What about the Colons?

2 Sep

So at some point, some person of probably not very many brains decided that for Breast Cancer Awareness, women on facebook should post a status update with just the color of their bra. “Pink” “Beige” “Flowery” or whatever. This was supposed to utterly confuse and confound all the manz and somehow raise awareness of breast cancer. I’m not sure it did much good, and largely was a bunch of women giggling about how clever they are to post random colors in their facebooks as a way to “confuse the silly men”.

(What confusing the silly menz has to do with breast cancer I’ll never know, it all seems like a big attention whoring stunt to me.)

(Also ALSO, men get breast cancer too, and often can’t get care for it because they don’t have the boobies, so maybe we should be including them in this awareness thing too?)

The next year it was about purses and was even dumber. This one was also suggestive sounding and didn’t have anything even remotely to do with breast cancer. In fact, it was pointless as such. At least bras have boobs in them.

This year, I got the following note:

k ladies it’s that time of year again, in support of breast cancer awareness!! So we all remember last years game of writing your bra color as your status?…..or the way we like to have our handbag handy? Well this year, it’s slightly different. You need to write your shoe size,( just the number) followed by the word ‘inches’ and how long it takes to do your hair… Remember last year so many people took part it made national news and, the constant updating of status reminded everyone why we’re doing this and helped raise awareness!! (eg 5 inches, 10 minutes) DO NOT TELL any males what the status’ mean, keep them guessing!! And please copy and paste (in a message )this to all your female friends to see if we can make a bigger fuss this year than last year!!! I did my part… now YOUR turn ! Go on ladies…and let’s have all the men guessing ! xxxxx

And I rolled my eyes so hard that they hurt.

No shit guys, making status updates that are cryptically sexy is going to get attention… because it’s about cryptic sexiness, not because it’s supporting breast cancer. It’s like putting a stupid little pink bow on a box of condoms and saying they’re breast cancer condoms.

That’s called pinkwashing, by the way.

But as usual, I opted not to be Queen Douche of Cunt Mountain and didn’t post a ranting screed on my facebook page, even when “7 inches, 10 minutes” started showing up in my facebook feed.


Then it got ugly.

Then I got the following note:

It’s that time of year again in support of Breast Cancer Awareness! We all remember last years game of writing your bra color as your status? or the way we like to have our handbag handy?

Remember last year so many people took part that it made national news and the constant updating of status reminded everyone why we’re doing this and helped raise awareness!

DO NOT tell any males what the status’ mean, keep them guessing And please Broadcast this to all ur female friends to see if we can make a bigger fuss this year than last year

I did my part… So now its YOUR turn!

The idea is to choose the month You were born and the day you were born. Pass this on to the girls only and lets see how far it reaches around. The last one about the bra went round the world.

So you’ll write… I’m (your birth month) weeks and I’m craving (your birth date) !!! as your status

Example: Feb 14th= I’m 2 weeks and craving Choclolate mints!!


Days of the month:

1- Skittles
2- Starburst
3- Kit-Kat
4- M&M’s
5- Tomatoes
6- Ice Cream
7- Dairy Milk
8- Lollipop
9- Peanut Butter Cups
10- Meat Balls
11- Twizzlers
12- Bubble Gum
13- Hershey’s Kisses
14- Chocolate Mints
15- Twix
16- Cheese
17- Fudge
18- Cherry Jello
19- Banana’s
20- Pickels
21- Chicken Wings
22- Skittles
23- Gummy Bears
24- Gummy Worms
25- Strawberry Pop Tarts
26- Starburst
27- Mini Eggs
28- Kit-Kat Chunkie
29- Double Chocolate Chip Chrunchy Cookies 30- Smarties
31- Chocolate Cake

Have Fun!

Ok, What?

I’m supposed to PRETEND TO BE PREGNANT, so that I can … support breast cancer? The hell? That doesn’t make any sense. Also, you can’t be 1 week pregnant (and know about it).


The part that really just burns the fuck out of my toast?

People who have breast cancer, and get chemo, often suffer from infertility.

