End the ‘silent horror’
For weeks now I’ve been sitting quietly at my computer, or TV, or radio, reading or hearing the ongoing accusations of sexual harassment and groping against men in all walks of life. I know that many of the kind and caring men I know have been stunned by this, and quite likely wondered how much is true, how much is a “jump on the band wagon” phenomenon, and what to make of it. I’ve thought a lot about what I want to say, and this is what I’ve come to.
1. I have been harassed and groped throughout my life, from late girlhood on.
2. When this has come up in conversations, I have never met a woman who has not been harassed and groped in her life.
3. More than half of the women I know have been raped.
Harassment, verbal or physical, groping, and the omnipresent and inescapable threat of rape is the silent horror with which all women live. It seems to be the price of being female. Far too many men seem to think there is nothing wrong with assuming that women are there for their personal gratification, and that using bullying, threats, or force to gain unwanted intimate contact is their prerogative as men.
I am 66 years old. I lived through and entered the workforce during the ‘Mad Men’ years. Every one of my age peers remembers how women were trivialized, condescended to, critiqued and evaluated on the size and shape of the breasts and ass, and demeaned both to their faces and in conversations at which they were not present. Some things have changed for the better since that era, but you would be mistaken if you think that sexual harassment and intimidation have gone away.
So keep paying attention. Think about what needs to happen to change our society, our culture, our world, so that this becomes a thing of the past. Think about how we have to raise our children, especially our boys, so that they truly love, respect and honor women, and would never dream of committing these acts. Think about what has gone wrong in child-rearing that so many men end up harassing and groping women. Make it your life’s mission to end this once and for all.
This is real. This is happening to countless women as I type. Whatever else you do as a result of this email, don’t dismiss the accusations that are surfacing. If every woman who has ever been harassed and groped stood up and told the world, it would be a tidal wave of truth-telling.
Reusable bags make a difference
Loving where you live makes all the difference.
A conversation on plastic bags has continued in Long Beach. I am extremely pleased that the Long Beach City Council, mayor and administrator will be supporting, dare I say, promoting the use of paper and reusable bags on their December website. Mayor Phillips’ polling of the downtown merchants showed approximately half use paper. Each council member was asked their opinion. Brainstorming commenced with truly grand ideas:
• Talking with Merchants Association
• Having shops, hotels and B&B’s distribute reusable bags with city logo, which equals advertising!
• Shops investing in their own reusable bags, with or without their logo
• Placing signs in shop windows “Thanks for bringing your own bag!”
Change is always a learning curve and it can be irksome. What I do know is that if people we trust and respect start the move, then we are more likely to follow. Also, if we do see that what we do does make a difference, then we will continue doing it.
Can Long Beach become a coastal leader in sustainable economy and environment? I say without pause,
“Yes, we can!”
Let’s begin by sprucing up for the holidays.
Say it by using your own bags, bottles and boxes. Say it by buying a reusable bag for each friend and family member. Go to the local thrift stores and buy one there. Say it with a thank you to our Long Beach Council for listening and taking action.
All quiet on the ICE front
Finally a weekly edition of the Chinook Observer without any mention of the politically sensitive illegal aliens issue. That’s it! So happy to get back to our weekly paper and the wonderful stories about the local issues that really matter to us. “Winds of change” — great story. Active weather, voting results, aging, protecting kids from the cold, voluntary bag restrictions, the Columbia treaty and Anna’s hummingbird. These are what we really enjoy reading. Thank you for ending the controversial ICE stories. It went on for far too long. Hopefully we are back to our wonderful Chinook Observer.
Let us give thanks
The American day of Thanksgiving is even older than the nation itself. Various dates have been suggested for being the first, but credit is usually given to the feast of thanksgiving celebrated by the Mayflower Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians in 1621 at the Plymouth Colony in what is now Massachusetts.
In a sense, it became a unique American holiday when George Washington and Congress proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving in 1789. Their document of proclamation states:
“Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly implore his protection and favor (we) recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God.”
President Washington was right. God has blessed this nation, and we should pause and give him thanks for his generosity and goodness. Thanks for this wonderful land with its freedoms and opportunities. Thanks for the food and other necessities we so often take for granted. Thanks for our military and military veterans, who serve and sacrifice so that we may be free.
Thanks for the police and fire personnel, and their efforts to protect us and our property. For the doctors and nurses and other professionals who serve us in our health needs. I personally need to thank him for my wife, family, friends, church family, health, and a nice house that is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Also, thanks for more material things than I’ll ever use.
Make your own list — the blessings are almost endless. Thank you Lord.
“Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving” Psalms 95:2