“Never underestimate a man’s ability to underestimate a woman,” Kathleen Turner

Lately every time I pick up the paper I’ve been reading about sex scandals. Ghomeshi, Andrews, Pacetti.  Involving men with power and woman with not so much power or so it seems.  The Ghomeshi scandal will be interesting as he clearly thinks he had consent to beat and choke woman.  Obviously by the amount of complaints against him, the woman involved didn’t agree.  Reading the NDP MP’s account of her sexual encounter with Pacetti is another matter.  She claims that she went to Pacetti’s hotel room at 2:00 am for drinks, he clearly wanted more than drinks, she excused herself to go to the bathroom and when she came out of the bathroom and walked by Pacetti he grabbed her and they ended up having sex.  She never said no, she never pushed him away, she said she was frozen because of a sexual assault in her past.   This is the most pitiful explanation I have ever heard for a sexual harassment charge.  The MP says it was sex without explicit consent.    At what point did Pacetti understand that she was saying NO.  Furthermore, wouldn’t a sexual assault make you more aware and strong enough to say NO.

When I was a young girl in Grade school, I met a girl on the bus I took to school every day.  She went to the same school as I did and she lived about six blocks away from our house.  Every  now and then she would invite me to her apartment after school and I would stop by and hang out with her for a little while before heading home.  Her older brother, John, who was in senior high, would often come home during my visit and I thought he was gorgeous.  Typical school girl crush on an older guy.  One day at school my friend approached me to tell me John thought I was beautiful and he wanted to get to know me better.  For several weeks I would stop by her apartment and we would all hang out listen to records or watch tv.  To me it seemed like a friendship and I was thrilled that John thought I was beautiful.  One day my friend left the apartment to run an errand at John’s request.  After my friend was gone, John asked me into his bedroom to look at his record collection. Being thirteen years old and naive, I followed him into his bedroom and went directly to his record collection.  Suddenly John grabbed me, swung me around and gave me a very rough kiss.  I backed off because he caught me completely unaware.  I found myself on his bed  as he was trying to rip my clothes off.  I screamed “NO” and tried to beat him off but he was essentially a grown man and very strong.  At some point during our struggle, I realized that I had a shot at giving him a knee right to his crotch.  I didn’t hesitate I put all my strength into a gut-wrenching knee blow.  Consequently, he flew off the bed onto the floor holding his crotch and writhing in pain.  I bolted out the door, through the apartment hallway, down the stairs,  out of the building and ran all the way home.  I didn’t even stop to catch my breath because I was sure that bastard was going to catch up with me.  I never told my mother or anyone else for that matter.  I chastised myself all the way home for being so stupid and believing that John thought I was beautiful and wanted to share his love of music. “What kind of idiot believes a boy invites you to his bedroom to look at records,” I told myself.  Essentially I beat myself up about the incident and buried myself in embarrassment.  The next day at school, John’s sister approached me and said that John was livid that I caused him such pain.  I told her about the attack and she was more worried about her brother.  Needless to say that was the end of our friendship.  John’s sister begged me not tell anyone and I didn’t, I just wanted to move on.  I never forgot the incident and I chose to use it as a learning experience, the victim role wasn’t a choice for me.

The whole experience gave me a different perspective on this game between men and women. I became more observant of men and I never fell for the “you’re so beautiful line ” again.   As a matter of fact the more a man showered me with compliments the more I questioned his motivation.   I started to look at men and woman for their inner beauty.  Never again would I focus on outer beauty and I approached every relationship I’ve ever been in based on inner beauty.  I don’t care what someone looks like, what they do for a living or what they own.  I judge people by how they treat others and how they treat themselves.  When I started dating men as a grown woman I was brutally honest, too honest for some men’s liking as some men like the game.  I never played the game and if I thought someone was only interested in one thing I had no problem telling them they were barking up the wrong tree.

