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OpEd: Woman’s photo of menstrual blood removed from Instagram. Twice. 


Rupi Kaur - menstrual blood photos for visual rhetoric course removed from InstagramRupi Kaur has taken on social media and won. Photos from her series focusing on the natural process of being on her period were removed from Instagram, even though there was no nudity or pornographic aspect to the pictures. It was, in fact, the menstrual blood itself that led to the photos being removed by Instagram. Twice.

Instagram has since apologized for removing the photos, but I, for one, don’t believe the social media site is sorry at all. After all, Facebook is notorious for similar removal of photos that show women in the natural act of breastfeeding their babies. However, because women’s natural breasts being used for their natural purpose of nourishing infants is too icky for the patriarchal institutions of social media, breastfeeding and NIP pictures are verboten. And yet, women can always be shown in skimpy lingerie, barely-there bikinis, or sexualized in some other context, and that’s perfectly fine.

Anyone who is shocked or disgusted by Rupi Kaur’s photos is actually shocked or disgusted by the very process that continues this species. Menstruating girls and women are ridiculed on a regular basis by young males, older males, boyfriends, husbands, films, comedic TV shows, and anyone else who doesn’t understand or appreciate what we put up with for decades of our lifetimes.

Our periods begin when we are around 10 years old and happen every month until we are around 50 or 55 — or older. Twelve periods per year, multiplied by 40 to 45 years of menstruation, equals 480 to 540 periods. At an average of one week each, that means women spend 480 to 540 weeks — that is, 9.2 to 10.4 YEARS actively bleeding. Not to mention the spotting before, the spotting after, the cramps before, during, and after a period, the headaches, even nausea, the chaos and uncertainty of peri-menopause, and other side effects men never have to experience directly.

Men also never have to experience the embarrassment of bleeding through their clothes in public; always keeping a restroom within eyesight in case of a flooding emergency; sitting for a time only to stand and see a biohazard stain on the chair; or skipping going out in public all together except for necessities such as work; bleeding through the sheets at nighttime; having to spot-clean the mattress in the middle of the night when you’re half-asleep, then sleep to the side of the bed so you don’t have to sleep on a cold, wet spot; or toddling to the bathroom with your thighs clenched together because you’re afraid of a big, bloody clot sliding out of your vagina and landing on the carpet; having to clean the bathroom floor, even spot-clean the bathmat, clean the toilet seat every time you go, even clean the wall if the weight of a blood-soaked tampon garnered too much velocity when being pulled out, flinging blood outward; feeling the sticky blood stuck in your ass crack; using miles of toilet paper to make sure there’s no sign your blood was ever there. Because we wouldn’t want anyone to know that women’s bodies have a purpose other than being ogled or used by men.

Women are ridiculed for this very basic act called menstruation when it should be celebrated. Without our periods — without our uteruses, humanity would end.

Women put up with a lot just being female. Societal ridicule and male-dominated institutions do not need to add to the shame already heaped on women just for being women. So I congratulate Rupi Kaur for standing up for herself and for all girls and women. See more of her pictures and read her story on her website.

trish

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NEWS: Jon Stewart to Exit “The Daily Show”, Leaving Liberals in Mourning


Jon Stewart of The Daily Show on Comedy CentralI finally got to see Jon Stewart’s announcement that he’s leaving “The Daily Show”. This is very sad for all of us who appreciate the amazing coverage he provides to politics. Stewart’s main audience is the bulk of 18 to 34 year olds and most progressive liberals in every age-bracket, while his arch-nemesis, FOX News (a.k.a. FAUX News) consistently feeds the fears of the 68+ crowd. I can only hope Stewart will change his mind and stick it out until the 2016 POTUS elections.

I remember the 2008 presidential election process. That was an emotional election cycle because, for the first time in my life, I was able to vote for a woman in the primary to have the chance to become the President of the United States. As I left the elementary school where I voted, I remember crying out of sheer amazement at how far women had come just by having Hillary Clinton on the ballot. She didn’t win the primary, but when it came time to vote in the main election that November, I voted for a black man, Barack Obama, another historical first for me and so many others who value justice, equality, human rights, and other progressive liberal ideals.

I watched Comedy Central’s 2008 election coverage online, with Stewart and Stephen Colbert at the anchor desk. It was so close. And I cried with happiness and amazement right along with Jon Stewart when Obama was elected.

I watched online during the 2012 POTUS elections as well. The presidential debates were harrowing as Romney seemed to win people’s favor … until his and his wife’s true colors came shining through with various comments directed at “you people” and his “binders of women”. Once again, Obama won. Thank the gods.

I cannot imagine Jon Stewart not being there when Hillary or Bernie is elected President of the United States in 2016. I hope he reconsiders when he is leaving. The progressive liberals need him. No one will be able to fill Jon Stewart’s shoes.

Thank you, Jon, for so many years of passionate work.

trish

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Tantra Tuesday with Trish Causey: What is Tantra?


Trish Causey presents Tantra Tuesday on YouTubeIf you’ve seen my recent foray into daily YouTubing, you will have noticed that the second day of the week is now Tantra Tuesday.  You know I love Tanta, and there is SOOOOO much more to Tantra than just sex … although I love the sexy side of Tantra as well.

