Thursday, December 4, 2014

Race in America: A Voice From the Bottom of the Totem Pole

In a society fueled by the latest hashtag, food trend, naked celebrity, grossly overpriced kids' toy, viral disease about to take out mankind, and cable tv series shocker it is no surprise that the swirling larger issues and more complex inner workings of our country are often ignored or painted over by a foie gras hotdog or a greasy overgrown ass. We are distracted, depressed, and disconnected.

Until something big happens.  Something that we have to pay attention to. We can't sweep it under a One Direction beach towel or a vibrantly printed hipster legging.  Even if we live under a rock to avoid the always inspiring network news and haven't yet drank the koolaid of social media personal expression and fake interaction.  Even if we devote our lives to a higher purpose than the pitiful trappings of the socioeconomic hunger games in this land of the free and home of the brave.  Even if we have washed our hands of all this shit a long time ago.  Everyone notices when it really hits the fan.  From the gun slinging redneck to the pot smoking yoga teacher. From the hip and relevant Buzzfeed blogger to the crotchety old retiree on the golf course. From the under represented black teenager to the over protected policeman.  Sometimes we are given these unifying moments when current events force us to look inside for our own personal truths and consequences.  The results can be sad, hilarious, destructive, entertaining, tragic, but altogether are the essence of America. Whether we like it or not.

This big something of late are the two instances of white policemen causing the deaths of two black men. Each case is very different from the other and has it's own intricacies, evidence, witnesses, circumstances, and they are certainly only connected by the race of each party. One in the south, one in the north.  One young man, one older man.  One child, one father. One "resisting", one standing still on a sidewalk.  One shot, one strangled.

Both gone.

We all know the aftermath.  Following the grand juries in both cases decisions to not bring charges against the officers in question there has been a movement in America to question authority and take the power back.  Some faces of this movement are intellectual and peaceful.  Seeking change through channels of policy and procedure.  Some faces are riotous and rogue, showing force and fury by setting fires and tipping police cars.  There are warriors writing and fighting with thought and pen. There are silent showings of support, holding "hand up, don't shoot" figures in the public eye. The checks and balances to shield citizens against excessive use of force is a joke and we have two blaring examples of a system gone awry and the less protected class/race taking the brunt of it.

On the other side of the coin there are those who are defending the legal system and the policemen. Taking up the cause of those who dedicate their lives and careers to protecting and serving the people of the country.  Ensuring law and order over chaos and violence. They take an oath, badge, and gun into the darkest and meanest places so that we don't have to.  They are there when we call them immediately.  They sacrifice a lot in their lives so that we can live in a safer world and have a sense of peace when we wave our children good bye in the morning.  They are heroes.  They are under appreciated and over worked.  So why condemn a whole group of good guys when there are one or two bad apples?

If you take to facebook, instagram, twitter, etc you will see that everyone has their opinion and there is little room for intelligent discussion.  Friendships are strained, true colors fly freely, and everyone is more concerned with being right than doing right. Herein lies the crux of the struggle of my generation: we are lost in narcissism and it is making us stupid.  We want our pictures, statuses, (*blogs* ooops), tweets, posts to be liked and shared and praised and promoted.  We need so much personal validation that it is taking valuable energy away from the bigger picture.  America needs us right now to stop taking fucking selfies and get with the program.

I called this post "From the bottom of the totem pole" because in the grand scheme of things Indigenous American women such as myself may be the most underrepresented and persecuted group in this country just by the sheer weight of attempted genocide, oppression, sexism, racism...blah, blah, blah.  Even Bill O'Reilly can probably admit that we have had it rougher than other segments of the population and the violence and mistreatment continues today.  When I see these stories I shudder to think of how many Indigenous women have been killed, raped, abused, and hurt at the hands of authority figures that have gotten away with it.  How many of my sister have woken up in agony and pain. Or not woken up at all.

In my reservation community we are taught from a young age to not trust the police. I think this is unfortunate but it is true for many minority communities.  As a child I did not see these men as helpful heroes who would keep me safe.  I was afraid of them and suspicious of their whole outfit. We had a DARE officer who was also native come into the school to teach us about drug abuse prevention and he was the first one who made me think of police as human.  Other than that I always drove two miles per hour under the speed limit if they were anywhere near me, never made eye contact in public, and always had an escape plan should I find myself in a place where illegal things may or may not have been occurring (they were).  There is nothing worse than a snitch or a narc and from the time I was 8 years old and didn't tell them about an incident on the school bus that I witnessed I knew it was better to take the punishment than rat on anyone.  There is absolutely a divide and an "us against them" mentality that both minorities and police have contributed to.

