Leaping Lohan! Lindsay’s a Bunny.

December 9, 2011

By Tatiana von Tauber

Lindsay Lohan has posed for Playboy for a whopping $1 million. Ah. Bravo. Not only is this a smart financial move for someone of her failure, it’s also a good career move because these days, being naked and/or sexual is the ticket to increased sales and stardom, temporarily at worst. A rather typical female critique of Lohan’s Playboy spread due out on newsstands Dec. 15th sits on Yahoo’s OMG titled “Lindsay Lohan Playboy cover leaked online”. The author expresses a sarcastic and sickened tone for Lohan’s actions. Sadly, it’s what I’d expect from a female who clearly doesn’t seem to understand and/or respect the distinct difference between Playboy and Penthouse past their covers.

The author referenced that if things don’t work out for Lohan from Playboy she can always go to Penthouse. They are not the same representation of pussy and the assumption that any woman would naturally go from Playboy to Penthouse is pure ignorance and insult. Perhaps the point was to throw Lohan under the bus but by doing so, the author also threw eroticism under there too and that’s just a mean girl thing to do.

I could understand and agree with a derogatory tone for Lohan considering her history but it was for Lohan via posing nude so in essence, the author so elegantly tore up the beauty of eroticism itself and used Lohan as her example only to compare her to other actresses who used their bodies to get ahead: Drew Barrymore, Joan Collins,Charlize Theron, Sharon Stone and Marylin Monroe.

The small list of women here are women who have, however, truly come out on top* so how has their nudity actually diminished their feminine and human value as suggested by many anti-sexually free women to justify an attitude that Playboy and of course eroticism and porn (because mistake number one is placing them in the same category) is basically what desperate actresses and wannabes do to get ahead?

The above video introduces Dominika, a Czech Playboy and Maxim model. I photographed her naked a couple weeks ago. She’s a petite, demure young girl, self-conscious in between shootings but extremely professional and very good at knowing her body to help produce some very sexy photos. I’m pleased. She’s pleased. Client pleased. Everyone comes out satisfied.

This was a job, something she chose to do for whatever reason and it involved her perfect nude body but the moment the lights turned off or the camera was put down, she put on her robe and protected her personal naked self. You see, when you’re on camera, you’re an actress. You have to be to do this kind of work. I’ve photographed many Playboy models and many real women and the common theme for the nudity, the desire for it whether it be for personal reasons, for a man or for money, these women like and/or want to feel sexy and show it. They want to express it.

I’ve watched some of these unfairly judged nude models begin their own companies in once eastern block countries with money they’ve made while traveling the world, an opportunity only their body was able to offer. These young women have made a better life for themselves by using the one thing people want and that’s nudity, sex or some form of either. Really, what people want is eroticism because that is the pulse of life. I don’t understand what is so wrong, bad or dirty about Playboy posing. I think it’s celebratory. It’s a give and take, as life should be and I find too many women just don’t get the point about sex and eroticism and objectivity. There’s too much fear, religious underpinning and/or insecurity looming in feminism, still.

The female body is beautiful and while Lohan is a lost soul and I hope she gets on the right track, and I deeply hate Hollywood ruins beautiful faces, she just made a million bucks. I don’t know about you but I’d gladly take my clothes off for a million dollars. In fact, I’ll take indecent proposals too! Sexual morality and judgment are a waste of time and potential pleasure in a life that is so damn short it takes death for us to remember it.

I love the “leaked” cover of Lohan on Playboy. It’s very, very sexy and shows her as elegant and I will be purchasing the issue. Lohan needed the makeover and I hope her inner self makes a similar jump. The thing about Playboy is that it’s still got style and elegance and class and eroticism in its pages. Some spreads are cheesy ( I still don’t know why you guys like that cheesy shit) but when celebrities come in, the work is usually different and stunning. Cindy Crawford, the iconic supermodel photographed by the late fashion photographer Herb Ritts and Aussie supermodel Elle MacPherson’s spreads were quite beautiful in recollection of past issue’s I’ve seen from the top of my head.

These weren’t desperate women. These were intelligent women using their sexuality and bodies to better their lives and those of their children. If women can’t deal with their own bodily and sexual beauty, then I suggest becoming a nun.

Playboy has helped create stardom for many kinds of women but more importantly, Playboy through Hefner, has managed to give the world the erotic elegance so missing from the dirty sex the Internet brings. I like that. It would be good if American philosophy on beauty, sexuality and eroticism had a little makeover in the elegance department as well.

* OMG author noted Marylin Monroe died of a drug overdose and implies MM wasn’t really “on top” but her eroticism is stronger each decade so the author fails in her point. Isn’t the jury still out on murder vs. overdose?


