Friday, April 29, 2016

I am a Feminist, and I Don't Like That Lawmakers are Willing to Draft My Children

Today, I opened my News Feed and saw this: 
"Selective Service System: House Panel Approves Proposal Requiring Women to Register for Draft."

As a woman, as a mother and as a feminist... I have had a really hard time with this. I do believe women should be paid equally in the workforce, seen as capable and allowed to pursue the same paths as men as long as they can maintain the same standard. 
I do believe in equality in pay, opportunity, voting rights, personal rights and the law.

I also believe that certain women are capable of killing a person or fighting in battle when it is required of them, just as certain men are capable of doing the same. But I also believe that requiring registration for the draft is wrong. 

People are going to say that I cannot have it both ways. I understand that logic.
What bothers me about this is that I am a mom, and I became a mother at the age of 20. I cannot imagine being a mother facing the potential ramifications of war, a draft, and leaving my children to fight a battle I didn't agree with. Look at all of the single mothers in the United States who would be facing a serious dilemma. I personally would never agree to go fight a war that put me in the line of leaving my children behind motherless. 

I also do not care if you don't like that I said that. When I became a mother, my children became my mission. Any other job, mission, objective, want  or need that would take away from their safety or support  comes second. Period.
Additionally, if our representatives are going to institute a system that places women in  the position to be in the military, during a time of war, then they also need to spend a hell of a lot more money on training everyone from the top brass to the lowest scrub on rape prevention. The military needs to make sexual assault a severe crime... instituting a policy that not only punishes those who commit the crime, but also those who look the other way. Conscripting us to war and then subjecting us to sexual harassment is not an effective way to promote equality, or to teach us feminists a lesson. It's just another way to oppress women under the guise of good policy. So, if leaders want to do this right, they need to make sure they have systems in place to change the way the military treats those of us who volunteer for the job.

People who argue against women in the military and women in combat will use the above paragraph as a means to argue against women being in the military. This is also an argument that is unfair. We should not have to gird our loins and guard our vaginas in order to defend our country. When a woman is in uniform, she should be seen as a fellow fighter. If a woman has elected to crawl in the muck, run the miles, kill the enemy from afar or up close --she should be respected and her vagina should have no bearing on how people perceive her ability to fight.
A woman who voluntarily joins the military understands the risks and challenges that women face in an environment that has long been a duty and privilege reserved for able-bodied men. She understands that she will face harassment, scrutiny and even sexual brutality at the hands of an enemy that will use any form of punishment against the enemy. Just as any man who volunteers should (and most do) understand the same thing. That's the beauty of having an all-volunteer military.

I guess for me, as a mother ---I just don't like the idea of anyone, woman or man, forced to go into a battle they do not agree with. Vietnam veterans who were drafted but who were too young, immature, or just did not want to be there, came back changed, hated, ignored... and lives upon lives were wasted. Congressional leaders and children of the rich were given passes, and men whose parents could not afford to get them out of the draft were sent away, some never returning home. 
The draft is a system that we should not need.
As a spouse of an active duty volunteer service member, and as a mother to both a son and daughter, I don't agree with involuntary service in general. I personally feel that the draft is a system that actually can endanger the goals and lives of those who want to fight in the military, of those who WANT to fight for this country, and who volunteer to be of service to the nation. 
Forcing a person to go to battle and fight a war they do not agree with, or that they do not understand can lead to mutiny among the ranks. How do you protect the ones who are there to fight, from the ones who are desperate to escape? How do you lead an armed  person, responsible for lives, into a battle they do not want to fight?

It's not just that I don't want you drafting my daughter (if you did, you would have to enlist  her as an art therapist to rehabilitate those you broke, because that is as close as she would be willing or able to get to the front lines -- not because she is weak, but because she is emotionally deep and complex). It's that the draft is an ineffective way to support any war effort unless you are looking for bodies and  numbers.
I don't want you drafting my son, for that matter. Drafting for the front lines would take an effective battery of psychological and mental screenings, because it takes a certain person who can compartmentalize, rationalize, and who can both lead and follow directions.

