Giving Thanks for giving me love of 3 words: SCIENCE, SEX, and LADIES

 I know it's a touch past Thanksgiving, but is it ever too late to throw out a little thanks? No way Jose. So, I'm just gonna take a minute to reflect on something I'm thankful for (in relation to this movie of course):
My Parents!
How to put this....I can attribute each of the keywords in this movie to a parent. "But Trisha," you say, "you only have 2  parents, happily married for over 35 years, and there are 3 keyword - Science, Sex and Ladies!!!???" So true, but what you didn't know was that my BFF Leslie has a mother, and me and Leslie always used to say we were switched at birth because of certain characteristics we shared with eachother's mothers. So,

SCIENCE - This one's for you dad. You were always a curious dude yourself, and you instilled that in me too. Anybody can watch science shows with their kids, or take long walks with 'em, but dad, you have panache. We didn't just watch science shows together, we ooo-ed and ahh-ed at the incredible secrets people have uncovered about the way the world worked. You made me feel like knowledge and investigation was powerful and incredibly interesting. In fact we'd take the ooo-ing and ahh-ing straight to the streets. We'd just be walking in an old neighborhood with tiny boxy houses or a hardly wooded baseball park, but man we'd be wonderin' about things. Why would people have made that that way? Why'd that bird put its nest on the ground? How do those get made? It was just a lot of fun to ponder things and try to come up with answers - and that's really all science is- just being curious about something, making some educated guesses and investigating it in a structured logical way.
Honorable Mention: Mom - She got a degree in Human Service and Child Development when I was 8 and would sometimes have conversations with me that included her knowledge of early childhood development - like when and how children are able to learn certain things, how they can be stunted, and what they need to progress properly. That was always really interesting to me, and I think it gave me a useful perspective as I first began looking into scientific research about gender differences.

SEX - I know it seems weird, but Mom, this ones for you.  I say this because my mom's attitude and actions made me a person who was comfortable and interested in thinking about and talking about sexuality. There are a few factors here.

First off she was just a thoughtful, loving parent and I was able to grow in an environment where I could build confidence - this, I think, gave me the ability to look at sexuality though my own desires and inclinations instead of worrying so much about how I was supposed to think, feel, and act. Secondly, she didn't give me the impression that she was a non-sexual being. Again, I'm not trying to be weird, I just think that there are some mothers and fathers out there that are so closed off to their children about sexuality, that the impression is that they are actually disturbed by it. I'm not saying my mom was all puttin' it all out there for me. That's not the case at all. I think just the way she reacted to the sexuality present in everyday life had an ease and comfort to it that put me at ease also.
Okay, the third thing is that my mom got a degree in childhood development and eventually worked on the issue of teen pregnancy during my pre-teen years. She actually was comfortable and open about discussing puberty and sex and all that type of stuff. Plus she was educated about how to discuss it and about appropriate times to discuss it. I was the girl who had educational pamphlets (mom, of course, had them at her disposal) to take for all us girls to look at late night during slumber parties.
Honorable Mention: Dad - He lived with 2 daughters, so he was quite private in a lot of ways, but he never seemed squeamish about us growing up - about periods or bras or boyfriends. He never did that whole "you're not dating until your 30" over-protective dad act. He certainly cared about us and our well being, but he never made a big deal about us and boys. I know a lot of dads think it's their duty to aggressively defend their daughters from hormone crazy boys, but frankly, I don't think it does a damn thing to make girls confident and capable of making good decisions about sex and relationships. It might even contributes to the opposite (check out this movie I'm blogging about for more on that). Anyway, dad's attitude didn't make me feel like growing up (and thus all the body changes, thoughts, and feelings associated with that) were an affront to him - like I think a lot of fathers do to their daughters.

 LADIES - This one is for my BFF's mom, Ellen. She was the one who gave me tastes of a more progressive feminism. I met her when I was about 8. She just talked about things different - I think, and she had different kinds of books and music around. She was also a regular supporter of feminist organizations. For birthdays and Christmas as I got up into my teens she would buy me books that were a bit avant-garde for a young mid-western gal. Books I never would have read if she never gave them to me: a memoir ending in the 1969 Stonewall Riots in NYC, little known women of history, Girl Interrupted, 1960's pulp fiction from that crazy director Ed Wood that largely centered around transvestite characters. I not only got to read authors that delved into feminist issues, but also LGBT issues - which really allowed me to see at a young age how closely tied feminist issues are to LGBT issues.
Honorable Mention: Mom and Dad - I don't know if they would describe themselves as feminists, but they regularly took the side of feminist ideology on many everyday issues that came up during my childhood. Plus my mom specifically worked for the betterment of women (and the thus the betterment of society as a whole) when she led the teen pregnancy prevention initiatives during her job at the YWCA. What can I say, they gave me a good feminist foundation just by being them.

So that's the story of my love of and inspiration for thos 3 simple words: SCIENCE SEX AND LADIES. Big ol' thanks to Mom, Dad, and Ellen - Love you all.

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