Thought Catalog


10 Simple Ways To Drive Him Crazy (Without Even Getting Naked)

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 08:00 PM PST

iStockPhoto.com / Eva Katalin Kondoros
iStockPhoto.com / Eva Katalin Kondoros

1. Send him a PG text that's just suggestive enough.

A carefully crafted PG text can be way more powerful than a nude photo or a naughty voice note whispered in your best sultry “Adele.” You don't have to use blatantly dirty language to get him thinking about you and wanting more. All you have to do is leave your message open-ended. For example: "Can't stop thinking about you…" or "Wish you were here right now…" By shrouding your statement in just enough mystery you can hint at the risqué without actually going there, which will make him yearn for more. (As an added bonus, your message will be way too innocent to be used as blackmail against you in case things go awry down the line.)

2. Wear something that shows off your personality.

Yes, revealing clothing is pretty much always helpful in wooing a dude. It's rarely a bad idea to show a little leg or cleavage when you're trying to get a guy’s attention. That said, an outfit that reeks of sex is a short-term play. If you're seriously interested in someone, you might as well give them a glimpse of the inner awesomeness resting beneath your flesh. Dressed in something you love that speaks to who you are, you're more likely to come across as a confident, desirable woman worthy of long-term commitment. So rock the Wonder Woman t-shirt, the statement necklace, the neon sneakers, or whatever apparel reflects your unique personality best.

3. Tell him you had a dream about him.

When someone reveals that you were in their dream, it means that you were literally on their mind the night before, which is unquestionably flattering. The dream doesn't even have to be sensual for it to be interpreted as complimentary. So if you want to convey that you're into a guy without saying something as direct as "let's get naked together," describe a dream you've had in which he played a major role. To be clear, it doesn't matter if you've actually had any dreams about him at all. Feel free to take a creative license in drafting your own dreamscapes. It's not like anyone can prove you're lying!

4. Stretch.

Literally. Stretch. No one's going to question why you spontaneously reach your arms up towards the sky or spread your feet apart and bend over to reach for the floor midday. You can do it anywhere: in your seat at work, between the library stacks, next to the water cooler, or in the hallway. Stretching is good for your health. Incidentally, it's also a good way to turn heads. If you manipulate your body mindfully into attractive positions and not unsightly pretzel like formations, you’re sure to spark interest from the object of your affection.

5. Say something smart to prove you have brains and booty.

Acting ditzy might get you laid, but it's probably not going to get you a date, at least not with a top tier guy. Don't be afraid to raise your hand in class to say something super insightful, or throw a well-intentioned jab rooted in cleverness. Wit is an aphrodisiac to any high quality human worth your time, so use it to your advantage.

6. Play with your hair.

A full head of hair denotes health and fertility, two highly favorable biological traits. It's one of the many things guys look for, subconsciously or not, when assessing a potential mate. Since the typical man doesn't have long, luscious locks, a woman's hair is also something of a curiosity to the opposite sex—one you can exploit to highlight what makes you so wonderfully exotic. So run your fingers through your mane, pull your hair up into a ponytail or twist it into a bun, moving your arms and upper body in as playful and flirtatious a manner as possible.

7. Bite your bottom lip.

Picture a woman biting her bottom lip. Sexy, right? Why exactly remains unclear, but what's certain is that a little bottom lip nibbling can go a long way in seducing a man. When a woman shows a little tooth, she somehow exudes an extremely appealing mix of vulnerability and pensiveness. The next time your guy happens to look your way, give it a try.

8. Laugh out loud.

There’s nothing more attractive than a woman laughing with total abandon. A woman laughing uproariously is automatically viewed in a positive light—as free spirited and good natured and pleasant to be around. When you let yourself laugh like no one’s looking, you become someone who knows how to have a good time, and appreciates the humor in life. Someone who doesn't take herself too seriously. The ideal life partner, really.

9. Send him a funny article or video he hasn’t seen yet.

Sharing content is a form of identity creation—a way to demonstrate who you are by revealing the type of material you consume day to day. By sending a guy a viral story or video before it blows up, you can establish just how awesomely in the know you are. Alternatively, by sending him a few links tailored to his specific interests, you can prove just how thoughtful and attentive you are.

10. Flirt with someone else.

We're all susceptible to peer pressure to a certain extent, especially when it comes to what we desire. It's only human to want what others want, after all. Luckily, there's a way to capitalize on this phenomenon when courting a prospective partner. Flirt with someone else—preferably someone you're confident will respond to your overtures—to substantiate your market value as a highly coveted lady. TC mark

31 Unsettling Details About America’s Creepiest Serial Killers

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 07:00 PM PST

In American history, a handful of notorious killers have left their mark due to their atrocious, unforgettable crimes. We hear about them all the time; they inspire horror movies, novels and TV episodes. They're constantly the subject of documentaries and episodes of "Biography." We think we know everything about them, but sometimes while wading through the many, many words written about Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy and their peers we find something new and shocking.

Jeffrey Dahmer

Revere Senior High School
Revere Senior High School

Jeffrey Dahmer's murders shocked the nation because they had been happening for so long and were so horrific that they seemed like something straight out of a horror film. Not only did Jeffrey sexually assault his victims, he also dismembered them and ate them. Eventually he was taken to court and found guilty of up to 17 murders, though it's likely he committed many more. Dahmer was sentenced to hundreds of years behind bars but another inmate murdered him in jail in 1994.

1. When Jeffrey was a kid, he loved to play with dead animal bones. He'd go out and collect roadkill, then clean and bleach the bones.

2. Dahmer's issues may have stemmed from an early childhood surgery, as well as the breakup of his parents' marriage and a move to a new city. Family members say they noticed an abrupt change in his behavior after the hernia surgery at age six.

3. After high school, Dahmer enlisted in the army, but his alcoholism led to his eventual discharge.

4. He stole a mannequin from a store and kept it for sexual uses.

5. He was living with his grandma in Milwaukee while many of his murders and sexual crimes were committed. She wasn't aware of what her grandson was doing, but his late nights and drinking led her to kick him out.

6. When the police entered Dahmer's house of horrors, they found three human heads chilling in the freezer next to Hot Pockets and ice cream.

7. The inmate who killed Dahmer, a schizophrenic man named Christopher Scarver, told the "New York Post" that one of his reasons was because Dahmer made mini-sculptures resembling human limbs out of his food in jail.

Ed Gein

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Another Wisconsin man with a tendency to dismember and save his victims' body parts was the notorious Ed Gein. Together, Dahmer and Gein inspired the notorious Leatherface character of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" fame. Gein also inspired "Psycho"s Norman Bates. He was found not guilty of his crimes on reasons of insanity.

1. Ed Gein's mother, Augusta, was very religious and told her sons that the world was evil and immoral. She also told them to beware of women because they were "instruments of the devil."

2. As a teenager, Ed often babysat for neighborhood children. He seemed to enjoy the company of children more than adults.

3. Ed's brother died in a brush fire, though Ed was untouched. Many people thought he'd killed his brother, considering he led police right to the body.

4. Ed's mother died in 1945 and in his grief, he boarded up many of the rooms she spent time in. He was very close to his mother, hence the Norman Bates inspiration.

5. Ed visited cemeteries at night and dug up bodies of middle-aged women in effort to bring his mother back; he also made a "female suit" and claimed he wanted to be a woman.

6. When police searched his house, they found, among many other pieces of human anatomy, nine vulvas in a box.

Ted Bundy

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

The charming, good-looking Bundy went on a murder spree in the '70s, killing over 30 women. He probably murdered many more than he was convicted for, though it was never totally proven. Ted died in the electric chair in 1989.

1. Ted was an illegitimate child; his mother was in her early twenties and unmarried. His grandparents raised him as their son.

2. Child Ted was really into knives and grew into a teenage Peeping Tom.

3. Ted kept weapons, including a huge knife, in his VW Beetle glove box. He said they were for "safety."

4. Bundy worked at a suicide hotline with a woman named Ann Rule, who would later become famous for her true crime writing. Her first book? "The Stranger Beside Me," a book about, who else – Bundy.

5. Bundy was a master at escaping police custody. He slipped away from them several times during his career, including jumping out a window.

6. There were TV movies based on Bundy even before his death.

7. Ted got married while in custody and there's a rumor he might have a child via his then-wife. It's never been confirmed, though.

The Zodiac

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

The creepiest part about the Zodiac killer is that they've never been identified. There have been countless suspects, but no one has ever been charged with the murders. The Zodiac could still be walking around with us! Yikes. The Zodiac killed five people (including teenage couples) in 1968 and 1969, and sent cryptic letters to local papers daring the police to figure out who he was and teasing them when they couldn't.

1. A high school teacher helped the police crack the code in one of the Zodiac's first letters. It's the only one to ever be (mostly) solved, and it begins with "I like killing people because it is so much fun."

2. One of the Zodiac's letters included a bloody piece of shirt worn by one of his victims.

3. The Zodiac wrote letters to police from 1969 to 1974.

4. Tons of people have come forward with "information" about who the killer is, but none have ever been confirmed and many are dead now. A writer named Gary Stewart believed his father was the killer and even wrote a book about it.

John Wayne Gacy

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

The infamous "Killer Clown" murdered over thirty young men in the '70s; what was it about the '70s that made it such a popular decade for murder?! He went to jail in 1980 but wasn't executed until 1994.

1. When Gacy was young, he moved to Vegas and worked at a mortuary. At one point, he found himself climbing into the casket of a young man and touching the body. It disturbed him so much that he moved back to Chicago.

2. After marrying and starting a family, Gacy was a respected member of his community. He was a prominent Jaycee and many thought he was a kind, upstanding citizen. He also owned a KFC franchise.

3. In 1968, Gacy went to prison for sexual assault. He got out in 1970 and continued to sexually assault young boys. His first murder was in 1972.

4. Occasionally, Gacy killed while wearing his clown costume.

5. Gacy buried most of the bodies of his victims under his home and garage.

6. Gacy painted in prison, mostly images of himself in his clown costume. Many were purchased solely to be destroyed by the families of his victims.

7. His last words? "Kiss my ass." TC mark

slack-imgs.com

10 Obsessive Lovers Who Responded To Heartbreak With Savage Murder

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 06:15 PM PST

People do crazy stuff when they’re in love. They Facebook stalk to the point of finding prom photos, they pull a Lloyd Dobler and blast music from boom boxes outside of windows, they even get really regrettable tattoos of names and faces and singlehandedly keep laser removal in business. But every now and then someone takes the cake and does the craziest thing of all in the name of love: they kill.

Kind of makes you feel okay for being single and watching Magic Mike alone, huh?

beetlejuice

Eric McLean

YouTube
YouTube

In March of 2007 Eric McLean shot and killed 18-year-old Scott Powell who was waiting in his car outside of McLean’s house. The high school student had been having an affair was McLean’s wife, Erin, who was his English TA. Eric had suspected that his wife had been up to something as she was constantly talking about one of her students (Scott Powell) in an almost obsessive manner, and the couple’s two young sons told their father about outings with their mom and her “friend.” Erin didn’t do much to hide the affair from her husband who, when asked why he didn’t simply leave his cheating wife said, “Because I love her.”

Eric McLean was convicted of reckless homicide in 2008, and served no jail time. He later won a custody battle for his songs against his ex-wife who had ANOTHER affair with a student in 2009.

beetlejuice

Els Clottemans

YouTube
YouTube

If you’ve always been afraid to go skydiving read about Els Clottemans at your own risk.

Dubbed “The Parachute Murder” by the Belgian Media, Els Clottemans was convicted of the first degree murder of fellow skydiver Els Van Doren in 2006. Both women were romantically linked to Marcel Somers, and although Clottemans went on record saying she didn’t mind being his “number two” a jury felt a little differently. Police first suspected Clottemans after she attempted suicide, presumably out of guilt, after speaking to them. She then continually tried to contact both Somers and Van Doren’s family, and investigators came to the conclusion that she wanted Somers all to herself. After reviewing both the tape that had been on Van Doren’s helmet during her 2 mile plummet (yeah, it was recorded) and the evidence showing that the lines of her parachutes had been cut, Clottemans was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Her first appeal was denied.

beetlejuice

Rachel Wade

Wikimedia
Wikimedia

I knew teenaged girls had a tendency to get crazy over boys, but the fight between Rachel Wade and Sarah Luddeman over Joshua Camacho was above and beyond crazy.

After Rachel and Joshua had broken up, he started dating Sarah Luddeman. Rachel and Sarah had a heated rivalry over this boy. Police had spoken to Sarah roughly once a month in the six months she’d been dating Joshua about harassment from Rachel. The girls would show up to each other’s work to taunt the other, Rachel would leave volatile voicemails and Facebook posts threatening Sarah, and eventually one night April things came to a grisly boiling point.

Sarah went to confront Rachel on the night of April 14th after hearing Rachel scream, “I’m going to stab you and your Mexican boyfriend,” at her as she drove by. Both girls allegedly lunged at each other but Rachel pulled out a steak knife and repeatedly stabbed Sarah, eventually hitting her heart. When the fight was over Rachel threw the murder weapon into the neighbors yard and calmly said, “I’m done.” She is currently serving 27 years in a prison in Florida.

beetlejuice

Leslie Hylton

YouTube
YouTube

In the 1940s Leslie Hylton, a test cricket player from Jamaica, fell for Lurline Rose the daughter of the Police Inspector. Their relationship had caused controversy because of the difference in class between the two, but despite her disapproving parents and the family’s efforts to squash the relationship, love won out and the two were married in 1942.

Fast forward to 1954 and the love that triumphed over all had taken a disastrous turn.

Leslie had begun receiving anonymous letters stating that his wife was cheating on him while she was away in New York City attending to her dressmaking business. Despite Lurline’s insistence that Roy Francis (the alleged other man ) was merely an acquaintance, eventually she gave in and confessed that she had been cheating on her husband and that it was because he was such a lower class and that “the sight of him made her sick.”

