The War on Women Continues


National Organization of Women

National Organization of Women

A teacher raped his 14 year old student. She has committed suicide. The judge said she was ‘older than’ her chronological age so the teacher was only given thirty days. I heard the news anchor tell this story and I was stunned. This judge should be dis-barred. Think about a fourteen year old girl you might know and think of her committing suicide. Her family’s loss and grief is real and it means more than the satisfaction the teacher got. Rape is an act of power and control. Sex is the weapon used to wield that power. So this teacher gets thirty days.

This is a sexist message that the judge is sending to the community and the nation. We can’t let men get away with rape and we can’t let them get away with statutory rape. There is no turning the other cheek when a crime involves minor children.

I find this to be disgusting and I think the media needs to keep this story alive and we need to contact Senators and Representatives and tell them to protect women. Ask them to stand up for young people because this happens to boys too.

This teacher is a pedophile and needs to serve the severest of sentences. He needs to be registered as a sex offender and he needs to be locked up for a very long time. Let’s speak out for this young woman and let her parents know our society does care and grieves with them.

” My satisfaction comes from my committment to advancing a better world.”     —–Faye Wattleton

Respect all women or you are a misogyist

Respect all women or you are a misogyist

“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.”  -—–Mother Teresa

The War on Women

The War on Women

There is only one reason for rape and it is a crime.

There is only one reason for rape and it is a crime.

Gender Bias


Sexual harrassment is a crime and it is unacceptav=ble

Sexual harrassment is a crime and it is unacceptable

Women have a lot happening these days. We are working to make sure that we become legally equal citizens for the first time in the history of America. We still earn less than a man for the same work; even though our President Obama has signed a new bill into law, laws have to be enforced. Many women are wives, mothers and often workers in the workplace. Yes, we have a choice. We get to choose to stay home with children, go to work and not have children, or to work outside the home and have children. I have 3 daughters and they have each made the choice that works best for them.

Now we have candidate Weiner sexting with women. He is not sure of how many women. So we could conclude that these relationships were so unimportant to him he can’t remember how many there were. I respect his wife and her decision. It wouldn’t be mine, but this is feminism.  A woman has the right to decide what she will put up with and what she can’t take for another moment.

Then there is Mayor Filner of San Diego. Mayor Filner who has a plethora of women coming out with ugly stories of what he did to them. These are all professional women; one is a Rear Admiral.  The accusations include, but are not limited to, touching the posterior, licking of the face, putting a woman into a headlock, trying to force a kiss on an unwilling woman. It makes me sick. I wonder what it takes to go from Filner’s behavior to Ariel Castro. Castro held three women here in Cleveland as slaves for a decade. There is one child who survived from his raping one of these women. Other fetuses were killed. To protect the young women from the further trauma of having to testify, the court has given Castro a life sentence plus 1000 years. It was done to save the women from more victimization.

Mayor Filner states that his behavior is in contrast to his belief i n equality, and justice. He apologized to the community and the women. Is it enough? I fear not. Years of disrespect of women doesn’t just stop.

Filner is accepting responsibility for his actions, he says.  He will be entering behavioral therapy on August 5.  He is not planning on stepping down as mayor. A two week stay in a rehab center isn’t learning not to be a sex offender. It is a vacation. He loudly declares this is his first step in becoming a better person…in two weeks.

These are men who are uncomfortable with women in power and need to intimidate them.  It is wrong morally and criminally to use this behavior to keep women in their place.

If anything like this has ever happened to you in the workplace, report it. No man has the right to touch you in any unwanted way.

If anything like this has ever happened to you in the workplace, report it. No man has the right to touch you in any unwanted way. 

If you have been touched, licked, patted in the workplace and if it makes you feel as though your job is at risk, report it. These actions are not part of your job description and must not be tolerated. Your self-respect is being walked on and you are being used. It is scary, but there are women’s organizations who will help and the ACLU will help and possibly be your legal council. Take care of yourself and make sure male coworkers are not allowed into your personal space.

