Saturday, December 31, 2016

2017 - BRING IT!

In keeping with tradition, I am sitting here forcing myself to write a New Year's blog post.  And, while past New Year's posts have lamented on the passage of time and the fear that comes with change, I have decided to take a different approach this year. 

Some of you may remember that I actually declared 2015 as "one of the most tumultuous years of my life." Well, to be honest, 2016 only improved slightly, and as a whole, the universe did not seem happy. Ask just about anyone and most would agree that 2016 was a year from hell. Politics and world events aside, many people in general just seemed miserable with the state of our planet - and with good reason. 

For me, 2016 was another year of growth, change, and struggles. But, through all of it, I can happily say I survived and am looking forward to a new year with more adventures. Change is not always easy, but I am keeping the faith that all will work out as the universe so intended it to be.

The biggest accomplishment I am taking into 2017 is that my blog is now OVER two years old with consistent publications the entire time. And, while it hasn't made me financially independent (LOL), it has served some very important purposes. 

1) It has given me an outlet to express myself on anything and everything that gives me inspiration. 
2) It has allowed me to connect with readers and fellow bloggers, people that I have grown to respect and value as friends and colleagues. 
3) It has given me the opportunity to practice my trade (writing), even at times when I don't want to - a valuable skill to cultivate. 
4) It has enabled me to work with authors on editing assignments and book promotions. 
5) It has undoubtedly helped me land my latest professional career - working for a national non-profit as a grant writer/coordinator, which combines my love of non-profit / volunteer work with writing.  

So, with all that said, and now, for the first time, written down in black and white, I can justify all the late nights up writing, the times I made my sons wait "five more minutes" for dinner (which usually turned into an hour), and the countless hours working on ideas and promoting my blog. 

A few weeks ago, I announced on social media that I would be stopping my weekly movie reviews (weekly book reviews were stopped months and months ago due to time restraints.) The idea being that 2017 brings a slight return to the original purpose of the blog's inception - a personal journey. However, after discussing this decision with some that know me very well, (and, oddly, some that hardly know me at all) I have decided to not throw away the movie reviews so quickly. After all, they have been the bread and butter of my blog almost since the beginning. Discontinuing them would be like throwing away an old friend. Not my style. Plus, films give me so much inspiration. Therefore, I've decided there is no need to stop them altogether - but rather not pressure myself to write one each week. 

As I welcome in a new calendar year, I too welcome yet another era of my blog. Hopefully, one that will continue to promote books and films that inspire me while adding a deeper, more personal element.  

Thank you all very much for continuing to stop by, read, and comment on my posts. I wish you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year. 

Read more of my blog here

Friday, December 30, 2016

Sisters (Nik's Piks)

Sisters Movie Review

"A house is just a building.  Home is a feeling." ~ Sisters

For this week's movie review, I turn to the 2015 comedy, Sisters, starring the very talented Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Kate (Fey) and Maura (Poehler) Ellis return to their childhood home, which their parents just sold, to clean out their bedroom. Consumed by memories of their teen years, the two decide to have one more party with their old high school friends. But, the sisters soon learn that "grown-up" parties are lame. So they decide to turn things up and prove to themselves that they can still party like rockstars. While the two come to the realization that their best years aren't necessarily behind them, the sisters also set out on another mission.
Growing up, Kate was the wild, vulgar, and over-the-top party animal. Maura was the reserved, quirky one who always had to keep things within the boundaries of  decency. But, tonight Kate decides Maura needs to let down her guard in an effort to relive the youth she missed out on. Part of that mission is to "get lucky" in her old bedroom. 

"Having sex in your childhood home is a right of passage." ~ Sisters

I am not typically a fan of obvious humor, but can tolerate it if the characters are endearing, and that is probably what saved this film for me. Otherwise, the story was weak and the film was simply propelled by comedic one-liners (mostly sexual innuendos) and situational comedy, that honestly got too ridiculous and was too predictable right up to the sappy ending. 

Watch Official Trailer 

Don't get me wrong, Sisters definitely has its funny moments and some great lines, but, overall, it was disappointing. On a positive note, Poehler was adorable and Fey was sexy, and the supporting cast, which included Ike Barinholtz, John Cena, Maya Rudolph, John Leguizamo, James Brolin, Dianne Wiest, Kate McKinnon, and Samantha Bee, was terrific. Sisters is a fun, light film perfect for date-night or girls' night out fun. The film is rated R for crude sexual content, language throughout, and drug use. 

