Archive for the ‘Working Women’ Category


Trigger warning for abuse; trigger warning for abuse of disabled individual.

Every morning as I get ready for work, I put our local news on the TV. It helps me keep track of time as I also get the girls up for school. I know that there’s always the likelihood that I’ll hear a story that’ll turn my stomach and make me wish I hadn’t turned on the TV. Most of the time, I can get through the local negative news without getting upset. It’s the national news that tends to upset me more lately. Not so this morning.

In Connecticut’s capitol city, a woman was arrested on a felony account of “cruelty to persons” charges after her 17 year old son died from severe malnutrition and indications of abuse. He was autistic. The case is being investigated as a homicide. The office of the chief medical examiner reported Matthew Tirado’s “suspicious condition” to police; he was 5 feet 9 inches tall and only 88 pounds. There were indications of abuse such as lacerations, broken bones, and bruises on his arms, face, and chest; they describe his body as emaciated and skeletal. The woman reported as his mother, Katiria Tirado, only called 911 when he was vomiting. He died on Tuesday morning past.

This young man is going to need justice. If Katiria Tirado dares to use his disability as an excuse especially when there’s a healthy 9 year old girl in the house, I hope that the Federal Court system sees through her. There’s no acceptable reason or excuse in what happened to Matthew. I don’t care if he would only eat McDonald’s fries, smooth fruit yogurt, and banana bread; I don’t care if had challenging allergies and self-restrictions with food. There’s always a way.

It’s a mother’s job to find a way. It’s a mother’s job to DON’T ABUSE and DON’T MURDER your children even when, especially when those children are disabled.

When a couple chooses to have children they choose to take on everything that means. There’s an implicit understanding that disabilities could be involved and thus there’s an implicit understanding that as parents, YOU’RE SIGNING ON FOR CARING AND LOVING FOR one or more children that may have disabilities and challenges that you may or may not have expected. You make a promise when you choose to be a parent, and that promise is that you won’t abuse or murder your children. You promise to always do your best to provide for your children.

The children in this home had a roof. But only one was well-nutritioned.

I’m sure at some point someone will tell me it’s not my place to judge this mother; that there were possibly or likely circumstances I haven’t considered; that I haven’t walked in this mother’s shoes; that I don’t understand disabilities and how they can affect a mother or a family especially Autism; that I need to put myself in that mother’s shoes; that you can see yourself in her position.

To those of you who don’t know me because you don’t know this blog, and you think those statements will fly here or anywhere else:

Those comments make you a murder apologist. If you wouldn’t excuse the murder of a non-disabled person, then don’t excuse the murder of a disabled person especially if that murderer is the parent. I don’t accept anyone identifying with the side of the murderer and abuser of disabled people. I don’t tolerate it.

If you don’t know me or this blog, you ought to know that I’m a disabled woman. I have a teenage daughter that’s autistic. I have another teenage daughter with severe ADHD and ODD. I know what it means to have to cope with challenges, and to have my family cope with my disabilities in turn. But disabled or not, with disabled children or not, I wouldn’t accept what’s happened to Matthew Tirado. And you shouldn’t either.

If I seem a bit impassioned here, it’s because I’m feeling emotional. I can’t seem to calm down. I wish there had been an advocate for Matthew. As the investigation goes on, I’ll be following closely. I realize that I AM making some assumptions here, but I haven’t voiced the great majority of them. I just know that a grave injustice occurred and I’m sad and angry and grieving.

 

#MatthewTirado #Justice4MatthewTirado

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It’s Inauguration Day 2017 in America. What’s the appropriate way to react, or how to feel when you’re not among those who voted for someone … well… for Trump?

It’s still not to simply accept it. It’s not to just move on. It’s time to defy all that Trump and Pence stand for.

Acceptance and moving on can never occur when Inauguration Day is placing a criminal and traitor as a dictator into the place of President. Someone who doesn’t value all lives equally; who doesn’t value anyone except himself.

The appropriate response is, I’m finding, to pray.

The inauguration is occurring right now.

And so I’m praying for my fellow Americans. I’m praying for my fellow Americans who did not vote for this unpresidential domestic threat nor the Russian threat that this criminal has invited into our nation.

I’m praying for all Americans that Trump doesn’t value. As he listens to Senator Schumer discuss America’s great values, Trump sits there with a frown, rocking back and forth, and instead of sitting up straight with rapt attention, he slouches and looks around behind him, shaking his head.

I’m praying as I discover that police are using pepper spray at peaceful protest marches.

I’m praying as Pence dares to stand up there and take the oath of Vice President to protect this country, even as he’s been leading the charge to dismantle human rights and civil rights in his very own country in the past weeks.

I’m praying as Trump has the utter gall to take an oath he’s never had the intention of keeping, as his entire campaign was about destroying the Constitution… his cavalier words that the Constitution means nothing to him during his campaign. His only allegiance to any country, to any god, is to his Trump Tower, himself, and money. I will not stand. I will not honor him. I will not accept.

I’m praying, because there’s no way possible that this is God’s will as so many dare to claim. This was the doing of GOP fraud, Russia, and Trump. I’m praying because to celebrate this farce would be to become an unpatriotic traitor to America.

This is a tragic, sad day. His words have no meaning. His oath has no meaning. He lies even as he gives his dictatorial acceptance speech. Even as his tiny baby hands look even more tiny and pudgy than usual, and his usual healthy day-glo orange is muddier than usual.

He dared stand up there and said, “Make America great again.” A nation that has always, always been great and now has a real stain against it. An unpatriotic criminal and traitor is now our fake President.

Only America and her most fragile citizens, her citizens that must be protected by Federal Laws must be prayed for. Those who are discriminated against regularly for their sex, gender, religion or lack of religion, their low income, their ethnicity, race, color, national original, disability, age, pregnancy, and even genetic information or political party.

I pray.

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Good morning. I’m writing with sunshine outside my window and my maniac dog in his crate or he’ll try to drink my coffee and eat the chocolate chip muffin. [Post has been edited for grammar and spelling]

After the events in Washington this past week, and after the behavior of our apparent Orange in Chief soon-to-be-fake President, I’m more angry than ever. Every day, as in the campaign, there’s something new and since the election, there’s been a worsening of the news that we get daily. My anger has turned to fury and rage.

I’m a proud American, but I’m ashamed of our government. The GOP is behaving shamefully because they’re enacting ey may no longer claim that they’re on the side of Pro-Life, just as for decades they haven’t been able to claim the righteousness of being “the Christian party” in spite of the many so-called Christians and christians that side with them and hang on every word. They are actually and literally anti-Pro-Life and anti-Pro-choice. They are anti-unborn babies; they are anti-children; they are anti-adults and seniors and teens. They are anti-disabled individuals, especially if you’ve listened to them spout how much of a burden we are. Let’s just open up the ovens again, eh? Go back to Eugenics. Apparently they believe Nazi Germany had it right.

Anti-freedom. Anti-American.

If you don’t believe me, you need to trust me when I say that you have been benefiting from the Affordable Care Act (the ACA) for years now. That’s its appropriate name. It was begun years ago [decades, in fact, even before the beloved Reagan] by Republicans and simply was refined and put into place by President Obama in a, “Why the hell did we wait so long? Now is the time,” effort.”

Revenge and Dismantling a Legacy, Simply Out of SPITE

And simply to be able to say, later what a failure his Presidency has been. Except no, the failure is theirs and the failure is the legacy of the GOP. As a white woman, as a woman, as a Democrat, I doubt I need to explain why the GOP feels they need to exact revenge.

The GOP has had a hissy fit ever since and attached the moniker “Obamacare,” because they didn’t get it out there first. Why? Well, in order to get those who already hate President Obama to hate the ACA. Their behavior has never to get people to vote in their best interests, but in the interest of the GOP and helping them obtain power. In order to try to get them to believe that something that would benefit the common Republican citizen and their families, even in ways that they didn’t understand, calling it Obamacare made it easier to get people to believe that it was actually harming them and costing them more. It was so effective that business owners who didn’t want to comply chose fucked up plans for their employees and then blamed President Obama. Even those who work in healthcare, especially die-hard Republican voters, swallowed the GOP Kook-Aid on this.

But as things have gone on, more and more people who have figured out that they needed the ACA and the good it’s been for them, even if it’s needed some tweaking, the more desperate the GOP has been to try to gain complete control. They allowed the Tea Party to take hold. They did whatever it took, including treason, to get someone they thought would be a puppet and just as corrupt as they, into the POTUS.

And now, overnight, the GOP voted to defund and block amendments of protection in the Affordable Care Act, protections that would remain while they gut the rest and “make it great” or create a new plan, a wonderful plan, a GREAT plan, a plan in the works, we just don’t know what it is yet, but it’ll be great. Things that should have remained no matter how they gutted it.

And so the Senate GOP blocked the shit out of:

