Battle of the Sexes

No, this isn’t a review of the new movie out about that infamous tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, although I do hope to see it soon. It looks hilarious and who couldn’t use more laughter in their life right now.

Today’s topic is Harvey Weinstein and female oppression. Hold on guys, don’t leave the room, as this isn’t a male bashing hit piece either. While the whole pathetic Weinstein saga brings about several steaming piles of hypocrisy just begging for dissection, what intrigues me most is how far off track we’ve gotten when it comes to women’s oppression, because those words have lost their meaning.

First, a brief summation of events. Harvey Weinstein is (was?) a big time movie producer and co-founder of Miramax films, who for decades used his industry power to pressure women in to having sex and/or perform lewd acts in front of. He is a living, breathing caricature straight out of 1930’s Hollywood of a cigar chomping film mogul who preys on women in return for movie roles. His number of accusers is now pushing 30 and growing daily.

Calling Harvey Weinstein a pig is an understatement and unfair to real pigs, who can be quite charming. He is a predator who views women in one of two ways; those that can fulfill his perverted sexual needs and those that can make his films successful and thus fatten his bank account. He is a selfish, vile abuser who oppressed women in the worst of ways and deserves the public flogging he’s now getting.

What to make then of Mitt Romney, who after a question about pay equity in the 2012 presidential debate said: 

“I had the chance to pull together a cabinet, and all the applicants seemed to be men . . . I went to a number of women’s groups and said, “Can you help us find folks?” and they brought us whole binders full of women.”

Ok, not the most eloquent statement, but it was clear he was saying that he went to great efforts to make sure women would be hired for his cabinet. Yet he was roundly pilloried by the Left as wanting to put women in binders, which quickly morphed in to the “big scare” narrative that Mitt Romney’s policies are from the 1950’s, implying he wants to oppress women by keeping them barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.

Of course this was a big fat lie drummed up by Team Obama to piggyback off the Left’s bigger, “War on Women” theme, which demonizes Republicans on issues like birth control, abortion and equal pay as wanting to oppress women.  Legitimate policy differences exist by the way on these topics, but it’s so much easier to exploit the vulnerable and demonize your opponents as sexist cavemen, than engage in debate.

Unfortunately it worked and the “women are oppressed” narrative along with a heavy assist from a compliant media, perpetually outraged feminists and, ironically, Hollywood, took on a life of it’s own. Women’s Studies’s classrooms across the country now teach as fact that oppression is everywhere, as common as the air we breath, brought to you by an invisible patriarchy that exists to keep women down.

Question, if women’s oppression is everywhere, so much that a squeaky clean Mitt Romney can be painted with such a villainous brush, how then do we describe the Harvey Weinstein’s of this world?  Is he like a Super Duper Women’s Oppressor or perhaps an Oppressor Extraordinaire?

No, Harvey Weinstein deserves the label of women oppressor without the  extra superlatives.   In normal times, it would be understood that this is a very serious business and accusing someone of such evil should not be taken lightly.

We don’t live in such times however, which unfortunately means Mitt Romney and many other good men will continue to be demonized,  as long as it pays off politically.  Welcome to the insanity of identity politics.

The problem is when the wolf constantly cries “oppression, sexism and patriarchy,” many folks tend to tune out, especially those being unfairly maligned and instances of real oppression and harassment don’t get the attention they should.

One final note, ladies, give the men in your life the benefit of the doubt that for the most part they are decent people and not out to harm or oppress you. Guys, don’t be so quick to dismiss our complaints of sexual harassment and abuse because it does happen.  It’s not the norm and certainly not systemic to our culture, but it is real and we need good men like yourselves to help combat it.

Posted in entitlememt mentality, Political, Uncategorized, Women's Empowerment | Tagged , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Heart Wins the Game

“Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Special Olympics-Soccer

Eunice Kennedy Shriver spoke these words at the opening ceremony of the very first Special Olympics  in July of 1968 at Chicago’s Soldier Field.  The words eventually became the official motto of the Special Olympics and is duly recited at each event by eager athletes ready to compete.

I had the privilege of attending such an event today at the Special Olympics  Southern California County Regional Fall Games.  The day was hot, too hot to be playing outside, much less competing in rigorous sport and I was worried this would dampen enthusiasm or worse, cause medical issues.  Boy, was I mistaken, as these athletes were here to play and certainly weren’t going to let a little heat stand in their way!

Some takeaways from this spectacular day:

People are people regardless of mental or physical disabilities.  We all want to be acknowledged and treated with dignity and fairness.

Those that might be considered “different” don’t want special treatment, just a shot at doing things many of us take for granted.  They might need certain accommodations or a helping hand, but this doesn’t mean they aren’t like everyone else when it comes to competition.  They like to win.

There is a certain character trait shared by many who have faced hardship and which I Special Olympics-High Fivesaw in abundance in the athletes and families I interacted with.  It’s a calm joy that exudes outward and that comes from having learned long ago that circumstances don’t define a person and that the ability to choose your attitude is the secret to life.

We are all considered equal in God’s eyes, each stamped with our own unique qualities.  We ALL have value through Him, none more than the other, regardless how our brains may work or our bodies move.

Special Olympics-Color GuardThe most touching moment for me was when the National Anthem was played.  As usual, I teared up as those memorable words were sung and I looked out over a sea of people beaming with pride.  Most were standing, some seated in wheelchairs and many with hands held over hearts.  Not one downed knee among the crowd, no surprise there.

 

 

 

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My Name is Tricia and I’m a Conservative

Good satire is a lost art , which is one of the reasons I enjoyed the above video so much.  Mainly though, I was just really pleased to see a black woman speaking  publicly about being a Conservative in a smart and funny way that demolishes  stereotypes on who and what they are supposed to be about.

That woman by the way is Candace Owens, who puts out fabulous videos meant to wake up her fellow African Americans to the absurdly hypocritical progressive left and how damaging it has been and still is for black people.

As a politically Conservative woman, I can sympathize. I know my views often raise eyebrows among some people and I’m very familiar with the surprised look that comes after declaring them.   This is often followed either by uncomfortable silence or a drawn out monologue on all the evil ways Conservatives wish to oppress women. How could possibly I be one of them, don’t I know about the patriarchy?

Um, yes I do and I believe its existence as a political wedge issue has been one of the most damaging things for women since being denied the right to vote.  Spun to manipulate us in to blaming sexism and right wing Republicans for everything wrong in our lives, the corrosive effects of this false narrative on women’s empowerment and societal cohesiveness cannot be overstated.

For all the ills of the Internet and social media, it’s also brought about  tremendous change to the political landscape by allowing individuals like the woman in the video to share their views with millions of others without the filter of a news anchor telling us what to think about her.  This destroys the conventional labels the media and politicians like to pin on us and is a very good thing.

For more examples of this Liberal Red Pill phenomenon go here.

Posted in entitlememt mentality, fear mongering, Political, Uncategorized, Women's Empowerment | Tagged , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Reflections on 9/11

10450846_10152657445138150_1527888332419789200_nIt’s been 16 years since that awful day when the Twin Towers came crashing down and so many lives were tragically cut short.  It’s important to take a few minutes today to reflect on what happened.  What did 9/11 mean to you then?  Does it differ in how you view things today?

It does for me.  During the days immediately following the attack, I was angry, sad and numb.  I didn’t know anyone personally that died, but the momentousness of the event was unavoidable and we all knew that things would never be the same.  Our false sense of security was destroyed and our innocence lost.

At least it was for many of us having come of age in the 1980’s.  That bubble gum era of optimism and bad pop songs provided a false sense of inevitability about the future and naivety of the world around us.  9/11 shattered all of that.

We saw repeated news footage of the towers disintegrating, listened to unusually calm voices from those still stuck inside or on flight 93 leaving voice messages to their loved ones, knowing they were about to die.

courage-1

Taken at the 9/11 Museum in NYC

We watched in horror as people flung themselves out windows rather than face being burned alive.

Yes, things had definitely shifted that day and America was going to war.

What exactly did these idiot jihadists wish to accomplish by all this? Did they have even know or were they just drones following orders? For that matter do we even know?

Sure we went in to Iraq and Afghanistan and we, in effect, “took the battle over there”, but did we really accomplish anything?  We destroyed the Taliban and they came back as ISIS, we are in the process of destroying ISIS and now  Al Qaeda is gaining strength.  The names change but the Islamist fanaticism behind it remains the same and its followers hate us as much, if not more, than they did on 9/11.

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Tribute wall at the 9/11 Museum in NYC

I’m still angry today, albeit it’s softened a bit by time in to exasperation.  The people that were murdered, the suffering of their loved ones, the painful recoveries of those that were injured, both physically and emotionally; it all seems so pointless.

