An important message: Consent still applies to pregnant ladies

The following is from my dear friend affectionately known as Nurse Nathalie, or @howetolove on the Twittersphere:

This maternity shirt was lovingly given to me by an amazing coworker as a jest to my disdain for people touching my belly since being pregnant, but it brings forward the important concept of consent. A wise nurse once modelled to me the importance of obtaining consent from a patient before ever touching her breasts, abdomen, or private areas before an exam, and since then, I’ve always tried to model this for newer staff. It may seem like the abdomen is a normal place to touch or rub a pregnant woman, but truthfully, would you do that to anyone else? I believe that usually it is an area reserved for a consensual intimate relationship, and that fact doesn’t change in pregnancy just because a baby is kicking away. It’s not that you CAN’T touch a pregnant belly, but more that you should gain consent before doing so, even if already implied to close friends, immediate family, and your partner. Imagine for a second, a woman who had been sexually assaulted at some point in her life; a point where consent was taken away from her. Imagine bringing those feelings back, even if your touch was well-intentioned. This is why you have to ask, and respect the answer immediately. This is not a hormone fueled rant, but more a peaceful, thought provoking piece on consent, based on my observations and feelings so far as a pregnant woman.

I know many, many times over how amazing it is to share in the life being created by a woman during pregnancy, but if you weren’t invited to do so, all you have to do is ask. :) <3

can't touch this

Consent: Not actually that complicated

Ro:

Required reading.

Originally posted on rockstar dinosaur pirate princess:

http://kaffysmaffy.tumblr.com/post/780535517 http://kaffysmaffy.tumblr.com/post/780535517

A short one today as my life is currently very complicated and conspiring against my preference to spend all of my days working out what to blog. But do you know what isn’t complicated?

Consent.

It’s been much discussed recently; what with college campuses bringing in Affirmative Consent rules, and with the film of the book that managed to make lack of consent look sexy raking it in at the box office. You may not know this, but in the UK we more or less have something similar to ‘affirmative consent’ already. It’s how Ched Evans was convicted while his co-defendant was not – and is along the lines of whether the defendant had a reasonable belief that the alleged victim consented. From the court documents it appears that while the jury felt that it was reasonable to believe that the victim had consented to intercourse with the co-defendant, it…

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Giving up Twitter for Lent, Again

I’m giving up Twitter for Lent again. It officially starts on Wednesday February 18th and continues for 40 days and nights, but I just deleted it from my phone in preparation. I need a break from broadcasting my thoughts for a while. I did it last year, and I literally carried around a book and documented all the random little bursts of would-be tweets. You don’t understand how pathetic it feels to write these things down with a pen and paper, especially when there is no one else to validate me.

Anyway, the following was brought to you by Lent 2014:

March 5th – Not stalking is harder than I thought it would be.

March 5th – I’d be the best 16 year old ever.

March 6th – OMG! Glitter everything! http://www.pinterest.com/pin/116671446568878687/

March 6th – Pinterest is broken. My life is over. Goodbye cute crafts and hairstyles that I was never actually going to try anyway.

March 6th – LET THERE BE INTERVIEWS!

March 6th – I made the most amazing mock pad Thai for dinner. I say mock because instead of noodles I used spaghetti squash again.

March 7th- HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!

March 7th – Sorry, but the last people I’d send to Mars are a bunch of depressed people that aren’t LIVING on Earth http://digg.com/video/mars-one-way-on-vimeo except maybe the bee keeper.

March 7th – Is it rude if I unfollow my own posts on Facebook?

March 7th – Let sing about the stars
Let’s drive into the night
Forget about the day
And look forward to tonight

March 7th – Up to no good.

March 7th – I learned that the nearest four square check in is the bust stop near my house. So I checked in there for Untappd and now I can’t stop laughing.

March 8th – CREEPY AS FUCK http://www.tickld.com/x/20-two-sentence-horror-stories-that-will-keep-you-up-at-night-7-gave-me-chills

March 8th – Procrastination level 5000 unlocked. I’m going all the way, kids.

March 9th – Attended the scene of a bad car accident last night. Turns out one of the people hurt was my mom’s friend. Small world.

March 9th – Who needs friends when you have chips?

March 9th – It’s soooo sunny, why oh why did I leave homework until today? I’m an idiot.

March 9th – You’re my favourite mistake.

March 9th – Generate is the greatest photo app. Loving it.

March 9th- The women in my family have a lot of balls. Proud of all of them. Especially my sister.

March 11th – Started my day by watching strangers kiss for the first time http://sploid.gizmodo.com/watching-complete-strangers-make-out-is-actually-awkwar-1540921129?utm_campaign=socialflow_gizmodo_facebook&utm_source=gizmodo_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow <3

March 12th – Sun burnt. Oops.