Without sounding too judgmental, I just don’t know how this MP could not resist a man that she didn’t want to be with, especially by all accounts, her accounts, that Pacetti did not force himself on her.  You would think  her experience with a sexual assault in the past would make her more cautious and understand that if a man invites you up to his hotel room at 2:00 am that he wants to do more than sip drinks.    The battle of the sexes has been waging forever and the war will continue forever more.  Where there is power the war is even stronger and I have little sympathy for any woman who uses her sexuality as a weapon in this war to gain more power only to scream sexual harassment when it doesn’t turn out her way.  Woman such as this are a detriment to all woman trying to climb the corporate ladder using  education, brains and skills.  For every step the women’s movement has moved forward is only thrown back several decades every time a woman uses her sexuality to gain power.  Shame on men in power who play this game and use sex for their own purposes knowing full well what these woman want.  I’m sure their mothers brought them up better.  In order to be sure that men in power have clear explicit consent maybe they should try this line, “I want to sleep with you but there are no strings attached, no job, no position, just straight sex for the sake of sex.”   Somehow I doubt that the women they pursue would give them a second look!

The Minimalist – Friday’s Phlog for November 14, 2014

log minimalist

 “Walking in the woods forces me back to nature, quiets my mind, calms my  spirit and quenches my soul.”

I’m entering this Friday’s Phlog in The Daily Post Minimalist Photo Challenge where you can view hundreds of photos.  The  minimalist theme appealed to me, after all I’m a minimalist at heart.  I took this photo during a walk in the woods; an up close view of a log with the forest blurred in the background.  We often walk by fallen logs without giving it a second thought.  Up close the colours and textures are beautiful and the fallen logs play home to many walks of life.  Walking in the woods forces me back to nature, quiets my mind, calms my spirit and quenches my soul.  I call it wakeful meditation.


On Halloween night I decided to try to find a Halloween movie to watch on Netflix.  When I typed in HA in the search tool of Netflix, several movies came up beginning with HA.  The movie that caught my attention was a documentary “Happy People – A year in the Taiga”.  All I know of Taiga is the clothing line Taiga; which is a Canadian winter wear apparel company.  I knew the Taiga was somewhere in Siberia, but after that I knew nothing of the people or their land.  After watching the film I realized that as good as  the Taiga retailer claims their brand to be, I don’t think their clothing line is good enough or strong enough to stand up to the harsh conditions of the Taiga.  I was moved by this documentary, mesmerized by the strength, character and spirit of the people who live in a beautiful, enchanting, bitter, grim, severe, rigid and unforgiving landscape.  These people are beyond tough and their human strength would test all of us living in Urban Centres across North America.  I was mesmerized by the simplicity  and the spirit of the people and the beauty and harshness of the land.   The Taiga people truly live off the land with very little modern conveniences.  They use the many resources the land has to offer from making their winter skis and canoes from the forest to the mosquito repellant made with fish oil taken from the fish they take from the river.  The men earn their families’ keep as trappers and they leave their village for the winter to work their trap-lines hundreds of miles from home.  There is a Christmas scene where the men return home for a couple of days over Christmas and to get there they travel 150 miles on a snowmobile just to spend a few precious hours with their families.   Their Christmas is a simple one filled with family, community, food and celebration.  A few days later the men leave and make the same exhausting trek back to their trap-lines for the remainder of the winter.  The past few years I’ve been moving toward a simpler life, with less consumerism, more family time, cooking from scratch, only buying and using what we need and more attention to recycling and re-using.  I’ve always had a fascination with self-reliance and living off the grid.  It is one of the reasons I love camping and when I first started camping I simply had a pick-up truck, a few pots and pans and an open fire.  It was in this environment I learned that you can pretty much cook anything in tin-foil with a little butter and salt and pepper.  To drink a hot cup of coffee made in a percolator over an open fire after spending a cold night in the back of a pick-up truck can only be described as heaven!  Of course now when we camp we live like kings with all the modern conveniences in a beautiful trailer and I have to admit I prefer a hot shower over a cold lake especially now that I’m hitting 50.  To be as self-reliant as the “Happy People” would be a huge and monumental drastic change in lifestyle.   After all the modern conveniences that we have become accustomed to, I don’t think people like us would adjust well to such an extreme lifestyle.  I do know this; we can all learn a little from the “Happy People of the Taiga”.  Joy – these people experience joy from the most simple experiences and they stop to watch and take care of each other, their land, their limited possessions and their animals.  Watch the trailer below and if you don’t have time, make time to watch Happy People.