Women’s Rights and Issues and choosing the battle

Back when I got to college in 1970, the women’s movement was in full swing and all the women I knew were on the bandwagon.  We took off our bras and spoke out on politics and women’s rights, applied for graduate programs in law and medicine and business in record numbers and moved into many fields and positions traditionally dominated by men.

In spite of our high hopes, things turned in such a different direction, I’m watching the #MeToo movement with a mixture of delight and skepticism. I saw Meryl Streep proclaim in an interview “there’s no going back now” and I questioned it, because we all thought there was no going back in the 70’s and then…  we quit going forward and in my opinion a portion of women went backwards.

We assumed the sisters coming along after us would continue progressing and accomplish equal pay, breaking glass ceilings, and achieving an equal rights amendment.  So when we hit the late 80’s and I realized I didn’t hear much about any of that and accomplishments seemed to have stopped, I was stunned to realize the main thing I started seeing women standing up for was their right to be sexy.  Necklines dropped, skirts and shorts were raised, and by the 90’s into the 2000’s a fashion for hooker clothes — and even dressing their very young daughters that way — was growing.

Somehow the right to be sexy issue has become so bound up with a “rape culture” argument that my efforts in social media to suggest women drop that one are met with outcries of condoning rape based on the “she asked for it” mindset.  I’m not sure how so many women became so clueless but the right to dress however you want without being raped is a completely different issue than what it means to dress in ways — sexy– that support the masculine view we’re only worthy as sex objects.

In the 70’s we understood that and were very conscious of wanting to be viewed as more and not labeled as arm candy, trophies or sex objects.  I’m not sure what happened, but the move from standing up for being recognized as smart and capable and talented, etc. to standing up for wandering around with our busts and butts hanging out as the sole issue of interest is baffling to me.

Get Real About Where We Are

The truth at this moment in time is that far too many men [I’d argue a majority but can find zero studies that specifically question how men see women — not how they feel about the gender gap or inequality, but what they believe about women — in a male-dominated research world I found that interesting)] see women mainly as sex objects.  I’m not talking about the political correctness many of them babble in public, I’m talking about how they really feel and act.  There are men who were changed by the movement and sons who have been raised to respect women (though I may be arguing in another post that they nonetheless are part of a male privilege culture and disrespect women in subtle ways), but way too many men still see women as put on earth solely to serve and pleasure them.

We’re good for sex and possibly for cooking and changing diapers (although no longer sexy once the latter two are our roles…) but not good enough to be paid the same, to advance into equal numbers of managerial positions, to hold as many seats on Boards or to preside over important elective positions.  THAT is the current state of affairs.

To me, the insistence on the “right to be sexy” colludes with the male attitude that it’s all we’re good for and plays right into their sense of superiority and right to power.  How nice for them that in a world where they just want us to be sex playthings there’s a whole segment of the female population that wants to be nothing more than a sex object.  Good for the men maybe.  In what universe can any woman consider that to be good for us?

I’ve seen a number of these “sex as power” advocates claiming it’s empowering.  I call bullshit.  Empowering as to what?  It certainly doesn’t add anything to inner power, confidence or self-worth.  It’s only powerful as to men and some odd (and I’d say sick) sense of having power because you can turn a man on.  I hate to tell you, but most of them are turned on all the time anyway and some are known to have been turned on by sheep, so it’s a pretty low bar.  Not much power in being able to do that…

The ability to make men want sex from you objectifies you and maintains their image of a world in which they do what they want, get what they want and we are here only to serve them and their desires.

How did we stop demanding to be seen as smart, capable, skilled, talented, powerful, worthy, creative and EQUAL?  Why are so many women not fighting to change the male power balance and instead fighting only to validate men’s belief we’re only on earth to satisfy their need for sex?

#MeToo and Moving Forward

I’m glad to see the #MeToo movement; it’s beyond time to call men out for their sexist behavior.  But it concerns me a little that so much  is focused on the issue of being sexually harassed instead of being focused on the many other things we are, the many talents and abilities for which we should be recognized.

