Women’s Lives


When Rock n Roll first started, musicians were men, roadies were men. Groupies were women. Since the first Beatle set foot on American soil, not only has music changed and morphed but many women have join the ranks of singers/songwriters/musicians. We have all changed and music bloomed to inspire Vietnam War protests and protests for rights for women and children.

 

We are indebted to the women who entered the professions where they weren’t really welcome. Medicine, accounting, factories, the law, music and the arts are now open to women and women have added a lot to our world. These pioneering women pushed open the doors and raised the ceiling on what a woman was allowed to do. Women weren’t let into these fields, they pushed the doors open until they could enter these fields at will.  Increasingly, women are breaking the ceiling of achievement, moving further up the ladder of responsibility than has ever been permitted before.

 

Today, we have women who are homemakers, building cars on an assembly line, working in an ER, being a cop or a fireperson. Some women combine jobs with having a family, as is their right and choice. Some women volunteer instead of working at a paid job because they feel they need to give back to their communities. So, in the twenty-first century everyone can contribute as they feel led to do.

 

The problem is that women do not earn equal pay for equal work. Many employers think that women don’t know, but we do. The government also knows and periodically puts out the numbers. This is a form of sexism and is illegal by federal law. Is the enforced? No. Not really.

 

Even for disabled women, there are many who want to give to their communities. They want to be useful and assist other disabled women and men.

 

Thank you to every American who grows and gives to their communities. You are heros/sheros. We appreciate your wisdom, generosity of spirit and for your time.

 

 

“One woman weaves a message

singing the sounds of silence

another wheels her chair to the center of the stage

changing minds and attitudes

with eyes that hear, and hands that see

these women, working, living…independently

and I look to you

I look to you

for courage in my life.”

—Holly Near

 

All women are, in a sense, differently abled, not by biology but by socially constructed mythologies from which they have had to liberate themselves. We do indeed look to them for courage in our lives.

 

Namaste, Barbara

 

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The Sexism Behind Abuse


Many different ways have been devised for keeping women subordinated to men in patriarchal societies. Footbinding was used by the Chinese to cripple women for over a thousand years. Purdah, is the Muslim practice of secluding women from contact with men outside of the immediate family. Muslim women are to this day, are prisoners in their own homes. Clitoridectomy, the excision of the clitoris, is still practiced on millions of young, pre-puberty girls today in Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iraq,  Guinea and Ethiopia.

 

Violence against women in the form of battering in the home and rape in and outside of the home is a major issue for societies to address and stop. Violence against women has happened so often for millennia. Yet women continue to leave in fear for their lives.

 

Women in Japan, Netherlands, France, Wales, England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, USA and Germany began to stand up for their human rights as women in the 1970’s. There has been much done to stop the battering but we have not ended violence against women.

 

As women, we demand that governments recognize the existence and extent of this problem in almost every society. We demand safety for ourselves and our children. I began work in Domestic Violence in the seventies, and here in America women continue to be killed, to face daily violence, to lose their self-respect and their hope. It is very difficult to find the courage to leave an abuser when he has twisted your actions and words to manipulate and control you.

 

Whether the abuser is male or female, the penalty for Domestic Violence must be increased. The perpetrator must be more severely punished.

 

Rape is the other type of violence against women that must be stopped. Rape has nothing to do with sex. It is constructed by a man’s need to have power and control over a woman. Men in sexist societies are surrounded by sexist views and attitudes which they use to validate their actions against women.

 

Male violence against towards women can not be eradicated without also eradicating the unequal power relationships between the sexes. Many sociologists feel that the traditional family need to be changed. Equality within domestic relationships is very important if we are to completely eradicate violence in families. This includes violence against children.

 

Spanking children is abuse. Slapping them is abuse. In addition, it teaches them that at the basic level, violence is the way to deal with problems and/or behaviors we are not comfortable with. This is why abuse is found in dysfunctional families. It is passed on from one generation to another. Children in violent homes, learn how to abuse and how to be a victim. No one should be a victim, ever.

 

I must also speak to teenage girls. There is nothing you can do that means your boyfriend has the right to abuse, hit, batter, slap or kick you. It is his issue and not yours. Talk to your guidance counselor or doctor or your parents.

“Love is never meant to hurt. It should never leave red marks, bruises, or broken bones.”  — Barbara Mattio

 

 

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The first time you are beaten is the time you should leave. Abusers do kill women.

The first time you are beaten is the time you should leave. Abusers do kill women.

 

 

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The Suffering of Women


women are human beings

women are human beings

Not only do American women continue to face sexism in our country. We continue to do equal work for lesser pay. Sexual harassment is increasing and sexual crimes against women is also increasing. We continue to be the only citizens in America who are not legally equal. We are suffering because Congress is trying to regulate our bodies. Most women in America do not want men telling us what to do with our bodies. I know, to be honest, I don’t want even a husband to tell me what to do with my body. In 1972, I decided that I wanted a tubal ligation. I told my husband and then went to my doctor. He told me I would have to have my husband sign papers allowing me to have the surgery. Men have never needed permission to have a vasectomy. I felt like a child who needed parental permission. I know that women resent this requirement.

This morning I was reading about Bahrain and the torture, rape, and brutality that is being inflicted upon the women of that country. It is an awful story and I listened to women talking in videos telling of how they are suffering. In many countries, genital mutilation continues so a young woman is marriageable. No mutilation, no marriage. And the practice has been brought to America by families and they still want their daughters mutilated. I have blogged about this before and it is all done without pain medication.Little girls between ten years to fourteen years old go through this awake and without anything for pain. This is torture. Torture that has been passed down from generation to generation. Mothers holding their daughters down while the village midwife cuts her in a part of her body that is most sensitive.

The dream of equality

The dream of equality

Women are not the punching bags for the close minded and hateful in our world.  Women are people, we are equal, we are independent, and we can think for ourselves. So, I think that white males need to look within and squash their sexism, racism and elitism. That said, I don’t understand why often minority men of many nationalities that have experienced bigotry and racism, look at all women as second class citizens of whatever country they live in.

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I have written about this before and will again, it is important for everyone to understand what it is like to be a woman in this world. I know that the people who have suffered racism and /or genocide will understand how important this is for us to improve. When you talk to you friends listen and you will hear racism and sexism. Chauvinists are every where and often quote scriptures from their religions as the basis for their behavior. There is no basis except for the ugliness within them. We must love one another and we must be compassionate and understanding. Every one of us is equal to the others. That is why I say we are One Family in One World. You never can love too much. It is impossible.

Sisterhood bridges color and religion

Sisterhood bridges color and religion

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“The sexes in each species of beings…are always true equivalents–equals but not indenticals.”  —Antoinette Brown Blackwell

” There is a potential heroine in every women.”  —Jean Shinoda Bolen

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I am not Ashamed to be a Woman


What Women Want

What Women Want

I feel that I have to apologize to all of my followers. I want to be writing about my love for The One. I want to talk about the passion of creativity and peace. I am going to continue to write about these subjects but I have to draw attention to what is happening to women in the world. Forty years ago, I thought it was pretty much a finished subject, and I was wrong. I have to begin to assist in our cause because it is the way I am made. I probably can’t march and picket like the old days. I intend to hopefully be one of the voices that inspire younger women to action.

I have been reading articles about the young woman, Jyoli Singh, who was raped and tortured for two and a half hours. I will not get graphic here but this was a beautiful and intelligent medical school grad. She and a male friend got on a bus to go home. For two and a half hours, the driver. his assistant and four passengers used a rod on her and her male friend. They were dumped out onto the side of the road.

She was in and out of consciousness, spoke to her father and the police. They had to remove her intestines. When her Father speaks of his grief it is almost unbearable.

Rape is not a crime of sexual lust or passion. It is an act of power and humiliation. They did everything possible to humiliate and demean her.Why? Because she was a woman. In the hospital, she spoke a little of the events using mostly gestures. Her friend has filled in the details. He was just a friend and was also beaten with a rod, but is alive.

Activists and caring Inkian citizen protest the rape and death of "India's Daughter"

Activists and caring Inkian citizen protest the rape and death of “India’s Daughter”

Women speak out against the rape of Ms. Singh

Women speak out against the rape of Ms. Singh

I have tears running down my cheeks and yet I must address this awful crime. In India, if the six men are found guilty, they will be hung. People in India are now calling Ms. Singh “India’s Daughter.” She has been marytred and she will inspire change in India. Yet in hospital she whispered to her father that she wanted to live. She was called home.

So, life goes on, and in the world women are raped and abused every day. Sexism encourages men to reduce the status of women to objects or possessions to own and use whenever the man wants to use them.

Indians express anger at rape and death of a young medical grad.

Indians express anger at rape and death of a young medical grad.

So, I feel that I have to write and let men and women know what is really going on and how women are being treated like they were lamps or chairs instead of human beings and children of the Universe. I pray for Ms. Singh and I know she is one woman who will never suffer again. Blessings to all of the women who are survivors of rape or abuse.

In memory

In memory

Ms. Singh whispered to her Father in hospital that she wanted to live.

Ms. Singh whispered to her Father in hospital that she wanted to live.

Stand Up and Say No With Your Vote


“Traditionally, a woman’s life was not her own; she belonged first to daddy and then to husband. Indeed, she was raised with the expectation that she would be—literally, body and soul—–someone else’s. Today, women are claiming their lives. We still choose love and intimate relationship, but not as reasons for being. We can no longer live through others. ”
——Marilyn Sewell

Well, our most disgusting Congressman is now making apologies. Medical people told him incorrect information. He is so sorry. Yet, he spoke his truth. He said what he believes to be true and his thoughts and spoken words insult and endanger all women. He apologized, what about the woman who just survived a rape and heard him with his sexist point of view. He made her feel as if she were violated once again. Like many in Congress, there are few who live what they talk. They talk very condescending about what women need. How can they understand a woman’s struggle in this life? They don’t walk in the shoes of a woman. They don’t worry about breast cancer, contraception, hysterectomies, pregnancy, labor and delivery, menopause, being treated like second class citizens.

What we should be showing them, that they have to worry about is our getting out in record numbers and voting the male and female sexists out of office. There are plenty of men of quality and women who care for women’s rights to make up a Congress that is ‘for the people and by the people’. Even if you don’t feel strongly about how the elections in the next two years will effect you, think of the younger generations of young people coming up behind us.

These young people deserve not to live in a society that is rampant with violence and where racism and sexism deny American citizens their rights. So few people have read the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. We need more than sound bites to understand what is happening in this, our country, our America.
It is tempting to turn a blind eye to the news and politics some days. If we do that though, we will end up with tyrants and dictators and women and minorities will be the ones to suffer the most. So stand up and be proud that you are a women and “Let them hear you roar!” You get one life; live it freely in control of your choices and your bodies.