Monday, August 3, 2015

Here's a thought... my family planning efforts are none of your business...

So I just read an article by Meghan Walsh about family planning.  I first encountered her article on Yahoo!, but I was so intrigued by it that I decided to follow it to its original source.  Walsh's article, "Ignore Your Selfish Genes, and Just Adopt", originally appeared on a site called OZY.  OZY is supposedly a news site.  Ms. Walsh's article is an editorial that, I can see from reading many comments, has struck a nerve, including one of mine.

Walsh maintains that instead of getting expensive fertility treatments, infertile people should adopt their children.  She says that it's selfish to want to perpetuate one's genes when there are so many foster kids who need homes.  On the surface, Walsh is right.  There are a lot of kids in the "system" that want and need families to adopt them.  However, the decision to adopt over any other family planning decision is personal.  Moreover, it's not so simple to adopt a child.  Walsh makes it sound like one can just trot down to the nearest orphanage or child welfare center and pick out a kid to take home today.

I always hoped and expected I'd be a mother someday.  It didn't turn out that way for me.  I can't tell you how many people have suggested adoption to me as if it never crossed my mind.  For many reasons, I never considered adopting a child.  I think I have good reasons for not wanting to adopt, but even if I didn't, my reasons are personal.  And frankly, I don't think they're anyone else's business.

Of course, while I never considered adoption, I also never considered fertility treatments.  I don't have a problem with people who opt for fertility treatments in order to start a family, just like I don't have a problem with those who prefer to adopt.  It just wasn't a decision I was comfortable with.  And even if I had been comfortable with it, Bill and I couldn't afford fertility treatments when I was at an age that they would be most likely to succeed.  I wasn't willing to risk financial disaster for the chance to become someone's mother, especially when parenthood can be such a crap shoot.

I think it's very offensive when people glibly offer "solutions" to other peoples' fertility issues.  Trust me.  The average person who wants to be a parent has considered adoption, fertility treatments, surrogacy, and even just being a mentor.  It's not necessary for you or anyone else to offer suggestions to them, especially if you don't know them personally.  And Meghan Walsh's editorial, while clearly offering her opinion, basically comes across as an arrogant obvious and overly simplistic solution to a complicated problem.

Adoption can be very expensive.  If it's done through the foster care system, it may not be expensive in terms of legal fees, but in the long run, it could be costly in other ways.  While plenty of foster kids are good kids who had the misfortune of having bad or absent parents, there are other foster kids that have serious problems that may be difficult or impossible to overcome.  Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) are just two potentially devastating issues that prospective adoptive parents may face.  That's not to say that those kids don't need or deserve homes, but rather a statement that adoptive parents may face hardships for which they aren't prepared.

When you have your own baby, you have knowledge and control over the environment that child is exposed to in the womb and as an infant.  When you adopt a child, you may be dealing with a child whose past is unknown.  And that could lead to serious and very real consequences for prospective adoptive parents and other kids who might be in the home.

Besides that, many people want to adopt and end up losing out when a biological parent decides not to give up their child.  I can't even imagine how heartbreaking it must be for adoptive parents who think they are going to be able to adopt and then suddenly can't.  Those folks then have to decide whether or not to continue trying to adopt or giving up on the process.

Some people might say that if you're unwilling to go through anything to be a parent, maybe you shouldn't be one.  I'd say that if that's really your attitude and it actually became the rule, you may find even fewer people willing to adopt foster kids.  Because if you made it imperative that prospective parents accept any problem that comes to them from an adopted child, those folks might sit and think about all the things that could go wrong and decide not to take the risk.

Infertility is emotionally damaging for so many people.  Fortunately, I was never so invested in the idea of motherhood that I was devastated by not having kids of my own.  However, I do know a lot of people who were dying to be parents.  How they become parents should be entirely up to them.

I look at Meghan Walsh's photo and I can't help but think she has little experience with adoption... and certainly not with adoption of children with problems like RAD or FAS.  She looks young, as if she's been in an ivory tower for awhile.  When Meghan Walsh has taken it upon herself to adopt a bunch of kids with medical or psychiatric problems from the local child welfare department, maybe then I'd pay more attention to her opinions about family planning.  Until then, here's a thought.  I think she should STFU and MHOB.

Mom thinks daughter's ex stepfather should pay child support...

