An abundance of great writing

I feel as if many great articles and essays have come across some of the sites that I follow in just the last few days that I’m going sort of crazy, posting one after another on the Facebook version of this blog. I love sharing those articles, but I also realize that people who follow me there may not want endless posts coming across their news feed from my page. Also, if you only read this version of the blog, you may missing out on some great, and timely writing.

So in the interest of sharing some outstanding information and insight, and so that I can succinctly place all of the info in one place, this post is going to highlight the latest articles that speak to me, that I find insightful, or moving, or important. In no way are these the only worthwhile reads at any of these sites, but lets face it, you are more than capable of visiting the sights, exploring and opting to read what interests you. Frankly, I hope that you do, because I also understand that what I presume to be important may not be what you deem as necessary or personally interesting.

So, first off from Upworthy

1. A Super Bowl add…   You may have heard this one already, but it was chilling and profound, and needed, in my opinion.

2. A Girl on Facebook Said…    The words of Sarah O’Neal made me stop. Just yesterday I watched the news. A police dash camera showed an encounter between a 76-year-old black man, using a golf club as a cane and walking down the street, and a white Seattle police officer who demanded that he put the club down. She made accusations of him swinging the club ‘at her’ although this was never apparent on the video. He refused to lay the club down as she grew louder, focusing on his ability to use the club as a weapon if he chose to. My thoughts: Just don’t argue. Just put the club down. Stop asking why. You will be the next victim. You have to know when to stop fighting. Sarah O’Neal makes it clear that, as a black living in America, in seeking to be recognized as a human, in asking for everything afforded to white’s in our society, sometimes standing up is the only answer.

Now, from Everyday Feminism

**Please note the TW that accompanies the first two articles: rape and sexual assault. 

1. Sex After Sexual Assault…   “…considering the impact that sexual assault has on a person’s sexual self.”

2. How Rape Has Become a Staple of American Culture   Included after this specific video are some links that discuss rape culture which I recommend as well.

3. Fat People Are Not the Problem…

4. 5 Alternatives to Taking Your Spouse’s Last Name   It all hearkens back to the idea of wife as property to do with as I please and placing that label of ‘She is my possession’ onto her being.

5. Stop Asking Already…   **Another TW article on abuse and sexual violence

Lastly, from HuffPost Women 

1. Kristen Schaal on Manspreading      In light of my recent post on the phenomenon of manspreading this is a must see inclusion.

2. Ideal Body Types Through History…

3. 6 Things…Bad Feminist   A reminder that feminism can be expressed in many ways and ‘outspoken bitch’ isn’t necessarily one of them.

There you go, a few of my favorites from this past week.

Feminist Friday: Discussions of feminism, atheism, and religious belief.

You are all aware by now that, as a sociology student, I got deeply into a focused analysis of all things female, sexual, gendered, sexist, and feminist along with most permutations that surround those topics. I also came out, if you will, and clearly announced that I am an atheist. I am an atheist because science tells me that a supreme deity does not exist. I identify as an atheist because I am a feminist as well, although those two ‘ist’ identities are not mutually exclusive for many. I define as a feminist-atheist because I truly will not abide with the idea professed by many belief systems that a deity set down in writing various declarations that codify males to be the only privileged and superior beings on earth.

Before this becomes a debate about religious text, or interpretation of those texts, or myth versus fact, or literal versus figurative; before this sparks comments whereby I am enlightened on ‘true’ or ‘real’ teachings and meanings; before I find myself needing to defend my words; before those of you who do believe, who do follow a religious or spiritual system, who may choose to take offense with this post – please understand:

I am not asking anyone to convince me to believe or change my mind. I am not asking anyone to agree with my viewpoint or my non-belief or opinions. I am not trying to tell you that you are wrong, or crazy, or confused.

I am simply questioning, wondering, and noting that this post is merely an introduction to the topic of religion, spirituality, belief, atheism, and feminism. I can be an atheist and still be interested in learning about religion and belief systems. I can be a feminist and still be interested in learning about other viewpoints associated with women, and gender, and oppression, and race, and sex, and…

I am, in fact, very interested in learning more about religion and its place in our society. I have read the Bible, more than once. I chose to take basic classes in religion while I was a student. I have chosen to read and study differing viewpoints on religion. I have written about feminism and atheism and religion along with the how and why they all may come together. I have been asked to comment on, and blog about topics specific to the place of feminism among religious systems and beliefs.