I’m sad too but in a different way, as I mourn for a time when we seemed to be able to come together, at least on the big things.  We are a divided people today, uniquely so I think when compared to other tumultuous times.  Social media, fake narratives repeated as truth, the demonizing of political views, identity politics and the instant reaction of so many to imply ill intent to those that think differently is ripping this country apart.  We are a hot mess and only getting hotter and messier.

It’s not despondency I feel when looking back at 9/11. It’s more of an acceptance that there will always be bad events and innocent people getting murdered. The best we can do is focus on what’s important; God, friends, family, loving others and always holding on to the truth.

What are your thoughts about September 11?  Have they changed from then to now?

 

 

 

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“I Didn’t Need the Nazi, I Had One in Me”

 

On-bookstands-everywhere-Sep-2017

Edith Eva Eger was starved, beaten and terrorized on a daily basis during her brutal stay at a WWII Nazi death camp, even forced to dance with Josef Mengele, the infamous Angel of Death who murdered her parents along with countless others.  She survived that horrible time by clinging to her mother’s last words before being sent to the gas chamber, “I want you to remember, no one can change what is in your own mind”.

That brief sentence became a personal mantra for Eger, both during her time at Auschwitz and while battling the post-traumatic stress disorder she suffered for years after the war.  In fact she built an entire career around it, as a highly successful clinical psychologist, helping thousands overcome trauma by accessing what’s inside of them to make the shift from victimhood to empowerment.

This took time though, as survivor’s guilt messed with her thinking process, causing much shame.  Years after refusing to walk at her graduation from the University of Texas (with honors) because she felt too old, she realized she never really left the concentration camp.  As she says:

“I became a high achiever because I never thought I deserved to survive.  So where is Hitler?  I didn’t need the Nazi.  I had one in me.”

Fortunately, most of us will never experience what Dr. Eger did during the Holocaust, but we all carry trauma from the past that bleeds in to the present. Our own inner Nazi exploits this with words like:

“You’ll never make this work.”

“How could you be so stupid?

“You’re a fraud.” 

“Nobody really likes you.”

“You’re ugly.”

 “You don’t measure up.”

 “What’s wrong with you?”

 “Why did you say something so dumb?”

Crippling self talk poisons a person’s soul and can rob them of their ability to be who God created them to be. It stems from anger and resentment and breeds a victimhood identity, which in turn brings on depression, fear and spiritual paralysis.

If anyone has the right to be angry and resentful of their past, it’s Dr. Evers, yet she is not. When asked about going back to Auschwitz 35 years after the war ended she said,

Oh, it was the most excellent thing I’ve ever done. I needed to look at that large lion in the face and I needed to laugh at him.”

Dr. Evers believes our thought process plays a critical role in how we cope with life and that it’s essential for those stuck in the past to face their own lions and to not let others or events define who they are. She goes on to say:

“I do have a story but I am not my story. I may not have overcome it but I came to terms with it. It is wonderful to be a WHOLE person – the more you depend on needing others to heal… the more you are a victim.”

Avoiding pain is a national pastime in America. Sky rocketing substance abuse levels, intolerance of views we disagree with, trigger warnings on even remotely controversial content; this all feeds in to a collective desire to hide from discomfort. It’s these very protections though, these giant “safe spaces” we draw around our lives, that can prevent inner reflection and emotional growth.

Yet our societal instinct is to numb emotions through antidepressants, drugs and alcohol, which only feeds a vicious cycle that leads back to victimhood.

Does this mean we should be happy when difficult times come around? Of course not, but we should recognize the value these experiences bring in teaching us how to deal with life and each other.

On May 4th, 1945, seventeen-year-old Edith Eger was left to die in a pile of corpses and would surely have done so had an American soldier passing by not glanced up and seen her hand move. Emaciated, barely breathing with a broken back and suffering from Typhus, it was a miracle she survived.

Dr. Eger believes she was allowed to live through those awful days of the Holocaust for a reason. It was God she turned to then for the strength, “to turn hatred into pity” and “to pray for the guards” and who put her on a mission to lead others out of their emotional imprisonment to what she calls the ultimate spiritual freedom of forgiveness and love.

“I remember, God had spoken to me, and said, if you die, you’re going to be a coward.  But if you live, I’m going to show you that you’re going to be for something.

And how does she feel now after all those years?

“We are all survivors here and not a victim. I don’t have time to be a victim. I was victimized.”

And about Hitler?

“I am a mother of 3, grandmother of 5 and great grandmother to 3…, that is the best revenge against Hitler.”

