does have heart problems after all and being put under anesthesia might cause problems. Within the first five minutes she managed to bitch, moan, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch about anything and everything about me. I finally said, "Ok, bye, have a great fucking surgery" and I hung up. It seems like the past two years all I fucking do is hang up on her after speaking with her for more than five minutes.

I suppose that not much more can really be said about this topic, other than what I've already said. I suddenly feel light and free, as if I am moving towards finally being able to close the door on my relationship with her.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Happy Anniversary, Roe v Wade!

This Friday makes the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

That's all I have to say! May we continue to have reproductive rights over our body for years to come.

xoxoxo

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sometimes It Sucks to Be the Boss

Sometimes being a manager or leader sucks. Many of us come up through the ranks and along the way we find people who we work very well with. Before we are in positions of power, we might collaborate with people who hold a similar philosophical perspective. In fact, many of us work so well with certain people that we begin to see them as part of our team. There's nothing really wrong with that, but it might become a problem when one of the team becomes a manager.

I've had two colleagues who over the years I have grown to view as my partners. We all taught together in the same schools, became academic coaches and co-trainers together, and had each other's back when the going was tough. We stood together when we protested something that we were in disagreement with. We got our masters degree together, studied together, and mentored one another. Every step of the way in my career they have always been there.

When I became a manager over two and a half years ago, I was dragged through the mud and had to fight an uphill battle against numerous co-workers, including some people who had previously been my mentors and colleagues. My two partners, however, cheered me on throughout the assassinations on my character and deliberate acts committed by others in order to derail any progress that I was making. When one of my employees stripped the computers and files of all important documents, powerpoints, etc before she went out on an extended sick leave, my three partners helped me "save face" by coming in to work on a Saturday in order to try to salvage what had been erased. They spent hours and hours of their free time by helping me recreate the documents when they could not be recovered.

The other day I told my boyfriend, "You really know who your friends are when you become successful".

He said, "No, it's the opposite. You really know who your friends are when they stick by you when you are down and out. Everybody wants to become your friend and kiss your ass when you are successful".

I see his point, but I think that mine is equally as valid. Sure, it's a true test of friendship when people stand by you when the going gets tough, but it is also takes a secure friend to stand by you when you achieve success because many people are jealous and try to tear you down when you achieve success. If a friend stands by you when you are down and out, as well as when you are at the height of success-that's the mark of a loyal friendship.

As leaders we are often told that we need to get the "right people on the bus" and make sure that we have people on our team who are consistent with our goals and objectives. So it makes sense that as a new manager I would logically hire two of my previous partners as my employees when they applied for the job.

I didn't hire them because of my friendship with me. I don't necessarily consider them to be friends in the conventional sense of the word, because our relationship was more based on being colleagues than anything personal. I hired them because at the time they were honestly the only two people who understood my goals and vision and would be able to carry it out. They were far more qualified than anyone who applied for the job.

Over the past two and a half years, everything has been going well. They have handled it quite well that while I was once their equal, I am now their boss. I can't say the same for my previous employee who stripped me of all the necessary information-we used to be equals and she could not handle that I was suddenly her superior. My two partners (and now employees) have always showed respect for my position and have never expected any special treatment or favors. This is why I value them so much.

But now I have a dilemma and I don't know how to deal with it.

About a year ago, one of my employees had a baby. I knew as soon as she came back that she was suffering from postpartum depression and urged her to get help, but she refused to listen. Six months ago she finally went on medication, but it seems that she is getting progressively worse and spiraling out of control.

Over the past couple of months, she has continuously called in sick, arrives late at work, doesn't finish assignments, and loses her temper with other employees. She has started to fight with my other male employee, putting him down and raising her voice at him in front of other people and his subordinates.

I have talked with her a couple of times about her behavior and she has cried and said that she is trying to get better. I have listened to her and tried to work around her schedule because she has made comments that maybe she should just go back to the classroom and teach again because she can't handle the stress of the job.

Over the years she has stood beside me as we have climbed the ladder and tried to smash the glass ceiling to pieces. She has taken bullets from some of my political enemies, being targeted by a few people only because she was my partner and they had issues with me. She has worked overtime to make me look good, and move forward the agenda that the three of us have together.

Maybe I have been to soft on her by trying to accommodate her schedule and work around her family issues. Maybe I have made excuses for her for a bit too long. My male boss tells me that I need to call her in, lay down the law, and write her up. But it's hard to take his advice seriously, because he is a male manager. As a female I just can't get the idea out of my mind that she is suffering from depression and having a hard time with having a second child.

Today she didn't come in to work and didn't contact me until 3:30 p.m. to tell me that her son was sick. No one noticed that she was out and had just assumed that she was out and about somewhere. Yet the writing is clearly on the wall that she is starting to lose control of herself.

I know now that I need to call her in and have a serious discussion with her. I just don't know what to say that hasn't already been said. What do you say to someone with depression? What do you say to someone who feels that they can't handle their second child and are not getting any help from their husband?

All I know is that her problems are now starting to affect other people and their job performance, including myself. So this is where I have to draw the line.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wild Women of the West: Calamity Jane


Today I found an interesting documentary on the biography channel about "Calamity Jane", wild woman legend of the west. All I have to say is that the documentary was so very, very delightful.

