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The Perilous Silencing of Women

The Perilous Silencing of Women

The silencing of women has begun in earnest on the floor of the Senate.

Be seen and not heard. That’s what I was told by my parents while growing up. I was precocious in their view and my truthful comments weren’t welcome. An empath, my awareness made them uncomfortable. Sorta like the republicans in the Senate last night who prevented Elizabeth Warren from reading a letter from Coretta Scott King regarding Jeff Session’s suitability to become a judge. In this case, the position is the Attorney General, and Session’s record of racism precludes him from such a position. At least in the minds of sensible people.

When McConnell shut Senator Warren down from reading Mrs. King’s letter, she went outside the chamber and read it before a camera just outside the door. Two additional male Senators continued to read Mrs. King’s letter concerning Sessions, Jeff Merkley one of them. He’s one of my Senators and I couldn’t be happier that he did so. Sessions will be a nightmare for justice in this country and as a cannabis patient, his past attitudes have me concerned.

The truth seems to be a rare commodity in this new administration. It’s not a new thing for republicans in Congress to have trouble with the truth, but the so-called new guy seems to have unleashed a new level of lies. And it doesn’t seem to matter how many facts are presented, they willfully ignore them moving full steam ahead to gut established and needed programs and laws that actually help people.

Women marched the day after the inauguration and will continue to do so while this fool is in office. His immigration order has spawned not only judicial decisions against him but an outpouring of support for immigrants arriving at airports around the country. Sanctuary cities are popping up as well in defiance of the threats of no funding from the so-called new guy. Or is the real president the white nationalist at his side who managed to get his boss to sign off on an executive order placing him on the National Security Council supposedly after not even reading it first. Or at least that’s what he now says happened. But with the problem he has with the truth, how can we really ever know?

Silencing Senator Warren will not end well for these men. Silencing women will never work in the end. We’ll wait, observe, and plan. And then we’ll act. It’s what we do. We’re so much better than men at this. You see, women have had to work around and in spite of men all of our lives. So this is nothing.

Women have a wonderful way of seeing the larger picture. We have to. It’s how we make ends meet on the crappy wages we earn. It’s how we put food on the table and have clothes for our children when there isn’t enough. We go without so everyone else has an equal chance at happiness.

It’s what we do.

Somehow men became confused as to their role in life. It was never to lord over anyone but to live in equality with all. We can debate the origins of this destructive thinking, but at this point, the real issue is the ultimate effect on the security of our people. Removing a law that prevents health insurance companies from overcharging or not covering health issues is cruel. They believe that healthcare isn’t a right in this country. Survival of the fittest when the very people who need it the most don’t make a living wage enabling them to become anything close to the fittest because it takes money to be healthy in this country.

But lest we think it’s only republican men who are the problem, it’s women as well. Take the new Education Secretary. The outcry over this woman was massive, yet she was still confirmed. Time will tell how much of our public school system she’ll be able to defund. But she’s clear on what it takes to defend children from grizzly bears.

And just to be clear, you don’t have to be religious to homeschool. It can be a wonderful experience for you and your children. You can use an unschooling approach and let your children follow their own interests. I was more of a facilitator than a teacher when our boys finished their education at home. Now they’re college graduates and are working in their chosen fields. Homeschooling is an option that works. Kids naturally want to learn and before you know it, they’ll be devising their own curriculum. Mine intended to go to college so some of their curricula centered on that end. And I have to say that it was the best thing ever and to have that time with my boys was priceless.

When I both trained in and later taught karate, it always struck me how female students in our karate school had such a quiet intensity about them. I could see it in their eyes in the dojo during class. They were already fighting a perception by some of the male students in class who struggled with their own sexist views of women. Never mind they could defend themselves against any guy there, but it was hard for some of the younger guys when a young girl won a sparring match against one of them.

Although I was the only woman in the school to earn a Black Belt, I watched other women from other schools as they advanced in rank, their quiet strength and resolve pushing them on. The survival of the species is contained within us. Women are the defenders of all. We clean up the messes brought about by narrow-minded thinking. We press on irrespective of the struggle. And we will not be silenced by misogynistic, racist, and sexist people, men and women alike, who wish to further the agenda of a few at the expense of the rest.

What Senator Warren experienced last evening is disgraceful and beneath the dignity of the Senate. McConnell should be censured for his actions if not removed entirely as Senate Majority Leader. And it goes without saying that Jeff Sessions should never have the chance to be our Attorney General.

It may be morning in the so-called new guy’s America. But we’re still here.

Blessings to all as we unite as one family, secure in the knowing that love will always trump hate.

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And So It Begins

The Politics Of Baby-Proofing The World Against A Leader Lacking Basic Impulse Control

The Electoral College did what many of us wished they hadn’t. They formally elected the lowest common denominator as our president. I’m not going to list all of the harm he’s caused others because we’ve all heard it before. Unfortunately, enough people listened to his craven bullshit and because of the idiotic way we elect presidents in this country, the woman who was more qualified and received nearly three million more votes didn’t win.

I haven’t watched any news programs since before the election was called on November 8th. As an empath, I feel the collective grief we’re experiencing and I just can’t take that much. It’s like watching everything you know and love drive right off a cliff, powerless to stop any of it. I’ve posted headlines on Facebook and Twitter but I rarely read much of what I post. I’m not sure any of us needs the details of what this guy and his social circle will do to this country and in turn the world with their elitist attitudes. The rich won and the rest of us will have to make do with whatever they deign to give us.

To his supporters, is this what you thought would happen? That he’d fill the swamp instead of draining it like he promised? Could you not see that it was your own party’s policies and obstruction that brought us to the brink in the first place? And you think this guy is the answer? I suppose we’ll see, but so far, it’s beginning to look a little like Nazi Germany, what with the thug security force in lieu of Secret Service as his personal guards. I hope the taxpayers aren’t paying for them, but I’m sure we are.

It’s hard to believe he’ll settle down after the inauguration and actually govern like a real president does. I think we’ve seen the last of such things for a while. He’ll be too busy offending people and apparently corporations on Twitter. He can’t help himself, evidently having no off switch.

Bad news always seems to arrive at the holidays. Maybe we can end the Electoral College before this time next year. It’d be a bright spot, a reason to celebrate, amid whatever other crap we’re dealing with.

And so it begins, our new and uncertain future. But until this is over, I’ll pay attention while avoiding much of the details. And really, like the name of my blog, sometimes the best thing to do is to step aside and let others be exactly who and what they are, on display for all to see. The rest of us will be here to pick up the pieces after they’re done.

Blessings to all.

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The Destructive Fallacy of Entitlement

misogyny blog post

I’ll preface this by saying that if you’re uncomfortable with vulgarity, stop reading now.

Misogyny begins with entitlement. Men believe they’re entitled to speak in any manner they wish to women. And when we object, they accuse us of not being grateful. After all, can’t we take a compliment? Our next president believes he can kiss women whenever he wants, that he can grab their pussy, and do as he pleases, Tic Tacs replacing boxes of M&Ms typically found in the Resolute desk when this guy takes office. And as for the pussy grabbing comments, according to him, they’re just words, folks, just words.

Well now. Isn’t that frightening. Compliments are words as well. And it’s nice when friends and family compliment me on my hair or a new dress. But that doesn’t mean some random guy should do it. Honestly, what immediately comes to mind when a guy compliments me is to wonder what he wants. Because typically he wants something.

When we were in business, I remember men trying to “butter me up” to get what they wanted, an expression my late father-in-law used to say, wanting this or that. One foolish idiot set up one of his “friends” to come in to request some work, his unsuspecting friend kissing my ass sideways when he stopped by. And the guy was dumb enough to tell me his friend said he had to do that in order to get me to do anything for him which was never the case. My husband walked into the room at just the right time and I let him know what was going on. He began laughing hysterically while the guy just stood there, looking perplexed. My husband proceeded to tell him that kissing MY ass was the last thing he would EVER want to do. His friend had made him look the fool. He apologized and we ended up doing some business together, but it was odd just the same.

All anyone ever had to do was to ask something from me in a respectful tone, and then accept the outcome. Just because they wanted something didn’t mean we were always in a position to give them what they wanted, although we made every attempt to do so. That’s a part of life that most learn as children. But almost every time I said no, word would get back to us about all the nasty things that were said about me. All because I said no to a man. A pathetically entitled and fussy man. Oh my.

Whether it’s compliments, comments, or intrusive behavior, although I’ve written about this before, I wanted to revisit it again because it’s so personal when it happens. I tend to see all of it on the same boundary continuum with other more serious behavior. It may be at the opposite end from sexual assault, but I believe when a man crosses a boundary with a woman, we never know what he’s capable of. Maybe his behavior thankfully never goes beyond a few skeevy words or some ogling, but for many of us who have experienced sexual assault in our lives, it’s still just too much.

So to get into specifics, here’s some of the bullshit I’ve experience with men over the years and my response to it.

  • Smile ~ Fuck you and the horse you rode in on, you smug son of a bitch, you. Do you really want me to be a source of entertainment for you, because if so, I would be happy to perform the first 30 seconds of my Black Belt test.. on you.. because you’re looking like some really awesome fresh meat.
  • You look great! How much weight did you lose? ~ Again, fuck you. Why are you looking at me in the first place? And why are you following me around, whispering all of this crap to me while my husband works away in the next room? Wait a minute..let me get my husband so he can hear this shit. Oh, you don’t want my Black Belt husband to hear you? Really? Well, if you think you’re safe with me, you’re sadly mistaken, because he graciously taught me everything he knows. Everything. Because at the end of the day, you’ll wish it was my husband who dealt with you. Even our best friend made unwelcome comments about my appearance. Another Black Belt no less. He knew how sick I had been and for how long. Changes I experienced happened because I got well, something we thought would never happen. So fuck him, too.
  • Following me into closed-in areas where they’re not supposed to be ~ The punk ass shit for brains actually said, oh, did I scare you? Fuck you, you pint-sized piece of shit. Had he put one hand on me, the fact that I owned the business would have flown right out the window along with him. And then I would have skidded him across the parking lot on his nose. Oh, and did I say, fuck you? If not, fuck you.
  • Using threatening language to describe themselves while speaking to me ~ I found a veteran’s group to bring to our area so that my husband could belong not to a club but to a veteran’s motorcycle group. He’s not a joiner and he thought this one might be okay, but then discovered it wasn’t so we didn’t stay long. During the first meeting where we formed our local chapter, the state president was sharing a story about his PTSD. The customer in question later cornered me in my office with the door closed..cornered me against two bookcases and repeated the comments the state president shared as if they were his own. Sometimes I can be nice, and sometimes I can just go off for no reason whatsoever. Sometimes I can be the nice guy, and sometimes I can be deadly. We didn’t give him a job that he wanted and I guess he was angry or something. It was weird. Eventually we stopped doing business with the guy. I managed to squeeze around him and get out of my office. I never said a word, all the time looking for weapons to use on him if necessary.
  • Blocking my ability to leave or feel safe ~ oh yes. All because my husband was out on a test drive on someone else’s bike. He left us no keys to unlock his wife’s bike so my husband could actually work on it, and several attempts to reach them both failed. The guy finally called our shop and when he found out that my husband was on a test drive, he went up one side of me and down the other, berating and abusing me on the phone. I guess the look on my face was so horrific that another customer who was there wanted to jerk the asshole through the phone and beat the shit out of him. I was in tears. When the dickwad finally showed up at our shop, he came into my office, shut the door, and when I told him to open it he said, open it what? several times, taunting me. I banged on the window so hard that I nearly broke it to get my husband’s attention to no avail. Finally I said, open the door please, and he finally opened the door saying, it takes two to tango and we tangoed, lady. Well, I don’t tango with predators, so no, we didn’t. And fortunately, the asshole never came in again. His wife had no clue what he did, but then she also knew exactly who he was. I didn’t matter to either of them.
  • Physical assault ~ This guy was a regular customer who had been barking at the boundaries for a while. He had joined a motorcycle club (different from a group or association) and changed. He was no longer a loving family man, but something else entirely. While my husband was unloading his bike out of his truck, the guy hit me. Just came up and hit me on my back. I was in shock. I recovered enough to yell at him to never do it again, but he did it a second time, ignoring me completely. My husband didn’t realize what was happening at the time. Of course I told him later, but I was so upset. One time could be construed as a mistake, twice, it’s assault. Now that we’re retired, thankfully we don’t see him anymore.
  • Another physical assault from another asshole ~ He wasn’t a customer yet. His wife gave him a Harley for his 65th birthday or something and two weeks later, he dumped it up on the pass. Crash jobs on motorcycles can take months and many of the parts needed were on back order. Plus his bike was over at the dealership, so this wasn’t my problem. For the umpteenth time I told him that just because the bike was a birthday present didn’t mean parts that were designated for production would be sold to him because production always came before anything else. So he punished me by crushing my hand when he shook it. Since I’m an empath, I knew exactly what he had done. When he tried to do it again, I wouldn’t let him and he got the skeeviest smile on his face. This was in 2007. Now my finger is so damaged from what he did that it has nodules all over the middle knuckle and the finger bends to the right. RA is a bitch, and he knew how ill I was. But the fucker didn’t care. He was mad that after dumping the bike in June, he still didn’t have it back. Not. My. Problem. Yet he made it mine. I had no idea at the time that I would still be dealing with the damage over nine years later, but it is what it is. Entitled fucker.
  • A perv-y neighbor ~ I was shoveling snow on my nearly 800 foot driveway and he stopped at the top of my driveway and looked at me for around 10 minutes. The look on his face was pervy to say the least. No clue what he was doing while sitting there, but when I threw the shovel over my shoulder and began walking up the driveway toward him, he floored the truck, fishtailing as he did so, pulling into his driveway down the street. I wanted to have my husband go over there to see if he was okay and if he had time to finish whatever it was he was doing. But sanity prevailed and my husband stayed home.
  • A ride home ~ After my parents divorced and I was in college, I still babysat for some people occasionally when they couldn’t find anyone else. The last time I did, the husband asked if I wanted to pull off the road and have a little fun before he took me home. His wife was so sweet and lovely and he was such a dick. I was terrified and said nothing. He took me home and that was the last time I ever saw those people, my mother making an excuse the next time his lovely wife called. I was sixteen. I had graduated as a junior from high school and I began college that summer. The guy was a predator, and I was sixteen.

I guess the question that always comes to mind is, who do you think you are? I don’t understand this behavior because I have two sons in their thirties who don’t behave this way, nor does their father. It’s just not possible with them to cross boundaries and ever treat a woman this way. Yet, this behavior is common with men just the same. And now we have a guy like this scheduled to serve as our president for the next four years, assuming he doesn’t quit or be impeached. Or assuming the Electoral College actually grows a pair and elects the woman who got the most votes and is the most qualified.

But if that doesn’t happen, time will tell just how far off the cliff we fall and how safe women will be around the White House. Because men, particularly the next president, are delusional if they assume a woman wants to be touched, or have her body described to her, or have to endure any other personal comments for that matter. These guys just go for it and never understand why a woman might be uncomfortable or downright terrified. It may seem innocent to the guy, but many of us have endured sexual assault in our lives. So odds are when a guy says things or touches a woman without consent, he’s doing this to a survivor, causing untold trauma.

