Raised On It

So, anyone who knows me knows that I’ve been reading about the Ashley Madison hack and I find it completely hilarious.

I’m not one to revel in the misfortunes of others, but watching guys like Josh Duggar, who for years have tried to make LGBT families, divorcees and anyone who doesn’t fit into their traditional mold of marriage feel like they are somehow deficient try to squirm their way out of this makes me giggle. Watching them try to blame Satan for their hypocrisy warms the cockles of my tiny black heart.


However, the fall of the Ashley Madison website brings me a personal joy for a more personal reason. During my year as a newlywed, my former husband & I had a million and one problems, most of which stemmed from the fact that we were far too young and not ready to be married. But he worked midnights and my roommate and good friend had discovered that this website was real. So, we looked it up and were horrified at the number of people we knew that were on this site trolling for affairs, one of which was my ex husband. In the infancy of our marriage, maybe even before we had said our I do’s, had been looking for an affair. I chose to stay with him for the next seven years, and I’m glad I did as we later had two beautiful children, but the shock and betrayal stayed with me, as our marriage was marred by a lack of trust, which was pretty valid as he cheated on me pretty much all the time. After our first year of marriage, I discovered that the weekend he sent me to visit friends in our hometown was so he could meet a friend in a hotel for a tryst. About two years ago, he admitted to me (while heavily drunk) that he had slept with the stripper next door. I received an email from his former friend’s wife confirming they had been sleeping together while I was pregnant and on bedrest with our second child. And he was once banned from working as a photographer at two separate bars in our old hometown for sexually harrassing the staff. These all stuck with me for years, negatively impacting my future relationship. I would remember the female friends who weren’t platonic friends, the comments about how if he didn’t think I’d get mad, he would be trying to get with our female friends, or the time he propositioned my best friend to have a three way with him and our friend Sarah. It bothered me so much that I didn’t know how to trust a man who said he loved me and it took three years of therapy to feel okay and accept that not every man on Earth was out to hurt me or cheat on me.

I sent an email to the creator of Ashley Madison and blasted them for providing this service. I asked them how could they sleep at night knowing that they were making it easier to break the hearts of so many trusting souls. The reply I got was that maybe I should have been a better wife and lover, and my husband wouldn’t have wanted to stray, a sentiment he would tell me when I would put him on blast for his flirting, or whatever I caught him doing (that he would always say was misunderstood, or he was misunderstood, because he was the victim and why wouldn’t I just do *insert sex act here* and he wouldn’t have to want to cheat?).

This is why I laugh when I see the cheaters on Ashley Madison squirming and crying about their privacy.


I feel for the victims, and by victims, I mean the actual victims. The spouses who used the tool on Wired and got the unfortunate surprise of “Guess who’s email address was compromised?!” or the stammering conversations where they explain their behaviour. I don’t feel the tiniest bit badly for the “victims” who’s privacy was breached. Oh, I know the dark side, this could happen to anyone and boo hoo and credit cards aren’t secure and the like. But a bunch of horrible people are going to be exposed for betraying their spouses and I’m glad. I hope they feel violated and like their integrity is compromised and awful. You know, the way their spouses have felt for months when they have suspected for months that their partner was cheating, or when they found out the truth.


I have had a few friends who have said to me that since I was a staunch defender of celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence when they had their private photos leaked online last year, I should take the same stance on this. I disagree. There is a big difference between private photos that were meant to be viewed by one person privately (such as Jennifer Lawrence’s photos for then partner Nicholas Hoult) and cheating on your mate. While yes, cheating isn’t illegal and having your credit card information compromised totally sucks, you were betraying your partner, and in the case of a guy like Josh Duggar, you were doing it while condemning other people for not living life according to a belief system that you yourself weren’t following. So, I don’t feel totally badly for these “victims,” just the people they have been victimizing, for having to learn that the person that they are with actually sucks in such a public way. Even if you didn’t pick anyone up on Ashley Madison, you had an account, the intent was there and you sir or madam are a raging douchebag. Your partner deserved a million times better and you should feel violated, because you are walking a mile in their shoes and I hope you wear them well.

