Women’s jobs aren’t worthless, dude

How to treat a working woman

(NOTE: This was written several years ago when I was married. I thought it would be fun to share.)

I had a conversation the other day with a friend. We discussed why women’s work is viewed as worthless, even though most of the time we are the spine of a man’s success. This is what she had to say:

“Many men have a problem with ‘unpaid’ work but yeah, its fucking WORK regardless. Women have always worked more than men, we put in countless hours of unpaid contribution to make the world go round. They always see the dollar signs first.

Men’s values are reflected in money… their big homes, big expensive cars, things that are reflective, physical proof of their hard work. It’s like they always have to have some phallic hard-on symbol to show off as proof of their worth. Women, our rewards come from within. Don’t ya think?”

Bravo, friend, bravo!

Who determines our worth?

How it feels to be a wife

(NOTE: This and several upcoming posts were written several years ago when I was married. I thought it would be fun to share them.)

I suppose enough criticism from everyone in your environment can help you to determine whether or not you’re a worthless wife. Your family, your kids, your significant other, and even your neighbors can all contribute to that cause. After all, wives should be perfect in every way, 24/7, in sickness and in health, and do it with a smile on their faces.

“Alex’s mom is cool. She looks like a movie star and lets us stay up as late as we want,” the kids might say.

Nice. Alex’s mom is also a two-bit whore who screws her husband’s best friend.

“What’s for dinner tonight?” the husband might say. “I’m hungry.”

Dinner? It’s only one in the afternoon. I’m still digesting lunch.

“You should be helping your husband mow the lawn,” the neighbor might say.

Sure thing. I’ll get out my razor and make a landing strip as soon as he picks his dirty clothes up off of the bathroom floor.

“You two should plan sex at least two or three times a week. You need to keep your husband happy,” the mother might say.

Plan sex? Oh how romantic! Is that why you’re such a bitch after 3 “happy” marriages?

I’ll shut up now. After all, isn’t that what women are supposed to do?

Does working from home deem women worthless?

You can relax if you have a man’s job.

(NOTE: This and several upcoming posts were written several years ago when I was married. I thought it would be fun to share them.)

I have worked just about every type of job under the sun. I have been my own boss and run my own home businesses off and on over the years, sometimes making just as much or more as I would if I left the house and drove to an office. Like anyone who has had their own business, I am fully aware of how long it takes to establish oneself. However, those who depend on weekly paychecks do not. For some reason, people are inclined to think that working from home is a worthless job. Especially if you’re a woman.

When I first started my latest business three years ago, I was told by my mother that I needed to find a job in order to help my husband (he makes a decent income but likes to spend it all at once). This was coming from a woman who was unemployed throughout most of my childhood because she gave up her career in medicine for a jealous alcoholic, and then later settled to work at a retail store when she finally decided she wanted to get out of the house.

The other day I was told by my significant other that I don’t work a real job because:

1. I don’t have to leave the house from 8am-5pm each day.
2. My income is irregular, and it’s not a “real” paycheck.
3. I can do laundry at the same time I am working.
4. Because of all of the above, I am considered “unemployed”.

This became a very heated topic. Since my home-based business has provided our family with tax write-offs, flexibility for me to be a wife and mother as needed, and “fun” income, I decided to be the worthless woman he thinks I am. I closed my business. Now he will see what me being unemployed really means, especially when tax time rolls around in six months… and the laundry isn’t clean… and the dishes aren’t clean… and the house is a mess…

And now I will take MY vacation.

Spring Cleaning My Mind

I’ve been meaning to sit down and write a lot more lately, but I’ve had some issues to deal with before I have allowed myself to actually sit. I started redecorating my place after my landlord did some improvements to my bathroom, so for two or three weeks I was painting and cleaning and getting rid of what no longer serves me. For instance, some prints of Key West that were given to me while I was married that I have outgrown, two bags of clothing that either didn’t fit me or I wonder why the hell I bought it in the first place, things I’d saved as “art supplies” but never used, and even my living room rug that I had while I was married. I just want things that are mine to begin with, not a reminder of the past that I had with someone else. Plus, I’m preparing for surgery next week and want my home in order so I have nothing to worry about. I enjoy living minimally with only the quality things that I need and things that keep me occupied.

Another thing I’ve done is take a risk to focus more on freelance work and other projects rather than slaving for someone else, especially since the wages in my area are horrible and barely worth getting out of bed. Besides, the amount of appointments and surgery/recovery time I have would not sit well with any employer. I may have less income coming in, but I’m happier, less stressed, and flexibility is important to me. Plus, my health is my number one priority at the moment, of which most employers seem to be so flippant.

With that previous statement in mind, I recently met a woman that had worked for a large corporation for many years and was let go without any warning, and it changed her entire life. She is now self-employed and less stressed, yet also lower in income. It’s a double-edged sword, but happiness is more important. We discussed how so many employers no longer truly care about their employees; employees are replaceable and unappreciated. It reminded me of the last company I worked for that didn’t even give its employees a Christmas/holiday party, not even a “thank you” at the end of the year. That was a tell-tale sign for me to run from the place, and I did two months later. Why on earth would I get up in the morning to make someone else rich that could care less if I was hit by a bus?

