How do you Name a Woman?

Does it bother you to hear an adult man call his wife “Mother”, “MaMa” or other words similar? How about people who call themselves their pet’s “Mother”, “Daddy”, etc.?

Names are our identity/ identification. Names are how other people view us. I do think it is a bit odd when people refer to another person by their role – especially when it isn’t the role they have for the person who spoke. (Or that whole being your dog’s Mother thing, that just annoys me, personally).

My Dad used to refer to our Mom as “your Mother”. I haven’t thought of it for years. But, someone else I happened to mention it to found it very odd, they didn’t like it.

Other people don’t like hearing a husband refer to his wife as “Mother”. Does it help to think it is the short form for the Mother of his children? I’m sure that’s how it is intended but it does always sound as if he is calling his wife his Mother. What does he call his real Mother? Maybe “Grandma”?

Today in the Arab world, there is a custom still in place to not speak a woman’s name in public after she becomes a mother. In her 2011 book Gender, Sexuality, and Meaning: Linguistic Practice and Politics, linguistics professor Sally McConnell-Ginet wrote about how in some historical periods in China, women were only referred to by “relational forms,” names like “oldest sister” or “Lee’s wife,” while men were more often referred to by their individual names. These might sound odd to our modern ear, but chances are most of us have witnessed something similar in our lifetime.

Source: The Rise of ‘Mama’ : Longreads Blog

I found this, part of a long post about the use of the word “Mama”. However, the idea that a Mother loses her name was more interesting to me. When a woman marries she (still usually) changes her last name. She loses her family identity – or exchanges it for a new family identity. Then she has children and loses even her own personal identity as an individual. From then on she becomes a role, not an individual. Isn’t that like a nun too? They are referred to as “Mother Someone”, “Sister Someone”.

Without getting feminist about it, I wonder why or how our culture evolved to take away a woman’s name? It’s really interesting to think about. Not so much about laws, rights, fairness, equality, etc. But, just the fact of it.

His Body was Never Found…

I started reading a post about someone else, a woman who married a man younger than herself. Later he visited Asia and…. his body was never found.

Stories like that are creepy and creepier when it isn’t fiction. Whatever happened to…

Well, what did happen to the man (or woman) in the story of your own invention? Create a character and a back story then end it with “his body was never found”. But because it’s fiction and your own story you can slip in the details, discovered via time machine far in the future, about what really did happen to poor, old…. what’s-his-name.

Image source: Theos Casimir Bernard – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Everyday Sexism Project

The Everyday Sexism Project exists to catalogue instances of sexism experienced by women on a day to day basis. They might be serious or minor, outrageously offensive or so niggling and normalised that you don’t even feel able to protest. Say as much or as little as you like, use your real name or a pseudonym – it’s up to you. By sharing your story you’re showing the world that sexism does exist, it is faced by women everyday and it is a valid problem to discuss.

everyday sexism project
via the everyday sexism project.

What story would you add? Think over your day (today or yesterday) don’t go beyond that into the past and dig up big issues and events. Sexism creeps in to so many little things every day.

I don’t mean things like a man holding a door open for a woman. That is still a courtesy, unless he lets it swing shut on the next woman who isn’t as young or pretty. Don’t take common courtesy and good manners as sexism. Manners are a form of respect in our culture.

Today I read a Twitter post about a woman who gets asked “Where’s your boyfriend?” when she carries boxes herself. That is sexism for both men and women. However, I don’t think it’s sexism to offer to help her. I’m a woman and I might help someone carry something. On the other hand, I’m glad when my brother helps me carry groceries up the steps and into the house. I don’t ask for the help. I know I’m hoping he will.

I don’t see that as sexist, especially when I see how much easier he carries everything than I would have done. Plus, he feels manly helping me. I’m happy to make him feel good. If he stays I offer to make coffee and he likes to sit back and be fussed over a bit. I like doing it, for him. I wouldn’t feel the same if it were someone else.

On the other hand… he thinks I’m over reacting when I feel threatened by a man who touches me too much, gets too close, etc. His attitude is everyday sexism but it comes from not knowing how I feel as a woman: vulnerable to a bigger, stronger person who can react in ways I can’t predict or control.

The issue of everyday sexism is interesting because there is so much more to it than it seems on the surface.

Introductions: My Wonderful Husband, My Beautiful Wife

Pay attention to how people introduce someone. I like to listen to the introductions on game shows, to hear how couples introduce their partners. Often it is some version of “My wonderful husband” and “My beautiful wife”.

Wonderful is generic, not actually saying what is wonderful about him. But, it shows an overall value of him.

Beautiful is only about how she looks. It says she is valued for her beauty. When a man introduces his wife as beautiful I wonder if either of them knows how shallow that is. Also, it’s not even a credit to her, but more a boast and credit to himself for getting a beautiful woman.

What happens to her value as she ages and isn’t so fresh and pretty? What happens if she gets into an accident and her features change? What happens as she has children and her body changes? At “that time of the month” she may not maintain her beauty with full cosmetics and she might even dress down! Women’s bodies go through more ups and downs physically so measuring her value based on how she looks is not an easy thing to live with.

How do you introduce the people in your life?

Do you avoid adjectives in introduces and just give titles and names? This makes an impersonal introduction. Not a bad thing but it doesn’t give you the chance to show someone else how you value them, or boast about them to others. A sincere introduction is a nice thing. It is a real compliment.

When actors introduce each other on TV shows, like award shows, they pretty much say the same, generic thing. “The great, the wonderful, the beautiful, the amazing…” Even with the adjective those introductions are impersonal because they lack sincerity. Part of a good introduction is about sales, telling others something good about the person being introduced. However, the lack of sincerity makes the introduction impersonal, fluff.

Write an introduction for a few of the people you know.

Stick to one word, but take time to find the right word. Will you use it next time you introduce them? It can take a little bravery or boldness to show how you feel about someone else, when you are sincere and honest. However, you could brighten up their day with a real compliment spoken for others to hear.

I Remember BlogChalking

blogchalking

This is what I found from the Wayback Machine. The original link which most people refer to does not end with the .com. There wasn’t much left of that BlogChalking at that domain. But, I was pretty sure it had been a .com too so I looked, and found it.

Looks like it had it’s final days in 2006. From there it was abandoned, no updates. I took a screen shot from earlier (2003 which is the year it began according to the site), better times. Then another two images show the last final stages of decay from the Wayback in 2011 (but no changes to the actual site since 2006).

Daniel Pádua, the man from Brazil who began BlogChalking, died of cancer in 2009.

blogchalking blogchalking blogchalking blogchalking

Where Did “Piss Poor” Come From?

Where did “piss poor” come from?

If you’re young and hip, this is still interesting.

NOW THIS IS A REAL EDUCATION

Us older people need to learn something new every day…

Just to keep the grey matter tuned up.

Where did “Piss Poor” come from? Interesting history.

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot.

And then once it was full it was taken and sold to the tannery…

If you had to do this to survive you were “Piss Poor”. But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot…

They “didn’t have a pot to piss in” and were the lowest of the low.

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to be.

Here are some facts about the 1500′s

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June.. However, since they were starting to smell, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.

Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water.

The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water,

Then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children.

Last of all the babies.

By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.

Hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!”

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath.

It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof.

When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying, “It’s raining cats and dogs.”

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house.

This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed.

Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection.

That’s how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt.

Hence the saying, “Dirt poor.” The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery In the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing..

As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a thresh hold.

(Getting quite an education, aren’t you?)

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire.

Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers In the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day.

Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while.

Hence the rhyme:

“Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.”

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special.

When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off.

It was a sign of wealth that a man could, “bring home the bacon.”

They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.

Those with money had plates made of pewter.

Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death.

This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status..

Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle,

And guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky.

The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days..

Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial.

They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up.

Hence the custom; “holding a wake.”

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people.

So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave.

When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell.

Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, “saved by the bell” or was “considered a dead ringer.”

And that’s the truth.

Now, whoever said history was boring!!!

So get out there and educate someone!

Share these facts with a friend.

Inside every older person is a younger person wondering,

“What the heck happened?”

We’ll be friends until we are old and senile.

Then we’ll be new friends.

via Where Did “Piss Poor” Come From? | Green Living History.

Logan’s Run Should be Continued

What would your life be like if you had never gotten to be 30 years of age, or older? Maybe you are not yet 30. Do you look ahead and cringe at the very idea of “being old”?

The story behind Logan’s Run is all about human population, available resources and getting rid of people before they get old – old age being 29 in this case. Of course, there is a secret resistance. A sanctuary which no one has ever returned to talk about, but enough people believe in (or hope for) it’s existence that there are runaways/ runners who try to escape their fate. Logan, the hero of the book, is one of the Sandmen/ trackers who capture these runaways before they get far.

Logan also asks questions, which is his downfall. As Logan gets too close to finding out more than he should, his own light comes on and he is now a target for death (an event where people fly in the air as if they were dancing in a spiral around a Carousel, until they suddenly get zapped to death) – but Logan isn’t old enough yet!

Logan runs – he escapes the city and discovers the reality of the ice world, the world of frozen food which has come a little off track. Logan runs farther and does find more, but not really a sanctuary. Instead he finds an old man in an old world which no one in the city of young people knows anything about.

The story is a little sad, Logan’s Sandman friend becomes his tracker, his enemy and things don’t go well between them. Logan finds befriends Jessica along the way, she takes up the run with him and helps him introduce the old and the young worlds to each other eventually.

I wish there were another book with the after story. So much potential for me. I’ve tried not to give too much away of the story – I hope you will read the book, or watch the movie. It’s been a favourite of mine long before I was 30!

Making a Plan for Running Ads on your Blog

If you accept ads on your site have you set up a pricing schedule? This is something I had not really done. I haven’t really thought of myself as a blog which runs ads yet either. So, it’s time I got it together and sorted out a plan.

First, I have to get my brain around the fact that I do accept ads. I thought I would hold out longer but, the fact is that money does talk. It’s also useful for so many things.

Second, I am deciding on a pricing plan and giving space on my blog real estate for running the ads. These two things come together because they are very dependent on each other. Your pricing plan should reflect the time and space the ad will require. Time being the length of time the ad will run. Space being the position and size of the ad on your blog real estate.

Also, the actual payment versus not getting paid. You need a contingency plan of some kind. How long after posting an ad will you wait for payment? When do you decide to pull the ad due to non-payment?

Another thing which I didn’t think of until I had run a few ads and lost track of them… is keeping track of them. Keeping track of when they expire and where they were placed (some are in individual blog posts rather than your blog sidebar) so you can remove them when the time is up.

So far the ads I have run have been from advertisers who approached me. If I take it to the next logical step and begin approaching advertisers myself I will need to have information for them. So it’s time for me to figure out what my numbers are. I’m not someone who loves bean counting so this step will  be the one I have to push myself to work at and finish.

I’m also going to look into WordPress plugins for running ads. Not because I can’t continue adding in the code myself but, I think it would be simpler to have the software/ plugin to help me keep track of it and likely deal with extras like images which need to be resized to fit my WordPress layout, or to watch for malware links hidden in the code. This is something else you should check before posting whatever the advertiser sends you.

Read the HTML code and watch for anything suspicious, something that shouldn’t be there. You don’t want the advertiser to have tricky code which pops up extras you didn’t agree to, or code which will send them to another site as soon as they land on your site. Stuff like that does happen.

To rehash for the blog skimmers:

  • Make a payment schedule
  • Decide on time and space
  • Create rules for advertisers
  • Keep track of ads 
  • Work on statistics

Don’t ignore ad networks. You can sign up, figure out how to add the code to your site, etc. But, once you get over the hurdle of starting up an ad network can make it pretty simple to run ads on your blog. However, you don’t get the full ad price yourself when you involve a middle man this way. On the plus side, the ad network finds the advertisers and evaluates them. I like Project Wonderful, mainly for their excellent customer service. However, the advertisers are mainly small sites with a small budget. So, Project Wonderful won’t suit everyone.