Category Archives: Lifestyle

The #MeToo Movement Is Infantilizing Women, and that’s Bad for Everyone

Aziz

Framed as a long-overdue feminist call for action and awareness, the #MeToo movement has quickly devolved into a bully pulpit for angry women who would rather cast blame than take responsibility for bad choices.

The most recent example involves Aziz Ansari, who was hurled into the #MeToo wood chipper, based on an article published on the website Babe.net. In it, the writer and her anonymous subject “Grace” detail the latter’s uncomfortable encounter with Ansari, during which both willingly performed oral sex on the other, despite Grace giving what she calls verbal and non-verbal cues that she wasn’t much interested.

Since its publication, the Babe article has sparked heated arguments, not just between men and women, but among feminists, who have questioned the merit of the accusations. After calling the article little more than revenge porn, Atlantic contributing editor, Caitlin Flanagan was joined by other prominent female media members, including HLN host Ashleigh Banfield, who ridiculed Grace for harming the credibility of the #MeToo movement, while calling the Babe article “a story of a bad date.”

Despite these characterizations, many women have applauded Grace and Babe for shedding light on what they say is an issue of consent. While the law may seek to define consent in definitive terms, modern women are attempting to redefine it with a broad, unrealistic definition.

According to New York Times writer Bari Weiss, many women claim that consent is only consent when it is “affirmative, active, continuous and enthusiastic.” While it shouldn’t surprise anyone that this definition has stirred up plenty of debate, few seem to realize that neither side’s opinion really matters that much.

Feminism in the Real World

Many women are tweeting the need to educate young males on how to judge consent, at least from the modern female perspective. In fact, there is some evidence that this type of early education can help reduce instances of sexual coercion, harassment and even assault.

It seems unlikely, however, that any amount of education or tweeting will completely eradicate confusion over consent. What it has done, however, is infantilize women to the point where they are unwilling or unable to assume responsibility for bad choices.

For her part, Ashleigh Banfield expressed dismay that Grace did not respond to her experience with Aziz by standing up, smoothing her dress and leaving. In her Atlantic article, The Humiliation of Aziz Ansari, Caitlin Flanagan expressed similar concerns when she decried “a country full of young women who don’t know how to call a cab.”

Yet, while #MeToo is now polarizing key figures within the movement, its failure really lies in the length of its tentacles. While important in workplaces where men of power have control over female subordinates, #MeToo really has no place in general society, where women are free to stand up for themselves against men who have no real power over them.

In that arena, there are people – male and female – who lack integrity and scruples. There are politicians who will lie to get votes. There are salesmen who will bilk senior citizens out of money. And, yes, there are men who will try to get in a woman’s pants, even if she isn’t “enthusiastic” about the idea.

Despite our best hopes, there will always be people who put their needs above others and seek to fulfill these needs without regards for the other person’s feelings. To teach young women otherwise by championing an idealistic notion is to render them defenseless against reality. No, not every man is out to trick women into putting out. But, don’t kid yourself; there are wolves out there, and nonverbal cues aren’t what strong, feminist women should use to defend their interests.

Instead of railing at reality and nurturing the ridiculous concept of an ideal world, we are much better off teaching our daughters how to stand up for themselves, when they inevitably cross paths with someone who seeks to use them.

5 Big Mistakes Brides-To-Be Make When Planning a Wedding

(Street Proposal photo by Prayitn)

The big moment finally arrived and you are bouncing off the walls. After all this time – or maybe just the right amount of time – he finally proposed and your mind is buzzing with all sorts of big plans. It’s time to start working, but before you let your enthusiasm get the best of you, make sure to avoid these common wedding planning blunders.

 

Don’t Start Inviting People Just Yet

Once you invite someone to your wedding, you can’t really un-invite them. Without knowing your budget or the groom’s guest list, you might be setting yourself up for disaster. Plan your finances and get on the same page before you start making calls.

