Wendy Says Things Episode 2: Talking with Tonya Part 2.5 of 3 (Audio Transcript Plus)

Tonya Floyd

Wendy Says Things Episode 2: Talking with Tonya Part 2.5 of 3

Tonya: Freedom is a good thing, and like I said freedom means people can do whatever they want as long as they aren’t harming another person or damaging property, you know?

Tonya: It doesn’t matter what your neighbor wants to do in their backyard, you know?

Wendy: Right.

Tonya: It’s their backyard!

Wendy: Yeah, and our standards, like, just culturally[WK1]  or…it’s just really interesting, when having travelled to different places, you know, nursing in public in the United States this was like a big deal for a long time…

Tonya: Oh yeah.

Wendy: …people didn’t want you to nurse children in public. I think it’s gotten a little bit better recently. I went to Puerto Rico[WK2]  and, like, you could get hurt if you tried to nurse your child in public. Like it’s much more conservative on that level then here. I get a little further down to the Caribbean and it’s just no big deal.

Tonya: Yeah. Well, babies have always drank milk, and why is it acceptable for a woman to be scantily dressed in public in a sexual way but, heaven forbid, you see a woman nursing?

Wendy: Yeah, I mean, to me it was…it was never a problem for me. I didn’t have any problem[WK3]  nursing in public. I didn’t have a problem telling people to leave me alone while I was doing it.

Tonya: and there are very few people that are doing it in an exhibitionist sort of way you.

Wendy: It’s not like you generally like flipping your shirt up and trying to put…

Tonya: Yeah.

Wendy: I mean, in cultures, like down in the Caribbean, where it’s really common, I mean, there was also no blanket over the head or anything. If the kid was going to come up and just lift your shirt up and start nursing that was just going to happen.

Tonya: Yeah, well it was a baby getting food which is totally…it’s a total…we have difficulty, I think, in America equating nudity without sexuality, like they always go together somehow.

Wendy: Yeah.

Tonya: And then the nude female…er…the nude body is not necessarily a sexual…it doesn’t have to always be sexual.

Wendy: Right.

Tonya: There’s a lot of tie-ups[WK4]  regarding sexuality, I think, because of a lot of the Christian fundamentalist religious viewpoint.

Wendy: Yeah, the repression, all the internal repression.

Tonya: I mean, in Europe most of…most places are Coed. I mean they change in the same locker and nobody thinks of it as a sexual experience.

Wendy: And all the beaches are topless.

Tonya: And…and then nobody makes you feel sexualized there.

Wendy: Right, that’s a big difference, too.

Tonya: You know because as a woman with a large chest, it doesn’t really seem to matter whether I’m wearing a bikini or turtleneck sweater, you know, guys look[WK5]  right at your chest right away and I’m thinking, you know, so it…it’s not, I mean this…I think the sexuality aspect is coming from others more so than the person doing whatever. Because, you know, whether I am dressed in a sexual way or not, men[WK6]  automatically are just drawn to that sexualization: “Oh look[WK7] [WK8] , there’s a chick with big boobs.” Why?

Wendy: In our culture, I wonder what cross[WK9]  cultural[WK10]  studies[WK11]  be on that. Like I did…I don’t know…

Tonya: I wondered if part of it is because we repressed…we attempt to repress the sexuality, that then it makes it come out in other ways that are less appropriate. Like kids whose parents are very strict and, you know, no drinking, no smoking, no whatever, then always end up being the worst partiers. Whereas the kids whose parents were letting them have sips of beer and whatnot from childhood, it’s not a big deal.

Wendy: Yeah, there’s also this kind of weird thing like, that I always found uncomfortable, was when people with little kids were always like, “Oh they’re boyfriend-girlfriend.” Like little boy baby and little girl baby, and it’s like why can’t they just be friends?

Tonya: Well…yeah.

Wendy: You see what I mean? It starts really early starts this pairing up of…like, we pair up toddlers and why? Why do we have this insistence about this kind of romantic connection[WK12]  instead of it just being friends[WK13] ? “Look at them! They’re best friends. Look how they’re sitting together, holding hands and putting their arms around each other.”

Tonya: At that age children are not thinking about sexuality.

Wendy: Right! There’s no boyfriend-girlfriend or they’ll cross do it from kid to adult, you know what I’m saying? If they’re [garbled]. I think that, in a way, these kind of set the stage for the idea that it is not improper…you see what I’m saying? Like from a young age that it’s not improper to be thinking about boy-girl stuff like that with youth, because we talk about it. We joke about it, and we: “Oh, isn’t that cute?” But maybe it’s not cute. Maybe it’s actually a symptom of the greater thing that we need to more clearly delineate away from.

 Tonya: I can see that. I’ve always been sort of tomboy. I always say my father had all girls, so I was the son. And so, growing up a lot of my best friends were guys, and as I got older everybody would assume just because we hung out together and did a lot of stuff together that we were dating, and it’s like, “No we’re just friends.”

Wendy: Right. And yeah, then it becomes the assumption if you’re seen out. So then, you can’t be seen with someone of the opposite sex unless you would…have to…unless you want to risk the relationship thing, you know, having that be said or assumed. And it’s really damaging, I think, it’s really damaging because one) it prevents their…people from easily, I’m going to say it that way, it doesn’t prevent them from happening, but it prevents them from easily falling into these kinds of close relationships with people of…members of the opposite sex. I think it can.  And I think it shouldn’t because…one of the studies about relationships found that in male to female romantic relationships, if the members of the relationship had previously had good solid close friendships with members of the opposite sex, their relationship with each other was healthier.