Calamity Jane earned the reputation for out-smoking, out-drinking and out-shooting any man at the time in the west. Sounds like my kind of lady! Biographers have a hard time sorting out the truth versus the myth of who really Calamity Jane was because so many over-exaggerated myths swirl around her. Was she really dangerous? Was she a prostitute? Was she a wild alcoholic? Was she a mean, wild, crazy bitch? Who was she really??

I have actually never even heard of Calamity Jane until today. I don't have much experience with the "wild west" days and honestly it hasn't really interested me much. Apparently Calamity Jane is a character in the "Deadwood" HBO special, which I have never seen, but I sure might be watching now!

You can find the biography by clicking here. You will need to click on "historical figures" and her biography will be located there. I had some issues while watching the video, because the media player would often not open, but I just exited out of my browser and reopened it again. The video is broken into several sections and will automatically switch to the next section when done with one section. If the video freezes while switching from one part to the next, just click on the video and it should go to the next section. There were a few technical issues, but I think it was definitely worth it.

Believe me, I'll be revisiting the myth of Calamity Jane at another time, as soon as I find out more information on her!

I don't know how long the video will be up on the biography channel website, but if you are interested in purchasing your own video of Calamity Jane's biography, you can purchase it by clicking here.
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Women Who Write: Edwidge Danticat


A couple of days ago, I blogged about one of my favorite Haitian authors, Edwidge Danticat and one of my favorite books written by her. If you haven't read anything by Edwidge Danticat, you might want to check out the post that I wrote about her book "The Farming of Bones". Today is Danticat's birthday, so in honor of her special day I figured that I would write a little about her life and work.

Edwidge Danticat was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on January 19, 1969. When she was two years old her father immigrated to New York City as a result of the political situation in Haiti. When she was four years old her mother also immigrated to New York, leaving Edwidge and her younger brother in Haiti with an aunt and uncle. Edwidge later immigrated to Brooklyn, New York when she was twelve years old.


Danticat later attended Barnard College and received a BA in French Literature. In 1993 she received a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Brown University. In 1994, she wrote "Breath, Eyes, Memory", a novel about a twelve year old Haitian girl who immigrated to the United States to reunite with her family. Breath, Eyes, Memory later became an Oprah book club selection in 1998.


Edwidge Danticat is the first black Haitian female who has written in English, as well as to have been published by a major publishing house. Danticat's novels address issues of immigration, transnationalism, political turmoil, oppression of women, and other similar topics.  Her books have been published into over ten languages worldwide, and have won various awards. In 2009 Danticat was the recipient of the MacArthur Genius Award.


Books By Edwidge Danticat:
Krik? Krak! (1996)
Behind the Mountains (2002, young adult)
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Monday, January 18, 2010

Now I Understand Why I Blog Anonymously

A couple of days ago, I wrote a post about anonymous blogging, and I stated that I have yet to have quite put my finger on why I choose to blog anonymously. I suggested that it might have something to do with the fact that I like to play with reality and illusions. But today I actually remembered why I choose to remain unknown.

It's not that I am ashamed of anything I say, because I love everything about me. I'll admit that years ago when I first started my career I might have slightly had that "but what will they think" type of attitude going on, but I quickly outgrew that. It would be accurate to say that around the time I hit about 27 years old, I just stopped caring so much what anyone might say about me. And as the years go by I care even less and less.

So lately I have been questioning why I blog anonymously and am a bit elusive with my identity. Well, today I remembered.

To make a long story short, I work my ass off. I go above and beyond and this includes attending my workers' weddings, community functions, and answering my telephone after hours to put out fires or answer peoples' questions. My job is very intensive with the aspect of community service. It's not that I hate it, but sometimes I get so damn sick of my work life intruding on my personal life and I just want to draw a strict boundary between the two.

I created a facebook page and I only added a few of my close friends. I thought that I made my settings completely private, but somehow I began to get invites from some of my employees, co-workers, employees of friends and so on. I tried to just ignore their requests, but some people actually even asked me when they saw me why I hadn't added them. So I added them.

I'm a big Bitch with a capital B, but with work it is different.  am a fierce bitch and will stick it to whoever I have to, but I try not to at work. It's my job to make the school system a better place, and that includes convincing teachers, principals, parents, employees, community members and everyone else to work together to achieve common goals and maybe do something that they might not want to do. I can't just go give a big "fuck you" to everyone because then ultimately it hurts the kids because people aren't doing what they are supposed to.

One day I wrote on my facebook wall that I didn't like a Law and Order episode when the abortion doctor was killed because it seemed like it put a negative slant on the doctor. One of my employees got on there and said, "I loved it!" I said, "Well, I didn't because I am pro-choice". She said, "I am pro-life!!!!!!" I just finished the conversation because I knew that it would be a bit difficult to get her future buy-in at work if I have her a beat down.

Now every time I look at this girl, I can't get the idea out of my mind that she is a right wing asshole. I wish I would have never known anything personal about her.

After that episode, I went on facebook and I stated that I was going to go off facebook. I thought that I could unfriend some of the facebook people and just block them. Well, a few of them noticed that I was still on there because they saw that I was writing on someone's wall that they were friends with. They mentioned that I must have unfriended them by accident and I ended up adding them back. Uh.

Today I went onto facebook and one of my close friends was debating on her page over a video that she had posted about Russell Simmons and meditation. One of her old secretaries was criticizing her for discussing meditation, and was telling her that it was from the devil. My friend sent me an instant message and said, "Can you believe this shit?" I wanted to bitch slap that lady too, but she works with our department and I don't really want to make my life miserable by pissing off an important secretary, so I decided that I would just keep my mouth shut.