You see, when our fathers molest us, when our boyfriends/husbands/partners assault us, when our co-workers make skeevy comments or look a little too long at us, it’s the worst thing ever. Emotions come up and the PTSD we all suffer from rears its ugly head and we become silent, unable to move, unable to speak. When that little asshole who cornered me in the parts room asked me if he scared me, I can assure you he did. Never mind the fact that I’m a Black Belt. I would have dealt with him if I needed to, but in the interim, I had a panic attack. Because when you’re a survivor, that’s what happens.

It’d be nice if we could go about our lives and not have to endure all of this entitled behavior from men. If they’d just see us as people and not something to flirt with or make suggestive comments to, we’d all be so much better off. Because here’s the thing. Women really don’t want these conversations with men. We don’t want unwanted contact of any kind. I had a substitute veterinarian take my hand and draw pictures on it during a check up with my cat. I had a customer in his 60’s or 70’s take my hand and draw pictures on the palm with a paperclip. Both experiences were surreal. I took my hand back and just looked at him. No clue what he was thinking, but at that point, I was ready to no longer do business with him.

But here’s something to consider. In most of the examples above, these things happened in my business. As a business owner, you just can’t beat the shit out of someone who looks at you funny. So when you’re a woman in that position, standing up for yourself can cost you income, and women are sensitive to that fact given that we still make less than our male counterparts. If the woman is just an employee, she risks losing her job if she reports the problem. Besides. The good ol’ boy network protects men like this.

Behavior like this also costs men dearly, what with a woman’s ability to sue for sexual harassment in the workplace now. Of course if you happen to be our next president, all he has to do is threaten to sue women into oblivion to avoid any responsibility for his behavior. For many, the entitlement they feel is just too much for them to see the truth in front of them. Leave us alone. Period. If we’re nice when you’re behaving this way, it’s only to get away from you more quickly. I don’t care if you think you’re complimenting us, you’re not. Just stop it. There’s no reason any woman cannot get through her day without such contact, verbal or otherwise. You do us zero favor by your ridiculous and at times frightening behavior. Mind your own business and leave women the fuck alone.

Blessed Be

 

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Transformation in Letting Go ~ Tarot for Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Tarot 11022016

Death, The World, and the King of Cups make up today’s three-card spread from my Morgan-Greer tarot deck. I love this deck. My favorite is Thoth, but this one is so colorful and evokes such emotion in me. No cards from the Minor Arcana other than the single Court card are present, with Cups the only suit and representing Elemental Water. The numerology is 13 and 21 which reduces to 7. Structure and Gaia energy of the number 4 combines with the creative catalyst of the number three to become 7, or intuition, psychic ability, perfection, and magick. Court cards aren’t numbered, therefore not typically considered. If we did consider them, however, the King from any suit would be 14, reducing to 5, or change, bringing us back to the Death card.

Beginning with Death, the Grim Reaper wears his black robe, his scythe in his bony hands. A fiery river separates him from the spiky trees in the distance. A white rose before him suggests death is a gift that each of us receives. It’s an ending of sorts in preparation for a new beginning. The sun in the distance appears to be setting evoking a sense of completion to a life well lived. The notion of death, however, may have less to do with an individual’s life and more to do with letting go of decisions and experiences that no longer serve, an ending of one understanding replaced by one that reflects wholeness.

The World card depicts a woman dancing in the center of a green wreath, four creature surrounding her. She experiences completion and fulfillment, the infinity sign above her suggesting continuous creative flow. She is moving into a new phase where anything is possible. She is the Triple Goddess manifested, liberated and free, the synthesis of all that’s been learned.

The King of Cups looks to the future, his calm expression reflecting the calm waters behind him. He is a wise counselor, a loving husband and father, and an excellent friend. Although the King’s emotions can present as passive aggression at times, it appears that these issues have been resolved. The King is a creative force and is happiest when creating from his heart.

I can’t help but believe we’re on the verge of something transformational given that we’re about to elect the first woman as the President of the United States. If we’re smart about it, we’ll put all of our energy, all of our efforts, into moving past the division that has plagued our nation for so long. We began as the United States of America. The seeds of that unity are still felt in our country. We have a chance to heal the hurt and division. There’s nothing we can’t accomplish if we would only drop the distortion and hate.

President Obama asked men in a recent speech at a campaign rally to think about why they might be reluctant to vote for a woman. What is that saying about their views on women? Is it based solely on qualifications? Or is it based on something else? The Death card suggests a personal transformation is occurring. The World card suggests that a completion of sorts has happened. Perhaps we’re ready to move past misogyny. Now that its ugliness has been out front for everyone to see. Now that a candidate for President has been the poster boy for this kind of abuse.

Did we not think it would become this bad? Did we not think that living so far out of balance wouldn’t come back to hurt us all in the end? There’s nothing united about seeing the other. About reducing another to nothing at all. It’s time to let go of this destructive thinking, this abusive behavior. It’s time to extend love and respect to all, to come together in love in unity as the one family that we are. Like the King of Cups, it’s time to let go of the past and move toward a better future.

Six more days, folks, six more days.

Blessings to all!

