Wednesday, May 31, 2023

What We are 'Supposed' To Wear As We Age

"Is my skirt too short?" and other questions that older women ask about their fashion choices.

By Vanessa Nirode
May 18, 2023, 05:45 AM EDT

MY Note: This so applies to us; the choices we make to look the way we feel. Age should not be a factor especially when we see time/options slipping away. It is never too late...


When I look at photos of myself from 20 to 30 years ago, I realize that I had no idea how good I looked. I never thought twice about wearing short skirts and dresses when I was in my 20s, 30s and even 40s. I’m now in my early 50s.

Recently, I tried on some of the things in my closet and deemed them “too short” — not something a younger me would have ever done. That got me thinking: How short is too short when you’re a half-century old or more? Is it different than when I was 22? Should it be different? How else have my style and fashion choices changed as I’ve aged?

I became intrigued by the answers to these questions — if there were answers, and if those answers even mattered — as well as the thoughts, worries and fears that other women my age have about their fashion and style choices. So I spoke to as many of my peers as I could, and also got insight from a psychologist. The stories and conversations we had were illuminating, validating and wonderfully insightful.


The Freedom Of Caring Less About What You’re ‘Supposed’ To Wear

Thankfully, as I’ve gotten older, I care less about what other people think of the way I look. Not that sometimes I still don’t worry about how I’m perceived, but ultimately I am better about not giving those kinds of concerns much credence. One person responded to my miniskirt question by saying: “No worries. No fear. I wear what I want.”

Rhonda - Age 38

And when it comes to the gaze of others, there’s a certain freedom to be found in acknowledging that not everyone is watching you. “I look at other women my age and think, nobody cares how we dress anyway, which also gives me a certain amount of carefreeness,” Jeannie said.

Natalie told me that she’d recently been feeling nostalgic for her college years look and questions whether she’s trying too hard to look young.

“I have been experimenting on adding elements of that look to my choices. And I definitely pause and wonder if it looks forced, if it makes me look like I’m trying to look younger or if I look out of touch with what someone my age is ‘supposed’ to wear,” she said.

Many of us spend a good deal of time worrying about how we look and whether we will appear attractive to others. And this, of course, is always tied up in how we choose to dress, as well as our relationships with our own bodies, Kearney-Cooke said.

“We also have to teach people how to talk about our bodies,” she said. She told me a story about one of her clients who received a clean bill of health from her doctor. The woman was very pleased, but when she told her husband, he asked if the doctor had said anything about her “big butt.”

“And this is the best part,” Kearney-Cooke told me. “The woman replied, ‘No, he didn’t ask about you.’”

A big part of accepting aging is the maturity that comes along with it. As Stephanie put it: “It’s a hard-won freedom to disregard how one is perceived by others. And I, for one, am so grateful to all who were pioneers in carving the road to openly expressing oneself unapologetically.”

“When I was younger, I had no idea how good I looked,” Joan said. “No one does. But then you get older and you look at pictures of yourself when you were young, and you think: ‘Jeez, I really looked great. I wish I’d appreciated that more and stressed less.’”

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Feminine Differential - Dolman Shirt


I purchased this dolan sleeve top at LOFT a few days back.  I had in mind how it would look with my jeans skirts or everyday jeans.  A perfect combination!  "LOFT  Dolman Everyday Shirt" ($34.17).  Remember the shoes always set the mood for the outfit; dressy to casual.  

If you are looking for good casual button front Jeans Skirt the one shown above is the "Short Denim Skirts Bandage Jeans With High Waist" ($34.99).  I have never purchase from this company, however, like the style and look.  Levi and Lee both make one very similar.    

The Fashion Trends and Friends blog describes the Dolman sleeves this way:  

 Stripe Dolman Crop
 Button-Up Linen Shirt
The top is more flattering and forgiving than you might expect.   Some styles are great way to conceal a muffin top. The sleeves are loose around the top of the arm and tamper near your wrist, so if you have a heavier upper arm, these tops camouflage that upper arm area. Surprisingly a dolman sleeve top can soften a strong shoulder line as well as strengthen a weaker one. So the shape works for inverted triangle and pear-shaped body types. But I think it can work for all body types just as long as you know how to style your top. Plus, it can be worn by women who are tall or petite.