However, I feel that I am woefully lacking in preparation to do this, specifically to do this well, yet the idea fascinates me because religion plays such a key role in virtually every society on this planet, and feminism is a force that must also address the role that religion plays among all women, rather subscriber or atheist, or those who consider themselves searching somewhere in between.

I am at a crossroads, thus the reason for this post. Perhaps this topic is one best left for my personal research, and reflection. Perhaps, as I read more it can be a topic that is shared here. Perhaps, if anyone is interested they could share their opinions, or resources. Perhaps this will be the first, and last mention, of this idea.

While I ponder over the path that these topics may take on this blog I have a few texts specific to feminism and religion waiting to be read. I have essays in many of my old sociology and WGSS textbooks that may provide insight. I welcome conversation and opinion from others that advances relevant discussion. Let’s see if I can pull together some thoughts and provide some general posts that can serve as a springboard. Let’s see where this may lead.

For today, I want to share this article with you.

I’m a Catholic Feminist, and my church needs me more than ever

I found it very interesting. As someone who has rather biased views regarding Catholicism, I am choosing not to add my thoughts now. I’d like to see if anyone responds in the comments and shares their reactions. We’ll give it a few days, then revisit this page.

 

 

Watching a football game. Disliking what much of athletics stands for.

I take issue with many aspects of athletics.  The willingness to place athletes on pedestals and ignore that they often behave badly. The willingness to ignore crimes to protect reputations, and status, and funding. The willingness of academic institutions to channel dollars into sports programs while other programs are buried or simply cut. The willingness of professional sports organizations to continue to objectify females by the sexualization of their bodies for the viewing pleasure of certain fans, and for their total lack in addressing violence toward women by a number of their members…and leadership.

I grew up on football. In many ways it was a connection to my dad during the time that he was disconnected from me through his alcoholism. I’ll be honest. I grew to enjoy the competition between two teams. I liked being on the winning side when the 4th quarter ended. I liked feeling the emotional connection as our ‘favorite’ teams were triumphant.

I was never very coordinated, never very good at sports. I was one of those who tended to be picked near the end during team sports in PE. Sports helped me to come out of my introverted self during junior high school. I joined the Pep Club, what many might better know as a Spirit Team, or a Booster group. We had uniforms. We went to games and chanted and cheered right along with the cheer squad. We were loud. We performed at pep assemblies, and during spirit weeks and at homecoming. I continued this role during high school as well. I would have been a miserable failure as a member of a team. I wasn’t pretty enough, or popular enough to be on the cheer squad, but I found my niche and therefore another connection.

I’ve asked myself quite often, can you be a feminist and still have a desire to be involved as a fan of sports-specifically male sports, that are often associated with violence, marginalization, oppression, sexism, classism, racism, and misogyny.

Most of the time, my feminism directs me away from the association as a fan. I simply choose not to watch in what may be a misguided protest on my part…a one-feminist silent voice declaring that I will not patronize what you stand for.

Yet, this Sunday the Superbowl will be televised. I live in Washington State, home of the Seattle Seahawks. I was astounded last year when this team went to the Superbowl, and won. I actually wanted very badly to watch that game with my dad. Had he still been living, I bet that I would have invited him to hang out on my couch. I probably wouldn’t have shared that I was grateful for the memories that I hang onto centered on football…and him.

https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2015/01/21/super-bowl-xlix-preview-patriots-vs-seahawks/
https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2015/01/21/super-bowl-xlix-preview-patriots-vs-seahawks/

I plan to watch the game this Sunday. I plan to enjoy the competition. I know that, underlying all that is wrong with this entire ideal, I will still feel the tug of memory, the link to good memory. In this case, my feminism is a choice to feel, to remember, and to be a part of something now that defined me then. After all, that person grew into the me who is writing this post and to ignore her, or deny her, denies how I became the woman I am today.

 

 

 

 

In senile cat news, because I know you want an update…

Months of eating only wet cat food have now been replaced with gobbling down the new Fancy Feast dry chicken and turkey food, and general apathy toward anything moist and gooey. In other words, I have can after can of wet food that the cat could care less about now. I can deal with this.