So what do we do?  As I have matured, made friends that are in law enforcement, and seen some incredible acts of humanity and good will done by those in uniform I think back to my rebellious tendencies of my formative years with some amusement but a healthy dose of curiosity.  Who exactly is pitting these two groups against each other?  The government?  God? Society?  Why is it that white privilege extends all the more powerfully to people who are supposed to leave their color at the door when they put on those blues? Why can't we bring police to justice when they are the ones who have spent their lives as a tool of that very concept?  Is it just a concept?  Why is it people are so quick to judge the rioters and looters but are not really fucking angry that police can commit murder and get away with it?

The system is failing us.  What kind of future are we creating by forging along forcing broken ideals into evolving problems? It will get worse until someone has the courage to make it better.  We can absolutely question authority without being cast as extremists or trouble makers and it is imperative that we do. We live in a country that goes around the world touting freedoms and democracy but on our own soil there is such massive corruption and injustice it is an iceberg of hypocrisy.

I challenge you, smart phone generation, to take a stand in peace and unity for our country.  Our children, our way of life.  For Eric Garner who won't see any more memories with his six children and widow.  For Michael Brown who died at 18, an age most of us breezed through unaware of how lucky we were to be alive.  For the countless invisible faces and spirits of my people who have died in murderous acts by those in power that saw no national attention or riots.

It is ok to be angry.  It is our responsibility to be angry. We can't pretend that racism doesn't exist just because our favorite show is Modern Family or Barack Obama is president.  Let's be better.

Friday, November 7, 2014

My Scalp is Not for Sale: Not Your Mascot

**Fictional account of a hypothetical situation intended to give  different view of a topic that has been dissected, debated, intellectualized into the ground, discussed by pundits and posers, and you're sick of hearing about it.  Good. Turn that sickness into action. It can really be this simple. **

Dad was always a Patriots fan. Through thick and thin, victory and defeat, snowy games, rainy games, beautiful sun kissed games that made you as soft and gooey inside as the meatballs in the crockpot. He loved them. Not like a man loves his spouse. Not like a man loves his brand new car. Not like (in my Dad's case) a man loves his favorite frying pan and spatula. When a man loves a sports franchise it becomes a part of his makeup. It goes beyond the merchandise, lineup, injury report, season record, or how many rings they wear. It's about the rituals, the pride, the comfort of the routine, the excitement of the outcomes. It's looking ahead to the next season and knowing that your team will be there waiting for you. It's about tradition. It's about hope.

Dad isn't a "typical" dad.  No pot belly with a beer can resting on it as he calls plays from his trusty recliner while my mother serves up nachos and wings. He loves preparing delicious food for the family after his outside work is done.  He loves to run and had been sort of a football player himself in his day. He is a loving and active father to the three of us and a good partner to my mom who looks at him as he jumps, yells, and swears at the tv and says "He works hard, he deserves it"as if convincing herself as much as anyone. There is a special science to the sports loving human male, I don't pretend to understand it. I attribute some of his passion to the fact that we are Indigenous people of America. Native, if you will. I guess we have gotten through quite a bit by having faith and believing in the future.

Then there is me. Fifteen year old son of Mr. Patriot. I live on the reservation with my parents and am the last child home so they cling to me pretty tightly.  I can only imagine what this empty nest will look like during football season. I should probably visit a lot to keep my mother sane.  My two older sisters come around when they can but one is in college and one is a mom herself as well as a teacher. I have a chubby baby nephew with cheeks that could feed a nation of hungry aunties' hungry pinchy fingers.  Our house is on the smaller side so when the whole family is home everyone is usually pretty sweaty and at least two people are crying at once, not always the baby.  My mom works for a bank and my dad is an electrician. They work hard and love life, as annoying as they can be I must admit I have a pretty good thing going here.


There's Dad. I'm guessing Brady dropped it or someone didn't catch it.

