Sexual Harassment

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I grew up in an environment where if a boy in fourth or fifth grade pushed, hit, or shoved a girl, that girl was told “oh, he likes you”, and he was not punished, or even reprimanded.  Of course, being me, my reaction to being pushed, hit and/or shoved was to usually do the same back.  Now, just guess as to who it was who got reprimanded.  Yes, it was me, since a girl was always expected to be nice, no matter what.  That’s what we were told, no matter what someone did to you, be nice.

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All this conditioning has a price.  That price follows us all our lives, and causes women to “put up” with verbal and sexual harassment without saying anything.  It also causes us to not speak up about other kinds of mistreatment – after all, who want to be known as a “bitch”.  Yes, this is another instance where we’ve allowed others to monitor our voices and behavior.

When I was young, it wasn’t unusual for me to be “felt up” while I was riding the bus, in an elevator, or in other situations.  Did I say anything?  Usually not, however, the spikes of my pumps got quite the workout.  I hope that I did plenty of damage to the offending man’s toes and/or insteps.  The fact of this harassing behavior, is of course, designed to make woman and girls to feel “less than”.  The list of behavior goes on and on: “ratings” based on our looks; verbal abuse telling us to “smile”, trying to force women and girls to interact with strange men – and threatening comments when these men are ignored; women and girls being reduced to just their body parts – the dehumanization of an entire gender.

The examples of rotten comments are too long to list.  However, my husband has told me in just the last few days that I chop wood “like a girl”; and I throw the Frisbee to the dog, “like a girl”.  In my head I thought – if you’re so much better at chopping wood, why the heck aren’t you doing it?

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These comments are considered “normal”, and often if a woman says anything she is considered to be a “bitch”, or a liar, or both.  When we stand up for our rights as human beings, we are told to shut up and be nice.  Being nice has gotten us things.  The biggest “thing” that being nice has gotten us is less wages than men.  Yay!  What a testament to being nice.  Look at the offensive comments that were made by men, about Hilary Clinton when she ran for president.  The sad thing is that some of those same negative comments were also said by women.

Fifty-three percent of white women voted a known sexual predator into national office.  Really?  What the heck is wrong with you?  I will never understand people who vote against themselves.  And, this political party has proved itself to be the party of sexual predators.  Get your head on straight, women.  Together we will be an unstoppable force.  Stand together as one, and see the entire world change for the better.

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I’m Tired

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I am simply tired.  In fact, I’m sick and tired.  I’m tired of signing petitions.  I sign on average, ten petitions a day, and sometimes more.  I sign petitions telling my congressmen to: protect the earth, protect the poor, protect the sick, protect minorities; protect those who have been impacted by the weather; protect workers and consumers; protect people and the animals.  The number of petitions I’ve signed just since January numbers well into the hundreds.  I’m tired of being upset, depressed and overwhelmed with bad news and bad behavior on the part of people who should know better.

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My question is, why the hell do I even have to do this?  Doesn’t it simply stand to reason that people have a right to clean water, clean air?   Don’t we have a right to healthcare?  How about a right to equality?  How about a right to not be lied to and mislead by the companies that we do business with?  How about just helping the citizens of our country when disaster strikes?  Isn’t that what their taxes have paid for?   Why do I have to keep reminding the government what their job is?  Their job is not to enrich themselves and their corporate donors.  They are supposed to be working for the good of all, not just the rich and powerful.

Of course, I’m lucky.  I’m not sick, I’m not a minority.  While I do have Fibromyalgia, I don’t take medication for it, I’m coping on my own, and doing okay.  I’m not a victim of a disaster.  Of course, that could change at any time, and many of  us are one paycheck away from financial disasters, not to mention one caused by sickness, accidents or nature.   I actually live in a state that, while we have our problems within our state; our federal representatives do vote on the behalf of the people who actually voted for them.  I feel sorry for those of you who don’t enjoy the same representation.  Of course, the “powers that be” are hoping that we will all get too sick and tired and simply stop paying attention.  Hell no, it’s not going to happen.  While I may bury my head in the sand for a day or even two, I’ll pick myself up again and make my voice heard.  For all of you out there who also are tired, take a breath, take a small break, and then continue plodding.  After all, you’ve got justice on your side.

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Belittlement

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The definition of belittlement is to treat someone as less than.  This is something that happens all day, every day to a lot of people.  How do you treat your waitress?  How about the cashier?  It’s an easy, and apparently gratifying thing for many people to engage in.  But, even though belittling others is designed to make you look superior to them, what does it really say about the person who engages in it?  What I really want to talk about is how in your interpersonal relationships people really have to understand that just because someone is family, it doesn’t mean that the usual rules of engagement go out the window.

There is one person in my immediate family who has this habit of sitting and doodling wavy lines on a piece of paper whenever I open my mouth to say something.  Needless to say, I don’t often speak when he is around.  Instead, he speaks and I listen.  My assumption is that my role in our relationship is to listen to him and keep my mouth shut.  At least that is what our relationship has devolved to.  Does this make me want to spend any time with him?  No, of course not.  However, whenever I get upset about his behavior, I remind myself that this way of behaving says a lot more about him than it does about me.

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Being part of a community, no matter how large (or small), means that respect has to be shown as well as given.  One person can’t insist on respect while at the same time denying it to others.  There must be a mutual way of behaving, or any kind of communication will fail.  Has this behavior been directed at you?  Have you dealt with it, or have you just ignored it?  I understand that when one is in an inferior position (such as a waitress or cashier) there is really nothing to do but ignore this behavior.  However, when it occurs in a social (or family) relationship, how do you deal with it?  Let me know in the comments below.

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What are “Family Values”?

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As we all know, the Republican Party of the United States claims to be the party of “family values”.  So, I was wondering what, according to the GOP are these “family values”, and how this political party is supporting them.  Here is the official statement from the GOP, link provided.

“The family is the bedrock of our nation. When American families flourish, so too does our country. Our Party’s economic and social policies, including tax reform, education, health care, and the sanctity of life, should always promote and strengthen that most sacred bond.”  https://www.gop.com/issue/family-values/canonical/

My next question is how is the Republican Party supporting these family values?  My answer is not too well.  Let’s take this consecutively.  As far as economic reform is concerned, the Republican party has worked overtime to decrease the economic power of the regular wage-earners.  Minimum wage increases have been over-turned; many republican politicians have stated that they would like to get rid of any minimum wages and let corporations pay whatever wage they feel like; and corporate welfare has been running rampant while at the same time individual citizens who are on welfare and/or food stamps have been demonized.

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As far as social policies, minorities, whether classified by ethnicity, race, or gender/sexual orientation have again been demonized, denied legal standing and/or been violently oppressed.  There are cases where legal citizens have been picked up by ICE and detained, sometimes for months with no legal representation allowed.  Other examples are the ability of business owners to deny service to those who don’t follow the owner’s beliefs; and corporations to deny employees access to certain types of health care.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/14/republicans-cuts-programs-food-stamps-welfare-veterans-238314

As far as tax reform is concerned, the agenda that has just been introduced to Congress contains the biggest tax cuts of all to businesses, corporations and the richest 1% of people in the country.  The rest of it still seems unclear.  I’ve included links for you to look this up for yourself. However, while lowering taxes on corporations, businesses and the richest of the rich, this is going to increase our total debt by anywhere from 1 to 2 trillion dollars.  That’s okay though, because of the fact that these tax reductions on the rich will “prime the pump” and create a “trickle-down effect from the rich to the poor”.  Unfortunately, we are now deeply in debt because that did not work before.

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/tags/tax-reform

How does the party of “family values” help regarding education?  Well, we can just go ahead and say that they’re all for getting rid of public education (the bedrock of a democracy), and pushing public money into for-profit (charter) schools.  These schools have been found to have various questionable practices from segregation to non-college educated “teachers” to not teaching science or higher-level mathematics.  Here is a quick link for you on problems with these schools.

http://www.businessinsider.com/john-oliver-charter-schools-2016-8

The health care issue is quite interesting.  According to the “family values” quote above, the Republican Party claims to worry about health care for families.  However, as the last few months have shown us, they “care” by trying to take away health care from as many families as they can.  Just one example of that is the refusal to renew the CHIP program.  Now, up to 12 million children will have no health insurance.  I’ll leave this paragraph at this point, since my post is getting quite long.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/8-million-kids-lose-health-insurance-chip-program-isnt-renewed-heres-looks-like-one-state/

As far as the sanctity of life is concerned, the family values party seems to believe that such sanctity ends at birth.  Why would I say that?  Well, as we have all become aware, through health care reform, the GOP has pushed for denying people who have almost any pre-existing condition off health insurance; along with taking welfare and food stamp programs away from the disabled and poor.  Also, if we add in the effort to dismantle any form of minimum wage, there doesn’t seem to be a value for life after birth.