Monday, May 29, 2023

Memorial Day 2023

This day is not about sales on patio furniture, car discounts, or just getting sunburnt at the beach.  Individuals have given their lives to protect the freedoms we cherish.  Yes there have been righteous wars were we defeated tyrants desiring to take away our freedoms. The freedoms defined as "Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness". The freedom to be who we are. 

Let us all reflect on the fact there are political faction ready to limit our freedoms and impune their conservative definitions. Let us be strong, visible and aware.  Vote with your activism and words  Never forget that many gave their lives to protect the freedoms tyrants still want to take away.

Honor the fallen soldiers by reflection on the precious freedoms we enjoy because of their bravery. 


Sunday, May 28, 2023

Political Week In Review 5-28-2023


Body language is a range of nonverbal signals that you can use to communicate your feelings and intentions. These include your posture, facial expressions, and hand gestures. Your ability to understand and interpret other people's body language can help you to pick up on unspoken issues or feelings. Read "Body Language" at Mindtools.

From "DeSantis is going after Trump like never before". DeSantis said at an event in Wisconsin on May 6: 

I may have earned 51 percent of the vote [in Florida], but that entitled me to wield 100 percent of the executive power, and I resolved to use it to advance conservative principles,” 

Friday, May 26, 2023

James McMurtry Plays ‘Red Dress’ in Drag to Protest Tennessee’s Anti-Drag Law

The Texas songwriter donned fishnets, pearls, and the titular red dress for his encore in Nashville

(Thanks to Velama fo this news link)

MAY 10, 2023

James McMurtry performed his
encore of "Red Dress" in drag
over a series of shows in Tennessee.

JAMES MCMURTRY took the title of his 2002 song “Red Dress” quite literally while playing a string of shows in Tennessee last week. The songwriter — one of America’s greatest living ones, at that — delivered his encore in Knoxville and Nashville dressed in drag to protest the state’s anti-drag legislation.

“When in Tennessee we will do our little bit for humanity,” McMurtry announced onstage at Nashville’s 3rd and Lindsley on Sunday after returning from an encore break wearing a red floral dress, lipstick, pearls, and fishnets. Prior to the quick change, the famously ornery Texan performed his set — broadcast live on Nashville’s Lightning 100 — dressed in his regular fedora and white shirt. But even then, he didn’t mince words about the current state of the country, where civil rights are being impinged upon daily, and there’s a perpetual preoccupation with America being “the best.”

McMurtry was having none of it. In the setup to his masterful “Canola Fields,” he told a story about touring across Canada with his band and being fascinated by a chartreuse crop growing near the highway. “But us being Americans, we didn’t stop to ask,” he said. “Because we know everything.” At another point, he wryly reminded patrons to tip their servers. “By that I mean start at 20 percent and go up like we do here in the United States. I know some of you might be visiting from developed nations where they pay servers a decent living wage and benefits,” he said. “Unfortunately, we have not developed that far here.”

Both his commentary and especially his drag routine are a way for McMurtry to subtly challenge his audience, lest they get too comfortable with a guy whose “medley of his hit,” as he deadpanned Sunday night when introducing cult favorite “Choctaw Bingo,” talks about cooking meth, shooting guns, and ogling second cousins in “cut-off britches.” “I’m a fiction writer,” he told Rolling Stone in 2021. “I just do it in verse, rather than prose, like my dad did.” (McMurtry’s father, the Lonesome Dove novelist Larry McMurtry, died in 2021.)

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Simply The Best


Tina Turner was an American-born and naturalized Swiss singer. Known as the "Queen of Rock 'n' Roll", she rose to prominence as the lead singer of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue before launching a successful career as a solo performer. Turner began her career with Ike Turner's Kings of Rhythm in 1957. Wikipedia

Died: May 24, 2023 Born: November 26, 1939, Brownsville, TN

Women Who Prefer Men’s Wear


July 19, 2016

Danielle Cooper, left, and Sara Geffrard
 blog about men’s wear and prefer to wear it, too
.Credit...George Etheredge/The New York Time
MY Note: Parts of this should feel familiar. 