How awesome do you think it makes them feel to see the other women on facebook making fun of pregnancy ha ha look I got your attention about nothing? Not to mention the 1 in 6 couples in the US that struggle with infertility? Or the 1 in 4 pregnancies that ends in misccariage?

Oh wait, you didn’t mean to be a douchecanoe? Well, grats, you kinda did anyway.

Also, you did absolutely nothing to support breast cancer. Nobody reading your status will be more educated or have more outlets to donate to research or anything remotely useful.

As an aside, breast cancer gets a TON of press these days. There’s pink fucking KITCHEN UTENSILS that are supposed to support Breast Cancer. Right. (Pinkwashing again. They do it with teddybears too)

So, here’s some trivia for you:

What is the #1 killer of women in the United States?

Here’s a hint, it’s not breast cancer.

It’s heart disease. #2 is ALL CANCER COMBINED. #3 is Stroke.

Colon cancer and ovarian cancers are both hugely deadly. In fact, breast cancer, thanks to all of the research and publicity, has one of the best long term prognoses for survivors, especially when caught early. The same isn’t always true of other cancers.

Why aren’t we talking about saving the hearts? Or the ovaries? Or the colons? Maybe because those aren’t as sexy as boobs. Maybe because they can’t be sexualized and objectified in a way that uses pictures of bulging cleavage and status updates about the color of our bras (tee hee, we’re so sneaky!)

And maybe I’m a little bitter, and a little angry.

But I really think this is all ridiculous.

If you want to support breast cancer – POST ABOUT BREAST CANCER. It means a whole lot more to hear “I knew SuchandSuch Person with cancer, and she’s a fighter and a survivor, and lived for X years” and then post a link to the American Cancer Society.

Don’t belittle the infertility struggles of actual breast cancer survivors and many many others with a ridiculous post that makes your friends think you’re pregnant, as if that’s some kind of thing everyone wants.

“Just kidding! I wanted to tell you about breast cancer awareness” is an extra step that nobody needs. Just post about cancer, and leave game playing to game playing.

I don’t care a whit if you want to post about how many tampons you use in a month and the color of your armpit hair. Trying to tie it in a cheeky, useless manner to an actual serious problem is stupid and solves nothing.

And if you want to raise awareness about a serious problem, maybe pick something other than breasts.


Drive Like an Asshole

1 Sep

[[It’s another busy week in Bika Land. I regret that I did not have time to doodle illustrations for this post, so please do me a favor and imagine a lot of MS-paint style drawings of cars and stick figures with extended middle fingers. Thanks!]]


The most important thing to remember when you’re on the highway is that driving is a competition. The most straightforward way to win is to maintain control of the leftmost, or fastest lane. Moving to the right for any reason other than to perform a last-second highway exit is a sign of weakness.

How do you know you’re winning? Look to your left. Is there a lane? Move into it. Repeat as necessary until you are in the fastest lane. Protip: Using your turn signal while Winning is also a sign of weakness. Avoid using them at all costs or the other drivers on the road WILL laugh at you.

It is not necessary or even desirable to be the fastest car. What’s important is only that you are in the fastest lane. In fact, it’s dangerous to go over the speed limit, so you should keep 1-2 mph under unless it begins to rain. Rainwater cushions the air and makes it safe to add 20+ mph to your maximum speed.

BFFs: Winning ALL the Lanes

A variation of Winning, the BFF is one of the few maneuvers that can elevate a right-lane driver to a Win. There’s something magnetic about a bluehair chugging along in the slow lane, unable or unwilling to push the speedometer over 45. If you knew what pity was, you might feel it for the slow car; content yourself by matching speeds with your new best friend and creating an effective passing block. If you control the left lane and there is no one in front of you, you are the winner. Your new BFF is a free ticket to a long-term Win.

Style points: Finesse Maneuvers

Once you’ve mastered Winning, there are several optional tactics you can try, either singly or in combination. A well-played traffic combo can earn you a technical win with far more flair than a straightforward leftward lane-change.


Any vehicles that maintain 0.7 car lengths or more between themselves are signaling a Cuddlebot maneuver. Move into that empty space and fill the void in their big greasy machine hearts–be the cheese in their sandwich, the creme filling in their cookie.


