Monthly Archives: June 2016

I LOVE technology…no I don’t

I have a fitbit ap on my phone.  It will use gps tracking to map my walks.  Unless…  Yeah.  So I have this LOVELY walk I like to take and just recently got to a point where I could do the whole walk.  It goes partway around a lake.  There is a bridge that spans the lake about in the middle, and you can walk over the bridge to make this walk only 3.5 miles instead of 7.5 miles.  I walked this about 10:30 on Sunday morning.  I put my phone in my pocket and set off, filling my water bottle at the pump where I parked my car.  I went counter clockwise so I could go through the wooded area 1st and not go UP the hill at the 2 mile mark but DOWN the hill at the 2 1/2 mile mark.  All was fine and good when I got to the first bench.  By the way, NONE of the benches is located in a shady spot.  They’re good places to stop and drink water, but if you want to cool off, you’re out of luck.  It’s like sitting on a fry pan.  I paused my fitbit and took a little break.  I hit “Resume” and continued on my hike.  When I had reached the western-most point of the trail, I checked my progress.  It asked me if I wanted to “resume.”  What?  I had resumed!!!!!  I had walked 3/4 of a mile and it said I popped out of the space-time continuum and appeared 3/4 of a mile down the trail!   Well that was disappointing.  I must have accidentally hit the pause button when I returned my phone to my pocket with my keys.  I moved the phone to my back pocket.  I walked another 1/2 mile.  Then I checked my ap and sure enough, I had once again been transported to my current location without walking.  Now I was perturbed.  I set my ap to resume again, and carefully put my phone in so the pause button was facing the outside of my pocket.  Looking at my progress at the next stop, there were dots on my map showing up on the path but no connection.

About at this time, being a bit fried, a bit dehydrated and skittering around the edge of madness, I picture myself magically popping in on the trail and scaring the bejezus out of some yapping little dog taking a crap on the trail, then popping in behind a runner and yelling “On your Left” and then not passing him but popping out.  I imagined popping in on the trail and asking the little girl if she’d seen Harry Potter lately and then popping out again, magically appearing and telling the fisherman to move 50 yards down the trail because that’s where the fish were hiding, appearing before a very fit couple and pleading them to save me before the aliens…ahhhhhhhh!!!!!!

Exasperated, I once again punched the resume button, then closed the ap and finished my trail.  I got to my car and stopped the ap, and it said I’d traveled about 2 1/2 miles in 2 hours.  It was now 12:30 and my face was red and my water bottle was empty, and I KNEW I’d traveled at least 3 1/2 miles.  It reported my pace as 24 min/ mile.  Over the 2 hours I hiked, I should have traveled 5 miles then.

Friday and Saturday, I was at a conference.  Though I tried desperately to stay on my low carb diet and stay under 1200 calories,  I failed miserably on Saturday.  I was 500 calories too high.  I figured this lovely adventure on Sunday would compensate for this indiscretion.  I was wrong.  It takes 3500 cal to equal 1 pound, except when I eat it.  250 cal =1 pound.  2 1/2 miles of walking over a 5 mile trail for 2 hours (stupid fitbit ap) will not compensate because I had exactly the same calorie burn for the day with my walk (1486 burnt) as I did for the Saturday where I did nothing but sit in a conference room all day (1486 calories) and I had exactly 0 steps on my walk–further evidence that I was magically transported through out my constitutional.  So at the gym today with my trainer and my husband, I sneaked a peek at my weight and sure enough, those 500 extra calories I ate on Saturday produced 2 pounds of weight gain.  And all that walk did was make me sore.

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Shame

I came across this philosophy the other day and it just really bothered me.  “Sending a girl home to change clothes because her bra straps were showing or her shorts were too short is telling her that having a less distracted environment for the boys was more important than her education.”  The more I thought about it, the madder I got.  When I was growing up in the 60’s, and long hair on the boys and miniskirts were just starting to trend, girls had to kneel and a teacher or principal had to measure the distance from the floor to the bottom of the skirt.  It could be no more than 3″ from the floor.  They didn’t have a similar requirement for the boys since long hair wasn’t distracting but short skirts were. Compared to the skirt length that was common in the late 60’s, this was 3″ was not very daring.  Girls were not allowed to wear jeans or pants to school.  Remember that this was about the time when Hugh Hefner was pushing the Playboy philosophy.  His first magazine came out in 1953, but the 60’s brought about a change that said sex was not the same as promiscuity.  It was ok to have multiple partners, and women’s bodies were beautiful.  The Victorian ideal female was covered neck to toe and camouflaged, to show as much SHAPE but no details.  At this period of time, it was almost an English version of the Burka.  As Puritans with this view of women colonized the new world, their basic view was the same toward women.  Women were helpmates and baby factories.  The only person that should see them naked was the husband.

