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These are my thoughts: Feb 8, 2017.

“Nevertheless, She Persisted.”
If I were to have a gravestone, that’s what I would want engraved on it. In BIG BOLD LETTERS.

My mother was a strong, stubborn woman; just not when it came to women’s issues. She didn’t believe a woman belonged in politics, in the military, in the ministry, in the cockpit of a plane. Her list of what women should never do went on and on and on.

She had no time for the Gloria Steinem’s of the world. She would say: Be a secretary, a seamstress, a housewife, a teacher, a mother…

I can remember how thrilled I was when Geraldine Ferraro was put on the Democratic ticket. I can also remember vividly how my brother mocked her, and me, and how my mother agreed that she had no place in politics.

I don’t know where my sense of feminism came from. I was raised in a family where men could do or say anything, and women simply cooked the meals, did the laundry, raised the children and tried to keep the status quo.

This wasn’t me – ever. It drove my mother nuts!

As I do my DNA/Ancestry research I’m seeing some strong women who most certainly were not secretaries or housewives. Perhaps it is simply in my DNA to not settle for less than what it is I deserve as a human being.

Now, I’m in my 60’s and living openly as a lesbian. My partner of 34 years and I march and blog and do whatever we can for our share, and every other woman’s share, of dignity in Trump’s America. We also march,blog and do what we can for gay rights, but that’s a whole other blog!

It’s not about gay or straight, and I wish it wasn’t about Republican or Democrat. It should be about women being treated with respect. It’s about men who don’t value a woman and women who simply accept that as what their life is. We need women to value their life more, value their feelings more, value their worth more.

“She Was Warned… Nevertheless, She Persisted.”

As one does…

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This morning I made the decision to break up with the NFL – The National Football League. I’ve been having a love-hate affair with the NFL for well over 50 years, and finally – I have had enough.

It’s sad to walk away, but sometimes – sometimes we have to do what feels right for us – for our well-being, for our sense of what is right and wrong. For me – it is time to walk away. Time to put my NFL hats and my NFL t-shirts on the shelf and spend the time I would watching football doing something constructive, and spend the money I would on hats, t-shirts, etc on something more positive – you know- like a trip to England or France or Big Sur.

Watching football was a nostalgia thing for me. It was Sunday afternoons in the early 1960’s at my Aunt Jeans laying on the floor watching the Baltimore Colts with my Dad and my Uncle Mike. It was a bonding kind of thing – not so much of a drinking, yelling, eating and cursing kind of thing.

I love football, but when we went to the Stadium last year to see the San Diego Chargers, I thought that perhaps the wand search was a little too much, along with all the rules about swearing and fighting and drinking – seriously – are we not adults? Do we not know not to drink too much and punch people? Obviously, we do not.

Susan and I stopped going to night games when we had to lay down on the floor of our car and call 911 because people were running through the parking lot shooting at each other.  Again – there was alcohol involved in this incident and something about someone wearing the wrong jersey. Seriously – you’re going to shoot someone because you don’t like their jersey?

The whole Ray Rice thing was the last straw for me.  I feel that the NFL cares little for me as a woman, or as a fan. I don’t care who instigated the fight – I don’t care that she married him after he knocked her out – I care that he’s the pro football player trained to hit and injure. He’s also a man and should know that you never strike a woman – no matter what – you walk away. And I totally care that the value of knocking out a woman to the NFL is a two-game suspension.

  • Vincent Jackson got a 3-game suspension for unlicensed driving.
  • Terrelle Pryor got a 5-game suspension for violating the NCAA’s improper benefits policy
  • Plaxico Burress got a 4-game suspension for shooting himself in the leg – He was later sentenced to two years in jail for violating the stringent gun laws of New York.
  • Michael Vick was suspended indefinitely before the 2007 season. He served almost two years in federal prison. He was permitted to return to the NFL and was suspended for four games of the 2009 season.

Breaking up is never easy, goodbye is not always goodbye, but for now – the National Football League is not something I want to associate with. If they were to apologize to women for their lack of respect, and talk about domestic violence – I’ll pull my hats off the shelf – until then – my Sunday’s just freed up!

So, if you are watching and drinking and yelling – remember that the NFL places the value of women at two games.  For me: it’s time to walk away – and so I shall.  For the truth of the matter is this:  Football is a game – domestic violence is most surely NOT.

no nfl

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1-IMG_0090-001This morning I stood in line for about 4 hours with approximately 1000 women. There were men there – maybe 100 or so – the rest were women. Women of all sizes and shapes and color and religion and status and age – we all stood, without complaining, waiting our turn to meet Hillary Clinton.

