An Artist and A Feminist

This Young Woman Walked Through Kabul Wearing Metal Armor To Protest Street Harassment

Artist-activist Kubra Khademi took to Kabul’s streets in a metal jacket in a defiant protest against sexual harassment.

Men Learn What Feminism Means and What That Makes Them

Watch Men Learn What Feminism Means And Then Realize Something Obvious

 Curator: Adam Mordecai (from

In 1986, Marie Shear wrote: “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.” I’ve been a feminist unknowingly since I was born and knowingly for the last eight years or so. It wasn’t until a feminist friend pointed out the definition to me that I realized I actually was one.

According to Webster’s dictionary, Feminism is “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.” If you think women and men are humans and believe that they should be treated equally, congratulations, you are a feminist.

To prove this, Upworthy hit the streets of New Orleans and asked several men if they believe in equal rights for women. Unsurprisingly, they all said yes.

Initially, when we asked them if they were feminists, one-third said yes and two-thirds no. But once we explained what feminism actually is, the majority of them agreed that they just might be feminists too.

It’s really not that hard to be a feminist.

Yep, I’m a dude. I’m also a feminist (and a humanist too, though they are different things.) What does that mean? It means I think men and women should have equal rights and equal opportunity. What doesn’t it mean? It doesn’t mean I think women should have more rights than men. It doesn’t mean I think men don’t struggle too, in different ways. It doesn’t mean that I want to force everyone else to think or act a certain way. It doesn’t mean I want to create a feminist army riding velociraptors feasting upon the men who disagree with me.

It just means I think women and men are humans who should have equal rights and opportunities. If you disagree with that, then I can’t help you. You can be a feminist and want good things for men. In fact, I don’t know any feminists who want men to suffer at the expense of women. Because as I mentioned three times already, feminism is about equal rights and opportunity for everyone, regardless of gender or skin tone or age or ability or anything else.

Are you a feminist?

The Greatest First Lady

Eleanor Roosevelt was married to FDR. He served three terms as President, despite being struck down with Polio. They were both aristocrats and yet identified with the 98%, as we would say these days. Franklin Roosevelt was fifth cousin to Teddy Roosevelt.


Eleanor was a wife, mother, a reformer, a visionary and an activist. She was extremely independent and traveled often on behalf of her husband, the President, because of Franklin’s mobility issues due to the polio. No other first lady to date has ever had a greater influence on the course of our Democracy.


She came from a family that battled many demons such as alcoholism and self-destruction. Eleanor learned her progressive ideals from dealing with life.

“Education ends only with death.”   —Eleanor Roosevelt


She was an eloquent spokesperson and in 1911, said, “I realize that if my husband were a suffragist, I probably must be one, too.”   She often gave speeches for the President, again due to his mobility problems. She was highly respected for her many talents, but she was also ridiculed for not being a beauty. Her beauty was within her. Her heart was one that was touched by the difficulties of the average man and she went to great lengths to help those she met.


She gave speeches after the Stock Market Crash of 1929, when the President came up with his strategy for recovering from the terrible crash. There were no computers or televisions then, and so FDR began giving radio speeches called Fireside Chats. In this way he was able to speak to most Americans.


Eleanor’s many feminist and close friends gave her the support she needed and she developed a large network of people who accompanied her through the White House years. Eleanor was a non-conformist and followed the impulses of her own vision and the needs of her own heart.


Eleanor Roosevelt was a woman  of principle who understood the vagaries of politics and competition. She always advised her friends: “If you have to compromise, be sure to compromise up.” After the Depression, while President Roosevelt was working on the New Deal and his vision to help the ordinary American, Eleanor was trying to form a new deal for American women. She personally carried her commitment to liberty, individual freedom, equal rights, civil rights, and human dignity into tiny villages and hamlets, as well as into the citadels of governments around the world.


Eleanor kept her liberal agenda and energies until her death  on November 7, 1962. This woman made the noblest values seem globally possible. She believed in the power of the people, and in the power of ideas to transform society. She believed that social change required that ideas be faced with imagination, integrity, and courage.


FDR led us into WWII and worked closely with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The Pacific arena was not easy to win, but Americans fought bravely, and Eleanor took a tour of the hospitals set up to provide medical care to our injured soldiers. It was expected that she would stick her head into a few wards and then be off. The hospitals were primitive and full of suffering. Eleanor surprised the military commanders when she stopped and talked to each soldier, giving each one words of encouragement and hope. After returning home, she wrote to the mothers of the injured soldiers she had met. Mother to mother, she gave them news and hope. She was uniquely qualified to do so, as her own sons fought in the war.


Eleanor Roosevelt was an original woman. She was real and authentic in her approach to people and to life. She spoke out against racism, and class warfare. Having huge amounts of energy, she never slowed down in her work to bring to reality her vision of what this world could be. She never tired of working for the eradication of poverty, and better working conditions. She worked on issues of reform and education for both men and women. She would become visibility upset when she witnessed examples of women in politics who were treated without respect, which she felt they were due, if for no other reason than their commitment to democracy and America. Eleanor publically supported strike efforts and believed in the importance of workers being able to unionize. She continually attacked the status quo, stating that women together can do a great deal.





Eleanor Roosevelt later in life

Eleanor Roosevelt later in life


Eleanor Roosevelt as First Lady

Eleanor Roosevelt as First Lady



Eleanor Roosevelt as a young woman

Eleanor Roosevelt as a young woman


Eleanor Roosevelt as a girl.

Eleanor Roosevelt as a girl.

Ladies, it’s our Anniversary!

On August 26, 1920, the 19thAmendment granting women the right to vote, became law.

“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”  

When American women were first trying to get the vote, men believed it was inappropriate for women to vote and provided a variety of “reasons”.  In 1915, writer Alice Duer Miller countered the ridiculous arguments of anti-suffrage men with humor:

Why We Don’t Want Men to Vote

  • Because man’s place is in the army.
  • Because no really manly man wants to settle any question otherwise than by fighting about it.
  • Because if men should adopt peaceable methods women will no longer look up to them.
  • Because men will lose their charm if they step out of their natural sphere and interest themselves in other matters than feats of arms, uniforms, and drums.
  • Because men are too emotional to vote. Their conduct at baseball games and political conventions shows this, while their innate tendency to appeal to force renders them unfit for government.

The true ridiculousness of the fight is clear in the view of hindsight — during World War I, when able-bodied men were fighting in Europe, it was women who took their place in factories and kept this country moving, providing support and arms to our fighting men.  Yet still, these brave, hard-working women could not vote.  President Woodrow Wilson recognized the disparity, and in a speech on September 18, 1918, he said,

“We have made partners of the women in this war. Shall we admit them only to a partnership of suffering and sacrifice and toil and not to a partnership of right?”

According to the website, “the National American Woman Suffrage Association’s (NAWSA) Congressional Committee and the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage (CU) worked together to try to get women in America the vote.  In 1917, the CU formed the National Woman’s Party (NWP).



Photograph of Alison Turnbull Hopkins with banner, “Mr. President How long must women wait for liberty,” picketing for suffrage outside White House gate. Photograph published in The Suffragist, 5, no. 56 (Feb. 7, 1917): 4. Caption reads: “New Jersey Day: Mrs. J.A.H. Hopkins heading the line”. Photograph illustration in story “Fourth Week of the White House Guard.”

In January 1917 the CU and NWP began to picket the White House. The government’s initial tolerance gave way after the United States entered World War I. Beginning in June 1917, suffrage protesters were arrested, imprisoned, and often force-fed when they went on hunger strikes to protest being denied political prisoner status.

The National Woman’s Party militant tactics and steadfast lobbying, coupled with public support for imprisoned suffragists, forced President Woodrow Wilson to endorse a federal woman suffrage amendment in 1918. Congress passed the measure in 1919, and the NWP began campaigning for state ratification. Shortly after Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify women’s suffrage, the 19th Amendment was signed into law on August 26, 1920.”



I am bringing this up today not only to celebrate the 94th Anniversary of this wonderful Amendment, but also to make a point to every woman out there in the United States:

A mid-term election is coming up in November.  I don’t know who you support in the election, or what party you are involved with, or if you have ever voted before, and it really doesn’t matter.  What DOES matter is this:


A lot of women worked very hard for a long time to give you the right to vote this November.


You owe it to them, as well as to you, your generation, and the next generation to come, to exercise that right.  Vote for your granddaughters and your great-granddaughters, and they will one day have what we have yet to win:  True Equality.




Why I am a Feminist



I am sure that most of my friends and readers here know that I am a Feminist. To tell the truth I have been a feminist, a card carrying, marching, picketing, stand up for women’s rights feminists, since the seventies.  I went to the library and found a book about the Witch Trials in Europe, a subject I had not had mentioned to me in school. Well, I read and read. I went back to the library and took out all of the books they had on the subject. I read all of those and ordered every other one they could get for me. I ended this reading binge by transforming into a feminist. Over six million women and children were killed, tortured, drown, burned alive, raped, humiliated because they had a knack for healing, they knew a lot about herbs and they were good with animals. So, they were killed, murdered, tortured to death, made to confess to things that just weren’t true. For instance, they did not consort with the devil.


My eyes snapped open and I suddenly realized that I saw sexism everywhere. Men, most but not all, thrived on it and women and children are killed by it. Even here in America, I realized that we were not considered equal to men. Men were abusing women every 11 seconds and rape was rampant because everyone knew “women really wanted it”. “No” meant nothing. Women who were brassy enough to go out and get a job were considered weird.


Suddenly, women were talking about wanting to be mothers and workers. They wanted to go back to school. They didn’t want to be punched, kicked, shoved, raped, or emotionally humiliated anymore. Groups of women began to form where women could talk to each other about what was happening in their lives. Then they began to realize that they were making $0.64 for every $1.00 and man made at the same job.


Well, those of us who considered themselves to be feminists, marched, debated and voted to make life more equitable for women and children. We ran Domestic Violence shelters,  and Rape Crises Centers; we educated younger women about safe sex and that no one had the right to tell any of us what to do with our bodies. I had to get written permission from my first husband to have a tubal ligation in 1972. I was a grown woman and I had to ask if I could do  what I wanted with my body. These are just a few of the reasons I am a feminist. I am proud to be a feminist and will die a feminist. When I find young women who think the issues through, I am excited to assist in any way that I can.



Before you leave tonight, look around my blog. You may find somethings that speak to you. Blessings to all.

We are Love. No ticket required

We are Love. No ticket required. Feminists don’t hate men, we love being women and want to be respected for the Phenomenal Women that we are!

Woman's mask made out of leather.

              Woman’s mask made out of leather.

The Need for equality

Every woman is equal to everyone else no matter what country she lives in.

Every woman is equal to everyone else no matter what country she lives in.


Love is not Concerned

love is not concerned
with whom you pray
or where you slept
the night you ran away from home
love is concerned that the beating of your heart
should kill no one.” —-Alice Walker, novelist, poet and feminist

Women survive so much in life. There are so many sources for what damages women. Child abuse, hunger as a child, looking different, rape, domestic violence, child birth, child loss. Illness, toxic work environments, sexual harassment, being left for a younger woman, parents to take care of, knowing you can’t make as much as a man does. verbal abuse and emotional abuse. I will stop with keeping thin, showing no gray in your hair, being enthusiastic all the time and support. There has never been a generation of women that weren’t damaged and continued to function to the best of their abilities. For every feminist man out there in the world who has helped a woman, been kind when she really needed it, or who loved her despite her imperfections, you stand out in this world. Be you American or French, or Chinese or Brazilian; on behalf of all women, I say thank you. You are very special.

“Too many things are occurring for even a big heart to hold.”
—-From an essay by W. B. Yeats

The Big Heart

Big heart,
wide as a watermelon,
but wise as birth,
there is so much abundance in the people I have
Max, Lois, Joe, Louise,
Joan, Marie, Dawn,
Arlene, Father Dunne, and all in their short lives
give to me repeatedly, in the way the sea
places its many fingers on the shore,
again and again
and they know me,
they help me unravel,
they listen with ears made of conch shells,
they speak back with the wine of the best region.
They are my staff
They comfort me.

They hear how
the artery of my soul has been severed
and soul is spurting out upon them,
bleeding on them,
messing up their clothes,
dirtying their shoes
And God is filling me,
though there are times of doubt
as hollow as the Grand Canyon,
still God is filling me.
He is giving me the thoughts of dogs, the spider in its intricate web,
the sun
in all its amazement,
and a slain ram
that is the glory,
the mystery of great cost,
and my heart,
which is very big,
I promise it is very large,
a monster of sorts,
takes it all in——
all in comes the fury of love.” ——-Anne Sexton, poet and feminist

Young women marching to :take back the night:

Young women marching to :take back the night:

Feminist and First Lady of The United States of America

Feminist and First Lady of The United States of America

Quote by poetess Maya Angeloe

Quote by poetess Maya Angeloe

Feminist and author The reason I became a feminist.

Feminist and author
Of the book The Feminine Mystique



Books Banned Here in America

Toni Morrison is a feminist and a writer

Toni Morrison, feminist and writer

Alabama State Senator Bill Holtzclaw has come out against a  book written by Toni Morrison, a Nobel Prize winner in Literature.. GOP members criticized him for opposing a repeal of the federal Common Core standards. Ms. Morrison’s  book is The Bluest Eye. The Bluest Eye is on the 11th grade reading list for the Common Core, a set of standards that has been adapted by more than 40 states.

The Common Core is the federal Department of Education’s effort to make American schools more competitive on the world stage and  to be standardized across states. It began as  bipartisan–governors and state superintendents brought together a panel of experts to write the standards, which focus on critical thinking as opposed to rote memorization. By last summer,forty five states and the District of Columbia had adopted the standards.

The Bluest Eye

The Bluest Eye

Implementation of the standardized tests associated with Core are tough. In early August, less than a third of New York students passed the tests.The Democrats, still feel with time that students will have better critical thinking and deep analytical skills. It does seem that fighting over one book is not a way to accomplish their goals.

The Atlanta Media Group was told by Hotzclaw that the book is objectionable for everything its language to the plot of this story. Ms. Morrison wrote this book in 1970 and libraries have intermittently attempted to ban it since it was written. The plot contains the details of a rape.

Rape is happening more and more often and conservatives are trying to reduce the importance of rape. Calling date rape or spousal rape or any other type of rape a lessor act and not as violating a form of rape is demeaning and hurtful to women. Rape is actually a crime of power and control and women are not owned by men.  THerefore, any sex that is not consensual — that a woman has not willingly consented to without threat or coercion – is rape.

Speak up and write, call, and sign petitions to prevent the banning of books. We are in America and we have free speech. Our Founding Fathers felt that free speech was vital to the success of this country. Historically, the banning of books is a precursor to oppression and the elimination of basic freedoms.   Historcially, book banning leads to book burning.  Hundreds of years ago, there were huge book burnings.   This predated the Dark Ages. 70 years ago, book burnings began again, in Nazi Germany

Don’t let anyone tell you what to read or think. Education and the ability to think critically is vital for the American people.,,and the world

Ms. Morrison on Time magazine cover

Ms. Morrison on Time magazine cover

The Big Heart

War destroys the childhoods of children.

War destroys the childhoods of children.

” Big heart,
wide as a watermelon,
but wise as birth,
there is so much abundance
in the people I have
Max, Lois, Joe, Louise,
Joan, Marie, Dawn, Arlene,
Father Dunne,
and all in their short lives
give to me repeatedly,
in the way the sea
places its many fingers on the shore,
again and again
and they know me,
they help me unravel,
they listen  with ears made of conch shells,
they speak back with the wind of the best region.
They are my staff.
They comfort me.

They hear how
the artery of my soul has been severed
and soul is spurting out upon them,
bleeding on them,
messing up their clothes,
dirtying their shoes
And God is filling me.
though there are times of doubt
as hollow as the Grand Canyon,
still God filling me
He is giving me the thoughts of dogs,
the spider in its intricate web,
the sun
in all its amazement,
and a slain ram
that is the glory,
the mystery of great cost,
and my heart,
which is very big,
I promise it is very large,
a monster of sorts,
takes it all in—–
as in comes he fury of love.”
——–Anne Sexton, feminist writer and poet

Bass Museum sculpture Photo and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio; 2013

Bass Museum sculpture; South Beach, Florida
Photograph taken and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio; 2013

Unity of All

Deepok Chopra's wisdom

Deepok Chopra’s wisdom

Each of us has a story. Some of them are happy, some are about rising above tragedy, some are so sad that the heart is torn open and bleeding. I love history and still read a lot of history and biographies. I seek to know the world better. To understand more and how to avoid some of the toxic situations.

Mysticism is a way to rise about all that has hurt, scarred or tortured us in our pasts. Mystics from various traditions have in common the experience of feeling at one with all that exists. Spirit prevails if we look for it. Mystic writers acknowledge the oneness of everyone, the absolute lack of separation of the mystic religions. The mystics show us that when we see others as being “them” instead of part of us, hatred and violence are the results.

I am going to share excerpts from Marge Piercy’s poem with you. It is called

The Sabbath of Mutual Respect

Habondia, the real abundance, is the power
to say yes and to say no, to open
and to close, to take or to leave
and not to be taken by force or law
or fear or poverty or hunger.
To bear children or not to bear by choice
is holy. To bear children unwanted is to be used like a public sewer. To be sterilized unchosen is to have
your heart cut out. To love women
is holy and holy is the free love of men
and precious to live taking whichever comes
and precious to live unmated as a peachtree.

Praise the lives you did not choose.

They will heal you, tell your story, fight

for you. You eat the bread of their labor

You drink the wine of their joy. I tell you

after I went under the surgeon’s knife

for the laparoscopy I felt like a trumpet

an Amazon was blowing sonorous charges on

Then my womb learned to open on the full

moon without pain and my pleasure deepened

till my body shuddered like troubled water.

When my friend gave birth I held her in joy

as the child’s head thrust from her vagina

like the sun rising as dawn wet and red.

Praise our choices, sisters, for each doorway

open to us was taken by squads of fighting

women who paid years of trouble and struggle,

who paid their wombs, their sleep, their lives

that we might walk through these gates upright.

Doorways are sacred to women for we

are the doorways of life and we must choose

what comes in and what goes out. Freedom

is our real abundance.

——–Marge Piercy, feminist writer and poet

“The purpose of poetry is to remind us how difficult it is to remain just one person, for our house is open, there are no keys in the doors.”

—-Czeslaw Milosz

sciulpture on cruise ship

Some sculpture is so beautiful it opens the heart and the heart breathes the beauty as if it were oxygen. Photo and copyright by Barbara Mattio

Turning Around and Finding Sixty or Seventy

One Woman, One World,  Regardless of Age

One Woman, One World,Regardless of Age

We were busy living our lives, falling in and out of love, going to concerts, learning about ourselves, dressing up for parties, studying new things such as womens’ issues, people coming into our lives and leaving, and making ethical decisions for our lives. So here we are. We stop one day and to our surprise we are in our sixties or seventies. Whoa. What happened? That young woman is still here but when you look  into a mirror you see someone else. You see the crone.

The Goddess based religions revere the Crone as the holder of the wisdom of life. The three stages of a woman’s life cycle include maiden, mother and crone. For me, I looked in the mirror one day and couldn’t find myself. Then some health issues occurred and I realized that I was 21 on the inside but this corporal body had aged while I wasn’t looking. Shocking! How did it happen?

I really floundered for a while, almost a year before I could realize that it was all a part of the cycle of life. What should I do with my life? The rest of my life. I decided I would not sit and wait for death. When it arrived, it arrived but I would do anything I could to continue making the world better. I would see what life still had in store for me.

Life does this to all of us; male or female. We must embrace ourselves and keep on living and loving and working for this One World that we have.

‘I speak without concern for the accusations
that I am too much or too little woman
that I am too Black or too white
or too much myself.”
———-Audre Lorde; poetess and feminist

Quote from Maya Angelou

Quote from Maya Angelou

Women who are “of an age” still have a lot to give to this world and to their countries. We may not have all the energy we used to, but we continue to be passionate about Mother Earth, peace, women’s issues. Don’t let anyone tell you to slow down. If your body is telling you to slow down, take care of yourself and find the things you can still do. Don’t give up, find another way.

“Women in business
Dress in man-style suits
And treat their secretaries
In a man-style way.

Women on campus
Wear “masculine” thoughts
And look to daddy for
Good grades.

Married women
Give their bodies away
And wear their husbands’

Religious women
Cover sinful bodies
And ask redemption from god
Not knowing
She is within them.

That’s why I’ll always love
The fat woman who dares to wear
A red miniskirt
Because she loves her woman’s body.
The smart woman who doesn’t go to college
And keeps possession of her mind.
The lover who remains a mistress
Because she knows the price of marrying.
The witch who walks naked
And demands to be safe.
The crazy woman who dyes her hair purple
Because anyone who doesn’t love purple
Is crazy.

Dear Goddess: I pray for the courage
To walk naked
At any age
To wear red and purple.
To be unladylike,
Scandalous and
To the very end.”
—–Gloria Steinam

No matter how old you are, walk your truth

No matter how old you are, walk your truth

All life has meaning, even if you don't see it.

All life has meaning, even if you don’t see it.