Life Ain’t Fair. I’m the Proof

life-aint-fairThis is not up for debate. It’s not. It’s a lesson to be learned by every single human being ever. It is beyond true. It’s so true, that it probably isn’t proven by the exception. I doubt there can be an exception because even if your life is perfect from start to finish, it has a finish.

Duh.

I knew a guy once who was obsessed with the idea that people who were undeserving often got rewarded. Actually, it wasn’t a tit-for-tat sort of thing so much as it was random reward unattached to random behavior, good or otherwise.

It fairly drives some folks crazy. It sure did him. People who “do everything right” get hugely annoyed when people who don’t “do everything right” seem to be happy. They want them to suffer. It’s like fundigelicals reminding us liberals that “if you don’t repent, you’ll go to hell”. They always smile when they say that, because they are very sure we won’t and so they can be happy knowing “we’ll get ours” come judgment day. They presume of course a judgment day.

It’s why the workers in the vineyard got so pissed when the boss paid the workers who only worked an hour the same as those that had worked a full day. “Unfair!!!” The boss said, “hey, what’s that got to do with you? You got what YOU bargained for didn’t ya?”

Some folks just can’t handle that. Which leads me to believe that they find “doing everything right” a major pain, and they don’t do it because it’s the right thing to do, but because they want the reward. So getting a reward for not doing everything right, might just mean that they won’t get a reward for doing everything right. Kind of puts a monkey wrench in the whole salvation thing don’t it?

It also makes God sort of insane.

Or?

Perhaps God sees things in a way that humans don’t. At least for all the literalists out there, the Bible suggests that God does see not as humans but as God. So perhaps, just perhaps, our assumptions of what is the “right thing to do” aren’t so clear. At least to the point that it might be better if we keep our damn mouths shut when we “disapprove” of what others are doing.

Not talking here folks about murder and abuse and other dictatorial behaviors, but more ambiguous things like gay marriage, and women’s health rights, and stuff like that. Unless you are a hard-nosed self-styled pope (meaning your interpretation of scripture is infallible until God tells you different), most of us concede that there’s a lot of grey in some social policy areas. If that is true, then we best not tell others how to behave regarding them I suspect.

In any case, I personally believe that everyone is “saved”, which makes it all unnecessary to bewail whether anyone is getting their just desserts or not, or being failed by their supreme deity in any way. Unlike the fundigelicals, I do not have to resort to “God’s ways are mysterious” and “God had some reason for inflicting me with this misery that I’ll understand some day.” If I do a good thing it’s because I want to, not because I NEED to.

It’s enough that “shit happens”.

For me at least.

I’m a decent enough person. Far from the best kind of person I can conceive of. I have plenty of people I know who are much better than I am. They are kinder for sure.

Case in point. I was getting blood work done a few weeks ago as part of a general updating of my health records. After slapping my inner arms and squeezing my upper arms to death trying to “pop up a vein”, the blood sucker said this: “Do they usually taking blood from your hand instead of your arm?”

I replied, “yeah, the one’s who can’t do the arm, do the hand”.

Now the Contrarian said that my mistake was in being snarky/sarcastic BEFORE I had properly secured the end of relationship with said person. After all, she still wielded the mighty needle when I dissed her. There is some truth to that observation.

So you see, I am a sarcastic, snarky, bitch type person when I’m (a) in a hurry (b) tired or (c) just damn well feel like it.

This served me quite well when I was a defense attorney. I could utter questions at cop or citizen with such jaw-dropping “and your mama too” sarcasm that I would often see a judge turn away suddenly to hide his snicker before the jury, while a prosecutor jumped out of his/her shorts to bellow “OBJECTION, ARGUMENTATIVE”. I of course would smile softly and whisper, “withdrawn”, as the witness shot daggers of ineffectual rage which of course all missed their target, for their mouths were forever silenced by the loudly following “NO FURTHER QUESTIONS!”

It probably serves me less well now. But it is who I am in the last analysis, and I always feel fairly fake and pretentious when I put on that “oh, no take all the time in the world packing my groceries. I can surely see that changing items in and out until one achieves the perfect fit, is the way it should be done” look on my face.

But back to the topic at hand. Reward.

Yes, I’m not a deserving person, I have a trail of bleeding bodies who all feel “abused” by my acidic tongue, to prove it, one that trails back at least to junior high.

But guess what? My life has turned out fairly wonderfully from my point of view. And nobody else’s point of view matters. And that really galls the hell out of a few people I know. And ya know, that sort of makes me feel even happier.

As they say, a life lived well is the best revenge.

You Really Can’t Go Home Again

yacan'tI’m in one of those head scratching modes. I’m thinking that perhaps I’m the “duh” one, not the others.

The others?

Oh, all those folks I expected more of and got so much less from.

Truth be told, they probably think the same of me.

But I conclude that it was really all my fault from the beginning. And they were generous in their open-armed acceptance. And I was a fraud.

Once upon a time I lived in a place called Flint. It was a factory town, where most everyone got their paycheck one way or another because of cars. We lived in a subdivision called “Mayfair” and my childhood was, as others no doubt saw it, “idyllic”.

People love that term.They mean, you grew up thinking you were fairly normal and you had enough to eat, and TV to watch, and a yard to play in, and got new clothes for the new school year, and a decent load of presents at Christmas. You got to swim in lakes in the summer, and skate on ice ponds in the winter. You ate blueberry pie from wild blueberries picked by your aunts and uncles and cousins. That sort of idyllic.

For no good reason that I ever figured out, kids like to join cliques. Being a “only” child, I was always looking for friends. My best friend as a small child was one of the kids across the street. She was a year older, but when you are young enough, that was okay. Still she was different than me. She came from a big family, me the “only”. She slept in until 9 or 10 in the morning, while I knocked on her door at 8, having waited an excruciating hour at that, to be told by her mom, that she hadn’t gotten up yet.

I sat some more.

Then when I got to older pre-teens I was with another group. I was, for a while, second to the leader, a dark haired girl name Patty something or other, who told us about the $400 dollar couch her parents had, which seemed to make her rich.

You were either on Patty’s good side or bad, and when on the bad, nobody else would play with you, meaning you couldn’t play jump rope with the gang. I tried hard to be on the good side of Patty. It was painful to fail. I was, as you can tell, not principled. I shunned who she shunned and did my best to lick her shoes.

Then there was the middle school years. I tried hard to be in the “in” group. The one that played sports, and were cheerleaders, and that sort of stuff. I was successful for a bit, but the funny thing was, that I was always hanging on by my fingertips, and I knew that.  If we were going to meet at someone’s house to go out for pizza say, I had to be there early, because they would not wait for me. I was one they “put up with” until they didn’t.

Either they didn’t or I grew tired of trying to be “in” and being left “out” too much.

So I drifted to another group whose main attribute seemed to be a general dislike for almost everything that had to do with “that” school and “those” people. We hung out with some guys from another school. We were starting to drive now, and that broadened our horizons.

I felt accepted by them. But still, I probably never felt completely at ease. I was always having to “try”. We had fun for a few years, mostly going to dances, and walking to strip malls and drinking cokes and eating fries. We hung out every evening after school until it was time to go home.

Then we graduated, and I went off to college, and they went off to marriages and babies, and finally I left Flint, only visiting now and then to see family.

And I didn’t contact them, and they didn’t contact me, because I suppose we all knew it was never a proper fit. I was the one who got good grades in spite of trying to look very much that I didn’t care. I was the one who apparently had dreams they did not.

Not that they didn’t have dreams of course, they had them I’m sure, but they were very different from mine, and there was nothing to keep up “friends” after graduation.

I saw Flint as a place to escape from, they saw it as home. I saw education as the means to a life where I did important things, met important people, talked about important things. I met mayors and congressmen, and brilliant jurists  and traveled on “business”, and they did what they did.

I no doubt felt superior, based on my assumption that everybody should want what I wanted, which is surely stupid on my part. But as the years went by, we had less and less in common surely.

Now we are all on the cusp of being real senior citizens, and we’ve reconnected and had those chats about the “old days”. And it was fine for a while. I tried to interact with those from the old groups whom I abandoned in my middle school years, and that was kinda sad.

Some were polite, some were friendly, until we realized that we believed radically different things. Several cut me out of their Facebook life. Others just ignored me. Even though I would dutifully “like” their constant “if you love your daughter share this”, and fishing trips and other stuff, they never returned the favor. My links to my writing was left with stony silence. My birthday was left unremarked about.

What the hell did I do to you?

Some were  “friends” and we maintained the facade a bit longer. A few (those who share my general uber liberal beliefs) still share and “like” a lot, and chat on the side sometimes. But mostly even those who were my “best friends” for a good four years of the high school years, have silently slipped away, no longer interested.

Perhaps my beliefs offend them too. Who knows? As I said, they were open to me, while I always was trying to fit into that square hole with them. So I account it as no one’s fault, just water seeking it’s own level.

I cannot fathom the thought of living in that town still, and having always lived there. I’ve lived in four parts of the country, five really, and I don’t find that a lot frankly, from the friends I have now. We are all people who have traveled from location to location following jobs or dreams. It makes us different from people who haven’t I guess. Or at least it seems so.

I don’t bemoan any of it really. My life is too special to me here and now to lament that I don’t have friendships that are real with people I haven’t seen in 40 years. I just find it curious. And then I don’t. For if we had nothing much in common then, then it can only be worse now.

Mostly, I find that people who stayed in Flint became people I don’t like much. Not all, some seem to have escaped the provincialism and the tribal indrawn mentality. But most are hatin’ kind of people. I don’t know enough about their lives to judge. They say that each generation has it better than the last. My gut tells me that this was not true for most of them.

I guess its good mirror. My desire to learn served me well, bringing me out of a stultifying world and into a cosmopolitan environment where I met people from all over the world, enjoyed other cultures, and lost any sense of “them or us” in my thinking.

I’m a boomer, through and through, an Idealist. I scratch my head and wonder, “how can you think like that????” But dirty factory towns apparently do that to people. Flint became a mean place, in some ways worse that Detroit, because it was always “at least we aren’t Detroit”, and the fall was all the harder I suspect.

Or maybe this is all just me trying to defend me. Funny thing is, I don’t care. Aging does that. No more time for people who aren’t  on the same page. As the meme says, “not my monkeys, not my circus”.

May your life bring you peace–mine has to a degree I would never have thought imaginable. I imagine that pisses some of you off. And that tickles me frankly.

 

“It seems to me that in the orbit of our world you are the North Pole, I the South–so much in balance, in agreement–and yet… the whole world lies between.”
Thomas Wolfe, You Can’t Go Home Again

Wish I’d Said That Thursday 7/17/14

Wannabe Arizona Congressional candidate Adam Kwasman (RedicuOP’er), was out ya know, showin’ the fine people of his state how we deal with these menacing brown children who are invadin’ the home land and posing such a threat to all we hold dear in Merika, like with their strange African-diseases Ebola, and their vaccination-less bodies.

And he made this remark in pointing out, that giving these children temporary homes and food and care until legal processes are complete is well, just not compassionate according to the very high standards so far established by the GOP in general, and the Tea suckers in particular.

And he said:

I was actually able to see some of the children in the buses. The fear on their faces… This is not compassion.”

Nod, nod.

Except these children were all Americans and were from the YMCA and they were on a their way to a camping trip, until forcibly scared half to death by the likes of Kwasman and his band of merry idiots.

I wish I’d said that–in some horrible nightmare……

 

Hold Your Prayers, God is Busy in the Southwest These Days

1913520_ME_MurrietaImmigrants_MJB_See, God is a little bit busy these days. If you hadn’t heard, a lot of children have been making their way to Merika these days, fleeing, you know, violence. Although nobody seems to talk much about that, the violence that is.

A vocal if hopefully small herd of mean people call them “illegals” and scream at the kids, telling them to “go back home”. Some have suggested that a well aimed firearm at the border might do the trick just fine, and no one of course should think they are meaning anything violent by that call to arms.

While not going quite this far, but *nudge nudge, wink wink* maybe they are, a couple of our pious types have ‘splained to us, the spiritually lacking, that this is all part of God’s plan. Brian Fischer, blasphemer-erradicator in charge of American values said thusly:

“Our southern border is there by God’s design. To disregard it, to treat it as if were not there, to regard it as something not worth respecting and defending, is an insult to the God who put it there for our benefit.”

Just forgettabout that “bring the little children unto me”. You missed the damn footnote: “unless they are from another country and *ick* brown or black, and are entering unto me illegally”.
 
Nodding in agreement is Texas *cough* Pastor Robert Jeffress who points out that God wants a fence between them and us, because, God was always clear about boundaries:
 
“Yes, Jesus loved children, but he also respected law. He said, render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,” Jeffress clarified for the faithful on Fox News. “So, we need to do both. Show compassion, but secure the borders.”
 
Just forgettabout that stuff in the early part of the bible, about welcoming the stranger and hospitality and so forth. All that, we know, is made irrelevant by Jesus, oh except for that little part about not suffering men who lay with men to live. And maybe that part about witches too. That might stay in too.
 
 
Just before leaving office, on Dec. 23, 2008, George W. Bush signed into law the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act. This bipartisan measure, named for a 19th century British abolitionist, was aimed at extending and beefing up efforts to prevent and prosecute human trafficking and protect the victims of trafficking.  More importantly, it described exactly how unaccompanied children crossing the border must be treated.
 
The crazies on the Right have of course ignored their own complicity in this legislation, and find it more profitable to insinuate that the President has in fact invited these kids from their violence-wracked homelands to America for some nefarious purpose:
 
I have to believe that when you don’t respond in any way that you are either inept or you have some ulterior motive of which you are functioning from,” Perry said during an interview on ABC’s “This Week.”
 
Ricky (I can’t believe these glasses haven’t made me smart yet) Perry actually said that, although what the conspiracy is for or about, is beyond his meager brain power to discern.
 
Meanwhile, the Right continues to live in cognitive dissonance which prompted one comedienne to suggest that the children should paste the name “fetus” on their forehead. That sounds harsh, but these are the same people who are willing to go to extreme lengths, i.e., Hobby Lobby, to protect the rights of a “fertilized egg”. To turn children away who are fleeing violence and possible death in their own country, seems a interesting juxtaposition to say the least. 
 
To say nothing of our sanctimonious lip service paid to all those poor Syrian children who are living in makeshift tent cities all over the Middle East, having fled the murderous bombardments of Bashar Al-Assad. No finer example is John S. McCain and his wringing of hands at the “humanitarian tragedy” that is going on. Yet we hear nothing from the old fart when it comes to protecting these poor children arriving frightened and alone because their families believe that the trek to Merika is far safer than allowing them to remain at home.
 
 
“It would cost us very little to fly them back, as compared with the cost of taking care of them while they were here,” he said.
 
Mostly McCain has whined about not being allowed to take his cell phone with him in viewing the detainment camps in Arizona. His Senatorial rights, he claims trump these kids right to privacy. Change the policy, he bellowed.
 

We in America are again caught in that position we so often find ourselves in–telling the rest of the world how to behave, all the while doing the in-opposite at home. Another shaming moment in the US of A.

 

I AM My Sister’s Keeper

womengloriousAs with so much with me, a number of widely disparate notions traverse my synaptic receptors before it dawns on me–the greater issue–that is.

Thus it starts with the insanely stupid Hobby Lobby decision, brought to us by five Catholic men who have probably long-since stopped depositing seed in the fertile womb of any woman married to or otherwise.

A perusal of but a few of the rags that pass for “right-wing” blather turns up gems such as “you want to have your fun and make me pay for it”, “keep your legs together or pay for it yourself”, or this upside-down logic, “if you can’t afford contraception, you can’t afford to have a baby anyway!”

Hey there brain-dead XY’er, umm, it seems that you fundamentally misunderstand some rather basic stuff. One,  if women are using contraception to “have fun” well guess who they are having fun with? Second, contraception coverage under an insurance plan is not a “gift”, it is a benefit owed to the employee in lieu of a bigger paycheck. Taxpayers have nothing to do with it bozo. Third, umm, under this theory why are you still getting your I-can’t-get-it-up-without-ya Viagra in your insurance plan? If you want to have fun, pay for it? And fourth, uh, contraception is the way you avoid a pregnancy you cannot afford stupid.

I am post-menopausal, yet this fight is my fight. For I am a woman. For I am a human being.

Some many years ago, when I still worked for a living, I had a work colleague. “B” as we shall call him was an African-American male and law schooled at U of M. “B” was inordinately proud of his U of M alumni status and wore a lapel pin announcing his alumni status virtually every day.

One day, “B” wandered into the law library (which contained a lunch room at one end) where a number of us (mostly women, Black and white) were discussing affirmative action and how we all were grateful for the opportunities it had given us as both women and women of color to advance in various professions. Added to that were the men and women before us who had labored on our behalf to ensure that we as young women had more opportunities than their generation.

“B” was asked if he too were grateful for the boost given him in his pursuit of a better life. He exploded in a vehement denial of being such a recipient. He got where he was, “by his own talents and abilities” and was beholden to no one for his success. We all were shocked, attempted to argue with him, but B left the room quickly in disgust at our suggestion.

I am retired and no longer work. Yet this fight to level the playing field is my fight.  For I am a woman. For I am a human being.

A friend just a day ago, talked about how she and her family had needed food stamps and other forms of public assistance to get by for a time in the past. All who know her, know she is a hard-working mom, a dedicated wife, a thoroughly responsible person. She puts a face on all “those” people that the Right so snidely likes to look down upon as “takers” and as developing a culture of expectation that the government will take care of them. She belies that picture assuredly.

I can echo that story by one of about my housekeeper who is struggling, working from sun-up to sun-down to raise six children all the while in the midst of a divorce from their father who continues to refuse to pay one penny toward their care as a way to punish her for putting him out for his drinking, drugging, and abusive ways. She receives what aid she can from where she can, and we struggle to find better ways to help her.

I am not receiving assistance, and if all goes as it seems to be, I never shall. But this fight is my fight. For I am a woman. For I am a human being.

How does this all tie together?

Only in one respect. Read Matthew 25.

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, 36naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ 37Then the righteous* will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ 40i And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ 41* j Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42k For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ 44* Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ 45He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’

There are many who say that we are genetically wired to care about each other. Certainly humans are not meant to be alone like the cheetah or polar bear. We have found camaraderie and safety in numbers. We have sacrificed some independence, some freedom for the protection of those numbers. Somewhere in that movement from tribe to village to town and city, we have learned to care about the needs of others, not just ourselves. Beyond our concerns for the progeny we bear, we care for the old, and for the disabled.

Recently remains of a Down’s Syndrome child was found among early human burial remains. The skeleton suggests that rather than kill or expose these disabled babies, they were cared for until their natural death. Similarly we find the remains of elderly who certainly could not have survived without help from others.

From this we learn that the desire to care for each other is ancient. We seek to serve each other,  either by genetics or at the very least by the call of the most perfect prophet the world has known–Jesus Christ.

Unlike our Right-wing evangelicals who twist scripture to reflect a Jesus who counsels against government assistance, eschews the minimum wage, and Paul who taken out of context tells us that those who will not work will not eat, we respond to what is in our hearts and/or in our DNA, called to reflect that what we do to others we inevitably do to ourselves.

When I hear the voices of hate-bearing sanctimonious condemnation, when I listen to their explanation that we are “coddling” and “creating a dependence culture”, I am not sure what comes first to me, the tears of grief that people can drape themselves in the flag while waving the bible in order to hide from the world their true self-centered motives, distorting Christ and his sermon of empathy and love, or the flashes of red-hot anger that wish to explode in slapping such people across the face as hard as I can, watching the self-satisfied holier-than-thou smugness fade as the cheek brightens into a red imprint.

We do what is right because it is right, quite simply. Women as poor as they may be deserve as good health care as the CEO of GM. Everybody gets to where they are in life due to the helping hands of untold dozens if not tens of dozens, and lack of means is no definition of worthiness or lack of it. Dr. Ben Carson has become the darling of the Right with his claims that government assistance to the poor, is akin in some measure to a return to slavery. Well Dr. Carson was the recipient of plenty of that assistance as a child and young adult, and that assistance gave him the opportunity to study hard and do all the things he had to do to achieve great success. He did not do it alone and he would be the first to be offended had his mother or he been treated as something less than the kids who grew up in better circumstances.  How soon we forget from whence we have come.

How soon we fall victim to our own greed for the “good life” and turn our backs on all those who are left behind. How soon we forget that but for the “grace of God, go I”. How soon we twist self-righteous religiosity into some sort of club with which to bludgeon all those who don’t do as we say, while we do as we wish, crying out to God when caught, that we too are sinners, but somehow still not sinners like those awful others. 

So we will gladly pay a little more if it means that everyone has a decent minimum. Everyone should have a home, clothing, medical care, quality education, and a job at a fair and living wage. We will do it because we don’t see the world as them and us, but as we.  It is the human thing to do quite simply. And you will never dissuade us otherwise, though you may win a battle here and there. You will not win in the end, because

WE ARE BETTER THAN YOU ENVISION US AND YOU TO BE.

 

 

Wish I’d Said That Thursday

I truly wish I had said it.

Reblogged from BrainSpank

 

I am a woman. I gave birth. It was painful.  Excruciating.  Agony.  No one knows.  I do.

My child knows no one other purview until it gulps air outside of me. Until it leaves my womb it belongs to me and no one else. No other body, governmental or even judicial matters at all to me.

Not as far as I’m concerned anyway.

I really don’t care what you have to say.

I cannot stand five catholic men in black robes who would decide anything for me or the child in my body.  I loathe you for trying.  Your ignorance.  Your arrogance.  Your hubris.  When the day comes I want to relinquish control of my life, my child’s life, to the likes of you, I’ll let you know.  It will have a big fancy seal.  It will be on parchment.  Sheepskin.  You’ll know.  Champagne and caviar.

Until then, shut the fuck up.

We all know you think it’s your religious privilege.  We all know you think you’re somehow entitled to a voice here.  A heavy legislative hand.  A right.  But you are wrong.  You don’t.  You can’t.  You won’t.  You can’t tell me what contraception to use anymore than you can tell me what to do with my womb.  My body.  You stand there, collecting your filthy lucre from the dirtier angels of our filthiest nature and presume to define sin for me.

Fuck you.

You took a stand on the side of a company that wears its hypocrisy on its goddamn face.  They invest in and make money off of the manufacture of contraceptive products.  They willingly paid for the objectionable products for their employees for years.  Decades.  What changed besides Obamacare?  They say their mission is to prevent abortion but the only net gain from this will be more abortion.

