Saturday, May 23, 2015

Why Is This So Hard?

Last night my husband and I went to try out this dinner and a movie place to try and unwind from a stressful week.  The college Fastpitch tournaments were on as we were waiting to go into the movie, and I was delighted because he was taking what seemed to be a real interest in watching it with me.  

Suddenly, a man from the kitchen came out and turned the softball game off, tuning the channel to show a male sport.  He didn't even look to check to see if anyone was watching the softball game, he just took it upon himself to change the channel.  I thought, isn't that a good metaphor to what we as women go through in life?  These women were playing their hearts out on the screen with skill and tenacity, and he didn't care.  He knew there would be men coming into the bar and he wanted to keep them there as long as he could to make money; what man wants to watch a female sport, right?

It is disturbing how few fans go to see women's sports live; what a slap in the face to serious, female athletes.  I do believe there is a professional softball league of some kind still going, but the amount of money those athletes make is laughable compared to their male counterparts.  

My husband got up to go speak to the bartender.  I thought, cool he's confronting the injustice he's clearly seeing played out before his eyes!  I was feeling so proud, until I saw him walk back through with a cigarette in his hand.  What?!  Among his many addictions, this one has had probably the worst stronghold on him.  I couldn't believe what I was seeing!  He had just had dental surgery, and the hygienist specifically instructed him NO SMOKING.  How sad that is to realize that he was willing to jeopardize his health for a drug, and how quickly he was able to turn from my pain and discount it because he was focused on a sinful craving.

I went into the theater clearly upset.  Things continued to spiral down as I watched scantily-clad women dance provocatively across the screen as we waited for our Disney Movie to come on.  Of course that triggered my response of 'is he watching her, what is he thinking about, how can he buy into all of these cultural lies and seduction when he says he loves me so much?'

The movie was filled with some positive messages, ironically, mostly themed around Feeding the Right Wolf, the slogan for a pornography-treatment program.  But, it really does come down to that.  I found myself asking, why won't he feed the right wolf?  I thought we were both committed to Truth.  How can I support him in his ministry when all I can see displayed before me is hypocrisy, worldly lust, and ultimately-betrayal?
Toward the closing of the film, the main character talks about how the world is becoming such a dark place, but people can change that; so why won't they?  I reflected on my husband ignoring that man changing the Fastpitch game and wondering what was so powerful inside of him that made him accept the disrespect toward the woman he is supposed to love more than anyone else, and how could he in turn provide more of the same?  Why won't he stand, not because I ask him to or tell him it's important to me, but because inside himself he is sickened just as much as I am by the degradation of women?  That scares me to think that maybe he doesn't share that same belief, and maybe the talk that goes on about his wanting to walk in the Light is superficial-that maybe down deeper is a blackened heart.

Last night was hurtful.  My husband has a way of wanting physical attention when he knows he has hurt me, and that is hard for me to give.  I still love him to my core despite the offense, but I just don't want to reward that behavior or feel like I'm selling myself out when I am so desperately trying to stand strong in my self-confidence and values. The worst of all, though, is when we came home and he rolled away from me and went right to sleep, snoring that loud snore that goes through me like a knife when I'm feeling alone and depressed.

Ontop of it all, I had gotten word that while my son was with my parents on a weekend trip, he had accidentally fallen and broken my dad's ipad.  That was followed by my father screaming and cursing at my son.  My heart sank inside me, and I felt like a complete failure as a mother for allowing my child to go into the cesspool that I dealt with growing up.  I just wanted him to have a good time.  I layed there in bed thinking how alone I felt and how sad from so many years of hurt at the hands of men I love and who mean the most to me.  

I went to my son's bedroom and I laid there, crying, missing him, wishing I could hold him and protect him from this dark world; hating myself for knowing I allowed him to go so far away with people who had wounded me so.  My adrenaline was pumping, and I tried desparately to work it off by hanging clothes, but to no avail.  I continued to cry most of the rest of the night, and I tried my best to commune with my Father, because I knew that no human ears heard my cry in the night.

Since I learned of my husband's sexual addiction, nights have become particularly difficult for me.  I think it's because I am so busy and have to keep it together for so many tasks during the day that I can't really address what's hurting inside of me until I lay down to rest.  I can be, like last night, totally exhausted but suddenly be filled with such emotional pain that I am filled with energy.  My heart pounds, my mind races, and I just can't lie there and listen to that snoring that seems so flippant and cruel.

