If You Can’t Try It On Adults First, Leave the Kids Alone

It’s true, I just returned from living in Europe for 3 years…so I didn’t “get” the whole co-ed bathroom controversy. Europeans have a much less prudish view of nudity than Americans. It was nothing (in Italy) to realize there was ONE bathroom for a restaurant or usually night club, two stalls….Nothing to come out of your stall and realize you were sharing a sink with a man, or a man was entering the restroom to take the stall you just vacated. If you ever drive down the Autobahn in Germany, it’s normal to see a man standing on the side of the road whipping it out. Go to Munich to the English Gardens…entire sections are open to nude sunbathing. Beaches…nude sunbathing (though I have Yet to see a younger, fairly attractive woman doing this).

And I thought….What’s the big deal? So you have to hear a man pee? Please. Let’s Grow UP, I thought. Everyone pees. You pee, I pee, we all Pee. What is this, third grade? And maybe, I thought, it will make Americans grow up. After all, this is a country where parents actually don’t Want their kids to get sex education! One of the most important, fulfilling, and yes, Dangerous, parts of the human existence and we don’t WANT our kids to know how it works. To me, this is like telling a sixteen year old to take your car keys and drive to the store when they’ve never driven and have no idea how a car even Works.

Then, I was talking to my daughter the other day on the phone and she tells me that All of this bathroom controversy started because a girl in high school in Virginia wanted to use the boys locker room. I looked this up.

http://dailycaller.com/2015/06/12/aclu-sues-to-allow-girl-to-use-boys-bathroom-locker-rooms-at-public-high-school/

This is a young woman sixteen years old who, though born a girl and has All the required girl parts (including breasts) sued the Gloucester school system so he/she can Undress her parts…in front of boys.

Do you remember when we were sixteen? The very idea of a guy even staring at our breasts was horrifying. I had a cousin who lost her bathing suit top at a public pool jumping off the diving board and was so humiliated she ran to the locker room and wouldn’t come out for the rest of the day. Yet, this young teenager wants to dress, undress and shower with a bunch of males in a locker room?

This isn’t using a bathroom stall with a door that you can close and lock! This is full nudity (yourself and Others), in full view of everyone. I was stymied. And why on Earth would the parents want this for their daughter, even if she does identify with the male sex and has body dysmorphia? She’s Not a male yet. She doesn’t have a penis…yet. She still has breasts. And didn’t it occur to the parents that maybe, just maybe, not everyone in the world is as open minded as they are and they were placing their daughter in severe danger of bullies and even rapists who would want to “teach her a lesson” about invading male space and transgender discrimination?

OK, OK, so you’re going to bring up all the rape culture arguments. Please don’t misunderstand me…I AGREE with all of those arguments. I’ve posted about rape culture on my FB as much as any of you. No, No one deserves to Get Raped. No, it’s never the girls fault. Yes, we Should be able to walk down the street buck naked and still be Safe.

But we aren’t SAFE. We haven’t reached that point yet in our society. We’re still fighting the good fight. And we’re not talking about adults here. We’re talking about high school children who, it has been proven, do not have the mental capacity to make sound decisions, whose frontal lobes are not fully developed and who are easily influenced by peers—who may be rapist bullies who’s parents have influenced them to hate transgendered and gays.

To me this is the equivalent of me walking into a known crack house run by violent drug dealers to pass out cupcakes and talk about Jesus while wearing a wire for the cops and telling everyone I’m wearing a wire and I’m going to tattle on them…then actually believing I won’t get shot.

Yes, we Should be Safe. But we aren’t Safe Yet. And there’s a huge distinction in that statement. We are fighting rape culture and bullies….but we haven’t Won Yet. And the truth is, while we’re fighting those very noble and good fights, it’s a poor idea to wave the white flag in front of the rabid bull and scream, “Come and Get Me!”

Was this young person the “start” of all of this. I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe Not. It’s not even the point anymore. 

So then I start hearing on the news that we’ve gone beyond mere bathrooms to locker rooms…and the President of the United States is demanding that schools have co-ed locker rooms. What? Excuse me?

We are being hijacked and blackmailed by madmen!

A bathroom is one thing. I can go into a stall, shut the door and lock it! I can pee (and have) knowing that a man is next to me in the other stall and he is peeing. I can hear him pee. I can walk out of that stall and use the sink next to him and say, “Excusi” and mean it, politely, with a smile, and calmly go back to my friends to have another drink.

What I am NOT going to do is undress and dress and shower with a Man I do Not Know in a locker room of any public facility or gym and be A-OK with this concept. I’m Barely OK with taking off my clothes in front of other women and having Them see me naked. I have enough problems getting dates as it is (haha) and enough body insecurities of my own without knowing a man is raking his eyes up and down my flat, non-existent booty and judging it based on J-Lo’s rumping hump that I will never be able to imitate no matter how many squats I do.

And do Not mistake this. Today, high school locker rooms. Tomorrow…your local gym and yoga studio.

But what is Really disturbing to me are two issues.

First of all, we’re forcing this on our children first. Not adults. Kids. Pre-Teens and Teenagers. People who, as I have just pointed out, have under developed frontal lobes, tend toward aggressive, bullying behavior against anyone not perfect or like them, who are easily influenced by their peers and have a host of insecurities about their ever-changing bodies as it is. My daughter wouldn’t let me see her naked after the age of twelve when she started developing breasts. She’d literally scream at the top of her lungs if I walked in by accident, grab the nearest cover and scream, “MOM! GOD! I’m changing in here!” I would point out I changed her diapers, which would only piss her off more and she’d throw something at me like a pillow or stuffed animal, utterly Horrified I might see her nubs.

And you want to force that on Teenagers around their peers? Peers of the Opposite Sex? Did you lose your MIND?

Second, that our PRESIDENT has gotten involved. That He has actually authorized Letters to be sent out to school districts demanding they comply…or lose Federal Funding.

Now, I haven’t had much against Obama. I didn’t vote for him but I wasn’t completely against everything he did in his tenure as President…nor did I hate him with the rabid, overwhelming loathing of some. In fact, with our current political choices, I was feeling sort of benign toward him. People thought HE was bad…now look at what you’ve got to chose from? Hahahaha…Doesn’t look so bad now, does he?

Then he did This.

He overstepped his Presidential authority so far outside of the bounds of the Constitution in this matter it defies reason and sanity, and then threatened our public schools with defunding that would only hurt the poorest and most disenfranchised of our population by denying them free school lunches, computers and books.

Think about that. Our President wants your twelve year old to shower with his/her twelve year old crush or he’s going to stop poor children from having food during the school day.

Children today are already under enormous stress with forced testing every few weeks; they face stresses we never did as kids….more powerful drugs, terrorism, rampant divorce, long, on-going Wars, broken homes, internet bullies, rape culture, child predators, political correctness, dress codes and enough information pounding at them daily through social media and cell phones to make a large computer explode. Now you want to add this stress on to their already overloaded minds and hearts?

Your child is going to come home emotionally scarred for Life and require years of therapy…which I sincerely hope your ObamaCare pays for.

Yet, you’re not allowed to mention the word penis to the same child in sex-ed class without the parents permission.

What the hell is going on here!?

We’re a society run amok being held hostage by a very, very small segment of the population who is jumping up and down screaming that if we don’t comply to their insane demands they’re going to… sue us and call us bad names. And we’re giving in to this!

And the people we THINK They’re trying to Help don’t even WANT This!!

You heard me right.

I was talking to my friend -O- the other day. O is very gay, very proud and very open about his homosexuality, along with his gay partner. I’m a firm believer in gay rights. I will march in Gay Pride as a straight supporter any day of the week (as long as it’s not raining! Kidding -O- lol).

During this conversation he pointed out something No One else has even bothered to consider.

Most of the Transsexual community Doesn’t Want This!

You read that right. The majority of the Transgender and Transsexual community doesn’t want all of this publicity. They want to go about their lives, quietly. They want to Blend In. They want to Look, Act and Be the Sex they identify with and they don’t want anyone peeking in bathrooms wondering if they’re male or female.