Two fashion bloggers stood side by side at the Stampd presentation during the second day of New York Fashion Week: Men’s. Each wore a crisply tailored suit with white sneakers that appeared to have been spared an encounter with the street.

Meet Danielle Cooper, 31, a former professional basketball player from California who runs the blog She’s a Gent, and Sara Geffrard, 24, a former dancer from Haiti and the woman behind A Dapper Chick.

“When I wear a suit, I feel like I can do things I would not otherwise do,” Ms. Geffrard said. “I’m a very, very shy person, but if I’m in a suit, I feel very confident. I feel like I can talk to whoever. Otherwise I would walk in and feel sort of small.”

Ms. Cooper said: “We’re in an era when men and women wear everything. It doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight. For us, it’s really about showing young women that they can wear whatever they want.”

Recent looks by Danielle C

Their approach to fashion makes perfect sense in a time when the actor-musician Jaden Smith wears skirts, the rapper Young Thug declares that there’s no such thing as gender, and Teen Vogue’s advice column offers tips for figuring out your gender identity. Bill Cunningham of The New York Times captured the women with his lens in February and called their style of dress “absolutely superb.”

At the Stampd presentation last week, Ms. Cooper and Ms. Geffrard wound their way through the crowd, sharing observations about the clothes. Pointing out a pair of olive-green shorts, Ms. Geffrard said they reminded her of the loose cut popular in the ’90s. “But he moved the pockets to the front to make the look more modern,” she said of Chris Stamp’s design.

“I don’t want to be a guy,” Ms. Cooper said. “I want to be a woman in men’s wear, like Olivia on ‘Scandal’ or Ellen DeGeneres.”

Read more here...

Fashion journalists can see very well what they’re up to.

“The first thing you think when you look at Danielle and Sara is, ‘This is chic,’ not, ‘Are they a man or a woman? Black or white?’” said Wendell Brown, the creative director at large for The Daily Beast.

Pinterest  Woman in a Man's (?) Suit
Very Feminine

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Can Men Wear Woman's Clothing - Comments

Back in April of 2021 I posted "Can A Man Wear Women’s Clothing? Daaah!"  The article I quoted was from a Pinterest link and it had many good suggestions.  Go back and see the article here: Real Men Style.  

What I found most interesting were the comments the Pinterest link generated.  I especially like the last one.  


Chris: I dressed up as a girl for a costume party and it opened my eyes to things. I'd wear a skirt or dress all the time if I could due to comfort. I now have pantyhose and tights as part of my wardrobe in winter. I wear them under pants and jeans for added warmth and they just feel good to me. I will sometimes wear them in warmer weather with shorts to keep bugs from boring my legs. I think you should be able to openly wear some of these things without being seen as girly.

Samantha: Absolutely we men can wear (female) clothing I do agree that some of female clothing is to femme for men but a lot can be used as unisex clothing for both sexes I’m example jean skirts solid color dresses tights heels stockings even makeup we men have a soft side also.

Stephen: I usually wear a denim skirt with a polo shirt on weekends when not working. I shave my legs, paint my toenails followed with a pair of pantyhose and high heels or sandals

LisaP on my site: He has made some good observations, and maybe it will help push the envelope. But, he also repeats some negative comments -- referencing the Hebrew Bible, for example, to say "don't worry guys, you are violating any social or religious laws by following my advice.

Tristan: if it fits, you can wear it

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Feminine Differential - Matching Under Things

 What Your Matching Underwear Says About You

There is no wrong or right way here, but how you roll underwear-wise says something about your personality.

Two of My Soma Matching Sets

Maybe you’re one of those women who just has to match her bra and underwear: beige with beige, black with black, lace with lace. Or perhaps you let your underwear drawer surprise you, diving right in to see what quirky pairings fate offers up.

Match like a boss

“For some women, not wearing a matching underwear set ruins their day—even though no one can see it,” says fashion psychologist Dawnn Karen, founder of the Fashion Psychology Institute and a professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. “That indicates a somewhat controlled, particular, and perfectionist personality.” [note: Fashion Psychology is the study of how color, style, shape, and image affect human behavior, while addressing cultural norms and sensitivities.] 

 “Women who feel strongly about matching
 are likely to be bosses or leaders,” she adds.

