HEROES FOR A MODERN GIRL | A Relating to Humans Women’s Issues Feature

HEROES FOR A MODERN GIRL
by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

The poet Maya Angelou
shared wise words that moved me so.
Songbird Nina Simone
Did not fear walking alone.
Nikki Giovanni
Laid the truth on me.

Mom bravely raised me alone,
in the warmest, loving home.
Simone deBouvaire taught me
women are not property.
Toni Morrison’s Pilate
was free like a wild lilac.

And I thank them all
for helping me stand tall.
Men’s rules, commandments, and laws
once confined us, we felt lost.
But there was no stopping
rebels like Janis Joplin.

I benefit from their stand,
and I’m fed by my own hand.
I thank them all
For helping me stand tall.
 

pamelascanepa.wordpress.com


 

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS?

 
 

DESPITE IT ALL, BECAUSE OF IT ALL | A Relating to Humans Women’s Issues Feature

DESPITE IT ALL, BECAUSE OF IT ALL
by lorieb

I grew up in a large family, the youngest girl and second youngest of six children, with two sisters and three brothers. Despite that, or perhaps because of that, I have always wanted to have a large family myself. My husband on the other hand, grew up with just one sister, so he was more skeptical of the prospect of a large family. Of course a large family today is probably only equivalent to half the size of a large family back then.

My ultimate goal was to have my children before the age of 30, so I could be a young mother and grandmother. After three-and-a-half years of marriage, I stopped using birth control so we could start a family. It didn’t take long for me to get pregnant, but it took determination and perseverance throughout nine pregnancies within the next ten years to successfully create our family.

I decided to write a book about my efforts to have children for many reasons; the most important one being that it was very therapeutic for me to jot down details of each of my pregnancies, successful or not, to keep them all sorted in my mind. Reading about them now, each one borne complete through words becoming sentences, and sentences becoming paragraphs and pages, is the most therapeutic of all. Of course it is easier to move on when things have ended on a positive note, and my family is complete.

My advice to others is simple:

Talk about your fears, disappointments and struggles to anyone who will listen. This can be a professional councilor or a friend or family member. On the flip side, listen to anyone that is trying to lean on you for support throughout their struggles. I remember a co-worker thanking me for “breaking the ice” as she called it, upon my return to work after a stillbirth. My co-workers were all very concerning and caring, but no one knew what to say or how to act, so when I started the conversation they were very grateful. It is always better to acknowledge someone’s pain rather than ignore or avoid it.

Do not wait too long to start your family. As my story shows you, things do not always go as planned. If you are in a healthy, financially stable relationship, and both of you want to have children, don’t procrastinate. That’s why humans have a nine-month gestation; it gives you time to get used to the idea of a baby in the family.

Work hard for what you believe in and want out of life. Do not let others tell you that you cannot do something that you believe you can. Do not believe that you cannot do something until you have tried your best to do it.

Do not take anything you have for granted, especially your health, but also your intelligence, athletic abilities, and anything else that makes you different from others.

Last, but not least, when you are feeling down, take a moment to realize that there is always someone worse off than you in any given situation. Think of the good and positive things in your life, (I do not mean materialistic things) and be sure to surround yourself with positive people that really care about you. Delete the negative things and people from your life. Make a written list of these things, referring to it often and adding to the list as you work through your struggles.

I can write this story now with humor, candor, wisdom and hindsight, all things I did not have much of when I was first starting out on my path to motherhood. Hopefully, this will provide inspiration and comfort to others that have or are going through the frustration and heartbreak of losing a child during pregnancy.
 

lorieb.com


 
Submit your awareness-raising human related-work to the Relating to Humans feature.

 
 

THE LIES WE TELL OURSELVES | A Relating to Humans Women’s Issues Feature

THE LIES WE TELL OURSELVES
        by Manivillie Kanagasabapathy

** TRIGGER WARNING: Abuse **

Deep Brown eyes stare back at me,
Fleeting whispers floating between us,
Shadows creep silently,
Across broad brown shoulders,
The darkness melding within the chocolate hues,
Lengthening to point accusingly,
At the faded bruise
That still held faint outlines of his hand.

“Are you okay? Should I call someone?”
I hear the teacher’s voice whisper
Behind
In front
Avoiding.

My eyes jump back up,
Shamed to be caught,
Starting at the dark eyes,
That hid darker shadows.

“I’m fine, I fell”
I watched her rouge tipped lips open in reply,
Tasting the words,
Rolling them around her tongue
Until they fit,
Like words spoken
In love
In faith
In truth

“Should I call a doctor?”
The persistent voice asked again,
Concern and patronization moving together
To create a melody of the question,
“No really I am fine, I fell.”
Stronger, this time
The eyes lit with the flame of memory,
Recreated to a story to be told over and over,
Each time more real than the last.

