19 June 2016

a how - to lesson: how to .not. become, Father, a domestic terrorist inside her home / life

"You'll help me bury my son."

1:13:36 of Son of Saul, y2015

 Letter to a Young Man

By Kevin Powell, special to Utne Reader
[W H O A ! This ? This is a MUST - KNOW ! & ya' don't get to whine back.

" ... ... when you're down to your last shuck
with nothin' to sell."
"Ride me down easy, Lord. 
Ride me on down. 
Leave word in the dust
where I lay." 

--- the lovely lyrics
of Mr Billy Joe Shaver's
from out the larynx
o'm'Darlin' Mr Waylon Jennings = 'twas, with Mr Jennings,
.always.always. about the song ! O, the song ! 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XS3IE3ktJ8 ]

DEAR SAM:

I have read the very open and very fearless email you sent to me several times since it first arrived a few months ago. I know we have met in person, and had a good talk about life, about manhood; but something of your words on my computer has been shadowing me, whispering to me time and again that you deserve a greater response, that I need to give you the sort of exchange I wish an older man had had with me when I was in my very early 20s, as you are now.

I am humbled by your words, by your thoughts that I have somehow figured out this thing called manhood, that I am leading a movement to redefine how we men and boys see ourselves, this world, how we relate to women and girls on this earth. No, Sam, I do not have it figured out, not even close, nor am I leading any movement. I remain a very imperfect human being, a very imperfect man.

As I creep toward my fifth decade of life I do know now,Boys more than ever, that how we in America, and across the globe, have come to define manhood is absolutely destructive to us, to women and girls, and to our planet. There is no other way to say it, Sam. I did not know any of this when I was growing up as a boy in New Jersey where I was born and raised. My father and mother never married, I had no father figure or role model to speak of my first eighteen  years, so I sought out male images wherever I could find them: on television, in movies, in books, at church, while playing sports formally and informally, and on the streets of Jersey City, my hometown. In each and every single one of those spaces I was taught, as a child, as a teenager, as a young man where you are now, Sam, that manhood was about competition, survival of the fittest, domination, winning at all costs, and, yes, violence. Women and girls, well, they were reduced to a few basic roles: mother and caretaker, sex object and girlfriend and wife. Some men, Sam, will say I am making these things up, that I exaggerate, but I am not. Just think of what you, I, we, all of us, have been taught from the moment we had thoughts, about what a boy is, about what a man is, and how those ideas were amplified and spread, over and over, in pretty much every area I’ve named.

I wish I could say I was not affected by any of this, but I was, Sam. My father, the original male figure in my life, was mostly ghost, but I did see him a few times until I was 8 years old. He grudgingly came around on three separate occasions, because of my mother’s pleas, to buy me a watch, a bicycle, and to take me on a ride in his tractor-trailer truck. In that vehicle my jaw dropped when I saw endless pictures of nude women taped everywhere. My father laughed heartily, thought it funny that I was so red-faced, and said I would understand one day.

Yes, Sam, I was learning sexism very early on, that women are there for our pleasure, any time we want them to be, including when I became a teenager and imagined myself making it with a girl who the boys in the ‘hood called “Whorey Dorey” because she, allegedly, had had sex with most of us homies. No one ever questioned if this was true or not. The boys said it, so it must be so.
Kevin Powell 
Same with how we ran through grade school and high school grabbing, uninvited, the blossoming body parts of our girl classmates. Combine this with the fact that my education about women and girls, kindergarten through high school graduation, might have totaled two or three pages. Little wonder, Sam, that I, that we, become men who disrespect women and girls, who have a reckless scorn for women and girls, who do not view women and girls as our equals, who molest, assault, hit, beat, stab, shoot, rape, and kill women and girls, just because. Most of us know so very little about the lives of women and girls, including our own family members. That gross mis-education is gross ignorance. Ignorance can easily become hatred, and fear, and we know that hatred and fear can become violence and destruction in multiple ways.

