Thursday, February 27, 2014
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Marriage is my first long-term relationship. Being with hubby is wonderful. Regular sex is wonderful. The idea of having hot, fantasy dream sex with disclosures for the next forty years...not wonderful. I did not expect to struggle with meeting hot, available people and forgoing a session or three of rowdy, uncommitted sex. I mean, I don't miss dating AT ALL. I know of few married folks who do and plenty of single people who hate it enough for all of us.
I wonder sometimes if I have it in me to do this. Don't mistake me, cheating is not what I'm after. I'm not sick of my husband or of marriage...I love us. It's just that sometimes I think I'd love us more if I could, every now and again, love other people. In the biblical sense.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Won't someone think of the children? Specifically, think of the babies...completely unprotected from measles until they turn 1 year.
DO SOMETHING AWSOME. Be a vaccine ambassador and help to protect your community.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Friday, February 14, 2014
In Gear Career’s local chapters allow career-minded military spouses to form powerful social and professional networks. Join us and meet other inspiring spouses and influential community leaders as we gather for professional development and social functions.
More research to be done but for now Team Bravo is impressed with the HomeFront Rising conference concept, which took place in Washington, DC this week. We missed it but welcome the opportunity for more outreach on how to run for office or pursue a political career as a military spouse. This Fayetteville Observer article by Drew Brooks gives more details here.*
*Representative Tammy Duckworth is hardcore. I'm up for hopping a commuter flight to hear her speak any time. #TeamTammy #TammyDuckworth
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
How many times have you seen or heard something like this?
"I'm fairly certain that my friend/neighbor/self may be getting hurt by his/her partner/loved one. I've heard noises/seen bruises/been scared. I'm concerned but I don't want to get involved/call the cops/put myself at risk/be wrong about what's happening. What should I do?"
Comments or posts like this tend to draw a flurry of urgent, firm instructions from well-meaning folks. We're encouraged by the level of responsiveness we've seen, and we hope that offering some education and some advice to our readers will empower some of you to better support your friends, neighbors, loved ones, and selves who are coping with intimate partner violence.
Note: we prefer the term Intimate Partner Violence or IPV over Domestic Violence, because dangerous relationships can occur in any setting- whether the partners live together or not. We also refer to people who have been hurt by loved ones as survivors, not victims.
Here's what you can do:
Know about the resources in your area, and how they work. This may take a bit of legwork- for good reason, many shelters do not have much of a web or social media presence, and do not publish their address. Calling a local or national 800-number for survivors of violence (Such as RAINN) will connect you with counselors who are trained to help identify and locate appropriate resources. Other options include staff at local faith communities, women's organizations such as NOW chapters, or even a liason unit at the police station. It's a good idea to know where to go for help so that you're ready to offer immediate, practical support to someone who needs it.
Educate yourself about IPV. Learn the warning signs and get some info about what you can and cannot do for a person that you're concerned about. Generally, it's much more complicated than "call the cops" or "dump his ass."
Listen. If you're able to do so, listen to the survivor without judging or telling him/her what to do. Supporting a friend who is struggling with ongoing threats or violence can be an incredibly painful experience, and it's tempting to try and jump in to offer solutions or help her problem solve. Don't go in there half-cocked, though- bone up those support skills, first. What would Oprah do? Get informed here.
Get support for yourself. If someone close to you is being hurt, hearing about it or just knowing about it can take an emotional toll. Even a single occasion of hearing your neighbors' intense fighting can be scary or upsetting, and it's worth it to contact an organization or professional in your community to talk about it. Do some self-care like yoga or blogging- before you're so overwhelmed you can't remember to take care of yourself. You will be better able to support your friend if you are well-rested and have your own emotional reserves in check.
Volunteer. Whether you're a survivor, a secondary survivor, or just a concerned (and informed!) community member, you can make a difference in the lives of survivors*. You may want to volunteer as a peer counselor or an advocate for survivors, but there are other levels of involvement that are just as important. You can organize a fundraiser, coordinate a wish-list drive for a local shelter, help stuff envelopes or other admin tasks, or even re-tweet your local organization's messages to help promote events or awareness campaigns.
Hang in there. A lifetime (get it?) of watching tv characters escape violent spouses by jumping into a heroic friend's car in the middle of the night can lead one to believe that IPV is like a house fire- an easily recognizable crisis with an immediate, scripted, effective response. There's no question of whether a fire is a fire, whether it's possible to put it out, whether it's a good idea to put it out or if it would just make things worse, whether the neighbors/family/boss/friends would judge someone for living in a burning building, etc. Surviving violence means making a series of decisions, and having the sense of courage and personal power to make decisions- some of them very scary- and follow through on said decisions. Supporting a friend or loved one who is being hurt means waiting for that to happen- which takes patience, respect, and love.
Note: the information provided in this blog is based on the experiences of the editors and is in no way intended to substitute the support available from legal, health, and social service professionals in your community. If you need help, please contact the folks in your area who are in the best position to provide the assistance you need.
Read, Call, Act: Resources
WomensHealth.gov: How to Help: practical advice for supporting a loved one
The Red Flag Campaign: information and support from the National Domestic Violence Hotline
MilitaryOneSource: community-specific information, hotlines, and reporting options
*In fact, many organizations are too understaffed to respond to inquiries from potential volunteers, so attending an event or fundraiser, or helping to spread the word about the organization is a good place to start. We do not recommend "just showing up" to be given something to do at the organization's office, and we strongly encourage that you check first to find out what's needed before making an in-kind donation. Demanding a volunteer assignment or dropping off unwanted goods more than likely makes a negative impact by giving their staff an additional job to do. Help them help others by asking what help you can provide first.
Monday, February 10, 2014
Sunday, February 9, 2014
Published on Saturday, February 8, 2014 by Common Dreams
Tens of Thousands in “Mass Moral March”
Pushing back against rightwing legislation
- Common Dreams staff
Tens of thousands of people are marching through downtown Raleigh, North Carolina Saturday in what organizers describe as a “Mass Moral March” to push back against rightwing legislation.
The march, also known as the 'Historic Thousands on Jones Street', or HKonJ, was organized by the NAACP and its NC president, the Rev. William J. Barber. The NAACP and Barber drew national attention last year for organizing the so-called Moral Monday demonstrations to protest “immoral” legislation enacted by the North Carolina Legislature.
The annual HKonJ march takes place the second Saturday of February and has grown over the years since it started in 2007. Organizers claim partnerships with 150 other groups representing teachers, working families, religious leaders and civil rights advocates.
* * *
Friday, February 7, 2014
From Kirin Kennedy, NAACP Fellow...
"This Saturday [February 8, 2014], in Raleigh, North Carolina, the local NAACP state conference will be joined by more than 100 coalition partners for a march on Jones Street to the North Carolina State Legislature. This is the 5th year of the march, and since its inception, the Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) People’s Assembly serves as a rallying call for change to those with political influence. Whether it is the superintendent of the Wake County School Board, the Governor of North Carolina or other elected officials that work to keep the schools of Wake County, NC integrated, the HKonJ coalition rallies to ensure that citizens are protected equally under the law and that a space is created for good, safe jobs and schools within the state of North Carolina."
This march is a continuation of the Moral Monday protests at the North Carolina State Capitol Building in 2013. For gathering details and more info, check it: http://www.hkonj.com/
Want to go but not by yourself? Let us know who you are below and we'll meet you there.
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
The dog-sitting begs the question: does the Army have a puppy-crisis?
The stories are everywhere. My friend married just before a deployment and divorced just before he came home. His new/old wife gave his pitbull away before he returned to the USA. He was devastated. Short-term deployments, like vacations, mean having friends as awesome as us, boarding the pup, or trusting your roommate or significant other not to abandon them to the SPCA. Dog companions are almost as complex to manage as babies while being married to the military.
And look what I found: an organization called Dogs on Deployment with the express mission to help soldiers board their pets in the face of deployment and Permanent Change of Stations.
"Dogs on Deployment promotes responsible pet-ownership and the military-pet community by providing an online resource for military members to search for volunteers who are willing to board their pets while they're on deployment."
So the next time you're boxing up your life while Lassi watches, you can drop her off with us...or call in the Dog Deployment Cavalry!
Saturday, February 1, 2014
2. It's Better Together
We heard somewhere that soldiers have to take a PT test- at least that's what our partners are telling us. One of the few parts of military life that's easy to live with is the built-in fitness regime! Many of us have found physical activity to be a great way to connect with our partners on a busy schedule (get your mind out of the gutter- we're talking about biking, running, and paintball.) As badasses, we've frequently been accused of being unsupportive partners (and worse) by the conservative kool-aid drinkers, which is total bullshit. We might not go to all the parades or whatever, but we definitely do our part for our soldiers by supporting their efforts to get ripped and beastly. Let's be honest- some of them need it. If those PT tests are stressing your partner out, it's time for some teamwork. Find something fun to do together that revs up your heart rate- and when you're done with that, you naughty minx, go work out together. Don't nag your partner- race her.
1. Badassery Takes Training
Look at you, kicking ass out there. You've been coping with moves, making new friends, blowing off the steam of righteous fury, and setting a solid example for your own partner. Maintaining your relationship and your sanity amid the stressors of military life takes a boatload of energy on a daily basis- and taking excellent care of yourself is the best long-term strategy we know of. You're going to get so good at this- but it might not happen by accident. Why take chances? Keeping up with yourself and being the strongest, fastest, and calmest you can be is not just a lifestyle- it's your mission.
So tell us, what exactly are you doing to kick ass and how is it working out for you?
The fun, quirky, moving (sometimes literally) illustrated graphic or video that plays on the Google Search homepage and showcases a daily date/person/theme/event in history.
Where would we be without the daily reminder of Daylight Savings Time (dang useful!) or the pure delight that came from the Claire Du Lune video graphic honoring Claude de Bussey? And today, one of my personal favorite radicals and role model: Harriet Tubman- with her candle-lantern raised aloft against the backdrop of a star-strewn Northern sky.
Feministe.us suggested Harriet Tubman as a Doodle honoree in 2010 in a post titled "Google Says the World was Made, Made Pretty by Men"...but who knows if the Google Doodler reads Shelby Knox?
Google, I’ve got some suggestions for you. What about Ada Lovelace, the woman who was the world’s first computer programer and, conveniently, has a whole day dedicated to her celebration? If the guy who created the first nuclear facility in China gets a doodle, Marie Curie certainly deserves one. If you honored the birth of realism, you should also honor the (flawed, yes) godmother of feminism, Mary Wollstonecraft. What about some of the women behind the great social movements in the United States, like Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks and Dorothy Height?