Thoughts and Musings on "Black Feminism in Everyday Life" by Siobhan Brooks

I just finished really a long essay titled “Black Feminism in Everyday Life: Race, Mental Illness, Poverty and Motherhood and was written by Siobhan Brooks. This is one of the most powerful and painful readings that I have ever picked up. Schizophrenia is a very touchy topic for me on a few different levels. To read the original essay that I am reacting too, here is a link. This post is a bit convoluted and a bit personal to boot, but I certainly found lots to think about and comment on... :)

"They didn't deal with the issues of poverty and lack of education, the realities of infanticide and racism or making abortion accessible for all women"

"I think... rarely considered issues of class regarding motherhood"

I grew up very sheltered from feminists issues. In fact, a general authority of my church named "feminists" as one of the three most dangerous enemies to the church. The idea of individuals calling themselves feminists and being activists was (and still is a little) frightening to me. Contention and anger scare me a lot and activism and feminism come with both- mostly appropriately contentious, etc... as change doesn't come with silence demurring - it comes with struggle, with raised voices, and activity. It has taken over two decades for me to not only embrace many of the ideals that feminism embodies, but to feel comfortable calling myself a feminist and trying to learn to be comfortable with activism. I grew up relatively lower middle class I think and didn't really understand the idea of racism at all- to some extent I still do not ever though I do recognize some racism in myself and those around me. I understood that poverty was caused either by yourself or that God was testing you with it... but most likely a bit of both. I have heard that the US has a very high rate of infant mortality and I have never really understood that in the guise that I also here we have the best health system in the world. I also recognize that the women's movement has managed to make abortion legal, however, the reality is that abortion is for the most part only available to a small percentage of women especially as laws are passed creating more and more hurdles to obtaining it. When I read these lines I thought about how race and poverty/ class really do intersect a lot in our societies and for individuals without health insurance, so too do the problems of infanticide, fewer educational opportunities, and fewer successful ways to raise productive, happy, successful children. When I was getting divorced I discovered that women who divorce are more likely to become impoverished and adding children to the mix only increased the chances. I do struggle a lot with finances and paying the bills even though I work like mad and long enough hours that some days I come home and I am just too tired to even make anything for my dinner.

In many ways, I do not think that the feminist movement has ever fully dealt with the "realities of infanticides and racism or making abortion available for all women." I say this for many reasons. One reason is that no matter where you live in this country (and in many places in the world), abortions are simply not feasible or available to those who need them. While abortions are technically legal in this country, so many 'minor' restrictions and so much societal/ political pressure. In so many ways, It appears to me that to be able to be an activist, you must have steady financial support and stability in your life to return to... and so it makes an unfortunately amount of sense that feminism as a movement can literally not see important and needful distinctions in their work because these individuals for the most part have not lived or witnessed these particular struggles. For someone who is always able to afford and get healthcare whenever they need it, it is really hard to imagine the woman sitting crying on the couch after a fall praying that her leg isn't broken and after an hour of intense pain, begging a regular doctor's office to get her in to avoid the costly emergency room... and to go back to work two days later against doctor's advice because the financial needs are even greater now with the injury. For a stay at home mother with a well to do and fairly stable home and relationship, it is challenging to even comprehend how someone can give birth and be back behind a cash register or teaching a class two days later due to financial motivations. It is so easy to not see or even understand that these situations not only exist, but are way too common for comfort and even one significant change in their life can bring them to the same point of struggle. I watch many people who need feminism fight it because they can not see how it is helping them... and for the most part they are absolutely right- having the right to get an abortion but the inability or lack or resources to make it possible feels much the same as no right at all.  Having the right to legally take a few weeks off after child birth but not the resources or support to do so again doesn't feel much different to the woman who has the right and struggles back to work so that she can feed herself and her child. I have sometimes wondered in the feminist movement and motherhood have rarely noticed each other at all. After a child is born, the mother will work and struggle through the best she can with whatever resources she has and its seems to me (might not be true, just my thoughts from the readings and my own experience) and the woman is a mother, there is so little to help her at all. Many of the same people that I know who are against abortion only want to adopt white wee babies, not children with pasts or children with phenotypes different from their own. There are lots of organizations to help you adopt out your baby, but not to help set you up in such a way to learn, understand and really take care of it- in this sense the child becomes a commodity which doesn't feel comfortable to me either. The government has programs that can help and do help, but depending on your circumstances is isn't hard for me to see how people and children fit through the cracks all the time and very little in resources or even thought seems to be brought to the table by either feminist groups or those who are "anti abortion / pro life." And now I am one of those people.... where I think about it and want to change it and feel strong emotions about all of this and yet... I do not see any way to change it very much at all and so after a few weeks, these thought might too simply drift off into my memories as the weight of daily living, work and needs overwhelm and slowly push them to the deep of the subconscious mind. (In a separate reading titled Alaza', "My oldest sister .... she's married and lives with her husband, she doesn't have any babies (so you know she's going somewhere!" Strong words indeed.)