If you couldn't tell I'm not all that into football.  I watch with him and eat the food while reading books on my tablet and doing homework.  I like school. I go to a school off the reservation and my bus ride is 40 minutes one way.  Sometimes by the time I get there I feel like I smell like diesel fuel from the old and tired bus fumes.  It's tough enough being one of the only brown faces in school but feeling like I smell like a gas station raises the anxiety a little too much some days.  I have a few friends but mind my business, the teachers seem to like me, I get good grades and play the trombone in band.  I play soccer, not "real" football because I like my brain the way it is, and in the winter it's indoor track.

I love to run. I'm on the taller side and thin but my legs are strong and fast. I run long distance, sprints, uphill, over hurdles, I just love to run. Sometimes in my mind when I'm running I feel like a true warrior. I think of my grandfathers before me that would run through the forests in search of game or on their way to war to protect the people.  I think about the spiritual guides from our nations that would run for long distances in hopes that their suffering and physical sacrifice will help all of us.  I think about the wild animals that run in herds.  I think about the beauty and freedom of movement.  I think about a lot when I run. It's home. It makes me feel alive.

And probably makes me look like this. 


My father again.  Apparently the person in question was "right there" and someone with much more influence than my dad in his slippers and sweatpants is debating that fact.

My mother, sisters, and I decided that for my father's 50th birthday this year we were going to blow his mind with a big party and extra special present.  We managed to get him the holy grail of birthday presents: Patriots tickets.  Yes, my father the superfan will be yelling at the refs in person, freezing his 50 year old buns off, and having the time of his life at a real life Patriots game.  Since we didn't want to have to sell my nephew to pay for tickets for all of us it was decided that I would accompany (*chaperon*) my dear old dad on this bucket list item expedition.

I sit with him as the Patriots win this one and he high fives me so hard I think I felt it in my shoulder joint.  It occurs to me I'm going to have to man up if I'm going to be an actual football fan for a day,

The fateful day arrives and my mother gets us ready to go on our way.  She is licking her fingers and shoving pieces of my hair down, a habit that I have repeatedly expressed my displeasure over yet she still finds it necessary especially in Target and in the parking lot at school. She looks at me with one of those complicated mother looks.

"What is it?" I asked.  Preparing myself for anything from lice she found in my saliva laced hair to an elderly relative passing away. Both are tragedies in her eyes.

Just another reason to say no to selfies. 

"Well, love, I just want you to know a couple things before you go to this game.  I was so excited when I found such good seats that I didn't realize who they were playing."

I didn't even think to ask.  I figured whoever isn't the Patriots are all equally enemy-like according to my dad so game on, whoever you are.

"They are playing the Washington Redskins. The name doesn't seem to bother your dad at all but I have mixed feelings about it, as do your sisters.  You may see things that make you uncomfortable and don't actually portray what our people are really like.  I just want you to be aware.  Remember who we are and let all that stuff slide off if it gets to you."  She gave one last wipe to my hair and now I looked like Charlie Chaplin and smelled like her morning coffee and lipstick. Lovely.

"It's ok, Mumma.  We're there to see the game, I'm not worried about it. I'm more worried about Daddy running onto the field, honestly."

We laughed and she kissed my cheek putting big maroon native Mumma lips on my face just to make extra sure no girls would look at me if they made it passed my hair and how I smell.

So begins the 5 hour drive with my father.  Lover of Patriots, creative sandwiches, and "dad rock" radio. We discuss several topics on this ride ranging from my sister's supposed gluten allergy (which we both agree is all in her weird hipster head), my mother's new perfume that we hope is just a phase, my running times and how they compare with his times at my age (I think memory shaves a few seconds off his), and in the background is a steady stream of Styx, Rolling Stones, The Doors, and James Taylor to keep things light.

"Dad, why did they call their team the Redskins? I don't get it."

"Well, I'm not all that sure actually,  Some say it comes from a bounty on Native peoples' heads way back in the day.  Others say it is a term to honor us as the fierce and brave Warriors we are. I'm no historian but those are my two best guesses." He gives the road a weird look like maybe I am barking up a tree he'd rather cut down now.

"Why do people get upset about it?"

"Because they have nothing better to do.  You know, we have real problems facing our people.  We have lazy drunks that keep making babies they can't take care of, we have meth heads shivering in the streets, our young people are leaving our culture, our languages are dying with our elders, and just last week a rez in the next state over had a 17 year girl hang herself.  Now those are things we should be upset about. Not whining over some team name. At least when people say 'Redskins' they are referring to us in a good way."

