“Aren’t you glad you are flexible mom?”
My son and I were walking back from an early morning game of passing the puck on the icy roads near our house.
“Yes. I am.”
“I knew you would enjoy this game.” He said proudly with a twelve year olds wisdom.
And I did.
I enjoyed his company, the light of the early morning sky, the way most strangers smiled in amusement, the way he passed pucks accurately and softly this season (less chance of twilight blue marks on pale winter shins).
I enjoyed the way being a mom has made me less conventional.
But mostly I enjoyed his smiles and our laughter.
Inspired by “jolly” in daily post and the first snow.
Powerful, talented men are falling all around us. Falling stars who attracted wishes and dreams and burned up women’s hopes like delicate moth wings.
We are all more than a little uncomfortable. The tower of patriarchy is crumbling. Even the foundations are cracking. We are finding that the foundation we built our culture is not bedrock but landfill and all this #metoo revelations aggregate into an earthquake. But unlike a natural disaster, this man-made disaster will clear the field for the rise of a stronger culture for both men and women.
But this powerful movement is also being exploited.
False equivalencies flow from partisan mouths. A proposition is not the same as an assault. Consensual sex with an adult is not the same as pedophilia. Harassment is not the same as rape. Even harassment has levels. I know these things from my own life experience but these are not just personal opinions. The legal and criminal codes of our country define what is a civil violation and what is criminal.
Our legal system has the tools to address harassment, rape and child abuse. Our workplaces have the policies. We need to remove the cultural and social obstacles that mute the victims while preserving due process.
We need to complete fair investigations on the accused. The court of public opinion just buries the truth in propaganda and partisanship.
I want investigations into the allegations against franken, trump and others and then fair judgement and commensurate consequences.
It looks like we are not ready for that kind of balanced action. We are in full disaster mode. The spectacle and passions drive us.
Today I’m trying to steady the ground in my own small way.
We are in the age of the new robber barons. We are in the age of trump.
Be noisy for the robber barons love your silence.
Be a bright light for the robber barons like to commit their crimes in darkness.
Be strong because the robber barons will try to diminish you.
Beware for the robber barons will give you worthless trinkets to try and buy your soul.
Be united for the robber barons use your strife to divide you.
Be informed because the robber barons want you to forget the lessons of history.
For more on the robber barons of the past.
Photo credit; MANISH SWARUP, AP
“I have seen firsthand that all too often, women must do more than their male counterparts to prove themselves at work.” – Ivanka Trump
At the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India, Ivanka acknowledged (lamented) that women often have to work twice as hard to get the same things.
I want to type no joke down the page for the rest of the morning.
In case you are wondering no joke is how my fingers are translating the curse words filtering through my brain.
The problem is Ivanka has often used the hardships of sexism to elevate her own struggle and connect with the less privileged among us. It’s good for her brand.
Wait. Did I type struggle?
Fingers resisted the urge to put quotes around the word struggle.
There I go again. I’m glad my fingers are good at censoring.
Yes. Ivanka. We know.
We are underrepresented in government and leadership positions.
We make less money. Current research projects that we we reach pay equity in 2119. Just in case you think i made a typo, the projection is not two years but one hundred and two years.
Our sports achievements are diminished and under compensated.
The most person for the presidency was over prepared, too experienced, too good at debates to be relatable.
No joke, Ivanka.
Day 2 of my 365 day yoga challenge. The key is to start the day with my practice.
Over coffee, I assess my return to yoga after years of setting aside. I have lost so much flexibility. Over-stretching is highly possible. I need to be mindful and not go as deeply as I used to. Also, my core is soft and compacted. It’s like my insides have all collapsed into my pelvic bones.
I really should get going.
I need a catch phrase to sum up my theme for the week. Something that sticks in my mind. If I focus on flexibility I’ll over stretch. I was secretly so proud of my flexibility.
I got it. “Discover tightness”. How about “climb out of your pelvis”. Can I have two? Should I save one for next week. I can always come up with a new one. But what if I run out of ideas for catch phrases? I need 52 for a year.
I run through them in sequence. They work. I’ll take the risk.
I think I need a graphic to help me remember the catch phrase. Something that I can set as my phone home screen. It will motivate me. It will be hard to avoid yoga when I look at my meme multiple times each day.
I do have this new drawing app. It will be great to build some skills. I do like creating my own art for my blog.
Let’s do this!
That might be a bit hard to live up to.
I lay out my yoga mat. A timer will help me relax into my sun salutations. Otherwise I could go too long and forget to wake my do
Cosmic too jarring. Crescendo. Sounds like my phone. Zen sound too synthesized.
Doesn’t anyone have a simple chime.
I log onto iTunes.
There we go…
Wait a minute. $1.49 for a ring tone? That’s more expensive than a whole song. Ridiculous.
How about a meditation app?
For a little less than a year, I practiced daily gratitude journaling.
It was a year that the bottom had dropped out of my life and my soul was tumbling. There were days my young son’s struggles were so extreme that writing about the good events of the day seemed shallow and insincere. I could not look into his grief filled eyes and be thankful for a glorious sunset, or a delicious latte or friendship. I was sick with worry nearly every day.
In the midst of the darkest day in that period, I had no more strength to fight. I had no defense mechanisms.
All that was left was to approach my day with a deeper authenticity. I could not close off my feelings to the rest of the world. At that moment, I was able to open up with the people in my son’s team that changed the course of his life.
That night when I sat to write, my journal flowed easier as the blessing and the struggle were one in the same.
From that moment on, I have found gratitude easy. It bubbles up into my awareness whether or not I am journaling.
It took nearly a year of practicing a more superficial gratitude before I could discover thankfulness in the darkest times.
For me, gratitude journaling was transformational. I wish the same for you.
“How many feminists does it take to change a lightbulb?”
“That’s not funny”
My uncle laughed and then explained the joke to my son.
My son laughed.
I lectured my uncle about modeling sexism and diminishing women with cheesy jokes that made us choose between laughing along like a good sport or being ridiculed as a humorless feminist.
I said it in one breath without stopping.
Yes. I was the living punchline.
The thing is I don’t mind being seen as a humorless feminist. I’ve always found that comedy is often cruel. Cheap laughs prey on the vulnerable. Which brings me to the topic of the Al Franken scandal.
I’m angry about Al Franken and all of the other men who objectify women for pleasure, power or laughs.
His comedy and his actions are in the spotlight. Conservatives who were seeking to change the narrative from Roy Moore’s predatory pursuit of teenage girls have had some success.
Al Franken was wrong. He apologized and Leanne Tweeden, accepted his apology. Tweeden showed a lot of strength coming forward and voicing a balanced perspective.
As Tweeden stated, Al Franken has done good work in the Senate. He’s been a strong advocate for women’s rights and civil rights. He’s worked hard for some of the very groups he marginalized with mean-spirited comedy.
An apology doesn’t make everything okay. Not by a long shot.
Everyone involved including Franken agrees that an investigation is in order. I want it to be thorough and fair: a model for future investigation into Trump’s sexual assault accusations.
In the meantime, I would like Franken to stay in office and vote against every anti-woman legislation that comes up to vote. I know we can count on him for that.