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20 posts categorized "Resistance"

March 07, 2017


#resistancelog (Word Choice Edition)


Word choice

As I continue to embrace my outrage against the misogyny of this administration and the world, I am reminded of the importance of being mindful with words. My word choices. My desire to avoid using words that create hierarchy among women.

Case in point. Recently, there was a photo of Kellyanne Conway kneeling on the couch in the oval office while looking at her phone that went viral. Congressman Cedric Richmond joked about the photo saying that she "really looked familiar in that position." In response to the misogyny reflected in Richmond's comment, Chelsea Clinton called him out on it and defended Conway by saying: "Despicable. I hope @kellyannepolls receives the apology she deserves ..." To which Conway responded to Clinton by saying: "Thank you @chelseaclinton. As strong women ... appreciate you speaking out on this ..."

And it's the word choice of "As strong women" that left me feeling unsettled.

"As strong women" are three words that appear innocuous at the outset but in my opinion, elevate women of privilege and denigrates women with less privilege. When the words "as strong women" are spoken, the unspoken words sound something like: "as better women ... than those weak ones, those poor ones, those slutty ones, those pitiful ones ..."

I feel that if I as a woman am going to fight misogyny, I need to be aware that perceived strength in a woman isn't because that woman is inherently superior, or that perceived weakness in a woman isn't because that woman is inherently inferior.

Sometimes, when a woman exists within an environment of abuse, poverty, sexual oppression, the means for survival includes meekness and other strategies of finding ways to survive ... quietly sometimes ... outlandishly sometimes ... provocatively sometimes ... to finish the day with the currency she needs for her work so she can live another day.

I'm not saying that I don't want to be strong. I just want to talk about strength in ways that don't unknowingly ignore the dynamics of privilege among women and buy into the faulty notion that individual hard work is all I need to overcome structural oppression. As Catharine MacKinnon points out in Feminism Unmodified: "When a few of us overcome all this, we are told we show there are no barriers there and are used as examples to put other women down. She made it—why can't you? We are used as tokens while every problem we share is treated as a special case."

I want to be strong ... and I don't want to huddle with the privileged "as strong women" to inadvertently shame other women. And I don't want any perceived strength on my part to be used to prove that there are no barriers ... but because there are.

March 03, 2017


#resistancelog (oligarch edition)


OligarchsDid you know that:

  • Our new Commerce Secretary is a man named Wilbur Ross?
  • The German bank named Deutsche Bank was discovered to have move and launder $10 billion out of Russia and that those dollars included accounts by Vladimir Putin and other Russian oligarchs?
  • Deutsche Bank has branches in Moscow, New York, and Cyprus (an island country in the East Mediterranean) called Bank of Cyprus?
  • After the laundering scandal, the chairman of Deutsche Bank became chairman of Bank of Cyprus, which is the bank where Russian oligarchs go to launder their money?
  • Two of the largest shareholders of Bank of Cyprus are Russian oligarchs Vickor Vekselberg (friend of Putin) and Dmitry Rybolovlev (known as the King of Fertilizer)? 
  • As Rybolovlev was going through a nasty divorce was buying expensive property in order to tie up his money from the divorce settlement?
  • One of the things Rybolovlev bought in 2008 was a humongous estate in Florida for $100 million from Donald Trump?
  • Donald Trump had bought that Florida estate from an auction, just two years prior in 2006 for $40 million? 
  • Neither oligarch Rybolovlev nor Trump ever met to make this deal but worked only with intermediaries?
  • Aside from Russian Oligarchs Rybolblev and Vekselberg's high stature in the Bank of Cyprus there is one American who also has high stature in that bank and serves as one of its two vice-chairmen and that his name is Wilbur Ross?

Kudos to Rachel Maddow for connecting these very important dots and reporting on all of this on February 27, 2017. Do you want to better understand the disgusting behavior or Russian oligarchs and their track-record of destroying humans in their quest for money? Then I highly recommend that you read Red Notice by Bill Browder. It is an important book.

I think the reason Fascist45 isn't showing his taxes is because once we get forensic auditors to look at his taxes, we will learn that he is as disgusting as these oligarchs who he has been in bed with, with his insatiable thirst for money. Is there a dossier that could potentially ruin Fascist45? If Russian oligarchs were involved with any business dealings where they agreed to pocket Trump a cool $60 million with a real estate transaction, you better believe there is a dossier. That's the way oligarchs do business. You don't get to pocket $60 million for nothing.

February 21, 2017


#resistancelog (Nicety Nice Edition)


NiceFascist45 loves people who are nice to him. He points out all the time that since (fill in the blank) was nice to him, we should love (fill in the blank). That (fill in the blank) could be someone like Sean Hannity ... or Mike Pence ... or Vladimir Putin. Fascist 45 also despises with a vengeance people who he thinks are not nice to him. And when he feels someone has been mean to him or his people, it's an all out attack ... from Meryl Streep, to Nordstrom, to the American media (including NYTimes, NBCNews, ABC, CBS, and CNN) as he goes for their jugular.

But what IS nice? What does that mean and what weight should nice have in setting domestic and foreign policy? If a kleptocratic terrorist like Putin is nice to Fascist 45 by complimenting him or hacking into our election to find ways to help Fascist 45 win ... does that mean that we ought to feel good about Putin just because he has been "nice" to Fascist 45? Be nice back to Putin who kidnaps, tortures and murders his political opponents and hacks into our election process?

And when Fascist 45 feels an American company isn't being nice to his daughter for no longer carrying her shoes, he uses a worldwide platform to go after that company, to single it out and harass them for making a business decision. And his disgusting son joins in by encouraging Americans to cut up our Nordstrom cards.

To me, being nice is synonymous to being courteous. It's letting a car merge in rather than speeding up to cut off that car for no reason. But just because courtesy is practiced on the freeway doesn't mean that world views become aligned. After all, true courtesy lets all cars (whether blue or red) merge in. That's courtesy.

Fascist 45 was elected to be the leader of the free world. When a journalist investigates facets of his world view as translated into policies and procedures, it's not because they are being mean. It's not because they are being nice. It's because it is their job to be relentless, rigorous and free.

Especially toward women, there's a lot of pressure to be nicety nice. To smile. To be kind. I can be all that. Especially on the freeway. Because that's the way I was raised. But when Fascist 45 and his team continue to champion a world view that dangerously steers our world into the dark ages,

I resist.

For me, resistance involves a lot of tears and heartache. It takes a lot of work. Thankfully, resistance also involves deep satisfaction in knowing that I am living life not obliquely, but honestly, and straight from the heart. Thank you to the many resistors who inspire me and help me feel the opposite of alone.

PS: My cute little black dress? It's from Nordstrom ... one of the best American companies known for their awesome customer service that employs thousands of American workers.

 

 


 

 

February 14, 2017


Red Notice by Bill Browder


RednoticeDid you know that:

  • in 2012 Vladimir Putin's regime announced a proposed ban that would become law, prohibiting American families from adopting Russian orphans?
  • this ban is one of the ways in which Putin retaliated against the Magnitsky Act, a bipartisan bill passed by the US Congress and signed into law by President Obama, that imposes sanction on Russian officials responsible for the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky?
  • Sergei Magnitsky was Bill Browder's lawyer who helped uncover the deep corruption of the Russian government that stole money from its very own people?
  • Putin's regime captured, tortured and ultimately killed Sergei Magnitsky who refused to retract the truth about the corruption that he helped uncover about his country's kleptocratic regime?

I just finished reading one of the most harrowing books I've ever read: Red Notice by Bill Browder, which I first learned about through Katie Couric's podcast.

Do you want to better understand Russian history, the American political system, and the ongoing atrocities of Vladimir Putin and his regime? I recommend that you listen to the podcast and also read Red Notice. The most eye-opening, educational, horrifying and inspiring books I've ever read.

Horrifying because of realizing the long track record of the terror that Putin inflicts upon his enemies and how the current US President shadows the practices of this totalitarian regime and continues to align himself with Putin.

Inspiring because of humans (like Magnitsky and Browder and members of the US Congress and countless human rights activists) who refuse to back down from exposing the truth about terrorists like Putin.