Hands lift reaching across
Touch the fading bruise,
Face flinching from where my fingers lay,
Turning to look away.

With a breath, I slowly withdraw my hand
Shaking as it moves from the mirror.
Square the shoulders,
Bright smile,
A deep inhalation and whisper…
“I am fine, I fell.”
 
mypoeticheart.com


 

Please submit your creative expressions that bring awareness to women and gender issues to the Relating to Humans Women’s Issues feature. All submissions will be profiled on the blog throughout Women’s History Month.

 
 

I CAN’T PICTURE YOU WITH A KID | A Relating to Humans Women’s Issues Feature

I CAN’T PICTURE YOU WITH A KID
by asyarhein

FROM THE WOMEN’S ISSUES ARCHIVE
 

“I can’t picture you with a kid.”

“Neither can I.”

I’m too spontaneous. My passion for writing and journalism was constantly competing with my passion for buffalo wings, rum and Steve Madden; there is no room for a kid in the newsroom or at the bar during happy hour and being six months pregnant squeezing those ridiculous swollen dogs into new candy apple reds is just negligent- everyone knows five inch heels can’t handle that kind of stress. Yet, there we were in the bathroom waiting for a pee stick who decided to use the entire two minutes to make up its mind. I can’t do this. I’m too young. There are so many places I want to travel to. If I get a great deal on Groupon I want to be able to just book it! To call in to work sick and live my life! You can’t do that with a baby there’s planning. Clearly not enough in this situation but that’s beyond the point. The point is… Do babies even get passports? I mean how often would you have to update that photo? I don’t have time for that. Who hikes Yosemite with a papoose? Seriously. I want to wake up in the morning and see a sting ray under my hut in Bora Bora not a diaper genie. And now I’m positive that’s not going to happen.

“Have you thought of your options.”

Sure, I had. But what were they? Have a baby. Kick out Jimmy Choo to make room for Osh Kosh. Drop out of school to PlaySkool. Put down the pen to set up one to play in.

Or don’t. Adoption is an option. Earn my tiger stripes just to give my cub to someone with less of a pride.

Or don’t. To just pretend it never happened. I mean, Forever21 doesn’t do maternity.

“…and that sound is your little girl’s heartbeat.”

They said it was okay to cry but I couldn’t. You don’t pre-order MAC’s new midnight sensation just to make it run. And I would make sure my daughter would know that, or would I? Maybe some happy couple somewhere far away like Arkansas wouldn’t let her wear make-up until 16 or she would be given to some psycho pageant people in Pasadena who would have her glitzed out at six months. I couldn’t let that happen to my baby. My baby. But was I her momma? Constantly teetering on this tottering life was no place for a kid. So I had to stop being one.

“I’m having a girl.”

The last 18 weeks of my life had now planned at least the next 18 years of it. She would be mine. She would stalk shoe sales with me. She would be my editor. At the end of the day, it only matters what she has to say. She would be just like me.

“I don’t hear anything.”

She was just like me. Spontaneous as all hell. It’s okay to cry they said but I couldn’t. I don’t remember it happening like this on the tv shows or in the movies. The chapter in the health books didn’t elaborate on this. The doctor didn’t break it down like my body did. There was no what to expect when you stop expecting. there’s nothing on un-nesting. one minute im sitting there answering phones and making appointments at my desk. the second minute im up and bolting down the hall passing the click-clacking Manolo Blahniks, my hush puppies stay silent towards the little girls room, the rest room. where this little girl is not resting but not awake. a little girl controlling her own fate. while i was kicking around parenthood, she decided to never kick. i close my mouth and scream. and the tears who have been planning this for so long finally make their escape and i don’t even try to stop them. they grab hold of the covergirl clump crusher and run.
 

asyarheinox.wordpress.com


Please submit your creative expressions that bring awareness to women and gender issues to the Relating to Humans Women’s Issues feature. All submissions will be profiled on the blog throughout Women’s History Month.

 
 

From Pioneers To Propaganda


 

This is a propaganda video direct from the US Navy’s official website.

More specifically, it is a two-minute or so inspiring profile piece of a female Hull Technician, a rating traditionally reserved for and assigned to male sailors, found on a page from the Navy’s official website dedicated solely to the recruitment of women.

Now, the word “propaganda” typically comes with negative connotations… at least to me it does.

However, in this case, I regard it as very positive development, for it was not that long ago that you would have been hard-pressed to find a female “HT” in the US Navy.

And, happily (seeing how I am a recruiter for my film and not for the navy (though I strongly encourage every American to consider serving their country militarily)), it just so happens that the protagonist and his small division of men of the Nineties-era short film I am seeking your support for are also Hull Technicians.

