My intention is not to be political, merely informative. The following excerpts are from Governor Dayton’s letter vetoing the budget bill that includes my department.
I was pleased to see a $2 million dollar increase in the match appropriation for one year, which will allow the Vocational Rehabilitation Program (VR) to fully leverage the federal funds. However, when the match appropriation reverts to $8.8 million in SFY 13, the VR program will be unable to leverage the full federal appropriation. Ideally, this program would be fully funded in both years. Doing so leverages federal funds $4 to $1.
The difficult consequences of the funding levels in the Economic Development finance bill are compounded by provisions in the State Government Finance bill. The State Government finance bill mandates a 15% reduction in staff employed in the executive branch, regardless of funding source. Most of the state agencies funded in the Economic Development bill have relatively few, if any, staff that are paid for by the General Fund. Consequently, the General Fund savings from this provision are minimal for most of these agencies.
The reduction of up to 15% FTEs would cut up to 266 positions at DEED, even though only 110 of DEED’s agency employees are funded with General Funds.
And from the letter vetoing the one on state government:
This bill also sets statutory goals for the upcoming labor negotiations which in my view encroach on the collective bargaining process. You would require that labor negotiations mandate a salary freeze and save $90 million from health insurance. This requirement undermines the collective bargaining process and the responsibility of the executive branch to negotiate labor agreements in good faith.
And from the letter vetoing the education bill:
None of Commissioner Cassellius and my education proposals are contained in this bill; most notably, funding for optional all-day Kindergarten and initiatives in early childhood education. This bill also contains numerous policies, including school grading, collective bargaining limitations, teacher evaluation, and Common Core prohibitions, which are controversial, are punitive to teachers, and have little research to support their efficacy in improving student learning and closing achievement gaps. I am disappointed that the bill creates a private school voucher program, an experiment that has not worked in other states. Until our public schools are funded at adequate and sustainable levels, a diversion of public dollars to private schools is unwise.
Like I said, I don’t want to be political. Direct quotes from the letters, no commentary, no emphasis added. It’s just that… this legislation directly impacts my current and future careers. And so, if nothing else, I feel the need to educate and share.
I’m closing comments on this post because, in the past, political conversations on this blog have not been enjoyable for me, and I’m not sure it’s necessary anyway.
I’m sure I could prattle on for paragraphs about yesterday and blah blah blah, but I think instead I’ll just leave you with this quote from a video we watched in class (from Ted.com). Enjoy your weekend!
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there are quite a few “positive” songs on the radio right now. Not your typical “I’m in love with you” stuff (though the Bruno Mars one listed below does fit that definition), but just… uplifting.
Pretty, pretty please
Don’t you ever, ever feel
Like your less than perfect
Pretty, pretty please
If you ever, ever feel
Like your nothing
You’re perfect to me
-Pink, “Perfect” (edited for PG crowd)
When I see your face
There’s not a thing that I would change
Cause you’re amazing
Just the way you are
And when you smile,
The whole world stops and stares for awhile
Cause girl you’re amazing
Just the way you are
-Bruno Mars, “Just the Way You Are”
Do you know that there’s still a chance for you
Cause there’s a spark in you
You just gotta ignite the light
And let it shine
Just own the night
Like the Fourth of July
Cause baby you’re a firework
Come on show ‘em what you’re worth
Make ‘em go “Oh, oh, oh!”
As you shoot across the sky-y-y
Baby you’re a firework
Come on let your colors burst
Make ‘em go “Oh, oh, oh!”
You’re gonna leave ‘em fallin’ down-own-own
You don’t have to feel like a waste of space
You’re original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow
Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
It’s always been inside of you, you, you
And now it’s time to let it through
-Katy Perry, “Firework”
My mama told me when I was young
We’re all born superstars
She rolled my hair, put my lipstick on
In the glass of her boudoir
“There’s nothin’ wrong with lovin’ who you are”
She said, “‘Cause He made you perfect, babe”
“So hold your head up, girl and you’ll go far,
Listen to me when I say”
I’m beautiful in my way,
‘Cause God makes no mistakes
I’m on the right track, baby
I was born this way
Don’t hide yourself in regret,
Just love yourself and you’re set
I’m on the right track, baby
I was born this way
-Lady Gaga, “Born This Way”
Now, it can easily be argued that these songs have nothing to do with the current times, that they were written, recorded, and produced over a period of time, and that their release is merely coincidental. And I think you’d be right. But, I think that in some small way, they’re a reflection of the current state of affairs, a response, if you will.