LIKE YOU, SAM, college was both a very enlightening and highly confusing period for me. It was there that I began to find my voice, as a leader, as a writer, and where I began to think earnestly about my identity. But it was also during my college years where my sexual life, first time ever, was rampant and irresponsible. I claimed to respect women leaders on campus but undermined them whenever I felt my manhood and my authority threatened; and it was there at Rutgers University where I was violent, on a couple of occasions, toward a woman student, including getting kicked out of college, short of graduation, for flashing a knife on a female campus leader.

Truth be told, Sam, every bit of my behavior was inevitable. I come from violence, experienced it as a child, so it’s not surprising that I would become violent as an adult. But deeper still is the reality that I had no clear idea what a man was, or was suppose to be. So I just imitated what was around me—in my community, on that college campus, in popular culture. My single mother did the best she could, in her own way, and whatever kind of man I am today I owe to my mom. But I was also terribly puzzled whenever she would say, in one breath, “Don’t be like your father!” and declared in another, “You are just like your father!”

This is where I come from, Sam: the bottom of society, where male role models are woefully missing in action. It puts you in a sort of male prison, forever knocking your head against invisible bars as you stumble through life hoping the answers you are seeking will manifest.

You, Sam, come from privilege, from a wealthySlut walkfamily, you have a father, and many other male relatives in your life. But something in you has rung a mighty loud alarm, just like an alarm was rung for me, a few years after college, when an argument with a live-in girlfriend led me to push her, in a state of rage, into our bathroom door. My alarm went off instantly, the moment that girlfriend darted from our apartment in fear for her safety. For I had become what my mother had warned me not to be: a no-good man, just like my father…

Your life of privilege, allegedly, means your life should be different, Sam, that you would be exposed to new and expansive ideas, that you would not be typical, that men like you would not be the same as me. But, alas, I have learned, since that fateful day with the bathroom door, that destructive manhood in America, or globally, does not care about your race or color or culture; nor does it care about your money or class or status. I have learned that manhood, the twisted and debilitating definitions of manhood most of us have been given, links us as closely as the wild branches of a poplar tree.

This is because much of the history we’ve been taught is about violent men that we label “explorers” and “settlers” and “pioneers” and “warriors.” This is because we learned more about war than we ever learned about peace. This is because women have been conveniently left out of our educations, with a few exceptions like Betsy Ross or Emily Dickinson or Marie Curie or Helen Keller or Eleanor Roosevelt or Rosa Parks. This is because we see violent and abusive men in so many forms, be it the bluster and bravado of a Donald Trump, or the shock and awe of ISIS or Boko Haram, or homegrown terrorists we call mass shooters in America. This is because sexism, patriarchy, misogyny are as natural to us as breathing; why we see, every time the Super Bowl rolls around, men engaging in sex trafficking of young girls in that game’s host city, or men here there everywhere trafficking in domestic violence under the guise of enjoying the big game.

And this is why women and girls I meet and speak with and listen to in all 50 states I have visited in America, and in my trips to five of the seven continents—women and girls of every race and color and culture and class—speak louder and louder about the violence and abuse they suffer or have suffered at the hands of us men and boys. It is rampant, Sam, that violence against women and girls, that definition of manhood that says to be a man, a boy, is to be a brutal and dangerous terror to ourselves, to those women and girls.
Kevin Powell 
In spite of these indisputable facts, I have heard some men take offense with the things I say, or suggest I am pandering to women and girls, or that I exaggerate greatly. Just the other day I posted something on Facebook about my lack of respect for able-bodied men who take advantage of single women, including single mothers, by preying on their money, their homes, their cars and other material items, their kindness, their loneliness, and their love. One man in particular felt the need to go on and on about how women do these things to men, too. That was not my point, and I am the first to say that no one, regardless of gender or gender identity, should ever want to be in any kind of relationship that is not healthy and loving.