With all of this going on, I have noticed an internal change in myself as well. While I painted for days, I listened to a lot of podcasts and got into a zen mode. I didn’t feel like being around other people. I wasn’t thinking about the actual work I was doing; I was just being, which is a huge step for me, because I have a tendency to think and overthink all too often. Although at times my mind did wander, and I did do a lot of thinking about the things going on in my life… and the people that have affected me in all sorts of ways.

I was invited out a few times by friends in town and another one going away, so it was a nice change to have some girl time. (Since most of my friends are boyfriended up, it’s rare to have girl time anymore.) While I realize I don’t exactly fit in to any group, I have a variety of friends of all shapes, sizes, ages, and backgrounds. There are some people that, once they get boyfriended up, stop being friends until they have an issue. Or my one friend, that when we do finally get together, ends up constantly on her phone with the boyfriend texting and calling nonstop. It’s the most annoying fucking thing in the world, not to mention rude. I also realize that I’m the one initiating getting together with some friends almost 100% of the time. So I stopped doing it. And I haven’t heard a word from any of them. I often feel like people only contact me when they need something or when they’re bored and no one else is around. No one wants to feel this way.

I have distanced myself from dating again. While I’m open to meet new people, the whole “dating” and trying to find “the one” thing seems to be useless. Men are either too preoccupied pursuing multiple women or “work too much” or have small children or otherwise emotionally unavailable. Either be in it or GTFO, because I value my time, and people who waste it are the epitome of ass. And then there’s the other side of the spectrum – after one date they think they’re going to marry me. It’s not happening. None of it.

And while I’m sitting here typing this, I’m watching a millipede crawl across the floor. I am a big person on signs from the Universe… and the symbolism of the millipede, according to Ted Andrews:

“Damp environments are symbolic of creative, psychic, and emotional areas. For those to whom the millipede is a messenger, it’s important to find an environment supportive to their creative and psychic sensibilities, necessary for their health and well-being. Centipedes and millipedes often remind us to be careful of what we say and how we say it. They alert us to new psychic environments and connections and to new and previously unrecognized psychic relationships. They also appear to alert us to any possible pitfalls within those relationships. Theirs is the energy of quiet protection in psychic exploration.” (Ted Andrews Animal-Wise.)

Seems to be quite fitting.

When Memories of Your Ex Dredge Up Annoyance

Sometimes you don’t notice things about yourself until someone else points it out. One of my friends pointed out that she’s noticed I have been mentioning a little about my ex husband more so than usual, mentioning things that he did that pissed me off. I guess I had been obsessing more with OC and anyone else in the past five years rather than concentrate on my divorce and the issues I had with my ex. But I didn’t see the need for it at the time, and I had pretty much doused my brain in alcohol to deal with it.

One of the things I mentioned to her the other day was the fact that my ex used to ruin things for me that I worked very hard to get. For example, when we were first married and had a brand new house, he decided he wanted a dog, even though he was working too much for the responsibility of one. So guess who ended up taking care of the dog, cleaning up shit and dirt and everything else that goes along with having a pet? Well, I’ll tell you it wasn’t him. The dog even tore up my things – sentimental things – and not his, which obviously made me fume. It actually made me resent my ex, because I thought it was unfair to put the responsibility on me when I clearly said I didn’t want a dog. (The dog turned out to be great, but that’s not the point.)

I was trying to run a photography business out of my home, but my domestic duties and caring for the dog was really getting in the way. My ex had no idea how to run or build a business and thought that since I was “home all day” I did nothing but “play on the computer”. (I guess writing two books, having a clean home and laundry, and doing everything else just magically happened.) I had created a portable studio in the house and was offering portraits for families, children, and women. For women, sometimes they’d want a maternity shoot or a boudoir shoot – something intimate and personal – and I wanted to be sure everything was professional so they’d feel comfortable, tell all of their friends, and I’d gain new business.

There was one woman that wanted a boudoir shoot for her husband, and she brought her friend with her, which I highly recommended as a safety measure. Since they would be coming to my home, I told my then husband he had to be gone when my client got there. It was imperative that when they arrived, they’d feel at ease without a male presence around, because from experience, sometimes that can be creepy. So what did he do? He stuck around until they got there and made sure he introduced himself to them. I let them know he’s leaving right now and glared at him to get the hell out.

I was super annoyed that he did that; it made it seem unprofessional to me. Looking back, he did all sorts of shit that sabotaged my career and a lot of other things I did. And now that I’m rebuilding everything from the bottom up and see him around town doing just fine and living the high life, I get angry, because I was there to boost him in his career.

Shortly after that incident, I found out he’d been searching my computer looking for the photos of my client, which really set me off, but I was very good at “hiding” the content under various folders, and he wasn’t as computer literate as I. But it made me mad that I couldn’t trust him, and I thought it was rude and creepy… and that I couldn’t even do my job without him interfering. I felt that he crossed a boundary, because my clients entrusted me to their personal needs. I feel that by him just being at the house when the other women arrived, it hurt my business.

