Wonder Woman for President

Hi there,

Did you hear? The United Nations has named Wonder Woman as an ambassador for women.  There’s been some uproar over this and criticism of the UN.  I am not going to criticize the UN, as I thought I could use my time more wisely.

Here’s a list of women who I think are pretty terrific.  I am sure some of my choices (or at least one) will be controversial.  (But, hey you need at least one, right?)

1)  Maya Angelou – she’s written a wonderful poem called Phenomenal Woman.  A verse from the poem reads,

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.

Read the full poem here:
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/48985

2) Dr. Roberta Bondar –   Canada’s first female astronaut and the first neurologist in space. This woman has more letters after her name than anyone I’ve ever known –
OC OOnt FRCPC FRSC

3) Mother Teresa – need I say more? Maybe I should.  I would encourage us to read,
No Greater Love.  Women’s Magazine said, “No Greater Love is a passionate testament to Mother Teresa’s deep hope and abiding faith in God and the world….Through her own words, this book celebrates the life and work of one of the great humanitarians of our time.”

4) Buffy St. Marie – I recently had the opportunity to see her perform.  Born February 20, 1941, she’s 75 and still  going strong, speaking out on what she believes in.  Take a listen to her song,  Universal Soldier, here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYEsFQ_gt7c

5) Madonna – I warned you! I have loved Madonna since I was in Grade 3. One verse of Holiday, and I was hooked.  She’s strong, smart and seems to be very much in control of her own career.  With all the pressure and negative things the media ALWAYS says about her, she has stayed the course.  The woman is disciplined, and I think must be a woman of strong faith.

See the official video for Holiday, here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Rswx2Z7SDw

6) Audrey Hepburn – I was going to write a blog about her alone, but decided she needed to be on this list.  I recently read a quote by Ms. Hepburn that exemplifies why she’s terrific! She said, “I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls.”  Don’t you just love this woman to bits???

7) Mrs. Balderston – My grade 8 teacher. When Mrs. Balderston learned that I wanted to be a director, she gave me the opportunity to direct a school play. I even got to leave class to go to rehearsal.  (I didn’t become a director (at least not yet), but she helped and encouraged me.)  And for that I am thankful and believe she gets to be on the list.

8) Mrs. El-Y-Ari (really not spelling that one right) – She was the school receptionist/secretary/assistant, who let a couple of us girls go into the office in the morning and answer the phones. FUN!  By grade three we were pretty proficient at using the PA System, taking messages, forwarding calls.  Loved Mrs. El-Y-Ari!!

9) And, no list would be complete without my Mom!  The woman gave birth to me and has loved me unconditionally ever since. She’s always proud of me and cheers me on, telling me I can do anything I set my mind to.  She tells me I’m smart, beautiful and a wonderful daughter. Sometimes, I do not feel so worthy of all this praise.  I know I’m blessed to have a good mom.

10) I also have to mention to my grandmothers, Audrey and Rose.  Two very different woman, who also had a great influence on my character and development. I’m cheeky like Audrey and gentle like Rose.  🙂  These women had such a strong faith in God, that they surely passed that faith onto me.

I would love for you to share your stories of women who have made a difference in your life, professionally, personally, spiritually.  – For real – That’s why it’s in bold!

And, don’t forget to thank a Phenomenal Woman in your life today.

Blessings,

Ellie

Ellie’s Near Encounter with…

Hi there,

Today’s blog is proudly sponsored by the letter “C” for “Crazy”.   Crazy, for those days when you wonder where your brain’s got to.  (No kidding, I first spelled “suspense” wrong, and then spelled “your” “you’re.)

I am not actually sure if this blog has anything to do with crazy. I just finished reading Jenny Lawson’s Furiously Happy.  She battles mental illness. I was relating a story I had read in her book to a co-worker, which I had found hilarious, so hilarious I had laughed so hard I cried, but for some strange reason, my co-worker didn’t.

I wondered if you have to be a bit crazy yourself to appreciate crazy.  (By the way, Lawson uses this word to describe herself and people around her do take shake their heads at her, and tell her not to say that, but heck, it’s better than calling oneself a lunatic – You’ll have to get the book to read what I am referencing here…You’re welcome, Jenny Lawson!  And, since my own mother battles mental illness, I figure I’ve earned my stripes.)

Furiously Happy  inspired me to tell my own crazy and fantastical story. Those of you who know me are already in the know.