March 13th – I’ve been listening to a lot of classical music lately, this is great http://www.wimp.com/coinsurprise/

March 13th- Found out the video of strangers kissing is a fake. Feeling jaded.

March 13th- Day 8 of the 100 days of happy challenge and I am grumpy as fuck. Just…. stay away.

March 14th- My Irish drinking name is Filthy McDrunkerson wrote at 9:12am

March 14- I dislike hearing that cars were broken into near my house while I was home alone last night. I need a dog.

March 14th- I told Keiran I was a disaster today and he looked at me sympathetically and told me I’m in good company. I have a lot of love for him right now.

March 16th- Tonight we’re American. I’ve made coleslaw, fried chicken, and waffles. #thisiswhyyourefat

March 16th- It’s been a while since Bill Withers broke my heart

March 17th- Kiss me, I’m actually Irish.

March 17th – Screw #100daysofhappy I’m happy every day and I don’t need photographic evidence to prove that to myself

March 17th- What do you call a bear with no teeth? A gummy bear. Yeah, I’m totally not sorry for that one.

March 17th- When someone pushes you away, it’s not an invitation to try harder to stay.

A few days went by and the thoughts became less and less…

March 2oth- playing on twitter for school, legitimately

March 21st – Studying on a Friday night BLOWS.

March 22nd- 30 is not the new 20 <— a compelling TED talks video. Feeling a lot better about *most* of my adult life choices

March 22nd – the blog got a new title and a makeover

March 22nd – I put too much tequila in my drink, but I’m wrapping up final assignments and studying on a Saturday night so I’m going to roll with it

March 23rd – I have no one to share my Buzzfeed quiz results with :( I got John Bender from the Breakfast Club, btw

March 23rd- I’m going to try my hand at a bacon spinach frittata for lunch

March 23rd- It’s really refreshing to clear your browsing history, especially when certain things that are bothering you keep coming up in past searches

March 23rd- For a while I thought I was going to end up like Olivia Wilde’s character in Drinking Buddies. Disaster averted.

March 24th- *hangs head in shame* the hairspray that I love is heartbreakingly expensive. Thank god I have an insider. Even so, I just spent $21 on hairspray.

March 25th- It’s been a long time since I wanted to slow dance, but this song does it. #allthefeels

March 25th- You’re beautiful, and your mind is fucking beautiful. And I can’t pretend that doesn’t mean a thing to me

……..

And that’s when I stopped documenting all the things I would have tweeted. It lost its appeal when there was no one to respond to me. I can tell you that the first few days were very isolating, and it wasn’t pleasant. The people who cared found ways to check in, and of course I had contact information for everyone that I wanted to stay in touch with.

If you really can’t live without me, you can drop me a line stopdropandro at gmail dot com and I’ll get back to you.

Anyway, this is goodbye for now. I hope to be in a better frame of mind when I return. Stay well.

Messy inside

Oh yeah I’m a reaper man
Every good thing, I kill it good
Oh yeah I’m a hooligan
Out in the street making a mess

Fuck yeah I’m a deviant
When I go to the store I go undressed
Oh yeah I’m a sexy mess
Go on the date just to get the dress off

How’d I ever get so off my rocks?
How’d I ever get so lost
Everybody out there on the job
But not me

Oh, but not me

Oh yeah I’m an ugly mess
Not in the face, but in the head
I’m thinking that was best not said
But I say it anyway, then I say it again

They took a little look at my brain,
they come to find, all is sane
They took a little look at my heart
They found a prince living behind bars

How’d I ever get so off my rocks?
How’d I ever get so lost
Everybody out there on the job, but not me oh no
How’d I ever get so indiscreet, how’d I ever get so freakly
Everybody out there on a leash
But not me

Oh

I know I got no choice, got no choice, but to love myself
I know I got no choice, got no choice, but to love myself
God knows, you got no choice, got no choice, but to love yourself
God knows, I got no choice, got no choice, got no choice

How’d I ever get so off my rocks?
How’d I ever get so lost (who knows)
Everybody out there on the job, but not me oh no
How’d I ever get so indiscreet, how’d I ever get so freakly
Everybody out there on a leash
But not me

Oh, but not me

(Reaper Man by Mother Mother)

I have a confession to make. When my life gets out of control, I don’t eat. And when I don’t eat, I don’t have enough calories to keep me asleep at night. And when I can’t sleep, I slip into really bad anxiety and then I get sad. It’s hard to make rational decisions when I’m sleep deprived, and it’s not an easy cycle for me to break. Every now and then a song comes along and sticks to you like the gluey residue from an old BandAid, that was Reaper Man for me. I identify with the above lyrics, probably more than is healthy.