At that exact moment, I realized why I blog and tweet anonymously.

I have to be around work people all day long, and frankly I don't really care for any of them to be close to me in my personal life. I have to bite my tongue many times during the day and work with people who I don't really care for, so why the hell do I want to come home from work and chat about it with them. Furthermore, they honestly don't need to know the authentic "me" because it's none of their damn business. I want them to know nothing about who I really am, and I want the relationship to only stay in the work place.

I am with these people all the time, and when I come home I just want to play on the internet only with very close friends as well as people who I have come to know online who have similar interests as mine. It's like a time-out for me. If I were to post my real name, I can just imagine all these work people finding me and wanting to talk to me. I need a little damn peace and time away from them!

So I created a separate facebook account that I can use, which no one knows about except very, very close friends as well as twitter and blog friends. Of course it's under a pseudonym, but I've got to do what I've go to do, ya know? I swear, even when I made myself private they somehow hunted me down and found me.

I just need a little peace. And I need to trash my other facebook profile and kiss those people goodbye.

Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise

Check out this video by Maya Angelou as she reads her poem "And Still I Rise". She starts out talking a little and then she reads her poem-


This is one of my favorite poems by Maya Angelou, and it really gives voice to the resilience and strength of so many women when they face adversity.
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You Can Find This and Other Maya Angelou Poems In:
Maya Angelou: Poems
The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou
maya angelou poems, maya angelou poetry, poetry about strong independent women, resilient women

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Do I Really Need Any New Projects??

I'm excited to announce a new little project that I want to start in my free time! (As if I am not already running from one project to the next). Well, I am a big book slut and I love to read, read, read. And I most definitely love to talk about books.

So I have decided that I am going to start another blog in the next couple of days with a specific emphasis on some of my favorite books. I am literally going to go through my bookshelf, blog about books that I own, reread some of them, and maybe even get to some of those books that I have always wanted to get to but I haven't gotten around to it yet. Hopefully other book lovers will also like to read it and I will learn about some other great books that other people recommend.

Stay tuned! I will keep you updated!!

Update: The blogspot address that I wanted is taken, so I am just going to buy the actual url which is available. This means that I am going to need to set up a wordpress blog that is hosted on my account. Until I can get everything set up, I just figure that I'll blog about the books on this blog and then later move over my book talk to the other.

Truth, Fiction and Anonymity in the Blogosphere

Lately I have been thinking about the whole debacle with the "Real Princess Diaries" website that happened last month. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, the blog is a site ran by a blogger using the pseudonym of "Alexa di Carlo" and it explicitly chronicled her life as an escort. Last month an article ran in Carnal Nation called "Reality and Faux Ho Bloggers" and it mentioned that there have been questions about the authenticity of Alexa di Carlo's story.

After the article was released, there was a heated firestorm over people arguing over this issue. Alexa's website was temporarily taken down throughout this situation and her twitter account went silent. Another blog popped up, asking for money in exchange for identifying information about escorts who blog. Carnal Nation released a statement that they supported the free speech of all parties involved, including the blog attempting to expose sex-workers. Alexa di Carlo finally returned to her blog, stated that she may not be blogging anymore because she has lost her voice. The last I have heard about it is that last week Mistress Matisse wrote an article about the situation, discussing various fictional sex characters and suggesting that she should have stated that she was writing a fictional account.

My thoughts on this entire situation is: Who really gives a fuck?

I used to read "Real Princess Diaries" after Alexa di Carlo followed me on twitter. I often read the blog, assuming that it was fictional or at least part fictional. Many of the stories just seemed too contrived and it just seemed to me that it was mainly fictional. But I would still read it every once in a while. Just like I used to read another "escort" blog called Peridot Ash, and I somehow suspected that it was not an entirely fictional account. I still started to see that although the stories might have been fictional, I was still able to catch glimpses of the bloggers' real personalities.

As far as I'm concerned, unless someone is blogging on a personal website about business, I am not too concerned if what I am reading is true or not. If someone is writing on a personal blog, I could care less if they are writing an entirely fictional story or whether they distort the truth here or there. It's non of my damn business. Writers are writers, and most writers at some point put a little creative license into anything that they write. I'm not going to get so attached and caught up in someone's online identity, especially someone who uses a fictional name and doesn't care to meet with people in person. If the story is good, that's all that concerns me, and chances are that there has got to be little tidbits of the real person within some of the stories.

More than anything I am just disappointed that she didn't just give everyone a big "fuck you" and keep on blogging. If someone allows other people to silence their real or fictional voice, well, then maybe that person shouldn't be a writer. People will always have some sort of criticism and if you can't handle it then don't blog or write.  

I blog anonymously and I don't owe it to anyone else to do otherwise. People blog anonymously for various reasons, and I haven't quite put my finger on my reason. It has something to do with the fact that I like to play with reality, identity and illusions. It's a way for me to express my creativity.

Ninety-eight percent of what you see with me is who I really, really am. Another one percent is probably bullshit because I like to add a little creative license every once in a while. Such bullshit would only be with insignificant events or details. Another one percent might be partly true with some of the facts distorted to protect the innocent. Sometimes I might blog about something that happened "yesterday" and not even post it for a couple of months. I might distort some details of time, place and certain insignificant events because other people in my story might not have given permission for me to blog about the event and I feel like I owe it to them to distort something to a certain extent. 

So there it is. If you are such an insecure person that you are going to fall apart because I am not sending you a picture or meeting you in person, well then I suggest that you should.....get a life.


Thoughts? Will anyone of you be having a nervous break down, now knowing that approximately two percent of what I say might be slightly distorted?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Say it Sista: Even When It Isn't a Popular Thought

It's so frustrating (and sort of funny) to me when people can't engage in a difference of opinion. All my life we've always heard that we should never have discussions of politics or religion to avoid fights. I've always struggled with this because I have always enjoyed debates about differing opinions. I never get really angry when people have an opinion different than mine, but I won't back down from my opinion unless I arrive at a different view as the result of a debate with someone.

It's taken me years to realize that I think a bit differently than other people, and there are a small group of people who get what I am saying. I've grown accustomed to people getting defensive and acting as if I am crazy when I have a particular view. I thoroughly enjoy saying something that is contrary to what people have been told and have slurped up like obedient little sheep. It's always fascinating to me to watch how people react when something is stated that is entirely contrary to their belief system.

Thomas Kuhn addressed this topic in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. It's been a while since I have read the book, but what I remember was Kuhn's discussion of peoples' intellectual paradigms, beliefs and ideologies. Kuhn discusses this idea through the lens of science, with certain "schools of thought" being so ingrained in us as a result of indoctrination by others who hold that view. Much of what we believe is taken for granted and we hold a "common sense" view of it.

Kuhn claims that scientific revolutions and changes in knowledge are characterized by a "series of peaceful interludes punctuated by intellectually violent revolutions". Knowledge changes as a result of conflict as well as when other people point out "anomalies" in peoples' views or question assumptions that have been taken for granted. As a result of the conflict, a new understanding or Truth will emerge and "one conceptual world view is replaced by another".

Many years ago people were absolutely positive that they knew the Truth with a capital T when it came to the solar system. At the time, it was common knowledge that the Earth was the center of the solar system. When Copernicus came along and espoused the view that the Earth was NOT the center of the solar system, many people refused to accept his view. Copernicus was labeled as wacko, a heretic and his theory was denounced.

What was once labeled as a crazy idea is now taken as common knowledge. Maybe tomorrow we will find out that the sun isn't even the center of the solar system. Truth is never as it seems, and can be fluid and multidimensional. Most of us brilliant geniuses are already accustomed to having amazing and innovative ideas while other people call us crazy. It is what it is.

My ideas about the scientific revolution of ideas and knowledge is inspired by a recent debate that I had on twitter this morning. I saw something on television this morning where people stated that they would like to go to Haiti to help, but they were "afraid for their life". Because I don't believe everything I am told and like to interrogate an issue and question common knowledge, I posted the following comment on twitter: 

Bothers me when news say ppl "fear for their life" to go to Haiti to help. Why? Is this another case of dehumanizing black people?

I also said:

That's the same thing people did with Katrina-made it seem like people were just running around randomly killing people.

I state this because of the longstanding tradition of dehumanizing black people by making them appear to be wild, violent savages.  We saw this happening during the Katrina crisis, where the myths swirled that some black people were raping, killing and murdering aid workers and children. At the time, I can remember my racist mother saying, "These blacks are savages. They don't even deserve to be rescued". I told her that I didn't believe the rumors that I was hearing, and told her that I thought that it was the same type of dehumanization tactics that the Nazis used to dehumanize Jews by depicting them as rats in pictures. Or the same type of dehumanization of gays that occurred during the Prop 8 campaign (i.e., gay marriage) by anti-gay marriage proponents spreading tales of people getting beat up and attacked by gays when trying to put anti-gay marriage signs in the front yard.

I can go on and on about different types of dehumanization, que no? I don't know if this is what is happening in Haiti when comments are made that people are afraid for their life. I am not there and I do not see what is happening. I am merely posing a question and offering an alternative perspective. I am merely wondering if people make comments about being scared because of rumors that swirl perpetuated by ingrained racist beliefs. Did people have these same fears and rumors during the tsunami that hit Indonesia or the Samoan islands?  Just asking.

And of course many people will think I am crazy, for reasons mentioned in my discussion on Thomas Kuhn. People will refuse to entertain what I am saying, because it might be entirely inconsistent with their paradigm. Go ahead and label me a heretic though, because I am firm in my questioning of these rumors.

After I posted that comment, a Latina female contacted me and here was our conversation:

Her: I'm in the med field and was offered to go and feared for my life so that is why I didn't go. Not about race.. about survival! 
Me:  but what are you fearing for your life for? What is the concern? 
Her: So many have been threatened already. Alot of medical have been evacuated because of attacks on them. I have family too!
Her: Why haven't you offered your help or go? Easy to talk ,But not easy to step to the plate!
Me: I did call and they will only take people who can stay for six months or more. I can't stay six months.
Her: It is dangerous. I know info from military base here. Not all peach's & cream when U have some people making it hard to get help
Her: Already had some medical staff attacked and made to vacate
Me: the same sort of myths of danger of the ppl were overexaggerated when katrina happened
Her: I helped with Katrina and so did my hubby. So wasn't easy, But different circumstances. didnt have people trying to shoot me!
Me: BUT they were saying the same thing-people attacking, raping, etc and when you went you saw it wasn't true, right?
Me: you are different. other people might be spreading rumors without even knowing it
Her: look I will say this..I have connection in the med field that let me know what's up. I HAVE FACTS!Not Tv News!Major Difference!
MeI am not criticizing you, I am criticizing the news who spread the myths that it is so dangerous.
Her: To each their own... Just get facts and not hearsay!
Me: you are not there, so you are hearing heresy from other people. practice what you preach sista.
Her: I'm not there but when I have inside scoop because I have medical in put I can state facts not bullshit like most!
Me: you do not have inside scoop. You are getting second hand information from other people.
Me: until you are there and see something with your own eyes, it is not a fact.
Me: nor is mine fact. I am hypothesizing whether they are rumors perpetuated by fear.
Me: Never said mine are facts. u are the one claiming the claim to the truth.I am questioning these "facts" until substantiated
Her: This conversation is going nowhere and I'm not gonna sit here and entertain you .. Go on with your babble and enjoy!

