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Oh No, You Didn’t

(I think smoke is still coming out of my ears)

Today, August 26th, is Woman’s Equality Day, which celebrates the ratification of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. Yea!

Wikipedia says this about the 19th: “prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex.”

Remember that particular phrase. It’s going to be crucial.

This being the age of social media, one of the popular Facebook pages posted pictures. The following picture.

 

We live in an age of movements and slogans being co-opted and undermined by members of the oppressing group, and then acting like victims when the backlash hits them. “Mansplaining” and “whitesplaining ” come under this heading.

Well, Readers, we got mansplained. “Don’t forget to be grateful to the Nation, its system of governance, related Constitution and Bills that paved the way for the fight.”

Wait. What?

Gratitude to the system that had not provided the right to women in the first place, the governance that had deployed police officers to arrest and beat women for demonstrating for this right, and force fed them in prison when they went on hunger strikes. The related Constitution and laws that refused to enumerate the right to vote regardless of sex. The one our great (or great-great) grandmothers had to FIGHT for.

You just gave it to us?

Hell fuckity no.

I’ve been seeing this sort of sidestep lately, mostly from men, and mostly from white men. It’s a way to avoid ownership of oppression and terrible deeds done to maintain a grip on power. And to still claim ownership of power.

“It was white peoples who freed the slaves.” (My personal favorite)

It was white people who enslaved them in the first place. I even had a Southerner tell me straight-faced that the Civil War wasn’t about slavery because they were going to free the slaves, it was all states’ rights. Read the various Articles of Secession: they are EXPLICIT about leaving the Union to preserve slavery. This guy also told me they were teaching slave to read. Sorry, but it was the death penalty to teach slaves to read.

“We gave you that right.”

That’s akin to Britain saying to the US, “Well, we gave you your independence.”

Not without bloodshed. Not by being asked nicely.

It is patronizing, this “we gave, we allowed.” It implies that the speaker holds all the power and it cannot be taken from him without consent. Even if there have been uprisings, protests, marches. No. The benevolent overlord shall grant unto you. Not because he’s been convinced of the right of it, but because it is his pleasure. “We let you win.”

And, yeah, we’re going with “him” and “his.”

For 50 plus years, I didn’t believe, didn’t want to believe, didn’t see discrimination against me on the basis of sex. I thought I got what came to me in the workplace on the basis of merit, even as guys who’d been working at the same place less time than I had got promoted, then promoted their buddies, leaving women on the bottom tiers of the office hierarchy (and sitting around talking about those women in sexual terms when they thought no one could hear).

There are women who whole-heartedly support the patriarchy because they have a niche of privilege within it as long as they support the men. Why? How about a collection of stories, self-serving laws, and self-serving letters written in a dead Bronze Age language that has been interpreted and re-interpreted so many times nobody knows for sure what the actual words were? Claiming it’s the will of a God unknown, but damned if He didn’t create men in his image as opposed to the more likely Man created God in his image. And will you look at that? God wants mento rule the world, and that’s gotten narrowed down to white men. What? The Biblical teaching was that people of color had no souls. It was the rationalization for Christians to own slaves.

Don’t forget: Genesis claims that the first family was a man, a woman created from him (let’s reinforcement lesser status, y’all), and their three SONS. The usual response is that “faith trumps facts.” Want to make a fundamentalist crazy? Tell them that one of the surviving boys must have undergone sexual transition to make the human race happen.

FiveThirtyEight.com released two maps in October 2016 showing the difference if only women voted and if only men voted. On the women’s side, it’s overwhelmingly blue for Hillary Clinton. On the men’s side, near solid red.

Election Update: Women Are Defeating Donald Trump

There were cries, not many, but they existed, for #Repealthe19th.

And we know how it turned out anyway.

Men giveth, men taketh away if their power is threatened, apparently. Benevolent overlords?

Right now, voter suppression is an ugly fact of life in the US. Thank you, Supreme Court for gutting the Voting Rights Act. Quick primer: the Voting Rights Act of 1965 outlawed racial discrimination in voting.
“The Act also contains “special provisions” that apply to only certain jurisdictions. A core special provision is the Section 5 preclearance requirement, which prohibits certain jurisdictions from implementing any change affecting voting without receiving preapproval from the U.S. Attorney General or the U.S. District Court for D.C. that the change does not discriminate against protected minorities.[10] Another special provision requires jurisdictions containing significant language minority populations to provide bilingual ballots and other election materials.”

On June 25, 2013, this pre-clearance requirement was struck down by the Supreme Court and within HOURS, states that that had been subject to that requirement began filing new laws requiring voter IDs, began striking voters from the rolls, began disallowing certain kinds of addresses. Few if any of these requirements affected the white men who wrote them.
Oppression is oppression. And yes, I recognize that the 19th was largely for white women due to the Jim Crow laws and resurgent KKK.

Grateful to the Nation and the governance.

There is a small grain of truth, I suppose. You can fight until the last warrior falls and still lose. Most peace treaties are some form of compromise, but someone is losing before they’re signed. It’s still not “giving” freedom, rights, etc. it’s an accommodation so the winners don’t obliterate your side.

I am grateful to be an American. I give thanks to the women who made it possible for me to vote. But in no way am I going to bow and kiss the ring of those who denied it to us in the first place.