Maybe I’m biased, because I know how it feels to find out that your spouse has an account with a website designed to help him cheat on you and I know how people like Anna Duggar feel. I hope Anna Duggar takes her kids and leaves him and finds happiness with a man who recognizes how beautiful and special she really is, but I doubt her religion will allow it. Ironically enough, her church will likely badger her with the same answer that Ashley Madison gave me and she will stay with her unfaithful husband. If she does, let’s not shame her or call her stupid. We are not walking in her shoes. We don’t know what her “church” has done to devalue her. But for all of those who are scrambling to “save” their marriage and blaming the Ashley Madison hack, I don’t feel one bit sorry for you, because you already destroyed your marriage when you strayed (or attempted to stray) from your partner; it’s just now everybody knows you were doing it.

And to those encouraging people not to check the list for their partner; I disagree (although I haven’t for reasons that make sense to me). Chances are, you won’t be shocked by the answer. My Texan bestie looked up her own email & hubby, even though she knew the answer just for the lolz. But most people who are checking are either;

a) bored like me or

b) confirming an answer they already knew subconsciously, an answer they have every right to know. 


There are very few things in life that I can honestly say make me angry.

I don’t like to be angry, or irritated because I pride myself on being like Ruby Gloom, the happiest girl in the world. The only things in life that make me angry are;

1. Stupid people
2. People who make other people feel like crap.

When I first read about the disgusting Cloud photo hack, I was horrified. This was an enormous sex crime. These women were being violated in the worst way & most people said “they should know better.” I’m sorry, what? Their personal items were stolen & we’re blaming them? What? That’d be like me stealing all of your stuff & then the cops saying that because you only had an alarm system & not a dog too & some of these DVD’s were rated R, you asked for it. Silly, right? I went off on a number of Facebook pages when people blamed these women saying they shouldn’t have taken the pictures. Well, funny story; since the invention of the camera, people have taken nudes. Polaroids can get stolen too. Have a nice day.

It bothered me because we were basically telling women “Hey! If you’re famous, your bodies belong to us! Nope, it doesn’t matter that you don’t want us to see these photos, you make movies, I get to own you,” and that kind of made me sick. However, the ever classy & beautiful Jennifer Lawrence said what everyone should have said in her Vanity Fair piece

…this was not a scandal. It was a sex crime.


Fast forward to the Wendy Williams show, where Williams publicly chided Lawrence, saying because she chose to take the photos (for then boyfriend Nicholas Hoult), she’s guilty & this probably gave her career a boost! She then encouraged fans to whoop & clap if they looked @ Lawrence’s photos.

Wait, what?

You’re encouraging people to say “yay! I violated a woman!” Williams claimed she wasn’t disgusting for looking at Lawrence’s photos because Lawrence took them. That’s like saying a person deserves to be raped because they once chose to have sex. Those photos were for Nicholas Hoult, Ms. Williams, NOT FOR YOU and yes, that does make you disgusting for looking. You are a horrible person & I hope Jennifer Lawrence never appears on your show again. Jennifer Lawrence is a three time Academy Award nominee & Best Actress award winner. She is the face of Dior & most notably Katniss Everdeen, the main character of the billion dollar franchise, The Hunger Games. Nude photos didn’t “give her career a boost.” Her career was already there.


It’s funny how we preach that women should be able to do what they want with their bodies but then shame them when they do. I’m currently in a long distance relationship, as my boyfriend lives two hours away from me. I’ll admit that I have sent him risqué (for me) photos & may or may not have promised a “sexy Skype striptease.” When you don’t have the luxury of face time & physical contact, you use what you can. However, I also trust that he wouldn’t share those photos because we are both very private about our private life (in fact, much like my children, my references to my relationship will likely be minimal). I once knew a girl who sent risqué photos to a “friend” whenever she wanted him to come over. When my friend lived far away from her then boyfriend (now husband), she made him a risqué care package. It’s more common than you think. But, instead of teaching women to look at their bodies & sexuality as a filthy & dirty thing & how dare you want your man (or woman) to look at you & think you’re sexy (which is exactly why I sent the photos, because I want my man to think “hey, my lady is really sexy, I can’t wait to see her in person again,”), let’s teach people to stop hacking clouds & humiliating other people & looking at doesn’t belong to us. I’m pretty sure Wendy Williams wouldn’t want someone going through her phone; so I’m not sure why she felt it was okay to go through Jennifer Lawrence’s.