The nature of addiction is selfishness.  I hate it.  I hate that it ever came into my life.  I was not told about it, and I did not sign up for it.  I know that I must focus on myself to survive, but that is difficult when you see it sucking down the person who you once thought was one of the people who walked closest to God.  

There have been many good days since we started recovery, but last night was not one of them.  I'm putting my pain out here so that others might think it over before they head down the path of sexual addiction; because dear, there will be days like this.  I will pray for you; please pray for me as I do my very best to show the love of Christ and forgiveness in a marriage that is very important to me.  Please pray for my husband's heart.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

When Men Are Abused

Men receive messages in our society to be the opposite of women, because our society hates women.  Guys, females represent the other half of God.  There is no shame in showing your emotions, being vulnerable, or being more than a set of muscles.  I believe that while man represents, for the most part, the protective and warrior side of God, he should also strive to learn and seek after the other side that comprises our Deity.  Same for women.  We can't truly know God or be close to God until we experience how Big and how encompassing He is; men and women are both image-bearers of Him.

Men suffer a great deal of abuse because of Satan's lies, that he only has value if he is aggressive and muscular.  Males feel real pain when they are insulted, when they are sick or injured, or when they are sexually manipulated or abused.  As a society, we do not validate that pain.  We encourage males to repress their pain and ignore it, to "suck it up" and move on with life.

The denial of emotional or physical pain and/or the lack of the coping skills to manage said pain, leads men evermore toward anger and aggression.  Anger, we have taught our boys, is the only acceptable emotion they may feel.  And we wonder why, then, that our men are dying of heart attacks or that they have road rage or that they become dominators of women and children.  If you don't talk it out, you will act it out.

Men and women should see themselves as teammates.  We have a lot we can teach men about how to express and manage emotions and they can teach us how not to make decisions based on emotion or to allow emotions to overwhelm us.  God, in His infinite wisdom, has given us one another to learn from and to comfort one another, support each other through this crazy life.  When we put Christ at the center of our lives, we realize that we have nothing to feel ashamed of.  We are ok just because of who we are, and life is in Him, not in abuse of others.  He made you exactly who you are supposed to be, enough.

Men, please realize that if you feel yourself being harmed by this world, do not continue the cycle of abuse.  Give it over to God, work through it with a good counselor, seek support in your spouse and parter in life and love.  You are made in the Great Creator's image, but so too is every other person.  You don't have to retaliate.  God will take revenge upon those who do not know Him.  Trust that.  

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Men-Twenty Things You Can Do Besides Clicking On Porn

1. Think about the fact that while you are seeking pleasure for yourself, you are sinning against God.

2. Think about the fact that while you are seeking pleasure for yourself, you are deeply wounding your spouse and your kids.

3. Think about the fact that you are hurting yourself and ruining any chances at a healthy relationship with another person.

4. Call your sponsor.

5. Exercise.

6. Plan a romantic evening for your wife.

7. Tell your daughter that you believe in her.

8. Explain to your son why "real men" don't look at porn.

9. Read what the Bible says about sexual sin.

10. Hang with a buddy who realizes that women aren't just photoshopped body parts.

11. Ask yourself how you would feel if your wife was looking at naked men.

12. Imagine your daughter being the model and the most greasy, red-necked man you could imagine masturbating to her photo.

13. Imagine what it would feel like if you had to show the world your penis to make a thin dime.

14. Remember that good guys such as yourself started out looking at porn before they got arrested for other things.

15. Remember that just because someone may have hurt you, that gives you no damn right to hurt someone else.

16. Know that all things done in "secret" will soon come to light and you are jeopardizing your soul for all of eternity.

17. Realize that once you go down this road, you may never come back.

18. Help somebody out instead of tearing someone down.

19. Know that you are loved and worthy of respect as well as responsible for respecting others.

20. Reach out for help.

Our Female Soldiers Do Not Deserve Shame

My grandfather was a war hero of the Second World War.  I loved to sit with him and hear intense and dramatic stories about how he crawled on his stomach down the hill at the Battle of the Bulge and translated German to English because he was fighting our ancestors, how he corresponded to one of the German guards in a Concentration Camp who was in fact his uncle.  He helped stamp out the atrocities of an entire nation of people.  I remember the pride I felt that my grandpa was brave, a man of honor.

