July 14, 2015 § 2 Comments
Puns and a limerick to celebrate a special week. Please enjoy!
Today, I’m so sad to see Clitoris Awareness Week COME to an end. But I’ve decided to show my reverence by trying my HAND at some poetry. Yes, I’m doing some of my CHEEKIEST work as I help people peek under the HOOD of this magical organ. Rather than simply pay it LIP service, I felt poetry would help me go DEEP into the subject matter. I chose limerick form, because, of course, it begins with “L” “I” and ends with “C” “K.” Not to brag, but one friend called me a “cliterary genius” while another said I was a “cunning linguist.” Enjoy.
But grab a tissue. It will be touching.
Ode to the Clitoris
by Aliza Worthington
B.A. and M.A. from Johns Hopkins University 1990
There once was a girl from the city
Who needed to write something witty.
She wracked her tired brain
For something germane
And came up with something quite clitty.
Apparently we lack awareness
Of female sex organs – UNFAIRNESS!
But at this fine hour,
We now know the power
That lurks beneath our underwear-ness.
The clitoris is like the penis.
It’s true, despite it’s outward wee-ness.
It’s eight inches long,
(That’s more than a dong!)
But most of it’s inside your she-ness.
This organ has eight THOUSAND small nerves!
So, careful when tasting the hors d-oeuvres…
Ensuring your friend
A real happy end.
Please show it the respect it deserves.
We don’t know if it’s reproductive.
But here’s some advice that’s constructive:
For problems spousal,
Work on arousal.
The clit’s good for feeling seductive!
So, celebrate dildo and fingers,
Monogamists, Singles or Swingers!
The clit’s center-stage
No matter your age!
(Hats off to all you cunnalingers…)
* Though Clitoris Awareness Week is meant to be light-hearted in tone, it originated with a group’s very serious purpose – helping female victims of genital mutilation. Click here to learn about Clitoraid.
**This poem was a winner of a 2015 BlogHer Voice of the Year Award.
January 30, 2014 § 17 Comments
Dear amazing readers and friends,
The Worthington Post is moving to a bigger house!
Here’s the deal – For four years I’ve been nurturing this writing thing, and 2+ years ago it turned into this blog here on WordPress.com. It allowed me to write what I want, when I wanted, cost me $0, and kept it simple. That last part is huge for me, I might add. I never got into the notion of moving it over to WordPress.org, which would allow me to have ads and other monetary transactions (like, if I ever wrote a book or wanted to sell something else,) but would also mean I’d have to be involved with the behind-the-screen stuff way more than I’m interested in being. I know my technological limits. They were reached when we got a push-button phone and call-waiting.
The blog has grown slowly…slowly…still slowly, but impressively enough that the WordPress People who helped me out at a conference looked, and said, “Whoooooa…you have that many followers?” I said, “Yeah, why? It’s a lot?” They said, “Well, yeah – and it’s unusual on a WP.com site.” I said, “Really? Why?” They explained, “Well, when a blog URL has ‘wordpress.com’ in it, it seems kinda…well…like you’re telling everyone you’re an amateur.” I said, “Really? Oh, well…I guess people don’t mind I’m an amateur.”
But after two happy years at WordPress.com, I’m following my friend, John Shore, over to a bigger house. Patheos.com. (Patheos.com is also a WP site, btw – but one of those more professional, people-who-know-what-the-hell-they’re-doing-type of WP.org sites.) The Patheos tagline is “Hosting the Conversation on Faith.” John moved his blog over there, and he oversees the Unfundamentalist Christians page on Patheos, too. You can see if you poke around over there that they have dozens of religious “portals.” The variety perspectives is staggering – and quite a few of them don’t have much to do with religion at all. I’ll be at the Patheos Jewish portal. As you know, a fair amount of my writing explores my experiences as a Jewish kid from Brooklyn, married to a Catholic guy from Baltimore, with three kids who are like, “Whatever.”
Content will remain the same – I’ll still be writing on plenty of topics from ridiculous conversations with my 4th-grade son to sarcastic and/or thoughtful take-downs of things that aggravate me to the random movie or book review.
The blog will look kind of different – Patheos is a big site with hundreds of thousands of readers, so there are ads on the sidebar, etc. So sorry about that. (That’s one of the things I liked about my blog here – simple and easy on the eye.) The trade-off is they will pay me once I start getting a certain number of page views. Not much, but I get to keep all the rights to my work, and have complete control over what I publish there. Just like here. Did I mention they have hundreds of thousands of readers? They won’t all flock to MY blog – they’re there for their own thing, ya know? But chances of more eyes on my writing increase dramatically.