Pretty coincidentally cool, huh…

And it is they, these male HT characters of mine, who, through their dialogue and actions — as harassing and as hazing as they may be — show us how I suspect  know many real-life male sailors would have  felt and reacted at the time about the recent arrival of the first-ever female sailors to their warship.

I only hope that the first-ever female sailors and other female service members who are right now getting ready to report to combat-related duty assignments, assignments on the front lines and maybe even hidden behind the lines, assignments that until very recently were solidly and stolidly forbidden to females, receive a less harassing and more welcoming environment than the females in the film.

Please consider supporting me in the making of my short film LEAVE; for I truly believe, with your support the film can provide much needed awareness to present-day realities in an artistic, entertaining, and meaningful way.

Thank you for your support!

 

For a list of Donation Reward Packages, please click here.

 
 

WOMEN ISSUES…OR ISSUES THAT SURROUNDS A WOMAN | A Relating to Humans Women’s Issues Feature

WOMEN ISSUES…OR ISSUES THAT SURROUNDS A WOMAN
by kalabalu

FROM THE WOMEN’S ISSUES ARCHIVE

Every morning , almost all dailies have a report on women abuse. Mostly domestic violence , dowry issues and early marriage. Each day , I read the story remains same but victims change. The culprit is seldom caught and rarely punished.

I feel that laws are useless when the enforcement is zero, in some instances below zero , yes going into negative area. The enforcers start abusing and humiliating the victim , they sort of make it appear , that she “asked for it”.

World has two sharp division, people who are on the “Man’s side” , this group also has women and the other “Woman rights ” fighters, they are vocal but can not always win, because women issue is a social issue.

If dowry is a bad practice, why do in-laws ask for it ? If beating up women is wrong, why don’t family members interfere ..it seems that society as a whole wants to support the strong and beat up the weak..those women who are strong economically or otherwise , they are seldom abused , but those who are vulnerable due to child marriage or poor back ground..they are tortured and killed..and this cycle is continuous.. Parents feel that marrying off a daughter is important to just move that burden from one’s shoulder to another, they don’t mind if she gets killed..I know that is a harsh way of putting it..but look at the way young girls at 11 are becoming mother and then their kids are getting killed or they are dumped for next victim…
 

kalabalu.wordpress.com


 

All submissions to the Relating to Humans Women’s Issues feature will be profiled on the blog all throughout Women’s History Month. Please share your creative expressions discussing Women’s Issues by submitting them here.

 
 

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY: Celebrating the Success Worldwide

I don’t normally do this kind of thing but, because this is a day to celebrate the grand achievements women all around the world are making, and because this is such phenomenal information (albeit excessively long and highly wonky), I am sharing this cut and paste from the National Business Women’s Council, a US Government organization*.

My summary of this Executive Summary of a US Census Survey regarding US Business is that basically what follows is the empirical data/evidence of what I see happening in all sectors of US society… especially that of the Publishing Industry.

And that is…

WOMEN. ARE. CRUSHING. IT!

Yeah…

The King is dead…

Long live the Queen!
 
*As I understand it, unless specifically marked, anything produced by the US Government is in the Public Domain and free to use. Howeever, if you are planning on doing any copy and pastes of anything you do not own the copyright to, learn the rules first for yourself before you do. I am not a copyright lawyer so do not take my word for it. See my Terms of Use page for more on this.



The Growth and Development of Women-Owned Enterprises in the United States, 2002 – 2012: An Analysis of Trends from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners

Women continue to enter into the ranks of business ownership at rates exceeding the national average. Indeed, the rate at which women are launching businesses is on the rise.

  • As of 2012, there are nearly 10 million women-owned businesses[1} in the United States. These enterprises employ over eight million workers and generate over $1.4 trillion in revenues.
  • Between 2002 and 2012, the number of women-owned firms increased at a rate 2-1/2 times the national average (52% vs. 20%), employment in women-owned firms grew at a rate 4-1/2 times that of all firms (18% vs. just 4%), and the growth in revenues generated by women-owned firms paralleled that of all firms (up 51% compared to 48%).
  • The pace of business formation among women is on the rise. Between 1997 and 2002, the number of women-owned firms grew by 20%, as it did between 2002 and 2007. Then, between 2007 and 2012, the number of women-owned firms increased by 27% – a significant uptick in business start-ups.
  • On average, between 2002 and 2012, women launched an average of 928 net new firms each and every day. Within that ten-year period, there were an average of 714 net new women-owned firms per day between 2002 and 2007, and 1,143 per day between 2007 and 2012.

While more and more women are starting businesses, those businesses remain significantly smaller than average.

