We live in such interesting times. This election, more than any one so far, exposes how the denigration of women remains so very entrenched in our culture, not only in the United States, but across the world. I am voting for Hilary Clinton because she is the best qualified candidate for president of our country. Bernie Sanders has some good ideas that I hope will become real policy, such as free college tuition for every American. But Hilary is one person who has consistently fought for my rights, my dignity, my economic equality. And not only that. She has insight and vital experience in foreign policy and national policy that make her singularly qualified for the job. What is all this fuss about insiders? Politics is a complicated and arcane business. We need people who understand the system well enough to make it work for us, the people, people who can best represent our interests. Hilary Clinton is that person.
[The movie Starving the Beast shows how Right-wing lobbyists with power have] dropped any sense that the public university plays a fundamental role in the quality of life in their states, or enhances young people’s understanding of their responsibilities as citizens. They don’t even see “students” anymore, only “customers” or “clients.” They want to steer public universities away from inquiries about the meaning of life, justice, or beauty in this world, which they see as nothing more than “left-liberal” claptrap.
Their “vision” (if one can call it that) is to get rid of academic tenure, phase out the liberal arts and humanities departments, and narrowly focus “education” on the attainment of vocational skills. They apparently want a workforce of trained automatons who toil in silence and never ask big questions or challenge authority as young people are encouraged to do in university settings.
Despite the clear animus of some high profile atheists, those who don’t believe in God are the most tolerant.
There is no end to the men, mostly, who seek to govern women’s bodies, who deny women freedom, agency, and power. Now they want to prevent any woman who MIGHT become pregnant from drinking alcohol, even though there is no solid evidence to support such draconian prohibition.
What do you think?
Martha Nussbaum, a famous philosopher and a woman who has, you might say, “made it,” in the patriarchal halls of philosophy and academe, has this to say to women who would seek justice when famous and powerful men rape them:
Law cannot fix this problem. Famous men standardly get away with sexual harms, and for the most part will continue to do so. They know they are above the law, and they are therefore undeterrable. What can society do? Don’t give actors and athletes such glamor and reputational power. But that won’t happen in the real world. What can women do? Don’t be fooled by glamor. Do not date such men, unless you know them very, very well. Do not go to their homes. Never be alone in a room with them. And if you ignore my sage advice and encounter trouble, move on. Do not let your life get hijacked by an almost certainly futile effort at justice. Focus on your own welfare, and in this case that means: forget the law.
Source: Martha Nussbaum on sexual assault
Do you agree with Jennysaul, below:
Nussbaum draws on her own experiences to discuss sexual assault by powerful men. Her main argument has a deeply depressing conclusion, consisting of advice to women:
Patriarchy governing women’s bodies and minds.
Like many across the country, an investigation in Kansas found that Planned Parenthood was not involved with the illegal sale of fetal tissue.
A lawsuit filed in federal court Thursday by Planned Parenthood accuses anti-choice activists of operating a criminal enterprise in hopes of ending legal abortion.
A North Carolina law requiring doctors who perform abortions after the 16th week of pregnancy to submit ultrasounds to state officials went into effect January 1.
Survey co-authored by Trae Vassallo, who testified in the Ellen Pao case, found that for women in tech and venture capital gender discrimination is common
There’s mounting evidence suggesting that student evaluations of teaching are unreliable. But are these evaluations, commonly referred to as SET, so bad that they’re actually better at gauging students’ gender bias and grade expectations than they are at measuring teaching effectiveness? A new paper argues that’s the case, and that evaluations are biased against female instructors in particular in so many ways that adjusting them for that bias is impossible.
Wonderful people make Guana Cay a place we will remember fondly.
Source: Adventures on Guana Cay
I’m quoting from RH Reality Check, one of the best blogs on the net. Jodi Jacobson, the editor-in-chief, eloquently exposes the hypocrisy of right-wing politicians, such as Ted Cruz:
Last Friday, two civilians and one police officer died and nine others were wounded in a vicious and wholly predictable attack at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The alleged gunman, Robert Lewis Dear, who used what the New York Times described as an assault-style rifle to blast his way into the health-care facility, reportedly said “no more baby parts” during his arrest.
This would be a direct reference to false and defamatory rhetoric ceaselessly repeated by GOP candidates and the anti-choice movement over the past six months to claim Planned Parenthood profited from the sale of fetal body parts for research, when not a shred of evidence of illegal or unethical activity has been produced.
