Taking Our Power, Taking Our Lives: Women Under Threat (Updated 1X)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

The news about  Bettyjean’s tragedy, the assaults on her daughters Denise and Louisa at the hands of a violent man and a useless legal system, has made me reflect on some of the threats I’ve received and about how many other women have gone through similar experiences.  Most of my life, I never really felt threatened, until the last few years.   The threats I’ve had directed at me recently have been unprovoked anger and verbal that has taken me totally by surprise, because the circumstances would not normally trigger such violent responses. They were disturbing when they occurred and even more disturbing as I recall them tonight.

I’m just about the only one around here who walks my dogs, and being from the East and used to pooper scooper laws, I always pick up.  In these parts, there is no such law and sometimes a stray or an inconsiderate dog-walker will allow their dog to leave a mess on someone’s property.

A few years ago I peeked out of my front door window to see a neighbor opening my front gate, a man whom I had seen a few times but knew little about, except that he was an ex-Marine and was now working in some sort of dispatch job for the city.  I opened the door to a barrage of verbal abuse and accusations about how my dog had left a poop on his property. Totally taken aback, I informed this guy that “I picked up.” This didn’t stop him one bit–he called me a “bitch” and told me I shouldn’t walk on “his street.”  Of course, this made me angry…very angry. I stepped outdoors and stood nose-t0-nose with this ranting man. I went into Marine-mode.

“Listen, SIR, you have no right to accuse me of anything, SIR! SIR, it’s a public street, SIR, and I can walk anywhere I damned well please! You’ve got a damned nerve, SIR, talking to me like this…You may talk to your wife that way, SIR, but you can’t talk to ME like that!”

By this time he had turned and was hurrying away. I left him with this salvo: “You just throw your dogs into the backyard, SIR. You don’t even know how to take care of them!”

A few weeks later the dogs were gone and I found out he had separated from his wife. They’re back together now, but Grandma is around an awful lot keeping a watchful eye on the couple’s little girl.

Another altercation occurred while I was out with Slick one Saturday morning, looking at some things at a garage sale. Suddenly, a big white pitbull mix, which I had seen looking out the screen door of a nearby house quite often, suddenly sped out of the house, jumped me, then went after Slick.  No one at the sale moved a muscle, but the guy inside the house ran out as he heard me screaming to get his dog off Slick.  After getting his dog under control, he didn’t offer one word to see if me or Slick had been hurt. Instead, he laughed at me and mocked me for being upset!  When I told him he should watch that door, he immediately got defensive and nasty. The lack of common courtesy, at the very least, got me so ticked off that I called animal control to report the attack. If the guy had treated me like a neighbor and had expressed some concern about the welfare of me and Slick, I probably wouldn’t have picked up the phone. But it was his total disregard for the attack on me and Slick that really angered me.  Animal control went to the house, then told me that no one answered the door. They guy was HIDING and wouldn’t face up to what his dog had done.

A few weeks later, I was walking quite far from his house, when the same dog came running down the hill toward me ready to jump me and Slick again!  The guy came running and this time, laughed at me and asked me why I was screaming again! Obviously, this guy had no empathy or respect for me or Slick, so I called animal control again.  A lot of older people stroll in the neighborhood and this sort of thing could wind up in someone seriously hurt. This time animal control left a notice. Since that event, the door seems to stay closed.  Apparently, the guy got fined and that got his attention, not an actual attack in action!  But once again, there was a complete lack of respect and concern from this man.

Last week, I had another confrontation as I walked by a house I usually pass on our short walks at night.   Tammy and her husband were out putting up Christmas decorations. I’ve known Tammy for quite awhile on a casual basis and have talked to her about our dogs quite a few times. (By the way, their German shepherd doesn’t get walked very much, either).  But, on this night when I walked by, her husband, in keeping with the season,  jumped up and charged at me, screaming about how my dog pooped on his front yard. No thought about a simple inquiry, no, this guy was fully ramped up. As he screamed at me, I whipped out a handful of plastic bags and told him “I pick up!” I had seen some old poop on his front grass, but it certainly wasn’t from me! He assumed it was ME, though, and told me he didn’t care about “my plastic bags.” He called me a bitch. I then found myself with my fistful of bags in front of his face, telling him that I came from the East where we had pooper scooper laws and I knew how to walk my dog. He said he didn’t care about the East, around here, it didn’t matter…and I shouldn’t walk up his block any more!  (Sound familiar??) I got so in the guy’s face that he started to back off, and warned me not to threaten him!  Well, I just told he had a damned nerve accusing me of something he had absolutely no proof I was guilty of, and that he was an idiot if he thought he could tell me I couldn’t walk on a public street!  I then asked him point blank if he was on drugs or if he was drunk.