Tonya: I would have to agree because that is one of the things I absolutely love about Tim. He has a lot of female friends. I have a lot of male friends. We don’t have jealousy about that. You know? I can give a friend of mine who’s a guy a big hug and a kiss and tell him I love him, and Tim doesn’t get insecure about that.

Wendy: Right.

Tonya: And that’s a huge thing. I mean it’s…it’s difficult. I think you have to have trust within the relationship and communication. I think that’s with every relationship not just your intimate partner, but…

Wendy: Well, let’s talk about the word intimate. Because, you know, we’ve used intimacy a lot to only refer to romantic relationships, but I have intimate relationships of all different kinds, and all different levels with a whole bunch of different kinds of people.

Tonya: That is true.

Wendy: Intimacy can be emotional, you know, you can have a spiritual intimacy. When we talk about this and these issues, about the things facing us that [garbled] us grow.

Tonya: That is very true.

Wendy: I have intimate relationships like friendships. You know, people who have known me for so long – no one can ever match the level of intimacy I have with my 2 friends I’ve had for 20 years.

Tonya: Uh huh.

Wendy: I’m not their partner. It’s not sexual, you see what I’m saying?

Tonya: Yes.

Wendy: It’s definitely intimate. And I think that when we…start to think, as we expand here, is if so humanity and spiritually, we start to deal with our ancestor issues. We start to do our personal healing. We need to rethink this idea of intimacy. What does it mean to be intimate with other people? And how we can have these really valuable intimate relationships with people of the opposite sex, with people of the same sex, and different orientations, without it being threatening. How can we safely and securely do that? Because communication is a key and being able to communicate means being able to use the language[WK14]  in a way that reflects what it actually is. We can celebrate the kind of intimacies, that we can reach with an intellectual intimacy is huge. In college, I think for…for me, that was one of the great joys of being in college was to be able to sit in this kind of group and having these amazing conversations[WK15] .

Tonya: Oh yeah, I will never forget Stanford University has this beautiful statue garden. And it has sort of a spiral path and in the middle of it is this huge…huge sculpture of Dante’s gates of hell[WK16] .

 Tonya: We would sit under that and have these fantastic discussions all night long about religion, politics, all the stuff you’re not supposed to talk about, and it was just…it was amazing and fulfilling.

Wendy: And why do we stop? That’s my point. My point is, kind of…you know we spend a lot of time online, or in front of screens, and we miss. We look back with this nostalgia with like, “Aw, when I was in college…” But I have those conversations with people a lot.  I still have those conversations because those are the lifeblood.

Tonya: Yes.

Wendy: And we need them because that is solution finding, being able to access…

Tonya: That is your spiritual nutrition. You have to feed it.

 Wendy: Right. And so, because we don’t value it, because we don’t have the language for it, therefore we don’t value it. And we think of it nostalgically as something that happened in the past. And so, what we do is we minimize things that happened in the past that were traumatic. We use nostalgia to distance ourselves from the things in the past that we could bring forward that are positive when we should be doing the opposite. You know, with our traumas we could bring them forward to heal. With the things that are nourishing, we can bring we bring them forward to nourish us. [WK17] 

Tonya: Yes.

Wendy: And so, then we have both the nourishing and the healing. And you know, when we come…maybe we can, you know, I did want to talk about intuition a little bit, and come to where we intuitively…we are living more intuitively, where we say so, my calling…my sending you message yesterday was completely intuitive, in that I hadn’t really thought about it. I was kind of like, I need to think about somebody to have on the podcast next and then I, like…your name popped into my head. And I was like, “Okay, that’s one person.” And my thinking brain was still going, “Maybe this person…”

Tonya: Yeah.

 Wendy: And so, then the next day I was like, which was yesterday, I was like, “OK, I guess it’s Tonya.” And, boom, I like…

Tonya: And I just happened to be on when I’m sort of random at that, you know?

Wendy: I know, and I was so surprised to get a response from you right away. I was like, “Okay, wow – I guess we’re doing it.”

Tonya: I guess that was meant to be.

Wendy: I was like this was…

Tony: There are no coincidences, they are spiritually aligned events falling into the pattern as they were meant to.[WK18]   

Wendy: Yeah, I had a real issue with forgiveness. I was laying on the floor crying in…on the East Taylor street house in Kokomo, IN, and I was like, “I can’t forgive. I don’t have the wherewithal to forgive.” And, “I’m a bad person because I can’t forgive.” And I hadn’t really done all of the accounting and I think that this is mirrored macrocosmically in our society right now. So, nobody…people who are bandying around forgiveness are failing to have the accounting first. So, I was laying there crying, crying on the floor and feeling like a terrible person, and I randomly…I opened the phone because I wasn’t going to church or anything there, and I picked some random church out of the phone book and I called. I called this minister, and he answered the phone. And we had this, like, really big, long and interesting discussion about forgiveness verses forbearance[WK19] .  Yeah, which was a big one for me because I was not in a place where I felt like…forgiveness was beyond me. Forgiveness was up to God.

Tonya: I completely get that.

Wendy: And so, we had this really, really interesting discussion about forbearance and how forbearance was a thing I could get behind. It means like not wishing ill to the other person and, kind of like, focusing on doing your own thing or whatever. And at the end of the conversation, he said “You know, I’m never in my office at this time on this day.” He said, “I am never in here.” He said, “That’s really interesting that you called because I’m never in my office here.” He said, “I have this thing that I’m working on and I wasn’t even going to come in and get the papers for it because I wasn’t going to work on it until later, but I went out to get the mail and for some reason I thought I should grab those papers right now and as soon as I walked in the door, the phone rang.”

Tonya: Well, again there are no coincidences.

Wendy: Right. And so, it’s…it’s, to me, the hardest ones are the ones where you feel compelled to say something to somebody that makes no sense to you and you don’t know the person.