“Matching your sets, especially if they’re colorful, says you are confident and stylish,” according to stylist Jenny Altman. “Women tell me that they don’t do it for the men or partners in their lives, but rather for their own feeling of fabulousness and because it makes them feel great.”

Non-matchers are more creative

The non-matchers, according to Karen, tend to be creative types. “It’s not a negative,” she says, “but they’re usually more likely to have a go-with-the-flow personality. They don’t need a lot of order; they actually find structure in not having structure. If a room is too neat, they feel a loss of control. They enjoy being part of a group rather than in charge.” Non-matchers can fall into the “I don’t care” camp, says Altman, or it could be that they do care about how things feel (how they look: not so much). 

“‘These people wear their most comfortable bra and panty, separately—whether or not they match or are part of a set,” she says. “This choice is about function and practicality rather than style.”

“One trend that has changed in recent years is how we match,” Altman says. “It used to be that sets were the exact same color, style, and fabric, etc. Now a set can be a bra and panty that just ‘go’ together—more like clothing. It can be a plum-colored bra and a printed panty with some plum in it. Sets can be fun and very personalized.”

Whether you love to match perfectly, or like a more eclectic approach, check out our bras and underwear and customize based on your unique style. We have several different styles of bras and types of panties to choose from. Pick the one that speaks to you, choose your colors, save money.


My Note: Not all the time, however, I enjoy this delicious feminine differential from time-to-time. Who am I going to make happy? "Myself!". 

How about you?  Do you have matching bra / panty sets? 

Monday, May 22, 2023

This Is Just Mean... (update)

A transgender girl misses her high school graduation after Mississippi judge denies emergency plea to permit her to go in a dress and heels

Updated 9:47 AM EDT, Sun May 21, 2023

Students attend their commencement ceremony
 Harrison Central High School in Gulfport,
 Mississippi, on Saturday, May 20.
A Mississippi federal judge denied a motion Friday, filed by the family of a transgender high school student requesting she be allowed to wear a dress and heels under her robe at her Gulfport high school graduation.

The 17-year-old, identified in court documents by her initials “L.B.,” did not attend her graduation, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi.

L.B. and her parents, Samantha Brown and Henry Brown, filed the federal lawsuit Thursday demanding Harrison County School District allow the teen to wear what she wishes during Saturday’s graduation ceremony from Harrison Central High School.

Attorneys with the ACLU of Mississippi are representing the family.

The Browns cited a violation of their child’s civil rights, accusing the school district of discrimination on the basis of sex and gender and violating the teen’s First Amendment rights, according to the complaint.

The teen had picked out a dress and heels to wear with the traditional cap and gown in accordance with the school’s dress code for female students, according to a media release from the ACLU.

ACLU spokesperson Gillian Branstetter told CNN in an email:

“Our client is being shamed and humiliated for explicitly discriminatory reasons, and her family is being denied a once-in-a-lifetime milestone in their daughter’s life. No one should be forced to miss their graduation simply because of who they are.”

The Harrison County School District’s policy on graduation states: “Students are expected to wear dress shoes, dress clothes (dresses or dressy pant-suit for girls and dress pants, shirt, and tie for the boys).” The policy does not mention dress code rules for LGBTQ students or specify students must dress according to their sex assigned at birth.

“The Board further finds and determines that a high school graduation ceremony is a sacred and inspirational ritual which is intended to be surrounded with decorum of dignity, grace, solemnity, reverence, pomp and circumstance,” the school policy states, according to court documents. “Students whose attire does not meet the minimum dress requirements may not be allowed to participate in the graduation exercises.”

A commencement participation agreement is included within the court documents. It shows L.B. and her mother signed the document on March 14, 2023, agreeing to follow conditions required for participating in the graduation ceremony, the court documents show.

“My graduation is supposed to be a moment of pride and celebration and school officials want to turn it into a moment of humiliation and shame,” L.B. said in the release. “The clothing I’ve chosen is fully appropriate for the ceremony and the superintendent’s objections to it are entirely unfair to myself, my family, and all transgender students like me. I have the right to celebrate my graduation as who I am, not who anyone else wants me to be.”

