Saturday, September 27, 2008

WHAT IS TO BE DONE?

Thomas Payne, often described as the Great American Pamphleteer, so great that his pamphlets helped spark the American Revolution, asked this question in his most famous pamphlet entitled “What is to be Done?” Well, this isn’t America and we’re not asking for the kind of revolution Thomas Payne was asking for. Not a bloody revolution. I favor a bloodless coup d’etat. And even though as Canadians we like to think of ourselves as more civilized that Americans, (and in some senses I think they, we, actually are) sometimes political structures become so corrupt that nothing else will do. And the Americans are certainly leading the way into deepening economic and political corruption.
A bloodless revolution? How. what and when? When enough women get up the gumption to do something about the childhood diseases our children are suffering, about the cut backs in schools and hospitals, the pitiful amount of money given to people on disability and welfare, the growing number of homeless in the streets, the lack of affordable housing for the working poor and even middle class families. But why am I sniping at women?
Because women hold the power, the key to change. We have simply been discouraged from using this power by men who fear it. Why, if significant numbers of women got into power they might make children in this country a priority, they might take away all hand guns, they might insist that some of the billions of dollars spent on sports be spent on social programs, they might insist on first rate care for the aged, they might repudiate war altogether and take away the right of corporations to pollute at will, the right of chemical companies to continue to poison the land and waters. and pharmaceuticals the right to dope up the citizenry, including children. They might even insist that advertising corporations stop using the blatant sexualization of children to sell the products of a sleazy minded clothing industry. Why, women might even want to put a stop to some of the TV programs that have made pornography main stream and the manufacture of “first shooter” games for boys that get bloodier and bloodier, that are in reality training ground for boys to want to get real guns into their hands. Civil society? We will never have one until women get out there and insist on it. But I believe that time is coming. It will come when enough women see there isn’t a chance in hell for their children to grow up happy and sane and healthy and safe…until these changes are made. And then the real revolution will come.

1 comment:

  1. Jennifer Nelson9:01 PM

    Hello Betty,

    I had not heard of you until today...no offense intended:-) I agree wholeheartedly with you! Elizabeth Fry is one of my ancestors...I only found this out yesterday. The beauty of sharing a blood line with a woman who contributed so much to femininity has inspired me to further my efforts.

    So I ask you this...If you were a 33 year old mother of four with an amazingly supportive husband ...ready to march out into the world and make a difference, what path would you choose?

    In community, respect, and friendship, Jennifer Eden Nelson

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