I have so much I want to say about Ford v Kavanaugh.
Mostly I want to offer my rear view mirror which is more accurate and valuable every day.
Women under a certain age are going to be terribly bruised to see the circular history of misogyny. (of course it will ignite an insight that we are not doing enough to stop it--lets get real--we are not)
I feel many who care deeply are going to jolted by the fact that many of the men who grilled Dr. Hill and defended long dong silver - are still the ones holding the hearing. In fact, they are even more powerful today. (Hester Prynne, pray for us.)
Secondly, many women who have chosen to keep their assaults private and buried will be encouraged to do so as the ugliness of male privilege spews contempt in all directions. Please let me offer just a small and tender suggestion, tell women. Write it down and share it with women.
I don't think the #metoo movement has done anything for men whatsoever. It has seriously impacted women. However, if you decide to talk of your assault, TELL WOMEN. The is exactly what you tell kids lost in the mall - TELL WOMEN.
Maddow, Chani Nicholas and a couple of others have spoken about the massive triggering we are all going through. I mean ALL. (Hannah Gadsby #notallmen) This is the moment, the week, the time to tell one another, reach out to those who seem to be falling and, most importantly, TRUST WOMEN.
I am asking, begging, cautioning you to vote for women, Surely it is obvious that if Congress was, by majority, women, this would not be happening.
I BELIEVE DR FORD. little bad brett, with his wife and daughters by his side, is going to use women and girls without a second thought. The men in power think nothing of doing that. This is their world. Don't let it be yours.
I know some people have been interested in my weight loss as its encouraging. I thought I might recap the whole story thus far.
When I first moved to Long Beach, I weighed 285 and wore a tight 3X, owned a few 4X. I have to admit, I resigned myself to it. I figured I would die at that weight. I do not say, die from that weight as my BP & cholesterol were fine. I was just deeply sedentary and content with that.
For some reason, emotional in nature, I just lost my appetite. It vanished. Neither of these circumstances bothered me and I have to tip my hat to Long Beach as the people here never made me feel bad (not like Newport Beach) for being so heavy.
August of 2017 I was required to see my prescribing doctor. I was shocked to see I weighed 250. It was entirely unexpected but the effect was gigantic as it shouted to me that I was not doomed to live at 285. Thus, I got curious to see what I could do.
I started walking. I walked to the park 5 blocks away, sat for a while and walked home. I did that for a few weeks. In half that time I did not need to sit to recover. St Matthew’s Catholic Church was 5 more blocks and hosts a diorama of Juan Diego, kneeling with his tilma in front of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I started to walk to Her. I sat and enjoyed Her company. Round trip is about .6 mile. All the while losing a few pounds when I had the courage to look. Honestly the weight loss was not my elixir, it was the mobility.
By Christmas I was about 225. I scoured my house of every bad cookie, cracker, ice cream, frozen pizza and ALL meat. GONE. Every piece of clothing that was a PLUS (1X, 2X, 3X, 4X) was donated. I saved a few favorites and took them in.
Weight loss had slowed down significantly but mobility exploded. I discovered the BLUFF. I put on my Beats and, for the first time, pushed myself to walk the length and back; 1.8 miles. I began writing the #bluffreport and thought this might be a forever thing.
The 2018 Women’s March was my first. Every other march I had gone to (100s) I would drive to the end and wait. But this year, I marched. Jumping ahead, I walked 6 miles on PRIDE Sunday. The terrible fear of not being able to keep up is over. The March for Our Lives and Dyke March were “a walk in the park.”
The weight goal was just to stand on the scale and see the first number on the left to be a ONE. It took many weeks but by April, that digital number was 199. And it just stood still all of April and May. That was fine. I got all new clothes (new to me). I bought some XL tees.
Today, it was 197. I looked and looked. I really thought 199 was my new home. I had hoped to lose 100 which would be 185 but let that float away. It hardly mattered anymore. To be honest, I like that I am still able to lose. Maybe I will see 185. BUT I will see you at the next march. I will be wearing a tee.
Maybe it would be better to call it Women’s Month. Maybe the word, “History” makes it sound like a snooze fest. The fact is, history is us. History is our provenance, both good and bad. And as we spend time on Ancestry dot com, freak out over the loss of family photos and take pride in our roots; we know history is our personal treasure chest.
