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Thought on the election and a playlist to deal with it

I waited until today to vote because I wanted to stand in line with other people who would be excited to vote and they were. I’m usually the 3rd or 4th person in line when I arrive before 7am. This morning I got there about 6:30 and I was closer to 20th in line. The line quickly went around the building and around the 7/11 parking lot next door.

People were standing absolutely quietly in line. Maybe because it was early but the woman who got in line behind me said she had never been so excited to vote and the woman who was getting in line behind her and said she was surprisingly emotional about it.

The atmosphere felt a little like being in church on Christmas Eve, full of anticipation and yes, hope. Hope that our voices would be heard.

The crowd was at least ¾ s female and mostly younger than me.

I know I was excited. I haven’t been this excited to vote since June 6, 1972, my first time. I have to admit I voted Republican that first time because my parents were Republican but that was the only time and after Cam and I came out Mom and Dad started voting Democratic while still being registered Republicans because of the hate the Republicans were spewing against gay people. I don’t think they ever voted for a Republican again. Having gay kids made them converts. For my dad it was a switch back, he was a Democrat until he married my mom. The difference between being raised on a rural farm in Illinois and having been deprived during the Depression , riding the rails as a hobo and having joined FDR’S CCC in California to get a meal and a job  and finally joining a union and a woman whose parents were well of during the Depression in California and who hated FDR.

So today I voted for the women who went before to give me a choice to make my voice heard. Please vote, it’s so very important.

 

Election Day Playlist

All over the world – Holly Near, Ronnie Gilbert, Arlo Guthrie, Pete Seeger

America the Beautiful – Melinda Carroll

America the Beautiful/ This Land is Your Land – The Limeliters

America (My Country Tis of Thee) Craig Duncan

Battle Hymn of the Republic – Craig Duncan

Be thou my vision – Craig Duncan

Blowin’ in the Wind – Peter, Paul and Mary

Boys in Green – John McCutheon

Da Pacem – Libana

Don’t lose heart – Cris Williamson

Dona, Dona, Dona – The Chad Mitchell Trio

Dona Nobis Pacem – Melinda Carroll

Dona Nobis Pacem – Yo Yo Ma

Every day heroes and heroines – Deidre McCalla

Follow the light – John McCutcheon

Freedom is Coming – Circle of Songs Kate Marks and Friends

From a Distance – Bette Midler

Hawaiian Roller Coaster – Kamehameha Schools Children’s Choir

Hard Times Come Again No More – Yo Yo Ma, James Taylor, Edgar Meyer, Mark O’Connor

Hills of America – Emerald Rose

I will be gentle with myself – Circle of Song – Kate Marks

Ishq’ Allah – Melinda Carroll

Jubilate Gaia – Libana

Just around the Riverbend – Judy Kahn

Last Night I had the Strangest Dream – The Limeliters

Let there be peace on earth – Melinda Carroll

Peace is – Fred Small

Peace Prayer Mandala – Libana

Peace Train – Cat Stevens

Ready for the storm – Kathy Mattea

Singing for our lives – Holly Near

Something about the women – Holly Near

We shall not be moved – The Seekers

Well, may the world go – John McCutcheon & Tom Chapin

Women of our time – Judy Small

 

 

 

 

A prayer on a historic day

I hail Lady Liberty

I hail the women who went before me

The abolitionists of my line

Who became Suffragettes

I hail Columbia

I hail the women who were beaten

The women who were jailed

The women who were force fed

The women who defied the men

Who tried to suppress them

I thank them for their sacrifice

I thank them for birthing the 19th Amendment

I hail the Constitution and the Bill of Rights

I hail the 26th amendment that allowed me

My first vote for President in 1972

I give thanks for all who fought for this privilege

I wear white today to honour those women

I wear white to honour the first woman to run for President

We have waited since June 4, 1919 for her

I honour the women of colour that fought

For the Voting Rights Act of 1965

And who were unsung when they fought

For Suffrage in 1919

I honour the women for fighting

For what we take for granted

I honour them and I voted

I voted for an honourable and honest

Woman

All hail Lady Liberty

All hail Columbia

May she stand a top the Capitol

And watch over her.