Read more of my Nik's Piks: After Hours reviews. 

Check out my Family Movie Reviews too! 

Friday, December 23, 2016

Nocturnal Animals (Nik's Piks)

"When you love someone, you have to be careful with it. You might never get it again." ~ Nocturnal Animals

Nocturnal Animals is based on Austin Wright's novel, Tony and Susan, and transformed to the big screen wonderfully by director and writer Tom Ford. I had not heard anything about the movie before deciding to go see it in theaters. However, the fact that it stars Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal was enough for me. And they did not let me down. Both delivered stellar performances, and the script is nothing shy of a heart-pounding, nail-biting experience.

Susan Morrow (Adams) is the owner of an art gallery who left her husband, Edward (Gyllenhaal), an aspiring writer.  Now, nearly twenty years later, a package arrives for her from her estranged ex-husband - his completed novel dedicated to her. Viewers are thrown into the disturbing events of the novel as Susan reads it. The novel, an analogy of the pain she caused Edward years ago, stirs up deep-rooted pain and regrets in her. From here the film continues to show Susan's struggle with her past decisions, as well as flashbacks to her life with Edward.  

This is a powerful and dark story of betrayal and revenge - a film that will have you leaving the theater emotionally shaken and even, perhaps, with some questions.  I love psychological thrillers, and this was as intense as they come. 

Watch Official Trailer

Gyllenhaal once again proves why he is one of the best actors in Hollywood, and Adams just keeps getting better and better. Nocturnal Animals also stars Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Karl Glusman, and Laura Linney. The movie is rated R for violence (the worst of it implied), menace, graphic nudity, and language.

Read more of my Nik's Piks: After Hours reviews. 

Check out my Family Movie Reviews too! 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Rogue One (Nik's Piks)

Rogue One Parent Review

"All is as the force wills it." ~ Rogue One 

The latest Star Wars film is the first franchise spin-off and story in the Star Wars Anthology Series. Rogue One is set in the time frame between episodes III and IV, and, while viewers do run into some old favorites, introduces us to a new set of players. I am far from a Star Wars expert, but I have to admit. I loved this film. I liked it better than last year's The Force Awakens, despite the nostalgic draw that film had with the return of all our favorite characters. My son, the Star Wars fanatic in the house, loved Rogue One as well, despite feeling the need to point out the discrepancies in the plot to previous tales in the series. (Don't ask me....I have no idea what he was talking about.) 

Rogue One is different than other Star Wars films - probably why I liked it so much. It represented a level of heroic sacrifice not really seen in other films in the series. Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso and Diego Luna as Cassian Andor were perfectly cast and had great on-screen chemistry. The biggest takeaway from the film, one that had me turning to my son in the theater and whispering, "I don't believe this," is the fact that something happens in the movie that I don't recall ever happening in any other film. Naturally, I am not going to spoil it for you. 

Without going into too many plot points and ruining the film for you, the general premise behind Rogue One is a how an unlikely band of rebels take on a mission that seemed too great for the Rebel Alliance. However, not seeing any other choice, the group, led by Jyn and Cassian, decides to take matters into their own hands and risk everything to fight the Imperial Army and save the universe from the Empire's latest weapon. 

Watch Official Trailer

As I mentioned previously, there are some very fun and exciting new characters, including my favorite, K-2SO played by Alan Tudyk. Rogue One also stars Mads Mikkelsen, Jiang Wen, Donnie Yen, and Forest Whitaker. It may help to have prior Star Wars knowledge, but it is certainly not mandatory to enjoy this film. Rogue One is rated PG-13 for extended sequences of sci-fi violence and action.  

With that said and while we are on the subject of rating, may I vent one more time about parents who take children well below the 13-year-old age suggestion to PG-13 films.  I understand your 4-year-old may like Star Wars toys and pajamas, but this film, like all other PG-13 films, deals with subject matter not suitable for very young children. There are a ton of explosives, mass destruction, fight scenes, and deaths.  In addition, there is no way they are going to follow the story line. They will be bored and restless - just ask the preschooler who was running up and down my aisle in the theater. 

