Why #BlackLivesmatter Is So Important


People. I’m going to try and explain this a little differently because I see there are still many of you out there who don’t get it. You’re taking this personally and you’re reading this message incorrectly. Firstly – unless your Black, it’s NOT About YOU.

Let that sink in a little while.

I’ll say this again, because it’s extremely important that you understand this. If you are NOT Black, this is NOT about YOU. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a positive impact and help make the world a better place for everyone.

I’m going to assume that you’re aware of the oppression of Black people, specifically in the US, that started ohhhhh… in and around the time that someone (a whole lot of white someone’s) decided it was an awesome idea to kidnap people from their country, force them onto ships, bring them to the New World and other places (which they stole from the locals that were already there for thousands of years…don’t get me started on THAT) and enslave them for profit. Let me be clear, these human beings were a commodity. Just like O&G or Steel or Wheat. Here are some fun facts to mull over.

Now. Taking that all into account, let’s break down this whole hashtag and try and understand just what it is. It’s many things, a campaign, an awakening, a revolution, a demand for change, a spotlight on what’s wrong with America (and Canada and the whole world), a massive movement…so many things.

If you think for one minute that people of colour have the same rights as us privileged white people, you couldn’t be more wrong. And we can’t even imagine it because we are treated completely differently. We have more rights, we aren’t targeted by police, we have never been enslaved. We are privileged. I – am privileged.

I’m not going to point you to all of the evidence simply because there is SO much that it’s overwhelming. Even with this Movement in full swing, terrible things continue to happen to Black Americans AND Canadians. Yes. It happens here, too.

Now, pay attention because this is where I’m going to take you on a little journey of perception and perspective.

There are a whole bunch of you who are jumping up and down, waving your arms about at the audacity of all of this because you feel that: All Lives Matter.

Of course, all lives matter. This was NEVER in question. EVER. Where did you get the idea that by focusing on a terrible injustice to others that this somehow undermines you? Who posted that because Black Lives Matter that somehow, other lives don’t?

Nobody did. Anywhere. Not once. Not ever.

You simply came to this conclusion because it wasn’t focused on you. Again. This isn’t about you. It’s about the oppression of black people and change that needs to happen. You can either be part of the solution or the problem. Which one will you choose?

Remember when Greenpeace launched the campaign: Save the Whales? This movement was launched in April of 1975 right in my own neighbourhood from the docks of Vancouver. If some of you were alive in 1975 (I was 9-years old at the time) you’ll know that there was no such thing as: the internet, the home computer, cell phones, social media (you get the point). But, if there was, imagine the impact (or non-impact) of this very worthy cause if a whole bunch of people started jumping up and down, flapping their arms about and started proclaiming: Save the Planet! Save the Elephants and Rhinos! Save the Amazon!! Save the…(insert whateveryouwanthere)!

If that had happened, all the focus on saving endangered whales would have been marginalized, minimized and soon it would be shuffled to the back of the line because the focus of this worthy cause would become ‘unfocused’ and lost in the swarm. Suddenly, Save the Whales would be insignificant.

This is what you do when you proclaim: All Lives Matter. You shove the whole Black Lives Matter Movement to the back of the line and out of sight where it does NOT belong. There is a spotlight on injustice, racism, intolerance, poverty, police brutality… STOP trying to snuff it out.

Shine a light on it, instead and by doing this, you still highlight that LIFE MATTERS. Your life, my life, every soul, every life, every day, every hour and minute…matters.

Don’t you get it? By lifting others up, you also stand tall. By bringing awareness to and doing what you can to change the state of the world so that Black lives shine, Black people have equal rights, you bring to light that (get ready for it) –

We. Are. All. The. Same.

We. Are. All. Connected.

Underneath our skin colour, all of our blood runs red.

We are all Homo Sapiens and change starts with one movement at a time.

Save the whales. Black lives matter. Save the Amazon. Save the rhinoceros.

Pick your cause but don’t take away from, distract or detract – from any one of them. They are all so important.

Black Lives Matter. Period.

 

The Many Faces of Rape


Some of you reading this may become a little uncomfortable. Others may be triggered by previous trauma. Please be careful and take care of yourself as this concerns a very delicate and difficult topic.

