Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sunday Funnies - 7/31


Growing up the funnies were my favorite section of the Sunday paper.  This is a week we need a break from politics so I found the above.  It is in the theme of our week of Transgender fiction post.   I welcome your comments and feel free to express your views at any time. 

I am traveling the week of August 1 to San Antonio TX.  If I miss a post this week please forgive.  Anyone in that area that would like to have coffee, dinner, or a glass of wine in the River Walk area some evening, let me know. 

 Use the contact page.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Friday, July 29, 2016

Guest Post - Men Who Wear Makeup & Manscara

5000 years ago ancient Sumerian men and women both wore lipstick made from crushed gemstones to show social status, not gender.

With the passing of Prince, several thoughts came to mind about men wearing makeup and manscara. His flamboyant fashion style and extravagant makeup, along with his sexual lyrics, were his trademark.

The first time I heard Prince’s music was circa 70’s in a Boston discotheque: either Landsdowne, Boston-Boston, 1270, Lucifer’s or Spit. His 1979 song, “I Want To Be Your Lover,” comes to mind. Then, his provocative appearance caught my attention. He had on a brightly colored pantsuit, closely shaved, with a perfectly groomed thin shadow of a mustache and goatee, with foundation base, eyeliner, manscara, wearing lip-gloss and sporting a chic hairdo. He stretched the boundaries and bent gender with fashion and makeup.  At another of Prince’s concert, he wore a fashion forward, bright yellow jumpsuit on stage. Midway into the act he turned around and exposed his butt with circle cut outs strategically placed over the cheeks of his ass. His performance had a stimulating appeal to the audience as he grinded and gyrated his body. Prince’s fashion forward trend was an art.

As I do research for this post, after reading Mr. Farhad Manjoo’s position on men wearing makeup I understand the male consumers’ needs. They want to feel comfortable in their skin, and wearing makeup and being accepted by the public en masse is their quest. Perhaps they have skin imperfections, blemishes, skin discoloration, dark circles and need cosmetic help. I get that. At times, while doing a photo shoot, the male client needs more than just powder. I use foundation and concealer, rarely a touch of mascara. In my makeup supplies, for guys on the street every day, I’m thinking most would feel comfortable wearing tinted SPF moisturizer.   

There are no male cosmetics but I love almost everything in the ZIRH skin care line of products (www.zirh.com/ ).

 More here:

My Note: Cherie is a friend and has a beautiful blog dealing with health and beauty.   See her full site:

Thursday, July 28, 2016


Before Chevelier Publications, Reluctant Press and Sandy Thomas Novels there was "Frederique".

I picked up a copy of this interesting read on eBay a few years ago.  I had been hearing about this little fascinating story for years and was not at all disappointed when I got to read it.  Going back to our discussion on the perfect transgender story, this fulfills the criteria. First written in French and translated by Pamela Carfax into English, it was originally published in 1921.  This title is one of the century's most famous transgender tales. Even after almost 100 years, it still represents an universal theme for us.  

Ablebooks.com provies this synopsis: 

In 1921 Select Bibliotheque of Paris published this remarkable novel of enforced cross dressing and sexual titillation. A much sought after cult novel now translated into florid English for the first time by Valerie Orpen. A young orphan, Fred de Montignac, is left in the charge of his aunt, the Baroness Saint-Genest, an imperious aristocratic woman eager to dominate and transform her youthful charge into a docile and lovely young lady, Frederique. During this process of change the Baroness uses him as her personal slave and sissy maid, administering various forms of discipline to ensure his complete obedience and ultimate compliance. Although contemporary accounts and non-fiction studies of cross-dressing abound, Frederique is one of the rare novels to chronicle transvestism. The sixteen exquisite illustrations, reproduced from the original edition, portray every stage of Frederique's gradual subjugation and enforced feminisation.

Barnes and Noble describes it this way:

First published in French, Frederique offers a delightful look at attitudes toward cross-dressing during the 1930s. Fred de Montignac, a young aristocrat of nineteen, is taken to live with his aunt, the Baroness Saint-Genest, an imperious woman who insists that the young man adopt women's clothing and assume the persona of a lovely young lady, Frederique. Quaintly kinky, Frederique is a pleasure to read, and its historical place among transgender erotica is undeniable.

