Technical writers or non fiction writers scribble to pay the bills and for the love of the analytical or the exercise of truth or deception.

Fiction authors write to illuminate their world or escape it.

Whichever kind of writer, it's all about staying alive and helping or entertaining others.

The Writing Life

Like most writers, I have a love of reading and the power of words. When I was younger, I read everything I could get my hands on, but I don’t consider myself well read. I consumed books like a starved person, so quickly I hardly knew what I had read. By some strange process of osmosis, I learned from everything I read, but I cannot give you an erudite discussion of characters, plots, or authors. I can only tell you it’s lodged some where in the core of my being and informs my writing.

In addition to reading, I’ve spent a life time writing---from that first elementary school composition to my college days when I studied French literature and wrote explications de texte. Along the way, I fell into technical writing--to put food on the table and pay bills. In the 90s, I had the good fortune to take a dialog class with Sol Stein, former owner of Stein & Day publishers in New York and a prolific author. That led to his California-based writers’ group, Chapter One. It was a rigorous, ego-bruising experience, but I was intent on learning everything I could about fiction writing. A few years ago, I also had the good fortune to study with another writer, Louella Nelson, an experienced romance writer and teacher of fiction writing. She provided a different perspective and balance to my writing.

My novel, DREAMING OF LAUGHING HAWK, a mainstream, Sixties era novel, is available on Amazon in print and ebook (also available in Canada, Europe, Japan, and Brazil). Download a free sample. If you like it, I hope you'll download the book and post a review on Amazon.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The War on Women: Fear of the Goddess

Lately I've noticed a lot of stories in the media about the mistreatment of women in the U.S. and abroad. Well, I suppose it's always been that way and maybe I'm just paying attention. Or maybe the phenomena of women being treated as second class citizens or worse has taken some new twists. In any event, one must wonder why so many injustices are committed against women.
  • In third world countries, women are denied education, the right to vote, the right to work, and legal and property rights. They are essentially treated as property. We all have heard of that and so we tend to dismiss inequalities between the sexes in our own country as inconsequential by comparison.
  • In general, women are paid less for the same work. They often have to work much harder to advance themselves and are passed over for less qualified males. We women all know about this. Have you ever worked in an office and witnessed an older, highly qualified woman having to train a kid out of college how to do her job so he can displace her?
  • Women who try to extricate themselves from abusive relationships are often murdered by their abusers because the support systems and protections in our societies are so inadequate. In the U.S. more women are killed by husbands and boyfriends than the combined number of deaths of our troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in U.S. terror attacks.
  • Women are sexually mutilated in some countries because their sexuality is considered a threat to marriage and family.
  • Young girls are kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery.
  • Young girls are molested by their own fathers or other male family members. How often do you hear about women molesting children?
  • Girl babies are murdered in some countries because there is a such a strong value placed on males.
  • Women are told how they must dress because they might provoke a man to lewd conduct or to commit rape. In some countries, this means women must be covered from head to toe, even their faces. In other words, if a man does something wrong, it's probably the woman's fault and therefore it's best to make sure she is invisible. 
  • Victims of rape or women who defy their family's wishes with regard to marriage are often murdered by their own families in order to save the honor of the family. In more "modern" countries the underlying question is what did the woman do wrong to precipitate a rape.
  • In some societies or religious groups, women are expected to be totally subservient to the male members of their family. They may be virtual prisoners in their own homes and not allowed to go out unless accompanied by a male relative.
  • Here in the U.S., we have members of Congress, state legislatures, and governors demonstrating their appalling ignorance about the female reproductive system. They have spent countless hours and millions of taxpayers' money in trying to prevent women's access to health care, birth control, and abortion. They are demanding mandatory ultrasounds, redefining personhood, and defunding Planned Parenthood, violence prevention programs and assistance to low-income women. They are also targeting abortion and birth control providers. You can be certain that these hypocrites would be the first in line to demand an abortion, if they had to carry an unwanted pregnancy due to rape or incest or if their own lives were in danger due to pregnancy. So these apparently well-educated men are making statements like "if rape occurs, God must have allowed it, and therefore no abortion should be allowed." Or they hint that rape might be legitimate in some cases but not in others. Or that banning access to abortion would be okay because there are very few rapes that result in pregnancy and besides the female body just naturally knows how to get rid of an unwanted pregnancy. Really? Why do we feel like giving them a good kick in the head?
So you have to ask yourself why some men feel they have the right to deny freedom and equality to women. What about women frightens these men and incites such a strong urge to control them? Is female creativity, natural intelligence, and strength so exuberant that it must be restrained? Are men such frail creatures in the presence of women? Are women so inferior that they should bow to men or should we claim our place as goddesses? Perhaps that is what men fear--that we are goddesses. Maybe we should insist on a better world for our children. Less war. Less corruption. Less greed. A gentler world. Love. There are men who would tell you that they are genetically incapable of this and therefore you need to be silenced. Goddess.

No comments:

Post a Comment