Can you answer the questions?

Can you answer the questions?

By the way, this is all part of the WAR ON WOMEN. You remember the war:  the one Congress is attempting to use against every American woman.  These conditions are part of the reason why we are not legally equal.  And they are why we still need to fight to be equal.

Unwanted touching is against the law. Speak up!

Unwanted touching is against the law.
Speak up!

 

Modern Slavery or Human Trafficking


reality of slavery

reality of slavery

 

The reality is that in 21 centuries of recorded history, slavery has been alive and well. It is still destroying families and lives. After gun running and drugs, it is the biggest money maker for those whose hearts are as hard and cold as stone.

 

Who finds themselves in slavery? It can happen to anyone. Following the rules doesn’t matter. You can just be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Slavery or trafficking usually ends the same way…in torture, fear, disease, death. It is the worst thing a human being can do to another human being. This is one of those events on the underbelly of life that we need to allow ourselves to see and to know and then to nurture ourselves after we have seen it. Knowing about slavery and turning away is the same as committing the act. When a child, a woman or a man is bought, if you know you have to do what you can to stop it.

 

The horrific statistics

The horrific statistics

 

Trafficking has a supply side, and it is made up of victims. Most efforts go into maintaining this lucrative supply side. We need to look at victims and realize they are the victims and not criminals. Don’t judge the victims. It is easy to stand and look at someone and say, “I wouldn’t let that happen to me.” Victims felt the same way. If you ever suspect someone is being held in a form of slavery, call the victimization hotline at 888-3737-888. You can also refer someone to social services.

 

Twenty seven million slaves in the world in 2013.

Twenty seven million slaves in the world in 2013.

 

Why is there a demand for human slaves? There are millions of consumers for slaves to perform sex acts or provide labor. The labor no one else wants to do. If you or someone you know has ever forced someone into sex acts or coerced labor, you must stop now. What you are doing is a crime not a living. If you pay for sex with adults or children, stop it now. Stop going to adult book stores now. Stop using your money for voyeuristic shows, phone sex or any type of pornography. Make an effort to do some homework and find out which businesses use slaves and/or children.

 

Support local businesses or local artists, buy from fair trade businesses. If demand drops, it will save the lives of people who haven”t been kidnapped or duped into slavery.

 

A quote

A quote

 

You can use social media to get the word out about slavery. Facebook, MySpace or twitter would be a good place to start. You could also volunteer your services to agencies who directly offer services or money. You can care, and let it matter in your life. Education is very important. Children without an education or a very limited one will be more easily tricked into slavery. As caring human beings, we must oppose all forms of violence against women and children. Do not trivialize the horror and don’t leave it for someone else to take care of. There are millions of souls who are being bought and sold. They are hopeless and helpless. We have to care. They were made by the same Divinity that is within us and it is within them.

 

There is slavery in the twenty first century. We must stop it. We must decrease the demand.

There is slavery in the twenty first century. We must stop it. We must decrease the demand.

 

If you meet someone who is at-risk, help them to get off of the streets. Hire workers and pay them equitably. Even if you just suspect a person might be a victim, call 1-888-3737-888. You may be able to save a life. Social unrest leads to many people and families becoming refugees and often then find themselves in slavery. Because women are considered inferior or second class in almost every country, this leaves them vulnerable to being bought and used. In many countries where the poverty is so severe, children, both women and boys are sold for money to keep the rest of the family alive with food or medications. So, please don’t turn away because this is scary and disgusting and evil. If you know anyone who is at-risk, refer them for assistance. Call the hotline number. Don’t see them as damaged victims. See them as what they really are…children of the Universe.

 

 

 

 

 

Education Should Not Exclude Ethics


Meditating on ethics can bring peace to the world.

Meditating on ethics can bring peace to the world.