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The Power of a Queen

The Power of the Queens

A witch is drawn to places of power whether it be the mountains, the desert, or the ocean. We’re a curious bunch, and we notice all sorts of things when wandering about. One of the things we notice are rocks, particularly if they have holes in them. Every witch loves hag, or holey, stones. A divination tool, the witch looks through the hole to divine the future. A witch should never purchase a hag stone, instead we’re to find them on our wanderings. I suppose they can be a gift from someone, but it’s better for a witch to find her own. I found a Crone-load of hag stones at the Oregon coast last year while there for our oldest son’s wedding. I use them during ritual or if I need some Crone energy to influence a magickal working of some kind. Below the cards are two of the hag stones I found at the coast. In all of my life, I’ve never found one. But sometimes Goddess provides a windfall because that day, my gathering bag was full.

The Princess of Disks, the 4 of Disks, and the Queen of Swords from the Thoth deck are the cards for today’s reading. Elemental Earth energies dominate the reading with two cards from the suit of Disks. Pentacles in other decks, Disks suggest practical matters may be of concern to us today. The Queen of Swords, on the other hand, appears not to care about such things, or does she? The suit of Swords reflects Elemental Air and our intellectual presence in the world. Absent from the reading are Cups and Wands.

The numerology is easy because Court cards aren’t numbered, so the numerology of today’s reading is four, or Gaia energy. Synchronous with the energies of Elemental Earth, issues of foundation or structure are reinforced by the numerology of the cards.

Beginning with the Princess of Disks, we see a young woman whose focus is placed on practical matters. She stands silently, in deep concentration, her staff points downward to physical form. She is practical, generous, and reliable. The Princess is a student, her careful study transforming her future.

The 4 of Disks depicts the fortress of power, suggesting a strong foundation or structure. The four elements and quarters are represented in the scene, the strength of Elemental Guardians present. The 4 of Disks suggests wealth that’s building toward material or financial success.

And now for my favorite card, the Queen of Swords. She sits on her throne, reclined a bit, surrounded by clouds, her sword in her right hand, a head in her left. Clearly, she takes no prisoners, her effect final. The Queen cuts through illusion getting to the truth of the matter, suffering no fools in her path. She is intelligent and self-reliant, assertive yet graceful. Extraordinarily perceptive, the Queen of Swords prefers the solitary path, relying on her intuition as guide.

When Court cards appear in a reading, they can indicate either the individual on the card or their traits. An initial look at the cards really didn’t give me a feel for their flow. But as I began describing each one, it became clear to me what was going on here. Instead of seeing both Court cards in the same way, I decided to look at the traits of the Princess of Disks, and alternately, the Queen of Swords as an individual. I suppose we could see the Princess as the Queen when she was younger, but I think we’d arrive at the same place anyway.

There’s power in building the foundation for our lives. We seek out education in all forms, determined to learn all that we can, recognizing that the time spent in diligent, focused study will result in future success. We’ve learned from the Princess that transformation is possible with careful management of our resources.

But at the end of the day, the Queen reflects on wisdom gained over a lifetime lived. She’s paid her dues. The Queen uses her sword, balancing intellect with intuition to cut through illusion, finding the dispassionate solution. She lets go of what no longer serves, in this case, a severed head, suggesting it may be her own thoughts that she casts to the universe.

Typical Crone. Over time, we learn to choose our battles, eventually learning to ignore just about everything. In the clouds, she sits apart from the physical aspect of Self, aligning with her Source Presence as she releases her hold on the past. Her foundation is strong, the power of the Queen felt by all.

As women, we have far more power than we may realize. A lifetime of oppression is the cause, but all along, we’ve been building our strong foundation, our fortress. There is no one more determined than a woman. No one. We survive as we always have, with grace and dignity. And it’s time that we embraced that inner strength and resolve that has sustained us throughout our lives.

We’re worth far more than some in our country would suggest. And our time has come.

Blessed Be

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High Horses

I read something today about patriarchy that really has me scratching my head. Although I think I understand what the author was talking about, I disagree with her premise I guess. At least I think I do. Apparently women are as responsible for misogyny as are men and we confuse patriarchy with masculinity. And that men want what we want and are really reaching out for understanding and we should embrace them for that.

What?

Then she wants all of the Goddesses out there to get off their high horses about all of it. It’s a paradigm after all. And that’s true. It is a paradigm. But paradigms like patriarchy result in behavior that’s oppressive and unwanted, so there’s no high horse to get off of here. We’re just trying to be safe in a really unsafe world. She ended her piece by telling Boudicca, a great grandmother in my ancestry, to put down her sword. Right, like that would ever happen.

Okay. Yes, we participate in our experiences. I agree with that. If someone behaves in a misogynistic manner to me, I have a choice to call them out on their behavior, or to respond in any other way I might wish. If I choose to say nothing, does it then mean I’m part of the problem? What if I’m afraid? What if I say something and it causes further trouble? Because this has happened to me. I told a man to leave me alone one time and he came up behind me and grabbed my hair and said all sorts of disgusting things to me. Was I to embrace this man as someone who was reaching out to me as the author suggests? Or should I have called the police and let him feel the embrace of law enforcement?