I leave it alone.

We drive on while Jim Morrison sings "Riders on the Storm."

After the GPS almost sends us into a swamp, we have a dinner of chex mix and gatorade, and my father took out three traffic cones in search of a parking spot....finally here we are.

Gillette stadium. Lights, camera, action. It looks chaotic to me but to my dad we just stumbled upon Oz. If I didn't know any better I swear I see a tiny tear escape one of his tough old eyes.

I bundle up. Hat, scarf, mittens, long john skivvies under my tough guy jeans, and a Patriots jacket that the old man got me for my 13th birthday.  I've grown a little since then so my arms neck stick out of the sleeves and top so I feel a bit like a baby man-boy but I guess that's just the plight of the 15 year old. Dad looks great. He's got all his gear as well but he chose a leather jacket that only he can pull off.  He's like a Patriot-Indian-Mafia guy and I am his awkward giraffe boy.  Let's do this.

We walk in stride and start to smell all the smells and see all the sights.  The tailgating folks have the sausages cooking and the beer flowing.  My father is not a fan of either so we press on, the lights of the stadium our north star in this foreign land of grease and white people customs.

Everyone is having so much fun and the energy is contagious.  There is music and laughter.  My father reaches out a gloved hand and takes my hand in his like when I was a little boy.  We stand shoulder to shoulder now but with my hand in his I feel the childlike wonder and pure excitement that he is feeling too.

Then something not quite as magical happens.  As we approach the further end of the parking lot I hear an odd chanting and a group of people wearing red clothing.  But not just red clothing, I also see bright colored feathers and wildly painted faces. The chants get louder and sound silly. They are beating the sides of a pickup truck to make a drum noise and some of them are jumping up and down. Feathers adorn a few of their heads in costume headdresses that are obnoxious looking and fluorescent.  A few have fake tomahawks that they playfully throw around.

Ahh. The Redskins fans. I felt like I fell down a staircase.

I grab my father's hand tighter.

They yell something about "scalping the Patriots" and my father stops dead in his tracks.  One in facepaint steps forward and yells,


He looks at them and doesn't seemed phased at all.  He's tough.  Not like me.  I want to cry and yell. I don't know if I'm embarrassed for me or for them. I'm confused and all of sudden feel like the only person in the universe.  I want my Mumma.

"Could you please not use that language around my boy? It's our first game, we don't want any trouble." My dad is cool but I can hear the tension in his voice.

"WHOA EASY, CHIEF. DIDN'T MEAN TO GET IN THE LINE OF YOUR FUCKING WARPATH. I HOPE YOUR PUSSY PATRIOTS GET SLAMMED BY OUR SKINS!" (followed by a screech that is so loud and long my ear drum whimpers).

My father didn't say a word.  He put his head down and shook it slowly as we walked on. They yelled and taunted and one even threw a beer can in our direction.

 When we were out of earshot he stopped and hugged me.

"Sometimes a warrior is the one who walks away. Those people think they can act that way because they are more privileged in this country than we are." He feels shaky.

I hugged him back.

"Daddy.  I think the name Redskins is a bigger deal than you think it is." I pull away and stare thoughtfully at the ground.

"You've always been smarter than me, son.  I love you very much."

We had a great time at the game.  Thankfully no one was scalped.  (If "scalping" is a new term for you, here is some recommended reading).  On the way home we had more to talk about.  I grew up a lot that day.  The headdresses that I had known in ceremony were not fluorescent and placed on any drunk guy's head. The chants and songs I had knew since my mother sang them to me in my bassinet were nothing like the things those people were yelling at us.  They have no right to degrade us that way.  Who says that our religion is something that can be cheaply mimicked and ridiculed? It takes away our humanity.  It locks us into stereotyped versions of our historical selves with no room to evolve and have a place in the modern world.  And most of all it says to us on a national level that our identity is worth nothing.  That our traditions, cultures, languages, customs, legends, art, communities, nations, history, are all just a joke.  Just a mascot.  Just something to paint on your face and scream at strangers about.  They absolutely protect and promote racist behavior which certainly doesn't help any of those "real" problems my father spoke of.  These mascots are wrong at every level and need to go.

It was a good day to be with my father.  It's always a good day to be Indigenous.