The recipe is to add positive energy to the negativity you find.

In Australia, there is a quiet revolution taking place in education. Quiet because I suspect that the government doesn’t want to have to explain its position on the fact that they are limiting information and the ability of free thinking. I am talking about the governments, I said ethics classes. So immoral and degenerate that they have raised the hackles of government officials. Australian newspapers are reporting on the sad state of affairs.
Ethics and free thinking seem to be something the government does not want its people to be doing. Yet this is, I believe, the basis of the corruption, hatred and spite in our world.

The government is informing parents of religious classes and only when parents decline having their child participate in religious education are they informed of the availability of ethics classes. In 2010, the right of school districts to offer ethics as well as religious class was made into law. I really don’t see why this is an issue which needed the government to pass a law.

In our world, morals and ethics have become something to be circumvented in many situations in life. Big business, Wall Street and officials of almost every country are demonstrating their aversion to ethical behavior. During my career, I have seen a lack of ethics even in the non-profit world. I also believe that we need to teach ethics to the young. They need an ethical compass because humans beings have demonstrated over and over how unethical we can be. How much devastation and pain we are capable of inflicting upon each other demonstrates our ability to act without scruples or ethics. I think we could add ethics classes in elementary schools. Children need to know how to make the right and ethical decision and parents have been shirking ethical training in many cases. To know how to decide how to make an ethical choice is an important part of growing up. There is a difference between doing what you have been told is the thing to do and making ethical decisions. I hope this trend in Australia does not spread to other countries in the world.

” Real education should educate us out of self  into something far finer; into a selflessness which links us with all humanity.”
——-Nancy Astor

Blue Ridge Mountain sunset. Photo and copyright by Barbara Mattio

Blue Ridge Mountain sunset. Photo and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013

Why I Care About Slavery


Here in Cleveland, three women who have been missing for 10 years and presumed dead have been found alive. A man kidnapped them a decade ago and has held them prisoner for all of these years. Shackled, tortured, raped, impregnated and forced to assist the man to give abortions to the unlucky one who was pregnant. They were all pregnant more than once. One young woman has a daughter that he did not abort and who now six years old. What were that little girl’s first six years of life like? We won’t know, however she will have to live with the nightmares for the rest of her life. The three young women, now in their 20′s, have to restart their lives. iPads, Facebook, MySpace, texting and a million other common place activities which we all use in 2013 must be learned. Relationships with families must be renewed. Trust in the people around them must be attempted. I think this will be a huge issue. This is what has pushed me into studying about trafficking and slavery.

We can’t just look away because it is unpleasant. We have to see it, grasp the meaning of this evil and balance it with beauty so we can face the fact that we might know some who is currently or had once been part of the culture of slavery.

We can save lives by looking around us and questioning what is happening.

We can save lives by looking around us and questioning what is happening.

Things that pull people into slavery are varied. Globally women are second class citizens. Many girls and women are not able to receive the education that is needed to obtain a good paying job. We all realize that flipping burgers at McDonald’s is just not a job that will enable people to have a living wage.

Globally, men, boys, girls,and women who exist in slavery are from all socioeconomic backgrounds. They come from every race, country and religion. They are all lost to us and to the world unless we can stop the buying and selling of human beings in this world.

Besides kids being sold as soldiers, they are also sold into the sex trade. The demand makes a huge supply necessary. Sweatshops around the world use women and children to increase the profit margin on the clothes they make. Cheap labor is needed around the world in agricultural regions. The thing about some of these areas is that paying a living wage increases the price people pay in the markets.

How to stop traffeting

How to stop traffeting

Don't look away, care, and help

Don’t look away, care, and help

Global unrest  and abject poverty lead to refugees who have to leave their homes and possessions. They have no roof or food or medication. They do have desperation and hopelessness. People are often deceived about what they will have if they leave and go to another country. They are often offered education and jobs which never happen. You can help.  If someone complains about Force, Fraud, or Coersion, call 911. If a person is 18 or younger, they need only ask for assistance under the  Trafficking Victims Protection laws because they are completely protected by law. (For more information, visit the Department of State’s website on trafficking laws at http://www.state.gov/j/tip/laws/).

Slavery did not end with President Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation. It is happening in2013 also.

Slavery did not end with President Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation. It is happening in 2013 also.

 

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 Way of the World


Cleveland skyland from Huntington Beach, west of the city.Photograph cpoyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2013

Cleveland skyline from Huntington Beach, west of the city. Frozen Lake Erie.  Photograph copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2013

We are at a place in history where we have stood before. War, the worst of our mean, selfish, evil behaviour as human beings. Big countries start wars, small countries, a well aimed bullet ending the life of a king. Cultures will start wars. Religions start wars. Spirituality is different from religion, because spirituality is inclusive, not exclusive or demeaning to others who think differently, as many religions can be. Jihad is an excuse. The People of the Book love and follow the same God. Allah, Adonai, Christ – if you look at what they asked of the people of their world, it is similar. It is not supposed to take lives; lives that carry the exact same spark of Divinity. Now the people may suffer again under a new war and one that we may not survive.

We all feel the strong negative energy whirling around the world. We make sanctimonious noises about how good our country is, how right we are. Elsewhere, there is disease, famine, starvation, fear, Here, there is disease, fear, hunger, judgemental thinking, people say one thing and mean another. Trust is hard to find. People look at others and actually see a reflection of their inner selves. Mass shooting, mass stabbings, the ability to look away from the hungry child who can’t stay awake in school. We continue to look at children suffering as unfortunate. If we can, we look away or treat them like refuse which needs to be taken to the dump.

Love in the World

Love in the World

Every country in the world is experiencing pain, hunger, greed, oppression, in justice, hypocrisy, bullying, violence against women, racism and homophobia. It becomes a litany of woe. A list of the negativity people must live with.

What do we do? We are all on a journey and it is dark all around. We can’t see our feet through the whirling black negative energy. The answer is positive thoughts, positive actions. You can call them mitzvos of random acts of kindness. Or simply doing good. The name means nothing, the action is what produces the magic. The we find the source of some evil double the positive energy that will counteract the dark energies.

I have spoken with several masters who feel that the more positive energy we send in the world, the harder the darkness will fight. So we add more. Surround yourself and the troubled parts of the world with white light. Pray for leaders to have wisdom and the courage to act upon the wisdom.

” The bitter tear that flows into the sea

Dissolves into liquid unity

And in the sunlight rises up anew

To fall again as rain–sweet alchemy.

The seen of belief unfurls in faith , branches

out in experience, blossoms in realization, and bears fruit in service.

The goal of the journeyer is the Beloved.

The goal of the Beloved is the journey.”

—Pir Zia Inayat Khan

Babies are not born thinking others are different.

Babies are not born thinking others are different.

Rape Culture


Normally I would never post this video but our society is condoning rape. I pulled this off of YouTube and it sickened me. As I have said so many times, rape has nothing to do with sex and everything to do with power and control. The young men in this video are the basest of human beings. This is important to me because it speaks to The War Against Women and it happened here in Ohio, the state where I now live.

The boys came from middle class families and had good prospects for their futures. Because of the choice they made, they aren’t even descent enough human beings to pick up garbage. This is not an isolated crime, it happens all the time in all countries around the world. A woman is not a piece of property to be used and discarded. It is clear in the video that no one taught this concept to these boys. Why? Perhaps the parents feel women are to be owned. Perhaps there  is violence in their homes.

In this particular rape case are fragments of the thinking behind all of the rape cases here and around the world that it is just sex and not a crime. A woman isn’t raped because she is a whore. She is raped because, even in 2013, women are considered property. The fact that the town tried to protect the boys who committed this horrible crime is enough to make me throw up. There isn’t privilege  for the high school jocks, or professional sports figures. They don’t get to rape a woman without paying a heavy price. If a guy rapes a woman, his future needs to be and will be gone.

Women who are raped don’t just get up and go on with life. They feel degraded and dirty. Some shower over and over because they no longer feel clean. This is something I can understand. Women who are raped are victims and don’t need to be revictimized by the media, friends, the judicial system, or their own families. They need support and counseling.

It is vital that their names are not put into the media. This case violated this concept that we worked on in the 70′s and 80′s. Previous sexual experience is also not allowed into court testimony. If a woman has had consensual sex and later is raped, the previous experience does not mean she can be raped without consequence. We keep going in circles about women’s issues.  In 2013, we are once again in a war against women.

Now, The National Organization for Women.stopping abuse and rape.

Now, The National Organization for Women.
stopping abuse and rape.

There is only one reason for rape and it is a crime.

There is only one reason for rape and it is a crime.

Violence Destroys Families


Battering destroys families.

Battering destroys families.

For the victim of battering or Domestic Violence, they exist in a house with someone who hurts them. They are literally “Sleeping With the Enemy.” Abuse is the only crime in America where we ask the victim to lie down in bed next to the person who has just finished knocking their teeth out, punched them in the stomach, burned them with a cigarette, or holding a gun to their head.

Generations of children have learned that battering is normal.

Generations of children have learned that battering is normal.

Children in violent homes are often beaten or molested by someone they live with. Even for those who haven’t been beaten, They see their parents as role models. Yes, they often try to protect their mothers but the majority of them repeat the beatings they saw over and over as a child . They  learned to be an abuser. Girls in violent families whether beaten or not, watch the victim be punched, dragged, choked, slapped  burned with a cigarette and many other vile acts. They learn from their family that they are victims.  As they grow older, it is not unusual for abusers and victims to find each other. They live together in their set roles.

This woman is being victimized

This woman is being victimized

Love should never hurt

Love should never hurt

The scene of Domestic Violence begins like any other relationship. Two people meet and fall in love. They live together or marry and may eventually have a baby. An abuser doesn’t always begin to abuse while they are dating. Sometimes it begins on the honeymoon. That first punch to teach the victim who is in charge. The abuser wants her to know exactly what is expected. Dinner at six, his shirts laundered just so. He expects her to be home all day and he will be calling to check up on her. Sometimes the abuse doesn’t begin until a pregnancy becomes reality. The abuser may say they are pleased and excited, but will then begin to beat the victim up. Frequently, the abuse consists of punching her over and over in the stomach. Many women have lost their babies because of abuse. Sometimes the abuse doesn’t begin until the children are older and the house doesn’t run as smoothly as it used to. The house is full of playing, laughing, screaming or giggling children. They learn soon enough not to bring anyone home to play because an episode of abuse may begin. These are families in name only.

Often violence begins during pregnancy

Often violence begins during pregnancy

Hands were made for hugging and not for hitting.

Hands were made for hugging and not for hitting.

To attempt to prevent episodes of abuse, the victim will try to have everything just the way the abuser wants it. The children are taught to be quiet and just eat dinner and go do homework. They stay in their rooms or go to a friend’s house so that they won’t be battered or have to hear the screams of pain and the abusive slurs that go hand in hand with the physical abuse.

Speak out

Speak out

If you are being abused or know someone who is, get out and go to a shelter. Almost all cities have shelters now. Get yourself and the kids out before the abuse escalates and someone is dead. In a shelter, you will find medical help, warm beds, food, counseling, legal advice and assistance. You and your children will be protected and supported as you begin the process of starting a new life without violence.

It is never, never right to abuse a woman or children. It is never right to abuse a man. This is not really love. It is power and control. The abuser thinks he owns you. Leaving the violent home will be the beginning of having the ability to live without the fear of abuse.

A handprint