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2012 Blog Carnival to Mark Equal Pay Day, Being Poor, Cheryl Seelhoff, CherylLindseySeelhoff, Female Ritual Servitude, Motherhood, oob

The Motherhood Penalty — On Discrimination Against Mothers as Mothers

by Cheryl Seelhoff, first published in off our back, January 1, 2006.  Image is the work of Eric Drooker.

 
Even among ourselves we fear that not kneeling at the motherhood shrine 
will make us look weak and incompetent and unfeeling. We are afraid that 
if we speak the truth of our lives as mothers, we will find ourselves 
standing alone, the unnatural, scorned exception, that if we were to 
tell what agony motherhood has been for us, women of all political 
persuasions might fall upon us in rage, so invested are women in keeping 
the fathers' last guilty secret: that making motherhood horrific while 
brainwashing us to believe instead that it is beatific, they have 
effectively secured our minds and hearts, our cooperation. 
--Sonia Johnson, Wildfire: Igniting the She/Volution

To the casual observer, it might appear as though motherhood struggles are indistinguishable from any other difficulties women face because they are women. Feminists have, after all, always confronted wage inequities, job discrimination, mistreatment of women by doctors and the medical establishment, injustices in the court system, exploitation of women as unpaid care providers for children, the elderly and the sick, and as caretakers of home and hearth, and the lack of social and economic support for older women who have spent all of their lives serving their families without being paid for it. All women have experienced these forms of discrimination or been directly affected by them in some way.

But mothers experience specific kinds of discrimination because they are mothers–discrimination those who have elected not to be mothers do not face. This discrimination and the subsequent inequality of mothers compared with those who are not mothers is largely invisible, hidden as it is beneath the motherhood mystique, the aura Western culture has created around the idea of motherhood. It goes unnamed and often unacknowledged by mothers, as well, fearful as each one is that she is the only one to struggle as she does, that other mothers know something she doesn’t, that to speak out might equal admitting she is a bad mother, suspect, better take a good look at her kids, maybe they are abused or neglected. And besides, mothers love their children, or if they don’t love them as they should, they know they are supposed to. They don’t want anyone–particularly their children–to suspect their capacity for maternal love is not what it ought to be. And they don’t want to be despised and feared the way mothers who are not good and loving are despised and feared under male supremacy. And so mothers are silent.

But in order for inequalities to be rectified, they must be elucidated, examined, analyzed, publicized, spoken. Throughout the past few decades, feminists have addressed every conceivable form of inequality among women: inequalities around race, class, age, size, looks, sexual orientation, disability. But a persistent and recalcitrant resistance to elucidating systemic and institutionalized inequalities specific to motherhood has remained. One reason may be that mothers appear to be reverenced and honored in American society. They appear to enjoy special status, even privilege, if privilege is assumed to flow automatically from declarations of love and devotion. In addition, feminists and progressives in general have often resisted acknowledging specific discrimination against mothers, reasoning that “not all women are mothers,” usually followed in short order by warnings about the regressiveness of biological essentialism and the importance of discouraging breeding.

Then, given the availability of birth control and abortion, discrimination against mothers passes unchallenged and unconfronted because it is understood to be part and parcel of the motherhood package mothers are said to have “chosen” when they became pregnant. There is generally little interest in unpacking the facts or realities of this supposed “choice.” In truth, mothers, asked whether they would choose to be mothers if they could choose again, more often than not, say they would not. So what might have been the quality of their initial “choice”? How informed, meaningful or free might it have been, given the regrets which followed? And even if they did choose to be mothers, how many women would have “chosen” to be discriminated against because they are mothers?

While it is true that not all women are mothers, it is also true that only women are mothers, and so whatever discrimination mothers may face must be, by definition, discrimination on the basis of sex, and as such, rightfully the concern of feminism. It is also true that over 80% of women are mothers, and as such, whatever discrimination mothers face far and away affects most women directly. I believe that motherhood discrimination affects not only mothers: I believe it affects all women, directly and indirectly, and as such it is rightfully the concern of feminists and all women.

