To say Rolling Stone Magazine made a mistake is giving them too much credit. November 19, 2014 a rambling story of brutal rape was published under the banner of Truth (you can Google the story for yourself if you feel so inclined; I’ll not be posting a link to that drivel to help their hits counter). Stats and figures and other cases of rape were intermingled with the main story about “Jackie”- a naive college student who allegedly endured near-unspeakable horrors. Except, apparently the burden of fact-checking one woman’s heinous allegations was beyond the pay-grade of Sabrina Rubin Erdely or her editors. Fact-checking shouldn’t be above anyone’s pay-grade. Is Rolling Stone hurting for cash to the point they are stooping to write soft-core porn, Penthouse-worthy opening paragraphs?

I’ll say this just once: Rape is evil beyond words. Those who rape are the lowest of humans- if they can be called that. Those who endure it are scarred for life and only the strongest and those with an incredible support system and faith seem to make it out of the barely surviving stage into thriving and living.

Although this shouldn’t need saying, in this post-feminist society, it sadly does: All men are not evil. All men are not out to rape, oppress, and/or beat women. All men are not dogs. All men are not slaves to their neanderthal hormones. All men are not the same. Also, all women are not trustworthy. All women do not tell the truth. All women are not virtuous. All women are not the same.

Two weeks into the Fall of the 2001 semester at Ball State University, I was sexually assaulted on campus. A new friend I’d met in my Psychology lecture encouraged me to meet more people- get out there. I was quiet and awkward and unsure of everything thing around me. I took his advice and met up with another freshman for dinner one night. We went back to his dorm room to play cards. His roommate was gone, but came back briefly only to speak in quick, hushed tones then leave. At some time in the evening he closed the door and brought out a Mt. Dew bottle with alcohol in it. I got up to leave. He blocked the door and said I could leave if I’d have a drink with him. I drank fast so I could get back to my dorm. The alcohol hit hard. He said I could lay on his bed until I felt better. I asked him to take me back to my dorm. He wouldn’t. I laid down trying to catch myself as the world spun and drifted in and out of my consciousness. I remember him crawling into his bed with me. I remember things I don’t want to remember. I remember him touching me and manipulating parts of my body to touch him. I remember trying to move but everything feeling like I was submerged in mud and going in slow motion.

In the morning he said he had a good time and we should do it again. I went back to my room, called my friend, and waited. My friend rushed to campus to pick me up and whisk me to the fraternity he was pledging- the last place I wanted be. But I trusted him, so my friend drove me to the house. The brothers there had been given the heads up what was happening and when I walked in, they were amazing, kind, compassionate, and genuine. The ZBT guys did everything they could to help me. After getting advice from one of the brothers who was studying law, my friend drove me to the hospital for one of the most humiliating experiences a woman can go through- a rape kit. The doctor’s attitude was cold, the nurse was verbally abusive when I refuse the morning after pill, and everything was so sterile and impersonal.

After we left the hospital, my friend took me to campus police where I had to recount the entire ordeal- as much as I could remember- to a camera then write it all out on paper. I didn’t leave the station until 2-3 in the morning. While I was there, the police told me they had brought in the guy who assaulted me and were taking his statement. At some point my friend talked to my parents for me. I couldn’t face them. The guy confessed to everything. Campus police told me he gave more details than I could, except he claimed it was consensual. I still balk at that. I didn’t consent to anything. When I was conscious I insisted on leaving, but he wouldn’t let me.

My roommate called me a liar. She told a couple of her friends on our floor and they called me a liar. They asked how I could ruin a poor guy’s reputation like that just for attention. Campus police eventually called me to tell me the prosecutor wouldn’t take my case because there was no physical evidence from the rape kit proving I was assaulted- never mind his TAPED confession. He wasn’t disciplined by the university and continued to move freely around campus. I almost dropped out of my English class because it was held in the basement of his dorm building and I broke down crying every time I walked up to the doors. My friend and his fraternity are the only reason I made it through that year alive.

Rape and sexual assault are real. Those who make false allegations for attention hurt REAL victims. They hurt the progress made in creating a safe space to speak up and speak out, and to get help. Rolling Stone’s and Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s lack of Journalism 101 skills set back rape victims. Their cavalier attitude to facts and fact-checking is disgusting. They were a joke when they put one of the Boston Bombers on their cover like a millionaire playboy. With this rag of a story and their shell of an apology, they’ve downgraded their credibility to below The National Enquirer.

