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Living on the Hedge(row)

Musings on Hearth and Home

How Not To Be A Privileged Ass …

This is a serious post… Dead serious. I have been sitting on this, trying to think of a way to talk about it, to bring attention to a problem that WE have. If you have not read the link in this post, I ask you to please read it… I am going to post it every time I personally witness the marginalization of another person.

I am a middle aged white woman, and I am sick and tired of people who look like me (white) that keep saying stupid ass shit that demonstrates just how unaware they are of themselves and the world around them. Just stop, now. Please. You are embarrassing yourselves, and defending yourselves with more stupid ass comments isn’t helping.

Today a woman posted in a local FB community page about an experience she had at a local grocery store. She shared that she was born and raised here but her parents are from the Philippines. She shared that she went to the courtesy counter to pick up some money and after she presented her ID she was asked if she was “born here” (in this country).

She was stunned into silence by the incredibly intrusive question and made to feel that she did not belong here – in this country. She finished her shopping and left as quickly as she could.

She shared that deeply personal experience with our community and was immediately attacked and her experience marginalized.

“Maybe it was a mis-understanding”… And then the posts began… She was being too sensitive, don’t read too much into it, the clerk was just trying to make small talk – and then it got worse. And then it got even more worse… As if that were even possible.

Someone even posted that the question that was asked was required to receive money from Western Union and posted a link – which I followed, and no where did it state that asking where a person was born is a required question. As a matter of fact, other than your ID, there is NO other personal information that you are required to give.

You need to know who is sending you the money, and where the person is located but nothing personal beyond that.

My response to her post was that I was sorry she experienced that situation. I encouraged her to contact the manager of the store, just so they were aware and could work with their staff to educate them.

I also sent her a private message apologizing for the comments of our fellow community members. They were beyond insensitive.

I’ve got her back. I don’t even know her, but I’ve got her back.

What I found disturbing about the whole thread was that the majority of criticism came from white people… How do I know? I looked at their profiles, what I could see of them – including public posts and comments, pictures, groups… but mostly, they identified themselves as “white” in their posts on the community thread.

One comment came from a man who claimed to be “color blind” and stated that he did not suffer from “white guilt”…

I posted this same link to that thread, to his response, and then posted it again in the main thread. Hoping, hoping that someone would take the time to realize the damage that they were doing. Hoping they would try to understand a different perspective.

I am beyond angry and this isn’t the first time that I have witnessed this kind of behavior and insensitivity from people in the community… Today I left the group.

I am done being nice about this, and I am going to continue to speak out.

All I ask is that you read the attached link, the related links and any other information that you can find about marginalized groups and how WE can support them.

If you cannot support people, then please stay quiet. They have enough on their plates already.

I do not know how the woman is feeling at this point… I can imagine how I would feel if I were her.

Imagine if you, yourself, had to deal with this (the subtle and not so subtle nuances of being a POC or a member of a marginalized group).

I always come back to this:
Before you speak, ask yourself these questions. If you cannot answer yes to all four, it may be better to not say anything.

Is it timely?
Is it true?
Is it considerate?
Does it add value?

————————————————————-
Original was a FaceBook post by Grace Caldara:

I wrote this for Pantsuit Nation, but all my friends, family and whoever else should see it too.
I have seen many many posts saying “we are all women”, “I don’t see color”, “what does race have to do with anything?” This is not only dismissive it’s colorblind and very hurtful. I am a black multiracial women. My blackness shapes who I am as a women, to deny me the recognition of my blackness is to deny a core part of me and my experience as a women in this world. So I wrote this post. I realize it will make people uncomfortable and even angry but I hope you sit with that discomfort and you hear me out so we can be a better and more inclusive space.
There has been a lot of discussion about white privilege, intersectionality, racism and microagressions and how they all play a role in feminism. As a new Moderator, I want to try and help some of you start the process of figuring this out.

Privilege
So this is unearned and often hidden benefits given to you by society. The links provide more explanation and examples of white privilege. It’s not a dirty word, it’s often used to show you that you need to back off, stop and listen. Many people default that privilege = rich but there are many different types of privilege. These include but are not limited to the following: white, Cis, heterosexual, able-body, hearing, Christian, male, financial etc.

You can be privileged in one area, and lack privilege in another. My self I am a cis able bodied heterosexual black Christian women. My privileges are and not limited to Christian, cis, heterosexual, able bodied, hearing. I lack male and white privilege. It’s important to learn what your privileges are because those are what society defaults to, once you learn what privileges you have,you can start to learn how to push back on your privilege and use your privilege to those who don’t have it. 
Racism
You can’t fully understand racism if you don’t understand white privilege in our society. Racism by definition is Power/privilege + Racial Prejudice. What is this power portion.. this power comes from society… this is what society defaults to which is white privilege. This is why reverse racism does not exist. People of color do not have the privilege or power element in society. Everyone can have racial prejudices. No one is immune to that. Just because your sister/brother/aunt/ child/ friend is a person of color this does not absolve you or exempt you from having racial bias or from doing/saying something racist. So when someone says x,y,z is racist don’t say but I have this person of color so I can’t be racist. Yes you still can be. 

Color blindness
The above brings us to color blindness. Many of us are products that were taught not to see color and to be colorblind. We have work to do to undo that. Color blindness is a form of racism. This is because it ignores the real experiences that people of color have because they are people of color. It’s absolutely fine to recognize that we are all different and unique. These differences make us who we are. Don’t be afraid of them embrace them. See me for me. See me as a black women, not just a women. Recognize these identities are what shape me.

Microagressions
These are what I call accidentally racist statements. Things like “you speak well for a black girl” or “where are you from? No really WHERE are you From?” Etc. these are harmful because they other the person and also serve to reinforce harmful stereotypes. 

Intersectionality feminism
This is important. Feminism has a long history of only working towards advancement of whites women and leaving women of color behind. We need intersectionality feminism to advance all women. We need to know that while we are working towards equality we have to remember and work to advance this issues that plague our trans sisters and our sisters of color. Each of these communities have unique and different issues we have to work towards them too.

So now what?
1) not ignore our voices
2) don’t minimize our struggles
3) learn when to stop talking and listen and when to use your voice to educate
4) stop telling us color doesnt matter. It does and saying it doesn’t is racist
5) keep yourself educated on the issues, follow BIPOC, Lgbtq and other marginalized groups pages
6) get comfortable being uncomfortable when people say hey that’s offensive/hurtful/racist apologize. Don’t double down, don’t say I’m sorry but… or I’m sorry that’s not my intention. Just I’m sorry
7) keep other white people (and other privileged people) in check. Call in your fellow privileged people. 
8) ask what the marginalized communities need and listen to the members for answers.
9) we don’t want your sympathy we want your solidarity 
10) don’t Center the conversation around yourself if we are telling you our truth. It is not the same nor is it helpful.

If you made it through this congrats. I wanted to write this so that we as pantsuit nation can come together and make sure we work and continue to work as an inclusive group where we ALL feel accepted and loved. This means learning hard stuff and being uncomfortable and not being afraid to be uncomfortable. Uncomfortable is good that is how we grow.

White privilege
http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5269255
https://www.deanza.edu/faculty/lewisjulie/White%20Priviledge%20Unpacking%20the%20Invisible%20Knapsack.pdf
https://alittlemoresauce.com/2014/08/20/what-my-bike-has-taught-me-about-white-privilege/
http://witnessingwhiteness.com/Witnessing_Main/Witnessing_Whiteness_Home.html

Racism
http://www.diversityinc.com/ask-the-white-guy/ask-the-white-guy-is-the-oxford-dictionary-definition-of-racism-too-white-for-you/
http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/papers/caleb/racism.html
http://www.rawstory.com/2014/11/racism-without-racists-white-supremacy-so-deeply-american-that-we-dont-even-see-it/
http://everydayfeminism.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/2014-11-11-Definition.png
http://dennisloo.com/Articles/prejudice-and-racism-aren-t-the-same-thing.html

Reverse racism
http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/4379326
http://www.dailydot.com/via/reverse-racism-doesnt-exist/?fb=dd

Microaggressions
http://www.apa.org/monitor/2009/02/microaggression.aspx
https://www.buzzfeed.com/hnigatu/racial-microagressions-you-hear-on-a-daily-basis?utm_term=.cqOW772OV#.wmRKyyAwp

Intersectionality
http://intersectionalfeminism101.tumblr.com/
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/10572435/Intersectional-feminism.-What-the-hell-is-it-And-why-you-should-care.html
http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/01/why-our-feminism-must-be-intersectional/

Color blindness
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/white-millennials-products-failed-lesson-colorblindness/
http://whiteseducatingwhites.tumblr.com/post/30824175814/race-101-colorblindness-and-the-privilege-of-not
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/culturally-speaking/201112/colorblind-ideology-is-form-racism

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I’ve come undone….

Apparently I am a “meanie”… Oooh! 

I actually laughed at the statement because I didn’t say anything mean. Well, I’ll let you be the judge… I have posted the thread below.

I posted on my personal Facebook page Sunday that I am done:

This is what started the “you are just being mean” thread… I responded to an old classmates post on Facebook today.

First of all, while I admittedly dislike Donald Trump, I am not as upset by his words (as leaked in an 11 [or so] year old taped conversation he had with Billy Bush), as I am with the outrageous number of posts and comments by people in the general public condoning those words (and actions) and actually defending people like Donald Trump and trying to deflect the issue by pointing fingers at Bill (Hillary) Clinton (who we know is/was a philanderer) but is totally irrelevant at this point and doesn’t change the fact that Donald Trump offered a non-apology while continuing to denegrate and disparage people of all sorts – including his marginalization of women.

This is a very personal issue for me and I am done keeping silent. I will explain further in this post.

The MEME above is a form of deflection from the real issue – RAPE CULTURE IS ALIVE AND WELL IN THE US of A. 

In response to my friends post of the MEME this morning, this is what I said:


I was not alone calling Bullshit on that MEME. Apparently Nica felt similarly (as did Bruce below).

Which garnered this response – a complete deflection and misinterpretation of the MEME and the issue.

First of all, there is a HUGE difference between consentual relations and rape. This MEME is irrelevant and it is NOT funny. Secondly, what occured between Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton was consentual and again, not relevant in the current environment. Apples and oranges.



So, Kristina, this is directed at you…  Since you have insisted that I post this on my own page, and because I respect your mother, I have honored your request. Please note the areas of your post that I highlighted.

WOW – way to victim blame. And, are you not seeing what you are saying? WHY, why do we even have to think about what is dangerous and not dangerous? 

It is our culture, and it is not acceptable. Period. 

I suppose that you think Brock Turner was unfairly sentenced, I mean, after all the girl he was convicted of raping put herself in that situation… At least according to your logic. 

So here is where it got special… And I was labled as “mean”. 

I repsonded to Kristina’s post about her liking 50 Shades of Gray; She can, and that does not make her a hypocrite.



NO KRISTINA, that MEME is NOT funny, and it is not relevant. 

Not once was I hostile or did I call you names. The only person on a high horse is you.

If you think I am saying mean things because I am pointing out issues and you keep marginalizing them, then I guess I am a big ‘ol meanie then. 

And yes, the Twighlight series is a horrible example for young women. While entertaining, it is not what I would aspire my girl child to emulate. I’ll take Katness Everdene over moody mopey vampire girl any day.

—————————————————————

Why is this an issue for me? 

There have been a number of triggers this year, causing me to relive past experiences. Experiences that I have kept carefully tucked away. Shared with very few. Some if this may come as a surprise to my family and even my friends.

We do indeed have a culture of rape in our country. One look at a simple Tweet demonstrates just how bad it is:

Wanna know when my first assault occured? I was in elementary school. The first attack on my character? High School, because I rejected the advances of a popular high school football player. My first rape? My first year in college. Domestic Violence? Early 20’s… More assaults… So no, I didn’t have just one experience, I’ve had many. 

It wasn’t until recently that I came to understand that none of those assaults were my “fault”.  I wasn’t in the wrong place at the wrong time. I didn’t put myself in risky situations, and I certainly didn’t “ask for it”. 

People, at different times, felt emboldened to act in hurtful ways without my consent and without repurcussion. I was made to feel as though I had done something wrong. I held onto those incidents and internalized them. During one phase I actually experienced a condition called Dissociative Amnesia and still experience symptoms of PTSD.

These experiences have helped shape who I have become and my attitudes and beliefs.  

I have been triggered more in the past year than I have in quite some time. This election cycle and the resulting rhetoric and increasing verbal assaults are overwhelming.

I have witnessed more hateful and harmful behavior this year than I have in my entire life. It is sickening. 

I am undone… And I am done. 

I do not want people in my life or around me that are hateful. Enough. 

My brother shared a beautiful post and the resulting comments made me want to scream. It is so hard to believe that there are people out there who are so “deplorable”. It isn’t about having a different opinion, it is about outright hatred and bias. He kept repeating the same message and people kept twisting it around and really posted some ignorant statements. 

It just isn’t worth the energy to try to have a civil discussion when everything immediately turns to dispariging people using derogetory statements… Excuse me, your bias is showing.

You will not change my mind on this topic. Deflect all you want… It is not going to work.


The following sums up my feelings and I am no longer going to stand silent and complicit.

A letter written by, Kathryn Osburn Stapp (Former TX Republican – you can search her profile on Facebook)
September 15 at 12:35am · 

Dear Mr. Trump,

It’s taken me a while to realize this and to admit it, but I’m grateful to you.

For the past few months I’ve spent a good deal of time lamenting your campaign and the poison it has so effortlessly generated. I’ve watched our country imploding, our public discourse become polluted, our political climate grows ever more corrosive, and wrongly assumed you were to blame.

It’s only lately I’ve come to understand that you haven’t manufactured our current national ugliness—you’ve simply revealed it.

By saying the irresponsible, mean-spirited, ignorant things you say so freely and so frequently, you’ve given other like-minded people license to do the same. You’ve opened up the floodgates for our corporate sewage to flow fully. People no longer conceal their vile mess, they now revel in it, they broadcast it and retweet it.

You’ve made bigotry and racism socially acceptable again and that has been a kind of twisted gift because it’s allowed me to really see people; not as they pretend to be on the surface—but in the very depths of their wounded, weaponized hearts.

Over and over as your campaign has persisted, your supporters would tell me that they like you because you “speak your mind”. It wasn’t until recently that I’ve realized that you speak their minds. You’ve given credence to their prejudices and made those prejudices go mainstream.

Thanks to the terrible ground you’ve broken, politicians, pastors, friends, and strangers, both in person and on social media now regularly out themselves as hateful, intolerant, and malicious—and they remind me just how close they are to me, just how deep the sickness in us runs, and just how far we have to go together.

You’ve emboldened people to be open about things they used to conceal for the sake of decorum, and though it turns my stomach, I know that this is the only way we can move forward; to have that cancerous stuff exposed fully so that it can be dealt with. Our progress as a nation is predicated on authentic dialogue, no matter how brutal and disheartening that dialogue is.

In other words, you’ve let us know what we’re really dealing with here and while it’s been rightly disturbing, it’s also been revelatory. That’s the thing about that kind of harsh light: you’re forced to see everything. Beauty and monstrosity equally illuminated.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think you’re the least qualified, least knowledgeable Presidential candidate we may ever have had participate this far into the process, and if you somehow were elected I’d fear gravely for the world my children would inherit—should it survive your Presidency at all. I believe you’re reckless, bitter, and completely reprehensible; the very worst kind of bully.

But whether you win or lose, you’ve already allowed me the blessing of Truth; about me, about you, about other candidates, about our nation.

And in the process you’ve also shown me that I am not alone in resisting you and this ugly thing you’ve revealed about us.

You’ve generated an equally loud, equally passionate response to it and this is where I find my hope these days.

I find it in those for whom equality isn’t just a cheap buzzword, it’s the most precious of hills to die on.

I find it in those people who refuse to be silent in the face of our impending shared regression.

I find it in those willing to be bolder in defending the inherent value of all people.

I find it in the growing army of those who will not tolerate hatred as a core American value.

I find it in those who reject violence as our default response to dissension.

I find it in the ever rising voice of people who will not let malice and bitterness represent them in the world.

Today I find my hope in those who, like me, will not be complicit in allowing bigotry and intolerance to become a source of national pride, because we’ve seen where that leads.

Yes, Mr Trump, you’ve unearthed our hidden sickness and you’ve allowed it to go viral.

You brought every awful thing about us out into the open.

I seriously want to become a hermit so that I no longer have to listen to this crap.

~Michelle

I have a scoby!

A little over two weeks ago I decided I wanted to get back into making Kombucha. I need to get back on track with my health and this is a good first step.

One problem, I didn’t have a scoby and didn’t want to beg/borrow/steal one. So, I searched the trusty Interwebs and found a post on the Kitchn web site for how to start my own… Who knew?!

On July 5th I followed the instructions and crossed my fingers as I placed the container into my dark cupboard… It was all I could do to just leave it alone.  

July 10, 2016 (I KNOW, I was supposed to wait an entire week, I couldn’t), I checked on the scoby and lo and behold it was doing what it was supposed to… So far so good!

July 17, 2016 – I am so proud of myself… I waited an entire week before checking and LOOK! I have a scoby!

So technically it is thick enough to remove and use to make a new batch of Kombucha… I am tempted to brew a new batch of tea but I think I am going to wait a week… Maybe…

~Molly

The beauty that surrounds me…

Every day I marvel at the beauty that surrounds me.

I lost myself for awhile. Too busy with the hustle and bustle of life, I forgot who I am.

Today, while watering and grooming plants at work I ran across this little fellow on the begonias.


I have been seeing them more regularly lately… Or maybe I am just noticing them more.

Its amazing how much life is around us. In a million little ways.

I take a lot of pictures at work. My preferred shots are closeups.

I like to see details… 


At one point I counted 12 different types of bees (pollinators) at the nursery… It is amazing.

So thankful that I am aware again and connected to nature… Other than the slug that attached itself to my leg today, it has been pretty amazing. I’m even making peace with the spiders. I no longer run screaming for help when I see them. That is a HUGE improvement!

~Molly

I have a dream…

I want to grow things. To nurture life and restore the earth to a healthier state of being.

I would like to be able to sustain myself and my family.

To be less dependent on outside resources. To know that if (when) the world as we currently know it implodes, that I will be able to take care of myself and my family.

I feel connected to the earth. I like to feel the soil in my hands. I love the physical labor involved with caring for the wild and natural things.

I talk to the animals; The bees and the spiders. The worms and pill bugs. The birds, bunnies and deer.

Sooner, rather than later, I would like to live on a plot of land that will allow me the opportunity to create a nurturing space. Where we can share the bounty of our toils. Where we will be able to create things that will fill our hearts with joy. Where we can sit with nature and listen to her voice.

Someday, I have to believe that it will come to fruition.

~Molly

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