Damaged Goods and Repression of Female Sexuality

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There’s a lot of things that upset me in the world and one of them are sexist yet widely held beliefs that repress female sexuality. It seems like certain views of how a female should be are so deeply rooted in culture(s) that people keep repeating them without questioning or even thinking about them.

One of the most popular methods of repressing female sexuality is downgrading it to a tool. Woman’s body is believed to be a magic artifact which only use is to keep the man around. To do so one should a) not give it possibly to anyone apart from the future husband and b) give it generously once the man have been chosen to “keep him happy”. A value of the female among cultures is limited to how many sexual partners she had. Her looks, interests and opinions do not matter much if she got herself a “reputation”. In some difficult to understand way a female’s vagina loses its value with every additional partner, unlike a penis which doesn’t have a similar quality.

A female can become in popular perception “a damaged good” with the variable socially imposed acceptance of the level of the damage (only virgins allowed cultures vs “respectable” number of partners cultures). In all this discourse female pleasure or a lack thereof is completely lost. In deciding to sleep or not to sleep with someone a woman is expected to take into account not her own needs but how it’s going to be viewed by others.

Female sexuality is meant to be a currency, something used instrumentally to get things such as love and stability. What is lost, however, is the enjoyment. The only question a woman should ask herself when considering sleeping with someone should be whether she wants it. A guy shouldn’t think any less of her because she slept with him on a date three instead of a respectable time of one month. Yet, men often do (because then the dreadful question of “how many more where there before me?” appears) and more importantly females often embrace this judgment. We advise our friends to “wait” or to abstain from out of relationship sex and we think less of them and ourselves if we didn’t listen to the piece of advice.

Surprisingly, the women who get “a reputation” are often not the most sexually liberated ones. They too use the sexual politics just in a different way. By having sex with men they want to tie them and manipulate them into love. They give them what they want and they think that in this way they’ll make them happy. Unfortunately, if a man was not given a chance to see that a woman is interesting in any other way than sexual before he explores that part of her, he’s unlikely to develop this interest after he performed what he’s biologically wired to do. How much of that attitude has to do with social conditioning I can’t tell.

Last but not least, there’s a question of looks. Women often work out and take care of their bodies. It’s not weird that they proud of what they worked for or of what the more lucky ones were just given by Mother Nature. Clothes and make up are an undeniable way of expressing sexuality (which doesn’t equal expressing sexual readiness for ANY partner). And yet, society(ies) doesn’t think that a woman is allowed to show their assets. If you wear a short skirt you will often be cat called and sometimes offended. Recently I ignored a bunch of men trying to draw my attention. Of course, they soon started to swear at me, calling me a whore and so on. What sort of world is that in which a human allows himself to use such vocabulary with someone purely because of their looks? Do I need to wear a potato sack to be respected as a human? Another woman won’t support you. My colleague hearing the story wasn’t surprised. “What do you expect dressing like this?” she said. I think I expect a world in which no one will evaluate others on the basis of the length of their skirt, size of their cleavage or the number of their sexual partners. In other words, I expect a world in which human value isn’t measured only by what people do with her body.

Thank you for your attention Dear Readers. Now please speak your mind in the comment section.

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Emotional Vampires – The ‘Friends’ That Break Your Spirit

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Dating is a difficult. Not everyone ends up their first love and lives happily ever after. Most of us experience various setbacks, life lessons and heartbreaks along that path that (hopefully) eventually leads to Prince Charming. Sure, we all have 20/20 hindsight when it comes to relationships and a basic level of introspection allows us to see what we could have done differently or how easily we have spotted those red flags.

As we experience both the highs and lows in our quest for love, we will turn to our friends for advice (which we frustratingly go and ignore), a high five (when we get lucky) and a shoulder to cry on (when that douche bag inevitably breaks our heart). The way I see it a good friend calls us out when we do something wrong (like dragging out a ‘relationship’ just so you can drive around in Porsche), they big you up when you (finally!) do something right, they celebrate your happiness and wipe away your tears, tell you that you’re pretty and generally put things into perspective  when things aren’t going your way.

But we are not here to talk about those people. They know who they are and don’t require a blog post to validate their existence. Instead, today we’ll shift our attention to a breed of ‘friend’ known as the Emotional Vampire. Describing the Emotional Vampire isn’t easy. Let me start by saying that an Emotional Vampire is not necessarily a bad person with ulterior motives (aka Frenemy). These people don’t secretly wish ill upon you or revel in your failure, they are simply negative people who always put a dampener on things.