As I was reading yet another article about education and teachers, I came across a word that perfectly describes what I’m talking about: demoralizing.
That is how I feel right now. If you follow the news at all (and perhaps you don’t – more power to you), it’s hard to miss that there are currently some very negative campaigns out there, and a lot of them affect me or the things I’m interested in:
- States are trying to take away collective bargaining rights for public employees. As a public employee, this affects me, and as someone who has [briefly] studied the history of labor relations in this country, I am saddened by this… “progress.”
- Just about everyone thinks that schools are universally failing, and that the blame can be shouldered by 1) teacher’s unions, and 2) teachers themselves. As a future teacher, this is just really hard to deal with in so many ways. It’s hard to get excited about going to class, doing homework, putting in hours in schools, paying for tests so I can get licensed, etc., when it’s looking less and less likely that I’ll be able to get a job when I graduate (this just in: my district is removing 17 teacher positions for the 2011-2012 school year), and if I do get a job, it’s obvious that most people won’t appreciate any of the work I plan on doing, I won’t get paid much for doing it (no one is in teaching for the money, but it’d be nice to feel like I was a contributing member to my household), and things will likely get worse before they get better. Oh, also, from what I learn in my classes, most of my future co-workers won’t appreciate the things I’ve learned or the philosophies I’ve been indoctrinated with, and will think I’m doing it all wrong, and will likely tell me so, loudly. And, it’s highly likely that I’ll quit the profession within five years. (That’s not a personal projection, just a fact that a huge percentage of teachers quit within their first five years. I’d like to not be part of that stat, thank you very much, but it is good to acknowledge that reality.)
- I won’t go into depth on how women’s rights are being attacked on so many levels legislatively right now, because I’d rather not spark any public discourse on that given the diversity of the people I know, but I will briefly say that it’s wrong and infuriating and, quite frankly, disgusting.
It’s no wonder, then, that I find myself spending a lot of time reading fluffy romantic novels, sewing pretty clothes, and making fancy jewelry. So much of what I hear in the news devalues me as a woman, devalues my current job, and devalues my future career. Hrm.
Demoralized? Sounds about right.
And it makes me really happy whenever one of the songs above comes on. I need songs like that. I’m guessing that it’s not just me, or the people groups I’ve mentioned (though I know or are related to an extraordinary number of teachers or future teachers). I’m guessing you feel it to, if only because someone you know is feeling it.
Thankfully, there are happy songs. And there are news pieces (and editorials) that praise teachers and schools and public employees and unions – if you look for them (and you can be sure that I do). And I know there are people fighting the good fight, in schools, in the legislature, in the media and social outlets. I’ve never had a negative reaction when I told someone I am a government employee, or that I want to be a teacher. Everyone has been super supportive of the latter (except for one of my grandmas, who exhorted that I should stay away from junior highers because they were just about the worst things ever, to which I laughed – she drove a school bus, and I have no doubt that junior highers on a school bus are a nightmare). I know that I am loved. I know that I have a roof over my head, food in my belly, and a hug waiting for me at home. I know I have it good, if I put it in perspective.
But it’s getting hard to complete homework assignments, arrange for classroom experiences, and schedule haircuts and all that little stuff of life.
And in case you’re feeling it to, let me remind you: you’re perfect to me. Each and every one of you. And me too. We all need that reminder once in a while.
Class last night was less than fun. If you don’t want to hear me complain about it, I totally understand. Come back in an hour or two and I’ll have a much more upbeat post (with pictures of pretty things) to entertain you.
I’m frequently mistaken as being younger than I am. About 7 years, consistently. The last two weeks in my Saturday class there’s been a discussion in my small group where the others can’t believe I’m not 25. I know when I’m 40, I’ll appreciate this more, because right now while I don’t necessarily think that I’m as old as I am, I do want to be given credit for the years of experience and knowledge I have.
When I was 25, a tow truck driver asked me what high school I went to. At my last church, during a mission trip one of the staff at the shelter consistently mistook one of the high school girls as the leader, and ignored me, even though I was the oldest one in the room. Several years ago, I was hit on by someone I would consider a child – it was icky.
So, it’s not all roses looking younger. has the same problem. She has the dream that one year, during parent teacher conferences, she won’t get asked if it’s her first year teaching. (She’s 30. She has two children and has been married for seven years. She’s definitely not 22.)
Well, last night I had one of those unpleasant experiences myself. And I wouldn’t even bring it up here, except that I’m still upset about it 12 hours later, and, well, isn’t that the benefit of having a blog? Getting to complain whenever you want to?
We usually spend most of my Thursday night class in small groups discussing (it’s a classroom management class). Last night I ended up with two ladies who are much older than myself. By “much older” I mean that they have children in high school or older. One of them has technically worked as a teacher before, but is not licensed (I think she was at a small private school). The other one, I’m not sure what her experience is, other than as a parent. That said, we’re all graduate students, and we’re all there for a reason (mainly that we need that class to get the licensure we all so desperately want).
It seems that my two group members were unable to recognize their status as student. They had strong opinions (we were discussing rules and routines), which is good, but the conversation quickly went from “this is the way I would do it” to “you need to….” The you was directed at me. Really? Because I’ve taken the literacy class, and while I understand the importance of literacy, I don’t think that I have to start every class period with a journal prompt, thankyouverymuch. I don’t have to do things your way. I’m sure those ways work fine for you, but they wouldn’t work for me. But they seemed to take it upon themselves to educate me in the vast superiority of their methods and experience. They treated me like I was about 20 years old with no experience at all, which was beyond patronizing. (Sidenote: I hate it when people are patronizing without even getting any background information first, offering to “help” before finding out if you need it, assuming that you need their expertise without asking what your experience is. Huge, major pet peeve of mine.) About a third of the way through, I stopped listening, and really stopped participating in the discussion too, since it became clear they weren’t going to listen to anything I had to say. I just smiled and nodded and hoped we’d be done soon.
I realize that I could have been much more… aggressive or confrontational with my opinions. But that’s not really my style, nor do I think it’s appropriate. Just because they were pushy doesn’t mean I need to be. That’s not how the discussion was supposed to be. Plus, they hadn’t even paid attention to the directions for the discussion (which remained up on the screen for reference), and obviously had their own bias and things they wanted to “discuss” (i.e. tell others how to do it). It was a total waste of time.
And now I have to find somewhere else to sit next week so that I’m not in a group with either of them, because I just don’t need that. We all have something to bring to the conversation. The conversation is supposed to be along the lines of “this is what I think” or “I would do this,” not “it has to be done this way, which just happens to be my way, because it’s the best, and really only, way.”
Thankfully, class was very short, and we got out an hour early. I had a headache by the time we left, and took some Advil and stopped off at JoAnn on my way home, so as to avoid spreading my bad mood around too much.
I feel like I should add that most of my classmates (throughout the program, not just this semester) have been lovely people. Very few of them seem to think that they know everything (a handful stand out, but that’s a pretty small percentage). Mostly everyone realizes that we’re all in this learning process together, and while we’re at different stages, it’s a journey and no one’s input is better or more important than anyone else’s. (The exception to this being, sometimes, the undergrad students, and then it’s more of a lack of perspective that we all have when we’re 20, thinking that we know everything and feeling the need to share our own importance with the world. I’ll forgive that, since we’ve all been there. But it’s pretty obvious when it’s a development/personal growth thing versus a whole personality thing.) And I enjoy that whole collaborative learning aspect. We all have things to learn from others, and in order for it to work, sometimes you have to listen, and sometimes you have to talk. I enjoy the listening part, but not nearly so much when I never get my turn to share.
Alright, I’ll put the issue to bed. Next up? Pictures of my grey dress and cream shawl, and a question about jewelry. Later? Easter green Dupioni silk thoughts. An interesting day, to be sure.
I’m seriously considering un-friending some people on Facebook if they don’t stop talking about healthcare. It’s not just one post, or even one post a day, but several a day (per person).
There’s a time and place to talk about politics. Let me tell you that, from experience, Facebook is not one of those. I once made a rather innocuous (it wasn’t meant to be hurtful) comment on Facebook and my, oh my, did people want to add their 2-cents.
Just so we’re clear…
I grew up in a relatively conservative community (as in, slightly to the right of middle – it’s all relative), and when I went to college it was the same. Even my first few churches. And to be honest, I always considered myself “progressive,” as in conservative with a few liberal beliefs thrown in. I always tested middle of the road. I’ve voted for Republican and Democrats for president. And I really don’t care that much about or for politics (which is one of the reasons they’re almost never discussed here).
However, I did have a few life experiences that loosened up my conservative roots. When reading through each party’s agendas (available on their websites, which you should look up if you’re interested, and get it right from the horse’s mouth), I disagreed with nearly everything the Republican party stood for and agreed with almost everything the Democratic party stood for. So, I guess I changed a bit.
But, I don’t hold any negative feelings towards Republicans or their ideologies. I understand them. Lots of my family and non-Minnesota friends are quite conservative. I married a Republican (we like to go to the polls together to cancel out each other’s votes). I also happen to be friends with some people who consider the Democratic party to be a wee bit conservative. I really don’t care. You believe what you believe, and I’ll believe what I believe, and that’s just fine. And as long as you don’t try to shove it down my throat, I will give you the same respect.
I just so happens that some of my most conservative friends are quite vocal, on Facebook, about their beliefs. I’m pretty sure one person posted at least a dozen messages since Sunday night on the topic of health care. (A topic about which, I am sorry to say, I really don’t care about. Yes, I think it’s important. But no, I don’t really care how it gets done and would rather not talk about it, at all, because blah. I probably should care, but I don’t. So there. I have good health care via my job/union, and so I’m quite apathetic about it – how very… bourgeois of me.)
And really, it’s just not appropriate. I may have to un-friend, or at least hide this person from my news feed. It’s almost amusing when links are posted to articles that are factually inaccurate, completely out of context, or straight up rant. Almost. It would be funnier if I didn’t feel like someone was trying to shove their conservative agenda down my throat.
I’ve held my tongue (or, rather, restrained my fingers), because I know that getting involved, especially via Facebook, would in no way be constructive, especially considering who these people are. So I just take a deep breath and try to smile.
Could someone explain to people on Facebook that there are appropriate things to talk about and inappropriate things? Maybe there could just be a switch and I could filter for appropriateness? How awesome would that be?
The NYTimes had an article recently (which I just found in some roundabout way that I don’t even remember) about generic versus name brand prescriptions (go ahead, pop over and read it). I was only half-interested until I got halfway down the first page and saw that my name brand / generic (in the exact dosage) was specifically mentioned as one that people complain about.
I’ve switched back and forth between the generic budeprioin/bupropion and the name brand Wellbutrin, as well as trying out different dosages and the one-a-day versus multiple doses a day over the last five or six years. The glory days back when we could mail-order name brands from Canada for free, but those days are long gone. I had no worries about switching from the name brand to the generic because I figured they were the same (and they are, if you put quotes around same). However, a while after the switch (depression medications take an incredibly long time to work properly, 6 weeks to 6 months – the brain is an amazing thing, but easily changeable it is not), I noticed that I was more tired than I used to be. It took me quite some time to trace it back to the switch to generic, but I did.
I was pretty certain that this wasn’t just a mind game, since I hadn’t thought there would be a difference between the two. But, doubt had crept in a bit about this. So imagine the feeling of validation I got when I got to this section:
Yet, after hundreds of consumers posted messages about problems with the generic drug Budeprion XL 300 on the People’s Pharmacy Web site, Mr. Graedon worked with an independent laboratory, ConsumerLab.com, to test the drug, which in other generic versions is typically known as bupropion.
The lab found that Budeprion XL 300 released the active drug at a different rate than the brand name Wellbutrin XL 300.
I’m not the only one! Well, of course I wasn’t, but I don’t have anyone to compare notes with. My doctor and I did figure out a decent solution (switching to the two a day instead of timed-release), but I have to say it’s still not as good as the name brand. Sigh. (As a sidenote, I take 150 2x a day, compared to 300 once a day. I’ve tried doing the 150 3x a day, and I actually end up more tired, because I sleep so lightly on that dosage that I don’t get a decent night’s sleep. Bummer.) However, it works well enough to not be tempted to pay the out-of-pocket price for name brand (which is… ouch! painful).
I’m super-cool with generics on most things. I like to be cheap. (I almost wrote that I like to save money, but I don’t think that’s as accurate a statement.) Some name brand items are preferred simply because that’s what I’m familiar with (like Frosted Mini Wheats), or it’s what works best (like Advil Liqui-Gels).
The NYTimes article ended rather abruptly, and awkwardly, just like this post will (most likely because in both instances, the author couldn’t figure out how to wrap things up nicely).
How often is it, really, that you get what you want in life? I feel like much more often, life is about “doing what needs to be done” or “being content with what I can have.” Grown-up life, that is. You know, when you realize that life isn’t like the Barbie Dream House and that you might have to settle for certain things in life.
That’s not to say that life is unenjoyable. It certainly is. Yes, I spend a great deal of my time “doing what needs to be done” like working and homework and cleaning, but those aren’t “necessary evils,” but choices that I make. And, for the most part, I enjoy bits and pieces of those activites. And while I’d love a brand new hybrid car that’s sporty and cool, I’m perfectly content with the [free] Focus that I have (though I just tolerate the color).
You may feel differently about things, but that’s my general perspective on life.
But today is special. Today is a day where I can say that I really got what I wanted. From our Realtor this morning:
Congratulations! The house is yours, should you choose to accept it. I just got it confirmed from the sellers’ agent. The other buyers had nothing, so didn’t put up a fight.
(He’s a funny guy, isn’t he. “Should you choose to accept it.”) And we are so happy right now. Sure, there’s lots of not-fun stuff associated with this (like packing and moving and deciding what projects to work on and disagreeing how to arrange the furniture…), but the awesomeness of getting what we wanted totally overshadows all that.
Other happy thoughts:
From Easter, here’s demanding that read to him. On the stairs (which were the most fun toy ever, apparently).
Stairs are for reading, don'tcha know
Also from Easter, sleeping on my shoulder, of which he did a lot.
What newborns do best
It became apparent last in class that I was the person in attendance who knew the most about the US Constitution (click the link to view the complete text). This is sad, since I don’t really know that much. We got to the point last night where the teacher would ask the questions looking directly at me, and I didn’t answer a lot of them, hoping to not be the only person talking in class. I probably answered the most questions, though. It should be noted that there is at least one current Social Studies teacher in my class, and several people who are recent citizens (don’t they have to know at least some of that stuff to pass some sort of test?). Of course, there are also some people who are not citizens and are planning on returning to their home countries, so it’s understandable that they don’t know that much about our constitution (except that it was the subject of the second chapter we had to read for class, and the full text is in our textbook).
I tried to find you a good quiz to test your knowledge, but none of the ones I took really stood out. As a general rule, however, I got one wrong out of 15 (in the handful that I took).
During small group work last night, I said something about the Declaration of Independence being more interesting than the Constitution to read; it’s more emotional, more inspiring, more engaging. Plus, there’s some airing of dirty laundry that’s good stuff. The Constitution, on the other hand, is not set up to inspire, but to provide the guidelines for running a country. One of my classmates said, “you think the Constitution is interesting?” But, if you think about it, while it is a pretty dry read, parts of it are quite interesting if you think about how those rules affect the world around you, or in the case of the Amendments, what situations arose that motivated the changes. I also added that, as a future Social Studies teacher, I kind of have to find the Constitution interesting. Not that I’m obligated to, but it is my personal belief that history is actually quite interesting, despite how it’s often taught in school. I never had a teacher who made me want to learn history, but I’d like to be that kind of teacher. Part of that is finding the subject matter interesting or otherwise important myself, and part of that is finding the ways to communicate the importance and inspire interest in my students. Not that I’ve figured out how to do that yet, but I know I did a fairly good job of making the Old Testament interesting to quite a few junior highers, and it doesn’t seem that much different.
This weekend, while reading History: A Very Short Introduction by John Arnold for my Historical Interpretation class (a book a highly recommend – it’s quite short, 120 pages but the book is only 4×6 inches; the first part is good, but the second half is quite inspiring, and I’ve got a few quotes from this book to share with you in the next few days), I came across the story of Sojourner Truth (pictured above). Actually, it was the story of her “Aren’t I A Woman?” speech, of which the exact wording is slightly disputed (like most things from the late 1800s). I found the speech quite inspiring in it’s “original dialect” version, though it’s argued to be the least accurate. I think it’s a matter similar to versions of the Bible though – they all pretty much say the same thing, and if one version speaks to you more than another, go with it. At any rate, if you haven’t read anything about her, here’s her biography on Wikipedia, and in the opening paragraph her “Aren’t I A Woman” speech is referenced. If you click on that link, it will bring you to a page with multiple versions of the speech, and you can read whichever one you want.
I meant to bring this to you yesterday in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr day, but I had the day off of work and was enjoying myself too much to blog. To make up for it, here’s a link to MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech, which if you’ve never listened to in its entirety, you’re missing out. At the bottom of the page are links to the full text, full video, and full audio versions, which I invite you to experience at least one of.
In a rare moment, let me just quickly link to a great article on why I can’t go McCain-Palin. You are free to believe whatever you want to, as am I. It appears that this election, I seem to have strong opinions about this issue, much to my surprise.
… we bring you this uncharacteristic entry on politics. Read at your own risk.
As most people know, I don’t like to talk about politics. In fact, the few times I have talked about it on this blog, I think I mention that. In particular, I don’t like to argue politics. If I’m in a particularly agreeable mood, I may be interested in calmly discussing and sharing, but if anyone starts trying to convince me to change my opinion, I no longer want any part of that conversation.
And while we’re on that note, let me state for the record that I am not (consciously, at least) attempting to change anyone’s views today. I’m simply trying to put into words some thoughts that have been roaming about my head for the last few months. If you feel like I’m trying to persuade you of anything, and you are offended by this, then by all means stop reading and let me know what I did wrong, because I certainly don’t want to be thought of in the way that I think of those who try to persuade me of disagreeable things.
That being said, I have a few thoughts on the presidential nominations, race, gender, and the status of those things in America. Added to current events is the fact that I am currently taking “Gender and Culture,” an anthropology course, at Metro State, which has taught me a lot in a short (6 weeks) time.
Back in the beginning of the Democratic race, when it looked like it was close between Hillary and Barack, I said (to at least one other person, I’m quite sure) that Barack would most certainly win, because historically in our country, African Americans make advances before women do. From my limited (albeit recent and probably less limited than the average American’s) history education, I remember that in fighting for suffrage (the right to vote), the 15th Amendment guaranteeing the right to vote regardless of race or color or “condition of servitude” was ratified in 1870 (though not upheld everywhere until the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The 19th Amendment guaranteeing the right of women to vote (or the right to vote regardless of gender) was ratified in 1920 (and from the Wikipedia article, you can read how much more difficult it was to pass that one; and yes, I know that Wikipedia shouldn’t be considered scholarly, but it is a nice succinct and easy to read version of events with little bias). The Civil Rights movement in the 1960s was much more about racial equality than gender equality, with major strides being made towards racial equality in the1960s and early 1970s, and major strides being made towards gender equality in the 1970s and 1980s.
Now, it could be argued that the steps towards gender equality, when eventually made, were more successful than those towards racial equality. I believe that while women still make somewhere in the range of 85-90-cents on the dollar (compared to men), the gap for minorities is much greater. Searching for statistics on this is not easy to do and, well, I’m just lazy at the moment. (This article in the Washington Square lays out some statistics on gender and race-based wage gaps.)
At any rate, I thought it was a pretty safe bet that we’d have an African American president before a female one. And it looks like I was right.
It also looks like, as I suspected, sexism is much more socially acceptable than racism. There was an interesting article in today’s NYTimes about Sexism in the Presidential Campaign Race. And, quite frankly, if Katie Couric speaks out about it, that definitely lends some credibility to the argument as far as I’m concerned, because she’s not known for overreacting and being overtly feminist (at least I wouldn’t consider her that way).
And that’s not to say that there weren’t some wholly inappropriate racist remarks against Barack, including the recent “baby mama” issue that’s just, well, rude and wrong. But in my limited interaction with the Democratic nomination race, there was far much more sexism than racism.
Furthermore, I’m pretty sure that the reason Hillary didn’t get the bid has nothing to do with her politics and everything to do with her gender. Here’s the thing: there are lots of people who don’t like Hillary. Why? Because she has some very strong personality traits that are, well, masculine, and people don’t like masculine women. Women don’t, but occasionally tolerate it, and men really don’t. Hillary has traits that, if she were a man, she would be lauded for and admired for and respected for. But, because she’s a woman, it’s distasteful.
Someone (or multiple someones, I don’t remember) that it wasn’t a gender thing, because they’d vote for Condi. Well, politics aside, Condi is much more feminine than Hillary. While being a strong woman, she still comes across as womanly, and she fits in with our idea of how women should act and be. She might crack the mold, but she doesn’t break it.
Is now the appropriate time to bring up the fact that when women were originally fighting for the right to vote, back in the days of the female ideal of being a mother and a wife, people didn’t want women to get involved in politics because it would invariably pollute them with the evils of politics, and women were responsible for bringing up moral, upright children.
I also feel it appropriate to bring up that when women were fighting to work (you know, after WWII during which they went to work because they “had to” and were doing their “American duty” and then found out that they liked it and got a sense of satisfaction from it and wanted to keep doing it), they feared more women in the workplace because if they were exposed to all those men, they would certainly be tempted to have affairs and leave their husbands. But decades (or centuries, whatever) of men having affairs with their secretaries (or just prostitutes) aren’t bad.
See, now, this is where I take a turn from rational and calm exposition and go down Bitter Lane. I’ll try to do a U-turn. My apologies.
I would like to think that this country is ready for an African American president, especially since that means that soon we might be ready for a female president. Back when I was declaring Barack the winner, I also decided that whoever got the Democratic nomination was going to win the election, because considering Bush’s popularity, in addition to the current economic situation and everything else, I just don’t see our country electing another Republican, even one as “middle of the road” as McCain (don’t get me started on him and gender equality, because I’ve already blogged about that and don’t want to go there again).
There are still four-ish months left before we find out if my initial prediction was correct. Is it too late to add that I haven’t explored any of the candidates since my favorite dropped out of the race (John Edwards) and have no idea who I’ll vote for?
If anyone is still reading (my guess is that and might hang on to the end here), feel free to leave comments of a discussionary nature.
OK, as I was browsing the internet today, I ran across an article entitled “Environmentalism in 1880.” I haven’t read it yet. Can’t tell you if it’s any good. That’s not the point. The funny thing is that above the article is an ad. It shuffles through, so you’ll probably get a different one than I did. But look at the one I got (click for a bigger version of the screenshot):
Pairing "vote for McCain" with "environmentalism," even "environmentalism in 1880" is just funny.
That’s good stuff, man. This piece, to me, right from his own website, is one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time. You should watch the video. It’s awesome.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled, non-political blogging.
And to answer a question from a co-worker when he saw the page up on my blog, no, I’m not voting for McCain.
I made a rather large decision yesterday, and I didn’t even mean to.
The FM radio in my car has been mostly “out” for the last few weeks. So I’ve been limited to AM radio, an experience unto itself. My choices at the moment are: the true oldies channel, more spirited radio, and the Patriot. I’d already decided that The Patriot was not for me – I am not an older or middle-aged white male with strong conservative ideas, political or otherwise. That was sealed when I tuned in briefly to hear one of the hosts repeatedly refer to a US senator as “demented” and then proceed to make up a story about her that was beyond inappropriate. I’ve been listening to oldies when possible, but the station turns into a Toronto-based channel after 5pm (no joke). So last night as I was out driving between craft stores, I was listening to KKMS, which I’ve previously half-enjoyed.
Did you know it’s pro-life week? Yeah. (Coincidentally, yesterday was also Pro-Choice Blogger day. Not really a coincidence. It’s the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade on January 22nd.) And in the hour or so of radio I heard between commuting and searching for yarn, they were quite persuasive. (Stick with me here and let me further explain.)
I’ve been on the fence on this issue since… well, since I was conscious of being a woman. My relatively conservative Christian background wants me to be pro-life, and my feminist leanings want me to be pro-choice. Since I’ve never needed to really argue the issue or decide, I haven’t, other than the singular decision that I wouldn’t personally have an abortion (barring medical necessity). And I was really quite fine with being undecided. I’ve got plenty of opinions on other controversial subjects that if people want to argue with me, there’s lots of ways to go.
Last night, however, the multitude of voices on the subject pushed me over the edge. I’m officially pro-choice. Why? Because when it came down to it, it first and foremost needed to be my choice. I’m not going to be a good one to argue with on this because I fully understand both sides of the issue and will never be able to let go of the pro-life arguments. Life is life and I do believe that it begins at conception (just ask any parents who have miscarried). But… I still think choice wins out. This won’t win me any friends in some of the conservative circles I’m familiar with, but we don’t usually talk about stuff like that anyways. Or, really, we don’t talk much at all, so I don’t think it’ll be an issue.
One of the radio hosts was a self-admitted middle-aged father of 9 children and 3 foster kids. (My mind immediately went to the “excessive childbirth” argument from the early 1900s when birth control was not yet legal.) He basically told me that I was supposed to be having sex for procreation only, and that being on birth control for reasons other than medical or financial ones was “morally objectionable.” Because I enjoy sex and have no desire to give birth to a child right now, I am selfish and, ultimately, a bad Christian. He doesn’t care that I don’t want children right now or that it might not be the right time in my life. I’m selfish. Heck, maybe I am. But I think it’s very responsible to avoid having children when you don’t want them. And I’m pretty sure God isn’t going to strike me dead for 1) enjoying sex with my husband, the only man I’ve ever had sex with, and only within the confines of our marriage, 2) not bringing unwanted children into this world, and 3) not wanting to have kids right now. (And I think that not having sex with my husband because we didn’t want kids was also not allowed. Gotta have sex. Gotta have kids. No birth control. It’s not even a Catholic radio station! I didn’t realize how far some conservatives went on this!)
And that’s basically when I realized… there was no way this man had the right to decide for me whether or not I was having kids. His moral damnation of me because I wasn’t jumping on the motherhood bandwagon the moment I was married was beyond offensive. Far beyond that of the women doing the Bible study at ‘s baby shower who just assumed that every little girl dreamed of becoming a mommy.
Perhaps I’m just overly sensitive about it, but I am almost always fully aware that I may or may not be able to have children. It’s a self-preservation technique, really, not getting my hopes up for something that I’d be devastated about if it didn’t happen. Unlike some women with infertility problems, I don’t get sad when other people start talking about babies or long for my own. I sense this… melancholy towards the issue in regards to other women’s responses. I… get angry. Perhaps that’s not healthy, but I get offended when the world assumes that it is my dream to become a stay at home mom to billions of children that’s all I’ve ever really wanted and needed to feel truly fulfilled in life.
At any rate, I’m pretty sure that hopping off the fence on the pro-choice side was not exactly what the planners of Sanctity of Human Life week had planned, but that’s the results of the actions of a few individuals.
Lesson? Be careful what you say on the radio or when lots of people might be listening. You have no idea where they might be coming from, and your words may very well have the opposite effect than you wanted if you’re not thoughtful and considerate.
Feel free to respectfully disagree or otherwise comment, so long as you try to be as least offensive as possible. Does it need to be said that making the blog owner cry will get you banned from further commenting? I didn’t think so.
Sometimes it hits when I least expect it, and sometimes when I most expect it.
For instance, two Saturdays ago (the day before my aunt died), sent me a link to a slideshow from that morning’s Race for the Cure. I totally ended up bawling because all I could think was, “she should be there for this,” since she was a breast cancer survivor for 9 years, but instead she was lying in bed at home on pain meds with a very limited amount of time left on this planet.
And this morning, I was thinking about how it’s soon to be ‘s first birthday (!!!) and trying to figure out what a good birthday present would be. Then I immediately thought of Christmas, since it’s only another two weeks later, and that I wanted to get him an ornament, just like Aunt Shirley always gave and me. And that made me sad, that the tradition had in some ways ended and in some ways needed to be carried on / passed on to the next generation, and that she won’t be with us this Christmas.
And there ya have it.