Meow

20 10 2013

My cat is 18 years old. She’s a forgetful, crotchety dreadlocked ball of raspy-voiced meows. She poops on my bedroom floor. Her claws no longer retract and I’ve rescued her a few times with her paw stuck in a piece of fabric while she dangles, balanced on her back legs, looking at me with her hazy unfocused eyes as if to say What in the fuck is happening to me? I’m fairly sure she forgets where she is from time to time, and her moments of lucidity are comical in a bittersweet way.

Admittedly, I spent the last few years more resentful towards her than affectionate. I’d joke with an underlying sense of seriousness that maybe, juuuuuust maybe she would pass away. I have googled “how to euthanize your cat”. Her time should be up, you guys. I was so done with her constant meowing, discovering (and cleaning up) her fecal treasures in the computer room or our bedroom, trimming her goddawful clumpy cat-dreads since she couldn’t clean her self any longer. I was okay with her dying.

But then I remembered that they are deserving of your love and devotion from the moment they come into your life until the moment they leave it. They deserve your love, for better or worse and in sickness and in health. They need you when they’re a tiny ball of fluffy kitten that chases crumpled balls of tinfoil thrown down the hallway, or when they pounce on your face at 4 am. Exasperation and anger need to be checked when yet another regurgitated mouse is deposited on your doorstep. Love is given during the nightly cuddles, as aging steps in and bit by bit takes away the pet you knew and replaces it with a pet you need to get to know and love even more. These little sparks of light are not meant to be turfed to the wayside just because they’re annoying and old and smelly. In fact, this is when that true love really shines, when cuteness isn’t that beacon that draws you in with snuggles and soft affection. No, I realize now that my devotion and yes, my love for my old cat needs to be stronger than ever as she travels down this road to the end of her sweet little life.

In remembering this, I have found that I really do love her and enjoy our cuddles. Her purring and soft warm body won’t be here much longer, so I bid myself to enjoy these moments and let her know that she is safe and loved. Always.





Rape culture

17 10 2013

So, if you’re an internet hound such as I am, you might have read about the recent story of a 13 year old girl and her friend who were allegedly raped by 17 year old high school football player and his buddy (this mirrors the Steubenville rape case so much, it’s alarming) in a town called Maryville in Missouri. From what I understand, the girls were at a party (gasp), drank too much (shocking) and were raped. Video was taken of the assault, and afterwards, she was taken to her house and left on the porch during the (very cold) night.

Well. Charges were dropped after a time, due to all sorts of “reasons”, even though he confessed. You can (and should) google all the articles you want to read about it. It’s sickening. It’s horrible. It’s alarming because even now in 2013, with our knowledge of rape and sexual assault, even now with our feministic ways fighting for this ever-elusive equality, we still have this thing called Rape Culture: where the girl is still to blame for enticing a man into some sort of uncontrollable sexual frenzy. The girl and her family were continually harassed via various social networking sites to the point that they had to move. Some of the reasoning behind this was that the “poor young man” almost had his glamorous football career ruined because of some stupid slut who was drunk at a party. Since then she has reportedly tried to kill herself twice.

Why?

I don’t know. See, the thing that we all have to wrap our head around is that NO MATTER WHAT, no girl asks/deserves/needs to be raped. Whether she is drunk, half dressed, dancing like a stripper, walking down the street, flirting with a guy… NO MATTER WHAT. No person has any right to that body unless it is clearly consensual. And yet, sadly, still, there are people who slut-shame girls for how they dress and what they drink…. “She was asking for it.” “What a skank.” “She wanted it.” “Stupid slut deserves everything she got.” No. NO NO NO. Just NO!!!!

We shouldn’t have to teach our girls to learn how to be safe at college or high school parties because these rapists should … wait for it… NOT RAPE. They shouldn’t have to be spoken to about behaviour and leading the boys on. They shouldn’t ever have to fear leaving a bus depot or train station by themselves at 2 in the morning… Those courses at college called “How not to get raped” should actually be for men, and the class should be called “Don’t rape”. Here’s an analogy I read once that sums it up: If your neighbour is grilling up the best smelling steak EVER, even if you are really hungry and want to eat that steak, YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO EAT IT.

I talk to my son about rape. I am very clear and open with him. He may squirm and blush, but OH NO, he needs to hear it. I say things like “Even if you’re hot and heavy with a girl and she says NO, you have to stop.” Or “If you’re at a party and you see something happening that looks like assault, step in and stop it, even it if it’s your friend and it means you get punched in the face.” I say “It is never ever okay to force a girl.”  I tell him all about the facts about rape. About how dangerous it still is to be a girl these days. I also tell him that a girl has every right to explore her own sexuality without being labelled a slut. I tell him how misogynistic and full of double standards that archaic belief is.

I tell my daughter all this too.

I repeat it over and over. And over.

I think they hear me.

Please have a conversation with your kids, your sons and your daughters. Be honest. Be truthful. Let’s be the ones that end Rape Culture.

It’s been removed, but shortly before this blew up on the internet the accused man had a twitter account and one of his tweets was “If her name starts with abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz, she wants the D.” His mother must be so proud.

Here’s a link to get you started:

http://jezebel.com/is-maryville-missouri-the-next-steubenville-1445028162