Author: Don Brennus Alera, Pamela Carfax 

There is an entire chapter on the "less than voluntary piercing" of Fred's/Frederique's ears. Here is an excerpt from that chapter:

This too was part of Madame de Saint-Genest's plan. She wanted the patient to be able to see her. To see as well as feel. It was not simply a question of having his ears pierced. They must be pierced by his aunt herself, by the woman who had wanted to surpass her own beauty and had succeeded. Fred must have no doubt as to the identity of the hand that inflicted the pain and forced a mark on him. The image of that radiant and statuesque creature must remain forever linked to the memory.....

"It's time," said Leontine. "Frederique I beg you to keep quiet and not irritate me. I need a completely steady hand if I am to hurt you as little as possible."

....... Just as she felt proud to have marked a creature, Fred felt ashamed at having been marked, twin sentiments that may often be observed when two people confront each other and one succeeds in dominating and domesticating the other. It was therefore not difficult to predict that sooner or later a mistress-slave relationship would certainly develop between aunt and nephew, if the Baroness was willing to take the trouble to cultivate it. 
And she was willing. She was very willing indeed. 

Fred was often to relive in his dreams the painful initiation ceremony that marked the beginning of a new existence for him.

His way of thinking had already been altered by the shock he had suffered. In the past, he had still occasionally remembered he was a boy, convinced he was wearing a temporary disguise. But no longer. He now really thought he had changed sex, He was still innocent, and the idea had taken root in his mind that he could never be a boy again because he had been permanently changed into a girl by means of a painful and bloody operation.

This conviction made Madame de Saint-Genesfs task easier. Fred agreed to wear the dresses, bodices, high-heeled shoes, and narrow corsets that were given to him. He agreed to sew and do tapestry work. Most important of all, he answered with good grace to the name "Frederique", a name he had previously found hateful.

It took a month for his ear to heal completely and Leontine, taking advantage of the shock her nephew had suffered, used the time to drill into him every last little detail of how a girl should behave. With time, and through force of habit, she knew he would eventually acquire the tastes that accompany such behavior.

One of the original illustrations


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Perfect Transgender Story

1960 Virginia Prince/Transvestia novel
The transgender fiction novelette for many of us is a vicarious part of our journey.  Virginia Prince, our departed Grand Dame likely perfected the venue with her Chevalier Publications series of stories. The photo here is the cover from her first novelette – “Fated for Femininity”.  the story is about Lennie Parks, a boy, who became a cheerleader, a beauty queen and then the bride of another "pretty" girl.  The cover image shown here is from an original copy of Virginia’s novelette, which I own and treasure.  

The tradition has continued over the years with the Reluctant Press and the Sandy Thomas series of stories.  Many of which can still be ordered and read in e-books format at Lulu.com - even the “Fated for Femininity” story.

What made me think of this, was yesterday's "Going Back" story.  I must admit that over the years I have consumed my share of these prurient stories preferring the "PG" versions - That is my story and I am sticking to it.  A few years back a good Palm Beach friend passed away, leaving me an almost complete set of the Reluctant Press and Sandy Thomas collection.  On slow days working in my home office, I search the box of one I have not read and put my feet up on the desk.  

Which bring me to a good question for you - What makes for the perfect transgender Story?  

It is said that the perfect country and western song must include a certain narrative; Mama, pickup truck, train, prison and getting drunk.  In fact,  David Allan Coe wrote "You Never Even Call Me By My Name" what is touted as being the perfect country and western song. Just to be sure he had all the bases covered, one verse included all of the above mentioned items.

Here is my list of what must be present in the perfect transgender fiction story:  (please add to the list) 

  • Father absent or nowhere to be found
  • Strong mother, stepmother, sister or aunt 
  • A strong reluctance/resistance to be dressed up 
  • A stash of clothes available (sister away at school)
  • Bad boy to good boy transformation 
  • Sent to a girls' school, dance class or charm school
  • Trapped into the situation with no way out
  • Acceptance and realization that you are so much better off as a girl

Please Comment - Share your Favorite story - Must have plot - Setting?

