What Matters

What Matters

As I approach my 62nd birthday (August 22), I reflect on the news stories I see/hear almost daily, now, that corroborate and validate most of my life’s choices, values and beliefs. Sharing, now, so you don’t all have to re-invent the wheel. Mostly I/we were right. Get with it.

Interactions matter. Treating all humans with respect and meeting humans needs (food, clothing, shelter, meaningful and well-paid work, safety) properly are right. Equality, egalitarianism, acceptance, compassion, kindness and respect are the right ways to greet, treat and live with all others, regardless of perceived or actual differences among us and changes in circumstances. Ending oppression, discrimination, bias, prejudice and all forms of subjugation must occur.

image from http://www.tomvmorris.com

Government and economics matter. Democracy (when it works) and socialism are right: we must listen to and take care of each other.

Conflict resolution matters. War is wrong, especially war that only makes profits for a few corporations and individuals and ruins land, kills/maims people and destroys economies for everyone else. All the “police actions”/wars the USA has engaged in since World War II (and some of our actions during World War I and World War II) were/are horribly wrong. Millions have been harmed or died for NOTHING except to enrich a few. We must learn to communicate better, de-escalate, use diplomacy, engage in dialogue, compromise and yield.

image from http://www.popularresistance.org

Health matters. Eating healthfully and organically is right: better for us, better for the farmers, better for the environment. Contact sports that cause head injuries must end: change the rules or close down those sports completely for children and teens and give adults information that allows them to make educated choices about participation. Sugary foods and drinks, salty and fatty snacks and other negative-impact foods should be made less available and/or taxed very highly so fewer people can eat/get them so readily.

Other beings matter. Treating animals with respect at all times if we are going to use, eat (which some would argue is wrong), imprison and otherwise subjugate them (less stress and pain during and before slaughter, while being raised and during captivity of all kinds) is right.

Consumers’ choices matter. Choosing to purchase items that are made by people who are paid well, treated well and free to come and go is right. Choosing to purchase items whose production (harvest/manufacture/acquisition) does not harm or destroy the planet, the economy, or the people involved is right.

image from http://arabedrossian.org
Healthy planet

Parenting requires time, effort, knowledge, education and support to be done well. Childcare can be a positive aspect of young children’s lives as long as they also have good parenting.

Minds and bodies matter. Meditation, yoga, stress management, play, listening to each other better, being outdoors more and learning/listening to music/making art all help families, businesses, schools and individuals in every possible way. Beauty, nature and gratitude are important. Learn/include and do these. Drink a lot of clean water. Sleep more and in better conditions.

healthy body and mind
Healthy choices

Reproductive freedom and rights are integral to a woman’s dignity and independence and are the business of no one else besides each woman and her chosen medical team.

Religions whose leaders or principles restrict the freedom or impinge upon the safety of or intend to demean anyone, inspire divisiveness or hatred, or foment disrespect for non-believers or some members of their own sects because of gender, age, sexual orientation or other characteristics are not to be tolerated any longer and must be ended.

image from http://www.patheos.com
Civil and personal rights

Facts are not subject to opinions. No one cares what anyone thinks about facts. Facts are not optional. People who misunderstand, misuse or misguide themselves or others regarding any facts (about the impacts of climate change, the dangers of fracking, etc.) are not to be given any credibility or listened to by anyone with even moderate intelligence.

Tyson quote
Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson, Ph.D., facts quote

Play time matters. Violence begets violence: video games, TV shows and films, music lyrics that demonstrate/engage users in repeated and frequent incidents of violence (personal, sexual, group) desensitize the viewers/players and generate much more violence overall in the culture. Games/shows that degrade women/girls and depict members of particular ethnic or other groups as “the enemy” or the objects of degradation cause users/viewers to adopt these perspectives and behave badly towards these individuals in actual encounters. Children’s and teens’ time using these games or watching these shows must be curtailed. Bring back more outdoor play, longer and better equipment for recess play indoors and outside. Sports and games that encourage coaches/leaders to discriminate among, exclude or otherwise demean participants or activities in training or play that cause players harm must be changed or stopped.


Excellence matters. Skills, talents, education and intelligence are not all equally distributed or acquired. We are not all the same even though we are to be treated with equal respect. Not everyone wins. Everyone is not equally good at everything. Not everyone can earn an “A.” 49.9% of any group is below average, by definition. Get used to it.

