Watching WW2 Docuseries Makes Me Think of the Cost of Patriarchy

I’m rewatching the docuseries, WW2 in Color on Netflix, and it’s amazing to see, time and time again in history, the tragedy of patriarchy unfolding to such a degree. In my studies with my degree in history and work as a history teacher in the past, (and of course my avid attention to documentaries) I see it over and over. Think about it: it’s always men leaders leading these pissing contests and unchecked anger to push other men (and sometimes women too) to fight to the agonizing and devastating death. It’s the hidden truth right under our nose. And the additional not so secret truth is that men lose out on this battle too: duh. Patriarchy is harmful to men too.

And PLEASE do not misunderstand me. This is not to say that “men are the enemy” quite the opposite. it is to state that men (and women) can do better and deserve better.

I find it important to state the obvious fact, because it is often overlooked, that it is one gendered pattern of people doing these acts. Why? And how can we fix it? I think we are doomed to repeat mistakes if we don’t point out the obvious that here is this general pattern: and so what can we do to ensure that men leaders do not unleash their anger and power on others and each other in these types of ways?

We often get so used to the adage “people are violent.” Well, no, generally speaking, men are violent. (And again, not all men are violent. But certainly don’t say “people are violent” because it isn’t women waging war, or terrorist acts, or being mass shooters or murdering etc. It doesn’t mean women are better, it just means women are not the ones who are waging wars and pushing other women to slaughter each other over their emotions.)

What if we did things differently and balanced out the power between the genders? I don’t think we need the pendulum to swing completely in the other direction of all female power: it should be balanced, something we really haven’t seen much of at all in history. (And of course taking into account as well that gender is a spectrum and not in fact a binary.) What if we, in practice and in our actions and diplomacy, raised up the qualities that are supposedly feminine? Like empathy, patience, listening and understanding? Nurturing our people and environment etc etc.? Oh but then that would be too “sissy.” Much cooler to let the world burn. And much more “practical” to continue to do the same thing over and over-Of waging war and sending men to battle… after all, if we engaged in real practical and empathetic diplomacy, as the one unified human race we actually are, we wouldn’t have entertaining movies and documentaries about wars. Boo hoo.

Call me crazy but there is a better world awaiting us. And we can do it if we break old habits. I don’t have all the answers, I wish I did. But I do believe that creating a world with more balance is a start: less domination of one gender, or of one people, over another and more balance. Empowering women to have more practical, peaceful power. People in general are not all violent: People in general, men, women, children etc., are intelligent and capable of a better world than blowing each other to smithereens.

In the midst of this Texas situation, here are ways to help fight for reproductive justice. One major way: Urge our Reps to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) and donate to those fighting for it

Here is a LINK to donate to NARAL Pro-Choice America.

A major part of fighting against these forced-birther bills like those in Texas and Alabama is to not just fight against something, but to fight for something: Fighting for the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) is a great offensive move to try to enact legislation that actively prohibits such restrictive legislation against abortion, and would work to protect Roe v Wade, the constitutional right which makes abortion legal. As CBS points out, the WHPA, “…would guarantee the right of all Americans to access abortion care regardless of where they live.” CBS Denver

Let’s face it: The issue here isn’t just this insane bill in Texas that just passed. It is the floodgates of absurd legislative acts that potentially await us, in which states try to control a women’s right to her own body. In-fact, anti-choice legislation is already in the works across the country. That is why it is so vital to pass legislation that prohibits bills which restrict abortion. So who is working to pass this legislation?

Texans protest the 6 week abortion ban in their state.

Source: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Members of Congress, (such as Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette) are fighting for our basic and vital rights. Find out where your representatives stand. Urge them to pass the WHPA. Also, let’s not just urge our reps or reprimand the bad politicians, (though let’s definitely do that too) but let’s tell the good ones we support them and appreciate them. Lets let them know we need and thank them.

And who can you donate to? One organization is NARAL Pro-Choice America. (NARAL, in case your curious, stands for National Abortion Rights Action League. Yes, odd name, but GREAT organization.) NARAL Pro-Choice America has been a trustworthy and reliable pro-choice organization for over 50 years. They work to elect candidates who are dedicated to reproductive rights.