 

February 11, 2017


#resistancelog (Freedom Edition)


Resit

#resistancelog (Freedom edition) Some folks have written me privately asking whether I worry about losing some business with my activism. Technically, I probably have lost some but I've also gained some so it's been sort of a wash. And honestly, it's not that I don't care about all of that. It's just that I care MORE about living as who I am and to achieve the status of being absolutely free.

And it's another reason to live within my means and resist being an over-consumer of stuff I don't need ... material stuff that bogs me down ... making me think I need to earn more to consume more ... all to protect that which makes me have to silence myself more. Such bullshit. (Does this topic intrigue you? I recommend that you watch the documentary titled Minimalism. It's on Netflix. It'll rock your world.) Here's more on this topic from the amazing Audre Lorde:

"And that deep and irreplaceable knowledge of my capacity for joy comes to demand from all of my lfie that it be lived within the knowledge that such satisfaction is possible, and does not have to be called marriage, nor god, nor an afterlife ... and this is a grave responsibility, projected from within each of us, not to settle for the convenient, the shoddy, the conventionally expected, nor the merely safe."

February 10, 2017


#resistancelog (Chances edition)


Chances

#resistancelog (Chances edition)

There's this thing that some people say in response to my activism, which is "Why don't you give him a chance?"

Every single morning, I wake up with some hope that maybe he's been humbled and enlightened. Maybe he's been counseled by a level-headed adviser to tackle the day with increased compassion and awareness and presidential polish. Because even ideas that I disagree with can be accepted when delivered with calm. With polish. With respect. I think this hope is synonymous to chances.

He is given a chance every day to #actlikeapresident. And every day, I die a little bit more because he  displays his misogynistic, racist, fascist, and kleptocratic values by abusing his position in such an arrogant manner that incites true terror in my psyche. A terror of knowing that if allowed, my country will become ruled under totalitarianism by a regime that is allowed to exist above the law ... where my rights as a woman are stripped away. And that he will ignite unnecessary conflicts with the global community as he taunts and undermines delicate foreign relations all over the world.

And the thing about me is that when chances I give aren't taken, I resist.

So to those who continue to ask "Why don't you give him a chance?" I ask two questions in reply:

1 What the hell do you think he is given every single day?
2 How much longer can your conscience allow you to remain willfully unaware before your pillow gets so hard that you can no longer sleep? 

February 06, 2017


#resistancelog (Shiny Penny Edition) :: February 7, 2017


Every penny#resistancelog (Shiny Penny Edition) I'm happy to report that I have officially been 50 years old for six full days. And so far, it's been great. I've been saying to friends that if life is 90 cents ... or maybe if I'm generous and say that life is a dollar, I've spent 50 cents of it. So if I'm being generous, I have 50 shiny pennies left.

But this morning it dawned on me that we're in February already. And before I know it, the year will be over. So maybe if I'm generous, I have 49 pennies left.

Shiny pennies. They go so quickly. I want to make every single penny count ... to take risks, to express my feelings, to declare my love, to roll around in poems, to not shy away from making audacious art ... to celebrate a room filled with one learner as enthusiastically as I celebrate a room filled with 100 learners. To allow myself to embrace my activism.

Speaking of which ... I just gotta say that it's a beautiful thing to see US District Judge James Robart (appointed by President George W. Bush) block fascist45's Muslim ban, causing fascist45 to tantrum like the non-disciplined disgrace that he is. Someone on twitter said that Judge Robart was kicking ass, to which someone replied, no, the US Constitution is kicking ass. So true. It's a beautiful thing.

As much as this fascist regime is causing me disgust, I have to say that it's also causing me profound appreciation. I just love seeing the awakening happening. I love collaborating with smart people. I love roaring with laughter when Melissa McCarthy punches the regime in the gut with her art. I love seeing Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus deciding to stop carrying Trump products. And I love great, informative podcasts ... including a recent episode that Katie Couric had on her podcast with Bill Browder. It's a chilling and eye-opening interview that gave me greater insight about the horrors of Putin. The kind or horror that makes me want to look away ... before I realize that actually, I need to shine light on it. Let there be light.

Every Penny. Shiny penny.