They are keeping the general look of The Worthington Post you’ve come to know (yes, that picture of the block structure my son built will still be the header.) And they’re keeping my categories – Life, Liberty, and Happiness. And they’re keeping all my subscribers. Yes, if you’ve signed up to receive an e-mail whenever I publish, you will continue to get those emails. The web ninjas over at Patheos have transferred you all over. You don’t have to do anything! Isn’t that NUTS????? How do they DO THAT STUFF???
I once had a conversation with John a while back before this prospect of moving the blog came into being. He asked me what my goals were for my writing. I said, “uuuuuuuuuuuuh…” because that’s what I do when people who are smarter than I am ask me simple questions. He kindly helped me along, saying, “Well, based on what I know about you, I’m guessing you’d like creative control over your content…”
I said, “Yeah, that’s good…”
John: “And you’d probably like to be read by the largest audience possible…”
John: “And it wouldn’t hurt to get paid for it, either.”
Me: “THAT’S IT!!! You got it!!! IT’S LIKE LOOKING IN A MIRROR!!!”
Well, when Patheos approached me about moving my blog, I was hesitant, because I resist change. It requires work. Then I thought about what John said months earlier, and how he helped me articulate what mattered to me, and how a move to Patheos embodied those priorities exactly. Worth it. So, here we go! Come over to my new home! (Housewarming gifts completely unnecessary, though I have been DYING for some new towels.)
June 11, 2013 § Leave a comment
A gender re-imagined parody on the New York Times laughable article, “Purse Politics”:
WASHINGTON, DC — Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), was sitting in his large, sunny office recently, riffling through the contents of his black leather briefcase. After several moments, he laughed and produced a neon-pink earplug.
“Here’s an earplug from the helicopter,” he said, still searching through the briefcase he had bought from the Coach store in Tyson’s Corner, VA. “That is not a normal thing that a man might have in his briefcase. That is a military earplug from a Blackhawk.”
Mr. Nelson had just returned from a national security trip and was in the middle of what he jokingly said was a “post-recess-organize-the-briefcase-mode,” transferring the contents of a brown leather backpack that he had carried on his Middle East tour into his everyday carryall.
The Congress of yore might conjure images of spittoons and old male politicians with briefcases, but the 113th has ushered in a historic number of men — 83 in the Senate, and 362 in the House — and with them a historic number of briefcases. In some ways, the male legislator’s briefcase or bag has become one of the most outwardly physical manifestations of the nation’s changing deliberative body.
“What a man senator slings over his shoulder is the next tangible and Technicolor proof of how the esteemed body has changed and is changing,” said a Democratic strategist. “Today’s briefcases and bags are as new and interesting of a visual as the red power suit once was. They pop on the C-SPAN cameras, they serve a purpose and — intentionally or not — they make a statement.”
Or as one GOP staffer pointed out, “The cloakroom is no longer just for coats.”
David Cameron, the 80th male prime minister of Britain, wields his briefcase like a cudgel, a potent mix of masculinity and his famed iron will. To be “briefcased” by Mr. Cameron even became a verb, well-known to rivals, journalists and political bumblers alike who all found themselves ruthlessly dismissed by him when they displeased him. (In 2000, a black Salvatore Ferragamo bag of his sold at a London charity auction for roughly $130,000.)
But until recently, at least, Mr. Cameron’s ability to elevate his briefcase into an object of both fame and fear was the exception. For many male politicians, a briefcase was seen as more of a nuisance and even a possible sign of weakness; Dick Cheney, the 46th male vice-presidential nominee for a major political party, garnered attention for the mere act of handing his briefcase to an aide before he took the podium.
“Historically, briefcases were, quite literally, unwanted baggage in the halls of Congress and Parliament,” Robb Young, the author of “Power Dressing: First Men, Male Politicians and Fashion,” wrote by e-mail.
On the HBO series “Veep,” the general absence of a purse is even a punch line: Julia Louis-Dreyfus instead relies on an aide, who carries around his own giant bag (nicknamed the Leviathan), so he is always ready with eye drops, lipstick or even a Fig Newton.
But Bill Clinton, who has been much scrutinized over the years for his pantsuits and his changing hairstyles, professed his love of a great briefcase in a 2011 interview with Harper’s Bazaar.