"They never said I was being abused and never made me feel as if there was something obviously wrong with the way we lived."

"In fact, I never saw my mother as having a mental illness at all because she was functional"

"I feared that my survival would be at risk if I were ever taken away from her."

Ouch. This hit hard. My mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia when I was twelve (this was in the 1980's where so many mental health disorders including bi-polar and autism were called schizophrenia- with age, time and more knowledge I suspect that my mother is actually bi polar or had borderline personality disorder, but that is only a guess on my part. For six months, she used medication and I remember that six months as a fairly quiet and peaceful time. As one of five children, things were never truly quiet but even my mother seemed calm and didn't seem so manic and ragged and ready to fight. Then, she decided that the doctor was wrong, threw away the meds and has studiously avoided doctors, counselors, anyone who could potentially be a threat to her since then. The fear of people understanding what happened at home and then rejecting me for it was very real and it was only during my teenage years that the war of openness and hiding all broke into my conscious life. When I couldn't take it any more, I would try to run away and being a relatively unintelligent person, I ran to the homes of church members who would tell me to stop being rebellious, to honor my mother and father and would then return me home where I would be seriously punished. Nothing I ever told anyone that was happening in my home was every really believed until after my sister and I were old enough to leave without legal recourse. This quote makes me smile and cry for the child that this young woman once was- not having the best help at home but also some support and love to help her continue on. I want more for her and I feel I think some of the pain that she might have felt and confusion from the different examples of families in society around her. Did her mother love her? Yes it sure seems so. So together they both fought or dealt with her mental demons. I have not chosen to do that as I do not feel like I can... so I recognize that my mother does love me and did the very best job she knew how, but I avoid all contact to protect myself from the violent anger and words that are hurled through the air when she is crossed... and it is so hard to know what will make her feel crossed. Many of my siblings have moved far enough away that visits with her require preparation and one sibling has moved his family and not passed out the address. Its a bit of a cluster mess really.... Sometimes I think that the feminist movement has done so much good with focusing on domestic abuse, etc... but these movements tend to focus on the men as perpetrators and women as victims - while stereotypically and usually true, it leaves the victims of women doubly silenced. Also, mental health is something that both feminism and society tend to shy away from. Its difficult, messy and very individual and unique... it is also quietly feared. I am grateful to have read this story, to learn that she had no idea that medication even existed and to recognize that this happens to many people. I am sad that it does, but listening to other people who have successfully and even compassionately survived these situations is a beautiful and precious thing. (In a separate reading titled 'Jaminica', she suggests the same idea that gripped my heart- "...I immediately felt like if she could go through that sort of thing and come out on top, then I could too."

"I began to understand why most women of color were in ethnic studies, not women's studies"

"These women just assumed everyone was coming from a similar environment as theirs."

