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« April 2014 | Main | June 2014 »

By Ken Poland on May 23, 2014

Both "Women's Lib" and "feminist" have somewhat negative identifications for me. Both of those terms have been used to justify attitudes and actions that I consider not becoming to the female species. That doesn't mean that women should not be liberated from being 2nd class and subservient to men.

I am all for women having freedom to be themselves without having to get prior approval from men. If they want to smoke, drink, cuss, spit like an inconsiderate male then it is only themselves they are demeaning. I don't consider females who imitate males in this way to be appealing nor ladylike. Neither do I consider men who do these things to be gentlemen. I don't think holding women to higher standards than men is proper, either. Nor the other way around.

Equal pay for equal work is fair and equitable. Some women can do manual labor as well as some men, but the difference in structure and anatomy is that men usually are stronger physically. I'd have paid a girl equal pay with the boys in hauling baled hay, if they threw as many bales. I'd have paid the girl more than the boy if she outworked him. Some girls are more mechanically inclined than boys. If so, then reward them for their abilities. There are few occupations anymore that require brute strength. If the girls can out think the boys or out pace them in whatever the task, they should be recognized and rewarded. If the boys show better aptitude at some of the jobs that used to be considered 'women's' work, then reward them for it. Neither 'Sissie' nor 'Tom Boy' were ever popular labels in our family.

I grew up in a family of 4 boys and 3 girls. There was never a gender connotation to what work either were to do. Mother or Dad determined who was best qualified for the job and you did it. Mother worked side by side with dad at what ever the job was, until one of the boys became bigger and stronger than Mom. She still helped, if needed. We all washed dishes and swept floors when asked to. We all worked in the field, did chores, etc. There were no job distinctions between men's work or women's work. Ability to do the job is all that mattered and we were encouraged to develop the ability for all jobs. We never got by with complaining that other kids didn't have to do those things. We were simply told, "You are not other, you are you."

Dad never gave birth to a baby or breast fed one, but that's about only thing I know of that was exclusively Mom's job. The only thing I know of that Mom never did that I saw Dad do, was wield the knife when neutering male animals. But, i'll bet she could have if it had been necessary.

Today's political flap about gender and orientation is simply a struggle for dominance and control.

By Diane Wahto on May 21, 2014

Driving home after lunch with friends, I had the car radio tuned to NPR. The news was about Nigeria and the awful events caused by the Boko Haram terrorists. The reporter said that people in the West had ignored the other violence committed by Boko Harem, including wiping out an entire town, because they were all wrapped up in the story about the kidnapped Nigerian school girls.

I listened for a few minutes, then I switched to an Oldies station to hear rock ‘n roll from an earlier time. It’s not that I don’t care about what’s happening in Nigeria or in other trouble spots around the world. I care very much and I simply cannot conceive of anyone wanting power so badly that he would commit the crimes against humanity that these terrorists have committed. Then I think back to 9/11, a horrific day in our history. While many people stayed glued to their TV screens in the aftermath of those attacks, I avoided watching anything related to them.

Read more from this post here ...

By Ken Poland on May 21, 2014

Thank you again, Angelo! Keep up the work. Our writers seem to have about all disappeared. I've not been doing much writing lately. The old mind is fading.

I couldn't help but think about all the religious right folks who glory themselves in being able to recite memory verses that give them comfort and make them feel like the young man who came to Christ, asking what else he must do to please God and reserve a place in heaven for himself. That is a commendable question to ask. But sad to say, they didn't read Jesus reply!

By Angelo Lopez on May 9, 2014

On May 1, 2014 there was a march and a rally in downtown San Jose to celebrate May Day and press for immigration reform and the reunification of deported families. It was smaller than last year's immigration reform rally, but hopes were higher last year for the passage of an immigration reform bill. This year, the focus was more on lobbying the Obama administration and Congress to stop deportations that divide families and leave them destitute.

Read more from this post here ...

By Angelo Lopez on May 8, 2014

Ever since the Occupy Wall Street movement three years ago, many activists have been directing their energies towards alleviating the economic inequality in our country. One way in which many people have been trying to address the growing economic inequality in this country has been to raise the minimum wage. Several members of Congress have tried to get bills through Congress to raise the minimum wage, only to run into a conservative Republican roadblock. With little likelihood for a national action on raising the minimum wage, activists have redirected their energies towards lobbying state and city governments to raise the minimum wage. Here, in Mountain View, California, activists have been working in these past few months to get the City Council to raise the minimum wage so that lower income citizens can stay above water in the Silicon Valley.

Read more from this post here ...

By Angelo Lopez on May 5, 2014

Whenever someone says a different opinion or challenges a long held belief, that individual is often pegged as a troublemaker by the people around that person. Yet these individuals who are accused of being troublemakers are often doing a good service by pointing out problems that the group or community doesn't see or refuses to deal with. In the Roman Catholic Church, many of the saints that are celebrated for their holiness were often viewed as troublemakers during their lifetimes. These saints were viewed as troublemakers because they were willing to confront their church or their community to look at the poor, the dispossessed, the marginalized as creations of God worthy of love.

Read more from this post here ...

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