Cain hires ‘pit bull,’ ‘anti-Gloria Allred’ libel lawyer

November 20, 2011

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain recently hired celebrity “pit bull” libel lawyer Lin Wood to defend him against the multiple sexual accusations that have surfaced in recent weeks.

Wood became earned his libel litigation chops after representing Richard Jewell, the American security guard who police considered to be a suspect in the Centennial Olympic Park bombing at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Later, Wood represented the parents of JonBenet Ramsey, the woman who accused Kobe Bryant of sexual assault, and Gary Condit, the politician who was thought to be connected with the disappearance of intern Chandra Levy.

Slate Magazine’s XX Factor columnist Kate Julian even dubbed Wood the “anti-Gloria Allred” based on the juxtapositions of why the two attorneys originally made the choice to enter law school (Allred says its because of a comment a nurse made to her after receiving a botched illegal abortion after being raped; Wood says he knew he wanted to become an attorney after finding his father crying with the lifeless body of his mother lying nearby) and because Allred represents Sharon Bialek, one of Cain’s accusers. Needless to say, Cain has brought in the big guns. Anyone another attorney describes as the “pit bull you have chained to a stake guarding your house” is someone to be feared in the courtroom.

Wood maintains that he isn’t planning to litigate yet, but told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the accusers “should think twice, anyway.” Ladies, you are now on notice.

However, if Cain does end up filing defamation claims in court, he will have a high hurdle to jump. Because of Mr. Cain’s status as a public figure, in a claim of defamation, he needs to show actual malice. Actual malice is knowledge that a statement is false, or publishing a claim with reckless disregard as to its validity.

Of course, truth is an affirmative defense to claims of libel or slander. If the allegations against Cain turn out to be true, he is just plain out of luck. However, even if their validity cannot be proven, Cain faces the additional challenge of showing actual malice. Such a showing can be difficult to prove, as it speaks to the knowledge the publisher of the information had that it was false. According to the standard set forth for libel in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, actual malice isn’t a simple matter of, say, a newspaper failing to adequately check its sources, but requires “recklessness” with the handling of the information. This means that in order to prove a claim of libel, the plaintiff would have to show that the defendant had actual doubt of the truth of the information, and acted recklessly in publishing the material, which it knew to not be true.

At this point, it isn’t clear who is telling the truth. Karen Kraushaar, the other non-anonymous accuser, has said she won’t comment further on the situation until the other women come forward and identify themselves. But, we may very well soon see the pit bull be let loose from the stake.


Vaginal Obsession – TSA, you’re doing it wrong

October 31, 2011

If you had to create a chart of the things I like and the things I don’t like, vaginas and the TSA would clearly be at opposite ends. The vagina is truly a wonderful thing, when properly cared for. Your mileage may vary depending on diet, grooming, genetics, and a host of other factors. But, in general, vaginas are a wonderful thing.

The TSA is not a vagina. It is not even vagina like. Even though it is run by a bunch of twats, it can’t even get close to being in the vagina zone when it comes to coolness.

I’ve never hidden my hatred for the TSA.  When I go through security, I always opt for the pat-down, and I make sure to make it difficult for the agent. Why? Because when I was in basic training, they taught us that it is our duty to make captivity as difficult for our captors as possible. I harass TSA employees when I see them in public, reminding them in grocery stores, theaters and anywhere else I find them that they are low forms of shit, and I advocate that we all do the same).  They are only doing their jobs? Well so was John Demjanjuk.

As much as I hate the TSA, I must admit that we have something in common: We both got a thing for vaginas. Of course, I prefer mine to be over the age of consent — the TSA harbors no such prejudices. Nope, not at all.

But, if I may be so pompous as to declare myself qualified to offer instruction on how to care for and attract vagina — TSA, you’re doing it wrong.

The TSA’s latest victim is prominent feminist blogger Jill Filipovic, of Feministe fame.  Ms. Filipovic recently took a trip to Dublin and, upon arriving, found a note from a TSA agent who’d discovered a vibrator in her luggage:

“GET YOUR FREAK ON GIRL” (source)

She reacted in a way that was noticeably un-second-wavy of her — with a sense of humor. She wrote:

Total violation of privacy, wildly inappropriate and clearly not ok, but I also just died laughing in my hotel room. (source)

The TSA’s reaction to this incident was predictable, given how it responds to terror threats: Namely, it enacted a remedy that will never be useful in the future. The screener got shitcanned.

But, is that really what anyone wanted? Filipovic has as much right as anyone to demand that this TSAsshole lose his or her job. Nevetheless, she did not call for the agent’s head. (She admirably dislikes Coldplay more than she dislikes this Agent).

It’s easy to scape-goat one individual here, but the problem with the note is that it’s representative of the bigger privacy intrusions that the U.S. government, through the TSA and other sources, levels every day. The invasion is inherent to the TSA’s mission, regardless of whether a funny note is left behind — the note only serves to highlight the absurdity of all this security theater. (source)

Filipovic went on to write that she is pleased that the TSA took the issue seriously, but firing one person who made a dumb mistake really misses the whole point.

I get no satisfaction in hearing that someone may be in danger of losing their job over this. I would much prefer a look at why ‘security’ has been used to justify so many intrusions on our civil liberties, rather than fire a person who made a mistake. (source)

Instead, the TSA seems to treat this as an isolated incident — or a failure by one of its drones. Meanwhile, the actual issue, which Filipovic tried to make us think about, is lost in the guffaws over the gooey gewgaw.

After we get done chuckling about Filipovic being anonymously told to “get her freak on,” I hope that we can think about how the TSA’s Freudian field day with our reproductive organs demonstrates the absurd nature of its very existence, the failure of its mission, the lie that it represents. It hasn’t got a damn thing to do with keeping us safe. I wish that we could think about how you should never try and have an agency devoted to such a high-falutin goal like airline safety, when you staff it with low-grade morons who are not fit to reproduce, let alone do anything else. Anyone who even wants that job must be a twisted, broken, loser; the kind of person who has lamented their loss of power ever since they left third grade and had to return the “hall monitor” sash to the principal’s office. Next time you are at the airport, just try detecting any intellect in the TSA agents you encounter. You will fail in that task. That alone should tell you that the agency has no reason to exist. If the job were actually important, we would never hire people who are this desperate, stupid, or lazy, to try and do it. And, when you give a powerless idiot a little bit of control, that misused power will find its own center, and that center is apparently our ‘nads.

Filipovic’s experience is no mere outlier. Take the recent tale of Amy Alkon — my client. The TSA only pried into what Ms. Filipovic inserts in her vagina; in Amy Alkon’s case, the TSA actually went up in there.  Repeatedly.  Four times over.  Naturally, Ms. Alkon did not like this and used her free speech rights to express her outrage over the event, shining the light of truth upon the TSA’s misdeeds, and calling the agent’s actions “rape.” Filipovic herself reports that even the FBI would agree with this assessment.  Unlike Filipovic, Alkon did not (so far) find out that her tormentor was fired. Ms. Alkon received a demand letter for $500,000 from Thedala Magee, the TSA agent with whom she had her little run-in. (Well, from her lawyer, but you get the point). 

It might have been undignified for the screener to scrawl a note about Filipovic’s sex toy – but unfortunately, that seems to be where the bureaucracy got hung up, and the real discussion about civil liberties got swept under the carpet — again.


Too Sexy for Crisp Skin?

September 30, 2011

By Tatiana von Tauber

Too sexy for some head?

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) thinks this chicken is just too sexy for anyone to see, “downright offensive” in fact. 

“When I saw it I just couldn’t believe that an editor of The New York Times would find it acceptable,” PETA’s founder and president Ingrid Newkirk told The Atlantic Wire. “It’s downright offensive, not just to people who care about animals but almost to everyone. It’s a plucked, beheaded, young chicken in a young pose,” she said. (source)

Newkirk went on to call it “necrophilia.” I think PETA needs a sense of humor.  This is brilliant from every angle!   


Do you know who Ruth Orkin is?

August 19, 2011

By Tatiana von Tauber

Ruth Orkin's "American Girl in Italy"

Recognize this photo?

Ruth Orkin photographed it in the early 50’s after meeting another young woman, Ninalee Craig (the model) in Italy while traveling solo.  Together they attempted to capture the experience of traveling alone in Italy. 

Some have claimed this photo is a symbol of harassment.  While Craig claims it’s a symbol of having a “wonderful time”  (source), I think it’s more a symbol of the kind of power feminine beauty has in Italy – and not much has changed in 60 years.  In Germany guys don’t make gestures, in America construction worker comments have killed the romantic potential but in Italy and in France, there still exists a “romance-worship” to the female.  With that comes a level of sexualization, sure, but when placed into the correct context, it’s a turn on rather than any symbol of harassment.  This photograph is a compliment.

By default of existing we are looked at.  Where some see judgment other see compliment.  If more men weren’t afraid of being accused of sexual harassment when none was intended more women might enjoy the compliment of a whistle or two.  Attention isn’t always comfortable but no attention for too long makes for an old, bitter maid.