I had never really heard of the idea of ethnic studies until the last year or so and what little I heard about it suggested to me that the class was a mix of feminism and cultural studies. So I thought it sounded really interesting but not necessarily a novel idea. This reading suggested its real appeal and how it is so vital to women of color who, even in classes that would seem welcoming to them and safe, are actually not able to feel the same safety and benefits that white women are. That was an eye opening idea to me... and suggests my own skin color as a result. (In a separate reading titled "Myesha", she states - "I'm not sure how much of the way they act is about me being black, but I think it could be more about my being black than I actually know or understand. I don't even know if they understand how racist they can act." I suspect that at least for me, I would have no idea how racist I was being... for if I did I like to think I would fight to change it after getting over being appalled and ashamed at myself. Sometimes the idea of privilege is wonderful and comforting life a security blanket, but it is also like a blindfold in which I do not even recognize what I cannot see. The blanket that I carry for warmth and protection that also leaves me unable to truly understand the environment around me for others... and in essence, myself.


photos: http://temple-news.com/lifestyle/people-you-should-know-siobhan-brooks-king/


"The Poverty of Philosophy" by Immortal Technique : Lyrics and Critique

Today's song is titled "The Poverty of Philosophy" and was produced and released by Felipe Andres Coronel better known by his stage name Immortal Technique. This song is off the album titled "Revolutionary #1". These activist lyrics are challenging for some as they deal with poverty and race in America. I have a link to the song/video here and the lyrics are below.

The Poverty of Philosophy

Most of my Latino and black people who are struggling to get food, clothes and shelter in the hood are so concerned with that, that philosophising about freedom and socialist democracy is usually unfortunately beyond their rationale. They don't realize that America can't exist without separating them from their identity, because if we had some sense of who we really are, there's no way in hell we'd allow this country to push it's genocidal consensus on our homelands. This ignorance exists, but it can be destroyed.

Nigga talk about change and working within the system to achieve that. The problem with always being a conformist is that when you try to change the system from within, it's not you who changes the system; it's the system that will eventually change you. There is usually nothing wrong with compromise in a situation, but compromising yourself in a situation is another story completely, and I have seen this happen long enough in the few years that I've been alive to know that it's a serious problem. Latino America is a huge colony of countries whose presidents are cowards in the face of economic imperialism. You see, third world countries are rich places, abundant in resources, and many of these countries have the capacity to feed their starving people and the children we always see digging for food in trash on commercials. But plutocracies, in other words a government run by the rich such as this one and traditionally oppressive European states, force the third world into buying overpriced, unnecessary goods while exporting huge portions of their natural resources.

I'm quite sure that people will look upon my attitude and sentiments and look for hypocrisy and hatred in my words. My revolution is born out of love for my people, not hatred for others.

You see, most of Latinos are here because of the great inflation that was caused by American companies in Latin America. Aside from that, many are seeking a life away from the puppet democracies that were funded by the United States; places like El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru, Columbia, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Republica Dominicana, and not just Spanish-speaking countries either, but Haiti and Jamaica as well.

As different as we have been taught to look at each other by colonial society, we are in the same struggle and until we realize that, we'll be fighting for scraps from the table of a system that has kept us subservient instead of being self-determined. And that's why we have no control over when the embargo will stop in Cuba, or when the bombs will stop dropping in Vieques.

But you see, here in America the attitude that is fed to us is that outside of America there live lesser people. "Fuck them, let them fend for themselves." No, Fuck you, they are you. No matter how much you want to dye your hair blonde and put fake eyes in, or follow an anorexic standard of beauty, or no matter how many diamonds you buy from people who exploit your own brutally to get them, no matter what kind of car you drive or what kind of fancy clothes you put on, you will never be them. They're always gonna look at you as nothing but a little monkey. I'd rather be proud of what I am, rather than desperately trying to be something I'm really not, just to fit in. And whether we want to accept it or not, that's what this culture or lack of culture is feeding us.

I want a better life for my family and for my children, but it doesn't have to be at the expense of millions of lives in my homeland. We're given the idea that if we didn't have these people to exploit then America wouldn't be rich enough to let us have these little petty material things in our lives and basic standards of living. No, that's wrong. It's the business giants and the government officials who make all the real money. We have whatever they kick down to us. My enemy is not the average white man, it's not the kid down the block or the kids I see on the street; my enemy is the white man I don't see: the people in the white house, the corporate monopoly owners, fake liberal politicians those are my enemies. The generals of the armies that are mostly conservatives those are the real Mother-Fuckers that I need to bring it to, not the poor, broke country-ass soldier that's too stupid to know shit about the way things are set up.

In fact, I have more in common with most working and middle-class white people than I do with most rich black and Latino people. As much as racism bleeds America, we need to understand that classism is the real issue. Many of us are in the same boat and it's sinking, while these bougie Mother-Fuckers ride on a luxury liner, and as long as we keep fighting over kicking people out of the little boat we're all in, we're gonna miss an opportunity to gain a better standard of living as a whole.
In other words, I don't want to escape the plantation I want to come back, free all my people, hang the Mother-Fucker that kept me there and burn the house to the god damn ground. I want to take over the encomienda and give it back to the people who work the land.

You cannot change the past but you can make the future, and anyone who tells you different is a Fucking lethargic devil. I don't look at a few token Latinos and black people in the public eye as some type of achievement for my people as a whole. Most of those successful individuals are sell-outs and house Negros.
But, I don't consider brothers a sell-out if they move out of the ghetto. Poverty has nothing to do with our people. It's not in our culture to be poor. That's only been the last 500 years of our history; look at the last 2000 years of our existence and what we brought to the world in terms of science, mathematics, agriculture and forms of government. You know the idea of a confederation of provinces where one federal government controls the states? The Europeans who came to this country stole that idea from the Iroquois lead. The idea of impeaching a ruler comes from an Aztec tradition. That's why Montezuma was stoned to death by his own people 'cause he represented the agenda of white Spaniards once he was captured, not the Aztec people who would become Mexicans.

So in conclusion, I'm not gonna vote for anybody just 'cause they black or Latino they have to truly represent the community and represent what's good for all of us proletariat.

Porque sino entonces te mando por el carajo cabron gusano hijo de puta, seramos libre pronto, viva la revolucion, VIVA LA REVOLUCION!


This song really tells a story... a visual song that covers many years of history and culture. The words of this song focus mainely on economic imperialism. I will admit that I do not really understand the term very well and will need to do some research to break it down. But what stands out to me from this song was the lines - "outside of America there live lesser people, "f*** them let them fend for themselves, f*** you they are you!" We human beings are entirely dependent on each other and what happens to each other whether we want to see it that way or not. All the resources we use in America that are the majority of the world's resources effect the individuals in other countries that may never see us or walk on our soil. They will fend for themselves as we also struggle to fend for ourselves and we are all dependent on this planet and each other... no matter how many ways and parts of culture that we use to blind ourselves to those facts. If you find yourself saying that it doesn't matter because it doesn't affect you.... I think that should be a wake up call to remind each of us that we need to change our thinking....



bell hooks: Links and Thoughts on "Cultural Criticism and Transformation"

I just spent some time watching some a discussion and critique by bell hooks on American media and society. I found it difficult to watch... didn't necessarily agree with everything, but here are some of my thoughts. The links for the full talk are here, here, and here.

My first thought was that this author is the first person I have heard in years who uses the word agency outside of my church /religious faith. Every Sabbath I attend church I will hear at least one mention of the word agency in discussions on choices, consequences, the Plan of Salvation, and even gossip of mild judgment directed towards another member.   So I have gotten very used to hearing that particular word in a very specific setting with very specific meanings.  When I try to have discussions with people about helping individuals with problems such as drug abuse, debt, or homelessness, the conversation is always quickly steered into finger pointing and firm testimonies that these 'people' have made bad choices, could have made different ones and should now 'reap what they have sown'. I have never felt like I have had the words and language to really explain how I feel differently - that I believe you can only make choices that you recognize as true choices and if you do not see the choice.... how can you choose it? (I have no idea if that last sentence made a lot of sense.)  bell hooks gave me the wording that I have been looking for in this quote:

"Entitlement... a sense of agency is profoundly different [and] open to embracing ... an imagination into the future." 

I have spent a bit of time pondering these thoughts and watched this particular section a few times to make sure I internalized it.  I look back at my life and see the choices that I made to focus on marriage and family and not become a marine biologist or veterinarian and I see how while I had choices... I really didn't see the choices that I had.  So at 41 years old I am attending college and I am thrilled to be doing so yet am pretty much behind the bell curve age wise.  It's great to be able to open up and see what other choices there are out there that really are choices that I can make.  It really is freeing and I do feel like I have more imagination for my future and what I can make of it.  :)

Another thing that stuck out to me through her discussion was that Darth Vader was given a 'black voice'. (I am not convinced this was a racist decision, but I digress...) I haven't seen any of the Stars Wars movies since I was a teenager, but I think I recall that when Darth Vader was unmasked at the end of one film by his son Luke Skywalker, he was pale, white... sort of bloated looking.  It's interesting that James Earl Jones did the voice (I think that was the voice I recognized from the clips, but when the character was unmasked he wasn't actually black at all.  Am I remembering that right?  Any fans out there?  As I was thinking about this I thought about J.K. Rowlings and the Harry Potter books and how in reading most books, the general rule of thumb is that the character is white until proven otherwise.  Some Harry Potter fan sites have drawings and portraits of some of the characters where Hermione is brown or black and other characters look differently that they are portrayed in the movies and possibly in our minds.  I wonder about how it feels to read books where most of the characters are not necessarily like you... I think I just discovered anew another form of white privilege... as almost all characters I read about are made in my image. To have the 'proactive sense' of agency that Ms. Hooks talks about seems to mean more than critical thinking in my mind... more than an understanding of responsibility...  it requires true focus and vigilance about all thoughts imagined, all behavior committed, recognizing where you receive favor and where others do not.  I cannot imagine a more difficult task and one that will certainly take a lifetime to even delve past the surface of for most of us.... especially me.

Intersectional analysis is such a valuable and important way to look at information because it gives the researcher or interested party a better understanding of the causes, needs, choices, and motives of those being studied.  While simple, looking at pieces of information in small bits doesn't really give us a true and clear image. A white male moves in his space and makes decisions based not only on color and privilege, but background, environment, family, education, needs and desires, etc...  A female will do the same...  We can not truly separate ourselves from the disparate parts of ourselves that, inadvertently or wonderfully, help us to determine our choices and our life paths.  No matter how much education I get, no matter how well liked I am, I will still find limits to what I can accomplish due to experience biases, gender, environment, etc...  A woman of my age with all similar information who happens to be black has even more limits to struggle against.  To truly understand and try and change a cultural and social problem, if must be truly examined.  For instance, the text mentions how people of different genders and races are more likely to be paid according to these factors and not necessarily on education, experience, etc...  So making a change to standard pay for specific jobs will not really solve the problem even if it appears to temporarily.  Only by understanding the other aspects behind unequal pay and working to change them as well gives us a real shot at true cultural change.  Understanding how historical patterns of oppression still live on in our culture today helps us to look at ourselves, our friends and our communities and that steps towards making our communities more equitable are possible for us.  If we cannot recognize how race, gender, sex, etc... create our relationships with ourselves, our families and our communities... we will find ourselves struggling to truly understand what hinders us.  Like the seven blind monks who are touching an elephant and believe that each have something different at hand than the others, the elephant can remain hidden... even when in plain sight.

photos from: http://www.nndb.com/people/593/000115248/, https://www.pinterest.com/lilyt888999/harry-%2B-ron-%2B-hermione/, http://www.jainworld.com/literature/story25.htm


"Ms. Amerikkka" by Aceyalone : Lyrics and Critique

Today's song is titled “Ms. Amerikkka” and was produced and released by Edwin M Hayes, Jr better known by his stage name Aceyalone. This song is off of his album titled “Love and Hate” and it is extremely hard to find and listen to without purchasing the song or album. Every link to it I can find on the internet with few exceptions has either been removed or banned... censorship much? ; ) The lyrics are challenging as they personify and critique the United States of America... and the critique is devastating. Here is the one link that I could find to share the song and the lyrics are below.

