Shrewd Awakenings: Let’s March for Some Common Sense!

   The third annual Women’s March is scheduled to happen on Saturday January 19, 2019. This March has had its share of controversy over the past year, from the cochairs and their association with antisemitism to locally organized women’s marches that shun inclusivity of perspective. Just what is the aim of this March and what does it really do for me that I cannot accomplish for myself? Originally organized in 2017 to protest the inauguration of President Trump, this March from the outset was begun to raise awareness of the possible backward legislation that could develop from the new administration. Speakers decried setbacks to women’s issues like abortion, but mostly they were upset that a “womanizer-in-chief” was elected over a female presidential hopeful. To be clear, I didn’t vote for either of these candidates. I thought that both were too polarizing to allow constructive work to be done for the people. But I would ask, what is this work and more importantly how does it effect people, especially women? Also, would women’s marches really influence federal policy? Women want constructive work to happen on policies that affect them and their families. Access to affordable and private health care, family friendly work environments, manageable costs of living, excellence in education and safe communities are top priorities for most women. But these priorities are not what I see being the focus in our government system (I include Unions as part of this system too). Two party control is in actuality one party obstruction and the people they represent are not being served and therefore the people they serve do not progress on the above mentioned policy priorities. All women are uniquely qualified to stand up for exceptionalism. The United States is an example (or should be an example) of exceptionalism. Because of her authentic capacity for emotional maturity, openness, fortitude and humility a woman has the ability to directly influence her family and social circles toward changes that impact lives daily. The power is all hers if she should choose to apply it. Transformation is then realized on a personal level rather than nationally, and the innovation, once perfected, is emulated from there throughout the culture because it is authentic and heartfelt. This is the March of a woman!

Shrew U: Reading List…

One big reason why I started my blog, The Shrew, was to create a journal documenting a female perspective counter to mainstream influences like that of the women on the ABC talk show The View.  It is very apparent to me that the most vocal women on The View (Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar specifically) have absolutely no desire to do meaningful research beyond their own closed boarders of “the resistance”.  The gossip, innuendo and emotional superficiality on The View perpetuates the often “catty” stereotype of the female human species and sets back the progress of intellectual women everywhere.  Who watches this garbage?

The following is my recommended reading list for women and men who wish to honestly understand the social, political and emotional underpinnings of why the “resistance” movement is a non-starter for the majority of people in the United States:

  • Fields of Blood: Religion and The History of Violence by Karen Armstrong
  • Sapiens; A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
  • Where Do We Go From Here; Chaos or Community? By Martin Luther King, JR
  • The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson by David Barton Thomas
  • Jefferson and The Tripoli Pirates by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yeager
  • The War on Cops; How The New Attack On Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe by Heather MacDonald
  • The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson
  • The African Background Outlined by Carter Godwin Woodson
  • The Righteous Mind; Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt
  • Cop Under Fire: Moving Beyond Hashtags of Race, Crime and Politics For A Better America by Sheriff David Clarke JR.
  • Discrimination and Disparities by Thomas Sowell
  • Sacred Instruction; Indiginous Wisdom For Living by Sherri Mitchell
  • 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson
  • Stealing America: What My Experience with Criminal Gangs Taught Me About Obama, Hillary and The Democratic Party by Dinesh D’Souza
  • Killing England: The Brutal Struggle for American Independence by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
  • A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn
  • Black Rednecks and White Liberals by Thomas Sowell

image

This list of nonfiction literature encompasses various perspectives from authors who are passionate about their topics.  Even though many of these books are not in themselves a balanced perspective, I have found that a balance is gained by reading the complete selection.  Why?  Because the books that drive on emotion lack references to actual contextual data and the books that drive on references to actual contextual data lack emotion.  We need both experiences in order to form a compassion that has integrity from which to speak and act effectively.

My religious faith has in the past two years made it known that it is part of the “Resistance Movement” which is why I no longer support the Unitarian Universalist (UU) Association.  I’ve been doing my due diligence and reading quite a bit to understand the logic behind this movement.  I’ve also met with my minister to voice my concerns.  My church only encourages the reading of emotional literature (The New Jim Crow) and preaches a narrative of white supremacy as well as toxic masculinity.  Please tell me how this approach furthers our doctrine of peace among people?  It doesn’t!  Hiding behind a “spiritual” and emotional mask does not automatically make you moral.  Actions and words have consequences.  You cannot say that you “side with LOVE” (a current UU catch phrase) and then support a movement of hate-filled rhetoric.  Marginalizing whiteness and masculinity is in actuality a quasi-creed for the UU religion and I cannot condone the practice.  UU’s have always boasted that they are non-credal.  This doctrine does not support a spiritual belief, instead it moves it toward the political which is completely out of the realm of religion.  It encapsulates the heart, closing the door on true compassion for humanity and oneness with our Creator.  When religion becomes political, chaos and tyranny will follow.  Just think about how kings in the past usurped the “God” Priciple to subjugate their kingdoms…Is this now similar to Athiest Democrats and Progressives exclusively claiming the moral high ground while at the same time trying to get rid of those who uphold Judeo-Christian values as well as the Constitution, both of which are being tread upon in the current political and cultural environment?

My next blog will focus on the deterioration of representative leadership in the U.S.

 

The Shrew View: “Lady Bird”

Always look at today for tomorrow’s inspiration.

Bridal season is underway!!  This is the time of year when I experience the heaviest load of work.  April, May and June brides and their entourage need their first fittings as well as those young ladies going to Prom, communication with July through October brides is happening nearly every day and my busy hands need to keep up with the details of nip/tuck.  My mind swells with lace, beads, bustles and bows!  Ever since Barbie married Ken I have delighted in the details of THE DRESS and how these details help to make the young woman feel her best on her special occasion.  I am blessed that my passion has lead to my own business, but practical aspects of my past held back this creativity (just as it happens for many folks).  Did my engineering degree and years spent working in R&D at various companies hold back my bliss?  I’d like to think that those years were actually the foundation for a more enlightened career choice…Always look at today for tomorrow’s inspiration 🙂

Even though my working life is somewhat full these days I must take enjoyment in other pastimes.  One thing that I enjoy doing is watching movies.  I recently had the opportunity to see “Lady Bird”.  This coming-of-age film received critical acclaim for its strong acting and fresh look at the gulf between childhood and adulthood.  Set in the year 2002, it wittingly balances stereotypes against our U.S. Culture’s timeless truths.

This film portrays the two strong female characters of a daughter and her mother.  Christine is the 17 year old daughter of a middle class couple who are temporarily struggling to make ends meet.  They have a modest home in Sacramento, CA.  Christine’s mother has her attend the private Catholic School because apparently the public school has proved to be much too violent.  It is obvious that Christine’s mother controls the household and all those who live in it (this includes Christine’s college educated brother and his live-in girlfriend).  You get the sense that the mother’s control issues are tempered with an inspired love that has had an unmistakable influence from a  childhood which was rife with alcohol abuse by her own mother.  Christine’s father is the tempering force that keeps everyone together.  He might struggle with depression from losing his job and remaining unemployable, but he seems to understand well that trying to control what happens around him is a losing battle…It is better to use some insight and guide the daily pitfalls toward positive meaning.

In her childish way Christine uses her personal strengths of perseverance, humor and curiosity to carve out her niche in society.  Her “power name” is Lady Bird.  She uses this name to help be identified as a strong though quirky candidate for each class presidential election and to help her compensate for her “lower” middle class position in life.  This name along with her curiosity and perseverance seem to give her just the right amount of boost she needs to cleverly insert herself into the higher social networks.

I found that Christine’s ability to explore her sexuality is an incomplete and naive approach.  She is quite the fiendish child in some scenes, however we don’t get to understand how she has figured out the adult nuances of protected sex in other scenes.  Catholicism after all is known for its strict adherence to abstinence, so where did she learn about these practical measures?  Should we assume that magazines, media and her peers are her guides?  Her mother definely doesn’t appear to be the imparter of such important information, but I could be wrong.

By the end of the movie as she leaves home and enters college she seems to have gained the adult perspective so needed for her to negotiate life’s intracacies.  This perspective is partially shaped from her Catholic faith.  Whether by choice or by accident, the familiarity of a home away from home is hers to accept or reject.  She embraces these benefits because, in essence, these religious guiding principles are central to the self-love that she needs in an all too lonely world.