  1. Protecting people with pre-existing conditions. Sorry, but you’re screwed. Remember how awesome it was when every single person who has a pre-existing condition, and was previously always rejected by their employer’s insurance plan, their spouse’s employer’s insurance plan, etc. finally got to obtain coverage because finally it was illegal to be rejected? It was illegal because it was unfair discrimination. It still is. Until now. Because the GOP has decided this protection shouldn’t be in place. Now, even if a company allows someone with a pre-existing condition and/or disability onto their plan as a non-elderly person, premiums for those individuals to be on the plan will be higher than their peers. That’s IN ADDITION TO co-pays and deductibles.
  2. Making it easier for younger people up to 26 yrs old living with their parents (like students) to stay on their parents insurance plan. Nope. Can’t do it. Disabled?Babies are only valuable and worth saving as long as they’re unborn. Don’t care. That protection was voted away. College students like my nephew, especially if they choose to go for higher than a BA. Or individuals that are disabled, need a better insurance than Medicare or Medicaid for a few extra years. This particular protection and expansion has allowed individuals with disabilities to have both Medicare and/or Medicaid as a secondary insurance rather than a primary insurance to their parents’ insurance, which has helped REDUCE costs of young people who require Medicare and/or Medicaid.
  3. Maintaining access to contraception coverage, which is essential for low-income families who couldn’t afford contraception any other way. Low income families who perhaps couldn’t even afford health insurance before the Affordable Care Act was effectively put into law. Even if you hated the fact that your (or any) employer or you as an employer was “forced” to cover contraception for employees, the overall cost of contraceptives DROPPED as access to them increased; and more people used contraceptives. That means that FEWER unwanted pregnancies occurred and FEWER pregnancy terminations occurred than would have otherwise just in 2015. Isn’t a goal of those of us who are Christian to prevent unwanted pregnancies? Don’t we want to reduce the termination of pregnancies? Don’t we want to prevent young women and in fact any woman from being forced into terminations they don’t want, but being able to have legal access to contraception that’s covered for them? And for instances when contraception fails, or when so-called “natural pregnancy prevention methods” fail, or heaven forbid there’s rape or a pregnancy with a failure to thrive and the baby dies… don’t you think it prudent that the woman have safe and legal access to doctors that SHE can make a decision with on how to handle her health and pregnancy? In sterile, safe clinics and hospitals? The GOP doesn’t think so. Because they blocked the shit out of that too. Because in case you didn’t know, they’re trying to get rid of Planned Parenthood entirely. The repercussions of that? I’ll address in a whole new post.
  4. Ensuring that the Medicaid expansion would occur. 11 MILLION Americans have benefited from this,  just in 2015…  and this is actually a positive. In 2015, Medicaid allowed people to become healthier and maintain their health versus being chronically ill (as well as the health of their children) at low cost or no cost. Most people on Medicaid don’t remain on it, and go off within two years or so. When people can maintain good health, that means that it’s easier for them to find work. When people don’t have to worry about the additional burden of excessive costs of healthcare and medical insurance, it allows them to concentrate better on presenting themselves in a professional manner for interviews. They can better afford a running car, haircuts, food, decent enough clothing. And so… During 2015 thousands of individuals who benefited from Medicaid were able to find jobs and finding jobs leads to no longer needing Medicaid. It also leads to fewer deaths.
  5. Ensuring children could keep Medicaid even if their parents weren’t on it. That’s right. They voted to defund and block the amendment to Medicaid and CHIP (Childrens Health Insurance Program) which provide comprehensive health care, preventative health care, and developmental services and care. To children. Babies. Preemie babies. That would include children in low income families that can’t afford healthcare any other way that have disabilities, chronic illness, cancer, diabetes, severe injury, or any other horror you can think of. They blocked the shit out of it. Babies lives are only valuable while they’re unborn. 
  6. Our veterans. Yes, they blocked the shit out of benefits for our supposedly “most valued citizens” and most heroic… American Veterans by blocking an amendment that would have made it harder to restrict their access to health care. It’s already difficult for our veterans to obtain/access services from the VA, isn’t it. And let’s not forget this tidbit: Trump has proposed to ELIMINATE the VA through privatization and a voucher program that 2/3 of Veterans oppose. A proposition that would increase premiums, copay amounts, and difficulty in finding doctors that would accept the various insurance plans that would then be in competition with each other as costs increasingly rise annually.

 

So really. Almost every individual that’s not a non-disabled rich white male that doesn’t have to worry about healthcare costs is being screwed over. The GOP made extra special Fuck You’s to:

  1. Women
  2. Unplanned babies
  3. Babies and Children
  4. Veterans
  5. Disabled Veterans
  6. Pretty much any Disabled Person
  7. Individuals with Pre-existing Conditions, especially if they have disabilities
  8. Young Adults trying to establish themselves with their parents help
  9. Poor people who need health care, who may or may not be working
  10. Poor disabled people who need health care, who may or may not be working
  11. Poor people, disabled or not, trying to get employed

 

We need to get out of the mindset that only healthy people and non-disabled people with stable, high paying jobs deserve health care. We need to get out of the mindset that disabilities and illnesses equal damage or a diminished individual. This has been a HUGE blow to disability rights.

We need to get out of the mindset that women don’t have the intelligence or rights to make decisions about their own health, about their own family planning, or about their lives. We need to get out of the mindset that women are lesser than men, and that women deserve fewer rights. This has been a HUGE blow to women’s rights.

We need to get out of the mindset that “It’s MY tax dollars paying for other people’s healthcare!” No, no it’s not. If that’s your justification for thinking that the ACA is too expensive, or why medical insurance is too expensive, it’s a strawman argument. The problem isn’t with sick people or injured people. It’s not even with poorer people than you. The problem is with the INSURANCE COMPANIES who believe that they can create any fee, any rule, and any cost whatsoever without justifying the cost without much regulation at all.

And if you think Your Money is paying for Other People’s Medicaid or Medicare, you need to learn how all of this works. Because that’s not how any of this works. There’s less than 3-to-7% fraud nation wide. The great majority of Americans are employed or have been employed. Even those who are in need of assistance. The great majority of those on assistance are white Republicans. You can go look up the statistic, but it’s true.

That means that even those of us who end up needing Medicaid and Medicare and any other form of assistance? We’ve already paid for it. We’ve contributed with taxes from previous or current employment. We deserve help… EVEN IF we didn’t have gainful employment. Every single person in America deserves healthcare if they choose to use it. If they need it. If YOU need it. This isn’t a bootstrap thing, It’s never about our bootstraps. It should never be about bootstraps. If you think it is, then you need to look up Eugenics and just admit that you support it. 🙂

We need to get out of the mindset that even if you really believe Your Money is helping others, it’s your Civic Duty to help your fellow Americans. I’m assuming you believe that you’re a patriotic American. It’s supremely un-American and definitely un-Christianlike to refuse to help others and turn a blind eye to their suffering.

If you’re not outraged, you ought to be. If you voted these people in, you should still be outraged because this affects you too. I don’t begrudge you the right to be just as angry as those of us who voted for HRC or one of the other candidates.

If you think healthcare was bad before the ACA… if you think it was “bad” during the ACA because you fell for the GOP propaganda… prepare yourself. Everything is about to get a lot worse. Like, fascist Germany and Russia dictator worse.

And please… stop telling people who didn’t vote for Trump to “get over it” and “just accept it, he’s the President.” All you need to do is turn on the news every day. Remember that the one trying to control the truth that the media puts out is him. Look at the media from other countries about what’s going on, and listen. They’re doing their own independent investigations and let me tell you…. it’s scary. They know and are sharing the information with their countries what our FBI, ie. Comey, won’t share about Trump.

Think about this. England is afraid of him. But even scarier, and you need to really pay attention to this: GERMANY is frightened of Trump. Germany is afraid of what will happen, in particular the things that Trump has said and is saying about Russia and the intelligence coming from intelligence agencies all over the world that the FBI is suppressing.

This isn’t a Liberal vs Conservative thing.

But back to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

This isn’t a Liberal vs Conservative thing either. It’s about living. It’s about health. If you want to spend less, trust me, that won’t be happening. This isn’t the way. Making America HEALTHY again ought to be one of our greatest priorities. Staying healthy means preventative care. Staying healthy means access to healthcare that every single American citizen deserves to have in this already great country that we live in. Why in the world are we so eager to allow the GOP to dismantle something that everyone with healthcare insurance has benefited from, even when they haven’t realized it? Why are we so eager to believe that the ACA is “so expensive” just because the GOP says so? It’s  not the ACA. The ACA has allowed MILLIONS of families who couldn’t afford health insurance to obtain it for the first time because …. drums please… it was affordable for the first time ever. Does it work for everyone? No. And that’s because you can’t make everyone happy, and some things just don’t help 100% of all people. That will never, ever happen. For the first time EVER most people in America had health coverage and were able to see doctors and get life saving medications. Pharmaceutical companies and hospitals weren’t allowed to ream people, especially poor  Americans or even middle class Americans. It’s the Insurance Companies who had a hissy fit. And I can guarantee you that once the ACA is dismantled and new rules are in place, insurance rates will skyrocket.

Human Rights have just been violated in a major way,

and if we allow this to occur, it’s going to keep on happening. You want to know what’s next? The Americans With Disabilities Act. The Education Act. The Marriage Equality Act. Those have all been specifically targeted to be dismantled by Trump and the GOP. So don’t you tell me that none of what’s happening and going to happen doesn’t and won’t affect you, your families, your friends, your coworkers, or other loved ones.

If you voted this human garbage in, any of it, you can still protest peacefully. You can contact your lawmakers. You don’t have to accept anything. It’s perfectly okay for you to be uncomfortable and angry with the fact that you voted for this filth and the other pieces of filth that are voting away all of our human rights in health care.

For fuck’s sake, we have a filthy excuse of a human being about to be sworn, in as President, a known ACTUAL criminal. Denies and distracts as he commits crime after crime including treason. Crimes he ought to be in Federal prison for; actual crimes. I’m sorry if you think that Hillary R. Clinton committed any crimes… but you fell for GOP Propaganda with your eyes wide open, and you chose it. You knew it.

You fell for it like a suicide jumper.

The difference is that you can still come in off the ledge.

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Tomorrow is Election Day, and Ladies, we have a lot at stake in this election. The purpose of this entry isn’t to try to force you to vote one way or the other. No. I’m pleading with you to simply vote tomorrow. Recognize the Feminist in yourself and exercise your womens right to vote.

Please Don’t Refrain From Voting

I’m speaking to all of you amazing women out there who are eligible to vote and are registered  but are choosing not to vote.

This isn’t about choosing a female President. Thats not what makes this about feminism or women’s rights. 

This is about making the most important decision of your life: using your civic duty to vote, a right we had to fight nearly 100 years to obtain legally. A right that took us 132 years, from the conception of our nation, to obtain.

That, my amazing Ladies, is what makes this a Women’s Right issue.

That’s what makes it a Feminist issue.

Nothing could be more Feminist than exercising our right to vote.

I know that we’ve heard for the past 18 months just how. very. important. this. election. is. We’ve been telling each other how important Donald Trumps fuckery is. We’ve been telling each other how Gary Johnson’s lack of education and personality is. We’ve been telling each other how Jill Stein’s general anti-science whackadoodly-ness is a problem. We’ve been telling other that Hillary Clinton’s e-mails are a huge conspiracy and somehow… criminal? And she personally murdered people in Benghazi? Anyway.

We know the choices in the election that we’re expected to make are important.

Yes. We know.

We’re going to be voting for ourselves, for our own personal benefit, sure… but we’re also going to be voting for our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, best friends, nieces, neighbors, and most especially our daughters, granddaughters, and great-granddaughters. If they don’t or can’t vote; if they’re voting for who we believe in our heart is the wrong candidate, then we really are voting on their behalf.

We’re going to be voting to maintain the right to decide what to do with our own healthcare; our bodies; how we’re treated in the workplace; how we’re paid; if we’re viewed with respect or as sex objects, and disposable. 

It’s not drama or cliche to state that our lives, as women depend upon voting. Not just for voting day, and not just for four years or eight years. Our lives depend on the outcome of this election for decades to come. That’s not a cliche.

If you’re feeling disenfranchised, I get it. If you’re feeling as if there isn’t a candidate that represents you in any way, I get that too. If you’re feeling as if each candidate is saying something you can understand, but none of them are “perfect enough” I really do understand. I commiserate wholly. I understand all of those feelings, because I’ve cycled through them myself at various points in this election season.

Every election is important, and every single one seems to cause increasingly bad anxiety, but I realized that anxiety has much more to do with the increasingly horrible hate and anger I see among the people around me. It’s become more entrenched than ever that there’s a My Side versus Your Side in politics, with people convinced that the Other Side is not only not their cup of tea but evil. There’s this idea that if someone opposes your political views, or they voice a dissenting view it’s a declaration of war and a relationship destroyed . 

Over the past two weeks, there’s been an increasing frenzy and panic from those who think their “side” is losing. I see that happening, and I see women who have always voted stating that they’re not voting in this election… at all. Not just in the Presidential Election, but the General Elections as well.

Your Vote Matters So Very Much, Ladies

So many people, so many women believe that a single vote… their vote doesn’t mean anything. 

Ladies… oh my gosh, it does. It’s your voice!

It’s your individualty showing through, the one way to make sure your opinion and thoughts are given a voice to say that you  matter. 

It’s really intense, and the best ways to make a positive difference. We don’t have to like the fact that we have government, or how it runs. We don’t have to like the system. We’re part of it whether we like it or not and if we want and plan to ever change the parts of the system that aren’t working properly or fairly, then the only way to do that… to enact change is to vote. Get involved.

Back in Time…

Rich white Christian men have always known these things. They know that every single vote has power. Why do you think they denied women, all women, the right to vote until 1920?  

The first time the United States ever used elections and voted was in the United States presidential election of 1788–89; it was the first quadrennial presidential election. It was held from Monday, December 15, 1788 to Saturday, January 10, 1789. Some men, an elect few, were allowed to vote. In the 1830’s the vote to extended to ALL white men, and in 1868 it was extended to Black men. 

But it wasn’t until 1920… 132 years after elections and voting were established as a fair way to establish leadership, for women to obtain the right to vote.

Women Were NOT “Given” the Right to Vote

History will say that all who were born in the United States have been, by right of birth, U.S. citizens from the very beginning. 

People frequently say things like American Women (all women in all demographics) were GIVEN the right to vote. Black Men in America were GIVEN the right to vote.

That’s not the truth. We had to fight for it, clawed ourselves bloody and bruised, literally, through public speaking and the court systems to obtain the right to vote.

The problem is that when citizens who were born in the United States are not treated equally, are not given the same rights, or the laws that ensure equal rights are not upheld in courts or by law enforcement, then we are not really all considered citizens. We are Other. We are Less Than. We are Property. We’re disposable and not worthy of tthoughts or consideration. 

Any perceived threat to those in power is met with intimidation and creation of loopholes in the laws that are intended to protect those who are being discriminated against. The perceived threats are smote out early, fast, and without mercy. It’s how American men learned to deal with the British when Independence was fought for and won. Those same tactics were used against Native Americans. They’re used against all Federally Protected Classes. There’s a reason they’re protected… and yet those in power, those with extreme prejudices, still try to break those laws and create laws in direct violation.

Right now? 240 years after The Continental Congress approved the final wording of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th 1776? 

The rights of women as equal citizens worthy of respect has not progressed for many men… and sadly, for many women. There are women who are perfectly happy to let men decide their fate and rule their lives. Back in the colonial days it was a throwback to England’s customs and traditions to have women be the “wards” of their fathers, and then property of their husbands. This is an idea that still permeates our culture today. Some claim it’s Biblical or just a desire to have a “traditional marriage when life was good in the 50’s.”

The Women’s Right Movement began as far back as 1848 in the U.S. Women recognized the injustices including and especially upstanding women in the community and their religious communities. 

“The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

  • Married women were legally dead in the eyes of the law
  • Women were not allowed to vote
  • Women had to submit to laws when they had no voice in their formation
  • Married women had no property rights
  • Husbands had legal power over and responsibility for their wives to the extent that they could imprison or beat them with impunity
  • Divorce and child custody laws favored men, giving no rights to women
  • Women had to pay property taxes although they had no representation in the levying of these taxes
  • Most occupations were closed to women and when women did work they were paid only a fraction of what men earned
  • Women were not allowed to enter professions such as medicine or law
  • Women had no means to gain an education since no college or university would accept women students
  • With only a few exceptions, women were not allowed to participate in the affairs of the church
  • Women were robbed of their self-confidence and self-respect, and were made totally dependent on men

Now, in view of this entire disenfranchisement of one-half the people of this country, their social and religious degradation, — in view of the unjust laws above mentioned, and because women do feel themselves aggrieved, oppressed, and fraudulently deprived of their most sacred rights, we insist that they have immediate admission to all the rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens of these United States.” ~ Elizabeth Cady Stanton

 

In the 1830s, the vote was extended to all white men, in 1868 to black men. Except in the South especially, there were disenfranchisement laws such as Grandfather clauses that said if your grandfather could vote, so could you. If your grandfather didn’t vote, where did that leave the black men who had just won the right to vote? There were also literacy tests. If someone couldn’t read, they couldn’t vote. At the time black men won the right to vote (won, not given) most were not free men, they were slaves, and many slave owners severely punished their slaves if they were caught reading or learning to read. Nice, eh? Such a lovely history of voting disenfranchisement.

When the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920, it legally enfranchised all women to vote, white and black. 

However, within a decade, state laws and vigilante practices managed to disenfranchise most black women in the South. Additionally, there were expensive poll taxes. Yes you had to pay a poll tax in order to be allowed to vote and if you were poor, or poor and black, then you couldn’t vote. 

It took women nearly 100 years from the start of the Women’s Movement to win a bitter battle to vote against staunch, hateful adversity and yet now, not even 100 years after women won that most tedious of fights, there are women ready to give up their votes? 

Shameful. I’m sorry, but it’s shameful.

The Disdain Is Not One of Moral High Ground

By refraining to vote in the General Elections and/or the Presidential Elections of 2016, the worst of us… our apathy, impassivity, disdain, show a clear negligence and clear disregard for accountability in the well being of our local and state governments as well as our national government. 

You’re not making a statement, not even one that states how weary you are of it all. The only disdain that you show is to your fellow women, and those who fought, were imprisoned, and died for your right to vote.

By refraining to vote, Ladies, I can’t help but notice a clear lack of empathy. I can’t help but notice your choice to ignore the very real issues that face every single individual in this country, but especially those that will affect those closest to you.

If you refrain from voting, you’re not making a statement of any kind. Your voice won’t be heard in any way. Not politically, not socially, not morally or ethically. The vote is your voice, and the vote is how you make your voice count. 

Refusing to vote, whether out of frustration or to make a statement, stifles your voice in every way possible. You lose a right, willingly, that was fought for very heavily… a right that women before us died for and were imprisoned for while fighting.

If you want to protest, if you want your voice to be heard, then get to the voting booth! That’s where it happens! The more of us that vote, the more of an effect we’ll have!

It ought to enrage you, Ladies, no matter what your political affiliation, that Women’s Rights are even debateable and in question

We need to make sure that we send the message that Women’s Rights are not actually on the table, to be discussed seriously as to whether we have a right to be treated with human decency.

Trust Me, There Won’t Be Enough Good People Voting

Unless you vote, there won’t be enough good people voting.

We can’t give tacit permission for any government to red pen the Constitutional Amendments that ensure women have Equal Rights, Civil Rights, Human Rights. If we don’t vote, that’s exactly what we’ll be doing. 

Choosing not to vote, and the apathy that would show, that choice you make gives  lawmakers the ability to continuously and regularly vote against Women’s Rights… and it doesn’t impress me. It disgusts me. Because when enough people decide that their votes don’t count, then enough good people don’t show up at the polls to vote in good people. And then the good people who would enact better policies and laws than the “other guy” end up screwing over everyone… especially women.

My fear here is that too many women are in the frame of mind that there will be enough other voters to “make up for” their vote, and therefore their candidate will make it in. Or that there are women who are throwing away their vote by allowing their significant others to tell them who to vote for rather than allowing them to make up their own minds. Or that there are women who really do believe that their vote won’t matter at all so why bother because “the election is rigged.”

No, no, and no.

Nifty Fact

I love it when I stumble on neat little facts because I can always use them at some point. For instance, this one:

There were about 125.9 million adult women in the United States in 2014. The number of men was 119.4 million.

My math skills aren’t fabulous, but I think that’s 54%. In fact, I believe that I’ve heard we do make up 54% of the citizenship of the United States of America.

That makes women a very powerful force in this country. That makes us an important force

One would think that the Women’s Rights Movement, a Human Rights Movement to be clear here, would have moved our rights and how this nation respects Women along much further than it has. It’s been moving at a snail’s pace and America’s Daughters are taking the rights we have fought for and won for granted.

