Woman Becoming


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Women were best known by their homemaking skills and cooking skills. Because of the feminists in the last wave of women’s rights, women can now choose what they want to be in life. Women can choose to be just about anything. They are in the military, in the tech sector, they are doctors and engineers. Back in the day, you could be a secretary, nurse or teacher. I have three daughters of whom I am very proud. They know it isn’t easy to be a woman and to take care of themselves and give to their children and husbands. One has three children, teaches special ed and just got her Master’s Degree. She is thinking about getting another degree to be able to teach blind children in schools but also in other institutions. When she finished her Master’s Degree, she made me promise not to let her go back again, and she has relieved me of that promise. We laughed together as we talked about how my promise only lasted for fifteen months. My second daughter, has a good job working in an organization that promotes business in her city. She is also married and has twin sons. She travels often for her job and must weigh all the facets of her life and she takes tennis lessons for herself. My youngest daughter is a stay at home mother. She does have a catering business and is able to balance the three youngest grandchildren. I will admit she has the best laid out kitchen I have ever seen. It is not the most expensive kitchen but working in it is a dream. I am telling you these things because they are women I know the best. They didn’t reach this balance easily or quickly. But they have created the type of lives that fits them. It took work to accomplish all of this but they are young women I am proud of.

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“But every contradiction

Has the condition of resolving

Itself through the process

Through the process of

Becoming, becoming, becoming,

Becoming, BECOMING!”

—-Megan Terry, Approaching Simone

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Women writers have shown that their characters may transcend social roles to become fully human beings who respond with joy and anguish.  They share their experiences as women to show their commonality with that of other women, and through their writing they validate the experiences of all women. Such writing helps women readers overcome their feelings of isolation and encourages them to stop internalizing their failures as purely individual. It promotes sisterhood, and it offers male readers a basis for comparing their experience. Other writers concentrate on frank explorations of the “problem that has no name,” Betty Friedan’s words for women’s unease about their socially imposed roles. Many writers are rewriting old myths from a feminine perspective. Feminists emphasize process more than achievement. Women are seen finding ways to be self-creators, distinguishing between themselves as objects of others’ perceptions and as perceiving, imagining individuals capable of making their worlds. Women have come to realize that education is vital for all women. It doesn’t mean that they must work outside the home, but young women are learning that education only gives a woman more choices.

The equal rights ammendment must pass this year...2013

The equal rights amendment must pass this year..

“Relearn the alphabet,

relearn the world, the world

understood anew only in doing,

understood only as

looked-up-into out of earth,

the heart of an eye looking,

the heart of a root

planted in earth.

Transmutation is not

under the will’s rule.”

—Denise Levertov’s Relearning the Alphabet (1970 )

womensopinion                                                                                                                                                     Women are people too!

Today, we hear a lot of people talking about man caves. A place where they can be privately in touch with themselves. Feminists understand this need and though they are willing to share space with a man, she too needs her own space in which she can continue to make herself “at home.” Though this may seem selfish, it is clearly  a vital need of all human beings. I recommend that you read  A Room of Her Own, by Virginia Woolf. There are many misconceptions about equality between women and men. Women do not want to raise up women and be over men. Equality is not something that allows one gender to rule over the other. It creates a society where both genders do what is right for themselves, their families, their communities and each other. Many women are looking inward to find themselves and are being rewarded with the joy of self-discovery.

womenathletes                                                                                                                  Women are capable of being great athletes

Women need to be able at last to live within, and not to move to the rhythm of others. Women deserve, all around the world, to live they choose, and not a life they are forced to live. Many women’s lives continue to deny, remove, isolate, taking the children one by one. They live now as then in their own solitude. In this solitude women win a reconciled peace. But women deserve more than a reconciled peace. Women need to grow, to discover themselves or to become all that we are meant to be. Everything. No longer tied to husband, children and the house. Women have much to contribute. Women have much they want to contribute. And women have much they will give no matter who stands in the way. Women in countries around the world, despite cultural and religious differences are strong emotionally. They want educations and to contribute to their communities.

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Unlearning to Not Speak

“Blizzards of paper

in slow motion

sift through her ,

In nightmares she suddenly recalls

a class she signed up for

but forgot to attend.

Now it is too late.

Now it is time for finals:

losers will be shot.

Phrases of men who lectured her

drift and rustle in piles:

Why don’t you speak up?