However…

If you remember my comments regarding the ‘outdoor’ water bowl (ie: nasty old planter) that the cat had taken a liking to and chose to drink water from, and that said planter is now removed, and that the only reason the cat ever wanted to go outside was to drink from the planter…

…all of that has set her on edge dramatically. As much as she would like her planter returned, filled with disgusting water and available to her, it isn’t going to happen. Water sources are no longer available outside as she has perfectly good water less than 2 inches from the patio door. Her anxiety level has increased since the change on Sunday. Likely part of that increased tension comes because she is alone during the day, which is getting harder for her anyway as her sleep cycle changes. Add to that not being able to drink outside and her stress is apparent. Confirmation of that is clear: she is peeing just outside the litter box much more since all this change occurred. I have come to understand that this is her “I am literally pissed off at you” response.

Last night, every two hours she circled the house, yowling. Since 3 AM she has been circling the house, yowling. She is right now standing at the base of my chair, yowling. She wants me to open the patio door so that she can walk out onto the deck, see that her water is just inside the door, and come back in. Within 2 minutes this process will repeat and continue over and over and over. It continues as we ignore her. It continues as we take her to her water bowl and watch her drink. It will most likely occur all day while we are out. It will surely occur again tonight, and most likely for indefinite nights to come.

She eats. She drinks. She pees and poops. I have tried to keep her routine as consistent as possible, including always making sure to be home for feeding times, to give her attention right away when we do come home, to sit with her at night, to groom her. Somehow, we have to get beyond this water issue.

She’s moved to my lap, tired and hopefully ready for bed to sleep the day away and prepare for another round tonight. I wonder just how long it will be until I can be an adult and stay up past 8 PM.

Words to describe this writer: humiliated, chagrined, mortified…name a variant of embarrassed and it’s name is Deb

I stumbled upon something today. All in all I believe it will be a good thing. However, it is a thing that causes me great embarrassment. Because of this, I am only sharing with a few of you, my most loyal and non-judgmental readers.

Deep breath…

Think for a moment to my many, many posts related to the senile old cat living in my home. Think to the many, many stories related to the fact that she, almost overnight, stopped eating her dry cat food. The same brand of cat food that she had been eating for years. Think to the struggles I have been describing related to her incessant need to yowl pitifully at 3 AM, simply because she wanted to eat…wet food, not dry food. Think to my stories of 8 PM bedtime just to have any chance at a normal nights sleep. Think about the months, and months, and months that this has been our routine.

This morning, while shopping for groceries, I decided (on a whim) to purchase a small pouch of cat food. A new brand of cat food. A dry version of a popular wet cat food that can be found in tiny single serving cans. Fancy Feast dry cat food to be exact. This pouch caught my eye simply because it was a pouch rather than a humongous bag. It was $2.00 for the pouch. The pieces are small and round. The flavor: a chicken and beef combo.

“Why not,” I said to myself. “If she ignores it like the old brand I’ll just pass it on to Miss G’s kitty.”

I came home. The cat was still sleeping soundly and being deaf, she didn’t hear me put some of the new food onto a small plate by her water dish.

At 12:30 she woke up. From the next room I heard a strange sound. A sound that I haven’t heard in months.

It was a light, rather delicate sound. A tinkling, crisp sound. I realized what the sound was.

The cat was eating the new dry cat food. The sounds being made were the pieces of food hitting the plate as they fell from her mouth because she was unable to get the food into her mouth fast enough.

She ate the entire plate full. She looked up at me, because by that time I was standing near her with disbelief on my face, licked her whiskers and marched off back to bed. She slept for two more hours. Two hours that normally would find her following me, yowling and begging and pleading for wet food.

I looked at daughter Alison. She looked back at me and laughed.

By the time the cat got up again I had put a bit more dry food out, just to test the theory. She ate everything that I had put out a second time. She went outside.

“A real test is needed,” I thought. As it was her ‘normal’ time to eat, I put some wet food out, and let her back inside. She simply walked past the wet food plate. She was full, content, and happy. At this moment she is curled in her bed, asleep. Damn cat.

I feel like an idiot.

**May I just share also that I secretly hope that this is the end solution, however…I will believe nothing is certain unless days go by with the same results.