2017

Eve Roars, or Eve Squeaks?

It took one Homo erectus during the Early Stone Age to rub two stones together and discover fire. That little spark, arrived at completely by chance, is just what it took to make the leap that brought on the advancement of civilization. And that’s how a tiny spark can sometimes be the onset of revolutionary events that allow us to become “civilized” – or, “more civilized” should I be feeling magnanimous!

So it is with L’affaire Harvey Weinstein! That scandal lit a fire that is still spreading and that has caused every “Eve” who was touched by these humiliations, in one way or another, to Roar! Although I doubted that it would continue blazing, it now seems that the flames have become too strong to be suppressed. I hope so!

All that is very good, and should be encouraged and cheered on until it manages to change the culture. I come from a generation in which Eve was not allowed to protest lest she upset the apple cart! So, let’s upset that damn apple cart! It’s high time we do so!

However, while I encourage every Eve to Roar, I have seen enough of these crusades in my lifetime to realize that they have taken down the bad, as well as the good in their wake. Therefore, we should be wary and cautious. There are many men on “our” side. Alienating them would be counter-productive. I still remember the heady and exciting days of the seventies when we were crusading for Women’s Liberation, and how some of the radical elements amongst us lumped all men as chauvinistic patriarchal pigs, and married women became concubines! And I must admit that I, too, got carried away then with some of that fervent mob rhetoric. This disaffected many men and women, and invited a severe backlash – not that this was the only reason – so that several years later we began to witness how admitting we were “feminists” became reason for scorn! Therefore, maybe we can learn from my generations’ past experiences and missteps?

One: We should not malign all men for the transgressions of some. Not all of them are scoundrels! I heard one zealous young woman on a television interview saying that she has no problem with making all men pay for the sins of some. She was either not yet born, or a baby in the seventies, and probably does not know the real history of the movement and the mistakes that we should now avoid. Maintaining a balanced approach is of the utmost importance. Otherwise, it would be very unfair!

Two: Now that the opportunity has presented itself again, we should seek to remedy the injustice and not merely score vengeful points! If we demand retribution for twenty centuries of wrongdoing and emasculate our men in the process, we will all suffer the further degradation of our already stressed relationships. That, too, would be very unfortunate!

Yes, Eve should Roar!

And, as Eve Roars regarding the sexual conduct of our society, she cannot be Squeaking about all the related issues. I hope that she would carry her protests to all the injustice, evil and wrongdoings in our country and in the world. Unfortunately, most of our female politicians don’t do that! They are all jumping on the sexual assault bandwagon now because it is popular. Such opportunism! Such hypocrisy! Such double-standards! They are shameless! Roaring about sexual predators is very important. But, what about all the other predatory, unjust and discriminatory actions that are going on as we speak? Our world is interrelated and interconnected on multi levels. Addressing the very important issue of sexual aggression is part and parcel of the assault that is taking place every day, here, at home, and all over the world. If we are to Roar and really cause transformational change then we have to address all the causes that are rendering victims out of women – wars being the primary causes that invite aggression on all fronts. (And many of our female politicians supported all our wars!) This is our chance to make a true and lasting impact if we are serious. This is our chance to Roar and not to fear any repercussions, while demanding that all the sexual assault culprits be punished as per the law.  Change will not happen on it’s own simply because we are furious about it.

Frankly, I have had enough of any woman (or man, for that matter!) who talks about equality, justice, compassion and empathy and manages to conveniently forget those attributes for political, or financial gain. “Job Security” is precisely what, in many cases, has encouraged sexual predators – as well as the silence of men and women, and the complicity of others – to continue being flagrantly abusive. It is also what encourages corruption and hypocrisy across the board. Enough of all that!

What has been happening recently in our country is nothing short of terrifying chaos and dangerous babble! Every one of us “Eves” should be extremely concerned about that. Moreover, I think we are all aware that as women who might come from different sides of the political spectrum, we will not be able to agree on all issues. Nevertheless, there are many problems that we should all be able to agree on irrelevant of our divided, and divisive, politics simply because they are good for women, the country, its people and our world. We could agree at a minimum, for instance, on demanding transparency throughout our governments; requiring that all corruption be eliminated; insisting that double-standards are not okay.

Throughout history, we women were the compassionate negotiators on this planet within, and without, our homes. In our renewed demands for equality and justice we should not forget that while we are different from men, we are equals who need them as much as they need us; we must love and care for them as much as we care for and love ourselves; and we must ensure that all of us feel respected, safe and secure in our homes, jobs and on this confused planet.

Roar Eve!

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2017

Frothing!

The recipe called for warm milk, so I placed a little pot of that on the stove, then I got distracted by my young kids and forgot all about it! Rushing back to the kitchen as soon as I remembered what I had been doing, I found that the milk had frothed and splattered over the sides where it had adhered and turned into an ugly, smelly brown that scalded my pot! I spent a lot of precious time cleaning due to my carelessness!

I have a feeling that this is what is happening to our distressed world. It is sitting on a hotplate whence an irresponsible political leadership and a class of careless affluent citizens are playing possum, while the majority of the planet’s inhabitants are churning and frothing as they subsist on nothing but injustice, turbulence, constant struggle, anguish, racism, discrimination, marginalization and wars.