Mona smiled down into Lennie's eyes, drew him close and circled away with him.  She led as a matter of course and Lennie followed docilely as best he could.  From - "Fated for Femininity"

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Going Back

Over twenty years ago I discovered the story below on the internet. I found it to be much more than entertaining. To me it was all about remembering childhood adventures fears and then later in life, returning home. It rang true. Here is the story:

The internet of that day was AOL where early transgender internet pioneer Gwendolyn Smith hosted the Transgender Community Forum on AOL. There we would meet "on-line" once a week to chat and exchange ideas.  I was known as "RhondaTV". This is likely the place where I first found this story and downloaded it from a FTP site.  I wish I could tell you more and hope some of you can provide more information.  

I remembered the story well but did not have an electronic copy and until just week did not a paper copy either.  I found a printed copy and was able to scan, OCR and capture to PDF.  You will need a PDF reader - It is safe to open.  I do not know who the author is and I am not representing this story to be my work - I wish.  I only did some formatting, and minor editing.  Please help me if you have a copy and know who wrote it. I want to give credit for the excellent writing and narrative.  If you have difficulty opening the story from the links provided, e-mail me and I will send you a private link to download/view it.

Read and Enjoy.  

"Going Back"


Please comment and share your stories with us.

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Woman Who Was Trans Before Her Time

Dianna Boileau, in an image from her book Behold, I Am a Woman, published in 1972. Born in Winnipeg, she later moved to Toronto, where she led a quiet life until a car accident on the 401 thrust her into the spotlight. She was tormented by the press and lost her job.


By Katie Daubs Katie Daubs
Feature writer at the Toronto Star

Sunday,  March 27, 2016

Dianna Boileau was one of the first Canadians to have gender-confirming surgery, in 1970. She caused a sensation, then married and retreated from public life.

When Dianna Boileau showed up in Toronto court in 1963, the clerk asked the question she had asked herself for years.

“Are you male or female?”

In the silence, the reporters jotted details: Pink fingernails, pink lipstick. Black tunic dress. Tiny pearl earrings. Double identity. Man. Woman.

In 1960s Toronto, gender identity just wasn’t something people talked about. The first major story about a trans person had made international headlines a decade earlier: Christine Jorgensen, a 26-year-old New Yorker, was called a “man turned girl,” offered Hollywood roles and dubiously honoured by a footwear company that created a shoe for “daring tomboys.”

Dianna faced a world that hadn’t come very far since then: “Wearing dress, man remanded in car death,” one headline read. “Woman driver, 32, found to be male.”

In 1962, Dianna and her best friend, Rosemary, were driving on Hwy. 401 near Leslie St. when her car crashed into the guardrail. Her friend died, and Dianna was charged with dangerous driving and criminal negligence causing death. Police took her to a female lock-up, then a male lock-up, and finally the Don Jail, where inmates whistled the “Wedding March.” Word leaked to the press.

The trial ended with an acquittal, and Dianna, who had been living in Toronto for a few years, said she planned to stay. “There are an awful lot of understanding people here,” she said, not telling the press about the kids who found out where she worked and came to gawk at lunch, forcing her to hide in the bathroom.

With the death of her friend and end of her anonymity, she drank heavily, lost her job as a legal secretary and lived on unemployment insurance and cheap wine. In her sober moments, her desire to erase her male characteristics grew.

By 1970, Dianna was back in the headlines, anonymously, as one of the first Canadians to have gender-confirming surgery — in those days called a sex change operation. Two years later, she shared her story publicly in one of Canada’s first trans memoirs, Behold, I Am a Woman. Then she disappeared. She married and gained a new last name that was never linked to the sensational car crash, or her status as a trans pioneer. It was a life she always wanted, in which she could be just another woman.

Continue this fascinating story here and do not miss a wonderful section called  "Trans history: A lifetime of change" detailing the 1950's through the the 2010's.  

1953 - Christine Jorgensen after undergoing gender-affirming surgery
 (then called a sex change) in Denmark.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sunday Funnies - 7/24

Growing up the funnies were my favorite section of the Sunday paper.  I will include a political cartoon occasionally when relevant.  I welcome your comments and feel free to express your views at any time. 

I am traveling the week of August 1 to San Antonio TX.  If there is anyone in that area that would like to have coffee, dinner, or a glass of wine some evening, let me know. 

 Use the contact page.  

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Today - Be Happy In It.