Can’t Go Back

After The Texan got me to go Vegan for exactly one day, I decided to adopt more vegan recipes into my diet to help the girls & I be healthier & open minded about other dietary options. Because of this, I bought Bake and Destroy: Good Food for Bad Vegans by vegan chef Natalie Slater (my kids love taco lasagna). I’d been following Slater for years on Twitter because she’s freaking hilarious. But her first column with Red Eye Chicago (found here) solidified a thought I’ve had for years; celebrity worship is getting out of hand.

From Global Looking Glass
From Global Looking Glass

Slater details how her longtime friend has no privacy & can’t do simple things like take out his garbage or go to Target without people snapping pics. My oldest commented on how much that must suck when her friends on IG were uploading photos of her idol AJ Lee attending a hockey game with former WWE superstar CM Punk. “Poor AJ. She doesn’t deserve that. She’s not wrestling right now,” she said before unfollowing the offending account. She doesn’t read dirt sheets, mainly because she feels that they are biased against AJ & the Divas, & only goes to one wrestling discussion group, one of the few communities that promotes women’s wrestling & respects the hard work these women put in to entertain her.

From wwe.com
From wwe.com

As a semi retired entertainment reporter, I understand celebrity worship. In fact, as I apply for jobs in media in my new city, I understand that my livelihood depends on you caring about celebrity culture. But there is a limit & that limit is that celebrities are not trained monkeys to amuse you every second of their lives.

My job is to promote celebrities (well, it’s currently to sell phones, but my designated career path is to promote celebrities). I actually take minimal issue with the paparazzi. I feel that you signed up for that life, you take the pros & cons. But there is a limit. If a celeb is enjoying an outing with their children or doing a mundane task, then back off (I mean, does anyone REALLY care that Elisabeth Hasselbeck pumps her own gas?) I’m sure you’ve noticed that my children, while mentioned, are never seen. I have posted their photos twice. I do not call them by their given names. Mom’s a blogger; they aren’t. They deserve privacy. They also deserve me as a role model, not Miley Cyrus.

by: Terry Richardson
by: Terry Richardson

Before I go further, I love Miley Cyrus. I think she’s awesome. I also don’t expect her to raise my kids for me. If my kids experiment with drugs or dress inappropriately, that’s on me, not Miley Cyrus. Her job is not to raise your kids. Her job is to release albums & go on tour. She’s doing that. Don’t like it? Don’t buy them. Don’t go. Posting venomous comments on message boards clinging to anonymity because she doesn’t want to act the way you as fans want her to is sad. Then we wonder why kids bully. They learn it from you.

Slater’s piece should have opened our eyes to our fan entitlement. If Slater’s friend wants to retire from professional wrestling, he’s allowed to do that. He doesn’t owe you anything more. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan didn’t need to ask your permission to get married on the date that he chose, causing him to miss a week of TV. Jennifer Lawrence shouldn’t have to apologize for her personality. I have probably purchased everything with AJ Lee’s face or logo on it, but she does not owe me her private time & I hope if I ever ran into her in public, I have taught my teen daughter enough respect to leave her hero alone while she shops at Target or approach her with manners & respect, as well as respect that Lee has the right to decline her request for an autograph if she chooses.

Think about how you would like it if you were enjoying a baseball game & strangers were photographing you to announce it like a Sasquatch sighting. Or you’re enjoying dinner & 20 strangers bombard you, asking you when you’re in next or why you made that choice at work. Because that’s what it is; their job. I know if a stranger bothered me on a date to ask me about either of my jobs while I was off the clock; I’d punch them (or want to).

Sadly, Slater’s piece didn’t help anyone “get it.” Just more fan entitlement. Those people didn’t get that this is exactly what she meant. Those people who blasted her & called her horrible names, she was talking about fans like YOU. Yes, people choose the entertainment industry, but that doesn’t make them zoo animals, forced to perform 24/7. It’s not about you; it’s about basic human respect.

So, next time you decide to send that hate tweet, or go on Disqus as “guest” to put a celeb on blast for not being a good role model to your bratty kids, or attempt to take a selfie with the celeb you spotted at Olive Garden, think about how you would feel if people sent you hate tweets for making a work decision or demanded photos while you were eating your angel hair pomodoro. Also, before you say “well, they chose & I didn’t,” yes, they chose & worked hard & sacrificed & succeeded to entertain schmucks like you, & I bet you’d trade places for a day if you could. And I bet if it meant shopping in peace, they would too.