Years ago, I made a commitment to raise women from invisibility. I had no idea how bad a situation was but soon found out. I began by always looking for the women. In every photo, in every museum, in every event, in every city, and in government. I discovered that if you look hard enough the answer was filled with information.
When I visited the Louvre, there were 3 paintings in exhibit by women. At the Musee D’Orsay there were none. At the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, they were able to run a data search, there were 423 works in all and 26 are by women. SIX PERCENT!
In politics, women have never risen above 20%. The U.N. publishes the list of 195 countries in the order of women in leadership. In the last two years, the US has fallen from #75 to #100. Mind you, that means 99 countries are ahead of the USA in women in leadership.
And how does Long Beach fit into this algorithm?
Let me offer a few observations:
I prefer to offer solutions rather than simply state a problem.
This year, I am presenting my one woman program, Tea With Alice and Me. March 30, 7:30 PM, at the Beverly O’Neill Theater. That evening, you will take a trip with me. We will follow the incendiary thread of TEA in the (r)evolution of the American Women’s Movement; 1774 – 2018. In fact, in the last section, there will be photos of some actions right here in Long Beach.
Primarily, this is about a woman most people have never heard of, Miss Alice Paul. Did you know that before March 3, 1913 - NO ONE had marched to the White House. Not a protest, not a demonstration, not a parade. Miss Paul was the first. She was the first to bring Nonviolent Direct Action to the United States. Long Beach activists can learn much from Miss Paul. She has been my inspiration, my North Star, my main muse. Audience members will see themselves; Pickets, Parades, Banners, - all begun by Miss Alice Paul.
So far, Long Beach has done just a sliver of a minimum for Women's History Month. I hope this performance is just the beginning. I hope that in learning about the VOTE, Equality, and nonviolent direct action, the city will find a rich camaraderie. Together we can celebrate Women’s History Month by making history and raising women out of invisibility. That would be a true revolution.
Beverly O’Neill Theater
March 30, 7:30 PM
Cash wine bar
Here is what did not happen last night. The Long Beach City Council did not present Juana Melara a proclamation congratulating her on being one of Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. You might wonder why, let me answer with her quote from the speaker’s podium:
That’s right. On September 19th, the council voted 5 – 4 against protecting the city’s hospitality workers, both on workload and assault protections. There were many reasons, not the least of which was, ….well… Grand Prix. I mean no one wants to see a sign in the hotel lobby that there is zero tolerance for sexual harassment and assault. It would be a total buzz kill.
When Agenda #20 came up for consideration and comment, several people from Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, LAANE and BHC lined up to speak. As I told the council, item #20 would be a fine recommendation if this was 1999; a thought validated by the New York Times article this morning, (Sexual Harassment Training Doesn’t Work. But Some Things Do).
One of the council women proudly announced that the answer is training women to defend themselves and that many hotels offer the very course taught to the police. The assumption that a woman can even breathe through an assault in a closed hotel room while a man twice her size corners her or ties her up with the vacuum cord is outrageous. It is immoral.
The public commenters began, mostly women. The last woman talked about her deep emotional response to the fact that her personal assault testimony on September 19th had zero impact on the council. In this context both Councilwoman Pearce and Councilwoman Gonzalez said the same thing. As is mostly the case, two men spoke last. One was concerned that with all these, “new genders,” he hoped this was not just about women. The last speaker said he was particularly interested that we did not dismiss Police Chief Luna’s testimony that there have only been 1 or 2 reports of such workplace assaults in 5 years.
Councilwoman Price took the floor. She began discussing bullying. She accused the public speakers of bullying the council and that it is time for women to stand together.
To break this down a bit,
BULLYING occurs when a person ridicules another, which may or may not result in the bullied person being thrown in emotional or physical danger, certainly made afraid. Let me assure you, the commenters were not bullying the council.
Speaking for myself, I was doing precisely what my social justice mentors taught me. Alice Paul, Rosa Parks, Grace Lee Boggs, Ella Baker all taught us to EMBARRASS those in power by making the power differential clear. Nothing could be further from bullying. In fact, the bullying was in the opposite direction, as we were supposed to crawl away thinking that we better not offer proud and clear voices again.
Several of us begin speaking truth to power in the ‘60’s. I began with George Wallace and my most recent was Barack Obama. Frankly, the Vietnam war ended and DADT was reversed, the little pebble I offered in these massive mosaics validated my mentors’ methods.
Secondly, Councilwoman Price made a plea for unity among women. Don’t ask me to unify with those who are bullying me. I would ask you to unify with me in standing in front of a hotel with a picket sign in solidarity with the Housekeepers. Unity begins with supporting those who have the least power. You have the direction in reverse. Please bring your privilege and power to them, proclaim them the real heroines in the #metoo movement and join with Time Magazine in congratulating them on breaking the silence. Bring them their City Proclamation.
Finally, when the council chamber was almost empty, 15 or so people lined up with little pink signs to demand the recall of Councilwoman Pearce. 90% men listed their bullish reasons to demand this recall. No one is fooled by this. Silence. Grave, deafening silence. Where was the unity between women? Was there too much to risk? This was the time for women to unite.
I have not talked about it much. It is not something I felt like amplifying. It would not help me or anyone. So from November 8 through last week, my light was flickering. I suppose I don’t like talking about things which have no whisper of a solution.
February 1st, I dragged myself to hear Rev. Dr. Barber. I have written about him, watched him, love him; never heard him in person.
Occasionally, the spirit just takes over, makes the healthy decision which is a clear demonstration that it is still in there. It is still oiled and ready to go. It may be asleep but not dead. And so I got on the freeway and hoped.
Going in, I felt that there was nothing I could do about the changed direction of government, about the demolition of human rights, about the backlash. I felt that at age 68, the equality, the equity, the balance I had invested everything in was vanishing. It was an unmanageable loss. It was so much larger than the loss of Sec. Clinton. In fact it was a growing deadly virus that was unleashed and unpredictable.
You would think after all these years of meditation and study, that the fundamentals of Buddhist practice would have kept me afloat. It is exactly that seeming failure that made recovery feel impossible. I wanted to reassemble. I wanted to get new lamps, fill them with new oil and begin anew as it seemed the old had disappeared, fallen to the trash heap, never to recover and serve again.
And so it began. He brought his axe and pick. He dug in.
As I told the Long Beach City Council, ~
Last week I had the immeasurable good fortune to hear Rev Dr. William Barber speak.
He was here from North Carolina to receive an honorary doctorate from Occidental College.
He is one of the founders of Moral Mondays, The Forward Together Movement and Repairers of the Breach.
He lives and breathes on the acute intersection of social justice and examined Christianity.
He told us many things that night.
He even got me to sing and clap. He is irresistible.
First he captured my mind with his deep understanding of how this moment in history predictably unfurled.
Then he nourished my soul with a call to care for the poor, disenfranchised and marginalized.
But most importantly, he lifted me from a spiritual dark despair by explaining that ~
This is not democrats vs GOP
This is not rich vs poor
This is not thugs vs righteous people
This is a crisis
This is a moral crisis
This is a moral crisis that has been born over centuries and lives in systemic racism, classism and sexism.
Today we are called to mind the light.
Today we are called to be the light.
This is the ultimate call to be a moral society, a moral people, beginning by being a moral person.
This is the moment when we demand morality from ourselves and let that morality pour forward as a beacon to light the way for others to find safety with us.
Being a sanctuary city is the very least we can do.
To be a Sanctuary City does not just mean protection of those at risk.
To be a Sanctuary City is not just a public statement that we can proudly bear.
To offer sanctuary to all who love freedom and liberty,
Opens our hearts,
Restores our souls,
It lifts our intentions and prayers above the law
And begins to repair our broken spirit.
Let us be a sanctuary city.
Let us be a sanctuary to one another.
Let us be a sanctuary to ourselves.
To start, I am a sanctuary person, you are safe with me.
It was more than the loss of a woman at the helm. It is a loss to the entire planet as one more woman in leadership advances the greater chance of Mother Earth's well-being. It was the global demonstration that the United States has lost its moral compass; replaced with celebrity and gold. I wonder if the inventory of losses will ever end, not in my lifetime. Each hour I think of yet another loss and begin the grief all over again.
The fact that it was Hillary Clinton, a woman I have loved since 1969 is a grief from a whole other range of sisterhood, persistence, resilience. The fact that the winner is a vacant, immoral, narcissist is so incidental compared to daily cries of injustice with no redress that we will suffer together for the rest of my life, maybe yours. Such tragedy, such misery, such loss of compassion is unbearable if seen at once so we shall see it revealed with each deportation, each bullet fired, each fall into homelessness, each incarceration.
As St. Luke asks, what then must we do?
18 hours later and, with the rising sun, the fog on the windows of the mind is clearing. I always knew Donald was like that. It always showed. Move along, there is nothing new here.
Conscious women, can I say feminist women, saw it when he divorced Ivana or Marla or dismissed Melania or man-handled Ivanka. We saw it on the Apprentice. We saw it with his sons and the slaughter of big game in Africa. We saw it with his disregard for Trump workers. With his succession of bankruptcies. With his opulence. With his hair, tan and oddly long ties. With behavior that would send a second grader to the principal’s office and a sophomore to detention. We have always seen it.
I think the pain of this explosive revelation that Farenthold facilitated and Access Hollywood with Billy Bush withheld, lies in the slow boil of it all. How did everyone NOT see it from the start? That is the immorality of it all. What has happened to the quieting of the American Conscience?
What has happened in the pulpit where cash is grabbed and, in some cases, little boys and girls. What has happened in textbooks in the tacit removal of the mistreatment of the indigenous people, African people, Chinese people, women in total – too many to list. And we celebrate these atrocities naming them Columbus day or Thanksgiving day. And, of course, Women’s Equality day which is a titular lie.
We have sent the Elders into substandard silos of dismissal. We have used white-out on our Story-Tellers. We have hidden the suffering and poor who remind us of the calling to generosity and lie in stark contrast under blue tarps with their only loved one, their dog. We arrest indiscriminately and it appears that the overcrowding of prisons is being solved with outright assassinations on the street. We medicate people into dysfunction. We surround cemeteries with fences to promote the worst illusion of all, immortality.
And now we will simplify this boiling pot. We will tar and feather. We will drag through the street. We will make ourselves righteous by vilifying in short and long term public shaming. When after all it was you and me.
Please allow me to introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
I've been around for a long, long year
Stole many a man's soul to waste.
Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
I shouted out,
Who killed the Kennedys?
When after all
It was you and me
Let me please introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
And I laid traps for troubadours
Who get killed before they reached Bombay
Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name
Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name
But what's confusing you
Is just the nature of my game
Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints
As heads is tails
Just call me Lucifer
'Cause I'm in need of some restraint
So if you meet me
Have some courtesy
Have some sympathy, and some taste
Use all your well-learned politesse
Or I'll lay your soul to waste,
Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name
It isn’t that I believe in the devil.
I believe in Art.
Thank you Keith and Mick
Over the last year I have been to nine meetings about wages and did not speak. I finally found my voice at the Temple Israel meeting because this is not an economic crisis, this is not a social crisis, this is a spiritual crisis.
If we rise above our chairs, we can see there are 3 types of speakers lining up before you; professionals, the poor and the not-poor.
The professionals give statistics, identify findings and educate. They tell us about other cities and the effects of $15 on a worker’s life and an owner’s business.
The poor ask for relief. Not for Cost-of-Living which would be much higher, just a promise of relief in small increments.
The not-poor ask to steady payroll so profits can remain, so business can grow, so customers won’t go to nearby cities where un-livable wages remain.
The one group that is never discussed is the half circle I see before me.
The half circle of you; the gate way. The elected voters.
You are the ones who receive the pleas and weigh the stories
You are the ones who measure the possible outcomes
You think it is political and social.
But I would like to rise and point out, it is spiritual.
It is your ethical thread, your risk, your compass – collective and individual.
As a serious seeker, a social ethicist, an initiated Buddhist monk, let me offer you an insight;
You earned votes and sit in a half circle,
You are a gateway of deciders
and the fact is -
you are called to this holy position, this sacred trust.
I believe you know what to do.
I trust you.
I moved to Orange County in 1976.
I built a little bookstore in Cannery Village.
It was the time of John Briggs and Prop 6 (the state proposition to not allow gays to teach)
It was the time of the shooting of Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone
At that time there were very few places where gay people knew they were safe.
Gay bookstores, Gay Bars and Gay only AA meetings.
These were the places to share lives, to speak openly, party privately.
You knew you would not be bullied.
You knew you would not be at risk.
They often had unmarked doors to keep their location secret.
In 1983-4 I was the Director of the Orange County Free Clinic which was here in Anaheim.
We served gay people without question.
In the 70s a young soldier from Kansas, while stationed in San Francisco, became friends with Harvey Milk. He learned to sew and worked at the Paramount Flag Co. Harvey asked him to design a flag for Gay Pride. It is suspected that flag maker, Gilbert Baker drew on the Wizard of Oz, Over the Rainbow as Judy Garland had just died. Gilbert designed the striped flag we know today.
What happens to me when I see a rainbow flag?
My shoulders relax, I can breathe better, I see that there are compassionate people who are waving a message of unity and love.
I have one flying on my house.
When I see the rainbow flag in a civic setting, I know that the city leadership recognizes that this segment of society is at a particular risk and deserves a special symbol of welcome and celebration.
On Sunday June 12,
49 of my children were murdered
They were your children
They were children of God
They were murdered because of who they loved.
They were dancing, I would guess a lot better then you or me.
But more importantly, they were in a safe space where they shake their tail feather, shimmy like their sister Kate, salsa like Ricky Martin, and just be themselves.
Raising the rainbow flag means you see them.
You have empathy. AND you have PRIDE.
Maybe you don’t know but we have ways of signaling safety.
When I see a civic space with Rainbow flags, I know that city values my safety.
I welcome you to feel this PRIDE with me.
Fly the Rainbow Flag
49 Angels will be proud.
2016 Democratic Party Platform Hearing
It is unimaginable that I have been writing to the US Congress about the Equal Rights Amendment for 36 years. It is really nothing compared to the primary author, Alice Paul, who lobbied to her dying day at age 92. She lobbied for the ERA for 54 years. And, now, we are on a new precipice of electing a President who is not going to be included in the US Constitution which means she is not required to serve jury duty, pay taxes or allowed to run for president. Obviously, she had better address this astounding discrepancy January 22, 2017.
As you can see from the extended footnote below1 I am well aware that my party, the Democratic Party, has been including a call for both the ERA & CEDAW for many years.
The point is not to INCLUDE it. The point is to ENACT it.
Now that it is well documented that 94% of Americans believe women should be included in the US Constitution, the questions are
Obviously this entire plan rests on these two cornerstones:
As Mrs Burn told her son Harry, August 18, 1920
Hurrah and vote for suffrage! Don't keep them in doubt! I notice some of the speeches against. They were bitter. I have been watching to see how you stood, but have not noticed anything yet. Don't forget to be a good boy and help Mrs Cattt put the "rat" in ratification.
In your Service,
Founder ERA Once and For All
June 17, 2016
Moving America Forward
Protecting Rights and Freedoms
Civil Rights. We believe in an America where everybody gets a fair shot and everybody plays by the same set of rules. At the core of the Democratic Party is the principle that no one should face discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, language, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability status. Democrats support our civil rights statutes and we have stepped up enforcement of laws that prohibit discrimination in the workplace and other settings. We are committed to protecting all communities from violence. We are committed to ending racial, ethnic, and religious profiling and requiring federal, state, and local enforcement agencies to take steps to eliminate the practice, and we continue to support enforcement of Title VI. We are committed to equal opportunity for all Americans and to making sure that every American is treated equally under the law.
"Because of ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' each time I went off to war, no one was at the armory to say goodbye. No one was waiting at the airport when I returned. My partner, George Di Salvo, and I started a family five years ago by adopting two wonderful boys. But I kept their existence secret, because that's what the law required. Not anymore, however. Thanks to the unyielding efforts of President Obama, I can serve my country openly and proudly with my family by my side."—Dr. Vito Imbasciani, Colonel, California National Guard, Medical Service Corps
We are committed to ensuring full equality for women: we reaffirm our support for the Equal Rights Amendment, recommit to enforcing Title IX, support the Paycheck Fairness Act, and will urge ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. We know that putting America back to work is Job One, and we are committed to ensuring that Americans do not face employment discrimination. We support the Employment Non- Discrimination Act because people should not be fired based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
President Obama and the Democratic Party are committed to ensuring all Americans are treated fairly. This administration hosted the first-ever White House Conference on Bullying Prevention and we must continue our work to prevent vicious bullying of young people and support LGBT youth. The President's record, from ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in full cooperation with our military leadership, to passing the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, to ensuring same-sex couples can visit each other in the hospital, reflects Democrats' belief that all Americans deserve the same chance to pursue happiness, earn a living, be safe in their communities, serve their country, and take care of the ones they love. The Administration has said that the word ‘family' in immigration includes LGBT relationships in order to protect bi-national families threatened with deportation.
Women. President Obama—the son of a single mother and the father of two daughters—understands that women aren't a special interest group. They are more than half of this country, and issues that affect women also affect families. That is why the first bill he signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which helps women fight back when they are paid less than men, and why we continue to fight to overcome Republican opposition and pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to help stop gender discrimination in pay before it starts. And that is why the Justice Department and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, led by President Obama's appointees, have investigated and prosecuted numerous violations of the nation's civil rights laws, and obtained more than $140 million in relief for victims of gender discrimination. We Democrats will continue to support efforts to ensure that workers can combat gender discrimination in the workplace and to protect women against pregnancy discrimination. And that's why we support passing the Healthy Families Act, broadening the Family and Medical Leave Act, and partnering with states to move toward paid leave.
We understand that economic issues are women's issues, and the challenges of supporting and raising a family are often primarily a woman's responsibility. That's why putting Americans back to work is Job One. That's why the Affordable Care Act especially helps women by guaranteeing they and their families won't become uninsured when they lose their jobs. That's why this administration strengthened Medicare and Medicaid for millions of women and families. And that's why the Affordable Care Act is ending health insurance discrimination against women, and provides women with free access to preventive care, including prenatal screenings, mammograms, cervical cancer screening, breast-feeding supports, and contraception.
"I know firsthand the injustice of gender discrimination in pay: for years I was paid less than my male colleagues, and it took an anonymous note from a colleague to tip me off to the fact that I was being denied equal pay for equal work. I also know firsthand that President Obama takes these issues seriously: the first bill that he signed into law was focused on making sure that other women don't face the same injustice. While the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act won't change my story, I couldn't be prouder of the legislation that bears my name, and I know who is standing up for women and families."—Lilly Ledbetter
We understand that women's rights are civil rights. That's why we reaffirm our support for the ERA, recommit to enforcing Title IX, and will urge ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. That's why we are committed to ending violence against women, why Vice President Joe Biden originally wrote and championed the Violence Against Women Act during his time in the Senate, and why we support reauthorizing and strengthening it now.
The President and the Democratic Party believe that women have a right to control their reproductive choices. Democrats support access to affordable family planning services, and President Obama and Democrats will continue to stand up to Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood health centers. The Affordable Care Act ensures that women have access to contraception in their health insurance plans, and the President has respected the principle of religious liberty. Democrats support evidence-based and age-appropriate sex education.
Dear Veteran Feminists,
It has been four days since the terrorist attack on the LGBTQ Community in Orlando, Florida. I cannot let another day go by without a formal acknowledgment of the immeasurable contribution to the American Women’s Movement that has been made and continues to be made by women who identify as Gay, Lesbian and Trans*.
As any of us can share, The Pulse was not a “dance” club. It was a SAFE ZONE where marginalized people could enter, be themselves and breathe free from the discrimination and danger of the majority society. 49 people have been identified and loved ones notified that they are gone forever. But the unimaginable tragedy is that LGBTQ who grew up with hope and the great advances of equality in marriage and the military now are deadly aware of what palpable hate looks like. Their safe-havens are impugned.
They may have heard the stories of Harvey Milk, Stonewall and great marches for liberation but they were safely tucked away in black and white photos. They certainly understand bullying and, also, in a whole new way - digital bullying. They know individual murder (14 trans people this year so far). They know HIV testing. They know what “pray away the gay” means. They absolutely know what loss due to suicide feels like.
What only we know is how lesbians have done so much of the heavy lifting in the American Women’s Movement. We know the true meaning of The Lavender Menace. We know that we met in bars and in AA meetings and in our homes. We know that Harvey always publicly spoke with his lesbian friend, Sally Miller Gearhart and offered his camera store to Martin & Lyon in the forming of The Daughters of Bilitis. We know our closets, longing for marriage, desire to be able to adopt. We know.
So I cannot let another day go by without noticing, thanking, loving the Gay, Lesbian, Trans* Veteran Feminists. A few in particular who have deeply driven my heart forward; Barbara Love, Kate Millett, Martha Wheelock.
