Archive for May, 2015

Book Review: The Obesity Myth

image

Paul Campos, a lawyer, pulls about the myth of obesity.  The first two chapters deal with the scientific studies that allege that America is suffering from an obesity epidemic. 

The truth is: we aren’t.  

He looks at the actual studies and their results and demonstrates from the science how being 75 pounds “overweight” is much healthier than being 5 pounds “underweight”. He covers how the weight tables and BMI are pretty useless and worthless in determining health and wellness because they are based off self reported weights for white men to insurance companies in the 1950s and 1960s.  Activity is a much better indicator of health.

He then goes on to discuss the eating – disordered culture we live in and how we celebrate anorexic behavior.  Campos also shows how fat shaming/obesity is the last acceptable prejudice which allows us to be racist, classist, and sexist all under the veneer of “health”. 

He covers the politics of fat and how government has legislated anorexic behavior all in support of the $50 billion plus diet industry. 

Overall, a very excellent read.

A definite recommend

Advertisements

A Story About Ants

image

Creepy. I hate these things. Sorry if this pic freaks you out. It freaks me out.

A few years ago, I had a major ant problem in my apartment. Thankfully, they were confined to a few specific areas but they caused me a lot of anxiety and stress. Nothing I did worked.  So I told the apartment manager.

What did she do?

Nothing.

She told me having ants in the apartment was part of living in an apartment and that nothing could be done.  She said it was no big deal. She wasn’t going to do anything.

I was hurt.  I felt disrespected and helpless because she did not take me seriously or care what I had to say.  

image

I think the name says it all.

Eventually, she did call an exterminator to come and spray but only AFTER somebody else said something.  And I still felt that she didn’t care.  I had been dealing with the problem for a significant period of time and her ignoring my request for help told me my voice and concerns did not matter.

So now, any time I see ants in my apartment I feel those feelings again.  Thankfully, it is just a few and they go away after a shirt few days.  But I still get stressed out seeing them.  I don’t hate ants but their presence reminds me of not being heard, about not being taken seriously, about having my voice silenced because it wasn’t something she wanted to hear.

That particular apartment manager was a major problem and I suffered stress, anxiety, and threats from her.  She even threatened to evict me if I didn’t quit my job and find another.  Trust me, the situation was bad and she had no legal right to do anything to me.

Thankfully that manager and that set of problem neighbors are gone.

So I have a much better apartment manager now and the neighbors still coukd be better.  But I’m still leery of asking for them to come and deal with anything.  I do my best to keep my head down and be quiet.  It may not make me any friends but I feel safer, if only marginally.

I won’t get hurt.

Why write about this? Simple. 

A victim telling their story about abuse and being heard and believed is important.  Too many people want to silence the voices of victims because it is not what they want to hear.  By silencing victims’ voices, the abusers are given tacit approval for their actions and acceptance and it implies that somehow the victim is at fault.  Silencing minimizes the effects of abuse and how dangerous and harmful abuse really is.

Silence says abuse is okay.  It says the victim is a liar and making things up.  It denies reality.  These are lies.

Victims need to be able to feel safe, to be able to tell their story in their own way and time, to be believed and taken seriously, and to have support and healing.  Victims are people, too.

Liars, Thieves, and Cheaters

I’m done with Josh Duggar.

But I’m not done with talking about how abusers affect their victims.

They are liars.  They lie about the fact that they molest children, hit children, yell and scream and threaten children. They lie about hitting women, raping women, threatening women, isolating women.  They lie about hitting men, raping men, threatening men, isolating men. They lie to their victims about how the abuse is not abuse, that it is okay, that it is their fault, that if they tell something very bad will happen.  They lie to the victim’s family and friends about how they are really a good person, about how safe the victim is with them, about how the victim started it, about what they are doing isn’t wrong because other people do the same thing, about how the victim brought it on themselves, about how they doing this because they love the victim and that it is in their best interest.

They are thieves.  They steal the victim’s innocence, stability, security, mental health, safety, trust, judgement, physical health, sexual health, self worth, dignity.  They steal their voice. And they throw their stolen goods away.

