Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Surreal Adventures of The Angry Redheaded Lawyer: “Embodi(ed)” by Girl Be Heard: An Educational, Humorous and Unforgettable Glimpse Into the World of Eating Disorders

I actually came to this show on Saturday night from a very different perspective. I have been modeling for the past couple years, known as a “pretty” girl for a long time but only started believing it more recently and have been skinny forever. I grew up with my own body issues but none of them pertained to weight (unless you want to count a friend asking in high school if I was anorexic and random people giving me flack for being a picky eater and not choosing to put things on my plate I didn't like). I work in the entertainment industry & have done more networking in this world of fashion through my legal and creative pursuits though I haven't gotten to a level where one might label me as part of the problem.

Despite my perspective being different, I found this a very entertaining and insightful show with a powerful message worth listening to. The ladies in this piece are extremely talented and clearly you can see the work and effort put into this show. The choreography was impressive and on point, the acting and the telling of stories was pitch perfect and you could tell these performers cared. Some of the highlights of this show are the skit on diet pills and the drugs they contain (for the first time, someone actually tells you WHY diet pills are bad in a clear, digestible way instead of giving a general “they're unhealthy for you” explanation that you see on most sitcoms), the routine using measuring tape, and the skit incorporating the slogan of Cover Girl: easy, breezy, beautiful Cover Girl.

This show deserves serious praise for diversity in casting since mainstream media typically portrays eating disorders as a white, straight girl problem. There were black women as well as lesbians speaking here so this was a far fuller picture of the issue than you'd ever see in the average presentation or venue. It also didn't feel like the company was saying “we're being diverse with these inclusions” but were telling these stories organically and sincerely. That is what true diversity is about.

I also like that while this is a subject generally considered a downer & controversial, the company managed to present its message with humor, class, dignity and without taking away from the seriousness; they even ended this show on a more hopeful, happier note than you might have expected going in. In the talkback after the show, we learned that the company all wrote this show together and oftentimes the woman who did the monologue actually wrote it herself.

Having dealt with people skinny shaming me and others I know, I think it's worth mentioning that while this show is quite direct and graphic when it comes to confronting the media's image of the “perfect” girl and what we should aspire to be as women it never said that being a model or fitting that ideal is a bad thing if you look that way naturally. I did not see a single shred of skinny hatred or the proclamation of “real women” being used to bash women like myself who did nothing to get where they are and have no reason to start conflict with others for not being thin.

Girl Be Heard will be performing this show on Saturday, February 20th at 2 and 7 pm. If you'd like to find out more about Girl Be Heard or get involved in their endeavors on eating disorders or other subjects, you can contact them at girlbeheard@girlbeheard.org

They also can be found on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and Instagram (GirlBeHeard).

Monday, February 15, 2016

Another "Am I Getting Old" Query; Guys Skipping Drinks & Telling Girls to "Come Over" Sight Unseen

So being divorced & looking like me, you can imagine I get asked out a lot. Now having been out of the market for a while it's certainly possible trends pass you by and the rules change. Think of your typical movie or sitcom when someone's just gotten out of a long term relationship (dead spouse, divorce, whatever) and someone more "hip" to the dating scene advises the newly single character about it.

One of the biggest things I've seen & rules instilled into me concerning online dating or interactions online in general is "Never meet a potential date for the first time in their home." Countless stories abound about women in particular going to meet someone after responding to a job ad or a personals ad or talking to someone on an online dating site and ended up being kidnapped, raped, sold into prostitution, murdered or whatever bad thing you can imagine. E!, 20-20 and plenty of media outlets have covered stories on these things for a good 20 years or so.

With the constant drumbeat of "strangers are scary" and "don't be off by yourself with total strangers," I'm puzzled by guys who tell women to "come over" when they've been corresponding with them online and want to meet them. Hello, you forgot something. What about "getting drinks" in a public setting? "Grabbing dinner?" "Getting coffee?" SOMETHING??!?!?!

Men pulling this shit, let me tell you how that sounds to women. Women (at least those with half a brain) hear: "I think you're a booty call or a sex toy I can pull out at will, not a human being with feelings or a life. I will never take you out in the light of day because you aren't worth it."

