Poem – terrorist incident

How about we agree
that any time a person
willfully attacks
another person
it is an act of terror,
regardless of the color
of the people involved?
Regardless of politics or creeds,
regardless of belief,

If a person attacks another person
with a gun,
a bomb,
a knife,
it is a terrorist act.
They are trying to terrify,
to instill terror,
plain and simple.

Cure for violence

We’ve had too many examples of people becoming violent and randomly killing people. This isn’t something that is going to go away unless we make it go away. It is a weed that takes many years to grow. We have the ability to eradicate it in the future. Here are some of my ideas about a cure for violence. Some of this I wrote a few years ago, after a rash of these occurrences.

Just like with treating toddlers -ignore the bad behavior and reward the good. Don’t publicize the name of the criminal, the perpetrator. Lets’ not have a payoff.

Notice and acknowledge people. Everybody needs to know that they count. When you see someone who is a loner, make contact with them. Befriend them. It isn’t easy. But it is essential. It is part of this “love your neighbor” thing we are supposed to do.

Remove, discourage violence in the media. Games and movies that depict violence should not be bought. They should not be made, but we can’t control that. Take away the demand, then the supply will go away. I’m not about making laws for these things. Make it illegal and you’ve made it taboo. Make it taboo and you’ve made it desirable. Kids want what they can’t have. Rather, we need to watch what we consume.

We need to make it socially unacceptable for people to play war in their spare time. Especially kids, who don’t have the maturity to understand reality from unreality. How can you know what is real when you never see it? “Reality TV” isn’t. It is over the top, scripted, and fake, much like our celebrities. We have created a society of artifice, where we celebrate the un-real.

We need healthy outlets for emotions. We bottle them up and suppress our real emotions. Everything is supposed to be fine in our society, and this just isn’t normal. We don’t have a way to process pain. We need that. It has to get out.

I’m not advocating gun control. I’m advocating people control.

Is it that we have more violence these days, or that we are just so connected that we can’t help but see it? And why don’t we see a balance of “good” stories? Surely just as much good is happening.

The value of women – on clothing

Our value as women is based on our relationship with other people and not on our own merits as human beings. We are seen as someone’s daughter, or mother, or wife. We are sold the idea that if we don’t get married and have a family, we are nothing as human beings.

Thus, part of our value as women is based on our ability to attract men. Part of that value is set on how we dress. We are supposed to dress in a way that is seen as attractive to other people, but especially to men.

Now, if we dress in a very modest fashion we are seen as frumpy. We perhaps even seen as being lesbians. There’s very little middle ground in what is allowed for how we dress. It is either too attractive, or not attractive enough.

But the worst part is when we dress “too attractively” and a man attacks.

Part of the mark of a well-trained dog is that you can put a snack or a treat in front of it and it doesn’t lunge for it. Perhaps that is the problem. We have men who are not well-trained. We have men who if they see a woman who is attractively dressed (which she has to be in order to be a woman in our society) they will become like dogs.

They will grope her.
They will catcall her.
They will wolf-whistle to her.
They will attack her.
They will rape her.

The problem is not how women dress. The problem is how men act. The problem is that men are acting like dogs and not like human beings. In this situation, the only thing that makes men and animals different is the training.

Now, not all men act like dogs. But enough do that women have to be mindful of themselves at all times. Enough do that we have to think about what we wear and how we wear it so that we don’t “cause” a man to attack us.

If a man is exercising self-control, a woman can be wearing anything – or nothing – and he won’t attack her.

But – women are told they have to attract a man. We have to dress attractively in order to get a wedding dress. But – if we dress too attractively, it is our fault if we get raped.

All of this is wrong. All of it.

Women are people, first and foremost, and should not be told they have to get married. Women should be supported in becoming a human being first, and a wife second, if at all. Our value as members of society should not hinge on if we can marry or not.

Then, we should be allowed to dress however we want, without fear that we will get unwanted attention because of how we dress.

Let’s look at it this way –

It is not the fault of the homeowner if her house gets robbed. The fact that the door didn’t have fourteen latches on it and a home alarm doesn’t matter. It is the fault of the robber, who went to her home with the intent to break in.

The only problem is that women are encouraged to carefully landscape their yards for “curb appeal” – or “curve appeal” if you will. We are encouraged to make our houses – our bodies – look attractive and appealing. We are taught to be like the bower birds, who build a nest to attract a mate. The one with the most attractive nest gets a mate – and thus gets to pass on his genetics.

But if we are too attractive – we get attacked. So it is our fault. We can’t win.

Time to stop playing the game.