True to form, I think this film does represent middle class female adolescent conflicts very well.  Has much changed in 15 years?  It’s been almost 40 years since I’ve been 17…pexels-photo-556663.jpeg…It’s still pretty timeless!

 

Shrewd Awakenings: Pay Attention to Your Being

Is modern feminism the woman’s declaration of “Pay Attention To Your Being”?

In my quest for a greater understanding of spiritual truths I do much reading and occasionally explore other blogs that might offer some potential wisdom concerning topics of spirituality and religion.  As a third generation Unitarian (currently known as Unitarian Universalism) my religion calls me to explore all religious truths in a responsible manner to guide me toward an authentic spiritual journey that brings my life meaning and informs my actions to do good works.  As Jordan B. Peterson relates in his new book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos:

Meaning signifies that you are in the right place, at the right time, properly balanced between order and chaos, where everything lines up as best it can at that moment…the place you live when you are guided by Love and speaking Truth and when nothing you want or could possibly want takes any precedence over precisely that.

One blog that I have been visiting for spiritual insight seems to be heavily focused on the man’s perspective of feminism as it relates to U.S. culture and the Christian religion.  The blogger pulls passages from news articles and Christian writers to critique them for feminist bias.  As one can imagine, these critiques when set against the highly antagonistic idea of “modern feminism” makes for a great number of comments from men in general and Christian men specifically.  The blogger does state on his home page that comments are to be made by men only so as not to derail the male perspective.  Comments from women are acceptable once the conversation thread has run on for a time.  The comments can range from hitting hard against the author of the article or book being critiqued to getting down right nasty about the women who are in these articles or books as examples of an experience.

I chose to comment on one blog post by relating my own experience in relation to the current Christian authored article that the blogger was critiquing.  My comment brought a flurry of new comments by men as being a woman with no authority to give a spiritual opinion on matters strictly left up to men only.  I did not mind this “bashing” because it only stirred my need to understand their resistance.  I was subsequently “put in my place” with quotes from Bible scripture.  Ah Ha!!  I can now apply my own insight on my blog about where I believe Christian men go wrong when they take a literal hard line on what a woman’s place aught to be in orthodox Christian teachings…Perhaps “feminism” is a symptom to their issues?

To give you some context, I am a wife, mother, sister, daughter and I currently work as a self employed seamstress helping women with their bridal gowns.  I have a lot of confidence in my work and this helps the 120+ anxious brides that I see each year as they attempt to put on a ceremony and celebration of one of the most import days of their life.  I would have to say that at least 80% of these ceremonies are performed with a Christian perspective even though churches are being used less often as the ceremonial venue.  The dress and the vows hold a very significant place of importance with all of these women.  I find that the modern bride is less concerned with the traditions of this celebration and more concerned with how marriage will transform her in the process.  Many times I will see the bride a few years later (sometimes with a baby in tow) needing help with her bridesmaid gown for a friend’s wedding.  They seem more beautiful to me than when I first meet them…Their sense of self and the transition to motherhood seem to have cast a special glow around them!

I believe that most husbands see this glow in their wives.  I would venture to say that this may have a humbling effect on the man, after all he can never honestly know the pain and sacrifice of his wife.

Back to the blog posts that I mentioned earlier…”My comment brought a flurry of new comments by men as being a woman with no authority to give a spiritual opinion on matters strictly left up to men only.”   A commenter named Luke who, I assume, is a devote Christian gave me several verses from scripture to substantiate his premises about women in relation to Christian teaching:

1 Timothy 2:11 – 12  I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over man; rather, she is to remain quiet.

Here is my response…Woman was first to bite the apple from the tree of knowledge which allowed her to become like God, knowledgeable about good and evil.  Man took the bite next (also allowing him this knowledge) which left him vulnerable and in the position to forever make up for  this transgression to God because man was made first.  From this point forward women would forever bear the pain to bring forth life and both men and women would suffer through life until death (giving up immortality).  For a woman to be quiet means that she, as a woman, has the deeper understanding of life’s meaning because of her physical pain and her ability to bear children.  Her authority is to teach this understanding to her children.  She should not be a “mother” to the man in his adulthood.  This is very important!

1 Corinthians 14:34 – 35 …the woman should keep silent in the churches.  For they are not  permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says.  If there is any desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home.  For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.

