We Are in This Together, Or Are We?

It is time to stop thinking of this country as the “United State.”  We are not united, the civil war never ended, and we are still north vs south. In addition, we have added west vs east, liberal vs conservative, plus numerous other divisions too many to name. There is not such thing as “My Fellow Americans,” because no one thinks of themselves as Americans anymore.  We are white, black, brown, yellow, Republican, Democrat, liberal, progressive, conservative, Christian, Evangelical, non-Christian, goodness there are so many divisions it would take up the entire post to list them all. Something needs to change before we are doomed to collapse.

We need to begin to consider the dissolution of this country into areas where the many individual groups clamoring for attention can live in peace. Such a plan would require the dividing up of the country into several parts and giving each area their own governing body to address the issues of the area and people.  It might mean a mass removal and resettlement program for each area to have the appropriate people who might, might mind you, live in harmony.

For example, the southern states such as North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Alabama might be for far-Right conservatives.  Middle of the road conservatives might be resettled in Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi.  Liberals might want the Northeastern States, or the Pacific northwest.  Of course, you would have to taking the division of west vs east there.  You just might end up with 2 liberal or progressive areas.  Of course, resettlement would cause some problems, but the government has plenty of experience in that area.  Given our experience with Native populations, and Asian Americans.

Of course, I am being facetious, on some level.  Not the part about being a “United States” or “dissolution of this country, just about the rest of it.  We are the Divided States of America.  I am not sure I have talked, or read about, anyone calling themselves American first in a very long time.  Everyone has a group, a section of the population that they belong to. All these groups have their own grievances, wants, needs, desires for their little group, and their little group is the most important all the rest are secondary. No one, except maybe a few occasionally, has considered what is best for America as a whole. Why is that? Can we please begin to see ourselves as Americans first and all the other designations as secondary?

Every person in this country is important regardless of their skin color, their gender, their ethnic makeup, economic status, culture, age, or physical ability. Each one adds to the whole of this country.  We need each, and every, person to step up and recognize the value of every other person.  The wealthy need to recognize they are dependent on the people they employ. The workers need to recognize the imaginative abilities of their employers. Shop keepers need people to buy their goods and they can’t sell them if the population has no money.

We are dependent on each other to progress scientifically, economically, and academically. Until we begin to accept that and start seeing ourselves as one people, as Americans this country is doomed to either dissolve, or become an autocracy with people like Donald Trump as our own “Hitler.”  Is that the goal for the people of this country? If Trump should win again, or someone like him this country will dissolve, and the Great American experiment will come to an end. 

We are in this together, every single person in the country. What happens depends on us, on whether we have the courage to be Americans, to draw together and explore and how our individual needs benefit the country, the people of this country, as whole.  Until we see each other as equals, see the individual, or group, as just as important as every other individual and group nothing will change.  Can we do It?  I don’t know and honestly, I have my doubts.

Ruth Jewell, ©January 30, 2022

Image from Bing Images

Our Song

You cannot bind us again
We have a power you
cannot comprehend

Our bodies will
never again belong
to someone else
our songs
our words
our are ours alone

We have a power you
cannot comprehend

Our voices will not be silent
our deeds will not go unnoticed
we will no longer hide
behind a wall
not of our own making

We have a power you
cannot comprehend

We set ourselves free
to do what
you cannot
will not
We know
the pain of injustice
we know
the pain of humiliation
we know
the pain of hunger
of homelessness
of sorrow
not of our making

But we have a power you
cannot comprehend

We come to right
your injustice
your cruelty
Not for power
Not for greed
But because it’s
the right thing to do

We have a power
you cannot comprehend

And you are afraid
you should be afraid
for we are here

You cannot bind us again
Because we have a power
you cannot comprehend

Ruth Jewell, ©January 23, 2021

Image: A Collage of Poets, Actors, activists, politicians, Leaders all

I’m Saying NO MORE


    I have given the events of the last few weeks a great deal of thought. It has been a greatly disturbing to watch the witness of Dr. Ford and the lack of respect she has been given by those we have entrusted with power. Saying I am angry doesn’t actually describe what I am feeling. As a victim of sexual assault, I am not just angry, but furious at the dismissal of Dr. Ford’s testimony. The Senate committee has heard her and then pushed her aside because she is a woman challenging their power to do what they want. And, what they want has nothing to do with the good of our country.