I start to wonder if this is my new normal, but then I look back and think how did I get in this place? Is this forever? Has anyone noticed how fucked up this is? You better believe people notice when you’ve become a shell of your former self. I try to hide when I am unwell inside, but it seeps out in the most interesting, and sometimes outlandish, ways. I can’t keep this shit inside, no matter how hard I try.

I know what it is like to be weird inside. I know what it is to be fucked up and make a bad decision or two, or three, or four. I know the self-loathing that comes with making bad decisions, feeling like you don’t deserve the good things in life, entrenching further and further that I am not a good person. In my experience, forgiving and loving yourself again and again is hard work and seems so far out of reach at times.

This I know: I’m a strong woman and I have won many battles on my own, but depression and anxiety are not one of them. I have relied on a therapist and a doctor more than once in my life, and I continually count on a vast support network. People are fallible. Oh God, am I ever fallible. My struggles with depression and anxiety are not over; at the moment I just happen to be on even ground. I know the signs, and I know earlier and earlier when things start to slip for me. But it still happens.

I am human, I am fallible, I am imperfect, I make bad decisions, I hurt people. I don’t pretend to be anything more than this, because I’m not.

I eat well and I exercise because I know I need to take care of my body. I feel like this is a general rule we’re all aware of, because society talks about it all the time. But not enough people talk about taking care of our mental health. You’d go to a doctor if something in your body hurt or malfunctioned, so why do we sweep a mental health crisis under the rug and hope that it goes away on its own? Why is one kind of medical care covered by our government’s provided medical system but one isn’t? Why are they any different?

Unless people talk about it, there won’t be a push for a mental health strategy. I don’t love that it takes a corporation like Bell to get the conversation started, but something needs to happen to make mental health matter. If Bell is willing to help encourage us to speak up and keep the conversation going, it’s a step in the right direction. Talking about it drops the stigma.

I’m a little messed up, but when it comes down to it, we all are. I’m just willing to talk about it.
And I hope it encourages you to talk about this kind of stuff too. I’m here.

An open letter to Jian Ghomeshi, written by Ro

Jian Ghomeshi is raging through my mind this morning.

Maybe it’s because my family is embroiled in its own baseless legal battle where innocent and good people are being dragged through the mud, but Jian Ghomeshi is the scum of the earth.

Dear Jian,

What you did was WRONG and you tried to cover your tracks by puffing out your chest and intimidating people into silence. You hired a big PR firm because once again, you believed that if you beat people down hard enough, they would slither away, like so many of the women that you preyed upon. You used your pseudo-celebrity status to dazzle young women, and then you hurt them and shamed them into silence. You are a predator.

You should have to pay the CBC back for the legal expenses you incurred, but I feel like you owe the CBC far more than $18,000. Your claims were baseless, and while you were being an asshole, you continued to further victimize the women you abused and led your fan base to believe that you were innocent. The damage that you have incurred is priceless, and no amount of money is going to make any of those women feel safe and whole again.

So many of your fans stood up for you and cried for your innocence. You made a mockery of thousands of Canadians. You used your dead father to garner sympathy. You victim shamed innocent women and you called them jilted exes. You attempted to manipulate the situation, and for once, it backfired tremendously.

Everyday people like you walk away from situations like this, unscathed. In your wake you were willing to leave honest and truthful people to rot in the web of lies you’ve created to keep yourself elevated. You disgust me to the core.

Enjoy the legal process, you coward. Enjoy having your words used against you and having holes poked into everything you’ve ever said. Privacy is no longer yours, and you too, can enjoy what it’s like to feel little and helpless like so many of the people you’ve silenced over the years.

Fuck you.

From Rochele, on behalf of Canadians everywhere

I want you to want ME, another playlist by Ro

Another playlist by yours truly. Earlier this year I began archiving my old playlists and dissecting them one song at a time. Stay with me, this one hails from 2002 and has zero content from 2002 because apparently I was already an old women by then.

1. Kokomo – The Beach Boys

‘Afternoon delight, cocktails and moonlit nights
That dreamy look in your eye, give me a tropical contact high’

So ummmm, is this song on your baby-making playlist? Probably. In 2002 I didn’t know what afternoon delight was, or what a contact high was for that matter. Oy.

2. When I’m 64 – The Beatles

What a sweet and endearing song. Grow old with me, internet.

3. The Longest Time – Billy Joel

‘I don’t care what consequence it brings
I have been a fool for lesser things
I want you so bad’

But seriously, as a teenager, you run into everything head first and you deal with the pain later. Billy Joel knows what’s up. Falling in love is pretty reckless. We try to tell ourselves that we’ll be cautious and we won’t give all of ourselves, and then one slip and it’s all downhill. Life lessons, yo.