Our world has always had issues, and the problems have been, more or less, the same. Political leaders have also consistently handled them in almost the same way: crack down on civilian unrest; silence their dissent; raise their taxes; burden them with nonsense; and, if all that doesn’t work there is always the option of distracting them by going to war, looting valuable resources and spreading the political leadership’s own version of governance and/or religion! Quite a devilishly simple formula! However, it seems that only the very few want to link our recurrent past to our present history. Was our past history occurring on another planet and not on our own, perchance?

Moreover, the hubris of Greed, Corruption and Power has always imbued political leadership with the conviction that they know what is best for their people and the world, and that, therefore, we should all leave the decision-making up to them since they consider us as merely parasitic idiots whose valid and vital issues are to be disregarded. Our having elected, and often re-elected them again and then again, reinforces their convictions that we are nitwits and that they are geniuses! How then have they not managed to solve any of the planet’s intractable problems?  Genius Ineptness, or Genius Unwillingness? Here, in the US, we seem to be living in a constant state of war on everything and everyone: whether it is our wars in Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, the Middle East and across the world, or the incompetent wars on minorities, guns, drugs and opioids that never seem to resolve the crisis, and in some cases amplify it even more. It is quite unbelievable!

Supporting Power are two necessary tools: The Armed Forces and the Mainstream Media whose mission is supposedly to speak for, and on behalf, of the people. Almost everywhere you look around on this globe you will find that these two tools are the Enforcers of the Political Leadership’s undemocratic, aggressive whims.

As one very small example of the media’s complicity in supporting political objectives: there was a brouhaha recently due to Trump’s allowing the import of elephant tusks and other game trophies from Zimbabwe and other African nations. He eventually rescinded that idiotic decision (one amongst several!). Meanwhile we all saw the pictures of his sons smiling gleefully while holding their hunting trophies! I could not but think of Odai and Kusai, Saddam Hussein’s sons, who were vilified for their exigencies and corruption at owning wild African and Bengali tigers and other animals on their property, and how that was one more reason for the heroic United States, supported and cheered on by the Military and the Mainstream Media, to save the Iraqis from such disgustingly corrupt characters and to go to a war that devastated Iraq and the innocent Iraqi people, as well as destabilized the entire region. It is beyond hypocritical, sinister and evil double-standards!

This ties in to the absurdity and tragedy of the whole Middle East situation. Only recently, hundreds of journalists and pundits have been spouting off, analyzing and forecasting what’s going to unfold in that convoluted and despairing region of the world. The truth is that no one knows, for the web has become so entangled – with alliances and re-alliances, wars, as well as manufactured and choreographed proxy wars – that unravelling it is going to be even more prolonged, horrific and tragic for all concerned, especially that Israel and Saudi Arabia are now on the same side of the fence! That wouldn’t really be a bad thing under a normal progression of events, because one day, sooner or later, all the Middle Eastern nations will just have to find a way of coexisting in that same small playpen. However, that particular convergence has loomed unexpectedly and too ominously fast leaving people in the region breathless, aghast and petrified! Does it seem that President Trump has delegated the resolution of the Middle East conundrum to his friend Bibi and that still-untested rebel Salman? That whole ludicrous Hariri episode was part of the evil scenario unfolding. What about Putin’s interests in the region? Might the two leaders have discussed how to divvy up the Middle East between them? Who knows? The machinations of political interests are shrouded for the moment. My disconcerted feeling is that the Palestinian people might be victimized once again by paying the biggest price for all this menacing maneuvering. Tragic!

The perverted state of our political and corporate leadership has also been proven by the continuing “Russia” investigations going on in the US, and the disclosure of the “Paradise Papers” that demonstrate how the billionaire class worldwide, together with the multi-national corporations, no matter what country they are from, hold benefits that are closely interconnected and interrelated. Protecting those interests is their vital concern, not the welfare, well-being, or the communal good of ordinary citizens. Speaking from both sides of their lying mouths, our legislatures (same as their ilk elsewhere in the world) parade on our televisions pontificating about how they only have the welfare of ordinary people in mind, while stuffing their legislative bills with items that we are not told about and that benefit only them, their cronies and the corporatist lobbyists who fill their coffers. Case in point: the slush fund that they had allocated – whose existence even some of them were unaware of, let alone us citizens – and that was designated for silencing and buying off women whom they had assaulted. Really? How can this even be acceptable without heads rolling? And all this, while skimping on our health care, education, wages and other necessary needs that minimally ensure justice and equality for all??!! How corrupt and shameful is that? How much else is “hidden” in the unseen legislative vaults? Or, perhaps this is just another lame “Russian” conspiracy? It looks to me like we don’t need Russia, or anyone else, to unravel our democracy. We are pretty good at doing that to ourselves!

The frothing that is taking place in many communities and countries will eventually scald us all. It is avoidable if only we had decent, honest, sensible political and corporate leaders, as well as involved citizens who demand drastic change that should bring about justice, equality and peace. Is that too idealistic, or too much to ask for? Seriously?