Here are Ellie’s Top 3 Too-Close-for-Comfort Encounters with Mad-Squirrels Stories:

# 3.   One morning I was walking to work and saw a grey squirrel. Now it’s usually the black squirrels I have issues with, so I thought nothing of this particular squirrel. But, you know that feeling you get when you think someone is staring at you?  Well, I had just that feeling. When I turned around, the grey squirrel was chasing after me.  I gasped and when I did this, my handbag fell from my shoulder to my arm, startling the unexpected squirrel.  He took off in another direction.  He thought he’d just sneak up from behind me and attack. That little…

# 2.  I was coming home one day, and you know how they say accidents happen when you’re closest to home. They’re right!  I was just about a block and a half away from home, when a mad-squirrel blocked my path. He was guarding the side-walk like he owned it. (You’d think he was a European-Colonizer or something.)   At any rate, he dug his little sharp-squirrel-nails into the concrete and guarded his territory like a mad-badger. (Badgers might be getting a bad rap here – I’ve actually never met a badger.)  So, I had to walk out onto the road to get around this bloody squirrel, and as I walked AROUND him, he kept moving his chubby rodent-like body toward me to make sure I wasn’t invading his space.

# 1.  And, finally the top prize for mad-squirrel disease goes to Chester. (I just made that name up – It does sound like a crazy-person’s name though, doesn’t it?)  Chester takes the cake.  I was going to church one Sunday morning (important detail because it implies there weren’t a lot of people out and about*), and Chester was on the OTHER side of the street, but when Crazy-Chester saw me, he darted across the street and charged at me. (I’m not even exaggerating here!!)  I lowered my bag to guard my lower extremities, in case Crazy-Chester decided to leap at me, and yelled at him to go away.  He wouldn’t budge. I looked at his mouth to see if it was foaming, but it was as dry as Arizona.  I yelled more. Nothing. I thought about giving him a good whack with my bag, but felt the odds were in his favour. After all, I’m not what the medical community would classify as a demented lunatic.  I finally saw a truck slowly making its way down the street, and I thought to myself, ‘Why are you driving so slowly? Hurry up and run this crazy-ass squirrel over, already!’  It dawned on me quite some time later what I must have looked like to this driver.   A demented lunatic on the sidewalk yelling and waving her arms madly at…a squirrel?

The moral of the story – Squirrels are evil bastards!

Stay safe. Stay alert. Stay off the sidewalks.**

Blessings,

Ellie

*Canadians don’t actually say “out and about”, but I thought I’d throw it in for the Americans who might be reading this blog. I know how disappointed and upset you get when we don’t fit the stereotype.

**In fact, don’t walk at all. This blog is actually a paid advertisement for the auto industry…I think Dow Honda owes me a car.

Precious

“I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of; for to have been thought about, born in God’s thought, and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest, and most precious thing in all thinking.”  George MacDonald

Hi there,

Do you think you’re precious?  Unique? Beautiful?

If you’re like me, when you look in the mirror, you see flaws.  You look down at your body and see lumps and curves, or maybe you see flatness.  Whatever it is, you know you’re not perfect.

Nobody is though!  Heidi Klum’s response to Donald Trump’s comment about how she is no longer a 10 was, well, first she was rather confused. She had no idea why he was even talking about her, but most importantly, she said, “Nobody’s a 10.”   Heidi Klum, people! Heidi Klum said, “Nobody’s a 10!”

George MacDonald’s quote runs deeper than the skin.

How do you feel about your gifts and talents?  Do you think you have something to offer the world? Do you look at others and think they have something more to give, something special to contribute?

Comparison is a killer.  It will destroy our sense of self and paralyze us. We will not reach our full potential if we constantly compare ourselves to others.

I just don’t think it’s possible to reach for the stars if we are constantly comparing our gifts, talents and abilities to others’.   We will always come up short, thinking and believing that someone is better, smarter, stronger than us.

And from this place, the thought, ‘Let somebody else deal with the issues and problems of the world. Someone who has more power, money, fame…’  will naturally flow out of us.

I get trapped into this way of thinking myself. I’m small.  I have no power.  I grew up in relative poverty (by the West’s standards).

And yet, I know that it is this way of thinking that keeps me small and powerless.  It is my own making (with help from the media/world).