Don’t get right-lane cooties if you can avoid it. At highway exits, cut across the right lane(s) at the last possible second. Multiply points by the number of lanes crossed at once; triple points for clipping the front bumper of a right-lane vehicle as you cut them off.

The Moses

When there are exactly three lanes, forgo the Win by camping the center lane. Lock your cruise control in at 15 mph below the speed limit and watch as traffic parts around you like the Red Sea. Variation: On two-lane highways, drive in the median. Turn signal use is optional–keeping other vehicles on their toes is a critical part of Winning at traffic.

What I’m not eating anymore

1 Sep

Food is such a weird subject sometimes. It’s hard to keep what you’re eating straight most of the time, between all the pseudo news science and fad diets, organic versus local versus whatever you can afford, food allergies and new labels and what the hell is a Xanthan anyway, and why is it gummy?

Labels on food have been kind of eyeroll-inducing for awhile, but it seems to be getting worse lately. I’ve seen trans-fat free labels on blueberries and fat free stickers on bananas, gluten free vegetables – and that’s just the produce department. Packaged foods are now telling me how many grams of whole grain are in them, even going so far as to sell sweetened, packaged, enriched bleached flour children’s cereal as “part of a healthy breakfast” because they have “whole grains”.

So perhaps it’s not so strange that I’d eyeroll at all those labels and ignore them, cracking it all up to food fads and secretly making sarcastic remarks in my head.

(This is where I’d do a cool segue if I could think of one, and it would be sophisticated and thoughtful and you’d all love me for my transitional abilities. But I can’t think of one. So.

Segues are for suckers.)

Approximately one week ago, I finally got something resembling a diagnosis for my chronic pain, fatigue, and other issues. One of those issues is a tummy issue, and I’ll avoid TMI’ing you overmuch, but let’s just say that my system worked overtime, all the time, and I’d be running to the bathroom 4-6 times a day on a normal day. Which is pretty disrupting, all things considered, especially when you can’t move very fast because your joints hurt.


Doctor put me on new medication, told me I have to swim several times a week, gave me a bunch of activity restrictions… and told me to go gluten free for 3 months.

Three months, no gluten AT ALL. Not “a little bit every now and then”. Not “if you feel better you can cheat a little”.


I woke up last Thursday morning and went through my pantry, trying to figure out what I could eat. I literally had NO IDEA where to start. Even as someone who eats a lot of whole foods, I couldn’t eat any of my breakfast staples – no oatmeal, no granola bars, no cereal, no multi-grain muffins.

I ended up eating a banana and an egg.

Friday, I went grocery shopping, and I found myself feeling kind of like an asshole about rolling my eyes at the gluten free labels.

Maybe not on the strawberries (no duh?), but on packaged goods? All of a sudden I was floundering like an idiot, thrown head first into this exclusion diet where nearly every packaged item we eat contains gluten (anything with soy sauce, anything with MSG, anything with maltodextrin or malt sweeteners, anything that uses a food starch anti-caking agent for those anonymous “spices”).

Those “Gluten Free!” labels became a little lifeline, a little sanity break that meant I didn’t have to grill my brain to remember which of the various ingredients might have gluten, or be processed in such a way as to be easily contaminated with gluten (like white vinegar).

So far I’m not sure what to think of eating gluten free. It’s a huge mental process, and I seem to vacillate between “I can do this”, “I will never be able to eat anything again”, and “Why am I bothering?”

I definitely don’t roll my eyes at the Gluten Free labels anymore.

Though I do still make snide remarks in my head about trans-fat free blueberries…

Dear Divas

30 Aug

Since our posts here at the Divas are all over the map in terms of subjects, and because some of us are potty-mouthed and irreverent, we get some pretty awesome search terms from time to time.

Today, I found this question nestled within the stats, and thought hey, this person deserves an answer:

what to do if you discover your child is writing smut

Well, anonymous internet person who landed here by a terrible google search, I can help!

