We are living in a world that is ever more disrespectful and abusive of women’s rights and issues. In our current scene of politicians who pander to the lowest common denominator to blast and blaspheme against the birthing half of humanity, without whom no such politicians would have been born, every day brings a new disgrace affecting issues that we had already fought for and won, whether it be reproductive rights or property rights, the right to earn the same amount for the same work, no matter the race, color or creed of the worker… The recent Republican debates appear as nothing more than a runaway clown car… but the message is generally dismissive of women’s rights.
As I wrote in an earlier piece on misogyny (Male and female created she them), it took me a bit of pondering to realize that as awful as slavery and racism are and were, the worst sin is the sin of misogyny, because it denies the mother, through which life comes to each one of us. In most of the world today the ultimate and most important and valuable thing is the male principle, all women step to the back of the line.
Again, from that earlier writing, in the description of the yin and the yang, the male principle is bright and positive, while the female principle is dark and negative, and although in electromagnetism positive and negative are just a way to describe two separate poles, in our world they mean valid and invalid, good and bad, preferable and not preferable. This carries on to our total disrespect of Mother Earth, she who grows the stuff of life. We are all creatures of the dark womb of the planet, from whence all life comes.
I have been pondering lessons taught to me by two generations of women, the first one as exemplified by my daughter Caterina, who told me recently that she wanted the word “slut” taken out of the vocabulary, as it is always used to demean women’s clothing, posture and gestures; the second one as exemplified by my twin soul sister, Moonyene Jackson, who stated, many years ago, to a virulent attack, “I will not dignify that statement.” I wrote it down because I am a woman whose passions run away with themselves, and I frequently find myself running after my words after they have left my mouth in a tirade… I wanted to be able to say that! And Moon recently told me: “It’s not what they call you but what you answer to.”
The current debate about whether women who support Bernie Sanders over Hillary Rodham Clinton are traitors to their gender is a specious argument brought out by a campaign that is more and more relying on invective. My daughter went to Wellesley which is Hillary’s undergraduate school and I said then that I would never vote for her because of her hawkish attitudes and her ties to big business. If anything, my dislike of Hillary has grown over the years. She and Bill have caused untold misery for Latinos, immigrants, people of color, and other marginalized folks, both here and abroad, with the so-called free trade treaties and the growth of the mass imprisonment industry. Of course she has done some good things, and she is a strong woman, but she has been part of the establishment and that is not going to change anytime soon. I will not be blackmailed into voting with my vagina, thank you very much!
We shield evil practices with the code word “legislation” and have done so for untold centuries. It used to be “legal” to buy, sell and own slaves. It was legal to withhold the vote from women, indigenous people, people of color… (Did you know that some states prevented Native Americans from voting until 1957?????) It is now legal in some places to prosecute and hold women accountable for miscarriages… I would have been jailed three times, because I lost three children to miscarriage before the birth of my first child. To my terrible depression about the loss of my babies would have been added the scorn, ridicule and punishment of my fellow citizens, sitting in judgment.
The so-called free trade treaties, NAFTA and CAFTA, are one of those legislative abominations. In contract law and in economics you cannot have any type of contract or treaty unless there is equality of bargaining power, but these treaties pit giant multinational corporations against poor countries and poorer farming and trading communities. So “free trade” is another Orwellian construct, so beloved of our corporate masters.
The almost 83-year-old woman I have been helping has been locked out of the house she has lived in by her stepchildren; twenty nine years of marriage, three years of caring for an ailing husband in a wheelchair, and this is what she gets. And of course it is illegal in every sense, but the stepchildren believe the “law” will protect them.
So back to meditation… When I woke up this morning I opened my eyes to the flowering of a native plum tree right outside my window. It is the nature of our busy lives that we often fail to notice the beauty around us… but the tree’s blooms demanded my attention today!
Most royal greening verdancy.
Rooted in the sun,
You shine with radiant light.
In this circle of earthly existence
You shine so finely,
It surpasses understanding.
God hugs you,
You are encircled by the arms
of the mystery of God.
Hildegard of Bingen
Hildegard stressed the Church’s condemnation of institutional corruption, in particular simony, which is the act of selling church offices and roles. The first and only wedding I have performed as a newly ordained deacon was of a couple that had bought wedding bands three years ago, but were prevented from marrying by the high price required of their local churches for the privilege: from $450 to $750. I mentioned to a parish priest that Pope Francis had recently forbid charging for the sacraments, but my pleas went unheeded.
Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing frighten you.
All things are changing.
God alone is changeless.
Patience attains the goal.
One who has God
God alone fills all our needs.
St. Teresa of Avila