At that point, I turned to Tammy and said, “You know me, you know I’ve always picked up!” and she turned away and said, “I’m not getting involved!” I was taken aback and really wondered why an adult woman couldn’t tell her husband that he was way out of bounds. I got the feeling that something was wrong in that relationship. Coincidentally, yesterday I found out from one of their close neighbors that the whole family was dysfunctional. Tammy’s father was an alcoholic and her sister, whom I had met several times, had nearly killed herself a few days ago by going on a drinking binge.  It seems that Tammy must have repeated the pattern and, judging from what he did to me,  she married a guy with the potential for some pretty violent behavior.

What ties all these stories together? Men with irrational anger, nasty language, demands for me to curtail my normal activities–in other words, abusive men who become hostile instead of approaching a problem with some degree of civility.  It’s more than being uncouth, it’s an attitude toward women they don’t even know that manifests in behavior that is completely off the wall. It’s as if they all thought that they had a perfect right to be abusive right from the start.  Sensitivity? Empathy? Simple politeness? Normal behavior? I think not…Not with these guys…all of whom backed down as soon as they were surprised by a woman, and an older woman at that,  who gave it right back to them.

What’s especially upsetting is that I’ve had to feel that I was FORCED to get so aggressive in return. But something told me that if I didn’t these guys would just be getting the reaction they wanted–a sense of power over me and a satisfaction that their macho behavior had intimidated me. At the time of the first incident I was really rather surprised at my own reaction…the sense of power I had when I challenged this guy who came onto MY property and verbally assaulted me.  Somewhere along the way to getting older and wiser, I had figured out it out…no more taking it from anyone anymore, least of all bullies who had something screwed up in their approach to women.

Women put up with an awful lot of this sort of thing and sometimes it really goes beyond verbal assault into the realm of a real threat to life. The so-called protections of marriage or committed relationships don’t seem to apply when things get violent.  What’s given a benign name of “domestic violence” is really just, plain VIOLENCE.  It galls me that there’s a sense of being diminished as a human being simply because a person is somehow “related” to the abuser.  How is this different than a an owner abusing an animal?

Down here in “the Borderland” we have a lot of  animal abuse and “domestic violence.”  The two seem to go hand in hand.  But after what we’ve been through this year, with the misogyny ladled out to us with the help of the media, the Democratic Party, and their pre-ordained nominee, it’s clear that “women hate” is perfectly acceptable. Latest example? The fawning story in the Washington Post about Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau.

Now, he has transformed into what one friend called a “Washington political force” — a minor celebrity with a down payment on a Dupont Circle condo, whose silly Facebook photos with a Hillary Rodham Clinton cutout created what passes for controversy in Obama’s so far drama-free transition.

Yes, it’s all so silly. All so silly.

So now Bettyjean’s daughters suffer at the hands of a man whom they once thought they could trust. But, their trust has been cruelly betrayed this man AND the depraved indifference of “the system.”

As a child, I spent a lot of time in Lodi, NJ. It was my father’s hometown. His immigrant parents settled there and ran a mercantile. My father, his three brothers, sister and half-sister all grew up there. His sisters remained there all their lives. I recall visiting every Sunday. My Aunt Lucy lived in a building next to the old Lodi Modern Bakery on  Main Street, a short block from the old plant with the smokestacks that still stood there then. My Aunt Florence lived upstairs in the same building. The smells of the bakery permeated their apartments.  Aunt Lucy, as the oldest of all the children, was the matriarch of the family. We saw our uncles and cousins there when they came back to Lodi to visit. We would sit at the kitchen table and watch the adults play canasta and eat Aunt Lucy’s marvelous food.  Her stuffed artichokes were the best I have ever tasted. Aunt Florence always ate with Aunt Lucy and never cooked as far as I know. But she was the one who would stop by the Sorrento bakery and pick up the Italian pastries before hopping the bus to visit us.  We all went to the annual “Feast” and enjoyed being part of what was basically an Italian enclave of close families.

