After it was reported that Charles Manson was in a hospital clinging to life, comments started flowing.
I was surprised at the number of people who were talking about compassion for the man. He had a tough childhood, he never actually killed anyone, etc. One person suggested that there were lots of babies being killed in Vietnam at the time, and Manson only killed one, so … you know … what’s the big deal?
These comments were not made by the usual idiots who just stir up trouble, have difficulty stringing 2 words together or who are only capable of emoji’s and urban language that takes disjointed thoughts, throws it all together and somehow expects everyone to “get it.”. They were from seemingly intelligent people who absolutely believed what they were saying and the more comments that came, the more they were bolstered to express that same sentiment.
It is true, over the years, many horrors have been committed that lessen the impact of what was done by Manson and his followers. Blood and gore, torture, mindless slaughter . . . we now play games where we are the perpetrators of this and far worse. Mid-week TV shows supply that kind of storyline direct into our living rooms on a regular basis. So, we are desensitized to the whole event. Continue reading
An estimated 500,000 women are trafficked every year into sexual slavery and even when caught the perpetrators are seldom held accountable. Excused by a justice system that is corrupt, they continue to treat human beings as if they are nothing more than mere bodies for them to do with as they please. Again, in order for these pigs to do what they do, they are supported by people who know what is going on, who see what is going on and who do nothing. They are supported by all the people who pay to use these women, caring nothing that these women are there against their will.
These women are taken and forced into prostitution because they are poor and desperate or they are victims of war and of natural disasters. They have no hope to help themselves and have few options. It is not uncommon for them to be burdened with a need for money for healthcare for themselves or loved ones. We talk about not being able to catch the perpetrators as if that is the answer. Why aren’t we doing more about poverty? Why is it we are so afraid to peel back the layers of our damaged world, to get beyond the symptoms and address the actual source? While the fish is great when you are starving, the fishing pole and directions not only feed the body, they feed the soul. People want the right to self-determine, to create their own lives and make their own choices. You know, like all of us privileged first world people do. When did we get to the point where first aid was it. We arrive at the scene of the accidents, stem the blood flow, and then leave them by the side of the road to die.
THIS is an issue that women should be caring about and speaking to. How dare we complain about inequality and our first world issues when there are women being treated like this. Where is our compassion?? How can we justify our outrage over our right to equal pay and complaining that we cannot buy a new designer purse without a raise in our salary when there are women who just want the right to not be taken from their families and raped every night by dozens of men? We are outraged by the rich and famous having their “ass grabbed,” how about listening to the nightmare that these women live with? And before someone else comes up with some ridiculous, social media sign of solidarity, “me too” campaign, this is a problem that requires real help. I don’t know that we can fix the damage that has been done to those who manage to escape but I do know that those who are still there right now, have no chance unless we decide that they matter.
I doubt very much that at the end of this life we get to smile and say we helped because we wrote “me too” on a computer screen, or because we burned incense for them one night. Life is real. Suffering is real. This is our world and whether doing nothing may be our most damning crime.
“Lying is done with words, and also with silence.” Adrienne Rich
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” Plato
Hollywood has erupted with a number of actresses coming forward to speak out regarding the abuse they suffered at the hands of American Producer Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein and his brother founded Miramax which has been responsible for successful films such as Pulp Fiction and Good Will Hunting. He has received numerous awards for his work and has been active in issues such as AIDS and Juvenile Diabetes. He was, undoubtedly, a Hollywood powerhouse who had the connections to make or break careers.
Sexual assault is rampant around the world and I have long been an active voice speaking out against it as well as advocating for the victims. I am in no way minimizing what any woman suffers in my comments regarding this particular case but I have some serious concerns and I think they are concerns that should be shared.
