eeyore_grrl: (carey purple streaks)
You ask Why

Why do girls, born of beauty and grace, born with opinions and the will to say no, born with the ability to stand up for themselves, become victims of domestic violence? Why do we allow such a thing to happen to us?

Because our world is toxic to women. For this entry the video I’m linking to isn’t mine. It’s not the words that I have written and my voice reading poetry at my kitchen table. It is a video called #DearDaddy that I came across on facebook. A video that brought me to tears because of the painful and simple truth behind it.



I have known a remarkable number of women who are, or were, victims of domestic violence. Sometimes verbally, sometimes financially, sometimes physically, sometimes emotionally. Quite often, all of the above. I worked in a domestic violence shelter for several years in my early twenties. Before that I volunteered at a crisis hotline throughout college. I have met so many women that are ashamed that they had become such a statistic. And so many other women and children who knew nothing else and thought it was normal.

Truth be told, it is normal, but that doesn’t make it ok. It starts so young. It starts with Tom Sawyer tugging on and dipping Becky Thatcher’s braids in ink because he likes her. It starts with schoolyard shenanigans and well-meaning adults telling the little girls with skinned knees that the little boy only pushed her down on the playground because he likes her. It starts with advertisements on our screens, magazines, and billboards that treat women as objects or suggests that their life is not important or suggests, sometimes with subtlety, sometimes not, that it is ok to spike a woman’s drink. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3314032/Rape-culture-finest-Bloomingdale-s-slammed-creepy-horrific-holiday-ad-encouraging-customers-spike-friend-s-drink-not-looking.html). It starts with images of women who look dead being used to hawk everything from clothing to cars (http://www.stopfemaledeathinadvertising.com/). We are objects. We are owned. We are chattel. At least that is what we are being sold and told.

Add to this “Boys will boys;” which teaches boys that only their masculinity matters. That they have to be strong and tough and violent. That disrespecting girls and women with language and jokes is just par for the course and necessary for socialization.

This feeds and feeds on itself. The girl in #DearDaddy is well educated and raised to be strong and independent. The abuse creeps into her “perfect” relationship. Like the frog that doesn’t know the water it’s in is being boiled until it’s too late. Many of the women I have met grew up in violent homes. That’s the way it is. That’s the way it is. That’s the way it---

NO NO NO! STOP THIS! I’ve seen women I love beaten by men I love. It’s hard to wrap your brain around. But these are people that were in my life all along. Some of them helped raise me. They didn’t know any better and 40 years ago victimization was something to hide. We didn’t have the language of SURVIVOR. The language of hashtags and public campaigns against domestic violence. We often believed that she deserved it or asked for it. That he couldn’t help it.

She doesn’t deserve to be abused. He can help it.

You ask why? Culture. Habit. Low self-esteem. Embarrassment. Having nowhere else to go. Thinking, or knowing, that your father made the same jokes so maybe this is just the way it is. Feeling trapped. Thinking maybe I did ask for it with my skirt so short and my breasts so big. Toxic masculinity that doesn’t allow for men to be kind and gentle.

I’m going to stop here. I’m going to ask that you watch #DearDaddy. That you really listen to the message. I’m going to ask that you share it all across social media and ask your friends and family to listen to it also. Why? Because we, as a global society, allow it. And that has to stop. Help me stop it. Don't allow it to come out of your mouth and don't laugh at others who do. #DearDaddy, I'm going to ask you a favor.
eeyore_grrl: (carey purple streaks)
You can vote here: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/880602.html

-----------------------


If wishes were horses this beggar would drown. Wait no - scratch that - if pennies were horses this beggar would ride. Though upon further recollection that’s the wrong proverb entirely.

A penny for your thoughts.

A wishing well to toss pennies or for golden balls to fall into.

A penny saved is a penny earned.

Are any of these true? Adages and habits like these are the unseen losses of inflation.

****


The Frog Prince was performed at my wedding. A puppet show to entertain the guests before we met on the stage to exchange our vows. The self-centered princess dropped her ball down, down, down until a frog brought it back to her and traded it for a kiss. There is more to the story, a moral of being true to your word and how wishes sometimes come true in a roundabout manner. The bauble of a princess; So much more than a penny. Is the death of the penny going to ruin wishing wells; making sure only the 1% have wishes; Only those of us with golden ball baubles to throw into watery deep? Will I have to throw my grandmother’s wedding ring into the mall fountain in hopes of world peace, pain free days, and health for all people? Will piggy banks across America go out of use?

The dollar bill seems to be on the line, too. Inflation stealing it’s ability to buy a candy bar. Will the grade 3 and under set turn to Apple Pay and Google Wallet; being given their allowance and birthday dollars from grandma via email and smartphone? Email our Sunday Schools folded up bills once a week to teach us giving and support our churches? What excuse will college students and lonely hearts have to come within kissing distance of a dancer… a dollar poorer and lonelier still?

What will we do? What will we do?

Well, for sure, we should nix the penny. The truth is out there and it’s not in favor of our copper-plated friend. It costs more than it’s worth, literally, to manufacture. People hoard them in bottles and closets without spending them. We drop them into wishing wells by the handful… wishing for more money to pay our bills, magical houses, and love. But somehow we don’t spend our pennies. We, as general rule, don’t even think these coins are worth the energy it takes to bend down and pick them up from the sidewalk as we rush this way and that. Even if there are several in the same place, strewn across our path, we just continue on.

The penny has seen it’s last days. Or, rather, it should have. This country has enough monetary issues without sinking into a well of debt where we continue to romanticize this coin because we remember our childhood wishes and savings so fondly. My dreams and hopes are worth more; maybe I should pay face value -- childhood dreams adjusted for inflation.

For now I stand strong for the dollar bill. We can still gather enough bills to make a realistic purchase without bogging our purses and pockets down so much that we can’t walk under the weight of the load. One dollar tips at the Starbucks counter still add up to enough for baristas to divvy and buy lunch or put in a wallet until it is time to buy gas or groceries.

A nickel for your thoughts? Will a Snickers bar be as satisfying for five dollars? Will our wishes finally be free?

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