Collaboration matters. Governments, organizations/groups of all types and businesses of all sizes operate more successfully when they utilize collaborative, inclusive engagement rather than hierarchical, exclusionary dominance do better economically, have higher morale, have lower attrition/crime rates and better attendance/participation.

image from http://www.cptwebs.com

I could have provided a lot of research URLs to back up each of these claims, but I don’t need to, any longer. They are all true. YOU do the research.

Bras and Shoes: Breast Cancer, Bunions, Back Strain and “Beauty” Lies

WARNING: Naked breasts appear in this post, for instructional purposes only.

This post is meant to inform about some aspects of modern women’s (and men’s ) lives in Western nations that need changing. Yes, these are “first-world” problems. But, they ARE problems. If you don’t mind the problems these cause or you don’t have these problems, go read something more fun/useful. Or, pass it on to those who might benefit from reading it!


I have always hated bras. I personally hate wearing them and almost never do. Even when well-fitted, bras inform me that there is a special place in hell for those who design them. Bras itch, ride up, pinch and nonstop bother me.

I also hate the rationales people make for women’s wearing of bras. As a feminist, I am offended and disgusted by the so-called “reasons” for bras because these are based on modern, industrialized, Puritanically based Western cultural biases that “require” teenage or adult females to cover our nipples, to pretend not to have any. Also, we are told that we are “unprofessional” unless we are complicit in disguising our breasts’ shapes. These misogynistic attitudes are NOT “universal” and need to be eradicated.

However, I could put all that hatred aside and just accept that some women want (or claim they “need”) to wear bras, except for three somewhat newly surfacing facts, based on extensive research over many decades:

  • 1) Bras do not work. Gravity wins. It wins BIGGER when women wear bras: bras CAUSE breasts to sag MORE because wearing bras weakens the pectoral muscles that would ordinarily work and strengthen to hold up one’s breasts over a lifetime. With few exceptions, NO WOMEN should wear bras just to “hold them up.” Those whose breasts hurt due to hormonal changes and jiggling makes the pain worse: sure, wear bras. Those with extremely large breasts claim that wearing bras helps “carry” them, HOWEVER: the BRAS cause more shoulder and back pain than their breasts.

    Jean-Denis Rouillon, a professor at University of Besançon in France, authored a study stating that women are better off not wearing bras. They are scientifically unnecessary, and, in fact, could be hazardous to breast health, leading to sagging breasts and increased back pain….”Medically, physiologically, anatomically — breasts gain no benefit from being denied gravity,” Rouillon told France Info radio. “On the contrary, they get saggier with a bra.”

  • 2) Bras increase the risk of breast cancer.
    The Susan G. Komen Foundation and the American Cancer Society (ACS) are the main organizations who refuse to properly present summaries and warnings derived from the amassing research that shows a link between increased incidences (“Risk”) of breast cancer the wearing of bras, especially tight ones, for 12 or more hours per day, particularly all night.

    …at least five research studies have shown that there IS a strong connection between breast cancer and bra wearing for many hours per day.


    Lymphatic Systems of Breasts: image from healthieralternatives.wordpress.com

  • 3) Underwire Bras, in particular, cause health problems.
    The pressure points that underwire bras rest on are critically important, according to Eastern medical knowledge, to the functioning of major systems in the body. However, constant metallic pressure on these points is contra-indicated in all women and can cause a myriad of health problems over time.

    The UnderWires in the UnderWire Bra fall directly onto two very important NeuroLymphatic Reflexes. The one under the right breast goes to the Liver and Gall Bladder. The one under the left breast goes to the Stomach….If a woman keeps the metal UnderWires on top of those reflex points, over time that WILL mess up the functioning of the associated circuits: Liver, Gall Bladder, and Stomach. Bottom Line: It will likely make her sick, slowly and quietly.

If those three information points do not convince you to stop “supporting” bra-wearing and worse, if you are still committed to wearing bras yourself, that is illogical. Check out this infographic and OTHER problems caused by ill-fitting bras:

ill-fitting bras symptoms

% of Women Having Problems Due to Ill-Fitting Bras: image from http://www.bariatriccookery.com

Almost half the women who wear bras that are ill-fitting (which, according to other research, would include MOST women), suffer skin rashes. Another 35% have shoulder pain. Are you one of these women?