Placing Brett Kavanagh on the Supreme Court would aid these greedy, power-hungry men in setting all of our civil, social, economic, environmental, and international advancements back 50 years. Our waters will again be fouled with toxic waste, our air will be unbreathable, women can forget about controlling their own bodies, and those who are not Lilly white or heterosexual will again become anathema to a Republican, Trumpian world.

We know the response toward Dr. Ford’s testimony of sexual assault by Kavanagh was appalling, it wasn’t received by the Senate committee with any kind of respect or belief. Yet, no one had doubted the testimony of men who came forward with their memories of being sexually assaulted by Catholic Priests 35 and 40 years early. (Yes I know they didn’t testify to the any congressional committee, but several of these men did make comments on the testimonies.) So why wasn’t Dr. Ford not believed? The first reason is she is a woman, an untrustworthy, unable to care for herself, no understanding of reason or logic, flighty, and a sexual siren, woman. This is what woman have been told for thousands of years. We have been shammed into believing we, women, are the cause of men’s violence. That our lot in God’s world is to lay down and accept the rule of our bodies to our “male lords.” We are to procreate, raise the young, cook food, keep a clean house, and satisfy our “man.” That is not only slavery, it is treating one-half of the population like domestic animals.

Sexual violence has nothing to do with lust, or sex, it is all about power, about being overpowered. Sexual violence is all about men who believe they have a right use the power of their penises to control and oppress women. Men, like Brett Kavanagh have used women for their personal satisfaction, used their gender to control what a woman does and how far she can go in life, blamed women for their failures, and used those failures to justify their violence towards women. As a victim of sexual violence, I am tired of being told it’s “my fault” I was assaulted, it’s “my fault” that my pay check is lower than a man’s in the same position, and it’s “my fault” that I am a second class citizens.

I am tired of weak, pathetic men apparently believing they have the right to demean women. Who use women to give them their needed power trips, and to make them feel powerful. And, that is the second reason Dr. Ford wasn’t believed she is challenging their power. By their protestations it is obvious they believed Dr. Ford, they just can’t admit it because they would then have to acknowledge their own abuses of power, and of women. Yes, they believe Dr. Ford but their own guilt, greed, and hunger to keep hold of their so-called power prevents them from admitting it.

They also dismiss her because she had the courage to come forward and testify to the truth. How dare a woman challenge them! They have seen how the #METOO movement has affected men in the news and entertainment industries and they have no doubt that the accusations will be arriving at their door as well (at least I hope so).

I am not saying that all men have abused the power they have just because they are male. However, having lived to 71 I have experienced enough to know how men in positions where they control, or influence others are abusive and oppress those who depend on them.

I have also known women who have abused their positions, that is why I know that sexual abuse and gender abuse, is not isolated to one gender and is not related to sex.. Some women who have made it to the top of their field feel they too have the right to be controlling and subject the people who work or live with them to same kind of abuse. Often, they have overcome abuse, pressure, and humiliation themselves to get to where they are. Sadly, some have used those very same tactics to make sure they succeed just as their male counterparts. In those case’s they have as much to lose as a man does if Dr. Ford and the #METOO movement are successful.

My question to those of us, who have so much to lose if the Senate succeeds in their efforts, what will we do about it?

Will we give up the fight and go back to accepting patriarchal rule. Or will we stand up and say no more. While this is not just a woman’s fight, it is women, of every color and culture, who stands to lose the most. Unless we continue to demand restitution for the violence done to our bodies, to our minds, and to our economic security we will not succeed. The male bosses, our male political representatives will not simply grant it to us. We women must defend each other against attacks that serve to demean and humiliate us. We cannot let Dr. Ford and others like her stand alone and be bullied by the bullies in congress or the White House. We have power, especially together we have great power, now is the time to use it. Every woman must vote for the candidate who will advance our cause of equality. Read about them, GOOGLE them, and find out what they have done in their past lives, what they really stand for today. I am not telling you to vote for one party or another, I am saying know who you are voting for. Vote because the lives of your children, especially your daughters and granddaughters, lives depend on how you act today, in November and in 2020.

We women are standing up and fighting back against years or abuse and male control and that is frightening for the male ego. We women are finally saying no to the way it’s “always been done” to the detriment of our lives. Men need to understand we aren’t going back. Both men and women of every color, education, culture, or religious belief, have equal opportunities to succeed in their lives. Those who do not want to work with us, get out of our way, your power is broken. Get used to it.

Ruth Jewell, ©October 3, 2018