I belong to that classification of people known as wives. I am A
Wife. And, not altogether incidentally, I am a mother.
Not too long ago a male friend of mine appeared on the scene fresh
from a recent divorce. He had one child, who is, of course, with his
ex-wife. He is obviously looking for another wife. As I thought
about him while I was ironing one evening, it suddenly occurred to me
that I, too, would like to have a wife. Why do I want a wife?
I would like to go back to school so that I can become economically
independent, support myself, and, if need be, support those dependent
upon me. I want a wife who will work and send me to school. And
while I am going to school I want a wife to keep track of the
children’s doctor and dentist appointments. And to keep track of
mine, too. I want a wife to make sure my children eat properly and
are kept clean. I want a wife who will wash the children’s clothes
and keep them mended. I want a wife who is a good nurturant attendant
to my children, who arranges for their schooling, makes sure that they
have an adequate social life with their peers, takes them to the park,
the zoo, etc. I want a wife who takes care of the children when they
are sick, a wife who arranges to be around when the children need
special care, because, of course, I cannot miss classes at school. My
wife must arrange to lose time at work and not lose the job. It may
mean a small cut in my wife’s income from time to time, but I guess I
can tolerate that. Needless to say, my wife will arrange and pay for
the care of the children while my wife is working.
I want a wife who will take care of *my* physical needs. I want a
wife who will keep my house clean. A wife who will pick up after me.
I want a wife who will keep my clothes clean, ironed, mended, replaced
when need be, and who will see to it that my personal things are kept
in their proper place so I can find what I need the minute I need it.
I want a wife who cooks the meals, a wife who is a *good* cook. I
want a wife who will plan the menus, do the necessary grocery
shopping, prepare the meals, serve them pleasantly, and then do the
cleaning up while I do my studying. I want a wife who will care for
me when I am sick and sympathize with my pain and loss of time from
school. I want a wife to go along when our family takes a vacation so
that someone can continue to care for me and my children when I need a
rest and change of scene.
I want a wife who will not bother me with rambling complaints about a
wife’s duties. But I want a wife who will listen to me when I feel
the need to explain a rather difficult point I have come across in my
course of studies. And I want a wife who will type my papers for me
when I have written them.
I want a wife who will take care of the details of my social life.
When my wife and I are invited out by my friends, I want a wife who
will take care of the babysitting arrangements. When I meet people at
school that I like and want to entertain, I want a wife who will have
the house clean, will prepare a special meal, serve it to me and my
friends, and not interrupt when I talk about the things that interest
me and my friends. I want a wife who will have arranged that the
children are fed and ready for bed before my guests arrive so that the
children do not bother us. I want a wife who takes care of the needs
of my guests so that they feel comfortable, who makes sure that they
have an ashtray, that they are passed the hors d’oeurves, that they
are offered a second helping of the food, that their wine glasses are
replenished when necessary, that their coffee is served to them as
they like it.
And I want a wife who knows that sometimes I need a night out by
I want a wife who is sensitive to my sexual needs a wife who makes
love passionately and eagerly when I feel like it, a wife who makes
sure that I am satisfied. And, of course, I want a wife who will not
demand sexual attention when I am not in the mood for it. I want a
wife who assumes the complete responsibility for birth control,
because I do not want more children. I want a wife who will remain
sexually faithful to me so that I do not have to clutter up my
intellectual life with jealousies. And I want a wife who understands
that *my* sexual needs may entail more than strict adherence to
monogamy. I must, after all, be able to relate to people as fully as
If, by chance, I find another person more suitable as a wife than the
wife I already have, I want the liberty to replace my present wife
with another one. Naturally, I will expect a fresh, new life; my wife
will take the children and be solely responsible for them so that I am
When I am through with school and have a job, I want my wife to quit
working and remain at home so that my wife can more fully and
completely take care of a wife’s duties.
My God, who *wouldn’t* want a wife?