So mote it be

 

Why I vote

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This is me wearing my VOTE dress in 1972. It was the first election here in the US where 18 year olds had the vote. We got it because of the Vietnam War. The rationale being that if you were old enough to be drafted and have to fight in a war you should have a say in it.

My grandmother was a first wave feminist and I am a second wave feminist. I have never see anything that would lead me to believe there is anything of substance that a man can do that I can’t.

I have voted in every election I could. I did miss one when it was a city election and I had moved and didn’t register in time but since I had no idea about the people running in that city, I don’t regret it.

Tomorrow I will vote at 7am and I will wear white. I will wear white to honour both my grandmother and the women that were beaten, starved and force fed simply because they wanted the right to have a say in the government and its laws that governed them.

I will wear white to honour an honourable woman and to vote for her. I will not vote for an orange child rapist bullying thug with the brain of a Cheeto that conveniently has his hearing after the election. I will not vote for an idiot antivaxer. I will not vote for another idiot who doesn’t know where a major war is obliterating an entire city and its people.

I was so proud of that Vote minidress. I wore it everywhere. This was Grad Night at Disneyland. They made us wear dresses and we weren’t allowed to wear pants because in 1972 pants were not allowed in the dress code so a minidress that was shorter than my arms was a better option. and my friend in the photo? She is a Superior Court Judge. She was ASB President at our college when I was President of AWS (Women Students). Now it’s kind of odd to think that they had to have a President of Women Student but there wasn’t a President of Male Students because after all they could be President until Suzi was just the President.

You could register to vote 6 months before your birthday and that meant that although my birthday was June 2, I could proudly vote on June 6th and I did.

1972 – Women still couldn’t get credit in their name. Roe v Wade and Title IX would become a reality. It’s not that long ago. My male classmates were being drafted or anxiously trying to get into college to avoid the draft. Home Economics was still required for girls in Junior High. Pantyhose didn’t exist so you had to wear a girdle or a garter belt. There was no lovely ibuprofen when Aunt Flo from Redlands came to visit. Only “sluts” wore tampons because you could lose your virginity. The “pill” was not readily available and if you got pregnant you were sent to St Mary’s Home for Unwed Mothers. Sanitary napkins were worn on belts with nasty spikes to hold them in place because the napkins were the size of small boats. In 1972 I was told by another woman who was an Archaeologist at UCLA that I should give up my dream to be an archaeologist if I didn’t have a rich daddy. She told me this at our JCL convention where I had just won ribbons for knowledge of Latin.

In 1972 the world was a different place for women. There were no out lesbians in 1972 that I knew of. I knew gay men but lesbians were invisible. No woman had gone to space. Few women were in government. Few women were high up in company structures. The women managers when I started at Penneys were only in things like HR and Women’s Wear, all the other manager’s were men. You couldn’t find a woman doctor even in Gynecology.

My parents had always made us go with them to vote and they told us we could never complain about anybody in office if we had not bothered to vote. I still believe that.

The first thing I did with my graduation money was buy a charter subscription to Ms Magazine. I have marched against wars. I have marched for a women’s right to choose. I have marched for the right to love who I choose out and proudly. I will march again if I have to or support those who can do the things I can’t like my friends at Standing Rock.

I’m voting tomorrow to change the world again. To hopefully, make it a better place, a place where women don’t have to stand in a man’s shade.

And I will always, always, always exercise my rights under the 19th amendment. Vote tomorrow! Make your voice heard. It’s the only way we can. Every vote counts. And vote for the most qualified person. I’m with HER!

Anger still seethes

I remember the girl who sat across from me in sewing class in 7th grade

I remember how she disappeared amid a flurry of rumour

I remember her reappearance to the next school year, a year later

We knew where she went.