BUT WHAT I HAVE NOTICED, Sam, is that whenever I post things about the behavior of us men and boys, it never fails that a male will jump on my Facebook page or Twitter timeline and blast women, as a knee-jerk reaction. This, Sam, is the height of sexism, of oppression. It takes great courage and great vision for us who are self-defined as men to begin to hear the voices of women and girls. The easy thing to do is say to women and girls it is their fault. If they had watched their mouths, or their attitudes, if they had not dressed a certain way, or been in a certain place at a certain time, or had not drank that alcohol or taken that drug, then maybe what happened to them would not have happened.

What we men are essentially saying, Sam, is that it is OK to damage the lives of women and girls, because this is just how boys and men are, and because, well, girls and women helped these things to happen. That it is mad cool, OK, the norm, to blame women and girls for the things men and boys do to them. This is the logic I have heard at lectures and workshops I have given on college campuses, at faith-based institutions, at community centers, in corporate America, from elected officials and other leaders, with professional and amateur male athletes, with musical artists and other entertainers, from certain public intellectuals, and in prisons.

This is the logic I even hear with far too many manhood or male development campaigns, where grown men talk with the younger men and boys about everything—except sexism, patriarchy, misogyny, and definitions of manhood that destroy the bodies and self-esteems of women and girls. This is why, Sam, 25 years or so after pushing my then-girlfriend into that bathroom door—and thanks to years of therapy and spiritual healing circles—my life is not only dedicated to redefining manhood, my own, yours, all of ours, away from this mindset, but also why I cannot support any rite-of-passage or mentorship program, or any other kind of male group that does not take a very serious stand consistently against sexism and the violation and abuse of women and girls.

Again, I do not pretend to be a perfect man,Silence hides violencenot even remotely. But, Sam, when you have spent time, as I have through these many years, visiting battered women’s shelters, or fielding one email or phone call after another from a woman or young girl seeking help because she is either trapped in an abusive situation or has just escaped one, you begin to develop a massive empathy and compassion for what it is to be a woman or girl. We will never know what women and girls experience, Sam, nor should we ever say we do. But we can listen. And we can truly hear their voices. And we can truly begin to care. And we can truly become allies to women and girls, if we have the courage to do so.

I thought of this when my assistant, a young woman about your age, Sam, said to me upon beginning her employment a year ago, that she really had no reason to trust men based on her experiences, that she had never worked with a man in this way before. It was jarring to hear, quite difficult to hear, but who am I to deny her life and her life experiences? I could either be a different kind of man, or I could be the stereotype of a sexist male employer who bullies, who insults, who sexually harasses.

This also means that I have a responsibility to be aware always; that I have duly noted how many women and young girls, for example, I have met in my life who are the survivors of some form of sexual violence or assault. One in four in America, Sam, and one in three on the planet earth, or over one billion. Can you imagine if that many men and boys were able to say the same thing? Because of how we favor and side with men and boys in every single way, those kinds of statistics would be cause for an international effort instantly. But because it is women and girls, we drag our feet, we resist and ignore those stats, we make excuses why we cannot get involved around gender issues, and we blame the women and girls whenever we deem it appropriate.

Meanwhile, the hatred and venom so many of us feel for women and girls is everywhere: on social media, in our music, in pop culture, in our religious institutions, in politics. Whether people support Hillary Clinton or not is beside the point. Fact is, Mrs. Clinton has been subjected to a level of hatred, in spite of her background and qualifications to be president, completely unseen when it comes to men. As much as I may agree more with the politics of Bernie Sanders, there’s no denying that some of the so-called progressive men who support Bernie can barely contain their sexism when attacking Hillary. We focus on her trustworthiness, her demeanor, her tone, her attitude, her language, her hair, her clothes, yet we rarely if ever say those things about male politicians. But when you are living in a male-dominated world, and dealing with male-dominated spaces, this is the result: pure animosity toward a woman for who we think she is, as opposed to regarding her as a whole human being.