Make today a good day - Escape!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Snow Birds in Palm Beach - Friend's Friday

A Evening Window Shopping in Palm Beach - 2002

Up until recently I have special friends "winter" in Palm Beach. The times were special because it gave us both an opportunity to get out and do things.  Elegant Palm Beach restaurants, The Palm Beach Symphony, Concerts, and walks along Worth Avenue.    Our seasonal guest, we affectionately call "Snow Birds" and the term escape to them means, they are escaping the winter cold of the northeast.   But for Fran and Rhonda it was an opportunity to get out and play. And we did! 

Guys, I really miss your visits south and we had wonderful times.  Thanks to the photographic memories and the glorious evenings out.  Special friends - Special times.   

Via Amore - Palm Beach 2002

Thursday, July 21, 2016

My Father Stefánie

István Friedman survived the Nazis. He moved to America, changed his name, raised a family. Five decades later, he changed his gender, too.

June 13, 2016 

In 2004 Susan Faludi, the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and feminist writer, was boxing up her notes from a book she was writing about masculinity when she took a break to check her email. “Dear Susan,” the note read, “I’ve got some interesting news for you. I have decided that I have had enough of impersonating a macho aggressive man that I have never been inside.” That man was her 76-year-old father, who was then living in Hungary. He’d just had a sex change operation in Thailand. “My photographer father still preferred the image to the written word.” Ms. Faludi writes. “Attached to the message was a series of snapshots.” Steven Faludi was now Stefánie Faludi and she wanted her daughter to tell her story.
Stefánie and Susan were estranged; they had barely spoken in years when the author received this email. The author’s father had been an “imperious patriarch” and “household despot”—a man Ms. Faludi feared, and whose aggression must have played a pivotal role in her feminism.

Over dinner one evening Ms. Faludi asks Stefánie which has been easier for her: “to be accepted as a woman after being born a man, or to be accepted as a Magyar [Hungarian] after being born a Jew?”

“My father thought about it for a few moments, holding her spoon before her like a hand mirror. ‘As a woman. Because I am a woman–with a birth certificate that says I’m a woman. So I must be a woman.’” When Ms. Faludi asks her father what “identity” means to her, Stefánie responds that “‘it’s what society accepts for you. You have to behave in a way that people accept, otherwise you have enemies. That’s what I do—and I have no problems.’”

The Amazon Description:

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author of Backlash, comes In the Darkroom, an astonishing confrontation with the enigma of her father and the larger riddle of identity consuming our age.

“In the summer of 2004 I set out to investigate someone I scarcely knew, my father. The project began with a grievance, the grievance of a daughter whose parent had absconded from her life. I was in pursuit of a scofflaw, an artful dodger who had skipped out on so many things―obligation, affection, culpability, contrition. I was preparing an indictment, amassing discovery for a trial. But somewhere along the line, the prosecutor became a witness.”

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Feminine Differential – Social Status

How many of you are aware that a change in your presentation represents a change in your social status?  Unfortunately, a person's skin color, gender, or visible ethnicity determines how they are perceived as well treated.  

As a transgender person, have you ever experienced that differential?   Have you ever been treated as less than a “(male) person” either because of being perceived as female or as transgender?   I have and allow me tell one of the stories.  

I was working as a systems designer for a doctor’s office in Tampa, FL.  My project was to write a medical office management system including a medical records database - Cutting edge for the early 1990s.  The project was almost ready and needed a network of computers for retrieving data/charts for the multi-room practice.  This was before Cat5 or Wi-Fi and the wiring was to be a single coax cable, 10BASE2 using BNC "T" connection at each computer and terminated at the end of each run - simple. I contracted with a company to do the work.  

This office was very liberal and my work presentation was flexible. So on the day the wiring was to take place, Rhonda provided detail written instruction for the technician.  I went to each room that a drop was to take place and explained the loop setup.  My estimate was that the job would take about half-a-day.  The technician started in the morning and I checked in at noon.  He was struggling and it was obvious. I went over the connections again.  About mid-afternoon, he came to me and told me (not ask), “try the connections”.  It was not going to work because he had it all wrong.  Shortly thereafter, he left but did promise to come back the next day.  

The next morning when I arrived, now in male presentation, he was waiting in his truck.  I approached him and explained what was needed again.  He looked at me said, “I am sure glad I have a man I can work with today”.  He took my instructions and was finished in about an hour; working communication.  

