Friday, April 08, 2011

Women and the Earth: Issues That Divide the House

Tonight, we face the prospect of a government shutdown, but not for a lack of agreement on specific dollars and budget cuts. No, there are two other matters on which Democrats and the new Republicans in the House of Representatives cannot agree.
It is not serendipity that the two issues in contention are health care for women and the health of the earth itself. Is it a surprise that women and environmental issues are lumped together?
There is a real battle going on in our House of Representatives. It's called 'cutting the deficit' but in reality, it's about pushing an ideological and cultural make-over. Rein in women's access to health care because abortion is a part of health care and cut the constraints that regulatory agencies make on corporations' plundering of the world's resources without regard to the attendant polluted mess. Surely you know this?
It appears we haven't gotten past the idea that both women and the earth must be controlled for the benefit of the constructs of men. Take a moment to remember that the ground we walk on is often called 'Mother Earth'. Typically, Mother provides and is a power greater that we, her children. These days a lot of men and most certainly international corporations don't believe in Mother. The earth is a resource that until very recently always replenished, renewed and offered boundless plenty.
And, yes, women tended the hearth and made homes in which fellow human beings found nurture and room and freedom to grow. Today, if you look across the globe, women are most often doing what they do under great financial, emotional and physical duress.
We are in the midst of a violent backlash and it's playing out in Congress right now. So, it might be a good idea to be alert to what is happening under our very noses. Remember when we thought the women's movement had taken care of gender equality? Remember when there were television commercials with a Native American who cried a tear because folks littered our highways? Remember when the Federal government funded a national women's conference in Houston that was attended by the wives of three presidents? Remember when Republican President Richard Nixon signed the Clean Air Act into law and everyone thought it was a good idea?
The times, they sure are a changin'.
It is my hope that tonight President Obama and all the Democrats in Congress hold firm, remembering that women are mothers, daughters and sisters and we must not gut accessible health care. Help us to remember that earth is the Great Mother of us all and why would be unduly provoke her, becoming, not a steward, but her plunderer. Folks, this stalemate in the House is about control and power and ownership. The deficit is but a 'cover'.

I am reminded of "Ozymandias", that powerful king whom the poet Percy Shelley wrote about. It's a fitting poem for these times when greed and efforts to control wound our common humanity. Our life spans are short. Power and control are short lived. I'd focus on the common good, for karma's sake.

"I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away."

1 comment:

Rusty Mujer said...

Insightful and powerful MM.