Feminism and Womanism

It Takes A Village: VNV Wednesday – You Might Be A Witch

The Village News & Views October 25, 2017
Wednesday Get Over the Hump Free for All

Greetings, Village Meese. It’s Day 279 of the Resistance and time for another Get Over the Hump post and discussion thread.

In one week it will be November first, and we will be sadly out of the season of Halloween. I pondered what to use as my thought object for today’s post and decided I could not miss the chance to draw your attention to yet one other thing associated with Halloween. Sometimes considered a monster, predominantly characterized as evil, yet perhaps the single most enduring image and standard Halloween costume for little girls, older girls and women of all ages… no, not a princess.

You already know I am talking about the original Nasty Woman. The Witch.

I will not attempt to explore the archetype, idea and character of The Witch in any satisfying way, but merely to evoke her in your imagination, and let that magical process do most of the rest of the work.

After all, Imagination is the bedrock component of spellwork and witchcraft, along with secrecy, and intent.

Although witches have been slightly rehabilitated and a serious attempt has been made to reclaim The Witch in the name of feminine empowerment, after centuries of relentless effort on the part of those who present her as a monster, this image cannot be undone in a mere few decades. It is possible that it will not be undone until such time as women are no longer considered chiefly objects, servants, and of less worth than their male counterparts by none but a pathetic minority. However that time is not yet nigh.

Until women are seen by the majority of people as full human beings, The Witch will be a convenient image of ugliness, evil, the feminine become threatening, poisonous and castrating.

At the same time, for the same duration, however, The Witch will be the original figure of feminine Resistance. Independent, powerful, wise, and a channel for the forces of the natural world.

The Witch takes a pot for cooking and it becomes a cauldron for the mixing of remedies, and spells. The Witch takes a broom, the emblem of servitude, and with it, she flies.

So this Halloween season, take a moment of thought for The Witch. You might know one. You might be one. In fact, in the present climate it’s quite possible you may someday soon find that you need one.

And now for your regularly scheduled randomness.

WTFJH Yesterday – Day 278: Alert the daycare staff.

Rolereboot.org – In Solidarity With Witches: How Powerful Women Are Still Persecuted

Huffingtonpost.com – How ‘Nasty Woman’ Became A Viral Call For Solidarity


It Takes A Village: VNV Wednesday – Declaration of Sentiments

The Village News & Views July 19, 2017
Wednesday Get Over the Hump Free for All

Greetings, Village Meese. It’s Day 181 of the Resistance and time for another Get Over the Hump post and discussion thread.

On July 19, 1848, the Seneca Falls Convention convened. Heralded as the first American women’s rights convention, the two day event was held in the Wesleyan Chapel External in Seneca Falls, New York. The convention had been advertised on July 11, 1848 in the Seneca County Courier. Despite the minimal amount of publicity , there were an estimated 300 attendees at the inaugural meeting.

Today in History – July 19

I’m going to leave the discussion of history to those better suited to it, but I didn’t want to ignore this particular event, since our Village began as a support system for those who were determined to elect our country’s first woman to the office of President.

This campaign boasted many firsts, including the first female nominee by a major party. Also, the first woman Presidential nominee to win the popular vote.

While we are bombarded daily now with revelations and implications suggesting that without interference from foreign actors and cooperation or collusion by the opposing campaign, we might have seen a different outcome, we continue to redouble our efforts in the spirit of our candidate, to Resist the tainted GOP and Trump agenda to the best of our abilities.

Women power this Resistance, aided and abetted by our male allies who love and seek justice for all human beings.

WTFJH Yesterday – Day 180: Dead on arrival.

You may have already seen it but just in case, I wanted to make sure it was brought to your notice…

Ida B. Wells-Barnett fought to make black lives matter on DK by Denise Oliver Velez

OurBodiesOurselves.org… Science Says Period Brains Aren’t A Thing: Women Are Not Surprised

Twitter Warrior and Clear Thinker Marcus H. Johnson — Why isn’t voter suppression considered political corruption?


And now for something completely different…

It Takes A Village: VNV Wednesday We Won’t Be Erased

The Village News & Views April 12, 2017
Wednesday Get Over the Hump Free for All

Good morning, Village Meeses! We’ve made it to another Wednesday. It’s Day 83 of the Resistance.

Fair warning, I’m about to dedicate the larger part of today’s posting to a lot of tweets I didn’t write, which make a point that is probably, in this crowd, preaching to the choir. But I wanted to, and so you are stuck.

In the, “tell us something we didn’t know already… oh, you didn’t know?” department:

Middle-aged women are leading the anti-Trump resistance

Al Giordano set off a quiet storm by tweeting this:

243 replies and counting. Here are a few.

#BeBoldForChange – International Women’s Day

March 8th is International Women’s Day

How will you be #BoldForChange? Take the challenge …

Which area will you take bold action in? Click the down arrows to be inspired by examples of bold actions.

I’ll challenge bias and inequality
I’ll campaign against violence
I’ll forge women’s advancement
I’ll celebrate women’s achievement
I’ll champion women’s education

(Go to the IWD web site to make the pledge)

It Takes A Village – VNV Tuesday: Patriarchy Dismissed Us 3/7/17

A postcard from about 1910; imagine receiving this in the mail!

I’ve decided to continue the exploration of the unspoken history of our country as seen through political cartoons and messaging. I’m not doing this as an exercise in hopelessness. It’s easy to fall into that trap when seeing so many of the same themes over and over. But along with the recurring issues, I see the battles that have been won, even when the “war” is ongoing. For me, remembering the past gives me courage to fight for our future. I hope it will do the same for our Village.

