I put this song up earlier last week, but then left it because I couldn’t think of a thing to say in response to it, let alone write anything coherent in relationship to it. Actually I think I was hoping that by going through the actions of posting, I would somehow find the impetus to begin. Didn’t work, obviously.
So what is really blowing in the wind, other than my disconnected thoughts? And when I say disconnected, what do I really mean? Perhaps more like awash, at sea in the midst of a storm?
No land in sight and certainly nothing to hang onto. Yet, water is a symbol of life, ever moving, hoping to evolve, to become. But, become what? If this were a dream image it might mean that all hope is gone. I refuse that thought. I’m still breathing. How does that make a difference? Does it make a difference?
This is a photo I took in my sister’s backyard, several years ago. It has always spoken to me of individuality and personal power. Those things seem so far away from my grasp, at the moment. Although still beautiful to my eyes, it speaks far more strongly of fragility at the moment. An already brief existence dictated by the whims of nature. Yes, it is forever pictured here for as long as the photo lasts, but how long does that mean?
The big question here, is when and how did I become so aware of my own fragility? When did I decide to withdraw quietly and become a stilled life? I’m not sure. The world around me has altered in so many ways that I often feel exhausted by the mere thought of going out into it. But, I think the real tipping point was an article I read about a judge, who with the full power of his position actually tried to rewrite criminal law into his own preferred view point.
I am an abuse survivor, but I am first a woman. I know that I learned very young that the world I live in is not kind to women. Have spent over half of my existence trying to help others find their way out of that reality. Knowing also, that yes, to some extent we can, but only to a certain extent. We must also never let down our guard, must also be constantly aware that we are prey. Especially sexual prey.
I think I began to recede when a self-defined sexual predator was elected to the highest office in our country. His excuse? “It was just locker room talk.” Yet, there are 23 women who have claimed to be his victims. His response, “It’s all lies, fabrications, bids for attention and to make money, and besides, ‘she’s not my type’.
So perhaps, it shouldn’t come as a shock that some male judge would take it upon himself, under these new parameters, to redefine the act of rape as something else? That a sixteen year-old boy shouldn’t be tried as an adult, because he comes from a good family, gets better than good grades, and will probably be accepted into a better than good college? That the teen-aged girl victim hadn’t been properly counseled about how her attempt to seek justice might ruin this young man’s life? That she and her family were misguided in bringing these charges against him? Furthermore, that his videotaping of the rape was not just filmed, but that he invited his buddies to come along and further abuse her leaving bruises and welts on her body, and then posting the video online, and bragging about how his first sexual encounter was a rape, was no more than the foolish bravado of a foolish young kid who had no real idea of what he was doing? And that after all, the only thing that was lost was her virginity?
Yes, I know the judge has been called on the carpet for his actions. But does anyone really believe he is a somehow demented singularity? That the result of our own choices haven’t created the atmosphere in which he, and we, now exist? How much more time must pass before women are no longer left blowing in the wind?
Well said, my friend. I cant believe much of what i am seeing and hearing these days. It is mind-boggling. I think the human experiment has failed.
Thanks Sherry. I’m not so sure it has failed, but I certainly do believe we are being tested. There are still a great many people out there who want and are doing the right things when they can. I have been fighting with myself. I am a writer, but haven’t been writing. Actually getting up each day, knowing that is the one thing I can and must do, then sort of watching myself slide away, while telling myself that words have somehow become weeds that have overrun my once flourishing garden. Silly thought, that. Words are inanimate things, they can only come alive if I breathe life into them. I believe this may have been one of the hardest posts I have ever done, because I was fighting myself with every word. Telling myself how futile the whole thing was, is. It took me hours to complete it, because I really didn’t want to do it, and had no idea where the hell it was going. You will note that most of it is made up with questions? That was me baiting myself to continue, lol. I’m just grateful the old woman took the bait.
Yes, Elizabeth!!! You have said it so well…..there isn’t much left to say…we all have to be responsible for our actions. And that is what is “Blowing in the Wind.”