A LOT OF MEN say things to me like they would never hit or beat or rape or assault or stab or shoot or set on fire or outright kill a woman. (Yes, Sam, I have heard every variation of these kinds of tales, tragically.) My response is always the same: Violence and control and domination are not just physical, they can also be verbal or mental or spiritual or financial, too. And, even if you are not the kind of man who would ever touch women without permission, or would ever say inappropriate things to women or girls in public, on the streets, or behind closed doors; even if you are not the kind of man who would ever engage in any form of violence and control and domination against a woman or girl, but there are men who do—in your family, in your network, in your fraternity, on your sports team, at your religious institution, at your company or place of work—and you say nothing about it, then you, we, are just as guilty of sexist behavior toward women and girls as those perpetrators. The silence of men in the face of sexism is an agreement that it is OK to oppress and abuse and attack women and girls whenever we feel like it.

On an intimate level, Sam, I think about my mother, what she has survived in her own life. We, as men, if we truly want to understand what we must do, can start by absorbing the stories of the women nearest to us. My mother is now in her early 70s, a senior citizen, a woman who has endured the harshness of the American South and the harshness of the American North. She is a woman who once tried to give her love to a man but was used and betrayed, tossed aside like unwanted trash, and told, by my father, when he felt he could, that she had lied to him, that I was not, in fact, his son. I listened for years, Sam, while my mother and my Aunt Cathy, at their kitchen-table summits, would talk about men, how most of us, they agreed, were no good. I was a boy absorbing those words even as I went into my young manhood seeking guidance and help. Those words came back to me as I battled with my demons, my dysfunctions, trying to figure out how to free myself of the male prison I had been stuck in, quite literally, since birth.

Speaking with you the one time we sat down, Sam, reminded me that none of us are immune from destructive definitions of manhood. You have a father and I do not. I do not know your father, but for whatever reason you sought me out to discuss this, and, again, I am honored you did. It is also not lost on me that your aunt sent a previous blog post I wrote about sexism in America to the men in your family. I now understand what she herself has been through with betrayal, in spite of her own privilege. It does not truly matter—that privilege, your lot in life—if another human being or people do not recognize you for the full person you are. My mother once was the help to a rich family. When alone with her, the husband chose to sit on a chair across from my mother, in a robe, with his penis and testicles revealed. It is a miracle my mother escaped that situation without being assaulted, or raped. I am sure your aunt and the many women in your family, Sam, can attest to what it feels like to be so blatantly disrespected by men, simply because they are women.
Kevin Powell 
I will not waste a lot of time on Donald Trump here. He is too easy to criticize because he has a portfolio full of patriarchal, sexist, and misogynistic actions and words. Donald Trump is merely a symptom of the big problem of sexism in this world. He is merely the latest poster boy for its ugliness, its vileness, joining the likes of sexist men like Woody Allen and Bill Cosby and any random professional male athlete or male celebrity or male politician any given week. As for Trump, it does not matter if some women say The Donald has empowered them. What matters is the consistency of what we say and do, in public, in private, when many are looking and listening, and when none are looking and listening at all. I think of this much, Sam, as I travel the country, as I think about my own male privilege, as a writer, as a speaker, as an activist in service to our communities. How easy it would be to bed one woman after another, to exploit my station in life. Again, I am a very imperfect man, Sam. It does not mean I do not think certain things, or feel certain things. Most important I think about my soul, my spirit, what kind of man I want to be for the rest of my life. And I think about what kind of commitment I have made to myself, to the people who say they trust me, who say they believe in me—

And, Sam, this is what you must think about as well. You have your entire life ahead of you, my friend. Strip away whatever wealth and privilege you might have and you are still a man who must find himself, on his own terms. No one can do this for you. You must struggle with every fiber of your being to be your own man, Sam, to be a very different man. The fact that you sent me that email saying you want to go a new path, that you have been questioning the definitions of manhood you have been given, is refreshing and it is revolutionary. If we can get more younger and older men like you, Sam, then there is the movement you want to see. And if more men of all backgrounds make a pledge to unlearn what we have been taught, and read and study the women I was told, by women, to read, like bell hooks, like Eve Ensler, like Ntozake Shange, like Gloria Steinem, like Pearl Cleage, like Audre Lorde, and countless others, we may one day get a body of writings and ideas, from men like you, Sam, that will transform this entire world.