Read more of my Nik's Piks: After Hours reviews. 

Check out my Family Movie Reviews too! 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Black Mass (Nik's Piks)

"You know Southie kids, we went straight from playing cops and robbers on the playground to doing it for real on the wasn't always easy to tell who was who." ~ Black Mass

Based on the book Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, the FBI, and A Devil's Deal by Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill, the 2015 mob film, Black Mass, is the true story of Boston gangster, Jimmy "Whitey" Bulger, that focuses on the loyalties that lie within crime families and the corruption that runs deep in our social structure. The film stars Johnny Depp as Whitey and Benedict Cumberbatch as his brother and local politician, Billy Bulger - two of my all-time favorite actors. Depp delivers yet another powerful performance, and Cumberbatch (OMG! His Boston accent!!) proves just how talented and versatile an actor he is.

Black Mass focuses on the crime wars of South Boston between 1975-1981 and the feud between the Irish mob and Italian mafia. FBI agent, John Connolly (Joel Edgerton), grew up in the same neighborhood idolizing Jimmy like all the other kids. He convinces FBI officials that it would be beneficial to use Whitey as an informant. Through Jimmy, they can finally capture the other mob bosses. The alliance with the Feds lasted years and resulted in the arrest of several gangsters. However, as the alliance begins to crumble under corruption and lies, the players are brought into light forcing Bulger into hiding in late 1994 where he remained for eleven years. 

"Get the FBI to fight our wars, against our enemies, while they protect us." ~ Black Mass

Black Mass portrays the brutal world of organized crime and demonstrates just how deep the corruption goes. Fans of mob films will surely want to check it out. However, despite a fascinating story and brilliant performances by the entire cast, I was not crazy about the film. It was slow-paced, and, frankly, I found the thick Boston accents difficult to understand at times. The film also stars Jesse Plemons, Corey Stoll, and Kevin Bacon, along with Dakota Johnson who gave a shocking performance as Lindsey Cyr, Whitey's wife. 

Watch Official Trailer

Black Mass is rated R for brutal violence, language throughout, some sexual references, and brief drug use. 

Read more of my Nik's Piks: After Hours reviews. 

Check out my Family Movie Reviews too! 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Eye in the Sky (Nik's Piks)

Eye in the Sky

"Never tell a solider that he does not know the cost of war." ~ Eye in the Sky

Eye in the Sky is a 2015 British thriller that will show you an entirely different side to modern day warfare. British Colonel Powell (Helen Mirren) is forced to lead the capture mission in Nairobi of three of the most wanted terrorists in the world after the murder of one of their own. Working remotely with Kenyan and American military personnel, Powell locates the targets and sets off on a capture only mission. But, when new developments indicate the subjects are about to strike again, the mission changes from capture to kill.

As political and military leaders debate over the next steps to take, the situation is complicated further by the introduction of one collateral damage target.  One consideration is whether or not to win the propaganda war at the expense of many lives.  

"You are putting the whole mission at risk because of one collateral damage issue?" ~ Eye in the Sky

Eye in the Sky had me mesmerized from the opening scene. The film's look at drone warfare along with the moral, legal, and political aspects Western military leaders are forced to examine everyday was beyond fascinating. I hate to sound so dramatic, but there is really no other way to put my feelings into words. I loved this film!  Seeing how modern day wars are being fought was truly intriguing. The technology was crazy! 

Watch Official Trailer

Mirren is absolutely wonderful in this film. And, if she isn't enough Eye in the Sky also stars two of my favorites, the late Alan Rickman as Lieutenant General Benson and Aaron Paul as the Air Force drone pilot (the 'eye in the sky') responsible for releasing the weapon. Rickman is superb and Paul delivers a heartfelt performance. The entire cast was amazing and included Barkhad Abdi, Phoebe Fox, Iain Glen, and Richard McCabe along with many others. 

Eye in the Sky is rated R for some violent images and language. This is an intelligent war movie and one I highly recommend to everyone! (Not sure I ever said that before!) 

Read more of my Nik's Piks: After Hours reviews. 

