Friday, January 17, 2014

Why I paint my pinkies red......

I came across this bit of information last week, so I've been painting my pinky nails red: "People who paint their pinky fingernail red are trying to bring attention to the prevalence of violent acts in today’s society committed primarily by men. "By painting their fingernail red, individuals are making a pledge to take a stand against violence, a majority of which is committed by men. One red fingernail is meant to serve as an outward sign of one’s willingness to stand up against and speak out against violence." (

My husband's family friends recently lost a granddaughter and her mother to an angry partner who then killed himself. Several years ago, one of my family friends had a nephew who killed his wife and himself. There are frequent reports of such incidents.

So I want to remind women to acknowledge that these things do happen, and that we have to be mindful about the choices we make. We must think and act in ways that promote safety because we can get off track rather quickly.

Some reminders:

- Be as sane as possible. This is especially applicable when choosing a love interest. If you are over the top, off-the-charts emotionally, and as needy as a newborn, you will have the common sense of a cornish hen. When we don't commit to our own sanity, we don't recognize "crazy" when he or she is sitting on our sofa because our eyes are filled with stardust or some other magical blinding substance that causes us to fall asleep. If we stay as sane as possible, we will know when someone needs to "sell crazy somewhere else" (my favorite Jack Nicholson line). People choose their victims, and the harder you are to victimize, the safer you are.

- Don't confuse being tough with having common sense. Some people feel that because they can argue and stand up for themselves and fight to the finish, they are just fine. The truth is that tough can fall just as fast as gentle can. We need to choose situations that don't require a lot of arguing and fussing and defending. Tough is having the the wisdom to walk away and keep yourself out of harm's way.

- Make self awareness a priority. The best way to keep yourself safe is to choose wisely. Think twice about who you hang out with, where you go, and how you carry yourself. Don't let your guard down when it should be up.

- Don't get into a relationship for the wrong reasons. Don't lie to yourself. Admit it when you make excuses for someone's bad behavior because you want to be loved more than anything, you're lonely, or it's been a long time since you had somebody. When you're in a bad relationship, the thing you want more than anything is to get out of it. (Twice in my life I've said, "God if you let me get out of this relationship, I won't do it again!")

- Think like a woman and not like a girl. It's not cute or loving to cross somebody else's boundaries or to have somebody crossing yours. Jealousy, stalking, invading privacy and controlling behaviors are trouble. All those behaviors require healing, insight and self control.  These are the scenarios that lead to those Snapped episodes when supposedly rational women end up in jail, or those Lifetime "true life" episodes about somebody turning up dead.

So I will keep painting my pinky red for a while because I am appalled by all the passive and aggressive violence perpetrated against women in the media and in our society. But I will also keep reminding women to use their inner strength to live as mindfully and as safely as possible.

Anything to add?