Present Tense

A Tipping Point…

We are swimming in the soup of enormous cultural changes and I worry that we will now slide into a gender war.

Every woman in the US has known that this has been going on forever. We have all known that we are considered ‘less’ than men.

We all know that there is a cultural knee-jerk reaction to believe the man when a woman makes an allegation of sexual abuse, molestation, harassment or touching.

We are told “well, that’s just him” or “maybe, you misunderstood” or “he was just joking around…where’s your sense of humor?”.

This has been our ‘normal’ for as long as I can remember and for as long as my mother can remember…and my grandmother and so on and so on.

Did you know that in many cases, women couldn’t apply for credit without a male co-signer until the 70s? So no credit cards, no mortgage. We couldn’t vote nationally until 1920, the year my mother was born.

So, as we traverse this new territory where suddenly, we are seemingly in the middle of some cultural epiphany; where we are learning that men seem to think we are property or playthings. We are in grave danger of further division.

Obviously, all men are not abusers. Obviously, all men do not look at women as potential conquests, and yet, I find myself wondering what exactly DO men think of us?

I spent my career surrounded by and outnumbered by men. That was just the nature of broadcasting and media for most of my career that I entered in the early 80s.

It has changed some and I suspect that MOST women have worked with more men than women and the things we’ve heard come out of their mouths were often shocking and at times, painful.

Things like, “She’d be so much better looking if she grew her hair” as a woman left the room. Or, “No wonder, she’s not married” or “I’d hit that”.

Yup….over and over and over and over, day after day after day. Guy after guy after guy.

So, for the men: when we hear things like this come out of your mouth, is it any wonder why we feel angry and unworthy and yes, frightened?  Or when you sit by and let another man say these things without calling him out?

Is this how we are judged, even though we are competent professionals?

It’s all about who is fuckable, right?

So, yes. The pain, the humiliation, the fear and the overwhelming feeling that nothing that we do matters, because, well….’you’re a girl’ is suffocating.

Now, some brave women are coming forward and saying “Enough”. We are asking to be treated with little more respect. We don’t have to be adored or worshipped or put on a pedestal.

In fact, I have found that men who tend to claim their adoration and worship of women, are often the worst offenders in treating us like trophies or playgrounds.

The danger right now is that this will pit men against women (again). As women, we have to be careful not to paint with too broad a brush. To not demand too harsh of a punishment for men who just acted like a jerk. There is a difference between criminal and abusive behavior and being an asshole.

That is a very thin line, I know. But, in order for this to really begin to change, we have to muster what we women are best at: compassion and balance and love and nurture.

This is our wheelhouse. Let’s not allow ourselves to tip over into the default reaction of male energy: punishment and anger and domination.

This is but another test of our times. Jupiter is in Scorpio and that is a time to dig up the secrets. These things have been happening forever. All of the horror that we are seeing on the news every night isn’t new.

It’s just been buried and now, we are unearthing these dark secrets and behaviors. It is very hard to look at, but we HAVE to SEE it and acknowledge it. All of us. This is the time we have chosen to incarnate and it is both exciting and overwhelming.

It’s okay to be angry. I certainly am. And frustrated. And overwhelmed. This is hard, but we have to guard against becoming hardened.

Practice compassion and empathy and intellectual honesty. This is non-partisan. It is a human problem and if we divide into our tribes, we perpetuate this behavior.

How we reacted in the past (Bill Clinton, etc) is not relevant now.

The cosmos is asking us to grow up. It’s time.

November 22, 2017 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

I Am (insert something positive here)……


I’ve been exploring affirmations.  I’ve always thought it seemed so silly to tell myself how great I am or how much I love myself, but once I stopped to think about how often I speak negatively to myself, I began to see how turning it around might turn ME around.

Think about how often you find yourself saying, “I’m so stupid/mean/lazy/unorganized/whatever negative thing comes to mind”.  That is considered normal self-talk for women.  It’s also considered normal to say it out loud, to other people.

On the other hand, how often do you praise yourself inwardly.  “I’m really good at my job/my marriage/parenting/spelling/cooking, etc.”  And God forbid we EVER actually say these things out loud to others.  “Well, isn’t she full of herself…who does she think she is, bragging like that.”

Funny how that works.  We are supposed to be developing a kinder, gentler, more PC nation and yet we (sometimes falsely) heap praise on others, while denigrating ourselves.  Ladies, I’m talking to you.  We’re supposed to be empowered by now.

It seems as if it’s required of women to constantly be too hard on ourselves.  Our looks, our brains, our abilities, our hormones; all of them are never good enough. Culturally, we’re branded as crazy and moody and cat-fighty and incompetent and silly.

This time of year, I’m always so annoyed at the Valentine’s Day commercials for teddy bears and pajamas.  The spots always feature a leering guy, happily purchasing something that would appeal to a 10 year-old girl (unless she was me at 10; I preferred a new baseball mitt) because he thinks it will ensure some hot sack time with her.  The message being “women are so simple and child-like.”

Would any of us consider buying the men in our lives a Tonka truck and Spiderman pajamas for a gift to show our love?  Men would feel disrespected and belittled by that.

There are a lot of crazy cultural messages flying around and unfortunately many of us gals embrace them, buy into them, foster them and add them to our self-talking points.

So, here we are.  Back to self-talk.  What do we tell ourselves about ourselves?  And by extension, what do we as a gender, radiate out to our culture?  Constantly reiterating what we’re supposedly not good at, becomes ingrained.  Men believe it, our daughters believe it, our leaders believe it, marketers believe it and it circles back to us and we believe it.

We are smart, competent, grown-up, reliable, innovative, creative, loving, nurturing and equal.  Let’s all start talking the self-talk and walking the walk.

Here’s one to get us started.  “I love who I am. I am grounded in my own power.  I am secure on all levels.”  And I don’t want a giant teddy bear for Valentine’s Day.

February 8, 2014 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments


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