First of all, let’s talk semantics.  “Smut” is a great word.  It’s even fun to say.  Go on, speak it aloud.  You know you want to.  You can even sing it a little if you like.  But neat as it is, there’s a negative connotation to it, too, isn’t there?

babushka cat 2009-12
Oh look, Betty.  Mildred’s reading those smutty books again.

It sounds dirty.  Shameful.  And, since we’re being honest here at the Divas, it makes the person saying (or typing) it sound kind of prudish.  It’s a word you whisper in horror, nose wrinkled in distaste, especially when you can’t bring yourself to say “sex.”  Or worse, “porn.

I admit, I’m hopping to some pretty big conclusions here.  Maybe you just didn’t want to wade through the scads of X-rated search results that would come up if you said “My fourteen year-old wrote about Elrond giving Legolas a blowjob.”

If that’s the case, this next bit isn’t for you.

Sex is not shameful.  Writing about sex isn’t shameful.  Our bodies are pretty awesome things, and, much as parents might want to shield their kids from it, teenagers are acutely aware of its existence.  You can blame movies and music TV all you like, but when puberty kicks in, their hormones are going OMFG THIS IS GREAT.  (And, an aside here:  you have had that talk with them, right?  It might be embarrassing and awkward and omg-mom-ewwwww, but as @officergleason said when I asked him to proofread this post: “parents should talk to their kids about sex, sexuality, porn and the difficult things as they need to.  And they need to more reguarly than anyone would like to admit.”)

Writing stories with romance and sex is practically a rite of passage for teenagers these days, especially the crowd who devours books like they’re candy.

It’s another way of exploring their sexuality.  They’re probably also sneaking peeks at someone’s older brother’s copies of Hustler and staying up late to watch themselves some Skinemax.  Or they’re being really daring and finding the interesting corners of the internet.

Which, of course, might be how you discovered said smut, if you were looking at the Darling Offspring’s recent history.

I’m going to continue on with the assumptions here, and guess you’ve found some good old-fashioned fanfiction.  You might recognize some of the characters from your kid’s favorite books/movies/tv shows/anime, only they’re doing things that were never in the books.  Those characters are very likely performing some hair-raising bedroom acrobatics with one another.  Harry and Draco!  Snape and Tonks!  Arwen, Galadriel and Frodo!


Any of those characters plus someone you’re pretty sure wasn’t part of the cast.  Only, this invader seems to be suddenly more important that Harry/Frodo/Bella.  Did a randomly kickass woman join up with the sausage-fest that is the Fellowship of the Ring?  And all the men and hobbits are fighting to be her One True Love?  Does she carry the ring for Frodo for a while before slipping off into the bushes for smutty-times with Legolas?

That’s what we call a self-insert.  Your offspring has made him/herself a character in the story.

Sorry, Mildred, but that’s your kid fondling the Horn of Gondor.   I’ll give you a moment to collect yourself.

Which, I guess brings us back to the question:

What should you do if you discover your child is writing smut?

My first instinct here is this:

  • Close the file and walk away.  You probably weren’t meant to see that.  Your son or daughter might be passing this around to his or her friends and sharing it with the denizens of the internet, but mom and dad reading it?  That’s about as squicky for them as it was for you when you first read “And then Lupin’s soft rosebud lips encircled Snape’s engorged purple love-tool…” in Junior’s handwriting.

If you still feel the need to talk to them about it, there are a couple of things I want you to think about.

First, does your kid have an expectation of privacy in the place where you found this story?  As in, when you bought them that laptop, did you tell them you’d be checking their browser history and reading their emails while they were at school?  Or if you found a hard-copy version, was it stashed somewhere that you’d have to go digging around to uncover?  The extent to which you allow your children their privacy is, frankly, none of my business.  While on the one hand, I think it’s a parent’s responsibility to make sure their kids aren’t doing things online that can endanger them, I am also a staunch believer in personal space, and the respecting thereof.  Where that line falls in your household is your call.  But if your kid expected that wherever you found their story was someplace parent-free, be ready for some upset words and a good bout of yelling.