Oh boy...  as you know, today's first Dear Amy letter is on a subject that hits close to home for me.  A mom writes that her twelve year old daughter's bio dad died when she was two years old.  When she was five, she married another guy, then they split up when her daughter was ten.  Her ex husband never formally adopted her daughter, but always treated her as his own child.  He continues the relationship since the divorce and both he and the daughter are happy to see each other.

Mom is at least kind enough to see that the relationship is good and isn't so bitter that she prevents her ex from seeing the daughter.  But she still feels entitled to financial support from the guy because he enjoys a fatherly relationship with her child.  Way to monetize your daughter's relationship with her only father figure, lady!  She might as well offer the child's time for rent.

Bill was one of those guys who felt obligated to support a former stepchild who wasn't his.  His ex wife used to tell him her son would feel neglected and left out if Bill didn't financially support him.  Bill genuinely loved his ex stepson and thought of his as his own, even though he never formally adopted him.  And when he and ex divorced, he paid $850 a month for that kid until he was 21 years old, even though the boy's actual father was still alive and kicking.  For that, he got disowned, parentally alienated, cheated, and lied to.

Frankly, it upsets me that some mothers feel entitled to a paycheck for their kids after a divorce.  I'm not talking about legitimate child support that comes from a non custodial parent, I'm talking about mothers who see financial support as payment for time their child spends with another adult.  It surprises me that there are apparently so many women out there who have no qualms about expecting cash from former stepparents to support children from other relationships.  I think this mom should just be grateful that her ex husband is a decent person who loves her daughter.  And if she hasn't already, she should get Social Security payments for her daughter from bio dad's estate.

I also don't agree with Amy's advice that this mother should "offer" her ex the chance to pay for school pictures and soccer cleats.  He's not her parent, period.  It's not his responsibility.  Financial assistance for the daughter should be his idea.  If he did offer support, I would also hope he'd realize that this mother could choose to sever the relationship he has with the daughter at any time.  Because since he is the child's former stepfather, he has no legal rights to see her.  And if she remarries and a new "daddy figure" comes into the girl's life, this guy's financial support toward her would probably all be for naught.  He might end up in the same situation Bill was in, contributing thousands of dollars toward a former stepchild's upkeep, yet in the end, being treated like a walking wallet.  

I guess I should be grateful that this woman is at least able to see why her idea may be wrong.  Some people, like Bill's ex wife, feel entitled regardless and won't hesitate to use guilt trips and threats to get money out of their exes.  I wish to God Bill had told her to go screw herself when she suggested that he pay support for her son.  Better yet, I wish he had told her to go screw herself when she showed up with her son on Bill's doorstep back in 1989.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Cowardly car notes...

Yesterday, I ran across a news item from Queensbury, New York about a vet who went to the store and came back to find an anonymous nasty note on his windshield.

Photo courtesy of WTEN.  

I posted this on Facebook and got lots of comments.  Everyone agreed that the note was hateful and wrong, but at least a couple of people made anti-military comments.  I have a bunch of military folks on my friends list, so those comments weren't left unacknowledged.  An interesting discussion ensued, with one anti-military commenter going at it with at least a couple of military folks, including Bill.

I always get a kick out of a good discussion.  I'm proud to have friends who are so diverse.  I do happen to think that a lot of people don't know what the military actually does.  The person who was commenting on our "war mongering" didn't seem to understand that the military engages in peacekeeping, too.  In fact, part of Bill's job is to promote peace in Africa by helping to train militaries there.  He had similar jobs training militaries in Central and South America and Europe.  But most folks know nothing about that.  They think the military is only about killing people.

Ah well.  Ignorance abounds.  So does cowardice.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

25 years ago today...

Picture it.  The year was 1990.  My husband, Bill, was living in Germany for the first time.  His ex wife, a woman I refer to as "twatbag", had left her first husband (who was also posted in Germany) and found Bill.  Bill, ex, and ex's ex had all known each other in high school.  Ex's ex had run into Bill on a flight to the States.  He told twatbag that he'd run into Bill.  Twatbag then decided to look up Bill and put the moves on him.  That all led up to their decision to marry in some border town in Denmark on August 1, 1990.

What was I doing on August 1, 1990?  Well, I was preparing to go to college as a freshman.  I was doing last minute shopping for dorm decor and working at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia. I was blissfully unaware that my future husband was getting married to the woman who would wreak havoc on his life.