I know that no relationship is perfect, and he had a lot of good things about him, but now that I’m divorced and sometimes reminded of things, I think why was I with this person? How did I not see he was either competing with me and one-upping me on everything (I’ll write about that later) or sabotaging what I was working to do? I guess I was blinded by love, because he was the only guy that I had dated at the time that was nice to me. But sometimes that “nice” is just to get what they want.

Why Do Women Fail to Report Sexual Assault or Harassment?

I’ve been watching the #metoo movement for a while now and all of the scandals with celebrities and other men in high places that don’t deserve a mention on my blog that have been outed for sexual assault and/or harassment. Alanis Morrisette sang about it 20-something years ago in her hit song “Right Through You“. The most recent celebrity scandal coming to light again is in the docu-series called “Surviving R. Kelly.” It’s amazing what money can buy to either silence or shame the victims in this fucked up, male-dominated world. And for people that continue to wonder why women wait or never speak up about sexual assault or harassment, consider this:

When I was in my early 20s, I answered ads at my local college photography department to do modeling for some students and instructors. One person in particular was an older man (a student), probably twice my age and older than my father. As it turned out, he lived in a multi-million dollar beachside home and also happened to own a talent agency.

Although I was extremely naive and trusting (because at the time my process of thinking was if he’s a student at my college, he must be safe… mmmkay), I was also aware of my surroundings and felt nothing threatening about him. I felt comfortable doing some modeling for him at both his home studio and on the public beach in front of his home. Things were okay, although he may have made a few unwelcome comments that I hadn’t quite caught onto.

After a few modeling sessions and promises to get me actual work through his agency – surprise! – nothing quite panned out. He knew that I was looking for odd jobs due to my college classes, so we agreed that I was going to paint a mural on his kitchen wall at an hourly rate. Being that I was both an art student and a single mom at the time, I thought this was a great arrangement to further my talents with a flexible schedule. Now remember that this was just over 20 years ago, so I don’t quite remember all of the details, but I believe it took me two to three trips to paint the mural.

On my last visit, this talent agent set up a camera, which I’d assumed was to film me painting. This particular mural was on a lower wall, so I was sitting or kneeling on the floor to work. Next thing I know, this man is behind me feeling me up, telling me to pose and look at the camera. I froze. I wasn’t sure how to react. He towered about a foot taller than me and certainly doubled my weight. I was alone in a house with someone I’d gained some trust, and his hand was literally up my shorts. I squirmed away, and he did it again. Eventually, my squirming and non-reaction finally caused him to stop. I recall him saying something along the lines of me not being turned on. Yeah, no shit, ya old skeezy perv!

I just wanted out of there, so I made some excuse that I had to leave to pick up my daughter from daycare. I packed my gear and never went back, never completing the mural. Obviously, this asshole had ulterior motives before hiring me. Hindsight says he knew EXACTLY what he was doing and carefully planned it.

Now here’s the thing – I can’t tell you specific dates of this event (I could probably narrow it to the year but it would take some research), but what I can tell you are specific details that I do recall. He had a daughter in college about my age, which was really fucking creepy thinking about it now. I was painting the dunes and seagrass of the beach. I was wearing somewhat baggy overall shorts with a tank top underneath. I was barefoot. His finger penetrated me. I remember feeling grossed-out, disgusted, humiliated, and somewhat helpless. How did I know he wasn’t going to hurt me or hold me down and force himself upon me? I felt powerless. All I could think about was getting the hell out of there, picking up my daughter, and going home to shower off the shame I was feeling. But of course we cannot shower off feelings. Feelings are the details that victims/survivors remember, and there may be triggers over an entire lifetime that rekindle them. For me personally, any unwelcome touch from a male can be a trigger.

Did I report this man? No. Why? Because as many women are either taught or as our backwards society thinks, I had put myself in a position to be alone with someone of wealth in his home, and no one would believe a young, single mom in college that needs money. I did not fight back. I did not verbally say no, although my body language clearly did. And I was too inexperienced to know that a man older than my father may not know better than to touch a woman his own daughter’s age inappropriately. You know how some of us have been taught that our elders are right?  Well, they aren’t always.

There is no doubt in my mind that I wasn’t the first, last, or only woman to whom he had done this. Even today, I think it’s pointless to come out and name this man. I have no idea if he still lives in the area or if he’s even still alive. If he were to run for office today, I would probably continue to keep my mouth shut, because survivors are constantly scrutinized, called liars, and put through the wringer and victimized all over again. I don’t want my private life made public (no matter what I may post here), and what proof do I have? My word against his, unless of course that video he was taking resurfaced. It would only add salt to old wounds, and who wants to be subjected to that? Unless, of course, several others came out and we united, then I would stand with my sisters.

I applaud women that are brave enough to come out with their stories, because these predators need to be exposed. But coming out after 20+ years isn’t for everyone. I can only imagine how many women have never told a soul about these types of behaviors and took it to the grave. It’s a dark secret to carry.