Us VS. Them VS. the US (a.k.a Feminism is not the Enemy)

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This. I hate that “feminism” has a acquired a taint because of a few militant feminists. When people make the argument “why is it called ‘feminism’ and not ‘equalism'” (or whatever name they think is more appropriate) if it isn’t skewed towards women, it’s  because HISTORICALLY, all the rights women have now are relatively new (DUH!). We never started on equal footing, so the movement to give us the same rights men have always had probably did seem female-centric. The beginning of feminism is basically when we started sticking up for ourselves.   And a lot of rights we now enjoy, we take them for granted because we have lost touch with the women (and in some cases, probably a few men)  in our history who had to fight for us to get those rights.

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It bugs me that even today, some WOMEN refuse to identify as feminist. It’s sorta sad, because it shows not only a gross misunderstanding of what feminism is, but also that in some ways, that the old social patriarchal programming is still in some ways in tact. They actually DISDAIN “feminists.” To me that’s like a mother of many, who hates kids.

And speaking of kids, what if you’re a woman who doesn’t want children, and especially not before you’ve had the chance to finish school…or go to college.53110672_814366642249280_3509339789545439232_n

or marry the person you love instead of someone who is chosen for you by family or religion or politics…

 

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Thanks to feminists, you have access to birth control.  You also have the right to divorce and leave a marriage that isn’t healthy or is not working out.

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If you are assaulted, you have the right to accuse your attacker.  If you have been impregnated by a rape, you have the choice to terminate your pregnancy.

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You even have this option under normal circumstances, if you are just not ready or willing to have a child…you get to make decisions about what you put your body through.  And there are people who want to take away that right, in the name of “religion” and their morality.  Personally, I don’t see anything moral about taking rights away from a living, breathing, autonomous woman, and giving them to an nonviable fetus.

The point is, as woman in America, we have access to tons of things we haven’t always historically been “allowed,” all because of feminism, and yet, sadly, in this country as of late, we are seeing a push to deliberately regress in social progress.  And not just for women, but for minority peoples, people of color, non-Christian people, immigrant people, and queer people (who are STILL fighting for all their rights.)  But all people are people, and they deserve the basic amount of respect and freedom to live their lives if they see fit.  We can NOT afford to be silent or apathetic to what is going on now.  Not to us, not to our other marginalized brothers and sisters, and not to our planet (because Mother Earth is suffering at the hands of the plutocrats too.)

I know I sound wacky, (and that’s what the people in power want you to think, because that narrative makes me the bad guy) but let’s be real… We all want comfortable lives, but more than that, we want comfort and happiness for future generations, specifically our kids.  OUR children, and America’s children.  But before we can get back to that, we have to reconcile our own fears and insecurities.  I know you’ve probably heard it before; Equality is not a pie.  There is not less for you if you share it with others.  We have to get over this competitive adversarial attitude towards our fellow Americans.  We can care about our own interests without feeling like other people need to suffer for it, but we need to start asking the right questions.

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There are a handful of very powerful and rich people in the US who only want MORE.  They want to have obscene amounts of money and power- to acquire it and to grip it in a death spiral, only the death isn’t theirs…it’s ours, it’s our future’s, it’s our planet’s.   I am sure I could expound upon this all day, but I will wrap up by suggesting you watch this short non-partisan video on corruption in America.  This video not only details some of the failings in our system, but ways we can start to address them I say “non-partisan,” but my guess is the people in power see it as very partisan; Us VS Them, and they use fear and insecurity to bait us into blaming each other instead of them so they can stay in power.  But it doesn’t have to be Us VS Each Other.  It is so hard, so,so hard, when we’re surrounded by bad news and hate and strife every day. I am just as guilty as anyone of feeling angry and adversarial at times.  But I want to try to do better too.   Let’s do better together.  Blessed be.

 

Edit: 3/16  I mention American a few times in here, us needing to be unified, etc.  I’m not trying to push any sense of overblown nationalism or “America First” BS here.  It’s just that this is where I live and I feel like under this administration, we’re actively imploding as a nation.  I don’t feel like we should be at odds or ‘comparing’ and competing with hardships of anyone, including refugees, immigrants, people of other faiths, etc.  All suffering matters and I just wish the people most likely to trot out the ‘all lives matter” phrase would start SHOWING it in their actions and their voting choices.

 

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Friday Morning Poetry Special

Been a while since I have done my Monday Morning Haiku…or have written much of anything for that matter.  Today’s poetry is inspired, as always, by the trials and tribulations of being me.  My hope is that you might find some humor in it.

Spring is Sprung

Spring is sprung, the grass

is green.  Not really. It’s all

mud, and I’ve got hives.