Time for an example.I think it’s safe to say the we have all come across THAT friend. You catch up with her for  a gossip and spill the beans about the new bloke you’ve being seeing. You show her a picture of your new beau and her reaction : ‘Ewww. Rancid. Disgusting. Tfu Tfu Tfu’. Next she quizzes you on his vital stats and it goes something like this : ‘Does this one have a job? education? a wife, perhaps?’ and then the focus shifts to you : ‘What does he want from you anyway? He is certainly not with you for your supermodel good looks so maybe he wants to RINSE you for a free coffee or use you as a sex toy‘. The convo ends with advice on how you should aim higher. You leave feeling broken-spirited, doubting your own judgement and wondering whether there is any hope for happily ever after.

Suddenly you get a sense of deja vu – her words, they seem familiar. Didn’t she make the same negative comments about your ex? and the ex before him? And wait a minute… didn’t she say similar things about EVERY guy you or other squad members  ever dated?! The fact is that it wouldn’t matter if your new love interest was a cross between Ryan Gosling and Albert Einstein with Leonardo DiCaprio’s moral compass – THAT friend of yours would still have nothing nice to say. Despite the fact that she has NEVER dated in her life (clearly, no man on earth is good enough), she will constantly criticise your decisions and be the first person to roll their eyes and say I TOLD YOU SO when things go pear-shaped.

This, dear Rinsers, is an Emotional Vampire! Oh, and their negativity goes beyond the realm of dating and relationships. That new job you’ve been offered? ‘Forget it! You’ll be redundant in a month!’ Considering an adventure in Ethiopia? ‘Why the hell would you do that? For God’s sake, don’t you know there is no food there. You’ll starve to death if they don’t kill you first. ‘ The negativity of the Emotional Vampire knows no bounds.

Now for the million dollar question. How does one handle an Emotional Vampire? It would be easy to say sever all ties with them and run for the hills. But life is never that simple. While encounters with an Emotional Vampire always leave you feeling like you’ve had the zest for life sucked out of you, you know they are not necessarily a bad human. Maybe its a historic friendship and you are still nostalgic about the good times or maybe they had some bad childhood experiences that made them this way? Regardless, it’s best to create some distance and limit ones contact with Emotional Vampires.

Life is hard enough without having someone finding fault and constantly reminding us of all the mistakes we’ve made.As you manouver your way through this treacherous world in the quest for love surround yourself with positive people that keep you in good spirits and makes those blows you experience along the way a little easier to handle. Even if you can’t completely remove the Emotional Vampires from your life, at least downgrade them to ‘Coffee Friend’ status.

Rinsers, its your turn now. Have you met any Emotional Vampires?  How did you deal with the negativity? Share your stories in the comments below. 

 

 

Guest Post : Seriously Guys, If You Ask A Woman Out On A Date…

On RinseBeforeUse today we have a special guest post by bklynboy59, who regularly comments on our posts. Today he offers some advice to the (non) alpha males who are failing at dating. 

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I know dating has changed a lot since the payphone and the original VCR and 8 track tapes but…Guys if you ask a woman out on a date …

Don’t ask her to come to your house to watch a hockey Game. She isn’t going to come over.

Don’t ask her what she does for a living and then determine she makes enough to pay for the date.

Don’t ask her out for drinks and not dinner and spend as much for the drinks as you would for drinks and dinner.

If you are 40 and older and you fall under this list of don’ts and you have done these and still wonder why you can’t keep a girlfriend …umm then you need help. So here it is.

No matter how much a woman maybe into sports, her first date isn’t to your house to watch a Hockey Game, come on seriously. This is the 21st century, fellas you can do better than this. Do you really want to get to know this woman or not? You’re not going to know her if you’re more into the game than her, in fact if she does come over she will leave shortly thereafter.

If you ask her what she does for living at this point it should be to as a conversation piece, not about paying the bill for the date but as a way to get to know her.

If you have to ask her to pay for the date …you can’t afford her and she won’t respect you. Date over. She’s already lost your number.

If you ask a woman out on a date and you take out for drinks and drinks only…you look foolish, cheap and again she will lose your number.