Lately, there has been a whole stream of public figures who stand accused of various sexual assaults. Some people are hopeful that this signals a new willingness to expose these atrocities and that they represent our commitment to draw a line in the sand and say “No more.” We seem to circumvent the whole legal process meant to determine guilt and jump straight to judgement. Guilt appears to be amplified by the public lives of the accused. Is it easier for us to comment on a life that we already feel we have a right to because we see them in our own homes on our media devices and on the news? It appears to at least polarize the accusers as legitimate and the accused as guilty. No-one seems to worry about questioning what we read and hear. A trial and its outcome are irrelevant. As long as you have Gloria Allred on one side of the microphone, the truth is irrelevant.
The story never dies and the accused, even if innocent, will never completely recover. Continue reading
I so respect your right to have any pet you want. I even respect your right to have a pet that I would never want to have. Truly, I have your back on that issue. I would never chose to have a cat as a pet but you go right ahead.
I think some people chose a cat as a pet because they do not require a lot of upkeep. Compared to a dog, they are smaller, more independent, seldom hurt or kill other people, cost less to feed, do not need to be exercised and know how to bury their own faeces in a neat little sandbox you can empty once in a while without too much hassle. Not having to “train” them in the art of bathrooming is a big plus. You can give your child or yourself a furry companion but not be tied down in the same way you are with a dog. Cats are pretty resilient and much more forgiving as far as recovering from neglect. But let’s talk serious here for a moment; having a pet comes with lots of responsibilities. I am sure that you bought your kitty lots of cool toys and that you feed them regularly. You may even let your cat sleep with you. Funny how they become such a big part of your family so quickly, isn’t it?
You know what is not funny? It’s not funny that YOUR cat roams all over the neighbourhood forcing all the rest of us to share in your cat ownership. You see, I would love to have a pet. I don’t because our lifestyle would not support that. We travel a lot and I know we would not be able to commit to the time and energy a pet would need. I thought a lot about that, and sadly, realized, it would be irresponsible for me to try and take on a pet, even an independent cat.
So what I do, is I have compensated. I love the birds and the little lizards, geckos, the possums, the wallabies and the kangaroos. I even love the little rabbits that occasionally show up in our yard. We planted our yard to facilitate all of them. I have a debilitating illness that sees me spend most of my time indoors so my husband went to some lengths – effort and finances – to plant all kinds of trees and bushes outside the windows of my office and my bedroom to attract the birds I love. It has allowed me to enjoy them up close and personal. These have become MY pets and while none of them share my bed, I can assure you that I love them and take pleasure in them every bit as much as you do your cat. Continue reading
Yes, we all bleed.
I am not ashamed of the fact.
I just don’t think it is necessary for me to celebrate it by bleeding all over the place so that other women will feel more powerful. Neither do I particularly want to see other women bleed. I accept other women’s word that they bleed. I don’t need to see their underwear or their bed sheets. I don’t polygraph women I meet so that I can sort my friends into “bleeders” and “non-bleeders” and relegate the “non-bleeders” into the ineffective, powerless women pile.
We read about periods all the way back in the Bible and other texts of the time where it was the practice to have women remove themselves from the other people and go off and live in a tent until their period was over. If the Nasty Bleeder’s Movement (aka the Women’s Movement) had been involved, they would have been angry about them being segregated. They would have fought for the rights of these women to be able to powerfully bleed anywhere they wanted to, including all over the town, the people and their families. Then there would be no need for all this fuss today because we probably wouldn’t even be here. Blood contains germs that can cause serious infections and while women may have experienced euphoric episodes that could be described as powerful, they probably would have wiped out the rest of their people with some kind of plague. You know .. the heat, no big box of sanitary pads, not a lot of opportunities to bathe … that kind of thing. BUT you can’t argue that efforts to have women celebrate themselves and assert their right to equality by bleeding everywhere would have been more “fair” to the women. Who likes to have to go to a separate tent for a week or more? That seems pretty cruel. After all, apply the Nasty Bleeder’s Movement primary litmus test to the problem and they have a point. Men don’t have to do it. Go on, say it with a whine. It sounds much more realistic that way. Remember, above all else, all women want everything a man has and more. We want to bleed publicly. Continue reading