Do you know what type of women come to your house sight unseen to fuck you? Call girls!!! There's a business around that practice. Essentially another form of prostitution. Call girls cost money. They aren't running a charity operation.

Smart, higher class call girls (the category an educated woman would fall into if she were doing it as a profession) don't show up to your doorstep without being vetted. They usually have agencies to verify the guy is not a cop, serial killer and so forth.

Call girls & prostitutes also have pimps to protect them from men who lure them into gang rape situations, kidnappings, physical assault, etc. Women who don't charge you money for that don't have pimps.

Now if you want to be a call girl & it's not illegal where you are, go right ahead. Otherwise, you're playing with fire & you could end up in jail. We'll save the legal debates & morality of safety or not for another day.

Here's why asking women you talk to on dating sites about that is a bad idea:

1. Sane women with some self-esteem will think you are labeling them as call girls or hookers. They will find it offensive. Women from certain backgrounds will definitely not talk to you. You want a nice, Christian girl you can take home to Mama? She's not going to pop up at your house with no date or public meeting beforehand. She'll be done with you the minute you ask her to "come over." I'm sure Jewish, Muslim, Catholic and girls from other religious backgrounds would concur.

2. How do you know the women you're talking to are who they say they are? You can lie very easily online. For all you know, that hot blonde could be a 60 year old sweaty, fat guy who just got out of jail & has a real craving for young, hard bodied dick.

You could also end up with some ugly fat woman who could be Hillary Clinton's twin. That'll really turn you on, won't it?

Or she could be a 15 year old crack whore. Or she could be another Alieen Wuornos (look her up if you don't know who she is) or a wild dick chopper. You ever hear about the Craig's List Killer? People can hide shit very easily through e-mail and text and dating sites.

3. You've set the tone for future interactions. It's not "I'll take you out and treat you as a lady." Most women don't want to be a booty call or a sex toy, no matter what they tell you. They want you to show them respect and do nice stuff for them with a pure heart, not a selfish quid pro quo intent.

4. Women will assume you have no sisters, mothers, aunts, cousins, nieces, or female friends & if you do, you don't give a damn about them. If your sister met a guy & he told her to "come over," would you be okay with that?

Would you be okay with your female friends or your mother serving as the sex delivery girl to some strange guy? A trillion dollars says you'd be infuriated at the guy asking some female you cared about such a thing. I have my own male friends & I'm sure if I told them some guy asked me that, they'd not like you very much either.

Then why is it okay for you to ask some random woman that if you'd not like that being asked of YOUR female loved ones?

5. The world isn't Tinder. Some people don't use Tinder b/c they aren't looking for "wham bam thank you ma'am" to never hear from that guy again. Personally, if I had a good time with a guy I'd want to do it again. I find the one night stand stuff offensive since that's insulting my sexual technique & telling me I'm not that good in bed. I've been told I think like a guy so if I'm saying this, imagine how your average woman feels about it.

I've heard guys actually debate women on caring about their personal safety, including professional types. I think it would serve them right to invite a chick over & she chops their heads off with a machete. Bet you'd not be insulting strange women again once your buddy had his head chopped off with a sword like in Highlander. You'd definitely think twice if a recently released convict showed up on your doorstep instead of some blonde model you expected.

As I understand the world of dating, you set up a first meeting in a public place for dinner/drinks/coffee/whatever you want. You meet in person, make sure who you're talking to is who shows up, verify no one is a criminal, have conversation, see what sort of vibes you get, maybe engage in some physical contact like kissing THEN decide if you're going back to anyone's place. THEN maybe you'll have sex.

I find the above reasonable. You're in a neutral zone. Everyone concerned is making an informed decision and engaging in any future sexual acts on their own consent (presuming no one was drugged & everyone's still sober or at least not blackout drunk). I don't drink so I'd be making that choice sober and with my full mental faculties. There's an option to leave, say "I'm not interested" and go on your merry way.

If you go to some guy's house, he could try trapping you unless you give him what he wants. Women have gotten raped that way. Who saw you there? If something happened to you, who's going to say they saw you, heard you, how long you were there, etc. Maybe a neighbor or if you're lucky, there's a doorman. Lots of buildings don't have them. No sign in sheets, no security, nothing.