I love being reminded of how I was uniquely created by God, with His own hands.  That if I do not do what God has put me here to do (in this time), then it will not get done. It’s a sad thought, but it also means that I have purpose, I am not a mistake and that everything I have gone through, who I am, can be used for the greater good.

I think a lot of times, we don’t see the impact we make on others.  I’ve learned even a simple smile can go a long way in making an impact in another person’s life.

Emmanuel Jal, former child-soldier, now speaker and musician, was a guest at our church. He challenged us to be thinkers and problem-solvers. That’s not an easy challenge. It’s much easier to choose the status-quo and watch mindless TV after a hard day’s work, but it is a challenge worthy of my time and effort. (www.emmanueljal.com)

Step 1 – I heard that listening to Baroque or Classical music makes you smarter, so I ‘ve put in a few CD’s and have been feeding my brain.  (It’s only been about a week and a half, so I’m guessing it may take some time…)

I encourage you to throw on some Classical music and feed your brain too! If nothing else, we’ll be pretty mellow and relaxed. Not necessarily a bad outcome, I’d say.

Blessings,

Ellie

 

 

Rainy Days

Hi there,

It’s been awhile since I’ve written.   Apologies for that.

I’ve been reading quite a bit though, Ragged Company by Richard Wagamese, The Little Paris Bookshop by whom I cannot remember, A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway and since it’s been raining all day,  I dug back into and finished reading The Girl on the Train.

All very good.

I confess I’m not a huge fan of Hemingway. I love the portrayal of him in Midnight in Paris.  He’s a drinker, wearing a wedding band, with no sign of Hadley, and flirting with women galore.

I will grant him his talent though.  There’s only been two writers who have moved me emotionally – one was an excerpt from Hemingway’s, In Our Time, the other, Audrey Lorde’s poem, Power.

Hemingway also talks about writing in  A Moveable Feast, which is why I think I like it.  He wrote a story where the weather was overcast and dreary because the weather was overcast and dreary that day.

He also speaks about truth and determining to write a story for each thing that he knows well.  With that philosophy by own body of work may be short.  🙂

Hemingway’s love of Paris seems to stem from the fact that you can be poor and still live well in Paris. It’s the 20’s after all – a roaring time, if you believe the Historians.

And, yet there was still longing, pain, boredom, death.  These things are universal.  There are some parts in the book where I do feel an underlying sadness in Hemingway. Regret in his failed marriage, which he blames entirely on himself – an affair.

Given the rainy day, I’ve been reading some quotes on rain.

Thick Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist, said,  “If you truly get in touch with a piece of carrot, you get in touch with the soil, the rain, the sunshine. You get in touch with Mother Earth and eating in such a way, you feel in touch with true life, your roots, and that is meditation. If we chew every morsel of our food in that way we become grateful and when you are grateful, you are happy.”

It sounds like a nice way to live, connected. Grateful. Happy.

I grew up on a farm and like to go to the Market to buy fresh produce.  It helps me feel connected to those who are growing our food, to those who depend on measured amounts of sunshine and rain to make their crops healthy and abundant.

Next week, I must remember to thank the farmers at the Market.  I know from first-hand experience, okay from second-hand experience (smile) that it is hard work.

To be thankful, something I need to work on.  Will you join me?

Blessings,

Ellie

 

 

The Past

Hi there,

“Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure” (Pride & Prejudice, Chapter LVIII, Jane Austen).

This is from the cheesy scene where Mr. Darcy reveals his undying love for Lizzy and Lizzy is telling Mr. Darcy how very different she feels about him now.  (It’s the scene where I was sure the writers had made up for a Hollywood-type audience.  So, I went straight to my bookshelf and pulled out the novel and found the exact scene.  I was dismayed to find the words were literally lifted off the pages. Boy, was I disappointed in Jane!)

Anyway, the reason why this quote stood out is because on the surface it looks simple enough.

She’s telling Mr. Darcy that he should only think about good memories.

It’s her words that precede though, “You must learn some of my philosophy,”  that indicate there may be a deeper meaning.  Given that we are dealing with Jane Austen here, I really don’t think the meaning is trite.

For starters, Austen sets up women’s role in her 19th Century society to knock it down.   Women are expected to ‘play and sing all the day long’.   Not to mention, women must marry (as shown by the mother’s incessant desire to match-make her five daughters throughout the novel).

And finally, Jane Austen makes her hero a supporter of women’s education.

Accomplishment, according to Caroline Bingley, involves the following: “A woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half deserved” (Chapter VIII).