In this weekly series, I will talk about the history behind Tantra, its philosophies and its wisdoms for improving your life on a daily basis — yes, that includes sex.  Of course, the best orgasm secrets I keep for clients who sign up for training with me.

So check out the first installment of Tantra Tuesday, and leave a comment here and/or my YouTube page!

Enjoy!

trish

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“ArousedWoman Wednesday” on YouTube: “Facebook Still Bans Nipples While Supreme Court Slams Breastfeeding Moms”


YouTube - Trish Causey: ArousedWwoman Wednesday, 02-04-2015“ArousedWoman Wednesday’s” first installment is on YouTube!  Every Wednesday, I will bring a topic close to the heart of ArousedWoman to my YouTube channel.

In fact, each day of the week, I will talk about a different topic.  Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel to stay up to date on the goings-on.

For this first AW Wednesday, I share my recent experience of almost losing my Facebook account due to a nipple-pic I posted, and I rant about the ridiculous decision of the Supreme Court to side with a lower court that discriminates against breastfeeding moms.

Check out the video, share it widely to get the word out, and leave a comment on my YouTube page and/or here!

Take care!

trish

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OpEd: Pagan Yule Ritual for Winter Solstice 2014


Yule log fire for Winter Solstice 2014 by Trish CauseySunday, December 21, 2014, I attended my first group pagan/witch ritual in 10 years — 10 years exactly, in fact!  The last group ritual I attended I actually hosted in my home for Yule 2004.  It was a group of eclectic solitaries then, and now, I’ve had the pleasure and honor to participate in an equally eclectic, non-hierarchical, non-ego-driven ritual with a bunch of great people. I AM SO HAPPY to have met them!  I will definitely be attending more rituals with these awesome pagan peeps.

Yule, a.k.a. Winter Solstice, is a time to be thankful and reflective.  According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, “Yule” comes from the Old Norse word jol and Old Anglo-Saxon jiuli (or giuli), which referred to a two-month season of celebrations during the wintertime.  The Old French word “solstice” comes from two Latin words: sol, which means “sun”, and sistere, which means “to stand still”.  The implication is that people once thought the sun stood still on the solstice(s) and/or that the spiritual advisors thought this was a time for the people to be still, to be reflective on such an auspicious heavenly event.  As I observe Christians running around crazy and stressed out during this highly commercialized time of year, I sit back and laugh.  I choose stillness and calm.

From the European pagan traditions, Yule/Winter Solstice is the time when the goddess (the earth) gives birth to the son (sun) — sound familiar?  And with this return of the light to the world, the days become longer.  As the sun god grows, he warms the earth goddess, who will birth the harvest and nourish the animals that will in turn nourish us.  In the Spring, the son/sun god will be sacrificed and resurrected for the earth and the people.  (Still sounding familiar?)

Also mixed in the traditions is the legend of the Holly King and the Oak King as they duke it out to see who will rule the next six months.  The Oak King and the Holly King are male earth deities and represent a duality that governs the light half and the dark half of the year, respectively.  For the Winter Solstice, the Oak King wins the battle as the days get longer because it will be the sacred oak trees (and other plants) coming back to life in the Spring.  At Summer Solstice, the Holly King wins and reigns as the days get shorter through the harvest time of Autumn and into the cold months of winter.

Still other traditions have a fatherly winter spirit (adult male earth spirit) who helps the poor and gives gifts to children.  Remember, back in the day, there was no grocery store or mall — whatever you had, you grew it or made it.  Winter in northwestern Europe was difficult; both animals and people would die from the cold or lack of food, if not enough supplies had been prepared before the extreme cold set it.

This wintertime fatherly earth spirit of northwestern European paganism is rooted in pre-Christian British lore of the Holly King as well as the Norse god Odin/Wotan, who rode an eight-legged horse, and the Norse god Thor, who is associated with oak trees and flies through the sky on a chariot pulled by two goats (not eight reindeer … sorry, Rudolf).  Other festivus influencers may be the Greek god Cronos, and even the pre-Christian Russian folkloric do-gooder Grandfather Frost.  The church took the good deeds of the real St. Nicholas and combined them with the iconic Holly King/Odin/Grandfather Frost to create the “St. Nick” we now know as Santa Claus.

But Yuletide wasn’t all about men or kids.  Pagans LOVE women and respect women.  The Anglo-Saxon/Germanic celebration of Mōdraniht, “Mothers’ Night”, specifically honors mothers as well as any female ancestors who have crossed over.  This takes place on what is now December 24th, according to the 8th-century historian Bede.  After all, without woman, there is no human life.  Without caring for the earth, there is no food, no clean water, no clean air.  We must honor and take care of earth/goddess.  It is all connected.  We are all connected.

The photo above is the Yule fire from Sunday’s ritual.  The log in the center is the official Yule log that was blessed on the altar, beautifully decorated and holding 3 candles.  The warmth of the fire and the camaraderie of the fellow goddess/god-oriented pagan friends was simply perfect.  I just wish I’d brought the fixin’s for s’mores.

I LOVE meeting with others and building our community, each sharing what we do and respecting that we’re different.  I can’t wait for the next sun ritual — and maybe some Full Moon work, as well.

All hail the real reason for the season: nature-based pagan heathenry! :-)

trish

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