My father did not fight in Vietnam, but he made the decision to enlist and to do whatever his country called him to do.  I admired that bravery, and I always looked at the military as a place where leaders went to show their nobility and love for their fellow man who were being persecuted or oppressed.  I remember feeling that strong pull to be one of these brave souls.

My husband also put on a uniform by his own choice and was willing to sacrifice himself so that I could enjoy freedom.  I admire these three men in my family so much for the unselfish choice they made to serve in the armed forces.  There are times where I feel a bit envious that I can't tell others that I made the same choice.  However, I realize that this is just about me wanting recognition, and these three guys didn't want that.  That is true sacrifice and honor.

I have learned that the purpose for my life is to work behind the scenes, as a civilian.  God desires humility in order for Him to get the true glory.  I can receive honor from Him, and I don't need the accolades of the world.  My contribution to helping others comes from a much darker place; there is another side of the military that I must tell.

I always admired my father's drive to succeed.  There are a lot of ways my dad hurt me, but this is truly one way he graced my life.  He encouraged me to dream big dreams and instilled in me the notion that there was not anything I could not become.  He knew my heart for honor and integrity and strength, and so he encouraged me during high school to set my sights on attending the United States Airforce Academy.

I was confident that I could overcome the high bar of receiving entry to the Academy.  I was at the top of my class, an athlete, involved in lots of volunteer organizations and school clubs.  I knew people in high places.  However, when one of my teachers shared a catalogue of the coursework with me, I knew it was not the place for me.  It was so heavy on the hard sciences.  I didn't want to be an astronaut; I wanted to help people.

So, I set about looking for a way to be a part of the military elite without having to be a mathematician or scientist.  I found out that the ROTC offered a scholarship, and that upon completion of college, I could become a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.  That sounded rather appealing to me at the time.  I completed the interview, and I was awarded the scholarship.  However, the scholarship was for nursing, and I knew dealing with bodily fluids and needles was not where my heart was at.  So, I declined this opportunity.

At first, I beat myself up emotionally over my decision not to enter the military.  I thought, not many people would ever get the chance to receive this award or the chance at such a bright future and I turned it all away.  I thought about turning down the chance to attend Tulane Law School or to save souls as a Chaplain on the battle field.  It sickened me that I would never be a hero.

And then, as time passed, tragic event started to unfold.  Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.  I thought wow, I would have been right in the middle of that hurricane if I was in Law School at that moment.  A female cadet reported her rape at the Air Force Academy.  Again I thought, maybe that wasn't all I thought it was.  And then, the war.  Did I really want to kill people unless I absolutely had to?  Not at all.  I realized that God had saved me from myself.  His grace and mercy had led me down a different path.

I appreciate all of the men and women who have fought in our armed forces so that I have the ability to write this blog post today.  But, I must tell a very sad side of the military. The military is brutalizing young women.  The Pentagon itself reported that in 2012, there were 26,000 sex crimes in our United States Military, 70 sexual assaults EVERY DAY!

The majority of these crimes against women were never reported because of fear of retaliation or further abuse.  Today, I thank God that he saved me from this, where instead of honor, I might well have been laden with shame.  I pray for those women who are serving, and I stand with them to fight dishonor that is being brought on females who are there to serve you and I.

May God Bless and protect our women in the armed forces until they win their own battle against their allies.  Please join me in helping them win.  No one may ever see us in a uniform or know our names.  But, together, we can get the word out, we can advocate.  And that, is also a true hero.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Testicles On Trucks

Have you seen them yet?  Red-necks everywhere are attaching artificial testicles to their trailer hitches.  What do you suppose this is supposed to mean?  If this person is in a relationship with a female human being, why in the world would she tolerate this?

In the culture we live in with so very many sexual overtones and blatant sexism, this is just one more thing to have to figure out how to deal with oneself much less explain to the kids.  It seems like so many men think this sort of thing is so cute; well it's not, so just stop.

At least the Calvin peeing sticker has a female counter part, though you may have guessed that I would only purchase it if she was standing to pee!

