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Posts Tagged ‘boundaries’

       There was a recent news story that did much to anger those who work with women who have been “date raped”.   Helen Mirren, a British actress, who won awards last year for her portrayal of the Queen, did an interview with GQ in which she claimed to have been raped several times, many years ago, when she was a student.  Helen is 63 years old now. 

         The reason some people have been upset with Helen, over that interview, is that she seemed to down play the experiences.  She said there was no extreme violence, she was not hit…but rather, was locked in a room and made to have sex.  She did not file charges in those incidents.  She also said that if a man and a woman were about to get intimate and the woman changed her mind, and the man continued; that was indeed rape.  However, in that circumstance; she didn’t feel that a woman could then turn around and take that man to court for it.  Those are highly controversial remarks when taken individually or out of context.  To some people…those comments smack of judgementalism…that those situations aren’t worthy of prosecution of a person who sexually assaults another.  Those comments appear inflammatory to many folks.

         Most people are clear that if a stranger attacks another person and forces sexual relations…then that is rape.  It is true enough…it is.  But there are other forms of rape as well that aren’t as clearly defined for some people. (more…)

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       Ok, here we go…a few months ago, i heard about a lawsuit on one of the ABC news programs between Mattel, the makers of the Barbie doll empire, and MGA Entertainment, Inc the makers of the Bratz doll line.  The issue seemed to spring from Mattel’s allegation that the designer Carter Bryant was working for them when he came up with the concept for the Bratz doll line; and therefore, they felt that it infringed upon their copyright since he was under contract to them at the time of the design; the jury seemed to agree.

         The jury awarded Mattel $100 million dollars in compensation today.  Wowie…that would pay for a whole lot of Barbie cars, Barbie swimming pools and certainly alot of Barbie mansions.   Now that $100 million, was nowhere near the amount that Mattel was seeking; it was more in the area of $1Billion dollars that they felt MGA should owe them with the success of the Bratz dolls,  toys and other assorted items MGA endorsed with the Bratz line. 

          I don’t know if you have ever seen the Bratz dolls but their heads are large…and they wear exceedingly seductive outfits and they have long hair and heavy makeup on these dolls.  They are very sensualized dolls that have been marketed to young girls and preteen girls as the heighth of fashion dolls.  In comparison, Barbie has been a mainstay in the toy market for years..but, since the sales began on the Bratz line…Barbie sales have fallen.  The competition seemed to pit the “good girl image” with the “bad girl image”…what image do you think young girls in a hurry to grow up wanted mom and dad to buy them?  Their choices are influenced by the things they see in our culture as “grown up”.   With growing concerns about body image and a healthy attitude towards their self concept…we need to understand the connection that takes place in a child’s world view and how that affects their emotional development! 

           Teaching young girls to value their bodies as something more than window dressing to get attention used to be the norm; that is no longer true.  Experts have been dealing with an increased awareness that young women are not happy with their bodies and will go to extremes to try to achieve the “look” that is in vogue.  We have young women (and young men) who are tortured with anorexia, who are struggling with obesity, who pay for plastic surgery to get their bodies to fit a certain mold, putting foreign substances such as botox into their bodies, breast augmentation, etc.   Educating them to the truth that the images they see in magazines and on television are adjusted with the magic of photo retouching and airbrushing techniques…that no-one has a perfect face or figure.  It is time to stop and teach young people the importance of self acceptance.  Stop allowing them to think that they don’t measure up to someone else’s standards of what is the ideal.

           We really need to examine the culture that we expose our children to from magazine articles, to television shows, to media advertising, to fashionable clothing lines that seem to say it is ok to dress our young girls in clothing meant for older teens or young adult women.  Everything is sexualized or sensual in it’s design…this marketing technique needs to be addressed.  We are allowing this, when we purchase these types of products for our children and then wonder why behaviors seem so out of synch with the type of behaviors that should be appropriate to their ages.

           Parents are the ultimate stop gap for their children…it is their money, for the most part, which purchases these items.  If we raise the bar on what we expose our children to…then, the industries that our dollars support will have to adapt to the demand for a more traditional age appropriate level of decency in the children’s clothing, toys, accessories, music, television programing, advertising, etc. 

            In an age where we try to protect our children from predators on the streets, in our schools and in every other area of life; we need to understand that if we send the children mixed messages about what is appropriate role modeling; how can we expect them to know when someone inappropriately crosses the line in their conduct?  Children learn their boundaries from the adults in their lives who set limits…so we need to re-examine how we condition our children by the choices that we make. 

            Children may still want the Bratz dolls over the Barbie dolls…who knows…children don’t always know what is in their best interests; however, the adults who care for them should know…shouldn’t they?

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     In my family (and I expect many other families as well) there was an unwritten sibling rule.  It was understood that no one else, in my presence, could pick on any of my siblings.  It would be a punnishable offense to pick on one of my siblings; if i was around…no one was allowed to do that…unless it was me, of course.