She then immediately unfollowed me after the conversation. Not that I care or anything, but I find it highly entertaining that people can't engage in productive debates because such exchanges lead to a deeper understanding of issues that we might normally take for granted.

Immediately after the conversation,  I received a few direct messages on twitter, criticizing my conversation. Because these people didn't make their comments public on twitter, I will not write about their conversation in detail. The general idea about their comments was that a few people were perturbed that as a "dominant woman" I should have never talked shit to another "dominant woman".

If people think that the exchange that I outlined above was me "talking shit" then they have yet to see me give a verbal bitch slapping of epic proportions. You will find rare instances of me verbally bitch slapping another woman, however. Get a grip and recognize a debate about competing ideas of viewing a situation. 

And this I will say: If anyone has a different view than my own and responds to something that I say, expect me to stick to my guns and engage in a dialogue about our differing opinions. If after a productive dialogue you make some excellent points then I will keep an open mind and enough mental flexibility to look at the topic from a new lens. I don't care if you are a liberal, conservative, man or woman-if you engage in a logical debate and can back up your shit without effectively peeing all over yourself then I might take into consideration what you have to say. If you are too intellectually deprived to engage in a logical debate and lack the mental acumen to look at things from a different perspective, then, uh, well, I don't know what to tell you.

I will NEVER be silenced and stand firm in my beliefs, whether they are heretical to the world or not. I suggest everyone else do the same.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Thanks for Your Support =)

A couple of posts ago, I mentioned that my partner and I are currently working on a web project, which I am SUPER excited about. I will primarily be behind the scenes as I love to do and will be working on overseeing the conceptualization and creative aspect of it all. I'd love to give more public details, but I have to respect the privacy of my partner since she is not necessarily tied to my online persona.

In a nutshell, I'm excited because I have decided that I am going to start working towards the promotion of women. I'll be doing that in a way with the project that I am working on with my partner, but I also have brainstormed a number of additional online projects that I would like to start sometime this year, where my primary focus will be the empowerment of women.

I've always been highly curious, flitting from one project to the next, but now I am ready to settle down and set my priorities.  I am working towards this transition of eventually leaving the "system" where I work for someone else and start to transition into working for myself and hiring women.  I can't quite put my finger on exactly what I would like to do, but in time as I work on this other project with my partner I will definitely figure it out.

In the meantime, I am asking for support from my loyal readers as I start off on this journey. In the near future, I would like to hire female writers to write on this blog, or the future website that I will be moving this blog over to. I am funding the other project that I mentioned, and would like to start a finance plan to eventually hire writers to write about issues pertinent to women. So, this is how I need your support in order to make this happen in the future:

If you ever shop on Amazon,  please consider clicking on this link. When you have clicked on the link, please immediately save it on your bookmarks. In the future when you plan on shopping on Amazon, please visit Amazon through the link that you saved on your bookmark. Why? Well, the link includes a bad ass femmes code and we will get a very, very small percentage of your purchases. When you click through, you won't see the code, but rest assured that it is there-provided that you save it immediately on your bookmark. If you go to Amazon through your bookmark in the future, it will still contain my code.

Although it is a small commission, it will eventually add up to enough money that I plan on using to pay writers in the future. I am just starting small now and am in the brainstorming stage, but your support with clicking through to Amazon with the bad ass femmes link and saving it on your bookmarks would be greatly appreciated. If you're not an Amazon shopper, then please send me your you-go-girl type of thoughts!

Also, if there are any women who blog or write who would like to collaborate, please hit me up. 

P.S. If you know of anyone else who wouldn't mind helping out, please spread the word. If you do this, please let me know here, through twitter, facebook or email so that I can give you a big THANK YOU!

Thank you. xoxox

I Think Some of You Bitches Are My Soul Mates

Or my alter ego. Or maybe one of my multiple personalities who might be hiding from the others.

Please note that some of you bitches have been added to my blog roll on the right hand side of the blog, down to the left. I know I am missing people, as I read blogs here and there and sometimes I can't keep track of them all. So I have decided that I will add some to my blog so that I can keep them in one central location. I know, I know, I can read them in a google reader, but for some reason I am not feeling you.

If you are a frequent reader of this blog and/or you are feeling my vibe and/or you are one of my other soul mates that I have yet to meet, please leave a comment here about your blog so that I can add it to the blog list. If you have linked to mine, let me know and I will return the favor-well, unless you are a Sarah Palin wannabe or something. And in that case you might want to consider kissing my ass.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bad Ass Authors: Edwidge Danticat


Over the past couple of days, I've been watching the news about the earthquake in Haiti. I honestly haven't studied much about Haiti, but thinking so much about Haiti has brought to mind one of my favorite authors, the Haitian immigrant Edwidge Danticat. After reading many of her novels years ago, I always wanted to read and learn more about the history as well as the economic and political plight of the Haitian people as well as Haitian immigrants to the US.