Don’t Give Your Parents Too Much Power

Too often, brides are quick to make promises to their parents that later result in regrets. You’re excited. They’re excited. But, ultimately, you’re bound to butt heads with the people who raised you. It’s difficult to take back promises once they’ve been made, so think hard and talk to your partner before delegating any responsibilities to your folks.

Don’t Offer to Pay Expenses

Good intentions often lead to angry wedding parties. If a friend agrees to be in your bridal party, because you offered to pay for shoes, makeup, a dress, travel or lodging, she’s going to be plenty mad if you can’t come through. Again, take a deep breath and think about what you and your partner will be able to manage.

Don’t Skimp on Photography

It’s quite common for brides to focus on the actual ceremony without giving much thought to the aftermath. According to photographer, Arnaud Brichet, who owns the Punta Cana wedding photography company HDC Photo, many times, this results in serious disappointment.

“As memories fade, your photos will be the key link to your big day.” he said. “It’s important to use a professional wedding photographer who has the equipment and know-how to capture the true essence of your wedding, while painting you and your guests in a flattering light.”

Your wedding is big deal, so don’t let a friend or family member convince you they have the ability to photographer your wedding.

Don’t Choose the First Dress You See

It’s quite a thrill to see yourself in a wedding gown for the first time. In fact, the sight can be so powerful, you might feel tempted to purchase the first dress you try on. Unfortunately, over the next several weeks or months, you’re apt to see dresses that put that one to shame. Take your time when choosing your wedding dress. After all, you don’t really need to finalize this task until the big day approaches.

More Brides Bucking Popular Wedding Traditions: Survey

Bride (photo by TIFFANY DAWN NICHOLSON (TDNphoto) )

 

 

A new survey suggests that more and more brides are turning their backs on popular wedding traditions, with many citing feminism as a major reason why.

Conducted by the Internet wedding directory WeddingDays.co.uk, the survey involved a couple hundred brides-to-be, who revealed some modern attitudes about marriage. Among other things, the survey showed that:

  • 26 percent of all respondents said they planned to keep their maiden names, either by keeping them entirely or through hyphenating.
  • 24 percent said they refused to have their fathers walk them down the aisles, saying the tradition carried connotations that women are property to be traded or given away.
  • 9 percent of brides said they wouldn’t wear white on their wedding days, because they say the tradition was founded on promoting the appearing of virginal innocence.

A Growing Trend?

Compared to similar surveys conducted years ago, this particular poll did show an increasing number of feminist attitudes in regard to marriage. That said, according to professional wedding photographer, Arnaud Brichet, despite the survey’s revelations, he finds that most brides prefer to keep things traditional.

“The vast majority of brides don’t view wedding traditions as being anti-feminist,” he said. “For instance, the average bride doesn’t want her father to give her away because of anti-feminist reasons; she wants to maintain the tradition out of love and respect.”

Owner of the Punta Cana wedding photography studio HDC Photo, Brichet has years of experience working on all sorts of different weddings, featuring a wide array individual themes and traditions. According to him, despite the potential differences between weddings, the common theme should be happiness and love.

“Ultimately, a wedding should be a celebration,” he said. “When people get fixated on specific intricacies, they often lose sight of the most important things. In the end, the ceremony should be about bonding two lives, regardless of whether it’s traditional or uniquely modern.”

Brides Reveal Biggest Wedding Regrets In Survey

Wedding (photo by Emilio Azevedo)

The vast majority of brides look forward to their weddings with plenty of excitement and hope. Unfortunately, at least one study indicates that many end up regretting the way they used their budgets.

Recently, New York Magazine published the results of a survey which asked 100 brides to name the biggest disappointments related to their weddings. In conducting their study, researchers asked every respondent to rank their greatest snafus, registry errors and planning missteps. In the end, the study unveiled fascinating results that can help guide anyone who’s preparing a wedding.

Overspending

It’s not uncommon for people to spend too much money on their weddings; however, some go over-budget in ways they later wish they hadn’t. According to New York Magazine’s report, most respondents expressed regret over spending too much money on flowers, while a smaller percentage said they wished they’d spent less on makeup, dresses, hair, photos, drinks and decorations.