In my childhood memories, Lodi was a wonderful place. I haven’t been back in years, but it seems like it’s just like anyplace now…just like any other place in America and or anywhere in the world where violence against women – or the lurking threat of violence —  is part of our lives…

…We must take back our power and take back our lives…

***

UPDATE

Report on the arraignment of the attacker and his comments

Man in shotgun case barred from contacting ill wife

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The man who is accused of shooting his wife’s sister in the face with a shotgun told a judge this afternoon that he wanted to see his terminally ill wife “before she dies.”

But a judge ordered George Hartwig to make no contact with his estranged wife, the shooting victim or any family members.

“That sucks. I didn’t even point a gun at her,” Hartwig said, referring to his wife, Denise Richardson, who is dying of ovarian cancer.

Hartwig was formally charged at the hearing in Superior Court in Hackensack with the attempted murder of 41-year-old Louisa Rodas of Hackensack. She remained in critical condition this afternoon.

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27 Responses

  1. …We must take back our power and take back our lives…

    Abso-damn-lutely Grl! If we don’t, if we sit quietly like “good” little girls then we might as well just don a burka.

  2. GRL,

    First off – way to go!

    I think really it is a matter of safety. In our society, we attack only those we feel “safe” attacking; those who cannot retaliate and have no protection. In the past, it was considered “OK” to attack blacks, so crosses were burned and beatings and lynchings were commonplace. we’ve historically done it to most minorities at one time or another: Jews, Italians, Irish, Chinese, Japanese, Native Americans, Scandanavians, or whomever the flavor of the time disfavored. Lately, we’ve tried Arabs, Muslims, and basically anyone looking Middle Eastern or Southeast Asian – but that has now become taboo. So we have our three favorite perennial standbys: Women, Seniors, and Gays. In other words, when there’s no popular group it’s ok to hate, go after the defenseless. (Heaven help you over the next few years if you happen to be an older lesbian!)

    In your case, you got such a serious reaction because men do not expect women or seniors to even attempt to defend themselves. In your examples, these men had pent up anger issues against something even they didn’t understand, yet they attacked someone they felt could do nothing. Thanks for proving them wrong!

    My personal observations and experiences support yours – the violent anger and unprovoked hatred is getting worse lately. And misogyny is such an easy out, that most of it is being directed at women and the decent men who actually support them. So what’s the solution? I’ve read comments that we should arm ourselves. I’ve seen suggestions of new laws. I’ve seen outrage at the more blatant examples, and pooh-poohing of milder forms (ie: Favreau).

    I don’t know the answer, but I think we’re going to have to band together for everyone’s sake throughout the crapstorm that’s about to be unleashed on this nation and indeed the world. Any ideas?

  3. delurking….I was abused at age 5, 12, 14 and raped at 20. I don’t know the answer, but I’ve made it clear to my two children – one of each, that abuse of any kind, emotional, physical, mental is unacceptable. I was fortunate in that I could support my children alone, because, alas, I never found a man who was able to deal with an assertive female – I retired at 55, the a@@holes that I married/had children with are still working and very very bitter. Seems I took their manhood, yet they each cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars, because I was stupid, but not quite stupid enough. .
    Education is key, however, it appears that with the faith based initiatives and NCLB, women’s issues have been left behind. How many school texts address women’s issues? How many ridiculous educators are of the same thought as Summers? Homophobia and mysogny are hand in hand – the last bastion of someone who is less, who can be denied power – an underling. Power is all about being in control over something. Women and Homosexuals are easy targets. Religion is key here. Lack of education is key here. Like Grail, I don’t know what to do. In my own small way, with my own children, I’ve tried to overcome, yet I watch as my daughter (a brilliant mind) is being submissive to a lazy sumbitch (although he is truly loving towards her, but he doesn’t think he should pick up after himself. I’ve used an indelible marker on the toilet seat that reads “Put me down” because he continually leaves the seat up. It’s the little things, that become bigger things (ala Favreau) that leads to the terrible things (ala Hartwig).
    And for anyone who wants to label me as a silly, hysterical female…..try being raped at age 5.

