This is where I always come down with regard to friends' decisions about beauty-focused medical procedures, that their choices are nobody's business but their own. My opinion of their choices is of no more relevance than my opinion of their skin, their features, or the shape of their bodies.

What we have to challenge and eventually change is the cultural attitudes that value women according to how closely they conform to certain standards, most of which are unrealistic and unhealthy, and the attitudes that would discard most of us when we reach a certain age.

Sex is good, and love is good, though either can be bad. The extremes are where the difference makes them anything but equal.

Bad sex is a disappointment; great sex makes your day. In either case, the feeling dissipates in hours.

Great love gives you reasons to endure in spite of everything. Bad love makes you want to die.

A beautifully written story, as are all of yours.

Also a gut-wrenching reminder that sexism and misogyny are among the most fiercely entrenched of human traditions. My dream is of a world where patriarchy is shameful cultural memory on its way to becoming a historical curiosity.

My opinion as a former psychologist is that most men are--not biologically but because of cultural conditioning--far too emotionally immature to handle the responsibilities of civic leadership.

Mine was the generation of "Make love, not war." It wasn't just the draft and the atrocities of Vietnam we protested, but the inhumanity of corporate culture, racism, homophobia, and the depressing predictability of ticky-tacky suburban lives. We sang, "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with." And we didn't just mean give them flowers.

We were rejecting the ethos of acquisition, meaning both materialism and possessive relationships. We were aiming higher, toward a world in which all deeds and choices would be valued according to how they affected the balance of love in the world.

I would give anything and everything to be in love again. And even more to be in a world where love is honored over money.

Krishnamurti described truth as "a pathless wilderness." The truth of Yael--of who you are and what you want in life--will be unique, as you are.

So many forces, from Madison Avenue to Mother Nature, have conditioned us to think there is some magic in the number 2. And perhaps there is, just not the happily-ever-after kind that we've been told to look for.

I envision each of us as one node in a huge web of relationships, including many friendships, some of which from time to time may offer some level of pleasurable physical touch. Religious and political institutions will resist and try to regulate how we connect to one another, but their paradigm has been a miserable failure. It's up to us to insist on something better.

Let’s put him in the rear-view mirror and move on.

Image by thiemen from Pixabay

Ten things I’m looking forward to in 2021:

  1. The pandemic will be handled like a public health crisis rather than a political conspiracy. The logistics of the vaccine roll-out will be managed by people with experience in large-scale vaccination programs. The CDC will be run by epidemiologists. Our president will tell us honestly how bad the situation is and what we need to do about it.
  2. People coming to our borders fleeing violence or disasters will be greeted with compassion.
  3. Our finest scientists will be provided with every resource necessary to determine how we can turn back the doomsday clock that is our planet’s atmosphere and oceans. …

No friends, no benefits.

Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

Billy Crystal once observed, “Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place.”

If he were on this platform now, he’d issue a retraction for that quip. It seems we are approaching equity, with many modern women feeling just as randy, just as free as men to scratch their itches.

Part of me says, good for them. It’s high time we laid to rest the double standards that shame women and applaud men for the very same behavior.

As long as it’s consensual, sex is good for every body. We are social animals — we need touching…

A scene from my unpublished novel, Brother Man.

Image from Pixabay

Amy looked up when the shrink walked in. Dr. Willikins was far from young, but her eyes held what appeared to be compassion as she looked down at poor stupid Amy.

“I’m Dr. Willikins,” she said, extending a hand. “I’m a psychiatrist.”

“Hello, Dr. Willikins. I’m Amy Bain. I’m a nut job.”

The TV was already muted, but Amy touched a button on her console to turn it off. Dr. Willikins brought a visitors’ chair up to the bed so they could see each other easily. The doctor looked like she was…

The evolutionary roots of self-deception

Photo by Nick Bondarev on Pexels

Poor Man. Poor genus Homo.

When survival tools and tricks were being handed out to la familia mammalia, “Hom” must have been last in line. Tusks, teeth, armor, claws, hi-res senses, blinding speed, size and strength and even camo coloration — all those bins were empty by the time he got his turn.

And the ones who got those nifty options all were out there waiting for him, bibs tied, ketchup out.

The Accessorizer had but two things left to offer, and unfortunately, neither one was plug-and-play.

One was thumbs. Opposable. Handy for such tasks as making tools, though it…

Edward Robson, PhD

Retired psychologist, wordsmith, teacher, MFA candidate. Buy me coffee:

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