 

Finding the Path Around Self-Created Obstacles

Prepping for For Love of Books and Florida on Saturday (Got your tickets?), working the day job, dealing with the boo boo foot…life has challenges.

The subtitle of this web space is “Finding Inner Strength.” As i see it, that includes overcoming obstacles of your own creation.

For instance, my lack of effective marketing for my books. All on me.

I’m rather pleased with myself tonight. I had 2 issues: bookmarks promoting my Susan Thatcher books that had no contact info and promotional items (chocolate lips) for Monique DeSoto that had no context. No contact info.

Enter QR Codes.

If you’re not familiar with the term, QRs are those boxy-looking abstract designs that you can scan and they’ll take you to a website or a coupon. One of these:

Susan Thatcher QR Amazon or this Monique DeSoto Facebook QR

Yes, they work. Try them.

With the purchase of Avery labels (8293 rounds), I was able to correct both issues – slap a label with a QR code onto the items.

Image may contain: food

Chocolate lips become a marketing tool.

Image may contain: jewelry Image may contain: food

Oh yeah, I made bracelets, too.

Mind you, I’ve been in a funk over the past few days. I haven’t made a lot of money at these signings (but they are fun and I make friends), some of the money that I’d set aside for it had to go to new brakes, my foot is bugging me; I wasn’t into it and was ready to stay home and eat the table fee as a sunk cost. However, with various friendly boots applied to my backside (and some well-timed praise for what I make, book and bracelet-wise), I found it within myself to string together those bracelets, go through extended nonsense with my printer to make those labels, and get out of my own way.

I feel better for having done so. I posted those pictures on the attendee group in Facebook and got an order for a bracelet. Those bookmarks have been bugging me; now they don’t. Scanning the code will take you to my Amazon page where you can buy books. The lips? That link will take you to Monique DeSoto’s Facebook page (and Monique got some inspiration for the next funnydirty short while in the shower).

A couple of Blackened Voodoo Lagers (by Dixie. If you’re not in Nawlins, Total Wine can help you) helped, too.

Sometimes, you need to grab yourself by the scruff and just do it, you know?

 

06/15/2017

And that’s about it.

I owe a blog post, a short story, more on “Baldie Chronicles” (or whatever the hell it’s going to be).

The well is dry.

Dry, dryer, driest. Like Atacama desert dry (there are places in the Atacama that have never been rained on. 4 billion years is a long time to be thirsty).

Mudcracks in a dry riverbed, Pan de Azucar National Park. Only about once every decade water runs here for a short period of time.

If writer’s block was a block of cheese, no problem. I’d eat that sumbitch and look for seconds. Especially if it was cheddar and accompanied by a Honeycrisp apple.

 

If writer’s block was an engine block, you could hook it up to get a jump start from someone else. Nope. My writing engine is as dead as my previous car, Yaz, who died in spectacular fashion June 13, 2016.

If writer’s block was a Lego block, it would be embedded in my foot right now.

If it was a politician, it would be hiring a lawyer right about now.

Image result for better call saul

 

(I may be off my game, but I’m still funny as hell)

 

Reasons Why

It was suggested to me that I should make a list of all the reasons why I write stories, make bracelets, and some other things I’d like to get going (graphic t shirts). I’m going to do that here (and has anyone heard of a magazine called Pyramid? or The Pyramid?)

 

  1. Books: I like to create stories.
  2. Books: I get inspired by all kinds of things that can play out into multiple acts with beginning, middle, end.
  3. Books: I’d like to make enough money from writing to support myself.
  4. Books: It’s cook to get to the point where the characters stop “listening” to you and have been fueled enough with detail to start acting and talking on their own.
  5. Books: I like to explore ideas.
  6. Books: I wrote These Foolish Things because I thought older lovers are interesting.
  7. Books: I’m writing short stories because I’m used to writing essays, briefs, and papers.
  8. Books: I’m writing erotica because it’s legal (for now) and I can give it my own twist.
  9. Books: I want to create characters that people care about, want to have as their friends.
  10. Books: This is a lasting legacy.
  11. Books: I’m good at this.
  12. Books/writing: I like to entertain people. My words get a better response than me as myself.
  13. Books/writing: I want to write things that inspire people to think differently about a subject, to see themselves in, to learn something
  14. Books/writing: I have something to say
  15. Books/writing: my great-grandmother, Daisy Washburn Lovell, wrote two books, “Glad Tidings” and “Glimpses of Early Wareham.”
  16. Books/writing: If Grandma Lovell is going to be in the Library of Congress, so am I
  17. Books/writing: I think if I get these stories out of my head and onto paper, I may be able to sleep better.
  18. Books/writing: I get a kick out of autographing copies.
  19. Books/writing: Reviews: so far, they’re positive
  20. Books/writing: I have an excuse to attend group signing events
  21. Books/bracelets/T shirts: the American standard for judging the quality of your talent is whether someone is willing to pay for it.
  22. Bracelets: I have friends with issues that certain stones can treat.
  23. Bracelets: I love handling the stones.
  24. Bracelets: Researching which stones do what is fun.
  25. Bracelets: The bracelets are beautiful
  26. Bracelets: I enjoy earning money from something that I create.
  27. T shirts: It’s fashion, in a fashion
  28. T shirts: It’s fun to come up with messages
  29. T shirts: colors, glittery print = FUN
  30. All of it: I am more than my day job and goddammit, I aim to prove that.