Now, August 1990 wasn't all smooth sailing for me.  I ended up having to move from my dorm room exactly one week after I moved in because I had Jabba the Hut with braces for a roomie.  She and her yucky hussy friend from across the hall basically kicked me out of the room after making it plain that they would make my life a living hell.  But that was pretty much nothing compared to what Bill was dealing with.  I moved across campus and ended up making some lifelong friends.  And Jabba the Hut and her trashy fraternity ho friend both ended up flunking out of school.

Bill says there was a little voice in his head warning him not to marry twatbag.  She was a hot mess.  She had a toddler son and a shitload of debt.  She had no job and no job prospects.  She was mean to him and was a professional league guilt tripper.  He ignored all of that and married her anyway.  They fought on their wedding day.  Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.

Bill and twatbag spent almost ten years together.  They went through bankruptcy, foreclosure, and poverty.  Bill was working very hard but getting nowhere.  Still, it took him almost ten years to say "uncle" and get a divorce.  Once he did that, life improved dramatically.  I'm proud to say that I've been here the whole time to witness it.

Best kids ever.

Facebook has an application called "On This Day".  Looking back a year ago, I see that I commemorated this day.  But I had only mentioned it because Bill reminded me of it.  I had forgotten that August 1 is a day of infamy in his life.  I forgot this year, too.  Bill reminded me just before he left to go to the store.  However, he was able to do so with a laugh.  He can look back on those painful years with twatbag and see how they led to something so much better.

Twenty-five years later, he is once again living in Germany.  However, he is now with me and we're ridiculously compatible.  He is in a job he enjoys and his bosses appreciate him.  As a matter of fact, he will get a $10,000 retention bonus as an incentive to stay here another year.  Since we like living in Germany, that is icing on the cake.  Don't throw us in the briar patch!  The extra money will go a long way toward paying for our next Scotland cruise, paying down debt, or paying for my teeth.  He doesn't have contact with the two daughters he made with twatbag, but he also has no contact with his ex wife.  He doesn't have to listen to her mean spirited barbs or tolerate her abusive bullshit.

Bill doesn't have to worry about having enough money to pay his bills.  He has plenty of money now and can live peacefully and comfortably in a place he loves.  There are no little voices in his head warning him... no red flags... no walking on eggshells.  And, best of all, he's no longer LDS, so he can drink what he wants, wear boxer shorts, and spend his Sundays relaxing and enjoying his life instead of sitting in church and assorted boring meetings.  Tomorrow is fast and testimony Sunday.  He can eat, drink, be merry, and hike with me to Wurmlinger Chapel, weather permitting of course.  

One year ago tomorrow, Bill and I boarded a flight out of Houston and flew back to Germany, where we are feeling very much at home.  Life is pretty good, twenty-five years later.

Real love.


Shit on a shingle and shitstorms.

This morning, Bill and I were enjoying our usual Saturday breakfast and talking about food.  Our conversation started on the subject of grits, but then progressed to other hearty southern breakfast staples.  Then he started talking about mess hall food.  If there's one menu item that consistently shows up in a mess hall, it's shit on a shingle, more politely known as SOS.

I grew up eating shit on a shingle.  My parents used to make it.  It's basically white sauce with chipped beef or hamburger, served on toast.  It's pretty gross looking.  In fact, I'd say it bears a striking resemblance to vomit.

This is creamed, chipped beef on toast, otherwise known as shit on a shingle.  Photo courtesy of Oanabay04 on Wikipedia.  This looks more appetizing than some of the other photos I've seen.

I prefer my shit on a shingle made with ground beef rather than chipped beef.  Chipped beef is very salty.  I'm usually pretty affected by what food looks like.  For some reason, SOS never bothered me that much.  Interestingly enough, this particular dish is popular in the northeast.  I thought it was more of a southern thing, but I guess not.

Anyway, while we were discussing shit on a shingle, Bill started talking about German disc jockeys and their love of the word "shitstorm".  He was listening to the news on the way to work and they were discussing Dr. Walter Palmer and the merciless way he dispatched Cecil the Lion.  There was a lot of rapid fire German being spoken until the word "shitstorm" came up.  This is not the first time Bill's heard them say it, either.  It's pretty funny.  I guess you could describe the furor over Palmer's hunting proclivities as a "shitstorm" of some proportions.  Perhaps even epic proportions.

Yesterday, I got into a discussion with some Facebook friends about Palmer.  I think he's an asshole and he was wrong to kill Cecil the Lion.  However, I am also pretty disturbed by the mob justice mentality some people have.  I shared an article I read about this and how people are taking it upon themselves to harass Palmer and ruin his business.  I think it's wrong to do that.