One would think that for all of the talk we do, Ladies, we’d recognize our true power. It lies in the fierceness of not backing down, and using our power to vote.

Why? Because it’s historically inaccurate, and it’s not how it really happened. There were Civil Rights Movements. There was Women’s Suffrage and a Women’s Rights Movement that is still ongoing. This nation is still going through multiple Civil Rights and Human Rights movements in multiple areas right very now… yes in 2016.

To throw your vote away as if it means nothing, to throw it away in protest, is disowning responsibility for anything that may go wrong later. It’s not a way out. You will still be culpable.

Your vote is YOUR vote as long as you use it. Don’t make excuses to abstain from voting. It’s not only your civic duty, it’s your ethical, moral duty. 

What I really, really do care about in your vote? Please be sure to educate yourself from unbiased sources; fact check. So if you’re going to Fact Check Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, don’t go to either of their web sites. Don’t go to any politically based sites either. Choose neutral sources, and by that I mean “not Facebook memes or info-graphics.”

There ARE unbiased resources out there where you can find the actual facts for each candidate. All of them, all of the political parties. It’s how I narrowed down my choice. I know many of you disagree with my personal choice and you know what? THAT’S OKAY WITH ME!!!! You know why? It’s your opinion, and it’s your vote. YOUR VOTE.

You just have to make sure that you’re there at the polls! We have to use our rights to vote that we fought so very hard for, not so very long ago, or we risk losing all of the rights we’ve fought for. Every single one.

Doing nothing, being complacent, is the same thing as knowing there’s evil about to enter and do evil things and doing nothing to stop it.

VOTE. Just vote. Disagree with me until the cows come home regarding my personal politics. That’s awesome. I don’t care! The election is tomorrow and then it’s over! Then we get to deal with fallout! But for now, for now we just have to commit to voting!

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I have a request. If your opinions and feelings are different from those of your friends, family, and neighbors please remember that they’re people just like you. I don’t care if they have a different political viewpoint; a different religion; different ethnic cultural background; a different parenting philosophy. Chances are that you still have something in common with those people.

People are not disposable. It’s so easy for us to click a button online and stop seeing them in our newsfeed; block someone; or “unfriend” them if we dislike them enough. It’s a lot harder in real life where you have to face consequences for your own contributions to the negativity in the relationship.

Treat people the way you’d like to be treated. It’s not a difficult concept. It costs NOTHING to be kind to other people. It costs nothing to cast a smile to someone who may be having a difficult day. It costs nothing to give an initial benefit of the doubt before turning your back.

I don’t really care if anyone has a differing opinion than I have. That’s great. Have it. It doesn’t hurt my feelings that there are ideas, thoughts, emotions, opinions, ideations, needs, wants, wonts, etc. that are different. Other points of view are important. There can even be valid points on both sides of the same argument. Not everything is a competition. Choosing sides doesn’t mean one side is good and one is evil. I believe that most people are inherently good, and that only a rare few are actually literally evil.

There ARE times when we have to take a stand and do what’s right, but destroying relationships isn’t the way to do it. Becoming the very thing you claim to hate the most isn’t the way to do it. There are ways to stand up for yourself and your causes that aren’t harmful to others and make a good example to those others and to your children. Be kind and respectful in how you express your difference in opinion to others, and show respect for others’ differences. You don’t have to feel it, but you still need to show it. You live in society, and you therefore agree to live by the rules of society.

Free speech? It doesn’t mean what you think it does. Just as you may be able to speak your mind, so do others… and when you speak your mind, how you speak your mind matters and that means that other people have the right to respond to you. You have the right to speak, but you also have an obligation to receive whatever consequence comes from it from friends, family, coworkers, acquaintances, and others in society even if what you say or do isn’t illegal. There are still some things that are socially wrong, morally and ethically wrong… and sometimes that might actually mean that you should consider that your side isn’t the just, right, good side. I know that I’m not always right. Hey, I can accept that. We do all make mistakes. Not all sides are always valid, even in my world view. Some points of view shouldn’t be tolerated and yet… and yet there’s still a way for those points of view to be rebuffed.

If you want to change the world you live in, then you must enact change in a way that is meaningful. Violence, whether physical or verbal, is never an appropriate way to enact positive change, and it’s never a path to peace. What leads to peace is a change in conversation and a willingness to change attitudes and behaviors. Social change leads to peace. That starts within each and every one of us. For me, that’s maintaining a conversation and connection with God.

You may still believe anything you choose, but be peaceful. Respectful. Use meaningful conversation. Behave in a way socially so that others trust you. These things are so important.

So, you don’t have to be “with” me on several issues. That’s okay. I’ll still love you. We’ll likely agree on many, many other things.

 

Mahatma Ghandi quote

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I woke up with a feeling this morning, attached to a phrase:

Purple Rose Inside Dew Drop; found on Google images, no original credit was found

Purple Rose Inside Dew Drop; found on Google images, no original credit was found

A single dew drop can affect the entire blossom. Such is the effect of Fibromyalgia.