By the way, they say the contraceptive products the won’t pay for kill babies.  Wrong.  Completely wrong.  What they do is prevent fertilization.  No beings.  No babies.  How did we get to a place where the Supreme Court is guilty of science denial while listening to and valuing the opinions of clerics and wizards?

Five Roman Catholic men who wear black robes to work.

In this process you would willingly consign me to a coat hanger.

I am a man and I do not accept this jurisprudence.  It is the antithesis of jurisprudence.

But I am a woman too.

It’s like your whole reason is to make sure it’s born.

After that, it’s nobodies business but mine.  Ironic how you grab responsibility before it’s born and surrender it completely the second after.  How do adult white men entertain the notion that they somehow get to champion the fetus and forgo the child?

Jackasses.

They are the last people.

Then, some sonafabitching congressman comes along to make my last stand.

To pretend to speak for me and all the unborn.

I am a woman and I have given birth and if I begin to understand that delivery might mean my death, I get to decide what to do.  If that child will be born inside out?  My problem.  If that child is born with whatever disability?  My problem.

Not yours.

Fuck off.

The same goes for my contraception.  Sometimes it’s to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. 56% of the women in this country that avail themselves of contraceptive medication have it prescribed to them by doctors for reasons other than preventing pregnancy.  Sometimes it’s to prevent my spending days in bed writhing in the kind of pain that makes botulism or ebola look Fischer Price.  Sometimes it’s to reduce my risk of certain cancers.  Viruses.  You don’t know.  You can’t you bastards.  I am a woman and you are not.

I can no longer countenance five greasy old academic males deciding any of this shit.  It’s none of their business.

None at all.

I am a woman.

I would make each of you pregnant tomorrow morning if I could.

Or, I would visit the menstrual cycle upon each of you if I could.

Then we would see who the women are.

That would be awesome.

Bitches.

I am a man speaking for women.

Drinks for my friends.

It Wasn’t THAT Long Ago. . . .

A little history seems in order.

right to vote Okay, so before we start, let’s get this straight. This is not an anti-male diatribe, much as you may think it is. There are damn well plenty of stupid women out there who have drunk the kool-aid and think women’s place is in the home, tending the kitchen, children and pets, in that order. The trouble is, the women who tell you that are ANYTHING BUT stay-at-homers themselves and even if they are, they are writing blogs, books, and preachin’ on social media that YOU should not be like them, but rather like the fantasy women they envision–pampered, protected, cared for, and wiper of runny noses all wearing that crisp peter pan-collared cotton frock and perfectly shined respectable two-inch pumps and pushing the vacuum with a free hand.

Whew. . . .

No this is against paternalism and all its ugly underbelly of psychological signals that tell the female gender that they are all they can be just by primping in front of the mirror and making very sure that that eyeliner is on straight and that lipstick is the latest fashion color of the season.

Ya see, I grew up in that tween place, on the cusp, able to see both shores as it were.

Women got the vote in 1920. My mother was born in ’26, so she grew up having it, though I must say, she pretty much used is as far as I can tell, as her husbands explained to her was right and good. But her mother came into her adulthood without it, my grandmother was born in ’01, so it impacted her most. I knew these women for whom the vote was a “new” thing,  but grew up knowing that voting was no different for me than for any guy I knew.

It was not until the 60’s, during the general period of awakening that lots of minorities were going through, least of all white males who were being conscripted to be the fodder in another war, but one this time that seemed to merit no one’s patriotic fervor, that we women began to learn of our own deeper oppression. We began to learn that it was not okay that our bodies were not our own to control, that we were not by “nature” relegated to certain types of jobs, and paid less in others simply because we were women.

We learned that there was much more to do in this journey to equality.

And we secured our right to control our bodies–in other words–to make mistakes just like men do with theirs.

And we worked hard to break through glass ceilings that prevented us from being fighter pilots, (if that’s what we wanted), neurosurgeons, police officers, firefighters,  and corporate CEO’s. And then we discovered that even when we got the jobs we didn’t get the pay, and we began that fight too.

