I’m really grateful that I watched both Democratic debates this week (July 30-31). We are in an unprecedented moment in history with six powerful women candidates. My goal here is to emphasize this fact and the pivotal turn we are taking in politics, where men are actually listening to women with an open heart and an open mind not just open eyes. The pundits are being a bit more objective than in the past, but still not quite enough for the American public to get a fair report on the content and caliber of each candidate’s strength (which is why we would all be well served by reading about each person’s platform). I loved how Andrew Yang said, "We're up here with makeup on our faces and our rehearsed attack lines, playing roles in this reality TV show." I didn’t have the stomach to count how many times Mr. T‘s name was used. But it did make me nauseous enough to come up with a creative idea – one that is bold enough to potentially meet the description of “bold“ that some of the candidates could appreciate. Here it is: Have all of the 20 candidates meet together and decide among themselves who will be in which of the 20 cabinet posts
So the old white privileged heterosexual Christian male “alleged” sexual assaulter, Kavanaugh, has been granted lifelong authority at the highest federal judicial post, the Supreme Court of the United States. What next? To all of the women, who were inspired to tell their story [read mine here] after Christine Blasey Ford’s courageous testimony about being sexually assaulted by this new Supreme Court judge, I want to say, emphatically, IT IS STILL SAFE.
It is time to heal the effects of misogyny. I, like so many survivors of sexual assault and rape, have been emotionally ripped apart by the Kavanaugh inquiry this week. And, like Senator Blumenthal so eloquently said (below), I am inspired and so grateful for Christine Blasey Ford’s bravery to bear the virulent assaults she predicted in sharing her story of his sexual assault and attempted rape. Here is my first story about being a rape survivor.
I wrote an article about the sexual abuse crisis exposed on a grand scale in the Roman Catholic Church and pointed to the gender divide, along with other obvious-to-everyone observations, that helped set the stage for this crisis. I grew up Catholic and now reflect on the constant frustration and cognitive dissonance I felt in my immediate family, in my CCD classes, and during mass — about the depth of content and feeling evoked in me with the religious teachings and the absence or shallowness of conversation and lack of connection.
Wake the Folk Up! This phrase was worn on a ratty old t-shirt by a man who has been struck by lightning twice (and now walks barefoot!). I told him years ago that someday I'm going to make shirts with this phrase on it - or at least one for myself - and wear it proudly. Happy to see this pic online: This post is a letter of awakening. A coming out of the dark, isolated closet of self-censorship. I have done all the damn learning I can do. I'm ready. I've been ready all along but I didn't believe it strongly enough. Now I just don't care who gets what I get. I don't need anyone's validation or resonance with my ideas. And yet I know there are so many resonant beautiful people rising up, strangers next to me. No doubt. Self-censorship is death. And when we don't trust ourselves to speak our truth without hurting another -- and putting ourselves in the constant dilemma of hurting them with our words or hurting us with yet another bite to the tongue, we choose self-censorship. So, write down the pain. Get it out and look at it. Then promise to learn from that the next time
Way back when, on May 17, 2004 the state of Massachusetts gave same sex couples the right to marry each other. While this was a monumental victory for the LGBTQ community, unleashing an intense freedom and sense of possibility in the minds, the spirits, and the physical bodies of each person in a same sex relationship in Massachusetts and beyond, one has to wonder about the power that a governing body like the State has over the lives of those who chose to live or work under its authority. Articles like this from Wikipedia remind us that such governing bodies [shall?] only have authority over that which they are granted by the collective, while this VT Digger article highlights how a state can artfully question the impositions of international authority on behalf of its citizens, and this Slate article delves deeper into the complications of a "higher" Federal authority to refute state sovereignty in the matter of same sex couples. The will of the people underlies the sovereignty of both the U.S. federal government and the states, but neither sovereignty is absolute and each operates within a system of dual sovereignty. According to the reservation clause of the Tenth Amendment, the federal state possesses only those powers delegated to it by
