Tag Archives: women

Rule #5: Thou Shalt Know How to Protect Thyself

Women’s self-defense is something I am incredibly passionate about. Did you know that 1 in 4 girls will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime? That 60% of sexual assaults are never reported to the police? That 88% of sexual assault victims knew their attacker? That 15/16 rapists will never spend a day in jail?

I am passionate about this partially because I am a sexual assault survivor. Though I sometimes still have trouble convincing myself that it wasn’t my fault, I do know that things could have been a lot worse if I didn’t have some basic self-defense skills that I learned from women’s self-defense class I took a few years ago. I actually took the class somewhat by accident, because I was naive enough to think it would never happen to me. But it did. It wasn’t rainy or night like in the movies – in fact, it was a bright, sunny afternoon. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but I was lucky because I knew some basic moves that, also luckily, were enough to scare off my attacker.

Defend yourself -- avoidance, anger essential elements for protection

photo via Fort Rucker

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re being assaulted, here are just a few things to keep in mind:

  • Your knees and elbows pack the most punch in terms of force (you’re also the least likely to injure yourself if you use your elbow or knee).
  • You know that self-defense bit from Miss Congeniality? It’s not bad – Solar plexus, Instep, Nose, Groin! The last two are especially good to aim for.
  • Make lots of noise if you can. Yell something – anything – it will get people’s attention.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings – if you’re in an unfamiliar environment, never go anywhere alone unless you’re absolutely sure it is safe (ask the locals!)
  • Trust your gut. If you feel a situation is unsafe, get out. Your instinct is always your bet.
  • If you are sexually assaulted, report it immediately. Even if they don’t catch your attacker, your report may help in the future if your attacker continues to attack other women.
Part of being the best woman you can be is knowing how to protect your awesome self. The effects of sexual assault can be devastating and long-lasting. You can’t know if it’ll happen to you or not – so the best thing you can do for yourself is be prepared. Don’t make the mistake I made and think it can’t happen to you. It can happen to anybody. So prepare yourself, and know how to protect yourself.
Here are some good resources:

Slutwalk London

photo via msmornington
Go forth and protect your amazing self.
xoxo,

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Rule #2: Thou Shalt Trust Thyself

Time for EDF Commandment Number Two: Thou Shalt Trust Thyself

Note to Self: "Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live." ~ Goethe

Time for a story. College, for me, was a 4-year train wreck. Every year I went back thinking it’d be an awesome year, and every year something(s) ended up happening that made it awful. Mono, swine flu, broken hearts, pets dying, relatives dying, fights, teachers ignorant of a thing called “your students have lives too, and sometimes their lives are hard” – you name it, it happened to me. My one source of relief, then and now, has been yoga.

At least four times a week I would sweat and move and flex out my problems on the mat. After a particularly rough day in the fall of my senior year, I high-tailed it to the studio as I had many times before, but I left the studio with a discovery: I didn’t trust myself.

I don’t know exactly what led to this revelation, but boy was it a revelation. It changed my life. It changed the way I saw everything around me. The next time I found myself in the middle of making a tough decision, or working through a fight, or dealing with loss, I stopped and asked myself, “What do I need right now?” And then I trusted that I knew what was best for me in that moment.

It’s important and necessary to ask for advice when you need it. Asking for advice shows you have humility; it shows you’re mature; it shows that you respect others’ opinions. But you have to remember that that’s exactly what advice is: opinions. And if someone’s advice doesn’t feel right to you, then no matter how much you respect that person, it’s probably not a good idea to follow their advice.

Simplicity is a tempting siren – it’s easy to do what we’re told. But that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. Trust that you have the power to make your own decisions, that your advice to yourself is good advice, that sometimes you’re the only one who knows what you need.

As one of my yoga instructors once said,

“There are no wrong decisions. There are only decisions that lead you down different paths of life. Trust that in each moment, you are exactly where you are meant to be, doing exactly what you are meant to be doing.”

Namaste,

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Wishbook Wednesday: Kate Spade, turtle shell racers, and more

Things in my mind’s eye this week:

1) Kate Spade’s Westward Collection, with Emily Current and Merritt Elliott

I particularly like the Adventurer Satchel. Now excuse me while I hold up a bank so I can afford to buy it.

Westward Collection

2) Thingiverse: a website for artists, designers, and engineers to share their ideas and designs, with Creative Commons or General Public Use licenses. Because who doesn’t want to build their own turtle shell racers?

turtle shell racers

3) Notes from the Road. This blog is Erik Gauger’s travel photography blog. If you need to escape for a second and remind yourself that there are beautiful things in the world, this is the place to do it.

4) Peugot’s RCZ Asphalt Edition. Oh-so-sexy. The perfect EDF car. Excuse me while I go hold up another bank.

 

A girl’s gotta dream big.

 

xoxo,

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Rule #1: Thou Shalt Be Beautiful

In case you haven’t clicked around enough on this site yet, the “Do You Have What It Takes?” link in the sidebar takes you to the first ten rules of being an Exceptionally Desirable Female. I’ll be adding more rules to this list as time goes on, but these first 10 aren’t called the Ten Commandments for nothin’. They are the most important things to keep in mind in your inner journey for EDF status.

The very first commandment? Thou shalt be beautiful.

Four Prize Winners in Annual Beauty Show - Washington, D.C.

What does this mean? This means, first and foremost, you know what beauty is. And to know what beauty is, you have to know what beauty is not. Beauty is not bought, it is not sold, it does not come wrapped in plastic and it is not one-size-fits-all. It is not poverty, it is not abuse, it is not mistrust.

Beauty is: you.

Yes, you. Cliche, perhaps, but understanding this above all else is so important to unleashing all the power that is within yourself, I cannot possibly stress it enough. You are beautiful, already, as you are. Could you be a better person? Of course. So could I, so could everybody. Should you take steps to be a better person? Absolutely. That’s what being an EDF is all about. But honey, before you can do anything else, you have to be able to tell yourself with absolutely conviction that you are beautiful.

In today’s Western society, we’re not good with taking compliments and we’re not good with being good to ourselves. Queen B though I may be, even I have moments where I don’t think I’m a beautiful person. That is so not true. That is not true for anybody. 

So, go practice. That’s right. Go find a mirror. You there? Good. Now look yourself in the eyes. Look! Look how beautiful your eyes are. They are, as they say, windows to the soul. So take a look, and then repeat after me:

I am beautiful.

What’s that? I can’t hear you.

I am beautiful!

Third time’s a charm.

I am BEAUTIFUL!

Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder, y’all. Once you’ve convinced yourself that you’re beautiful, no one can tell you otherwise.

Now go strut your stuff, you beauty queen.

xoxo,

Queen B.

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Power Monday: Madonna

First let me take a step back: What the heck is Power Monday? EDF is going to kick off the week by choosing a real-life Exceptionally Desirable Female and highlighting exactly what makes them so amazing.

In honor of this year’s VMAs, yours truly went on a search for females in the history of music videos. I buried my nose in Google and found:

  • a Wikipedia article on the history of music videos that said nothing about women;
  • lots of articles on sex-role stereotyping and visual exploitation of women in music videos;
  • links to the “hottest” music videos, “featuring 2 beautiful women making out,” or the like.

When you think about it, this isn’t too surprising. I think of the music videos of my past, my memory churns up images of skinny girls in bikinis, skinny girls in bikinis on motorcycles, skinny girls in bikinis rolling around in questionable substances. I don’t think I have to spell out what the common themes are here.

Of course, there’s a fine line between exploitative and sexy. There’s nothing wrong with struttin’ your stuff, especially if you’ve got it goin’ on to the degree Shakira does inher video for “Gypsy,”  or JLo in “I’m Into You”. And of course I have to mention Gaga‘s videos, which, though she is often scantily clad, belong under the category of art more than just about any other artists’ videos today.

That said, there is a huuuuuge difference between these and the way other videos portray women. For example, the video for “Bow Chicka Wow Wow” (Mike Posner feat. Lil Wayne) is disgusting. You couldn’t pay me enough money to be one of the women in that video, who act disinterested in Posner and Lil Wayne until they flip a magical switch, emitting an obnoxious noise that is apparently a universal cue for women to jump whatever bones happen to be lying in front of them. Not to mention Lil Wayne’s feature begins with the oh-so-memorable line, “I got a leather couch.” Yeah? So? You ain’t gonna see me on it any time soon.

I could keep up this rant, but I’m getting off-topic. Despite the fact that my search yielded very little information on the female side of music video history, I finally decided that Madonna was the perfect first-ever Power Monday EDF.

Madonna 3 by David Shankbone

Why she kicks butt: Well, she’s Madonna. ‘Nuf said.  She released her first single, “Everybody,” in 1982, and since then hasn’t stopped rockin’ everything from the stage to the silver screen.  And if there’s anyone that SHOULD be in the history of music videos, it’s Madonna. She’s won 20 MTV Video Music Awards. One of the twenty is the lifetime achievement “Video Vanguard Award,” which she took home in 1986. The short story: not many stars can claim to have the sort of epic career she has had.

10 things you might not know (source)

  • She was born in Bay City, Michigan. Midwest respresent!
  • She’s been vegetarian since age 15.
  • She’s been in 22 flims.
  • There’s a 13-foot statue of Madonna in Pacentro, Italy, where here grandparents immigrated from.
  • Her true name is…Madonna! Yep, she was born with it.
  • Gwenyth Paltrow was her maid of honor in 2000.
  • She designed a clothing line for H&M in 2007.
  • In 2010 she started a chain of fitness centers called “Hard Candy”.
  • Sting is her son Rocco’s godfather.
  • She published her first children’s book in 2003 and has since published nine other books.

Here’s to a happy Monday and a fabulous week!
xoxo,
Queen B.

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What is this, anyway?

EDF is what it is: a blog on how to be an Exceptionally Desirable Female (EDF), written by Exceptionally Desirable Female numero uno, Queen B (that’s me).

What does it take to be an EDF, you ask? This definition is one for the 21st century. It’s one for the go-get ’em, break boundaries (and the glass ceiling while you’re at it) ladies that this world is brimming with right at this very moment. I’m not purely talking about the JWOWWs and Anna Wintours of the world, although they make the cut. I’m talking about the JWOWWs and Anna Wintours…AND the Hillary Clintons, the Henrietta Yurchencos, the Tristan Prettymans, the Mother Teresas. The world-famous; the neighborhood famous. The loud bold; the quiet bold. The instant-domino-effect-ground-shaking fury; the silent fury. This blog will celebrate any woman who knows she’s powerful and knows how to use that power to make this world a better place for everyone around her.

There are no specific qualifications to be an EDF. There is no maximum weight or BMI, there is no beauty standard, there is no IQ standard. Whoever you are, whatever you look like, whether parts of you are plastic or inked or modified in other ways, if you consider yourself female  – then you have the power to harness your inner EDF that’s waiting to come out.

Who am I? Some might say I’m under-qualified because I won’t be able to tell if your bag is worth 3 grand or if it’s a $20 rip-off from Chinatown. Others would say I’m under-qualified because I’ve had it pretty good in life. I’m white (this matters, yes, today it still matters). I come from an upper-middle class background. I went to an elite private all-women’s college in New England. Basically, I’m hot stuff. But let me tell you, that doesn’t mean I don’t know my shit. Regardless of what people could say about me, let me say that I know what I’m talking about. I know what it takes to turn anybody – and I mean anybody – into The Woman that everyone notices in the room. The one everyone wants. The one nobody argues with. The EDF.

One thing is sure: there has never been a better time to be a woman in this world. As women, we need to take advantage of the power we have as individuals and the power we have as a group to lift one another up all over the globe. This is your time. This is our time. We can make this world a better place. This blog will show you how to make it happen – how to make YOU happen. You got what it takes?

xoxo,

Queen B.

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