Thursday, August 29, 2013

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Who's over the VMAs? I know I am! I have honestly never watched the VMAs live, and I have never seen an entire show (although I really enjoyed seeing N'Sync together again, middle school flashbacks for anyone else?).

But I cannot get over the rape culture that has permeated our society. Are you kidding me? In the year 2013, on the 93rd anniversary of women being given the right to vote we are sitting around on the internet calling a 20 year old girl words like "slut" and "whore." And if you're Christian, that is even worse. Why is it okay for you to bully this girl or metaphorically to throw stones at the women caught in adultery?

This performance wasn't the result of one girl, just like pornography isn't solely to blame on the people in the videos. I could make a long list of people who I think are to blame from other celebrities to people watching the show. But what is the point? What will that change? My voice isn't large enough to make a difference in those arenas, and even if it was my opinions would probably isolate me from being any sort of influence.

But I can teach my children and I hope I have sons, because I want them to know their value and their responsibility to treat women with respect.

This book is a great resource for teaching boys their responsibility in this issue:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Macho-Paradox-Some-Women/dp/1402204019/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377781880&sr=8-1&keywords=jackson+katz

And this post sums up a lot of what I believe in a more eloquent way:
http://ericclapp.org/2013/08/28/how-to-talk-with-your-sons-about-robin-thicke/

How to Talk With Your Sons About Robin Thicke

If you have ears, you’ve heard Robin Thicke’s hit “Blurred Lines.” If you’ve had any amount of spare time in the past few days and have access to the internets, you’ve heard about Thicke’s performance at the VMA’s with Miley Cyrus. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, congratulations! You must have looked past the headlines on CNN’s main page in order to read about “secondary” news like Egypt or Syria. You can find a video of the performance here.
If you’ve been on Facebook or Twitter with any kind of regularity over the past few days, you’ve probably heard countless friends or followers sounding off on any number of objectionable things about the performance. Undoubtedly, 99% of things written about it throw around words like “obscene”, “offensive”, and the like.
There have been a number of different parenting websites or blog posts who have come up withgood ways to talk to your daughter about Miley. And, don’t get me wrong, I’m all about parents talking to their daughters about sexuality.
But is no one going to hold anyone else on stage or behind the scenes accountable for that performance? Are we really going to have another one-sided conversation where we only talk to the girls about their sexuality while we completely ignore the boys in the room about their standards of behavior too?
There are next to no commentaries, articles, or blog posts that talk about how Robin Thicke was on stage with a woman young enough to be his daughter while thrusting his pelvis and repeating the line “I know you want it” while T.I. non-chalantly raps about much more graphic stuff. As Shelli Latham astutely points out:
Girls’ sexuality is so much the focus of our ire. Women who have sex are dirty. Men who have sex are men. Girls who dress to be ogled are hoes. Men who ogle are just doing what comes naturally. This is the kind of reinforced behavior that makes it perfectly acceptable to legislate a woman’s access to birth control and reproductive health care without engaging in balanced conversations about covering Viagra and vasectomies. Our girls cannot win in this environment, not when they are tots in tiaras, not in their teens or when they are coming into adulthood.
Issues of misogynistic attitudes and acts of violence toward women aren’t going anywhere until us men make some very intentional decisions about our behavior and about the way we act toward women. There are certain things that Robin Thicke and “Blurred Lines” re-inforce in our culture.
For instance… Studies have shown that viewing images of objectified women gives men “greater tolerance for sexual harassment and greater rape myth acceptance,” and helps them view women as “less competent” and “less human“. Certainly singing about “blurred lines” will at the very least reinforce a culture that already trivializes the importance of consent.*
There’s nothing blurry about Robin Thicke’s role in the VMA debacle. Even though he’s come out and defended his song, going so far as to call it a “feminist movement,” it’s pretty plain to see that’s far from the case.

Here’s where it starts

So what can we do? In order to change the way we view women culturally, we need to change the way we view women individually. We need to call bullshit on attempts to end domestic violence and misogyny towards women by only talking to our daughters. We need to talk to our sons and our brothers about respecting women and respecting themselves.
It starts in homes. It starts in small conversations that treat all people as worthy and equal. It starts with having the courage to speak out against the wide variety of forces in our society that objectify women.
It starts with understanding that as men, our value does not come from how much power we hold over women. Our value comes from being respected and being loved as we respect and love the people who matter to us.
Be brave enough to tell a different story. Be courageous enough to rise above the lies that our culture tells you about how to treat women. In doing so, you’ll help create a better world for your sons. And for your sons’ sons. And that’s something to which we should all aspire.
Cheers,
Eric



Sunday, August 25, 2013

As every second that goes by....