A Poem I Wrote For Moms Who Have Miscarried

Nine years ago, just before Mother's Day, I miscarried my first child.  Through the years, Mother's Day has been very painful for me when I think about my loss, and I know it is for so many of you.  I wrote this poem to celebrate the joy that we have because their lives mattered and they are with our Lord.  Blessings to you, and a great big hug.

To those who mourn on Mother's Day-
You are loved in the highest way.
Because the day our loved one died
They took their place at Jesus' side.

-Go Girl 4125

What Do You Do On Mother's Day If Your Mom Totally Sucks?

Isn't it always a challenge to look through the beautiful, lacy and mushy cards when you're standing there thinking that your mother has never really been there for you when you needed her?  This is always the case for me.

I have long been envious of that mother-daughter bond, someone to talk to about how special women are in God's Kingdom, a shoulder to cry on with that first broken heart, someone to do your makeup for your wedding, to bring you a personal gift when you're having a bad day, someone's arms to jump into when you find out your pregnant for the very first time or to hold you when you learn your baby is dying inside your womb.  I have had to settle for surrogate mothers who were this person for me and to be that person for other little girls.

Still, there is a broken place in my heart that I wish my mother could have filled for me.  I honor the positive qualities about her and the moments I feel she really tries.  I also recognize that I can always turn to my God, because he also has a maternal side.

Today I challenge you, if you have her in your life, hold her close and tell her just how much she means to you, and even if you don't, model who you wish she would have been for you to someone else.  I truly become disheartened by the lack of closeness and the criticalness I feel from her, and still I pray that I can be the daughter God has called me to be.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Code Word: Bottle Rocket!

One of the things I have found particularly helpful in dealing with my anger and shame brought about by sexual maltreatment and abuse I have experienced throughout my life is to recognize when I am being triggered, notify my spouse that I have been triggered, and promptly set about coping.

As you may have caught by now, my husband and I have a fun, humorous relationship, though we take serious matters quite seriously.  We know that God has a sense of humor, because after all, he created the Duck-billed Platypus.  So, we set about to find an appropriate "code word," if you will, to help us both recognize in public situations, when I am experiencing a sexual trauma trigger.

We settled on "bottle rocket."  That describes the hot, angry and this could result in me ending up behind bars kind of feeling that get which I have to quickly recognize and contain or else it will land on the roof and burn the whole house down kind of thing.  Of course, you have to practice at it so that you aren't confronted, which results in taking away all of the personal power.

This went seriously wrong for me when I went for my post operative check-up with my oncologist who performed my laproscopic hysterectomy.  I thought of saying "bottle rocket" when he asked where my fifth incision was (where were you when you were supposed to be performing this surgery?) but reserved it for when he unannounced and without permission, invited a male intern to watch as he lifted my top...

Before he could get to breast level, I rustled out "bottle rocket."  My darling husband who seems to be losing his hearing at critical moments, was having trouble hearing what I was saying, so I nearly screamed it.  BOTTLE ROOOOOOCKET!

Shockingly, the oncologist had the nerve to smile at me very condescendingly and ask what it was I had said to my husband?!?  I resisted the shirt rising to breast level like a dog during a game of tug-of-war as I told him it was an inside joke (clearly, he wouldn't have understood).

I Bought A Nerf Gun Because Murder Is Illegal

Some things you just can't un-see.  For me this is Kate Upton in that sleazy Hardees commercial.  I knew there was a reason I wretched every time I saw the woman on that horseback Game of Thrones commercial-yep same person, though I have to say her cleavage was less than impressive on the latter.  As the wife of a man I love dearly who also happens to be a pornography addict, I deeply resent this woman because of what she perpetuates onto all women, not to mention the degradation she apparently doesn't realize she brings to herself.

My husband tells me she is just a victim too, and with that I must agree, unfortunately she is suffering as she makes her next bank deposit while I am being sexually harassed by these images every few minutes through my tv screen.  It wells up in me a rage that is almost uncontainable.  I kept processing ways I could release this beast within me.  So, I decided to buy a Nerf Gun.

I was enamoured by the commercials of the "Nerf Purse" originally and had fantasies of strolling along in my stilettos and mini purse when some misogynist assaulted me with some red-neck slur and BAM-blast him with my Nerf bullets.  However, in strolling the toy aisle at my friendly Walmart, I noticed that there were no Nerf purses in stock (imagine that), but I did find a much larger lavender Nerf blaster.  