Leslie then grabbed a shotgun off the wall and shot Lurline. He claimed he had been trying to commit suicide and missed, but the seven bullets recovered from Lurline’s body proved otherwise. He was convicted of murder and hanged for his crime in 1955.

beetlejuice

Sixto Balbuena

YouTube
YouTube

Back in 2010 21-year-old Sixto Balbuena came home to find his finaceé, 48-year-old Tamara Hoffman, cheating on him with another man. The two had begun their relationship a few years prior when Tamara was his teacher. He had come upstairs in their Arizona home after hearing a strange noise, and allegedly feared for her safety. What he found was her in bed with 18-year-old Samual Valdivia, another one of her students who she’d gotten involved with. He stabbed Samual multiple times, and despite claiming he’d only meant to “teach him a lesson” Sixto told police that the knife “went into him like butter.”

He will be up for release in 2020.

beetlejuice

Clara Harris

YouTube
YouTube

In 2002 Clara Harris found out her husband, David Linn Harris, had been cheating on her with his secretary. Clara had hired a private investigator who notified her that her husband and his mistress were at a Texas Hilton, and she went to confront them.

After getting into an altercation with Gail Bridges (the mistress), Clara was removed from the hotel and escorted back to her Mercedes Benz where her step-daughter was waiting in the passenger seat. Clara circled the hotel, waiting for her husband and Gail to leave, and upon seeing them ran David over three times with his daughter in the car. Clara tried to claim that she didn’t know it was her husband, and that she would never have mean to kill him. But with her step-daughters eye-witness account, a video showing her park her car next to the dead body, and reports that she backed up for a round two and then three, Clara was convicted of first degree murder. She’ll be up for parole in two years.

beetlejuice

Yvonne Chevalier

Murderpedia
Murderpedia

In the late 1940s, Yvonne Chevalier found herself in a completely unhappy marriage with her husband Pierre. Despite having several years and two sons together, Pierre would frequently leave Yvonne and the boys in Orleans, France and spend months without them in Paris. Reportedly he no longer loved Yvonne and even told her, “You disgust me.”

In 1951 Yvonne received an anonymous letter that stated her husband had been having an affair. She attempted to confront her husband in Paris about it but he refused to see her and had her sent back to Orleans. She was able to find out that it was their neighbor, Jeannette, and after an altercation with her that went nowhere came up with one final plan to attempt to save her marriage.

When Pierre was home in August Yvonne aimed a handgun on herself and insisted that if Pierre were to leave her, she’d kill herself. Her husband laughed and only requested that she wait until he left the room. So Yvonne turned the gun on him, and shot him four times. After making sure her children were with the maid, she came back to the body and shot him again in the back to make sure it was over, and then called the police and calmly waited for their arrival.

She was found not guilty of murder and lived out her days in French New Guinea with her sons.

beetlejuice

Emilia Carr

Murderpedia
Murderpedia

In 2008 Emilia Carr was engaged to marry Joshua Damien Fulgham, who a month later turned around and married Heather Strong. Despite the drastic change in plans, the three remained civil and Emilia even babysit Heather’s kids for her. A year later, however, Joshua and Heather’s marriage was not a good one and she began seeing another man, while he started to see Emilia again. Joshua and Heather were also locked in a nasty custody battle for their children after the two filed for divorce.

In February of 2009, Heather went missing. Her remains were later found in a shallow grave a month later. After undercover audio where Emilia discussed her crimes with her sister was recovered, Emilia was arrested and charged with kidnapping and murder. That fateful day in February Emilia had tricked Heather into a storage unit on their property, duct taped her to a chair, and asphyxiated her with a plastic bag after being unable to break her neck.

She was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death. She is currently one of five women on death row in the state of Florida.

beetlejuice

Shawna Nelson

Murderpedia
Murderpedia

Shawna Nelson had been involved in a 3 year affair with Ignacio Garraus, who was married to Heather Garraus. Though Shawna and Ignacio had a child together, he still was married to another women and decided to call off the affair.

Overcome with jealousy, Shawna confronted Heather in the parking lot of the credit union where Heather worked. Witnesses saw an assailant dressed in all black force Heather to the ground and yell, “You ruined my life!” before shooting her twice, execution style. As Ignacio was a police officer, it didn’t take long before the fingers were pointing at Shawna. Police officers found Shawna’s shoes less than 700 feet from the scene of the crime, gun shot residue on both them, her clothes, and a mask in her truck, and had statements from over 40 witnesses.

Despite maintaining her innocence, Shawna Nelson was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole in March of 2008.

beetlejuice

Amy Fisher

New York Daily News
New York Daily News

You can’t talk about crimes of passion without talking about Amy Fisher, The Long Island Lolita.

In 1992 when Amy was 17, she met Joey Buttafuocco at the New York auto-shop where he worked. She had wrecked her parents car and pleaded with the then 35-year-old to keep the damage a secret. The two then became involved in affair despite their age difference and Joey’s marriage to Mary Jo Buttafuocco.

In May of that same year Amy had a friend drive her to the Buttafuocco house with the intent of confronting Mary Jo about the affair. When Mary Jo wouldn’t listen and turned away, Amy shot her in the head and left. But miraculously, Mary Jo survived and was able to i.d. Amy as the perpetrator.

In September Amy was convicted of first degree attempted murder and sentenced to 5 to 15 years in prison. She ended up serving 7 years, and was released in 1999. She became a columnist for the the Long Island Press, before joining the adult entertainment industry as a pornographic actress in 2007.

Mary Jo made a full recovery, had extensive plastic surgery to her face, divorced Joey, re-married, and was featured guest on Oprah talking about the experience. TC mark

slack-imgs.com

10 Things You Learn From Being Raised By A Strong Mother

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 06:00 PM PST

 Twenty20 leah.turney
Twenty20 leah.turney

1. You learn the value of independence. You don't need a man to save you or anyone to take care of you, you learn by example that you are capable of living a full and happy life without having to share it with someone else. You learn that you can build a home, raise kids, cook, and do the dishes all while having a thriving career. You pretty much learn how to be super woman.

2. You learn the meaning of unconditional love. You saw your mom sacrifice her time, health and youth for you and your siblings, yet she never complained or gloated about how much she is suffering or how much she is doing. She always had a smile on her face and was happily giving more and more of herself. She taught you what selfless and unconditional love looks like, and you know you won't be able to find that love anywhere else.

3. You learn how to love yourself. You learn how to walk away from the things that are not meant for you, you learn how to keep going even when the whole world is against you, and you learn how to believe in yourself when everyone is doubting you. You learn that bad grades, heart breaks and failures don't define you; what defines you is how you bounce back from all the setbacks and how hard you fight for the life you want.

4. You learn that you can be both strong and soft. Strong mothers are usually very sensitive they just hide it better, but you saw your mom silently cry over your pain, or stay up all night taking care of you when you were sick, or the nights she couldn’t sleep because something was troubling you. The way she hugs you when you are down shows unmatched compassion and tenderness and sometimes in a quiet corner you saw her shed a few tears.

