Alison Cummins
Montreal QC
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Recently hit the big Five-O Lives in Montreal with her beloved and two dogs Fantasizes… more »

Sep 16 Alison Cummins commented on Savage Love.
Thank you, Jina.
Sep 15 Alison Cummins commented on Savage Love.
Fichu @79,

In my mid-twenties I was repeatedly and politely mistaken for a sex worker. It wasn't a problem and was reassuring rather than unsettling. I worked a late shift and would sometimes end up walking through the red light district at 2h30. A van might pull up, I’d get a gruff “baby are you dating” and reply with a “nope,” the van would leave. No fuss, no muss, purely professional.

In my early twenties though, someone treated me like a sex worker even though it was clear I wasn’t one. That was scary. I put up classified ad for a roommate and said “call Alison at ____.” I got a big load of crappy calls from lingerie salespeople wanting me to try on their samples, men with foreign accents hesitantly enquiring whether sex was included in the rent, the usual. And one man who used a confident, pleasant voice to make me an offer. We could meet, and if we got along he’d pay my rent and I’d have sex with him. I could clearly use the money so it would be a really good deal. I said no, I wasn’t interested. He argued: how could I know I wasn’t interested if we hadn’t met? I hung up and he called back. Repeatedly. He accused me of being unfair and irrational for not considering his perfectly fair and rational offer. I tried to be pleasant and well-mannered, but finally resorted to yelling at him and telling him I’d call the police if he called again. He stopped.

No, not polite. Not polite at all.

In the first case, I wasn’t dressed like a typical sex worker but I was in the right place at the right time, so an honest enquiry was not misplaced.

The second case was just entitled and manipulative. Talking to someone who used very polite-sounding language to reveal that he couldn’t imagine that I might value my independence made me feel really gross. He demonstrated repeatedly that he thought that his interest in having a student mistress was more important than my right to say no. Really, really upsetting. And not at all polite, no matter what he might have thought.
Sep 15 Alison Cummins commented on Savage Love.
The Jezebel link I posted in @70 is good. If you're still confused about what is 'polite,' the guy in the Jezebel article is NOT POLITE.
Sep 15 Alison Cummins commented on Savage Love.
Asking for something that you have not been invited to ask for IS NOT POLITE.

Have you pro-polite-enquiry folks been following the advice about how to 'politely' get a woman to take off her headphones so that you can hit on her?……

There are a lot of men who think that as long as you aren't pointing a gun and screaming and swearing, crossing a stranger's boundaries to request sexual services is 'polite.'

It's not. It's not polite at all.

Instagram-woman appears like she might be sexually active. PHOTO thinks that since someone else has her, he's entitled to her too. PHOTO is not polite, he's a potential rapist.

If you don't know how this works, I'll tell you.

If a woman offers you something, being appreciative is polite. For instance, if she posts a picture of herself on instagram, telling her that she's pretty is polite. Even telling her that you look forward to her posts, that they brighten your day, is polite.

Asking her for something she hasn'toffered is NOT POLITE. So when she posts her pic, telling her that she should show her tits, or that you want to fuck her face is NOT POLITE. Telling her that you want to jerk off into her used underwear is NOT POLITE.
Sep 15 Alison Cummins commented on Savage Love.
Chatting up random women on the internet you don't know to establish rapport so see if they want to sell their panties is not OK. It's not OK on the bus, the street, the bar or the coffee shop. What makes it OK on the internet?

MonkeyFetish @34 QFT.
Sep 15 Alison Cummins commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: He Wears Short Shorts.
RE ellipses:

I just wanted to comment that there's a valued regular contributor to these threads whose comments used to be about half ellipse. They were jeered at, but persisted. As they gained experience their comments took on standard form, appeared much more thought-through and they gained a following.

I have great admiration for this person but I won't name them because I don't wish to appear condescending.