I will focus on two kinds of evidence of discrimination against mothers because they have been the subject of recent research and because they confirm the existence of motherhood discrimination empirically, with the facts and figures male supremacy so values and prefers. There are many other evidences which mothers know through lived experience, evidences which tend to be dismissed or disregarded in a culture in which women still rarely occupy the subject position, a culture in which we are routinely silenced and not believed, not taken seriously. I am hopeful that one day a robust and unstoppable mother’s movement will force mothers’ stories into center stage, into the public arena, so insistently that they can no longer be ignored. Until then, I think it makes sense to look carefully at the empirical evidence we do have and to make good theory and good use of it in our lives as feminist activists.

The Pregnancy Police

A while back I watched an episode of “Cops” in which police were called to a home where a woman had been battered. After the batterer was handcuffed and arrested, the attention of the policemen turned to the victim, a bruised and bleeding young mother with a newborn baby less than two weeks old. I watched horrified as, instead of comforting the woman and offering her practical help, the police began to interrogate her because her apartment was in disarray and there was little food in the refrigerator. It didn’t seem to matter to them that there was plenty of baby formula on hand or that the baby was sleeping and appeared to be well-cared for; their focus was on the messy house and the empty cupboards. Bruised and through tears she explained that she’d returned to work within a week of the baby’s birth, that she would soon receive a paycheck, that she was taking good care of her baby and was a good mom. I cried myself as the baby was taken from her arms and placed in the patrol car.

I don’t know whether this episode of “Cops” was true, but I do know how popular that program and similar programs are and that they reflect the values and sensibilities of a watching public which increasingly relishes policing pregnant women and young mothers. Episodes like this one reflect the reality that over the past 20 years, women who are pregnant or who have newborn infants have, in ever-growing numbers, been wrongly and disproportionately accused, reported to authorities of various kinds, and penalized for being poor (which is characterized as “neglect”), for having abusive boyfriends (some of whom are the fathers of their infants), for using drugs and alcohol, or for failing to “obey doctors’ orders.” Sometimes these women have had their children permanently removed, even though there was no evidence that their actions or behaviors had caused harm to the fetus or child.

Women have, for similar “offenses,” also been charged under criminal child support statutes for child abuse, child neglect, contributing to the delinquency of minors, causing the dependency of a child, child endangerment, delivery of drugs to a minor, drug possession, assault with a deadly weapon, manslaughter, homicide and vehicular homicide, even though these cases are overwhelmingly brought under statutes never intended to be applied to situations involving the behaviors of pregnant women.

While many of these prosecutions involve allegations of illegal drug use, women also have been prosecuted for engaging in legal activity during their pregnancies. Not long ago a California woman was arrested because she ignored her doctor’s advice to get bed rest, to stay off her feet, to refrain from having sexual intercourse, to take medication to suppress labor, and to go immediately to the hospital if she experienced any bleeding. No law prohibited or required any of these activities. A law passed in Texas in 2004 made it a felony to smoke marijuana while pregnant, with a prison sentence of 2 to 20 years. In 2004 in Utah, a woman was imprisoned because she refused a c-section, and one of her twins was stillborn. (For a list of criminal prosecutions of pregnant women by state, see the National Advocates for Pregnant Women website, http://www.advocatesforpregnantwomen.org/articles/1992stat.htm.)

These prosecutions and lawsuits treat pregnant women differently from everyone else, and subject them to standards that apply to no one else, simply because they are pregnant. They infringe upon pregnant women’s constitutional rights to privacy, due process, and equal protection. Drug and alcohol use during pregnancy are not law enforcement or criminal justice issues, they are women’s health issues, and prosecuting pregnant women as criminals jeopardizes the health of both the mothers and babies.

More significantly, pitting fetuses and newborn babies against their mothers, treating them as separate and even adversarial entities, endangers reproductive rights for all women. Since 1973 dozens of states including Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky and Illinois have passed feticide and other laws establishing independent fetal rights, with some states declaring that the unborn (from fertilization) are full legal persons for purposes of the right to life–even though women continue, theoretically, to have the right to abortions.

The result of this trend towards fetal rights is not limited to the prosecution of pregnant women for such things as rejecting c-sections, though that would be bad enough. The ramifications extend both into the homes of battered mothers, who risk losing their children when they call for help; and to domestic violence shelters, where shelter workers must comply with laws protecting fetal rights and so must take various kinds of action against battered mothers seeking protection and shelter.

