And They Wonder Why We Say Nothing…

 

Tuğçe Albayrak died on her 23rd birthday.  She was taken off life support nearly 2 weeks after being struck in the head by a catcaller she had thwarted.  She had come to the aid of two teens in a McDonald’s bathroom who were being harassed and her attacker came back later to retaliate.  Her “penalty” for coming to the aid of two girls was her death.  

Catcalling is not harmless.  It is not flattering.  It is not meant as a compliment.  It’s a power trip designed to make women feel vulnerable.  And when women (and men) stand up to this, they are made to pay for having the audacity to fight back.

Cooling Down

The  temperatures have taken a turn downward, and I couldn’t be more grateful.  I am in my element during the fall weather.  I love blazers and layers, and booties.  I also find myself being more and more drawn to gold jewelry, instead of my formerly beloved silver.

 

Cooling Down

Should v. Must

In my obsession with reinvention, I am always seeking out stories of people who have made a 180-degree shift in their life.  Who have left behind the known and forged ahead into a strange new world, but one of their own making.  Their stories are always inspirational, no matter how they are told, but sometimes the narrative resonates especially well.  Enter, “The Crossroads of Should and Must” by Elle Luna.

This “pep talk” touches on not only the aspirational and joyful place where the true and most honest version of you intersects with the way in which you live your life, but all the obstacles that are in the way, whether internal or external.

Whether you are just looking for a good story, or need another push to choose the “must” version of your life, it’s a lovely, poignant and well-told tale.

Headlines

The movie gods are smiling down on me, because hope is not lost for the sequels to the David Fincher version of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  I loved Rooney Mara’s understated and vulnerable, but fierce, affect (Noomi  Rapace, I love you, too, but you almost looked too bad-ass to play Lisbeth).  Thankfully, Mara “would love to do” the sequels.

This headline is somewhat perplexing to me: Kate Lanphear is Now the Editor-in-Chief of Maxim.  As a huge Lanphear fan, I have been waiting to hear where she landed post-Elle, and this is most…unexpected.  In terms of having a strong impact, I can understand being excited to joining a publication that is looking to make a large image shift.  However, I am also slightly (and totally selfishly) disappointed because I expected that she would land at a publication that I would actually read.

Lady Crush: Jenna Lyons

 

Jenna Lyons, Creative Director for J. Crew, is one of my personal heroes.  I love what she has done with J. Crew.  I love her philosophy on the sexiness of not trying too hard; it really resonates with my personal ethos of never feeling too “done.”  I love that she is a powerful businesswoman, but also one that seems to have managed that feat while being likable.  Too often, I think women are forced to resort to being a so-called bitch to succeed in business, so it’s gratifying that she was able to achieve what she has while remaining personable.

Today she was featured on one of my favorite blogs, Into the Gloss.  It was a great peek into her bathroom cabinets and her home.  I look at her shelves filled with magazines and it makes me mourn all the glossy pages I have had to throw away each time I have moved.

Check out the whole interview and her product preferences at Into the Gloss.

It is 2014.

I have to keep reminding myself that it is, indeed, 2014. I wouldn’t be able to discern this from so many incidents in recent history, not the least of which was yesterday’s SCOTUS decision in the Hobby Lobby case.

This decision reminded me, once again, that we are in a dark age in which corporations and religious groups are treated more like ‘persons’ than women. Their voices and views hold more sway than a woman’s right to self-determination, including her right to make the very private choice of which contraceptive method is appropriate for her situation and medical needs or preferences.

In 2014, a business can win a Supreme Court case based on its distorted view of the scientific mechanism of contraceptive methods, all without having to prove the science behind that view.  It is merely enough that they have a “sincerely held” belief in bad science.

In 2014, protesters are permitted to harass and vilify women who are seeking out providers of the entirely legal procedure of abortion.  States are passing statutes that are forcing women to submit to archaic and violative steps prior to securing an abortion in an attempt to shame them into making a different choice.  Clinics that provide not only abortion services, but other women’s healthcare services, are forced to close their doors due to overbearing statutes.

Perhaps most galling, these people’s compassion and fervor for the sanctity of life ends at the beginning of that life.   They oppose “government handouts” that would keep these children, the ones that they so desperately want these women to birth, fed and provided with healthcare.  They stand in the way of access to contraception that would prevent unwanted pregnancies and the need for abortions.  They cry out for small government, yet want to insert governmental oversight into the most private of arenas.  It is utter and complete hypocritical bullshit.

It is tiring and depressing to see this ever-increasing barrage against women’s rights to control their own bodies, as if existing in this world as a woman isn’t difficult enough without government-sanctioned interference and discrimination.

I hope for better news in the upcoming years.  I hope that women are so fed up with this infantilizing crap that they turn out to the polls in full force and vote out the old guard who are afraid of women having control of their bodies and destinies.  I hope and I write because the other option is to sink into despair, and I won’t give them the satisfaction of seeing that happen.

Hmmm.

I don’t know what the universe is trying to tell me by playing infomercials for China Beach, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and The Six Million Dollar Man DVDs while I On-Demand watch my guilty pleasure, The Hart of Dixie. That I am simultaneously old and yet spectacularly immature?

Today’s Inspiration: Emmanuelle Alt

Emmanuelle Alt via Garance Dore

Not just today’s inspiration, really.  Emmanuelle Alt is consistently one of my top style icons, probably due to her consistency.  She has perfected her uniform, a variation of skinny pants, slouchy shirt, great jacket and heels.  She knows what works on her frame, and for her lifestyle and goes with it.

I think I find it comforting when a fancy fashion person doesn’t hit every new trend in a too on-point way, and, if they incorporate it at all, find a way to meld it into “their” look.  I appreciate style over fashion any day, even if I enjoy the runway and editorials spectacles.

While I will never have Ms. Alt’s mile-long legs, or her outerwear (or even footwear) budget, one thing I can probably approximate is her hair – slightly rock, slightly mussed, but still professional enough for a law office.  I am slightly hesitant to cut anything resembling bangs, but my ennui with my long, plain hair, and my cabin fever from these winter months, might just put me over the edge the next time I hit the salon.