Under-spending

Although a large number of brides believed they went over-budget on specific wedding features, others felt they hadn’t spent enough. About one in ten brides expressed regret for spending too little on their dresses, while about nine percent felt they underspent on their cakes. Ultimately, however, the largest regrets centered on poor or inadequate photography, with 22 percent of respondents wishing they’d spent extra on a quality photographer.

Unsurprising

According to professional wedding photographer, Arnaud Brichet, it isn’t that shocking to learn that lackluster wedding photography topped the list of bridal regrets.

“While the ideal ceremony tends to be characterized by a collection of critical features, none of it really matters if the wedding isn’t appropriately captured,” he said. “Sadly, a large number of brides focus their budgets on wedding planners, caterers, florists, bakers, limousine drivers and venue managers. Without an experienced, skilled photographer to capture every critical moment, even the best wedding features tend to fade from memory. That said, a quality photographer has the ability to capture the true essence of a ceremony, so brides and grooms can relive the emotions for years down the line.”

Making a Wise Choice

As an experienced Dominican Republic wedding photographer with HDC Photo, Brichet has amassed years of experience. According to him, when selecting a professional wedding photographer, it’s important to closely examine his or her complete portfolio.

“Some professionals take portraits that seem a little too unnatural or orchestrated,” he said. “On the other hand, an experienced professional has versatile talents, which allow him or her to capture beautiful, natural-looking photos that don’t seem forced or posed.”

Brichet says a good photographer should also ask plenty of questions and get to know the bride and groom to better assess exactly what they are looking for. Most importantly, the professional should have lots of samples that clearly demonstrate both his or her versatility and attention to detail.

Ideally, a wedding should be a beautiful, memorable event. That said, quality photographs can help you retain and re-experience even the most minor details; so you can enjoy them for decades later. When choosing a photographer, ask plenty of questions and take your time. After all, your photos and videos will be the most important link to that special day, when you officially joined your life with the one you love most.

How to Choose the Right Wedding Photographer

Wedding photos are a critical part of any celebration, because they allow you to relive all the special moments and emotions years after the celebration has concluded. Sadly, research suggests that many brides and grooms spend too little on this fundamental necessity, instead focusing the bulk of their budgets on catering, flowers, makeup, decorations and drinks.

New York Magazine recently published a survey which asked about 100 brides to name the biggest disappointments associated with their ceremonies. While each expressed a wide variety of regrets, the vast majority said they would have spent more on wedding photography if they could do things again.

According to Arnaud Brichet, who owns the Punta Cana wedding photography company HDC Photo, this isn’t a surprising statistic. In fact, he says most people tend to undervalue their photographer, because they are too fixated on the moment.

“It’s common for brides and grooms to concentrate their focus on the ceremony and reception, because they are so excited about the upcoming event,” he said. “That said, many don’t realize that everything happens so quickly. It’s like a whirlwind that can be difficult to remember. That’s why they need quality photographs and videos to help them re-experience all the special moments.”

Unfortunately, many photographers do a poor job of capturing weddings, because they tend to take overly-orchestrated photos that appear unnatural. To ensure that they are getting quality service, Brichet says brides and grooms should seek personable candidates who ask plenty of questions.

“The best services are going to have photographers who get to know their clients,” he said. “They need to ask questions and learn exactly what the client wants and expects. Our Punta Cana wedding photography service is successful, because we take time to talk with each and every one of our clients.”

To get a better idea of what they can expect, brides and grooms should also ask to see plenty of samples. According to Brichet, a service should have a wide array of photographs in its portfolio.

“The best professionals have versatile skills,” he said. “Be sure to take time to go through their portfolios to get a clear idea of what you can expect. It may seem time consuming, but your photos and videos will be the only thing left after the ceremony and reception have concluded. In the end, your pictures are going to be the only link between you and the powerful emotions of that special day.”