The other thing I found odd was her use of Sister(s). It’s like when someone uses your first name while explaining something to you. It’s condescending and when it happens, I stop listening. I do. I just stop and I don’t care what the person has to say ever again. It’s a zero tolerance thing for me.

Maybe my problem with this is because I don’t see duality the way the author apparently does. I believe the only true duality is nonphysical versus physical presence, so any talk of duality based in physical form is an illusion of sorts. When we talk about Sacred Feminine this and Sacred Masculine that, we’re really defining ourselves in a way that lends itself to expressions of separation when our nonphysical aspect of Self already embodies both of those concepts. Of course the argument to that could be that we live our physical aspect of Self, that our nonphysical aspect isn’t particularly relevant, yet it must be if we’re interjecting the Sacred into the conversation.

I like that the author challenges the reader to think outside the box, so to speak, on a subject that’s clearly controversial, but I still disagree. When women talk about patriarchy, they’re talking about behavior. It may indeed be a paradigm, but it’s behavior that makes us afraid, that keeps us making less than our male counterparts, that oppresses, controls, hurts, and yes, sometimes kills us.

We may stay longer than is safe, but he’s convinced us that he’ll kill us and/or our children if we leave.

Should I have not found an apartment for my mother, brother, and myself after graduating from high school when we were no longer safe from my father? Should we have embraced him when he followed my mother home from work one day? Should we have understood and let him hurt us? Again?

I allowed men to sexually harass me at a business I co-owned with my husband because I was afraid of losing business if I spoke up. Am I part of the problem? On one level, yes. But should I have embraced them for it? Was it okay for one guy to describe my body to me and then giggle to the friend he brought with him, pointing while saying, look how skinny she is, while his friend grinned from ear to ear. Should I have contacted his wife and asked if she wanted me to embrace him, or would she want that privilege? Should I have called my husband into the room, told him what was going on and allowed him to handle it?

So you can see how I’m confused.

There’s lots of men out there who understand how to treat others, women included. They are respectful and have integrity. I know because I’ve been married to one for some 37 years. These are not the men of patriarchy. They’re part of the solution. And while telling women to get off their high horses might spark conversation, it doesn’t take into account the real experiences many of us have.

Women aren’t stupid. We see what’s going on in the world and we are as savvy as we can be to negotiate around all the obstacles that are placed in our way. And to suggest that we help put them there is not just insensitive, but in this Crone’s opinion, wrong.

Blessed Be to all the women up there on their high horses. Stay there. We’ve had to walk behind for too long.

 

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Going Within To Know Truth

What truths inspire us? It helps to be naturally curious, I suppose. But when I wander about, I find such inspiration in the present moment. No agenda, no purpose other than wandering about looking at all the flowers and plants growing, coming upon a snake or a lizard sunning itself. And who doesn’t love a good argument with a duck who seems to think the strawberries on my front deck belong to him? Of course the ultimate in present moment inspiration is found when I sit and watch my bees coming in and out of their hives.

But a witch realizes that everything we do, everything we are, comes from within, including inspiration. I’ve always had an inner focus that I’ve relied on. We can have all the crystals, candles, and incense we want, but at the end of the day our awareness and true inspiration emanates from an inner focus.

There’s plenty of discussion these days about reawakening the Goddess presence within each of us. Patriarchy has all but destroyed our spirit, allowing oppression to take a firm hold. We’ve lived under a destructive imbalance resistant to change for thousands of years. The return of Goddess presence allows resistance felt to fall away, replaced by a quiet dignity that respects all. We reawaken our Source presence and then remember who we truly are. But know that it’s a reawakening that we experience, and not a redefinition. Because a redefinition assumes a central truth when each of us is here to express our own. Who we are hasn’t changed, we need only reawaken and remember that truth.

We’ve felt the effects of patriarchy in our lives from the moment we’re born with behavior reinforced along gender lines. I remember being told growing up that I should be a teacher because I would be home with my kids in the afternoon and summers, as if my future husband would have no responsibility whatsoever for our children. And that glass ceiling women experience, it’s movable to any position necessary in order that a woman is kept in her place. I earned a Black Belt in Kenpo, but instead of receiving the respect due a person who trained daily for three years to achieve such an honor, my achievement was viewed by some as a gift from my husband, the instructor. I worked my ass off but truth didn’t matter.

And then there’s the intrusive way some men speak to women. And trust me, it doesn’t matter if you’re married or single, some men still believe they can say anything they want to a woman and she’s supposed to be grateful for the attention. Except that we’re not. And when it happens we experience fear, anger, rage, and powerlessness. As if we have no right to speak up and say no.

The choice that began long ago to force patriarchy on the world has taken us off track, creating an imbalance between us that is unsustainable. But the last thing women need is for anyone else to define their own awakening. We need only go within to know our truth. And that truth isn’t found in the past but in the present moment.

Each of us focuses into form to experience life on our own terms, to live our own truth. We don’t replace patriarchy with someone else’s take on our collective experience. We replace it with our own, in alignment with our inner Source Presence. We find our inspiration in the present moment, without the past to influence any outcome. We know what the problem has been and continues to be. Change happens when we live the solution.

Blessed be.