Mr Darcy responds by saying, “All this she must possess,” added Darcy, “and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading.”

The way is already paved for the smart-talking and bold Lizzy to come in and steal Darcy’s heart.  (I use the word “steal” on purpose – just think of poor Ms. Caroline Bingley’s crush on Mr. Darcy.)

Through Elizabeth, the reader knows that she believes she can teach this Mr. Darcy – a man from the Aristocratic class – a thing or two.

It is a bold statement by a woman at any period of history.  And, the thing all the ladies love about Mr. Darcy is that he gratefully accepts her teaching, instruction and reproof.  He does learn something from Elizabeth Bennett.

I know feminists hate this novel. I believe Margaret Atwood dissed Mr. Darcy as an arrogant, pompous ass, but I wonder if she’s really read it. I mean REALLY read it.  I think if Jane Austen was creating a character, who was just a pompous, arrogant, ass, he would never be interested or drawn to Lizzy.

It would just not happen!!  (This is what I tell my single-self – I just haven’t met a man who appreciates my sass…)

His assertion that women must read and improve their minds shows that underneath his surface is a man with a kind heart.  The younger sister affirms how wonderful her elder brother is, and Jane Austen even goes so far as having the servant offer words of praise for her “Master”.   People from all classes affirm Darcy’s worth.

So I would argue that Jane’s words, “You must learn some of my philosophy. Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure,” have more to do with women’s abilities and what we have to offer the world, rather than some trite advice on thinking about the good times.

No, Ms. Austen definitely wants us to know that we women are capable of more!  I agree!

Blessings,

Ellie

 

 

 

 

An Egg

Hi there,
C.S. Lewis said, “It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.”
 Ah, C.S. Lewis.  He really did say a lot of intelligent things, did he not?
I feel like we’re living in a time of mediocrity.  I may have written about this topic before, so if I have, apologies.
I just started reading Poles Apart by Terry Fallis. It’s about this guy, Everett or Ev, who begins to write a feminist blog.  Being a guy he has to take the pen name, Eve.  The blog becomes a hit, which means I think he has to hide his identity. I imagine when women find out she’s actually a he, the sh… is going to hit the fan.
The reason why I thought of this book and mediocrity is that the character has lost sight of himself, of his dreams. He begins with lofty aspirations to change the world, in the area of social justice for women and ends up writing articles about mascara.  (That must take some pretty serious talent for a man to write about mascara!)
He’s unhappy.
I sometimes, well a lot of times, think about what I am doing with my life.  I want to make an impact, but am not sure in what area or what I am to do.
My former pastor assured me I was doing my part.  But…I don’t want to be an egg. I want to be hatched.  I don’t want to settle for mediocrity. I want greatness.
I want to be like that little chick with his foot/claw on the egg, as if to say,  “I am in control of you egg. Take that!”
(Just a side point, I am aware that failure is a part of greatness – we must make mistakes and be okay with it.  We’re human!)
So, how do we figure out where we would like to put our time and energy?  There are so many worthwhile causes and places to where we can put our effort.  Here are some initial thoughts:
  • All the solid advice people, say start at home, with family and friends.
  • Back to the Future – Not just a cool movie from the 80’s with Canadian icon Michael J. Fox, but clues to what we loved to do when we were kids.
  • Write down all the things that make you happy/give you a sense of joy.
  • Write down all the things/issues that excite you.
  • Write down all your talents and gifts – Believe me, you have a lot of them!  Ask friends (trusted, good, positive friends) for their input.
  • Surround yourself with positive people who love you for who you are.  In my twenties, I was hanging out with people who were not of like-mind.  They weren’t necessarily bad, we were just not compatible.
  • Live in the present!  This is a hard one for me.  When I start to think about the future, I get anxious. Natural, given I have no idea what is going to happen.  I just recently was reminded to live each day, day by day.
  • And, lastly for my spur-of-the-moment list, The Power of Habit says to change one thing.  Just change one thing!  I am still working on my one thing.

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite quotes:  “Change your thoughts and you change your world” (Norman Vincent Peale).  Expect good things in the future!

Blessings,

Ellie

The Fairest of Them All

Hi there,

Remember the old witch from Snow White?  “Magic mirror, on the wall – who is the fairest one of all?”  When the mirror doesn’t give the correct answer, the witch goes ballistic.