Several of my friends piped up and defended the vigilante justice actions.  They think it's totally fine that Palmer is getting death threats and people are leaving hateful signs and stuffed animals at his office.  My guess is that they haven't really thought too hard about it.  While I can totally understand outrage people feel over the lion's death and trophy hunting in general, harassment is also wrong.  Palmer is not the only one affected by the harassment, either.  His employees and family members are also affected by this shit.  So are his patients.

Aside from that, I think people forget that they, too, could someday do something deemed inappropriate by the public and wind up on the receiving end of this kind of "justice".  While sometimes people take despicable actions that cause outrage, other times, the media and the public get it wrong.  Sometimes innocent people end up being targeted by mob justice and real damage occurs.

I don't know about you, but before Cecil was killed, I didn't even know he existed.  The plight of lions in Africa never once crossed my mind.  Nor did the plight of countless other animals being raised for slaughter, who no doubt have endured lives far less enjoyable than Cecil did.  I think it's horrible the way the lion was lured from his safe environs, wounded, and hunted down.  But is that any worse than the plight of cows, chickens, turkeys, pigs, sheep, and other animals that are kept in inhumane conditions for the sake of our stomachs?

I am a meat eater.  I doubt I will become a vegetarian.  I admire and respect vegetarians for not eating meat, but I don't choose to join them at this point.  Because I eat meat, I support the suffering of animals, which grieves me somewhat.  It doesn't cause me enough grief to stop eating meat, though... at least not at this point in my life.  I could change my mind at some point.  Anyway, I didn't hunt down Cecil the Lion or any other animal.  But I think I'd be a hypocrite if I got on a moral high horse about Walter Palmer and his trophy hunting.  I do think he's an asshole, but I don't feel the need to harass him.  I think the law should handle this.  I think they will.

It amazes me how easy it is to become famous or infamous these days.  Smelly shitstorms are delivered daily... like shit on a shingle in a mess hall.  And they blow over just as fast.

ETA:  I had totally forgotten that today marks what would have been the 25th anniversary between Bill and twatbag.  Maybe it's time I wrote a post about that.

Friday, July 31, 2015

When sex offender registries are too harsh...

This morning, I read about 19 year old Zach Anderson of St. Joseph, Michigan.  For the next 25 years, Zach will be listed on a sex offender registry.  Why?  Because he had sex with a 14 year old girl last winter.

Zach met the 14 year old on a dating app called Hot or Not.  When they met, she told him she was 17.   She had also falsely registered on the adult section of the site-- seems to me the whole site should be for adults.  Unfortunately, Zach didn't think to ask his partner for proof of age-- now there's a romantic thought.

Zach was later arrested and ultimately sentenced to 90 days.  For the next five years, Zach is forbidden to own a smart phone or use the internet.  He must be home by eight o'clock.  He is not allowed to talk to anyone under age 17, unless they are immediate family.  He can't go to any establishment that serves alcohol.  And though Zach had wanted to study computer science, thanks to his punishment, that dream will have to be put on hold.  He has to live in a fixer upper house that his parents bought for him, because he's not allowed to live in their home.  It's too close to children.  Had Zach and his 14 year old friend been 20 minutes over the state line in Indiana, he would not be in trouble at all, since Indiana has a law that offers an automatic defense in situations where someone lies about their age.

Even Zach's "victim" and her mother think Zach should be off the hook.  They testified on his behalf at his court hearing.

I just don't see how putting this young man on the sex offender registry serves society.  Sex offender registries are supposed to protect people from sex offenders.  All Zach did was have consensual sex with someone who lied about her age.  He didn't rape her.

I don't condone what Zach did.  I think it's stupid to have sex with someone you've just met.  But he's 19 and at an age where sex is on the brain 24/7.  He met an attractive girl who consented to have sex with him, even though she couldn't do that legally.  Should he have gotten to know her better and gotten proof of her age?  Maybe.  But how many people in the heat of passion think to card their sex partners?

Zach is appealing his sentence.  With any luck, he will get the sentence reduced and go back to living a more normal life.

I know sex offender registries are supposed to be protective, but I think in some cases, they are too punitive.  I'd be in favor of allowing more discretion when it comes to sentencing people in sex offense cases.  Not everyone who technically commits a sex offense needs to be punished for decades.  Zach is only 19 years old and has his whole life ahead of him.  He shouldn't be burdened with this for the next 25 years.  

