You’re Not Sorry

It’s time for another episode of “what really grinds my gears.” 


Today: why people need to stop dismissing sexual assault as “just…”

I hear it all of the time. It’s just a cat call. Just a kiss on the cheek (in the case of a reporter at Osheaga last week). It was just a friendly comment. Last year, I tweeted about an old man that catcalled me and numerous men on my Twitter feed told me it was a compliment. I should be flattered. Let me tell you, there is nothing flattering about being catcalled. It’s degrading to both parties. But they’re probably “nice guys” that just aren’t appreciated *cue eye roll emoji*. 

This week, Taylor Swift is making headlines as she is in court, battling a lawsuit filed by David Mueller, a Denver DJ who lost his job after an incident where he allegedly groped her. Swift has countersued for $1, demanding an apology.  While the trial is ongoing, a lot of comments I see online are “it was just a butt grab.” So called feminists who preach about defending women when forced to confront someone who assaulted them are notably silent (Demi Lovato, I’m looking in your direction. Maybe you’re matching on Capitol Hill…?). Feminists stop being feminists when Taylor Swift is involved it seems. No support for her. After all, it was just a butt grab. No big deal. Right?


A similar statement echoed through social media when a fan attending a live event commented that a child had slapped the posterior of WWE Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss. 


The kid was praised, fans wanted to give the kid a high five. She wears such short shorts, she had it coming! Besides, he’s just a kid and it’s JUST a butt grab. No big deal! Calm down feminists, it’s not sexual assault. It’s just a playful slap on the butt! 


Except it’s not just a butt grab. It’s not “no big deal.” It’s not “calm down.” It IS sexual assault. Taylor Swift is an entertainer, but she’s also a human being. She deserves basic respect. She doesn’t deserve to be sued because she didn’t stand for being molested by a DJ. All of the “she’ll write a song about it,” etc. jokes do not take away from the fact that this man allegedly sexually assaulted Taylor Swift. I commend this smart, strong woman for standing her ground, because the millions of little girls that look up to her are watching & she’s showing them that you do not have to dismiss sexual assault as “just a butt grab.”


I’ve been in situations where a guy took liberties. Last year a customer grabbed my ass while throwing something in my garbage can. I was furious, but when I called a friend back home & told him the story, he pointed out it was “just a butt grab.” I wear tight pants to work, right? I kind of accepted it, but I sometimes wonder how many women dismiss sexual assault or harassment as “just…” I’ve even been told by female relatives that as we age, the catcalls stop and we should be flattered that men still find us attractive. But is it flattering when it makes us feel gross? To me, flattering is something that makes us feel good, not super gross. I can’t imagine Taylor felt good, and considering she complained & Mueller was fired. I can’t imagine Alexa Bliss feels good when grown ass men teach little boys to slap her ass and catcall her. It’s not flattering, nor a compliment. We need to stop referring to this behaviour as such and refer to it as what it is; harassment. To those who do these things; it’s a funny story and a high five, but to the women involved, it’s a loss of trust, a loss of personal safety. As guys like Mueller become legends around the bar, women like Taylor become labelled as cold and standoffish, because they’re not comfortable in those situations anymore. Great trade off, right?

If it makes you feel uncomfortable, unhappy, or unsafe, it’s not flattering and it’s okay to stand up for yourself and say that this is not acceptable behaviour. It’s not okay to tell a woman that it’s just a slap on the butt, or just a friendly catcall, be flattered. The more we diminish this very real harassment, the more we embolden others to think it’s okay. I commend Taylor for standing up for herself, not settling, and making this man accountable for his actions. Maybe this will encourage other women to speak up about harassment in the workplace, at a club, or even among friends when a joke went too far. After all, the only way this sort of behaviour will be stopped is when we as a society stop tolerating it, and kudos to Taylor for not just shaking it off, but standing her ground instead. 

Love Again

Part of growing as a human means being able to look internally and evolve. 

For me, it means recognizing that over the last year, I’ve sabotaged almost all of my potential relationships. 

I’ve really enjoyed casual dating. It’s been nice to go out, spend time with someone and be picky enough to cut things off if I don’t see it going anywhere. I’ve never been a casual dater. Just a relationship gal. So, this is all new territory for me. An old friend of mine once told me I needed to do that. That’s how you get over toxic boyfriends; you date. Maybe they aren’t the one. But by meeting “not the one” a whole bunch of times, you’ll also realize how much toxic boyfriend was also not the one. You’ll be able to look back objectively and go “man, that guy was a controlling prick. I don’t need that. I want qualities X, Y, and Z.” Sometimes I wish that I could message that old friend and apologize for not seeing it sooner. But he’s moved forward and so have I. We have mutual friends. Maybe we’ll check each other’s FB and see we’ve grown into cool people and reconnect. 

But I’m off topic, aren’t I? Let’s bring it back in. 

I’ve enjoyed my non committal dating. It’s helped me figure out what I do want and what I don’t. Then when I meet someone with these qualities, I can venture into a more serious relationship. But there have been times when I was really into the guy and when he pushed for us to be more serious (meet the kids, meet the family), I kind of balked and the relationships fizzled. I’m a bit gun shy. I don’t trust well. And it’s hard for me to let my guard down around men. 


I was telling one of my good girlfriends about this today. I was getting to know a guy, and I was really interested in getting to know him better. But then he asked for more personal information and I instantly clammed up & asked to keep some boundaries. I gave a high level explanation about how important moving slowly is, and I’ve had some bad experiences with men moving too quickly and then becoming awful people literally overnight. I just need some more time to get to know him while I have my guard up. He said he understood, but I can’t shake the feeling that there is no more interest on his side. That sucks, because he was a really nice guy and I was looking forward to getting to know him a bit better. 

Because I mentioned her, look how cute my friend is
I wonder if this is normal, that feeling of wanting to get to know someone, but afraid that if you let them close to you, they’ll become a bloody fucking lunatic, and then stalk you for years. Or is that just something I worry about? I know I’m capable of long term friendships. I know I can attract a partner if I wanted one. But I feel like I question my own judgement. I mean, I have a neon sign over my head that says “I attract losers.” Am I just assuming that I don’t know how to choose a partner because my track record is a who’s who of the mentally disturbed. But I’m probably cutting out really great guys because I’m so scared that someone is going to hunt me down, tell me they love me & they won’t take no for an answer, and pick out an engagement ring and then stop talking to me two weeks later with no explanation, then stalk me. Or cheat on me with a coworker. Or be abusive. Because that’s what I pick. I have a bad habit of falling too hard, too fast. I look through rose coloured glasses and all of the red flags just look like flags. Now I look through scared bunny glasses, assuming every one will hurt me, so if I stay behind the safe wall, that won’t happen. 


Maybe it’s about balance. Maybe you need to have a combination of scared bunny glasses and rose coloured glasses. Maybe having that independent self and boundaries are important, so when the right person comes, they’ll respect those boundaries and I’ll be able to see if they have qualities “X, Y, and Z.” Maybe those boundaries are important because it helps me see what their intentions are before I’m in over my head and being dragged down, but so in love that I’m excusing the worst kind of behaviour because I’m madly in love and ignoring their true, horrible personalities. 


Now I need to learn how to balance the scared bunny feeling and avoid the rose coloured glasses. Find the “look at someone through the regular, you wear them every day glasses.” The one good thing casual dating has taught me is that “the one” isn’t the guy that walks out, or the guy who doesn’t take no. He’ll be the one who stays, is willing to put inthe work, and look at you through human eyes, not rose coloured glasses. The good thing about all of the “not the ones” is that they’ll prepare you for the actual one, who’s worth letting your guard down for. 

Maybe this is about trusting my judgment again. Letting go of this fear that only psychopaths and narcissists are capable of loving me because there’s something wrong with me. Maybe I need to start believing that really good men would be interested in me. After all, I like me. I have three jobs, three great kids, my bills are paid because I make my own money. I go to the gym, have no criminal record and most people like me. And I guess I’m kind of pretty. On the catch scale, I’m a solid 7.5.  Maybe I’m holding myself back because I’ve allowed myself to believe that nice guys don’t want me, I’m just catnip for psychos. I think it’s time I let that belief system go. There’s nothing wrong with me & I am not unworthy of a great guy. Because of this, I can slowly learn that I don’t need to be afraid of every guy, thinking he’s just going to hurt me. But, it doesn’t hurt to keep your guard up a little. Because protecting yourself is never a bad thing. 

Shady

Anyone who knows me knows that I love me some pop music. I’ve been a huge fan of Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, along with a bunch of other cheesy pop acts, including Carly Rae Jepsen. I was an entertainment editor, so I follow popular culture. I’ve largely kept silent about the feud between Katy & Taylor because I enjoy both artists, but the other day, after reading another interview about Katy discussing her side of this saga (again) & I found myself asking a friend;

I write about my life. I’m not gonna shade someone for writing a song about another human. I write about my reactions to certain things have shaped me. I’m sure some people out there aren’t happy with my opinion of their behaviour. That’s nice. But in the end, the lesson is what I learned from those experiences. It’s why I enjoy Taylor Swift as an artist. Her songs are about her feelings as they relate to certain  experiences. Sometimes she calls herself out for her own missteps (Out of the Woods, Back to December, and the forever soul crushing All Too Well). This applies to Bad Blood. Bad Blood isn’t some diss track; it’s someone expressing their feelings over the loss of a friendship. The “diss” was about actions, stressing what the person in question did and how it made her feel. But more importantly, Taylor never revealed any details, except it was about a friend creating a professional issue and the friendship ended. 


Taylor was called a fake feminist, catty, and a snake. What was meant to be a minor point about the 1989 writing process turned into a major event.  Leading the charge was Katy Perry, who revealed herself to be the subject. In fact, despite saying she doesn’t write songs about people, she released her “anti-bullying anthem” Swish Swish. The song was chock full of thinly veiled insults towards Swift and the promotion for the song has been about how she was the victim and is the bigger person and how Taylor overreacted. Perry constantly says “I’m done talking about it” and then proceeds to speak out more about she was wronged because of the song Bad Blood while promoting a song bullying Swift. What appears to be an almost obsessive need to appear as the victim of some unfair attack almost validates Swift’s position to ignore her and feel like she was being targeted professionally. But more importantly, it looks like Perry is using Swift to help boost sales of Witness, which is sad as Katy Perry is talented enough to sell albums on her own. 


This isn’t the only account of Perry’s bullying of other women. Earlier this year, she mocked Britney Spears’s mental breakdown a decade before. She regularly makes comments about Spears’s mental health. This is not how women should behave. You don’t need to belittle other women to elevate yourself. There is room on all of our phones for Britney Spears, Taylor Swift, and Katy Perry. Heck, my phone has 128gb of storage; there’s room for Gaga, and Carly Rae, Selena, and Beyoncé, with room left over for Nicki Minaj & maybe some Gwar. There’s no need to attack other women to elevate your status as HBIC. 


Maybe we as humans elevate the need for girl drama. Look at when Fifth Harmony member Camilla Cabello left the group. It wasn’t about creative differences; it was obviously about catfights and jealousy. When Zayn Malik chose to leave One Direction, it wasn’t rumoured that the guys were jealous of Zayn’s face and hair. It was “oh. He wants to go solo. Good for him.” Look at how fans pit artists against each other on social media. They’re still fighting about Britney vs. Christina. It’s been 20 years since they released their first singles. Is it the women, or are we obsessed with these supposed girl feuds? I’m guilty of it too. I was talking about it with friends. I just called attention to Katy Perry’s bullying of other women. Maybe the narrative continues because we encourage it. 


Or maybe, we should hold women accountable to walk their talk. Katy Perry talks about how women should build each other up and she wants to empower, and in the next breath shit talks another woman. She tells a story about how she stole background dancers from Taylor, and knew it would be a problem, but she’s the victim because Taylor wouldn’t apologize to her and wrote a song about her feelings. Then says women should build each other up, because she’s a feminist and not like that mean bitch Taylor, who could end all of this if she just apologized to Katy, the victim. Poor Katy. But don’t worry, she’s not crazy like Britney. See? She loves all women, just not ones with mental illness, or that made her feel bad. They’re bitches. She’s so sweet. That is true fake feminism & it makes all of us look like catty bitches who are desperate for attention. 


It’s okay to write about feelings. Some of the most powerful and moving songs were written by true life events (as long as they’re written by men, but that’s another rant for another time…wait, I’ve already written it!), but using those events, or the misfortunes of others, to build yourself up to sell records isn’t. And we need to stop hanging on every tidbit of gossip and shade like the world is a human soap opera. Those are real humans with real feelings. We need to stop listening and tell people who participate in this kind of pettiness that if their work was good, they wouldn’t need to use other successful women to give it a platform. It would sell on its own…

…swish swish. 

That’s My Girl

Let me tell you about my best friend Melissa. 

Total hottie

She’s a mom, manager, wife, fitness guru, and blogger (read her stuff. It’s rad. Also, follow her on Twitter). She’s the most patient, understanding, and all around coolest person that I know. For 15 years she’s been my other half & we’ve been through everything together. Even though I’m like, a bazillion time zones away, she’s still got my back and we talk all day every day about fitness, parenting, family, and really deep things. 


But the big thing we talk about is career. We both work in similar fields and want to move up the corporate ladder. It’s important to us to be successful working moms. We need to be good role models for our kids. We have bills to pay. We’re boss bitches. Yesterday, we both messaged our respective DM’s with ideas we had to grow our businesses. I always get super nervous when I do that. I’m always afraid I’m going to overstep my boundaries, or my idea is bad, or I’m undermining someone. I was walking through WEM (on the never ending search for a Finn Balor Pop Vinyl), and I kept wishing I was like Melissa. I wanted to be logical and articulate and super smart. I wanted to feel confident when I spoke to my boss, not like an awkward weirdo. I admired her for being so brave and bold and cool when she hits me with a truth bomb;


Wait. What?!

Here I was admiring Melissa for being the most bad ass person that I know and she thinks everyone loves me?! What?! I was so confused; how does this confident, cool, level headed, goddess look to weird, scatterbrained, delightfully dim ME as someone people love and admire?! It floored me. But then I realized how women look at each other and then ourselves. 


I looked at my best friend as the coolest person on Earth. She saw me as someone people admire. I saw myself as a big fucking weirdo. She saw herself as Michael Scott from the Office. We saw each other as amazing, and looked down on ourselves. It’s so amazing that so many women are rejecting the idea that all women secretly hate and compete with each other, but why are we selling ourselves short? Why aren’t we building ourselves up while also celebrating how great our girlfriends are. We always joke that there would be world peace is everyone treated each other like drunk girls in a bathroom, but maybe we also need to add that we need to look at ourselves with the same lens we look at our best friend. Maybe then we wouldn’t feel so awkward. We’d be confident. We wouldn’t be competing by way of admiration; we’d embrace self love and build up others. 


I’m not sure if everyone loves me. But I do know that someone I admire thinks I’m confident and strong, so maybe I should respect their opinion and own it. I hope she totally owns being awesome too. We respect our friends; let’s respect their opinions and stop selling ourselves short. Ditch that critical internal lens. Let’s start building up all women; including ourselves. 

Strip That Down

Today we’re going to talk about the man romper. 

Ever since they hit runways last week, there’s been a ton of feedback, mostly about how man rompers aren’t for straight men, no “real men” would wear a dude romper, etc. 


This really made me sit back and ask myself one question; 

“Why the actual fuck are we so concerned with what other dudes are wearing? Like, seriously?”

I have never understood this concept. Mostly because I wear whatever the Hell I want and don’t really give a flying frog’s ass what you think of my clothing. Unless you are paying my bills, mama wears whatever she feels comfortable in. This means I’m going to go to Sephora and buy my highlighter and rock my Sailor Moon shirts and a big middle finger to those that don’t like it. I pay for it; imma wear it. I didn’t put on the makeup to impress you, or because I wanted attention; I like it. The end. 


Which brings me back to the dude romper. If you’re a dude and you want to put on a romper, knock yourself out. Rock that romper. Wear it to the mall. Wear it to get chicken wings. Do you. It’s a piece of clothing. If you don’t want to wear one, don’t. But questioning someone’s masculinity over a piece of clothing is weird. What makes a “man” anyway? I always assumed you identified as male, generally you have a penis, and that’s about it. Like, obviously there are really good men, who respect their mates and pay their bills on time and don’t commit major crimes vs. Fuckboys, but that’s another story. To be male, you would need to have been born male or transitioned into being male. How would the dude romper affect that? Is it a magic romper? I’m confused. Please help me. 


Life is too short to judge people by what they wear or how they look. Wear the makeup or don’t. Dye your hair pink or don’t. Wear the dude romper or don’t. And don’t call people names for having pink hair or wearing the miniskirt or buying the dude romper. Don’t shame people for wearing a fatkini. At no point in time are you ever allowed to tell an adult what to wear, unless you are asked for advice on what colour man romper your bro should buy for himself. 


Humans all need to treat each other better. The best way to start is with the policy of “not my body, not my business.” The sooner we realize that, the happier we’ll all be. So stop calling women whores because they showed off their legs in that cute mini skirt. Stop calling men fags for wearing pink. Stop yelling at that girl for finally feeling confident enough to wear a bikini. Not your body, not your business. 

Finally, because I was already asked once, as a heterosexual woman, I would TOTALLY  date a dude in a romper. Seeing as my requirements are

1. Don’t be a douchebag

2. Like kids

3. Like dogs and cats

4. Like crossfit

5. Enjoy eating chicken wings and telling me I’m pretty. 

Any of those things can be done while wearing a romper. 

Fake Happy 

There’s been an article circulating online that a few of my friends have tagged me in, mostly because it’s something I’d relate to. 

Feminista Jones, an authour and social worker, encouraged women to agree with a man when they complimented her. The results weren’t terribly surprising. Anyone who is familiar with my online dating trolling on my personal Facebook page knows all about what happens when you say “no thank you” or agree with a compliment. I thought maybe I was just a bitch, but no, apparently this is a thing. 



I’ve seen this in my previous long term relationships, and even the workforce. Weak men do not like it when women are confident. My ex husband once made his own Facebook fan page with photo albums of “his” cover stories. They were all written by me. His answer was that he was the reason I was a good writer, so they were kind of his. Before I started at my new job, a male colleague at my old job told me not to get a big head when my performance was commended, it was a team effort and don’t think you’re so perfect. Agreeing with a compliment makes you a vain bitch. We’re taught that a woman only has worth if a man sees it, and that is bullshit. 


I read a lot of comments from men about why women should just say thank you, be humble, stop being full of themselves. But why is it that when a woman thinks she is smart and pretty and worthy of love an attention, she’s suddenly unworthy of attention. This trope is common in pop culture. Look at One Direction. The girl is only beautiful BECAUSE SHE HAS NO IDEA THAT SHE IS BEAUTIFUL. Had she known, then Zayn wouldn’t have found her so attractive (sorry Gigi). Every teen movie is the same; the pretty, popular girl is a bitch and the nerd is only pretty when a guy tells her that she is. What a great lesson girls! You’re only amazing when a boy tells you that you’re amazing!

It makes me wonder why the world continuously forces the idea that women who are assertive and aware of their value are somehow bad. Why should we only feel pretty because a man tells us we’re pretty? Why should we only giggle and say thank you? Why can’t we know our own value? We wonder why girls have low self esteem, but then they’re inundated with the idea that confidence = lack of humility and women are only desirable when they’re innocent and unaware of who they really are until their prince comes to sweep them off of their feet. Why do we need that? To me, that feels like we’re encouraging low self esteem and breeding controlling and abusive relationships. That’s how we end up being told “without me, you’re nothing,” and we believe it. Why? Because we’re taught that feeling good about who you are makes you vain and conceited and no one wants that. Be the quiet, meek, girl who doesn’t know she’s gorgeous. That’s how you end up with Freddie Prinze Jr. instead of all alone. 

We need to start telling ourselves that we’re beautiful and stop waiting for Freddie Prinze jr. or an online creeper to tell us that we’re pretty. Like Ms. Jones said, agree with compliments. It’s a good way to weed out the men from the weak minded jerks. The one who respects your confidence is the one who will elevate you to be the best version of you, by supporting you, not trying to reshape you into some stepford simpleton who giggles and falls at their feet because they said you’re pretty. 

I know I’m pretty. I’m really smart too. I’m good at my job. I’m pretty okay at crossfit and my running times improve. I can carry a tune pretty well and my hair is super cute. I don’t need anyone to tell me these things and you don’t need anyone to tell you either, because despite what Harry Styles says, you DO know you’re beautiful & that’s what makes you beautiful. 

11 Blocks

Today, I’m going to talk about the selfie. 

Yes, selfies. 

We all take them. We all share our cute outfit of the day with our friends, a fun moment with coworkers, or that super rad Snapchat filter. While a coworker and I once joked that there should be a ratio of 1:7 of selfie and non selfie photos on your IG to prevent narcissism (& a limit of four hashtags), mostly because he’s a model and it was a silly in joke, taking and posting selfies is a normal part of our culture. One of the questions I’m asked most at work is about the selfie camera. We all take them, whether we want to admit it or not. 

If you’re not following me on Snapchat (ASHMHC), you’re missing absolutely nothing

My teen daughter takes them with her friends. I don’t really think anything of it. She’s fully clothed, not shooting the finger, so who cares? As her birthday approaches, she’s asked me for an autobiography penned by her idol, retired WWE Divas Champion AJ Mendez Brooks. I’ve skimmed excerpts; for the most part, AJ writes a beautiful story of finding herself and learning to embrace mental illness. AJ is very honest and open about her struggles and successes and I commend her for her honesty. I think (for the most part) she’s a great role model for young women. But there is a passage in the book where she equates selfies with a lack of self respect and a desperate cry for attention. As a woman who was once an impressionable teen, I could only imagine how upset my daughter would be to read such a judgmental and self righteous passage, but I refuse to let that cloud my perspective of a moving and inspirational journey. 


I briefly touched on this on Twitter with another blogger and artist (who is rad af & I would totally throw a feminist Wrestlemania party in NOLA with her and the girls while we all sport Bayley ponytails), and she agreed that this one passage didn’t feel that great. It perpetuates the myth that women only do things to attract the attention of men, or need to be validated by men to be happy. For some, that may be the case, and I won’t judge them. I used to, but then I realized that I was part of the problem. If they aren’t hurting anyone, then more power to them. But why does it have to always be about wanting to attract a man? Why do brilliant and inspirational women continue to tear down other women?!


I take selfies. I post em on Snapchat. I never used to. If you look at my old FB photo albums, there was maybe five photos of me in 100. There is maybe one pregnant photo of me. Why? Because I was called fat and ugly every day. I woke up to hear about how I was skinny when we started dating and now his wife was a pig. He didn’t sign up for this. A few years later, one of my best friends told me that I was pretty in the face and didn’t look fat from the “tits up” so I could reasonably find a man. I was constantly told how unattractive I was because I was fat. So I started working out. I started running. I started crossfit. First it was to shake the nagging voice that said no one would love me or be my friend because I was fat. But then, it was because these activities made me happy. And the more these activities made me happy, the better I felt about myself. I wasn’t a size seven (the magic dress size that I equated with being acceptable to be seen in public), but I was confident. I was happy. Confident, happy MHC didn’t want to be in the shadows. She wanted to be visible. So I started using that front facing camera. I’d post the odd one to FB or IG. But it was a huge step for me to stop hiding behind a camera and hoping no one looked at me. Humans should want to be visible, part of the world. Now, there are photos of me & my girls, my friends, of me. My teenager was also brutally bullied in grades seven and eight for being too thin and too different. She and a good friend started taking selfies as a way of accepting themselves. For many women, that selfie is about empowerment, taking control of their self esteem and we need to stop dismissing photos as vanity & a cry for validation from men. If it’s not for you, don’t do it. There’s lots of things in this world that I do not do. I don’t watch Canadian football. I don’t listen to Nickelback. I don’t understand Zumba. But I’m not gonna trash humans that do. Just let people do their thing and you do what makes you feel good inside. 


So, take your selfies everyone. You’ll find no judgment here. Don’t let anyone or anything make you feel badly about yourself or like you are somehow less intelligent, less interesting, because you took a photo with your front camera. And if you are one who belittles someone for taking a photo, stop that right now. You can’t bring up your self esteem by passive aggressively belittling someone else. 

Something Just Like This

It’s time for another round of “Things that Really Grind my Gears.”

Today’s topic; why people who hack phones and steal photos are disgusting people. Also, if you look at them, you’re fucking gross too. 

This week, a round of personal and private photos and videos made by WWE superstar Paige hit the internet. These were four years old. She was 19. But most importantly, they were hers. I will not link those photos. They are none of my business. I haven’t looked at them. Why? They’re none of my business. I had the privilege of meeting Paige a few years ago outside of a WWE live event. She was sweet and lovely to my 10 year old daughter. She told her they were best friends and gave her a hug. My daughter has never forgotten that day and tells me all of the time that she can’t wait for her best friend Paige to feel better and get back into the ring to win championships. Maybe it’s because I met her and saw a sweet young woman who adored her little fans that this whole thing upsets me more than usual. I don’t know her, but I caught a glimpse of Saraya Jade Bevis (Paige’s real name) that day and she was the sweetest and most authentic human being. She didn’t deserve this. No human being deserves to be violated and humiliated like this. I hope she has the support of family and friends and her fiancé & that the legal action she is pursuing protects her. 


Then came the memes. People sending the photos to Paige’s mom, Saraya Knight, her fiancé, & the wife of one of the men in the video. Then jokes were made. After all, this is just so funny, right? It’s not funny. It’s awful. If you follow me on social media and share this garbage, please unfollow. There is nothing funny about kicking someone while they’re down. 

The next day, WWE Superstar Summer Rae was threatened with badly photoshopped “leaks,” which forced her to respond. Apparently it wasn’t bad enough to humiliate one person; we needed to invent pretend photos to feel powerful and tear down a woman. 


 The women and men involved in these, real or doctored, are victims of a crime. They’ve been humiliated (or someone has tried to humiliate them). To the person who does this, you are fucking disgusting. If you are distributing them, you are just as bad as the people who stole them. 

Fun fact; I work with cell phones. I sell them for a living. I troubleshoot them when they get messed up. I see your search history and your photos. Glass houses friends. I see a lot of people claiming that they should know better, they shouldn’t take these photos. That this is what you get. Wait. What? Nope. That’s not how it works. That’s like me saying that if you bought a house and then got robbed, that you should have known better than to buy nice stuff. You did not have permission to see Paige naked. You didn’t have permission to see Summer Rae naked. Doctoring photos to pretend you saw Summer Rae naked is the equivalent of lying in high school about sleeping with a girl that said no. Every time you view these personal photos, or in the case of Summer Rae, pretend photos, you are just as bad as those who stole them. You are actively participating in the degredation of a human being in the attempt to humiliate them. When you post memes or jokes about the situation, you are basically saying that you’re cool with a gross invasion of someone’s privacy, or lying about another human being for your amusement. It’s wrong & gross. I’m pretty sure if the contents of your phone were dumped online, or those personal things you’ve sent your partner, you wouldn’t like it. So why would you be okay with it because it’s a celebrity? They’re humans, not trained zoo animals who owe you their dignity. 

When I go off on my soapbox about this (like I did a few years ago when this happened to Jennifer Lawrence), creeps always tell me that if a male celebrity’s nudes leaked, I’d be all over it. Well, you would be wrong. When WWE Superstar (& my celebrity crush) Seth Rollins’s private photos hit the internet, I made it a point not to look at them. Why? Because Seth Rollins didn’t want me to see him naked. Those photos were for his girlfriend, not me. I don’t want to participate in the degredation of a man who’s career I enjoy watching on TV. So, I refrained. It’s not that hard. It’s just called being a decent human. 


So, to my fellow browsers of the internet, I implore you; don’t be a douchebag. Stop making fake nude photos to attempt to humiliate someone. Stop distributing personal and private photos to humiliate somebody. Stop making memes to make light of the fact that someone was violated and the victim of a crime. Stop sending the photos to the victim’s mom, fiancé, etc. Stop throwing stones to shame these victims while hoping no one ever checks your glass house. Just be a decent human being. It’s not even hard. Before you look, think of the most humiliating moment of your life. Now, imagine if you’d want the entire world to be a part of that. 

I know it’s probably really tempting to go see a celebrity you think is attractive naked, but had they wanted you to see them naked; they’d have posed nude publicly. We need to stop acting like we own famous people and have the rights to their bodies, their privacy, their dignity, even their most personal moments. Everyone deserves dignity and control over their body. Stop taking it away from them. Don’t look; log off. 

Save the Hero

I’ve always been a big believer in picking oneself up after a tough time, brushing oneself off and moving forward. 

It’s why I keep applying at newspapers. It’s why I ask for feedback about articles. It’s why I thank people for criticism and try to grow. Even if life knocks me on my ass, I can come out of it stronger. 

Sometimes that includes when I literally fall on my ass. 

For those of you that are new to the party, I love me some crossfit. I’ve been training and preparing for the 2017 Crossfit Open. It’ll start this week and I’ll get to push myself and really focus on getting stronger. I’ll also get to know my fellow gym members. It’s gonna be great. 


But sometimes I get cocky. I think I’m more bad ass than I am and then bad things happen. This past week, we were practicing our chest to bar pull ups. I was feeling so bad ass, finally having mastered my beat swings. I was improving and I decided that I must be ready and instead of going up, I fell down,  flat on my ass. Instead of achieving my first pull up, I sustained a bruised and slightly fractured tailbone (but I DID scale that WOD AND FINISH IT. Yup, finished the workout with a mangled back. Be proud). Fortunately, my gym peeps are super cool, so my ego wasn’t fractured as well as my tailbone. Everyone was really quick to ask me how I was, even checking in the next day. I missed the brutal birthday WOD & was so disappointed, but I can’t lift when I can’t stand. Or sit. Or function. Doctor said sit out for six weeks,  & no standing for long periods of time, but I heard “with lots of yoga, you’ll be training again on Tuesday!” I’ve worked too hard to get Open ready, I am not missing it because of a (literal) pain in the ass.


Life doesn’t stop because you have an ouchie. I can’t take time off from work. I have to get everything ready for my transfer to my new mall, conviently located much closer to my house. I can’t stop training because I’m a little sore. I can’t not take the kids to the WWE Live event I bought them tickets for on my one day off this month because I’m sore. That’s not how life works. You gotta keep doing your thing, even if you feel like a pile of shit. 

I also learned that I am literally the only person who loves the Vaudevillians.

Part of self improvement means you’re gonna get knocked down a peg a time or two. You’re gonna have a shitty run. You’re gonna have a crap workout. Or, you’re going to literally fall on your ass. But you can always tell the people who are gonna succeed; they get back up. I could have just sat out the WOD, gone home, and decided that even though I’ve been doing it for two years, crossfit is too hard. But I thought about all of my fitness role models. Trish Stratus didn’t let a herniated disc in her back stop her from living an active life. She used yoga and homeopathy to get better. Nikki Bella didn’t let a broken neck stop her, she recovered, adjusted her style,  and got back in the ring. No one succeeds by staying down. So I got up, dusted myself off, and plugged along. 


You don’t just throw in the towel because you tried something once and it didn’t work. You get up and try again. If JK Rowling got rejected 12 times before a publisher accepted Harry Potter, then I can pitch a story to another newspaper, I can attempt that pull up. I can put together the project my boss tasked me with. I can continue to apply for media jobs and learn from each experience until I accomplish the goal. 

So, while I may not break any records, I’ll be going into the Crossfit Open, broken ass and all. I may feel like shit, but I’ll feel accomplished, not to mention I’ll have all of my rad Crossfit CCA peeps kicking ass with me. And I’ll continue to work on my various projects, and towards helping my new staff at my shiny new location, because life doesn’t stop, no matter how much you’re hurting. All you can do is press forward and reach your physical and professional goals. 

Helium

You know what I love? Women who build up other women. I am all about that. I effing LOVE seeing women succeed. Love. It. When my girl friends succeed, I am like “THAT IS MY GIRL!” Life is too short to be catty. I can’t be that person. I want my women to run shit. 

Speaking of women empowering women, I missed all kinds of girl power at the Grammys tonight. I usually love them, but I was watching Naomi win herself a Women’s championship at the Elimination Chamber! While I admit, I am late to the Nao Mob, I respect women who hustle & girl certainly did. Congrats Naomi, you deserved this moment. Proud of you. I was even more proud to see all of WWE’s warrior women hitting up Twitter to congratulate her. I love the Smackdown live Women’s locker room. These girls build each other up. Love it so much & more women could follow this example. 


But let me get back on track. 

I love when women build up other women. I’m sick of seeing women torn down for no reason. I’m sick of seeing people tear down Taylor Swift because it’s the in thing to do.


 When people like Frank Ocean claim that she didn’t deserve Album of the Year, it’s a sign of men once again marginalizing the talent of women. When women support this narrative, we are allowing it to continue. We need to stop being catty and build each other up, which is why I freaking love Adele. 

Adele’s brilliant effort 25 won Album of the Year, making her the second female in history to win the award twice (the first being Taylor Swift), beating out Beyoncé. But instead of just thanking her fans and collaborators & walking off, Adele took a moment to lift up Beyoncé & acknowledge her impact on music. Adele took her moment and used it to empower her fellow female artists & she did it well. More women need to build each other up like Adele, she’s a class act all the way. 

Adele showed that women can compete and not be Total bitches. You can respect each other. Adele winning doesn’t make Beyoncé’s album bad. It’s just how the Grammy voters saw it. But these two women showed class and sisterhood, which we need more of, especially in this climate where we see people tearing down successful women! Look at the attacks on Taylor. People calling Beyoncé a racist primadonna. Instead of congratulating Lady Gaga for slaying the Super Bowl, people called her fat! It’s even more important that women build each other up.


Some women, however, need a refresher in how to build up other women, like Katy Perry. 

Before I start, let me say I’m a huge fan of Katy Perry the artist. I think her voice is amazing. I think she has a great message of female empowerment. Her new single Chained to the Rhythm has a great message about stepping outside of your comfort zone and learning about your planet. But you’ve gotta back that shit up, or it’s just hollow words. 


Tonight, on two separate occasions, Katy Perry said she took a hiatus for her mental health and it worked, because she didn’t shave her head yet, which appeared to be some thinly veiled shade at Britney Spears, who’s 2007 nervous breakdown made headlines. Katy Perry made several comments about feeling victimized by the song Bad Blood, and how Taylor Swift was calling her out for this type of catty behaviour unjustly. But it’s hard to call it unjust when you used a serious mental illness for punchlines. 

Britney Spears is reported to have bipolar disorder, and that’s no joke. This requires medication, counselling, and for some, even watching their diet. This needs to be done every single day. When left untreated, Bipolar disorder can lead to some dangerous and even fatal situations. It’s not funny. It’s scary af. Katy Perry says she’s a feminist. A feminist does not take someone’s darkest hour and use it as a joke. If anything, let’s all give huge props to our girl Britney. She manages to raise a family, co-parent in a healthy way, perform a regular show in Vegas, all while continuing to treat her illness so she can be bad ass. That takes strength, resolve, tenacity, & we should commend Britney. I love Katy Perry’s songs, but for her message to have meaning, she’s gotta walk her talk. 


In a world full of catty Katys, be like Adele. Build up your sisters. Celebrate their talents. Be that woman who builds up other women. When you empower each other, you feel better about yourself and they feel better about themselves. There is no downside. So, before you make that snide comment, think of how much better it would feel to be kind.