Okay, so since I began sharing via social media the food I create, people have begged for the recipes and several have poked at me about a cookbook. The big problem? I don’t make a habit of writing down what I do in the kitchen. For me cooking and baking is about how I feel or trying to put a flavor to what I feel. Cooking is pure passion and emotion. Exactness has no place in my kitchen- honest. I have measuring cups and spoons but use them more as estimating shovels than tools of science (contrary to friends of mine who insist baking IS a science and requires accurate measurements). It’s been a fun journey and my food has traveled across the country to friends who brag on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram when their packages arrive.

Last year my cooking exploits took an unexpected turn into gluten free and paleo. And more people tried to bribe me for new recipes on old favorites I’ve modified to be easy, delicious alternatives to gluten-laden foods. Enter my amazingly patient friend, Ginny Kruta- the gluten free wife of a baker who can’t eat a single bite of her husband’s work. She’s more disciplined in the kitchen than I am and jumped on board the cookbook train. She kept me on track when I wanted to give up. She reminded me to WRITE DOWN what I was throwing together. She randomly lobbed ideas at me. And most importantly, she encouraged me.

And after months of interstate collaborating and traveling we’ve released our holiday preview of Barefoot and Gluten Free on Amazon.com for $2.99. We take you from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day- three meals a day- and we help you figure out what to do with all those leftovers. The full cookbook will be available Spring of 2015 if Ginny can keep me on track and writing down what I do! Snag your digital copy and have a wonderful holiday season!

Dear Stranger,

We may never meet, but thank you. Not just for your service, but for your sacrifice. Thank you for your dedication, selflessness, honor, and courage. Thank you for giving up your life to train in harsh conditions and then to live in harsher conditions still. Thank you for putting your family on hold to protect mine. Thank you for stepping into danger so I can step out of my house in freedom. Thank you for leaving all you love behind so I can hold those I love close without fear. Thank you for living in uncertainty about deployments so I can safely live in uncertainty about my next career move.

Your dedication to our country is inspiring. Though some dismiss your choice as inconsequential, please hold your head high. You’ve done what most refuse to do- stand proud and willing, at the front and at the ready, to defend and protect America and all who live within her borders. Precious Stranger, you who have given up so much so America can live in abundance, you are my hero. I am grateful to you, not just today, but everyday there is breath in my lungs.

“Thank you,” is such a small phrase in comparison to all you have done, but I mean it sincerely. Thank you for volunteering. Thank you for serving.

God bless,

Ruth

Ready for the next issue of Single Is The New Black? Good! I slacked heavily on cross-posting it and I apologize. Big things in the works (that’s for another post) have kept me busy. Without further delay, here is Bailey’s perspective. And go give Ce some page-clickin’ love for putting this series together!

*This is a guest post by Bailey Connell*

It’s been a weird week of awkward dates, uncomfortable conversations, and just some straight up crazy situations. Frankly, I’m spent. So let’s cut to the chase of this post: I’m single. It’s not something I wish to be the rest of my life, but the process of finding someone to not be single with can be quite hilarious if you know how to be proactive about meeting people and enjoying life.

As a single, working 26 year old girl, I am committed to not taking the good things in life for granted. My bills get paid. I have a roof over my head. I’ve got family, some friends, and I’m relatively healthy. Of course, my attitude is not always this positive about being single.
It’s a treacherous cycle of meeting someone, getting excited about the possibilities, beginning to fall for them, and then getting disappointed or hurt. Sure, lots of these cases of hurt and disappointment stem down to my date and I not connecting on important values that I will not waver on—my conservative qualities do tend to limit the dating pool. So inevitably, I am set up to fail, over and over again, at dating.

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But you know what I’ve realized? That’s okay. Bad dates and failed relationships are absolutely necessary. If I always had good dates, what would make me move on? Nothing. I’d end up marrying my date if nothing ever went wrong, right? Dates have to keep going wrong because there’s only one guy that it has to go right with. That’s all. I just need one good date! I’m beginning to think that God sabotages my dates because it’s like, “Nah….you can enjoy this experience, but at the end of tonight I’m going to have this guy show you his nipple when you try to have a serious conversation with him so that you realize I’ve got something better waiting for you on down the line.” Well played, God. Well played.

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Like I said, it’s been a weird week.

Furthermore, if I never experienced loneliness, I may never properly appreciate having someone who is there for me. So I’ll just bide my time while God guides me through all these terrible dates and occasional spells of loneliness; I’ll happily accumulate the funny stories, the dates turned friends, and all lessons learned from broken relationships, because I’m holding out for whoever/whatever it is He has planned for me.

