July 6, 2017
March 12, 2013
March 11, 2013
February 5, 2011
I just heard about a horrible GOP bill that could redefine rape and set women's rights back by decades.
Here's the deal: Right now, federal dollars can't be used for abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or when the woman's life is in danger. But the bill, introduced by Republican congressman Chris Smith, would narrow that use to "cases of 'forcible' rape but not statutory or coerced rape."
As far too many women know, bruises and broken bones do not define rape - a lack of consent does. This bill is scary - so I signed a petition telling Congress to stand up and oppose the bill. Can you join me at the link below?
July 30, 2010
THESE ARE ENTRIES TO A WASHINGTON POST COMPETITION
ASKING FOR A TWO-LINE RHYME
WITH THE MOST ROMANTIC FIRST LINE,
AND THE LEAST ROMANTIC SECOND LINE:
1. My darling, my lover, my beautiful wife:
Marrying you has screwed up my life.
2. I see your face when I am dreaming.
That's why I always wake up screaming.
3. Kind, intelligent, loving and hot;
This describes everything you are not.
4. Love may be beautiful, love may be bliss,
But I only slept with you 'cause I was pissed.
5. I thought that I could love no other
- that is until I met your brother.
6. Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, and so are you.
But the roses are wilting, the violets are dead, the sugar bowl's empty and so is your head.
7. I want to feel your sweet embrace;
But don't take that paper bag off your face.
8. I love your smile, your face, and your eyes
Damn, I'm good at telling lies!
9. My love, you take my breath away.
What have you stepped in to smell this way?
10. My feelings for you no words can tell,
Except for maybe 'Go to hell.'
11. What inspired this amorous rhyme?
Two parts vodka, one part lime.
July 22, 2010
"The First Time"
It was Valentine's Day and we were at my house. We'd just had the most romantic day- a picnic in the park, putt-putt golf, and we watched the sun set over the lake. Just as the sun was disappearing from sight, he gave me a tiny black box and whispered that he loved me. It was the first time he'd said it and I couldn't believe I heard him right. In the box was a beautiful necklace; a heart made of turquoise gems, my favorite, connected to a silver chain. He attatched it for me, running his fingers along my neck and down my shoulders. As the sun faded from the sky, he leaned down and kissed me. I felt a burning deep in the pit of my stomach and pulled him close. He held me tight in his arms and I couldn't have asked for a more perfect day.
After the sun set, we drove back to my house for a movie. The original Friday the 13th- his pick not mine. I've never done well with scary movies; I get way too into them. He put in the DVD, turned off the lights, and curled into bed next to me. I did okay for the first part but about half way through I started to get freaked.
Every few seconds, a shadow in the corner made me jump out of my skin. I sat with my knees hugged tight to my chest, staring at the screen, holding my breath. He had seen the movie before and knew about the scene at the end, so he was ready. Just as Jason jumped out of the lake, he grabbed my arm. Ice cold needles pricked my skin. I screamed bloody murder.
"Aww, baby it's okay." He laughed and stroked my cheek. "Just a movie, calm down."
Still unnerved, I tried to push him away.
"Get off me, jerk!"
He laughed again and pinned me in between his hands. He kissed me hard, probably thinking it would help. I felt trapped and I was still too mad to enjoy it. I shoved against his chest. He didn't budge. Panic rose inside me and I shoved harder. Nothing. His lips pressed hard against mine, hurting me. He shoved his tongue in my mouth. His fingers locked behind my head, holding me tight to him. My heart started to pound. I needed air; I needed space. Not this. I tried to pull away but it was pointless; he was too strong. I yanked at his fingers but all I succeded in doing was ripping out strands of my hair. My cry of pain was muffled by his lips. I couldn't breathe. In a fit of panic, I hit the back of his head.
I knew it was a mistake before he even sat back.
The look on his face chilled me to the bone. I opened my mouth to say something but didn't get the chance. He slapped me as hard as he could, straight across my face. My head snapped back and the loud crack rang in my ears. Pain shot through my cheek. I tasted blood and tears were streaming before I even knew what happened. I stared at him in shock as he climbed off the bed. He glared at me and I couldn't move.
In a really deep, strange voice, he said, "Don't you dare ever do that again."
The blue light from the TV cast dark shadows across his features, making the angry creases in his forehead even deeper. He towered over the bed and me; his hands in tight fists. I just covered my cheek and nodded. I watched him put up the movie and turn on the cable without a word. He joined me again on the bed and flipped to the news.
I was still holding my raw cheek, trying to figure out what'd happened. I stared at the TV, strangely numb, and focused on the flashing colors. All I could think was that it was Valentine's Day. Valentine's was ruined. I felt awful that I'd ruined our romantic night. He sat next to me, watching the news like nothing happened.