Check out my Family Movie Reviews too! 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Money Monster (Nik's Piks)

 "You see that's the irony about all this. You only came after me because I lost you money. No body was asking questions when everybody was making a profit." ~ Money Monster

Money Monster is a 2016 thriller directed by Jodie Foster and starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts. The underlying theme is ripped from today's headlines. Lee Gates (Clooney) is the host of a cheesy investment show. One day, while on live television, a disgruntled investor, Kyle Budwell played by Jack O'Connell, who lost his life's savings when he followed one of Gates' stock tips, walks on the set and takes Gates hostage. Insisting they keep the live feed or he'll kill Gates, the crew and the world watches in horror. 

"There's human fingerprints all over this." ~ Money Monster

The show's director, Patty Fenn (Roberts), tries to handle the negotiations between law enforcement and the intruder while getting answers from the company that somehow lost $800 million dollars in one day despite a foolproof algorithm. In a bizarre twist of fate, the show's host  honestly tries to get answers for this young man who is trying to take on the entire financial industry through his criminal acts. 

Watch Official Trailer

Despite some good performances and some griping scenes, the film didn't grab me (not at first anyway), and had me wondering if Clooney and Roberts just wanted to make another film together. There is no denying their on-screen chemistry.  I did like the film more by the end as the action became more intense, and as the story took shape and the characters became more developed. If you like dramas that focus on the financial industry, particularly current scams and questionable activity, you will like this film. Money Monster is rated R for language throughout, some sexuality, and brief violence. 

Read more of my Nik's Piks: After Hours reviews. 

Check out my Family Movie Reviews too! 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Family Movie Review)

Wands at the ready! There's a new wizard in town. 

A week late, but here is my review of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The film, which opened on November 18, is based on the novel with the same title by famed author J.K. Rowling. The story is a prequel to the highly successful Harry Potter series, and is based in 1926 when a wizard, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), arrives in NYC from London with a magical suitcase filled with fantastical beasts. Naturally, all hell breaks loose when his suitcase is switched with that of a muggle's and some of the creatures escape jeopardizing the secrecy of the entire magical population of the city. 

Harry Potter fans may be disappointed that there aren't more references to the beloved franchise, but some mentions and connections are made. The story line was not terribly strong, but the film seemed to lay the groundwork for future installments and further character development. I am sorry I did not read the book, as perhaps the novel would fill in some gaps.

Honestly, I did not know what to expect before heading to the theater. For that reason, perhaps, I was not disappointed. The two overwhelming themes did not go unnoticed: humans hate that which they do not understand and animal rights. What I enjoyed most about this film was the tenderness Newt has for his creatures, and just how far he is willing to go to protect them and educate the magical world about them. The creatures were truly delightful!  

It was also very fun to be back in Rowling's magical world which was brought to life beautifully by special effects. We have new heroes, new villains and dark forces, and even some new terminology. Redmayne was wonderful as Scamander and starred alongside Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Ezra Miller, Colin Farrell, and Fine Frenzy. 

Watch Official Trailer

The film's PG-13 rating is for some fantasy action violence. There are few frightening images for younger viewers. Otherwise, it was a great film for families with older children, although, oddly, the audience was comprised mainly of adults. Viewers do not need to be familiar with the Harry Potter series. Fantastic Beasts is a perfect introduction to the magical world of J.K. Rowling for an entirely new generation. 

Read more of my Nik's Piks: After Hours reviews. 

Check out my Family Movie Reviews too! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Love & Mercy (Nik's Piks: Movie Review)

"Five years from now, no one is going to remember you or the Beach Boys." ~ Love & Mercy

I love when I stumble upon a fairly unknown film - and love it. The biopic film about singer-songwriter Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, Love & Mercy, is a must-see for many reasons. Obviously, if you are a fan of the popular 1960s band from California with the distinct sound, you will enjoy this film. However, what shocked me the most, is that, while I like a lot of the music from the sixties, the Beach Boys had a sound that never resonated with me - until, that is, seeing this film and learning about the man behind the songs. Music buffs, drama fans, and those who simply want to take a nostalgic trip down memory lane will absolutely love this film.

Love & Mercy takes place in two time periods. First, set in the 1980s, we see Brian Wilson (played by John Cusack) as a washed-up musician suffering from mental illness and recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. He meets Melinda Ledbetter (Elizabeth Banks - one of my favorite actors), who will eventually play a major role in his recovery. 