 

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Patriarchy Isn’t Going Away Quietly

I watched part of the Commander-in-Chief forum last night, turning it off after Secretary Clinton was finished. I couldn’t watch the poor excuse for an interviewer give the next guy the pass he didn’t seem interested in giving Hillary. Even with all of her qualifications, he couldn’t be respectful enough to let her finish a thought. But then that’s how it is with powerful women. There are still men who apparently are so intimidated that they find any way that they can to make us look less than we are. Those watching last night witnessed just such a man. Well, two of them.

We’ve all lived under patriarchy for so long that it doesn’t occur to some that there can be anything else. But it’s never felt right to treat women as less than when we’ve never been anything like that. We’ve fought in wars, we take care of our families, we run companies, but we’re somehow less than our male counterparts. And now some of the more loony ones are fixated on a cough that Secretary Clinton had. A cough. President Bush choked on a pretzel and while there were jokes made about it, most people were just concerned that he was okay. These other people sound like complete nutjobs.

The other candidate has no ideas other than those which will derail our country further. Secretary Clinton, on the other hand, has all sorts of plans to make our country better, but media outlets are more interested in covering the crazy guy than listening to what she has to say. It’s probably why she doesn’t talk to them much. She’d rather talk to voters. Oh, the horror of it all.

She doesn’t smile; she doesn’t look presidential. Give me a break. This woman looks more presidential than even her husband did. Besides, it’s about governing, not about her own celebrity. Next they’ll be saying she’s not woman enough for the job. But then maybe that’s what the smile comments are about.

When we make it about the visual, we lose substance. An election is not a television show, irrespective of the fact that one of the candidates is akin to a game show host. I want to know how a candidate is going to govern and if he or she understands what people in our country deal with on a daily basis, regardless of who they are. I want to know that he or she understands the rest of world and our place in it. I want to know that he or she has a firm grasp on the issues we all face in this world and that wisdom will prevail over impulsive reaction.

When my parents were divorced, I remember my mom was up for a promotion to department head at the grocery store where she worked. I was in college and we talked about the fact that she might be able to be an Assistant Store Manager, but she would never be in charge of the whole place. That was a job reserved for men because they had families to take care of. My mother was now a single parent with a deaf son and a daughter in college, but apparently a man’s responsibilities were greater than my mother’s.

It was bullshit then and it’s bullshit now. But that’s how the world was in the 70’s. For all the work feminism was doing, we hadn’t come very far, and listening to the crap that comes from men who should know better about this election, it tells me that we have so much more work to do. But it’s as disgusting now as it was then.

People wonder why so many older women support Hillary. Well, it’s because we’ve experienced patriarchy in all its ugliness. It’s not because she’s a woman, but because she’s qualified. Because if she wasn’t, none of us would be supporting her.

Here’s the thing. Women are intelligent, responsible people. We work hard, and we want an equal place at the table. And we shouldn’t have to ask for it or point it out. We THINK. We REASON. And we VOTE. And in November each one of us will make the best decision we can when we cast our vote.

But is it time for a woman in the Oval Office? Yes. And the fussy men out there who can’t seem to stop sticking both feet in their mouths need to sit down, shut up, and learn a thing or two.

Women aren’t the enemy. We just want to be treated with respect and dignity. And we want to be paid the same as our male counterparts. We don’t want to be defined by whether or not we smile enough. And just so men know, saying stuff like this makes you look so pathetic and small. Women are tired of being judged, period. Because it’s only there to keep women in a place defined by men who want control instead of fairness, preserving patriarchy instead of a more balanced engagement.

Any time change happens, those that want to preserve the status quo will spend their efforts on derailing that change. But a tipping point has been reached, and patriarchy is giving way to a more balanced, reasoned approach to how we relate to each other. We have to start somewhere. Maybe we begin by electing Hillary Clinton our first woman President.

A note about the picture at the top of the white cosmos. This little plant is a volunteer, began with one flower, and has been growing in my driveway all summer. Its beauty and tenacity speaks to the strength of a woman who stands in her own power in spite of any obstacles in her path. As women, like this flower, we’ve persevered in our becoming. And there’s no stopping us now.

Blessed Be

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What We Convince Ourselves Of

I just finished watching Jon Stewart do a commentary on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show. It was great seeing him again. His viewpoint is always appreciated and I miss him. The friendship between these two men is one of love and family and Jon’s perspective is sorely needed today.

It occurred to me while watching that we convince ourselves of so much that has little if any basis in reality. The theme of the day is hate and separation and the enhancement and preservation of both. Conservatives have apparently convinced themselves that racism is okay now, that it’s just the most normal thing in the world to believe and act upon.

The hate-filled language alone is enough to make me ill, and then to watch a video of a man lying on the ground, hands up, nothing in them, his autistic patient sitting quietly next to him playing with a truck, shot by an officer who apparently said he had no idea why he did it was simply beyond the pale. And I’m not sure that anything will happen to the officer because lately it’s open season on black men and no one seems to go to jail over it. Children are shot and killed and nothing. Nothing.