Something happened to me a very long time ago. When this ‘something’ happened, I was left feeling very confused. I did not know if I was supposed to be upset or cry…or be angry. I wasn’t even afraid when it was all over although I was pissed off during the episode.

The only feeling I could muster was confusion. What the HELL had just happened?

Up until recently, having this memory bubble to the surface while I do work on myself and learn about trauma (including sexual abuse and rape) in my counselling class – I’d forgotten about it. Afterall, it was more than 30-year ago. Then, when my perpetrator (and ex-husband) contacted me via Facebook completely out of the blue, the memory started to weigh on me like water-filled rubber boots. It was too hard to move forward and past this without talking about it.

I had never told anyone about it. Ever.

It was the late 1980’s. We were both college students and newly engaged. I think I was 20-years old at the time. He would have been 21. I remember we were in the bedroom of my rented apartment on Millstone Ave. It was the 1st place where I’d lived all by myself. No roommates, no rented room. A whole 1-bedroom place all to me.

We had started kissing – making out, the usual stuff we got up to. But something was different. For some reason, I had changed my mind. I can’t remember why I did or if I just wasn’t into full-on intercourse. Maybe I was tired. I really can’t recall the reason, but I DO know that at some point I said: “No.”

He didn’t take me seriously and thought I was teasing, that this was some sort of game. It wasn’t and I wasn’t, but I couldn’t convince him.

I got up and left the room, slipping away from him easily enough. I thought that this was the end of it, and he’d go home for the evening. He was still living with his parent.

It was not the end of it.

He followed me into the tiny living room or kitchen (I can’t recall exactly where it all started getting ridiculous and weird) and continued to insist on kissing me, trying to take off my clothes. I resisted and again, told him that NO – I wasn’t interested. Once more, he thought this was part of the game I was evidentially playing. I may as well have been having a conversation with the fridge because he wasn’t listening to anything I was saying.

Let it be noted that although I struggled and kept telling him that I wanted him to stop, I didn’t scream. I didn’t cry and I wasn’t hysterical or afraid. I just did NOT want to have sex. It was that simple. I was also angry that my wants and rights were being ignored.

Perhaps he thought this was some kind of kinky role play (although we’d never done that before), perhaps he thought it was all an elaborate game to turn him on. I don’t know because I never asked him.

In the end, in my attempt to get away, I ended up on the floor, scrambling back while he pulled my jeans off, along with his pants, and has his way with me against my wishes. I believe it hurt.

He didn’t hit me or yell. In fact, he was laughing the whole time, which makes me think he was completely clueless as to what he was doing.

What he was doing, was raping me.

Afterward I sat on the floor, feeling that weird surreal confusion, and thought: did I just get raped?!

I really wasn’t sure and in 1986, given that we were a couple and to be married, I very much doubt the law would have thought so. What was the point of saying anything? I really believe he didn’t know what he had just done. He was generally a sweet and gentle guy.

I thought about confronting him about it seeing as he wanted to send some things of mine that he’d held on to (for 30+ years) back to me. I doubt he’d remember the occasion. To him, it was all just fun and play.

Had he (or anyone) tried the same thing, today, it would have gone down much differently. Maybe if I’d shouted or become scared or really mad, he would have stopped. I don’t know.

Today things are very different and thank GOD for that. Rape has no grey areas. Consent MUST be given and NO MEANS NO. It doesn’t mean chase me around the apartment until I trip and fall while you grope me and then force yourself on me. It means FUCKING STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING NOW.

Yes, you can ask someone to stop before and during sex. You have rights. You can change your mind any time you wish as it’s YOUR body and you get to decide what you want to be done to it.

No one else on the planet can do that for you. No. One.

I was young and rape wasn’t talked about. There was no internet; you couldn’t Google sexual consent. It wasn’t exactly taught in schools. I sometimes think I didn’t know any better and should have fought harder. Part of me wants to blame myself, even now, and find excuses for him.

But the harder I look, the less I find. There are no excuses. He should have known better. He should have stopped when I asked him to. He didn’t.

#metoo

Laughter and the Disturbance Of


My mother sent me an email that I found (in the moment) hysterically funny. Sitting next to the New Man, I burst out laughing and rather loudly at that. He got pissed off and annoyed at me disturbing his serenity as God forbid I make a noise.

I suspect he’s in a pissy mood and I suppose my sudden cackle would shock anyone but hey…not like I intended to care the crap out of him by laughing out loud. The heinous noise was but a few seconds of disrespecting the quiet but he definitely wasn’t impressed. Now, had I planned to be LOUD, I’d have apologized but the burst of chuckles simply escaped me. There was really nothing I could do about it.

Given that I’ve spent the last nearly 11 months crying daily over Brian’s death, I think I’ll forgive myself for this terrible act.

Plus…it’s MY apartment. I can do as I please.

So there.

9be8891c1c786440681e891aaf0fa3ec

Today’s lesson is brought to you by the letter “R”.


I’m speaking of Religion.

Ohhhhhh, now I’ve instantly pissed off a bunch of people!

Funny, that. It’s even funnier that I really don’t care.

Let me quantify this with my expressed option (and it’s just that – MY opinion) as well as offer up a disclaimer.

Firstly, I am not religious. That means, I do not belong to any one organized belief system about God. My belief system is base more upon metaphysics. Now, let me define exactly what that means, because, I think a lot of folks don’t understand it.

met·a·phys·ics

ˌmedəˈfiziks/

noun

noun: metaphysics

  1. the branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being, knowing, substance, cause, identity, time, and space.

There, copied and pasted from the Internet.

Are you still with me?

I like to refer to myself as a cosmic girl. I have many beliefs and theories that resonate with me and there are some aspects of religions that gel with me, too. What I don’t practice – is one, specifically. I also spend an exorbitant amount of time researching and attempting to understand all aspects of life and after life. Seriously, I could send you about a dozen links to what I’m investigating.

Therefore, you could not call me a Christian. Nor could you call me an Atheist.

I do, however, believe in GOD – or the One Source. Or any other name you wish to call it. I also believe we, as souls, are all part of GOD. We are all connected. Each and every one of us, along with every other life form on this little blue-green planet.

We’re all in this together. We are all one – and yes, we’re individual, but all part of THE ONE.

At any rate…again, MY opinion.

I will point out that if your beliefs differ, that’s totally cool with me. I respect that and you. You can believe in whatever you like and if the Hindi faith rocks your boat, go for it! It’s your belief, your path, your heart and life. Not mine.

I don’t judge.

I do, however, resent those that do.

Oh! She’s got a point to all of this…!

Yes, yes, I do.

Something really terrible happened to me (and many others that shared his brief life) just over two months ago. The man I loved and adored left the world in a terrible, terrible way. He chose to take his life.

While the complexity of this situation is steep and almost insurmountable at this stage, it’s a simple fact. He’s gone. He’s gone and those that love him are left here to deal with how we feel. Well, I think I can speak for all of us. It’s complete devastation x about a billion. Scratch that – x about a billion to the 10th power.

Yes, it’s really, REALLY… THAT bad.

Moving on…

Those that know me and those that I’ve decided to let into my life during the past 49 years (there aren’t very many, I’m choosy) know how I feel about religion. To start preaching to me, YOUR views, especially at a time like this, is seriously disrespectful. It will make me mad.

So, now I’m mad.

I’ve decided it’s not in my best and highest good to have these people in my life. Now, more than ever, I’m standing up for what people believe in and the right to do so. And, oddly enough, this would include YOU!

I’m talking about a lot of things: sexual orientation, personal rights and personal belief structures – I could go on. If there is one thing my mother taught me, well, it’s to: live and let live.

“Each to his own!” she’s always saying.

I like that. It works for me.

As long as you’re not harming anyone else, do whatever the fuck you want.

I don’t judge.

You shouldn’t either.

It’s not up to you. It doesn’t matter if Brian was an Atheist or a Communist. He was neither, by the way, but raised Catholic. It doesn’t matter what YOU believe in. What matters…is that those that loved him are in a shitload of PAIN so intense that if you’ve never experienced it, you should get down on your knees right this moment and pray to whatever God you worship that you never, ever, ever have to go through it.

We don’t need to be told where to find the Lord/Lady. We already know where SHE/HE is and she’s/he’s NOT lost. We don’t need religious Hymns sent to us and to have you jump onto your soap box and start preaching the WORD.

WE – are not interested in YOUR beliefs.