I am saying this to help and hopefully fellas you will get the message. A good friend of mine who I have known for 25 years was on such a date recently. They met a few weeks ago …nice guy she said but we only go out for drinks, so I said ask him out to dinner and see what he says…she wasn’t thrilled with him enough to do so then she forwarded me what he text her…10 Old Fashioned dating Habits We Should Make Cool Again.

Too bad he didn’t follow this list.He then texted her saying that “if you don’t mind either treat tomorrow or contribute. Because financially it’s getting a bit much I hope I don’t sound like a loser but the whole month of work has been lite with the super month holiday. And it’s abit much for me. I make a good living but I am buried with bills.”

“Seriously??I asked her.”He really sent that to you?”. ” Yes” she replied…he is over 40 and text her that ugh!

My advice to her was to dump him and fast… which she did.

The text didn’t match the 10 rules for dating that he sent her. How sad for him. His loss.

But this just underscores what is lacking today. Romance and the means to romance someone. It’s hard economically I get that, but the money this guy wasted on drinks on three dates he could have taking my friend out on one date for dinner and got to know and really great woman. As I said his loss.

So please fellas if you can’t afford to pay for the date don’t make the date in the first place. It will save you from looking foolish.

Dear Rinsers – Give us your thoughts on bklynboy59’s post. Do you think the men of today need to up their game? Are you a fan of old-fashioned romance or do you think that women should pay their way? Share your best and worst encounters with dating the modern man in the comment section below. 

Should There Be Limits On Who Becomes A Parent?

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My ‘Me-ternity Leave’ post managed to get me branded as the ultimate hater of family. Today, I’m going to dig myself even deeper by questioning is there should be limits on who becomes a parent? You just have to visit the UK and you’ll surely encounter a ridiculously young chav mother with a baby in one hand and ciggy in the other to question whether just because one is able to procreate that necessarily means they are capable of being a half decent parent?

OKCupid certainly thinks this is an important issue as one of the questions it uses to match users is : Do you think stupid people should be allowed to have children?  Well, this questions is itself just that STUPID because it is subjective and dependent on how we define the term stupid – Is it someone with a low IQ? A kid who failed to finish high school? Or can someone with a PhD even be classed as stupid if they air ignorant/racist views?  While it may be a useful exercise for OKCupid users (maybe I’ll get matched with another hater of family and we’ll live happily ever after) but in the grand scheme of things it is pretty pointless because it’s not as if most of our opinions are going to change things.

While our opinions have little control over who has kids, there is something that does and that’s nature. I’m no scientist so I have very limited knowledge on why some people are able to spread their legs and get pregnant while others have to jump through hoops to have a child. Thankfully (for some a least), the forces of nature are no match for the human intelligence and advancements in medical science have meant that those who aren’t able to have kids the traditional route still have hope. From IVF to sperm donation and surrogates there are plenty of other ways for people (especially those with money) to continue increasing the world’s population.

While I do support such advances and am fully aware that thanks to them many reproductively challenged people have been able to have the one thing they’ve always ever wanted, I do think such methods also allow for an element of control (although at present it seems that if one has enough money they’ll get access to these services) and as such need to be used responsibly.

One of the things that got me thinking about limits on who should be parents was the case of the 70-something couple in India that had a baby via IVF. None of us have any idea of when we are going to die and the fear of the grim reaper certainly shouldn’t put us off having a child. But I would have thought that would be a greater concern for a 70-something than for the average 30-something mother? I really hope this old couple live long enough to see all the important milestones in their child’s life (especially after waiting so long for him!) but you do have to wonder whether such cases show IVF being used irresponsibly?

In this case, we can’t solely blame the doctors involved. The couple from a part of India where their inability to have a baby meant they were stigamatised and they were believed to be cursed so even if they had been open to the options of adopting or fostering a child when they were younger would not have seen an end to their problems. But still, is it really a legitimate reason to have a child at such an age? If they are alive when he graduates university the chances of health being questionable is at least very high. I’m not saying age should be only limiting factor…how about a person’s capability to bring up a child? Should criminals or peadophiles be allowed to procreate? What about poor people (I’m not sure but I doubt at present they’d have access to things like IVF)?

