Tuesday, October 20, 2015


One of my problems in life is that I like people a lot (although admittedly, I’m not always sure why).

It makes it hard for me to keep my resolution “thou shall not friend people you do not know well on Facebook.” You see, before I got a Facebook account, I made a resolution to friend only those folks to whom I was close to in real life. (I share A LOT about myself on Facebook, so the resolution made perfect sense.)

But as you can probably suspect, it hasn’t been working out that well.

I discovered, to my own surprise, that I was a huge patsy who couldn’t say no to a friend request, especially from a person I had to face later at school or at work. And I also couldn’t say no to the temptation to friend every interesting person whom I randomly met, even though I knew that the possibility that we would ever hang out again was very, very low.

And so the number of my Facebook friends grew. And so did my dilemma: When and under what circumstances to get rid of those Facebook “friends” whose opinions were irritating, dumb, or downright offensive?

You see, the reason why I’m pondering this is that I like to think of myself as an accepting and open-minded person, whose ego is strong enough to handle that sometimes I disagree with people. And I’m also the one who has been known to occasionally make fun of folks who are so easily offended that you hurt their feelings when you say as much as “hello”. As a result, I feel like a huge hypocrite every time I get mad about something people are posting to the point that I don’t want to call them friends anymore.

But – what if the stuff they are posting really is too much and contradicts everything you believe in? I already wrote in one of my early columns about a person I unfriended when he continued to post blatantly racist and anti-Muslim propaganda, some of which came from an author who said publicly that the only way to deal with (all) Muslims was to bomb them all, children included.

And for the record, I don’t feel at all bad about this one!

Conversely, I was unfriended by a former coworker and a (relatively) close friend who suddenly, after several years of friendship, realized that I was pro-choice – and that was it.

So I was on both sides of the barricade! 

But the reason why I’m writing this specific column is that a while ago I flipped out when I read a post from a former coworker, with whom I was never particularly close, but whom I admired because she was smart and beautiful and her Facebook posts read like poetry. She was also a conservative Christian. I never minded her sharing her thoughts and feelings about God, because her posts were so loving, uplifting, and positive that even as a non-Christian I simply had to appreciate them.

So imagine my surprise when I suddenly came across one that was downright nasty. I didn’t save or copy-and-paste it, so you only have my word for it, but trust me: It was NOT loving, uplifting, and positive at all! The main message boiled down to the statement that only people who believed in HER God had the right to call themselves spiritual, and everyone else who did so was deluded, wrong, and ridiculous. And apparently most ridiculous were those people who expressed their relationship with the divine by wearing “certain” clothes, listening to “certain” music, and burning incense.

You didn’t have to be a genius to figure out that she was targeting mainly people practicing New Age types of spirituality (although Hindus and Buddhists and such might have been a part of the mix as well; I’m not sure).  In any case, I took offense, because I do practice New Age spirituality and I didn’t see any reason why anyone should have the right to decide whether I could call myself spiritual or not. So I commented on her post about how disappointed I was that she turned out to be such a judgmental person, and unfriended her before she even had a chance to respond. 

Right or wrong?

I have been thinking about it ever since because I worry that by deleting her from my friends I became exactly the kind of person I don’t want to be – intolerant of different point of views. I do have to say in my defense  though that it wasn’t so much her point of view that made my skin crawl (I mean duh! She was a conservative evangelical Christian – OF COURSE she didn’t consider pagans her brothers in faith!); it was the insulting tone she used. I simply felt that if I wanted to be surrounded by judgmental assholes who think they have the right to decide for others what is the one and only “right” way to do things, I could have stayed in Czech Republic. So I snapped.

But, you know, something in me is still wondering whether I did the right thing!

And so I would like to ask you, my dear readers, what do YOU think about this and what is YOUR thin red line? What are you willing to tolerate from your friends on media and what would be too much? Have you ever felt bad about unfriending somebody? How does person manage to stay open-minded and accepting, but still fight oppressive viewpoints?

Maybe if I get some feedback, I will find some peace and start worrying about something else for a change J





Sunday, June 14, 2015


Tell me honestly: How many of you would arrive to a job interview in flip-flops, denim shorts, and a bikini top?

I take the liberty to predict that not that many of you. Even those of us, who consider themselves free-spirited and as such eschew corporate America culture, have to occasionally make compromises – if we want to get the job, that is.

Personally, I like breaking the rules. There are some companies I could probably never work for (those that ban tattoos, require pantsuits, and insist that employees accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior, for example). But you know what? Even I wouldn’t come to a counseling session with my client dressed in a short, tight, silver-sequined dress and Jimmy Choo stilettos.

Yes, even the most rebellious of us have to accept that there are some occasions that do require dressing in a more formal, professional way.

Which is why I don’t understand why it became a new trend to trash schools that actually insist that students don’t walk around campus half-naked.

Most recently it’s Chloe Cross, a Californian high school graduate, who is celebrated in media as a hero, because she wrote sarcastically into the yearbook an apology to all those who “failed their classes because of her naked midriff”. And of course, everyone is all excited, because apparently it’s a sign of patriarchal oppression to insist that girls attend school clothed!

Personally, I see schools as semi-professional space. It’s an environment that is supposed to prepare kids, at least on some level, for real life. As such, I honestly can’t see any reason why students should walk around with their underwear (or lack of thereof) showing. When, later in life, you are attending a meeting with your supervisor, are you going to display your cute Victoria’s Secret undies as well?

Now, I know what some of you will say: That the problem is not so much the dress code as such, but the fact that schools often argue that girls need to be covered because if they are not, they are distracting the boys from learning. And that’s sexism.

Let me be absolutely clear here: I do believe that the dress code should apply to BOTH sexes. I don’t blame Chloe Cross that she got upset with her school hypocrisy, when the dress code was reinforced only with girls, but boys could take their shirts of during lunch at will and no one seemed to mind. That’s not fair, and I would be upset too.