Why are you shouting?

You have the wrong answer,

wrong line, wrong face.

They tell her she is womb-man,

babymachine, mirror image, toy.

each mother and penis-poor,

a dish of synthetic strawberry icecream

rapidly melting.”

—Marge Piercy, a feminist author of novels and poetry

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Choices For Women


Equality. This is what all of life should be...equal

Equality. This is what all of life should be…equal

We live in in a patriarchal culture. What this means is that white men rule in a world where they feel they are the most important part. I would like to tell you today about some feminist women.

The first was a feminist woman named Adrienne Rich, lawyer, mother, feminist, author and an example of the fullness of life that women can have when they are liberated, free to make choices for themselves. She was a white, educated woman who lived in the late fifties and who had to plead and argue for sterilization after choosing to bear three children. This is something I also experienced in 1972, having to plead to be allowed to be sterilized. Being able to plan your life includes when to have children if you want children.

Another feminist, Margaret Sanger, wrote Motherhood in Bondage in 1928. She wrote about a women seeking birth-control advice so she could carry out her marital duties with her husband without becoming pregnant again and again. She wrote diaries in which she expressed how hard it was to be sensual and be able to give her children what they needed and not get pregnant again.

Mothers and daughters were bonded by strategy. Trying to ensure that they would not continue to have children made many women feel shame for what they wanted and were trying to accomplish. They feared losing love, home and desirability as a woman. Many women felt that their only value was for sex and procreation, which is what the patriarchal society they lived in taught.  

When Adrienne Rich realized she did not wish to have more children, she wrote to Margaret Sanger to find a way to find some modest control over the use of her body. For generations, women have asserted their courage on behalf of their own children and their husbands. Women take care of their children, then their husbands.  Then they help strangers, and finally they take care of their own needs.  That has been the role of women for millennia.

The “sacred calling”  of motherhood has had, of course, an altogether pragmatic reality. In the American  colonies an ordinary family consisted of from twelve to twenty five children. An unmarried woman was treated with reproach even if she was as young as twenty five. A woman of this “advanced age” had no way of surviving economically, and was usually compelled to board with her kin and help with the household of children. No other “calling” was open to her.

An English working woman who was a child in the 1850′s wrote that “I was my mother’s seventh child, and seven more were born after me – fourteen in all – which made my mother a perfect slave. Generally speaking the mother was either expecting a baby to be born or had one at the breast. There was a time when there were eight of us old enough to go to school, but we couldn’t get ready without help.”

Both the white pioneer mother and the black family slave worked daily as a full productive part of the economy. Black women often worked the fields with their children strapped to  their backs. Historically, women have borne and raised children while doing their share of necessary productive labor. It was just expected from them.

The mother bears the weight of Eve’s transgression ( Eve, as the first offender, the polluted one, the polluter ) yet precisely because of this, the mother is expected to carry the burden of male salvation. Women were frequently reminded of what horrible things could happen to her if she wasn’t a good mother.

This is the 21st century, and women’s choices are expanding beyond just motherhood.  Motherhood is a wonderful calling, but there can be more to a woman’s life if she so chooses.

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The woman and the inner woman

The woman and the inner woman

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Are You Being Abused?


End Violence in the Home

End Violence in the Home

I have found that young women have many questions about battering. They seem to lack information they need to be safe. Domestic Violence or abuse is a crime punishable by a fine and jail time. The states vary with the laws. Battering can begin at any time in a relationship. During the dating phase, after the wedding, when a woman is pregnant, or as the children grow up.

Abuse is physical, verbal or emotional. It can also be a combination of any of these. You have the right to live without fear.  Often in an abusive relationship, the abuser will begin trying to isolate the woman from friends and neighbors. He doesn’t want anyone to have influence on his woman besides him. Often he wants the women to stay home and not work. That outside contact can make controlling her more difficult. If a woman is working, she often is quiet at work. She is passive and is in the emergency room frequently. If she confides in a co-worker, she will insist that she loves and needs him. He says he loves her too. But this is not love. This is torture.

There is a cycle of violence which was identified in the seventies.