He did not want to listen or was willing to take instruction from a woman. Rhonda was “less of a person” than he wanted to work with.  I was stunned at this change of status.  Anytime I have related this story, the men are shocked as I was, and the women all know how it is going to end, long before I even get to the conclusion.  

So, are you aware that a change in your presentation represents a change in your social status?  Any experiences on your part?  Please comment.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

I Get Letters.....

There are several questions and comments I have receive over the past weeks, so I will address then here:

First thanks to Maura.  I had misattributed my opening quote to George Elliott and it should be George Eliot.  That was just poor research on my part.  I hope that has not taken away from the meaning – A quote that so applies to us. It is easy to say it is too late in my life; I do not have the resources or I have too many obligations.  I know personally I used all of those excuses and wasted precious time.  

Pool Time: I receive a question on the pool time from the last trip.  After my client obligation on two days, I went to the hotel pool.  Shown here is the cover-up, shorts and bathing suit I utilized.  I love this suit – it is modest, firm and flattering.  The leg openings are quite high which is attractive but requires an added degree of shaving and hair trimming (likely TMI).  What we girls have to endure.  No one raises an eye when I basically undressed at the pool, down to just my bathing suit.  Most hotels require you to wear a cover-up when going to the pool.  I also noticed that the women, typically, when getting in and out of the pool, carry a towel/wrap to the pool edge to provide an additional degree of modesty.  The pool on both days was busy.  On the second day I spent about an hour and a half with a good part under an umbrella.  Water time was to just cool off. 

Anyone that knows me will appreciate the irony in the "tomboy" t-shirt. 

Mall Time:  When traveling I typically will always find a mall to walk around.  Without question, my favorite is the Dallas Galleria.  I worked in Dallas for about two years, however only as my home/corporate office.  Most all of the work was done at clients with only the occasional trips into Dallas for training.  That is when I came to love the Galleria; Great stores.  Here is another photo take inside the mall. 

My Hair:  Yes, that is my natural hair.  I am blessed with thick hair and Rhonda takes advantage.  I have a great stylist and works it in a manner that I can somewhat wear it either way. Although on this last trip, the sides were almost too long for male mode.  Since I have gotten a haircut but still have my hair is tapered in the back, layered on the sides and based on where I have it parted it can be both male or female.  I do get "Ma'am" a lot.  Please don’t hate me. 

Always, feel free to comment, help me with additional clarifying research, and ask questions.  Thank you!


Monday, July 18, 2016

Emerging Republican Platform Goes Far to the Right

My Note:  Today's post is a followup to yesterday's political cartoon.  I am going to quote parts of an article that appeared July 12 in the New York Times. Please read the whole article here.  Overall, the Republican Platform as it stands is detrimental to our community. The language concerning LGBT issues is brutally prejudicial and repeated efforts to soften the rhetoric were ignored.   This is the presumptive platform that Mr. Trump and all republican candidates are to subscribe.

A narrative is practically writing itself with Mr. Trump's VP candidate, Mike Pence of Indiana.  According to Senator Elizabeth Warren, a democratic spokes person,  "It’s no wonder considering Pence’s record on human rights and equality. Pence’s views on LGBT rights were a national topic of discussion in 2015 after he signed (Indiana) Senate Bill 101, a 'religious freedom restoration' bill that would have allowed for discrimination against LGBT citizens."
Progress for all of the LGBT community issues has been long in coming and if we are complacent, we have much to lose.  Be informed, concerned and active in a year where so much is at stake. Elizabeth Warren's plea:
 Now is not the time for good people to stand by and do nothing.


New York Times, July 12, 2106

CLEVELAND — Republicans moved on Tuesday toward adopting a staunchly conservative platform that takes a strict, traditionalist view of the family and child rearing, bars military women from combat, describes coal as a “clean” energy source and declares pornography a “public health crisis.”

The platform demands that lawmakers use religion as a guide when legislating, stipulating “that man-made law must be consistent with God-given, natural rights.”

It also encourages the teaching of the Bible in public schools because, the amendment said, a good understanding of its contents is “indispensable for the development of an educated citizenry.”