5. You learn that it's not easy being a woman. You learn that your opinion will be discounted, that you will be taken lightly when you’re being serious, but you will also learn that you can stand out in a crowd and force everyone to listen to your voice and accept your ideas. You learn that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

6. You learn never to look back. You learn to let all the "what ifs" and "could have beens" go. You learn not to look back and wonder why life turned upside down. You just keep looking forward and let the past redeem itself. You learn that everything that happened got you to where you belong even if it is nothing you ever wished for.

7. You learn the importance of patience and faith. You learn that God is looking out for you and your struggles, that everything will be OK in the end. Storms will pass and tomorrow is a new day. You learn to be patient with life, patient with timing, patient with success and patient with problems. You learn that patience is strength.

8. You learn how to create your own happiness. You can find happiness in a difficult life. You can still be happy even if  you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. My mom taught me that I can always find something to smile about all I have to do is look closer.

9. You learn that she still knows more about love than you do. Even when you are generations apart, even if you are not fond of her love choices, if she doesn't approve of someone you better listen to her. She knows what she is saying; moreover, she doesn't want to see you get heartbroken. As much as I hate to admit it, she got it right every time.

10. You learn how to be a good mother. You've been raised by a mom who showed you how to truly take care of a family, who showed you that hard work pays off, who showed you that you can love someone unconditionally. She showed you how to be protective, loving, kind, compassionate, strong and resilient. She was leading by example, and whether you know it or not, you are following in her footsteps one step at a time. TC mark

The Millennial Agenda: 10 Things Our Generation Needs Immediately

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 05:15 PM PST

alaskangeles
alaskangeles

Americans born between the early to mid 1980s and the late 1990s inherited the label "Millennials" from demographers William Strauss and Neil Howe. And we also inherited something else: an ineffective political system, and an economy marred by inequality and insecurity. In the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, I propose a 10-point platform that addresses the unique straits and aspirations of our generation. Because if we come to the table without an agenda, we can only look on as others eat first and leave us the crumbs. In love, life, and politics, Millennials on the road to maturity must learn the art of articulating our needs.

1. Change the Drinking Age from 21 to 18

Let's start with a simple one. I'm 31. I teach and mentor college students. And I remember my own experience as an undergrad vividly. Between school, work, dating, keeping in touch with our families, and seeking out scholarships, the amount of responsibilities we're asked to juggle in these years is mind-boggling. And we're asked to do it all without booze, which everyone knows we're drinking anyway. Though I'm a decade removed from college, I still remember being excluded from networking functions with grad students who I could've learned a ton from, simply because they took place in venues that served alcohol. Some campaigns are symbolic, and some are substantive—this one is both: Beer Now.

2. Change the minimum age for president from 35 to 25

Nothing about age necessarily indicates maturity or experience. Donald Trump has overseen four bankruptcies, and is considerably less rich than he would've been if he simply invested his inheritance in conservative index funds. He gets to run for president on a "pro-business" platform. But somebody like Mark Zuckerberg—who was a self-made billionaire before he could legally rent a car—won't be eligible until 2019. This is absurd. Not making the office of the presidency accessible to Americans of a certain age enforces a sense of second-class citizenship, a feeling of being trapped in a world run by "adults." One of the reasons that Millennial #BlackLivesMatter activists have to interrupt presidential candidates at their events is because we aren't old enough to run for the office ourselves. This needs to change for Millennials, and for future generations as well.

3. Student Loan Debt Reduction & Regulation

Anybody who has thought seriously about the Millennial condition for two seconds knew this one was coming. Anya Kamenetz was right; Millennials really are "Generation Debt." We accept that the federal reserve can literally adjust the price of money by setting interest rates which impact the citizenry's access to mortgages and home ownership. That being the case, the Department of Education should be able to abolish costly fees and penalties on student loans, and prevent them from being securitized by predatory private firms who profit from them. In addition, student loan debts owed to private firms could become the subject of a preemptive bailout before they further entangle our financial system and put us at risk for a future recession. If Ryan Gosling's character in The Big Short is clear about anything, it's that collatorized debt is a neoliberal tower of Jenga just waiting to come crashing down. I'm one of millions of Millennials who entered the job market in 2008, in a world beset by debt and economic downturn. We can prevent that from happening to our kids.

4. Job Classification Reform

Interns. Freelancers. Temps. The Millennial debt burden has made many of us members of an undercaste of laborers who endure low-wage gigs that don't pay healthcare benefits. Aware of our precarious situation, corporations and non-profits in search of cheap labor prey on our desperation. They give us work, but refuse to classify us as employees—despite the fact that we perform vital functions for them. It's no surprise that many believe the exploitative canard that Millennials "prefer praise to pay." This is unacceptable and unfair. The Supreme Court of California's recent ruling which dictated that Über drivers are to be treated as employees—not as "contractors"—set an important precedent. Hopefully, the localized rumblings will treble into federal reform. An employee is an employee is an employee.

5. Federally-mandated Wage Reform, and 6. Mandatory Income Tax

The cities that Millennials live and work in are increasingly cash-strapped. Budgetary shortfalls happen when a city's tax base shrinks due to a) the disappearance of jobs and taxable income, and b) a reluctance to tax big businesses. As a result, many of these cities—and the people in them—take desperate measures on the path to financial solvency. Young people may look to the drug trade to supplant the income they get from poverty-wage jobs; and cash-strapped police departments lobby the federal government for grants and equipment that are tied to trumped-up crime rates and bogus arrest quotas. If America committed to growing its tax base with higher wages and a more progressive tax structure, there will be less incentive for citizens to commit certain crimes, and less incentive for cities to manufacture crime rates. Millennial activists have forced us to talk about police brutality as a race issue; the point is seldom made that it's a socioeconomic one as well.

7. A Federal Transportation Initiative, combined with 8. A Federal Jobs Program, and 9. A Clear Path to Citizenship for Millennial Immigrants

For many Millennials, the mid-20th century days of automobile-centered lifestyles in homogenous suburbs are a pipe dream. And we should be glad. As the generation that saw the Exxon Oil Spill of 1989 repeated by BP in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, the overwhelming majority of Millennials support weaning America off of fossil fuel dependency. There's no reason why a federal mandate—including dedicated financial subsidies—couldn't encourage companies like Ford or Boeing to reinvent themselves as pioneers of a countrywide rapid rail transit system. A coherent green jobs program to build this transit system could be coupled with a clear path to citizenship for immigrant Millennials, who could earn full political enfranchisement by getting a decent-paying job in infrastructural development for these transit projects. This is about making the world better for Millennials in the present, and for future generations as well.