And all of this publicity (thrust on them by an even smaller segment of the population and some in the Gay Rights community) is Not to their taste at all! They’re upset about it. Frankly, as horrified as a twelve year old boy being forced to undress in front of his crush in a locker room. Floored.

No one bothered to ask Them if they wanted to share a bathroom. They already were sharing the bathroom and none of us noticed it! Oh, but we’ll notice now. We’ve got the steely eyed suspicion and we’re scoping every single person going in and out of a Target Restroom.

http://www.upworthy.com/one-woman-had-a-strange-eye-opening-encounter-in-a-target-bathroom?c=ufb2

Personally, I still don’t have a problem with using a co-ed bathroom. I still don’t see the main issue with that as long as properly closed stall doors are utilized. But I’m an adult who has lived abroad and become accustomed to the practice. It’s part of a culture I embraced joyfully for the access to incredibly cheap and delicious wine and gorgeous scenery.

My kids, and your Kids, have not embraced this.

If you want to do a social experiment, start with Adults. Lets see how it goes if the local gym suddenly has co-ed locker rooms. Lets see how it goes if all bars and nightclubs suddenly have co-ed bathrooms. Lets see how Adults handle all of this before we start forcing our pre-teens and teens into the embarrassment of undressing in front of dozens of classmates of all sexes and sexual orientations. IF the adults can handle it, then maybe we could ease the kids into it. Slowly. Over time.

What we cannot do is give into the blackmail of a small segment of our country who are trying desperately to force America into a mold we simply do not fit yet and aren’t ready to embrace. And we cannot allow our President to overstep his Executive powers to the point of forcing us into changes by threatening blackmail against our poorest and neediest children.

The Rudest Airport in the World

I said previously this blog would be about Anything and Everything and I fully intend to live up to my word.

Yesterday I returned to the United States permanently (maybe, we’ll see) after living in Europe for Three years. I would love to say I traveled “extensively” but that wouldn’t be true in the strictest sense. When you work in Europe it’s the same as when you work in the United States. There are bills to pay and a job to get done to pay the bills. Travel was still a luxury. Yes, it was easier to catch a train to Venice for the weekend. I did hop over to Prague for a 4-day holiday. A whole week in Iceland is the trip of a lifetime! But on the whole, finances and time prevented me from doing everything I wanted or going everywhere I wanted to go. However, now that I’ve had a taste of Europe, I will go back someday. Whether to work again or just to travel, I will go back. And it will be Amazing! Everything will be Amazing–Except the Getting there.

I’ve flown back and forth to the East/ Middle East seven times. That includes coming and going. And I have flown back and forth from Europe a total of eleven times. And the one thing that always makes that trip less than enjoyable? Airports.

A  lot of people do travel blogs so I won’t bore you with more of That. However, I’ve seen very few reviews on actual airports. I’m going to do one today.

Some might disagree with me but, Atlanta is my favorite Airport (behind Marco Polo in Venice, Nuremberg and Frankfurt). And, I can now say I have my two Least Favorite Airports.

Yesterday I traveled for well over thirteen hours, including layovers, to get from Nuremberg to Virginia. And until the last layover, I wasn’t unhappy with my experience. I like Nuremberg–it’s small and easy to navigate, kind of like Marco Polo (Venice) and I enjoy that. No long waits for security  and you never have to run far to catch your connecting flight (like Chicago and JFK). Frankfurt is larger, of course, but it’s very easy to navigate. I deliberately told the travel agent, Do Not Put Me Through JFK–because I loath JFK for many reasons. It was my least favorite airport in the world, or so I thought and I wanted to avoid that headache. Well, JFK WAS my most hated airport. And Then I hit Newark (EWR).