Because I am a nice person, I haven't been able to bring myself to shoot at any targets of actual people faces (including the aforementioned model).  I realize that this is a societal problem, and it will take all of society to make change.  Nonetheless, I did have a great time playing commando in the yard with my husband and son.  But, to my chagrin, their guns shot harder and farther.  I should have known.  

What are some creative ways that help you feel empowered?

The Day My Husband Gifted Me With A Woman Cave

My husband and I worked long and hard to purchase our home.  It's not a mansion.  It's not a new home.  But, it's ours.  We purchased this home from sweat, tears, and faith together, and it is loaned to us from God.  Moments after our home became "ours," my husband and son started about creating their man cave.

They hung various memorabilia from all of their favorite sports teams, put in an air hockey table and a popcorn machine.  They have their video games and comfortable furniture.  It's a wonderful space for male bonding between the two of them, and I feel blessed that they often invite me into their space and we share some lovely times as a family down there.

One of my most treasured memories of coming into this home is when my husband looked at me and told me that I deserved a "woman cave."  As women, we so often consider the needs and wants of others that our selves get lost in the process.  How wonderful it was that my husband honored me in that way.  My woman cave is full of romance, an oil painting of a carriage ride my husband and I shared around Savannah, Mardi Gras colors from our family vacation to New Orleans, and Scripture and gifts from Christian friends who have helped protect my heart.

My woman cave is a place where I cry out to my God and study His Word, where I pour out my heart onto paper, where I craft and where I work.  It is a private place of refuge for me where I can either close my door or welcome my loved ones in.  The spaces in our home are so precious to me because they display who we are as individuals and the respect and love we have for one another; At the same time, they represent our vows in our family unity.

It is important for every human to have a sacred space.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Just Me and My Freshette

Well, Go Girl has a much better name, but I can't imagine that any of the Female Urinary Devices/Directors that I have read about or tried could match my Freshette.  Like most FUDs, it is a funnel concept, but it is made of a very comfortable plastic, is thin (but not too thin) with minimal chances for spillage.  You can also get it in camouflage and avoid the whole pink is the only color women like insult.

My favorite part about the Freshette is that it comes with a five inch tube so that you can pop it in through your fly, pull your underwear to the side to place it, and you pee straight out your fly without undressing or showing yourself off at all.  In that respect, I think this device allows for an even better advantage than the penis for males, because they still have to expose themselves when they pee at the urinal.  And, because your pee shoots out of the tube, you can direct it away from your body and get pretty good distance!

There are two main drawbacks that I see to this device.  One is that it took me a bit to figure out how to hold "my tube" just right so that my stream would flow out straight without shooting off to one direction or the other.  However, with that being said, I have learned through this process that it's not quite as easy urinating like a man as we females often times perceive.  There is the making sure you're close enough to catch the dribbles concern, the holding it straight enough and far enough down so it doesn't spray everywhere concern, and finally the shaking the end of the tube enough so that the dribbles don't drip down your leg or stain your pants.  My husband assures me that this is very similar to male urination.  He is even gracious enough to do my laundry when I have a mishap.

The second draw back is the bag for the device.  It has a full explanation of what is inside and what it is for.  That's not private in any way.  And, over time, if you aren't in a spot where you can rinse, the bag becomes pretty rank.  The name Freshette becomes a bit ironic.

Two major cautions with this device: Make sure you spread your legs so that you don't have any spillage, and lean forward at the end so you KNOW that all of the urine has flowed out of the trough.  Otherwise, you will need to find an extra change of clothes pronto.

 I have found that my confidence has soared since I bought this little puppy, as silly as it sounds, but such a small thing in our culture really does have such a tremendous impact on females.  (Little girls can use this device too, dads!!!)  I'm working myself up to using this in public restrooms and on camping trips; I'm trying to prepare myself for the possible insults or freaked-outedness I'm sure will follow.  Best wishes on your new freedom, ladies!

I would love to hear your stories!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Menstrual Cups, What?

I have been reading a lot about menstrual cups being the latest trend for catching menstrual flow.  Apparently, because they are similar to a condom in their chemical makeup, they are much more biodegradable to the environment than tampons or pads.  For that, I applaud the invention.  However, all I can say is these things look like we are regressing back to Victorian times.