At the end of the day, I don’t think that having the ability to impregnate a women or simply being able to push out a kid makes you a (good) parent. The best parents are those who have either made the considered decision to have a baby or, in the case of accidental pregnancy, decided  to grow up and put someone else’s needs before their own.  It’s not simply about following the crowd, avoiding the stigma or satisfying some temporary broody phase. A child is a long-term commitment (just like a puppy – sorry I couldn’t help myself!) and people should make the decision to have or not to have a child responsibly.

Ok darling Rinsers, go wild. Do you think there should be limits on who should be a parent? Should elders be allowed to have babies via IVF? Is it any different from those with serious medical conditions procreating? What about those who can barely afford stand on their own two feet financially? Should they have kids knowing full well that they’ll have to turn to outside parties for support?      

Shame and embarassment in dating

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I always say that dating isn’t easy. Even when you’re in a great relationship from time to time something reminds you of embarrassing stories of your past and makes you cringe. I feel like sharing some shameful stories today so that you can feel better if you’re currently having a bad patch in your romantic life.

When I was young all I wanted was to have a boyfriend. That was mostly because all my family kept asking me whether I had one and friends at school seemed to be getting paired. Maybe I was maturing slowly and maybe there was no one really interesting around but I wasn’t really having a soft spot for anyone and the society was expecting me to date (at the age of 13!). Eventually I assumed a position of being interested in people if they’re interested in me as a default to finally fulfill my duty. When a schoolmate who never showed too much interest in me started to send me messages and eventually asked me to be his girlfriend I decided that it was a perfect opportunity and said “yes”. Shortly afterwards I confided it to my female friend and she revealed the horrible truth to me – it was meant to be a joke they designed as they didn’t think I’d agree. The horror of rejection by someone whom I didn’t even particularly fancy was difficult to bear, let alone the fact that I had to deal with the embarrassment of the situation every day till I graduated. And yet, I survived and people forgot and I even learnt a lesson of never dating someone you feel halfheartedly about just because others think you shouldn’t be single anymore.

Another source of shame and embarrassment is obviously all bodily functions. Can you imagine a third date when your partner starts to cringe horribly during a walk and asks you whether he can please use your bathroom and then you can hear a half an hour of uncanny bodily noises out of there (plus the noise of something hitting the water basin)? And when he vacates the bathroom it doesn’t smell of flowers either. Or even worse can you imagine getting your period just after you had sex with a new partner for the first time letting him wonder whether you maybe were a virgin? Both of those are true stories and both with right people can be turned into a source of fun rather than into anything else. If a person tries to embarrass you even further it means you should leave the relationship immediately and be grateful that you dodged the bullet.

Did you know that gender equality can be a source of shame too? The times when you could be sure that a guy’s going to pay for your drinks are over. Out on a date I kept drinking these expensive cocktails hoping that they’re not going to eat into my monthly budget and yet when the bill arrived he didn’t grab it. When I didn’t take it either he looked at me and asked “You are going to pay for your drinks, right?”. I tried to hide my blushing that couldn’t have been disguised in anyway and I mumbled something back. Then he kept on embarassing me telling me how little he thought of women who didn’t pay for themselves. Seems like the end of the world? Not really. I shouldn’t have expected a man to pay for me but he shouldn’t have approached the topic in such a douchy way. Few dodgy whatsapp conversations later I could only be too grateful that I didn’t let this man to pay for me and didn’t owe him anything.

To sum up, shame and embarrassment are an unpleasant but natural part of dating. Squeezing lemonade out of this lemons is the only way forward so instead of beating yourself up try to learn a lesson.

 

 

Bonding Over A Broken Heart (and Other Negative Foundations for a Relationship)

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Some of us have ‘a type’ we are attracted to and continually date – the chic geek, the slightly-rough-around-the edges bad boy, the elderly troll/silver fox, etc. Then there are others who are drawn to people with similar interests. For instance, you both met a running club and then decided there was a more effective type of cardio 😉 Or you connected through your mutual interest in zombies. In any case, there are a multitude of reasons why people end up together and some are certainly more positive that others.

