GENERAL NEWS

“Back To Work”

I want to enjoy going to work, coming home, and leaving stress behind. That old cliché “Work does not seem like work” when you enjoy what you are doing rings true. After my abuse I realized that I do not want that 9-5 mundane job. If a job is a job, it is like a chore. I feel I have to give a percentage of my time and energy to produce an outcome that is rewarding and satisfying to others and myself. I had bad experiences with my supervisors or “bosses” that tried to be intimidating to the staff. I did not have personal days off and felt like the pay was not worth the sacrifice I was making. Currently, I am taking classes in writing, blogging, art, coaching, and public speaking, and workshops on entrepreneurship. I feel that being my own boss and having more “me” time is exactly what I was looking for. As children, many girls want to be teachers, nurses or moms. I used to be a paraprofessional at a school, a health aide in a home, and have a stepdaughter. I always knew that something was missing. “When you hit rock bottom a change can be good” – they say. I know my story is unique and is mine. Nobody can have the same story, even twins have different perceptions. I often give presentations on what happened to me and incorporate my drawings with my journaling in my talks. After falling ill and while on my path to recovery, I realized that less is more. My new “normal” is helping other abused women, giving back on Thanksgiving by serving, speaking about my story, and watching faces light up is all I can ask for.

Permalink  |  2

Opposing Equal Rights for Men and Women!

Silhouette of hand movements feminists holding the symbol of Venus mirror. feminist concept

“Can a feminist bake apple pies?” I ask you.  “Does a feminist Want to bake apple pies?”  With my concept of what it means to be a feminist, then yes, a feminist may want to bake apple pies.  IF she enjoys baking.  And a non-feminist may not want to bake apple pies, if she doesn’t enjoy baking.  In my eyes, a feminist can be a wonderful wife and a brilliant mother and a great cook and a successful career woman.  Any woman can be these things.  And certainly every woman in the workplace deserves to receive equal pay to her male counterpart.

Opposing Equal Rights for Men and Women is opposing Human Rights.  Why would two human beings who are equally – as equally as possible – qualified, equally educated, equally proficient, capable and “successful” receive a different monetary salary within the same organization?  If one of these human beings is a female and the other a male, then this is what often happens in the United States of America.

In 1923, over ninety years ago, a woman and suffragist leader called Alice Paul first introduced the Equal Rights Amendment to Congress.  The aim of the amendment was essentially to eliminate gender-based discrimination.  Section 1 of the original Equal Rights Amendment proposal read, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

Leaders such as Gloria Steinem provided argument after argument in support of the Equal Rights Amendment, ERA, and testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in its favor in 1970.  Also in 1970, the National Organization for Women, NOW, an American feminist organization founded in 1966, began a hard push for the Equal Rights Amendment.

The President’s Commission on the Status of Women was established by John F. Kennedy in 1961, with Eleanor Roosevelt appointed as head of the organization, and it was set up in the hope of providing a solution to female discrimination in education, work force, and Social Security.

Yet, despite such strong, influential people and organizations pushing for an ERA, such an amendment has still not been ratified to this day.  Other powerful people have strongly opposed the ERA and put forward convincing, to some, arguments for why the ERA would be detrimental to women.  One such person was Phyllis Schlafly.

Phyllis Schlafly led the Stop-ERA campaign and suggested that ratification of the ERA would mean changes such as courts no longer tending to favor mothers for child custody in divorce cases and the introduction of women being drafted to war.  Phyllis Schlafly used scare tactics to persuade people to support her in her fight to have the ERA not written into the U.S. Constitution.  She also appealed to women, and to men, especially males who favored a patriarchal society, by apparently glorifying the picture of a traditional American woman.  Schlafly painted the picture of a doting and dedicated wife and mother, with an apron and superb apple pie baking skills.  I ask again, “Can a feminist bake apple pies?”  Well, more importantly, “Does she Want to bake apple pies?”

An Equal Rights Amendment is a necessity.  Without such an amendment to the United States Constitution, women are legally not protected when it comes to equal opportunities and justice.  For example, violence against women is prevalent, but state laws (differing from state to state) and federal laws remain highly inadequate for dealing with such serious issues.  The current laws related to women’s rights in the United States are not nearly enough to promote gender equality or to safeguard women against gender-based violence.  Ratification of a comprehensive and sensible ERA is needed, urgently.  And merely, but at the same time crucially, it’d be a step towards a greater embrace of basic human rights for women.

 

Permalink  |  4

Surviving Abuse In My Twenties

shutterstock_316304594

I am 30 now and am already physically tired. I’ve been stomped on, strangled, broken, and bruised; it’s been very real – my body has had its share of turmoil. In addition, my mind has imagined sweet fairy tales of blackbirds flying out of a baked pie, and wolves blowing my house down over and over again. My spirit throughout has been in a state of confusion, being raised Catholic, turned Christian by grace, then to trying to find my voice and beliefs in a stable place. My name is Desiree’ and my desires in my 20’s has circled around being noticed. Problematically, when a particular guy liked me, and my cell phone rang with his caller ID, I was excited :-). Positive or negative, I knew he paid some attention to me. My possibilities were and still are endless: “1st comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in a baby carriage”… the lies of the modern day fairy tale. It is reported that women ages 18 to 34 are at the greatest risk of becoming victims of Domestic Violence (DV). Moreover, it is noted that “DV cost more than $37 Billion a year in law enforcement involvement, legal work, medical, mental health treatment, and lost productivity at companies.”

 

Just like I craved a stable man to notice me, I deeply yearned for my family’s security, passion in the workplace, career accomplishments and education. In my domestic violence relationship, all these things came to a screeching halt. I am very grateful that my life did not end.

 

In the city that never sleeps, or in the suburb that twinkles stars at night, I believe there is a sounding message of real love, pure and understanding; after the purple rain. That message has led me to rebuild my inner faith and survive my 20’s with most of those years in an abusive relationship. Looking back on the forbidden places I’ve conquered, this is not a taboo.

 

My 20’s have been the time of my life. Now as a member of Voices of Women Organizing Project, I’ve reclaimed my power to speak in and through a dominant sisterhood and pave a positive path for that weird and exhilarating space beyond survivorship. The question today is…will you have to be a survivor or witness abuse to really understand? Create a better decade. Support Now. Join Us.

Permalink  |  2