The student has been openly transgender since she began attending the school as a freshman, according to the complaint, and her identity has been known to her classmates, teachers and administrators.

Mitchell King, the superintendent of Harrison County School District, testified in court documents the district relies on birth certificates to record whether students are male or female.

The complaint describes a phone conversation between Samantha Brown and King, in which King says L.B. “is still a boy,” therefore “he needs to wear pants, socks, and shoes, like a boy.”

The complaint also notes L.B. attended the school’s prom last year wearing a formal dress and high-heeled shoes, without any issues or repercussions.

CNN has reached out to the Harrison County School District and Harrison Central High School for comment.

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Friday, May 19, 2023

We Have Friends - Thank You

 Idina Menzel and Jonathan Van Ness speak out against anti-LGBTQ legislation 

Idina Menzel and Jonathan Van Ness

By Chloe Melas, CNN
Published 12:44 PM EDT, Fri May 19, 2023 

Idina Menzel and Jonathan Van Ness are speaking out about anti-LGBTQ legislation being put forward in states across the country.

“My son and his friends, they don’t even have to be told about being inclusive,” Menzel, who stars as the voice Elsa in Disney’s “Frozen” franchise, told CNN ahead of her performance at the GLAAD Media Awards last weekend. “As a mother, I want my son to grow up in a world where you can love anyone. No matter who he becomes as a human being, he’ll be loved. He will have a home. He will be celebrated for who he is.”

Jonathan Van Ness
At least 417 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in [Republican controlled] state legislatures across the United States since the start of the year — a new record, according to American Civil Liberties Union data as of April 3. That’s more than twice the number of such bills introduced all of last year.

Van Ness, who was honored with the Vito Russo Award at the ceremony, said many of the policies are misdirected.

“Child poverty is a way bigger threat to children right now. Child abuse is a way bigger threat to children right now. Gun violence is a way bigger issue for parents to be focusing on as opposed to what people are choosing to wear and how people are choosing to express themselves,” Van Ness said.

Menzel echoed that.

“There’s so much going on in the world that needs fixing,” she said. “Why we are scapegoating this incredible community that speaks to owning their uniqueness.”

K-pop Stars Lead Luxury Brand Genderless Trend

My Note:  What is K-Pop? Korean popular music, or K-pop, is a popular genre of music originating from South Korea. K-pop songs contain many musical influences, such as hip-hop, electronic dance, jazz, and rock, performed by groups featuring anywhere from four to 21 members. Genderless fashion and androgynous styling are quickly becoming more widely accepted and celebrated in K-pop. Wikipedia. 


By Ahn Sung-mi

Published : Apr 26, 2019


BTS has never been afraid to
experiment with various styles,
and RM, in particular, has never
 shied away from lace or skirts.

From the runway to retail, catchphrases like “genderless,” “gender-fluid,” “unisex” and “androgynous” have been sweeping the fashion scene over the past few years.

Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci and other major luxury fashion houses are no exceptions. From unisex collections to mixed male and female catwalks, high-end labels are more and more embracing a blur of the masculine-feminine divide.

And on this frontier, K-pop male stars -- known for rocking makeup, perfectly groomed styles and the polished pretty-boy look -- are leading luxury labels’ gender-bending movement. From gender-neutral fragrance to handbags, sparkling jewelry and women’s jackets, these stars are not only heading the advertisement campaigns, but sporting the fashion in daily life.

For luxury brands seeking to tap into the coveted millennial market for a new source of profit, it’s a smart and natural decision to seize on the widening influence of K-pop. Whatever these stars wear causes pieces to sell out the moment they put it on, inspiring men and women both to dress like these stars.

Wang Yibo
 Chinese actor actor, dancer, singer, rapper
dressing in Chanel from head-to-toe

“With the genderless trend hitting the fashion industry, brands are rolling out lines of apparel that are not limited to a specific gender,” a fashion industry source told Kpop Herald on condition of anonymity. “Against this nonbinary trend, K-pop male idols’ aesthetic, metrosexual image matches well with what luxury brands are aiming for. They can easily pull off clothes that are sometimes too bold or colorful, or outfits largely considered womenswear with ease, while exuding edginess.”