In other news, I took Arran in for a fine needle aspirate of a swelling I found on him the other day.  I am praying it's nothing.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

What do lions have to do with being barefoot and pregnant?

Until this whole debacle surrounding Cecil the Lion, I would never have guessed that lions could be involved in the abortion argument.  And yet, thanks to Facebook, I see that even a rare, beautiful, protected lion that was mercilessly hunted down and killed by a bloodthirsty dentist can be involved in the abortion debate.


These are just two I saw after opening my eyes this morning...

Now, I have seen the damning videos of Planned Parenthood executives discussing the sale of fetal tissue to undercover abortion opponents.  Yes, I did find them somewhat disturbing to watch, though I think some of what was released to the public was taken out of context.  Moreover, while I personally find the idea of abortion repugnant, I support abortion rights because I think it's far worse to bring an unwanted child into the world than have an abortion.  No one I know remembers being in the womb and I have doubts that fetuses have any concept of what life is.  However, pregnant women can and do face significant risks and I think it should be entirely up to them to decide if they want to give birth.  

I don't think what someone else does with their body is my business and that includes forcing pregnant women to stay pregnant.  The United States is far too fucked up to be demanding that all pregnant women carry their babies to term.  There are too many people who don't have enough to survive and too many fucked up people who do have enough but shouldn't be parents.  When every citizen in the United States has access to affordable, accessible, and available health care and decent food and housing, maybe then I could get in line with the pro-life crowd.  But that will never happen in my lifetime.

I am a big proponent of personal responsibility.  I am not a fan of people having casual sex willy nilly.  I am a big fan of contraception and safety when it comes to sharing DNA.  I think abortion itself is vile and disgusting.  As for the tissue that results from an abortion, I can't see how it's more of an insult to that life for that tissue to be used for research than to be thrown in a trashcan or an incinerator.  If the fetus is dead anyway, what the hell difference does it make?  If that tissue can be used to further medical science that will eventually help already born men, women, and children, I think it may even be a noble thing that the tissue is sold rather than tossed away.  At least that tissue has served a purpose of some sort.

The people who are outraged over Planned Parenthood's abortion activities and the sale of fetal tissue aren't focusing at all on the good that can be done with the tissue that results from an abortion or a miscarriage.  They are focusing on how grisly, barbaric, and revolting an abortion is.  But, I will bet that if any of them ever suffers from or has a child with a rare medical disorder that can benefit from medical research, they might change their tune.

Another thing I notice is that a whole lot of the people who are crowing about Planned Parenthood right now are men.  That's right-- MALES... who, unless they are transgendered, will never be pregnant and won't ever have to deal with the risks or the aftermath of being pregnant.  Indeed, quite a few men don't even stick around to help raise the children they create with their seed.  Others, like my husband, end up paying for children they aren't even allowed to see or help raise, because they happened to have sex with a psycho who thinks her kids are extensions of her body.

I've seen a lot of posts from men about women having abortions and how wrong that is.  I can't help but wonder what that's all about.  One guy posted that he thinks abortions should only be allowed in cases of rape-- as if a child conceived in rape is any less innocent than a child conceived from carelessness is...  And does he realize that if we only allow abortions in certain situations, there will be a lot of lying going on?  There will also be a lot of women hurting and killing themselves in order to cause a miscarriage. It happened before, when abortion was outlawed.  Those who could afford it would just go to a place where abortion is legal.  I see a lot of men saying that adoption is a better alternative.  Does it occur to them how difficult it is for a woman to give up her child?  They make it sound like it's the simplest thing in the world.

Look... when it comes to parental rights, I am all for equality AFTER a child is born.  But when a child is still in utero, it is still part of the woman's body.  She bears the responsibility and the risks for growing that child in her body.  Whether or not she carries it should be entirely up to her.  Otherwise, why don't we just lock up pregnant women and treat them like incubators?  Feed them, walk them, give them a warm place to sleep and access to a doctor while they make more babies for the state... babies who will eventually grow up and not be able, move out of their parents' home, find a decent job, or make enough money to pay their bills.

As for Cecil, the Lion, I haven't said much about it because it just makes me sad to think that a dentist would spend so many thousands of dollars to go to Africa and hunt down a beautiful, wild creature so he can decapitate it and hang it on his wall.  I am nauseated by the idea that Dr. Walter Palmer is a healthcare worker who apparently enjoys bleaching his teeth.  I understand that he now "deeply regrets" what he did.  Yeah, right.  I doubt it mattered to him that Cecil was a much beloved, iconic lion.  It only matters because he is now the subject of a lot of public hatred and scorn.  His business is now suffering and I think he'll end up paying far more than $55,000 for killing that cat.  It seems like a huge waste of time and money.