While we need to address the serious problem of men seeing us as sex objects, I think it’s even more important to address our right to be equal under the law, equal in pay, equally represented in boardrooms and management positions and elective offices, etc.  There’s a whole conversation about men respecting women beyond just telling them not to harass, molest and/or rape us that needs to be had.

There may be a time down the road when a conversation about our right to wear whatever we want is timely.  I suspect though, when we have achieved a change of attitude in which men see us as creative, talented, skilled, smart, capable, etc. and treat us as equals, and, more importantly when we see OURSELVES that way, we won’t need to argue about what we have a right to wear…  Let’s address the right issues first.

Further Reading:

Note:  this is a little off my usual beat, but I find the need to bring forth the divine feminine so important, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the issues we face.  So I don’t think I’m done 🙂


Still here… mostly :-)


I haven’t meant to disappear but the unwinding in my face has been very intense the last couple of weeks, going on sometimes 16 or 20 hours, interfering with sleep, etc.  So I’ve been kind of flattened — doing well to manage groceries and laundry, etc.  When it’s not too crazy I’m trying to keep up with reading your blogs, but I’m not even doing that as well as usual.

In many ways it feels like there is so little left, but the core pieces are still part of a complex pattern that still has some very tight pieces.  I keep being puzzled as I try to sort out what is twisted up with what– I can study pics of the muscles and this core chunk is still so confusingly complicated  I can’t figure out what all the specific ones still involved are.

The orbicularis oculi and orbicularis oris are heavily involved and some of the muscles down the cheek that connect them plus one or more of the ones that go from the front of the eye on back into the head.  But a few pieces are still being pulled far enough off course I wind up scratching my head and giving up when I try to sort it out.

I know, TMI… Anyway, I’m still here and one of these days I will actually write posts 🙂

Transition? Limbo?

Lately, besides the usual sluggishness from muscles, headaches, unwinding, etc. I feel like I’m swirling through some kind of transition.  Lots of articles inform me that many of us are experiencing symptoms from ringing ears to sleeplessness to sleeping too much to colds…  Since much of that is part of my norm, I can’t always tell 🙂

Whether it’s another phase of the long healing process or part of some larger transition of energies in the universe, I have been feeling pretty out of it and kind of floating in limbo.  Most days if I try to work on a post I just feel like I don’t really know what to say and that some elusive truth will soon be revealed but now is not the time.

Every now and then in the midst of the floating and coping with symptoms, an epiphany has arisen and in the past few days I’ve hit two of those moments.  The first has to do with me holding a vision of the future.  I’ve been doing it for a long time but, given the long, long-term health issues, there has been a problem for me in seeing myself in the vision as a healthy, energetic person.  It’s been so long, I literally have trouble remembering what it feels like.

But the other day I brought the vision to mind and suddenly, like a cool breeze blew through and changed everything, I saw myself in that future life, healthy.  And finally it seemed real that I could step into a future in which I live my vision and live it as a person of vitality and good health.

Then I started doing some genealogy research again and, after unsuccessfully working on a puzzle regarding my Lightfoot ancestors from Virginia, I started thinking about some of my amazing finds in this effort to fill in my family tree.

For some time I’ve been receiving advice from different directions about calling on my ancestors for help.  As I’ve unearthed a lot of issues I inherited from my ancestors, I’ve been reluctant to do that.  Doing Steve Nobel’s meditation on releasing ancestral issues periodically has really helped.

As I sat there running over the Lightfoots and many other previously-unknown names I’ve uncovered, I suddenly felt this softness come over me and a certainty that they could and would help and I called upon all my ancestors to help me finish untangling these long-held family threads.  Then felt them fill the room with their loving energy.

