Today, March 1, Senator Robert Byrd delivered the following remarks at the end of his speech warning the Senate and the American people about a procedural effort being considered by some Senators to shut off debate and shut down minority voices and opinions. It’s worth a read to hear him roar.
Yes, we believe in Majority rule, but we thrive because the minority can challenge, agitate, and question. We must never become a nation cowed by fear, sheeplike in our submission to the power of any majority demanding absolute control.
Generations of men and women have lived, fought and died for the right to map their own destiny, think their own thoughts, and speak their minds. If we start, here, in this Senate, to chip away at that essential mark of freedom – – here of all places, in a body designed to guarantee the power of even a single individual through the device of extended debate – – we are on the road to refuting the Preamble to our own Constitution and the very principles upon which it rests.
In the eloquent, homespun words of that illustrious, obstructionist, Senator Smith, “Liberty is too precious to get buried in books. Men ought to hold it up in front of them every day of their lives, and say, ‘I am free – – to think – – to speak. My ancestors couldn’t. I can. My children will.'”
And as we begin this month of celebrating the history of women on this planet, let us also roar loudly and angrily over the fact that it is still males of our human species that continue to abuse their power against us.
From an Awakened Woman e-newsletter:
Are they not all men, raping murdering and torturing? It is men who are killing the planet, until we get that, hear that, except that, it will continue. It is white American men who pimp 11 and 12 year old girls. It is the Southern British men who are the number one recipients of the world wide sex slave trades. It is the African men who rape in Africa. And the list of the races of men who rape are endless!
Here’s just one horrifying example.
At some point in my daughter’s early high school years, she and a friend performed in a school Variety Show by miming Helen Reddy’s I Am Woman Hear Me Roar. I remember helping them with their costumes, which began as suffragette long skirts, long sleeved blouses, and hats that velcroed-off half-way through to reveal jeans and sneakers and t-shirts.
I’ve been roaring since the 60s, but we really haven’t come a long way baby (remember that Virginia Slim cigarette slogan of decades ago?), at all.
And while it’s not rape, murder, or abduction for sex-slavery, this little essay captures the long road we still have ahead on a very basic level.
So, while some of us keep trying, in our own personal way, to find sources from which to draw psychological sustenance while we gear up for more roaring, my nemesis, Chris Locke continues to try to put some of us into boxes that he can stack up and stand on. I know that he’s using his blog to work out his book-in-progress while he’s earning his keep promoting and demonstrating the value of buying into the services of High Beam Research. I have no problem with that.
What I have a problem with is his obsession with forcing relationships between women who create their own spiritual destinies and either New Age airheads or Nazi narcissists or some other combination thereof.
The theme for the 2005 Women’s History Month is “Women Change America,” and there’s a growing list of such women that I think should include contemporary leaders like Senator Barbara Boxer.
These women put themselves out into the Big Picture and try to change the world they live in.
But there also are women who struggle each day to save their pieces of the Little Picture — artists who bring women together to explore who they really are aside from the expectations of men; writers who try to move and motivate women who have lost touch with their own energies, their own ambitions, their own souls’ hungers. These women also change worlds.
Many of us women like the feeling of having our feet on the ground and our heads in the clouds. Back in the 70s, after reading one of Annie Dillard’s essays about a tree alive with light, I wrote this (not very good) poem:
I choose the cosmic and the common,
refusing to sever half my soul.
I choose to grow in all directions —
to bear both fruit and inedible root,
to glory in the ground and desire the sky,
to stretch roots across acres
and reach for bedrock.
I eschew the single minded vision.
I am all I.
Now, I suppose, some people would call that narcissism.
Here in the Northeast, March has roared in like a lion.
March is a month for roaring. I am woman. Hear me roar.