10. A Universal Caregiver Model

At the center of our generational situation as Millennials is the fact that we're post-Boomers who will be entrusted with the task of caring for the previous generation while we work with limited resources to raise the next one. The stigma around so-called "pink collar" work is the result of deeply rooted sexism; the lack of respect for work traditionally seen as feminine. This needs to end. We are all vulnerable. We start off in life in need of care, and we end it the same way. We need federally mandated paid maternity/paternity leave, as well as accompanying stipends for child rearing and elder care. Several states already pay caregivers for the work they do to care for the aging, differently abled, and mentally ill. If it weren't for this labor, many of our most vulnerable citizens would reside in state-run facilities, which cost exponentially more to maintain than paying an in-home caregiver. The model needs to be expanded to respect the work that men and women do to raise families.

This platform is non-partisan, pragmatic, and perfectly achievable within the current realm of political possibility. Some elements of it may appeal more to a conservative sensibility, and others to those who are more liberal. But while apolitical radicals on the right and left go on decrying the status quo without suggesting something better, I wonder what would happen if we lobbied for achievable reforms using the resources available to us. As Millennials, speaking up for ourselves clearly and in good faith will help us identify the obstacles that stand in the way of a more perfect union. TC mark

I Will Never Be An ‘IDGAF’ Type Of Girl

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 05:00 PM PST

amyhumphries
amyhumphries

I love being a woman. I love rocking heels and dresses, sweatpants and messy buns, rings and makeup and gym shoes and baseball caps and lipstick. Being a woman is fun. It's challenging and exciting and frustrating and wonderful.

But there is one type of woman I will never be: one with a flippant attitude towards love and sex and relationships. Don’t get me wrong, I admire the hell out of these types of ladies. They are passionate and strong and bold and courageous. But I can't, and will never be, an 'IDGAF' type of girl.

I have too much heart, to a flaw. In my friendships, I care so incredibly. When I love, I fall completely, fully, fearlessly. And when my heart is broken, I forgive, let go, and continue loving because that is who I am. Who I'll always be.

It is not out of weakness. In fact, sometimes I feel that my ability to love is my greatest strength. It is not because I'm love-sick or fragile or terrified to lose the people and memories in my life. But it is because I cannot be one of those people who turns off the faucet, who can just stop caring with the click of a button.

I can't just sit there, throw my hands up, and say 'oh well,' say 'f*ck it'. Because I am, and always will be, a fighter. Even if it's a battle I’ve already lost.

I am passionate, emotional, stubborn, and driven. I care about the work I do, the words I write, the choices I make, the friendships I have, and the men I choose to love. And in the wake of all of these things, no matter the outcome, I still care. I carry the memories in my back pocket. I use them to become even stronger, to discover myself again, to be an even better person.

I am not a girl with a 'f*ck it' attitude. I cannot say 'f*ck' it to love, 'f*ck it' to sex, 'f*ck it' to friendships, 'f*ck it' to the person I am and have been my entire life.

I care too much. That has always been the one thing that does me in. I fight for relationships and I can't walk away from friendships because I don't want to lose the people that I've had in my life. I can't just let things blow up and slowly sizzle out, like a candle burning to the quick. I can't just watch what once meant everything to me drift to nothingness, become unimportant. I can't be passive, letting people and memories and things I care about slip out of my grasp. I can't just sit there, throw my hands up, and say 'oh well,' say 'f*ck it'. Because I am, and always will be, a fighter. Even if it's a battle I’ve already lost.

Sometimes I wish I could be that 'IDGAF' type of girl. The girl that speaks brutal truths without caring if they'll hurt people around her. Who calls people out on their sh*t, even if it ends up backfiring. Those type of girls have always impressed me. They don't tip-toe around people's crap. They live fearlessly and openly. They know how to stand up; they know when enough's enough. And they know how to purge the sh*t that brings them down out of their lives. For good.

I'm strong in my own ways, but I'm also sensitive. I think about what other people feel, because I feel everything so deeply. But sometimes I wish I didn't. Sometimes I wish I could say I'm done and turn around, turn away, cut people off, be flippant, be free.

But that's just not me.

So I'll choose my words intentionally. I'll speak my honesty carefully. And I'll love, even foolishly. Because that's the type of girl I am.

I will always give a f*ck. TC mark

5 Black People In STEM Fields Who Changed American Life

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 04:15 PM PST

Sai Kiran Anagani
Sai Kiran Anagani

George Washington Carver, who did astonishing things with peanuts, might be the first and only black scientist many Americans can name. The truth is, many Black inventors and creators have been making contributions in highly technical fields throughout American history despite the challenges faced by white supremacy and patriarchy. Some of them have had a hand in ventures that impact our lives tremendously.

John H. Thompson

For years, the internet was mostly static boring sad pages. Did you know that a black man invented the programming language which helped the Internet advance from that godawful sorrow into the wonderful universe of animations, video content and even games? John H. Thompson, a product of NYC public schools and MIT, invented a computer scripting language called Lingo. Lingo was the juice behind the products that came out of Macromedia (now owned by Adobe) and other multimedia companies. Thompson became a renowned authority on the language and other tools, writing many books on the language, and instructing others how to marry art and computer science in order to create the Internet you see today. He went on to work for George Lucas at Lucas Films for a while and teach graduate courses at NYU.

Percy Lavon Julian

The invention of the birth control pill can be argued as one of the most important sociological, medical, and economic advancements of the 20th century. Percy Lavon Julian, a black chemist, laid the foundation for pharmaceutical advances like this pill, and also corticosteroids with his pioneering work to derive synthetic hormones from plants. Julian faced a great deal of discrimination during his career due to systematic racism in academia and science fields. But this did not stop Julian's beautiful mind from producing a host of other life changing inventions:

"During World War II, the fire-extinguishing Aero-Foam – the U.S. Navy’s “bean soup” – was Julian’s brainchild. This soy protein foam was used to smother oil and gasoline fires that erupted on aircraft carriers, before the flames could engulf the ships. Julian’s invention, a hydrolyzate of isolated soy protein, potentially saved the lives of thousands of American sailors."

Dr. Patricia Bath

In 1973 the daughter of a subway operator and a domestic worker, Patricia Bath, became the first African-American to complete a residency in ophthalmology. After finishing her residency at Columbia University, Dr. Bath went on to amass a list of amazing accomplishments in her field. "Bath co-founded the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness, which established that 'eyesight is a basic human right.'" Later, becoming the first woman of any ethnicity to chair an ophthalmology residency in the United States was not enough for Dr. Bath. She re-defined an important eye surgery with her invention of the Laserphaco Probe. With this creation, she became the first African American female doctor to receive a medical patent. She now holds four. If your grandparents can view your graduation and wedding pics after their cataract surgery, you probably owe this woman a huge "thank you".

Katherine G. Johnson

How many people can say they helped to send the first American into space? Katherine G. Johnson, a mathematician, is one of the few people on earth with these bragging rights. Johnson's calculations also helped John Glenn become the first person to orbit the Earth. And in 1969, her bad-ass brain helped Apollo 11 navigate its trajectory to the moon. Dr. Johnson (she was the third black American to garner a PhD. in Mathematics) worked with a team of mathematically formidable women at Langley who comprised the precursor to NASA, but she was the "go to" for the calculations of the Apollo 11 mission. Decades after her extraordinary service, the one time teacher and stay-at-home mom was finally awarded "the nation’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, from President Barack H. Obama."