Everything felt wrong, like I was trapped in a dream. A nightmare. Nothing felt real. Surely I just imagined it, he couldn't have. I was dreaming. Any minute I would wake up. I looked around my room, my desk still sat in the corner covered in papers, my bookshelf was still cluttered with books. My TV sat on my dresser and the news anchors laughed. How could they laugh when everything was so wrong? How could my room still look the same when everything was different?
I rubbed the heart on my new necklace, repeating it's okay, I'm okay in my head. Convincing myself it was true. An ache in my chest made breathing hard. I tried to stop my tears, but they just fell faster. It's okay, I'm okay. My cheek was fire beneath my hand. My legs tingled from sitting so still but I couldn't move.
Beside me, he shifted his weight and put his hand on my knee. I flinched and a chill raced down my back. A small sound escaped my lips, almost a whimper. He ignored it and gave my leg a painful squeeze. The tingling in my legs spread up my back, down my arms, through my chest. My whole body tingled and I wanted to move. I wanted to run, screaming, but something kept me frozen. It was him, not some stranger, not a madman. The same man who whispered his love for me under a perfect sunset. I was torn, confused, and I'd never felt more alone in my life. Just an hour before, we were watching a movie, warm in each other's arms. It felt like the whole room shifted and I just couldn't get my footing back. My cheek was still burning when the news ended. He turned to me with a blank look on his face.
I automatically uncovered my cheek and he looked close. He touched the tender flesh with the tip of his fingers and I flinched again. Despite everything that'd just happened, I still felt that burning deep in the pit of my stomach. The longing felt wrong, dirty. Like I shouldn't want it. After a minute, he shrugged.
"You're fine. Stop crying."
I nodded and took a deep breath. He gave me a grin and stroked my cheek.
"That's better. Now where were we..."
I shut my eyes and let him kiss me. Thoughts banged around in my head, warnings and alarms, but I ignored them. I couldn't grasp what'd happened. I shouldn't have made him mad. I overreacted and made him do that. I mean, he'd never done anything close to that before. He was a good man, and good men just didn't do... that. It must've been me, I brought it out in him. I would just have to be more careful, that's all.
I let him go all the way that night for the first time. Anything for his forgiveness. He was sweet and gentle, completely different. As we lay in bed after, he wrapped his warm arms around me.
"I love you," He whispered.
"I love you, too."
** Ashley Beth 2010
July 8, 2010
"Does Anyone See Her?"
does anyone see her?
does anyone even care?
alone but under watchful eyes.
until she can't stand.
everything, no tears.
no crying allowed.
wipe your face,
fix your hair
you're not done yet.
the endless stream of cars
offer a break from his eyes.
eyes that always watch
ears that always listen
hands that always take.
she'll never be free
never laugh, never dance,
never sing a song of love.
she'll work until he's happy
she'll work until she's dead.
does anyone see her?
does anyone even care?
~Ashley Beth 2010
Human Trafficking is something I feel very strongly about, an epidemic in America that isn't going away anytime soon. I'm focusing mainly on street prostitutes under the control of a pimp. These girls- and I use the word "girls" with emphasis- are usually around 14 years old (some are reported as young as 11) when they're first seduced by a pimp, promising a lifetime of happiness, security, and love. These girls often come from broken families and abusive homes and are blind-sighted by a man promising to love them and keep them safe from harm.
This is how it looks:
The pimp showers his girl with presents and expensive dates for sometimes months until he's sure the girl is hooked. Many times, this is when the girl will move in with him. She'll think she's hit the jackpot; a rich man who loves her and gives her everything she could ever want. And then comes the price. The pimp will say something along the lines of, "Baby, we're broke, we don't have any money left. I don't think we're gonna have rent this month." The girl, blinded by love, says, "Are you sure? How did that happen?" And then comes the guilt. "Well, baby, where do you think all those presents came from? What about all those dinners? I spent my money on you, and now we don't have enough left to live..." The girl will be shocked for a minute and then come back with, "What do we do?" That is the only opening the pimp needs. Suddenly, he has a plan. He hates to say it, but there's really only one option. It's just one time, with one of his "friends". They'll have the money they need and never have to do it again. The girl feels guilty about taking all the money and is convinced it's the only way. She agrees and the "date" is set up. Afterwards, expecting love and reassurance, she is shunned and treated like a whore. He says no one will ever love her because of what she's done, she's disgusting, used up. He convinces her she can never go home, they wouldn't take her back. He breaks her down completely until she's guilted into doing it again. By the time, if ever, she realizes what he's done to her, it's usually too late.
This is the most common version of what happens to girls "seduced by the life". Other, more violent, versions include getting the girl hooked on drugs so she's dependent on him, or even kidnapping a girl straight off the street and brainwashing her. These girls are used until they can't function anymore, either from disease or exhaustion, and then they are discarded like trash. It's sick and it's not getting any better.
"The worlds oldest profession" is one of the most cruel. It's only through awareness that this problem will ever be addressed the way it needs to be. These girls need to be saved, but to be saved, they need to be seen. Do you see them?