       Oh to be sure, we had our differences…every family does.  However, on the school playground, in the neighborhood, on the buses or anywhere for that matter…we protected one another.  It was a matter of loyalty. (more…)

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         Daredevil Steve Fossett has incurred a large debt related to his disappearance and the subsequent search and rescue last fall.  Nevada officials are looking for some way to get reimbursed for the $687,000 that was spent trying to find him and his plane; that search came up with several other wreakages, however, Steve Fossett and his plane was never found.  I remember hearing at the time of his disappearance, news reports wondering if Mr. Fossett purposely disappeared.  That is a mystery, like the disappearance of Amelia Earhart; we may never know exactly what happened. 

          His family ended up having him declared legally dead in February of this year.  Mr. Fossett set many daredevil records over the years…he dreamed of breaking barriers and setting records.  He was a hero to many who admire the example he set for those who like the extreme excitement they get by pushing the boundaries.  Do you think that his family should be responsible for the expenses that the search and rescue attempt cost the state of Nevada? 

 Update:  October 1, 2008  Today there are reports that, a little more than a year after Mr. Steve Fossett disappeared, some of his personal property has been found.  A hiker has turned in to the police, some pieces of ID, and a pilots license, and a little over $1,000 dollars cash.  An extra large black pullover fleece was also found in the same general area.  This discovery was on the trail near the town of Mammoth Lakes, California.

Update:  October 2, 2008  It has been confirmed that a plane crash site was located near the area where the ID, personal items, and cash were found; and it is indeed the plane that Mr. Fossett was flying.  There was no full body found.  There was a small amount of human remains found in that in that area that will be tested for Mr. Fossett’s DNA.  Madera County sheriff said that the crash was so bad that he doubted that anyone could have survived the impact.   

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     Today’s announcement that Princess Diana and her boyfriend Dodi Fayed were “unlawfully killed” because of the actions of her driver and the paparazzi photographers who were chasing them through the streets of Paris makes her the $6 Million Dollar Woman.  This is the amount of money the inquest cost, only to tell us what we already knew.  If not for the actions of others, Princess Diana would not have died in such a manner.

       The world was waiting to hear if any proof had been uncovered about rumors of palace intrigue, murder allegations, engagement, and pregnancy, during the inquest.  In the end, all that was said was that there was no proof; and, that what was known was that the driver was drinking and that Dodi and Princess Diana were unlawfully killed; which is on the level of manslaughter in charges…the highest verdict allowed. 

       Will this verdict change people’s feeling that there is more to the story?  Probably not.  But still, in reality, no amount of hearings and inquests can change the fact that three people died because of a lack of control.  The driver because he did not have proper control of the vehicle due to the drinks that he had on that evening in question; and, the lack of control regarding the press/paparazzi’s disregard for the value of human life and proper boundaries. 

        In 2002, five short years after the death of these three people; nine photographers, who had been charged in France, were let off from charges of manslaughter because the charges were thrown out. 

         In 2006, three photographers were charged and convicted for invasion of privacy for taking pictures of Diana and Dodi.  This is small consolation as it does not bring them back to life, nor does it seem to hinder those paparazzi around the world who seem to think it appropriate to chase people with beauty/fame/fortune just to snap a picture to make money for themselves…no matter what the cost to others!  

          The unlawful killing of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed as well as driver Henri Paul robbed the world.  There isn’t much known publically about Henri Paul.  But, Princess Diana did much with her charitable works.  Dodi Fayed whether he was indeed her fiancee or not…had great wealth at his disposal.  Who knows what they would have done with their lives had they been given the opportunity to live on. 

        So, let’s all remember that when standing in the grocery line and temptation beckons to purchase and support the latest rag plastered with pictures of the rich and famous at their best and at their worst.  Don’t contribute to the mindset of devaluing human life by purchasing those papers.  It only allows those who make their living off of the habit of chasing and snapping pictures of people who dont want them to.

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Ahh…the story of star crossed lovers…a young man and a young woman…madly in love against all odds.  Their love was in spite of the protests of their families and faced certain destruction.  So romantic don’t ya think?  It is a classic story read by almost every high school and college literature class available.  So, if we were to imagine a young couple in the same type of situation in today’s world…what would it look like?

In my mind’s eye, it would somewhat resemble the young michigan couple who recently made news headlines by confiscating the young man’s family minivan, taking approximately $680.00 and the family dog.  (more…)

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      Have you ever known someone in your life who is toxic?  I mean, maybe it is a co-worker, a neighbor, a creepy service provider, or maybe a family member. 

      A toxic person is someone who is unhealthy for you to be around either because of their over- dependency on you, abusiveness, emotional lack of well-being, mind games, mental illness, possessiveness, jealousy, nosiness, sneakiness, stalker-like behavior or maybe just a heavy -duty lack of appropriate boundaries.  Have you ever had someone like that in your life? (more…)

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