I would have to say that my favorite novel of all time would be Edwidge Danticat's novel, The Farming of Bones. The novel is so devastating, horrific, and heart-wrenching. The novel details the life of a female Haitian servant who is living and working in the Dominican Republic during the Trujillo dictatorship. A summary of the book would definitely do no justice to it, so I won't even bother with an elaborate summary. In a nutshell, the book describes the devastating genocide that happened to Haitians in the Dominican Republic through the lens of a female Haitian who is in love and eventually is forced to escape back to Haiti in the wake of genocide.

I'm one cold-hearted bitch, but this book has probably been one of the most devastating books that I have ever read. I can remember reading it all in one setting and staying up throughout the wee hours of the night, calling in sick the next day because I was so spellbound with the book.

Every single one of Danticat's book is wonderful in its own unique way and I have been dying for her to release another.

I first came upon her when I saw her book Breath, Eyes, Memory on the Oprah show years back. I graduated to Krik? Krack!which I equally loved. Her books discuss issues with women, political and economic oppression through oppressive regimes, and issues of immigration. Every single book of hers speaks to my soul.

If you are a lover of books and you have not read one of Danticat's books, please do so. In the meantime, I think it's time for me to research some books and dig into Haiti's history, which I have been meaning to do for a long time. While I'm doing that, get off your ass and check out Edwidge Danticat's books by clicking here.



Have you read a book by Edwidge Danticat? What are your views of her work?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Confessions of an Office Politics Queen-Part Two

Apologies to those of you who have been asking about the follow-up to my last post, but I was extremely tired yesterday. It's not as if it's earth shattering news, but it's just that I got so exhausted on the night that I was writing it that I couldn't even see because my eyes were so blurry. So here's the latest:

The boss called me into his office on Monday and as I mentioned in my last post, I was sort of shitting bricks because I know that I was overly, overly aggressive. Not to mention that I had just been sort of chastised for sending the same bitch an email last Friday, so I was sort of worried.

I walked into his office and he told me to take a seat. I could tell that there was a bit of tension in the air and he was somewhat uncomfortable. For about 15 minutes he had his back to me and he was typing on the phone.

As I stated, this is not the most earth shattering news, but this is what he suddenly blurted out:

"Aren't you afraid that they are going to get rid of you?" he asked.

"Who?" I asked. "Do you want to get rid of me?"

"I don't know-whoever. Don't you know that institutions get rid of people like you?" he explained.

"People like me?" I asked.

"Yeah, people who can't get along with anyone," he stated.

I just stared at him, trying to control myself from reaching across the desk and bitch slapping him too. I tried to keep my mouth shut, but then suddenly my alter ego just took over my body once again.

I said, "If you or anyone in this institution wants to get rid of a high performer such as myself because I am advocating on behalf of the students, yet you keep around these jackasses who are very incompetent then so be it, because I don't want to work for an institution like that. Besides I would gladly go work for "Joe Blow" [a local civil rights educational advocate] and then I'll come back and expose everyone's sorry ass,"  I said.

He sat back in his seat, startled. I couldn't believe that I said it, but like I said I have been having major issues with aggression. I don't take it lightly when someone insinuates that I might be gotten rid of, especially when I was left out of the loop on an important project and was accused of having dropped the ball.

He said, "I have to go talk to [the head honcho] about this. He wanted me to talk to you before he talked to me about it."

I said, "Good, give him my regards. Also, let him know what I said when you asked me if I was afraid that they would get rid of me. If he wants to keep all of these incompetent people, then I am sure that there will be plenty of people who would love to have me work for them". And then I just walked out the door.

When I got home last night I was so convinced that I was going to get a pink slip as soon as possible. I was so surprised though that I just don't give a rat's ass. I am passionate about what I do, and I will not allow someone to shit all over me. If someone wants to get rid of me for standing up for myself, fuck it.

I am actually surprised that I have lost any sense of fear. No fear of economic repercussions, or fear of any difficulty with some of the other people involved. It's amazing how free I feel.

Many years ago, I used to have a principal who would send nasty, mean emails every morning and yell at us over the intercom for us to read them. They used to spoil my day. An older friend once told me to not read them. I told her that I had to read them. She told me to tell the principal that I refused to read mean emails in the morning because they put me in a bad mood. I told her that there was no way that I would get away with that.

I think that we often put a muzzle on ourselves, living in fear of retaliation, breaking the rules, or being shunned. We do this to ourselves most of the time, because I am becoming increasingly convinced that most people are just bullies and that they will pee all over themselves when you sock it back to them.

So today I was called into the head honcho's office. As I was sitting outside, I didn't feel scared or worried at all. I was absolutely convinced that my ass was grass though because of the comment that I had made about going to work for the obnoxious educational advocate.

He called me into his office and told me NOT to sit down. "Oh great, here we go," I thought.

But secretly inside I thought, "Great, I'll just work for home and peddle porn online".

Then he said, "How dare you be such a smart ass and say that you will go work for so-and-so. You aren't going anywhere. Now get out of here".

Well, I most certainly didn't expect that.

When I got home tonight, I checked my email and there was an email from him, saying that effective immediately that everyone better keep me in the loop. Well, well, I bet that bitch who sent me the email is pissed as hell.

The men in the institution tend to support me, interestingly enough, even when I do and say outrageous stuff and basically accuse them of having no balls. It is the women in the institution who have done their best to try to make my job difficult in so many ways. Well, that's a whole other story, which I will get to in time.