I love this essay by Judy Syfers from the very first issue of Ms. magazine
My mother fought cancer for almost a decade and died at 56. She held out long enough to meet the first of her grandchildren and to hold them in her arms. But my other children will never have the chance to know her and experience how loving and gracious she was.
We often speak of “Mommy’s mommy,” and I find myself trying to explain the illness that took her away from us. They have asked if the same could happen to me. I have always told them not to worry, but the truth is I carry a “faulty” gene, BRCA1, which sharply increases my risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
My doctors estimated that I had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer, although the risk is different in the case of each woman.
Only a fraction of breast cancers result from an inherited gene mutation. Those with a defect in BRCA1 have a 65 percent risk of getting it, on average.
Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could. I made a decision to have a preventive double mastectomy. I started with the breasts, as my risk of breast cancer is higher than my risk of ovarian cancer, and the surgery is more complex.
On April 27, I finished the three months of medical procedures that the mastectomies involved. During that time I have been able to keep this private and to carry on with my work.
But I am writing about it now because I hope that other women can benefit from my experience. Cancer is still a word that strikes fear into people’s hearts, producing a deep sense of powerlessness. But today it is possible to find out through a blood test whether you are highly susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer, and then take action.
My own process began on Feb. 2 with a procedure known as a “nipple delay,” which rules out disease in the breast ducts behind the nipple and draws extra blood flow to the area. This causes some pain and a lot of bruising, but it increases the chance of saving the nipple.
Two weeks later I had the major surgery, where the breast tissue is removed and temporary fillers are put in place. The operation can take eight hours. You wake up with drain tubes and expanders in your breasts. It does feel like a scene out of a science-fiction film. But days after surgery you can be back to a normal life.
Nine weeks later, the final surgery is completed with the reconstruction of the breasts with an implant. There have been many advances in this procedure in the last few years, and the results can be beautiful.
I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy. But it is one I am very happy that I made. My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer.
It is reassuring that they see nothing that makes them uncomfortable. They can see my small scars and that’s it. Everything else is just Mommy, the same as she always was. And they know that I love them and will do anything to be with them as long as I can. On a personal note, I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity.
I am fortunate to have a partner, Brad Pitt, who is so loving and supportive. So to anyone who has a wife or girlfriend going through this, know that you are a very important part of the transition. Brad was at the Pink Lotus Breast Center, where I was treated, for every minute of the surgeries. We managed to find moments to laugh together. We knew this was the right thing to do for our family and that it would bring us closer. And it has.
For any woman reading this, I hope it helps you to know you have options. I want to encourage every woman, especially if you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, to seek out the information and medical experts who can help you through this aspect of your life, and to make your own informed choices.
I acknowledge that there are many wonderful holistic doctors working on alternatives to surgery. My own regimen will be posted in due course on the Web site of the Pink Lotus Breast Center. I hope that this will be helpful to other women.
Breast cancer alone kills some 458,000 people each year, according to the World Health Organization, mainly in low- and middle-income countries. It has got to be a priority to ensure that more women can access gene testing and lifesaving preventive treatment, whatever their means and background, wherever they live. The cost of testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2, at more than $3,000 in the United States, remains an obstacle for many women.
I choose not to keep my story private because there are many women who do not know that they might be living under the shadow of cancer. It is my hope that they, too, will be able to get gene tested, and that if they have a high risk they, too, will know that they have strong options.
Life comes with many challenges. The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of.
People will love you. People will hate you. And none of it will have anything to do with you.
Who says North is up?
Upside Down maps (also known as South-Up or Reversed maps) offer a completely different perspective of the world we live in.
Technically speaking, even referring to the earth with words like “up” or “down” or comparing places with words “above” or “below” is flawed, considering that the earth is a spherical body (it’s actually slightly “fatter” at the equator) and flying through 3 dimensional space with no reference of up or down. However, the issue of “up” and “down” does become an issue when viewing the surface of the earth projected onto a flat piece of paper (a map). And the effect of the orientation of a map is more significant than you might realize.