Imagine a room of round tables, each of which seats eight people from a diverse spectrum of cultural, economic, political, religious and physical circumstances and beliefs. Their task? To fairly divide one big slice of the best chocolate cake ever baked. (for argument’s sake it is gluten- dairy- and all allergen-free so that it can be enjoyed by everyone). What scenarios could we expect? The Best Chocolate Cake Ever Created Someone might propose using a scale to weigh their slice of cake and divide the number by eight, then somehow dividing it into eight equal parts. But some would have more or less icing than others. The ones with more icing might say they don’t even like icing and feel uncomfortable with others’ stares of jealousy. Maybe they’ve had these stares their whole life and have simply gotten used to saying they don’t like icing just to mitigate or stave off the stares. Maybe they don’t even know if they like icing?! Or maybe this is the first time in their life that someone else has been jealous of something they had, so they are inclined to completely revel or bask in the glow of others’ envy… Some at the table might say they don’t want
Watching old movies is an interesting way to take note of just how mad the world used to be. How could people swear in movies from the 1980’s the way they did? So out of context! Or, more importantly, how could writers and producers script women like the heroic tramp Jamie Lee Curtis played in Trading Places? If we watch any film produced more than 10-20 years ago, we could easily find it dreadfully boring by today’s standards. What’s that called? Oh yeah, quaint. Appreciated only by old people. Teenage boys don’t like quaint. Teenage boys get bored easily. They gravitate toward mad video games to keep themselves entertained. Parents of teenage boys, like myself, try things like canceling cable to minimize exposure to programming that we deem blatantly mad and predatorially subtle to a child. We did this years ago instead of getting rid of the television altogether because we like movies, but Netflix and Red Box market their most violent, morality numbing offerings front and center. And once a teenage boy has a job, there is little stopping him from buying a Netflix subscription. Parents try to shield their children from aspects of the world gone mad. On the one extreme we get accused
Disclaimer: this post is metaphorical. The universal relationship challenges in a committed relationship are being compared to the challenge of gaining natural intelligence — the ebb and flow of desire to become aware of, and committed to serving, Truth. The investigation of climate science and developing a sense of awe for the mystery of ecosystems is kin to self-reflection through our intimate relationships. Humans are being called to “listen” to and partner with such ecosystems in a more mature, respectful manner. Who, other than children with hormones that have yet to kick in, doesn’t enjoy great sex (even if it has been a while)? Can we agree that we all would enjoy healthy, mutually responsive, adoring, hot and steamy sex? If so, this is a good start to a decent climate change conversation. Why? Because we all have to find a place of open and honest mutuality, or common ground, so that the important work at hand can get underway. Yesterday. 1. Sex Is Amazing So let’s get specific. Great sex is a win-win. Let’s first assume, for this scenario, two people have been having great sex for many years – like “forever” – but recently it has become painfully evident that one partner is not feeling
Trailing Off… The weather this past weekend was as good as it gets; not humid, slight breeze, sunny. And it was a very rare Saturday where I had nothing scheduled! I decided to take my dog Shaggy for a walk at Wentworth Farm, the idyllic dog walking spot in Amherst, but he didn’t want to go. So instead I figured I’d try to find an entrance to the Robert Frost Trail in that same vicinity. It wasn’t working out. I accosted a stranger walking in the area who also didn’t know a trail entrance but knew it was nearby… The parking lot behind the Amherst Chinese Christian Church proved a great spot. I found a sweet path and laid down a tiny blanket in a sandy clearing. While eating my sandwich and asking the ants to kindly not crawl up my shorts I read the GAIA student magazine I’d picked up the previous night at the Amherst College planetarium (an amazing presentation by Kevin Collins about the New Horizons 9-year voyage to Pluto about to culminate in unprecedented images on July 15th). In this magazine was an article about H.D. Thoreau’s daily walking adventures on which he’d converse with his intimates — trees, ants, and of