The Widdershins

Activist/Feminist Wednesday: What Happened to Real Choices?

Posted on: June 19, 2013

They say traveling broadens the mind. Well, it also broadens your experiences with your fellow human beings. This week I was on the plane, standing in the aisle waiting to disembark, and there was about .0003 millimeters of space between me and the woman behind me. Undeterred by physics, this lady decided to get her enormous “carry-on” bag down from the bin directly above me. In the process, the bag smacked me lightly on the shoulder. She apologized, like the decent person she was. But then, she decided to maneuver her second bag from under the seat to its desired post atop her roller bag. In the process, she smacked me on the ass.

At this point, she apologized again, saying “I’m sorry, I keep hitting you.”

“Yes, you do,” I responded somewhat snottily. (I had gotten up at 4:15 am, after all.)

“Well, I don’t know how I can avoid it. There’s not enough room,” she replied, also somewhat snottily. (I don’t care when she got up, I was the injured party here.)

It took every bit of restraint I possess not to say, “Well, how about waiting UNTIL THERE’S ROOM FOR YOUR F*CKING BAG!” Was that not a choice that would have a) cost her nothing but a few seconds and b) prevented the blows both to my body and my worn-out psyche?

I swear, this is sometimes what I think is wrong with this country and how we treat each other – especially how we treat our women.

It’s almost like we are so stuck in our old, OLD paradigms that we truly cannot see another choice. The woman on the plane, for example, was so focused on getting her bag down that the thought of waiting (a short delay that would cost her nothing) was not even an option.  What has happened to us? We used to be an ingenious people. We used to come up with inventions that shook the world (the light bulb – literally now the symbol for a creative idea), and theories that changed how we thought of reality (“E=mc2″comes to mind). What are we doing now? We’re trying to come up with ways to deal with problems we don’t have, like the “Social Security Crisis” and the “millions of unborn babies killed every second by murdering abortionist wimminz,” but refuse to address the real ones that are out there. Hunger. Poverty. Lack of education. Gun violence. Lack of medical care. Overpopulation. Climate change. An unsustainable energy policy. An unsustainable military-industrial complex that drives us to constant war. We do NOTHING about these. All people seem to do is shrug their shoulders, pretend these problems are unsolvable, and at best, do half-assed nonsense like Obamacare. (At worst, they do harmful, horrible sh*t like Austerity.)

I am pro-choice as a woman, and I am pro-choice as an American as well. Yet I can’t help feeling that without creative and innovative thinking, what choices do we really have? How free is our freedom? I turn up my nose at Libertarians, not just because their worldview is so patently ridiculous, but also because they claim to want liberty, but yet, propose a system that would guarantee them the exact opposite: without government regulation, corporate monopolies and more of the same issues we keep seeing today are guaranteed. We know, because we’ve tried it before…and it led to the Great Depression. Do we really want to revisit those days? I mean, I know it was called “Great” and all, but it was also called “Depression” for a reason.

If we’re going to take a fresh look at the problems we need to solve, I truly think three things need to happen:

1) Overturn Citizens United. Of course. Take money out of politics and we’ll get better politicians – and better choices between politicians. Perhaps even (gasp) third, fourth and fifth parties!

2) Pay attention to how other countries have solved these problems, then see if we think anything they have done could possibly apply to us. I was talking to my dad about health care, and you know, Europe and Canada have solutions we could adopt if we would just open our minds a bit.

3) MORE WOMEN! Yes, really. there are documented differences in the ways women think and lead, compared to the ways men do these things. We need the fresh perspective and creative thinking that outsiders (sad to say, yes, we are still outsiders) bring to a problem.

Is this a wish list that can never happen? Maybe. But I’d sure like to think we still have the choice to make it a reality.

This is an open thread.


16 Responses to "Activist/Feminist Wednesday: What Happened to Real Choices?"

I am continuously perplexed by the fact that women are a majority, yet treated as a minority. In fact, lately the country is being driven by a tiny shrieking minority, Go figure,

MB, as for your rules, I would move no. 3 to number one — I’ve always believed and by virtue of a job I had early in my career working for a woman officeholder, more women in politics means more solutions. There is just no comparison between male and female officeholders — I have seen them both, worked with them both, and women are always more solution-centric and oriented toward “good government is good politics.”

Getting rid of “Citizens United” is indeed a goal, but other than having a robe purge on the conservative side of the Court it is going to take a constitutional amendment. We can thank Turtlehead Mitch McConnell for “Citizens United” since he’s been harping on “money is speech” since the early 1980s.

I must confess something…I was not always a Liberal, I was not always Pro ERA and I was not always Pro-Choice. There I said it. the shocking truth. I was also not identified as a gay man either. My shift to the left occurred concurrently with my decision to come out as a gay man.

Many of my family say it was the Coming Out that drove me to the left because the right had nothing to offer me as a gay man. I think that is an oversimplification as most of my early beliefs were determined by nurture not nature. The same time I was realizing I could not continue as a closeted gay man I was also realizing a lot of other belief I had did not reflect how I truly feel,

I am very glad I did let go of many of my beliefs that I had inherited from my religion, my family, and my life living in The South in the Redneck Riviera.

I am very happy with the person I have become I have grown to love my Liberal gay skin I now inhabit I am very satisfied that I have found like minded people that together we are making a difference. I am also glad I got out of the republican party before it went bat-shit crazy and I had so much of myself invested in it.

The thing about my journey is it all began with admitting my assumptions might be wrong…then once I took that first step it was easier to say yes I was wrong and explore what might be truly right for me.

I think the entire Republican Party needs to do this same reflection at least those party that have not totally crossed over.

They may discover it is good to find a home a kinder more gentler home.

Regarding the “bag lady”, what did she accomplish since the line of people exiting the plane wasn’t going anywhere in the first place? That’s why when I did fly somewhere I waited until just about everyone was out of the aisle before I started getting my stuff together to leave. Less hassle.

And I agree with Prolix. Number 3 on your list should be number 1. We would all be better off.

BTW MB, luv the doxies! 🙂

MB, great post. Agree with your solutions wholeheartedly, but also think the gov needs to be reigned in with regards to their power. I dropped this link to this interesting Robert Scheer article on the last post (in the middle of the night, so only Fredster saw it!), and I am wondering what you guys think about all this spying and record keeping on Americans. The more I learn about it, the more disgusted I am.

Also love the doxies!

@2 I think a “robe purge” should be added to MB’s list. Start with Clarence.

Mary Luke@8: Excellent idea!

OT, but I guess it’s hitting the news all over that James Gandolfini died.

DYB@10: Yes! Quite a shock.

I had to share this with you please read and try not to vomit:

mail Just received at Hillary Clinton’s new Office at CGI (Clinton Global Initiative)

Honorable Hillary Clinton,

I know we’ve had our Differences, and I have Thrown you under the bus in the past so many times both of us have lost count, but it is time to put that all behind us.

Can we be Friends? Oh and please Don’t Get me Fired.

Your Bestie,

Donna Brazille

Fuzzy@12: LOL!! Now please tell me that’s not for real! 😆

socal@6: Hey, along the lines of what i said last night, google Bush and the carlyle group. You’ll get some interesting results.

Fuzzy – I have a very, VERY close friend who had a similar journey. His coming out as a gay man freed him to reconsider the preconceived notions he had taken as gospel until that time. Thank you so much for sharing that.

Very shocking that Gandolfini has passed!

Mary Luke, I am very disgusted, but not surprised. We told them so MANY years ago. We said Obama was authoritarian and had no regard for the Constitution or our civil rights. We were R*CIST! for saying so!

As usual the “progressives” are waking up too late. It’s not like they are doing anything about it, either. They will just b*tch and moan and end up kissing Obama’s *ss five minutes later.

I swear to Jeebus, if I got 1.000,000 hits a day and made money from this blog, I would be a LOT more effective than these idiots. But maybe they are getting paid NOT to be effective…

MB said: I swear to Jeebus, if I got 1.000,000 hits a day and made money from this blog, I would be a LOT more effective than these idiots.

Hey, but we have quality. 😉

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