It was 1967. And we knew she had been swallowed up with no choice

By St Mary’s Home for Unwed Mothers

When she returned no one ever said a thing.

I remember the ones whose parents in 1970 and 1971

Who were out of school for “medical procedures” because their

Parents had enough money to pay for something that was

Not yet legal

I remember my very straight arrow mother choosing a differnet doctor because the Catholic

doctor in 1969 didn’t believe in abortion and my mom wanted that option

open to her daughters, legal or not.

I remember the friend who later told me about almost bleeding to death

From a back alley practitioner

I remember not once did any one say anything about the boys

who changed a girl’s life and bore no consequences

I remember marching in the pouring rain in 1986

Dressed in white, the largest protest march ever in LA

I remember being elated to be with so many like-minded women and some men

And coming around the corner in Century City to be confronted

By angry screaming men covered in blood and waving bloody baby dolls

And being beyond angry.

How dare they scream at women

How dare they try dictate what I do with my body?

How dare they condemn little girls who were barely out of babyhood themselves?

To being mothers or having to pretend the new baby was their sister and not theirs

How dare this history be repeated?

How dare they???

I hate being “Mansplained”

I had an adventure with mansplaining earlier this week and it didn’t make me happy. Yes, I know not all men do it but too many men do.

I got on the bus to come home and an older gentleman and his wife who was in a wheelchair got on with me. (She never said a word) Since it’s the first stop on that line we were the only ones on the Orange Line. I wear a belt with oak leaves and acorns carved into it and a triskellion belt buckle. The man asked me about the belt buckle and made some crack about mistletoe and I told him I wore it because I was a Druid. He then proceeded to lecture me on Druidry until the stop where they got off. I should have known I was in for it right then because he didn’t like my pointing out the link with mistletoe did not apply to all Druids and was specific to the Gauls and the English not the Irish, Welsh and Scots.

He was all on about the Holy Grail and Joseph of Arimathea and really didn’t like it when I finally got a chance to interrupt him and point out the older story was about Dagda’s cauldron and was linked to the other 3 Celtic treasures of spear, sword and stone. He overrode me and kept lecturing me on Druidry.

His face showed what he thought of my interrupting his lecture which had other points I’ve forgotten which annoyed the crap out of me. When I put this incident up on my Facebook status I got a bunch of people saying I had probably made his day giving him a chance to display his knowledge but there several problems with this theory:

1. It gave me no credit for knowing anything about Druidry when I had just said I was one and I don’t think it would have made any difference if I had told him my true status was Arch Druid. He didn’t seem to care that I had any knowledge at all and was really annoyed with me correcting his lecture.

2. He was bloody wrong on several points and seemed to know nothing about Modern Druidry since he brought up the dudes who started swanning around in the 1800s but didn’t seem to connect that it had people now who practiced it. He thought Druids were only in Britain and visibly bristled when I told him Pythagoras had written about his contact with the Druids.

3. He was really stuck on that stupid Christian legend of Mary Magdalene going to Britain to raise Jesus’ children and by then I was poking the bear and said well some legends said she was with the Cathars in France another thing he got his back up when I said it.

Why? Oh why do men feel the need to lecture women on topics women can show they display knowledge in and comprehensive knowledge at that? I’ve been at parties with a good friend who is a well recognized seismologist and seen men lecture her on earthquakes. Really? She has a PhD in astrophysics and has worked all her life on earthquake science and you, dude, who read one book feels you have the need to explain how the earth moves? Shut up!

Some men seem to think they have to display their lack of knowledge like a peacock displaying their plumes. And nothing is more annoying than being captured by an ignorant boor who needs to puff out their chests. They seem not to know or care that the person they are lecturing at has a brain and might actually know something about the subject. Whenever I got a chance to get a word in to say something he interrupted me mid comment. Mormon dude here at work is just as bad and he’s only in his 30s. I keep wanting to ask if he’s spoken to his Holy Mother lately.