What have these police officers in question convinced themselves of? There are so many officers in our country who would NEVER behave this way. They’re honorable and they protect us. I have no idea what’s wrong with the rest of them. I realize it’s a different world now for them. With the Assault Weapons Ban lifted, dealing with conflict has taken on a new dimension, open carry as well. And now they’re blowing suspects up using drones, but don’t think this indicates a militarization of our police departments. Again, what have they convinced themselves of?

I couldn’t watch the GOP convention. I can’t watch people express hate. It’s so upsetting to hear this crap. They, too, have convinced themselves of some truly destructive notions. And the venom spewed over Hillary is shameful. Regardless of someone’s feelings, you’d think they’d have some self-respect, but no. They vilify her to the point that I’m never sure who they’re even talking about. They’ve convinced themselves that she’s guilty of all sorts of things and then Chris Christie, a lawyer in another life, basically threw red meat at the crowd as he listed all her supposed faults. No facts, just hyperbole. She’s guilty as charged..by Chris Christie and all the people there. It must be hard when they don’t pick you. Especially when you and your wife sit down for an interview that really made it sound like you thought you were a shoe-in. He’s clearly sensitive.

It’s the isms, really. Racism, ageism, sexism, and plagiarism, but no humanism or humanitarianism. The isms get folks every time. Belief gives way to behavior and then some idiot smacks a black protester as he’s leaving the arena where the TV guy is giving a speech. And it doesn’t help when he tells his supporters that he’ll pay their legal fees. Because you know that will never happen. But the gullible convince themselves of so much, giving them all sorts of cover for their ism-atic (okay, I made that up) behavior.

Many claim they’re religious. Of course I believe we’re all expressions of Source Energy, so I really have no idea how their religious beliefs translate into so many isms, but it sure seems like they do. I would have thought that the more religious among us would be into loving thy neighbor, but listening to clips from that convention, I don’t hear much of that. Instead they’re worried about Sharia Law and immigrants and taking back their country. I’d just settle for people being honest and nice to each other. And if it’s not too much to ask, maybe a little cooperation and a little less subterfuge and undermining.

The attitudes expressed towards issues affecting women in this country are asinine and insulting. It’s bad enough when it comes from men, but when it’s women I can’t listen to it. I’ve lived through and been affected by years of misogyny and it always makes me sick to hear it from women. And it’s not that I think all women need to support a female candidate because there are plenty who are not worth supporting, but Hillary isn’t one of them. She’s done the work, she’s fully prepared, and she’s ready to lead because she’s been leading all of her life. And she’ll make a great President, and in all probability, a better President than her husband. And he’ll love that.

I’d like to take the country back, but not toward hate, but toward love. We’re one family, not this divisive and hateful version of us. And it’s gotten so out of hand that I don’t know how we move past some of this. Not when some of us are dying at the hands of people who are tasked with our protection. Not when women still make less than their male counterparts. Not when children and entire cities suffer from lead poisoning just because the powers that be don’t think it’s important enough to prevent it. Not when children die in school because of rampant gun violence. Not when we have a Congress who would rather obstruct that do anything productive for the country.

When does it stop? When do we get back on track? When do we come together and move in a direction of compassion and unity of purpose?

That’s the country I want to take back. That’s the country I wish we remembered we are.

Because this crap is just that..crap. And we’re better than this.

 


butterfly 2

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20 Minutes of Rape

Another rape on a college campus, this time Stanford. In an article in the Washington Post, his morally bankrupt father referred to it as a “steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action.” Action? Is that what we’re calling rape now? Action? Would it have been rape in his estimation had it lasted 30 minutes? What is the rape threshold for this idiot?

The only steep price that will be paid will be by his son’s victim. But this statement speaks to the problems created by patriarchy. Athletes are forgiven everything. They can beat their wives on camera, they can rape unconscious women at frat parties, and it’s all just a mistake.

Rape is rape. This guy is a criminal. That he is also an athlete at a major university like Stanford is irrelevant. He’s a rapist. He’s a criminal. And the words I have for the judge who let him off with what amounts to a slap on the wrist are far too vulgar to print.

Does he have a daughter? If so, what does he say to her? Does he have a wife? If so, what does he say to her? And if he has a son, I really don’t want to know what he says to him. A terrible man, this judge. A terrible human being. And someone who should have NEVER been privileged enough to sit on the bench.

Rape isn’t a mistake. It’s a violent choice to destroy another human being. What privilege does his victim enjoy? Nothing except a life filled with dread and pain. “20 minutes of action” according to the rapist’s father is pathetic. It was 20 minutes of rape. His son is a rapist who deserves far more than what he’s getting. Perhaps the judge can join him.

It doesn’t matter if a woman is intoxicated to the point of unconsciousness. Protect her. Keep her safe. But instead, asshole patriarchal fuckwads rape women and then make pathetic excuses for it.

Evidently these so-called athletes are so important that they have more rights than a woman does to be safe. But here’s some facts to not just consider, but believe:

  • You don’t have the right to hurt us.
  • You don’t have the right to do as you please to us.
  • You don’t have the right to make our lives a living hell.
  • You don’t have the right to destroy whatever happiness we find.
  • You don’t have the right to rape us. Not ever.
  • And when we’re unable to say no, you say no for us.

Blessings to this woman. She should have been safe and I stand with her as do countless other women. We are all her Sisters and we are legion.