Today I am mourning the loss of autumn.
Photo credit here
Don't get me wrong, I am entirely grateful that Gabe has a job and that we feel like we are where we are supposed to be. But I can't help long for those gorgeous fall colors that paint the mountains of Utah Valley for the next few months. I would even take all the ice and snow... but alas, if home is where the heart is then my home is still right here next to my husband.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Her feet are all covered with tar balls and scars. . .


Oh hello Brushfire Fairytales... it has been awhile. This just happens to be a song from my all time favorite Jack Johnson album. Listening to it takes me back to summers between Kansas and Texas, climbing into railroad cars, running around barefoot and having an epic mud fight that landed us in some trouble

...soaking up those last moments of childhood while trying to figure out how to grow up at the same time.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Smiling just dreaming about my puppy in my bed back home...

Our puppy is coming back soon!

While we were moving my parents were kind enough to watch after Starky, which turned out to be a huge blessing because our original place fell through and we were living in a hotel for almost a week. But now we are finally settled and we have missed the little guy a lot.

Gabe told me this morning he was able to secure an extra day off in a few weeks and I am so excited. I know Starky has had a blast with my little brothers and their dog, but we really miss him.



And who wouldn't ? 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Won't Stop to Surrender...

Three years ago today I married Gabriel Josiah...

Oh how I love that man.

Freshman year, before we were even dating a guy in one of my classes make a really rude comment about the fact that I wore sweats to class every day (it was an 8am class, and the only one I had on Fridays). Gabe found an editorial written in response to a similar situation talking about how girls can totally rock sweats and look great, and who cares because it is about getting an education. He cut it out, highlighted a few sentences and gave it to me in an envelope.

I remember once that Gabe made this elaborate mix for me... two CDs, 32 songs long. I have no idea where those CDs are now, but I can remember every single song on each one of them.

A week after we started dating I went to go visit my brother in Las Vegas and when I got back the first words Gabe said when he saw me were "There's my girl."

I thought Gabe was an incredible guy then, but as I think of the long list of stories I could add to this, I realize I was just beginning to find out how wonderful he really is. From working hard to become who he is to showing me how much he loves me and supporting my goals and dreams, making countless road trips and crazy ideas turn into the best adventures...

Happy Anniversary Husband, I'm excited for what comes next with you.

Photography by Joshua Eaton



Monday, August 5, 2013

Life, love, time to fly...

This year we decided to keep our 4th low key. Since we were in the middle of moving and had no idea where we would be on the actual holiday, we ended up just us and Starky at a family member's house who was gone for the weekend.
It turns out Gabe is a fantastic grill master and even though I am not a huge fan of meat, the steak was delicious. We played games, ate and watched a few sets of fireworks with the Kelly Clarkson concert in the background.

Hope your 4th of July was as fun and filled with love as ours was!




Starky loves this big backyard, he ran around for 15 minutes before slowing down...


Red, white and blue

 Cooking up the asparagus and steak



 I absolutely love that smile...



When you belong to a song...

One of the things that I love about Gabe is that he understands how much I absolutely love music. We might not always like the same tunes but he understands how I can swoon over lyrics, feel moved by a piece and the need for music in my life. I think we both used music as a means of therapy to get us through those angst ridden teenage years and because of that it continues to heal and help us through life's calamities.

Somewhere between friendship and something more we decided to start sending each other songs to answer the question "How is your day going?" It wasn't always that the lyrics and the notes combined answered the question, sometimes it would be one or the other. Other times it would just be a line that mattered, like if he just woke up he would text me a song with those words in it etc.
Here are a few songs I can remember exchanging :

 1. The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows - Brand New
 2. Attack - 30 Seconds to Mars
 3. Such Great Heights - The Postal Service
 4. Embers and Envelopes - Mae
 5. I Wish- Secret Handshake
 6. Way Away - Yellowcard
 7. My Name is Jonas - Weezer
 8. Therapy - Relient K
 9. Kick Drum Heart - The Avett Brothers
10. Your Hand in Mine - Explosions in the Sky
11. Burn Out Brighter (Northern Lights) - Anberlin
12. Green Eyes - Coldplay
13. Annie Waits - Ben Folds
14. The Perfect Mistake - Cartel