Friday, October 31, 2014


The Mutter Museum in Philadelphia has all sorts of freaky real things on display.  Many of them in jars. 
These are not the kind of things one would want to see in one's canning pantry.

There is a display of skeletons from a certain period of history where corsets were all the rage.  Like Malibu Musk of the 90's.  The skeletons are of the female variety.  And their rib cages do not look good.  They are a bit bent, a bit brittle.  In short, it looks like "beauty is pain" is clearly defined in their bones.  But hey, this is what it takes to make it appear that we, the female variety, have no organs!    What's that you think you see?  Evidence of a stomach, a spleen, a liver?  Nonsense. 
(The Mutter Museum is a great place to tour, should you ever find yourself in the City of Brotherly Love.  Their slogan: "Are you ready to be disturbingly informed?"  If you say yes, click on! )

Photograph of our hanging skeltons display

Corsets, are apparently, back.  It's called "waist training."
I have heard of dog training.
I have heard of marathon training.
But waist training, I think, results in the above photo. 

So, it is with great pleasure I present to you a cartoon reminder that having organs is not so bad.
These princesses, with organs drawn in, are not horrible!
Maybe beauty is having organs, and uncracked ribs and a good belly laugh at the idea of waist training. 

If you want to see Ariel with a stomach, Pocahontas with a spleen, and Aurora sporting a liver, click here.)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Spoiler Alert

My mom was spending time with Miss C the other evening while I ran an errand.  Later that night, with Miss C in bed, I got ready to read her a chapter of Anne of Green Gables.

We are close to the end, four chapters to go, and the rivalry between Anne and Gilbert has been going on three years.  Three years of intense silence, ignored apologies, grudges that seem Irish in their tenacity.  Because he called her Carrots.

( My siblings and I joke that when we spend time in Ireland, there is a list of people we are supposed to visit, and then a short list of people we are not supposed to talk to.  Because someone talked smack about someone else's cow forty years ago.  It's like honoring a grudge on behalf of deceased Great Aunt Mary McCreedy twice removed.  This is loyalty.  But because we often mix up the names on the lists, and because all Irish people look the same, we often find ourselves having tea and cookies with The Enemy.  And they make a good pot of tea.)

So I opened up Anne of Green Gables and Miss C sat up and said, "Nana said that Anne and Gilbert get married.

She was half distressed, half in disbelief. 

"Well, I don't know.  Right now she's only fifteen."

"But Nana said so.  That it happens later.  I wish I didn't know that."

"Well, even if they get married, there are so many other things we don't know."

"But they don't even like each other.  So that's a big thing to know."

"That's called a spoiler."

"What's a spoiler?"

"It's when you're part way through a story, and someone accidentally tells you how it ends."

"So Nana's a spoiler.  I'll let her know."

"No no no, that's not what I said.  I said it's a spoiler.  Getting early information.  It is a spoiler.  People aren't spoilers."

"It's a spoiler because you said Nana's a spoiler and I'll let her know."

I think I might be added to that short list.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Financial Abuse

Actress Kerry Washington spoke last month about a tactic in domestic abuse that is both invisible and common:
Finances are almost always a weapon of choice.  Taking away access to cash, destroying credit, jeopardizing jobs -- financial abuse leaves invisible bruises that can take decades to heal.
Melissa Jeltsen explains:
Financial abuse is a tactic often used by abusers to control and isolate their partners. It takes many forms: Abusers may drastically limit their victims' access to cash so they have no money of their own....They may sabotage their victims' ability to work, or pile up debt under their victims' names.

For an abusive relationship to continue, it takes two mindsets: the abuser mindset (control, manipulation, isolation), and the victim mindset (resignation, shame, feeling of powerlessness).  The cycle is broken anytime one of these mindsets shifts.  Most often, it is the victim shifting from shame and powerlessness into survival.  It can be sudden, born of absolute necessity, or subtle, building over months or years.  Survival is one state, and once achieved, self-sufficiency is able to take root and grow.

Washington states,
I think people just aren't as aware of financial abuse.  If a woman isn't even aware of the dynamics of financial abuse -- what it looks like, what it is -- she may not even know that that's part of the tools being used to control her and manipulate her.. ...When there is more information around it, people can begin to identify it and then get the help they need.