  • Women-owned businesses comprise 36% of the country’s businesses, employ 7% of the private-sector workforce, and contribute 4% of business revenues. Ten years prior, women-owned firms represented a smaller 28% of the country’s businesses, but contributed a similar share of employment (7%) and revenues (4%).
  • In terms of employment, fully 91% of women-owned firms have no employees other than the owner, and just 2% have 10 or more employees. Women-owned firms with 10 or more employees provide three-quarters of the jobs provided by women-owned firms. While most women-owned firms remain small in terms of employment, it should be pointed out that the number of women-owned employer firms (which now numbers over one million) has increased by 13% between 2002 and 2012, while overall the number of U.S. employer firms has declined by 1.8% over the same period.
  • With respect to revenue size, 82% of women-owned firms generate less than $100,000 in annual revenues, and just 3% generate $500,000 or more in revenues. This top 3% of women-owned firms accounts for three-quarters of the revenues generated by women-owned businesses. Further, it should be noted that – while less than 2% of women-owned firms generate $1 million or more in revenues – the number of those firms increased by 47% between 2002 and 2012, compared to an 18% increase among all million-dollar enterprises.
  • The average revenue per woman-owned firm is $143,731. This compares to average revenues of $440,190 among all privately-held firms and $1,213,944 among all firms – which includes large, publicly-traded firms (which average $48.2 million in per-firm revenues).

Perhaps the most remarkable trend in women’s entrepreneurship seen over the past decade is the phenomenal growth in business ownership among women of color.

  • In 2002, there were fewer than one million (909,321) minority women-owned firms in the U.S., representing 14% of women-owned firms. As of 2012, there are nearly 3.8 million firms owned by women of color, comprising 38% of women-owned businesses.
  • Between 2002 and 2012, when the number of women-owned firms overall increased by 52%, the number of non-minority women-owned firms grew by just 9%, while the number of minority women-owned firms overall grew by 315% – a quadrupling in numbers. Specifically, the number of Native American/Alaska Native women-owned businesses increased by 67%, the number of Asian American women-owned businesses more than doubled (up 121%), the number of Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander women-owned businesses increased by 136%, and the number of Latina-owned businesses nearly tripled (up 172%) – as did the number of African American women-owned businesses (up 178%).
  • As of 2012, there are 1,521,494 African American women-owned firms in the U.S., 1,469,991 Latina-owned firms, 749,197 Asian American women-owned firms, 131,064 Native American/Alaska Native women-owned firms, and 24,982 Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander women-owned firms in the U.S.

As the number of women serving in the military has grown, so has the number of female veteran-owned enterprises – at a rate exceeding even that of minority women-owned businesses.

  • In 2007, there were 97,114 veteran women-owned firms in the U.S., representing 4% of all veteran-owned firms. As of 2012, there are 383,302 veteran women-owned firms, comprising 15% of all veteran-owned firms.
  • Between 2007 and 2012, when the number of all veteran-owned businesses increased by 3% – from 2.4 to 2.5 million – the number of female veteran-owned businesses increased by a phenomenal 295%, a near quadrupling in numbers in just five years.

Regionally, the sharpest rise in the number of women-owned firms has been seen in the southern region of the U.S., where overall population growth has been the strongest. However, women-owned firms in the central part of the country have bounced back most strongly from the 2007-2009 recession.

  • Between 2002 and 2012, the greatest growth in the number of women-owned firms has been seen in Georgia (+92%), Mississippi (+89%), Texas (+85%), Florida (+85%), and Louisiana (+74%) – all Southern states. Indeed, all of the states where women-owned firm growth exceeds the national average by more than 10 points are in the South, except for Arizona and Nevada.
  • Four out of the five fastest-growing metropolitan areas for women-owned firms are also in the South: Memphis (+160%), Charlotte (+138%), Orlando (+127%), Las Vegas (+101%), and San Antonio (+101%).
  • While states in the South lead the way in business growth over the entire ten-year period, Central states are home to the most positive trends when comparing growth during the 2007-2012 post-recession period to the 2002-2007 pre-recession period. There are 19 states in which post-recession growth in the number of women-owned firms is at least 10 points higher than pre-recession growth; most are in the North Central or Midwest regions of the U.S. The leading “bounce back” states are Louisiana, Nebraska, Iowa, North Dakota, Indiana, and Mississippi. At the other end of the spectrum, ten states currently lag pre-recession growth rates – including Maine, Georgia, Hawaii, and New Hampshire, where post-recession growth is more than 5% lower than pre-recession growth.

As women business owners themselves are growing more diverse, so are the businesses that they are starting. Despite growing industry diversification, however, the largest concentration of women-owned firms is still seen in the most traditional areas of business ownership for women – sectors that have lower than average revenues per firm.

