Breaking Dad


The Breaking Dad’s Guide to Buying the Wrong Shorts . . . Please Add!
September 5, 2011, 6:56 am
Filed under: Girls, Poetry | Tags: , , ,

The Official Breaking Dad’s Guide to Buying the WRONG Shorts:

  • If the white lining of your shorts’ front pockets stretch past the bottom of your shorts, your shorts are probably too short.
  • If you sit down and your shorts seem to disappear, your shorts are probably too short.
  • If your cell phone only fits halfway inside your shorts’ pocket, your shorts are probably too short.
  • If your shorts are already super short yet you still choose to cuff the bottoms anyway, your shorts are probably too short.
  • If, when you stand from a chair, you have to constantly tug your shorts out of your crotch and crack, your shorts are probably too short.
  • If your shirt covers your shorts so that it appears like you’re not wearing any shorts at all, your shorts are probably too short.
  • If at anytime you put on your shorts, turn backwards in a mirror, look over your shoulder, and say, “My milkshake will bring all the boys to the yard, or “Damn, I am bootylicious,” or find yourself quoting any of the million lyrics that equate your ass with power, please, for the love of all things holy, put some pants on and rock the world with your brains, not your body

The UNOFFICIAL Breaking Dad’s Guide to Buying the WRONG Shorts (from friends and followers):

  • If you have to buy stringless tampons, your shorts are probably too short.
  • If your gynecologist doesn’t make you remove your shorts, your shorts are probably too short.
  • If you need two haircuts to wear them, your shorts are probably too short.
  • If there are so many holes in your shorts that you don’t need to remove them to pee, your shorts are probably too short.
  • Insert your rule here.

Want to add to this guide? Comment here, or on Facebook (BreakingDad), or email pierstorffs@mjc.edu with your suggestions.

This will be a poster soon.  And you and I will have fun posting it covertly in dressing rooms in every mall in America!

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Are girls’ shorts getting shorter or am I a pervert? Please help.
September 4, 2011, 8:32 pm
Filed under: Girls | Tags: , , ,

As I guy who is also a feminist, I have to admit to the conflict that boils in my male brain every hot summer: Are girls’ shorts getting shorter or am I a pervert for noticing?

I see your pockets.

To put it another way, let me quote one of my typical male students: “Girls dress sexy because they WANT us to look at them or else why would they dress that way?”

Girls Love Me

That’s not a bad point, actually; it just sounds kind of silly coming out of the mouth of a dude in a backwards cap with more muscles than brain cells.  But maybe he’s not so far off.  Maybe girls DO dress for attention— the wrong kind of attention.

Have you ever heard the saying, “Dress the way you want to be treated?”  I love that simple saying.  It is what compels a man to cover up his tattoos for a job interview or a female lawyer to avoid low-cut blouses in the courtroom: they want to be judged by their abilities, not their bodies.

The Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls states, “Given that girls may be developing their identity in part through the clothing they choose, it is of concern when girls at increasingly younger ages are invited to highlight female sexuality.  Wearing such clothing may make it more difficult for girls to see their own worth and value in any way other than sexually.”

So here’s a simple question, my friends:  Do you want your daughter, girlfriend, sister, or self to be valued beyond sex appeal?  And more to the point: Can girls exist beyond the gaze of boys?   I hope so, but if your short shorts give men a whole lot to gaze at, then men may never fully see you for what you are.


The Official Breaking Dad’s Guide to Buying the WRONG Shorts:

  • If the white lining of your shorts’ front pockets stretch past the bottom of your shorts, your shorts are probably too short.

    Don't Buy

  • If you sit down and your shorts seem to disappear, your shorts are probably too short.
  • If your cell phone only fits halfway inside your shorts’ pocket, your shorts are probably too short.
  • If your shorts are already super short yet you still choose to cuff the bottoms anyway, your shorts are probably too short.

    Don't Buy

  • If, when you stand from a chair, you have to constantly tug your shorts out of your crotch and crack, your shorts are probably too short.
  • If your shirt covers your shorts so that it appears like you’re not wearing any shorts at all, your shorts are probably too short.