Always with a certain segment of scared men and the women they controlled telling us that we were going against God, country, and well, nature itself.

womens_rights2Always with those who believed that as we gained our power to control our lives, theirs would somehow be diminished. Sharing is a hard lesson to learn.

They argued of course that women would become “just like men”, or worse, punish men in some Amazonian-driven lust for power themselves.

They argued that we would cry during tense negotiations with a Khrushchev and rain down upon America the nuclear holocaust that permeated the Cold War era.

They called us atheistic feminists and the spittle trickled down their chins, catching and rerouting through grizzled stubble, that they wiped away with grubby fingers still clutching ragged signs with misspelled words echoing their hate: Back to the kitchen you sluts!

But while these battles went on quietly across America with thousands of dedicated women, all the clamor died down, and life didn’t change a whole lot. We figured we were still on the journey, but life as we know it hadn’t stopped, and someday we would reach our goal of full integration and equality in America. Most of us thrived in a world that seemed increasingly equal to us.

And then along came the “IMMORAL MINORITY”  waving their bibles, and explaining to middle-aged white men who had failed in the great American dream to be great achievers, that women were the problem and not corporate greed. Women were and always were the problem ever since that bitch picked that apple off that tree and seduced God’s great creation Adam into sinning. Women were the problem.

And as the rich got richer and the poor got poorer and the great middle started to age and find that damn they weren’t much better off than their parents, some thing had to give. Corporate America became adept at focusing the blame on minorities, takers all. Suddenly, feminism became a dirty word again. Our enemies are mostly aging white men who feel left behind (damn that Rapture, where are you?). The feel and it’s certainly palpable at this point, emasculated by articulate, educated women.

Ask me about it. I belong to a forum of my old high school, and my wars always end up being against these male types (one of which actually said that he ended up calling me names because “I drove him to it.”), and women who believe that women were created to serve me according to their fine uneducated reading of certain pseudo-Pauline texts.  And invariably they block me, so I can read the their comments and they don’t have to respond to mine. Except that there are men on the forum who are just as liberal as I am, just as knowledgeable, and just as “in-your-face”, and they don’t get blocked. Why? Because men can argue with men, but women must be very careful to be properly respectful lest they be branded as “stupid” and “a troll” and “self-defined intellectual”. (I was once told that educated people were “pissants” all, by one tiny-penised patriarchal dope.)

So along comes Hobby Lobby and it’s claim that its corporate religiosity is being assaulted by requiring it “pay” for certain contraceptive methods it in its utter stupidity deems abortifacients, and the Feds have no right to make them offer same to their employees. There is so much wrong here that it’s sick. First, HL provided all these methods before they were picked as the “plaintiff” and then told, “damn, guys, you offer this stuff already!” Hobby Lobby owner Green claims “shit, I have no idea”. Hobby Lobby gets I would guess 80% of its inventory from China, a nation that makes abortion a national policy and until recently required it after one child. Hobby Lobby has a 401K retirement benefits package which includes owning shares of various big pharma companies which, you guessed it, manufacture all the abortifacients that HL moans about.

So the SCROTUS decided that corporate religious well-being trumps women’s rights to good health. Along with that, they decided that there can be no buffer zone between women trying to enter clinics that offer contraceptive care along with abortions and those who want to scream at them demanding that they “think again”.  Women seeking treatment at a PPH clinic must be within “spittin’ distance” of those who seek to turn them away.

Across America, Republican led legislatures make it hard if not impossible for poor women to get reproductive care of any kind by loading down clinics with regulations (aren’t Republicans against business regulation as a matter of principle?) that are so burdensome that they have to close.

And all this in the name of NOT ABORTING. When all of these restrictions do exactly the opposite.

Republicans in Congress vote down equal pay for women.

There is a line.

It has now been crossed.

We will not go back.

Vote in 2014 as if you life depends on it, because control of it is surely at stake.

Womenvote