Guess Where I’m Blogging From Now!

My couch! Yep. I’m sitting on my couch and I guess I’m also, for the first time, stealing someone’s wifi, since I have no other explanation for how I’m able to surf the internet while not plugged into the ethernet cord dangling from the Bellsouth connection.

I wonder if it’s the wifi from Centennial Park. I wonder if I’m close enough to pick up on that.

Is it wrong to steal an internet connection? Am I stealing? It was just floating out there for my computer to find. I didn’t intentionally find it.

What do you all think?

I am sorry to admit this, but the novelty of being able to blog from my couch makes me unable to wisely consider the ethics of it.  Y’all, I can blog with the dog curled up next to me.

Clearly, that’s how god intends for a woman to blog.

Pitbull Near Dog Park; Fight Ensues

Mrs. Wigglebottom and I are carless again today and so for our big walk we just walked over to 31st street and back by the dog park.  This took us by the playwright’s house and so we had a chance to converse with her dog, who was out on the porch.

Her dog:  Bark, bark, bark, bark, bark

Me: Hey, Gypsy!

Her dog: What the fuck?  Oh, it’s you!  I will wag my tail but let you pass silently.

And, obviously, it took us past the dog park.  I was feeling slightly sorry for Mrs. Wigglebottom that she will never know the joys of the dog park when there was, all of a sudden, some barking and some hurt yelping and I looked over just in time to see two brown dogs going at it right before every other dog in the park ran over to get in on it.

Now, obviously, I don’t hang out in crowds of twenty or thirty free-roaming dogs, so this was the first time I’d ever seen anything like it, and even from across the street, it scared the shit out of me.

You could just see the domestic part of all of those dogs shut off the second they heard those two dogs go at it and they all simultaneously turned and ran over there, while all of their owners shouted all of these useless, innocuous names after them.

 I was scared and I had a fence, a road, and a parked car between us.

It was obvious who won, too, because the winner finally trotted off, tail high, as his owner called after him and he ignored it.  The loser, meanwhile, was cowering on its back while its owner tried to drag it away from the other dogs who were still looking to see if there was any more fight left. 

If that kind of shit is often going on at dog parks, I have to say, I’m happy to keep Mrs. Wigglebottom away. 

I Hate To Ask the Obvious

Over breakfast I was just reading about how there’s been a ‘minor’ but ongoing problem with military recruiters raping or otherwise having improper sexual relationships with their underage female recruits and I have some questions.

My main question is, when we’re all sitting around in feminist indoctrination camps and girl-power pow-wows, hearing from each other our stories of being assaulted, almost raped, raped, hit on by bosses, leered at by teachers who lowered our grades if we seemed to mind, and when we’re spending years telling each other, “Hey, it’s not your fault. You went along with what you had to go along with in order to get by.” who is sitting down with the boys and saying, “Hey, don’t have sex with girls who haven’t clearly consented to having sex with you. No, coercing them into saying ‘yes’ doesn’t count. We’re talking about affirmative consent, a delighted ‘Hell yes.’ Don’t have sex with minors. And don’t have sex with your subordinates, whose future job or school success relies on you being pleased with them. Also, a lot of teenage girls are really fucked up and can seem very much like consenting adults who are delightfully saying ‘Hell yes’ to having sex with you, hence the reason you don’t have sex with minors or with people you have authority over.”?

Let’s just set aside the instances of obvious rape. I think most of us can agree that forcing someone to have sex against their will is wrong. Holding out the promise of future success based on current sexual performance is wrong. Etc.

Instead, let’s think about this poor idiot:

Shedrick Hamilton uses the same phrase to describe his own actions that landed him in Oneida Correctional Facility in upstate New York for 15 months for having sex with a 16-year-old high school student he met while working as a Marine Corps recruiter.

Hamilton said the victim had dropped her pants in his office as a prank a few weeks earlier, and that on this day she reached over and caressed his groin while he was driving her to a recruiting event.

“I pulled over and asked her to climb into the back seat,” he said. “I should have pushed her away. I was the adult in the situation. I should have put my foot down, called her parents.”

As a result, he was convicted of third-degree rape, and left the service with an other-than-honorable discharge. He wipes the collar of his prison jumpsuit across his cheek, smearing tears that won’t stop.

“I literally kick myself … every day. It hurts. It hurts a lot. As much as I pray, as much as I work on it in counseling, I still can’t repair the pain that I caused a girl, her family, my family, my kids. It’s very hard to deal with,” he says, dropping his head. “It’s very, very hard to deal with.”

See, y’all, this is tragic to me. Here you have a girl who has clearly gotten the message that a woman’s real power over men is in her ability to manipulate them through sex, who’s trying it out on a guy who holds a lot of power over her. It’s fucked up but it’s understandable why she would want to even the playing field. How many of us, when faced with someone who holds a great deal of power over our futures don’t look for ways to feel powerful in return over them?

And this shmoe? Yes, he should have known better. He should have looked at this 16-year-old girl and seen a child playing with fire and refrained from being the one to burn her. But he also comes from a culture–ours–in which women are portrayed as being constantly willing and available for sex, in which girls, no matter how young, are portrayed as, at least, up for sexualized scrutiny, and in which men are expected to follow their penises, even when their brains should know better.

I’m not trying to excuse Hamilton. He’s in prison, serving his time, where he should be.

I’m just saying that, when a sixteen year old puts his or her hands on a grown person, that grown person should have sense enough to see that for what it is–fucked up–and not free reign to have sex with him or her.

But I’m worried, when I read what appears to be genuine sorrow and contrition on the part of folks like Hamilton if the problem isn’t, in part, that we rightly spend a lot of time outlining for girls what inappropriate behavior is in hopes of preventing them from becoming victims (or remaining victimized) but little if any time talking about what boys and men can do to keep there from being more victims.

Short & Fat is totally my internet boyfriend today for this post, which reads, in part:

However, as I don’t have much choice today, I am once again confused as to how dudes my age get caught crackin’ with high school girls. Why? Sitting across from me are two girls, both reasonably cute, but clearly young enough to be my daughters (if some girl had let me impregnate her when I was 18 or so). The conversation was wretched. I don’t think it could be less intelligent if they tried. I mean I could see tapping an attractive mute, but these airheads are making my penis soft and I’m this close to jabbing out my ear drums with a plastic fork.