In the article from the Korean Hearld are many more K-pop male idols wearing luxury brands.  They are falling in love with defying gender stereotypes.  [See more of the photos of these beautiful men.]    

Thursday, May 18, 2023

The Navy's New Digital Ambassador

US Navy hires activy-duty drag queen to be face of recruitment drive

By Yaron Steinbuch  - May 3, 2023

Joshua Kelley

The US Navy invited an active-duty drag queen to be a “Digital Ambassador” – as part of a recent drive “to attract the most talented and diverse workforce” and combat plunging recruitment.

Yeoman 2nd Class Joshua Kelley, who identifies as non-binary, was appointed as the first of five Navy Digital Ambassadors in a pilot program that ran from October to March.

Kelley, whose stage name is Harpy Daniels, has shared their journey on TikTok and Instagram, where they described how they began performing onboard and became an “advocate” for people who “were oppressed for years in the service.”

“From joining to 2016 and being able to share my drag experience on my off time with my fellow sailors has been a blessing,” Kelley wrote on Instagram in November when announcing their appointment as a digital ambassador to their more than 8,000 followers.

“Thank you to the Navy for giving me this opportunity! I don’t speak for the Navy but simply sharing my experience in the Navy! Hooyah, and let’s go Slay!” they added.

The ambassador program was launched
as the Navy is trying to boost
its size to 347,000 members in 2024.

The “Digital Ambassador” program that Kelley took part in ran from October to March and was “designed to explore the digital environment to reach a wide range of potential candidates” as the Navy battles “the most challenging recruiting environment it has faced since the start of the all-volunteer force,” a Navy spokesperson told Fox News.

The service branch is evaluating what form the program, which included five active-duty personnel, will take in the future, the rep added.

“The Navy did not compensate YN2 Kelley or any others for being Navy Digital Ambassadors,” the spokesperson also noted.

The ambassador program is one of several ways the Navy uses to reach various populations to overcome what the spokesperson called “the most challenging recruiting environment since the start of the all-volunteer force.”

Wednesday, May 17, 2023


Mammography screening have been part on my health awareness program for the last six years.  

My Mammography Screening Visit
I have a history of breast cancer in my family; my mother.  If eventually lead to her death at age 42.  I was twelve.  Cancer and breast cancer have been a health concern and I have always been aware of the obvious risk factors. I have never smoked and do work at living a somewhat healthy life style. US Medicare has aided me with preventive care. All previous screening have been negative and today I had this year's mammogram. 

Historically Mammography screening rates are lower among transgender and nonbinary patients when compared to the cisgender population.  Please note that this is about preventative care and does not indicate that cancer rates are lower.  

Addressing Breast Cancer in Men

Breast cancer incidence in men, though rare, is on the rise. According to breastcancer.org, the lifetime risk for men to get breast cancer is one in 833. Although there are currently no image-based screening recommendations for asymptomatic men, a considerable effort is being made to increase awareness of male breast cancer, its warning signs and risk factors so that men who may be at higher risk can better monitor their breast health and cancers can be diagnosed at the earliest possible stages.  Male breast cancer can and does occur in men.   

However according to Healthline, Transgender women who take feminizing hormones have a higher risk of breast cancer than cisgender men do. The increase in risk is slight, and the risk is lower than cisgender women’s risk. However, the risk is considered significant enough that is important for transgender women to receive breast cancer screenings.

Improving awareness about risk factors and what they mean, as well as generating collaborative industry support on the benefits of breast cancer screening in men [and transgender females], could result not only in earlier detection but also in downstaging at diagnoses and potentially improving survival rates.

According to National Institute of CancerEarly detection of breast cancer with screening mammography means that treatment can be started earlier in the course of the disease, possibly before it has spread. Randomized clinical trials and other studies show that screening mammography can help reduce deaths from breast cancer among women ages 40 to 74 years at average risk of breast cancer, with the evidence of benefit being strongest for women ages 50 to 69 years.

Do you get periodic screenings?   

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

The Battle Against Fascism in Florida,,,

Lessons on how to beat back authoritarianism from abroad

My note: I am not ready to count DeSantis out. From my Florida pew I see him as mean, and dangerous, However most of all, I see him as power hungry awash in cash; willing to do anything to secure the nomination and be president. A volatile combination. A committed liar and a fascist - Is the Republican party so devoid of leadership that Trump and DeSantis are it's best candidates?  

