Posts Tagged Constitution

Envisioning Equality

In thinking about the prevalence of violence throughout our country…

It’s everywhere: on the web, on TV, in the news, in the movies, at school, in homes, on our streets, in politics, within our military, our public spaces, our commercial spaces, our places of worship – even among the Amish and Native Americans who co-exist independently.

Violence in all of its insidious forms has been allowed to dictate the reality in which we all live and our ancestors and their ancestors lived. Violence has been passed down generation to generation with no end in sight. In the absence of 1/2 the human race = women, violence has prevailed.

As women, we have been the 24/7 targets of violence for centuries upon centuries. Because the law and civil society allowed it. The punishment cannot possibly fit the crime when the victim had no input. Women were denied participation in designing constitutions, laws and the institutions we live under today.

Consequently, civil society rarely reflects feminine attributes of empathy, nurturance and sacrifice. There is not one country where women are equal to men. Not one. Let that reality sink in… How tragic. What about diversity of gender, Fellas?

The overwhelming global message is men’s superiority/women’s inferiority. Men’s visibility/ women’s invisibility.

So, how is blaming ourselves for succumbing to the patriarchy’s brainwashing productive? How could we escape it? Any one of us? What choice have women and men been given other than to adopt our prescribed roles and live them out? Our culture consistently reinforces the social hierarchy at our peril.

But at any point in time, we can choose to say “Enough”. This is not the world we choose any longer.

Let’s face it. Every one of us has been affected by violence – directly or indirectly. We all have felt afraid. Angry. Despair. Hopelessness. We have all had moments of peace, joy and laughter too. Hopefully, each of us has felt loved and loved another. The universality of the Human experience is our safe harbor – our lighthouse to navigate out of the darkness.

It’s our stories around these universal emotions that is our truth. Our bridge to building the future. One that respects the worth and autonomy of each individual we encounter and even those we don’t know. Men and women can co-exist peacefully as true partners, but not if one denies the other’s free will. Isn’t it our human right to live up to our full potential and allow others to do the same?

We have the capability to forge rich and deep connections if we speak from the heart – shaped from our raw experience and trust that we are indeed stronger together. Whether our “union” becomes more perfect depends on US.


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RESPONSE: Tallahassee Democrat Op-Ed Disses Equal Rights Amendment

To read original article for which our response below was written, click link: Op-Ed: Haven’t We Heard the ERA Eight-Track Before?


To: Mr. Bill Cotterell,

After reading your mansplaining piece about the retro ERA, you prove once again the fragility of the male ego.

You would no more live in a country where you pay equal taxes, serve jury duty, fight in combat to defend your country’s constitution while earning less income, enduring physical, sexual and verbal assault and a 2nd class citizen by law on account of your sex than any reasonable woman (feminist) should.

We hope you didn’t have daughters because we can’t imagine their lives being complete as the muffin-makers you hail.

Incidentally, we authored the current bill in the US Congress – while unemployed – following Hillary Clinton’s 2008 misogynistic defeat.  It’s known as SJR15 & HJR51. It calls upon a bipartisan Congress to remove their deadline for the ERA and allow the last 3 states to continue to debate this critical issue for America’s domestic and global competitiveness.

Human rights don’t expire in a democracy (and neither should the ERA). It’s nearly 100 years after women’s suffrage – and still no woman president and no equal rights amendment to challenge the status quo of Patriarchy’s reign for 227 years in America.  You have no idea how much greater your life would be if women actually managed our country like they manage households – by putting service to others before self AND balancing competing priorities to ensure that no one got left behind.

Did you hear about United 4 Equality’s groundbreaking ERA revival story in the news?  No because status quo journalists like you thought it not important enough to publish.

We wish for you more spiritual growth in the next life.  Perhaps by coming back as a woman.

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The Path Forward: GOP & Obama’s Legacy of Hope & Change in 2014, 2016 and Beyond

Image       Image

After reading this article, I share these thoughts in the hopes that somehow, someway, someone might read this in Party leadership… seems Leaders have become much too insulated to actually hear what the masses are saying.

I continue to hold out hope for a miracle…

While this may be good news for GOP party loyalists, it ignores the growing concern and awareness of the Supreme Court aligning itself with business to buy GOP elections outright. YET, the unfortunate mandate of GOP Tea Party  to remain deeply wedded to far right “bait” issues against women, gays, immigrants, native Americans, healthcare as a human right, that are remaking the image of a once Proud Party that defended individual freedom into utter and complete hypocrisy.

At the end of the day, we all have the choice to live our values, but those values certainly are not mine.

The GOP may have more victories to come, but this can only mean the absolute end of democracy and freedom for the individual.  Somewhere along the line, capitalism reached its tipping point and it is failing miserably.  Greed trumps empathy in the American political race to the bottom. Apathy trumps engagement of the citizenry.