I say this to say, Sam, please do not make the mistakes I made, if you have not yet. Do not hurt or sabotage or imprison yourself, Sam, and please do not hurt women and girls, or men and boys, either. Violence in any form should be absolutely unacceptable to you as a man.

What I am requesting, Sam, is please be different, please be free, please continue to be unafraid to explore manhood from all angles. Learn from men and boys of every race and culture, and have the courage, as a straight man, to even learn from men who may be gay or bisexual or transgender. There are lessons everywhere, if we are willing to look, if we are willing to listen. As a straight man myself, I know what gay men like James Baldwin have given to my life, just by how they lived their lives, with no apologies. And I also know what I have gotten from straight heroes of mine, like Malcolm X and Bobby Kennedy, men who were also very imperfect, but who were also fearless and bold in the way they constantly remixed and evolved and questioned themselves, right to the very ends of their very short lives.

This is the kind of commitment we men need to make to ourselves: to live a life of peace, of love, of respect for women and girls as our equals as our equals as our equals, because they are, Sam—they really are. And if we can move in that direction, if we men and boys can, with humility, become allies to women and girls, then maybe we can rid the world of sexism once and for all. Because that sexism, that rape culture, that hatred and violence toward women and girls, Sam, will not end until we men and boys make it end

Your brother & friend,
Kevin

The Education of Kevin Powell
Kevin Powell is a writer, public speaker, and activist. He is the author of 12 books, including his critically acclaimed new autobiography The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey into Manhood (Atria Books/Simon & Schuster). Read his piece on race in America from our Spring 2016 issue, Will Racism Ever End, Will I Ever Stop Being a Nigger? Email him, kevin@kevinpowell.net, and follow him on twitter: @kevin_powell.

24 May 2016

"It is past time" for: ... ...

24 May 2016, from 24 May 1989 = 27 years' time
since Herry took his M O T H E R F U C K I N G 
to the "official" .legal. / family law courts' level


"It is past time that:
he was subjected to the R A T I O N A L critique that
he has evaded so arrogantly and for so long." 


--- only a wee pronoun - paraphrasing of:
THE very last sentence written 
("Afterword," page 105)
by Mr Christopher Hitchens 
inside his 1995 dedication to Gertrude and Edwin Blue entitled
The Missionary Position:
Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice


This RATIONAL critique
of Herry (Re: I am snide) Edinsmaier ?

THIS demands nothing less than thus:

the  R E N U N C I A T I O N of him 
with All's concurrent
E S C H E W A L.


"It is past time" for: ... ... 

the RENUNCIATION of him 

with All's concurrent 

ESCHEWAL of 

Herry Edinsmaier.

15 May 2016

! It is B I O L O G I C A L !

!  It is B I O L O G I C A L  ! 
and certainly is not “biblical” or ... ... of any other w o o !

i) Recalling an episode from some years ago thus:  
"the West Wing" = "Bartlet & the bible" =
"Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads?" with, then,

"One last thing ... ... in this building, when the President stands --- NOBODY SITS."  youtu.be/3CPjWd4MUXs

ii) Ms Duck & her bookoo babes get the darling, geese police – type escort from downtown Saskatoon with halted vehicles & pedestrians over to the safety @ the riverbank … ...                                    http://thestarphoenix.com/news/local-news/ducks-family-gets-police-escort-to-safety

Members of the Saskatoon Police Service bike unit help a family of ducks navigate their way through downtown on Thursday afternoon. The officers were able to guide the feathered family to the South Saskatchewan River after blocking traffic for a short time at the intersection of 5th Ave. N and 22nd St. E and as they crossed Spadina Crescent towards the riverbanks.



and ... ... iii) Today would have been the 90th birthday of The World’s Loveliest Nanny
Ms Rosemary Zita Norton fondly of Hershey, Pennsylvania.  

She died on Tuesday, 13 May 2014, two days shy of her 88th year’s start: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/fredericknewspost/obituary.aspx?pid=171021686

She helped.  She made a difference:  
she made S U C H a difference.

06 May 2016

! pure protein = Darlin' Mr Waylon Jennings !


" ... ... and a little bit outta our minds !
... ... courtin' disaster ! 
One foot over the line ... ... 
We were the WILD ones! "

O yes, were we ever !

" We had the town up a tree !
We didn't .know. ... ... we could fail ! "

Image result for hillside 1969 woodstock

01 May 2016

--- Merry Beltaine y2016, All ---

It is a good thing to remember — — so as to try so, so hard as to .not. repeat such .his.tory, not ?

Yeah, yesterday ? 1975 ? the bugout.

As a parent who cannot even imagine having .ever. to make these decisions, here are my heroes of that time: the Mama and the Daddy who themselves hurled onto a moving carrier, the USS Kirk, in deep, deep waters outside Saigon on 30 April 1975, with the Parents’ Chinook running out of fuel, a drop of at least 18 feet as Daddy hovered the aircraft above it — — their 8 – month – old, their two – year – old and their five – year – old.

Then Mama jumped, too; and Daddy purposely plunged the chopper into the seas, the suction of that act pulling him down way under.  He was gone from others’ view; then at least 30 seconds’ later, Daddy surfaced and lived.

http://www.yahoo.com/news/blogs/power-players-abc-news/the-final-heroes-of-vietnam-the-americans-who-fought-to-save-our-allies-as-saigon-fell-111524595.html?ref=gs

As well then and a very few days afore that specific 30th of April, there is, too, this hero, one with his then having no biological children of his own: Mr John Riordan, and who himself was out and safe inside Hong Kong — — but volunteered to his banking colleague with him there … … to catch the very last flight BACK IN TO Saigon.

And went BACK TO HIS Saigon bank to save and get altogether out in the final four hours of that day a total of … … 105, certain to be tortured and to die if left behind, of his Vietnamese employees, along ... ... with almost all of them saved as well, their entire biological and related family members.

http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/daring-rescue-days-before-fall-of-saigon and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Riordan_%28banker%29.
,
To return, now, to the present and to this particular time in .his,tory's merriment, instead ?

Here is the USA's Comedian - in - Chief with, on the very same day yesterday, his final routine as our president at this specific event:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpbEg-zVcpU

Hilarious isn't he ? !

22 April 2016

on Earth Day y2016, Ya' May Wanna Know About This ... ...

... ... about this:  https://hopejahrensurecanwrite.com/2014/08/29/thursday-night-dear-colleague-letter

(You may want to know .not. about sending email transmissions to very UNintended people.)  Instead:  You may want to know that .still. in y2016 ?  STILL in y2016, and WORLDWIDE, women and girls .still. meet up with SEXISM in S C I E N C E endeavors of theirs.

Who'd've thought, back when I was 18, in May y1966, and graduated high school, rural Midwest, as at where was raised also Dr Jahren, that this muck 'd still exist.

Rampantly.  In the USA !  Let alone, Worldwide.

Who would have thought this ?  Who would have thought that not only is SEXISM Worldwide not only .not. COMPLETELY GONE by the year 2016, but that SEXISM is incredibly h u g e l y existent .STILL. in allegedly First World and E D U C A T E D areas ? !  Who ? !

You already .do. know this:  There IS a solution.
NOT only is there a solution ... ... but this as well ! = the solution is freakin' C H E A P ! 
IF ONLY !

Where is, in y2016 and beyond, the solution therefor:  the W I L L (ingness)?
  
http://smile.amazon.com/Lab-Girl-Hope-Jahren/dp/1101874937?ie=UTF8&keywords=lab%20girl%20hope&qid=1461331883&ref_=sr_1_1_twi_har_1&sr=8-1 


15 April 2016

Mr Frost's Two Tramps in Mud Time

Check out, in particular, verse #3 !