Also.  They’re probably not going to stop writing it; they’re just going to hide it better.  Not that I think keeping your mouth shut so you can keep on monitoring their Friendface account without their knowledge is a good solution.  But just sayin’ — if you start breezily with “Oh, I borrowed your computer to find a chocolate chip cookie recipe and came across This Shocking Thing,” chances are the next time you start up their machine, you’ll either find it password-protected or they’ll have buried the smut in a folder you’ll never ever find.  Likewise with “I went into your desk to borrow a pen and found Edward and Jacob: Forever Fangs.”  It’ll get moved out of the desk and into somewhere even more secret.

If you’re still dead-set on Having a Talk…

  • Figure out what your concerns are.  What is it that truly bothers you about this piece of writing?  Why?  If you’re going to wave around a printout and essentially say “OMG TEH PR0NZ,” you’re not going to get very far.  It’s, uh.  Probably a little late for a birds-and-bees talk, but it could be a good time for those other puberty-related chats you might want to have with your kids.  Y’know, the ones I don’t really know about from the parenting side since I only have cats, and none of them have working bits.
  • Deliver your concerns calmly.  Ask questions.
  • Listen.  You might get some eyerolling or angry/embarrassed silence.  Chances are, your kid had an idea for a story — one that happened to involve teh sex — and wrote it down.  No deeper, hidden meanings there.  But if you’ve twigged onto something that truly needs talking about, have a conversation.  Don’t judge, be supportive.

Stuff that is cause for concern: if you think it’s not fiction after all, and that the story is about your child or one of their friends being harmed, or inflicting harm on another person, it is perfectly valid to talk to them about it.

That said, hoooooold up a second.  There is a… sub-genre?  Trope?  in fan-fiction, one that to a fanfic outsider can look awfully disturbing.  You’re going to find stories where one character is treated horribly by another so that the love-interest can come to the rescue.  The villains are essentially turned up to eleven.  Sometimes the love-interest is the one inflicting the pain.  A closer examination of that trope is a whole other post, but the short form, the tl;dr form, is this:  almost always, one character either saves another, or turns the evil-doer around.  It might creep you the hell out.  You might be thinking, “but things don’t happen like that.”  Or, “that character needs to go to the police, not back to their abuser.”

Again, I will say this:  chances are, your kid knows that.  And in the real world, would come straight to you or another trusted adult if something happened.  However, I don’t think it’d be entirely amiss for you to check in on that point if you’re not sure.  Nine times out of ten, ninety-nine out of a hundred, nine hundred ninety-nine out of a thousand, you will be preaching to the choir.

Those fears assuaged, think about it this way:  your child is not huffing paint or sacrificing squirrels to dark gods.  They’re writing stories about sex they probably aren’t actually having.

They’re writing.  Call me biased, but that’s a damned good hobby to have.  Someday it might even turn into a career.  Hell, there are people who get paid to write stories set in other people’s already-established universes.  Go to your local bookstore and browse through the sf/f section.  See those rows and rows of Star Wars and Star Trek novels?  Those are officially sanctioned fanfics.

And if they stray out of fanfic but keep writing smut?  There’s good money in that, too.  After you’ve checked out the media tie-in books, turn around and look at the romance section.  Look at the imprints with names like “Blaze” and “Spice” and “Bow-chicka-wow-wow.”

Okay, I might have made one of those up.

What I’m saying is, your kid is flexing some literary muscles.  Sure, right now they’re playing in someone else’s world, with someone else’s characters, but while they’re doing that, they’re learning about what makes a good story.  They’re figuring out plot and setting and dialogue.  Yes, even porny plots.  This isn’t a bad thing, or a sign of a troubled kid.

If you take no other comfort from this post, I’ll leave you with this:

Hey, at least they’ll pass English.

Vacation Insert, Part Four.

25 Aug

Here, have something a little retro and a lot cool. Caro Emerald.

((Interesting note?

Yeah, that screwed me up, too.))

Vacation Insert, Part Three.

25 Aug

You know those copy and paste status messages on Facebook? “Repost if you agree” things? Don’t use them. Ever. They make me angry. Like this kid.

Vacation Insert, Part Two.

23 Aug

She has more talent in her left boob than I have in my entire body.