Womenomics 101

Welcome to the basics, class

Humans, humans, humans, listen up!  Until we cease and desist from glorifying willful ignorance over acceptance of facts surrounding human existence, we will continue to reap what we sow.

 

The following are basic human facts (female associated with she/her, and male associated with he/him for these examples, however I do recognize and appreciate there are many gender/non-gendered combinations of humans):

 

We exist because some male parts and female parts connected, reproduced, and were carried by a female for an acceptable gestational period whereupon we were birthed.  ALL OF US.

 

Before a female human carries a potential new human around in her body, she must have begun menstruating.  Female human bodies release an egg every month throughout a large portion of their lives, which then sits and waits for some male to potentially release sperm to be introduced.  Basic reproduction, right?

The reality is that the meeting of the egg and the sperm rarely happens (given the amount of times both are available and released).  So instead, the female human’s body cleans itself out every single freaking fracking month by bleeding.  We bleed out what doesn’t grow into a new human.  Bleed bleed bleed bloody blood.  Sometimes its painful as frick (ovarian cysts for the win!), sometimes we stop it with drugs, sometimes we mother nature it up all over the place and bleed into silicone cups which we then dump out and use the blood as fertilizer in our gardens.  The point is that female humans BLEED every month.  What the devil is so flipping difficult to comprehend and accept this?

STOP taxing menstrual supplies.  They are not items we “decide to buy.” We need to function in society and we, female humans, BLEED EVERY MONTH.  (screaming it just in case you did not understand before this)

STOP punishing 12-year-old girls that need to be excused from class because they are in mind numbing pain from menstrual cramps/ovarian cysts etc.  They are female humans that BLEED EVERY MONTH and the alternative is that they become pregnant asap (hello beginning of time and pedophiles hiding under the patriarchal flag and females dying during childbirth).

STOP punishing any age female human for tending to their basic needs as females, who bleed every single damned month, unless they are pregnant or on prevention drugs (which you don’t want to pay for either).

STOP pretending like menstruation is an anomaly – EVERY female human from the beginning of time has bled every month once she hit puberty until menopause, unless pregnant or dead.

START incorporating your newfound knowledge of females monthly menstruation and behave in a humane way when considering your positions on menstrual supplies, gynecological care, birth control, and shaming policies associated with every human female’s monthly experiences.

 

Speaking of birth.  We have ALL been there – all of us.  You may have had the privileges of not only being birthed, but also of giving birth.  Since the beginning of time, females have been impregnated (by choice or by force), grown an entire new organ dedicated to nourishing the developing human while gestating, and given birth (through a temporarily insanely stretched vaginal canal or through surgery).

All of these things take immense effort and time and have lasting effects on a female’s body and brain.  Why do we continue to pretend that it does not?  Female humans are meant to strongly bond with their baby in order to provide for them. As it turns out, human babies cannot instinctually care for themselves.

Female bodies go through all of this change, growth, traumatic birthing, loss of new organ, bodily nourishing a new human through breastfeeding and strong bonding to protect the human race – and then walk away from the infant at 6 weeks to return to work as if nothing happened?!!?  As if we are still not feeling the effects of our bones stretching to massive capacity in a 24 hour period and then shrinking?  As if we are still not feeling the pull of tender tears or stitches?  As if the future of the human race carried in this tiny package we just expelled from our bodies, no longer needs nourishment?

6 weeks is so arbitrary and has only to do with ill-informed misogynistic men deciding that was when a female could resume her sexual intercourse duties – fyi.  THIS is what we are basing our care for newborn infants on.  Super seriously.

 

STOP being against females birthing and caring for human babies.

STOP forcing females and entirely-dependent-on-adults-for-survival-ideally-in-a-secure-developmentally-appropriate-single-bonding-nourishing-relationship babies to separate prematurely.

STOP pretending as if birth, lack of birth, adoption, fostering, loss of child, miscarriage etc do not affect adult humans.

 

All of you shamers and blamers, LOOKIT HERE:

Humans are having sex, are always going to have sex, and occasionally procreate.  Some humans cannot afford birth control.  Some humans do not have access to birth control for other reasons.  Some humans are forced into sex and pregnancy.  Some humans defy birth control and still become pregnant despite their best efforts.  The access to birth control or abortion is difficult or non-existent for most.  Female humans will continue to become pregnant, by will, inattentiveness, or by force. This is LIFE at its life-iest.  Stop punishing females for being pregnant and giving birth to our future.

When you punish them, you punish our future. 

Nourish the female and baby.  Give them as much time as they need to recover from coming into this world and providing the vehicle for coming into this world.  They need food, water, shelter, clothing, hygiene facilities (toilet, shower, washer etc).

STOP making them come to the pediatrician 2 days after giving birth and waiting with their precious new life in a room full of germs.

STOP making them bring the future of the human race into Social Services to obtain food stamps or other assistance.

STOP forcing dissociation and detachment by institutionalizing infants at 6 weeks old.

STOP pretending like our childcare system is even close to adequate or affordable in order to shame females into “real work”

 

Dudes, if we can afford to subsidize multibillion dollar sports franchises, we can afford to take much better care of our females and the babies they birth.

Humans, sometimes we are idiots and treat each other inhumanely.  STOP doing this.  STOP pretending that just because you are not having the experience, you are on some moral high ground that others should aspire. STOP and check your racism, classism and bigotry if you are tempted in the slightest to be all, “well, they get pregnant to stay on welfare and I’m not giving up my hard-earned money for laziness.” STOP punishing your own future!

START checking on your neighbors, supporting your local domestic violence shelter, finding who needs support at your school and bringing supplies in to your school counselor for them.

Oh yes, and VOTE

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Bang Bang (Chicken)

Uh-oh.  Now she’s going to preach about: gun control, teachers need guns, mental health, universal health care, libtards, evil conservatives, sexual assault, feminism, sexism, patriotism, nationalism, racism…

 

TRIGGER WARNING

 

trigger, trigger, trigger!

 

BANG!

 

Honestyism

 

Those of us living in the United States of America, are living in a fear reactive based culture in general.  On top of that, we maintain this bizarre “code of silence” about truths and realities of our culture/town/neighbors/school/family/self which permits us to disengage and disconnect from responsibility to ourselves and to each other.  These things prevent us from having productive dialogue, discourse, and disagreements, which could lead to healthy compromise and solutions.

 

For example:  I am confident that there are next to zero parents who want to their child to feel unsafe at school, or to be shot at school.  This is the beginning of a dialogue.

Some of us might feel that schools need security/police/armed teachers or staff for our child to feel safe and not be shot at school.

Some of us might feel that we need better gun control/mental health support over all for our child to feel safe and not be shot at school.

(psst… these are not mutually exclusive ideas, just different ideas)

 

When the dialogue becomes about the extremes, which we are brilliant at, the discourse breaks down and stagnates until the side with the most power and control gets their way.  This leaves the rest of us scratching our heads, “what just happened?!!” Or loosing complete interest and tuning into some reality television show/youtuber/drink/exercise/food/work/sex/whatever to tune out our reality.

BANG!

The power and control duo do not equal good leadership.

BANG!

Having power and control is not a good indicator of good decision making.  (hello, world history and anyone who has been in an abusive relationship)

 

One of the things that makes our country so great, is that we emerged from a group of people who were unified in their belief that there was a better system for collective living. Rather than relying on those who wielded only power and control, they developed a system of collective input and feedback (not equitable, and with other issues, yes, yes, yes I am simplifying.  I said “ONE of the things,” anywho…).

BANG!

We have the laws we have because we voted for them.

BANG!

We have the people in office that we have because we voted for them.

 

Gun laws or lack of?  We vote for those.  BANG! BANG!

Education system?  We vote for that.  BANG! BANG!

 

I am not under any Pollyannaish spell where the magical world of magical peace will be attained through everyone believing in my truth.

 

I am suggesting that, as a collective, we do not accept our own culpability or responsibility in our collective missteps, disappointments, inactivity/activities. Shame and blame game, baby.  Power and control for the win!

 

WORTHINESS is critical.  Believing that one is worthy and others are worthy.

 

All it takes is for me to look inside my own home, inside of my own family, inside of my own community, to see this playing out.

 

My Home/Family:

There are so many scenarios to demonstrate in this dynamic.  The two men in my son’s life who are the closest to him struggle to maintain civility, courtesy and respect with SonHerisme.  It is awful.  I draw my boundaries as I am able to do so, and I am getting stronger and more able everyday.  In the meantime, I wonder what these men are doing to help SonHerisme feel worthy as a person.  Worthy enough that he can see worthiness in others.  Worthy enough that he does not get to the end of his rope as an at-risk teen and go into a high school or workplace or concert, and decide that not only is he unworthy, but so is everyone else.  What are they doing to show him how to be a functioning healthy adult man?

 

I could have this conversation with them.  It would not be received.

 

After the latest High School shooting, my father wondered what the differences could be between that shooter and himself.  My father tragically lost his father when he was very young.  His mother became ill and died when he was a teenager.  He was poor.  He was bullied.  My father is completely at a loss in understanding why this young man in Florida, and other white men, are shooting kids at schools, when he did not do that.

Unlike these kids, my father had a support system of people who believed he was worthy, and showed him that others had worth too.  He had a consistent sense of reciprocal responsibility in his community from the time he was born.

He did not have access to the kinds of firearms people do today.

 

Bang

 

My School/Community:

In our school community, parents are not included in the school-day community at all.  It is considered a sacred place for children only (and the staff).  Our after-school community consists of primarily female-centric activities run by parents (girl scouts, brownies, garden club, writing club, mother-daughter book club… yes, gardening and writing are not just for girls, but they are female centric and female run).  There is a co-ed robot club too, limited and selective, and an athletic club that meets seasonally at a local park (also run by women).

 

I have reached out multiple times to try and establish interest and leadership in more male-centric activities (scouts, maker-space, running club etc) with little to no response, and ultimately no action.  Inevitably someone comments, “where are the dads?,” “c’mon dads, grandfathers, uncles, step up!,” on my social media posts on the school page.  As if publicly shaming the men, we will make them want to be involved.

 

I offered my intention to walk near the school on the planned walk-out days, specifically noting that I would not disrupt the school day.  I was told, through an intermediary, that I was going to frighten kindergartners (oddly no mention of the preschoolers, so I guess they are a-okay with my goings on). After much circular dialogue, I finally received confirmation that the principal specifically wanted this person to tell me not to walk near the school.  We are so ridiculous in our silence and assumptions.  No one thought to have the courtesy to ask me what my vision and intentions were beyond my post. No one thought of how to promote supportive community (as in the entire school community, not just the carved out piece of children and staff) in this charged time.  By the way, I was going to walk and talk about peace and safety with my son, on the public sidewalk near the school.  Which, it being a public sidewalk and all, no one can prevent me from walking on.  Ironically, no one else indicated they were joining us.  It was most likely going to be the two of us on a bonding stroll, reinforcing to my son that I was, in some small way, a member of his school community and supportive of the community.

 

Where in our community are we offering support for our boys to feel that sense of worthiness?  That sense that others are worthy?  That sense of reciprocal responsibility?  We can’t even do it in our own school.  How can we expect it to happen in our broader community?

 

bang

 

I am struggling in my own home with this.

 

bang bang bang Bang BANG

 

I am so proud to be a citizen of this country, despite our gross flaws, because each of us can potentially make a difference by using our voice and vote to steer our collective community and nation.  I am finding it amazing that more and more people seem to be engaged and interested in our country’s direction.

 

I agree that there isn’t a single answer for this recurring gun violence in schools issue, and also that we need to start somewhere.

Changing gun laws seems to be a no-brainer beginning, but it does not address our serious endemic issues (which are often institutionally endorsed).

I believe that we have been teetering on a tipping point for some time in our country. I hope I’m contributing to us tipping in the direction of peace and humanity.  I am trying in my little corner, to support my SonHerisme to feel his own worthiness and the worthiness of others.

 

Maybe I should do more.  Maybe I should do differently.  For now:

 

Please let me stay healthy and alive until SonHerisme reaches well into adulthood, to give him the best footing to not become a tragic statistic.

Please let us pause and collect ourselves nationally to support school safety.

Please check on your neighbor.

Please help our fatherless boys (and those with harmful fathers).

Love, Ms. Herisme xo

 

Bang Bang (Chicken)

Mayonnaise, sweet chili sauce, honey and hot sauce – mix ‘em up = bang bang sauce

Fry up some stuff, dip fried stuff into sauce

I hate mayonnaise.  Oh, wait.  I mean, I like to eat it occasionally when it is called for, but I hate it.  I hate the way it looks.  I hate reading the word.  I hate saying the word.  Blech

Do you know what I hate more than mayonnaise?  Hypocrisy, “code of silence,” lying, compromised health and safety, kids getting shot at school.  You know, the everyday.

b aaa nnnnn ggggggg

Ciao, Chanderdeep

IMG_6518

It has been a while.

“May,” you say?

Well, yes, and thank you for noticing.

 

Like you, I am scrunched, sandwiched, overwhelmed, isolated, lonely, frightened, alive and all of the things.

 

MrexH’s whereabouts are currently unknown, in case you were wondering.

 

I tell SonHerisme all of the things that would indicate that we are safe and everything will be okay.

  1. The last we were made aware of, MrexH was in Puerto Rico and riding out Maria (the storm, get your head outta the gutta), with his parents.
  2. Puerto Rico is far away from us.
  3. MrexH’s parents live at the top of a huge hill in a concrete house.
  4. Hurricanes do not blow down concrete (roofs yes, concrete no).
  5. They live across the street from a monastery full of nuns and their church.
  6. The monastery is concrete and built into the side of the hill.
  7. Nuns are helpers and community support.
  8. MrexH and his parents have been through hurricanes before (nothing like this, of course, but let’s keep that between you and me).
  9. As soon as someone has any news of MrexH’s whereabouts/condition and his parents’, they will phone us (it’s what I’m telling myself too).
  10. We have an alarm system on our house.
  11. We have our own community of support.
  12. Mommy is brave and strong (this might be a bald faced lie, but I say it anyway).

 

This, plus my mother’s continued health issues, plus her doggies had to have surgery (yes, I am caring for them as well), plus regular life crap, equals one stressed out lady (that’s me).

 

This leads me to how I end up on a screen chat with Chanderdeep from Xfinity Comcast, regarding my current subscription and how I am suddenly blocked from channels that I had a week ago.

 

Screen time at my house only comes on weekends and accompanied by SonHerisme, who is 9 and mostly wants to play video games with me.  Otherwise, I have perhaps 10 minutes on select weekday mornings, to watch a television show that is just for me.

I watch my rare 10 minutes on my first release vintage iPad whilst slowly inhaling the aroma from my coffee and taking lazy sips.

For 10 minutes.

10 minutes.

That’s all I need to start off my day.

10 freaking fracking flooming blooming minutes.

(cue doggies wanting out/walked/fed, HerismeMother awakening needing coffee/bandage change/pills, SonHerisme needing cuddles/stories/breakfast…)

 

Chanderdeep tried his/her best to help me, eventually implementing a temporary fix.  I told Chanderdeep how much I knew that the world was suffering, people are suffering, deep painful suffering, and my first world problems were selfish and stupid.  What I didn’t tell Chanderdeep, was about my sacred 10 minutes.  I didn’t tell Chanderdeep that SonHerisme and I have been at risk for murder and my brain needs a break.  I didn’t tell Chanderdeep how my mother screams and cries when I have to change her bandage twice each day and my brain needs a break.  I didn’t ask Chanderdeep how he/she was doing.  I didn’t ask Chanderdeep how I could alleviate some of his/her suffering or daily life pain that we all experience.

I thanked Chanderdeep.

I wished Chanderdeep a successful remainder of his/her work shift.

I wished Chanderdeep a lovely peaceful life.

 

Chanderdeep wrapped up the conversation asap, as you can imagine you might if some strange lady wanting cable access suddenly dived into a place of wierdo-schmierdo-I-want-validation-for-my-sellfish-needs place.

 

So, yes, I am struggling with more than cable access (which I haven’t even dignified with finding time to watch for those 10 freaking minutes as SonHerisme’s nightmares have returned post-hurricane convo), Chanderdeep.  I am sorry that you have to listen to looney tunes such as myself.

I might be spiraling a bit.

Truly, from my heart, I send you tons of peaceful successful vibes and my hopes that someday I will redeem myself to you.  For now, I say, “Ciao, Chanderdeep,” until another day, my screen chat Xfinifty guide.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Couple Out

img_4378

 

After the neighbors across the street moved away, a new couple moved in.  I do not remember anything about the family that moved away, because I was so young.

I do remember the couple that moved in.

They lived across the street, until I was long grown and gone from my parent’s home.

We were forbidden to run across their manicured lawn. They did not have any children.  However, they always kept their eyes on the children on our street, and never hesitated to call our parents if they were worried or disapproved of our behavior.

Yeah, my parents were called a few times (kissing underneath the only streetlight on our street – teenagers have mushy brains).

Many people on our street had the nastiest attitudes and words for that couple.  My mother and our next-door-neighbor lady, were always trying to include and defend that couple with our neighbors.

But, the couple knew they were outcasts from the general neighborhood.

As a child, I found this completely confusing.

To me that couple seemed to have happily and contentedly figured out an answer to what seemed to be, a very difficult issue in our Midwestern white middle-class suburban culture.

 Whenever the mommies gathered, there were a million complaints about their husbands, typically rounding out with a unanimous disgusted, “ugh, MEN!” sigh.

Whenever we were left in the care of our daddies babysitting (showing my age here, GenX all the way!), there were a million complaints about their wives, typically rounding out with a unanimous disgusted, “ugh, WOMEN!” sigh.

 

To me it seemed like the couple across the street had magically figured out how to smooth all of those issues out by finding each other.

This couple were together for over 60 years,

when they unexpectedly died within a month of each other. 

 

I annoyed the hell out of them.

I thought they were great.

I was given some of their furniture they wanted me to have when they died.

I still have it.

 

 Mr. Mike and Mr. Paul 

Trailblazers for normality of consensual humans humaning

 

Coming out day is today.

Humanizing {{{hugs}}} all around

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xo

SWUFF

img_3619

 

Single, White, Unemployed, Fuller, Female.  Has ridden a camel in the desert and an amateur understanding of Brexit.  Enjoys water, weather and world stuffs.  Seeking.

 

I am not sure what I am seeking.

 

It’s difficult to imagine putting any of my requests out into the universe.  I have done that before and it sure as F did not work out the way I imagined.

I currently tend to take each moment as it presents itself.

Oh, we’re doing this now, with a basketball and a can of sardines?

Sure. Absolutely.

I call the fork, you may have the crackers and first shot.

 

At a friend’s home for a dinner party (kids outside running wild with snack bags and flashlights, grown-ups inside with wild conversation), the topic of online dating comes up.

I am not online/inline/ftf dating, so I listen in.  Also, again, awkward introvert here.

 

A lovely woman (not sarcastically lovely, she is lovely), begins telling the tales of her awesome brother’s online dating dramas.  A paraphrased part of the conversation:

 

LW (Lovely Woman):  You just would not believe the women my brother has met.  It’s ridiculous how many women are out there, just waiting for any meager bit of attention. My brother strikes up conversations, everything seems to be going well, and then inevitably these women turn out to be bat-sh!t crazy.  They have had horrible divorces, been abused, abandoned or have crazy ex’s who are going to kill them or kill anyone who dates them.  I just don’t know how he is going to meet anyone normal on those sites.  These women are crazy.

Me: (in my brain) Holy f’in sh!t.  That is me. (reality moment) If I were online dating, I would totally be the crazy woman. Man, my situation is uniquely messed up.  Yet, somehow also universal.

 

How is it that there are so many of us?  What the heck is going on?  Clearly we are capable of some level of intelligence – as evidenced by our ability to use a computer.  Yet.  There we are.   And there are a lot of us, apparently.

 

Come to think of it, out of 8 roommates through my college years, 4 of us have been victims of sexual abuse as a child or as an adult.  Possibly more of us, but I am not personally aware of abuse with the other women.

 

50% of my college roommates understand abuse from personal experience

 

Wowza

 

How can this be true, and then we all feel so shocked, outraged and horrified that women/girls/men/boys are abused every day throughout the world?

Are we entirely unaware that our people are no different than their people?

It doesn’t matter if you are living with a precarious religious regime, famine area, 1000+ year-old culture of castes, democratic state, autocratic state, monarchy, dictatorship, military control, suffering natural disasters, 1200BC, 1200AD, 1800AD, 2016AD, you will easily find humans overtly abusing other humans.

Even in our smug part of the world.

 

Power and control.  Humanity being itself.

 

It sure is taking us a long time as a species to learn how to move beyond punching or raping someone as a means of dominance and compliance. We cannot even agree in our country, in our state, in our school, that a child touching another child in a way they do not want to be touched, is a serious problem.

We “teach” about bullying with our words, but our actions do not reflect what we are saying to our children. It’s always happening somewhere else, or it’s just children playing, or that guy deserved to be cut-off and flipped off because he pulled out in front of me, or she/he was asking for it so I smacked them in the face, etc.

Please let us stop not talking about this.

 

How do we allow for complete emotions, in a healthy manner? 

How are we role-modeling for our children (even mistakes)? 

How are we teaching our children to express themselves? To protect themselves?

To empathize with each other?

 

I do hope and pray that this truly is a time of enlightenment in human history, which will allow space for such a complete shift in motivations and actions, that abuse of another human seems unreal to future generations.

The news is daunting on that front.

Perhaps we can take heart that universal conversations,

now started,

like the toothpaste out of a tube,

cannot be stuffed back in. 

With the instant connections and ability to humanize each other’s stories, empathize, sympathize and hold space for each other’s souls, maybe, maybe, maybe…  treating each other with kindness, respect and consideration, is what I am seeking.

 

Love, admittedly optimistic, possibly naïve, Ms Herisme xo