TWO TRAMPS IN MUD TIME

Mr Robert Frost 

 
Out of the mud two strangers came
And caught me splitting wood in the yard,
And one of them put me off my aim
By hailing cheerily "Hit them hard!"
I knew pretty well why he had dropped behind
And let the other go on a way.
I knew pretty well what he had in mind:
He wanted to take my job for pay. 


Good blocks of oak it was I split,
As large around as the chopping block;
And every piece I squarely hit
Fell splinterless as a cloven rock.
The blows that a life of self-control
Spares to strike for the common good,
That day, giving a loose my soul,
I spent on the unimportant wood. 


The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you're two months back in the middle of March. 


A bluebird comes tenderly up to alight
And turns to the wind to unruffle a plume,
His song so pitched as not to excite
A single flower as yet to bloom.
It is snowing a flake; and he half knew
Winter was only playing possum.
Except in color he isn't blue,
But he wouldn't advise a thing to blossom. 


The water for which we may have to look
In summertime with a witching wand,
In every wheelrut's now a brook,
In every print of a hoof a pond.
Be glad of water, but don't forget
The lurking frost in the earth beneath
That will steal forth after the sun is set
And show on the water its crystal teeth. 


The time when most I loved my task
The two must make me love it more
By coming with what they came to ask.
You'd think I never had felt before
The weight of an ax-head poised aloft,
The grip of earth on outspread feet,
The life of muscles rocking soft
And smooth and moist in vernal heat. 


Out of the wood two hulking tramps
(From sleeping God knows where last night,
But not long since in the lumber camps).
They thought all chopping was theirs of right.
Men of the woods and lumberjacks,
The judged me by their appropriate tool.
Except as a fellow handled an ax
They had no way of knowing a fool. 


Nothing on either side was said.
They knew they had but to stay their stay
And all their logic would fill my head:
As that I had no right to play
With what was another man's work for gain.
My right might be love but theirs was need.
And where the two exist in twain
Theirs was the better right--agreed. 


But yield who will to their separation,
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
    For Heaven and the future's sakes. 


30 March 2016

On the 24th anniversary of My Daddy's Dying ... ... Just Two Years After ACTUALLY Apologizing to Me for ANY "Religious Education" (= Child Abuse)

Why Women Need Freedom FROM Religion

Organized religion always has been and remains the greatest enemy of women’s rights. In the Christian-dominated Western world, two bible verses in particular sum up the position of women:

“I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” By this third chapter of Genesis, woman lost her rights, her standing—even her identity, and motherhood became a God-inflicted curse degrading her status in the world.

In the New Testament, the bible decrees:
“Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” 1 Tim. 2:11-14

One bible verse alone, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” is responsible for the death of tens of thousands, if not millions, of women. Do women and those who care about them need further evidence of the great harm of Christianity, predicated as it has been on these and similar teachings about women?

Church writer Tertullian said “each of you women is an Eve . . . You are the gate of Hell, you are the temptress of the forbidden tree; you are the first deserter of the divine law.”

Martin Luther decreed: “If a woman grows weary and at last dies from childbearing, it matters not. Let her die from bearing, she is there to do it.” 

Such teachings prompted 19th-century feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton to write: “The Bible and the Church have been the greatest stumbling blocks in the way of woman’s emancipation.”

The various Christian churches fought tooth and nail against the advancement of women, opposing everything from women’s right to speak in public, to the use of anesthesia in childbirth (since the bible says women must suffer in childbirth) and woman’s suffrage. Today the most organized and formidable opponent of women’s social, economic and sexual rights remains organized religion. Religionists defeated the Equal Rights Amendment. Religious fanatics and bullies are currently engaged in an outright war of terrorism and harassment against women who have abortions and the medical staff which serves them. Those seeking to challenge inequities and advance the status of women today are fighting a massive coalition of fundamentalist Protestant and Catholic churches and religious groups mobilized to fight women’s rights, gay rights, and secular government.