In a restaurant or a bar or lounge, there are employees and patrons who'll likely see things, tell the police if it looked like you were being coerced, maybe security cam footage to show if people were in their right minds when they left, etc. They are less likely to fear retribution from some random bar customer vs. the neighbor or security people having to fear reprisal from someone who might be the head of the co-op board or will make their lives hell in some way that they can't just ban or get away from easily.

So do you want women to think you're a rapist, a cheapskate, a sexist, a man who insults their intelligence (which I particularly hate), a sexist or a creepy pervert? None of those are a good look.

Ladies, if you are engaging in hookups by never having a first meeting in public & being a sex delivery girl you are doing it wrong unless you are collecting call girl money and getting call girl vetting done for you complete with a call girl pimp for protection.

You are also fucking it up for all the "nice" girls and the women who might consider these dudes if these dudes didn't have unrealistic expectations of actual women. When these jerkbags get onto sites that aren't Tinder, you're really messing things up for those daters. Not everyone wants to be on Tinder or deal with that scene.

I also wonder if they're fucking things up for certain demographics of call girls. Don't they have enough shit to deal with already? Must you also put them out of business?

Oddly enough, I have a review coming up & this subject somewhat relates to it.

Why Politics Suck in a Very Short Entry (At Least for Me)

I recently went to a program called "How to Get on the Ballot in NYC" that was one of the rare free programs at the NYC Bar Association. There were people involved with the whole Board of Elections process and how you get yourself on the ballot for anything. My takeaway from it was the precise answers why politics suck & you see a lot of lawyers involved in it. Here goes:

1. The petition process involves not regular attention to detail but an exacting standard just about everyone outside the legal profession would be hopelessly inept at trying to figure out if they didn't already know how to do it or have some political guru on their team already.

2. So this means you need friends in law & politics; your average poor person or lower middle class type shuns those in law with such knowledge (mostly attorneys) as elitist assholes. I wouldn't know with certainty how they view politicians and those working in that area but I'd imagine their views of those people aren't much better. Shunning people will not inspire them to help you.

3. You need trustworthy friends if you're going to run for office. I don't think most people have that. If they do, eventually their charity will come to an end & they will be haphazard even if they are those detail oriented types I mentioned above.

4. MONEY, the biggest problem of them all. You need money to run for public office, maybe pay a campaign staff, advertise, etc.

To get money, you either have to be rich already OR you have to suck up to one of the establishment parties. That requires you becoming their slave once you're in office & being beholden to them to pass legislation that's going to help them, not your constituents.

Add all this together & you get a bunch of representatives who are completely out of touch with the average poor & middle class person. Since statistically speaking, minorities are less likely to be rich, educated and have lawyer/political friends you also get fewer people who know about the experience of minorities and have real qualification to actually help them.

Laws get passed affecting the poor & middle classes that these morons know zip about or perfectly well know about but are slaves to their big money donors (remember, you've got to pay back those campaign contributors somehow).

The ones who know zip about those experiences refuse to educate themselves on the experiences of rape victims, people of color, recipients of public assistance, just about anything they've never lived and will likely never actually experience in their lifetimes. They, as many attorneys, are just too fucking arrogant to say "I need help here. I don't know how to do this/I don't have sufficient information to decide on this. Will you enlighten me?"

Big law firms, where many of these attorneys spring from, don't encourage attorneys to ask for help & even threaten their jobs if they show any hint of weakness or lack of knowledge on something. They aren't okay with you asking for help; they expect you to be an expert on everything even if you're just faking it.

5. So that ties into arrogance, bred from the experience of being an attorney with any financial means to get into public office.

Then, there's 6. Loss of privacy is mandatory to go into public office. This requires a person to be a full on narcissist in order to do the job rather than have any concern for the public trust or helping people vs. donors and the establishment.

Now I've told you why politics sucks. How do we fix it? You tell me. These are the reasons I'm pulling for either Trump or Sanders. They defy this formula in different ways, particularly in not being beholden to big money donors.