There are some moments in our lives that define us – for me – this was one of them. I’m 61 years old and I finally understood why there are men who don’t particularly want women to be united. I finally understood why men didn’t want women to have the vote and why there are men still don’t want a woman to have any voice when it comes to our own bodies.

It’s because – Women who are united – on anything – are strong and powerful and know in their hearts they can facilitate change.

This is why men want to keep women down. This is why they hit them and alienate them and keep them “barefoot and pregnant.” Not all men – but some men – they just don’t want women to have any power or know that they could even have the chance at any power or self-respect.

I’m not bashing men.  I know there is this belief that lesbians hate men – trust me when I tell you – that’s not the case. I enjoy the company of men – well – most men.  I have men in my life whom I simply adore. I find them sweet and funny and they value the women in their lives.

But – I also have men in my life who absolutely do not value women – any women. Women who have strong opinions – women who are smart – women who have power, they especially don’t like them, and I find these men hard to understand and hard to have any sort of relationship with. Go figure…

The thing I noticed most in my 4 hours of bonding was that we all wanted the same thing – freedom and peace.  We all agreed we were are tired of war and death and yes – guns…

Is that a liberal thing – the not wanting guns? I honestly don’t know – but I know that the women with whom I had the pleasure of spending time with this morning are sick of the guns being worn over shoulders and on belts while we’re being told it’s for our own protection. We all admitted that we thought twice about coming to this book signing for fear that someone with said gun slung over their shoulder would come and take a whack at we crazy liberals wanting to see Hillary; the Benghazi killer!  We also all agreed that if we had stayed home – the gun-slingers would have won, and that wasn’t going to happen – not on our watch. So there we were.

We talked – as women do – about other women. We wondered why any women would vote against their own best interest – and why women just can’t seem to find the strength to stand up for one another.  Some of the questions we asked one another were:

Why would a woman vote for a man who wants to control where you can get birth control? And how do we help her see that this is her right as a human being to be in control of her own body? How do we educate women? How can we help one another? How do we unite and how do we learn how to treat one another with respect? It starts with each one of us – respecting one another enough to leave the men out of the equation. Women need to respect and care for one another – period.

These women made me understand that perhaps television shows such as The Housewives of OC and NYC and NJ and anywhere else – were to blame for how we see each other as women.  My partner Susan, has told me this for years, and now – finally – I get it.  These women certainly do not treat one another with any respect – and I get that I shouldn’t find it entertaining – I should be offended. Scripted or not – these women are not what we should aspire to be and certainly not an example for our daughters, granddaughters, nieces, or any of the women in our lives. The 80-something woman who asked me just what it was I got from those shows was quite pleased with herself when I had nothing to give her as an answer. And when she asked me why I watched – again – I had nothing – and again – she looked at me with raised eyebrows – I knew she was thinking: “Well then – why are you watching?”

What I also got was the thing that united us this morning was Hillary Clinton. We all had our own reasons for being there – but in the end – it was all about Hillary. Maybe we all see ourselves in her in one way or another; Perhaps we’ve been betrayed by a man that we love, or betrayed by a woman we thought was a friend with the man that we love, or maybe we are ridiculed by the men in our lives for trying to be strong and independent thinkers, maybe it’s waiting for the birth of your first grandchild – and maybe – just maybe – we simply aspire to make the world a better place by living our best life.  A life of service – a life of choice, a life of caring for one another.  Perhaps these things are some of what we see in Hillary Clinton.

So – Thank you Hillary – for leading the way – for showing women what we can be – what we should be – what we will be. And thank you to all the strong, loving, caring, powerful women who shared those 4 hours in line with me on Girard Ave in La Jolla, CA this morning.  It was inspirational – to say the least…

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I wasn’t going to jump into the free-speech, don’t heckle the comic telling rape jokes fray, however, I find myself reading articles, shaking my head thinking: Is this what we’ve become; A funny rape joke society?

Honestly, I’ve never even heard of Daniel Tosh.  Never seen him, never heard him, didn’t even know he existed.  Now that I have heard of him, I still have no desire to see him or listen to him.  I don’t believe he should be censored, although I do believe that perhaps attending a group meeting with women who have been raped should be in order for him, just so he might understand his ignorance when it comes to women and rape.

I’m not a fan of rape jokes; I think it’s sick on any number of levels.  I suppose what bothers me the most is that his rape jokes are only about women.  I mean if rape is funny, let’s tell jokes about men being raped, and little boys and little girls.  Let’s leave no one out of the loop here.  Cover the entire rape spectrum.  Men, women, boys, girls, and babies – I’m sure there has to be some sort of joke in raping a baby!