I wish I could remember where I first read that; all I remember is that when I did, I cried. I’ve never forgotten it. For some reason it’s been on my  mind today. I wish I could give that quote proper credit.

While thinking about that single dew drop, it made me think of this poem by Issa, also known as Kobayashi Issa, a Japanese poet known for some beautiful Haiku.

 

 

 

 

 

A world of dew,
and within every dewdrop
a world of struggle
Issa 

 

In the cherry blossom’s shade
there’s no such thing
as a stranger.
Issa

 

I found this one below on a site called HaikuGuy.com where he’s compiled 10,000 out of 21,000 of Issa’s poems. This one makes me think of Leo, my dog:

1806

.草の露先うれしさよ涼しさよ
kusa no tsuyu mazu ureshisa yo suzushisa yo

dewdrops on the grass
at first so happy!
so cool!
Issa

Since I’m sharing quotes I enjoy here’s another one:

“Where flowers bloom so does hope.”
–  Lady Bird Johnson

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It’s been a few days since Brad and Angelina publicly announced not only their separation, but their divorce. I wasn’t going to write about it because, well, it felt icky. There have been so many hateful people out there already contributing their two cents, and although I guess I shouldn’t be shocked the strength of the spite does shock me. People are… I don’t know… gleeful about the news.

I’ve seen the comments that are along the lines of,

“Well, she cheated on her boyfriend with a cheater and married him, so what did she expect?”

That was actually the most kind comment, and the most restrained.

I think that Angelina expected she would have a partner in her life who, once he adopted their children and fathered a few more, would also be a competent co-parent with her. I think she thought she found her soulmate, at least for a while. I think Jennifer had thought the same thing.

Brad must be really convincing.

Whenever I hear about celebrity couples divorcing, I don’t take it as an opportunity for entertainment. I mean, I don’t celebrate or cheer or joke when a friend or family member gets divorced. I might feel relief if it’s someone I know, and it’s something they wanted. But celebrating and being vicious about it… that’s wrong. I’d only celebrate, so to speak, if the loved one told me they were planning a celebration. To be honest, even then it’s uncomfortable. I know there’s this thing called Divorce Parties and some people celebrate the anniversary of their divorce every year. Those, I find amusing, but they have to be done by the individual. It’s their right, not ours. It’s they who get to trash the former spouse.

It’s a marriage ending. It doesn’t mean that how it began was in the best way. It doesn’t mean that the marriage was unsuccessful. It doesn’t validate or invalidate how the relationship began. It’s not a spike in the eye, driven by the wronged person in the previous relationship. All it means is that a current marriage is ending, and when that happens it’s sad.

It’s sad to hear that something terrible occurred during a marriage that’s caused one of the partners to file for separation and divorce. It’s sad because these people originally came together with feelings of love, joy, happiness, and passion even if others disapproved. In this instance, children have been involved from the very start. This couple has a large family by choice, and every  member of this family has been affected by whatever has been occurring and will now be affected by the divorce. They’ve all been through a lot together; loss of family, illness, trauma, and also a lot of joy. Think about that. Think about how this couple loved their children so much that while they were happy enough to remain common law partners, they legally married because their children asked them to do it. Then to show how important it became to them they included the children in the ceremony and the creation of the bridal gown. This has been a family that loves each other. They’ve tried whatever it takes to stay together. Let’s assume that. Let’s assume it because things like separation and divorce don’t come out of nowhere.

That makes this sad. This family has to find a new way to move on, and find a new normal. [Edit: If TMZ can be believed, Angelina filed for divorce because of how Brad was parenting. She cited irreconcilable differences, and her attorney stated she did it for the health of the family. Sources who she’s close to say she did it because of anger issues, alcohol and weed misuse, and that she requested full physical custody of all six children with Brad getting visitation. She did this for safety reasons for her children. Not because he cheated or she cheated. For the children. That’s SAD and it’s upsetting. But here we have people making jokes and saying how it’s somehow payback to Angelina for how Jennifer was treated. Payback? There are children suffering. What kind of God would inflict payback on children of a couple whose relationship began the way it did? How callous is it that people are making light of the split? And how can these children find a new normal where they can’t live without their dad because he’s not living in a way where he’s got their best interests in mind. He’s got his own best interests in mind.]

How many other typical American families ie. non-famous have had to go through very similar situations? Who can relate to this? Have we really lowered ourselves into believing that crushing those who are already at their lowest is entertaining? That it’s funny? That it’s acceptable?

I apologize for the tone of this entry. I’m sorry if this sounds Mother Superior. It’s just… sad. Sad to me that the viciousness is so acceptable. I know that my opinion is just a drop in the bucket, and probably not a very popular one. That’s okay. I just felt like someone had to step in for the children. I felt like I was defending a loved one who has been in similar situations. And I hate it.

*Disclaimer: This is not to say that divorce can’t be appropriate for some couples. While sad, it can also be liberating, a relief, better for a family, and other positive words… but there’s a reason for an end. And the reasons are most often sad. I’m not against divorce.

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