  4. HT, thank you for being so courageous and allowing us to share this with you…

  5. You know, I’ve come out of lurkerdom on a very few blogs…a very few. The only requirement is a female perspective, because we have so few funnels for our issues. The issue for the Kennedy princess is only downplaying normal femine issues – and that infuriates me – D@mn it, we are over 52% of the worldwide population, and we deserve 17 & to less than nothing in representation? No wonder animals like Hartwig think it’s open season. Who the hell cares?

  6. I’m glad we make you feel safe here, HT.

  7. Insight, it’s not a case of being safe, although that is a consideration. It’s a case of being heard. Females usually don’t have a platform without the a@@holes coming along and accusing us of being hysterical, hormonal driven harpies. You know what I’m writing about, as I’ve been reading you for the better part of a year and I know you’ve been very alert to get rid of the bleeding idiots, but I also know that reading that trash takes a toll. Not sure how you do it, but glad that you do, and I’m glad that I get to read Grail and Kenosha and all your friends. It’s uplifing to know I’m not alone, but darned discouraging to realize that even after 50 years, women are no further ahead, and frankly, we only have women to blame. We are the majority! Why are we such bleeping co-dependents. Why do we enable the holocaust that is “domestic violence”.
    Ah, h#ll, A Handmaids Tale might just have been prescient.

  8. Grail,

    I don’t have any ideas. I only wish I did. I have been experiencing a period of harrassment lately that completely baffels me. It seems that the whole moral fabric of society has been turned upside down.

    I still lurk a lot, but don’t comment very much anymore. there have been too many suspicious episodes lately.

    I was warned to never google for anything because they are compiling a data base that could compromise you in the future. I was told that they could take your telephone number and locate your residence from that information. Consequently, my new number is not only unlisted, but in a family member’s name instead of mine.

    In my long life I have never really been afraid of anything until lately. This whole election cycle has turned our country into something I didn’t ever expect to see in America. If Favreau is allowed to keep his position in Obama’s administration, it will be the last proof I need that a woman doesn’t stand a chance for justice in this putrid atmosphere.

  9. HT I am so glad you de-lurked here. If women don’t stand together and support women then there is no hope for us and our children and our children’s children.

    It is women like you, that have come from being victims to being fighters against that which happened to them who will ignite this movement.

    The women who enable and excuse will be left behind to do whatever it is that such cowards and fools do. Women and good men fighting together against bigotry and violence are our only hope, our only chance.

  10. Lee..

    and everyone else…
    I don’t use Google to search…

    Look into these engines…read their policies…

    Scroogle.com
    Clusty.com

  11. scroogle is good. It rides on google, yet strips their data mining habitat and renders your query almost private.
    Kenosha, I’m not a brave person, just a really p/2ssed off woman. What happened to Betty Jean’s family is unconsionable, yet it occurs too many times per year. And it is ignored in today’s celebrity gossip culture (and dare I write it, in terms of the Favreau culture, it’s encouraged).
    Do I care that Lindsay is a lesbian….no. Do I care that Ellen and Portia got married – no. That should be a private celebration, and a given in an advance society. Do I care that Oprah endorsed Mr Telflon suit – definitely no, because what credentials does Oprah bring to the table? .
    Do I care that Hillary Clinton got cheated and defamed – you betcha, cause she is one woman who is attempting to bring women’s and children’s issues to the forefront and she’s a helluva human being who just happens to be a woman..
    Do I care about Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg jumping the queue? Damned right I do. because it denigrates all the wonderful initiatives by other women who have paid their dues and worked to make life better for everyone. Kennedy-whatever has done nothing except been eye candy with name recognition.
    Back to lurking, cause I’m bitter….

  12. Ladies,
    I am right there with all of you. When this situation with Louisa occurred, I took a moment to look back through the history of my life and see all the times that violence has been perpetrated towards me and other women and realized that it has always been a part of our lives. Unfortunately for some of us, the abuse came from other women – how does one explain that?

    I stopped being attacked when I became a loudmouthed bitch and drew the line in the sand and also when I stopped putting myself in situations that made me look like easy pickins’ , BUT it should not be occurring at all.