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So, what are your views on this?  Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

What’s New on the Rape Front? – Yes, there is Snark!

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Well, what is new regarding women and rape?  Here are a few things that you might be surprised to learn.  In nine states a rapist has the ability to share custody of the child that was produced from a rape.  Yep, that’s right.  If you’re a rapist, gone to jail for raping a woman, you still get to share custody with the product of that rape.  And, the woman who you raped has to suck it up and have continued contact with you.  Yay for you!

Bill Cosby, who drugged and raped plenty of women, has avoided jail time due to a mistrial, and is now going around the country with the express purpose of teaching other men how to avoid going to jail after they’ve raped women.  I guess you should teach what you know, right?

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Betsy DeVos has rescinded Title IX campus sexual assault guidance, of the legal requirement to report a sexual assault, because maybe, maybe there might be a (one) case of a female student lying about rape, and what would that do to the male student?   Of course, 19% of female college students report being raped, but hey, who cares about that?

And, just to end on a “happy” note, the White House website page entitled “Rape and Sexual Assault: A Renewed Call to Action” has been taken down.  Don’t be too alarmed though, the pages regarding Climate Change and Animal Welfare have also been taken down.  So, victims of sexual assault are in good company.  Fake News, nothing to see here!

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Just Plain Despair

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Life is hard, it has its ups and downs, and often the downs can be longer than any of its ups.  I really dislike when people set out, in a deliberate manner, to make other people’s lives harder than they have to be.  Seriously, don’t we all have so much to deal with already?

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Sorry for the “f”-word, I couldn’t find an image without it.

I truly do not, and probably never will, understand why other people want to make the sick, die simply because they are poor, or even middle class.  Seriously, if we take the ability to buy health insurance away from people, they will die.  The medical profession isn’t going to magically be able to help all the sick people.  And, remember, this includes all people both the very young and the very old.  Everyone who is not wealthy enough to afford the out-of-control price of insurance.

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What kind of a society are we that this is acceptable behavior?  No concern for the sick, the poor, or anyone who isn’t rich?  Because we will not survive.  We either rise together, or we all fall.

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Am I Aryan?

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Just like the original Nazi’s, most of the people who call themselves “aryan” don’t look it.  Like Hitler, they are not what an “aryan” is “supposed” to look like.  How do I know?  The dictionary says of Nordic (mostly Scandinavian) descent.  So, does that mean that I, who am mostly Swedish (I’m a “mutt”, since I am also German, English and most likely everything in between).  Now, as far as looks go I’m the poster child for the “aryan race” – blond hair (not dyed); blue-eyed, and excessively fair-skinned.

Now, I’m sure your next question would be, do I think I’m “superior”, since I’ve got the physical aspects of being so – according to some people?  NO!  Let me say this, there is no superior race!  There is only the human race.  Get that through your heads.

As far as my German heritage is concerned, the tiny village my grandfather was born in no longer exists.  My grandfather came to New York sometime in the early 1930’s, while two of his older brothers went to Canada, leaving three other brothers and his younger sister along with his mother and father in their village.  When the Nazis discovered that someone in the village was hiding Jews, all the men and boys were lined up and shot and the women and girls were sent to Auschwitz.  The village was then destroyed.  I don’t even know the name of it, and my great aunt, who did survive, always wore long sleeves to cover her numbers.  I only saw them a few times, and that was definitely by mistake, as she was embarrassed by them.  I wish I could have talked to her about what had happened to her and my great-grandmother, but she hardly ever talked.  She was a sweet woman, and I loved her, but I never really knew her.

How can people find pride in claiming to be the Alt-right, KKK, or “Aryan”, I’ll never understand.  We had a war (World War II) over this and they lost.  So, are these people, by extension, losers? I know what I think, but what do you think?  How can anyone claim superiority over someone else?  Let me know how you feel about this in the comments below.  Do you agree that we are all one, and there is only the human race?

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