Now until yesterday I thought JFK was the Worst Hands Down Airport experience of my entire life. It’s always ridiculously crowded; I think they’ve been under construction for the last hundred years; the signs are often confusing and doors you Think are fine to go through, aren’t, and doors that look off limits are the doors you’re supposed to use. I found most of the people Rude and unhelpful–when I could find someone who spoke English well enough that I could even understand their directions. Not an exaggeration…my first time through JFK I was extremely Lost and only had half an hour to board my connecting flight. I finally gave up and asked a nice gentleman how to get my gate. His accent was so thick I couldn’t understand him. He (not graciously) hand walked me half way to the bus that would take me twenty miles from my current location to my gate. And he looked at Me with impatience the whole time, like I was an unruly, mentally challenged child he had been handed without his consent. If there is one thing that will set me off, it’s being treated with contempt. And especially when YOU have Failed in the very simple task of making it clear where people are supposed to go. If you hand me a map with no roads or landmarks on it, only an X, and then tell me to find the X, it’s not my fault You suck at your job. I went through JFK two more times over the next year and after that, I swore I’d avoid it at any cost. I can find my way now but I still found the general atmosphere chaotic and unpleasant. And travel is unpleasant enough without people who Hate their jobs making it worse.

So, the Travel Agent put me through EWR (Newark). BIG MISTAKE! HUGE MISTAKE!

There is something Rotten at the core of EWR. If Not Killing someone is akin to saving their life, there’s a customs official in New Jersey right now who should send me a “Thank You” Note for his existence.

This went beyond people not liking their jobs, general rudeness or expected New York Attitude into outright Hostility. A dangerous and frightening level of Aggression. I didn’t confront the customs official (not because I fear confrontation) but because from the minute I walked off the plane I had this uneasy feeling that if I so much as said a polite, “No, thank you” to anyone in that airport, I’d be detained, strip searched and beaten in some windowless, sound-proof room under the airport complex. And it wasn’t just the customs official.

Coming off the plane, EWR had a very unpleasant “atmosphere” all together. The smell of the airport, as if the ventilation systems weren’t working properly or people hadn’t been cleaning it well, struck me. I didn’t want to stop at a bathroom because I wasn’t sure how it would be. A sense of … Dirtiness, pervaded the whole place.

Everywhere I looked, airport workers were slumped in their chairs behind their little podiums or desk, some leaning their chin on their hands, glaring. If they weren’t outright glaring, they looked as though they’d gone from boredom into Zombification. Uniforms weren’t crisp or put together well. No One Smiled. No One. No One Joked with co-workers. No One managed to speak to anyone coming off the plane in less than Rude, short and aggressive tones. It had the feeling of a place that was on a powder keg waiting for the right spark to set off a dangerous, even violent, mob mentality. I wish I was exaggerating.

Then I got to Customs. I had nothing to declare and my customs form made that very clear. Anything I wanted that wasn’t a necessity for the next few weeks, I’d packed up with the movers. I like traveling Light. Lugging a hundred and fifty pounds of luggage through an airport isn’t my idea of a good time, and the little carts make me feel like a hoarder. I had One Carry and two medium /small suitcases.

With layovers it was a thirteen hour ordeal to get the United States and eight straight hours of being cramped into a sardine can listening to a baby scream for seven of those eight hours. This child screamed almost non-stop the whole way. Sleep had been impossible. I had jet-lag hangover. As we moved toward the customs line, people must have thought we were in Italy. They were jostling for position and crowding up to cut off other people; no sense of proper queuing was being adhered to. Being short and behind several tall people I couldn’t actually See my final destination until the last man in front of me stepped up to the podium.

That’s when this male customs official looked at me with the same contempt one would use for a child abuser and says, “Are you together?” Startled I said, “No.” And he proceeds to say, “Then you need to step behind the line like everyone else in front of you did,” in a tone I haven’t heard since my third grade teacher, a woman we used to call Mrs. Hell for her nastiness.

And being a law abiding sort, that didn’t even bother me as much as it Should have, or maybe Would have, if I’d been less hungover and exhausted. I stepped back behind the line I hadn’t seen until that moment.

When I get Up to the podium is when I realized I was dealing with an outright bully with hostile intentions who wouldn’t hesitate to claim I’d been hostile or “suspicious”–in fact, was looking for an Excuse to take someone down. He looks at my customs form (which clearly states I had nothing to declare), looks Me up and down with Contempt and Hatred in his beady eyes and says, “Proceed to line 16 behind me”. And waits for my reaction. Line 16 is for X-ray of Agriculture claims on the customs form. Line 16 is manned by two older men who look as though someone just made them sit through a ten hour long power point slide about the mating habits of the common fruit fly.
I look into his eyes and I know he’s waiting for me to go off on him. He’s anticipating (no, Enjoying) my coming protest that I didn’t declare anything, I don’t have anything agriculture related, I’m already in a twenty minute window to get to my gate or I’m going to miss my flight (which was True). He WANTED Me to say something, anything, so he would have the satisfaction of calling Security on me.

Have you ever felt like you were standing on a precipice? Maybe you’ve been in a verbal altercation with someone and Know that if you say the wrong thing, or move the wrong way, violence is going to erupt. That’s how that moment felt. Drawn out longer than it should have been in your own mind, like seeing a stop-action film.

Very calmly I took my customs form back from him and proceeded to line 16 without saying a word. And he was disappointed; he made no attempt to hide it.

I walk up to the older man slumped in a chair by the x-ray machine and hand him my customs form. He looks at it briefly, hands it back to me without any expression and tells me to continue on my way with a slight wave of his hand. So I gave him my best Southern Charm smile, said, “Thank you,” and kept on walking.

But there was a moment–a moment in which you know you’ve just been hit by a nasty bully and you have two choices in this life. Punch them right in the dick, or turn and walk away. I have no doubt if I hadn’t walked away, I’d have missed my connection and more, been treated to prolonged questioning in some sound proof room in the airport with Security.

There were other ways to deal with this. A child who has been taught simple etiquette knows those ways. Most people Want to do the Right Thing. They don’t break rules on purpose. Moreover, there are Errors of the Rules and there are Infractions of the Rules. The former is a simple mistake of a rule, a lack of attention paid. You didn’t mean to cut in line on front of the other person, but you weren’t paying attention. And there is an Infraction where you deliberately push the person out of the way to cut in line. Then there are Large Rules and Small. This was a Small. It wasn’t as if the Customs official was discussing their medical history or Attorney Client privilege. It was a customs form. Whether I accidentally stood one foot behind the tall man in front of me, or ten feet away, really made no difference in the grand scheme of one’s overall Life. If he’d smiled at me and said, “Ma’am, please step behind the line”, the result would have been exactly the same. I would have felt bad for not paying attention, apologized, maybe even made a joke about it that made Him smile, and everyone would have walked away happy.

So clearly, this was a premeditated, spiteful attempt to Cause an altercation which would have caused me a great deal of grief, headache, delay…and Fear.

I continue on my way and nothing I saw after that made me want to spend anymore time in that airport than necessary. I made my flight (with about ten minutes to spare) but I never once saw anyone smile, say Thank you, have a nice day, enjoy your flight…. Every single employee I saw after that was outright hostile and contemptuous, from the man who checked my ticket to go back through security, to the security agent who checked my ticket again, the security officer who re-ran my carry on through and wanded me, to the ticket agents at the gate. Hostility was Everywhere.

I have never seen so many people in one place Hate their Job, Hate their Life and Hate all of Humanity with such an overwhelming malignancy and Contempt.

When I got off the plane I told my daughter about this and she says, “Well, Mom, it was New Jersey!” and rolls her eyes as if that explains everything. Only it doesn’t.

There are stereotypes that Southerners are backward, uneducated and poorly rounded (don’t travel). There are stereotypes that Northerners are rude, hostile and always in a hurry. Neither are necessarily true. But again, this went beyond mere rudeness, say, being in a hurry and having no time for nonsense. The Germans have That down to a science. The Dutch don’t like small talk and if they mean something, they Will say it. They’re a blunt culture. But they are never Hostile or Aggressive.

There is a sense of underlying Violence in EWR that is frightening. Scary. Being no nonsense or blunt is one thing. When you throw in the elements of Contempt and Malice, you take it to a whole new level. Someone in a hurry or impatient is different than someone who will Maliciously cause others problems for their own self-satisfaction, or who hold you in such contempt as a human being that they no longer care whether or not violence erupts around them, even seeks it out. That is when things escalate.

And escalation of force is never a good idea. On the news I’ve been watching the riots break out and Americans turning against Americans. And EWR and places like it are the Cause of that, not the Symptom. It’s an easy stretch to go from treating someone on your job or a customer with contemptuous malice, to rioting in the streets and burning cars and disrupting political rallies. You already hold everyone but Yourself in Antipathy and every day at work, you hate them more. So when you go outside your house and there is a world of people who are now faceless, contemptuous enemies, extensions of your everyday job, its no stretch to continue to think of them that way and destroy their property and livelihood.

There IS a solution to this. If employers would give their employees sensitivity and politeness training, then make it a requirement of their job to smile, to say “Thank you” and treat others with Respect, they would begin to see Humans and not faceless, contemptible Problems to be dealt with. It’s been proven scientifically that when you smile, it causes a marked change in your own attitude. When you smile and treat others with Respect, they smile in return and treat You with Respect. A greater feeling of well-being is shared by everyone around you and our feelings toward our fellow man soften. We become less rude and impatient; we see Humans like ourselves and not enemies.

Poor management is a huge problem at EWR; employee morale is the worst I’ve ever seen anywhere in the entire World. It wouldn’t surprise me to hear that the airport shut down at some point, or worse, that employees decided to strike and riot. They’re on the verge. You can feel it. It’s a pervasive perfume of rage and malevolence that permeates the entire place.

I Urge the management there to take a step back and look at what is going on in their Airport and take steps to fix it, before something happens that cannot be fixed.

And I will not be using EWR Again, if I have to take a slow boat to China.

 

 

 

Everything and Anything

This blog will be about a little bit of Everything and Anything. I don’t discriminate when I come across an issue I want to rant about.

The reason I started this blog is because I realized that my ranting on Facebook wasn’t being viewed or read. The posts were too long. People go on FB to look at funny videos of cats and laugh at stupid memes–not listen to their friends rant. Even though I’ve been told I’m funny when I get angry and start ranting, I’ve always taken my rants very seriously. If you find me funny….good for you! If you find me offensive…I don’t care. If you disagree, Please….tell me! I love it when people disagree. However, keep it to polite and civil discourse. We can disagree without rape/death/violence threats. Besides, I’m meaner than you and I don’t get offended by threats–I just start counting the ammo supply and wondering if I need a new gun.

A little about myself before we begin:

From the state of Virginia, I’m an expert ranter who used to own and run a website completely dedicated to making fun of a certain best selling author who is now tanking because–I was right. The point is, I’m almost always Right. I am the mother of 3 grown children, none of whom are (currently) in prison or dealing drugs (though if they were, I’d still love and support them). I’m a college graduate with a degree in business management going for my degree in psychology after a mid-life career crisis during which I joined the U.S military because….jumping out of planes and shooting people sounded like more fun than sitting in an office. I’m a Veteran with 9 years of service which has helped to shape many of my opinions of the world and you will hear me rant about certain military and Veteran issues. My politics are actually democratic socialist libertarian…no, that isn’t an oxymoron. I believe in Abortion, gay marriage, free education for all, owning guns and serving your country. I hate Hillary and Trump with equal fervor but I hate Cruz almost as much. In fact, I hate politicians and believe in social anarchy and Freedom without prohibition of well, anything. Including drugs.  I’m a feminist who eats meat and is proud of it, who respects Men–and Women–of all colors and races who believes religions of all brands should be outlawed because it is inherently opposed to democracy and Freedom for all, the very things our Country was founded on.  And I am a Constitutional Purist. If I had a religion, it would be the Constitution. I am firmly on the side of Common Sense and logic reentering our every day lives and politics.

If you think any of these views are in opposition to one another, read my blog. You will be educated. If you’re not educated, at least argue with me. Argument is the spice of life and the window to knowledge. If you didn’t disagree with me on at least a few issues, I’d seriously question your ability to Think–and in my opinion, the inability to Think is the worst sin of our current generation.

 

I hope you enjoy this blog. I hope it makes you mad. I hope it makes you think. If it does, then my mission has been accomplished.