Tonya: Yeah.

Wendy: You don’t know the person, so you can’t be…like, they don’t already know that you’re kind of weird and accept it. You know what I’m saying?

Tonya: Yeah, in fact I think I posted something like that. I always see and understand far more about a situation then I ever relate because…yes, if I don’t know the person well, I’m not going to be like, “Hey, so spirit just sent me this info on you and…

Wendy: Right, and so you’re standing at the grocery store or whatever, and you have this really strong urge to just say something to somebody. You know, I really like your shirt or something like that. And I mean I’ve done this.

Tonya: Oh no, I’ll do that[WK20] . a  

Wendy: Whatever…whatever it is it comes to me[WK21] , you know, and I say it, and the response is, almost always, positive and, like, uncanny, you know? And it launches them into the thing where oh you know I…[they might say] “I have this shirt for this reason[WK22]  and it belonged to my aunt, and I decided to wear today. Thank you for mentioning it meant so much to me.” And they get to tell their story. I was so nervous and uncomfortable about it[WK23] , about saying the thing. Right? And the worst ones are when you say the thing and you don’t know how the person took it, you know, maybe you know them a little bit or whatever and you feel compelled to say the thing. You know, for me, I’ll spend, like, days agonizing over it. And maybe I’ll run into them again, and I won’t still be agonizing over it, but I will have agonized over it for three or four days. And you run into them, and they’re like, “You know it’s so interesting that you said that thing to me…” And then all the sudden you find out what it meant to them. And then, you know, you realize that I agonized for three to four days, you know, over something that was really beneficial and meaningful. But I think it can be hard to trust your intuition in these kinds of circumstances and what advice do you have, and what have you found that works for you, to having discernment between the intuition is telling you this, or it’s like a fear response or a…you know…something else?

 Tonya: Yeah, well, I would say complimenting people I have no problem with that. There’s many times where even just a smile or a wave has been…broken open a whole big thing that I didn’t even know is there. I guess where I have more trouble is that I have a tendency to sometimes see the dark skeletons in your closet you’ve been hiding. And those are the ones I’m a little like, I don’t know if I should go there.

Wendy: That’s…that’s true.

Tonya: In fact, I was just talking on Facebook the other day with someone that I first met, gosh maybe 10-15 years ago, and she was talking about how she was healing from this abusive relationship and it was from the person she was dating when I met her. And I said, “Well, you know, we only knew each other in sort of a casual social way at that time but I had picked up these negative vibes about the relationship.” And a lot of people thought that the man she was with was such a great person and, you know, all these things but I saw darkness there.

Wendy: Right.

Tonya: You know, so, we talked about it and I said, “I’m sorry I didn’t say anything then.” And she goes, “Well, I can understand.” You know, I mean like I said we…we just knew…we hung out with the same group of people and would meet and talk to each other at, you know, music shows or birthday parties. It wasn’t, “Gee, I don’t know anything about you, but something tells me that this man is abusive to you.”

Wendy: Oh yeah, that would be a difficult one[WK24] .

 Tonya: And yet here we are reconnecting again now, on a much deeper level, and talking about the situation and some of the things that she’s working through, and you know, who knows?

Wendy: Maybe just the fact that he knew in the past, like, being able to express it, that you suspected that something was up in the past, might be affirming. I mean maybe there was more…

Tonya: Especially because I know that same group of people still thinks the guy walks on water.

Wendy: Mmm, that can be difficult, yeah. Yeah, that’s interesting. Yeah, I don’t know. I suppose I go more…I don’t feel like just having knowledge, that doesn’t necessarily mean I am going to impart something to someone.

Tonya: Yes.

Wendy: I think for me if there is…it kind of has to really niggle at me. You know what I’m saying?

Tonya: And one of the things I’ve learned is if I’m not comfortable sharing with the person, I’ll just take a moment to pray about them and the situation and, you know?

Wendy: Yeah…yeah, I have actually taken the time to say, “You know, I’m not really sure I want to talk about that with you.”

Tonya: Yeah?

Wendy: Yeah, well, it’s a valid response. You know, I don’t…you know, there’s a lot about my life that I don’t get into details. I think for me, you know, if I mention that, like, yeah, I had a kind of a difficult childhood, and things were tough for me growing up. That’s a really mega-understatement, Right?

Tonya: Mmhm.

Wendy: That’s like all most people deserve.

Tonya: Yeah, not everybody deserves your full story.

Wendy: Right, they don’t get the full story. You know, and some things about my past, an innocuous one that even my good friends of like 20 years didn’t know I played the piano. I mean there are things that just simply never really come up, I told them. There was never a piano around.

Tonya: Right?

Wendy: So, we didn’t have the opportunity…the opportunity for that. So, some things are just opportunistic, but other things, you know, I just don’t share. I will share when I’m comfortable, or if I feel safe. A lot of times, my sharing comes when I feel like it’s going to be beneficial to somebody else, when they’re really struggling.

Tonya: Yes, I would agree with that.

Wendy: And I am way more likely to say, Hey I don’t talk about this with a lot of people, but I just wanted to tell you…” Here’s something about my circumstances. Here is something about coping with those circumstances. And, you know, I’ve found these things really useful, and I don’t know if that’s helpful for you. I can’t know exactly what you’re going through, but you’re not alone. That sort of…

Tonya: Yeah.

Wendy: But I do find that a lot of people approach…approach me, you know. And depending on how they approach me, you know, at first it was really…I’d be really taken aback [when someone would ask] “Were you abused?” I was like, “Does it show?” Because I thought I was doing pretty good.

Tonya: We get good at hiding our pain, many masks we wear.