So, my problem as a feminist, isn't that you want my daughter to be included in the list of  names you could pull if we ever go into a large scale war, or our leaders decided they were going to need bodies more than a good representative military of volunteers. It's that you want to force my children to sign up for a lottery where there are no winners.
Sound familiar?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Y'all want some crackers with this sweet tea and lemonade?

As a white woman from the South, I am going to serve some truth to those who may not know: 

I hate to tell you this honey, but Racism still exists. In the North, in the South, on TV and in many hearts. It's still there, alive and kicking.

 Just because you don't see it in your own heart doesn't mean it's gone. 

Angry people of color are angry because it's not fair. While there are misguided acts of violence that are perpetrated during these movements regarding race inequality, and race relations, it does not diminish the fact that there is a reason to be angry.

AS AMERICANS we should be angry at all the hate and regression we have seen lately.

 It means we need to do better.

As long as people are dying because the color of their skin is different, or because the culture they grew into has oppressed them and left them without options because the majority keeps it so, racism still lives.

For that matter, let me tell you something, until the very last person of color or minority can look around and say, "No, my race has no impact on how people treat me or the way I have been able to live my life," RACISM STILL EXISTS. 

Before my white friends get their panties in a twist: Stop thinking this is about you, personally. You never had to grow up black. You may not be racist, but you have no place in telling a person of color or minority that they need to settle down and stop being angry. 

Have you ever in your life tried to tell a woman, child, or man who is pissed off because they are suffering some sort of injustice  that they need to calm down? How'd that work out for you?

You do not need a sign to see that racism still exists. Look at schools across the country, segregated by community numbers, allocation funding, and gerrymandering.

(I'm sorry was that too big of a word for you? Here I googled the meaning...)

Maybe you should listen, maybe we as white people need to pay attention, and speak up when things are not right. We grew up with the privilege of never having to be judged for standing around in groups (let's forget about the times when the teachers knew we were up to no good in the parking lot, I'm talking about life, not testy adolescence). 

Here's the simple truth, unless you have woken up every morning knowing that the world is stacked against you because you have more melanin in your skin, and people will fear you because of the culture that they allowed you to stagnate under, you can't tell people to calm down or to stop playing the race card.

I would go so far to say that racism seems to have gotten worse since the 90s, or maybe my eyes are more open as an adult who has taken her white-colored glasses off.

What happened? Did President Obama fulfill the fear that a black man (how soon we forget that he is also white) would master the former masters and ruin the remnants of the confederacy?

(Check out that bottom ad for the platforms that existed during Lincoln's time... hurts a little bit, doesn't it, David Duke?)

Furthermore: Until men stop thinking that women enjoy being seen as sex objects only and not full human beings, sexism also still exists.

Let me say that again: Sexism also still exists (and thanks to instant porn access from the phones in our pockets, it has gotten worse... generations of young men and women are growing up thinking our place is on our knees, but t that is a different blog...) and feminism doesn't mean man-bashing, as a feminist I believe in equality among sexes, genders and races. 

It means wanting the same things men are allowed to have, be and do-- for your wife, sister or daughter. It also means letting people live their life without being hated for their gender, sexuality or sexual preference.

I bring up women along with race because I believe that the current state of affairs in the United States is still an issue of equal rights. People of color and women of all races need to stand together.  In elections, in policy, in changing conversations about the way we as Americans are allowing a hateful minority take us so far into the pain of the past that our  previous generations of protesters stood against.

 If love is still a problem for you, if race and skin color and gender identity are a problem for you, maybe you need to find out the best way to correct the hate in your heart and stop telling me how your feelings are hurt.

If this offends you, you don't know me as well as you thought you did, and I've sat here quiet long enough.

 I love you, but if you have hate in your heart, I don't have to agree with you. And I don't agree with you.  

Judge me if you like. 

If you're basing your judgment off of the bible, do me a favor when you die, make sure to ask Jesus how that worked out for you. 

If you are judging me because you think I am being soft or a "libtard," you're just being an asshole. I'm being a human. 

You want some ice with that tea and lemonade?