“I have this Ferragamo hot-pink briefcase that I adore,” he told the magazine. “I mean, how can you be unhappy if you pick up a big pink briefcase?”
Many male politicians, though, would prefer to tout practicality over labels.
“Frankly, my briefcase selection is more about utilitarian than how it looks,” said Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, explaining that his bags are always “big enough to carry one or two iPads, an Air book, a Hotspot, and a little bit of extra reading for irritating times I have to turn off my devices when we take off and land.”
“I think most of us, while we may look at the cute little briefcases, our lives don’t fit a cute little purse,” he said. “Our lives fit something that is in between a purse and a briefcase, and that’s what I carry.”
Their bag, male lawmakers said, might help add a splash of fun and fashion to what can be a tedious daily routine. But it must befit a member of Congress. Meaning: appropriately modest. Even the classic Birkin, for instance, would likely draw unwanted attention to its owner because of its five-figure price tag.
“There’s no magic formula, because looking glamorous or elegant for some political men in certain circumstances can be an advantage, while looking more demure, matronly or even dowdy can be an advantage for others,” said Mr. Young, the author. The one universal rule, he said, is “being able to anticipate what a broad base of his constituents find appropriate and authoritative while still looking distinctive.”
“What that looks like as a briefcase,” he said, “is probably going to be a very different thing if you’re a grass-roots congressman from rural Missouri or if you’re representing city dwellers in New England.”
Still, some basic trends have emerged on Capitol Hill.
Clutches are frowned upon. “It has to go over my shoulder, so my hands are free,” said Senator Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana, toting a very sensible-looking black briefcase while waiting for the subway recently.
Representative Peter Roskam, Republican of Illinois, said he has upgraded his briefcase size three times so far, ending up with a green-and-blue checked Franco Sarto, in order to fit all of his Congressional needs into one bag: a pager, two phones (“my official and my personal”), a voting card, a spiral-bound briefing book, white notecards with a summary of coming bills and how he plans to vote, and makeup for unexpected television appearances. “I have to have concealer, I have to have the powder, I have to have the lipstick,” Mr. Roskam said.
Mr. McConnell owns both a bright orange and a bright green briefcase.“It’s a little daunting sometimes how discouraging you get about making real progress on problems you care about, so I’m always like maybe just subconsciously looking for a little dose of cheer,” he said.
Perhaps no model of briefcase, however, can signify status as much as having someone willing to carry it.
When Orrin Hatch, a Republican, represented Utah in the Senate, he had his briefcase trotted through the Capitol by a rotating cadre of young male aides, to some raised eyebrows.
But now some version of the so-called “briefcase boy” is almost commonplace.
On the first day of this session, a young male aide to Representative Nick Rahall, the West Virginia Democrat and ranking member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, juggled the coats of male members as he tried to snap a group photo. And on the night of President Obama’s State of the Union address, Representative Ken Calvert, Republican of California, was trailed through Statuary Hall by a male staff member holding his bag.
After expertly picking his way through the crowd, Mr. Calvert turned to his aide and asked, “Do you have all of my stuff?”
This comically re-imagined take on the New York Times article Purse Politics: Tote and Vote was written to prove once and for all just how silly articles like these are, and how no one would ever write or care about such things if we were talking about male politicians. It was originally published at The Broad Side.
April 19, 2013 § 2 Comments
In “Isn’t Dove Supposed to be a Sign for Peace?” I add my voice to the conversation and controversy surrounding the Dove “Real Beauty Sketches” ad campaign.
Check it out, and feel free to comment on the site!
October 19, 2012 § 2 Comments
My friend, Estelle, of Musings on Motherhood and Midlife, is starting a weekly feature on her blog called “Fun With Words Friday.” She gives us a topic (this week, it’s women and politics, in honor of the debates) and challenges us to write a short poem or limerick on that topic. You know me. I can’t say no to a challenge! So, here are my entries – enjoy!
There once was a rich man from Bain
Who felt he had no need to ‘splain
Why his payroll wasn’t swimmin’
With binders of women –
He should end up just like McCain.
Politics has proven ways of turning men to boys:
Shows of might and playground fights and who’s got better toys.
I sometimes wish that all their moms could put them in time-out,
That logic ruled and they were schooled in how to speak, not shout.
A moderator in debates can serve this purpose solely.
This week we saw one in the form of smarty Candy Crowely.
She fact-checked Mitt, told both to sit, and showed her muscle flexes.
She made me proud to say out loud, “My chromosomes are X-es!
Have a lovely weekend, y’all!!! 😀