Jessica Valenti doesn’t understand the Streisand Effect

July 1, 2011

By J. DeVoy

Imagine if there was an online database of killers, child abusers, bigots, rapists and liars – and they were all women.  Now there is!  Register-Her.com, a project started by Paul Elam, a men’s rights activist and contributor to The Spearhead, uses a wiki-style webpage to consolidate locally and nationally reported facts about women whose documented wrongs range from murder to false rape accusations. [Disclaimer: Like Elam, I also contribute to The Spearhead.]  This is SRS BUSINESS.

One of the first additions to the site as a “bigot” is feministing’s own Jessica Valenti.  Merriam-Webster defines a bigot as “a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.”  Without dignifying Valenti’s oeuvre with my attention, this sounds accurate.

If a tree falls in the woods, does anyone hear it?  If Jessica Valenti didn’t shriek like a harpy about “misogyny,” would so many others know about Register-Her.com?  Rather than letting this roll off her back with the cool disposition of an empowered, independent blah blah blah… woman, she posted this YouTube (which, admittedly, I have not watched to completion).

Result: More people know about the site.  Also, male advocates are increasingly stepping out of anonymity, contrary to Valenti’s assertions.  Paul Elam’s real name is… Paul Elam!  My name and identity are well known, and I’m on the record opposing anonymity in advocating men’s issues and any other controversial position  — though I understand and respect why others employ it.  Crime & Federalism offers a counterpoint on the issue here.  I rather enjoy this and, as far as I know, the “basement-dwelling virgin” meme has never been attached to me.  In fact, the biggest critics of women I’ve met are people among the best looking and most successful with women that I know.  In contrast, the basement-confined and virginal types tend to supplicate women and resent men who are successful with women, turning on them for the smallest of reasons (like in the case of Dominique Strauss-Kahn — come on, “forced” oral sex wasn’t a red flag of falsity?).

Just like when Barbara Steisand’s shrill howls – and not even her singing – drew attention to photos of her Pacific mansion online, Jessica Valenti’s plaintive whines drive more eyes to the site.  If she had just shut up, the damage would have been limited mostly to the men who would have found the site anyway – preaching to the choir.  Realizing that the damage was done, Valenti is now trying to scrub the internet of any trace of her existence, seeking the anonymity she criticizes men for using to voice their opinions.  I hope Reputation Defender is still in business!

But enough about a bitter, angry shrew who has to live not only with herself, but also a younger, neckbeard beta husband.  The new site itself, Register-Her.com, is a more worthy topic of discussion.

Is it fair for Register-Her.com to exist?  The Atlantic tells us that it’s the “End of Men.”  Women already kvetch and attack men’s reputations on Don’t Date Him Girl.  There’s no need for free speech to be “fair,” since its mere availability levels the playing field.  This new website fills a void in beating back the myth of intrinsic female virtue, though.  I clicked around to see what the site was about and found that each article is a recitation of sourced, cited and publicly available information.  In some cases, the women profiled in the articles are described in their very own words.  While the site was designed to be provocative, it was not created with the intent to hurt those named within it for the sheer purpose of inflicting pain.  Plus, there are limitations of liability inherent in the site’s design and operation.  Section 230 protects the site’s owner from liability for content posted by others.  To the extent others’ content may wind up on the site, such as a mugshot or screen capture, they tend to be government works – which are not subject to copyright – or tiny snippets of news articles that are almost certain to constitute fair use — assuming the articles’ factual elements can even be copyrighted.

As for litigation that can be pursued against the site… what, exactly?  Where is the disclosure of public facts when all of the site’s information is available from other online sources?  What unreasonable attention has been brought to someone’s private life?  How is aggregation of the news shocking or extreme conduct — especially when Register-Her.com is a republication of what others have written?  I’m confident Elam has the compassion to remove an entry if there’s a good reason to do so, but it is unlikely that reason would be expressed via litigation with even a remote chance of success, even as a SLAPP suit.

I’ve no doubt that this is far from the end of whining and gnashing of teeth over Register-Her.com.  More will come as the site’s contents work their way up Google’s search algorithm.  All they will do, however, is make the site more well-read and well-known. (See also Juicycampus.com (RIP).)


Protected Expression or Privacy Violation — Discuss…

June 11, 2011

ht_abortion_billboard_mw_110607_wg(Source)

Acceptable third alternative: Crazy-ass zombie cannibal worshiper needs something better to do with his time.


Well wrap me up in semen and diamonds and lick me

June 1, 2011

by Tatiana von Tauber

Supermodel Naomi Campbell is insulted at being compared to Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Bliss chocolate as in this ad. She’s considering legal action at its racist tone.

If Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Bliss were white chocolate and compared to a white supermodel, I wonder if racism would come into the interpretation zone. Sexism might as who doesn’t love to lick chocolate and we could interpret that white chocolate subtly refers to creamy semen giving a whole new meaning to “milk bliss”. Interpretations are something interesting aren’t they?