    Don't Buy

  • If at anytime you put on your shorts, turn backwards in a mirror, look over your shoulder, and say, “My milkshake will bring all the boys to the yard, or “Damn, I am bootylicious,” or find yourself quoting any of the million lyrics that equate your ass with power, please, for the love of all things holy, put some pants on and rock the world with your brains, not your body.

    We don't do this. Why should you?


The UNOFFICIAL Breaking Dad’s Guide to Buying the WRONG Shorts (from friends and followers):

  • If you have to buy stringless tampons, your shorts are probably too short.
  • If your gynecologist doesn’t make you remove your shorts, your shorts are probably too short.
  • If you need two haircuts to wear them, your shorts are probably too short.
  • Insert your rule here.


Dear Dr. Asshole
September 2, 2011, 5:30 am
Filed under: Poetry | Tags: , , , ,

Dear Doctor Asshole

You’re lucky that it was my wife and not me
who took our five-year-old daughter
to your office to unclog the cough
from the drain in her throat.

Because when you weighed her on your scale
that is pounced on daily by rabid children,
and you suggested, without subtlety,
that she was fat, without considering
the mass of muscle bubbling beneath
her Hello Kitty tee shirt, without knowing
how easily she can do 31 push-ups,
which is 29 more than you have ever done—

I would have given you a comprehensive
rectal exam with the steel tip of my boot.

And when your ass deflated to its normal size,
which is, ironically, big enough to be its own planet,
I would have sat you down and explained
that on Sunday mornings, my daughter is
Lance Armstrong on a Dora the Explorer bicycle
and the cul-de-sac is the Tour de France.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, she somersaults
across gymnastic floors, swings like a pendulum
between parallel bars, and climbs a rope
to heights you will never reach.

At home, she pummels champions on Wii boxing,
her fists firing like pistons, as I train her
for a future of dealing with men like you
who will never understand the true weight
of a really strong woman.




Are Boys Born Without Empathy?
September 1, 2011, 5:45 am
Filed under: Fatherhood | Tags: , ,

In her seminal and super-good book, The Female Brain, Dr. Louann Brizendine writes, “Baby girls are born interested in emotional expression” (15).  She later adds, “The greater facial gazing [of girls] doesn’t indicate a need; it indicates an innate skill in observation.  It’s a skill that comes with a brain that is more mature at birth than a boy’s brain and develops faster, by one to two years” (16).

Are boys by contrast less observant, less skilled at the fine art of reading facial cues? This suggests to me that if boys are to develop greater observational skills, then they must aquire those skills.  They aren’t born with this power.  They learn it.

Take for example my daughter in kindergarten.  Last week, I walked into her class and saw her on the big red couch instead of sitting within the circle of children at the feet of their teacher while she read aloud.  Having two boys (and one who’s been in lots of trouble before — all defendable, but that’s for another time), I immediately thought she was being punished for going Norman Bates Psycho with a sharp crayon.  I wasn’t even close.

My daughter was comforting her classmate who was in tears because of the “scratch” on her knee.  (Truth be told, it was so minor that if she were a boy, she would have dusted her knee off and ran another lap because that’s what we expect from boys, right?).

My daughter explained the sadness in her classmates eyes, the skid that led to the scratch, and now she felt responsible for supporting her gal pal.  I was both proud and perplexed.  “Get your ass back to the circle and learn something!”  That’s what a part of me screamed.  The other part thought, Wow, my daughter recognizes emotion the way Superman recognizes Kryptonite.  She’s overwhelmed by others’ pain and she’s compelled to help without being asked.

Chicks Get Empathy

That’s empathy, a powerful trait that I don’t think my eldest son has.  Seriously, he could hit someone in the face with a baseball bat and forget to say, “I’m sorry.”  It freaks my wife out.  She fears he’ll be a serial killer someday if we don’t enforce empathy.

Well, a lot remains to be seen, but for now, as we cultivate our final child (also a boy) we began teaching empathy early.  I don’t know what this means, but he seems very “interested in emotional expression” at 7-months-old (see video below), and for a male brain, that seems pretty awesome, or the first hint that he may be transgendered.  I will let you know who he asks to prom in 15 years.

Trying on Prom Dresses




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