Yes, I agree with the if you don’t like his type of humor, just get up and leave, however… what of the man sitting in the audience who might have had too much to drink and believes that yes, rape is funny and decides to see just how funny it is up close and personal? What then? Do we not place any blame on Daniel Tosh and his laissez fare attitude about women and rape when this man goes and rapes the first woman or child or baby he sees? Is he not accountable for anything he says? Is this really what free speech means?

With any freedom comes responsibility and accountability.  You have the right to express your opinion without any governmental interference as long as you follow the laws and you don’t incite violence.   Raping someone is all about violence. It’s not about sex or a woman asking for it or dressing for it or whatever other lame-ass joke is told.

Tell your rape jokes is you must.  Just remember that we need to hear some side-splitting men raping men jokes.   And how does that one go about the rapist and the baby?

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There is a young man in his 20’s that has a son who is 5. He was watching his 5-year-old play baseball and noticed another little boy running around in a “No Fat Chicks” t-shirt. Instead of questioning the intelligence of the parent who purchased and allowed this little boy to wear such a t-shirt – this 20 something Father high-fived the little boy for his choice of t-shirts. I’m sure if he could have found the “No Fat Chicks” Father there would have been high-fives, fist bumps, and other displays of man bonding rituals for the 5 year olds to watch and learn from.

What chance does this young man’s son have of being raised with manners and respect for women? No chance in hell would be the correct answer, for it’s obvious that the 20-something father has no respect for women, and certainly no manners. This begs the questions: Where was this 20-something man’s Father? And why wasn’t this 20-something man taught respect for women and perhaps just a few manners? Do men no get this or do they not care? Yes, I’m aware that it’s not all men, for there are sweet, gentle, loving men who teach their sons that women are to be respected and cherished, and treated as equals.   The thing is – in my life – I can count those kind of men within the confines of my ten fingers!

What I see are generations of men who never seem to grow past the age of 12.  Men who raise little boys to believe that women are theirs for the taking, to use and discard and have no regard or respect for in any way. If you get tired of one, there’s always another to take their place. Just remember son; “No Fat Chicks.”

I don’t understand men. I’m sorry, I just don’t. I don’t dislike men, I just don’t understand them. Perhaps if I had to lug around the “package” and my entire life was based around making sure the “package” was functioning at its optimum ability 24/7, I might be a little more understanding. I don’t know, I’m just guessing.

Then again – I don’t understand women who think they must have a man in their life to make their life complete. Again – I don’t dislike those women – I just don’t understand them. You’re married to one man, he leaves you, you’re devastated, and your life is over. Two months later you’re living with another man and your life is once again perfect, you’re in love and all is right with the world. Can you really fall in and out of love in two months? I know I can’t, I’m just asking if it’s possible.

It’s my belief that we all must be comfortable with who we are when we’re alone.  You have to be able to spend time with yourself and be content and happy and fulfilled in order to be able to be happy and content and fulfilled with someone else. If you expect someone else to fill up your life, your life will never, ever be filled.

It’s also my belief that we must teach our children respect. Respect for each other, respect for the earth, respect for animals, and mostly; respect for themselves. Sadly our government is showing absolutely no respect for women, so why would be surprised that men are feeling even more empowered than usual, and passing that on to their sons. So, our sons learn from their fathers and from their fathers and from their fathers.

Test yourself.  If you had a five-year old son, would you allow him to wear any of the following?  And if that was you little boy flipping off the camera and wearing the “Peanutbutter Motherfucker” t-shirt, how proud would you be?  I’m just asking…

 

 

 

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Yesterday when I logged on to my Facebook page I read this little blurb that a “friend”  had written.  As I read this little blurb I was thinking – “What the hell is she thinking?”  And then I was thinking – “What the hell is she saying?” – And then it was – “Why the hell am I still reading?”  That soon turned in to – “I’m writing and telling her she’s crazy.”

Well, I did write a blog about it – but… I didn’t post it on my Facebook page.  I decided that the blog may come off as hurtful to some of my “friends” who aren’t involved in any way about what I was saying, and I didn’t want to hurt anyone who was innocent in this.  I must be maturing on some level and I suppose on those levels – this is a good thing.

Still – I wonder why there are folks who believe they have all the answers and tell the rest of us how we should handle our lives.

Then again – on some level isn’t this what I do when I write about the inequalities that face the gay community and women in this United States?  On some level am I not telling you how to live your life so the gay community and those of us who are women will be able to live our lives?  I mean – if you are not of the mind that gays and women deserve equal rights I will come off as a preachy, in-your-face, crazy Lesbian, won’t I?

We all come at the world from where we live and where we have lived. Our experiences are all different; our levels of pain and suffering differ from person to person from life to life.  I don’t need or want someone telling me not to complain about something when that something is as important as equal rights for the gay community or women being thrown under the bus.  This is my world – this is my experience, this is what I know to be true in this world.

There are some things in this world that are just wrong no matter through what eyes you are looking at it.  None of us should stop complaining about people being hungry or homeless. None of us should stop complaining about kids and adults being bullied for who they are, and none of us should stop questioning politicians who run on a platform of hate. None of us should stop calling out those Christians who hide behind the bible in their unending quest to stigmatize the gay community, and none of us should stop complaining about how divisive politics has become in this country.

And women – well, what can I say?  Make your voice heard before you have no voice. Again.

So – this is what I’m saying…  I’m not going to stop writing about what I know to be inequalities in this world.  I’m not going to stop complaining or demanding that things change.  If this bothers you in any way – just don’t read and feel free to take me off of your list of friends. For the honest question would be this;  if you don’t see the inequalities I write of  or even try to understand, then you and I don’t really have much in common and are we really “friends?”

Yes, we can volunteer and help where possible,  but change can only come through some sort of complaining. Change can only occur when you touch a heart – then the mind starts to think…  I’ll listen to what you have to say – right up to the point where you tell me not to complain. Then, you’ve lost me, for change can only come through constant complaining and vigilance for what is right and just.

Margaret Mead  said it best: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

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I wish I understood what was really happening here in the United States.  I’ve tried to sit back and not judge – but just read and listen and really try to understand what is going on.  I’ve tried – I really have.

I’m a woman who is going to turn 60 years old this year, and I’m also a Lesbian. What I’ve come to understand is that my life is under attack from my government and from the factions of religion who believe they own the toll booth on the highway to heaven.

I understood that the fight for equal treatment as a homosexual would be ongoing my entire life – When I say I understood that doesn’t mean I understand – it just means I understood that people are ignorant and bigoted about things they do not understand or will not accept, or believe are against the will of this loving God they hide behind.

I have nothing against organized religion – it is after all protected by the Constitution. The thing I believe that is forgotten by the religious is that those who choose to not have their lives run by any religion are also protected by the Constitution.  It’s not a winner-take-all sort of thing. The Founders gave us the freedom to choose, and because some choose one religion and some choose another and some choose none – the Founders were also clear to keep religion out of government.   That however has gone awry with the current group of Evangelical Christians who believe they know the answer for each and every American.  This Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech that they tout as their right to force their beliefs on the rest of us was supposed to protect those of us who obviously are the sinners from these religious zealots, and from having to follow their religious views. Am I the only one who sees the danger and the ignorance and the arrogance in all of this?

My questions are these:  Why do they get to make the laws and how do we stop them?

And then there is this whole “War on Women” thing…  I cannot believe that I honestly have to march and make placards and write my senators and make phone calls and write blogs about how women are once again taking one for the team – so to speak.

Women who have sex are called sluts – and the men who have sex with them are called a ladies man or a stud.   Are they not just as promiscuous as the women? Should we not be making them out to be lower than the scum in the pond? Should we not be calling them male sluts and male prostitutes? No, we just give them more drugs to keep the penis working properly.

Women take birth control to prevent pregnancy and this is not to be covered by insurance.  Men used Viagra to keep their penis erect to have sex with women which is the reason women get pregnant – and yet – Viagra is covered by Insurance.  In what world does this make any sense? Oh yes – In the Christian – man world.

Abortion – In my mind this is just so simple.  If you don’t believe in abortion and you don’t want to have one – don’t.  Men or women don’t have the right to tell any woman what she can and can’t do with her body. Ask any woman who has had an abortion how she feels about her decision and I can almost guarantee you that there will be a look in her eyes that will tell you all you need to know.

There are so many things in this Country that we really need to be talking about, writing about, marching about, calling our Senators about, and yelling about.  Jobs, the economy, these useless wars, our infrastructure, the homeless, Americans going to bed hungry, the loss of our personal freedoms to name a few.  Important, life-saving things are what we should be hearing from our Presidential candidates.

It shouldn’t just be the women taking one for the team, especially when women aren’t even allowed to play on the team.  Just sayin…

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