  • Women-owned firms are found in every industry. In fact, 2% or more of the nearly 10 million women-owned firms are found in 13 of the 19 major industries – including over 260,000 women-owned construction firms, over 200,000 women-owned finance and insurance firms, and nearly 160,000 women-owned transportation and warehousing enterprises.
  • Despite the growing diversity in the types of businesses that women own, nearly half (49%) of women-owned firms are found in three sectors: other services (1.9 million firms, within which there are nearly 1 million beauty and nail salons), health care and social assistance (1.6 million firms, within which there are over 600,000 child day care service businesses), and professional/scientific/technical services (1.3 million firms, within which there are a cornucopia of such firms as management and human resources consultancies, translation services, and veterinarians).
  • Between 2002 and 2012, the greatest growth in the number of women-owned firms has been in educational services (+91%), administrative services (+90%) and other services (+86%) – growth rates nearly double the overall 52% increase during the period. However, even within slower-growing industries, the rate of growth in the number of women-owned firms outpaces overall growth in every single industry sector.
  • Women-owned businesses are more likely than average to have achieved revenues of $500,000 or more in five industries: wholesale trade, manufacturing, accommodation and food services, construction, and transportation and warehousing. However, women-owned firms in these industries comprise only 11% of all women-owned firms.
  • Conversely, among some of the most populous sectors for women-owned businesses – most especially other services, administrative, support and waste management services and health care and social assistance, average revenues are well under $100,000 per firm. Raising the overall economic clout of women-owned businesses would then require a two-pronged approach:
  •         1. Assist women in the more populous, lower per-firm revenue sectors in scaling-up their enterprises, and
            2. Encourage more women to start businesses in the less populous but more likely to scale sectors.



     

    [1] Throughout this report, the term “women-owned” refers to enterprises that are at least 51% owned and operated by a woman or group of women. Businesses equally-owned by a man and a woman (or equal numbers of men and women) are not included – primarily because the way that equally-owned firms have been identified has differed in each of the past four business census years, thus precluding accurate trend analysis.

     
     

HEY WHAT ABOUT ME?! | A Relating to Humans Women’s Issue

HEY WHAT ABOUT ME?!
Exploring the Mind of a Man Who Didn’t Give Me His Card
by pixie

FROM THE WOMEN’S ISSUES ARCHIVE
 
I recently went to a conference with my fiancé – one of those social affairs where everyone is given a name tag and you’re expected to mix and mingle with the crowd. An awkward moment with a stranger got me thinking…

For a brief couple of minutes during the conference coffee break I was left alone. Next to me, I observed a quiet, bashful middle-aged man fumbling through his conference materials and we caught each other’s eye for a moment. I smiled, being polite. He returned the smile and extended his hand to introduce himself.

We went through the usual ice-breaking questions of what we do, why we were there. The banter was friendly and a connection was made. Moments later my fiancé rejoined me. Seeing that I had made a new acquaintance, I introduced him to Mr Bashful and they went on to talk about themselves, dutifully going through similar introductory questions. Mr Bashful at one point reached out for his business cards and gave one to my fiancé, then proceeded to store his business cards back into this pocket.

I was taken aback and thought to myself, “Wait, what about me?!“

So I said to Mr Bashful, teasingly, to remind him of the etiquette faux pas he just committed, “Oh, how come I don’t get a card?“

Alarmed at his own mistake, he immediately made a comeback. “Oh I am so very sorry!“ quickly fumbled through his pockets to get his stack of business cards, and embarrassingly passed one to me with the usual two hands as a gesture of respect.

It was a small incident, but one which demonstrated how we each may have prejudices against certain people. These prejudices are mostly hidden, but occasionally let themselves out the bag through accidental gestures.

I don’t know why Mr Bashful didn’t give me a card and practically ignored me the moment my fiancé stepped in. It could have been a myriad of reasons: his nervousness in front of women, his thoughts that guy to guy conversations are more appropriate, seeing more value in building a relationship with my fiancé instead of me. I don’t know, I can only guess. My guess is that he has certain views about women which inadvertently influenced his behaviour – a small gesture of neglecting to give me his name card, despite me having been the one who first struck up a conversation with him.

I felt a bit brushed off, but forgave the small mistake. It’s not the first time this happened. Not long ago at a wedding an older surgeon similarly extended his business card to my fiancé but not me, despite having spoken to both of us.

I’m not timid and shy – no – that wouldn’t have been the reason why Mr Bashful passed me by. Our conversation before my fiancé arrived was cordial, witty, and appropriate. We had made contact but the conversation quickly shifted to “men only” the moment my fiancé arrived, and I was ceremonially excluded at the business card round. The next time, I should conduct a social experiment: if I presented myself as an independent woman, and was by myself during a similar occasion, speaking to a similar man, would he treat me differently? My hypothesis is I would be given a business card if I were alone!*

In summary, my hunch is that the forgetting to hand me a business card (I was standing right there!) had to do with the following reasons:

  • Mr Bashful perceived me to be taken, someone else’s – he saw my fiancé and I as a single unit, and to give my fiancé a business card would suffice. I was covered.
  • Mr Bashful subconsciously believes that business cards are a male matter.
  • Although he ordinarily tries to be “equal” in giving both men and women his cards, this time he had a slip of the mind and forgot his manners.The fact that he was genuinely embarrassed when he was called out revealed that he too thought the omission was inappropriate.
    It could have been both reasons above. Or Mr Bashful could have simply forgotten – an honest mistake. I can only hypothesize at this point.