BUT: Do I also believe that having a clear view of boobs spilling out of a classmate’s tank top might be distracting to teenage boys? Actually, yes. This crusade of (some) modern feminists to make male sexuality something dirty and shameful is becoming absurd! Men ARE visual creatures; that’s been scientifically proven. They don’t need much to get sexually aroused. Ask your guy friends – I bet that every single one of them has a story how he got a hard-on in a situation when it was in fact very inappropriate (one of my exes, for example, once got a boner in church during a mass – and to this day he doesn’t even know why).

And before someone accuses me of doing so, then no, I’m not promoting the idea that we should teach our boys to behave like animals. They should definitely learn that girls deserve respect, and that just because a girl is wearing a short skirt, it really doesn’t mean that she is obligated to do sexual favors to anyone. I’m all for it.

But you know what? Boys deserve respect too! And yet we are slowly but surely becoming a culture when it’s considered normal to throw our naked boobs practically into their faces – and then start screaming SEXISM! CHAUVINISM! OBJECTIFICATION! when they actually look at them.

Personally, I see this not as a gender issue, but as a result of American prudishness - and inability to deal with human sexuality like adults.

Let me remind to those of you, who have mouth full of “objectification of women”, that it’s the sight of woman’s body together with touch and smell that leads to sexual arousal, without which we can’t reproduce. Therefore chastising men for their interest in said body is cruel and unnatural (leave alone stupid). “Inner beauty” and “beautiful soul” are wonderful concepts, but who did ever get a hard-on from a beautiful soul!?

The way I see it, any kind of extreme is always problematic. Islamic fundamentalists, who claim that just a mere sight of a woman’s body is so tempting that it puts men into danger of losing their soul, and it’s therefore reasonable to cover women in burqas and confine them to the house, are extreme. But modern feminists, who claim that women should have the right to walk in public naked and men are not allowed to see anything sexual in them – well, that’s extreme as well.

That being said, I believe that boys and girls should go to school properly covered and save bare midriffs for beach parties. Maybe the public would be more willing to accept school dress codes if they were worded differently, so the distraction of boys didn’t seem to be the one and only reason for it. Not even the most radical feminists could find anything wrong with a statement “we require a dress code to prepare BOTH sexes for the professional world” – or at least I hope!

But when it comes to distraction, well, let me just tell you privately that if half-naked Channing Tatum sat in class right in front of me, I’m telling you right now that I couldn’t focus on algebra either ;-)

Friday, December 12, 2014


Despite my mostly positive and optimistic nature there are some things in life that irritate me a great deal, and one of them is what could be summarized as “much ado about nothing”. It bugs me especially with regards to social justice.

Just think about it: There are people in the world starving to death at this very moment, but we have activists who would rather engage in a dispute whether all non-vegans are anything but a bunch of selfish, cruel animal killers. Women are dying during childbirth due a lack of basic medical care, but feminists complain how they are oppressed by a commercial for a lipstick. Millions of children won’t make it past puberty due to malnutrition and diseases, but articles on social media talk about how the poor in this country DESERVE to have an iPhone, goddammit, and they are going to get it, because everyone NEEDS to have something nice in their lives!

And then there is the war on Christmas.

From all the cultural wars I have been exposed to in the past couple of years I’m finding this one so idiotic that I don’t even have words for it (except that I better find some now when I decided to write a blog post about it).

And I’m glad to announce that I find both sides of the argument equally stupid. On one hand, I really don’t buy the claim of (some) Christians that they are persecuted in this country by liberals who are out there to destroy their “most sacred holidays.” On the other hand, I have no patience for (some) liberals who act like everyone who wishes somebody “merry Christmas” is committing a heinous act of oppression.

Just so I won’t be picking on American society only: I was recently shocked to find out that there was a huge flame on one of my favorite Czech blogs after one of the members challenged others by asking why do non-Christians, who clearly don’t believe in Jesus Christ having been born, bother to celebrate Christmas? Why do they insult true believers by decorating trees and singing Christmas carols – can’t they see how OPPRESSIVE it is to those for whom the holidays have a deep spiritual meaning!? Why can’t they find some other time to get together with their families to share a meal!? And so on.

And that’s Czech Republic, one of the least religious country in Europe! Sometimes I seriously feel that there is no hope…

Anyway, if you are wondering what my position on this is, I will have you know that it could be summarized into a statement WHO CARES!? Personally, I’m more worried about how many people will be in the streets on Christmas Eve with no holiday meal and no family to go to. You feel free to celebrate Christmas the way see fit, but please, give the same freedom to others. And don't get too worked over silly little things, I beg you!

Personally, if I get a Christmas card from a friend that says “let us celebrate the miraculous birth” or whatever cards like that say, I will NOT get my panties in the twist even though I’m not a Christian, because I understand that for my Christian friends Christmas do have a deep spiritual meaning and they probably just wanted to share it with me (and bought their postcards in the bulk) rather than attacking my spiritual beliefs.

It really IS that easy! Please, see below:

And, you know, I happen to love Christmas (yes, I’m one of those shady characters who participate in all those holiday festivities without truly believing that God sent his Son to save us). It’s quite possible that I will say “merry Christmas” when you bump into me somewhere, because as a rule I refuse to stop with every individual for five to ten minutes to think frantically about what I remember about that person’s religious beliefs. It's a phrase; it's what people say to each other when they are trying to communicate that there is something special about this part of the year. If you are really one of those people who feel “oppressed”, “attacked”, and/or “invalidated” by something so simple like a person smiling at you and saying a greeting, please, shoot me an e-mail so I can let you know what part of my anatomy you are welcome to kiss!

That being said: