Why It Matters that Pence won’t have dinner with a woman not his wife


Why It Matters That Pence Won’t Have Dinner With A Woman Who Isn’t His Wife

In Pence’s worldview, men have no self-control, and women are either temptresses or guardians of virtue.

GETTY/TWITTER

A recent Washington Post profile of Second Lady Karen Pence, wife of Vice President Mike Pence, uncovered an interesting detail about their extremely close relationship. Pence reportedly told The Hill in 2002 that “he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won’t attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side.”

This tidbit caused a small uproar on Twitter, with some praising Pence for respecting his wife and his marriage…

If you laugh at Pence for respecting his marriage, it’s probably because you’ve never been in a healthy one

…and others pointing out that, perhaps there are reasons outside of a sexually or emotionally untoward encounter to go out to dinner with someone. Maybe you have a friend who isn’t the same gender as you! Or maybe you work with people of different genders, and you sometimes attend professional dinners with them!

A whole swath of America thinks men and women don’t work together and can’t be friends. https://twitter.com/strandleper/status/847437292717318144 

The way Mike Pence and his wife mutually define a respectful marriage is up to them. But there are two reasons that this revelation about the Pences’ relationship set off such a firestorm online. First, the religious guidelines that govern what “respect” means to the Pences are part of a system that works to prop up male power and keep women subordinate. And second, VP Pence is not just a man with a wife, he’s the second most powerful person governing the nation ― which means that the way he views women in his personal life could have bearing on the way he sees American women writ large.

The no-eating-with-another-woman rule was first made popular by evangelical pastor Billy Graham in 1948, as part of the “Modesto Manifesto.” According to the Christian History Institute:

The most famous provision of the manifesto called for each man on the Graham team never to be alone with a woman other than his wife. Graham, from that day forward, pledged not to eat, travel, or meet with a woman other than Ruth unless other people were present. This pledge guaranteed Graham’s sexual probity and enabled him to dodge accusations that have waylaid evangelists before and since.

The provision, which came to be known as The Billy Graham Rule, allowed Graham to use his dashing looks to his advantage without cultivating an over-sexualized persona that other evangelicals might not have taken kindly to. (There are some Muslims who adhere to a similar only-dine-with-wives-and-relatives guideline, though one can assume such a disclosure would not elicit such a strong defense from the right.)

PICTORIAL PARADE VIA GETTY IMAGES
American evangelist Billy Graham and his wife Ruth. New York, New York, May 18, 1966.

This history makes it all-the-more clear that this do-not-dine-with-women rule is predicated on the idea that the company of women is always first and foremost about sex.

There is nothing disrespectful about a committed person having a meal with a friend or colleague who is not the same gender as they are ― unless one is to assume that any interaction not under the watchful eye of a spouse would inevitably lead to infidelity. In this worldview, men have no self-control, and women are either temptresses or guardians of virtue.

The underpinnings of this belief system are what allow men to view women as “other” rather than equal. They allow some to rationalize that female victims of sexual violence “asked for it” because they wore “provocative” clothing, and others (including our president) to believe that assault is a natural outcome of putting men and women together in a high-pressure environment like the military. These belief systems are what create male-dominated work environments where women are viewed as sexualized distractions or cut out of the office culture altogether.

Is the Vice President of the United States able to see any woman as his contemporary, rather than a potential threat to his marriage?

The ability to refuse to be alone with someone who is not the same gender as you and still climb the professional ladder is a privilege that is simply not afforded to women. Imagine if Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris or Nancy Pelosi refused to attend political functions where alcohol was served without their husbands in tow to supervise them. Imagine if they never took one-on-one meetings with potential campaign managers or fellow lawmakers who happened to be men. These women’s careers would have been over before they started.

To be a successful woman in an industry where men still make up the majority of power brokers means working with men. It means fighting for a spot at the table, and accepting that, sometimes, you may be the only woman there.

Is there a single successful female politician who could say she refuses to have have dinner with men alone? Lol no. She couldn’t.

Perhaps VP Pence has made exceptions to his 2002 marital rule in the intervening years. But as Mother Jones Editor-in-Chief Clara Jeffery pointed out on Twitter, following this rule to its logical conclusion would mean that Pence’s ability to meet with and work with women would be severely limited.

Can he have a professional lunch with Kellyanne Conway or Nikki Haley or Ivanka Trump without viewing it as a marital betrayal? Is he open to hiring women into positions of power on his staff ― specifically positions that require consistent contact? Is the Vice President of the United States able to see any woman as his contemporary, rather than a potential threat to his marriage?

I don’t doubt that Pence has a deep regard for his wife. What is worrisome is the idea that the principles that govern his marriage could be used to govern the country.

How to Truly Make America Great Again


Many people are calling for us to give Trump a chance; to not condemn him for what he said on the campaign trail, and for what he’s done since he won the election:  for the Twitter rants and for the nominations he’s made, appointing people who seem both unqualified for the office assigned, and who in many cases have long espoused views in direct contradiction to the roles of the departments they have been proposed to head.