Watch Official Trailer

For years, Wilson was being treated by psychotherapist, Dr. Eugene Landy, and was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. However, Landy, played by Paul Giamatti, who acted as Wilson's medical guardian, represented yet another dangerous, co-dependent relationship in the musician's life. 

"Sometimes your inner voice wants to express itself, and every once in a while, every blue moon, our soul comes out to play." ~ Love & Mercy

Throughout the film, there are flashbacks to the sixties where Paul Dano, who earned a Golden Globe Best Supporting Actor nomination for his performance, plays young Wilson. We see how, during the musical revolution of the 1960s, Wilson's creative genius takes the band to the top of the charts, but nearly cost him everything. Exacerbated by an abusive father and the drug culture, the band's fame, on more than one occasion, nearly cost him everything. 

Love & Mercy is truly an uplifting story of how Brian Wilson overcame mental illness, abuse, and addiction to make one of the most dramatic comebacks in the industry. Banks and Cusack delivered fabulous performances and had dynamic chemistry, but Dano stole the screen and was worthy of more than a Globe nomination. If you weren't a fan of the Beach Boys before seeing this film, you just might be afterwards. Even if you were a fan, I guarantee you'll never listen to one of their songs quite the same way again. The soundtrack is another highlight, and includes a live performance of the song "Love & Mercy" in the final credits. 

Love & Mercy is rated PG-13 for thematic elements, drug content, and language. 

I hope you don't mind if I indulge you in just one song.......

Read more of my Nik's Piks: After Hours reviews. 

Check out my Family Movie Reviews too! 

Friday, November 18, 2016

The End of the Tour (Nik's Piks: Movie Review)

"He wants something better than he has. I want precisely what he has already." ~ The End of the Tour

Continuing with my book-to-film series is a lesser known 2015 film, The End of the Tour. Based on the memoir, Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, by journalist and author, David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg), the film is based on Lipsky's account of his interview with renowned American author, David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel), for Rolling Stones Magazine.

As Wallace's 1996 book tour for Infinite Jest is coming to a close, Lipsky, hoping to impress his editor, negotiates a very personal interview with the mysterious author. The two men travel together for a few days, and Lipsky, who looks up to Wallace, sees a side of the brilliant author few were privy to. The entire movie is insightful, often thought-provoking, dialog between the two men as Wallace slowly opens up to Lipsky about his alcoholism, his loner lifestyle, and his "spiritual crisis".

"I don't think writers are smarter than other people. I think they may be more compelling in their stupidity." ~ The End of the Tour

As so many other geniuses, the story portrays Wallace as the tormented artist he was, one who suffered from addiction, depression, and insecurity, and how the more famous he became, the worse these inflictions became. As the film reveals Wallace's personal demons, it also demonstrates how the experience allowed Lipsky an introspective look into his own life and goals. 

Watch Official Trailer

The End of the Tour is an unassuming drama that takes a hard look at the price of fame and ego. Segel and Eisenberg deliver truly spectacular performances which captivated me and drew me into these characters. If you like such stories as Tuesdays with Morrie, or simply like films that delve into human relationships and psyche, I would definitely give this one a try. The film is rated R for language and some sexual references. 

Read more of my Nik's Piks: After Hours reviews. 

Check out my Family Movie Reviews too! 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

15th Annual Juno Beach Craft Festival on the Ocean

This weekend marks the 15th Annual Juno Beach Craft Festival on the Ocean. Under a beautiful blue sky, visitors take in the works of artists, craftspeople, and the like from all over the country. This festival is the town's smaller of two art festivals. The larger of the events, Art Fest by the Sea, takes place March 11-12, 2017. 

A perfect place to pick up that special gift for the holidays or unique item for your home, the Craft Festival on the Ocean draws both locals and tourists. Attendees will delight in the various vendors selling paintings and other works of art including photographs, wood carvings, Florida-themed home decor, and jewelry. 

In addition, there are booths offering fashion and accessories, books, memorabilia, flowers, homemade personal care items, and, of course, food!

This free event runs today until 5:00pm and again tomorrow, Sunday, November 13 from 10am to 5pm. Parking is also free and is available in Loggerhead Park (where the restrooms are located) or along the closed section of A1A that stretches from Loggerhead Park north to Juno Beach Pier.  Afterwards, why not take in a stroll along A1A or the beach itself!?  The event is family and dog friendly.

