Feminism; and for the love of politics

How relevant is this word these days; feminism? In light of all the things going on (going wrong) in America now, it’s definitely a topic that is applicable to my life. What is feminism?

feminism: the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.

Am I a feminist? Well, yes, and no. I do believe in equal rights – and not just for women, but for everyone. Every person should have the same rights, same pay, same opportunities. There are some movements/groups etc that take a very harsh line with feminism. An in your face, and all the crass words (that I will not use), that go along with it.

That is not what feminism is to me.

Maybe I am just an old-school, wanna-be southern gentile kind of person. You can say how you feel and what you think without resorting to using language that doesn’t belong in polite company, or around children. When movements/groups use these words, I think you take away from the important points you try to make.

Isn’t it more important to be above the names? above the uneducated view?

It is to me.

The marches that have taken place around the world in protest of Trump as president, have blown me away. Blown. Me. Away. Lots of people have spoken a lot more elegantly than I have on this topic. Comedians have given some pretty dang good commentaries. I found this particular article recounting a two line exchange between a marcher and a non-marcher to be really, really awesome.

Here’s what feminism means to me relative to the world we are living in today:

be strong. stand up for your rights. don’t let anyone tell you you can’t change the world. women, men, people in other countries, are right there with you. continue to fight.

There are a lot of ways to be involved and make sure America doesn’t completely spin out of control more than it already has in two short weeks. You can call your senators to protest against Education nominee DeVos. You can write to your senators and tell them about the issues you want them to fight for. Trump has reached a majority disapproval rating the fastest in the history of a president. It only took him 8 days.
‏Will Jordan @williamjordann

Days until achieving MAJORITY disapproval from @Gallup

Reagan: 727
Bush I: 1336
Clinton: 573
Bush II: 1205
Obama: 936

Trump: 8. days.

That’s pretty impressive, you have to admit. There are also endless videos you can Google of Trump and his staff contradicting themselves, outright lying, creating ‘alternative facts’ (what are those anyway?) 

It would really be funny if it wasn’t my country this guy is screwing with. If we want to start WWIII, I’m pretty sure Trump will be the one to do it.

I guess the point of this post is to ask people to keep fighting to do the right thing, speak up and be heard, and get things to change. Be a feminist. Personally, I’m predicting a Trump impeachment (hopefully much sooner, rather than later, you know, so there’s at least a tiny bit of the world left who doesn’t hate Americans). But most importantly, speaking as an American living in a country that is not my own, remember that me being an American doesn’t mean I share the views of the man in charge of my country. I didn’t ask for or vote for him, but it’s who got. And now we have to keep going.

Be Kind. To everyone.

The world really needs it right now.

Stunned. In Denial. Saddened.

That sums up my feelings on the very, very wrong turn America has taken on election night. The most unpopular candidates in history. The most contentious campaigns. The one person that most embodies what is wrong with America, the things we are trying to fix about our country, is now going to be in charge of that country.

It makes me want to weep. For my future, for my children’s future, for the country’s future.

If I saw him walking down the sidewalk, I would cross to the other side. If I was invited to an event at the White House, I wouldn’t go. If I was required to call him President or die, well, I guess I wouldn’t be long for the world. He deserves no respect.

Now imagine those thoughts as they are echoed around the world, by citizens of other countries (who are saying, we’ve got problems, but at least we don’t live in America!), thoughts echoed by world leaders, who now know America is a joke, a place where racism wins, and where we can elect a man with absolutely no values or morals.

It is pouring rain in London today. I prefer to say London is weeping for America.

As I know I am.

Ethical Fashion

There will be much more coming from me on the ethical fashion front in the coming weeks. I have watched the True Cost movie, and The Boy watched with me, and we both were horrified by the way the people who make a lot of the clothes filling our closets were treated.

Sickened.

I truly want to throw out most everything I own. That doesn’t solve the problem though (there is already so much textile waste in the world). But it does make me want o make much much smarter choices in the future. I will say I put on a pair of jeans yesterday and cringed because they came from one of the biggest abusers of not providing a living wage to workers and of using child labour; our old friend the Gap Inc conglomerate (which includes Old Navy, and where most of my current closet comes from, Banana Republic). There are a lot of other articles as well, here’s one from 2007, showing the same violation of child labour. So, they have been caught many times, but refuse to do anything to actually stop it from happening. Consumers will keep sucking up their $25 shirts, and the bargains Gap churns out, so why should they worry about how these bargains are made? After all, the cry from all the retailers who violate basic human rights is “we don’t own the factories”. So, it’s really not their fault if the middle man makes decisions they might not agree with.

Yes, Gap, and H&M, and Inditex-Zara, and many, many others, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure the middle man is doing the right thing.

You won’t be getting my business in the future. I will spend more at an ethical/fairtrade clothing company and know an 11 year old, or a woman forced to work 14 hours a day in an unsafe factory for pennies, who can count on being beaten or abused, didn’t make my t-shirt.