There is a cycle of violence which was identified in the seventies.

you_cant_beat_a_woman_fridge_magnet-r2f60f43b75094530ab858f2d1647231d_x7js9_8byvr_324If you can’t bring yourself to leave, then fill a go bag with items that are extremely necessary. Money, prescriptions, clothes, ID for you and the children, and what ever your children will need immediately. Hide it well. If another attack happens you will need these things to flee. If you can’t get to the go bag, just leave and go to your local shelter. Husbands do kill wives. So your safety is vital. The things he has told you about being stupid, ugly, trash, or that you want to be hit is pure BS. Don’t buy into what he says. There is nothing you can do to justify his abusing you.

National Organization of Women

National Organization of Women

The fear you live with day in and day out does not mean you deserve it or asked for it. Examples of physical abuse are: pinching, slapping,hitting, punching, burning, pushing you, twisting your arms, and you have the right to live without violence. Forced sex in a marriage is rape…spousal rape. It is also illegal. It is hard to leave because you often still love him but you need to be a good role model for your children.

Anatomy of Violence

Anatomy of Violence

Domestic Violence is learned generation after generation. Little girls learn to be victims and little boys learn to be abusers. Some boys will try to stop their fathers and will punch and kick and yell at the father to stop the violence. Even if the violence is not turned against him, he learns to disrespect women. He will statistically become an abuser.  So your children need positive role models. They need to know that you can discuss problems and work them out. Remember if your abuser kills you he may very well end up raising your children.

There is nothing wrong with you. You do not deserve to be hit, spit at, spoken to in a demeaning manner. Your city has many people who care what happens to you and your children. There is help available.

Stop the Violence

Stop the Violence

Don’t let this be you. You deserve better. If you need to go to a hospital for your injuries, tell the ER staff what really happened. They will notify the police and they will call the shelter for you. If you are being hit now, get out and you will find love again, the community will help you with housing and education. No one deserves to be beaten. It is so hard to decide about all of these things when you are being beaten frequently, but believe me you can go on to a good life. A life where you are safe and live without violence.

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The Lack of Compassion


Willy Wonka has a good question

Willy Wonka has a good question

No one wants to be on food stamps. No one wants to see their children hungry. It is embarrassing to be on WIC or SNAP. Those of you in the 1% of the country that holds the wealth don’t realize what it takes to feed a family. You have servants and chefs to do this. You don’t worry about choosing between paying the gas bill to keep your children warm and healthy, or feeding them. You aren’t the ones who have to look at your children and say they can’t have a snack because you couldn’t afford one.

People will end up having to buy food and skip the winter boots because there isn’t enough money. Many  people will have to make decisions you can’t even conceive of.

How can religious right wing people of good conscience not care about the lives of others? How do you look at yourselves in the mirror? How can you look past poor people and act like you see nothing amiss? How do you go to your church and stand before your god and not care about the suffering of fellow human beings? We are all equal. Your money gives you the ability to buy more stuff; it doesn’t make you better people. There are many poor and middle class people who can’t afford your Aspen vacations or the anniversary party that costs $20,000 but they will share what they have with someone who has less. They will sharebecause they believe in equality and compassion.

Now, you the people of the 1% convinced our sons and daughters to go to Iraq, an illegal war. The American people were lied to concerning weapons of mass destruction.  So our children and grandchildren are still being deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. We are asking them to “serve their country” and leave their families and put themselves in harm’s way. Then they come home with PTSD or terrible wounds and missing extremities and you don’t care if they get treatment or even food. Why should they be risking their lives for people who don’t know the meaning of compassion? I suggest you take a long look in the mirror today or tomorrow. Introduce yourself to the hateful, selfish, cold, and uncaring person staring back at you. Shame on you. It doesn’t matter what color you are,if your attitude comes from racism or bigotry, or just the belief that money makes you better, you are a sad specimen of a human being.

Domestic Violence Must End


You Can Help End Domestic Violence

You Can Help End Domestic Violence

According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development domestic viollence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families. If a couple has a violent arguement in the home, it is usually the woman and children who flee. They flee with little but what is on their backs. This is another reason why Domestic Violence Shelters are so important. They can place the women and children into temporary housing. Most can then also help them to find housing for her and the children. In my long experience I have never known a man to leave unless he is the victim.

End Violence in the Home

End Violence in the Home

Survivors of domestic violence face higher rates of depression, sleep disturbances, anxiety, flashbacks (PTSD) and other mental disturbances. Many are too ashamed of being beaten to go to a doctor or mental health workder and ask for help.