    I do not have an answer either – will have to background process on that for a bit.

    Thanks for the great post IA!

  13. Thank you, everyone for all the sharing that you do here at IA.

    GRL ~ what a truly right-on post.

    Years ago, I ran into (literally) a man who -first set me up to run into his car with mine. Then forced me off the road and while screaming the C-word, the B-word and any number of variations insisted that I get into his car. I had not got out of my own car and said I was driving to the nearest pay phone to call the EPD (evanston) to report this “accident”. When we got to the gas station, and I got out of my car heading to the service counter, he ran ahead of me all the while screaming obscenities at me. He abusively demanded the young women behind the desk give him the phone. And god bless ’em they said “No. Company policy requires that customers use the pay phone outside”. When he left to use the phone to call the police, they turned to me and said “Would you like to make a call?”, handed me the phone and let me call the police, and then my daughter who was home from school that day (I had locked myself out of the car because I was so scared). Ultimately, the police came, heard my report of what happened, heard his story and gave him a ticket – not me, even though I was the one who had rear-ended him. When my daughter came on her bike, bringing me the extra car key, he began calling her names as well. The police stepped in, and ordered him gone or face time in the city lock-up. They then followed me home to be certain this brute didn’t come anywhere near me and my daughter.

    Another time, my 16 y/o son, was arrested – in Chicago, no less – for a “prank” that, as it turned out, was not as serious as I thought, but was arrested, nonetheless. At the time I was nearly undone knowing he was in a Chicago lockup. I phoned his father – my ex, asking him to come stay with our youngest child as it was nearly midnight and I didn’t want to scare her by waking her up (bad decision on my part). His father (my ex) came over and threatened to beat the life out of him when I brought him home from the jail. Great – I had to get my son (who had never done anything like this) out of jail, and then I had to protect the both of us from getting beaten up. When I got to the lockup, I met with the police and then with my son and the police together. When I told him what his father said, the police sent an escort with me to make certain nothing would happen. The officer came into my home, spoke with my ex, made certain he was gone before he (the officer) even left the house, and gave me and my son his card telling us to call if we felt at risk.

    I know things don’t always go this way. I work with enough clients, who have experienced some really terrible, things to understand just how lucky I was/am. But somewhere, the police I mentioned, have had training or experience enough to know what can happen when men (and I guess women, too) are hate-filled and rageful.

    Both these incidents happened years ago. And I notice that I have begun to experience the same fear that Lee mentioned toward the end of her comment. “In my long life I have never really been afraid of anything until lately. This whole election cycle has turned our country into something I didn’t ever expect to see in America.” I also have begun to feel a hate that has begun to add skin color to gender. I have recently been called a “white b*tch” by the families of some of my AA clients. It feels like it is getting more dangerous rather than less. Is it my age, or my gender, or is it paranoia? I don’t know. I use public transportation to get to work. I have seen young AA teens openly mock the clothes, the appearance, just the whiteness of other passengers. I have met open hostility from older AA men who, when asked to move so that I could lock in the wheelchair of the client I was taking on the bus, said “I’m not moving for any white b*tch. I don’t care if the damn chair AND its passenger fall off the f**king bus”. The guy wouldn’t even move when the driver said we couldn’t go anywhere until the wheelchair was locked. So we all sat there.

    I don’t understand it either. And I don’t know when it started. Was it when the MSM began attacking the Clintons in the 90’s? Was it before, when we were marching for the ERA? Was it more recently, when the irrational fear of Muslims became so prominent? The fear of the power of women is not new. It is women who give birth, who teach, who foster growth, etc. We are powerful and we are feared. And it seems that even women are joining in this woman-hate
    What is happening?

    HT ~ I am not the brightest crayon in the box, but I know that what you just disclosed when you de-lurked was worth more than you might guess. I know what you experienced as a child and later was not your fault. Yet you are the one who suffered. Through your suffering, you have gained wisdom. And because of that, at least your children have benefited. Your daughter might, in the end, take another look at her situation and see what you see. She might even do something to change it. I hope so.

    Just keep that marker close.

