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Changing “Man” to “Boy” in Famous Works


I understand it’s a tradition to call grown women “Girls.” You probably don’t even notice doing it. It needs to stop.

Grown adult women with sexual lives and jobs and families are referred to as “girls,” much like grown adult black men were called “boys” before The Black Civil Rights movement. Calling a black man “boy” is not acceptable. And calling women “girls” is as anachronistic.

Here’s a recent example of calling a woman a girl, coming from a site one would think is up with the times:

A girl obsessed with sloths gets surprised with a sloth (– a Buzzfeed staffer, 20-30-something aged woman).

Here are some real literary titles with “Girl” in the title, when in fact the “girl” is a fully grown, sexually active female human:

  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Steig Larsson
  • Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
  • Shopgirl – Steve Martin
  • Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
  • Girl with the Pearl Earring – Tracy Chevalier
  • Girl, Interrupted – Susanna Kaysen
  • The Other Boleyn Girl – Phillippa Gregory
  • The Girl with the Golden Eyes – Honoré de Balzac
  • A Girl in Winter – Philip Larkin

Here’s a list with more books with “girl” in the title. Some of the characters referred to are actual minors: 

250+ Books with “Girl” in the title on Goodreads/Listopia

And movies? Forget it. We don’t get “girl” much, let alone “woman.” Hollywood is pretty much a man’s world.  A list of movies with Man vs. Woman vs. Wife in the titles and their frequency each year.



Let’s change “man” or “men” in some famous titles to “boy” or “boys,” to demonstrate the absurdity of calling women girls (And just for fun, let’s change the authors’ names to diminutives, as if they, too, were still boys).

Works of Art

What if all the men pictured in famous artworks were referred to as boys? What would the art mean? 

Here’s a Photographer who has down syndrome children model in recreations of famous works of art.

The Son of Boy by Ren-nay-nay Magritte


Here’s a Photographer featured in WomensDay who recreates famous paintings with her kids:

Seated Boy with a Cane by Ammy Modigliani

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 7.29.11 PM

Bust of an Old Boy Wearing a Fur Cap by Remmy (Rembrandt) van Rijn

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 7.30.05 PM


The Invisible Boy – Ralphie Ellison


The Old Boy and the Sea – Ernie Hemingway


Of Mice and Boys -Johnny Steinbeck


A Boy for All Seasons – Bobby Bolt

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Boy – Jimmy Joyce

Boy’s Search for Meaning – Vickie E. Frankl

The Thin Boy – Dashee Hammett

The Boy Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat – Ollie Sacks

The Illustrated Boy – Ray-Ray Bradbury

The Bicentennial Boy and Other Stories – Izzy Asimov

All The President’s Boys – Car-Car Bernstein

The Third Boy – Grahammy Greene


The titles all sound strange, don’t they? Especially when you know the characters in the book are grown men. It’s as if they cover totally different subjects.



So. It may take a few days to get used to, but can we please say what we mean?

A baby girl: 0-2 years old

A small girl: 2-9 years old

A tween girl: 9-12 years old

A teen girl: 13-17 years old

A young woman: 18-24 years old

A woman: 24 years old until death.

No girls allowed. Thank you.



Book Covers (edited by Christine Cavalier) all found on Wikipedia, Fair use commons

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tree with a split branchTHE ALLIANCE

In Wharton professor Adam Grant’s new book, Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, there’s a chapter about creating and maintaining coalitions. Grant demonstrates how some movements over the last couple of centuries in American History have imploded due to the lack of containing their most radical members. Grant reports on the huge rift the Womens Suffrage Movement suffered when Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton splintered off from pioneer Lucy Stone over Anthony’s extreme idea that black men shouldn’t be granted voting rights before women. Anthony’s subsequent partnering with a wealthy racist of the time threw Stone into moral shock. The movement almost didn’t survive the split.

Grant suggests all coalitions must keep strong hold of the reins on their extremists, or else such splintering will occur. One way to do this, Grant says, is to get the extremists to spell out not why they believe what they believe, but how they would implement what they believe, in concrete terms. From Originals:

“Shifting the focus from why to how can help people become less radical. In a series of experiments, when people with extreme political views were asked to explain the reasons behind their policy preferences, they stick to their guns. Explaining why gave them a chance to affirm their convictions. But when asked to explain how their preferred policies work, they became more moderate. Considering how led them to confront the gaps in their knowledge and realize that some of their extreme views were impractical.”

THE FEDERATION (i.e. Facebook groups)

Recently a local newspaper reported on the splitting up of a Collingswood, NJ Facebook community group. A mass exodus happened when a member posted that the African-American door-to-door solicitors in town were former isquare in san fran gets huge crack in pavement stones from earthquakencarcerated criminals. Grammar corrections and petty statements bred large fights, and a mass exodus occurred, including the original owner of the group.