I applaud the She Hulks out there who can put these things in and get the perfect fit, without any leakage, and to be able to carry out their normal day.  I personally can't even bring myself to put in a contact lens.  Some of them have this thing projecting off of them that looks like it would saw you to pieces.  I can just imagine how awkward and messy it would be to pull the thing back down for cleaning.

Sometimes I laugh to myself and wonder, "do men know half of what we deal with in just the course of one day?"

My Bra Size Is DDD, But This Is Why You'll Never See Them

If you are a woman that has participated in or is currently a part of the sex industry, please let me first say to you that I am in no way judging you.  You are one of the biggest reasons I started this blog.  In many ways, I am you.  I do not believe that the sex industry is God-honoring or empowering to women in any way, and for those reasons I would urge you to get out of it.  I want you to know, most of all, that you are deeply loved by God and that I care about you.  You are worthy of love.

As a child, I was constantly chasing after my father's attention.  Unfortunately, through loose sexual boundaries and an environment of patriarchal domination and control, when I came of age, I found myself lusting after much older men.  This led to an array of sexual escapades, embarrassing to me now as I look back on them.  I was sexually assaulted.  I engaged in extramarital affairs, I had sexual relations with people that I didn't even really like, just to get the approval I never got (appropriately) from my father.

I used to think if I used my attractiveness, if I showed off my body, that I would feel in control and powerful in a very imbalanced society.  My value as a person was totally wrapped up in men chasing me or engaging in sexual relations with me if they were in a forbidden situation; that made me feel "special."

Through working the twelve steps and through a deep spiritual connection with my Lord, I recognized that I have worth just because I am me.  I don't need the approval of men, or of anybody else, except for my God and myself.  What I began to realize over time was that the more I kept myself covered, the more I could focus on aspects of myself that were going to help me meet my personal goals and dreams, that were going to keep me in a strong and healthy relationship with my Higher Power, and were going to help me start working from the worldview that if I was being true to myself, then I could be truly happy.  I am not in anyway saying that looking attractive is not ok nor am I saying that the atrocities of sexual violence are a woman's fault.  I absolutely enjoy showing off for my husband, but that is it.  My husband.

Men and women alike, when they are acting out sexually, are like a horse with blinders on.  They are behaving from core beliefs about themselves and a distorted worldview, again all based on the lies of Satan.  We don't stop to think about the consequences our actions are placing on us, on our families, on other peoples' families or on relationships we may enter into in the future.

The sex industry whether it be strip clubs or pornographic magazines, porn on the internet, movies, whatever, is set up to degrade females.  You are better than that and you deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.  And the truth is, when you put yourself out there, it is not the attention of men who want to engage in intimate conversations about how special you are or who would defend your honor or who want anything more from you than just cheap, un-complicated sex that you are attracting.  That is not who you need or want in your life!

Dancing, prostitution, modeling for pornography, none of these are "victimless" behaviors.  Sexual sin has a devastating snowball effect that leads to catastrophic consequences for all involved.  If we are revealing our beauty to gain the attention of men, we have to think about the fact that many of those men are husbands and they are fathers.  The wives and girlfriends of men who view pornography experience great pain and shame, and many times, their family is broken because of it.  If you put yourself out there, men are going to look, and you cannot control who looks.  You cannot control that what you show of yourself may lead that man to relapse into a sexual addiction that he hates as much as his wife does.  I know this because I am also the wife of a recovering sexaholic.  Not only have I been the sought after, I have been the victim.  And it is a pain beyond comparison.  Finding out about my husband's addiction caused me to return to that place in my wounded childhood that I was acting from before I was in recovery myself.  I experienced PTSD all over again.   I continue to be triggered by pictures of Kate Upton and the Victoria Secret Angels on commercials, because these images are continuing the ideology that women are no more than body parts, and I do mean just parts.  My son has to sit through these commercials.  Magazines which are supposed to be innocuous trigger my husband on a daily basis, and therefore trigger me.  I can't drive by Hooters without wanting to drop a match.

As a wife I can tell you it truly sucks to still be quite young but to have your beloved partner in life fantasizing about "barely legals."  You may be there one day.   I wouldn't wish that on anyone.  I thank God that today we are experiencing peace and joy because this problem was brought into the open and we have both committed ourselves to communicating and working our individual programs.  We value each other, and we value our relationship and our family.  And, we value you.  That is why we both have our own ways of educating and reaching out to others.  It is our calling.

