It pains me to do this. It almost makes me physically ill to wade into this battle that I’ve only observed from the sidelines.. it was too ugly, too raw, too quick to degenerate into name calling. But I feel so hurt by all of the anger and misunderstandings and the mass exodus on the site that I will add my voice.

I am going to leave all the he said/ she saids behind though and tell you a little bit about me & in the process what I feel about what has transpired on dkos these last couple of days (maybe, I can’t be tied down to a point… I’m warning you all up front).

When I was a little girl growing up I always wanted to be the Professor, not Mary Ann. Or Tarzan, not Jane… surprize, suprize, I know for all those who have encountered me on this site or in real life… but I digress.

[on the flip]
I was raised my a single mom who was brought up Ukrainian Catholic. She had shame instilled in her from the beginning. She married an abusive, alcoholic at age 20 & had me 9 months later. My father threatened to put me out on the street at age 13 so I could pay my own way. Luckily my mother was still strong enough to take me out of that situation at a young age.

But the pattern continued for her. She was/ is paranoid schizophrenic and could not hold down a job. She was forced to live off of disability, student grants and her boyfriends. Not all of her boyfriends were nice guys. I was never abused, but my mother was. The one constant though was her sense of self worth & she instilled that it me as well. Throughout all of the abuse I never thought once that she deserved it. I thought they were all complete fucking assholes and told her repeatedly. But the one thing she got trapped in was being forced to use her sexuality to get her out of tricky situations with domineering men. It didn’t always work, but sometimes she was able to calm them down. That left a mark on me. The mark of knowing what women must do sometimes to survive. It is not something to be taken lightly.

All that aside, I was raised to recognize that I am a complete equal to men. It never even occured to me that someone would think I was not. I didn’t give two shits about cheerleading, or cooking, or sewing, I wanted to read & climb trees and play hockey. But I also loved my Barbie collection & Sweet Valley High. The point of this is that while I wanted to be what I wanted to be, other girls wanted to be what they wanted to be. And that was cool. To each her own.

When I hit age 17 all of a sudden I was attractive. And attracted a lot of attention. I never dressed for it though, mini skirts just really aren’t very practical when you’re a tomboy. I was never ashamed of my looks, in fact, over time, I learned to embrace them and learned to live with increased attention from men when I was not looking for it. And that’s the operative point here… when I was not looking for it.

I am in the ad world and I frequently encounter clients who make non-PC remarks, but I have come to expect it from the nature of the business I am in and the age of my (mostly male clients). I counteract it when I can, or when it crosses a line, but for the most part I have come to accept that males are wired slightly differently and react to visual stimuli in a different way than women. Most men get aroused watching porn or looking at SI Swimsuit edition. Most women do not react the same way to seeing visual images that are not right in front of them.

Which brings me to the Pie fight ad. Did I find it offensive… me personally? Not really. I am subjected to that type of visual of women in my work on a daily basis (one of my former clients was a beer company… need I say more)… and I really think that sex is beautiful and women can be really hot. But what I was offended by was it’s placement on a site that is a community of diverse compatriots. Not all women feel as I do and when you are trying to foster a spirit of unity and intellectual debate, placing an ad of two scantily clad women smothering themselves in pie on the homepage is really not conducive to that.

My mother would have taken offense. And probably not come back to the site. Especially after the host dismissed her concerns and confusion… and frankly, potentially her entire life’s struggles and pain, because he personally did not find it offensive.

Why? Because it is a male fantasy we, as females, are forced to look at while we engage in “intellectual” debate with our supposedly equal male compadres. What would the men on the site feel if they were forced to look at two men rolling around in speedos while discussing politics? Probably about the same… except, you don’t see that every day of your lives like women do. It cuts even deeper when you finally realize there is no escape from it — even on a site like dkos. It’s sad.

This was a safe haven for progressives & a valuable initiation point for disseminating the liberal message to the masses and our elected representatives. But we need to respect and cherish eachother. Yes, we all go too far in our rhetoric. Nature of the blogging beast. But it takes a big person to admit they were wrong. And I’m talking to everyone here, not just Markos. He was way wrong, as were all the other chauvanistic posts, but so were some of those from the other side who painted all men with one brush and wouldn’t give an inch. Everyone is human after all.

ps – I am not leaving since I really have no cause to… nobody pays attention to me anyway.. except for Armando every once in a while… 😉

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