Sunday, April 15, 2012

Save It for Later: Topics that Wore Me Out

 In Save It for Later Saturday, you're getting the best of my "read later" list from the week.  I have been unable to get these up on Saturdays and am changing the name to simply "Save It for Later."  This gives me the option to post on any day of the weekend.  Check back weekly for updates and enjoy.

photo credit
Although I had the most incredible week which included an outpouring of support for my post on child sexual abuse and the Church, continuing to create meaningful connections with other bloggers, both of my girls getting all A’s on their report cards, the sun shining, and the winter blues diminishing, I still had the need to shut it all down for a day.   I had a therapist once tell me that if I felt like I needed to stay in bed and had an opportunity to do so, to go ahead and do it.  That’s exactly what I did yesterday.  I needed it and feel better for it.

Here are two topics from the week that wrought my mind with contemplation (and wore me out) and deserve more conversation:

Ashley Judd, photo credit
1)  On Monday, April 9, Ashley Judd responded to the viral media attention to her puffy face.  Her words were compelling, intelligent, and a thought provoking observation on our culture’s view and treatment of women.  Read it here, then read then read Morgan Shanahan’s personal reflection on Judd’s response here.  Shanahan’s reaction is compelling because she outs her own self in engaging in the very behavior Judd knocks:

"Reading her words began to feel incredibly uncomfortable as I was forced to realize that I am as much a propagator of this epidemic as I have felt a victim of it. . . . I thought back to this recent post I'd written...and was acutely aware of not only the fact that I'd thought it about another woman, then published it, but also that the high volume of clickthroughs had made me happy, as if I'd succeeded at something."

As bloggers, we all want “clickthroughs”.  What are we willing to do to get them?  

As parents, how do we raise our children in a world in which, as Judd describes, has an“abnormal obsession with women’s faces and bodies”:

"This abnormal obsession with women’s faces and bodies has become so normal that we (I include myself at times—I absolutely fall for it still) have internalized patriarchy almost seamlessly. We are unable at times to identify ourselves as our own denigrating abusers, or as abusing other girls and women."

If we succumb to the requests of our tween and teen daughters to enhance their looks in order to fit in, are we part of the problem?  I don't think the issue is that black and white.  This conundrum as it comes up in parenting is explored in Fitting In, by Literal Mom, and in Step Away from the Confetti Cannon, by Sisterhood of the SensibleMoms.  Give them a read and ponder what we can do in order to combat the problems of our patriarchal world as well as raise empowered daughters.

Stop Child Abuse, photo credit
2)  We are 15 days into April, the month known for that unavoidable headache--taxes.  April is also Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  Child abuse and sexual assault are headaches of a different kind, but like taxes, affect all of us.  I created a pinboard with resources and ask you to share it with others.  

When I started Sperk* last late October, I had no intention of delving into the topic of child sexual abuse (CSA) nor disclosing the fact that I am an adult survivor.  To say the least, the cat is out of the bag.  Because of it, I am making connections to other survivors of child abuse in all of its forms, and the experience has been incredibly moving and empowering. 

This week, my blogging partner in writing my weekly feature, Wednesday’s Woman, Anna Mahler, shared her child abuse survivor story, I Have My Reasons, her blog The Mommy Padawan.  It is a strong piece and received recognition at the weekly writer’s competition yeah write.  It was a well-deserved kudos and I was happy to see this type of story recognized.  

Also from yeah write, making it into the top five popular vote, was So You've Been Through Hell-Now What?, by CSA survivor Angela Shelton.  She questions how to find balance when helping others amidst our own healing and meeting our needs for self-care.  She recounts a day wherein her desire to stay anonymous as an advocate for victims of sexual abuse during a much needed massage is circumvented by her friend, a "traveling P.R. firm."  Angela chooses to lend support not because she was outed, but because she knows we can never be off-duty in the plight against child sexual abuse.  Her story also amplifies the need for survivors to also take care of themselves.  She states, “Hell can consume you, if you let it.  Or you can choose to let it go.”

My hell was thwarted by a day of rest.  Now, on this beautiful Sunday, I am continuing my plight of self-care by heading out to catch a glimpse of the Goodale fountain which has just been turned on for the season.  Following I just may stop by the Park Street Tavern. The chores and to do list will be here when I return.  Besides, now that Instagram is on Android and Facebook, going out is an opportunity to provide you visually appealing stuff.  I am surely tired of photos of my dogs, my tiny little house, and the sky from my front porch brought to you via my 365Project.  

Have a great week!


  1. I love all of the information provided in this post and that is why I linked it to ours. Not because you linked us. ;) I was surprised and honored to see that you had. The Mommy Padawan and Angela Shelton wrote such powerful pieces, didn't they?
    Thanks also for turning the buzzer on in my head for "internalized patriarchy." I think I transgressed a bit in our recent Listicle for the sake of funny. I will be more aware. I love that you are here to remind us to be better without passing judgement. Ellen

    1. I think there is a place for humor, Ellen, and have found all content on your blog to be high-quality with an intelligent voice. I tend to be overly serious...I should probably lighten up....or we can stay the course, enjoy our differences, and learn from them, too. ;)

  2. I can't believe you've only been blogging since last October. Awesome. thanks for the shout out!

  3. Thank you SO much for the mention here and for all your great feedback and support! I really loved your Kingdom of Heaven post, your honesty and how committed you are to help raise awareness about abuse as well. It's not easy to talk about and especially, to share personal stories and pain. I loved that response from Ashley Judd too, it was awesome to hear from a celebrity that had a real message and was so positive about supporting women and stopping the negative self talk and constant appearance based judgement. Awesome post!


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