You Can't Beat a Woman.

You Can’t Beat a Woman.

Domestic Violence contributes to poor health in survivors. Chronic conditions such as heart disease, gastrointestinal disorders can become more serious due to repeated battering. Fear and anger build up in the victim and the stress can lead to other health issues.

Among women brought to an Emergency Room after being beaten, were socially isolated, and had fewer social and financial resources than women who were not abused. Part of the emotional abuse is social isolation. The victim is cut off from friends, family, therapists, neighbors because the abuser needs to have total control over the victim. Abusers don’t want women to hear there is a place to go and get help. i often would put the hotline number on a piece of paper and pass it to the victim without being seen. Each city has a hotline number and you can help save a life by getting the number and gently putting it into a woman’s hand.

Without help, girls who witness domestic violence are more vulnerable to abuse when they are teens and young adults. Without help, boys who witness domestic violence, are far more likely to become abusers of their partners and/or  children as adults. This continues the cycle of violence into later generations.

A Battle Won


Justice and long prison sentences for the people who buy and sell people.

Justice and long prison sentences for the people who buy and sell people.

Today, the FBI orchestrated a large sting to find and help boys and girls in slavery.
Many pimps were arrested. They were arrested under Federal laws because they had moved the children across state lines.

The children were set free and they ranged in age from 13 years old to seventeen years old. They were being made to sell their bodies and commit many terrible sex acts. They had no choice and were often threatened with death unless they satisfied their owners/pimps.

The profit from owning people and forcing them to have sex to remain alive is twenty seven million dollars. Yes, I said twenty seven million.

The children are now free. Can you imagine how that must feel for them? Can you imagine how their families feel? The grief they have endured thinking their boys and girls were dead. Pimps were arrested and I think they need to have 1000 year sentence. Once out they will go back to their slavery rings and begin again. Long sentences are vital.

For the newly freed children, this picture is ended.

For the newly freed children, this picture is ended.

These families and friends must get to know their children  again. This is going to require quite a long transition. These families have a long journey ahead.  I am so happy for these kids and I worry about all of their memories. The ones that will remain for the rest of their lives. We do know that they have had the worst of living nightmares.

It is important to realize that supply and demand play into this story.  The Johns, the people who buy sex are the reason that the millions of people are kidnapped and sold and become sex slaves.  Johns are hardly ever arrested. The FBI says the demand is growing.  Johns need to be stopped and held responsible for their actions. Men who buy sex are disgusting and need to be arrested and face jail time.

The sexual slaves have no choice except death

The sexual slaves have no choice except death

So, we have won a battle, but It still leaves millions of slaves in the world today. If you see someone who seems to be at risk call, 1-888-3737-888. This hotline helps people and prevents some children from being taken as slaves. We can also all pray, however we do it and pray for more people to be saved and allowed to be free once again.

Meet a Child Soldier


child soldiers forced to fight and kill

Child soldiers forced to fight and kill

You may have guessed, I am taking an online course on Human Trafficking. I have known about this terrible crime for a long time. I haven’t known anyone personally that has gone through this. Of course, when women and children disappear, they might be dead or sold into slavery.

In my research I found a book. It is called, “To live and to Tell, written by a young man named Francis Duworko. This boy was taken from Liberia. This country was founded in 1816, as a place of settlement for freed North American slaves. There were many issues that centered around the different groups of people. 1980 was the date for its first bloody coup d’ tat.

The first Liberian Civil War was 1987-1989. Then there was a second Civil War which lasted until 2003. Many people were wounded, killed, raped and tortured.

Francis was born in 1982 in Monrovia, Liberia. He was abducted to be a child soldier when he was eleven years old. What happens to these children? Francis tells about children being made to kill their parents, or die themselves. Children are forced to rape sisters and other female family members.

Frances got out and surprisingly he came out of it an optimist. My sense from reading his book is that is rare. He wanted to make a difference in life and help other children get away. Many of these children are still suffering from what they experienced.

” Never let people suffer what you suffered, when you can help them improve their situation.”
—–Frances Duworko

Somalian boy soldier

Somalian boy soldier

Frances puts everything in a positive light. He now lives in Canada with his family. He advocates that if we think we can change the present situation, it can be changed for the betterFrancis encourages everyone to have a goal, a dream and to write it down and focus on your dream.

This is a small book, with a heart that is open and filled with compassion. He even encourages people to meditate on their dreams. Learn to dwell on the goal and not on the past. The past is gone, and can’t be changed. Live in the present moment to make your dreams come to fruition.

Save children from hell on earth. Stop the wars. Then these children won't be at risk.

Save children from hell on earth. Stop the wars. Then these children won’t be at risk.

You Know Someone Who Has Been Abused


Children Learn What They Live

Children Learn What They Live

One in every four women will experience violence in her lifetime 85% of DV victims are women. An estimated 1.3 million women will be abused each year. Abuse is a generational thing that children learn because they see it happen.

Stop the Violence

Stop the Violence

Almost one third of female homicide victims that are reported in police reports are killed trying to get out of a battering relationship with an intimate partner. In 70 % to 80% of homicide victims were battered by their domestic partner prior to their demise. Less than one fifth of victims who report injuries seek,medical help.

Witnessing abuse between intimate partners is the strongest risk factor to children growing up to be a victim or a batterer. 30% to 60% of perpetrators also abuse the children in the home. Forced sexual assault is also abuse. It is illegal to rape your wife and a person could go to prison. Marriage doesn’t mean you own a person. They still own their own body and you may or perhaps not be able to use it.

There is no specific time you can expect abuse to start.

There is no specific time you can expect abuse to start.

The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds 5.8 billion dollars a year. Victims of intimate partner abuse lost almost 8 million days of work because of the violence perpetuated against them. This loss is equivalent to 32,000 full-time jobs. Another 4.1 billion dollars is for medical care of the victimThere are 16,800 homicides each year. More victims are murdered trying to leave an abusive relationship that at any other time during it. This is why women often go back over and over again.

Don't teach your children to be victims or batterers.

Don’t teach your children to be victims or batterers.

Domestic violence  is one of the most underreported crimes. Now, cities like Norristown are penalizing the victim for calling the police, (please see previous blog), Who wants to be homeless or have their children being homeless? Only approximately one fourth of physical assaults and sexual assaults are reported. States differ on the type of relationship that qualifies under domestic violence laws.

For more information or to get help, call:

THE NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE 1-800-799-7233

THE NATIONAL TEEN DATING ABUSE HOTLINE 1-866-331-9474

Stop the Violence

Stop the Violence

The Conection of a Promise


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                                                                                                                        All children need to know their place in the world and to trust the people in it.

I have nine grandchildren. I am as surprised as anyone could be. One of my nine is a grandchild by marriage. I love him as much as any of the others and I quite fell in love with him when he entered our family at five. He was distrustful and a drama queen. He was nervous around people and unsure how to act in different social situations. I decided that had to change.

I have watched him a lot as time passed. I could see his strengths and weaknesses.We had some really great days together and some that left me feeling like I needed a week in bed. What he had was a good loving heart and a huge amount of kindness for someone so young.

What he lacked was self-confidence, trust and an understanding of why things happened and how to do the things he wanted to do. He could be an angel or the most tiring experience I have ever had.

I was determined that he would find his balance in life and his security. We were talking one day and I said I would do something. He looked at me with disgust and said with pure attitude, “No you won’t.” I looked at him and decided I needed to gamble on this child. I said sure I would and he asked if I would promise. I agreed to a promise and he asked for a pinky promise. We made a solemn pinky promise and I kept my promise.

The next promise was easier. Our talks about how to handle situations grew longer and less adversarial. Not only have we formed a strong bond. Pinky promises are the utmost sacred pact. He will even ask me if something someone else has told him is true and if I answer in the affirmative, he asks for a pinky promise.

So slowly but surely, he is finding out who he is and where he fits into this world. He is learning what he likes and doesn’t like. His talents are coming out like popcorn and he makes me laugh like I have never laughed.

Now, I am not sharing this story because of anything I did. I am sharing it to make the point that often we make promises without thinking about them. Promises to children, parents, friends, co-workers. Sometimes we don’t call it a promise, we agree on something. The other person is counting on us.

If we make a promise, we need to keep it and we should not make promises without thinking them through..No matter who we give our word to, it is important to keep it. It needs to be part of our character to keep our word. People notice that about others and know which people they can trust. That is an important thing in this twenty first century we live in.

Happy children at play without worries

Happy children at play without worries

Security makes a child feel free.

Security helps children feel free