Thank you, Annell. And yes, I believe you are absolutely correct. We tout ourselves as the “Land of the free, and the home of the brave.” We too often revel in the freedom, forgetting that freedom is always accompanied by responsibility. It takes accepting that responsibility, to be brave. How else can the wrongs be righted? How else do we teach our sons to respect their partners, their sisters, their mothers, friends, and schoolmates? Freedom will never be free until it is freely given to the entire species, not just half of it.
Men and women think differently, and I don’t believe that will ever change unless men are changed. But how do we weed out the bad in males without taking away the good? And the same can be said for females…a lot dress and act in ways to catch a male’s eye, then cry foul when the wrong man approaches them. Sex appeal has been dragged into so many aspects of our lives, from advertising to landing a job. And women are not blameless on this front. Yes, we are “blowing in the wind”, but I think men are also. The rules have changed, and many are upset, especially since they are the ones who have to do all the changing. Women need to quit playing games, and own up to their responsibility at sending out mixed signals.
I am in no way justifying the sixteen-year-old boy’s actions; it was wrong on so many levels, and he should have received a stiffer sentence. But he is still a boy, not a man, and that should be taken into consideration.
Thank you, Kathy. You bring up so many valid issues in your response that it is difficult to address each and every one. What I was trying to get at, in this post, was the reality that by our own actions, we ourselves created an atmosphere for this incident to happen. By actually electing a man to our highest office, who says that he has no control when it comes to women, what can we expect? Then double down on that by allowing another to become a judge on our Supreme Court, what are we teaching our children? Add to that, a couple of states creating laws that make it unlawful for women to freely choose to make decisions about their own bodies, only makes for an atmosphere where a teen-aged boy can decide to rape and utterly humiliate another human being for months afterward, and think that it is both funny and perfectly okay.
I don’t begin to know how to change two thousand years of flawed thinking based in fear of the other half of an entire species. But, begin we must.
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I had to think a bit before I answered your comment, Elizabeth…and even debated if I should answer it. You see, I do not despise President Trump, and don’t lay the blame on him for anything and everything bad in our society like a lot of people do. He is a far cry from perfect, but I believe that in the last election, he was the lesser of two evils. And as for Justice Kavanaugh, I do not believe he raped that woman or any other woman. I think a smear campaign was launched against him. And I don’t think any law should be made where women cannot choose what happens to their own body BUT, the baby growing inside a woman is not her body…it is a separate human being, not fetal tissue, as I have heard it called.
I just though you should know where I stand on the items you brought up. I wanted to be honest.
I respect those with opposing views, and wouldn’t dream of disliking them because I believe differently. I hope you feel the same.
Kathy, and yes, I do feel the same. I respect you and your skills and abilities too much to even consider a negative response. And, just as importantly, I too had to give myself a bit of time to think through my response to your original comment. This post was built on my own perspective and actually just started as a personal journal entry. I hold two degrees, one in History, the other in English with a concentration in creative writing. But, the History came first, with a minor in Women’s Studies. At the time (late 80’s, early 90’s), Women’s Studies was only available as a minor and a very new addition to the University curriculum. But the most important reality I got from that experience was that History is exactly what it says: His Story, not Our Story. Yes, that is changing, but only very slowly and because of the bravery of the women who have come forward to tell their stories.
As a History Major, I was trained to look at the wider, larger picture. To trace back to beginnings and watch how those beginnings affect later developments. And, in turn, that heavily influences what I write. Which means that although I might not have much of an idea, when I begin, somewhere in the actual writing I often find myself honing in on something that wasn’t even on the horizon when I started. And that’s pretty much what happened in this post. It didn’t actually even start as a post. It started with the need to write, something, anything, before I let any more time not writing become my only reality.
Over a year ago, I began a series of posts about the Patriarchy and it’s fear of a Matriarchal system (that may be found here: https://1sojournal.wordpress.com/2018/03/08/beginning/). I was trying to create a longer view of just how that has affected many of our choices, both as individuals, as well as a Nation. As I just stated, I really didn’t know that that was what I was going to end up doing. And, if I’m honest, I think I frightened myself as to where it seemed to be going. But, added to that was the very real personal alarm I felt and experienced when Trump was actually elected. Along with being an abuse survivor, I worked in a Women’s abuse Shelter. I learned a great deal about abuse and its affects on the human psyche. So, when I realized just how much that election had triggered me, I called my local sexual abuse hotline. When I got through to someone, I hesitantly told her that the election had triggered me in unexpected ways. She immediately told me that I wasn’t alone, as their hotlines, all over the country, had quadrupled in their number of calls for just that reason. We talked for quite some time and her only advice to me was that I was a writer, so I must write. Very good advice, but I have to admit, it’s been very hard to do. And that long story is why, when I started writing this post, it ended up where it did, because it took me right back to those beginnings.
So, here we are. Two very different individuals with two very different views. Can we argue and still maintain that respect? Or, is the answer still blowing in the wind?
Elizabeth with hugs and love…
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I cannot imagine not respecting you, Elizabeth. Yes, we can have different views, and yes, we can argue (I see it as disagreeing) and still respect each other. And I hope be friends. I think very highly of you…nothing will change that.
Hugs and love back to you…
Warm thanks to you Kathy. But, you have given me an idea. One that leaves me sort of holding my breath and just plain wondering. I keep thinking about why I even began these particular set of posts. As I tried to explain above, writing for me, is sort of thinking out loud. If that makes sense? There’s a great deal of personal history involved in that, but suffice to say that throughout my childhood and formative years, my thought process was questioned and it became very difficult to trust myself and whatever was going on inside my own head. I did have a few experiences in high school that suggested that might not be true, but it just wasn’t enough to allow me the luxury of thinking otherwise. It wasn’t until my marriage collapsed and I started college at 37 that I began the process of actually seeing my own worth. College meant writing and even I had to finally accept that I excelled in that arena. And please believe me, that wasn’t easy to do.
I didn’t realize when I started this set of posts, that what I really was aiming myself at, was to explore the affects/effects of two thousand years of Patriarchal rule, i.e, thinking, mindset. Not just by the male gender, but on and to the female gender as well. How it has injured, even crippled what Sherry, in her comment, calls the human experiment. Had I even had the slightest inkling that was where these words were headed, I can assure you that I would have run for the hills and not looked back. However, I firmly do believe that it is the journey itself that is important, not the particular destination.
You and I have agreed to respectively disagree. I love that we can do so. But, I’d like to take it further than that. In my first comment, I said that you presented some very valid issues and I still see it that way. But, I’d much prefer to discuss each of those issues separately. How can we do that? Would you even be interested in doing such a thing?
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If you have anything specific in mind you wish to do, I’m willing to listen. I have been somewhat hesitant in expressing my opinions on controversial issues on WordPress because of past experience. I have found that a lot of times, expressing a conservative viewpoint, no matter how nicely one expresses it, will trigger some people. I have been called names that I wouldn’t repeat. With you, I was confident that though we didn’t agree, you wouldn’t go off on me.
Thank you, Kathy and I have to admit I’m not really sure what it is I’m considering. A discussion of course, but have no clue how we would go about doing that. One that allows each of us the time to gather our thoughts and then respond to one another. I don’t consider myself either a conservative or a liberal. Simply put, I see myself as a work in progress and can only hope that continues to my last breath. I’ve been blogging for over ten years and yes, I’ve had a few visitors that disagree with me, but not many. And here, on this site, I can simply eliminate whatever I choose. I’ve not ever felt the need to do so. Respect is not something I was given a lot of for the first half of my existence. Therefore it is very important to me. Both that I give it and receive it. That said, give me a bit of time to think about all of this, and hopefully we can figure something out that works well for both of us.
Hugs from the Hillbilly,
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