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OpEd: Prudes Shocked as Madonna Dates Younger Man/Opera Singer Jonas Kaufmann


Copyright 2014 by Trish Causey.

Madonna and opera star Jonas KaufmannMadonna is shamed in the media as both an “older woman” and as a sexual person.

I saw a short “article” (i.e., post on a gossip rag) about Madonna possibly dating a famous opera tenor.  It mentioned that she has had several “toyboy” relationships since separating from her husband, and it made a big deal of the fact that Madonna is older than Kaufmann.

The article is sexist and misogynistic. But what else is new….

How many real-life relationships and Hollywood films have featured a male star who is much older than the female co-star?  Think of any film in the past 30 years starring men such as Harrison Ford, Michael Douglas, Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan, even George Clooney, and you’ll notice that an older man being with a younger woman is perfectly accepted by the public.  But when it is the woman who’s older, she’s judged in the media as if she’s robbing the proverbial cradle.  And why is it that when a famous “older woman” dates a younger man, it makes news?  (“Here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson….”)

Perhaps the prudes in our society should know that in the Middle Ages, it was commonplace for an adult man to be engaged to a female child and wed her when she was 15 in order to build socio-economic and/or socio-political alliances.  In fact, a man could marry (in a church, by a priest) a girl who was younger than 15 as long as the man promised not to “touch her” until she was 15 — as 15 was the magic age condoned by the church.  Glad to know a pinky-swear was protecting young girls from being ravished by their much-senior husbands.  (Not.)  There are even instances recorded of men being engaged to infant girls — all for the wealth and security of rich folks invested in patriarchal society.  (“Jesus loves you more than you will know….”)

The other part of the “article” that annoyed me was the “toyboy” comment about Madonna, referring to her various lovers since the end of her marriage.  First, who cares that she’s had several lovers?  Or any?  That people with no lives actually care about Madonna’s sex life is ridiculous.  Secondly, shaming a woman for taking lovers is misogynistic, and yet, it is nothing new.  If she is following her heart (or her body) with her relationships, that is her business.

Do we really need to go over how men are lauded for taking lots of lovers?  A man who dates (sleeps with) lots of women is called a “lady’s man”, a “playboy”, a “player”.  His cred goes up.  But when a woman dates (sleeps with) lots of men, she’s considered a “slut”, a “whore”, a piece of trash.  When a woman follows her sexual passions, she’s characterized as a carnivorous pariah.  Because good girls don’t behave that way — “bad” girls do.  Because good girls go to heaven, while “bad” girls go everywhere.  (“Heaven holds a place for those who pray….”)

It’s the 21st century.  We should be able to talk honestly and respectfully about women over age 40 having sex — or about women having as many lovers as they want — without judgment.

It’s nearly 2015.  The Middle Ages were a thousand years ago.  Women should not have to justify having sex.  At all.

trish

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Federal Judge Strikes Down Ban on Gay Marriage in Mississippi


Gay-Marriage-EqualityToday, federal judge Carlton Reeves sided with two lesbian couples and an LGBT rights organization who had fought for marriage equality in the state of Mississippi. Technically, Mississippi is now a gay-marriage-friendly state! We weren’t LAST — hallelujah!

I always thought Mississippi was able to step up and not be LAST in the fight for LGBT rights such as marriage equality. This proves it is possible for Mississippi to be progressive. And I’m a marriage officiant, so let me know if you’re in the Magnolia State and want to get hitched!

The fight isn’t over, however, as the state has two weeks to file an appeal. Stay tuned for details.

trish

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TOD: Please Support ArousedWoman: Arts, Activism, & Awakening


ArousedWoman ActivismTopic of the Day: Please support ArousedWoman!

I just wanted to let you all know what’s going on with ArousedWoman, my artsy-activism, and more.

After my run as a Congressional candidate ended (in June), I sort of shut down. The reality of the horrible state of American politics was almost too much. I was literally on my own. In fact, not one person in my family wished me well when I announced my candidacy or congratulated me on trying to work for the people when it was all over.

I am in the process of writing a short book about my time as a candidate because we canNOT stay where we are in this polarized political setting. Not only will the country not move forward, I am afraid we are moving backward at an alarming rate.

In the few months since then, I went back to school — I’m still a single mom, and I am back at work with my daily activism.

A friend who knew of my computer woes took pity on me and gifted me with a new laptop (I’m still getting the hang of Windows 8.1). If you’ve followed my posts on Facebook, you know I recently pulled the hard drives from my dead computer and am searching for enclosures to see if all my original works (music, writings, activisty stuff) are still there. Fingers crossed!

With this fancy new OS, I have to update all my software I use — and I even have to get a new microphone to be able to do my radio show, ArousedWoman Radio, because the laptop doesn’t have a mic jack. So I need to get a USB mic.

Anyhoo, I’m hoping you will support me now as you have in the past — either with a donation or sharing the word about the AW Activism donation page. I simply cannot afford all this myself, and I do believe I am here for a reason. Maybe not for Congress, but definitely for speaking up for women’s rights, the disenfranchised, the poor — the people whose basic rights are negated every single day. Not only am I a vocal activist for a variety of human rights causes, I try to incorporate solutions into every artistic work I create. Without offering solutions, it would all be just complaining, which solves nothing.

Bottom line, I need financial support to get my works out there to the masses. If you can donate now to support my work (music, writings, upcoming books, the return of my radio show!), I will be very grateful. And if you’d like to set up a recurring (monthly) donation, we can do that, too. (I miss those old days when artists had patrons who supported their work! :-) )

I know some people are looking for a great cause to donate to here at the end of the year, and I think my work qualifies. If you would like to see links to what I do as an artist, here’s a link to one of my shows: Witchcraze.com, and the music player has song samples from “Witchcraze” and “Herstory”. (Scroll down on the music player.) And check out the gallery of pics below!

I am in the middle of writing several books: one on my campaign, a novel that deals with American Indian rights issues, and one on personal development. I am also looking to fund some stage concert readings of my musicals “Witchcraze” (set during the Salem Witch Trials and deals with women’s rights, protection of the First Amendment, and tolerance for people who are considered different) and “Herstory” (highlights women who affected world events but didn’t always make the his-story books), as well as my one-act opera, “Two Hearts”, which explores LGBT issues, including marriage equality, and my requiem which is based on a couple of the gospels that were purposely left of out the bible by the early church fathers.

I need to raise $600 by the end of November, and another $1,500 by the end of December, so that I can get my books ready for publication in January, as well as get the equipment I need to get my radio show back on the air in January. I also need to upgrade this blog, but that’s a wish on the backburner for now.

If you’d like to support my musical or literary works specifically, message me for the link. It’s still tax-deductible. :-)

So, I am humbly asking for your support. Check out the various Rewards listed, which include a subscription to ArousedWoman Magazine, ad-space, one-on-one teaching, and more! Donate here.

I truly appreciate your help. As I say on Twitter, “Activism doesn’t get a day off.” The way things are going, it looks like we need to work even harder to ensure our rights are supported and protected.

THANK YOU! :-)
trish

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TOD: From Online to Real World — Meeting a Man in Person for the First Time


women-sexual-harassment-sexism-walking-alone-at-nightTopic of the Day: From Online to Real World

Thursday afternoon, I received a message over Facebook from a FB friend; it was an invitation to meet in person, as we had only known each other through the social media site.

Now, normally, I don’t do this sort of thing, but I knew from corresponding with him via Facebook that he was a progressive liberal type like I am, and we have about 30 mutual friends, so it felt okay. I agreed to meet up with him at a local, well-lit place where I know the employees very well, so I felt comfortable. And I also knew that if anything did happen to me, the evidence was in my Facebook Messenger, so police would have known who I was last seen with.

Yes, women think like this.

At one point, he asked why I agreed to meet him, and my reply was, “Because you didn’t seem creepy”. He laughed at that, but what many men do not realize is that this is a very real concern for women. Women walk with their keys gripped in their fist, each one sticking out from their fingers in case we are attacked from behind and need to “brass knuckle” the attacker. We love using the “check-ins” on social media apps so there is a trail of who we were with, where, and at what time. All to protect ourselves or leave clues, if needed.

On Twitter, the #yesallwomen, #fem2, and #feminism hastags are very popular with trying to get the word out about violence against women but also the everyday fear that some women live under.

A major dating website did a poll of its members and asked what was the main thing that made them nervous about meeting in person someone they had met through the website. The men’s #1 concern was that the woman would be fat or ugly. The women’s #1 concern was that they would be raped or killed by the man at some point during the date.

Clearly, this points to much bigger issues in society when a man’s biggest fear is dating a fat chick and a woman’s biggest fear is being murdered.

trish

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TOD: When a Woman Stays Silent to Avoid Threatening a Man’s Masculinity


un-women-ad-03-191013

Photo: UN Women.

Topic of the Day: Staying Silent

Last Wednesday, I met with friends at a local cabaret club. As we caught up and laughed over theatre and life experiences, one friend recounted the tale of when she found a bee in her salad while on a group date at a restaurant.

It was Homecoming several years ago, and she and her friends were around 16 years old — not kids, but not adults, just beginning to navigate their way in the “real world”.

Disgusted by the dead critter in her food, my friend wanted to make the waitress take the salad back, but her girlfriends talked her into not speaking out about it. Their reasoning was that she was on a date and guys don’t like women who “complain”. It would look bad on her, they said; to demand a proper salad with no extra critters in it would embarrass the guy. Men don’t like women who complain, they said.

Men don’t like to be embarrassed by a woman. Think of what the man prefers and what is best for him. Don’t be demanding. Keep your mouth shut.  Women have heard this all too often, starting when we are very young. Girls are enculturated from childhood to put their own wishes and needs secondary to a guy’s. This means girls grow into women who do not feel empowered to speak up for themselves, or to speak out against sexism, date rape, and domestic violence.

This need to keep women quiet to preserve insecure men’s delicate feelings can be sourced to at least the New Testament of the Bible: “I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet,” (I Timothy 2:12). No wonder such misogyny still pervades our patriarchal society and culture.

But this is the 21st century. We are past all that misogyny … or we should be. Part of me can’t believe this thinking still exists, that women should be silent just so men don’t have to deal with a woman who knows what she wants and is brave enough to demand it.

Ladies, know what you want. Speak out. Demand your desires. Live out loud.

trish

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