I have seen too many pictures of dead wild animals, lately.  Frankly, I find trophy hunting photos just as disturbing as pictures of dead fetuses.  At the same time, I understand that I'm a hypocrite because I am a meat eater.  And I eat meat that comes from animals who have lived far worse lives than Cecil did.  That's just one of many things I need to work on in this lifetime.

I think Facebook is a cesspool of people pontificating about stuff they know little about and have not given much thought to.  Posting stupid memes comparing abortion and Planned Parenthood's sale of fetal tissue to Cecil the Lion's execution is just non-sensical and does absolutely nothing to effect real change for good.    

Aside from that, I think this world generally sucks... and I say this as someone who has a lot to be thankful for and is luckier than most people.  Life is way overrated. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Dumb dresscode dilemma...

I need to do something to take my mind of canine cancer.  I found an article this morning that I posted on Facebook.  It has generated some discussion, so I'm going to write about it here.

Meet Sylva Stoel of Sioux Falls, South Dakota (try saying that three times fast).  She's seventeen, slim, and stylin'.  And while she used to have a job at J.C. Penney, she no longer does.  After just two weeks on the job, she quit on the spot when her boss reprimanded her for dressing inappropriately.

If you click the link above, you can see the outfit she was wearing.  It's a sleeveless, low cut blue top and a pair of red linen shorts with flip flop sandals.  While I probably wouldn't have chosen to wear the red and blue together the way she did, I will say that she has a cute figure and the outfit looks okay on her.  With her very blonde hair, she has sort of a primary color theme going on.  It looks like something she could wear while out with her friends or something.  For work at J.C. Penney's?  Not so much.

The kicker is, Sylva says she bought the shorts in J.C. Penney's career style section.  So, if the shorts were, in fact, in the right section of the store, someone on Penney's fashion buyer team apparently thinks they look professional enough to wear on the job.  Sylva also claims that no one told her the shorts were against the dress code.

After quitting her job, Sylva took to Twitter, where she called out her former employer for its "body shaming" policies.  She says she agrees with some dress codes, ones that aren't "gender specific".  But she's tired of policies that target women.  J.C. Penney, for its part, says that shorts of any length are forbidden for both male and female associates.

Here's the thing.  I get that a lot of younger folks today think dress codes are oppressive and sexist.  I have seen the memes about not sexualizing female bodies.  If a woman wears a pair of shorts, it's for her comfort, not your viewing pleasure.  But, when you decide to work somewhere and you're in a position that puts you in contact with the public, it's perfectly reasonable for employers to put a standard on what is and what is not appropriate attire.

What Sylva is wearing clearly covers all her private parts.  It even looks nice on her.  She could probably do her job wearing that outfit.  But it doesn't represent J.C. Penney's corporate image.  I'm sure you could find a lot of clothing in their career wear section that might be alright in some work settings.  What matters is what your employer deems appropriate.

Some of my friends think Sylva may be trying for fifteen minutes of fame.  That may be true.  She claims to be a feminist and this may have just been a stunt to get her name out there in feminist circles.  Maybe she wants to be a lobbyist or something.  Actually, for her sake, I hope that's the deal.  Putting her name out there on social media could have negative consequences if future potential employers look her up.

I made the comment that, back when I was seventeen, if someone made a wardrobe error like this one, they'd just go home and change and modify their work wardrobe habits accordingly.  I think many of today's youngsters seem to think they have the right to buck authority at all costs.  And maybe they do.  Some of them may not understand the longterm repercussions that can come from being too outspoken.  You absolutely have the right to free speech and expression.  Just understand that there may be unintended and unforeseen consequences to the things you say and do.  In a year or two, Sylva may not want this to be the hill she died on.  On the other hand, one would hope this kind of thing would blow over by then-- but then, since we have social media and prospective bosses feel free to check it out, maybe not.

Damn, I sound like a crotchety old hag.  As an aside, the woman presenting this story on The Today Show ought to get in trouble for violating the dress code.  She's wearing a floral sleeveless dress with a hideous black criss cross strap thing across her chest and around her waist.  It looks like she's wearing an X4 seatbelt.