What’s an admin to do? What’s another member to do?  The owner of the group was loath to ban a person who obviously was oblivious to the racism in his statement, but incendiary incidents are what fuel destructive fires.

THE PRIME DIRECTIVE (for online discourse)

Although it is difficult to suss out a person’s policy preferences from radical references, perhaps we can implement a “How, not Why” approach to online discourse. Here are some statement scrips that may help:

  • I see you mentioned ________. Do you mean that you’d prefer if they did ____________ instead of ___________?
  • What would that look like?
  • How would you write legislation for that?
  • How would that work out in every day life?

When anyone is put into a leadership role, they pause. Thinking of constructing actual local, state or federal laws might cause a person to take that very reasonable breath before they type. Practicality questions require more thought than spewing belief systems. We all need reminders to pause before we type, and this “How, Not Why” approach is a good one to keep in mind.


Next post I’ll try to write about my adventures in applying “How, Not Why” to weight loss, novel writing and other life goals.



Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant (affiliate link, not that these ever work but I have to tell you that)

Philly Voice article on Collingswood, NJ Facebook groups breakups


Havertownies article (by me) relating our own community group to the Collingswood situation

Ripped Trunk by Danie Ware on Flickr
San Francisco rift by Scott Beale on Flickr

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Wanna tweet for Colbert?

tweet-4-stephen-colbertJFC. Look at this job description to be the Social Media Producer for Stephen Colbert’s show (which I’ve only seen on YouTube. Because: bedtime).

First, a few questions.


And what level of douchecanoe would one have to be to land this gig? Douchecanoe Extraordinert, that’s what. Dang.

Look at the skills needed to be the ‘live tweeter” for Stephen Colbert:


  • Social media savvy

  • Strong writer who can be funny in under 140 characters

  • Great organizational skills and ability to handle multiple projects with ease

  • Experience with Photoshop.

  • Headline writing experience a huge plus.

How about good with punctuation? Or does CBS only have the budget for 2 periods in their bullet pointed “QUALIFICATIONS?”

I’m a woman. I. have. lots. of. periods. I’m gonna drop another one on you riiiiiiighht now.

The job description:

({insert company history here} {add more blah blah blah} Just know the “C”-as-in-BS doesn’t stand for “Central” when you go for your interview)


Producer will work with the Digital team and CBS interactive to build social engagement on our various platforms. Job will entail scheduling social throughout the day, live tweeting the show, creating shareable GIFS and graphics, and coordinating the roll-out of social content on all platforms. The Social Media Producer will also be the de facto Late Show fan club president, interacting with fans on social media and nurturing online engagement.

Ah, forget it. The pay is probably equals what you get for your court-mandated community service hours.

And you STILL have to wear the “prisoner” vest.



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IMG_5843I need a new car. A few models stick out in mind but none I want to seriously commit to, so I’d like a lease.

Buying a car is probably the smarmiest, unpleaseantest shopping experience there is. Expecting honesty and integrity from a car salesman is like expecting garbage not to stink. It’s just plain silly.

But I’m silly like that. I want to be able to buy a car like I buy anything else: on my own, prices compared, deals secured, etc. Why I must interface with humans is beyond me.

This past weekend, I visited a local dealership and was assigned a salesperson. I said, “Listen, you don’t have to spend much time because I am not buying a car today. I want to look at some models. That’s it.”

Now: The guy has heard this before. Probably half the sales they make are to people who say this very thing but yet, magically, end up leaving with a new car. But that person wasn’t me. I was very honest. (Skipping ahead: I didn’t get a car. I said I wouldn’t, and I didn’t.)

The salesman was actually a normal person and very helpful. He dealt me not a lot of bullshit, if any. In fact, he introduced me to a model I didn’t even know existed and is now in the running. Not bad. The problem came when he asked me to just let his manager know I wasn’t buying today. I’m sure this is probably a sales tactic, but I know the pressure on car salesmen is pretty tough so I didn’t mind taking the opportunity to give my guy good reviews.

His boss, though, the “Sales Manager” as it said on his card, was an ass. In an attempt to steer me away from a lease, he told this story about his teen putting 8800 miles over 2 months on a new lease with a 12000 mile limit. I just smiled and said, “Wow.” In my head, I did the rough math on that doozy of a tale.

8800 miles divided by 60 days is about 146-147 miles a day. If a driver averages 55 miles an hour over those roughly 146ish miles, that would add up to more than 2.5 hours of driving a day. Almost all weekday commuting drivers do not spend that much time in the car.

Maybe the kid was Ubering or Lyfting? That could be 3 hours a day of driving. Or a few hours during the week and a ton on the weekends. I looked up some stats on Uber drivers. Half of them work about 15 hours a week. From Time.com:

“How many hours do you drive Uber a week?

Not that many, to be honest. A majority (51%) of Uber drivers work 15 hours a week or fewer. Only 19% of us are really driving full-time (35 hours per week and more) compared with 81% of regular taxi drivers and chauffeurs.”

The kid was commuting, Ubering, AND taking long weekend trips, you say? OK. Here’s my next question: how did this mileage pile-up slip the notice of a man who is an experienced car sales manager? For two months? He didn’t notice his kid was gone that much? He didn’t check the car after a month? Perhaps he lied and his kid isn’t a teen but an adult. How could any adult not know the terms of his car lease?

So many holes, so many lies.

Car salesmen think women can’t do math.

I may not go back to that dealership just because of this stupid-ass story. It’s insulting. Even if it were true, it’s too unbelievable to tell to a person you’re trying to sell a car to. They’ll just assume were giving them the hard sell.

Sure, garbage stinks, and I can’t expect it not to. But you know what I do with garbage? I throw it away.



P.S. The color of the car may or may not make a difference. There aren’t too many purple cars out there… We’re a rare bunch. 🙂



Time’s FAQs from an Uber Driver

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The Crayon Chronicles

In 2016 I’ve resolved to do more writing and more creative crafts (to use up my craft supplies, recycle, and keep my brain alive). I’ve taken Twitter off my mobile devices to help me steer time toward those endeavors.

Sounds like a great plan, right? Yeah. But as my friends at Freakonomics say: There’s a hidden cost to everything. Twitter off my mobile devices has only led me to a deeper commitment to Pinterest. Honestly I think Twitter was better for me because Twitter is the mostly harmless deadly sin of Pride, whereas Pinterest is greed, lust, envy and gluttony combined. Pinterest’s dark underbelly leads one down time-sucking dark alleys from which I may never return. I will recount for you my latest foray in a minute.

It’s a time-suck but the whole idea of Pinterest is endlessly amusing. Hope springs eternal in each and every post. And the results are hilarious. Nothing on the Web makes me laugh more than “Nailed it” pics – the before/after results of picture-perfect Pinterest projects and their poor reproductions by mere mortals. Seriously, I *CRY* laughing at these pics.


Click on the pic to see some of the fecking funniest “Nailed it” pics in history

At my funeral, I want you all to play a slide show not of my life but of the best of the worst of these testimonies to the eternal – and confounding – power of HOPE.


OK. Back to my latest Pinterest Project.

As I said, I’m trying to recycle what I have in the house, as opposed to bringing new materials in for craft projects. Having two children has led to an extraordinary large build-up of crayons. So I thought I’d do this:



Read on to see what really happened. (This post was banged out angrily late at night on Facebook. My friends mocked me, as that’s what friends do. See? The Pinterest amusement is a gift that keeps on giving.)

Gettin’ Real up in Pinterest Valentine’s Day

  1. Collect all the broken crayons in the house (send any decent ones to a teacher for her classroom).
  2. Soak the crayons in water to dissolve the paper wrappers (Make sure you take out all the “washable” crayons. Those will just disintegrate into glops of gooey goo).
  3. Separate by color (after you scratch the paper off each one, because soaking won’t work), then break up into pieces.
  4. Melt them in the oven in a silicon Ikea heart ice cube mold. Follow temp and time directions found online.
  5. Realize people online are idiots and/or my oven sucks. Increase oven temp by 10%. Increase baking time by 400%.
  6. Open all the doors and windows and run every fan in the house. In the dead of winter. Because: stankage.
  7. Repeat 3 times. The mold has 16 hearts. You have a shit ton of crayons.
  8. Struggle like you’ve never struggled before. Break 2 hearts in the process of extracting hearts from mold.
  9. Try a microwave experiment.
  10. Go back to using the oven.
  11. Struggle like hell again to get the crayons out, after sufficient cooling time.
  12. Days pass. You are still working on this.
  13. Ignore complaints of crayon smell in the dining room.
  14. Son tells you he isn’t planning on handing anything out for Valentine’s day at school.
  15. SOLDIER ON. You still have more crayons to melt.
  16. Add more crayons to each heart halfway through melting process. This produces huge hearts that don’t match the rest but it gets it all done faster.
  17. Search around for a box to hold 44 heart crayons.
  18. Do unnatural things to cardboard for display purposes in box.
  19. Stuff crayons in the box even though they don’t really fit.
  20. Spend 4 days trying everything to save the $1 mold from Ikea then eventually toss it in the recycling bin.

VOILA! Crayon hearts from Pinterest. That are taking up space in your house.



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