Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Standing in the Doorway

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am troubled by the position many conservatives take on Women Issues.  Several reasons exist for this besides being liberal in my thinking.  I'm have been looking for work for almost a year now and feeling invisible to those hiring.  It is hard to be 60 and not think my age has something to do with it.

The more pressing reason is that I feel as though I have been fighting for equality and autonomy my whole life. I remember standing in the doorway of my grandmother's kitchen watching her, my mother and my aunt prepare, serve and clean up the holiday meals while the men and boys sat watching television before and after the meal.  That doorway became sympolic as I grew.  Filling caught by the traditional roles of the women in my family and yet drawn to the activities and interests of the men.  I loved sports.  I loved mechanical things. I loved science and math.  The world of women seemed filled with more don'ts than the men's. 

So the people who attack a woman's right to choose what to do with her own body touch a sore spot that has existed for a very long time.  That little girl in the doorway watches.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Liberal 90

Two weeks ago in my therapy group, I mentioned how upset I was with Ryan's stance on women issues as well as the general arch-conservative positions.  After venting, I realized that I had been upset over the way women seem to be the target of the tea party since Spring.

I am a liberal on just about everything except parenting.  I believe in pro-choice and think men should just shut up about what a woman can do with her body. But then I think everyone should just shut up about what a woman can do to her body.  If you don't want to have an abortion, then don't have one.  If you don't believe in birth control, don't use it.  Leave the rest of us alone. 

Abortion is legal in this country and the rules/laws that make it increasingly harder to obtain one holds women hostage to their bodies. I don't believe women choose to have an abortion lightly and the government should not make a difficult situation even more difficult. And I don't even want to start on my feelings about the attack on Planned Parenthood.

Women issues aside, I'm also liberal about religion, gay rights, education, health care, immigration, welfare and just about any other social program.  One reason I have such trouble with the very conservative agenda is that I find them so exclusive in their world view while I believe that this country was founded on ideas of inclusiveness. 

HBO's "Newsroom" ended its season with a list of what the tea party stands for and characterized the party as the American Taliban.  It is worth a watch.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Conservative Tenth

Ten percent.  That is how much of me is conservative.  And that ten percent revolves around one topic - child rearing.  I believe children should all have set bedtimes, even teenagers.  I believe children should eat what is prepared for them at meal time. I believe no child under the age of 18 should have a television or computer in her own room. I believe in chores for every child. I believe that starting children in organized activities at 3 or 4 is for the parent's enjoyment and shortens the time that children will have free unscheduled time in their lives.  I don't believe in dropping children off at a mall or the movies. And I believe that if I pay for tickets to anything, my children will sit with me.  I don't believe in running to the store at the last minute for something someone might need for a homework assignment that he decided to do at the last minute. 

As I type this, I'm well aware that the world is changing so fast and the above paragraph dates me.  Children now have smart phones and smart tablets and have them at a younger and younger age. I still believe that many of the problems kids can face with technology and/or the world will be lessen if things are done in the presence of parents.

And that is about all that is conservative in me.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Trying Again

I took a five month vacation from blogging.  Tired of job hunting and news of anti-women laws led to a malaise.  I wasn't sure I could write without my frustration leaching into my words.  So I stopped.  Summer was hard and while I never fell into the abyss of depression, it took most of my energies to stay on the level. 

Now I'm trying again.  I hope to be as brave as my favorite bloggers (cjane leads the list) and write about what truly matters to me.  There is a need for an honest approach to the female narrative in all of its myriad and complex ways.  What I write may not match your experience (presuming I have readers) but it will be truly reflective of my experience.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Something different

Space, Place and Soul

Something in this landscape calls out to me.

The prairies my vagabond parents

Ceased to call home after they wed,

But the weekend visits, holiday celebrations and

And long indolent summer vacations

Turned this red dirt into the

North Star of my existence.

Something in this landscape calls out to me.

The clouds shadowing the rolling wheat fields

Turning from a hint of green to the waving gold.

The scents of the seasons, each distinct to its

Own time and memory.

Something in this landscape calls out to me.

As I leave the interstate and turn onto the shoulderless

Two lane highway with its arterial dirt roads and

Tractors left in the middle of the fields and

Cattle lazily welcoming me with their stares,

I hear the deep interior response as my soul

Answers, "I'm home! I'm home!"


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Firing the Canon

My mother graduated from high school in 1949.  I finished in 1969 and my three children graduated in 1996, 1998 and 2001.  All of us read Dickens' Great Expectation as well as Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, and Hamlet.  I lucked out of the Scarlet Letter when my eleventh grade English teacher assigned Wouk's The Caine Mutiny. As much as I love to read and write, I hated my English classes.

 For all of us the math courses came in the same order as did the science classes.

Now I understand that there is something to be said for all of us to share in similar educational experiences.  It connects the generations and provides a common language.  That reasoning is sadly outdated and irrelevant.  So much has changed and the educational canon needs updating.

Admittedly I am not a fan of Dickens but the rest of my family enjoyed reading the ninth grade assigned novel.  I just think that there have been new books written since his day that would appeal to the modern student.  Allow students to choose what they would like to read and introduce them to what is happening now.  Maybe they will be moved to read the "classics" in order to understand some of the literary references. 

Let students work through the science and math courses in the manner that suits them.  Allow them to pace themselves and own their learning.  Offer more courses that would meet the state requirements.  If students take a class and don't have the necessary background, let them take the time to acquire it, even if their learning path resembles a wandering path. 

The factory model of education no longer serves its population and ideas from the homeschooling, private and charter school sectors need to be incorporated into public education.  The time for change is now.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hunger Games

As a rule, I do not read Young Adult literature.  Often I find it shallow so it was with some hesitation that I began the Hunger Games series.  And I loved it. A great story well written and so I proceeded to finish all three books in quick order.

Friday my younger daughter and I saw the movie.  It was everything the pre-release hype promised. The cast was perfect.  The pacing felt right.  But I do have a few complaints.  I know that there are always changes when a book goes to the big screen.  Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't.  In the Hunger Games film, the small changes were unnecessary.  For example, the way Katniss received her mockingjay pin is better in the book, ties the three books together and would have taken the same amount of time in the movie as the change took.  Also the cornucopia differs from the book.  Again a small change that wasn't needed.  The audience didn't need the visual change to remember that the setting was in the future.  And why was Peeta's last injury omitted?  Again it is something that ties Katniss and Peeta together in the series.

Still my recommendation is to read the books and see the movie.  They both are way better than the Twilight series.