I made this story up to prove a point that all we need to look at on this issue is common sense and human decency.  I had a similar experience at age 15 while watching a basketball game on tv with my dad.  It was a local high school and the cheerleaders and bandleaders were wearing facepaint, feathers in their hair, and fake leather dresses.  I felt like someone punched me in the stomach.  It had never occurred to me that this was how we were viewed.  Some silly dressed up idiots jumping around and acting "savage".  I am from two strong Indigenous families and am raising my children to be proud of who they are.  These mascots have the potential to undermine the pride we feel in our heritage that has already been through so much.  Redskins is not an honorable term. It's not a nice word.  It is a racial slur and it is time to go to it's grave in the history books next to minstrel shows and black face. 


Friday, October 17, 2014

Cultural Appropriation and the Indigenous Woman: No More Pocahotties

When I think of Indigenous Women I think of my grandmothers.

My grandmothers are the strongest people I know.  Both in their mid 70's.  Both mothers of many children.  Both have worked long hours at factories, offices, houses, society, and life.  One of the greatest joys in my life is seeing them living these "golden years" in good health and even better spirits.  They are brilliant in a way that goes beyond wisdom from life experience.  They have taken those experiences and gleaned every possible lesson and positive takeaway and selflessly shared them with those that care enough to listen.  My grandmothers have given me such gifts in my 30 years. From my Native regalia carefully and lovingly handmade, to the unconditional love and support in my dark times, to the praise when I have succeeded, and of course being called "young lady" when my sassy brown ass really needed to hear it.  Their love has come in all forms.  Christmas Eve traditions, drumming with my cousins at family reunions, chocolate covered raisins, jokes (so many jokes, my grandmothers are both right up there with the funniest people I know), and those hugs that only grandmothers can give.  I love them both so much and they have shown me that Native women are the backbone of not only our families but our people.  We have survived because of women with the same iron will and pure ferocious faith that my Grammies have.

When I think of Indigenous Women I think of my mother.

My mother is barely five feet tall but her presence can fill a room.  She gave birth without medical intervention or pain medication four times.  She has made meals out of pennies.  She has a Dartmouth education and can think and drink as good as any man.  She loves God, her grandbabies, her teaching in the community, George Clooney, coffee with cream, and telling it like it is.  She taught me that I am always enough, that physical beauty doesn't mean anything if your soul is ugly, and that faith is more than a word.

When I think of Indigenous women I also think of my daughters.

Five year old Layla. She is the smallest and strongest hurricane I've ever known.  She is brilliant and fierce.  She has the instincts of a wise old soul that has seen years of lessons learned, bridges built then burned, and the many facets of the human experience.  Her wild brown hair frames a deceptively adorable face with tiny features and sharp expressions. In the dark early morning hours on the day she was born the heavens were full of storm clouds and flashes of vibrant lightening.  Not one clap of thunder was heard though.  This is how her life is now.  Full of power that is felt, not heard.  That is taken in by your senses, not shoved in your face.  My silent thunder.  My girl of lightening.

Seven year old Carmella. Most human have about 12 emotions.  Carmella has at least 400.  She has a heart the size of my whole universe and in it she keeps mine beating.  Her piercing eyes that change colors with her mood and the shape of the sun that day.  Her constant and colorful musings on life and love for everyone she meets.  Her trusting and kind nature that is reminiscent of a time that this world has long forgot.  She is love.  Pure and genuine love that is never selfish or conditional.  She has saved my sanity and my life simply by being her.  By being born to me exactly when I needed a north star in this world. Keep shining my love.

When I think about Indigenous Women I think of Me.

I've never wanted to be anything else.  In the steam of the sweat lodge, in the face of a white high school peer calling me a squaw, in the bounce of my dancing feet, in the ever changing length of my braid, in the smudge I send up when the nightmares happen, in the tears that drop for those we have lost, in the confusion of youth, in the heaven of age, in the times I know the spirits have protected me from myself, in the words of our language that live in my head and are afraid of my mouth, in the songs that travel on my air, in the knowledge that I am no one's mascot, in the strong body I have been blessed with to birth babies and run for my people, in the prayers for the lost, in the joy for those found, I am an Indigenous Woman.

All Indigenous people on this continent have fought an uphill battle for the same rights and liberties that white Americans have taken for granted for centuries. Indigenous women have had an especially arduous task of being visible, safe, respected, and healthy throughout times and places that don't see them as people.  I think back to my grandmothers. I think of my mother. I think of my daughters. I think of me.

The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 extended citizenship for all Native Americans who were born in the United States.  In the State of Maine Natives didn't have the right to vote until the 1950's. Think about that for a minute.  The people who's civilizations had existed on this land for centuries before those ill prepared pilgrims needed saving,

before the valor and drama of the Revolutionary War, before the writing of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence (for the 1/12th of the population that those documents pertained to at the time), before the Founding Fathers, before Abraham Lincoln wore that silly hat, before all of it.

Native Americans lived in tribes, communities, and nations across this great and beautiful place. There were societies, philosophies, and schools.  There was art, science, and architecture.  The reckless savage, sexual squaw, bloodthirsty warrior, and stupid primitive caveman are all facades set to the music of guilt and denial by the conquering culture of this country that has time and time again either candy coated or blatantly lied about the true history to sweep under the rug the shame of the acts of their heroes.  I will not suffer to save anyone's identity.  Idle no more.

I stand here today because those that came before me endured such atrocities as: smallpox blankets, bounties on scalps, residential schools, forced relocation, being stripped of all resources then given food not fit for dogs, sex crimes, murder, involuntary sterilizations, kidnapping, and slavery.  How absolutely amazing it is that we survived a systemic and carefully planned and executed genocide attempt on our people in our homeland.  We are not only still here but we have been able to maintain our oral history, languages , songs, customs, art, and ways of life.  I take so much strength from my Indigenous roots and I owe it to those people who sacrificed so much for me to water those roots and bloom for everyone who was unable to.

What I don't think about when I think about Indigenous Women are Pocahottie Halloween Costumes,

With all this being said.  Here are 10 Reasons Not to Be a Sexy Indian for Halloween this Year.

1.) You are engaging in something that dehumanizes a strong and proud group of people and takes our power away.  You are basically reducing our rich heritage to a cheap and silly strip of plastic that you can grab for 12.99 at Walmart.

2.) You are being blasphemous and mocking religious symbols. The dresses, feathers, paint, moccasins, and headdresses all have meaning in our ceremonies.  They are things to be earned and respected. Not worn to get guys to buy you drinks or to cover up your ever fading self esteem.

Preview of my next blog.

3.) You are perpetuating violence against Indigenous Women.  We are often seen as sexual beings, (which of course we are! we're humans with blood in our veins and hormones just like you!) but the stereotype of the over-sexualized squaw that is made to meet your needs and fantasies is not only ridiculous but dangerous.  If we are seen as nothing more than sex dolls wearing feathers we once again lose our humanity. This greatly encourages the cycle of rape, murder, abduction, and abuse to continue because we are not seen as whole beings worthy of love and giving consent to sexual acts.

4.) You look stupid. Also you are appropriating someone else's culture.  That means stealing.  That also means you get to dress up and play Indian without living as one your whole life.  Although there are many great things about it you will not have to deal with the not so great things like racism, violence, discrimination, and being invisible in a country built on the blood of your ancestors.  You get to put it on. I can't take it off.

5.) You make my daughters upset. Both of my daughters saw a commercial on tv for "Party City" Halloween store and it featured a typical "Pocahottie" costume.  My older daughter said, "Mumma, that't not what we look like.  They think we're stupid and they're making fun of our culture." She looked down and it broke my heart.  If you can't put these costumes away for any other reason, think about what you would say if she was your daughter.

Teach them better than this. For all of our sake.

6.) You are missing out on a chance to do something good.  In this day and age every chance we have to make a difference we should.  By not contributing to this trend you can make it less and less popular and maybe one day we'll look back at those costumes like the modern day minstrel shows they are.

7.) You are being racist.  And now you can't claim ignorance because I just told you that you are.

8.) You could play up your sexiness by being about a million other things for Halloween.  In my search for a costume this year I have seen everything from sexy jellyfish to sexy crayon.  Don't feel like Pocahottie is giving you freedom to break away from the naughty nurse/hot cop trap because there are so many other choices.  Sex it up. But keep my culture out of it.

9.) If I see you I will call you out on your outfit. You don't want that. Trust me.

I chopped up what was left of my dignity with my sexy axe.

10.) My grandmothers and all those that came before them protect so much of who we are so that you could offend and disrespect them by looking like an extra in an x-rated Dances With Wolves spin off. Respect them.  But more importantly, respect yourself.