April 14, 2012
…with your daughter in mind…
Political affiliation has zero to do with VAWA
Violence of any kind at all has less to do with political party affilitaion than it does a whole lot of much else. I bring this up today because of a conversation I’d had with my parents this morning regarding the current political climate in this country, and that “us versus them” thing is huge in the minds of some of the people who we share air with. My parents swore I vote democrat, and others swear I voted GOP or independent, when the truth is that how or who I cast my vote for is not as important as what I would vote for OTHER than a person who, for some represents every evil in the world, while for others represents everything good, Divine and Holy.
This is not about who you plan to vote for, and more, this is not something that anyone should be told they are wrong because of.
I was told that I was wrong about the VAWA, and this came from someone who strikes out from opinion rather than having gone through the trouble to actually do their research. When I was asked if my reasoning for wanting this particular person to not support those who would take away my safety net through changing the VAWA, I was met with the same acidic rhetoric that I am always met with – that I voted one way or another and that I was brainwashed because of what they assumed is my affiliation, politically. When I struck back with my statistics, with my research, with what I know to be true through personal experience, I went to the other person who I wrongly assumed would side with me because she, too, is a woman. I was wrong, and I was heartbroken.
I finally just told them both, “Mom, Dad, I am not asking you to vote for a person unless the person is me or Gracie or Napua or Teresa…I am not asking for you to not be true to yourselves, but I am asking that when you vote on things – NOT ON PEOPLE – that you cast your vote in favor of all the women in your lives who have been personally affected by domestic violence, and I am one such person, Mom.” I walked away crushed, a little bit, that is, but also with the knowledge that I have to do more than make noise about this, and that very truly, tackling something like the VAWA and society as a whole in the manner which we think about violence at all is a big heavy thing for me to tackle, but also that there is no better person for that job than one who will be out in the world and in peoples’ faces about this. We can no longer be blind to the ugliness, to the proverbial black eye that society has tried to push back into the darkness. We, in this country, are so worried about the budget, about foreign policy, about things that affect us as a whole, but we are inclined to turn away from those who would be the most vulnerable within our midst.
Abuse at home does not stop at the crying kids or the bruised and crying wife. It is bigger than that. It extends to our elders, a group of people who cannot defend themselves as perhaps they may have in the past, and it includes those within our midst who live alternative lifestyles and those who were born “minority,” and on that end I was born with two strikes against me. Yet what people do not understand is that truly, those things about us that make us seem weak are the very things which will always make us a formidable opponent for anyone. If we can glorify in our weaknesses and learn to lean together with them all in full force, we will find that indeed, it is our weaknesses which will truly make us stronger.
Political affiliation is as personal and private as is religious belief. I have made it habit that I not discuss one of these two things with almost anyone, because the truth is that voting one way or the other – GOP or Dem – has not a goddamned thing to do with the thing at hand at this time.
What I am asking for is that when you do vote and when you are faced with issues and acts and initiatives, that you do so with your own family in mind, your own social place in life, and to please not let yourselves be blinded by the media fed frenzy of drama and bullshit that we all see all the time when speaking terms of politics.
Casting your vote this year will be different in terms of people who have been victimized by violence because this time around the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is up for reeaffirmation, and judging from all the things that I have read online lately it looks as though there are some in power who would prefer to move backward in time when it was ok to turn a blind eye to the things that went bump in the night, and I am too aware of what exactly it is that goes bump in the night, and no, it isn’t a monster or a robber, at least for some of us, but instead, is a monster that in the daylight may look and seem as though it is not a monster but rather and only your own version of Jeckyll and Hyde. They already want to take away our choices with our bodies, and that is bad enough, but now it is being said in certain circles that they also want to go further and take away what keeps us minimally safe.
It is time, you guys, to stand up and do the right thing and cast your vote for safety, for life, for your own peace of mind. When you vote, think about Nicole Brown-Simpson, Rihanna, Mariska Hartigay, or better, think about me and everything that I have written about about my own experiences, and know now that everything that I have shared with you all for years is the truth and know, too, that the only way that we save anything in measures of safety and the rights of those who are part of an ugliness called Domestic Abuse is if you take what we have told you to heart and believe that what we have told you is the absolute truth.
Cast your vote with the people who you care about in mind first
I am making the plea right now to please vote for VAWA to stay intact, to be implemented with more protections for those whose lives are placed in danger everyday they live and breathe.
I am asking that you vote with your wives and daughters in mind, your sisters and cousins, your nieces and your mothers. I am asking that you vote this year with the rights of the minority agenda rather than the majority, because violence at home affects all of us. We pay for the ER visits, and we pay for the prosecution of the offenders, and we pay with so much that cannot be seen with the eyes but can detect with the heart and the soul. Do not be led to that part of thinking that tells you that women are not as important because I promise you that we very much are. I promise you that without us there is no vessels through which life passes, and without us there is no feminine Divine to lean on, and without us life is just not what it is meant to be because by and large it is the females in society who are the leveraging factor. We are the light left on at home at night, and we are the hearth to which the many have seen as being the one who makes home, home.
I am asking you to feel down deep in the core center of Your Self and feel the collective sadness, the anger, the resentments of generations of abused people who, even though they had the right to do certain things, to exercise their rights, did not have the choice to because someone else bullied them to the point where they, we, I just gave up my rights. I say this knowing that I am right in this because I have been there and I have done all those things that any abuse survivor has done in order to keep for themselves a tiny piece of who they really are. This is what no one realizes- that assuming that if no one says anything, that nothing is really being done, and this can be the truth in any situation where what is on the cover of things is not what boils below the surface.
There is a collective war, not only on women and girls and our rights, but common sense in general. To vote for a candidate because he is the candidate who you do not like lesser than the one you feel is the evil perpetrator you have conjured in your minds is irresponsible, and I am not asking that anyone vote against their own inclinations. All I am doing is asking that when you vote to please not forget about the women and girls in your lives. We are an important part of the fabric that is society, and because there are a few in high positions who feel that eliminating our rights to safety, our rights to not have to live in fear or under the constant pressure of living the life of an abused person will somehow make society better. They are saying that the reason that society has fallen apart is because single mothers are raising their kids alone and are suggesting that women stay in abusive marriages – basically blaming it all on us chicks, but the truth is that ignorances like that – the kind that do not bother with even thinking to say anything about an absent father – these are the things that are eroding our lives and NOT women with kids and no dad at home. There is no sense in the idea that society is becoming what it is because of us. Women are the bringers of life, not the harbingers of death and neither are we the ones who are solely responsible for all of the things in this life that can be seen as bad. No woman ever got pregnant on her own – there was always a man involved, even when it is that in the relationship there is no man. Once again women have been blamed, and once again, here I am telling you all that no, it is truly not ours alone to carry and that there needs to be some sort of balance – we …the ones who want to exact changes where they are needed most, are that balance.
Society has become what it has because there are people in high places for whom the word “evolution” is a bad thing, when in reality it is just another way of saying that things are changing and things are becoming what they are because whether a few in office want to believe it or not, that is just the nature of life. I believe that the reason things are like they are is because of a strict aversion to change, a strict aversion to seeing what is really there versus what is a fantasy. It is a fantasy to scapegoat women when in fact the problem with being a single mother is that if you are not one you cannot ever know the reason that a woman with children is single at all, and it loans too much to the idea that somehow, she is the one to blame for the relationship no longer being.
We have to stop blaming victims for what they have gone through, and we have to take a deep look at what is going on in society for us to get a grasp on what is in our midst. We are being bullied into voting a certain way, and we are being told that we are not worth the time or the care that it will take for us all to stand up and make a difference in the lives of the women who contribute to your life in ways that no one who does not know them will ever know about. The VAWA keeps us all in line, all safe, and all able to know that we make a big difference, that we are part of the fabric of life – a BIG part, and that not one of us is meant to be treated like property or as though somehow, we do not count, are not important, will never be a priority in this life.
We are every bit as important as we think we are, and we are every bit as needed to this life as anyone else is, and no, it is not the fault of single mothers, of mothers or women, period, the ailments that we all collectively experience as society as a whole, and we will always be.
I am asking you all to set aside what it is that you have against the “other party” when you cast your votes this year, and when it comes to things that can change the lives of those we each love the most, I am asking you, from the heart, to let go of your own political hostilities, your own assumptions and all of those things that raise your hackles about what the other party is doing and take a look at who it is that you love the very most and know for sure that yes, your vote does count and more, it will make a difference in the lives and the women in your own life.
The question, though, is what kind of difference will you make for us?
Will it be the difference that will ensure that they get to keep the safety, even in its limited form, that we have enjoyed for a few years, or will you vote with the idea in your head that it is not as important that you vote for something that will keep us all sleeping better at night .
Will your vote be the vote that makes it so that you no longer get that phone call from the police department or from the ER with the people on the other end telling you what has happened (again)…or will yours be the vote that makes it so that one day, out of the blue, you answer the door and on the other side of the door is a police officer giving you the news that they regret to inform you but…
When it comes to the VAWA, please, listen and please, by all means, yes, vote with your hearts…
I Love You All !