When I was in Grade 3, I had this moment in class one day.  I watched the boys go completely gaga over the new blonde girl in school.  As I sat watching the scene play out before me, I thought, ‘Well, I’m going to have to take care of myself because no boy is ever going to do that for me.’

A friend of mine thought I was already preconditioned to think in this way because of my upbringing (an alcoholic father, a mother with mental illness, and to top it all off a farming step-father, who worked 14 hours a day).   I spent most of my time alone.

But, I think I also saw something else at play.  Our culture loves the blonde, blue-eyed ones.   Those of us who are dark are made to feel inferior, undesirable, unattractive – ugly.

Years later, I read these words in the Song of Solomon:

I am very dark, but lovely,
O daughters of Jerusalem,
like the tents of Kedar,
like the curtains of Solomon.
Do not gaze at me because I am dark,
because the sun has looked upon me.
(1:5-6, ESV)

I loved it!  Now, I’m actually light-skinned (olive) to be exact, but with my dark brown hair, I felt affirmed.  “I am very dark, but lovely…”

I am not quite sure why cultures value lightness.  But, it also extends beyond our Western borders.

I discovered and it was recently reaffirmed that even in Sri Lanka and India, light skin is the ideal.  So, if I ever do get quite desperate for a husband, I’ll only have to travel 17 hours by plane to get myself one- not bloody likely.  Especially since it really annoys me that dark-skinned guys in India and Sri Lanka do the same bloody thing to women that happens to us over here.

See, we really are similar, us humans!  BAH!  I’d prefer it we could focus on the good similarities and try and work out the bad things.

The point to this part of the Song of Solomon is that the woman is “black,  but nonetheless beautiful.”*

AMEN!

Celebrate who you are today – You are unique and beautiful!

Blessings,

Ellie

*Taken from: https://bible.org/download/netbible/ondemand/bybook/sos.pdf (p.4)

Whisper

Hi there,

I quite like Steven Spielberg.   I heard a story about when they were making The Prince of Egypt. They were discussing what the voice of God sounded like.  (Val Kilmer played God and Moses.)  Steven Spielberg said, “It sounds like your voice.”  Brilliant.  And so true.

A lot of times we think the voice of God needs to be loud, to bellow at us.  We need a huge sign to tell us what direction to move in life, which job to take, or not take, who to marry, who not to marry. The list goes on and on.

1 Kings 19:11-13 says, “And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.  And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?””

After the strong wind, earthquake and fire, a low whisper came and in that low whisper, the voice of the Lord.

Naaman was a commander for the King in Syria’s army. The Bible says, “He was a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper” (2 Kings 5:1b).  In a raid the Syrians carried off a little girl from Israel who worked for Naaman’s wife.  She told her mistress, “Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy” (2 Kings 5:3), which I think is pretty amazing considering she was now a slave, far away from her family and home!

At any rate, Naaman went to his superior and asked for leave to go find the prophet Elisha. When he gets there he is surprised to find that the prophet sends a servant, who tells him to, “[g]o and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean” (2 Kings 5:10).

Naaman became angry and went away, but his servant convinced him to do as he was told.  When he came out of the water the seventh time, his flesh was restored.

Naaman wanted the strong wind, the earthquake, the fire.  What he got was a message from a servant, a whisper.

In my life I have asked for signs, wanted the BIG giant sign I couldn’t miss.  I think it must have to do with my insecurities and may have a bit to do with my perfectionism.  I don’t want to make a mistake, especially as a Christians or as a person of faith. I want to get it right.  I don’t want to fail God or fail my mission – purpose.

But, here’s the thing – I am not God.  He can still work even when I mess up. (Notice, “when” not “if”?)

We will all make mistakes and that’s okay.  I don’t even know if we can make a wrong decision. I think Christians can over-spiritualize everything.  (There are definitely things or career paths we shouldn’t choose, but as my pastor pointed out in one example, unless you hear a clear direction on God, it’s okay to leave the job you hate!)

I can’t count how many times in the Bible God tells us, “Do not worry”, “Be anxious for nothing”…  God is in the whisper.

Here’s a little clip from Steven Spielberg called, Listen to the Whisper (I first saw this speech on CareerJoy’s blog, https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/15501eac8c9bde8f)

Blessings,

Ellie

 

 

A Bribe is a Bribe is a Bribe

Hi there,

Sorry for the long title.  It felt like it needed to go on and on into infinity…because that’s how corruption and bribery feel to me.