In the meantime, I am going to have keep my ass on alert at all moments, because I know that bitch I sent the email is going to be coming back at me.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Confessions of an Office Politics Queen

Yesterday I wrote how I verbally slapped the hell out of a meddling bitch who constantly undermines me. I sent a pretty aggressive email message that told her that I didn't appreciate her insinuations that I wasn't doing my job when the dumb ass was the one who had failed to include me in a project.

It was a pretty rough day today after having sent that email. I had already been called into the head honcho's office on Friday because of an email that I sent that she complained about, so I was sure that I was B-u-s-t-e-d with a capital B. I was thinking all day long about how I would be able to weasel out of it all day.

I started to doubt what I did, wondering if I had acted in an unprofessional manner and was perhaps being a bit too direct and aggressive. I was confused and doubting myself all day long.

And then I got the telephone call from my boss that he wanted to see me in his office at 2:00 sharp. I admit that I was a bit nervous about the conversation that would take place because I wasn't sure how he was going to react.

I admit that my email was pretty aggressive. Not only did I send the aggressive email, I decided to cc it to the head man in charge, my boss, two of her equals, and three people who worked below her. My strategy was three-fold:
  • I wanted to show the bitch that I am not afraid to bitch slap her in front of her boss, co-workers or employees. I suspect that because she is older than me, she views my 33ishness as being weak somehow. 
  • I wanted to scare the hell out of her three employees who are my equals. I figured that if they saw me bitch slapping their boss that they would think twice about also undermining me, which they have been doing. I also know that one of them is a huge gossip, and I am hoping that my bitch slapping behavior will be told to a few other assholes in their department who have been undermining me for the past two years. 
  • I wanted her boss to see what a big asshole she is. I knew that I was risking looking like an asshole myself, but I figured that it was worth the risk because I suspect that she is pulling the wool over his eyes.
Before I went to see my boss, I checked my email in order to see if she had emailed me back. It's lucky for her that she hadn't because I am having a challenge keeping my attitude in check.

So there I sat, in the parking lot, wondering what my boss was going to say or do to me. I sat there slightly doubting myself, wondering if I had gone overboard. But then I just thought, "To hell with it. I said what I said, and I stand by my actions".

You'll have to wait to see what happened next because I am so exhausted that  I can barely see these letters anymore. Until tomorrow!

They Call Me a Pit Bull for a Reason

It's midnight on a work night and I have a huge presentation that I have to conduct tomorrow, which means that I need to be up in the morning bright and early. I can't sleep and my stomach has an ache in it. My heart keeps thumping and I feel like I just want to rip someone's head off over a work email that I just received from a co-worker.

I initially turned to the internet because I needed to maintain my sanity in a world where I typically have to walk around sometimes with a poker face and keep some of my aggression in check. I needed a safe space to say what I really wanted to say, and be who I really wanted to be because frankly I don't want many acquaintances in my real life to really know who I am. On the internet I can just say whatever I want to say and be my true self, without having to strategically analyze whether every word that comes out of my mouth will be used against me or to my advantage in the war of office politics.

It's funny how you can become so intimately connected with people online without ever having met them or spent time with them face to face. It's amazing the connections that you can form with people without even knowing one another's names. And I've come to the conclusion that unleashing my true self online is sometimes the only thing that holds me back from losing my cool at work and bitch slapping someone. It'd be safe to say that people who have come to know my online persona well probably know me better than most people who I have come into contact with, with exception to a very small group of close friends.

The truth is that I have a horrible temper at times and am overly aggressive. "You should aim to be assertive, not agressive", is what I've been told and has been shoved down every woman's throat since who knows when.

Well, the truth of the matter is that I am overly aggressive sometimes and think that there is nothing wrong with it. Sometimes we have to be aggressive for different reasons. I've learned to manage my aggression over the years, so much in fact that lately I have been feeling like I put a muzzle on myself.

I'm tired of being undermined in various aspects in my workplace and have become increasingly aggressive with dealing with bullshit behavior over the past couple of months.  I've always been spoken down to and undermined by other co-workers. Other managers have not informed me of things and when the ball is dropped somewhere I am blamed and made to look incompetent. Rumors have always been spread about me-who I am sleeping with, what I said or did to whichever Joe Blow, and anything else that people can think of.

My boss has always told me, "You know why they do this to you, right? You are intelligent and crazy competent, and it intimidates people. People know that when you walk into the room that you know where the dead bodies are buried and can read right through them to uncover their bullshitting.  They just want to make you look bad."

I've always just ignored it all, because I know in part what he is saying is true and I always tend to gain momentum when I am staying above all the pettiness. There are many times when I have kept my mouth shut because I think that it is better to win the war than the battle, and I prefer to strategically stick the knife in when someone is not looking and chop of the head when he or she least expects it. It is often so much more delightful just to patiently watch for people to hang themselves, while you kick back and quietly provide them a little rope to use.

Except something happened to me when I was on vacation a couple of months ago and since I have returned it's become increasingly more difficult for me to keep my aggression in check. It all started slowly with me and now it is as if I am sniffing around for blood so that I can tear certain people apart. It's as if all of the years or months of waiting patiently for people to hang themselves is catching up to me and I want to jump in and tie the rope around their neck for them.

