Women’s Rights

It has come to the point where pretty much everyday, my news feed is bombarded with news stories of women’s rights, and usually, it is some form of (as much as I disdain the utilization of this imagery) vagina hats and women performing in the streets. As a mother of 3 outstanding, beautiful daughters and one amazing step daughter, I feel this is not the image the generations prior were fighting for ladies.

So, I am going to speak my perspective over the debate regarding women’s rights, because that’s what it is, my perspective. Now, this is an educated perspective, for I have witnessed the evolution of the stay at home mother bound by her vows of till death do you part, to the first generation of mass divorce, to being part of the following generation that also saw it’s own battle continue. So, it is with that lens of my grandmother, my 5 aunts, several female cousins, and my own personal experiences that I feel I am qualified to speak up in spite of my imperfections. Because truth is, we all have them.

When all this began, women were not allowed to vote, weren’t allowed to speak up for themselves, and the continued retribution that occurred for having an opposing opinion in regards to the common housewife’s household duties. They were to be seen and not heard ultimately, and thus had to be entirely supportive of the man’s doctrine of the household, and when in private, could be beaten without retribution for having a disagreeing opinion, or perspective, from the head of the household. It was not even considered that she had been home, tending the children, the household necessities, tending to the ill, both at home and within her community. It was apparent that a time of change needed to occur, for their were real issues not being addressed, up to and including brutal assault with injuries including broken ribs, concussions, cracked skulls, and so on as part of that community healing project that was part of women’s duties.

So, two woman, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, united into one voice in order to speak of the ill treatment of their sisters during life’s daily routine. They found a voice. They took a stand. They spoke out loud. They said this has to change. Their voice spread like a wave of confidence, and is still being spoken today. Women’s rights. However, not once did they utilize the imagery of their anatomy, and though I respect that in this world of modern technology, one may feel that shock value is the way to obtain the attention, it is not.

Class, dignity, grace. These are missing from today’s monologue of women’s rights. And, it’s a shame. For on one side of the equation, we have strong, smart, witty, intelligent women taking a stand against the utilization of sex being necessary to further a career, and instead requesting the respect of having a sentient brain capable of rational thought and decision. She does not want to be seen as just a physical form there to satisfy every whim and fancy placed before her like a door mat, and thus feels that the choice is hers to say no more. No more will I just be seen as a physical manifestation of your desire while having the internal realms of my soul and personality ignored to the point of shutdown.

On the other side of the aisle, we have vaginas dancing in the streets. Really! Can we see how perhaps you are going the wrong way about this ladies? Screaming in the streets while wearing your anatomy on you head is not the solution here.

In stead we need to continue the tradition of honoring women who have endured the brutality that women regularly face. We need to continue to believe that children have the right to have 2 parents in this world instead of 1 dead at the hands of the other. We need to continue to understand that till death do us part is not in the best interest of the children created via the union. We need to stop seeing children as a choice, and stop seeing abortion as the solution to a problem unless there is a medical reason to do so. We need to encourage adoption, and maintaining a relationship with the biological mother and father; thus honoring the soul that was created via this union, while bestowing  a deepest desire of a woman whom is chosen to be the mother in her place, thus maintaining the best interest of the child in the process, for a child will not have to question the identity of where they came from, for they will know, even if they don’t always like the answers. Ultimately, in the end, a mother loved her child so much, and yet, she knew she could not accomplish the needs of her child, and so placed her child in a safe, stable, loving home when she could not provide such needs herself.

We need to stop encouraging the player mentality, the hit it and quit it scenarios that have played out for the last two generations. We need to stop allowing father’s to sign their rights, and start making them equally responsible in the equity of responsibility of the raising of the child(ren), both financially and emotionally. We need to understand that their relationship and bond with the child is hugely important in the development of a child’s psyche while maintaining the right to dissolve the marriage and choosing to support their half of their responsibility while the father maintains his with a separate personal life.

We need to honor and respect the step mother instead of portraying her as the evil step monster because she is there, walking in shoes, you as the ex wife understands, and you know exactly how hard her job is because you too lived it once.

We need to enforce laws and learn to handle rape victims without making them feel as though they are the ones on trial. Not all rape victims are beaten, as some women are too scared to fight, or don’t know how. Some are grabbed and pinned down so fast that in spite of their struggles, they are penetrated anyway. We need to truly understand what rape is, so that we can start respecting the two way communication of just what the definition of NO means.

Women need to unite in a organized fashion, with respect, dignity, honor and courage. We need to share the stories of the previous generations, in spite of how dark some aspects may be, for there was a reason she did what she did; standing and walking away from you. And maybe, that reason was so she would be alive to see her daughter grow up, get married, have children, and learn to walk the path of life with her head held high in spite of the difficulties life can throw at you.

We need to come to a better understanding of how to have our voices heard without completely losing our dignity, and if my voice, and all my experiences can help one woman find her voice with dignity, then all my personal struggles, along with those of my 5 aunts, multiple cousins and 4 beautiful daughters will not have been in vain.

It’s time we hear the truth, and start coming to reasonable compromises and solutions without acting like fools in the streets.

May the future derive wisdom from the past in order to sustain a positive future.

 

 

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Words with Granny…

Many years ago, when I was a child, I was assigned to interview someone I admired. I admired many people, so it took me a bit to whittle it down to whom I would choose. In the end, I chose my Granny. She has seen so much, wise eyes, wicked kind of wise. Woman knew you were up to no good before you did it, and had a switch at the ready too. Wicked wise.

During the interview, I asked my grandmother about childhood. She said she was dirt poor on a farm, but she was happy. She saw the invention of the radio and one landing in every American home. She spoke of how they gathered around the radio to listen to the weekly program, news, and music. She thought it was truly beautiful, magical.

After listening to her life, I then asked her if she felt we lost anything with the invention of the radio and later TV?

She said yes, we lost family. Family values, family morals, family sticking together come hell or high water. She said too many people think this world owes them something and they are completely missing the reality of you have to survive, and in order to do that, you need your family.

As an elementary student, I had no idea what she was talking about, and well, I saw family as an ever morphing scenario of change. People come, people go. The love is never less, just the distance it must travel to be received. Like a phone from the heart. I was in 3rd grade, from a broken home as they so eloquently put it these days, and maybe I was a bit naïve, or maybe I was wise beyond my years. Only you can decide that…

My grandfather was a WW2 veteran, and he was a hero in my eyes, like a walking GI JOE, and he held a place of high honor to me. I did not realize the magnitude of what my grandparents faced for quite some time, and even still don’t truly understand, but the one thing I know, is they spent all of their adult lives married, for better or worse, and they spent years in the depths of hell on earth and still made it through, survived, together, a rare gem of reality these days.

Granny was right, somehow with the invitation of the world, we lost the heart and soul of who we are. The people who walk beside us everyday, telling us we are capable of doing something even when doubt is screaming in your ears. The people who have our backs. And well, Granny, I am now a Grandmother, and this is what I wish I could say to you…

Thank you. Thank you for being a strong woman who stood through hell to fight. Thank you for the 6 children you brought into this world. Thank you for the grandchildren you watched over until you just physically couldn’t do it anymore. Thank you for the bounty of the harvest that comes in grandchildren and great grandchildren and even great-great grandchildren. Our family became it’s own city when we are all in one place together. Massive. WOW!

They are the true leaders, the leaders in my heart. When life got hard, I would think about what others I knew whom had struggled through, and I knew that because they survived, I could too. And it is with that knowledge and wisdom I have tried to guide my children through a very vastly different scope of life than what our ancestors started out with, because one day, you may be grateful you listened, but if you didn’t, you’ll also thank me for the library of wisdom I have saved for you. Important things. Things I wish I had known earlier. Live in the present, but keep the knowledge of the past, and carry it forward. This is the true tree of life, wisdom passed down from generation to generation.

And lastly, if my Granny was still alive today, she would sit on her Welborn Throne with pride. She would see the accomplishments and failures of all, remember wicked wise eyes, and she would still be proud of all that has come to be accomplished by all her ancestors.

Pretty darn beautiful when you see the whole web of creation from a distant point.

Thank you GI JOE Grandpa, for because you fought so bravely, you gave me and many others the freedom to write this and give the bird to anyone who doesn’t like it!