As all maps require orientation for reference, the issue of how to layout the map orientation is as old as maps themselves. As map orientation is completely arbitrary, it is not surprising that they differed throughout time periods and regions.
The convention of North-up is usually attributed to the Egyptian astronomer Ptolemy (90-168 AD). Justifications for his north-up approach vary. In the middle ages, East was often placed at top. This is the origin of the term “The Orient” to refer to East Asia. During the age of exploration, European cartographers again followed the north-up convention…perhaps because the North Star was their fixed reference point for navigation, or because they wanted (subconsciously or otherwise) to ensure Europe’s claim at the top of the world.
In modern times, reversed maps are made as a learning device or to illustrate Northern Hemisphere bias. Different from simply turning a north-up map upside down, a reversed map has the text oriented to be read with south up.
The famous “Blue Marble” photograph of the Earth taken from on board Apollo 17 was originally oriented with the south pole at the top, with the island of Madagascar visible just left of center, and the continent of Africa at its right. However, the image was turned upside-down to fit the traditional view.
While the orientation of a map might seem harmless, it can have a significant effect on one’s perception of the world, and the relative importance of the different place in it.
In speech, we often refer to places being “above” or “below” others. Think of how you would say you’re about to travel to the state or country to your north or south (to go “down” to Kentucky from Indiana, or “up” to Canada from the US). Without even mentioning geography, ask any grade school student whether Mexico is “above” or “below” the United States. We’re all familiar with the “land down under”. As we often correlate importance to relative height (think how a citizens of a country will fly their flag higher than all other flags), the north-up convention reinforces the idea that northern bodies are more important than their southern neighbors. Suddenly, traveling “down” to the South might have an inference much deeper than geographic location.
After looking at the map more closely, you may realize that the South-Up orientation may change your perception of the relative status of different places. For example, South America suddenly looks to have more prominence, and Africa and the Middle East completely dwarf Europe. Likewise, tucking Northern Europe, Canada, and Russia away at the bottom of the map, subconsciously takes away their status.
For the last three decades many Americans have puzzled over a system that gives an R to a movie in which a women is carved up by a chainsaw and an NC-17 to one that shows a woman sexually pleasured. From such ratings one might conclude that sexual violence against women is OK for American teenagers to see, but that they must be 18 to see consensual sex. What message does this send to the kids the MPAA presumably means to protect?
“You have to question a cinematic culture which preaches artistic expression, and yet would support a decision that is clearly a product of a patriarchy-dominant society, which tries to control how women are depicted on screen. The MPAA is okay supporting scenes that portray women in scenarios of sexual torture and violence for entertainment purposes, but they are trying to force us to look away from a scene that shows a woman in a sexual scenario which is both complicit and complex. It’s misogynistic in nature to try and control a woman’s sexual presentation of self. I consider this an issue that is bigger than this film.”
-Ryan Gosling on the controversy around the rating of his film ‘Blue Valentine’
“Repeat Rape: How do they get away with it?”, Part 1 of 2. (link to Part 2)
- College Men: Repeat Rape and Multiple Offending Among Undetected Rapists,Lisak and Miller, 2002 [PDF, 12 pages]
- Navy Men: Lisak and Miller’s results were essentially duplicated in an even larger study (2,925 men): Reports of Rape Reperpetration by Newly Enlisted Male Navy Personnel, McWhorter, 2009 [PDF, 16 pages]
By dark-side-of-the-room, who writes:
These infogifs are provided RIGHTS-FREE for noncommercial purposes. Repost them anywhere. In fact, repost them EVERYWHERE. No need to credit. Link to the L&M study if possible.
Knowledge is a seed; sow it.
And that’s not all. 43% of college men will admit to using “coercive behavior” to have sex with a woman… which of course is also rape.
Rape culture trains sociopaths.
this is good to have. I always want these studies and I always have trouble finding them via google.