300 years later  (1660-1960) the view hadn’t changed much.  Men’s magazines were promoting lust and covering this philosophy by extolling the thought that women’s bodies were beautiful, and they had the choice of whether to have sex with more than one person rather than relegating sex to marriage only.  What hormone riddled man in his right mind would dispute that?!  Women were encouraged to shed their Victorian concepts of modesty and purity.  We did.  The music we listened to, the clothes we wore, the material in the magazines and news on t.v. said it was ok to have these feelings and that it was perfectly natural.  Shame was considered out-dated and silly.  No one should ever be ashamed of their body.  By that time, we had been exposed to Barbie Dolls and Playboy for a generation.  We knew what a beautiful woman looked like–they were chosen monthly. The dolls also reflected that ideal.  They were no longer baby dolls, they were action figures.  This is where the perspective shifted.  “If you are not ashamed of your body, show EVERYONE.”  However if you don’t look like Miss July or Barbie, please, don’t do it!

Now this is when things went sideways.  Remember how I mentioned girls that were sent home because they didn’t pass the 3″ rule on dresses?  Instead of saying, “Hm.  Maybe I should dress more conservatively,” we got mad and complained that we no longer had freedom of choice.  The parents,  who were as liberated as we were, (and indoctrinated by Dr. Spock that their primary role was to get to be best friends with their teen-aged children) went to the courts and the Government and Justice System got involved in our schools.  They determined that students have basic rights, they determined how punishment should be delivered, they determined subject matter, competencies of students and teachers, political and scientific correctness, administration, and every other aspect of schools.  This was the biggest mistake our country ever made, and 40 years later, we’re seeing the cost of this mistake.

In Nebraska in the 1860’s, the women were pioneers–tough, persistent, hard-working women.  When they got dressed up for church, they’d wear a hat.  Nobody used makeup.  Now, women spend many dollars on make-up and instead of lightening the skin to make it look like you didn’t have to ever leave the castle, they have tanning beds and spray on bronzer to make it look like you don’t have to go to work.  The purpose, of course, is to enhance the appearance that suggests wealth and a leisurely life style.  Instead of physical labor that keeps you healthy through effort, we have diets and trainers and running trails, and we go to yoga classes, jazzercize, and spinning classes.  The fact is that all women are meant to feel shame for the way they look.  Beautiful women are chastised for modesty because they’re accused of being ashamed of how they look.  “If you do not show us the maximum amount of your body, you are ashamed of your body.”  If you are not considered beautiful by today’s standards (because today’s standards are so temporary and may change tomorrow) then you SHOULD be ashamed of your body.  We can’t win.

Women are judged by men and other women according to an artificially set ideal.  And what is the purpose of this ideal?  Is it to live longer healthier lives?  Is it to feel better and enhance endurance and strength?  Nooooooooo, it is so we can “fall in love and get Mr. Right, or Mr. Pretty Close, or Mr. Available for the next hour.”  What age should we start looking for this man?  I’m seeing this programming started before the child can dress herself.  Given the ultimate goal for every female, OUR WHOLE PURPOSE IN LIFE IS TO DISTRACT MALES FROM WHAT THEY ARE DOING AND ATTRACT THEM TO US SO WE CAN HAVE THAT LIFE THAT DOES NOT REQUIRE WORK.  This means that education is not important, and we’re Supposed to distract the males in school. Wait, what? We want to have the leisure to lie in the sun, do all the popular exercise activity and become gourmet cooks and Martha Stewart decorators.  Does any of that take an education?  No.  Do females who don’t fit the profile have a chance at that lifestyle?  No?  Then education is only important to those unfortunates so they can get the career that gets them in front of more men, who, if they are not currently in a relationship or married, are desperate to find women and will settle for something less than the ideal.

This is where the anti-programming comes into play.  Yes, anti-programming!  We, as parents and society, need to indoctrinate our young women to be people of substance, people who can add value to others.  We need to show them the beauty of self fulfillment. We need to show them how to build character, how to become people of influence.  Does THAT take an education?  Absolutely!  It changes the perspective of our purpose in life!  If we no longer have to spend all our energy and resources attracting and keeping men and change our priorities to improving our character and our value to society, it doesn’t matter if we fit the ideal of the perfectly formed woman.  We don’t have to advertise our availability as a potential mate by showing our bodies in the most provocative way.  That DOESN’T mean we are ashamed of our bodies, it just means that how we look is not as important as what kind of people we are.  How do we as a society influence young females to this perspective?  As parents, we don’t encourage provocative dress in 6 year old girls.  We control what our daughters wear up until they start earning their own money, and then we control what we allow our daughters to wear to school.  We remind them that boys and boyfriends are not the ultimate goal of education.  As school administrators and teachers, we send home the girls that dress in a way that says they are not in school to learn.  (Remember I’m focusing on females in this article…the same concepts apply to males as well.)

The most important point I want to make, then, is that  “Sending a girl home to change clothes because her bra straps were showing or her shorts were too short is telling her that having a less distracted environment for the boys was more important than her education,” is completely backwards.  Sending a girl home to change clothes because her bra straps were showing or her shorts were too short is telling her that her education is more important than whether she attracts boys. Suggestive or provocative clothing is not conducive to HER education because attracting boys is not the purpose of going to school.