Coming in the Back Door by Jessica Bowman

“I’m not ready to make nice
I’m not ready to back down
I’m still mad as hell, and I don’t have time
To go ’round and ’round and ’round
It’s too late to make it right
I probably wouldn’t if I could
‘Cause I’m mad as hell
Can’t bring myself to do what it is
You think I should”

(Dixie Chicks, 2009)

The quote listed above is the lyrical reaction of the music group the Dixie Chicks in response to the backlash of lead singer Natalie Maines public criticism of then US president George Bush and US military involvement in the Middle East during a music concert in the UK. Because the concert was televised, her criticism reached millions of people. As a result of her words, the band experienced extreme repercussion which included death threats and all of their songs being banned from the major radio networks in the US for an extended period of time. These song lyrics are a prime example of art being used as political activism and its effectiveness to make the point using peaceful means.  Women have learned that if they are not allowed to enter through the same door, the front door, as the one intended for men they will find another way. Continue reading “Coming in the Back Door by Jessica Bowman”

Join the Rebellion by Jessica Bowman

Like many other thousands of Americans, I watched the newest offering from the Star Wars legacy last autumn and was re-inspired to be an active part of the rebellion against oppression. Viewing the movie through my feminist lens I was cheered on by the choice of actors and actresses in lead roles and was reminded of Margaret Mead’s famous quote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

It may be easy to compare the new president to Lord Vader because he is an easy target who encourages mockery and ridicule. However, tyranny, violence, and power trips have long been a part of world societies, for centuries.  It is as evident as ever that we must continue to stand against such debilitating realities. We must stand together.

And, like millions of other people across the world, I had the privilege to participate in a Sister March to the Women’s March on Washington; shoulder to shoulder with passionate and caring people determined to make a difference. The experience generated feelings of elation, hope, and unity. I was most impressed by the kindness radiating from every person I came in contact with.  Even though spaces were packed with people the overall atmosphere was conscientious, polite, and caring. Peaceful activism is critical to progress.  

I also listened intently to the speeches made at the marches; especially by the women well known in popular culture. Gloria Steinem, a cornerstone of the modern feminist movement, spoke words that I believe reflect the change in values that I visualize in the form of a river current. “God may be in the details, but the Goddess is in connections. We are at one with each other, we are looking at each other, not up.” Women’s work is the creation of the web; the tapestry of connections between us all and the building of momentum in the stream bed. Continue reading “Join the Rebellion by Jessica Bowman”

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