Tribute to motherhood

May 8, 2011

by Tatiana von Tauber

I’ve been a mother for 13 years now and I’ve changed my mind about it. I used to fear it until I got the hang of it and then somehow I liked it. Of course, in the absence of thought during the like stage I decided to have another baby in my mid 30s. Yes, good ‘ol sex got in the way. I love my children and the meaning of family; however, motherhood is extremely exhausting and with 2 teens and a 5 year old I’m finding challenge in the once manageable balancing act of career and motherhood.

I’ve been thinking about it recently because I lost that balance by moving back abroad. The rhythm was good until it spun too quickly and I fell off. I’ve gotten back up but I see feminism from primarily a “mommy” perspective.

Being a mother changes the deepest set views of what it means to be a woman and to want a career. I’m deeply grateful to what women have done for our freedom to express our womanhood – femininity – and capability but the older and wiser I get the more I love the fact that my husband works and I’m the artistic “trailing” wife (in the expat world) and mother.

Often we don’t give enough credit to mothers. Our society bangs us with the idea that we want children and family but when we have them it’s not always the roses promised but no one usually gives the hardliner truth. Parenting is damn hard and don’t judge it until you have a crack at it. I learned that while I’m thankful for the choice of having babies, it’s a full time job in the sense of constant awareness. My brain hurts. It’s reality we often sweep under the magic carpet.

The energy to create is not equal to the energy to clean up

It’s possible to balance it all but keeping that balance takes a lot of energy and eventually something gives. Women have proven they can have their cake and eat it too but I’ve found that it resembles more of the cake in your face scenario. American mothers too often forget to stop and smell the roses along the way. Like marriage, family is a “for better for worse commitment”. The most common challenge women face is a loss of identity.

My biggest wish this Mother’s Day is for women still searching for that “me” under the “mom” title is to find themselves this year by exploring who they are as women, the dreamers who had visions of self-experience without diapers, teen attitudes and parental responsibility. Redefining that through the transformation of motherhood is the best reward motherhood has offered me. I’ve grown beyond my expectations because I had to. It was part of maternal survival.

Happy Mother’s Day.


What goes around comes around, Mr. Assange

December 21, 2010

I support Julian Assange and his Wikileaks project. More transparency in government is a good thing, and it appears that Wikileaks was not conducting its document dumps willy-nilly. Wikileaks seems to have vetted the content with responsible journalism organizations (source), and it has done more good than harm. Those who call him a “terrorist” are either stupid, servile statists, or just politicians who are desperate to appear to be tough-on-albinos.

That said, I agree that Assange might not be the most sympathetic boy in the world. Yeah, he’s egotistical. Yeah, he’s narcissistic. But, as Jessica Christensen said, “Assange may be a narcissistic freak show, but so was MLK Jr. and Ghandi and Larry Flynt and … you name it. In fact, one might argue that perhaps it takes being a bit of a narcissistic freak show to have the cajones and the lack of good judgement and well-crafted strategy to act, to stand up and do the thing that everyone else is too sheepish to do.”

I also agree that it seems like the “rape” charges against him are a combination of some pissed off leftist clowns running amok with the weapons that a feminist dystopian legal system puts in the hands of scorned women. (source) And Julian Assange has a right to be pissed off at those two fetid clams as well.

But Assange is making a caricature of himself now. He’s pissed off that the documents from his case have been leaked to the press.

Of course, the man has a right to a fair trial. As rabid of a First Amendment warrior as I try to be, I recognize that the Sixth Amendment provides equally compelling rights. Despite the fact that neither Amendment applies to this case or this trial, the values inherent in them are universal values in civilized countries. If Mr. Assange were anyone else, I would be a bit more outraged at the leak as a slap against his right to a fair trial.

But he isn’t anyone else.

Assange needs to fire the fool who is advising him on his public relations strategy. The correct message for Mr. Assange to toss out there is “while this is an unfortunate attack on my right to a fair trial, I stand for the proposition that sunlight is the best antiseptic. Let the documents fly as they may, for the truth will float to the surface.”


“The Cup Size Choir”

December 8, 2010

By Tatiana von Tauber

Sexy.  Fun.  Brilliant.

(Daily Mail article here.)


Joy to the world, and naked women

December 7, 2010

By Tatiana von Tauber

"Size Zero" is a downer.

As a boudoir photographer I see lots of women naked. Most clients fall into two groups: Those who look so hotter than they ever thought they could, or those who use boudoir photography to confirm they are as fat, cellulite-ish or unsexy as they feared (I’m an artist, not a Photoshop God). Too often I deal with clients’ self-body hatred and it’s come to a bothersome point — having befriended women whose bodies are scarred not for beauty but for self-preservation and basic survival.