I don’t know where all this leads but as I sit here with muscles tugging, ears ringing and energy buzzing through me, I feel the winds of change …  again…

A little vision update

It’s been a long time since I mentioned much about the impact of the changes in my muscles on my eyesight.  Long ago I wrote a post about the late vision therapist Dr. Harry Sirota’s theories about emotions creating tight muscles that cause near-sightedness (and so much more).  At that time I was chronicling some improvements in my eyesight as the muscles unwound.

Eventually I realized the improvement was entirely in my right eye, which came as no surprise as the tight stuff is far worse on the left side and my left eye has been so cemented in tight and intertwined muscles I’ve had a notion it’s going to be the last piece to unwind.  The muscles on the left side have been holding a lot of stuff on the right side in tightness, etc. so I eventually hit a plateau where the right eye quit improving and nothing seemed to happen to my left eye.  Which is why I haven’t written about my vision in a while…

In the last couple of months a lot of the unwinding has been deep behind my eyes and suddenly today I realized my right eye has improved some more and … ta da ta da… the left eye is better too!!!  Not done… both sides have more to do, but I love these moments when the improvement is tangible.

Exploring mindfulness


Lately I’ve been noticing that “mindfulness” seems to be everywhere these days –including mainstream news.  As the term is bandied about I’m often surprised by where I’m seeing it or who is talking about it, but as I look at much of what is being said, I question how well many people really understand mindfulness.

In many places I see people speaking of it as if it’s only about controlling your mind as an act of will. To me mindfulness is so much more, I feel a little sad every time I see someone settle for such a narrow idea — or for the particularly American tendency to want to control everything, including the mind.

After sitting with a vipassana group for a year I began seeing how many forms of practice there are in which you can quiet your mind into a single focus and achieve more mindfulness:  yoga practiced with breath, or yoga nidra when followed with focus, or chanting when concentrating on the words of the chant,or pranayama while noting only the breath, etc.  To me the point is using practice to learn how it feels to be in the moment in a state of “empty mind” and peacefulness.

When you keep practicing, your mind starts learning to stay more quiet all the time, the state of calm begins to expand throughout your life, and your whole perspective shifts.  It’s so much more than just wrestling my thoughts into submission in a given moment.

When I complete a practice I’m in a space or a zone that has its own feeling tone.  I feel it in my heart.  I feel the calm throughout my body.  I feel in tune with something larger than myself.  Tapped into the Universe.

To me, mindfulness is more about surrender than controlling or willing anything.  In emptying my mind and flowing with the chant or pose or breath or silence, I let go of managing and fall into what Wayne Dyer called “the gap”.  Over time I also learned surrender involves letting the practices take me wherever they lead.

Plans have gone awry and life has unfolded in ways that would never have crossed my mind if I’d kept trying to follow a blueprint designed long ago.  Sometimes it’s uncomfortable.  Sometimes it’s scary.  I wouldn’t change any of it.  I like the person I’m becoming.  The change from being mercurial to finding equanimity, from neurotic to peaceful, from anxious to calm…

The quiet mind achieved in mindfulness practices doesn’t involve controlling thoughts.  It’s a space encompassing the moment and peace and higher consciousness.  With practice the space begins to fill life more and more with presence in the moment.  From that place of presence, you can choose to hold onto a thought or let it go.

But you don’t learn true mindfulness if you just try to force your mind regularly to moments when you pick different thoughts.  You’re missing so much if you don’t let yourself be taken to the place where mindfulness is a way of being present, calm, connected and new.

New Year Challenge: the positive view

Louise Hay Affirmation

In surprising ways the unfortunate outcome of the 2016 U.S. election wound up leading me to a transformational year in 2017.  One change arose from the outpouring of vitriol that started appearing on social media.  The constant dire warnings, fake news reports and generally combative tone that filled my Facebook wall led me to turn in the other direction.  I began looking for positive news every day and after a while it changed me.