Ms. Amerikkka

all right
yo, this song came about one time when
I- I was- I was on a plane back, going back to Los Angeles
coming from somewhere else
and I sat next to this lady and she was telling me something
I don't remember it verbatim,
but I do remember some of the things she said
it was like this-

Life as we know it is about to change
I smell it within the air
the weather is getting strange
drugged up, sedated and
numb from the pain
the sickness in America has spread to her brain
she is no longer fit to make good decisions
she is completely blind and void of any vision
she parties hard and she keeps her conscious mind imprisoned
therefore she's headed for the ultimate collision
she can no longer hide the scars on her face
the innocence now gone is hard to replace
she has no shame, no remorse or any grace
she embraces the devil and she hates over race
Ms. America, the beautiful the free
fallen within the cracks, I wish that you could see
she buried her misery, within society
it's obvious, you have no regard for me

caught up in the belly of America
lost, in the stomach of America
broken down, in the bowels of America
sinking, in the garbage of America
stuffed, in the brain of America
suffering, in the body of America
lying, in the wicked spirit of America
dying, in the old soul of America

Ms. America, you've been a very bad girl
you nearly disgraced humanity in the eyes of the world
vanity has took you over, you're not deserving
the mirror image of your reflection is quite disturbing
she makes so many promises she couldn't keep
she neglected to mother her young, so they don't sleep
they scream out for justice, and then they weep
when out to blame Ms. America, that's what you reap
the audacity of your inventions to rule us all
the tragedy of your intentions to fool us all
you should have gave into nature and to the law
it's only a matter of time before you fall
the things you should of worked out in your first colony
victim of your own advice and your psychology
you've destroyed all morale and the ecology
I'm sorry, but I don't accept your apology


Homeless America, so much attraction
has yet to take ability for her actions
we work around within the system and make adaptations
you can let freedom ring, within your faction
how can people still be hungry, when there's a surplus?
suffering within your home, you've made them worthless
damn near police the state, you make us nervous
even though some conform and join your service
you're presidency's the biggest joke, but we're the laugh
always smell the gun smoke, on your behalf
I think I should send a telegraph to your staff
America you're down and dirty, you need a bath
so tell your secret agents, don't be paranoid
this wasn't taught by Socrates or Sigmund Freud
this is simply gods work, you can't avoid
ever nation ever built has been destroyed

caught up in the belly of America
lost, in the stomach of America
broken down, in the bowels of America
sinking, in the garbage of America
stuffed, in the brain of America
suffering, in the body of America
trying, in the good ol' spirit of America
dying, in the old soul of America

Are you still with me... or did I lose you? I suspect some of my readers will not make it this far. Here are my thoughts on this piece of rap and verbal art.....

One of my first thoughts was shock when I tried to watch the video on Youtube and other sites and got the rejection message "can't be viewed in this county." It is a bit of a strange irony that we (the USA) as a nation chastise and bully other nations into accepting free speech that is critical of the government/ ruling party, but maybe we too as a society (or just the powerful class) also silence are critics when they get too close to the mark.) As I read the lyrics and listened to the words, I could see the images of people in my communities and on television; the lines of families at my local food bank, the homeless shelters filled to capacity, the bitter cold keeping the couches of good friends full as well, the individuals who lack health insurance who struggle on without treatment, those whose mental health is tottering and broken who can not get help until they are incarcerated for long periods of time... and then are forgotten when they are released until they begin to struggle again and are forcibly returned... I saw so much and I felt sadness, hopelessness, exhaustion, and anger.