I have frequently donated and volunteered for NARAL because they get to the heart of issues and fight fiercely for pro-choice rights. At one point, I volunteered for NARAL when they were exposing harmful practices of anti-choice, fake clinics. I went undercover for NARAL to expose what these anti-choice people were doing to women at these fake clinics. But that is a different story, one which I will perhaps tell at a later date. (If you’d like more info on the fake clinic issue which is still plaguing our country still, check out this article by the AMA Journal of Ethics, titled “Why Crisis Pregnancy Centers are Legal but Unethical.) The point is, I support NARAL Pro-Choice America and I believe in the incredible and important work they do. And I encourage you to research them as well and donate to them if you so choose. They are fighting for the Women’s Health Protection Act to get passed and are fighting for women to have access to reproductive healthcare.

Here is a link to donate to NARAL Pro-Choice America. Donate what you can. My pocket book is a bit slim these days, so I made mine a monthly contribution of 5 dollars, which adds up to 60 bucks over the year. You can do that if you’d like, or, frankly, a one time big contribution may be even better, since there is little time to waste.

No matter how you do it, make some sort of difference in whatever way you can:

-Talk to your friends and family about abortion issues.

-Tell your own story about your abortion if you feel comfortable.

-Talk to your brothers, male-friends, fathers, uncles etc.. Dudes need to know about these issues too! And they need to hear it from the women and trans men they care about.

-Approximately 1-4 women get abortions, (according to the Guttmacher Institute.) Abortions happen and they are necessary for many women, people and families.

-Donate.

-Turn out for protests. Protests across the country are taking place October 2nd, organized by the Women’s March organization.

-Speak up on social media. Follow Instagram accounts like ShoutYourAbortion AbortionisNormal and one of my faves, SisterSong, the National Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective. (Follow them for updates on events & news at http://www.sistersong.net.)

Together, we can fight for our basic rights! Let’s do this!

Texas Bans Abortion at 6 Weeks and Encourages Bounty Hunters to Sue Providers of Abortions

I am at a loss for words… In the following days, I will try to find the words to describe how devastating this is. But for now, I will let the American Civil Liberties Union speak through their Twitter Account in the photos below. This is a sad, scary day.

Trader Joe’s Doesn’t Sell Tampons or Pads: Dan Bane, do you think these are luxury items for your customers?

It turns out Trader Joe’s doesn’t sell tampons or pads. Walking into a grocery store that doesn’t have these necessary items for nearly half the population is mind boggling to me. Hey, Dan Bane, white, male CEO of Trader Joe’s: Do you think this is a luxury item for your customers?

My friend had the perfect question when I told her they don’t carry feminine hygiene products. She said, “That’s bizarre. Do they carry toilet paper?” The answer to that is yes. One could argue menstrual products are actually more of a necessity than toilet paper. We’d rather not bleed all over the place fyi.

When I asked the cashier why they don’t sell feminine hygiene products, her answer was: “Oh, we don’t sell razors, or shaving cream or plastic products and stuff like that.” Stuff like that? Your equating a necessary item for half the people of our planet with messed up, plastic products? Is this unique to my city? Or is this a company wide policy? If this company were run by a woman, I can’t imagine they would not sell a vital product like this. Trader Joe’s needs to step up, explain themselves, and start selling this basic necessity. Are they sexist? Naive? They need to explain themselves.

I would like to see Trader Joes, what I consider a fantastic company, to join us in the 21st century where women can go to their favorite grocery store and pick up the necessary items they need.

Today, a Woman Became Vice President

Today, January 20th, 2021, a woman became Vice President of the United States. Also, the first African American and South Asian American to hold the position: The second highest position in the country.

This is a deeply important moment, not just for women, but for humankind, in taking a step towards creating some semblance of balance. We still have a long way to go, but we are further on the trajectory towards a better world, one where power does not rest solely in male, white hands.

Thank you Kamala Harris, for taking this enormous step forward for us.

The Magnitude of the Death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg: What Will Happen to Women’s Bodily Autonomy/the Ability to get an Abortion?

Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s contribution to Americans, particularly American women, is absolutely incredible: If you are a woman, and you have a credit card in your own name (and not your husbands name) you owe RBG thanks. If you have leased an apartment or bought property in your name, you owe RBG a thanks. If you have consented to your own medical treatment, you owe RBG thanks. If you played a sport in school, you owe RBG thanks.

One of the biggest contributions she has made to our country, is being a voice for choice: The right for women to control their own bodies and not be forced into motherhood. The right to an abortion.

I have had difficulty expressing the magnitude of the passing of Ms. Ginsberg and the immensity for what it means for women (and men’s girlsfriends/partners) to potentially lose access to the safety net of abortion.

Therefore, I would like to leave you with my friend Lynsey Bourke’s words of wisdom. She gets right to the heart of the issue and the problems we face as a nation. Bourke works to make abortion accessible in West Africa and she is someone I knew from when I lived in Montana. She is a regional operations director for DKT International, the world’s largest providers of family planning and safe abortion services. She is an incredible authority on the topic. In a post on September 19th, she states:

How to Get Trump Out of Office: The Necessity to VOTE Biden

If you are an informed and compassionate person, chances are, you want trump out of office. You’re angry and saddened at the world he has created. You’re astounded by his stupidity and the way he has torn the country apart. You’re incensed that he has perpetuated the death of thousands and thousands of people, needlessly, at the hands of incompetent leadership during a pandemic. What can you do?

VOTE HIM OUT. Do not abstain from voting just because Biden and Harris are not your favorite. It is your humanly duty (and all of ours!) to vote Biden, in order to get trump out of office, and to get his tiny hands to relinquish the grasp he has on our democracy and well-being.

I cannot believe I even have to state why it is important to vote Biden this November. I have some friends who are going to abstain from voting since Bernie or Warren are not the pick. Are you KIDDING me? These folks, who are very bright, good-hearted, progressive individuals, are gambling our democracy away with their misplaced ethics. I get that they want a better system and want better democrat candidates. So do we all. But you’re not going to get that if our democracy is gone. Allowing trump to stay in office any longer not only threatens democracy, it literally threatens people’s lives: trump’s mismanagement and avoidance of the COVID pandemic has caused thousands and thousands of people to die. The fact that I know people who are even considering not voting for Biden astounds me. Allowing trump to stay in office threatens the planet. The environment is already beginning to collapse because of the climate crisis, and some people are going to sit back and allow a “leader” like trump to dig us deeper into this horrific environmental catastrophe? I’m appalled. If you want a better democracy, you have to VOTE for it. You first have to oust the man causing it’s demise.

VOTE. Not voting for Biden would mean trump is elected again, which would perpetuate the pandemic and further the climate crisis. It would also mean pushing vulnerable populations further into the horrific circumstances trump has perpetuated and created, and would continue to create. It means women, LGBTQ+ and minorities will be further subjugated. THIS CANNOT STAND. We all must band together and vote Biden in order to get rid of trump.

1.) Make sure you are registered to vote at your current address and VOTE.

2.) Have those tough conversations with people who are on the fence. But have those tough conversations with understanding, grit and kindness. I am a firm believer that you CAN change people’s minds by talking to them. In-fact, that is the very way you DO change minds. As long as you’re not doing so with anger, and you know you are speaking the truth with basic kindness, you can and will, change minds.

3.) Donate to Biden and Harris’s campaign. I know they’re not your favorite pick: They weren’t mine. But you know whose worse? trump. So let’s get him out! One way to do that is to help monetarily in any way you can. (I took out a hundred bucks from my savings. That’s a lot for me. But give whatever you can, even if it’s five bucks.) We all know trump is a money-grubbing unconscionable billionaire. So we have to fight money with money. You want to see trump out? Financially support the people (Biden and Harris) who can beat him.

4.) Volunteer somewhere that is working for progress. I’m personally going to find an organization that is helping get people registered to vote.

5.) Help a friend get their ballot or give them a ride to the polls.

6.) Post on social media about your support for Biden. A support for Biden, however begrudgingly, is a direct slap in trump’s pathetic face.

Now is the time for action. We face a crossroads right now as a nation and as a globally connected community: We must, and CAN, vote trump OUT. Our lives, our democracy, and our decency depends on it.

Below is a quote that encapsulates an important point about where we are with politics right now: