Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Parent's Love

I always thought parents of gay children that support their child's coming out period are truly amazing. Especially those in this generation that are coming out at such an early age and yet those parents do all they can to understand and support their child through those developmental years.  (My own mother was pretty awesome dealing with me and I was already out of her house when I came out.) But a few nights ago, I watched a show that really got to me about transgendered people. I want to be careful how I say this as I don’t want to offend one group or another. But seeing young children on this show that truly believed they were in the wrong body and how they were dealing with it; witnessing the pain in the parent's eyes as they did all they could to support their child while they mourned the loss of the gender they were born – I was completely blown away. I cannot even imagine what these people must go through. Growing up, I could hide my homosexuality, but I never had to look in a mirror and despise myself in the way these children are. I find it heartbreaking for them to actually be going through it, and my heart also aches for the parents. But I did see the meaning of unconditionally love in that show as a parent allowed their young boy to live his life as a girl. And a mother took her teenage daughter to start her testosterone injections. That is a love I’m sure I’ll never know as someone who is not a parent. But man am I inspired to see that it exists.   

Monday, February 21, 2011

Blame it on the Pheromones?

I find it very hard to fathom that people still blame women when it comes to a sexual assault or harassment. Reading comments on forums about the CBS correspondent Lara Logan who was attacked in Egypt or the woman last fall who was harassed in the Jet’s locker room - people are quick to blame the woman’s apparel or ask the question “why is a woman there anyways?” The reasoning behind some of the statements I’ve read make it seem as if men are just primal animals who cannot control themselves in the presence of a woman. If a woman is put in the midst of a group of men – they will always be attacked. That is the most asinine excuse I’ve ever heard. Men (the last time I checked) have brains and know the difference between right and wrong. Giving into the excuse of ‘mob mentality’ allows the men to act in whatever way they chose and say basically a woman should know better. I saw MEN should know better.
Lara Logan before her attack.

First those that are perpetrating the act and second those that are ignorant enough to comment in such a way on a public forum. Women are not to be blamed for doing the job they are paid to do and taking the crap dished out by these men any more than a man would be in that position and ended up being kidnapped or worse yet – murdered. I’m appalled that people add the word ‘sexual’ to assault or harassment and suddenly no one is responsible for thinking anymore and it’s ‘obviously’ the tight outfit the woman is wearing. Word is coming out now that Ms. Logan was brutally attacked and for what? Because she had long blonde hair and men couldn't keep their hands to themselves? I wish people would use common sense and think a tiny bit more before giving men a free pass for bad behavior. Anyone who has read anything on this story has to see just how heinous at act it was.  

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's a Plan!

What makes some people planners and others have the gift of being spontaneous? There are those of us that need to know what  we'll be doing weeks in advance and others can stop what they are doing and shift gears. I was talking to a friend about this recently and wish I could live my life more in the latter. But I've been a planner from day 1. Checking of my list. I bet I was in my mother's womb deciding the exact moment I would make my entrance. I see my youngest niece deciding on college for next fall and I'm taken back to when I had known by my sophomore year of high school that I would be going to NYC. 
As an adult, everyone knows I plan vacations - wayyyyy in advance. I think I always need to have something to be looking forward to...something coming along down the road. And if life gets too quiet, I think of new things to plan. Now those goals are not always met (I'm turning 42 soon and the plan to have my first novel published before I was 40 came and went), but then I'll rewrite the plan to go a different way. While I'll be the first to admit that I love when people come to me to help them as they work out their own plans, I do wish I had a bit of that ability to stop and enjoy the day at hand. If there was one thing I could do better - it would be to live in the present a little more and less looking down the road. 
Perhaps I'll add that to my check list of things to do.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

You Want to Pay Me WHAT?

Everyone has collectively said that teachers in the U.S. do not get paid what they are worth. The people challenged with educating our children are paid next to nothing when you hold it up against other professions in this country. (Movie Star or athlete anyone?)  As a matter of fact, if you did a search on low paying jobs, much of the service industry that keeps our lives afloat fall into those categories. But last night, I was really baffled by something I watched on ABC. Airline pilots starting salaries are $17,000 a year. There was an entire story done on these men and women not making enough to live near the hub cities they work.  Many only get a few hours of sleep prior to a flight in the crew lounge or some sort of makeshift flophouse where they sleep in bunk beds in over crowded rooms. These are the people who have our lives in their hands up in the skies. It really made me stop and think about the value we place on different industries. Or lack of value in some cases. I realize people do not want "Big Brother" dictating what people should and shouldn't make in our society, but it seems to me that at some point - someone needs to step in and rethink the conditions under which people work. If pilots are having to shack up in bunks because they can't afford a decent place to rest - this has a direct affect on public safety. If truck drivers going across country are not monitored and told when they need to pull over and get into their cab to sleep - again, other's lives are at risk. And just maybe...MAYBE at some point we'll see the value of education addressed so that kids grow up believing that giving back to a child as a mentor/teacher is just as important as how fast you can dribble a ball.  

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Voices to be Heard

I have been watching with the rest of the world as young people gather together to demand a change. Not unlike young generations in other countries prior to them. The US became infamous for the protesters on college campuses during the Vietnam War. And it was pretty well known that it was that generation turning out in droves at our last presidential election that aided in "a change" to the White House. And here are a group wanting their voices to be heard as well. It was only three months ago that I was actually in Egypt and I can still see those faces in my mind. Everywhere we went, we were greeted with smiles. Our female guide gave us insight into the education system as well as roles of women in the family and society. (Though there are places women can not enter, it is the matriarch of the family that makes many of the decisions.) They are a proud country, but one that has many issues with government (which even goes to the amount of trash around the major cities as it will not be picked up, though citizens pay for such a service). 

For a country yearning for a democratic society, a single man has lead for 30 years and they are declaring enough is enough. No one knows how this will play out. I only hope they receive assistance in creating a true environment in which voting can take place and not simply another group attempts to take-over the government. And I pray the revolting does not lead to great amounts of blood shed and detriment to the history of that country through looting and damages. But my patriotic heart longs for them to see the day when they are in control of choosing their leaders and feel they are being heard. Even in those times when we don't always believe every group in our country is 'heard': we still have a pretty amazing country when you hold it up against those fighting for what we see as standard human rights.