Julian Francis Abele

Julian Francis Abele was a descendant of Absalom Jones, co-founder of the Free African Society. A talented and prolific architect, he was the first black graduate of what is now known as the Graduate School of the Arts of the University of Pennsylvania. Abele worked on the plans for hundreds of buildings, many of them now icons of American learning and culture. For instance, he designed the west campus of Duke University. His role in this venture was downplayed—but not totally unknown—until the 1986 campus protests for divestment in South Africa due to apartheid. Abele also contributed to design for the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Central Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the Widener Memorial Library at Harvard University.

Today, the lack of African-Americans in STEM fields have been bemoaned all the way to the White House. Why is diversity in this sector so important? Without the aforementioned technical geniuses, who knows what some things we now take for granted would be like now? The Internet. Human Sight. Space Exploration. Sex. The Rocky Steps (yes, imho, way more important than Harvard library). These five people faced tremendous adversity to advance their fields by leaps and bounds and changed our national culture, too. Perhaps we need to shout their accomplishments so that present and future generations will know. TC mark

30 Ways You Can Tell The Difference Between Love And Infatuation

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 04:00 PM PST

www.istock.com / ArthurHidden
www.istock.com / ArthurHidden

I always thought infatuation is part of love, I thought they complement each other until I experienced both and discovered that they can’t coexist. There are too many people who are convinced that they're in love with someone just because they’re amazing and they can’t stop thinking about them, but the truth is most of the time the intensity that comes with really liking someone is not love-it’s infatuation. Here are some ways to tell the difference.

1. Infatuation happens instantly. Love is a slow process.

2. Infatuation craves physical affection. Love craves a deeper connection.

3. Infatuation makes you act irrationally or ‘crazy.’ Love calms you down.

4. Infatuation is intense but short-lived. Love is comfortable but lasts longer.

5. Infatuation is reckless with our emotions. Love is more considerate.

6. Infatuation has ulterior motives. Love has genuine intentions.

7. Infatuation brings out obsession and jealousy. Love brings out understanding and trust.

8. Infatuation is shallow. Love is deep.

9. Infatuation is selfish and draining. Love is kind and energizing.

10. Infatuation makes a big deal out of small things. Love lets them go.

11. Infatuation is being in love with the idea of someone. Love is being in love with who the person really is.

12. Infatuation is possessive. Love is generous.

13. Infatuation holds grudges. Love forgives.

14. Infatuation keeps you guessing. Love answers your questions.

15. Infatuation thrives on playing games. Love thrives on meaningful connections.

16. Infatuation is rocky. Love is solid.

17. Infatuation is delusional. Love is real.

18. Infatuation follows a timeline. Love is timeless.

19. Infatuation has unrealistic expectations. Love has realistic standards.

20. Infatuation is childish. Love is mature.

21. Infatuation grows with desire. Love grows with friendship.

22. Infatuation stems from insecurity. Love stems from self-assurance.

23. Infatuation makes you vengeful. Love makes you a better person.

24. Infatuation makes you forget you have a life. Love is integrated with yours.

25. Infatuation can leave unannounced. Love provides explanations.

26. Infatuation is never content with one person. Love is monogamous.

27. Infatuation is undefined. Love is exclusive.

28. Infatuation is loud. Love is quiet.

29. Infatuation can be self-destructive. Love can heal you.

30. Infatuation thinks love should be perfect. Love knows it's not but it doesn't matter. TC mark

I Don’t Know You Anymore, But I Think I Still Love You

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 03:00 PM PST

wundervisuals
wundervisuals

I still love you,
but in the quiet way
in the,
“I’m not actively in love with him anymore”
way.
In the
I still love you,
somehow
way.

I do not know you anymore,
so I guess it’s unfair to assume
our hearts would
CLICK
resume.
As if no time passed.
Like pressing pause for multiple years
is nothing.
Like we’re still always going to be something.
When secretly,
I’m terrified we’d be nothing.

I’m soaked in our memories
and everything tastes like those
late night phone calls
long after our ending
that you wouldn’t want the world to know
exist.

It’s hard to run fingers over a box
of memories
that are still electric
and think,
maybe it’s truly done.
Maybe we had our lifetime
already.

Maybe,
we got what we got.
And it’s unfair to fantasize
about us anymore.

But I still wonder how are you.
Burns a little whenever I realize
I can't reach out.
You’re not mine to ask about.
Even if you were,
for so long.
You were mine,
for so long.

I still flinch when I hear your name.
Did you know,
it’s been four years since we’ve kissed?
I’m on fire
and still dream of you once a week.

You love someone else,
and so do I.
We have made homes in beds
and it’s fine.

But you exist somewhere deep inside.
I’ve never been able
to bleed you all the way out.

I’ve never been able to
fully commit
to a life where you and I
don’t exist. TC mark

A Feminist’s Guide to Critiquing Hillary Clinton

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 02:15 PM PST

istockphoto.com / wundervisuals
istockphoto.com / wundervisuals

Fair warning: This blog is not going to be angry. It will not be written in all caps. There will be no vulgarity. And it probably won't go viral. I don't care.

What I do care about is the fact I've read over 70+ articles in the past two weeks alone discussing the 2016 election and what I see is a total lack of nuance and a lot of critiques that overgeneralize or underplay the very real role gender plays when people talk about Clinton and/or any other women who dare to step into positions that for so long have only been held by men.

What I do care about is how on my Facebook feed and elsewhere, I see well meaning folks called out as sexist jerks for simply offering legitimate critiques of Clinton and what a Clinton presidency might look like.

I like nuance. I like messy. I don't like soundbites and simplicity. So, let's play the nuance game. For folks who love Clinton, realize that not every critique poised against her is based in sexism. For those who love Sanders, realize that sexism is very alive in 2016, and that you can love your candidate AND embrace the reality that politicking while female is still an incredibly difficult thing to do. Imagine that. Both/and. For those who haven't yet made up their minds, or don't fall into either of these categories, this is for you, too.

So, here is my attempt to create a list of productive ways to critique Hillary Clinton without being a sexist jerk.

1).  Do not talk about her voice. Really. Just don't. Earlier this week (and pretty much throughout Clinton's existence), we've seen pundits and others criticize her shrillness, her voice, and her "masculine" speaking style. Soraya Chemaly argues, "Anger in a man doesn't make the world wonder out loud if his hormones have taken over his brain and rendered him an incoherent idiot who can't be trusted with Important Things. How many words for 'angry' men are there? Ones that have the powerful and controlling cultural resonance of yelling, and shouting,b-tch, nag? Or, yep, shrill." Karlyn Kohrs Campbell wrote an incredibly thoughtful piece discussing how our culture has negatively responded to Clinton's inability to fit within the parameters set in terms of how one should act and speak as a woman in the political sphere. She says Clinton "symbolizes the problems of public women writ large, the continuing demand that women who play public roles or function in the public sphere discursively enact their femininity, and that women who do not or who do so to only a limited degree, women whose training and personal history fit them for the roles of rhetor, lawyer, expert, and advocate, roles that are gender coded masculine, will arouse the intensely hostile responses that seem so baffling" (15).  Overall, what Campbell is arguing is that women in the political sphere, in order to be taken seriously, must enact just the right amount of femininity and masculinity, and that Clinton's failure to be "appropriately feminine" has hindered her for decades.