Oh, I’ll also enjoy being alone while it lasts, because right now I don’t have anyone telling me to shut up when I wake up at 5am and jam out in my kitchen.

Bio:
Bailey
Bailey is a nurse, and a sort of adult child. She dabbles in writing, music, and making youtube videos. You can find her blog at baileyconnell.com, her videos at youtube.com/baileyconnell, and on Twitter as @bailofrights.

Crossroads

Posted: October 15, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Alliances come and go. Jobs come and go. Friends come and go. Life comes and goes. It’s all a cycle. Picking and choosing which alliance, job, friend, bit of life is most important- or advantageous- is the tricky part of it all. One more time I stand at a crossroad, unsure. For the sake of those involved I’ll be intentionally vague about the details. But each crossroad is more or less the same, the circumstance is the only part that really changes. So here I stand, sooner than I’d like and sooner than I though and with more complications than I’d like. That’s kinda how it goes, though, right?

I come here- to my page and you, my readers- to clear my head and organize my thoughts when I can’t get to my kitchen. It’s been a crazy ride, one I wouldn’t trade for the world, but I can’t tell if I want to turn right because the current path is the wrong one, turn left because I’m too exhausted to keep going, or hunker down and continue on the road ahead. Each direction is a valid choice, but WHICH choice is the right one? To keep with the theme, I’ll try to ambiguously break each road down.

Turning right: Finagling my way through a situation I’ve never been through before to situate myself into a place more comfortable and closer to what I’m used to. Pros: Less stress (in theory). More support (not that I’ve reached out much on the current road). I’d know where each person’s alliances lay. Cons: It’s not a definite. It requires maneuvers I know nothing about. It’d be one more change and adjustment that I’m not sure I’m ready for or can handle at this point. It could burn bridges I very much don’t want burned.

Turning left: Basically this looks like me walking away from everything, whether permanently or temporarily. Pros: Freedom; sweet, sweet freedom. Less stress (again, in theory), more free time to do life stuff. More money to do life stuff. Cons: It’d probably drive me crazy.

Keeping on the current path: Suck it up, buttercup, and keep going in the current direction. Pros: The least amount of resistance. A chance to grow outside my comfort zone. Other doors could open because of and in spite of staying put. Cons: I could continue questioning every step I take. Watching alliances rise and fall and having to choose sides. The possibility of compromising my own principles and standards.

 

I just don’t know right now. For now I guess it’s back to work and rumbling down this dusty road hoping a U-Turn is possible if I decide this isn’t right for me.

Are you ready for the fourth installment? Single Is The New Black: Patiently Waiting is from a young man’s perspective. You know the drill, show Ce some love on her page before or after reading the article below:

*This is a guest post by Cullen Williams*

The world is ever-changing. In fact, one doesn’t even have to look far to realize these are different times in which we all live. In regards to the political arena – parties, policy, procedure, politicos – they’ve all changed in the past twenty years. The Republican Party is shifting; the elite are trying to hang on to a dying message, and the youth are trying their best to revive a dying party. Unfortunately that isn’t the only hardship facing today’s conservative youth. Relationships. That word haunts me more than knowing that Jeb Bush and Rick Santorum have their eyes on the White House.

For a young, male conservative the dating game is shrinking faster than President Obama’s chance of saving his second-term in office; though I don’t view the latter as that much of a problem. You see, being a young, conservative male I have a list of requirements that I usually follow when it comes to whether or not I’ll take someone on a date.

  • Attractive
  • Politically conservative
  • Outgoing
  • Desire to have a family

 

Because of this list, dating isn’t as simple as going down to the ol’ watering hole and finding my way into a conversation. I mean… those conversations usually happen but they aren’t filled with small talk, the weather or sports. They’re filled with debates on foreign policy, information on up and coming politicians, and why issues like marriage and the drug-war should be on every Republicans’ mind. Trust me, your typical 20-something female doesn’t find this attractive.

However, once in a while I’ll get lucky and run across a female that does not mind politics. In fact, I’ve gone on a few dates where I wasn’t the one to bring up politics. Unfortunately, they usually wind up supporting abortion on demand or mentioning how they voted for President Obama, not once but twice! These are the type of dates that make me realize I should stick to my list of requirements.