Why do women remain second-class citizens? Why is there a religion-fostered war against women’s rights? Because the bible is a handbook for the subjugation of women. The bible establishes woman’s inferior status, her “uncleanliness,” her transgressions, and God-ordained master/servant relationship to man. Biblical women are possessions: fathers own them, sell them into bondage, even sacrifice them. The bible sanctions rape during wartime and in other contexts. Wives are subject to Mosaic - law sanctioned “bedchecks” as brides, and male jealousy fits and no-notice divorce as wives. The most typical biblical labels of women are “harlot” and “whore.” They are described as having evil, even satanic powers of allurement. Contempt for women’s bodies and reproductive capacity is a bedrock of the bible. The few role models offered are stereotyped, conventional and inadequate, with bible heroines admired for obedience and battle spirit. Jesus scorns his own mother, refusing to bless her, and issues dire warnings about the fate of pregnant and nursing women.

There are more than 200 bible verses that specifically belittle and demean women.

Here are just a few:
  • Genesis 2:22 Woman created from Adam’s rib
  • Genesis 3:16 Woman cursed: maternity a sin, marriage a bondage
  • Genesis 19:1–8 Rape virgins instead of male angels
  • Exodus 20:17 Insulting Tenth Commandment
  • Exodus 21:7–11 Unfair rules for female servants, may be sex slaves
  • Exodus 22:18 “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”
  • Exodus 38:8 Women may not enter tabernacle they must support
  • Leviticus 12:1–14 Women who have sons are unclean 7 days
  • Leviticus 12:4–7 Women who have daughters are unclean 14 days
  • Leviticus 15:19–23 Menstrual periods are unclean
  • Leviticus 19:20–22 If master has sex with engaged woman, she shall be scourged
  • Numbers 1:2 Poll of people only includes men
  • Numbers 5:13–31 Barbaric adulteress test
  • Numbers 31:16–35 “Virgins” listed as war booty
  • Deuteronomy 21:11–14 Rape manual
  • Deuteronomy 22:5 Abomination for women to wear men’s garments, vice-versa
  • Deuteronomy 22:13–21 Barbaric virgin test
  • Deuteronomy 22:23–24 Woman raped in city, she & her rapist both stoned to death
  • Deuteronomy 22:28–29 Woman must marry her rapist
  • Deuteronomy 24:1 Men can divorce woman for “uncleanness,” not vice-versa
  • Deuteronomy 25:11–12 If woman touches foe’s penis, her hand shall be cut off
  • Judges 11:30-40 Jephthah’s nameless daughter sacrificed
  • Judges 19:22–29 Concubine sacrificed to rapist crowd to save man
  • I Kings 11:1–4 King Solomon had 700 wives & 300 concubines
  • Job 14:1–4 “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one . . .”
  • Proverbs 7:9–27 Evil women seduce men, send them to hell
  • Proverbs 11:22 One of numerous Proverbial putdowns: "Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman who ... ... "
  • Isaiah 3:16–17 God scourges, rapes haughty women
  • Ezekiel 16:45 One of numerous obscene denunciations
  • Matthew 24:19 “[woe] to them that are with child”
  • Luke 2:22 Mary is unclean after birth of Jesus
  • I Corinthians 11:3–15 Man is head of woman; only man in God’s image
  • I Corinthians 14:34–35 Women keep in silence, learn only from husbands
  • Ephesians 5:22–33 “Wives, submit . . .”
  • Colossians 3:18 More “wives submit”
  • I Timothy 2:9 Women adorn selves in shamefacedness
  • 2 Timothy11–14 Women learn in silence in all subjection; Eve was sinful, Adam blameless
Why should women—and the men who honor women—respect and support religions which preach women’s submission, which make women’s subjugation a cornerstone of their theology?

When attempts are made to base laws on the bible, women must beware. 

The constitutional principle of separation between church and state is the only sure barrier standing between women and the bible.