Here is my response…Submission in this context places the burden upon the man to get closer to Christ, atoning the man’s sin for trying to be as God because man was not given pain of childbirth which clearly has made women more submissive in its own right (Law of nature).  Submission is not to the husband, rather submission is to the husband’s burden of his spiritual domain.  She was given time to teach her children, but to teach a man in church or otherwise is to thwart the man’s responsibility to himself and to God.  At “home” gives the couple the privacy for her to confront the man’s perceived inability to be a “man” in the eyes of God.

1 Corinthians 11:1 – 34  Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ…maintain the traditions…the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.

My response…These passages refer to a linear system.  Consider my following graphic:

image

Notice that the woman is at the center.  She is “Transformational Suffering” which is her life cycle; birth, child, child bearer, nurturer, crone, death.  Her life is dedicated to life itself.  From her come the children who test authority and require guidance from a physical presence.  Their concept of God is inadequate until maturation.  The boy and the girl are the metaphysical order and chaos as noted in Peterson’s quote.

The man is closer to the Church (the physical good) and to Christ (the metaphysical good).  Man is “Physical Good Works” which is his dedication to the “Church” because his life cycle is less transformative; birth, child, laborer, death.  Through his good works with the “Church” he submits to Christ and becomes closer to God.  He is a role model to his family.

Both man and woman submit to Christ (the metaphysical good).  Neither speaks for the other.  Both maintain traditions for their family, however these traditions are in reality values of good works that the community also must emulate.  With shared values comes meaning for living.  And therefore this meaning is ultimately inspired by Christ (metaphysical good).

1 Peter 3:1  Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives.

My response…This passage affirms that wives should not act as a mother to their husbands.  A woman’s understanding of spirituality (the word) is always much deeper than a man’s because her suffering is greater.  This suffering begets nurturing.  Hense the next piece of scripture that Luke identified:

1 Ephesians 5:22 – 33  For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.  Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…

My response…This linear progression is clear.  A man must understand his spiritual burden before he considers taking a wife.  A woman must understand the importance of her transformative Nature and its strength as nurturer before she becomes a wife and mother.  The husband’s role as father and spiritual Being brings meaning to the family unit and strengthens the community.  I will add another piece of scripture:  John 14:6  I am the way, and the truth and the life.

Our Judeo-Christen founding as a nation is central to our strength as a people (the “way”).  If we see that our U.S. culture is breaking down around us, we need only look at the push to secularize our Being.  Women are not doing this on their own.  So many men have given up on their role as laborer and maintainer of spiritual good works in the community.  When women become the laborer as well as the nurturer they tip the balance of spiritual strength in their favor and take the “moral” lead.  The classroom is then the nurturer, but without the spiritual “lingo”.  And meaning is a concept remaining out of a child’s grasp unless he or she is fortunate enough to have spiritual guidance at home.  I believe that modern feminism is simply the woman’s declaration to men and women of “Pay attention to your Being”.  This is also the call of the women’s marches and the “Me Too” movement.

How are you paying attention to your Being?  Read my past blogs about “Archetypes of the Human Spirit” for some possible insight.

The Shrew View: On Security

“…peace and prosperity can only happen from a place of security.” – The Shrew

Women anywhere should be able to come together joyfully to celebrate their collective wisdom and achievements.  I am, however, quite dismayed by the now annual women protest marches across the U.S. that promote a so-called resistance.  In our representative democracy we the people have a voice and a vote in our lawmaking process.  Transparency and inclusion during the process is what sets our nation apart from many other democracies.  It amazes me that our country is as big as it is and, in general, works cooperatively to achieve progress in everyday life.  So what are women resisting and why am I not at a city square marching amoung their ranks?

pexels-photo-819810.jpeg

 

It has been my experience that peace and prosperity can only happen from a place of security.  If the “resistance” is about protesting President Trump’s policies of increased boarder security and transparent participation in International affairs (as well as other things), then does this mean that women don’t want peace and prosperity?  I will admit, I honestly did not believe that Trump had the brains to implement what he has done so far, and still at times I believe his brains are lacking. But his results to me demonstrate a cryptic sensibility (this must be because he has no sense of the Washington political machine).  I contend that Hilary would have continued the same covert Obama tacticts of “say this, but do that” just as long as the “victim class” believes it will make us a better country.  But how?  This ambiguity of course is based on a moral relativism that only appeals to an emotional base.  Recall that Obama didn’t solve the illegal immigration issue while the Democrats had control.  Women should not give their power over to government elites AT ALL!!  Women as much as anyone must be smart enough to know that personal choices are protected in our nation; it’s the consequences of those personal choices that are at issue.  Ends do not justify the means in our country.  And “justice for all”, not “justice for some”, is in our pledge.   If we can argue the Constitutional protections clearly,  we have all we need to demonstrate progress for social change.