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Though I’d like to one day marry and raise a family, perhaps the time isn’t right. I do find myself rather busy pushing up and coming candidates and helping out with numerous ballot initiatives. And while this may be my way of justifying defeat, I do have faith that conservative youth are on the rise. They just need a party to take interest in their ideals – liberty and less government involvement. Though until that day I may be single.

 

Cullen

 

Cullen is a political activist and writer. He resides in St. Louis, Missouri. He can be found on Twitter: @cullenwilliams_

The third installment of the series is my perspective. Being over 30 seems to automatically mean there’s something horribly wrong with me or I have unreasonable standards. Both are false. Remember to show my girl, Ce, some love at her site.

 

The conservative movement is supposed to be about each American living their own American Dream on their own terms (within the Constitution and laws). It’s an appealing way of life, but the movement is also centered on marriage and family. This puts me and those in my same situation of singleness in an uncomfortable spot. We are bombarded with family values and engagements and wedding invitations and baby announcements and glances of pity and sometimes fear- fear of the person catching this icky disease of singleness.

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As I sit down to write this it is late and I’ve completed a full day of work, played therapist to a friend on the way home, taken care of all the laundry for the week, cleaned the kitchen, set the coffee pot for the morning, put together my breakfast for tomorrow, held 11 conversations on various media platforms, ran the vacuum, and made my bed with the clean sheets I just washed. Some days it’s overwhelming to do everything alone then go to bed alone just to wake up alone and do it all over again… Alone.

I love what I do in politics. I love writing and following the news cycles. I love to travel across the country. I love the passion I see in those with whom I work online and in person. What I don’t love is being single. What I don’t love even more is the pity and condescension that comes from some of these people I love so much when they find out that yes, at 32, I am still single (single since *ahem* 2007 when I separated from my now late husband) with no prospects in sight. Sure from time to time there’s been a guy who’s almost piqued my interest but in the end it’s ended before it began. And occasionally some thug wannabe will try to approach me at the ghetto gas station near my home and try to pick me up with slurred English and pants hanging almost to the ground, but this girl does have some standards.

Ah standards, those pesky things keeping us from picking a complete loser. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told I’m wrong for having my standards or that I should lower them or that I’m just too picky. For the record, I have exactly six standards. That’s it- six.

  1. We have the same faith. He loves God above all else and can be the spiritual head of our home and family.
  2. He loves me and is attracted to me.
  3. I love him and am attracted to him (he doesn’t have to be the world’s hottest man to be attractive to me).
  4. We have to be politically like-minded. He doesn’t have to be glued to politics like I am, but being aware, voting, and have the same basic ideologies is a must.
  5. He has to have a job, not live in his parents’ basement (or any part of his parents’ house), and have a car.
  6. Be- or be willing to become- gluten free (I’m not kissing someone who’ll make me horribly sick if we touch lips and he hasn’t done a full biohazard cleanse of his mouth after eating).

That’s it. Anything else I might like on top of those six things is just bonus. And yet here we are. I appreciate my family and friends being all concerned, but there’s only so many times a person can be asked if they’re seeing anyone yet before something akin to the climax of a horror movie happens*. It seems as though they don’t understand how much it hurts to be reminded I am apparently deficient in some fashion for being without a partner. Never mind I have crawled my way out of some pretty catastrophic situations to a point where I’m thriving. Never mind I have a good job with good benefits, my own place, a reliable car, I travel all over the country, and I’m living my own dream of writing. Forget all those wonderful things that make life so amazing, all that is nothing in the dark shadow of not having a significant other.

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I’m not delusional, I have my issues and quirks and hang-ups, but I’m also fiercely loyal, loving, intelligent, adventurous (get that mind out of the gutter, I love to travel and be spontaneous), faithful, hard-working, funny, generous, forgiving, and I’m a magician in the kitchen. Yet when I get together with other conservatives at conferences, I see a not-so-secret secret hook-up culture winning out over making any real connections beyond one-night stands, business, and networking. I don’t sleep around. I firmly believe I am worth the wait- his and mine. But while I wait, I get discouraged. Is there really little more than a random hook-up in a hotel at a conservative convention all that’s left for us single folks? George Iles said, “Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark.” For now, I’ll hold onto hope there’s more.

*This statement is in no way a threat to any person or persons in my life.

Bio:

Ruth is an adventurer, writer, and baker. Her work can be found at www.newsninja2012.comand on her blog Conservative and Bacon (www.missruth1021.wordpress.com). Ruth can be found on Twitter and Instagram @MissRuth1021. All American Blogger thanks her for her contribution.

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