Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Archive for the tag “nurturing”

From Someone More Qualified than Me – Tom Rossi

This week, I’ve decided to let my wife, Marianne, take my post once again. This is an email she wrote in the middle of the night, a week or so ago, when the weight of life landed on her mind at about 3am. She sent this out to several friends and family members. Their appreciative responses made us decide to share.

Here is Marianne’s email:

I feel compelled to write to you, all the women in my life, because I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be a woman. In part, this is because I’ve become an aunt again, as many of you know. But it’s also because next week I’m having a lump removed. Don’t worry, it’s nothing serious! It’s a benign tumor, not breast cancer, but it has made me pause and think.

As women we are very good at taking care of other people. We are nurturing (which is why more of us should be leaders, taking care of the planet and its people). Sometimes I think we forget to take care of ourselves, and our lives become unbalanced. Sometimes our bodies have to remind us to take care of ourselves first. For me that means having alone time, soaking in a hot bath, reading a book, playing the piano, setting aside time for my creativity, my writing. For you it may be something different, but the important thing is to do something for yourself on a regular basis.

As women we tend to think that we’re not good enough, not perfect enough. The things we say to ourselves we’d never say to our children, our friends, or even our husbands! The fact is that we ARE good enough, and we are not perfect; nobody is (especially not our husbands so we might as well give up on trying to make them so!). Let’s have compassion for ourselves, even for that inner critic; after all, she’s just trying to keep us safe. Rather than being critical and judgmental of her, or any part of ourselves, let’s be kind and accepting, just as we are (hopefully!) with everyone around us.

I guess what I’m trying to say with all of this is that if part of being a woman is being nurturing, then let’s not forget to be nurturing to ourselves!

Love,

Marianne

Back to Tom:

I hope the women who read this will find it uplifting. The men might even find it so, as well.And by the way, I think my wife is way beyond “good enough!” She’s also a very good writer (yes, much better than me), which you will be able to confirm when she finishes the massive project she’s working on. In the meantime, you could read this:

self compassion2561542_o

-Tom Rossi

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Tom Rossi is a commentator on politics and social issues. He is a Ph.D. student in International Sustainable Development, concentrating in natural resource and economic policy. Tom greatly enjoys a hearty debate, especially over a hearty pint of Guinness.

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The Triumph of Fake Feminism

I’m gonna make some enemies with this one, but this has to be said.

Feminism…

has failed.

At least modern feminism has failed. It has been co-opted, diverted, lured and seduced by false goals – the goals that are deemed acceptable by our society… a society historically constrained by testosterone. It has been subverted by a race that essentially threw away the advances in thought brought to us over 2,000 years ago by the likes of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle in favor of that most masculine form of expression, war. A few early victories, such as gaining the right to vote, still stand as the only significant accomplishments for feminism as a movement.

There are many examples of women who have achieved success and status in America. But, in my opinion, most (no, not all) of these successful women have sold out. I say this because it seems that, to climb the corporate or the political ladder, what’s required of a woman is that she abandon the very qualities that makes hers the finer (again, in my opinion) gender.

The feminine qualities of nurturing, caring, empathy, the ability to not only see the other person’s point of view but to FEEL their feelings even if just for a second, the emotional intelligence, the talent for real, two-way communication, and the tendency to prefer cooperation over conflict seem all too often to be abandoned in the quest for status. Either that, or it’s just the women who least exhibit these qualities in the first place that are able to advance in our society.

Before I get 10,000 pieces of hate mail, I’m well aware that a human being is very complex. Both men and women share qualities that, for the sake of discussion, have been labeled as the exclusive domain of one or the other. These qualities overlap to varying degrees and there is no linear spectrum.

However, our political and business landscapes are largely penis measuring contests. Who’s toughest on crime? I am! Who wants to spend even more on our military? I do! Who’s got the most Leave-it-to-Beaver-like family values? I have! Who wants our company to make the most money at any expense? I do! Who’s the most greedy? I am! Who will sell out every principle of civilized conduct in order to advance “our” interests? I will!

What we’ve (men) said is essentially that we’ll allow you, as a woman, to rise up, but only if you act like a man, embrace masculine behavior, and lead with masculine policies.

We have not seen the rise of femininity or feminine traits in our society. Instead women have gained the right to “succeed” – if and when they act like men. Women who espouse the greed-is-good “philosophy” are allowed to join the man-created rat race to run on the hamster-wheel of materialism, faster and faster, until they die.

Most of the women who have succeeded in our society have done so only by masculine definitions of success. The images of successful women with which we are bombarded on TV and in the movies are of ass-kicking, gun-toting, tough, and sometimes ruthless “winners.” They prioritize money and power and status and they get those things and they let no one stand in their way.

Thankfully, there are notable exceptions to the masculine imperative. Some women have shown true strength in either defining their own goals and their own criteria for success, or in gradually doing their part in turning science or academic thought in new directions. Oprah Winfrey is one example. Oprah is not merely an entertainer; she’s a social-engineer who works to advance the positives of both the feminine and the masculine. Others include many of the women scientists and activists, some of whom I have been lucky enough to know personally, and others whose works I have read.

Women like Elinor Ostrom, Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Vandana Shiva, Sandra Postel and Malin Falkenmark are great examples. The word “hero” get’s tossed around way to much in our country, but these women really are heroes – not to feminism, not to women, but to humanity. They are working to make the world a better place for everyone – men, women, children, and in some cases, animals too.

I make my criticisms with a great deal of sadness. I’m tired, disgusted and damaged by what the men with the biggest penises have done to our world. Certain masculine qualities – logic, rationality, courage, decisiveness, the ability to calculate risk and choose a course of action accordingly – would blend so well with the best feminine qualities if we weren’t all enslaved by violence and misguided competition.

I pray that one day this world will graduate from junior-high and enter a new, more advanced mode. If we start listening to the feminine, it could happen.

-Tom Rossi

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Tom Rossi is a commentator on politics and social issues. He is a Ph.D. student in International Sustainable Development, concentrating in natural resource and economic policy. Tom greatly enjoys a hearty debate, especially over a hearty pint of Guinness.

Tom also posts on thrustblog.blogspot.com

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