Wendy: Right? And, you know, hiding…hiding can be comfortable, but it feels lonely too, because then people don’t know you. And I know that the last therapist that I had, who fired me from therapy. She said I was done. She said, “You don’t need to come to therapy. You need to go out there, and you just need to be yourself, and you need to be honest and be authentic,” and whatever. And apparently, Tonya, that means I have to talk about some of this stuff sometimes, and it’s very uncomfortable.

Tonya: I can imagine.

Wendy: But, on other side I think that what you said earlier, you made the point, you know, if people don’t understand the truth, if people don’t understand the pervasiveness, which I think the #metoo movement…

Tonya: Yes.

Wendy: …really brought a lot of awareness to that. I did not really tag myself in the #metoo because first of all a bunch of people already knew, you know? I’d already me-too’d myself, like, a long time ago to the people I was friends with. But, second of all, I really got upset because I do know, and have an idea of the extent of male…males who have been sexually abused, and how any attempt, that I saw, of survive…men who are survivors was really kind of voraciously pushed away. The #metoo tag and the community that these women were, the #metoo movement women, were forming a group against their male abusers. And so, for me, I had a problem with that on a couple levels. On one because males can be victims, too. And abusers can be male or female. And it’s an extreme privilege and luxury to be able to only fear one gender. And it is a luxury that not everybody has. And so, people who are survivors are going to be like, “Well, it’s not a luxury that I was abused.” I’m like, “No but you’re gender-ising the abuse.”

Tonya: You’re not recognizing that there are…the goal…

Wendy: You weren’t abused by the gender. You were abused by the abuser.

Tonya: Yes.

Wendy: And that needs to be really clear, because it further blinds us to the fact that we don’t see female abusers, and that men don’t feel safe and comfortable coming out as a survivor [ß this link is to a male survivor support website], and for help. Where there’s been growing, and it’s necessary…it’s necessary that it be…

Tonya: Well, I think they fear the here the victim shaming even more than women do.

Wendy: Right, that’s what I’m saying. So, it’s, like it’s necessary that women have been able to be brave and come forward in the #metoo movement. I didn’t un-support anybody. I absolutely supported, and I was horrified, and saddened to find out how many people that I knew, who I didn’t realize had been, you know, were survivors, you know? I cried a lot, during the #metoo. I cried a lot. I didn’t tag myself for it for the reasons that I put forth, because…it’s great the #meetoo movement, and bringing awareness to the sexual abuse of children and women. And because it needs to stop. And it can’t be stopped unless we acknowledge that it’s happening.

 Tonya: Yes.

Wendy: We can’t lose sight of… we could take that momentum and bring along, you know, our brothers…our brother-survivors.

Tonya: Yes, well, you know, yeah.  Because, like, some people, you know, it…the movement originally started missing and murdered indigenous women, and so they’ve had new ones, now, where it’s, you know, to include men and children and dah-de-dah-de-dah. Now there’s a bunch of hashtags, and I’ve stuck to the MMIW just because it was the original one. And yet, you know, of course we share men, of course we share everybody, we share with anyone. You don’t have to be Native even to be shared on our site.

Wendy: Right

Tonya: It’s…it’s just, you know, it’s the hashtag and it was one of those “Keep it simple,” but a lot of people will chime in what about the men, and it’s like we’re not excluding them.

Wendy: Right. I have a problem with that too, though, what about the thing. Because there’s no…that’s the way it…when it’s done to minimize.

Tonya: Yes.

Wendy: I did not appreciate that at all. So, I saw both of that. I saw it being mini…trying to be hijacked to minimize that this was happening to women, which should not happen. Definitely should not happen.

Tonya: Yes.

Wendy: And to minimize women survivors which that should not happen.

Tonya: Well, again I think part of it like you said, it’s that focus on gender. Why…why should we limit gender? Why can we not just say that abuse is wrong no matter who’s doing the abusing?

Wendy: Right.

 Wendy: That there…

Tonya: And that the victim should be validated in their experience, not shamed for whatever reason,

Wendy: Right.

Tonya: …whether it’s because you thought they were a prostitute as opposed to trafficked, or because it’s a male who was sexually abused instead of a woman. Like none of that should be part of the issue. Abuse is abuse, and all abusers are wrong.

Wendy: Yes. And this jumps back to, then, and continues to affirm that our society needs to have its justice system be just for survivors.

Tonya: It’s time for a paradigm shift.

Wendy: It’s time for a paradigm shift in a way that values our children men…male and female alike. And that values people.

 Tonya: Yes. People over profits. Money should stop being an excuse to destroy another person’s life, well-being, air, water, whatever.

Wendy: Yeah, and the climate. We have to take care of our climate because we are in some dangerous waters, melting waters.

 Tonya: Yeah, we don’t have another planet to go to, y’all.

Wendy: And…and it defies[WK25] …so, if I was a business…if I was on a business board, long term strategic planning. Okay, if I was on a business board for long term strategic planning, and I don’t take into account the latest studies on the climate and how it’s going to affect transport and the ability to get goods around the world, because there’s going to be fires, and there’s going to be floods, and there’s going to be disruption and there’s going to be hurricanes, and…you know, that Department of Commerce runs that NOAA weather site. Did you know that?

Tonya: No, I didn’t that’s very interesting.

Wendy: You know why?

Tonya: No.

Wendy: Because of transportation. Because we can’t have our economy without transportation. We can’t have our transportation unless the roads are open, and the weather is good.

Tonya: This is true.