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Seriously… (not a haiku)

March; “corned beef, cabbage

and tater” time.  All the ingredients prepared, and dumped into the pot.

Wait a minute…

There’s no seasoning packet in this package of brisket.

 

 

Nano2018

There will be nothing substantive in this post.  I’m doing NaNoWriMo again this year. I ‘finished’ in 2016, quit about halfway in last year, and I’m gonna try again this year.  My book is going to be a supernatural thriller in the vein of Stephen King and his “thinnies.” (shocker, I know).  Even if I don’t finish, I’ll have more on paper than I started with.  Any fellow WriMos?  What is your book going to be about?

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Tuesday afternoon rant

Every day Facebook reminds me what a depressing place this country is becoming lately.  New bullshit every day.

And yet in the comments sections of practically any political post (and plenty of non-political posts too) remarks from the ignorant, the deluded, the angry, and the downright degenerate faction of the country, that portion that is disproportionately vocal to the sane people, but (hopefully) isn’t as big as it seems. (It’s still big enough to make me depressed there are this many assholes in the world.) So pretty much, the more stuff changes, the more it stays the same.
Today’s rant is brought to you by the “It  has nothing to do with race; Obama was an awful president/Trump is a way better President” comment crew.

Lyin’ ass motherfuckers … Which policies of Obama’s specifically didn’t you like? Was it how he wanted everyone to have healthcare and take care of the earth? Gee, what a dick *eye roll*.  Lemme guess. That’s code for  you were mad caring about others and the environment might cost you more? *bigger eyeroll* And now that Trump is President you claim the rest of us should “accept” it and respect the office.  *eyes roll out of head and down the street*
First of all, the right bitched and moaned the ENTIRE time Obama was president. You didn’t accept or respect him. There were plenty of the n-word and lynching references being thrown around, cries to impeach, and it’s on record how McTurtle (McConnell) filibustered Obama’s supreme court nominee. So stop being fucking hypocrites. Secondly, Obama was a LAW SCHOLAR. Trump is a FAILED business man. Obama was articulate, impartial, and smart. Even tempered. Social minded. Just because he gave attention to the racial divide in America doesn’t mean he was putting down white people . Trump is reactionary, immature, petty, ignorant of policy, and (it seems) half illiterate. And Trump has been named (literally tagged in graffiti) and referenced in various incidences of racial hatred since his election. He has emboldened race hate. His lies can be directly fact checked (and HAVE been. He is reported to have already uttered over 3000 lies since his campaign, Maybe since Fox didn’t report it you all missed it.) You are fully entitled not to like Obama, but don’t even try to pretend Trump can hold a candle to him. Don’t pretend he isn’t a dumpster fire set on catching fire to everything around him if it gets him more money or power. Don’t pretend Trump cares about you. If you believe that, you’re a bigger fool than you sound (and you sound plenty foolish when you say dumb shit like this). And we are just as entitled to NOT like Trump because of the way HE runs this country, (we can actually cite specific examples and their fallout too, unlike most of you when you complain about Obama) which is quickly turning into a cesspool that feeds on and is a monument to Evangelical white male fragility.
I understand SOME of you are too proud to renege or backpedal (although best believe backpedaling is one of the things Trump does best.) I understand you would hate to have been “wrong” or admit that the man you backed so loudly and proudly is a charlatan. But do the rest of us a favor, if you insist on dying on this battle field, take that “Trump is a way better President than Obama was” shit and tell it to one of your fellow Trumpers. They are the ONLY people who believe it. The rest of us, (including and not limited to people watching from other countries) are sick of your denial, sick of your bullshit, sick of your President, and frankly no longer have the energy to argue abject reality with people who choose to remain deliberately ignorant.  But thank you all for having the courage to band together and vote your heart, even if it is simply to fuck up an entire half century of social progress.
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Are we still bitching about Kaepernick?

A while ago (at least over a year ago,) USA Today reporter Brent Schrotenboer created a database that included arrest data for NFL players dating back to at least the year 2000.

Now I don’t follow football and I don’t give a tin shit about the NFL (or Nike, for that matter) but I DO care about all the thinly veiled racism, deliberate ignorance, and privilege I see being bandied about.
Of course many of these crimes are misdemeanors and the player list includes all players going back to like 2000. But you can check by year, team, and position.
This is a good source. It is, legit, just stats, no partisan opinion one way or the other. But you can draw your own conclusions. These are mine.  I am not suggesting every person who commits a crime, even a “small one,” should lose their jobs or positions.  BUT …. the fact the players who committed more serious crimes like domestic violence, bomb threats, and eluding police are still allowed to play is one thing. The fact that they are also able to do so without the “patriotic” public making a stink, boycotting the NFL, or calling for their individual blackballing of the players speaks volumes to me.  Only a week or so after the Nike ad featuring Kaepernick dropped, tantruming adult-toddlers are calling for boycotts of Nike, burning their Nike gear (prompting one online comedian to troll that he was a  Trump supporter who had burned his own Nikesto his feet).  And all of this petulant floor stomping actually may have affected Nike.  (Then again, some sources are reporting a rise in Nike’s online sales since they announced Kaepernick as the new face of Nike.)
Either way, all the fuss and anger of a man kneeling for a song in the “land of the free” is such hypocritical bullshit.  All of this over a black man who dared not stand for an anthem?  I am tired of people making excuses. Is domestic violence more “American” than kneeling in peaceful protest? Because that’s how these very vocal band of boycotters and complainers make it seem.  These people are ragging on athletes who “get rich for doing what they love”, are “ingrates”, and are “not being paid to protest.”  It almost sounds like they like their strong black men playing sports for public entertainment but otherwise keeping their mouths shut.
Now I have already touched on my opinions on this “to stand or not to stand” issue.  But what I forgot to mention in that post was that I have heard the argument that it is disingenuous for a rich, successful black athlete to protest an issue that many people see as not being “their problem.”  But to me, that logic is fallacious on two levels.  Firstly, this is usually spoken by a white person who has no idea of the black experience, rich OR otherwise.  And for them to assume that just because a person is wealthy that they may not face discrimination is …well, not their goddamn place for one thing.  The second reason this argument falls short is just this:  for EVER we have had famous or wealthy celebrities and athletes as spokespersons for everything and anything.  Obviously paid spokesmanship for a product is different from a cause, but many celebrities have lent their voices (and often their money) to charities and causes dear to them, from Alicia Silverstone for PETA, Alyssa Milano for UNICEF, Arnold Schwartzenegger for Special Olympics to Lebron James and Kaepernick himself (once and for all putting to rest the assertion by bitching flag worshipers that he doesn’t really care about the cause, that he isn’t “putting his money where his mouth is.”)
Anyway, as usual, I digress. The bottom line is there is nothing more American than protest, and the people pissed about Kaepernick and Nike are also exercising their right to protest, in the form of boycotts.  But wouldn’t their time and energy be better spent is “putting their money where their mouths are” to help come up with a solution instead? Or even if (in their infinite privileged wisdom) they don’t believe in the cause or “problem”, focusing their energy on one of our country’s many other plights?  Perhaps they could give away all their Nike gear to all the homeless vets they only ever seem to care about when they (the vets) can be used as an excuse to keep out immigrants or “reform” welfare.
Lastly, I’m sorry to my regular readers that I haven’t blogged in a while. Part of it is really just mental exhaustion.  I think about this stuff a lot of the time, but the idea of sitting and slogging though my thoughts and feelings in order to articulate them is overwhelming.  I could say I have been busy (I have) but there is always time for writing.  I just haven’t felt motivated to do it.   Also, pardon me for turning off the comments for this post.  I just don’t have the mental bandwidth for the inevitable trolls that follow posts like this.  It’s overwhelming enough dealing with people in our lives daily who think what is going on now is not a problem.
As always, thanks for reading and have a blessed day. ❤
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To Stand or Not to Stand…is not the question

Okay, no fancy pics or cool links, just uncut, unvarnished opinion.

This NFL anthem ruling:

 I am sure I have touched on this before, after the initial “scandal” of Kaepernick kneeling for the national anthem, and I know people on both sides of this “anthem” debate. I have heard people say “it’s a job, and you follow the rules of the job or suffer the consequences.” I have heard, said, and still agree with the idea that freedom of speech does not guarantee freedom from consequence. However, I would say there are a few important questions or ideas we need to acknowledge in regards to this debate. 
1) Where do we draw the line between “consequences” of free speech at one’s job and one’s job violating one’s rights? For instance,a person’s job could put anything they want in the handbook, and the employees can sign that handbook. But that changes nothing in regards to actual law. A company can’t violate worker rights just because it’s in their handbook and workers theoretically “agree” to it. To relate this to the current issue, the opinion that “if you play for the NFL you agree to stand for the anthem” is suspect at the least, because, in my opinion. forced patriotism is only one step less tacky (and unconstitutional) as forced religion. But I guess that’s what we have to nail down. Are forced expressions of patriotism unconstitutional?
Secondly, I understand patriotism and love of country is an important issue for many, but I disagree with idea that because someone chooses this as a form of protest, it means they intend to disrespect their country, veterans, etc.   I have quite a bit of military family and friends, so I would not take disrespect to them lightly.  A lot of the veterans I have encountered claim they “fight” for the country, not the flag, and they fight for a man’s right to “kneel” even if they don’t agree with it.  THAT is freedom.  But for all the people determined that protesters and those of us who support them are intent on disrespecting vets, the second pertinent question in regards to this topic for me is,
2) WHY are so many people more riled up about “disrespect to the flag” (an inanimate object) than the disrespect to the people that are part of the make up the country which the flag supposedly represents? Maybe if more people were as vocal about cases of police brutality as they are about players kneeling, this would not even be an issue.  I have an idea why…but I doubt there’d be any more people willing to cop to it than there are the existence of white privilege.  But if people who say “Well, you can protest, just do it another time” aren’t a perfect example of white privilege, I am not sure what is.  To think we have the right to tell someone else when they should protest about something that doesn’t affect us, (blissfully unconcerned by the possibility that we could be shot or beaten to death by a cop on a routine traffic stop or call out) is a shame. 

Can We Fix What’s Broken Here?

This is about more than just mass shootings.  This is about how sick our society has become, and it’s not because of violent video games or music, or “lack of prayer in school,” or even “broken families” or “millennial entitlement (lawd knows there is plenty of entitlement on all sides.)

For those of you who may think I am talking out of my ass (so I have been told recently, and by someone who was actually talking out their ass), I actually did study some of this stuff in school and hold a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology as well as Sociology, with a concentration on Criminal Justice.  My point is, I am simply asking for a little faith, or at least forbearance, that my opinion is somewhat informed.

So…

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So let’s start by addressing this meme… or rather what this meme doesn’t say.

“Throughout Canadian history, the social policy framework has been composed of efforts to address the sociopolitical rights of marginalized segments of the population (such as laborers, Aboriginal people and other visible minority populations, women, disabled people, and sexual minorities), along with addressing the negative conditions in which people live through the creation of national and provincial programs of social support (such as community programs of support directed toward new immigrants or disabled people) and economic support (such as unemployment insurance or family allowance payments)” (source) Oxford research encyclopedias
Basically, it seems their government has always tried to lift people up instead of keeping people separate. I really feel like we need a multi-part solution to this mass shooting issue. Studies show that if guns are available, they will be more likely to be used. So, first, we don’t want angry, frustrated, or violent mentally ill people to be able to access them as readily as they can, while we fix the other issues.  It’s common sense, really.  You don’t hand pissed off people large mag weapons.
But more importantly, we need a political and social system built on lifting our whole society up and unifying them, instead of dividing them for the benefit of the oligarch.  People will always compete for resources; it’s human nature.  But it is not intractable! And the social structure of a society makes a difference.

 For this reason, there is a tendency to attribute wars to “primordial” ethnic passions, which makes them seem intractable. This view is not correct, however, and diverts attention from important underlying economic and political factors.

Although a person’s culture is partly inherited it is also constructed and chosen, and many people have multiple identities.2(source) NIH

With a small percentage of the population controlling most of the wealth  (namely big business and politicians), they then toss their scraps into the ring and the rest of us fight over them.  Maybe if we weren’t fighting for scraps, we would feel a little more generous and have a little more room for compassion and consideration for those less fortunate.  Maybe we’d be less frustrated, less likely to look to one another for someone to blame or resent.

Group motivation hypothesis—Since intra-state wars mainly consist of fighting between groups, group motives, resentments, and ambitions provide motivation for war. Groups may be divided along cultural or religious lines, by geography, or by class. Group differences only become worth fighting for, however, if there are other important differences between groups, particularly in the distribution and exercise of political and economic power. (source) NIH
It has long been acknowledged in social sciences that it is poverty, not race or other facts, have a significant effect on crime, and many, many books have been written on the subject.  It’s the reason “ghettos” exist in most cities and states regardless of the demographics.
So in summation, if we want to tackle the issues of violence and social injustice in our country, first we need to loosen the financial stranglehold on our people, and contrary to what the current administration suggests, this is not done by giving corporations tax breaks, cutting welfare for poor people, or denying affordable healthcare (especially mental healthcare) to millions of Americans.  It is not done by controlling who prays where or what bathrooms people use.  It is not done by ignoring social injustices or calling people “snowflakes.”  I think we’ll only be able to do it if we all accept that it’s going to get worse before it gets better, and take steps to fundamentally change how our government works, from the kleptocracy it has become, to once again being by the people, for the people. 
Please, if you have any hope for our nation to heal, think about it.