Wednesday, March 08, 2006


INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY! BAH! HUMBUG!

International Women's Day is a patronizing sop to women more than anything real. I don't want to be sopped. I don't want daughters and granddaughters the world over to be sopped. I dream of women having real power, real power to stop the idiocy that is killing the earth. How can we truly celebrate a women's day when all that women are, all of the life giving, life sustaining forces that we represent, are daily being denied,liquidated, and shoveled over with the toxic feces resulting from our daily intake of corporate greed and one upmanship.

Of course there are awakened men out there who are as worried as I am about the future of the earth. I think I know most of them. They get swept into my orbit, or I into theirs, by our mutual concerns. That's not the point. The point is that there is only one consciousness out there representing the human race, the human mind, on a global scale and that is male consciousness. And the concept of a special day for women bothers the hell out of me. To make substantive change we don't need a special women's day, we need a special women's army.

Women taking up arms in large groups? Don't be silly. Collectively, women hate violence and guns because this hurts and kills people. And that's the point. Or one of them. Women too often had rather, if there's a choice, receive hurt than deliver it. That's why we're always trying to make nice, sooth things over, and at the same time try to ignore men who form corporations that plunder forests, despoil water supplies, make the world hotter in more ways than one, and threaten other people and nations who don't agree with them. But we can't ignore these men (and their female apologists, even the US army has a female spokesperson)
any longer. Why not, you may ask? Ignoring them has worked at least to a certain extent up till now.

Well, it's not going to work any longer because the children and grandchildren being born today are going to face profound health challenges. We have to look at the possibility that because of the serious degradation of the earth due to industrial deforestation, mining, off shore drilling, and the insidious, secretive, chemicals of industry that affect our food and water and household supplies, that significant numbers of our new citizens may never die of old age. The chemical and pharmaceutical industries have saturated us adults with carcinogens that are being passed on to children and grandchildren. Chemicals that never leave young bodies. Chemicals that cause disease and learning disabilities in children. And this degradation will continue on to affect the physical health and learning abitilties of future generations. The entire human race is being degraded in order for a few corporations to maximize their profits and for a few politicians to dwell in the dream that they won't be adversely affected by the plight of the whole. And they give women who bear the brunt of all this chemical mayhem an international Women's Day! What irony!

And yet I have the utmost faith that women, fully awakened women, can turn this patriarchal, sex obsessed, dishonest, drugged,crime ridden society on its ear. We can create something that has some integrity. Something our kids can be proud of. Instead of a culture of buy, buy, buy, owe, owe, owe, and the disgusting sexualization of children that is seeping down into elementary schools, and the glamorizing of the Mafia, Hell's Angels and pimps. Oh yes, pimps are big this year. What was that Academy Awards song I heard them talking about on the radio? About pimps? Something about things being hard for pimps out here. Now, isn't that cute. Isn't that a special little ditty to put before our children?

Yes, a women's army of awakened women. That's what we need. And our first order of the day would be to liberate the Women's Movement of the sixties and seventies. The Women's Movement has been held hostage these last years by two main way stations...The government and the university. First, the government. Just try to get some stats out of the Status of Women. They will tell you frankly that you are on Mission Impossible. Our federal government has abolished the very category of rape. It's now called inappropriate touching or sexual assault which can include rape but is not necessarily actual rape. But it isn't necessarily non-rape, either. Is that clear? Wife beating, or woman battering? It's now called domestic violence. This implies that women do this as much as men because it's domestic, right, and women are there, too, right? The governments of Canada hide our rape and battering statistics under this kind of word thivery. It's like Gordon Campbell renaming our public forests "Working Forests" and then declaring they will no longer be public because they have been renamed.

The other culprit hiding our Women's Movement is the universities. The universities have helped capture our living, breathing, grass roots Women's Movement and after assisting in the kill,has cut it open, taken out its guts, and now presents it as a regular course of study that leads to a degree. Yes, we have women now who know more about our history but we have very few activists. Our Women's Movement was composed primarily of activists, women who weren't afraid, who wouldn't back down, women who were warriors. And while it's true that women today are stressed and harassed probably more than ever before it's also true that we have more weapons that ever before. Not guns. Something better. Our brains. We are not so easily side tracked by sports mania, not so distracted by porn, not so obsessed with cars and electronic toys. Somebody has got to figure us out of this mess and I don't like to be the bearer of bad news, ladies,but I think it has to be women. As if you didn't have enough to do.

2 comments:

  1. Hi, Betty! Wow, you really don't pull any punches. That's great.

    I haven't thought of IWD as a political day, or a sop to women. I've thought of it as women's opportunity to celebrate each other--a day for women by women, and nothing to do with men necessarily. I wrote my own thoughts about International Women's Day over on Word of Mouth.

    I guess if I lived in a community where gatherings of women were the norm, I wouldn't need a special day or a special retreat to experience that connection. But I don't! I feel very isolated. I've been reading your letters to the Women in the Woods community with joy and admiration--and a teensy bit of envy!--because I'd love to be there. I've made a choice to live a pretty isolated rural life, for reasons of my own--though I often regret it! And plenty of other women out there are living lives isolated from a sense of community with other women, even in the city. I believe many of us need the reminder of an International Women's Day.

    I think a lot of good has come from IWD on that front, in terms of motivating women to gather together and celebrate ourselves as women... food for the soul! But as far as a political action day, you're absolutely right. We can't rely on a single day per year to make us feel like we're accomplishing something, and neither can we allow the 'powers that be' to assume that we've been bought off with that sort of sop. It's not 'from them'. It's 'for us'.

    I admire your commitment. I appreciate that there are groups of women out there who are working together every day toward making this a better world. And, in my own way, I'm building my own level of involvement. Thanks, Betty.

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  2. Dear Betty,
    Your expressions always give me so much food for thought. Thank you for feeding me!

    My only thought about IWD (and the day passes, for me, wihtout notice, every year) is that it might spark one woman into the awareness that so many of us want EVERYONE to be in.

    Love and hugs,
    Lil

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