All of my life I have been told how great this country is. From lessons at church where teachers praise me and others for being the most valiant spirits in our pre-existence to be born at this time and in this country- the country that God the Father fore-ordained to be the place of true Christian gospel restoration. From my parents whose patriotism is strong - sometimes extreme- and would express how lucky I was at every opportunity to be an American. To teachers who taught me how some countries do not let girls go to school and might even be forcibly mutilated or murdered for doing things I took for granted like reading. I grew up believing I lived in the best country in the world and that God willed it to be so; in fact, God actively keeps America the top country in the world. It was only as a young adult that I started to see things and hear things that I struggled to reconcile with these past teachings. Experience has certainly changed and nuanced how I see the United States now - both in a larger sense and in the small communities I try to volunteer in. In these lyrics I heard some of the pain I have felt and witnessed from the humanity around me. The title itself tells two stories to me. It feels a bit arrogant for citizens of the Unites States to be called "Americans" while any other citizen of another country on both American continents are monikered differently. Someone from Canada or Mexico, Chili or Columbia is just as "American" as we are yet each of us if asked what are nationality was would state "American" like each of us is part of the cherry on the top of the sundae. I do it as well, but when I hear myself say it I find I feel a discord in my head and I have wondered if one of the reasons people in other countries stereotype us as arrogant, etc... is our attitude which is reflected in what we call ourselves and how we behave. The second lesson I see is that the title expresses some of the failings of how those in power and how our culture treat minorities. America is not a land for the faint hearted female, the financially poor, nor for individuals of color or disability because, whether by intention or design, society tends to isolate, restrict, stress and even cannibalize them. The title expresses to me the hidden and not so hidden racism in our society and in our hearts and the double edged view of how important women are, but only when they conform to specific gender and cultural roles. After all, the United States is usually portrayed by an old white elderly kind "Uncle Sam"... anyone else can be seen as falling short of this ideal.

The line that really stuck in my head out of the whole song was actually almost the whole third verse because as America is being described as female, she is being lectured on her lack of tradition femininity. For instance, the word disgraced isn't a word usually used for the male gender. She is described as vain, not deserving, a neglecting mother who lets her children cry and scream and weep... and does nothing so her compassion is lacking as well. She is blaming, audacious, and tragic... the destroyer and the victim. I really cannot think of any time I have ever seen or heard "Uncle Sam" described in this way and it feels like this song expresses the true fight of women in this country- our services and talents are accepted and incorporated by the men in our lives yet all failures are prescribed to the females involved while men can whip the flung mud off more quickly and easily. It almost feels like the author of the song who has clearly seen and felt the sting of racism doesn't recognize his own biases and discrimination towards women. I know this sounds a little angry and funnily enough I am not angry as I write this- just a little resigned.

What are your thoughts and feelings on this song?


"Love At Home"- A Song in Pictures :)

Today is sunny and, while not warm, it is so beautiful. The cats are looking longingly out the windows and sleeping in the beams of sun that are streaming through the windows. So for fun, and because so many of my posts have been so serious lately- analysis and school work and I thought some of my readers might like something a bit more restful on this Sabbath day, here are the lyrics to 'Love at Home'... as symbolized by my pets. :)

There is beauty all around,
When there’s love at home;
There is joy in every sound,
When there’s love at home.
Peace and plenty here abide,
Smiling fair on every side;
Time doth softly, sweetly glide,
When there’s love at home.

Love at home, love at home;
Time doth softly, sweetly glide,
When there’s love at home.

Kindly heaven smiles above,
When there’s love at home;
All the earth is fill’d with love,
When there’s love at home.
Sweeter sings the brooklet by,
Brighter beams the azure sky;
O, there’s One who smiles on high
When there’s love at home.

Jesus, make me wholly Thine,
Then there’s love at home;
May Thy sacrifice be mine,
Then there’s love at home.
Safely from all harm I’ll rest,
With no sinful care distress’d,
Thro’ Thy tender mercy blessed,
When there’s love at home.