Writing is hard. It doesn't come automatically. It takes practice.
Sep 12 Alison Cummins commented on Savage Love.
Breastfeeding has immense health benefits for a child

Well, yes. The same ones that formula-feeding has: the baby doesn’t starve.
Sep 10 Alison Cummins commented on Savage Love.
LavaGirl @75,

Common sense needs to be tested. Common sense used to tell us that men were better, smarter, more moral and less sexually obsessed than women. Common sense tells us different things today. Careful observation tells us something yet again.

I go with careful observation.

In the case of breastfeeding, common sense might tell you that it’s obviously much better than formula. Careful observation tells us that for healthy, full-term infants, that’s just not true. It’s a little better.

*** *** ***
When I say stuff that isn’t true I expect people to tell me. That’s one reason I try to phrase my statements unambiguously. That way when I’m wrong it’s obvious and I can’t say, “hey, don’t call me on my shit, that was just my opinion!” Commenting on public fora forces me to learn and to be clear and specific and not overstate or generalize because someone’s going to call me on my shit.

LavaGirl, you heard something untrue that sounded scientific but was actually social propaganda. You didn’t know, so we told you. That’s not ganging up. That’s what friends do for eachother.
Sep 9 Alison Cummins commented on Savage Love.
1) Breastfeeding has benefits for mother and child and is slightly better than formula for full-term healthy infants, all else being equal. The thing is, all else is never equal. In real life, the choice that works best for that particular family is the best choice and is theirs to make. If a woman hates breastfeeding, if she takes medication, if her family requires her income... those things may tip the balance toward formula being the best choice for that family.

2) The US has no legal requirement for paid maternity leave. (I think the legal requirements for unpaid maternity leave range between 2 to 6 weeks? Someone will correct me.) Many professional, educated women end up staying home full-time with their children for several years at what should be the peak of their careers because their coparent makes more money than they do and daycare is unavailable or too expensive.

3) Some women cope by starting home businesses. Others cope by exaggerating the benefits to the world of their new career as milch cow. They use the most difficult infant care methods possible, invent reasons why these methods will cause world peace and grasp at pseudoscientific straws to reassure themselves that their sacrifice is worthwhile.

4) Have you heard what the religious ultra-right say about women's role in the domestic sphere in the US? Probably, because they get a lot of press.

Where I live, parents get a year of paid leave to divide between them. Good subsidized daycare is $7US/day. Everyone gets the subsidy, regardless of income. Result: parents take a year off to care for their infants, breastfeed if they want to and then go back to work. They don't feel the need to invent imaginary reasons why breastfeeding is good. They know it's good and they can do it if it makes sense for them. Breastfeeding is not balanced against a career in the same way it is in the US and mothers caring for their infants at home do not need to find ways to put a thumb on the scale to make their situation feel right.

Breastfeeding is a good way to feed a baby and that's a great reason to do it. My mother and sister did it and enjoyed it and I always assumed I would but I never had children. We don't need to add imaginary reasons. People invent extra, imaginary reasons because "feeding the baby" needs to balance against "social isolation, the end of my career and lost income that means we can't take family vacations." That's a heavy load to ask breastfeeding to carry.

Of course it doesn't work out this way for everyone, but it doesn't take everyone. It just takes enough to make a lot of Facebook posts.
Sep 8 Alison Cummins commented on Savage Love.
LavaGiri @41:

Nope, not true.

When nursing infants have colds, you find antibodies to their cold virus in their mother`s milk even when the mother isn’t sniffling.

This is because the mother has also been exposed to the baby’s cold virus. She might even have transmitted it to the baby. In her case, she’s been exposed to the virus (or a similar one) previously, so this time she cranks out lots of antibodies to it right away and doesn’t get sick. Because she’s breastfeeding, the antibodies are detectable in her breastmilk.

There are people who have elevated breastfeeding to a religion and want to attribute magical and mystical powers to breastmilk that are simply not warranted. They have come up with a theory of nipple communication that the saliva of sick babies goes into the mother’s breast where a special module within the breast detects any viruses and creates antibodies just for the baby which are then delivered to the baby in milk to help it fight its infection. This is a story invented to make women who are staying home with their babies feel better about being bored and lonely.