I thank heavens for men like the ones who present papers at the Pagan Studies Conference who actually listen and intelligently discuss and ask questions. I love them very much and I love that they respect all the women who present at the conference. I love that it has so many women who present on a variety of topics but it makes idiots like the guy on the bus that much more annoying. Sometimes I feel like I’m going to be patted on the head and told “good dog” by men who mansplain. Arghhhhh!

I know you are but what am I?

There is always someone calling names. For some of us it started when we started school

FOUR-EYES! SHIKSA! BLIND AS A BAT!

My first memories of first grade are the boys calling me names. I was the only kid in glasses. I was the only kid with disabilities and the only non-Jew in my class. That area of North Hollywood was almost exclusively Jewish. Teachers that were Jewish made it clear that I wasn’t wanted too. I remember an older boy running up behind me while I was waiting in line to go into my first grade class and knocking me down and stepping on the back of my head and breaking my glasses. No one did anything about him or did anything to stop him. Thank you, Mrs Soloman!

Or the time in 3rd grade the teacher announced to the whole class after state testing that I was reading at 10th grade level. It took all of 30 seconds at recess for the pinches and punches to start because the teacher added that the rest of them shouldn’t let a Gentile do better than them. So Thank you Mrs Camp!

EGGHEAD! KNOW IT ALL! SHOWOFF!

It’s no different now. Boys and men call names. They do it to hurt and to control. There are so many names they call women to hurt.

BITCH! WHORE! CUNT!

The problem with name calling is that eventually you get de-sensitized to it. When most people start getting called names in Junior Hi or now, middle school, they can’t handle it. This caused a weird problem for me when I was called names again in Junior Hi. I had been so bullied in my elementary school before we finally moved that I didn’t recognize it or pay attention. This lead to a weird sort of admiration on the part of some people because I didn’t react. They didn’t know that I by then had learned not to hear it.

TOOTHPICK! WASHBOARD! THERMOMETER!

Oh those were so original. Yeah, I knew I was skinny and flat chested but I’m smarter than you. So what! It went in one ear and out the other. Are the names supposed to tell me something I don’t already know? My dad was fond of teasing me at that point. He’d say “two peas of a washboard” but I could wear an undershirt and not one of those awful contraptions with stays like my gym partner who was a 40d in 7th grade and always had bandaids under her bra.

DYKE! LEZZIE! And from the really stupid, FAGGOT!

Words used by men again to shame and control but what if there is no shame? I’m not ashamed to be an out lesbian. I have been since 1979. There is nothing wrong with loving people who are like yourself and look like you do.

WITCH! HAG! CRONE!

More words to control women, Heaven forbid we show that we are aging. We are all supposed to look 20 forever? Hell no! I wouldn’t go back to be 20 for anything. I like that I’m aging! I like that I have grey and white hair. Not so found of the things like arthritis but then I got that diagnosis when I was 9 and had already been in dance and gymnastics for 3 years. And yes, I’m a Witch, I have been for over 30 years. Tell me something I don’t know. Names again to control how a woman behaves and lives. Even the worst word a boy could be called in grade school made sure the other boys thought he was feminine. “Sissy!”

TERF! CIS! SWERF!

So now we have the latest words to come along and again they are being used on women by men to shame them into behaving. This kind of male, when they were six, were mean and evil and now when they are grown and claiming they have the non-existent “laydee brain” are still mean and evil and they need to grow up. It didn’t work then and it ain’t going to work now.

I’m rubber you’re glue, what you say bounces off me and sticks to you!

Musing on gender restrictions and not being restricted – Throwback Thursday

http://www.rocketroberts.com/how_and_why/how_and_why.htm

These were some of my favourite books as a kid. I had almost all of them and I’m very grateful that not one of my family ever told me girls couldn’t do science. So I did. The best present I got for the Christmas when I was 6 was my Lionel microscope. I loved that thing. I had to inspect everything. The same year mom enrolled me in summer science classes up at Descanso Gardens where we spent many happy hours watching birds on the lake, walking around the gardens, observing water life under their microscopes. The only bad memory I have was of having to be slave labour when someone decided that the iris beds needed to be divided and the iris beds were immense. I still don’t like bearded irises. It took days to do it and it was horrid and hot.