But I, and many others, cannot overlook either his words or his actions. For so many of us it is not about politics, as some have suggested; it is about what his administration brings to our country. The misogyny, the racism, the discrimination of immigrants (Muslims and others), anti-semitic views, and the general bigotry he prescribes to. We are one country, but if we descend into hating people we go against the very principles that our Founding Fathers crafted in our great constitution.

If we don’t take a stand to protect others in our country, we will lose the fundamental precepts that we were founded upon. That is why many of us are resisting Trump, his views and words go against all we believe in. To care about others and to act on that care is vital to what our democracy stands for and what the Founding Fathers dreamed of.

In reality, hate crimes have gone up since the election, synagogues are being threatened,the poor are being disparaged, the disabled are being mocked, immigrants are being threatened (the country was founded by Europeans and they killed the indigenous people which makes us great hypocrites). Immigrants are the richness that has fed America through the centuries. They brought to America their skills, dreams and hard work and are part of the reason America is great.

Yes, I realize that this isn’t what Trump says, but based upon my beliefs and others, America is still great. America gives everyone the ability to dream and work hard and move up in our society. America, because of the influence of many immigrants, is still the place that you can work to make yourself rise above where you were born in the social structure of your country of their birth. America is also the country where others care about your education, health, losses, accomplishments and ability to work for yourself and your family, The desire for our children to become more than what we are is paramount to the American dream.

America is not perfect. Hatred is a great deal of the reason why. For instance, because the Founding Fathers could not come to any type of a decision on slavery, they postponed that decision until a future generation would be able to come to a moral and ethical solution. We ended up freeing the slaves during the Civil War. Has America provided minorities equality and the same opportunities that white people have? No. The racism that stumped The Founding Fathers and that crippled the South for many years is still a problem.

As Americans, we must look at the bigotry, racism, and sexism that dwells within our hearts and souls. We need to be honest with ourselves, face it head on, and overcome the desire to blame others for what is not right in our lives. Black people, Jews, and women are not the reason you find your life lacking. They are not the reason you lost your job or don’t have health insurance, or don’t have the family you always dreamed of. But other caring Americans can help and give you support. Often, others can and would advise you, give you a hand, or just assist in ways you can determine.

America has never been perfect but we have continued to try. We haven’t tried hard enough and there are people whose lives can testify to that. Education, hard work and being honest with ourselves will take us to what we desire. By being responsible for all of our actions we negate the habit to blame others for our losses and disappointments.

America must realize that while we are great, we each need to love our fellow citizens despite their religion, color, gender, education level, and socio-economic place in our society. Only then we can rise together to fulfill our dreams and to make America the best it can possibly be.

 

america_3vbh0jh

Egypt to toughen penalties on Female Genital Mutilation


 

FGM or female genital mutilation is difficult to end. It has been happening for centuries and it is very entrenched in the culture of Middle Eastern countries. It is something pushed by the men in many families and the village rulers. They feel they will have more control over a woman who is unable to enjoy sex. Husbands feel that their wives will be more faithful when they are away.

 

Some men have their wives sewn shut except for a small hole for them to pee through. When he returns the stitches are removed until the next time.

 

This is a very frightening and painful operation. It is not done in a hospital but in the hut of the medicine woman. The mother takes the girl even if she is screaming and crying. The mother knows what will happen because it was done to her.

 

In most of the countries that FGM is practiced a man will not marry a girl unless she has had this atrocity done. Creating laws and enforcing them is very important to stopping this terrible practice. Education of leaders and parents is also important.

 

Some families have come to America and brought FGM with them and there are some doctors in the U.S. who will perform it. It is illegal here in America and doctors will go to prison.

 

It seems so barbaric and controlling to mutilate a little girl like this. I am glad Egypt is creating laws to forbid it and they are enforcing them.

 

Soon may no little girls have to worry about FGM ever again.

 

Namaste

Barbara

 

BJSquiggel

 

 

 

The horrible practice of genital mutilation

The horrible practice of genital mutilation

 

 

Female genital mutilation: Egypt to toughen penalties

  • 29 August 2016
  •  BBC News
This education video aims to change views of FGM in Egypt, reports Orla Guerin

Egyptian authorities are to increase the penalty for those who force women into genital mutilation (FGM).

The statutory prison term recommended for offenders had ranged from between three months and three years.

The cabinet has approved plans to impose jail terms of between five and seven years, with harsher sentences if the procedure leads to death or deformity.

FGM has been illegal in Egypt since 2008 but it remains widespread.

The procedure involves the partial or full removal of the external sex organs, ostensibly to control women’s sexuality.

It is practiced by both Muslims and Christians in a number of African countries and in parts of the Middle East.

In May, an Egyptian teenager who had undergone FGM died of complications, prompting the UN to call on Egypt for tougher action.

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

 

We_Can_Do_It!

 

multitask_2071553b

 

images

 

possible doctor

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

 

 

bjwordpressdivider

 

 

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.

BJWordPressDivider

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

BJWordPressDivider

“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

BJWordPressDivider

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.