She continues to thoughtfully lay out a "masculine" and "feminine" rhetorical style of speaking and discusses what that sounds like." In rhetorical terms, performing or enacting femininity has meant adopting a personal or self-disclosing tone (signifying nurturance, intimacy, and domesticity) and assuming a feminine persona, e.g., mother, or an ungendered persona, e.g., mediator or prophet, while speaking. It has meant preferring anecdotal evidence (reflecting women's experiential learning in contrast to men's expertise), developing ideas inductively (so the audience thinks that it, not this presumptuous woman, drew the conclusions), and appropriating strategies associated with women—such as domestic metaphors, emotional appeals to motherhood, and the like—and avoiding such 'macho' strategies as tough language, confrontation or direct refutation, and any appearance of debating one's opponents. Note, however, that feminine style does not preclude substantive depth and argumentative cogency" (5).

Presidents Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton use/used a "feminine" rhetorical style of speaking–something which men can do and not be criticized for.  Reagan was the great communicator. Both Clinton and Obama have been called some of the greatest orators in American history.

Hillary Clinton cannot "perform" femininity and her inability to play into this script Campbell argues reveals *our deficiencies*–not Clinton's. Campbell states, "Our failure to appreciate the highly developed argumentative skills of an expert advocate, when the advocate is female, reveals our deficiencies, not hers. Legislation attendant on the second wave of feminism opened doors for able women who seek to exercise their skills in all areas of life, including the formation of public policy. If we reject all of those who lack the feminizing skills of Elizabeth Dole, we shall deprive ourselves of a vast array of talent" (15).

2).  Please don't talk about her "likeability."  As with the sound of her voice and her rhetorical speaking style, her "likeability" should have nothing to do with whether or not she would make a qualified president. Yes, I realize all candidates have to somewhat pass the likeability test, but for Clinton, because of the years long Hillary hating stemming from her time as first lady, this issue is in fact gendered, and to criticize her for not being likeable reeks of sexism.  Henry Louis Gates Jr. argues, "Hillary hating has become one of those national past times that unite the elite and the lumpen." Gary Wills notes, "Hillary Hate is a large-scale psychic phenomenon. At the Republican convention there was a dismemberment doll on sale. For twenty dollars you could buy a rag-doll Hillary with arms and legs made to tear off and throw on the floor. .. . Talk shows are full of speculation about Hillary's purported lesbianism and drug use. Fine conspiratorial reasoning sifts whether she was Vince Foster's mistress or murderer or both. The Don Imus show plays a version of the song 'The Lady is a Tramp' with new lyrics about the way the lady 'fornicates' and 'menstruates' and 'urinates,' concluding, 'That's why the First Lady is a tramp.’"

As Nico Lang points out, "She was a working woman and full political partner with (gasp) feminist tendencies. Among would-be first ladies in the early 1990s, these were exotic qualities. Clinton has continued to occupy that same space for the better part of three decades now, a one-woman culture war who plays the political game the same way the men around her do. But unlike those men, Clinton is chided for being 'disingenuous' and a 'political insider.' Everyone else just gets to do their job. There are real reasons to have reservations about a Clinton presidency — including her oft-cited ties to Wall Street and her hawkish foreign policy — but how often are they the central force of the criticism lodged against her campaign? In an August poll, Quinnipac found that while political respondents felt that Hillary Clinton was 'strong' and a candidate with 'experience,' the words they most associated with her are 'liar,' 'dishonest,' and 'untrustworthy.' These designations appear to be motivated by her Emailgate scandal and the ongoing questions about Benghazi — but none of the myriad investigations into either have turned up anything close to a smoking gun."

Rebecca Traister also notes, "Recall the days following the 2008 Iowa caucus, when the media took advantage of Clinton's defeat to let loose with their resentment and animosity toward her. That was when conservative Marc Rudov told Fox News that Clinton lost because 'When Barack Obama speaks, men hear 'Take off for the future!' When Hillary Clinton speaks, men hear 'Take out the garbage!' It was in the days after Iowa that Clinton infamously got asked about how voters believed her to be 'the most experienced and the most electable' candidate but 'are hesitating on the likability issue.' In late January, columnist Mike Barnicle told a laughing all-male panel on Morning Joe that Clinton's challenge was that she looks 'like everyone's first wife standing outside of probate court.’" In Diana B. Carlin and Kelly L. Winfrey's analysis of the various ways Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton were portrayed during the 2008 campaign, they note, "Women who exhibited too many masculine traits are often ridiculed and lose trust because they are going against type or play into male political stereotypes that voters are rejecting" (328).

More recently, Sady Doyle argues that, "This plays out on the level of personal expression, too: Women are supposedly over-emotional, whereas men make stern, logical, intelligent judgments. So, if Hillary raises her voice, gets angry, cries, or (apparently) even makes a sarcastic joke at a man's expense, she will be seen as bitchy, crazy, cruel and dangerous. (Remember the 'NO WONDER BILL'S AFRAID' headlines after she raised her voice at a Benghazi hearing; remember the mass freak-out over her 'emotional meltdown' when someone thought she might be crying during a concession speech.) She absolutely cannot express negative emotion in public. But people have emotions, and women are supposed to have more of them than men, so if Hillary avoids them – if she speaks strictly in calm, logical, detached terms, to avoid being seen as crazy –  we find her 'cold,' call her 'robotic' and 'calculating,' and wonder why she doesn't express her 'feminine side.' Again, she's going to be faulted for feminine weakness or lack of femininity, and both are damaging.  Okay, so she can never be sad, angry, or impatient. That's not a ban on all emotion, right? You'd think the one clear path to avoiding the 'bitchy' or 'cold' descriptors would be to put on a happy face, and admit to emotions only when they are positive. You'd think that, and you'd be wrong: It turns out, people hate it when Hillary Clinton smiles or laughs in public. Hillary Clinton's laugh gets played in attack ads; it has routinely been called 'a cackle' (like a witch, right? Because she's old, and female, like a witch); frozen stills of Hillary laughing are routinely used to make her look 'crazy' in conservative media. She can't be sad or angry, but she also can't be happy or amused, and she also can't refrain from expressing any of those emotions. There is literally no way out of this one. Anything she does is wrong."  Given these constraints, Doyle argues it is impossible for Clinton to be likeable.

Look at how she's tried to address this issue.  Dancing like a fool, talking about fashion, laughing more.  What has it gotten her?  Nothing but backlash.

Dave Holmes writes in Esquire, "You're not fun.  Stop trying to pretend you're fun."  The Onion writes an entirefaux op-ed from Clinton entitled "I am Fun" painting her attempt at being "fun" as insincere and manufactured.