Something at work has been building up for the past couple of months and tonight it finally just climaxed. I have been long suspecting that someone has been undermining me and my boss and yet I have been trying to strategically think of how I can minimize her behavior. For the past week, I have been strategically giving her a little rope and waiting for her to grab it.

And today she grabbed the rope. She grabbed it right after she sent me an email telling me in other words that I was not doing my job.

And the tigress came out to pounce.

I verbally bitch slapped her and gave her such a "a big fuck you" in the most professional way, telling her and five other people (as well as copying the head man in charge) just what I think of their undermining ways. And there will be conflict and repercussions about this email, considering that on Friday I was called into the head honcho's office for giving her an email beat down on Friday.

It is what it is. I can't tolerate it any more and feel like calling out anyone and everyone who tries to pull this crap, but I know that for strategic purposes I can't do such a thing. I am going to have to go into work tomorrow looking bright eyed and innocent, to try to balance out my overly aggressive behavior.

Wish me luck.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Female Images in Shepard Fairey Art

Last night I came upon a website about Frank Shepard Fairey, the graphic artist who created the obey giant art as well as the infamous Obama "Hope" portrait that was made popular during the presidential race. I've read in the past that there were various criticisms of Shepard Fairey regarding copyright violations with the Obama image, but I really love the colors and style in the portrait. The website has the original Obama print for sale and I was surprised that it is selling for $5, 000 dollars!!

What I really love about some of the Shepard Fairy art are the prints with females. Besides the obey giant prints, one of my favorite of the Shepard Fairy prints is the portrait about the Burmese political activist who has been on house arrest, Aung San Suu. I just love the "Freedom to Lead" print, with all of its red, yellow and black tones. I would just love to have that print hanging on my wall! Although the "Freedom to Lead" print is my favorite, I love all the prints with women.

Many of the Shepard Fairy prints remind me so much of some of the street graffiti that I grew up looking at while being raised in Los Angeles. The colors and some of the political messages in some of the art are really enticing to me. When you have a chance, head over to the Shepard Fairey prints website and check out some of the prints for yourself.

Looking for Writers

I just figured that I would blog about something that is on my mind-

My partner in crime has asked me to collaborate with her on an internet project and I am really excited about it. I am going to finance the project a little and do some of the creative aspect of it. I feel like it has a lot of potential and I am really excited about it. I'm really committed to throwing in the dinero on this one, and I've already managed to get a couple of investors.

So, basically in a nutshell, we are going to soon be looking for writers who can blog/write about a variety of topics: technology, education, politics, sexuality, books, finance, movies, literature etc. We're looking for people who are trying to get experience being published and want to get a little experience behind their name to put on their resume. 

We would prefer people who would be able to write a couple of articles per month-maybe three or four. One of the themes about the whole thing is going to be diversity and bilingualism. You don't need a lot of experience with these topics, because we can provide more direction to you. The pay will be very minimal as we are starting up, which is why we are looking for people who are looking to get their foot in the door and gain experience with writing, as opposed to making the big bucks.  People who can write in two languages would also be greatly appreciated.

I'm really excited about this project and will be working on conceptualizing things and getting stuff up and running. If you are interested or would like additional information, please email me at badassfemmes@yahoo.com.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Are We Our Own Worst Enemies?


A couple of weeks ago a close friend told me about a recent argument that she had with her husband of ten years. Over the past ten years she has confided in me about the fact that he does little to help her with the children or housework. She recently had another child about ten months ago and was diagnosed with postpartum depression, and the jackass husband still does little to help her.

About two weeks ago she informed me that she told him that "enough is enough" and one day while we were at work he text messaged her that he wanted a divorce. Isn't that lovely? I haven't spoken with her during the vacations and so I am assuming that he was merely throwing a fit.

In addition to the text message, before she came into work in the morning he had told her that she wasn't being a "good wife" because she rarely had sex with him anymore. She responded, "Well, if you would help me more often then I wouldn't be so damn exhausted and maybe I would actually feel like having sex".

Over the years I have listened to these little fights and watched her have to take primary responsibility for the children and household, while at the same time being the partner who makes the most money. (Hell, it's my opinion that if women make more money than men and have more of a professional job that requires more time and attention, then the men should be putting in more time than us with household duties. But I've digressed.)

Throughout the ten years I've discussed the situation with one of our close male friends and we've pondered the following question, "Is he really a lazy ass, or is she a 'micromanager' and won't allow him to really help her because he's not doing it the exact way that she wants it done?" I posed this question to her a couple of times and she was unable to answer and told me that she had to think about it.

All of my life I have heard similar stories from women at work or on the internet. I used to sit in the staff lounge and listen to women talk about how men are "like children", that they can't take care or themselves or do anything right. I've listened to other women complain that even when they technically aren't single that they still consider themselves to be a single mother.

I've always thought that this was bizarre. Most of my close friends (with an exception to the one that I mentioned) are not married or dating "helpless men" and I most certainly have never dated such a loser. Do men only act like this because they are allowed to get away with it? Are men really lazy, or are many women such control freaks that men just think, "Screw it-she's just going to bitch at me because I didn't do it her way, so I just won't do it at all". Would men not act like this so often if women stopped socializing them to act this way by not setting boundaries with them?

I'm at that point in my life where I see women as being way too complicit in their own oppression, yet are failing to take responsibility that they also are partly responsible for creating these "worthless men". I'm tired of the incessant "down with the patriarchy" crap that even I subscribe to because I have seen far too many women be responsible for their own demise.

When it really boils down to it, who is really at fault here? What are your opinions?