4. You Made Me So very Happy – Blood, Sweat and Tears

I love you so much it seems
You’re even in my dreams
I can hear you’

Careful there, BST. Telling someone you’re dreaming about them gets creepy, unless they feel the same way. Actually, make sure they feel the same way before you say this kind of stuff at all. Or keep it to yourself. Or write a hit song. Whatever.

5. More Than A Feeling – Boston

Confession: I’ve overplayed this song and I don’t like it anymore.

6. I Want You To Want Me – Cheap Trick

I want you to want me.
I need you to need me.
I’d love you to love me.
I’m beggin’ you to beg me.’

I very vividly remember wanting someone to feel the same way that I felt about them, but not knowing where I stood. The achy-hurty feeling of not knowing. Ugh, it’s coming back to me now. Staaaahhhhp.

7. Romeo and Juliet – Dire Straits

And all I do is miss you and the way we used to be
All I do is keep the beat and bad company
All I do is kiss you through the bars of a rhyme’

Here, Dire Straits, just take my heart. I didn’t want it anyway after listening to your most excellent crumby song about how it doesn’t work out for Romeo, regardless of his and Juliet’s unfortunate stance on mortality.

8. Just What I Needed – The Cars

I don’t mind you coming here
And wasting all my time
I don’t mind you hanging out
And talking in your sleep’

It’s not wasting time if it’s something you enjoy…

9. Again – Lenny Kravitz

I wonder if I’ll ever see you again’

Back in 1999, it was a lot easier to lose track of someone, and I did. The internet wasn’t in everyone’s house yet, and we still had to ask for phone numbers and risk parents answering. Oh god the panic. Sometimes you just left stuff to chance instead of trying to make it happen.

10. Last Kiss – Pearl Jam

At the very least, he knew it was going to be his last kiss before his love departed this world. I tend to think we would do things differently if we knew we were doing it for the last time. How great would it be to leave this life with a last kiss? BRB, crying while I contemplate it.

11. Pretty Woman

As a 20-something woman, I have feelings about a man noticing a pretty woman on the street and cat-calling after her. It’s not good. I’m sure this song was innocent enough back in the dark ages, but now it doesn’t sit very well with me. Anyway, before I destroy Roy Orbison, I’m moving on.

12. Let’s Spend the Night Together – The Rolling Stones

I still like this song.

13. Two Princes – The Spin Doctors

Who didn’t love this song in all its early 90’s glory? Synopsis- this guy wants you to give him a chance despite that fact that he’s a bum. Personally, I think Romeo from #7 has more of a chance than this guy.

14. I Know You’re Out There Somewhere – The Moody Blues

I know you’re out there somewhere
Somewhere, somewhere
I know you’re out there somewhere
Somewhere you can hear my voice’

More people losing track of each other. I’m beginning to think that maybe we would value our relationships and experiences a little more if the internet didn’t make them so damn convenient. What do I know? I wasn’t even alive when this song came out.

15. The Air That I Breathe

Making love with you
Has left me peaceful warm and tired
What more could I ask
There’s nothing left to be desired
Peace came upon me and it leaves me weak’

This guy is saying that there is nothing else in the world that he wants other than this. All he needs is the air that he breathes and to love you. Why is anyone settling for anything less than this? Go get it, make it happen. Seriously, this is the kind of love that makes me cry. Just kidding, I’m already crying.

Yes, I really do have nostalgia tied to every song, but there isn’t enough time in this world to tell you about it. That, and it’s probably not that interesting to anyone but me. So here we are. Another playlist archived.

Camping

I am giving up on Princess Camping, or Glamping.

For the first time in close to two decades, I am sleeping on a mat on the floor of my tent, in a sleeping bag, instead of an air mattress that rivals the size of my queen size bed at home, which I usually cover in thick, flannel sheets and a down duvet.

I’m sharing my 6-8 person tent with three other people instead of hoarding the space for myself and husband.

I packed one weekend bag. Just one. And it’s not very big. I’ve packed more just to get ready at a girlfriend’s house for a night out.

We still slaved in the kitchen all week so that we could have amazing meals every day. If it’s going to be cold and damp, we may as well have our spirits lifted with rich, spicy spaghetti sauce and a hearty stew with cheddar biscuits. We brought our French press because mornings without coffee shouldn’t exist at all. 

I packed a lot of liquor. I may not even notice the inclement weather…

We brought games. Our friends brought games. We have a trunk full of dry, split firewood. 

Our campsite doesn’t have flush toilets or showers. I may wash my hair in the lake if I get desperate, but I brought a hat.

I swore that I wouldn’t camp like my parents and yet here I am, performing their exact version of camping. Next thing you know I’ll be growing my own vegetables and using unscented laundry detergent. Oh wait…