The following is a list of ethical &/or fair trade companies who will be getting my pennies in the future. (sourced from different publications of ethical/fair trade listings, a lot of great information from diamondsanddaisychains.com)

  • Fashion Conscience
  • Nomads
  • Skunk Funk
  • BAM
  • Crew (note, it is NOT J Crew!)
  • Frank & Faith
  • Cock & Bull
  • Komodo
  • Liv
  • Beaumont Organic
  • Bibico
  • Annie Greenabelle
  • Sole Rebels
  • Frugi
  • Howies
  • Monkee Genes
  • Patagonia
  • People Tree
  • Ruby London
  • Gudrun Sjoden
  • Gather & See
  • Juicy Tots
  • Livie & Luca

There are many more but these are the ones I’ve come across in my research. I’ve found great information from Lucy Siegle’s book To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out The World  She is a journalist and passionate champion of ethical living who writes for the Guardian newspaper. Her new ethical fashion series starts September 13 in the Guardian Observer magazine.

I will definitely add more as I learn but once you see for yourself what making fast fashion choices costs on a human (not to mention environmental) scale, I hope you’ll make the right choices too. No one wants another Rana Plaza disaster.

There’s a crisis going on, and we are all a part of it

As I’m sure everyone knows, there is a very tragic and real refugee crisis going on across Europe. Thousands are fleeing from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan; and for that I can find no fault with these people. I can not even imagine the terror and horror they are fleeing from. There is no good solution for these people, and I am sympathetic to their situation.

There are limits to what we can do though. So many are saying that the government (and I mean here in the UK) isn’t being fair or reasonable to deny these people entry to the country. ‘Let them come!’ I don’t think those same people crying out to let them in have really, truly thought about what letting these thousands of refugees into the country means.

Where are they going to be housed? Who will pay to feed them? Give them clothes, and basic necessities? Who will give them jobs? What about healthcare, and schooling for the kids?

It’s all well and good to want to help, I think we all do. We see the pictures of the overcrowded trains, and the desperation in their faces, the tragedy of those who’ve drowned trying to flee by boat. And of all the faces, we certainly remember the children, those faces are the hardest to forget. Crying, frightened, hungry.

In all our efforts to do good and help, I think people forget about what comes after they reach the border and cross over. What happens to them then? Who takes care of them? I think that pretty soon the people who were railing against the government for not letting the refugees in, will be the same people demanding the government remove them from the country. They will get tired of paying for them to be here.

I do not have the answer, I don’t know how to solve the problem. but I do know you have to do more than just look at now. You have to see the bigger picture.

The Political War

I just finished watching Fair Game with Naomi Watts and Sean Penn, which is based on what became known as the Valerie Plame Affair. Earlier in the week, while listening to POTUS Press Pool with Julie Mason (on Siruis XM), Valerie Plame Wilson was a guest on the show, primarily to discuss her new novel about a CIA operative. I had heard of the Valerie Plame Affair back when it happened over ten years ago, but really didn’t know much about it. inwasnt interested in politics back then. Suffice it to say, I’d heard the name Valerie Plame and CIA, but did not know what it was really referring to.

Now I do. And I’m shocked. And disturbed. And disillusioned.

It isn’t that I believe the government is some innocent, noble institution. It is very flawed and secretive and probably corrupt in many ways. But to believe that a CIA operatives name, in this case Ms. Plame’s, was deliberately leaked because the president, or his advisors, were so determined to defend their own wrong conclusions about WMD’s, and discount the reports of the people that were sent to determine if WMD’s existed, it’s astounding.

If you aren’t familiar with what happened to Valerie Plame Wilson and her husband Joe Wilson, then I recommend that you do some reading.
The decision to leak her name as a covert CIA operative started after Mr Wilson wrote this article entitled, What I Didn’t Find In Africa. July 6, 2003 in which he speaks about his mission for the CIA. He was sent to Niger, Africa to investigate whether Niger had sold yellowcake uranium to Iraq. He found no evidence of such a deal. The White House disregarded his reports and continued to believe Iraq had amassed WMD’s (assumptions that were eventually proven false after the war).

It didn’t take long for Mr. Wilton’s article to start its own sort of war, a war he wasn’t aware was being waged against him by his own government. This war didn’t only take apart his life but the career of his CIA operative wife, Valerie Plame Wilson. The article that revealed her identity followed on July 14, 2003, written by Robert Novak It only took 3 long years to discover that Robert Armitage was the person who actually gave Plame’s name to Novak in what he claimed was inadvertant.

I do not believe an error of that magnatitude, which could cost someone their life, their career could ever be inadvertant. That type of information is not something you play with and someone at that level of government would definitely have known that.

I’m getting political: The Big Healthcare Speech


Last night, like many of my fellow Americans, I was glued to the tv watching President Obama speak on his health care reform. While I am in no way shape or form anywhere close to understanding politics – that was a pretty freakin’ good speech.

I liked that he outlined his plan well. He made short direct statements on his points and kept everything easy to understand. It’s no secret I like and voted for Obama. Last night I felt he showed me exactly why I voted for him; to fight to bring about the change that the people want and need for the mounting crisis that is health care in this country.

A few republicans, one in particular, showed very poor character last night. I’m not sure when the last time was that I wanted to make a politician go stand in the corner for being so disrespectful. Fine, you don’t agree with Obama but to be making a spectacle when the President, a man who whether you like him or not certainly has earned the right to have some respect when he is speaking…Rep. Joe Wilson’s shouting out only made himself look like an ass if you want my opinion about it.

President Obama can deliver a speech, that much is for sure. But how do you feel about it?

Did you watch the speech? What are your thoughts? Do you think Obama helped or hurt his cause?

You can see the full text of the speech here: Health Care Speech