The pornography provision was not in an initial draft that the Republican National Committee drew up and released on Sunday. But delegates added it on Monday at the same time they were inserting many of the amendments opposing gay and transgender rights. It calls pornography “a public menace” that is especially harmful to children.

Much of the most combative debate centered on language in the platform that describes gay and transgender people, and efforts to strip those words out and replace them with language proposed by a minority contingent of socially moderate delegates.

But nearly every provision that expressed disapproval of homosexuality, same-sex marriage or transgender rights passed. The platform calls for overturning the Supreme Court marriage decision with a constitutional amendment and makes references to appointing judges “who respect traditional family values.”

Additional provisions included those that promoted state laws to limit which restrooms transgender people could use, nodded to “conversion therapy” for gays by saying that parents should be free to make medical decisions about their children without interference and stated that “natural marriage” between a man and a woman is most likely to result in offspring who do not become drug-addicted or otherwise damaged.

And what Republicans will probably end up with when they formally vote next week to ratify the platform approved in committee on Tuesday is a text that can seem almost Victorian in its moralizing and deeply critical of how the modern American family has evolved.


For more information on the platform process read this:   

One final convention note - Here is a one minute ad that will run on Fox during the Republican Convention this week week.   Very well done and we can all appreciate the message.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sunday Cartoon - July 17

Growing up the funnies were my favorite section of the Sunday paper.  I will include a political cartoon occasionally when relevant.  I welcome your comments and feel free to express your views at any time. 

I am traveling the week of August 1 to San Antonio TX.  If there is anyone in that area that would like to have coffee, dinner, or a glass of wine some evening, let me know. 
 Use the contact page.  

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Friday, July 15, 2016

Friend's Friday - Connie

Connie is someone I met at First Event a few years back and I was happy to see that she is doing so well.  Here is a photo and a short BIO.  My best to Connie and please visit the blog and comment often.


I've been dressing for too many years --63 now and remember trying on moms and sisters things at a very young age---divorced 10 years now and remarried almost 2 years now to a woman I've lived with for 7 years  now who accepts me as I am and knew of Connie from the beginning !! We go out as 2 women often with me usually being the more "girly " one...

Lunch -dinner --errands and going to plays has become more enjoyable in FEM mode --and I've reached a point where I feel I'm in need of trying to push the limits without being OUTED by friends and family--

 After a discussion with my wife about those feelings she said "IF you do get hair styled -- it has to be done professionally"---so-- now I'm at that point !!!

Thanks Connie - Let up know how this works out.


  I would like to dedicate Fridays to my friends - your post and photos.  

It is not that I have run out of things to write about, but I want to make this "Our Escape". Please feel free to contribute or comment on something I said - did not say.  if you e-mail me your post I will queue then up and post on Friday.  Tell me about your fun experiences. 


Rhonda  - RhondaWilliams at bellsouth.net

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Dallas Trip Continued

Dallas - July 2016 

My trip last week was filled with nice encounters and experiences.  On my previous trip to Dallas I met for the the first time a wonderful retired physician that had been introduced through a mutual Florida friend. He had visited Florida last winter and my friend had met him and somehow we never connected, although at the same event.  On my last visit to Dallas we had a wonderful lunch and visited the Dallas Museum of Art together.  Photos from that day are here.  

This trip we had a quick lunch the day I came in and made plans for an evening out later in the week. The evening started with cocktails with Robert and his friend at Robert's home. What a beautiful place and great location.  We did a few photos before heading out and the above photos, right and left are at his home - Beautiful art.  What an elegant way to start an evening.

Robert suggested Pappadeaux Restaurant, close by his home and the three of us drove over.  I was so happy with his choice.  Wow what a good meal.  I had been encouraged to find Pappadeaux by several work mates,  so I am happy to finally enjoy the atmosphere and food.

What a fun and beautiful evening.  Thank you Robert!  

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Shopping Excursion – Galleria Mall Dallas

Yesterday I did a little update to this site.  Call it a one-year makeover.  I hope you like it.  The photo is from last week’s shopping excursion to the Galleria mall, in Dallas.  This is one of my favorite malls and on business trips to the area I will always make the effort to stop there.   I love to shop.  The Galleria is not new but over the years has kept itself current with modern stores, and a pleasant/upscale look.