While I personally believe that there is something to be said for that age-old idea, ‘Opposites Attract’ (because does any girl want to really want to date the male version of herself), I will acknowledge that there are long-term benefits in entering into a relationship with someone who shares at least some of your interests and, more importantly, your outlook on life. Ultimately, I guess, these are the type of things that form the foundation of relationship and what anchor two people when the going gets tough. Generally, people who truly are polar opposites of one another find it easier to runway from one another during a rough patch – e.g. he’ll turn to God during a time of crisis and you’ll throw yourself into training for a marathon and then BOOM you end up spending more time apart than together.

However, as important as commonalities are, I think there are certain shared interests or experiences that have the potential to do more harm than good when they become the basis of a relationship. As a simplistic example, imagine two people embark on romantic relationship based on a common love of drugs and alcohol. During happy times they shoot up together and when the bad days come along they hit the bottle thereby encouraging one another on the slippery slop to destruction. Sure things are never that simple but you get what I am saying…having a partner that reflects all the negative aspects of yourself isn’t really all that healthy.

Now for a slightly less clear-cut example. Most of us have suffered as a result of a break-up. Anyone with some basic Tinder experience will tell you that many of the people you meet have a recent ex. As I’ve said in previous posts by the time we hit 30 most of us have baggage and/or a broken heart…but how about when it is that broken heart that connects you to a new potential beau? You spend your dates talking about your exes, complaining about all the bad things they did and crying on each others shoulders.

When candidly opening your heart to someone it’s easy to kid yourself into believing that you are making this intense connection. But let’s be honest, all you are doing isusing one another as a free therapist. Talking about your issues is sure to make you feel good. But the problem with sharing personal heartbreak stories while simultaneously pursuing a relationship with another broken person is that you are embarking on this ‘love’ affair when you are both at your most vulnerable.

That heartbroken person that being presented to the world isn’t the real person we’d find once all the dust settled. Immediately after a traumatic break-up it’s natural for a person to be sad, angry and generally self-destructive. In some cases, people might seize their new found freedom and party hard in order distract themselves from the sad reality of being single. Regardless, the person we meet and supposedly form a connection with during this vulnerable stage isn’t likely to be the same person in 6 months time. Bring two such people into the mix and you’ve a recipe for disaster…

In an ideal world those who had recently experienced a horrific break-up would take the time to focus on themselves and heal that broken heart instead of just jumping into the next relationship. However, this is most definitely easier said than done. So if you do end up jumping back on the dating horse instead of wallowing I would say go for it but keep those eyes wide open.Realise that you are probably not ready for anything serious and if you do find yourself attracted to another broken hearted soul try to keep it light and fluffy thereby limiting the fallout.

OK Rinsers its time for you to talk. Have you ever bonded with a significant other over something negative? Do you think it’s dangerous to get involved with someone who has recently broken up with a partner an has a brokenheart? Do you think a relationship based on ‘helping’ each other fix those broken hearts is destined to end in trouble. Answers below!

 

 

“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” and how to make money without much creativity

imageI like zombies. I’ve been writing about zombie movies for quite a few years now and I know a bit about them. I never tried reading a book before maybe because I think that certain cheesiness that is attractive in movies wouldn’t work that well in books. As a Jane Austen fan, however, I had to read a book entitled “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” and boy, oh boy I wish I had never had this idea.

Let me start by saying that I don’t believe in sacrilege. I think that everything can be played with, formatted and altered, including the so-called masterpieces of literature. Therefore, my problem with the book isn’t the fact that “the author” messes with Jane Austen’s ideas. What annoys me is that he took a great book and added some insipid fight scenes into it and by only slightly changing the original he produced an unworthy piece of shit.

In theory I like the idea of the posh Victorian ladies being covered in blood and trained in martial arts to fight the plague of zombies that haunts England. In practice, I’ve just summed up the alternations that have been made to the book. The idea is quite cool but the execution leaves the reader with the sense of boredom. The story known from Pride and Prejudice is…well… known so there aren’t any surprises in the plot. The additional few action scenes and martial arts oriented conversations won’t make the book about a bunch of ladies wanting to get married innovative (and/or worth reading). The novel is exactly what it says it is in the title. You’re basically rereading “Pride and Prejudice” in the universe filled with zombies. The effect is BORING.

I could see how the idea had a lot of potential. If the author had added a bit of humor to it, it could have been a really good read. He could have added some social commentary. He could have changed his characters in so many other ways than just making them skilled in combat. Instead of all this   he just sticks to the original script.  The horror scenes aren’t even particularly scary.

I couldn’t understand throughout the reading why this book was written at all apart from of course the financial incentive because of its catchy title. This novel is indeed a marketing miracle which manages to incite interest merely because of the clash of two ideas seemingly impossible to put together. Can you really imagine anything more contradictory that the would of Jane Austen with zombies? No. It doesn’t mean, however, that apart from reflecting on the matter you should buy and read a book about it.

To sum up, the idea behind “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” is interesting but the novel itself is a waste of time. Maybe on the screen it could possibly be entairtaing but I’ll most probably give the movie a skip.

So, Dear Rinsers, have you heard about the book? Have you maybe seen the movie? What do you think about cultural recycling? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

 

 

 

The power of the ring – when they know you’re engaged

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An engagement ring has some obvious perks. It looks pretty, your parents leave you alone for a while (just for while, the having kids topic is waitinqg just around the corner) and most importantly it makes some ladies around you jealous. The most useful function of the engagement ring, however, is protection from unwanted attention.

You’re having drinks with your friend and you just want to have an intimate evening, the two of you. Yet, the single bar goers are forever on the hunt for new women and they assume that the “two lovely ladies”can’t be genuinely enjoying each other’s company. He’s nearly sure that they came there to pretend that they’re having fun but in fact are just on a lookout for a man. You can see him approaching with a very confident look and a certain sway of his less bulky than he thinks arms. He comes to your table and opens his mouth when his stare stops at your left hand and your engagement ring. He immediately looks in a different direction pretending that his closeness to your table was a mere coincidence. You two can enjoy the uninterrupted conversation without answering to cheap pick up lines. All that thanks to the power of the ring.

It’s not the only situation in which it comes handy. What may come as a surprise to many is that some women in relationships still want to expand their social circles. Especially as an expat you tend to appear at various events related to your interests or simply aimed at networking and meeting new people. When you see that a guy is interested and yet you have a boyfriend you have to somehow slip the detail in so that he doesn’t get his hopes up. It usually ends up being an awkward sentence in a conversation for example about wine farms such as “Oh yes, me and MY BOYFRIEND went to a lovely one recently”. Some guys will look disappointed, some will quickly finish a conversation and drift to other, hopefully single, ladies, few will passively aggressively mention something about not caring about it. In either situation it can be awkward. An rgagement ring sorts this problem out. One look at your left hand is enough for him to know what your relationship status is. That way he can make a decision whether his willing to entertain a conversation for the pleasure of it or are you a time waster in his mind.

In the difficult world of dating where knowing someone elses’s status isn’t always easy, an engagement ring is something that can make a life of a single man simpler. He doesn’t have to embarrass himself hitting on a lady that’s unavailable and she doesn’t have to politely yet firmly reject his attentions. I must say that even before I was engaged or even in a relationship I did use my grandmother’s ring for deterrent purposes when I really wasn’t interested and a guy was of the kind that didn’t understand that you not having a partner doesn’t equal you being interested in him.

What do you think, Dear Rinsers? Are engagement rings/wedding rings a great solution to avoid awkwardness? Should married/engaged people always wear their symbols of relationship status?

ME-ternity Leave – Perks for the Childless ?

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Same Same but Different?

Having children is a life choice. Some people choose to do it. Others don’t. Some people choose to do it well. And others well…they choose to carry on living recklessly with a few screaming brats in tow and see what society will do to save them.

Theoretically the decision to have a child is not really that different from the other choices we make such as whether to adopt a puppy, whether to go on a epic around the world trip or start meditating as way of finding inner peace. However, it does seem to me that having kids is one choice which receives far more support from society than any of the other aforementioned things.

We often see countries which offer their citizens generous parental leave benefits (it’s no longer PC to say maternity) as advanced. But are policies that favour one life path (marriage, kids) over the alternatives really something we should be supporting and promoting?

Look I am not a hater of little people. Maybe one day I’ll meet some bloke as equally fabulous as myself and we’ll choose to procreate but for today I want to highlight how all these advancements with regards to parental leave policies fail to consider a very important group, namely those childless singletons.

I once had a colleague who struggled after adopting a puppy. Everyday the puppy would cry for its mummy when it was left at home alone so each day the girl received calls at work to say the pup was distressed and she needed to drop everything and run home to tend to her ‘baby’. Let’s just say in this situation HR were rolling their eyes. However, if it were a human baby I’m sure they’d be a lot more empathetic. But why? Should pet-owners be able to take ‘Paw-ternity’ leave to help their new puppy adjust to life in this big, scary world?

