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Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Talk on How to Handle Disagreements and Arguments. Listen In!

posted by Linda Mintle

Faith Radio and I talked this week about disagreements and arguments. What are the secrets to keeping things calm and actually coming up with solutions. Listen to the 20 minute interview. Click here.

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A Possible Divorce Prevention?

posted by Linda Mintle

Fun coupleWhen you think of preventing divorce, you usually think about improving communication, strengthening the marital friendship and dealing with conflict. What you probably do not think about is how many children were in your family growing up.

Yet, one new study says, based on their findings, maybe you should think about how many siblings you have.

Sociologist, Doug Downey at Ohio State University, co-authored a study that looked at the number of siblings in your family growing up and how that relates to divorce. What they found was that the more siblings, the less chance you have to divorce. In fact, each sibling lowered your chances by 2%. The thinking here is that more siblings help your social skills development. You basically get more practice negotiating conflict and working with other people.

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But before you decide to add more kids to the family, not all researchers are convinced that having lots of siblings is a preventative factor for divorce. The criticism is that this is one study, and one study doesn’t constitute a definitive finding. Others feel that in today’s age, children have many opportunities to practice their social skills away from the home in places like school. Thus, the playing field evens out and sibling count isn’t all that significant.

Whatever the case, it is an interesting finding.

Could it be that having lots of siblings helps you get along better in your marriage? Certainly the need to share comes up more often!

Since we only have one study, you’ll have to let me know if this rings true in your case! Maybe their is some truth to the say, “The more, the merrier!”

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The Throw Down: Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and President Obama

posted by Linda Mintle

After reading a story in the Telegraph about the President’s dog, Bo, being helicoptered to Martha’s Vineyard on one of two MV-22 Ospreys (a hybrid aircraft which takes off like a helicopter but flies like a plane,) for yet another family vacation, I just sighed and thought, really?  Who flies their dog on a separate airplane? Can’t the dog travel with its owners on the same aircraft?

Obviously, only people above my pay grade send their dogs on separate planes. However, this behavior speaks to the opulent lifestyle the Obamas have led since making the White House their home. I’m not begrudging them. It’s part of the presidency and I am OK with that.  But the President’s criticism of others who are wealthy seems hypocritical and selective.

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Move over chef, Bobbly Flay. It’s a new kind of throw down. Forget about  Benghazi, Health Care reform or IRS scandals. Our President is taking on the Kardashians!

In an interview with David Blum for Kindle Singles, Blum asked the President to comment on the American Dream. The President responded, in part, by criticizing the lives of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.  Specifically, the President noted that in the past,”Kids weren’t monitoring every day what Kim Kardashian was wearing, or where Kanye West was going on vacation, and thinking that somehow that was the mark of success.”  According to the Huffington Post, matriarch Kris Jenner didn’t like the President’s remarks and took him to task on The Kris Jenner Show.

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While  all this seems very high school to me, there are some disturbing issues here.

1) The President has bigger fish to fry than pop culture and needs to focus on the serious problems our country faces.

2) The President and Michelle are friends with Jay-Z and Beyonce. Both hold Beyonce as one of the role models for their daughters. Read more about this in my blog, Mr. President, Can We Talk? 

I really think we can find better role models than a barely dressed singer who teaches our daughters to be bootylicious!  And Jay-Z, the husband of Beyonce, also friend of the President, has some of the most profane language in his song with Kanye West, yet Jay-Z is a good guy, Kanye, the bad guy?  Beyonce a role model? This is all very confusing and again, inconsistent!

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3) The President vilifies the success of Kardashian/West, yet uses people like them to fundraise, go on vacations, and socialize.

4) The President and his family will never want for anything once he leaves the White House. So what is the point of putting down people with wealth?  He will be one of them. It’s not the role of government to decide who is worthy of wealth or material success. In the business world, the market usually makes those decisions. And the market is influenced by supply and demand. Apparently, whether you agree or not, there is a lot of demand for wanting to know what Kim Kardashian wears.

5) Since the President rightfully notes our over-the-top fascination with celebrities, maybe he could do his part by inviting fewer of them to the White House. The “People’s House” sure has a lot of celebrity visitors.

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So while I am not Bobby Flay, I’m challenging you to a throw down, Mr.President (I know, I’m using a celebrity chef to make a point!).

Focus on  serious issues, not pop culture.

Take your vacation if you need it, but model a little restraint by taking your dog with you, or even consider leaving Bo with a sitter at the White House. Just because you can spend money, doesn’t mean you should. The money you spend is often tax payers dollars, not money you have personally earned.

Don’t pick on certain celebrities unless you are going to be consistent with the problems. You could use your office to talk about the offensive language and objectification of women in media. You could speak to the vile lyrics in a segment of hip hop that encourages rage and violence. You could work with the entertainment industry to take more responsibility for programming that uplifts, maybe even gives people hope.

Hope and change were great ideas. Now we just need to put them into practice in a few tangible ways.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bathing Beauty or Sex Object? Are Women Sold a Lie?

posted by Linda Mintle

 

bathing suit 2You put on that bikini and think, It’s just a bathing suit. Men see more skin on TV and in the movies than on me. No big deal, right?

Well at the risk of once again sounding like a mom, let’s talk about what two researchers found when they scanned the brains of men looking at women with different clothing.

No big surprise here. They found what most people already know–men tend to see women as sex objects when they are barely clothed. It’s why dads tell their teenage daughters to put on more clothes, or why women who want to be taken seriously at the office, dress conservatively.

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Researchers Susan Fiske from Princeton and Jennifer Eberhardt from Stanford did MRIs on a number of male students in order to image their brains when they looked at various photographs of women.  The part of the brain that activated when the men saw bikini clad women was the part associated with objects or “things you manipulate with your hands.” And the students remembered the women’s bodies better than the clothed women…not their faces, their bodies.

Important to note though, is that men can override this part of the brain.  So its not like men are victim of thought.

However, seeing half-naked women in music videos, advertisements, TV. movies and other media, reinforces the “women as objects” stereotype. And while this is nothing new, it does put science behind dispelling the feminist idea that you are empowering yourself as a woman by DECIDING to take off your clothes. Science says, no you are not. The impact of your half-naked body is the same on men, whether or not, YOU (women) try to frame the idea differently. And that is my point.

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Taking off your clothes empowers no one. It objectifies you.

So that itsy, bitsy, tiny, weenie, yellow polka dot bikini…is not a fashion statement! And the expectation that actresses have to take off their clothes to be considered serious actors is nuts!

Objectifying women is not new, but seems to be accepted and even promoted in our media with little push back from women. Beyonce has talent without stripping off her clothes. Vanessa Hudgens doesn’t have to pole dance in a movie to be taken seriously. But because sex sells, we are to believe that this is a legitimate path for women to be successful.

Let’s be honest. Shedding clothes is a way to sell product. It has nothing to do with looking at a woman with respect!

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