While producing The Art Cure project, a breast cancer awareness art show and charity event this October, I met a group of wonderful women who have battled breast cancer and won. The leader of a Savannah breast cancer awareness affiliate is a proud survivor; however, just days ago she was re-diagnosed with a malignant spot in her breast and will undergo surgery Thursday. Chemo may be necessary as well.

Another friend, a 34 y/o mother of 4 is a BRCA 1 gene carrier meaning she’s 90% more likely to develop breast cancer in her lifetime than a non-carrier. Her mother is a survivor and most likely, at least one of her 4 children will have the gene too. Having options, my friend chose preventive surgery and had a double mastectomy less than a year ago and Thursday she’s having a hysterectomy to avoid her increased risk of ovarian cancer because of the gene. In fact, with unexpected complications with reconstructive surgery to her breasts she’s undergone over 10 surgeries this year alone. Of course, just this morning we heard Elizabeth Edwards’ cancer fight has come to a matter of time before she dies. Doctors can do no more and that further slumped my morning bliss.

I’m slightly paralyzed mentally as I battle the reality of having friends who seem to be having what I’d call “real” problems yet dealing with women on various levels who create their problems.

I have friends dying of cancer, replacing their breasts with scars to save their lives and find myself stuck in a very judgmental state of mind: fuck the silicone to add an extra cup to your lacking boobie confidence. Who cares about the extra flab on your thigh when your 45 year old ass looks so much sexier than your own mom’s ass at that age? That a 45 year old woman can pass as a MILF these days, now that’s something to applause because in my childhood women at 45 were old and quickly turning into fat grandmas while discarded into the kitchen or bingo games. I’m sure your grandmother looked more like Mrs. Doubtfire than anything Hollywood produces as mainstream mid-life bombshell turned rather hot “for your age” grandma. Don’t boo-hoo to me that you don’t like your own aging body and have me Photoshop you into a blur so you don’t have to face your own reality. At least you have a healthy body I want to say. I mean all this respectfully, of course, but sometimes being nice about it just doesn’t sink in.

Helping women realize their beauty is wonderful and rewarding. It’s the part of my job I get high on. Convincing women their imperfections are not ugly is another matter. It’s like being a lawyer and facing a deadlocked jury. The frustration of all that work to end up at a dead-end is baffling, annoying and draining. The biggest harm women do to themselves is to believe men actually give a damn about their cellulite or other female obsessed imperfections.

In the grouping of those I consider good friends and women I care about, one announced her malignant bump yesterday; another undergoes removing the last bit of biological femininity she was born with two days from now; another recently wrote about personal struggles from Borderline Personality Disorder wherein the meds are killing the once active sex drive (which really has a snowball effect) and another who deals daily with the struggle of the death of her child from a disease. I top this off with the fact that I live my life with a man I dearly love and who struggles daily with wounds from war, VA bureaucracy and PTSD as a result of serving in the United States Army for “freedom”.

I feel a more pressing need for higher meaning in my life this season than the usual.   The American Humanist Association suggests we celebrate “Reason” this season rather than “myth” of God.  I suggest we celebrate our lives, our bodies and our families.  Period.

I’m having one of those days where a good walk, a breath of fresh air and deep gratitude for my status quo is in order. I am healthy and surrounded by love. Most importantly, I know my worth and understand my value. Too many women are blind to theirs. In fact, on different levels the same applies to men.

Perhaps a good walk in the cool air is a good idea for you too. Ponder love and then see where your mind travels.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year to you all.

Tatiana von Tauber


Because who cares if it’s your kid?

November 1, 2010

By J. DeVoy

Troubling news from Britain, America’s canary in the coalmine and a target of immense reverence from college students who lived there – in a nice part of town, with other Americans – while studying abroad.  From a Spectator article arguing for the complete end of DNA paternity testing:

At a stroke, the one thing that women had going for them has been taken away, the one respect in which they had the last laugh over their husbands and lovers. DNA tests are an anti-feminist appliance of science, a change in the balance of power between the sexes that we’ve hardly come to terms with. And that holds true even though many women have the economic potential to provide for their children themselves. (source.)

First and foremost, let’s put the shoe on the other foot: Aren’t feminists constantly calling for tort consequences against men who make minor verbal misrepresentations to get laid?  Certain women seek to denude men of their tools for getting what they want while keeping their own.  Also, it seems imbalanced for feminists to deride men for using verbal and physical tactics to make themselves more appealing  – “game,” writ large – while 1) they do the same thing with makeup and dating guides like The Rules, and 2) the “one respect in which they had the last laugh over their husbands and lovers” has consequences much farther reaching than waking up one morning, rolling over and realizing you were – by your own consent – pwned by some dude with a weak chin and guyliner.

The way McDonagh describes her venomous opposition to paternity testing in the article reveals much about those who would take it away: It’s not about equality, or even fairness, but about power. (I want to note now that this is not the majority or even a sizable number of women, but a vocal segment nonetheless; this is addressed at the end of the post.)  Through science, men have empowered themselves to determine whether they are the parents of the children borne by their lovers, spouses, or complete strangers alleging paternity.  A particularly shrill segment of society wants to end that for no reason than consolidating power for themselves – ultimately in the form of child support expropriated from men by the state – and by using shame to do so.

The next Bridget Jones movie may turn this under-discussed issue into a talking point. For those who didn’t follow the columns that took our heroine into the next stage of female angst — about being childless rather than single — the gist is that BJ becomes pregnant, but she is not entirely sure by whom, having been seeing the nice Colin Firth boyfriend, and the bad Hugh Grant one, in pretty short order. The matter could have been fruitfully ambiguous, with Bridget having a choice of fathers, but it was resolved in sordid contemporary fashion, one of the candidates being wrestled to the ground by Bridget’s girlfriends, so as to swab his inside cheek for a DNA sample. And so she found out the paternity of the baby and the most ancient game of humankind, Guess the Daddy, wasn’t played any more.

Bridget Jones never quite caught on like Sex and the City did, but the movies have always had a following.  With this third movie, the die is cast and a seed is planted in the public psyche; people who never would have considered the implications of paternity fraud will have the opportunity to question whether it’s right for them, like some service touted on Oprah, and if they shouldn’t settle for less than the father they feel their child deserves.  Paying the bill for this, of course, will be men, as detailed in a lengthy New York Times exposé from November 2009.

Now I can see that some men might rather welcome an end to the old-fashioned scenario whereby they find themselves held to account for the paternity of children born to girls with whom they just happen to have had sex.

You don’t say.

The actor Jude Law recently found himself in just this position, and unhesitatingly and ungallantly demanded a DNA test.

Reframed: Jude Law saw millions of dollars potentially flying out of his pocket to a child that possibly wasn’t his.  True to the Reagan maxim, he verified what he had been told by the mother.  He saved himself a life of financial hardship to support someone else’s offspring, as any rational person would do.  Is the reasonableness of this decision noted?  Is the fact that this is what any mother or father would counsel their son to do recognized?  No, the reason Jude Law shouldn’t have tethered himself to a child that wasn’t his is shame.  It was ungallant for Law to demand a paternity test.  Surely he should have “manned up” and paid someone vast sums of money for being cunning enough to accuse him of being the father.  Similarly, I have my own characterization for this argument: bullshit.

By contrast, the old situation, in which women presented men with a child, and the man either did the decent thing and offered support, or made a run for it, allowed women a certain leeway. The courtesan in Balzac who, on becoming pregnant, unhesitatingly sought, and got, maintenance from two of her men friends, can’t have been the only one. Uncertainty allows mothers to select for their children the father who would be best for them.

Finally, and with refreshing honesty, the article reaches why certain women fear DNA paternity testing.  DNA testing requires mothers to go with the dads they have, rather than the ones they want.  Admittedly, this doesn’t address step parents or adoptive parents who stand in to raise someone else’s children, but McDonagh’s article similarly does not address this point — as they are fully aware of the family situation they enter, rather than being deceived into raising a child as their own, step parents and adoptive parents seem outside the scope of this situation.  When it comes to cuckoldry, though, there is no better asset in the resource-gathering war than ambiguity.

Banning DNA testing essentially would reduce paternity disputes to the dark ages.  It does not seem unreasonable for a woman to want the most honorable and successful man to raise her child.  He would be the most likely to accept, too, fearing the social repercussions of being accused of not taking responsibility for his child.

Many men have, of course, ended up raising children who were not genetically their own, but really, does it matter?

Yes.  Only in this sick, broken world, sliding into a new dark age with hollow politically correct platitudes serving as truth, could the author ask this question deadpan.  Many parents lovingly adopt or raise children who are not their own, but this ignores McDonagh’s broader question of “does [paternity] matter?”  Legally, and for the cuckold who believes the child is his, and raises it under those circumstances – rather than as an adoptive parent or step parent – it absolutely matters.

If DNA testing ever was to be banned in the United States, it would raise an interesting constitutional question.  Matters of birth and abortion are generally covered by a broadly defined right of privacy that governs martial relationships and reproduction.  First established in Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965), then expanded to cover abortion by Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973) and sex in Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003).  Under Roe‘s progeny, a woman has broad rights over her pregnancy and ability to take it to term, but states may require DNA tests after birth to confirm or deny paternity.  If this practice is banned, it may create a question of whether child support payments would constitute an unconstitutional taking of property.  When paying judgments or taxes, the government takes steps to ensure that the right person is paying the judgment.  Even now, the government has stepped in to halt a foreclosure process that cannot produce the notes of delinquent mortgage holders — despite many of them rightly being subject to foreclosure.  Whether the government can take property from a putative father based on a woman’s say-so, and without using testing that was previously available, would be an important but dangerously uncertain question.

There is an essential caveat to this position.  This post does not apply to all women, or seek to imply it addresses all of them.  In fact, the segment of society seeking to end DNA paternity testing is small and on the fringe of political activism.  Similarly, these changes would affect only a small portion of the population. Historically, however, it is the squeaky wheel that receives the grease.

Among my age group, the ideas of marriage and children are met with a blend of derision and fear.  Men, women and children didn’t change; the legal and social atmosphere did — and neither gender seems particularly happy about it.  A couple’s higher earning spouse lives in fear of divorce, particularly in no-fault divorce states.  The costs associated with divorce and child support contribute to men being unwilling to marry.  Based on the concern over men’s hesitation to marry, it seems that women don’t envy the prospect of endlessly dating and potentially missing out on the brass ring of marriage, either.

Removing the protection of DNA paternity testing will only agitate existing tension and mistrust between the genders, which neither of them seems to have particularly wanted.  Nobody wants to be divorced, or live constantly on guard to the prospect of his or her partner being constantly solicited – or soliciting others – in pursuit of the elusive “something better” that we’ve been told is waiting for us.  Few men or women will ever need DNA paternity testing, but eliminating its existence likely will create paranoia and distrust between men and women that otherwise would not have existed.  It will only serve to make degrading gender relations worse and, in the end, hurt everyone.


O’Dear O’Dumb O’Donnell

October 20, 2010

By Tatiana von Tauber

My oh my.  It just doesn’t get any better than this recording of Christine O’Donnell showing what anti-Tea Partiers have been cringing about all along.  While at first it’s funny O’Donnell doesn’t know much about the separation of church and state or the First Amendment, on the deeper side we know just how scary this can be. This is the same camp as Sarah Palin and no doubt a wonderful addition to the new and “improved” version of the dumb blonde: the dumb brunette.  They’re few and far between and seem to congregate at Tea Party functions.  

video: http://www.dailykostv.com/flv/player.swf


The Art Cure for Boobies

September 16, 2010

by Tatiana von Tauber

As much as I fought integrating into Southern living, I’ve managed to walk into terrains new to me and it brought unexpected happiness. After a friend came down with stage IV cancer, I suddenly got tired of trying to make “my” life good. From the looks of it, it was. I was breathing with no possible end in its near future unless I was hit by a bus. Within a weekend I went from trying to figure out which way to tweak my professional life to creating an international art show and charity event, a most humbling experience that’s way overdue.

To share, I’ve founded The Art Cure. When I thought I wouldn’t make it through life’s struggles and its confusing emotions I dove into art and discovered a perception never seen before. It bettered me.

I decided to help others through my experience with art and invited breast cancer survivors to paint with me while I documented the experience in a book, The Art Cure Diaries, which you can view and purchase. The paintings created during the art sessions will be up for a silent auction October 1 to 29, 2010. Online bidding is available. I’ve put my heart and soul into this for the past 2 and a half months and I’d love your participation.

I invite you to look at the fabulous project I’ve been a part of and the incredible messages you – we – should keep in mind as we go about our daily lives. National Breast Cancer Month begins in October. You might be tired of all that pink stuff in its over commercialized state but after my experience with The Art Cure, I embrace pink in ways I never have.

The Art Cure has 23 paintings by survivors, their daughters and friends – the majority of whom thought they weren’t artists until I offered the opportunity for them to discover what was hidden. The best of what and who we are is often in the shadows. So rarely we allow ourselves to enter that world. Many of these women have never painted before. Judging from the results, you’d hardly know. I’m so very proud of them.  We also have works coming in from all over the world from other artists who wanted to be part of this event.

One hundred percent of all online silent auction sales will be donated to charity.

For details about the project, please visit www.theartcure.blogspot.com.  To view my latest interview with Savannah Now’s “Talking Real”, click here.

Below is my contribution to the silent auction and it’s up for bidding in October.  Make me proud, boys.  It’s for the boobies.

click to view larger

Don’t forget to view the exclusive final result of this entire project right here: The Art Cure Diaries book.  Its 152 pages are packed with beautiful photos, paintings and stories about women who survived or are undergoing breast cancer.  It’s a work of love and inspiration and recommended for anyone who has been touched by breast cancer in their lives.


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