On this particular afternoon, I had finished somewhat early at my client's so decided to rest a little and have some Rhonda time.  First stop was the pool wearing my one-piece miracle bathing suit.  When doing this, I go down to the pool wearing a modest t-shirt cover-up, shorts and just take these off after I arrive.  On this afternoon, it was actually too hot.  Even after several dips in the outdoor pool, it was still too hot.  Therefore, after about a half-hour, with some of that spent under an umbrella, I opted for plan “B” – the mall.  

Still being hot, even after a shower, I decide to go casual, with the outfit I had traveled in to Dallas; Talbots, stripe top, flair jeans, and white shoes.  I did minimum make-up – with very little foundation, eyeliner, and lipstick.  For the hair, I just turned my head upside down, brushed it out and applied a little hair spray.   This was a five minute of less procedure.  

I seemed to blend it.  Although this is an upscale mall, it was Wednesday mid-afternoon, and not that busy.  After several stops and trying on some items, I relaxed and knew I was OK.  I was watching the ice skating when two women came by and starting taking selfies using their iPhone.  A conversation happened and I volunteered to take a “good” picture of them together.  After, I asked If they would take one of me with my “always in my purse” camera and they agreed; thus the one that is now my blog header.  I hesitate to put up this other photo because it is somewhat fuzzy but does show the total outfit for that afternoon.    

I learned they were from Mexico and like me really loved the Galleria.  They had spent the day shopping and had the bags to prove it.  After taking the last photo one of the women said to me, “you are a beautiful woman.”  I am not sure if she was being facetious or just giving an unsolicited compliment, but I will take it as the latter.   For the rest of the afternoon, I had a big smile and as I drove back to my hotel, I could not help but think, “Life is good”.  

Galleria - Dallas TX

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Real Boy Crisis

Rhonda's Note:  I came across this article and love the message.  I have written before how I was raised in a marvelous environment where my grandparent tolerated my multi gender existence.  In the morning I would play with dolls and later that day I would play with trucks.  Never, was I criticized or made to feel that this was anything but normal and OK.  I am sure I was the exception and most of my fellow sisters were not so fortunate.  I self-limited as I got older, but never let the girl screaming inside to go unrecognized or silent.  This article deals with the fact that masculinity as it is taught today, is dehumanizing.  Interesting Read:

5 Ways America Tells Boys Not to be “GIRLY"
By:Soraya Chemaly

The Man Box

The ability to feel what others feel has many well-documented benefits, including, for empathetic people, greater psychological and physical health. The real and socially significant positive impact of empathy, however, is the ways in which it affects behavior toward others. People who are empathetic are less aggressive and prone to denigrate others; they are predisposed to act with care and compassion; they have increased egalitarian beliefs and act with less prejudice and stereotype-based hatred. Empathetic behaviors, however, are associated with being female. And weak.

Expression and empathy are closely related for children. When boys are taught that they can’t “be like girls” it has the threefold effect. First, it alienates them from core aspects of themselves. Second, it portrays what is feminine as undesirable and inferior. Third, it forces boys into a “man box” from which emotions and empathy are excluded.  An upcoming documentary, “The Mask You Live In,” carefully examines, from the perspective of boys and men, what this feels like and means in their lives.

While more and more parents are openly grappling with how to handle “non-conventional” gender behavior in children, many others won’t even consider the behavior as remotely acceptable. The policing of boys’ gender expression doesn’t require parents who yell, “Stop crying, you sound like a girl!” or homophobic classmates hurling some variation of “Don’t be so gay!” (which is, sadly, still a serious problem). A whole range or rules, traditions, daily interactions and media content come together to narrow boys’ options and, ultimately, abilities. Consider these five everyday ways that boys are taught first not to look like girls, not to be like girls, not to do “girly” things, and then, ultimately, to lose the ability to feel compassion.

The five ways America tells boys not to be “girly”: Clothing, Hair, products, Sports, and Stories.


This all happens way before boys’ sexuality becomes an issue and when boys are subjected to pervasive messages telling them to objectify girls, be sexually promiscuous and boast about it.  No wonder some men are able to go through life never once considering what it’s like to be a woman or why it matters.

The boy crisis we should be focusing on is how “boys will be boys” ideas and sexist media leave boys ill-equipped to function in diverse societies.  School aren’t emasculating boys, American masculinity is dehumanizing them.

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