This week, I wanted to focus on the misogyny in our history, but the topic was so broad, it became unmanageable. Since I have no desire to do a dissertation, I chose the suffrage movement as the exemplar of the patriarchy in our midst. The images today are mostly postcards from the early 1900s, as well as political cartoons.

Jolyon–Part II


Flung back in time to the Minoan Crete of 1450 BC, can Fiona adjust to such a different world?

“Put your arms around me and hold on as tightly as you can,” Jolyon said. He stepped closer until just a breath separated us. I did as he instructed. A vast shudder rippled through us, after which utter blackness descended and I knew nothing more.

When I regained consciousness, very slowly, I became aware through closed eyelids that it was daylight. Gradually the realization dawned that I was lying down, covered by a warm blanket, and that I could hear voices. Two of the voices were male, speaking English. A third voice sounded feminine and the language was not English.

President Obama: “I’m not here just to say we SHOULD close the wage gap. I’m here to say we WILL close the wage gap.”

On Tuesday, President Obama spoke at the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Museum to commemorate Equal Pay Day.

President Obama:

Equal pay for equal work should be a fundamental principle of our economy. It’s the idea that whether you’re a high school teacher, a business executive, or a professional soccer player or tennis player, your work should be equally valued and rewarded, whether you are a man or a woman. […]

Today, the typical woman who works full-time earns 79 cents for every dollar that a typical man makes. And the gap is even wider for women of color. The typical black woman makes only 60 cents, a Latino woman 55 cents for every dollar that a white man earns. […]

I’m not here just to say we should close the wage gap. I’m here to say we will close the wage gap. […]

One of the interesting things, as I was just looking through some of the rooms — there was Susan B. Anthony’s desk. You had Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s chair. And you realize that those early suffragists had proceeded Alice Paul by a generation. They had passed away by the time that the vote was finally granted to women. And it makes you realize — and I say this to young people all the time — that this is not a sprint, this is a marathon. It’s not the actions of one person, one individual, but it is a collective effort, where each generation has its own duty, its own responsibility, its own role to fulfill in advancing the cause of our democracy.

The Sewall-Belmont House, part of the National Park Service, is now “America’s newest national monument — the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument”.

International Women’s Day: “Women’s Rights are Human Rights”

In 1995, then First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing China.

Today, as we celebrate International Women’s Day, it is a good time to reflect on her words:

Hillary Clinton:

Those of us who have the opportunity to be here have the responsibility to speak for those who could not. As an American, I want to speak for those women in my own country, women who are raising children on the minimum wage, women who can’t afford health care or child care, women whose lives are threatened by violence, including violence in their own homes.

I want to speak up for mothers who are fighting for good schools, safe neighborhoods, clean air, and clean airwaves; for older women, some of them widows, who find that, after raising their families, their skills and life experiences are not valued in the marketplace; for women who are working all night as nurses, hotel clerks, or fast food chefs so that they can be at home during the day with their children; and for women everywhere who simply don’t have time to do everything they are called upon to do each and every day.

Speaking to you today, I speak for them, just as each of us speaks for women around the world who are denied the chance to go to school, or see a doctor, or own property, or have a say about the direction of their lives, simply because they are women. The truth is that most women around the world work both inside and outside the home, usually by necessity. […]

We need to understand there is no one formula for how women should lead our lives. That is why we must respect the choices that each woman makes for herself and her family. Every woman deserves the chance to realize her own God-given potential. But we must recognize that women will never gain full dignity until their human rights are respected and protected. […]

It is time for us to say here in Beijing, and for the world to hear, that it is no longer acceptable to discuss women’s rights as separate from human rights. […]

Let this conference be our — and the world’s — call to action. Let us heed that call so we can create a world in which every woman is treated with respect and dignity, every boy and girl is loved and cared for equally, and every family has the hope of a strong and stable future. That is the work before you. That is the work before all of us who have a vision of the world we want to see — for our children and our grandchildren.

(Full text of speech below)

Women’s History Month Is Marching In

March is an excellent choice to designate as Women’s History Month because marching for our rights is a big part of women’s history.

Demonstrating for women’s rights has a long storied past, probably because “just asking politely”, while more pleasing to some people, was not a very effective strategy.

Here is what National Organization for Women President Patricia Ireland said about marching and demonstrating:

“When women work to mobilize and fund a group of local participants for a big event like our March for Women’s Lives, they are often transformed from enthusiastic but inexperienced activists into community leaders.”

“I’ve seen it happen over and over again. We count on it. The other transformation I have seen hits everyone from the most seasoned pioneer activist to the college sophomore. Standing side by side with a sea of kindred spirits, each of us finds renewed strength to wage the struggle for women’s equality.”

Women have been marching for their causes for a long time.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: “We Should All Be Feminists”

Sometimes a newsfeed story leads to an Internet search and an unexpected gem.

That happened this morning.

NPR linked to a story in The Guardian about a group in Sweden which is passing out a book to every 16 year old in the country:

Less than a month after it was revealed that the UK is planning to drop feminism from the politics A-level, every 16-year-old in Sweden is being given a copy of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s call to arms, We Should All Be Feminists.

The essay, adapted from Adichie’s award-winning TED talk of the same name, is being distributed in Swedish to high-school students by the Swedish Women’s Lobby and publisher Albert Bonniers. Launching the project at Norra Real high school in Stockholm this week, they said they hoped the book would “work as a stepping stone for a discussion about gender equality and feminism”.

Here is the TED talk.

“Some people ask: ‘Why the word feminist? Why not just say you are a believer in human rights, or something like that?’ Because that would be dishonest,” Adichie continues. “Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general – but to choose to use the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender. It would be a way of pretending that it was not women who have, for centuries, been excluded.”