the Onion Makes Me Cry…

Posted by jael on Jan 26, 2011 in Education, Parenting, Politics, Spiritual Journey, Technology

the Onion makes me cry again today with their post New parenting Books Sparks Outrage:  (Their satirically brilliant post below.)

New Parenting Book Sparks Outrage

Last week, Penguin Press published Amy Chua’s book Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother, which criticizes “Western” parenting and advocates an “Asian” approach that includes forbidding playdates and being highly critical of children in order to make them more successful. Here are some other tips from the book:

  • Take your children to Chuck E. Cheese’s and let them play any game they choose, then make them watch as you burn their tickets
  • Ice cream is a great motivator for kids; promise them that if they do everything you ask, they can have some when they turn 18
  • Inform your child that televisions receive all of their power from flawless renditions of Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D
  • Only let your children have a pet dog if they can tame the most rabid dog at the pound
  • Should your child express interest in spending more time with his or her friends, simply pack up and move several hundred miles away
  • To ensure academic excellence, inform your children that there is a mark higher than an A-plus and then shame them for failing to attain it
  • Replace their frail little limbs with less fragile prosthetics
  • Remember, you may have to put up with one or two suicides before you finally craft that perfect child you’ve always wanted

I love the clipped tonal quality of these outrageous suggestions. I imagine a stiff-lipped, speaker with the impeccable posture only genuine, Zen control can erect from the human spine. Her words intone this clearly elucidated smack from the diaphragm, like a Cambridge neurologist enunciates a prognosis. The tension is delicious, and unsavory enough to make  readers worry if they can get to the potty on time.

Anyone with a finger on the pulse of the media cycle knows Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother did more than strike a vein of controversy, it severed an artery. The blood spray has stained even the coolest of shirts. People are well beyond offended by Chua’s book, commentators are rabid and hysterical.  High pitched and raving, these percussive utterances spit from the throat though loose, moist lips that splatter saliva as rapidly as they shoot words of outrage like machine gun fire.

What exactly has our American, parental panties in such a bundle over this one? Why is everyone so offended?

Why Battle Hymn of The Tiger Mother Sparks Such Outrage

Penguin Press opened Pandora’s box last week with their release of Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother, by Yale University law professor, Amy Chua.  Certainly, Chau unapologetically details how she and her husband chose to raise their two daughters in “the Chinese way,” that emphasizes academic excellence and individual superiority over social engagements and extra curricular activities. However, the backlash of controversy in response to her book exposes the very insecure fish bellies of modern parents.  Here are some possible reasons our American, parental panties are in a bundle:

  • We’re more like Ron White than Sartre.  Like yesterday we were snuggling on a beanbag chair naked, eating Cheetos, and we said, “Yeah.  We could make a baby.  How hard could it be?”
  • My daughter is the Props Manager of her high school’s Drama Club.
  • My daughter plays concert Kazoo.
  • My 187 pound, 12 year-old daughter goes to the bathroom whenever she wants, usually during Oprah commercials.
  • We wanted our 15 year-old daughter to play Carnegie Hall too, but she had to drop out of school to go to rehab before her baby is born.
  • We’re going to get around to teaching our daughter Mandarin Chinese once she brings up her F in English.
  • I don’t know which friend’s sleepover my daughter’s attending; she hasn’t been home since Friday morning.

I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!



Posted by jael on Jan 24, 2011 in Education, Parenting, Politics, Spiritual Journey

Part of the rhythm of my daily behaviors include email, texting, Google, cnn.com, interacting with blogs and phone conversations.  I admit being more plugged in than some users, and far less than others.  Compared to The Husband, who also tweets, Facebooks and develops iPhone apps, I am a lightweight.  Round about Thursday last week, I wondered if I have become desensitized by my exposure to news stories.

Note that in my list of things I typically engage in during the day, TV was not among them.  I don’t watch local or national news broadcasts.  I realized years ago I had neither the schedule nor stomach for the pundits of media.  I hadn’t realized how little I had insulated myself from the dismal tone of national coverage. Like radiation mutates cells, has my attitude slowly distorted into ugly shades over time?

I’ve captured headlines since Thursday for your consideration:

31 Dead in Moscow Suicide Airport Bombing

31 confirmed dead and over 200 injured in a terrorist suicide booming in Moscow.

Steelers Versus Packer Super Bowl

NFL predicts record breaking sales for these two rival teams with zealously loyal fans.

You Know You’re An Extreme Parent If…

More information about Tiger moms, includes something of a check list to see if you are an extreme parent.  I failed. I think.  Help out on this one.  “You know you’re a great guide to your child if…”

Why do we care Julie Bowen, of the hit TV comedy Modern Family, shared a picture of herself breastfeeding her infant twins on Lopez Tonight?

Julie Bowen… Hot body on a hot show?  Certainly.  Her breastfeeding jugs (however lovely and life-giving to her suckling babies) worthy of a news story?  Not.

Why do Ugg boots cost $140-200 dollars?

These are boots that market ugly.  I don’t understand.

How can Don’t Ask, Don’t tell military expulsions cost $50,000 per expulsion.

Clearly, this begs the even more obvious puzzler, why are we still expelling soldiers, sailors, marines, and guards men on the grounds of homosexuality?

Woman versus Police Horse

Really?  Really?

What exactly makes Kat Von D a celebrity again?

Leather, body art and Reality TV, right?  Or is it the men on her arm?

Even if you like junk food, this year’s review of school lunches will trigger your gag reflex and convert you to wheat germ.

Tough Times for Men and Women in Blue

Please God, let it not be, we’ve become desensitized to cop killings.

I do not understand, but accept acts of unspeakable violence are part of our social fabric.

I do not like football, but concede millions of people are ardent fans.

I can not, however, understand why we’ve become a nation of celebrity-peeping Toms.

I do not believe our fiber has so dissolved that slapping police horses and killing cops is ubiquitous.

I reject this cynical bias.


I know the world is messy.


I know there are horrors enough in the dark to keep me up a lifetime of nights.


I know reports of such sells fear and ads.


I know nothing seems special compared to these suicidal-homicidal-psychotic-chicken-paste oozing-Packer-under-dogging-ugly-boot-lactating-horse-slapping-inked-out- nymphs-headlines.


I get that the neighborhood 7th grader who stuffed mail boxes and plans to collect old blankets and towels for SPCA animals this Saturday morning doesn’t play with the same panache .

I see why a surprise bridal shower for a soon-to-be-deployed-Army-doctor doesn’t compare to a hip check list that let’s you know if your helicopter parenting has escalated into extreme parenting that races your kids down a highway to nowhere.

I know, too, however that the only eternal commodity of this world is relationships.

Community service matters.
Surprise showers matter.
Calling your mom matters. Especially when you don’t want to and do anyway, because she really wants to connect with you.
Showing up matters.
More walking, less talking matters.

I don’t find recent headlines inaccurate as much as I suspect their motives.

They seek to incite, not to edify.

This is a bittersweet world, however, our potential to be of good use to each other bests our capacity to get it horribly wrong, and is less often the stuff of headlines.

As for me and my house, we look for reasons to believe that this is true.

Faith does not impair reason, it imbues Mercy.

I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!


see “One Chinese Mother’s Voice” on BlogHer

Posted by jael on Jan 17, 2011 in Education, Parenting, Politics, Spiritual Journey, Technology

BlogHer is an awesome space.  It’s like one big, cozy den in a real girlfriend’s house.  It makes me think of my friend, TJ’s, house.  Her place slings hash and parties more than any NYC bistro. Everybody feels happy and heard in her bright, citrus kitchen… children, couples, adults, girlfriends, and in-laws alike.  TJ knows her crowd, speaks the truth, and lives in a land where polka dots meet sass.  So when I’m stuck at home with a sick kid, or actively avoiding laundry, or coming down off work, or checking the pulse of recent headline buzz, I show up on BlogHer like I often wander over to TJ’s house.  I love places where I don’t have to worry what I wear, Starbucks is always welcome, and make-up is entirely optional.

I plugged into some BlogHer voices like passive-agressive earbuds more than usual last week, in bold procrastination of my urgent need to plan and host a weekend event.  I had one big case of Mamma- Performance-Anxiety, and believed I couldn’t consummate.  While there, I read “One Chinese Mother’s Voice,” The post is not only provocative and profound, but it challenged me to Surrender on a new level.

The post speaks for itself, and I encourage you to read it.  Though its entirety compels, an Hallelujah rose like a phoenix from the ashes when she sang:

Sure, the little voice produces an adult who knows how to work hard, achieve, and get into an Ivy League school. She believes she can accomplish anything if she puts her mind to it.

But that little voice also produces a person who worries about not accomplishing enough and frets about the next accolade.

The little voice produces a person who cannot accept the fact that there are actually things hard work alone cannot accomplish.

The little voice produces a person who can’t accept the fact that her competence comes in Christ alone.

The little voice produces a person who can’t accept the fact that she needs a Rescuer.

The truth is, all the hard work, grittiness, and achievement in the world cannot make you right with God.

That comes from admitting to Jesus that you can’t work hard enough, that you don’t know all the answers, and that you really can’t be confident of anything in life except Him.

When you let God’s grace invade every part of your life, it’s not so easy to suddenly turn that little voice off.  Thankfully, God’s grace, embodied in Jesus’ love, speaks a whole lot louder than the little voice.

Ester Feng, http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http://www.estherfeng.com,  unglued me like bad 80’s hair on a too humid day.  The Holy Dove moves through her to minister to my heart.  Her premises about “the little voice,” are not to be denied.  In a cathartic spasm of PTSD, I realize how my own little voice still sometimes deafens me from the Still, Calm Voice of Peace.  I wish to plant no such little voices in my children’s intellectual maps.  Have I constructed a family culture wherein anxious children measure accomplishments with fretting fingers, strumming ever-shifting emotional abacuses in search of the next accolade?  Have I embedded the message that they need a rescuer like an in-grown toe nail to falter their steps in Faith?  As I intone the mantra, “Quality matters,” have I diminished their reality that true competence comes in Christ alone, and that there are things their hard work cannot independently orchestrate?  Is my own heart a place that Grace invades so that I may lead them toward Godly relationships and Love?

I walked away from the screen the first time I read Feng’s post, and knew she’s struck a secret chord, and like David pleased the Lord.

This Mamma needs be still, and know that God will be God to my children.   Only His voice may speak clearly enough to consistently mute the noise of this percussive world, so that my children may turn to him as their Him as their Portion Deliverer.

I need to be inside-out on Message with this Truth… My children belong to Him, and all the interactive book reports, music lessons, soccer tournaments, and healthy lunches in the universe don’t compare to the Glory of the Provision He brings to the lives of my children through Love.


Love wins.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah


Vertigo PTSD

Posted by jael on Nov 2, 2010 in Politics, Spiritual Journey

In keeping with a dizzying trend with the women of my father’s side of the family, I experienced my second, significant bout of vertigo this morning.  My beloved grandmother, Beauty, was prone to it, and I recall her saying that she wouldn’t wish it on her worst enemy.  What compels about this quip is that not only did my Beauty not have any enemies, she never-ever complained.  For her to mention something was unpleasant was unusual. For her to actually confess an encounter was loathsome, well, that just didn’t happen…. at least not in front of the grandchildren.

I actually wondered yesterday if I was physically off, and felt fuzzy and overtired all day.  I knew when I woke  this morning that something was wrong.  The ceiling fan seemed to dart down toward me like a 3-D, horror film blade, and my head felt sloshy.  For those of you medical types out there, I respect this is an imprecise diagnostic term, but it’s the correct word.  My head felt wet.  It slipped like blurred vision, but I could clearly see.  It brought to mind pears in a mason jar.  The Husband had already gotten up, so I tried to get out of bed.

I immediately fell.  My legs couldn’t hold me up.  It took me a too-long moment to perceive that it was imbalance that threw me off my legs, and not weakness.  My step-mom had a couple of strokes in March, my step-father lost his best friend in a single car accident in July, and a dear family friend had a stroke in August.  The fragility of health has been firmly cataloged and rehearsed by my family circle over the past eight months. I confess, as I laid there on the bedroom floor, and the room swam in circles in front of my eyes, I was afraid.

I couldn’t walk, so I crawled out of the bedroom and called for The Husband.  I knew before he came around the corner that he was concerned.  I heard the haste in his fast steps and alarm in his voice before he knelt down to level his most welcome face to mine.

“What, Baby?  What is it?” he inquired as he put his arms around me like a shield.  I felt his eyes assess my condition even as his words ministered their comfort.

“Vertigo?” I said as I pulled myself in a ball against his chest.

The Husband did what he does.  He helped me.  He was my responsive and calm, steady port.  His arms were safety and home.

Vertigo is like a gale that flips a ship off course.  All of a sudden, the internal compass simply spins.

It leaves me feeling like someone put my brain in a jar and gave it a good shake like a holiday snow globe.

If you didn’t know, there are postures you can assume to help recalibrate balance in response to vertigo.  They make the room spin even worse, and I always feel like I need to throw up, but they help, as does a long nap.

As such, today I was low and slow, and sometimes spinning.   I briefly put my head up to attend to critical emails  I hadn’t addressed all day.  Naturally, my inbox was pregnant and bloated with messages.

I found I message from a dear friend’s mother.  She explained that her daughter and grandchildren were in a dangerous, potentially tragic situation.

The whirl of this most unwelcome news was the emotional equivalent of vertigo like PTSD.

Two short years ago, this dear friend was in the middle of a similar situation.  It took a full-scale intervention to extricate her and her children.

Like an unwelcome gale, it spins my compass to learn they are in the middle of another sea of abuse.

If you didn’t know, abuse postures you to assume debasement, to forcibly recalibrate worth in response to isolated helplessness.  It assaults the spirit to split from the body, and begins a cycle that uproots families.

There is no more insidious snare.

The fragility of her  choices has been firmly cataloged, and I confess I am afraid for her.

I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!


Quiet Rage, part iv

Posted by jael on Oct 29, 2010 in Education, Politics, Spiritual Journey

The iconic Hallelujah breaker of violence against women is considered in another woman.
Michelle’s story remains incomplete.
I continue to dwell upon her Hallelujah vacuum that risks entropy.
Thus, a fourth window into Michelle’s life.
( For the first pieces of the story, see: Quiet Rage, part i , Quiet Rage, part ii, and Quiet Rage, part iii)

And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!

_quiet rage, part iv_

Michelle was no stranger to feeling flat. She’d spent the better part of her adolescence leveled and two-dimensional on the 4-D stage of dysfunction that played out in her parents’ divorces and remarriages. It wasn’t the first time she collapsed onto herself.

She remembered well the first time. It happened on the day after her thirteenth birthday.

“Given this most recent cluster fuck occurred on my birthday,” she mused somewhat bitterly as she stiffly shifted her covers, “I gotta wonder if my birthdays are cursed.”

You didn’t need to be a lawyer to prove that she’d been the second accident of parents married too young. Their ore hasty marriage in a rural, Catholic church barely kept her brother from being born a bastard, but, like an heir apparent prince, he was one entitled son-of-a-bitch.

Michelle actually deeply respected her only brother, Eli. They were as different from each other in affect and space as the sunrise and the sunset. She often thought that the fourteen months that separated them were much like the number of hours between the changing of guard of the sun to the moon. Only son, Eli was easy going and warm. Michelle had always admired his easy laid-back nature, such a contrast to her own vibrant intensity. More water repellent than a duck on a pond, she wondered how her life could have been different if she were more like her brother. Her parents had posed this question to her so often since her 13th birthday that it was as reflexive of her to ask it of herself as was the mole that perched high on her left cheek bone like a sparrow was an aspect of how the mirror reflected the portrait of her face.

It all had happened yesterday, a mere blink, a pathetic, staggering breath ago that Michelle was barely thirteen, just a day plus twelve. Since then, even then, she’d always maintained in retrospect, that she should have known something was awry. Michelle never got what she asked for as birthday gifts. True, she opened approximations, clearance substitutions, and filler crap she could have cared less about, but this was the first time that she not only opened gifts that were exactly what she wanted, but received everything that she had asked for that year.

Like the harbinger it was, the next day seared upon her heart to never, ever hope to enjoy too much for herself. She was not worth it, and if she got it, Michelle certainly knew by now, it would never last.


Someone Has Confused His Rage for This Woman’s Only Life

Posted by jael on Oct 13, 2010 in Politics, Spiritual Journey

Gender Characteristics Which Distinguish Women:

  • lunar cycle
  • estrogen influence:  puberty, sex drive, child birth, menopause
  • physiology:  breasts, hips, vagina, hair
  • socialized to privilege appearance
  • socialized to “be taken care of” by a male figure:  father/husband/boss
  • prone to specific diseases:  eating disorders, Lupus, gynecological disorders, breast cancer

Common Lables Used to Describe Women

slut coquette
whore tease
bitch vamp
dyke flirt
witch trifler
courtesan hoyden
demimonde cunt
demimondaine siren
prostitute prick tease
wench cock tease
harlot gold-digger
strumpet wanton
demirep battle-ax
trollop hag
slattern crone
Jezebel freak
hussy ball and chain
hooker nympho
tramp hex
coutesan old maid
cocotte beldam
lez/lesbian/lesbo bag
vixen bat
skeezer gorgon
Miss Priss hellcat
harridan scamp
cow cow
Pollyanna Jewish Princess
mofo/mother diva
old lady

62 words compose this incomplete list.  What commonalties do you observe?

How many words of similar connotation can you catalogue to describe men?

What sense do you make of your results?

Gender Questions for Women:

  • How does being a woman affect identity?
  • How does being a woman affect social status?
  • How does being a woman affect employment?
  • How does being a woman affect proximity to/in violence?
  • How does being a woman affect political power/affiliation?
  • How does being a woman affect empowerment?
  • How does being a woman affect higher education status?
  • How does gender affect voice?
  • How does gender affect credibility?
  • How does gender affect sexual identity/role?
  • How does the mass media portray women?
  • How does literature represent women?
  • Do women share a common culture?  If so what are its characteristics?

Another Woman

Today another woman died
and not on a foreign field
and not with a rifle strapped to her back,
and not with a large defense of tanks
rumbling and rolling behind her.

She died without CNN covering her war.
She died without talk of intelligent bombs
and strategic targets.
The target was simply her face, her back
her pregnant belly.

The target was her precious flesh
that was once composed like music
in her mother’s body and sung
in the anthem of birth.

The target was this life
that had lived its own dear wildness,
had been loved and not loved,
had danced and not danced.

A life like yours or mine
that had stumbled up
from a beginning
and had learned to walk
and had learned to read
and had learned to sing.

Another woman died today.
not far from where you live;
Just there, next door where the tall light
falls across the pavement.

Just there, a few steps away
where you’ve often heard shouting,
Another woman died today.
She was the same girl
her mother used to kiss;
the same child you dreamed
beside in school.

The same baby her parents
walked in the night with
and listened and listened and listened
For her cries even while they slept.
And someone has confused his rage
with this woman’s only life.

-Carol Geneya Kaplan

I am another woman, though I did not die that day…

I am a lunar creature; I quicken life within me…

I am a woman…

I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!


Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

Posted by jael on Sep 30, 2010 in Parenting, Politics, Spiritual Journey, Technology

I mourn as I write, and share with you my grief as I reflect upon the day’s headlines.  CNN reported on two, tragically similar stories.  Anderson Cooper interviewed Asher Brown’s parents, and the CNN Wire Staff have updated the Tyler Cleminti story all day.

Words are not only too small for the enormous losses suffered by two, American families this week, they also dilute proximate cause:

Asher Brown BOTH Tyler Clementi
Constant victim of bullying TEENAGER Rutgers University freshman
Did not wear trendy clothes or shoes BELOVED SON Gifted Musician
Physically small GAY Played violin
Family repeatedly reported bullying to school COMMITTED SUICIDE THIS PAST WEEK Quiet

Bullied by his peers and called gay for over two years, despite repeated, family interventions to the school, Asher’s choice to come out of the closet to his parents was among his last words.   Asher made this disclosure early on the same day that he entered a closet in his family home and committed suicide by firearm.  Asher was 13.

Tyler Clementi’s last worldly communication was to update his Facebook status, “jumping off gw bridge, sorry.”  Tyler’s suicide is linked to the live, clandestine webcast of a sexual encounter with another man.  Tyler was 18.




Bias incrimination.

Internet as a tool to hurt and destroy a life and/or reputation.

Intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Hate crimes.

Hallelujah breakers all.

The capacity of technology in our society exceeds the judgment, education, and appropriate behaviors of many users.

Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, and Bisexual curious youths are four times as likely to commit suicide as heterosexual youths.

We MUST be part of the solution.

Matthew 5:3-12 (King James Version)

3Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

5Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

6Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

7Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

8Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

9Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

10Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

12Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you, and even though it all went wrong, I’ll stand before the Lord of Song with nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!


