headline whores & wars

If you want fast & easy news: this post is about how slutty women will ultimately bring down the US.

Photo by Clu Soh on Unsplash

Yesterday I was having a discussion with some loved ones. It went something like this:

“Oh I see you’re following the March Madness bracket. Is that your predicted bracket or the results bracket?”

“I’m just keeping track of the results.”

“And I’m sure you’re doing the same for the women’s bracket.”

Eye roll.


You see, I was all fired up because I had recently seen some news on my carefully-curated-by-a-third-party-Facebook-feed about the discrepancy between the men’s & women’s NCAA.

And by news…

I mean headlines:

NCAA apologizes for disparities between women’s and men’s facilities

NCAA budget for men’s basketball tournament almost twice as much as women’s budget

Weight rooms, swag, and the ‘March Madness’ brand: How the NCAA is shortchanging women’s basketball

Well, that was all this budding feminist needed to form her very important & verified opinion truth! #unfakenews

And so, with those same loved ones, who might have read headlines or who might have their dissertations in the topic or who might have played in a MM tourney themselves-I mean who knows these days–I began (naturally) to have a well-informed (obvious) discussion about the patriarchy in sports.

Down with the patriarchy!

And I am sure, or am I, that this conversation is multiplied over a hundred countries, a thousand dinner tables, and a million moments.

It’s like Descartes’ cogito, ergo sum 2.0: I scrolled, therefore I know.

Dave & I have this running joke about how “we read an article, well, actually [insert any amount that isn’t whole here] part of an article.” It comes from this Toyota commercial & pretty much is a staple in any of our conversations that incorporate an outside source.

But really, our household only mirrors society at large.

We are headline whores.

And then we take our newly established “truth” & head into war with the other side. We don’t talk to listen anymore. We talk to catch. We talk to prove. We talk, well, because, WE.

Talk has become war. But now, fortunately, unfortunately, oh what a tangled web we weave, we are armed with the world wide web.

And the problem with the world wide web is just that…it is world wide.

We have a world–who are we kidding: a. world. a. minute–of information at our fingertips, but really, all we do is search for justification of what we already think & arm ourselves with soundbite-swords & head into the battlefield of my right versus your/you’re wrong.

There’s a fancy term for this: confirmation bias.

The unfancy term is the Divided States of America.

Broken families.

Capital attacks.

Sigh. Error 404.

I wish we could all just be scientific.

Experiment: a choice to explore a hypothesis.

I wish we could all just be religious.

Faith: a choice to believe in some sense of a mystery–

knowing it can’t be proven.

I wish we could all just be mindful.

Curious: observing what is without judgment.

Maybe we could move our conversation-compass away from the blood-simplicity of morality to the heartbeat-stratifications of complexity.


Just this week I as listening to Krista Tippett interview Arlie Hochschild.

Her concepts of “deep story” & that “we are all products of our own experience” & how important it is to find “common ground” resonated with me.

As did this:

“Consider the possibility that in their situation, you might end up closer to their perspective.”


But to consider… deep breath here… takes consideration.

It takes listening.

It takes humanity.

Let’s all be human, k?

If you made it this far, you get cookies (please accept all) (see what I did there). Cheers to reading a whole post 😉


will the real me, and the real you, please stand up?!

Chivalry died long ago. But currently in our society, slowly sucking on its last breaths, is authentic honesty. In a culture where people speak in Facebook statuses, smile Instragram pretenses, finish thoughts with @youknowwho, hashtagphrasesthatforevercementgrammaticalerrors, and abbreviate everything because “ain’t nobody got the time for that,” it’s next to impossible to find sincerity and truthfulness.

Luckily in my life, two people come to mind who keep me grounded in authenticity. My friend, colleague, and fellow blogger Heather can be sharp around the edges, but I never doubt how she views me. She is true to herself, and thus one of the most genuinely real people I have the joy of knowing and calling friend. Another is a long time friend Laura. I have known her for many years, and throughout that time, I have always admired (and still do) how she is never fake. She spends most of her time openly and honestly reflecting rather than portraying some alabaster ideal of what’s supposed to be. Being friends with both these women is a refreshing breath of air in a culture polluted with the fumes of false faces.

I want to be that fresh air for others. What does that require?

  • Courage. To be raw and real requires risk. Some people might not like who I am, and others might not like how my authentic self calls them out on their own discrepancies. But despite the responses–or perhaps in spite of them–I need to be me.
  • Cogitation. I was reminded of this through Numbers 13:25-33. When Caleb stood up and called for the Israelites to take over Canaan, the people immediately began spreading hyperbole saying: “[the] land devours its inhabitants,” and “all the people that we saw in it are of great height.” Was it true? Somewhat. But what was truer, deeper, beneath was their own fear and insecurity–which they hid with tainted responses. To be authentic, I must search below what I want to say to break down what I should be saying instead. Only in those gaps between thought and voice can I really find myself…and give of myself honestly. Mindfulness matters.
  • Challenge. There can be no honesty when all is smooth seas. It is in the challenge in communication, the challenge in community, that I discover how honest I can be–both with myself and with others. To come home and live an isolated life requires very little tension and testing of my authenticity. But to dare, to question, to broach, to venture, to misjudge, to mistake, to eat my words, to apologize, to reflect, to see someone beside myself in the reflection of my truest self–that is where the tried and tested, tangled glory of authenticity happens.
  • Congruence. Because we as Americans live dual lives–flesh and blood versus online–it is far too easy to say one thing and do another. But if I am going to be authentically honest, my actions must be congruent with my words. This takes sacrifice. Either I sacrifice my time to be faithful in what I said I was going to do. Or I sacrifice my pride by saying no and establishing boundaries. Either way, I mean what I say and do what I mean.

de49ade704e3c3a556f6218cbeaf33bbWe cannot control the social media explosion overtaking us. We cannot control the dishonesty or inauthentic portrayals surrounding us. But we–you, me– can be just that… you, me.




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