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Divergent Series: Allegiant (Nik's Piks: Movie Review)

"Welcome to the future. We've been waiting for you." ~ Allegiant

Continuing with my book-to-film series, this week's movie review is on the third film in The Divergent series, Allegiant. I read the novels quite a while ago, a series popular with teens, young adults, and all fans of dystopian novels. I do not recommend this film to anyone not familiar with the previous two films or the books. Please note, my review does contain spoilers for the previous movies to better explain the plot of this film.

Read review of first film: Divergent

The walled-city of Chicago, once a neatly organized, albeit unnatural, society where people are grouped into factions based on their personal strengths, is in disarray.  The divergents have fought back against the leaders of this system, the factionless, comprised mainly of divergents, have now come to power under their leader Evelyn (Naomi Watts), and, yet, peace is still far-reaching. One group, the allegiants, remains loyal to the factions; still others, led by Trice (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James), are determined to find out the truth of what lies beyond the wall. 

"Leaders need to make tough decisions to protect their people." ~ Allegiant

With former faction leader, Jeanine Matthews (Kate Winslet), now dead, the once factionless outcast, Evelyn, is proving to be a formidable leader. Those that followed Jeanine are on trial, and the walls are once again locked and guarded. However, Trice, having viewed the video left behind by her mother that explains "the experiment", is determined to finish her mother's mission and leads a small group of followers to escape. Once outside, they see vast destruction, an environment destroyed by humanity, mere remnants of radioactivity. 

Read review of second film: Insurgent

Once outside the confines of the wall, Trice, Four, and the others are taken into custody by the Bureau, led by David (Jeff Daniels), and finally discover why the faction society was created in the first place. Without giving too much away, the controlled society was, in the Bureau's eyes, created to save the human race. Once again, Trice and Four find themselves on opposing sides as questions regarding whom to trust come into play. 

Watch Official Trailer

Once the characters escape the wall, the film becomes very sci-fi. I started out liking this film, but it was dragged out to make room for Part II (Ascendant). Of course, it raises interesting moral and ethical questions, but I feel it could have easily been one film. I am curious to see how filmmakers handle the second part. Yes, despite not loving this entire series, I will need to see it - to get closure if nothing else. 

The Divergent Series: Allegiant is rated PG-13 for intense violence and action, thematic elements, and some partial nudity. I do recommend parents use caution when deciding if this film is suitable for their child. 

Read more of my Nik's Piks: After Hours reviews. 

Check out my Family Movie Reviews too! 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

GUEST POST: Why Women Don't Run the World. A Dozen Reasons.

The following is a guest post from +Gerry Pirani


The other day I was at a meeting when a guy said to me, "If women are so smart, why don't they run the world already?"

That got me to thinking about why, and this is what I came up with.

1) The sad truth is that too many girls and women around the world are ignorant. 61% of the illiterate youth in the world is female, and barriers to education for girls and young women remain high in multiple countries. Being illiterate makes it difficult to overthrow current, tyrannical regimes. It also makes one more likely to marry while still a child, die in childbirth, and suffer the death of one's children. To see how you can help, check out organizations like and And check out these articles:

2) They are just too busy. 

One example: The National Science Foundation quotes a 2005 study showing that not only do women do more housework/chores than men, they do EVEN MORE after marriage (hours spent per week goes up from 10 to 17 when a damsel is no longer in distress as a single gal). More info at:
3) They are actually slaves.
In the United States, girls between the ages of 8–12 are abducted and sold into the sex slave trade. According to the State Department's 2016 report, "The United States is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, transgender individuals, and children— both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals—subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor." The top three countries of origin for slaves in the US are Mexico, the Philippines, and the USA. Disproportionately, women and children are vulnerable to being sold into the slave market, especially to serve as sex slaves. Compared to other parts of the world, however, the US can be considered a safe haven.

A modern-day slavery report prepared by the United States Department of State is available here.

4) They are apathetic.
In the United States, according to the US Census Bureau, 57% of eligible women did not bother to vote in 2014, not to mention run the world.