More Lipstick

Posted by jael on Sep 24, 2010 in Politics, Spiritual Journey

There’s a Pandora’s Box full of questions that escape once the colloquialism lipstick is appropriated as an adjective that may be applied to other groups. (Please see Lipstick for list of possible associations.)

One of the most obvious questions we already considered, i.e. Why do we presume group affiliation by an individual’s appearance?

Perhaps a more compelling question is why are we suspect of each other’s affiliations? In John Irving’s The World According to Garp, the infamous nurse, Jenny Fields, asserts that she is a sexual suspect because as a woman she rejects conventional marriage, and also chooses to raise a child on her own. Fields goes on to write her memoirs in an autobiography and becomes a celebrated, feminist icon. This social compulsion we have to suspect each other seems to have a lipstick link as clear as a blood stain on white linens.

First, consider that an unsavory connotation lurks beneath the adjective lipstick: “Being able to pass.”

Secondly, ponder that the majority economic and political stakeholder is still (and for 200+ American years running) a white, heterosexual male.

I surly don’t want to pass for any color of man, regardless of his orientation. I also reject all those gestalt, default boxes society uses to categorize un/married woman (of a certain look or age) that often include whore, dyke and bitch. Please note, in all derogatory cases the sexual suspicion.

I fear I sound silly, but reconsider the list below:

lipstick Pro Choice
lipstick Democrat
lipstick Pro Life
lipstick Republican
lipstick racist
lipstick homophobe
lipstick misogynist
lipstick liberal
lipstick conservative
lipstick Soccer Mom
lipstick alcoholic
lipstick philanthropist
lipstick rapist
lipstick friend
lipstick Christian

Under the litmus of suspicion, I also wouldn’t want to pass as a racist, homophobe, misogynist, alcoholic, or racist even if I look like one.

And that’s just a response to the loathsome idea of being judged as a group member clearly abhorrent… How awful would it be for Christians or philanthropists were a brutish pig to pass as one of their own?

Contradictions aside, I never outgrew my academic inclinations… I don’t want to pass, I want to excel. I wanna be Valedictorian, baby.

What blisters is the social, hierarchal judgment: It’s deemed better to be male than female. It’s deemed better to be white than a person of color. It’s deemed better to be straight than gay.

If simply being who we are was good enough, we wouldn’t have the linguistic ability to express the idea of lipstick or being able to pass.

People looking at other people like they know what God they love, party they vote for, or folks they invite into their beds are absolute Hallelujah breakers.

And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!



Posted by jael on Sep 22, 2010 in Politics, Spiritual Journey

A Lipstick lesbian is commonly defined as a lesbian who doesn’t look like a lesbian. In its leanest form, the term means that one is a part of a category without being easily or visually indentified as part of that group. In other words, you can’t tell by looking at the outside of a person who she is or in what she believes in her heart.

Back to lesbians, for a minute, if I may, a lipstick lesbian may exhibit feminine gender attributes like wearing dresses or make-up (lipstick) that contradict popular stereotypes held of lesbians. This more broad view of the adjective “lipstick” makes me wonder to what other groups the term might apply and the implications of such designations.

(I imagine this word study could present a crazy-making proposition to many great individuals of groups I am about to name, and the lesbian community at large that I’ve already identified as the contemporary source of the adjective lipstick. My only defense is to admit that I realized tonight that the term may also apply to me.)

So, if you choose to hang with me, my question asks to what other social subgroups the adjective lipstick might be used when operationally defined as: “one who cannot be easily or visually identified as a part of a group?”

Consider the following, and remember to contemplate the expected characteristics of each group identified negated by attributes or behaviors that would contradict the popular stereotypes of each listed party. In fact, ask yourself what would a non-card-member-carrying __________________ look and act like? In other words, lipstick it!:

lipstick Christian
lipstick Pro Choice
lipstick Democrat
lipstick Pro Life
lipstick Republican
lipstick racist
lipstick homophobe
lipstick misogynist
lipstick liberal
lipstick conservative
lipstick Soccer Mom
lipstick alcoholic
lipstick philanthropist
lipstick rapist
lipstick friend

Clearly, the catalogue could go on and on, and I am certain you get my point.
One cannot tell from outward appearance what in dwells in another’s heart.
One cannot represent ones heart through outward allegiance or appearance.

“…The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
<< 1 Samuel 16:7 >>

I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!

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