Wendy: And we have to know what the weather is, and whether the weather is going to be good, to know when we have to tell our trucks to stay home, pull off of the road, how much time they’re going to lose. And the logistics teams everywhere, now, are going to be accounting…they’re going to be doing the accounting for wildfire smokes and wildfires and blocked roads and hurricanes and tornadoes and hailstorms. And as these things increases…so it’s irresponsible[WK26]  of our major businesses and corporations…it’s irresponsible NOT to take into account climate, and, in fact, they should be at the forefront of trying to figure out how to slow it down, stave it off because otherwise the predictions[WK27]  for the next 5 to 10 years for the increases in heat[WK28] , and volatile storms, and volatile and unexpected weather.

You know, if you have all the sudden 3 feet of snow in Alabama problem for logistics. You can’t…your trucks are stuck. The roads can’t be cleared. They don’t have the equipment. They’re not prepared. They’re not prepared for it. So, it’s irresponsible just from a pure business and economic standpoint not to take into account climate change.

Tonya: One of the big problems that I’ve seen with the whole climate change thing: is they like to get caught up arguing man-made versus natural, as far as climate change, which completely avoids the whole question of: “How is it impacting us now?” and “What can we do to make things better?”

Wendy: Right.

Tonya: Because you just get stuck in the cyclical argument, and I’m saying, “Well, some of it is natural and some of it is human, so let’s do what we can to fix the human.”

Wendy: Right.

Tonya: Instead of saying some of this is natural, let’s ignore it and keep making as much money as we can, and who cares if the grandkids die.

Wendy: From a human, yeah, from a human standpoint, then, from a human standpoint[WK29] , everyone should be somewhat concerned, to largely concerned, that these changes that have been supposed to have been taken place over a period of 10 years, have taken place a lot faster than that. That’s a problem. So, our timeline, within the timeline[WK30]  that we were given a while back, has been much accelerated.

Tonya: Well, and it’s kind of sad because we’ve seen in the last four to five years, here, probably even 10 [years], a greater push towards the industrialism where a lot of the remaining pristine natural resources are being destroyed for industrial purposes.

Wendy: Right.

Tonya: And those industries are generally, you know, mining fossil fuels – things that are adding to the problem.

Wendy: Ugh, I know.

Tonya: And at the same time then, you’re destroying part of nature[WK31]  which is providing[WK32]  us with the clean oxygen. I mean you look at the deforestation in the Amazon[WK33]  it is terrible. I mean that applies a fair percentage of our oxygen on earth.

Wendy: That’s true, and they haven’t even…the biodiversity[WK34]  that we’re losing[WK35]  is stunning. Because they haven’t even catalogued it[WK36] . They haven’t even…

Tonya: No.

Wendy: …explored. We are ruining unexplored areas. So, from a scientific standpoint, and from a can our species survive standpoint, it’s a huge…huge problem. We cannot continue to…we can’t continue in this way. We have to change the paradigm. The paradigm has to shift. It has to shift at a personal level. We have to change how we live. You know, the whole Covid slowdown[WK37]  has allowed people the opportunity to make some shifts, and to maybe do some healing, you know?

Tonya: You know, there’s so much more that we can be doing with recycling[WK38]  in this country. And you look at a lot of European[WK39]  countries and they’ve been working on this for a long time and they’re reducing their pollution[WK40]  output and we’re going up, you know?

Wendy: Right. Like, why is this not being seen as a resource[WK41] ? And packaging. Our packaging[WK42]  requirements in retail are ridiculous.

Tonya: It’s ridiculous, though I did just hear that, what was it? That Coca Cola and a couple other companies that were fairly large are going to be switching to this plant based plastic[WK43]  which is biodegradable.

Wendy: Yeah, we need a lot more of that.

Tonya: Well, there’s actually…there was in UK[WK44]  they developed Saran wrap made from basil and it was also naturally anti-bacterial.

Wendy: That’s ridiculous, Tonya, because cellophane, which was the precursor[WK45]  to Saran wrap was cellular. It was already natural.

Tonya: Yeah.

Wendy: So, it’s not like someone had to invent it. It was already existing.

Tonya: Yeah, it’s just you make more money off something that is synthetic because you have done whatever to change it from the natural, but again we’re getting back to that about money and profit margins and stuff.

Wendy: Right. The old cellophane didn’t stick. I still remember using it…the cellophane. Do you remember using it? And it didn’t stick as well. Plastic wrap came around and it’s like, “Ooo, it’s like magic.”

Tonya: Yeah.

Wendy: So, we do have product quality. There’s a guy…they’re making concrete…biodegradable concrete out of mushrooms.

Tonya: Ah, yes, I remember seeing that. And then, you know, there’s all these…there are so many great things that are being developed, but why are they not in regular use? Because large corporations are making money off the way things are now. Go ahead.

Wendy: And do you remember the organic movement when, was it General Mills? Bought up, like Morningstar[WK46]  farms?

Tonya: Yes.

Wendy: And I…there was a huge, like “Uuugh,” from the organic community that was like, “What’s going to happen?” And they’ve kept it. Like Annie’s[WK47]  also owned by major distributer. This is what I would like to see more of…this needs to accelerate. The good things that we’re doing needs to be accelerated by the larger corporations if they’re going to stay relevant. They have to…because the generations that are growing up are not having it.

Tonya: I think that’s a good thing.

Wendy: And they’re all going to be consumers. They are consumers. My kids are consumers now. I can tell you: they are being careful about how they spend their money. And they are…

Tonya: I just posted something the other day that every time you buy something, you’re…

Wendy: …voting with your dollars.

Tonya: …building the world you want.

Wendy: Yep, you vote with your dollars.

Tonya: And that’s true.