It’s no secret that the GOP, now fully co-opted by what was once a radical Christian fringe, long ago set its sights on destroying access to reproductive health care in the United States. With callous disregard to the effects on the nearly three million a year who receive primary reproductive health care at Planned Parenthood clinics, the right has made a religious crusade of efforts to shutter Planned Parenthood, persistently threatening to shut down the entire U.S. government in an effort to do so. State legislatures and governors throughout the country have voted to strip funding from family planning and other forms of reproductive health care, destroying an essential keystone of public health. And an entire industry now exists devoted to, among other things, manufacturing lies about abortion and contraception; passing laws to reduce access to abortion care and make criminals of doctors and patients; picketing clinics; harassing and threatening providers and patients; and denying women medically accurate information.
In this environment, heated rhetoric about abortion providers is only one lit match away from a raging forest fire of hatred and violence culminating in unstable people taking matters into their own hands.
Dream time: November 20, 2015, before sunrise
Dream location: Parrot Cay, near Hopetown, Abacos, Bahamas.
I had gotten very sick, and started to draw the windows of my former client, where there were tiny porcelain figurines of girls and animals and much smaller little tea cups that I myself had made with a flourish of my paintbrush–two dimensional becoming three. While painting I find myself clinging to the building, twenty or thirty stories up in the air, and nearly fainting from terror.
My former client opens and window and brings me in to her rooms which are filled with books in English and German, rare and valuable books, and enormous, elaborate porcelain trees and flowers. The decor is fanciful, bohemian, educated, and shabby. I feel at home here. I have arrived very sick, deeply distressed, depressed, nearly hysterical with weeping. A psychiatric nurse is called, who thinks I’m going to throw myself out the window, which is nonsense. But I am sick, far gone into what some might call madness. I am not mad, I have fallen into a kind of ego sickness, attachment, samsara.
My sorrow is more acute than my client’s, and she does what she can to heal me. I sign up for some kind of ashram, a retreat that I bike to, far out in the tropics. I walk the path into the forest. It leads down, down, and, strangely, into my former client’s apartment. I find her dressed in scarlet, Tibetan silks. She is the doorkeeper.
She leads me to a circular stairway that plunges perilously to deeper floors of rooms, where I meet children laughing and playing, women basking in sunlight and water, teachers. I retreat, fleeing back up to my client’s rooms, where she tends to me, dresses me, feeds me, until I am strong enough to return to the floors beneath her.
I know I must go, that this retreat down and within, will help me, but I have come late. I have paid dearly for this retreat, and worry that I have missed too much, that the teachers there will not allow me to start. I will lose my investment, a heavy price. I attend some meditation lessons and attempt to blend in, in vain. My former client works here, too, and helps me to find my way.
I cannot find the guru I need, the teacher who will listen to my complaints and point out the cure. Slowly I learn that I must listen to myself, hear and feel the sadnesses within, the terrors, the abysses. Only by embracing what I fear to know about myself, can I heal and grow stronger. Only by surrendering to the darkness can I experience the dawn breaking within.
Ich glaube, daß fast alle unsere Traurigkeiten Momente der Spannung sind, die wir als Lähmung empfinden, weil wir unsere befremdeten Gefühle nicht mehr leben hören. Weil wir mit dem Fremden, das bei uns eingetreten ist, allein sind, weil uns alles Vertraute und Gewohnte für einen Augenblick fortgenommen ist; weil wir mitten in einem Übergang stehen, wo wir nicht stehen bleiben können. Darum geht die Traurigkeit auch vorüber: das Neue in uns, das Hinzugekommene, ist in unser Herz eingetreten, ist in seine innerste Kammer gegangen und ist auch dort nicht mehr, – ist schon im Blut. Und wir erfahren nicht, was es war. Man könnte uns leicht glauben machen, es sei nichts geschehen, und doch haben wir uns verwandelt, wie ein Haus sich verwandelt, in welches ein Gast eingetreten ist. Wir können nicht sagen, wer gekommen ist, wir werden es vielleicht nie wissen, aber es sprechen viele Anzeichen dafür, daß die Zukunft in solcher Weise in uns eintritt, um sich in uns zu verwandeln, lange bevor sie geschieht. Und darum ist es so wichtig, einsam und aufmerksam zu sein, wenn man traurig ist: weil der scheinbar ereignislose und starre Augenblick, da unsere Zukunft uns betritt, dem Leben so viel näher steht als jener andere laute und zufällige Zeitpunkt, da sie uns, wie von außen her, geschieht.
—Rainer Maria Rilke, Briefe an einem jungen Dichter, Franz Xaver Kappus. Borgeby gård, Flädie, Schweden,
am 12. August 1904
Are you a woman? Do you love someone who is female? Do you believe you have or she has the right to her own body and mind? Do you like tacos or beer? If you answered yes to any of these questions, please support this campaign to give women more control over their own destinies: Taco or Beer Challenge. It’s a heck of a lot more fun that dumping ice on your head.