  14. IA…I truly appreciate that you stand up for yourself. I have been known to do it many times myself. I would rather go down fighting than just roll over and die…Personally, I have grown quite weary of bullies and ill-informed people….men especially since they think they rule the world….well, I guess they kinda do 🙂

  15. Diamond,

    When I look back on my life, I too have been abused by women (psychologically and employment-wise). But on reflection, I realized that it was always for one or both of the following reasons:

    1) At the beshest (or to earn the approval) of a man
    2) In order to elevate themselves above someone/anyone (so as not to be low-man on the totem pole)

    I think we really need to figure out why we feel the need to be subservient to men, and why when we assert ourselves we are referred to as “loudmouth bitches”. That’s not what you became at all; you became someone that refuses to take the back seat!

    HT,

    Glad to see you commenting (both here and at Uppity Woman). We will never get past this if those of us that have suffered the worst do not scream at the top of our lungs. You, Betty Jean, Diamond Tiger, GRL, Kenosha Marge, Lee M, Leslie, and every other woman that speaks out is one more rung in our ladder out of the abyss! Keep fighting – we are so worth it!

  16. Leslie, you don’t have to be the brightest crayon, just the one with the durability to last.
    And, btw, I’m darned sick and tired of women denigrating themselves. I’m not the brightest bulb in the chandelier either, yet my IQ is quite impressive. Why do I feel it necessary to downgrade my intelligence, like so many other women. Oh, right, we’re not supposed to be smart, just nice accessories on the arms of men.
    Forgive me for I’m really po’d with Betty Jean’s situation.
    Grail, I don’t comment often because of the abyss. That would be the endless tunnel into which all women’s issues are thrown, however, lately, I’m getting really unsettled. I’m seeing occurences that I haven’t witnessed since I was a teen, 40 bleeding years ago.
    Sheite, 40 years! One election cycle, and we’ve lost even the politically correct treatment, and don’t get me started on what the GLBT groups have lost. Again, ignore me, I’m a bitter knitter, but you know, knitting needles have multiple uses.

  17. HT, for what it’s worth, I think that you are a very brave person. Pissed off or whatever works. It’s only when we sit silently that “they” win.

  18. Kenosha, I cannot believe that I am continuing to contribute to this discussion….. my only excuse is that I am royally poed.
    I’m not brave, I just experienced terrrible stuff, and I made a decision based on those experiences.
    Brave would be me leading protest situations. I don’t. I guess I’m full of sheite, because I don’t purt my money where my mouth resides and that makes me as useless as Campell Brown. . I am not a leader(by choice) , but give me a cause, and i’m there. As a woman on a limited income, supporting too many to be named, I’m a little leary in this age of Fisa and other such silliness to be in a situation wherein my income could be at risk. Ain’t Obamanation a treat>.

  19. HT,

    No way are you as useless as Campbell Brown! She is intentionally misleading the American public to further her own career at the expense of the Constitution. You are telling the truth to lend strength and courage to other women in order to defeat something evil!

    There is no comparison at all. I’d be glad to have you on my side any day!

  20. CORRECTION

    scroogleis a dot.ORG

    I tried scroogle with the dot com ending and got pornography.
    Completely shocked – well not completely, but enough to get back here as soon as I could …

  21. Grail, I don’t comment often because of the abyss. That would be the endless tunnel into which all women’s issues are thrown, however, lately, I’m getting really unsettled. I’m seeing occurences that I haven’t witnessed since I was a teen, 40 bleeding years ago.
    Sheite, 40 years! One election cycle, and we’ve lost even the politically correct treatment, and don’t get me started on what the GLBT groups have lost. Again, ignore me, I’m a bitter knitter, but you know, knitting needles have multiple uses.

    HT — it is WORSE then it was 40 years ago. My MA research was on sex role sterotypes — (today it’s called sexism). I had all the facts and figures and research in my thesis. The ONLY way anything can change is through education — and from the example from LEADERS.

    There has been some surface token improvement — but it was only on the surface — this is why one a**hole could take it all away in one election campaign. I don’t know what his religion is — but it bears no resemblance to any real Christian religion I’ve studied.

    It will take a major effort to change ingrained, learned attitudes toward women — and the only education I’m seeing is the negative sort from the media and from entertainment. So until these change — the deliberate denigration of women in the entertainment industry (which includes the media — they aren’t really interested in real news, are they?)

    Unless we all come together — ALL OF US — all women, regardless of party and demand that the girl children have a chance in their future — things will keep getting worse.

    There has been no improvement in the last 40 years — that it can be erased by one hateful, narcissistic penis.

    I’m pi**ed —

    The war now belongs to the young women — and I don’t have much hope that there will be enough of them to care.

    I wished I could be more hopeful . . . . . .

  22. HT,

    No way are you as useless as Campbell Brown! She is intentionally misleading the American public to further her own career at the expense of the Constitution. You are telling the truth to lend strength and courage to other women in order to defeat something evil!

    There is no comparison at all. I’d be glad to have you on my side any day!

    Me too Grail.

    Not every voice has to be the loudest. Not every voice has to be the most famous and get the most accolades. All it takes is to not knuckle under, not believe their b.s. and be a voice against the evil.

    Many don’t bother. Many don’t even try to understand. And many are “fearful” that standing up for themselves will make the “boys” not like them or protect them or help them.

    That is where courage comes in. You are fearful and yet you speak.

    My father was a Sergeant in the Army and I was raised on army bases all over this country. Dad taught me that the men in his platoon and the men he had fought beside in WW 2 that he had the most respect for, the men he thought were “heroes” were the ones that were scared “$hitless” as he put it, but did the job anyway.

    We all just have to do the job anyway. And if we are scared, then it takes more courage to raise our voices even if we don’t raise them very loud. We just can’t remain silent. And you are not. So you are brave HT. Even if you can’t see it. Even if you are afraid.

  23. Thanks for the correction, Leslie!!!! it’s ORG everyone, not the other stuff!!

    I just have it bookmarked and it’s lodged in my brain but I never really noticed!!

    HT–I think just getting up and living your life like Marge wrote is pretty much the simplest way to look at all this.

    We’re “wise women” now, so we’ve thrown off a lot of the shackles…

  24. Northwest Rain,

    Spot on, on every point! Especially the one about the media being included in the entertainment category. The “news” is a phony as a three dollar bill.

    We have made no progress over the last 40 years, and our refusal to acknowledge that has cost us more ground. It was all the easier for women to be pushed back while we were all pretending that we were equal, yet still getting paid significantly less, still getting beaten and murdered and raped (simply because they can), and still being joked about and sneered at in everyday life.

    The most wonderful thing about PUMAs is our ability to support each other and give voice to those that have been silent. I am proud to have been able to be a part of GRL’s efforts to do just that (as I know Kenosha Marge, American Lassie, and Leslie are). Seems like an appropriate time to offer thanks to GRL and to all PUMAs. This is the one shining light to emerge from the darkness of the past year.

    Long live the PUMA movement!

  25. “The war now belongs to the young women — and I don’t have much hope that there will be enough of them to care.”

    I am not certain it is the numbers of caring young that is as important as the insight to determine a fight is necessary. I wish the young women (and men) had the impetus to fight the way we did (and still do). I don’t think they see the problem the way we do. They watched us fight and march and do whatever we could to make the changes we wanted.

    What happened to the ERA? To most young people, ERA stands for earned run average.

    Because of the politicians AND the MSM and the corporatocracy, and women like Phyllis Schlafley et al. and the evangelicals and Mormons and self absorbed who see nothing except what they themselves want, we have a greater fight than ever.

    But (strangely) I digress. I know my own daughter is a feminist and doesn’t see things as dire as we do. My son is a feminist supporting husband and son. And he sees it more than my daughter; but still not as great an issue as we see. Did we not teach well enough? or did we give the impression that we would take care of all the ills of society?

    I remember having to drive a friend to another state in order to secure an abortion. Maybe when that time returns ….
    But I don’t want it to return. I don’t want anyone else to have to fight that same fight.

    I am po’d, too, and very sad.

  26. I wish for peace on earth and good will toward women. Men can go F themselves.

    (This will remain my sentiment until their sex can collectively clean up their act. Broad strokes, I know.)

  27. ea,

    LOL! If they could do that, most of them would really have no use for us!

    (Apologies to the PUMA gents and other good guys out there – just venting, and we know you aren’t like that!)

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