Guys and gals, do not buy into the lies.  Join me in being a part of the solution.  I wish for you a relationship with your God, a celebration of everyday as yourself, and a relationship with a significant other that brings you honor and happiness.

If you are reading my posts, you understand by now that sexual degradation is such a multi-layered problem, and men and women both work at tearing each other and themselves down, but there is help to get out and reclaim your life.  You're worth it!

Female Athletes Need Cups Too

Most boys and men I have ever encountered carry with them this "protect the male private parts at all cost" mentality, some of which is perfectly understandable.  To be hit in a sensitive area is no laughing matter.  However, for males, this topic has become so cliched that nearly every movie about boyhood or that involves potty humor involves a boy or man being hit in the crotch, to wit he immediately falls into a fetal position.  Boys and men viewers groan along with the character on the screen and are in disbelief or ready to tell females  "you don't understand because you don't have anything there" if a female nearby makes a comment like "here we go with that again."

One thing I truly hate is potty humor, particularly about males peeing or their crotch shots.  This is all heavily-laden with messages to females that "you aren't a part of this club because you are without male genitals."  As a former fastpitch softball catcher, I will explain how this concept plays out even in softball, a tradionally female-dominated sport.

The problem with the ideology that "females are without male genitals" is that they are viewed from a perspective which is lacking, which as I have shared in previous posts, has the capacity to turn into abuse and discrimination of females.  This obsession with the blows to the male crotch has forced women to feel they have to allign with males on this as if to say "you're right, your genitals are so ultra important that we have to recognize this repeatedly and admit that we have no value between our legs."  

When I entered the realm of baseball, playing with my brothers and my dad, as a young girl, I was immediately aware that the fathers and male coaches elevated the need for boys to wear a cup to a ridiculous level.  Again, I am not saying that I don't encourage this (my son wears a cup at every practice or game).  What I am saying is that males in our society have a fixation with it, looking for opportunities to talk about it.  My assistant coaches (male) last season must have commented a dozen times about cup rules in our Little League despite any effort on their part in helping me coach effectively.  Already this season, I have gotten emails about the almighty cup and overheard the coach repeatedly asking the boys if they have one and fathers elbowing each other as they talk over and over about the boys wearing cups.  It's an obsession.

The position of catcher in baseball requires in the rule books that the player wear a protective cup.  However, in my years playing at the varsity level of softball in high school, no one ever mentioned that my female genitalia was worthy of any kind of protection.  The equipment given to me didn't even have a flap that juts down from the chest protector.  And, of course, that softball coming in at a high rate of speed, found my crotch.  It became very apparent, at least to me, that yes, while they are not male parts, there certainly ARE parts down there that were now in serious pain. 

 I think the injury I sustained while riding on a male friend's bike several years previous was worse pain, because I fell on the bar of the bike which then forcefully jammed up between my labia.  I could barely walk for most of the afternoon I was in so much pain.  Nonetheless, following the blow to my vulva on the softball field, my pelvic bone was so deeply bruised that I couldn't withstand any sort of pressure on it for quite some time.  But, I never told anyone about it because I knew it would fall on deaf ears.  I made a note to myself to consider inventing a cup for female catchers one day.

I am sad to report I didn't have the opportunity to carry out my idea for my invention, because someone else beat me to it.  But, I am delighted that he did, and that he told reporters that he did this because he was told to by the Holy Spirit.  That was so comforting to me when I read about it, because it was like God was confirming to the world that female sex organs are equally important to males, and they deserve to be protected too.  The female cup, or as it is often called, the pelvic protector, has a similar design to the male cup; the wider part is placed at the top to protect the gonads, which for women are internal.  The thinner portion of the cup covers the vulva.  

This whole fetal position phenomenon and the demands of males to recognize it deeply offends me.  It's not that I don't understand that it's painful, it's that I don't understand how males can forget that our genitals are made out of the same tissue and nerve endings and that we suffer through many painful gynecological experiences throughout the duration of our lives that last longer than a crotch shot.  Female swimmers are not allowed to curl into the fetal position; they're told to shove a tampon up their vagina and keep on swimming (while on their period).  I had my uterus pulled through my abdomen and told the next morning I was ready to leave the hospital.  Respect flows both ways.