Or, I could just email Mr Bashful and ask, since I now have his name card…!

What about you? Have there been instances where you were brushed off, forgotten or neglected because of your sex, gender, race, age, or any other reason?

Have you forgotten to give your business cards to certain persons in a social setting? Or worse, was the omission purposeful?

************************
*it would be hard to come up with scientific conclusions, since it’s hard to control the main variable, i.e. the male subject: Mr Bashful could have been a unique case; another man in the same social situation may have given me a card
 

pixiedustbeach.wordpress.com


All submissions to the Relating to Humans Women’s Issues feature will be profiled on the blog all throughout Women’s History Month. Please share your creative expressions discussing Women’s Issues by submitting them here.

With a Vision to Create a Cinematic Work of Art that both Entertains and Inspires a Discussion for Positive Change, your support will be key to the success in Kurt’s and the Crew’s effort to bring their “Women’s Issues” short film to the screen.

To be notified when their Indigogo Campaign to raise the funds needed to produce the film goes live, please sign up here.

 
 

THE AMERICAN FAMILY IS BROKEN | A Relating to Humans Woman’s Issues Feature

THE AMERICAN FAMILY IS BROKEN
by Erin Byerly

 

It was your choice to have a baby, so why should my tax dollars pay for them?

Americans pride themselves on rugged individuality and a tireless work ethic. After spending such long hours in the office with so little vacation time, why should we be expected to subsidize the kids we may not even be having? And why should employers bear the brunt of pregnant employees and the inconvenience of maternity leave?

We may be one of the wealthiest nations in the world, but we’ve forgotten who we are. People talk about children as though they were vintage cars, expensive and unnecessary luxuries that shouldn’t inconvenience anyone but their owners.

We pay a lot of lip service to how much we love children, but when it comes down to it, we resent every last dime we collectively spend on them. We don’t want them in our restaurants or in our airplanes, and certainly don’t want the workplace to accommodate their parents.

Not everyone wants, needs, or is able to have children, but putting the entire burden of our species on the backs of individual families has become unreasonable.

Women’s roles have drastically changed since fifty years ago, and for good cause. Women should neither be kept from employment nor forced into economic dependence on men who could abandon them, die, or even become abusive.

Problem is, relative wages have dropped and most families require two incomes, yet Americans seem blind to our changing circumstances. We vilify families living on public assistance while simultaneously viewing workplace pregnancy accommodations, universal healthcare, parental leave, and subsidized daycare as selfish “entitlements.”

And we don’t want to pay for them, unlike every other developed nation on Earth.

No other First-World country fires pregnant women for medical complications or rips new mothers from the arms of their newborn babies within days of delivery. We barely acknowledge the idea that fathers need bonding time too.

No one else in our fighting class expects parents to shoulder low-quality daycare costs that exceed college tuition rates or applauds making children go hungry when their parents can’t afford lunch money.

Nothing in life is free. We’re turning our backs on the most vulnerable members of our species and our nation is paying a heavy price. Our maternal and infant mortality rates are criminal. Poverty and mental illness are reaching levels not seen since the Great Depression.

And with those costs come interest. Our child abuse, violent crime, and incarceration rates dwarf those of our European counterparts. These issues don’t arise from a handful of irresponsible parents, but a skyrocketing number of families who can barely cope with the strain.

You may not want a child and should never feel obligated to have one, but someone needs to.

Once upon a time, you were a child yourself. Not just you, but your coworkers, your boss, your friends, your family members, and anyone else you ever cared about. You grew up, as will most of the children in America today.

So, why should your tax dollars be spent on someone else’s children?

Because they are you.

They are us.

bubblesandbeebots.com
 


All creative expressions submitted to the Relating to Humans Women’s Issues feature will be profiled on the blog all throughout Women’s History Month.

 
 

MARY OF THE SUN | A Relating to Humans Women’s Issues Feature

MARY OF THE SUN
by jonna ellis holston

 

From Lowell , Massachusetts

My Aunt Mary wrote for The Lowell Sun for seventy-six years. She started while still a high school girl… under pen names… looong before women commonly reported for newspapers. She and my Uncle Charles G Sampas, a mild mannered executive news editor from a great historic city’s newspaper, were my God Parents. Often glued to Mary’s side, I recall The Sun as a chaotic place full of screaming, sweaty reporters desperate to read the ribbons spewed forth from the wire services. I still smell the ink and burnt coffee, and hear the deafening noise of the printing machines. “It’s a lot of work to bring news to the people,” she told me.

And remember those phones that had wires attached to walls? Mary Sampas was attached to one of those… always tucked under an ear, scribbling notes and trading in gossip and fact as she covered the glamorous stars of old Hollywood, Lauren Bacall, Cary Grant, David Niven, many others. Mary and Charlie even accompanied the Kennedys on their Paris trip with Charles de Gaulle and then off to Vienna for the Khrushchev talks. Even Jackie called on Mary for the inside scoop.

She slept late… till the calls began… then the typing would start. Evenings were usually spent socializing with those who were known to be in the know. Hers was a world of endless working parties with artists, writers or prominent Democrats. With non-stop, indefatigable charm and the brain of a word processor she would pursue secrets, discover, verify. What was show and what remained hidden in the backroom smoke?
Continue reading “MARY OF THE SUN | A Relating to Humans Women’s Issues Feature”

Seeking Submissions Discussing Women’s Issues throughout Women’s History Month

March brings with it Women’s History Month, as well as the launching of our Indigogo campaign to raise the funds that will allow us to produce our short film LEAVE.

And, not coincidentally, both Women’s History Month and our film LEAVE share the goal of highlighting and raising awareness of the many valuable contributions women have made and continue to make to societies all throughout the world.

In my effort to celebrate and support both Women’s History Month and the funding of our short film LEAVE, I am asking you to share your creative efforts here — either as an anecdote, a very short story, a poem, a photograph, or artwork — that seeks to raise awareness of women’s issues…

Because we all know that women’s issues are everyone’s issues.

To augment these Guest Contributions I hope and expect to receive, I will be sharing past submissions from our Relating to Humans Women’s Issues archive.

Even though I haven’t been promoting it lately because I’ve been so involved with other projects, the Relating to Humans feature is still very much a thing here and I encourage you to check it out and consider submitting your work to any/all of the issue features.

All submissions I receive for Women’s History Month will be published on the blog and on the Women’s Issues feature page.

So, if you have something to say that raises the awareness of women’s issues, please consider sharing it here. To submit your work, please follow the Submission Guidelines found on the Relating to Humans page.

And also, please consider supporting us in our efforts to produce LEAVE, a short film that seeks to both entertain and inspire discussion for positive change.


This article has been updated to reflect the change in submission guidance. This will allow all articles to go live on the Women’s Issues feature page immediately and will provide links back to the author’s website, versus submitting them through the Contact page and having to wait for me to publish them.

 
 

Did you ever think it would really happen?

You know, I did. I really did.

I had always believed that eventually the US Congress would open up all combat-related assignments to females.

But I didn’t really think it would happen this soon…

And it was never within the realm of my imagination that it and the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell could have happened in the matter of one presidency.

Damn… I sure am going to miss President Obama.
 


 

G.I. JANE was released in 1997.

Our short film LEAVE is set in 1995, when Congress first opened up some combat-related assignments to females, including assignments to warships, and it is about one warship’s all-male crew’s reaction to the arrival of its first female sailors.

I’m sure you can just imagine exactly what their reaction will be…

Hopefully the brave service women now accepting the first combat and special warfare assignments will receive a much better reaction and reception…

 
 

THE WOMAN IN ME | A Relating to Humans Woman’s Issues Feature

THE WOMAN IN ME
by Debolina Coomar

When I was a daughter, I had dreams,
I learnt that life is not easy, and nothing is what it seems.
When I became a student, I had aspirations,
I learnt that achievements are important, and learnings are an inspiration.
When I became a professional, I had goals,
I learnt that life is full of challenges, and we have to take up different roles.
When I was a wife, I had a duty,
I learnt caring, sharing and trust in a relationship is the real beauty.
When I became a mother, I had responsibilities,
I learnt to take up challenges and fulfill them with my abilities.
When I wear so many different masks everyday,
Each one is different and unique in its own way.
But, when I see myself in the mirror,
I see so many faces, but I cannot find HER.
The woman in me keeps calling me everyday,
I just avoided her as I almost have nothing to say.
But, one day, she saw me back into my eyes,
And wanted to know why I ignored all her cries.
I forgot HER as I was busy being everything else,
But, now I want to be ME and let myself out,
I want to open my heart and let it shout.
I want to start living as MYSELF and let the world see,
The WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE, because that is the best I have in me.

debolinacoomar.wordpress.com


 

Women's History Month

It is my pleasure and honor to kick-off our March-long celebration of Women’s History Month with such a beautiful and inspiring poem by Debolina Coomar.

Thank you for submitting your poetic creativity to our Woman’s Issues feature page, Debolina, thereby allowing us all to enjoy your words.

And I invite and strongly encourage you to visit the Relating to Humans feature and consider sharing with us some of your creative inspiration.