We will fail or be victorious together.  It is our choice.

My take on why the Democrats and President Obama are in such jeopardy?

Because Democrats fear driving an agenda to counter the corporate, military, industrial machine’s attack on humanity.  Because it is not likely that Democrats will decide to unite around a single course of action that represents sustainable change for every single person in America.  To re-right a wrong they committed on behalf of the common good.

Here’s what I’d whisper in the President’s ear: Put an end once and for all to the US government’s centuries old entitlement to commit egregious human rights infringements under the US Constitution.  How?  Remove Congress’s deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment and allow the amendment process to continue as our Framers intended.  Why?  So America can proudly declare within our borders and beyond – that whether male, female or somewhere in between, we all have a place on this earth and yes we are all created equal.   When?  NOW.  Hope and Change.  Forward.

From that foundational vision, we begin to rebuild America, one step at a time – toward a more perfect union – together.

Social movements today have yet to realize the contemporary significance of the Equal Rights Amendment within every agenda of every single minority group in America today – half of whose members are female.

AND there’s even a way for GOP moderates who have been forced out or underground to rise again demanding a change of heart for the common good. And here’s how they can save face while doing it.

Most don’t realize that it was a Democrat (not a Republican) who was responsible for putting the deadline on the Equal Rights Amendment in the first place (Senator Sam Irvin D-NC). And he succeeded in his plan to run out the clock along with a handful of fearful legislators.

I can just see First Lady Betty Ford, one of my idols, smiling from above saying, “Come on, GOP, return to your roots and get into the game again. Our country’s citizens are worth fighting for… and our future is at stake.”

After all, isn’t full and equal representation the least we can expect from all of those elected to protect the ‘General Welfare’ of our Nation?  Likewise, isn’t the least we can do as citizens –  is participate in these political debates over rights whether or not they impact us directly?

Any attack on another human being is an attack on all of us.

Is this the legacy for which America will be remembered?   The choice is ours.

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Arkansas Denies America’s Servicewomen Equality in Constitution

(Deceased) Army Pfc, Sarina N. Butcher (19 yrs)

Sarina Butcher 2

(Deceased) Army Captain Gussie M. Jones (41 yrs)

Gussie Jones

(Deceased) Sgt. Zainah C. Creamer (28 yrs)

Zainah Caye Creamer

  1. Army Pfc Sarina N. Butcher died when her vehicle was attacked in Afghanistan by a roadside bomb.
  2. Army Captain Gussie M. Jones died from a heart attack in Bagdad.
  3. Army Sergeant Zainah Caye Creamer died of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked her unit.

On April 2, 2013, the following five Arkansas senators on the Committee on State Agencies and Government Affairs, saw to it that the honor, dignity and respect of full citizenship to America’s servicewomen  and to all women was DENIED.

Sen. Eddie Jo Williams (Chair)

Sen. Jane English (Vice Chair)

Sen. Bryan King

Sen. Jimmy Hickey

Sen. Gary Stubblefield

Pfc Sarina, Sgt. Zainah and Capt. Gussie are listed among Arkansas’ Fallen Soldiers of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

In January 2013, the Pentagon announced its recommendation to lift the ban on women in combat.  Great! BUT where was the recommendation for Uncle Sam to lift the ban on women included in the Constitution?

Governor Mike Beebe and First Lady Ginger Beebe, do you approve of the fact that Arkansas under your leadership freely chose to disallow women the equivalent protection of the US Constitution that men have?

Secretary Hagel, no more SERVICEWOMEN into Harm’s Way without  ending their 2nd class citizenship under the ERA.

These five senators not only disgraced the residents, students, families, businesses, nonprofits and military that reside within their districts, but willfully ignored the courage and sacrifice that led Sarina, Zainah and Gussie into battle and to all women who are subjected to customary and institutional oppression under the U.S. government today.

Stop playing “god” with women’s lives in the US and around the world under the guise of legality or morality.

America, wake up and get real.  Politics in government is the best reality show on TV and you have your very own role to play.  Tune out the trash and tune into your rights being upheld.     We the People will be the (s)heroes of this hit reality show here and around the world when you wake up to insist upon equality for all under the ERA 2015 campaign.



Link to the actual hearing in the AR Assembly.

Link to full AP article covering ERA hearing in Arkansas.

Posted: April 2, 2013 – 3:55pm  Andrew DeMillo, Associated Press 
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A renewed effort to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution failed before an Arkansas state Senate panel Tuesday, after opponents said they believed the move would have unintended consequences ranging from mandatory coed bathrooms to government-funded abortions.

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