They are cheaters.  Many cheat the criminal justice system out of justice by never facing arrest, trial, conviction, and prison.  They all cheat their victims out of a life free of abuse.  They cheat their victims of healing and closure when they do not face the criminal justice system.  They cheat their victims out of telling their story and being believed by the lies they have spread and their appearance of being a “good” person who could not possibly done the things they did.

So abusers are liars, thieves, and cheaters. They are abusers.

“But He Said He Was Sorry”

So?

Yes, I’m still talking about Josh Duggar.  But I want to talk about apology and his victims, two things that haven’t received the attention they should.

In regards to apology, there is a good book On Apology by Paul Lazare that covers the parts of an apology and why those parts are necessary for an effective apology.  While don’t agree with everything he wrote (and the book was a bit triggering for me), I think understanding that an apology involves more than just saying sorry.  It involves naming the offense one is apologizing for, acknowledging the hurt caused by the offense, and offering some sort of reparation/restitution to the victim. I think there is another part but it has been a few months since I read the book. Josh Duggar did not really acknowledge the hurt he caused the victims and focused on the hurt he caused himself.  His apology is almost meaningless.

But he apologized! So we have to forgive.

Actually, no.  I do not have to forgive him.  Too many Christians believe and teach that forgiveness is mandatory no matter the offense.  And that if the offender apologizes, says they are sorry, the offended must forgive and move on.  Forgiveness is not accepting an apology.  It is not allowing the other person to hurt me again all in the name of Jesus.  It is not about godly behavior.

Forgiveness is about letting go of the hurt and pain the victim suffered and moving on.  An apology may be involved or it may not.  But it does not involve allowing bad behavior or crimes to continue or to go unpunished by secular authorities.  A victim chooses to forgive or not to forgive.  Being forced to forgive makes that forgiveness meaningless.  Repentence and a true change of heart is also important and must be involved.

So I do not have to forgive Josh Duggar and neither do his victims.  They can demand to see a true change of behavior and real repentence before they can choose to forgive.  They can also refuse to continue to have contact with him. 

Christians unfortunately confuse forgiveness with reconciliation which are two different things.  I’ve already discussed forgiveness.  Reconciliation is about the relationship and repairing that relationship after hurt and damage has been caused.  We all should encourage reconciling ourselves with God after we sin.  However, we are not required to reconcile with those that will continue to hurt us even if we have forgiven them. 

There is a good article here and here
by Jimmy Akin, a Catholic apologist that covers forgiveness and reconciliation. And no, forgiveness is not mandatory especially to some one is unrepentant or does not ask to be forgiven.

We have several young girls who were victimized sexually by a brother and then forced to forgive their brother. They were most likely blamed for their molestation (using Gothard material; just visit http://homeschoolersanonymous.wordpress.com for posts on this) and given little support or room to heal.  It was all then swept under the rug to protect Josh and probably Jim Bob as well.  The victims did not matter.  Only Josh matters because he is a man.

These girls who are victims are being further victimized by those who excuse what Josh has done and ignore their pain and suffering.  Their voices are not being heard.  Rather, their voices have been silenced, their pain unrecognized, and their victimhood belittled.  They are not even recognized as victims.  Josh is considered the victim, not the actual victims who have to live in shame and silence perpetrated by their own parents, their abuser, and many Christians. 

These girls need help and have been and are still being denied help all in the name of “forgiveness” and being good Christians.  Very few are talking about their suffering and what it means for them and how they have been hurt.  They need to be allowed to express their feelings and to tell their story.  Their story is theirs and they need to be able to tell it without condemnation or judgements or forced to forgive.  Their voices need to be heard.

Unfortunately, the cultic system these girls live in does not allow girls or women to have voices or to even acknowledge that they have been hurt and abused in any way.  So further victimization.  These girls need our help and support, not our judgements or false expectations of godly or biblical behavior.  I believe those girls and one day they will tell their stories and I will listen.

I’d Like To Upgrade Please

Not my phone, my digestive system which has been a pain all weekend and so I missed Mass today. 