Peace, Safety and Gratitude,
My interest in First Wave Feminism (as it is inaptly defined) crept up on me. It began in 1982 with my militant activism inspired by Alice Paul. I got entirely immersed beyond anything I imagined while preparing to speak at the 2013 Centennial celebration at Purdue.
As with most deep study, the more you delve, the greater the love of the subject. I have been called an independent scholar, a dramaturg of sorts, an expert on the last 10 years leading to the 19th Amendment and the life of Alice Paul in total (she lived to 92). https://missalicepaul.com
Today my latest work went live with the launch of https://inezmilholland.org/ The film, Inez Milholland ~ Forward into Light, which I helped research, will be available FOR FREE, next week. You can order it today.
Both of these websites offer unparalleled bibliographies. We hope that students, feminists, readers will find them robust resources on Alice, Inez and Suffrage.
If you are looking for elegant website development or suffrage research, give me a call.
This is my diary entry from Friday, May 14, 1982. It is the opening chapter of my book, The Hungry Heart, which is the actual diary of my 40 days in Springfield, Illinois. Phyllis and Ellie, NOW v Eagles; Equality was on the line and still is. Many of us who are working on the election of the first woman president are hoping that it will renew a bright light on Constitutional equality. I mean after all, the president should be included in the US Constitution.
La igualdad de los derechos bajo ley no sera negada ni sera abreviada por los Estados Unidos o por cualquier estado a causa de sexo.
Equality of Rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
MAY 14, 1982
This is something I want so much, I am willing to die for it. The fact that I want it for all women for all time makes it profound and suffocating. I feel like I am being crushed inside a storm of feelings, fears and certainty. I need some relief. I know this is the right thing to do. Food, cigarettes, privacy, pets, home and family -- take it. I want this more.
All I did was answer the phone. It sounded like every other ring that had called me to the phone. It rang in early May. It was Sonia Johnson calling. We had met in the Fall when she came to my bookstore to sign her book, “From Housewife to Heretic.” We talked of the deadline for the Equal Rights Amendment, July 1, and promised one another that no matter what we did we would do it together. "We are going to fast for the ERA," Sonia calmly explained to me. "We are going to go to Illinois, sit in the Springfield rotunda, live on water only and win the ERA."
I met Dina at the Long Beach airport at 8 A.M. I think we are doing awfully well considering we both stopped smoking just four days ago. Maybe in the face of not eating, not smoking seems negligible. At least it seems to be just another task on my ToDo list. With an extra hour before the flight, we had breakfast. It was the first in the continuing series of meals we ate today. Eggs, Pancakes, Toast, O.J., Coffee. We ate as if there is no tomorrow.
The flight to Chicago was uneventful but we missed the connecting flight to Springfield. It took three attempts at stand-by to actually make it. The good news is that we were able to eat another meal; packing it away like chipmunks in Fall.
A thoughtful woman named Marion picked us up. She is studying to be a Methodist minister. She made the mistake of asking us if there was anything we wanted to do before we went to the meeting place. Fried Shrimp, Baked potatoes, Blue cheese salad, Pie, Coffee.
The mystery of where we are going to stay is solved. We have permission to stay at Kumler Methodist Church for two weeks. We are going to sleep on the floor of the Sunday School classrooms. The desks and chairs are itsy bitsy. The bathroom is down right comical as the sinks and toilets are all scaled down. The really bad news is that there are no showers. I am really taken back about no showers. It is muggy May in Southern Illinois.
The classrooms are stifling. I guess they only open the windows on Sunday mornings. The walls are covered with posters of Jesus. This is not the Jesus I love. This one is fair skinned, sandy hair, manicured hands, sweet little smile. The pictures show him surrounded with pastel covered, adoring fans. This is not the dissident, powerful, charismatic carpenter I would like to know.
Dina and I are the first to arrive. The other women are due in an hour or so. They are driving from D.C. and Virginia, where they have been stumping on the ERA trail. This is giving me too much time to sit and stew and get really scared. I can hear Dina in the next room; she must be recording her journal. I am stuffed but wonder what will happen if I don’t have food for forty-four days. Maybe it won’t take forty-four days. I’m hungry.
What if no one cares? What if there is no press coverage? If I was the opposition I would deflate this by ignoring it, trivializing it or even mocking it. But I have to remember that there is a magnificent precedent for fasting. Most of my favorite people have fasted. My heart says I have no choice.
I hear the others have arrived. Maybe they have some food.
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