Wendy: It is true. And so, you know, if we can get these this concrete mushroom…I actually wrote one of the people…one of the companies whose doing this, and asked, “Do you think that this can be used…this material could be used to make freezer bowls, because if you put a silly…silicone lid on a mushroom bowl that doesn’t crack in freezing temperatures, now you’ve got an alternative to plastic?” Because really one of the few places I’ve been unable to eliminate plastic from is in my freezer, for long term frozen storage. We need a solution. We have the technology for a solution for this. Why is there not an alternative to being able to freeze things?

Tonya: And that’s part of where the supply and demand comes in.

Wendy: Exactly.

Tonya: We have to start demanding it. I know that…it’s like there’s a couple of grocery stores here in town that I prefer to go to but it’s mainly because it’s the area where myself and a lot of my patients live, and I’ll tell them: “OK eat these weird things. They have them in this area of the grocery.” And the more that we all buy them, the more they start supplying it.

Wendy: Right.

Tonya: And it takes time, but it really is, if you demand it and you purchase it, that they will keep supplying it.

Wendy: Right? Procter and Gamble [WK48] is going to start losing[WK49]  big[WK50]  time in their feminine hygiene products [WK51]  because alternatives are cropping up everywhere.

Tonya: Oh yeah. But they needed them. I mean, we need something…in what…what place do you want something natural more, you know?

Wendy: Exactly. Procter and Gamble sitting there, you know, continuing to try to put out new pad, like, new advanced pad…that worked in the 80s, and it worked in the 90s, but you know what? It’s not going to work going forward, so what they need to do…

Tonya:  Well, you’re going to have less shock syndrome from natural products.

Wendy: Right. What they need to do is…they need to find up and coming companies that have already done the development phase, and then just invest in them, pick them up, and add them to their line. The solution is so simple. They don’t even have to do the research and development because the small businesses are already doing it.

Tonya: Uh huh.

Wendy: Maybe the small business doesn’t want to sell out, but maybe they do, like, maybe…maybe their clientele is growing, and the business is growing, and it would be good to have it managed by one of these larger corporations. But these larger corporations, if they want to stay relevant and they want to be a part of the solution, this goes back to the voting with dollars. Can you hear me OK?

Tonya: Yes.

Wendy: If they want to stay relevant, and they want to be able to continue to make a profit, maybe they should really start thinking long term and I mean really long term. Like do you want to be…Procter and Gamble [WK52] has been in business for how long [184 years]? And General Mills[WK53]  for how long, like 100 years? It doesn’t mean that they’re going to continue for another 100 years. They’re going to have to fight to stay relevant, and they’re going to have to fight to stay profitable. And they’re going to have to care for the environment to be able to do that. And they’re going to have to show they’re making changes and investments.

Tonya: Yes, well, you know, 20 years ago who would have thought that there would be national chain stores of organic health foods.

 [WK1]“In North America breastfeeding in public is a social issue that is subjected to different management among different states [12]. In the USA there are two types of law related to breastfeeding. They either establish the right of breastfeeding in public or exclude breastfeeding from criminal statutes [13-15]. At present, 34 states have clear legislation from either category [16,17]. Virginia and North Carolina belong to those states that have legalized breastfeeding in public, while Alaska and Utah protect breastfeeding from potentially restrictive laws [18]. However, several states including Connecticut, New Jersey and Minnesota have vague legislation that lacks clarification of the circumstances under which breastfeeding in public is ethical and acceptable [19]. Additionally, some states lack legal framework for breastfeeding, and acceptance and support of breastfeeding in public depends on the convenience of each private operator. Actually, mothers in the USA breastfeed in public without hesitation while they remain discreet; this is generally accepted and welcome.”

 [WK2]I’m glad that this situation has changed!

 [WK3]That’s not to say no one ever said anything to me about it, but it just wasn’t my problem.

 [WK4]“In America men can find pole dancers, but they’re not too sure how many holes women have. In America, we have male lawmakers and doctors who make decisions about women’s health, but they’re not exactly comfortable with the word vagina. In America, it’s okay to drape half-naked women over gun ads. But please don’t put a woman in the anatomically correct position for a Pap smear on the cover of a book that celebrates women’s health.”

 [WK5]“An unexpected finding was that men tended to differ notably from each other with regard to gaze pattern, although each individual male participant tended to utilize the same gaze pattern across different female images.”

 [WK6]“Results demonstrated that attitudes towards short-term sex, desire for short-term sex, and hostile sexist beliefs were the best predictors of frequency of gaze behavior, acceptability of this behavior, and male enjoyment while gazing”

 [WK7]“Further analyses showed that men’s preferences for

larger female breasts were significantly associated with a

greater tendency to be benevolently sexist, to objectify women, and to be hostile towards women. “


 [WK9]“Specifically, we asked a Western sample (Belgian, N = 62) and a Southeast Asian sample (Thai, N = 98) to rate sexualized versus nonsexualized targets. We found that sexual objectification results in dehumanization in both Western (Belgium) and Eastern (Thailand) cultures. Specifically, participants from both countries attributed less competence and less agency to sexualized than to nonsexualized targets, and they reported that they would administer more intense pain to sexualized than to nonsexualized targets.”

 [WK10]“These taboos on the exposure of women’s ankles and hair in public illustrate that the parts of women’s bodies that are considered sexually arousing are changeable in different times and places and that concealing them only adds to their forbidden allure.”

 [WK11]“Notably, however, men and women from St. Kitts were more likely to idealize smaller breasts than participants in the U.S. samples.”

 [WK12]“Taken together, the two above studies propose an image of “love-competent” young children, even if the source and extent of this competence remains speculative.”

“…whereas the sociological and ethnographic studies summarized above (Holford et al., 2013; Renold, 2003, 2006; Thorne & Luria, 2004) suggest that children’s romantic behavior, especially for the youngest (Holford et al., 2013) is mainly a ritualized way to reinforce gender difference and does not imply necessarily a direct involvement in sustained relationships.”

 [WK13]Celebrate friendships!




noun: intimacy

  1. close familiarity or friendship; closeness.

“the intimacy between a husband and wife”









close association

close relationship

close attachment

close friendship






mutual affection


warm feelings


fellow feeling




  • a private cozy atmosphere.

“the room had a peaceful sense of intimacy about it”


an intimate act, especially sexual intercourse.


sexual relations

sexual intercourse




act of love

carnal knowledge

sexual congress





  • an intimate remark.

plural noun: intimacies

“here she was sitting swapping intimacies with a stranger”

  • closeness of observation or knowledge of a subject.

“he acquired an intimacy with Swahili literature”

 [WK15]Eksilverman – Own work

This carving was made by Simon Gamulo Marmos and Jo Mare Wakundi, two Iatmul men from Tambunum Village. The carving features a mythological ancestress, and an eagle, and, on the front side, a male ancestral figure. The carving is a giant version of a kawa-tugit, or a so-called ‘orator’s stool’ that is used in then men’s house during debates. (Hence, the carving is titled Kawatukit.) The stool is not for sitting; rather, men slap a bundle of ginger leaves on the stool to punctuate their oratory.

  • CC BY-SA 4.0
  • File:Papua New Guinea Sculpture Garden at Stanford University, front side of giant stool 1.jpg
  • Created: 10 November 2014

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 [WK16]Eksilverman – Own work

Another view of the Sepik carvers’ version of the famous Rodin sculpture, “The Gates of Hell.” This version, “The Gtaes of Hell/Opawe and Namawe,” was carved by Simon Gamulo Marmos and Jo Mare Wakundi, two Iatmul men from Tambunum Village. Opawe and Namawe are two mythological ancestral figures of the Sago Clan in the village.

  • CC BY-SA 4.0
  • File:Papua New Guinea Sculpture Garden at Stanford University, “Gates of Hell” 7.jpg
  • Created: 10 November 2014

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 [WK17]Pull quote

 [WK18]Pull quote

 [WK19]As per the conversation: “Biblically, forgiveness is when the wrong doer fully admits to and takes responsibility for the wrong action, as well as takes steps to correct the wrongdoing, and the person wronged allows the relation to continue or be reinstated. Forbearance occurs internally, without the participation of the wrong doer, whereby the person wronged releases any lingering negative thoughts and emotions towards the wrong doer, and forbears judgment on the wrong doer. There is no reinstatement of any relationship with forbearance.”

My thought is that common modern use of the term forgiveness is used in the vein of forbearance but is picked up and interpreted only halfway in the Biblical sense resulting in pleas for forgiveness without there being any accountability.

My additional thought on forgiveness without accountability is that this is pushed onto people as being righteous but favors aggressors in a way that leaves victims and survivors at great risk to be harmed again. Words matter. Our language reflects our thought processes, and if the thought process is in error, the resulting actions will be in error.

 [WK20]I will do it only if I have a strong urge to because I’m reluctant to say anything to people I don’t know beyond a cheery greeting.

 [WK21]Spirit usually (and thankfully) gives me a soft opener like something about the weather, or a distinctive clothing piece, before segueing into the more difficult bit.

 [WK22]One lady at the grocery store (started with the weather) told me how she was enjoying shopping alone that because someone was sitting with her husband of 60 years who had Alzheimer’s, and he was prone to wandering off, or adding things to the cart randomly. She said that for all those years of her marriage she had regularly made this one dish for dinner, and that just the day before this particular trip, he had told her he didn’t care for it. She laughed, and said she wished she had known earlier, but that he likes the thing she was buying that day for him, and she was so happy that she could get him something that he would enjoy.

Sometimes it’s information to give, and sometimes it’s an opportunity to be the listener, so someone can share their story.

 [WK23]Usually there’s more than the clothes or the weather. I’ve passed along strategies to people about planning to leave domestic violence situations and talked to people who (it would turn out) have survived terrible circumstances. When I was out crying over my dying plants in Arabia, the house servant from across the street came over to talk to me and told me about how her husband had died, and I cried harder and hugged her…so far from her homeland…and we bonded over loss, and grief. I was newly moved there and missing my friends and suffering from the dislocation that comes from living in a different country in a different culture.

 [WK24]One of my other friends and I were talking recently about how someone may not be receptive to the message, but that it might be that the message is needed in order for them to be able to receive the message later. Like you have to hear it a few times in order to really hear it.

 [WK25]I really don’t know how anyone can seriously not be concerned about the health of the planet. If the planet doesn’t stay habitable, that’s a pretty big problem. Here comes a rant.

 [WK26]If you thought I’d never get back to long term strategic planning, you lost that bet right here.

 [WK27]Our results highlight challenges and opportunities for data-driven climate modelling, especially concerning the incorporation of even larger model datasets in the future. We therefore encourage extensive data sharing among research institutes to build ever more powerful climate response emulators, and thus to enable faster climate change projections.

 [WK28]In most land regions the frequency of warm days and warm nights will likely increase in the next decades, while that of cold days and cold nights will decrease. Models project near-term increases in the duration, intensity and spatial extent of heat waves and warm spells. These changes may proceed at a different rate than the mean warming. For example, several studies project that European high-percentile summer temperatures warm faster than mean temperatures. {, Figures 11.17 and 11.18} The frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation events over land will likely increase on average in the near term. However, this trend will not be apparent in all regions because of natural variability and possible influences of anthropogenic aerosols. {, Figures 11.17 and 11.18}

 [WK29]Even the freaking CDC has reports on the impact from climate change indicators which will affect people’s health, and they partner with FEMA to keep track of the potential number of future flood evacuees.