Meghann Foye, an American magazine editor recently caused quite a stir by suggesting that all women be allowed to take ‘ME-ternity leave’ – time out from the world of work to do something life-enhancing. Lots of people came down on her pretty hard but seriously think about it. Why should the men and woman who choose not have kids be forced to suffer and pick up the slack in the office while others just continue to reap the benefits as they go on to have their 2nd, 3rd and 10th child? Why shouldn’t my reasons for taking a career break not receive the same support from the company/government as another chick’s decision to spread her legs?

I don’t see why if it was done fairly and applied to everyone (including the guys) the whole concept of ME-ternity leave couldn’t work. Furthermore, if limits were added, say everyone was given just one stint of extended leave to do with as the which and any subsequent career breaks would need to be funded by the individual themselves, such a policy may even go some way in tackling some the many social issues caused by all the unwanted progeny in the world.

So Rinsers, it’s time for you to have your say. Do you think that parental leave benefits favour those that choose to make babies over others who love using contraception?  Should single people also be entitled to benefits from a company/government that support them in making alternative life choices? Do you think this idea of ME-ternity leave has any value? Answers in the comments below…

Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’ aka Blaming ‘Becky’

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OK, I have to be honest with you I’m writing this having not seen the Beyoncé’s  ‘visual album’ (since when did this become a ‘thing’?) which was released over a week ago. Still, anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock couldn’t fail to have all the ‘Lemonade’ hype.

From purely a musical standpoint (and yes I am well aware that my taste in music in questionable), I have to say I haven’t been all that impressed. To be honest, I miss the old school Beyoncé from the Destiny’s Child days.

Regardless, ‘Lemonade’ goes beyond the music. It’s a political statement – Beyoncé’s support of the #blacklivesmatter movement. It’s also said to be Queen Bey’s anti-Coachella fashion statement. But most importantly (for us voyeuristic gossip mongers) it’s about Beyoncé making ‘Lemonade’ out of her unhappy marriage to JZ.

I’m sure you’ve all read more than enough in the press about how this album is an insight into Beyonce’s personal life. There has been plenty of speculation around the lyrics of the latest songs being about various stages of a woman being cheated on – from her initial intuition and that gut instinct that something is not quite right to denial (because nobody wants to admit that their beau is a philander) and the forgiveness and having to finding away to move forward after infidelity.

But still the question that is on everyone’s lips is – Who the hell is ‘Becky with the good hair’?  (Just for the record, I think Beyonce has the best hair!). With Becky supposedly being the ‘Other Woman‘ in the mix one does have to wonder though if ‘Lemonade’ is just an epic form of cryptic/not-so- cryptic revenge. Anyone who has been cheated on will tell you that it’s a traumatic experience. Being betrayed and humiliated by someone you trust wholeheartedly is sure to mess with one’s head and it’s only human to get angry and want to blame someone.

But isn’t strange who we choose to angry with? In most cases, the woman scorned doesn’t launch revenge on her but instead she chooses to target the side chick (check Beyonce – shortly after ‘Lemonade’s release she still dedicated a song to her ‘beautiful husband’ and the doesn’t seem to be any signs of divorce on the horizon either).

It’s easy to judge as an onlooker. But as they say people living in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. I think the truth is that even though the philandering scumbag is in the wrong and all logic tells you ditch his sorry ass, very rarely are our hearts and heads in sync. Although we know what we should do our heart still loves the cheat and those feelings are often hard to shake. Furthermore, its far easier to hate on the side chick because ultimately it’s possible for even someone as glorified as Beyonce to feel threatened by a ‘Becky’.

Dear Rinsers, tell us what you about this ‘Lemonade’ hype. Is it nothing more than an excellent publicity stunt executed by this epic power couple (NB JZ owns Tidal, the platform that Beyonce used to launch ‘Lemonade’)? Do you think this is Beyonce’s way of getting revenge on the side chick?  Why do you think the woman scorned always hates on the ‘Becky’? And are the guys who get cheated on any different?  Have you ever been in Beyonce’s shoes or are you more of a ‘Becky’? Share your views and stories in the comments below.