We do, however respect them so – please respect ours.

If you don’t, you will find yourself not included in our lives from this point on. You will find we won’t communicate with you further and you will find that you no longer have us as your friend.

Yes, I’m breaking up with you. Deal with it.

thor

Line Cutting


This is, by far, my greatest driving pet peeve. In fact, in infuriates me.

Every day when I drive to work…I get into the RH turning lane at the top of 20th St. in New Westminster. This leads onto the Queensborough Bridge and it’s one hell of a long line up.

The other lane turns left into New West. You can’t go straight.

You know where I’m going with this, right? There is ALWAYS one (or two) asshole(s) who drive down the other lane, bypassing everyone who has been sitting there, inching forward ever so slowly, from light to light… for 15 min or longer.

These bastards/bitches cut in line at the end…forcing their way in so THEY don’t have to do what the rest of us good people have to do – which is: WAIT. IN A CUE. WITH EVERYONE ELSE.

Whilst the good commuting people of the Lower Mainland are doing thus…hating it, but doing it, because it’s polite and it’s the right thing to do…there are those (and YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE) that think they’re just a little bit better than the good people of the world and feel justified in breaking the law and pissing off everyone. Why? Maybe they’re running a little late…maybe they didn’t know the lanes split…maybe I’ve got a bridge in Portland for sale that has your name on it.

Riiiiight. T. F. B. I say. That’s “too fucking bad” for the acronym-impaired.

Now, I want to say something to the people that let them (the assholes) into said line, because…you don’t have to. Make them wait! When you let them in, a) they win and b) you’re letting them know that it’s okay to be a jerk.

Don’t! Don’t be intimidated by their BIG vehicle! Don’t let them stare you down, beg, threaten you with hand gestures that make absolutely no sense and possible swear words (because you can’t hear them when they’re yelling inside their car).

Do. NOT. Let. Them. In.

I don’t. If they stare me down…I give them the: I’m an evil witch and will hex you, look. This confuses the hell out of them and may even frighten some. Good. That’s the idea.

I yell: KARMA HEX!! -at them, shaking my fist. Really, you should see some of the reactions I get back. I think I karma hexed about three people, today. They’ll get their comeuppance. Oh yeah.

I don’t fall for that desperate, pleading look, either. *See previous acronym in the body of this blog.

Nope, NOT getting in!

I wish there was room where the COPS could be pulling aside and ticketing these offenders-of-the-lanes, because the COPS will do that if they can. I have no issues with this. Good, I say, book ’em, Danno!

So. Are you going to cut into a lane, tomorrow on your way to work? I’d advise you not to…Karma can be a bitch.

karma

Chasing the Elusive and Impossible


Dear Men,

What gives? You like me, you don’t like me…you seem to be interested but then you’re really not so much? You want to be intimate but not exclusive? You flirt/compliment/chase but still keep searching for that elusive, impossibly perfect girl.

I’d sure like to know what qualities she has in your imaginative mind; it’s killing me not to know what I’m really up against. I think I know what the problem is; online dating gives you far too much to choose from. You’re like a five-year old let loose in a Walmart packed floor to ceiling with easy-to-reach candy.

When Management Shies away from Decision Making and Plays the Blame Game


You know – I did this when I was in my twenties and a store manager. It was always much easier to avoid any decisions…ask my staff to make them and then when things didn’t work out – point the finger squarely at them. It’s a hell of a thing to step up to the plate and accept responsibility.

But that is what ‘management’ is supposed to do.  It’s called ‘we pay you the big bucks’, ‘accountability’ and just plain…dude – YOU ARE THE REGIONAL MANAGER.. not us.

As I mentioned, I was in my twenties. I got paid shit and I was immature. I’ve learned a lot since then and twenty years later I see that CORPORATE management is still pulling the same crap. The thing is…they’re in their forties, they DO get paid the big bucks and it’s just plain cowardice and playing the ‘blame game’ because they are not qualified, not able to and not responsible enough to make any executive decisions on their own.

Then they ‘cc’ the COO in on the scathing email sent to all staff. Nice. This makes one look pathetic, unqualified to do their job and just plain idiotic. It also further demoralises the team. Ah…such unprofessionalism and lack of forward thinking.

I’m amazed. I shouldn’t be, but I am.