Below is the opening from a very long article on authoritarianism with points of hope that freedom can prevail. Political junkies like myself will find this article informative. The upcoming election of 2024 will be the defining moment for America going forward. 

Story by Maria J. Stephan
May 14,2022

Florida has become the epicenter of a struggle between authoritarianism and those committed to freedom and justice for all. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has cast doubt on the legitimacy of the 2020 election, actively campaigned for election deniers, embraced divide-and-rule politics, and enacted extreme policies that gut fundamental freedoms enshrined in Florida's and the US Constitution. These policies, grounded in racial resentment, misogyny, homophobia, and the punishment of opponents using state power, come straight from the global authoritarian playbook and are already spreading from Florida to other state legislatures across the country. Attacks on fundamental rights and freedoms are only likely to accelerate should DeSantis' clear 2024 presidential ambitions be realized. 

But Floridians are not sitting idly by. 

Daily walkouts, sit-ins, marches and teach-ins led by students, teachers, parents, and other civic groups are happening across the state. People are sounding the alarm about the existential threat to US democracy DeSantis represents, while mobilizing around an alternative vision of a Florida for all. Stopping DeSantis' march to the White House will take a united democratic front of movements, labor organizers, business and faith leaders, veterans' groups, and exile communities both inside Florida and across state borders. Beyond that, addressing the deeper roots of authoritarianism in America will require an even bigger and bolder movement that makes the triumph of a pluralistic, multi-racial democracy a generational achievement. 

 Part I: [Understanding] The Authoritarian Playbook  

Twenty-first-century authoritarian leaders follow a similar playbook: build power by demonizing the "other," then use that power to punish any opposition and cut off any ways of threatening their power, typically by undermining elections, capturing democratic institutions, and neutralizing dissent. 

Finally, there is a need for national coordination and cross-state democratic solidarity to direct resources and technical support to those on the front lines. Such efforts should prioritize service to local and state-led organizers who know how to navigate the complex communities in Florida and other states facing the most severe forms of authoritarianism. Meanwhile, given the extent of transnational authoritarian learning, with Florida being a hotbed of far-right collaboration (including related to the January 9th insurrection in Brazil led by disgruntled Bolsonaro supporters, many of whom were camped out in FL), supporting cross-border learning, skills-sharing, and solidarity between pro-democracy actors in Florida and other countries would be a worthwhile investment.  

Challenging DeSantis and his authoritarian enablers will not be easy, given the level of resources at their disposal and the deep roots of authoritarianism in the country. Yet there are plenty of reasons to be hopeful that the forces of freedom will prevail. Strengthening the connective tissue between movements and key pillars inside Florida, while bolstering pro-democratic solidarity across state borders, is the best way to prevent another autocrat from entering the White House while advancing the goal of a genuinely multi-racial American democracy.

Monday, May 15, 2023

My Favorite Outfit...


Roll up Sleeve Chambray Denim work shirt,
Talbots Basic slim fit high-rise Jeans, 
Adidas platform sneaker, Talbots stripe T, Loft belt

I shopped in the past to fulfill two basic requirements: 

  1.  Look as feminine as possible to impersonate "my definition" of the gender I was emulating. Always competing with myself to be better.  

  2. To camouflage myself to not be recognized as the other self.  i.e. big hair, high heels, body shaping foundations, and heavy makeup. 

It took me a long time to know it is not about being prettier, slimmer, better dressed, or cuter than the other woman. It is not a competition. 
It is simply about "being" and enjoying my feminine reality. 

Those of us brought up with male privilege know the alpha syndrome is a hard distinguishing dynamics to maintain. Especially when there is a feminine force demanding viability.

Being feminine means not having to make all the decisions. Not having all the answers, and being in the moment; enjoying that moment to the full.  This serenity comes from within and can also be reflective of how we appear / dress.  

It's just that it took me a long time to define my style and quit buying things that hung in my closet. I also discovered that as my level of feminine comfort increased, so did my acceptance. Try it on for size.    

Thus my favorite outfit. My fashion style.