 Amen to that Dr. Eger and God bless you.

To learn more about this remarkable woman and her new book, The Choice, go here.

Prison “The biggest concentration camp is in your own mind and you can find the key in your pocket.”~Edith Eva Eger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Political, Spiritual, Uncategorized, Women's Empowerment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

The Good Thing Harvey Washed Away

It can seem at times that American citizens are continually at war with one another, always fighting over whatever the latest issue of the day is. While it’s true the country is in flux, the majority of people that make it up are good and decent and it’s important to remember that. I thought the author of this post did a great job showing the human side of tragedy and how even a devastating flood like Harvey can bring us together.  Take a jump to her site and read the whole thing.

My Best Laid Plans

There’s not much in the world I can truly say I hate. But I hate Harvey.

We have been sitting here for more hours than I can begin to count being brutally lashed by his seemingly never ending fury. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t scary…terrifying…at times, but we are among the lucky ones. We are safe and dry.


Harvey has taken so much from so many. Homes, lives, hopes, jobs–all washed into the Gulf of Mexico by his relentless anger. As the horrifying images and desperate needs flash across my screen in endless and quick succession, I sit here with tears in my eyes. Where do you begin? I have never felt so helpless. My neighbors are in dire straits and I can’t do anything but pray. It’s a terrible feeling.


Pregnant women and their toddlers stuck on roofs waiting hours upon hours for…

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ESPN, Coward of the Year

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Photo Credit: shutterstock.com

It’s been quite the rollercoaster of events these past couple of weeks, with Nazis openly marching in the streets, a self identified anti-fascist group employing their own fascist techniques to shut them up, historical statues and monuments vandalized by mobs and a president who has not yet learned that how and when you say something is just as important as what is being said.

Taken individually, these things are not yet cause for too much alarm.  The majority of the country soundly rejects Nazism and white supremacists, is appalled by mobs tearing down statues and is waking up to the violent tactics of groups like Antifa.  Collectively though, they are symptoms of much a greater problem; one whose essence is captured in a seemingly small event. Continue reading

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As My Friend Wally Likes Too Say…

Yep!

OMG!.jpg

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Bold Colors Please Mr. President

Ronald Reagan once gave a famous speech urging his fellow Republicans to differentiate themselves from Democrats using “bold colors, not pale pastels”.  President Trump would be wise to follow the same strategy as pertains to the alt-right movement and the mess of a March in Charlottesville.

Citizen Tom has a good post up about the march and the predictable violence it led to.  Titled BIGOTS FIGHTING BIGOTS, the article explains well how foolish it is that “some of our fellow Americans are killing people over statues” and the dishonesty, as always, of the media in fairly reporting on it. Continue reading

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Ghosts of the Past

Bunkers

Surfers Catching Waves Beside WWII Nazi Bunkers-Capbreton, France 2017

Tucked away in the Southwest corner of France at the mouth of the Bay of Biscay, sits the little town of Capbreton which my mom’s side of the family has been connected with since the 1800’s.

The town, once known as the City of 100 Captains, has a lively history; a Viking invasion, King Henry IV riding his horse through the doors of its ancient church and bumping his head on the portal, Napoleon III building a wooden jetty to protect the port that still stands today and a German occupation during World War II by  that left defense bunkers on the little town’s beautiful beaches.  

It’s these bunkers that fascinate me the most.  Built for Hitler’s infamous Atlantic Wall defense against an impending Allied attack; they were part of a massive complex of over 10,000 fortified structures stretching  2,000 miles, from Northern Norway down through France’s Atlantic coast right up to its border with Spain.

Atlantic Wall

Photo Credit: bbc.co.uk

 

At the time, these fortresses were considered an impressive engineering feat, which many thought impregnable. Even after the Normandy landing proved this sentiment spectacularly wrong, the Nazis were still a fierce and terrifying force in occupied France, frequently executing or deporting to concentration camps anyone suspected of working against them and impoverishing the local communities they commandeered, leading to starvation and desperation.

Now, more than 70 years later, these once powerful symbols of German resilience and terror lay covered in graffiti amongst French surfers and beach goers living happy and free lives.

Painted Bunkers

Graffiti Covered WWII Nazi Bunkers-Capbreton, France-2017

As these relics of a past darkness fade in to irrelevancy, we are again reminded by the events of the world that evil never fully goes away.  Times and circumstances may change, but men’s hearts do not and we must always stand guard against tyranny and injustice and for freedom.

 

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