When people write or speak about the terrible problems of the world today, I now just think, “you’re not looking in the right places if you think that represents the majority of the world.”  Seriously.  The media has chosen to emphasize things that frighten people and it suits the powers that be because the fear helps them collect funds for military, police, etc. and to distract people from the real causes of problems by giving them “others” to point the finger at.

We pay a price for the focus offered by our leaders and the media.  It shapes our world view and keeps us from seeing or acknowledging the multitudes of good people and good events that happen all around us.  Julia Bacha discussed this brilliantly in this short piece:

I started hunting around and found The Good News Network, the Positive News Network, the Huffington Post’s good news section, and SunnySkyz.com, to name a few, where I can find stories of heroism, altruism, innovation, environmental turn-arounds, etc. on a daily basis.  I also found groups working for peace and compassion, people promoting compassionate discourse, etc.

After months of looking for good news every day (along with a lot of chanting and meditating), I suddenly realized I could look at the mainstream news and just shrug because I no longer believed it represented a true picture of the world.  My whole outlook has been shifting and the more I seek and find amazing stories of kindness, heroism, ingenuity, etc., the more I believe the world is filled with more good than we let ourselves see.

So my challenge to you for 2018 is:  Look for the good.  Every day, find a story that uplifts or inspires you.  Check out the We Are the World blogfest, for which people post positive stories from around the world every month, as well as the above links to find great stuff.  Search for groups and/or organizations that are working for peace or to help people.

Then I invite you to write about how it has affected you personally to explore the positive side every day.  Sign up here for a month in which you would like to post and when your month arrives, put up your post, link to this post, tag it 2018PositivityChallenge and link to the next person on the list.

I’m starting it off with Feb. 20 to give the first person time enough to search for positive stories and see how it affects him or her.

Feb. 20, 2018

Mar. 20

April 20

May 20

June 20

July 20

August 20

September 20

October 20

December 20

January 20, 2019

Let me know in the comments if you want a particular date.

Over Christmas?

For some years now my mother and I look at one another periodically through the holiday season and declare, “I have no Christmas spirit at all.”  I’m not sure why I lost my Christmas mojo other than too many years of less than no energy and a dwindling budget though I have a feeling the energy transition occurring now is part of it.  I can’t even decide if I care, if I’m numb or, more likely, if I’m just in a space where the hoorah of it all doesn’t matter to me any more.

I used to get excited.  I’d shop for a tree after Thanksgiving, decorate it and the house and enjoy every minute.  I also spent much of my adult life living away from my parents (both when together and later singly) and traveling at Christmas, so there was a big trip to add some excitement, which often meant also seeing other family members or old friends.

Since I am an only child and never married, there haven’t been children or grandchildren to enjoy the holidays.  When my mother first moved back here and I visited, there were lots of friends and family who gave parties at Christmas and we’d hop from one event to another.  Then, when I moved here, I added a few annual parties given by friends of mine.  Mom’s friends and many of the relatives have died or grown too old to throw parties and my groups have kind of given up, so no big festivities to attend.

Aside from watching too many Hallmark movies, I’ve developed a tradition of attending a candle lighting service at a local “center for spiritual living”, a non-denominational “church”, with a friend of mine.   It’s always very moving and filled with love but otherwise Christmas just seems like a slog of buying and trips to the post office.

I managed to create a nice breakfast casserole and then a nice dinner for the day so my mother and I had a couple of special meals.  But my father lives far away and I worry about him, always alone.  This time he had a Christmas dinner invitation so that was a cause for joy for me.

At this point I mostly feel relief that we’re past another one.  All the decorations and hype make me feel like I “should” be experiencing some some sort of gaiety or euphoria for the season but I just don’t care that much about it any more.  I can’t even quite decide if I want to try to find the “Christmas spirit” again or if I prefer to just let it go…

I’ve been reading some channeled posts telling me that letting go of Christmas as we’ve known it is part of the move forward into the new  world/age.  So I’m curious whether this feeling of being kind of removed from Christmas is something others are experiencing or whether I’m just turning into Scrooge 🙂 ?