Wednesday, August 24, 2016

THOUGHTS ON FEMINISM


I liked a page on Facebook yesterday having to do with women who no longer are involved with religion (I don't want to use the actual name of the page here because not everything I have to say is positive).  It's very anti-patriarchy, which I thought I would like, because I loathe the history of the treatment of women – really despise it, especially in religion – any religion.  And as far as the page is concerned, it is one that offers a lot of really excellent memes and factoids about women and religion's treatment of them. 

Then I Googled for Feminism Memes and got way more than I bargained for.  Most of them ridiculed today's feminism, saying it is man-bashing, and that today's feminists are feminazis. 

The thing is, some of what I read on the Facebook page was extremely dismissive of anyone who might have positive input about men. 

Don't get me wrong.  There are some damned evil men out there, and I am the first one to fully support women recognizing their own power and using it.  One of the ways, of course, is to start a Facebook page or a blog and express your own opinions – unconditionally.  However, there is always more than one side of the story. 

Whenever someone makes a comment that isn't anti-men on that particular page, it will be deleted, because 'mansplaining' is forbidden there.  I'm not talking about tirades of comment bombing, just points of view. 

Here's my opinion: 

Every issue, even feminist ones, are not just about women, but about men as well.  That is reality.  I try to stay away from the stereotypes on both sides.  Yes, men have held all the power in the world for centuries.  But perhaps that's because they were not challenged – not seriously – because women backed down. 

Women are not backing down anymore.  That's fantastic.  And neither are gays, ethnics, the elderly, the disabled, or other minority groups. 

However, sometimes I think that groups (I will use feminists here, because it's where I started), when the big battles are won, or at least well on their way, get off on petty tangents just because they like picking fights. 

And sometimes I look at some of those fights and almost laugh because they are petty and rather silly.  And I also look at some of the questions men have, some of the points they are making, and have to nod my head and admit they are valid. 

What would our foremothers think of feminists today?  Foremothers who risked their freedom and health for their most serious cause?  I won't speculate on that because times are different, and so is our cause. 

I just hope that women will maintain dignity and push in ways that we are taken seriously. 

Lastly, I wonder about man-bashing.  If things were the other way around – if women had established all the rules and had all the power – if we would have hesitated to seize that power, perhaps lord it over men.  There are some seriously conniving and selfish women in the world, and always have been. 

I believe in fairness – equality.  I also believe that women don't need to ask for permission from men.  We simply need to take the initiative and do. 

Do whatever we want. 

But we also have to take on the responsibility and work to achieve whatever we want. And we have to acknowledge that there are consequences to our actions, including our words. 

There is a difference between wanting our own dreams and wanting what men have.  We should make and work for our own. 

In that spirit, I wrote the following poem: 

          There are good and evil women.

          There are good and evil men.

          But one has ruled the other

          With the rules that never bend. 



          Must the pendulum swing

          Way back the other way

          To women who would oppress,

          Women who would enslave



          Men with primitive, feminine wiles

          And claim long-denied power,

          Or truly stop at equality

          As history finally marks our hour? 



LG/td – 8/23/2016

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

SPIRIT SPEAR By Lisa Galloway

It arrived in a modern day crate,
This warrior's spear, that didn't suit
An urban apartment, especially with
Such a barbarian, such a brute.

The warmth of the wooden shaft,
With generations of symbols decorated
Faded into chill of death
In 'hunter's' hands its honor berated.

"My God," he said in a reverent whisper,
The reverence never touching his soul.
Admiring eagle feather adornments he'd
Never earned, just bought, honor he stole.

Each bead attached with a prayer,
To the spear's shaft meant for an honorable man
Tipped with skillfully napped flint
That he hadn't worked with his own hands.

Hands that had never created –
Never honor wrought,
Never protected a family,
Or a life and death battle fought. 

Never protected a frightened child
Or stayed a woman's fears. 
Never put food on a table
Or kissed away a baby's tears. 

He just brought them into the forest
Wreaking senseless, dishonorable death
For just the sport of killing
No prayer o'er the animal's last breath.

Outside in the air, his brother watching
And learning frivolous, deadly deeds
The so-called hunter practiced
On pelt-covered dummy in the weeds.

Striking between the dummy's eyes,
That were as dead as the 'hunter's' soul
His brother thrusting fist in air
As if his sibling were warrior bold. 

Again and again his brother cheered,
Envisioning the death his brother would wreak,
Would never learn honor, meaning, respect
Or the animal's forgiveness to seek.

He grabbed up the rope of the make-believe beast
And dragged it across the ground
The spear rocked it, thudding into its neck
Animal spirits cringing at the sound.

Cheering each other the brothers fought
An animal that couldn't fight back
Just as the live ones in the woods
Were outmanned and outgunned to be hacked.

It's just a game with the human beasts
Bringing death to whatever life
They encounter in the depths of the woods
Without apology or prayer for bringing strife.

While the 'hunter' had honed his skills
In his yard with the dummy beast
(More sensitive than he or his brother)
It was there that his hunter's luck ceased. 

In the forest with living creatures
He felt the spear warm in his hands,
Thought, finally, it's coming back to life
But prey seemed impossible to land.

Though he threw true, the spear would veer
Off wide and miss the kill. 
One buck so close, impossible to miss
Spear lodged in tree; no blood did spill.

The buck ran off never to be
Seen for the rest of the hunt.
And after two days, the hunter snapped
The shaft over his knee with a grunt. 

He cast it aside, and left the woods,
To go home and retrieve his rifle
And the spear glowed and healed itself
Awaiting a warrior who would not trifle

With its mystical powers bestowed upon
Its tip of flint and shaft of ash
Beneath the detritus it slipped
Awaiting a warrior not so rash

Who lived with honor and respect
For every living thing
When such a person came into the wood
The spear for him or her would sing.