Last night I dreamed that a man I love deeply trafficked with powerful politicos who manipulated elections not to promote candidates whose views they shared, but because this was how the game was played and they played to win. My lone voice calling out for leaders who protected a woman’s right to control her own body went unheard. The politicos hushed me by assuring me they agreed with me, while women sat idly on the sidelines. So this morning I donated money to Trust Women Foundation through this campaign. Check out some videos of other like-minded here.
BTW, I don’t like all the F-bombs in the subsequent blurb, but the cause is good. Please check it out. Taco or Beer Challenge.
Or simply donate to this excellent cause: TRUST WOMEN.
My parents had a really happy marriage. They met and fell in love in a Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) high school in Los Angeles. Basically good and good-looking, outdoorsy, kids, they rebelled against their church’s strict rules against drinking, smoking, and pre-marital sex. Before they got hitched, at the frighteningly young ages of 21 and 22, they shared sleeping bags while camping out before the Rose Bowl Parade. The early years of their marriage were hard. My father was in medical school and worked 24 hours at a time in the hospital before going on to his part-time jobs at a gas station and a mortuary. He didn’t have time to think, let alone feel. My mother, though, grew lonely and depressed at her secretarial position and afterwards, trying to attend to four year-old me and my much cuter and quieter two year-old brother. Just because we had been running around all day at our grandmother’s house playing with our uncles and cousins didn’t mean we were tired, or that dinner and the dirty house would take care of themselves.
The U.S. Army drafted my father right out of medical school and my parents opted to spend three years in Germany in lieu of two years in Texas. Although it was difficult at first, especially since my father had to train for six months away from the family, the easier work schedule and social life that they found on the base gave my parents the opportunity to turn towards one another again. Both of them enjoyed skiing and traveling and socializing with people from different cultures, ethnic groups, and religions. They explored Europe together, usually with my brother and me, but also alone or with friends.
I remember them laughing, but cannot think of a single time I saw them yelling or arguing at one another. Disagreements usually had to do with money—my father thought my mother spent too much on clothing for herself and the kids, while my mother complained that he spent too much on his sailboats. He generally deferred to her in actually enjoyed spending money on her, because she was beautiful and elegant and looked great in diamonds. She appreciated how hard he worked to pay for luxuries and went along with his enthusiasms, such as sailing, even though she never got as excited about it as he did.
She enjoyed just being in his company, she said, even if he seemed to be ignoring her behind his computer monitor. Both came from musical families that valued classical music. My mother also liked popular songs but deferred to my father’s more intellectual interests in jazz and opera when they sat together in the evenings. My father admired my mother’s taste in decorating, so if he decided what they did together, then my mother determined how the boat or the home they did it in would look and feel. My father liked to jokes and my mother liked to laugh. She laughed at everyone’s jokes.
One of the most important lessons I learned from my mother is that one’s husband should be interesting. “Your father never bores me,” she said. He loved the way she rubbed his neck on long family car journeys. While my mother probably dedicated more cognitive room to my father than he did to her, and was generally less able to discuss his feelings, she was emotionally intelligent enough not to read any irritation or frustration he expressed as an attack on her person.
My father’s temperament was basically sweet, and both of my parents had strong, emotionally involved mothers, so it was easy for him to accept her dominance in the household. She respected his dominance in the business and financial spheres. He wasn’t too keen on her wish for another child in her late thirties, but he went along with it because he loved her. He also accepted very little responsibility for the nurturing of my sister. “Joan, your child is crying,” I can remember him saying.
They accepted stereotypical gendered roles without buying into a philosophy of male dominance. My father had some old-fashioned attitudes, but he respected intelligence and ability in women. Both of them were strongly pro-choice. They pursued different hobbies but generally practiced them together (Mom needle pointed or read while Dad puttered on the boat). Mom never did master the black runs and usually got cold long before Dad, but she was a good sport and headed out with him every day.
Because my father’s job was so demanding, they had to learn how to entertain themselves separately, but they shared the same Southern Californian, SDA roots as well as the same dream of a healthy, happy, family in which parents and children spent a lot of time together outside having fun. They planned a rich, relaxing, athletic retirement together, but that dream never came true. My mother died of colon cancer after a short illness in 1990. She was 54. Dad remarried another woman from the same high school, but she was an altogether different sort of person and did not bring my father much joy. Truly happy marriages are rare and precious.
My parents taught me a great deal about what a good relationship looks like. Partners do well when they admire each other’s interests and respect their different strengths. I also think a man who bores a woman will soon lose her, no matter what else may offer, and that mutual admiration and toleration for one another is vital for long-term happiness. My parents’ good marriage will always inform my interpretations of other relationships. It will also help me, a committed feminist and apprentice psychotherapist, to see that even couples who adopt relatively rigid gender roles can share power equally and effectively.