I had planned on going to an earlier Mass this morning due to the fact that they were having Confirmation at the 11:30 Mass I regularly attend and didn’t want to deal with that headache.  But when I woke up for the 8:30 Mass my body was already hurting and I wasn’t sure how bad everything would get.  I’ve been dealing with this particular bout since Friday.  So I decided to sleep some more and see if by 3 if I would be able to go to 5:30 Spanish Mass.  Well, there is still some pain but here it is nearly a quarter after 5 so I didn’t make it to Mass.  I did not plan on missing Mass today but my body had other plans.

I’m avoiding TMI so I won’t go into what I think the medical condition is that seems to be affecting me except to maybe call it cranky digestive system.  Or grumpy.  Well, it ain’t happy.  But yes, I’d like to upgrade my digestive system to one that didn’t give me so much trouble.  Oh well.

Now to see if I can eat something and not have Cranky get, well, cranky.

Modesty, Quiverfull, Bill Gothard, and Josh Duggar

Yes, all these things go together.

Update: The police report where much of the information I refer to was taken by a state trooper who is now serving time for child pornography. While that does not lessen the severity of the crime or the validity of the report, it does show that the Duggars operate in environment of avoidance and ignorance. They knew better but still chose to cover up and punish the victims rather than truly help Josh and the victims.

This post is to show how Josh Duggar could commit the crimes he did and get away with it while never truly taking responsibility. The one factor that I don’t touch on is the possible sexual abuse of Josh while it would be an influence he still made the choice to molest.

Josh Duggar grew up in an environment where girls are blamed for men’s sins. He learned from a young age that he did not have to take any real responsibility for his actions, behaviors, or words.  He just had to point the finger at someone else and women were the best target.

Clothing modesty is only expected of women so that even a boy’s sister could be guilty of seducing her brother by the way she dressed.  Even girls as young as five are expected to dress in a manner that does not bring attention to their bodies and the fact that they have female bodies.

Quiverfull and Patriarchy go hand in hand.  Josh Duggar learned that he had rights and demands over women, even over his own sisters all because he is male.  If he falters, he has every right to blame the females in his life for causing  him to sin.  He can point the finger at any female and say that they dressed too proactively or they acted in a seductive manner, etc. and these women have to accept the blame and internalize it.  They are the ones that have to pay the price, not Josh Duggar, not in Patriarchy/Quiverfull.  They know better while he does not, being so weak.

Bill Gothard taught the boys and men who used his homeschooling material, who attended his Institutes, that men have rights while girls do not.  And yes, he infantilizes women.  But then he has also sexually molested girls at his campus for years while also allowing his own brother to do the same with impunity.  Just read http://recoveringgrace.org.  The stories there tell it all.

I am not apologizing for Josh Duggar.  I am pointing out that he was raised in an abusive environment that allowed him to abuse and get away with it, police report and “counseling” notwithstanding.  He learned no boundaries and responsibilities.  He did not learn right from wrong, not really.  He only quit because he got caught not because he was committing a crime against vulnerable girls.  And he is still thinking only of himself.

The girls he molested (and normally I would use allegedly because he had not been convicted or adjuticated in a court of law but the police report is useful here to make my point) have been forgotten. Actually, they were probably bullied into silence after being forced to forgive Josh and told that it was their fault that it happened.  They may have received “Gothard counseling” which isn’t counseling at all but gaslighting and severe pressure to conform to a system.  These girls were further victimized and are still being victimized because they cannot talk about it.  They have been turned into the perpetrators and Josh as the victim by their own family, by Bill Gothard, by Patriarchy/Quiverfull, by purity and modesty culture, by Josh, by those that accept the lies the Duggar family propogate through their lifestyle and TV show.

In the end, all these things: modesty, Quiverfull, Patriarchy, and Bill Gothard teach that women do not have bodies.  And if they do not have bodies then they are not real people. And if they are not real people then all sorts of abuse and violence can committed against and upon them without the perpetrators suffering any kind of consequence.

I hope that one day these girls realize they were the true victims in all this, that they get the help they need, and that they find the strength and courage to tell their story.  And to leave the world of abuse they live in.

It’s Raining..

It’s pouring and the thunder and lightening are loud and bright.  I love thunderstorms.


Categories

Type this later, if I remember.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 218 other followers

Goodreads