January 27, 2017


#resistancelog (Big Mac + Marlboro edition) :: JAN 27, 2017


Log

 
A criticism I saw online before the #womensmarch commenced was that the march rejected an affiliation request from an anti-choice group, causing some in the anti-choice group to argue that the march was exclusionary. And rightly so. The spirit of the march was about women's rights ... a rejection of sexual assault, and a standing up for women's reproductive health.

Does this mean anti-choice humans were banned from marching? No. It meant that the march did not accept their official affiliation. Think of it this way. If I were attending a conference that promoted clean eating, I would expect that the organizers not accept affiliations from say ... fast food chains, or cigarette companies. Does that mean a person with a Big Mac or Marlboros can't attend the conference? On the contrary.

Not all women believe the same thing. I get it. Today, with Pence addressing the anti-choice march ... I was waiting to hear him start speaking in tongues as he was advocating an overturning of Roe-v-Wade, with men AND women cheering him on.

I've never had an abortion but have had had moments in my life when my period was late, causing my heart to drop, sweat to trickle, as I screamed a deep "shit!" In those dark moments, I remember going through all the scenarios, and feeling comforted knowing that in this country, I am able to think through everything and come to my decision about my body in a legal and safe manner. The fact that I didn't have to go down that road doesn't diminish the value of that road. It's a road that prevents women from taking matters into their own hands, or the hands and wire hangers that exist not just in the recesses of our minds but in real back alleys not so far from Main Street.

I'm alarmed at how this is happening in 2017. It's maybe two, three steps away from the dystopian world that #MargaretAtwood wrote in Handmaid's Tale. A book worth reading, along with George Orwell's 1984, which is experiencing a surge of sales right now. Read em while you still can. Before they're banned, burned, and destroyed by this fascist regime that hates reading and dissent, but not as much as they hate bad ratings.

It hurts to be awake.

January 25, 2017


#resistancelog ("alternate truth" edition) :: January 25, 2017


Inoculate

I just love #SethMeyers and his Closer Look videos. He's so smart and so good at making connections and pointing out ironies. In one such video, he used his comedic genius to point out how ridiculous it's been to have the White House spend so much time spreading lies about stupid stuff, like attendance numbers at the inauguration. But his final point was so important, which was this: Small lies (e.g., inauguration numbers) inoculate us from the big lies (e.g., Putin, voter fraud, climate change).

Like rabbits, when we stay in a pot of boiling water for too long, we become fully cooked. Because we are living in an era where it's become un-American to criticize Putin and American to criticize American women (most notably by Indiana State Senator/Misogynist Jack Sandlin who just called participants of the Women's March as "fat women.") I mean ... it just hurts to be awake these days.

It hurts to hear that. And if I were to say regarding Sandlin, "What a misogynist pea-brain," it hurts even more to hear a fascist supporter say "you shouldn't name-call." Kill me now.

UPSIDE: I just ordered a cute "Nasty Women Unite" cropped tee and I am knitting tiny pussyhat pins for my resistance buddies. I'm gonna turn 50 in just 6 days. And my plan is to combat the hurt by participating in the biggest resistance of my lifetime fully awake and with immense artistry and style. #resist #fascism #resistance #resistwithstyle

January 24, 2017


#resistancelog :: January 24, 2017


Uke1. Twitter overwhelmed me today. Especially to learn of the continued moves by fascist-in-chief to silence scientists from talking about matters related to the environment.
2. Thanks to my FB friend-in-resistance Peggy, I wrote a letter to Senator Feinstein about why I marched in the #WomensMarch to help her gather genuine anecdotes to prepare as she goes to Judiciary Committee tomorrow to vote up or down on Senator Jeff Session's nomination to be Attorney General.
3. Cheered "hoorah" when my friend launched our little private FB group for the local OC pussy brigade.
4. Loved getting smiles and cheers of true joy from strangers who saw my cat ears and women's march tee as I was out and about. I am not alone.
5. Saw footage of a young man named Philip speaking so well in his legislator's office to defend the ACA. Which made me wonder what I'd say if I visited my legislators. Maybe I could do a little bit of performance art with my uke. Why the hell not?
6. Decided I'm going to send a postcard to Marco Rubio to let him know that he broke my heart in announcing that he's gonna vote for Tillerson after all. I really had hope in him.
#resistancelog #resist #fascism

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