If you are that irrational about bras, you might want to discontinue reading the rest of this post, because things are going to go from bad to worse for you.

(not Deodorants, which merely mask smells)
are those products that attempt to “dry up” or prevent the armpits from sweating. What about the causal connections between anti-perspirants and breast cancer? After much “debate” and “debunking” of the “myth” of this connection by the research FUNDED BY THE COMPANIES THAT MAKE ANTI-PERSPIRANTS in the USA, we finally have unbiased research results from the UK showing several causal links between the key ingredients in anti-perspirants and DNA changes and between the lymphatic blockages intentionally caused by these products that lead to increased incidences of breast cancer in both men and women.

Britain has one of the highest rates of breast cancer in the world and every year almost 13,000 British women die from it. Britons are also among the biggest users of antiperspirant deodorants, getting through £300 million worth of bottles each year. The rising incidence of breast cancer in men may also suggest a connection. Breast cancer in men has doubled in the past three decades to 300 cases per year – a time frame that coincides with the increasing use of underarm products by men.

Guess what gets the attention of researchers, health commissioners and the public? when the problems affect MEN. Sigh.


Enough about breast cancer? Depressed, yet?

Let’s talk about shoes. I do not understand some women’s obsessions with shoes. I really don’t. But, obsessed or not, most of us wear shoes most of the time.

How well do our shoes serve us? Do they support our best posture, provide safety from h

Luckily for me (!?!) I was in a serious car accident my senior year of high school that caused me to have life-long problems with my right leg. This prevented me from ever getting into wearing “high” heels, or ANY heels, for that matter, for more than about 30 minutes per… year. I say “luckily” because both my mother and her mother had/have bunions and hammertoes. So far, I do not.

I also have many back problems and hip issues from other injuries that continue to plague me and keep me wearing the most supportive, comfortable shoes I can afford.

What about you? Do you go for fashion at the expense of your comfort or health? I hope you don’t.

If you do, read on and perhaps I and the research can change your mind.


Hammertoes: image from http://www.kyforward.com

Bunions, Backstrain and Hammertoes

Because of her own problems with shoes and foot health, Ivey Allison wrote a great post which I recommend you read in its entirety. Here is a salient quote, based on her research:

…almost every shoe on the market, flat or heeled, has a toe box design that is too small and tapered to allow the foot to be properly aligned. The result? Foot deformity — and painful bunions….Every single pair of shoes you own is likely deforming your foot. Permanently.

The Huffington Post‘s Rebecca Adams & Ellie Krupnick did some great research and wrote summaries of their findings in last October’s post on what shoes are the worst offenders, causing bunions, hammertoes, and back strain, among other problems (not to mention costing ridiculous amounts of money!). here is a sample and the link to the full post:

Wearing heels shifts your weight to the balls of your feet, which puts pressure on your foot. This also creates a balance problem: It forces your knees and hips forward, hurting your back and legs. Wearing these shoes can cause: hyperextension, ankle sprains, midfoot fractures, neuromas (benign nerve tumors), pinched nerves, bunions and hammertoes.

They also summarized the impact and effects of wearing Platform Wedges; Converse-style Sneakers; High-Heeled, Rain or Thigh-High Boots; Ballet Flats; and, Flip-Flops.


Bunion: image from my.clevelandclinic.org

The worst offenders? I guess it depends what you think are worse. Each shoe type they mentioned came with its own list of problems, such as:

  • mold, fungus, bacteria, wart viruses and blisters;
  • inflammation, tendonitis, heel pain, strains, fractures and external injuries (e.g. stepping on a nail);
  • chronic stress injuries, particularly to the heel;
  • inflammation, tendonitis, heel pain, strains and stress fractures;
  • inflammation, tendonitis, heel pain, strains, stress fractures and external injuries (e.g. stepping on a nail);
  • hyperextension, midfoot fractures, neuromas (benign nerve tumors), pinched nerves, bunions and hammertoes;
  • hyperextension, bunions and hammertoes;
  • hyperextension, ankle sprains, midfoot fractures,
  • neuromas (benign nerve tumors), pinched nerves, bunions and hammertoes.

Choose which group of symptoms you’re willing to acquire and then merrily (warily) go shoe shopping.

Or, buy better-fitting, healthier, more comfortable shoes.


image from mostcomfortableshoesguide.net