As you all know, Senator Mike Duffy was found not-guilty.  I was watching the news and heard this statement the judge made as part of the reasoning behind the verdict.

Are you ready? Here it is:  the “cheque benefited the Harper government.”

Now, being a Potvin (which is a neat little French slang word for “Bribe”), I like to think that I know a thing or two on that subject matter.

For starters, that’s kind of the freakin’ point to a bribe! It benefits the briber.

And, just in case my name didn’t entirely convince you of my authority on the matter, here’s  what Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary says about the word bribe, “persuade (someone) to act in one’s favor, typically illegally or dishonestly, by a gift of money or other inducement.”

And, let’s go all out here and take it to the next level. I know, it’s madness you say, but I’m going to do it.

If you take a bribe, you become complicit in the act of bribery.  It is a mutually beneficial relationship!

There I said it.

I really wish we would just hold people accountable. I’m not sure how to do it. I’ve just picked up a book at the library called, “Reclaiming the Commons for the Common Good” by Heather Menzies.  I’m loving it!  It’s about Scottish culture and how they used to have common land they would grow food on, pasture their sheep, etc.  There were rules that were followed and if  you broke the rules, you had to pay a fine.  It was self-governance and it worked well.

I think the greedy-minded corrupt people decided they wanted to own land. Property became the big thing.  (This is my interpretation of what happened.)

I  realize that Conservatives, Liberals and Socialists believe different things on global warming, environment, etc., but I really don’t think we can continue down this path. It’s just not sustainable.  Can we agree on something?

At any rate, I really do long for the day when bribery and corruption will be no more.  A line from Shakespeare  is ringing in mine ears, ”The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers” (Dick the Butcher in Henry VI, Part II, act IV, Scene II, Line 73).   I know, it’s too easy to blame lawyers for the world’s problems and technically Wallin and Duffy were journalists. And, Brazeau?  Well, that’s probably another blog…

Blessings,

Ellie

 

 

No Means No

Hello!

Whatever happened to the “No Means No” campaign?  I remember it well.

When I heard the not guilty verdict the judge issued in connection with the Ghomeshi trial, I was not surprised.  I decided not to think too much about it. It would make my hot-Latin blood boil over!

But then I read an article by my friend, Andrea Mrozek and made the mistake of talking about it to some friends.  The issue of consent came up in the conversation.  Now, to me the idea that a woman cannot consent to sexual relations when she is drunk is a no-brainer.  Of course she cannot consent – she’s intoxicated!

I walked away from that conversation and realized there is a generation of young people who need to relearn what I was taught.

I wondered if I was just born at the right time?   Maybe my  mother’s generation suffered because of the lack of education?  It is likely.

What I walked away with was a realization that we cannot let up. We cannot take it for granted that those who follow us are just going to “know” it.   Apparently, consent isn’t a no-brainer.

I started to read Tracey Lindberg’s debut novel, Birdie.  She speaks brilliantly to this point. There’s a female character who becomes involved in a sexual relationship with a man.  The sex is rough, leaving bruises on her body. In spite of knowing this is not a good relationship, she continues to go back.

The psychology of this scene and to what is going on underneath the surface is AMAZING!

In today’s age nobody would question why a woman would go back to an abusive relationship. We all know the psychological reasons as to why women stay in abusive relationships or go back “willingly”.

The same psychology happens in sexual relationships where there is physical abuse taking place.  Lindberg absolutely NAILS it.

We need to keep educating our young, old and those in-between until the physical abuse which occurs in sexual intercourse is seen as such, until it becomes a no-brainer in the psyche of our culture.

I also really wish we’d start siding with the women again…

To be quite honest, I don’t really care what the men are doing.  (I mean I care, but I don’t care. It’s up to men to tell the abusive guys to knock it off!)

I care more about women. I want us women to love ourselves, to truly believe that we are valuable and worthy to be treated well by a man.  Then, if and/or when a man strikes a woman, disrespects her, uses negative words to try and control her, tries to keep her down,
I want her to walk out on that man the FIRST time and not go back.  This is my prayer for women. All women.

Then the guys will have no one to beat on…

Blessings,

Ellie

PS – Check out this link to Andrea Mrozek’s article, entitled, Jian Ghomeshi Should Be Judged By Public Opinion, Not Courts

Jian Ghomeshi Should Be Judged By Public Opinion, Not Courts