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We also went on trips to the Arboretum and the Natural History Museum and as I’ve said before the Museum of Science and Industry. Dad took me whale watching, I have no idea why my brother didn’t come but I got to be with my dad. He took us to Cabrillo Marine Museum and the Southwest Indian Museum. He took us to Scripps Oceanographic Institute. We went prowling through the backyard and spent hours outside all summer long making volcanoes and hanging out in Cam’s tree house or in the garden or under the redwood or in the bamboo grove. We walked to the park to hike all over the mountains behind our house. Following streams and chasing lizards and horned toads. We spent spring capturing tadpoles and watching them grow in the fishbowl in the dining room where mom could keep an eye on us.

We had to go to summer school when we got older. Dad was a 6th grade teacher and he said kids lost too much over the summer so between that and frequent excursions to the library every week, I don’t think we lost a thing over the summer. I wasn’t allowed to join the kid’s reading clubs because I read too much and the librarians thought it wasn’t fair to the other kids because I was reading in the adult section by the time I was 10. I was still reading every Danny Dunn (http://www.amazon.com/Danny-Dunn-Homework-Machine-williams/dp/0590468901/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1428012196&sr=1-1&keywords=danny+dunn) book as they came out and anything about the Mad Scientist Club which I loved, loved loved, (http://www.amazon.com/The-Mad-Scientists-Club-Scientist/dp/1930900538)

I also read every one of the Childhood of Famous Americans series that were in print when I was a kid, now there are a lot more.

And no one ever told me, not once that I couldn’t do something I was interested in until I was in high school when I wanted to be an archeologist and had already taken 4 years of Latin when a woman archeologist from UCLA told me unless I was rich, not to bother. I kept going for awhile but eventually quit college burned out and broken hearted until I went back 10 years later to get my degree as a Naturalist.

So I really don’t understand the emphasis on gender and science, have we socialized little girls so completely that they are more dependent on male opinion than a little girl in the 1950’s and 60’s? It’s why I don’t think there is any such thing as “laydee brain” it’s all socialization. Or was I just lucky that my parents were gender blind or had given up trying to socialize me into being girly? Goddess knows mom wanted a girly girl and never got it. My sister and I were the least girly girls you could ever find.

The only really big battle I can remember was over having to wear a shirt in summer. I ran around topless like my brother until I was around 8 and he was 6 or 7. And one day mom told me I had to grow up and put a shirt on and I wouldn’t because Cam didn’t have to so I wouldn’t. The only way she got me to put a shirt on was to make Cam wear one because there was no way I was wearing one if he didn’t. So she made him wear a shirt. And boy was he mad but as far as I was concerned I had won.

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So It never occurred to me that I couldn’t do anything scientific that I was interested in doing. It also explains having way too many minors because my magpie brain took anything I was interested in AND anything I had to take as a Naturalist so I took classes in biology, ecology, ornithology, astronomy, botany, horticulture, anthropology, geomorphology, (that one pissed off the professor when I told him I was taking it for fun), and tons of photography, art and history and art history. I ended up having way more credits than I needed to graduate but I loved learning all kinds of cool stuff.

Unfortunately, this has infuriated people ever since because I get “how do you know that?” which  leads to people being mad when they go look up something I’ve said up and I’m right and pointing out sometimes where Wikipedia is wrong. But it also  explains the fact that my coven is mostly scientists and the fact that one of the reasons I rarely hang out with Dianic witches is that they often are anti-science and militant about the fact that they know nothing about how science works including how seasons and the planets cause the Wheel of the Year. And why our equinoxes and solstices over the years have often featured a globe circling the sun as part of the ritual.

So I thank my parents and grandparents for raising me to do what I wanted and was interested in and not what society thought I should do.