5) They are too tired.
Women are up to twice as likely to suffer from insomnia than men. (Although some would say that men complain more loudly about it!) Getting little sleep makes it difficult to make decisions about breakfast, no less about running the world.  For sleep statistics, try: this site.

6) They lack cooperation. In the book Sapiens: A Brief History Of Humankind, Dr. Harari discusses the incomprehension of women's position in our species. Lacking correlation with the development of most species, human beings are unique in their patriarchal astonishment/awe of masculine qualities. The only explanation this blogger can imagine is that women are less cooperative than men despite their reputation for being more so.

Women would have to learn to cooperate with one another, rather than undermine one another, to run the world. This doesn't seem likely if the past is any predictor of the future. There is a psychoanalytic concept called introjection, which describes how we sometimes incorporate the opinions (even derogatory) of ourselves when we've been an oppressed population. At 51% of the world's population, women would run the world if they could just pull themselves together. Perhaps that's why society has done everything in its power to divide them.

7) They are tasked with propagating and nurturing the species. You know, the pregnancy and delivery and breast-feeding situation, which is only financially rewarded in a small percentage of the Western world, such as in Sweden. You try having three kids under the age of seven in your living room while running the world.

8) They lack testosterone.
Although testosterone is associated with assertiveness, drive, energy, and concentration, women in the USA who lack normal range testosterone levels for their sex are rarely covered by their health insurance for replacement or supplemental therapy, as men are. The excuse for this in the US is that using bio-identical testosterone in women is still experimental, although it has been used in Europe for about 50 years. Thus, even health insurance companies are keeping women from running the world.

9) They are too poor.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, women in the USA are 3-5% more likely to fall under the poverty line than men. Feminine poverty rates have always been higher, worse so in developing countries. Because they are busy dealing with concrete needs such as housing and food, women do not often have the energy to run the world, and the ones who are rich by marriage don't care to, especially if it interferes with their spa days or photo shoots.

For more information, check out this government site.

10) They are too love struck.
Women appear to find it a badge of honor to stand by their men, even when their men are wrong, abusive, or generally sexist.

11) They lack self-esteem.
The poor self-image of women has been broadly studied and written about (see P. Orenstein, W. Maltz, R. Morgan, as examples). Just imagine this: let's say that a group of women got together and created a religion that clearly delineates men as inferior beings, who will not get to go to heaven of their own accord but only through a woman's benevolence and love (if they even get to have souls at all), and who were made by an omnipotent Goddess to serve women. Now imagine how many men would sign up for this religion. I'd bet money on not very many. Yet all around the world, every day, women subscribe to philosophies where they are second class citizens, soulless, guilty on the grounds of having a womb, and in desperate need of being led by a male head of household. Is there any doubt why men would take advantage of such subservience? (Most men don't claim to be saints, after all.) With such a terrible self-image, it becomes difficult to believe you can run the world.

12) They themselves are misogynists.
Women sexists are just as prevalent as men. Of course, there is such a thing as reverse sexism, just as there is reverse racism, but that's not what I'm talking about. What I'm referring to is a pervasive, global misogyny or hatred of femininity. I am always amazed at how a blog or a meme or other social media post that speaks about women's rights gets trashed, violently attacked, and ridiculed. And not just by reactionary men, but by women, too. It's as though women are not human and therefore not worthy of human rights. It's shocking that a young woman today will denounce feminism because someone has convinced her it means something bad, as if her right to have rights was not only not guaranteed, but not even cool. Until women start to speak out for themselves and give each other a break, the sexism inherent in our still masculine-centric Earth will run the world.

Not women.

No matter how smart or qualified they are.

No matter how good a leader they would make.

No matter that it's the twenty-first century.

So, buddy, I'd like to say: that's why women don't run the world.  Yet. 


About Gerry Pirani, my Guest BloggerThe study of spirituality and human nature are turned into grist for the creative mill in Pirani's works of romantic literature. Taking knowledge of love and relationships, Pirani's lifelong dream is to raise consciousness about the assumptions we make of ourselves, the world, and each other. Through fiction, we can increase the mindful living and mindful loving everyone's talking about these days. The author of The Search For Intelligent Life on Earth series, Pirani is also happy to branch out with novellas of varying sizes to introduce new characters, places, and experiences.  For more information, see author's website: