Monday, October 19, 2015

Feminist Notes & A Plea

Back in July of 2014, I published the post, "Are You A Feminist?
Then on, (10/17/14) I received an email from Equality Now, an organization that works for human rights for women and girls around the world.  The email included an update on the nearly 300 girls who were taken from their Nigerian school in April, by Boko Haram.  Six months later, 219 were still in captivity.  If you don't read past this intro, fine; but please share and spread: #BringBackOurGirls Now and Alive!!!! via email, facebook, twitter, and all other social media.  
*Now, a year later, 10/19/15, these links are no more; as you've discovered if you clicked.  THIS, IS THE MOST RECENT RELEVANT ARTICLE I COULD FIND. They do still have a FACEBOOK PAGE. Today is the 553rd day since they were taken. Through their Facebook site, you can still help the quest. Thank you.

The following post is composed of notes, some that went into "Are You A Feminist?"  Some are from more than a year ago.  The thoughts expressed are mine, and range, from inducing me to roll my eyes, to causing my blood to boil.  I believe that each human is charged with an individual path, but that all the paths are connected.  As such it is our priviledge and responsibility to care for one another, while in this brief time, in this life.  Could we ever make it "on Earth as it is in Heaven"?  I do believe we have the means.  A year later, and there is more at stake than ever.  The efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and the continued unwillingness to acknowledge; that as long as we do not address that until we have gender equality, we will not have income equality, or our full potential as a nation; These actions/inactions will keep us on the ever turning hamster wheel. 

     My initial title was "When Will The Female Be Valued?".  Then "A Woman's Worth".  When I first started writing this in November, the day after an election day, I had been looking around the web and such and came across a few things that got my blood boiling and asking again, "when will women be valued?"

1.   Dame Judi Dench's harrowing post on Huffington Post about Philomena Lee.  By now you have heard about her; but just in case not, she was forced to give up her child once he became 3 years old to the Catholic Church!  The Church went on to sell the children to families for adoption as long as they were practicing Catholics.  This happened in 1952, and apparently went on up until 1970's; resulting in 1000's of mothers and their children who are still searching for one another to this day in 2015.

2. L'Oreal made a selection of what is apparently an annual event where they select 10 " Women of Worth".  Where's the "Men of Worth" list? AND I AM NOT TALKING NET WORTH!  I have no doubt that the women chosen are extraordinary, just that all women are of worth.  So, maybe I just have problem with L'Oreal's choice for the title of the honor.

3.  While reading Huffinton Post, I came across an article discussing the loss of Ken Cuccinelli. There was a comment that Mr. Cuccinelli's something or the other "turned off" women.  Well, yeh... "turned off" is putting it mildly though.  Past actions and current rhetoric convinced women that they needed to vote for anyone other than him, is more appropriate I think.

The label, "chick lit" gets on my nerves generally, but then when I sit down and read one of those books, I usually enjoy them; so okay, I guess.  Still, I am not clear on the fine line that defines "chick lit" versus "dick lit".

     When you visit a website like The Huffington Post, the posts concerning women, children, in such areas as their health or welfare, usually have way fewer comments than many other posts; even posts as trivial as Miley Cyrus's latest action.  I am referring to posts that are on the "front page".   So you have Miley's latest, the elections, or the shutdown, or whatever news is centered around DC for the day, and then posts by someone about women. I understand there are issues that are perceived to affect us all such as elections and government, because they do.  However, anything that concerns our future generation does as well. Women's issues generally should be under human issues.  Just as we know women are interested in global warming and the stock market; we should understand that men are interested in family.

     I just feel that women's healthcare and actual health and happiness should count for a hell of a lot considering I have yet to see a man bring forth human life without a female being at the very least, an incubator.  For women, all we need is the sperm.  Then we can say, "tootles," and the human race goes on.  A man can "donate" it (so much politer word than I could have used), a thousand miles away from the woman who will finish the process, of BRINGING FORTH A HUMAN LIFE.  It is an inescapable truth:  regardless of religion or none, the fact remains, that woman is the one that brings forth and carries on life.  Even in most religions, through the wisdom and omnipresent power of the divine, it was a woman who beget Muhammad,  Jesus, and Buddha.  Even today throughout the will of the divine, nature, or science, a woman needs not a man, only his seed to carry on life.  I have yet to meet a man who can do the same.

Please understand that this post is not meant as a religious or spiritual one.

     We can't even agree to let women take care of their bodies through comprehensive, safe, and private healthcare.  However much less a woman makes than a man, it's still not equal.  Female Genital Mutilation still goes on everywhere in the world, and so much other violence toward women, including street harassment, rape, domestic violence and honor killings.  Yet we can manage to find time to create Viagra and Cialis, so a man can get a hard on when he's 100. Then there's the Galactic Cap, a joke of a new type of condom, "to increase his sexual pleasure: as it was ever waning; a pedometer for his penis- so he can brag about thrusts per minute, (cause living to 100 is not impressive enough); and the Google Glass Glance to record it all!  Blehthbleh... can't get an image of a centurion male, with all the works out of my head.  Do you think a 100 year old male could even see the numbers on the pedometer?  Much less manage to put a Galactic Cap on?

You're welcome.

     The perception of a lot of teachers, doctors, is: "ask the mom".  Many employers however, generally see moms as risks, because they're the ones that the school will call if the kid is sick, out of order, etc.  Seems to be their justification for unequal pay.  But shouldn't raising the next generation count for something?  As I have stated before; those cute little bundles of joys don't magically turn into tomorrow's CEO's without a lot of work.  From both parents.  From their community.
     Many moms that work outside the home are working because the family needs the money.  Not because the work that pays, is their dream job or even what they were trained or went to school to do.  In addition, we can't assume the SOHM is at home because of a family value decision; may be she can't find work.   For the record, the term, Working Mom is redundant.   This generation is better than the previous for sure.  Still, we are the children of that previous generation.  I have yet to hear my husband say to guests, "Please excuse the mess."  For the record I've quit saying it, but with my acute ESP,  I just know that some of our guests are thinking, "my, she's letting this house go."
      Dads however, are seen as good investments versus a single man.  He is seen as "stable"and  "dependable", because he has settled down and has a family that he is providing for.  Moms don't provide; they subsidize.  Unless of course she's a single mom.
     The single man may be seen as a possible commodity, but unsure of his loyalty.  So if the company is to secure him lots will come into play as to whether or not the single male candidate is a good risk.  For the single female, that line of thinking may also come in to play.  But usually her "shelf life is viewed as shorter, due to "if" she enters a relationship she will someday become a mom.  She's a foregone conclusion.

     Have we made progress? Yes.  Are we there yet?  Not even close.  Again, to me, feminism is nothing more than the wish for women to be viewed, treated, and respected equally as men.  To have the same expectation of success as well as safety and dignity.  From human to human, is that too much to ask?

In honor of the woman that graces the photo above, here is a link to a newspaper interview with the woman herself.

If you would like to read a couple of other great, thought provoking books,

Rosalind Miles's The Women's History of the World

and Half The Sky, by Sheryl WuDunnNicholas Kristof

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