 [WK30]If anything, research during the year showed global warming is accelerating. Symptoms of the fever include off-the-charts heat waves on land and in the oceans, and a hyperactive and destructive Atlantic hurricane season

 [WK31]“Scientists estimate that 50-80% of the oxygen production on Earth comes from the ocean. The majority of this production is from oceanic plankton — drifting plants, algae, and some bacteria that can photosynthesize.”

 [WK32]This is a theoretical story of how many plants it would take to keep one human alive in an airtight room and walks the reader through the variables and the math. The short simple answer is 700. The complications are interesting and increase the number.

  •  [WK33]New research finds that when climate change and deforestation impacts are taken together, up to 58 percent of Amazon tree species richness could be lost by 2050, of which 49 percent would have some degree of risk for extinction.”

 [WK34]“The current rate of extinction is tens to hundreds of times higher than the average over the past 10 million years—and it is accelerating.4 Although the world’s 7.6 billion people represent just 0.01% of all living creatures, humanity has already caused the loss of 83% of all wild mammals and half of plants.5

 [WK35]“Current global response insufficient;

‘Transformative changes’ needed to restore and protect nature;

Opposition from vested interests can be overcome for public good

Most comprehensive assessment of its kind;

1,000,000 species threatened with extinction”

 [WK36]“The new study, published yesterday in the open access journal PLoS Biology, says a staggering 86% of all species on land and 91% of those in the seas have yet to be discovered, described and catalogued.”

 [WK37]“This study indicates that, the pandemic situation significantly improves air quality in different cities across the world, reduces GHGs emission, lessens water pollution and noise, and reduces the pressure on the tourist destinations, which may assist with the restoration of the ecological system.”

 [WK38]“We invite U.S.-based organizations to sign the America Recycles Pledge. Visit our page to sign the pledge and join others that have signed it to work toward a more resilient materials economy.”

 [WK39]“Currently Europe recycles 30% of its plastics, compared to just 9% in the United States, but the majority of plastic waste still winds up in landfills and in the oceans.”

 [WK40]“This study provides the first evidence that air pollution causes economy-wide reductions in market economic activity based on data for Europe.”

 [WK41]“Hussain Bahia, a Vilas Distinguished Professor of civil and environmental engineering at UW-Madison has collaborated with the RMRC to perform test-asphalt mixes using 30- and 50-percent recycled content. The goal of this research is to encourage increased recycled material content in asphalt mix usage.”

 [WK42]“What is sustainable packaging?

Simply put, it is packaging that, over time, reduces its environmental footprint.

This can happen in a number of ways:

  • Ingredients: Using raw 100% recycled or raw materials
  • Production process: By minimising the production process, supply chain and carbon footprint
  • Reusability: Creating a circular economy around the packaging, extending its lifecycle and usability.

It’s simple to say that eco packaging is entirely about the environment. It also should take into consideration economic and social factors.”

 [WK43]“The new PlantBottle that Coke debuted this week is its first to be made 100% from sugar cane plastic.

Coca-Cola said the sugar cane used in the PlantBottles comes from Brazil. They also contain waste products from India that are left over from processing sugar cane.”

 [WK44]“In addition to being edible, degradable, strong and transparent, the packaging materials we are working on have low gas permeability, making them more airtight. This feature cuts moisture loss, which slows down spoilage, and seals in the flavour. This is of great importance for the quality, preservation, storage and safety of foods,” Professor Riffat adds.

 [WK45]“Cellulose film has been manufactured continuously since the mid-1930s and is still used today.”

 [WK46]Kellogg’s bought Worthington Foods and kept Morningstar Farms when it sold off Worthington.

 [WK47]Annie’s partnered with General Mills (2014), and still won a Climate Disruptor Award for reducing Carbon footprint (2016).

 [WK48]“P&G is positioning the This Is L. purchase as means of furthering its commitments to supporting girls and women and also its existing feminine care offerings. This Is L.’s caused-based donation model fits in with P&G’s broader push to center more of its business around purpose as consumers increasingly demand that brands stand for something beyond products, including social and political issues.”

 [WK49]“Procter & Gamble Co PG.N on Thursday posted quarterly sales that missed analysts’ expectations for the first time in five quarters, hurt by weakness in baby and feminine care products such as Pampers diapers and Tampax tampons.”

 [WK50]Interesting that they grouped diapers in with feminine hygiene products, which will hide specific losses in the feminine hygiene market share until it’s too late to correct. Better if they were forthright with their figures and put forth a feasible recovery plan.

 [WK51]“The global feminine hygiene industry accounted for a whopping $31.23 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach $62.84 billion by 2026. A significant chunk of that, we expect, will come from the rise in reusable feminine hygiene products. This is another of our articles we’re particularly proud of.”

 [WK52]“According to Procter & Gamble’s website, the Cincinnati company was founded in 1837— a year of financial crisis in the country— by brothers-in-law William Procter and James Gamble. Procter was a candle maker, and Gamble was a soap maker. These products became the foundation of their business.”


Cadwallader Washburn, owner of Minneapolis Milling Company, opens the first flour mill in Minneapolis.


John Crosby enters into partnership with Washburn, whose company is then renamed Washburn Crosby Company.


Company wins gold medal at the first International Millers’ Exhibition, leading to the later creation of the Gold Medal brand.


James S. Bell takes over leadership of Washburn Crosby.


The fictional Betty Crocker is created by Washburn Crosby.


Wheaties ready-to-eat cereal debuts.


Bell’s son, James Ford, leads the creation of General Mills through the merger of Washburn Crosby with several other regional millers.

Note from Wendy: Cheerios used to be called Cheerioats.