You won’t find me at a resistance rally…Instead you can find me working directly with my local community, actively engaged with citizens of varying beliefs and traditions, working cooperatively on local matters, and reaching out to my representatives.  It is hard work to dispel ignorance and create solutions.  It is not a one day soap box event!

Shrew U: Archetypes for Being

Archetypes of the Human Spirit

Part Seven

Humans have been literally torturing each other for centuries as they grope toward a chalice of fulfillment.”  The Shrew

How do we teach each other about each other?

Our individual experiences help to shape what we believe to be true about ourselves and about each other.  Consequently, an individual is easily given to influences.  Those persons, or “influencers”, around an individual can be mistaken as the mold for that individual, and when this happens the individual is no longer that unique creature of his or her life and liberty.  Therefore, we each bear the responsibility to seek a greater awareness of our unique purpose also known as our pursuit of happiness.

These are not new concepts.  Humans have been literally torturing each other for centuries as they grope toward a chalice of fulfillment.  In the United States we have the best chance of attaining individual freedom based on actual resources of shared opportunities.  I believe this is where we are today.  It is most interestingly evidenced by the women in our U.S. Culture, and the influence here is what I call the Female Principle (FP).  Those who embody the FP are know as a Shrew.

In my first blog post (The Shrew View, Nov. 3, 2017) I describe the Shrew as having these qualities:

  • Emotional maturity
  • Openness as a condition toward wholeness
  • Fortitude
  • Humility

My story, Archetypes of the Human Spirit, recounts the metaphysical steps toward individual happiness.  It is a forward driven motion of heroic proportion that when actualized on an individual level can reveal the promise of what our “Creator” intended for his or her human creature.  The following analysis provides a deeper understanding of this story for the purpose of finding the happiness we all desire…

Archetype #1; Light and Dark

“Your light of truth will evolve as you leave the storm of darkness”

I depicted this Archetype in two ways:

  1. A vast dark area with a bright spot in the shape of a triangle pointed downward.
  2. A combination of two fetuses with a separation between them.

The fetuses represent the individual in a conflict of duality and with a separation that acts as the “waste” depository for unnecessary emotional baggage.

  • What does conflict mean to you?
  • What is your unnecessary emotional baggage?

The triangle of light represents the exit from the womb of darkness and dependency.

  • Can you think of religions or myths that rely on these Archetypes?  There are many, and this is just the beginning (Genesis!).
  • Can we consider this a Female Principle?

Next, I will reveal the Archetype of the number 3…

The Shrew View: On Good Will

Blogging for Blogging’s Sake

Where have my last two weeks gone!!  I haven’t been blogging.  Instead, I’ve used a lot of energy and creativity to work with other volunteers in my circle of goodwill to bring what we hope to be messages of joy and harmony.

Goodwill is the one and only asset that competition cannot undersell or destroy. – Ludwig Borne

There are so many opportunities to give to others.  I may not have grand sums of money to impart, but I would like to think that my time and effort has just as much value.  Have you ever thought about the value of goodwill?  I’d like to pose a break down of what is typically needed when taking on a campaign of goodwill:

  • Identifying the need…
  • Rallying the team…
  • Generating the task outline…
  • Mobilizing the funds if needed…
  • Delegating the responsibilities…
  • Implementing the effort…
  • Measuring the outcome…
  • Assessing for any needed improvements…
  • Thanking everyone involved!

Cause + Inspiration + Innovation + Benefators + Effort = Goodwill = Value

People take these efforts on all of the time.  If there is  no political aspect or greed attached to the effort then the value is enhanced tremendously because pure  generosity is the goal.

My two weeks off from blogging were time well spent. Until next time, peace out 🙂