Sunday, July 06, 2014

The Little Match Girl

Life can be dark and cold at times,
So I try to light a lighter.
I see a spark
But no flame results.

I flick a littler faster,
Press a bit little harder this time.
I smell the fuel, there's something there to light,
But still no flame.

I try again and again,
Fast, slow, somewhere in between.
I see a flash, I smell the propane.
But all I get is sore, calloused thumb.

I take a sturdy wood match from the box
Strike it against the side;
I see a spark!
But nothing materializes.

Again I try. I run that match against the box
Faster, harder this time.
Again, I see a spark. I scrunch my nose at the smell of phosphorous
But nothing catches.

I will try one more time.
One more time!
If nothing?  Well,
I'll learn to live in this dim and chilly place.

Friday, July 04, 2014

War - What is it Good For

No matter what side of the Hobby Lobby or abortion clinic buffer zone decisions you fall, no matter what your thoughts on women’s reproductive rights and income inequality, it is important to realize – none of these are a #WarOnWomen.
There is no dispute that women have been discriminated against and abused throughout history.  In fact, all sexes (including the LGBT population), nationalities and faiths have experienced prejudice and even violent attacks at some time. No argument.  But to classify current disputes on birth control and other issues as “war” is an insult to any who have experienced war, as either a combatant or innocent victim.
If you want to see a real war on women talk to the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls.  Oops, can’t talk to them, they’re still missing and the hashtag #bringbackourgirls  seems to have disappeared from recent trending lists as well, replaced by #hurricanearthur and, ironically,  #worldcupgirls (apparently, images of scantily clad female soccer fans are not considered acts of aggression in the supposed war on women).
Other acts of war against women?  How about sex-selective-abortion or human trafficking?  And let’s not forget the multi-billion dollar porn industry.  Though not limited to the female gender, victims of these atrocities are predominately women or more accurately, girls.  Young girls.  Children. 
That Hobby Lobby employees have their choice of prescription contraceptives limited to non-abortifacients is an inconvenience; they are not suffering any consequences of battle.   Though a nuisance and even possibly a financial challenge, having to pay for certain non-covered birth control methods does not qualify them for victim status.  And, quite frankly, Plan-B (the morning after pill) should be a one-time purchase and not a regular expense for any woman.
To categorize any of this as war minimizes the sufferings of those who have been the casualties of war.