In the eyes of the American public, Hillary Clinton will never be fun. Or likeable. Or someone you'd want to have a beer with. And it shouldn't matter.  Period. So quit it with the likeability stuff, already. It's stupid and petty. I don't care if my president knows how to dance or even knows how to dress well. And you shouldn't, either.

3).  Do criticize her on substantive issues. As Kevin Young & Diana C. Sierra Becerra argue, Clinton is the embodiment of corporate feminism. In their piece, they cite many areas where Clinton could have been and could still be a better advocate for women's rights.  It's a fair critique but one that falls under the radar when we're so concerned with her voice, appearance, and dance skills.

4).  Know your history, do some research, and when criticizing, be fair. One of the claims I often hear as to why some don't trust Clinton, or why some feel she's untrustworthy is because she sat on the board of Walmart. Ok. But let's dig a little deeper. Ann Klefstad notes, "Not to take anything away from Bernie and Jane, but think what an advantage this is: to build a career in a location of your choosing, with the strong support of a highly qualified and intelligent person who is unconditionally loyal to you. This was also Bill Clinton's situation — after Yale, finding Hillary, heading home to Arkansas, and building a brilliant career in politics.  But hey — what about Hillary? After getting a law degree from Yale (an all-male institution a few years previously) she meets Bill. She dumps her career as a congressional aide to move to Arkansas with Bill. I can imagine her dilemma. This was the 1970s. If she wanted to be with Bill, she would be riding on the ship he was captain of. There were consequences to that. She would be a partner in creating a political career that would accomplish many of the goals she wanted to accomplish. Bill very much admired her superb intellect and political skills as well. So they embarked.  They're in Arkansas. Vermont politics have a pretty clean record. Arkansas? Not so much. You do make your own choices, but the context you're in, well, it matters. The Arkansas economy was in the toilet. The only bright star was the Walton family and Walmart, which was on track to become the biggest retailer in the world. They provided (in Arkansas) an expanding number of well-paid jobs. Bill was governor. Should Hillary have dumped his political career for a chance to spit in Sam Walton's eye? Well, that wasn't going to happen. She sat on the Walmart board and did what she could to both ensure the prosperity of the state of which her husband was governor and to do the right thing. She has almost always chosen the path (sometimes not the one you'd pick — ) that would enable her to accomplish some good actions, rather than the pure path that tends to lead to inaction, or to exile from the power than enables you to make change."

Still don't like the fact she sat on the board? Fine. Don't like her stances on foreign policy? Totally ok. But understand the choices Clinton made in the context in which she lived–not in a vacuum. This goes for all of her political choices. Never assume anything about any candidate without doing a little research first. It's amazing how much you can find out on this magical thing called the interwebs.

5).  Don't assume critiques against Clinton are automatically rooted in sexism, and when calling out someone for critiquing Clinton, don't assume they, are in fact, sexist either.  Take the #BernieBro label, for example. According to Glenn Greenwald, "Have pro-Clinton journalists and pundits been subjected to some vile, abusive, and misogynistic rhetoric from random, anonymous internet supporters of Sanders who are angry over their Clinton support? Of course they have. Does that reflect in any way on the Sanders campaign or which candidate should win the Democratic primary? Of course it does not. The reason pro-Clinton journalists are targeted with vile abuse online has nothing specifically to do with the Sanders campaign or its supporters. It has everything to do with the internet. There are literally no polarizing views one can advocate online — including criticizing Democratic Party leaders such as Clinton or Barack Obama — that will not subject one to a torrent of intense anger and vile abuse. It's not remotely unique to supporting Hillary Clinton: Ask Megyn Kelly about that, or the Sanders-supporting Susan Sarandon and Cornel West, or anyone with a Twitter account or blog. I've seen online TV and film critics get hauled before vicious internet mobs for expressing unpopular views about a TV program or a movie." Amanda Hess pushes further arguing "as soon as the Bernie Bro materialized, the conversation around it deteriorated. As the meme gained momentum, some popularizers stopped bothering to marshal any kind of evidence that Sanders supporters were sexist . . . . This is a familiar online phenomenon. Just as mansplaining 'morphed from a useful descriptor of a real problem in contemporary gender dynamics to an increasingly vague catchall expression,' asSalon's Benjamin Hart put it in 2014, the Bernie Bro argument has been stretched beyond recognition by both its champions and its critics. What began as a necessary critique of leftist sexism has been replaced by a pair of straw men waving their arms in the wind."

If the label applies, absolutely use it. Call out sexism and misogyny-especially if it's coming from someone who claims to be progressive. However, I worry the label is being thrown around loosely and being applied to many well meaning, non-sexist male critics of Clinton. And that only silences debate. I don't want anyone to feel as though they cannot legitimately critique Clinton for fear of being called sexist, a BernieBro, or other names.

Overall, as with most of my writing, this piece was for me. Every time I read an article about Clinton or Sanders or sexism or the fight for the soul of the Democratic Party I find myself wishing for more nuance, less click-bait, and sound and civil discourse. I'm tired of seeing the same soundbites repeated on my Facebook wall, seeing good friends of mine unfriend each other or worse because they're on Team Sanders or Team Clinton and can't find common ground to have a legitimate debate about what this election is really about.  In the words of my good friend Greg Wright, "If you can imagine a better opportunity to demand the world we want, I'd like to hear when you think it will come. When will better circumstances reveal themselves again? What political climate are you relying on to thrust the most unlikely candidate into the realm of possible? You want to know what will make this all the more likely to happen again? Demanding that it happen now."

We are at a historic moment in American history, not unlike the 2nd wave feminist movement. Gloria Steinem once said of Betty Friedan "I believe that she was looking to join society as it existed, and the slightly younger parts of the movement were trying to transform society. And those were kind of two different goals." Like Friedan, I would argue that Clinton wants to work within the structure we have, while Sanders wants to transform society. He wants a revolution. In the words of Robert Reich, "I've known Hillary Clinton since she was 19 years old, and have nothing but respect for her. In my view, she's the most qualified candidate for president of the political system we now have. But Bernie Sanders is the most qualified candidate to create the political system we should have, because he's leading a political movement for change."

Sexism is real, and I love the fact that we are even talking about the ugly face of sexism in politics. However, we must be able to criticize a female candidate without resorting to sexist tactics, or be called sexist for critiquing her in the first place.

Overall, as many have pointed out, both Sanders and Clinton would be undeniably better as our next commander in chief than anyone currently running in the Republican arena.  So I would caution democrats to get too entrenched within their teams that they refuse to see the bigger picture of the need to elect a Democrat in this next election. There are ways to disagree with one another that don't need to devolve into name calling or soundbite repeating. On Facebook and elsewhere, engage with those on either side in mindful and productive ways. This is an incredibly important election for so many reasons, but that doesn't mean we can't have thoughtful debates. So keep reading. Keep posting. Keep fighting for your team. Just don't embrace the ugly. There's enough of that out there already. TC mark