As was Debolina’s, all submissions meeting the editorial standards of yours truly submitted to the Women’s Issues page throughout the month of March will be published to the blog.

And now is a good time to submit your work to all the features, as I am in the process of archiving all submissions received prior to this year, which means each feature page will be empty and the early submissions will receive top billing, so to speak.

Please visit the Relating to Humans page for the Submission Guidelines.

Additionally, I invite you to click on the poster above to learn about some of the things the US Government, via the Small Business Administration and the National Business Women’s Council has planned to celebrate Woman’s History Month in its efforts to raise awareness of Women and Gender Issues.

And lastly, please don’t forget to show your support for our short film, LEAVE, by visiting and following (and spreading the word about) our facebook page at www.facebook.com/leavethemovie.

 
 

#OscarsSoWha??

What a night at the Oscars, eh?

Big night for diversity and sexual assault awareness.

While it’s no longer cool for us to say “boys will be boys”… I believe it’s still within the legal PC bounds of good taste to say “Chris will be Chris.”

He did a pretty good job of calling out all the major inequality themes re: Hollywood that’s been on everyone’s minds and tongues for the past few months. Though he did go a little easier on the Establishment and a lot harder on Jada than I expected.

I thought his most pointed call-out wasn’t a race issue but a gender equality issue when discussing the absurdity of having both a Best Actor and a Best Actress category. “It’s not as if they are running a track and field event and Robert De Niro has to say, ‘Whoa, I better slow down my acting so Meryl Streep can catch up…” It’s worth your time to search for and watch Rock’s opening monologue. It should be easy enough to find.

I was pretty bummed when Lady Gaga didn’t win the award for Best Song (or whatever the official nomenclature is) after her highly emotional and powerful performance of “Till It Happens To You.” But when Sam Smith gave his amazing acceptance speech calling on for equality and encouragement for the LGBT community I was like, okay… he’s cool.

But to me, Lady Gaga’s performance was definitely the highlight of the night and one of the most moving performances I’ve seen in a while. At least since her performance of the US National Anthem at the Super Bowl… which was also quite impressive. She’s quite the talent, that’s for sure.

As far as the movie stuff goes, I can’t really comment much because until I see the Oscars I never realize how many movies I haven’t seen throughout the year.

I’m happy and unsurprised that Leo won for Best Actor. Pretty impressive speech he gave re: The Environment. Of course it was a given he would speak about environmental issues knowing how passionate he is about the subject. And it also makes sense to discuss it seeing how critical Nature was to the success of his film. [See: The Revenent: It’s Really Good (for a laugh)]

I’m less happy that Tom Hardy did not win Best Supporting Actor and very surprised that, if Tom didn’t win it, they didn’t just give it to Sly Stallone for sentimental reasons (it certainly wouldn’t be for any acting reasons). As a former Intelligence Community (oxymoron, I know…) guy, I have been meaning to see The Bridge of Spies so I cannot judge the dude who did win. I cannot even judge him based on his past performances because I don’t even have clue who he is (although there is a tinge of familiarity so I’m sure I’ve seen him in this or that).

As for Best Actress… didn’t see “The Room” or is it just “Room,” but just based on the clips shown Brie Larson looks like a worthy winner. As for Best Supporting Actress… didn’t see “The Danish Girl” but Alicia Vikander is definitely the “It Gal” of the moment so I assumed she would win.

While Mad Max swept all the technical and nitnoid whatnot awards, I thought for sure The Revenent would sweep the Big Three. It got two with Alejandro González Iñárritu winning Best Director (two years running now), and Leo’s win, but missed on the biggest of all.

Haven’t seen Spotlight, the winner, yet. I’m still waiting on it to hit Redbox and then I’ll have to wait until Redbox texts me a free movie night before I do. Yeah, I’m cheap like that.

As far as the presenters go… it seems that there is a budding bromance between Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling. They were quite funny together and could make a pretty good living as a comedic duo.

And did anyone else get confused between Kate Winslet and Patricia Arquette? Did they look like copies of each other because they were sharing the same pair of glasses? Or are they secretly Pond Crossing Twins?

Speaking of Patty Arquette, you should check her out on twitter and see the work she’s doing with the #EqualMeansEqual documentary that is in the works. As you probably know she’s a major, outspoken proponent for Women’s and Gender Equality Issues. She believes because she called out Hollywood last year in its poor record of equality in pay between men and women that she has lost several potential acting gigs from it. Check out the good stuff she has going on at @PattyArquette at the tweet machine.

As typical, Sasha Baron Cohen provided the most cringe-worthy moment. His “Ali G” skit is no longer fun(ny), as it now comes off to me only as being stale and rather desperate.

Still, all in all I thought The Oscars overall was a great show. One of the most entertaining in a long while.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what impact all the awareness to diversity this year will have on next year’s nominees.

Aaand… that’s a wrap.