Archive for equality

Dr. Marguerite 'Maya' Johnson Angelou's Epic Courage WAS #YesAllWomen

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Maya Angelou

Image: BestLife Quotes

Written by guest contributor, "hardybear" of the wonderful Free Range Talk site:
Weaponry as penile enhancement is a timeless male tradition. Cave men absolutely took breaks from brutalizing Og-Ella to take crude yardsticks to their clubs, spears and their poles.

Is it any wonder that 55% of all women have been sexually assaulted or raped by now? "Men’s greatest fear is that women will laugh at them, while women’s greatest fear is that men will kill them", said Margaret Atwood, in one #YesAllWomen tweet.

The epic Melissa Harris-Perry took Elliot Rodger's entitled rampage on women to a critical place in the #YesAllWomen wave on Saturday. She firmly put systemic misogyny On Notice. Catch the illuminating conversation for yourself at MSNBC, first block of the show.

She gets it.

The Twitter hashtag #YesAllWomen was tagged by 61,500 tweets per hour at its height. It was one of the most beautifully yet startlingly overwhelming experiences that I can recall as a card-carrying, first gen. feminist - and an utterly astonishing wave of strength, shared courage and love that is SO desperately needed right now.

Women are at war in far more than one theatre. The GOP Regressives have had their crosshairs trained on dames since we got the damned Vote. Hillary Reactionary Rage - 2008 round - escalated the Neanderthals and soon gave 'Rosemary style' birth to the bastard Lipton Brigade.

The medieval mentality of 'legitimate or God Given rape' and trans-vaginal wands is sweeping from old white guys to young entitled white bucks, apparently. The response of #YesAllWomen, was about as Everything as it gets on The Tweeter. It was empowering, devastating, unifying and a balm we sorely needed after the UCSB attack.

When the poet of America's soul, Maya Angelou, walked on in its ebb and flow … it was a mystical moment as simply profound as she was.

A woman who muted herself, silenced that extraordinary voice, for five years of post-rape trauma at the unthinkable age of 8. Melissa brought this story full circle as she described her personal history with Maya, who mentored her in college and beyond, and even hosted her wedding reception. Their last taped interview together is revelatory. Enjoy at footer.

We must have the courage to be courageous. Especially when poised to witness a fond dream of Dr. Angelou's: to see a woman take that seat in the Oval Office that our first black president has filled with honor and integrity ... and nary a lick of misogyny will have to be dusted off his chair.

 


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Bing, Bing, Bing -- America's Toast If Hillary Clinton Becomes President

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Hillary

We all know one of the most hysterical pieces of political satire came when Saturday Night Live had Tina Fey come out and read a speech as then Veep candidate Sarah Palin, exactly as delivered by the Alaska Governor. Fey didn't change a word and it brought the house down with laughter.

SNL, here's your next "exactly as is" moment -- only this time it's with Bill O'Reilly. He couldn't possibly be topped, not even with Stephen Colbert doing the narration. Just pure O'Reilly taking on women and Hillary Clinton in particular is priceless.

Take a look. You can't believe Bill with his "Bibbidy-Bobbidy-Boo mentality.

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Equality vs. mutuality

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mutual equality

My former student and dear pal Lucia Fasano has submitted a post about equality vs. mutuality for your consideration (all of her posts can be found here). You can also see Lucia in my BLUNT VIDEO: Not Guilty– The George Zimmerman Verdict.

Please link over and read what this involved twenty-year-old has been writing. Here's her latest:

Mutuality an Actuality?

I’ve been actively involved in the feminist community since I graduated from high school and moved out on my own in 2011. I started reading feminist literature, went to rallies, made feminist friends and made feminists out of friends, praising the movement of “equal rights”. Recently, I was struck by the term “mutuality” and what it entailed. It was defined as a reciprocal relationship between interdependent entities-- and that, is what Bell Hooks and others would say, should be the ultimate goal, not equality.

It was a word that encapsulated the type of feminism I have believed in and strive for, but couldn’t properly articulate. Making your whole movement about equality was the problem with many approaches to various progressive movements to end oppression or educate others, because the opposition will always argue that total equality is unobtainable, so why even try? Or that if gay people can get married, or a woman gets the same pay as a man, isn’t the struggle over? And that’s just not true.

In the introduction to her book, “Feminism Is For Everybody”, by Bell Hooks, she writes: “Imagine living in a world where there is no domination, where females and males are not alike or even always equal, but where a vision of mutuality is the ethos shaping our interaction.” To me, mutuality is a demonstration of an ideal America and an ideal planet.

Another aspect of mutuality that makes it so perfect for the actualization of harmony and beloved community is the acknowledgement, in total mutuality, that we all need each other. The problem is, that doesn’t jive with Western Metaphysical Dualism. When mutuality is achieved, we all acknowledge that what feeds and helps the community enriches and strengthens the community as a whole. That one person’s job isn’t worth more than the other, that some people have more worth than others. Our government is supposed to have a welfare system, social programs, taxes, to create a safety net when members of our system need help-- implying that we’ll be there to catch each other and support each other in times of need. We all meet each other’s needs at one point, we all are parts of one big machine, and all should be oiled correctly.

People will put bumper stickers for equality on their cars or say from places of privilege that they wish for everyone to be treated entirely equal, when the truth is that people aren’t born into equal situations and to wish for that is unrealistic. So it’s easier to say than to actually achieve or work for-- because to really want total equality, you need to be very conscious of what goes into that and who actually wants that. But to be pro-mutuality, and to work for mutuality, all that takes is critical consciousness.

If you let go of your assumptions and separative-thinking, you’re giving yourself over to a world/community where everyone is playing a part or has the potential to. If you’re more conscious of what you consume and what you do and how  you treat people, then you’re closer to realizing how  truly dependent each individual is on each other. Even the richest people are dependent on the poorest. If feminists aim for “total independency, total equality”, then that makes it easy to ignore the people that aren’t reaching those goals once you achieve it for yourself.

I hear the term “equality” thrown around as a blanket term so often that its potency does feel diminished, when it was once a term that evoked a great fire in me and motivated me to stand up for myself and others. What is hard is that when we talk about equality, everybody has their own different thought and definition, usually influenced by the media, social status, political leaning, etc. Some people think it means being the same, some people think it means being treated the same-- but when we speak for everybody in our movements, and wish to include everybody, we have to acknowledge that not everybody wants to be treated the same, not everybody is the same, nor is it realistic to treat everybody the same.

Politicians would rather support an impossible or not serviceable goal like the idea of total equality than actually working toward better health care for the poor, raising minimum wage, or national mandated maternity leave.  Those things are seen as unnecessary in the world of “total equality” and “meritocracy” that is America, because they’re easily labeled as “special treatment.”

The idea of Mutuality is a way of both trying to make reform within our system but in a revolutionary, radical way.

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Only Today, 2014, Has A Federal Court Ruled To Let LGBT Jurors Hear Trials

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LGBTJuryw354h244

What's next for the right-wing conservatives to try in making this country fair for only white, Christian, and homophobic citizens? Why the justice system, of course. If you can't get a law passed banning anything that prohibits them from excluding balanced, fair or common sense thinking in the jury room, these narrow-minded conservatives may face extinction. And they're not going down without a fight.

Here's the latest from the LA TIMES:

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court became the first in the nation to rule that prospective jurors may not be excluded because of their sexual orientation, a decision that expands juror protections beyond race and gender and provides legal ammunition to challenge laws that limit gay rights.

The sweeping, unanimous decision Tuesday by a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a mixed jury verdict in an antitrust case involving an AIDS drug. The 9th Circuit said the case would have to be retried because an obviously gay juror was unjustifiably excluded from the jury.

Truthfully, I had never heard of the jury system excluding people for sexual orientation, but evidently I was just unaware. Here we are in 2014 and someone's sexual direction could be used against them in a court of law. I know accused criminals have the right to remain silent, but evidently those determining their guilt were supposed to exclude themselves if the crime was federal.

But really there's two issues that I've put in bold print that I find nothing short of amazing. To start with, this case quoted above is the FIRST in the nation to make this discriminatory ruling out of bounds. Really? Only now?

And the second issue is the more important one. "...an obviously gay juror" -- what's an obviously gay juror? Did he/she wear make-up? Did they hit on the same-sex foreman? Did they have a membership card they were flaunting in the RuPaul fan club? What makes someone "obviously gay?"

That's the amazing part of this outrageous but eye-opening story. Until now, if someone looks differently than another person and fits a stereotypical image, they can be excluded from a jury? And according to the article, part of which is quoted below, they still can be.

Lady Justice

I thought justice was blind. Look at Lady Justice balancing her scales. Did you notice something else about her? She's blindfolded. There's a reason for that.

Thankfully the 9th federal circuit court of  appeals court made this first in the nation, unanimous finding. But it only deals with a small portion of this country. It's not national.

Tuesday's landmark ruling extended the restriction to federal courts in California and courts in eight other Western states, lawyers said.

Now let's wake up the rest of the nation. Justice is seriously being challenged.

This particular case had to do with an antitrust lawsuit involving an AIDS drug. For that reason alone, the "obviously gay" juror was dismissed. We allow doctors to sit as jurors on medical trials. We allow lawyers to sit on juries despite perhaps having knowledge not admissible to lay jurors. Why can't we have LGBT jurors sitting in on any case of any origin in any area, AIDS related or not? Aren't they people too?

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