top of page

Mocha Musings

Susanne Severeid - 
Photo: ©2014, Beatrice Angela Jacobs Photography

Past Articles:

Find the complete archive of  Mocha Musings at:

The rush of time halted by a koi look

December 5, 2017

Falling in line not always the safest response

October 7, 2017

Crisis can bring your inner voice to the surface

July 31, 2017

The unconditional love of dog

July 4 , 2017

The mystery of the toppled blue bin

June 5

Original Mother's Day aim was substance, not sentiment

May 1 , 2017

Death by a thousand budget cuts

April 3, 2017

Don't Loot Our National Treasures

March 6, 2017

Living Life with a Sense of urgency

February 6, 2017

Resolving to Stay Strong and Stay Engaged

January 2, 2017


Don't Be On Lookout for Answers - Look in

December 5, 2016

Exploring the State of the State – It's Good

October 31, 2016

You're the Boss— If You Vote

Oct 3, 2016

Of Trivia, Tiaras, and Trying Again—and again

September 5, 2016

July 5, 2016

Olympian Feats Not Always About Being FIrst

July 5, 2016

To Open New Doors, Step Outside Your Own

June 6, 2016

Ready for Adventure in Parts Unknown

April 5, 2016

A Close Encounter with One Not So Fortunate

February 29, 2016

Not Even Cupid Can Quantify a Moonbeam

February 1, 2016

Snowy Woods are Lovely, Quiet and Deep

January 4, 2016


What Do the Winter Holidays Mean to You?

December 1, 2015


Raindrops Leave an Impression

November 4 , 2015


The New Role Model: Gordon Gekko

August 31,2015


Have Someone You Can Talk to? You're lucky



Channeling Your Inner Teenager



Rites of Spring (or On the Road Again) May 4, 2015


In Praise of Recognizing the Caregiver

April 6, 2015


In Honor of  Kayla Mueller: Embrace Action

March 3, 2015


For the Love of Books

February 10, 2015


On the Importance of Kissing

February 2, 2015





Praise for Mocha Musings:

"Thank you so much for your excellent piece on caregivers. I read it this morning in the Ashland Tidings.  I do hope your article will be repeated in other newspapers far and wide."


"Thank you for your exquisite column."



"Thanks for this great article on caregivers. So many people are now involved directly with caring for loved ones or hospice care that they certainly need to be honored. You have a direct knowledge of what caregiving involves: time, compassion and above  all love. Thanks so much Susanne."


"Terrific Article!"



"I've been following your columns in the Ashland Daily Tidings and enjoy them very much. Today's column about kissing is a delicious read."


"A very touching,
well-written piece."


" I love your work.
Great stuff."


"Brilliant, touching article as always ! You touch people’s hearts with such kindness, wisdom and humor."


Time for an end to Violence on Women

By Susanne Severeid

Posted January 2, 2018, Ashland Daily Tidings

Copyright 2018


With all the recent take-downs of powerful men due to sexual harassment accusations, it made me wonder — why have I found it entirely commonplace to go through my purse on any given day and find the following: pepper spray (in an attractive metallic pink tube), a whistle and, sometimes, even a mini-stun gun (with its own, attractively-styled purple case). 

Why, I further ask myself, has it felt totally natural to carry these items with me since I was in my late teens? Simple. As any woman knows, the incidence of such assaults (and by this I mean physically threatening assaults) happen on a frequent basis and in a multitude of settings, not just at drunken frat parties. They can happen in offices of powerful people, on the street, and in one’s own home with people we know. 

I once took a women’s self-defense class (which I recommend to every teen girl or woman). The ages ranged from 20 to 50-plus. During the first class, the male instructor asked: Who here has been the victim of an assault? Every single participant raised her hand. The answers ranged from attempted kidnapping on a city street in broad daylight, to being raped while vacationing on a tropical beach. 

I saw a cartoon once alternating between drawings of a young woman preparing for a first date, and a young man doing the same. He puts a condom in his wallet, she puts mace in her purse. He combs his hair and tucks his comb in his back pocket, she makes a plan to text her roommate by 10 p.m. to make sure she’s safe and practices carrying her keys between her fingers. The message: the young man is preparing for a fun evening where he might get “lucky.” The young woman is doing the same, but she is also aware of the possibility she could be sexually assaulted. 

What is equally disturbing to me, whether in the workplace or in social situations, is that such intimidation and assault toward women has become so normalized and a part of our culture. Our American society is a violent one, and that extends toward treatment of women. Women have been denied equal access to positions of power — much less equal pay for equal work — and let’s remember that women only got the vote on Aug. 18, 1920, with the 19th Amendment. 

We need more women at the board table and in government as policy makers. We also need to change the notion that problems are best solved with force or violence or a gun. The amount of violence pervading our entertainment, often intertwined with sexually provocative situations or women as victims, is over the top. Statistics may vary, but the numbers are staggering: According to Huffington Post, 1 in 6 American women have survived an attempted or completed rape in their lifetimes and I am sure that we all know someone who has been the victim of such an attack. Ninety percent of all rape victims are women; 99 percent of perpetrators of sexual assault will walk free. Is it any wonder the majority of victims of harassment and assault do not come forward? 

We can use this moment in our history to take a good look at what our norms and values as a society have become. Our boys and young men need to learn how to behave with girls and women from parents who see both sexes as equals, and who treat each other with respect and dignity. Boys, from a young age, must be taught that “no” does not mean “maybe,” and that even when sitting behind a large desk, there are lines that must not be crossed in a civilized society. 

One out of six women — many believe the actual number is higher — is an appalling statistic. It takes tremendous courage to come forward and hold powerful people, and their enablers, accountable. 

It is high time.


bottom of page