Monday, April 15, 2013

Raising a Boy in Rape Culture

Lately, the news has been filled with horrific tales of teenage boys raping teenage girls and lots of victim blaming. Some victims have even committed suicide after being bullied after the rape. It gives a mama pause. How to raise a compassionate, respectful boy who grows into a respectful, compassionate man? We have started early. Rowan is three, but he is learning about body integrity, respecting other people's boundaries, and how to interact respectfully with others.
There are a lot of triggery links on this post, but please- if you have children, especially male children read them and talk to your kids NOW about this. I agree with this mom- it is an emergency:
"I don’t know how we stop boys from raping girls and posting the photos online. This has been happening far too often lately, and I’m sure there are many cases we still don’t know about. Because sex education is rarely taught in schools, rape education is never taught. I know as a parent I talk to my eldest son about these things and I will talk to my daughter about these things when she is older, even though I know my son is a smart, gentle kid who would never do anything like this, I talk to him about it anyway because I HAVE to. We all have to. I don’t know what else to say about this but my heart is broken.Please talk to your kids. This is an emergency."

A post of mine on Facebook, linking to an article about young boys learning todisrespect at an early age with the "boys will be boys"defense:
As a parent of a boy, I am glad to say that we have started early avoiding the "boys will be boys" behavior. Our child knows "back up and give them space", "you need to ask how your friends want to play together" and many more personal boundary and cooperative behaviors.It starts with simple things that can be easily dismissed by gender essentialists like knocking over towers. It cascades from there. After a childhood of learning that boys trump girls and they have no responsibility for the feelings of others, what do we expect?

I believe that these lessons need to be repeated often. Here is commentary from afather of a 4 year old boy on the Steubenville rape case:
'Convicted Steubenville rapist Ma’lik Richmond’s lawyer is planning to appeal the guilty verdict because – he says – at 16 years old, his client’s brain isn’t fully developed, and as such, he might not understand that rape is wrong.My son, all of four years old, is chewing his last strawberry mouthful as I finish my definition of rape and sexual assault, and my explanation of why forcing himself onto a girl—even his “girlfriend”, even just a kiss—is wrong. He gets it. His brain is far from fully-developed, but he nods as my sentence trails off and my hands fall back down to the table. “Okay, daddy. I won’t do it anymore,” he says. He slides off of his chair and gallops back to his cartoons.I know my son didn’t rape his preschool ex-”girlfriend.” And in all liklihood, he didn’t sexually assault her either. But when she let him know that she didn’t like him kissing her, it opened up our first conversation on the topic. And though I’m not completely sure I’m speaking on his level, I know I’d rather speak to him now so he knows that this is a topic between us. The rougher road lies ahead, but I’ve paved the first block and that’s what matters.'

I replied on Facebook:
We are working with my 3 year old son on boundaries and space and bodily consent. He knows to "give people space" if they ask. He knows that touching someone when they don't want it or they ask you not to is wrong (we even gave daddy a "time out" for continuing to tickle him when our son asked him to stop), and he knows that he needs to ask how his friends want to play together, instead of exerting his will upon others.That defense is some bullshit.

The national dialogue that puts rape prevention on women and girls is not where we should be focusing our energy. Rape is not a women's problem- while women and girls are most often the victims, boys and men must be taught, from birth onward, to respect others bodies, minds, and ideas.
"Responsible parentscan speak to their daughters about how to minimize their chances ofbeing raped. But the greater conversation we need to have is how tostop men and boys from raping. We have had years, and years, andyears of rape prevention seminars for women, of safety tips andclasses, of helpful hints so you don’t end up beaten and left in analley somewhere after being sexually assaulted. We need the same sortof seminars, and pamphlets, and websites dedicated to teaching boyshow not to rape. We need male politicians, and celebrities andathletes to do PSAs about how not to rape. We need fathers to talk totheir sons about not raping. Women? We do this. We talk about rape,we are vocal about rape, we write about rape and protest rape anddonate money to anti-rape organizations and write letters to getstricter rape laws passed. But we need more men to be as vocal as we are. "

How are you teaching your son in this regard?

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Farmer's Market

My new regular in-person home is in the
Franklinton neighborhood of Columbus- and is a
lovely mix of art, performance, farms, artisans, and crafts.
Lately, a lot of my time has been taken up by Boline. Making new products, creating packaging,  building my own ecommerce site, and now- direct sales at the 400 West Rich Farmer's Market.

The market is currently twice a month, but is gearing up to go weekly in June. And I have worked very hard to have enough different products, cute signage, and nice displays so that I can have a compelling booth to passers by.

I now have even more products available at the market than I have on the Boline website. (Because they sell faster than I can keep them in stock and get them photographed! A good problem to have!)

I have been next to a reptile rescuer who does
educational shows, someone who makes pipes
from antlers, a soapmaker, and a ukelele instructor!
I have met some wonderful people- both vendors and customers- at the market. And customers are very helpful to help me understand what people are looking for, what their current understanding of herbalism is, and how people think.

For example, many folks do not understand the way tonics work, as they are used to (growing up in our culture) treating conditions only as they arise and are acute.* And while I am personally committed to saving the honeybee by using and getting local honey, wax, pollen, and propolis from eco-friendly beekeepers in my remedies, many vegans will shun beeswax in their topical remedies.

Starting in May, Boline will also be tabling at other outdoor fairs and festivals, too- an art festival in my neighborhood called The Clintonville Art Crawl, an Etsy-sponsored "Eco-Chic Craftacular", and a local street fair called CrestFest. I have also enlisted a friend to help me staff the booth and he offers massages in his massage chair (he is an amazing massage therapist).

I have also talked with the folks at Small Business Beanstalk, and they have made suggestions about my next steps to move from retail only to wholesale- and having my products in local stores.

As I said- I have super busy! Starting in May, every Saturday is a Boline day- and that is so much more than sales. I often talk with people about their health concerns and recommend remedies, even ones that I do not currently sell. In this society where so few have access to affordable health care, I hope to be of help to those that need it.

In the works: a migraine tincture, medicinal mushroom tinctures (for immunity and cancer), and sore muscle rub in a roll up stick, a sun block, and a few more teas. I also have two forms of lozenges that are not on the website, as I do have photos of them yet.

See you at the market!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Cyber Witch

Organize your Witchyness!
So being involved in Traditional Witchcraft does not make me a techno=phobe. Quite the contrary, I blog on a laptop, have Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter accounts, and have a smartphone.

On that smartphone (an iPhone is my device of choice, though I am sure there are similar apps for Android devices) is a folder called "Crafty" (and another folder for on plant and wildlife identification for my new home)- and they include apps that make Witchy life just a tad easier. Yes, dear reader- "there's an app for that".

Apps in my Crafty folder:

1. A Compass (yes, I can look at the sun and determine this during the day, but at night, it's more tricky!)

2. Two that identify constellations in the sky (day or night!) I haven't figured out which one I like better yet, so I have two right now.

3. A cemetery app- this app shows where the cemeteries are near you using a GPS (or search in a specific place not near you). If you find one that is not recorded, you can document it and add it to the database. This app was made to be interactive, so all the cemeteries in the US can eventually be recorded. Very handy indeed.

4. A meditation gong/timer- super helpful when doing sitting while out and about! I love to do sitting outside under a tree, and this allows me to know when I am done.

5. A candle app- A simple very life-like animated candle burning app, that includes several styles of candle to choose from. (I personally hate the music, so I mute it.) This app is pretty neat because it responds to breath and sputters if you come too close. You can literally blow your candle out when done. I consider this a focus tool. I can stare at the candle and it assists in entering trance states for divination, travel, or oracular work while not at home.

My Gansburg Clock.
6. The Gansberg Clock- This is a super neat clock that tells where we are in the day, week, and year- and it includes moon cycles, the Wheel of the Year sabbats, and Gregorian calendar months. Want to read more about The Gansberg Clock? Here you go!

There are also a few apps that I don't take very seriously in that folder:

7. A rune app- I don't usually do full divination on a gadget. Why? I believe that actual divination requires a human being, open to the All-There-Is so that they can get guidance. A machine cannot do that. I consider this a fun app, not one I take too seriously. If I am ever looking for a quick answer, I consult a pendulum, which can be found anywhere.

8. A Tarot app- see my disclaimer above about runes. Fun!

9. A horoscope app- I have a couple astrologers that I think are awesome. Most astrologers, I have found, are not very accurate. It is a rare one that I want to read regularly. So this is a fun app.

What apps, if any, do you use to assist you in your Wyrd?