The results of fetal rights ideologies also extend into the relationships between women, evident in the ways women police, scrutinize, accuse, and criticize one another for what they eat, drink, or do while they are pregnant, for how well they do or do not take care of themselves, and for whether or not they plan to breastfeed, all the way through how well they mother for the rest of their lives. It is tragic and infuriating the way these policing interactions between women are mischaracterized, trivialized, even dismissed as “mommy wars,” “catfights,” or “women’s inhumanity to women” when the stakes are, in fact, very high and real in a society which increasingly controls, regulates and disciplines the bodies of mothers under the aegis of protecting the rights of the fetuses inside those women’s bodies.

It is also tragic and infuriating to see police and court enforcement of the orders of a patriarchal medical establishment which does not have a good record with respect to the treatment of pregnant, laboring, birthing and breastfeeding women. These are not in any way “mommy wars;” these are men’s wars, a continuation of the wars men have always waged over the bodies of women. It is only women’s own resistance to discrimination against, and policing of, women who are pregnant which will bring these wars to an end.

The Motherhood Penalty

A landmark study by Cornell University published in 2005 has confirmed what mothers have known for years: Mothers are less likely to be hired than are women without children and are paid lower starting salaries than similarly qualified fathers or women without children. The authors of the study created 300 pairs of fictitious cover letters and resumes and used them to apply for advertised midlevel marketing positions. One “applicant” said she was relocating with her family and mentioned a school board position, the other “applicant” said she was relocating without making mention of family. The applicant who did not make mention of family was twice as likely to be hired by the test subjects. Additionally, the gap in starting pay offered between mothers and childless women averaged an astounding $11,000. The more children a mother was described as having, the lower the salary the test subjects said they would offer.

The study also found:

* Mothers were judged to be significantly less competent and were held to harsher performance and punctuality standards than women without children.

* Mothers were allowed significantly fewer times of being late to work.

* Mothers needed a significantly higher score on the management exam than did mothers without children in order to be considered hirable.

* Mothers were rated as significantly less promotable and were less likely to be recommended for management.

* 84% of nonmothers were recommended for hire, as opposed to 47% of the mothers.

* Conversely, fathers were rated as more committed to their jobs than nonfathers, were allowed more times of being late to work than nonfathers, and were offered higher salaries.

* Mothers account for most of the wage gap between men and women.

The study concluded as follows:

Given the strength of the [motherhood penalty interaction effect] across a diverse set of measures and the experimental control of applicant quality, we conclude that giving evidence of being a mother leads to discrimination against mothers. Being a father did not lead to similar disadvantages for men, and at times, actually led to advantages …

One unexpected finding was that childless women were advantaged over childless men on several measures including being seen as more competent and being more likely to be recommended for hire…. Survey analyses have found a motherhood penalty across a wide range of occupations and jobs …

Writing for the National Center for Policy Analysis, Denise Venable (2002) (says) “When women behave in the workplace as men do, the wage gap between them is small…. However, since most men and women have children at some point in their lives, the most illustrative … comparison is not the comparison of childless men to childless women but the comparison of men with children to women with children … when women ‘behave as men do,’ giving evidence of being a parent, they were discriminated against while their male counterparts were often advantaged by their parental status” … That parental status disadvantaged only female applicants is strong evidence of discrimination.

Shelley J. Correll and Stephen Benard, Getting a Job: Is There a Motherhood Penalty?, Cornell University, January 25, 2005.

Conclusion

The ongoing oppression of, and discrimination against, mothers is informed and perpetuated by the backlash against feminism, by male-centered liberalism, and, paradoxically, by feminism’s interest in pursuing women’s “equality” in the workforce without acknowledging discrimination against mothers. Equal treatment of those who are unequal is still inequality. Conservatives and the Religious Right extol the virtues of home and hearth, decry feminism, and blame working and single mothers for the breakdown of the family, for problems in the schools, for the alienation and delinquency of the young, and for a host of other ills. Liberalism defines equality as sameness, measures women’s equality against a male standard, and women measure up only so long as they do not appear to be mothers.

To the degree that women in the workforce appear apparently unencumbered by concerns about children and family, to that degree they enjoy the same success men enjoy, in that men are presumed to have wives at home devoted to their children and family so that they do not have to be. To the degree that women are forthright about the fact that they are parents, to that degree they are penalized in the workforce, because women are not presumed to have a partner at home supporting them and caring for their children and home.

Faced with the condemnations and judgments of conservatives and the Right, discrimination in the workforce, and the policing not only by law enforcement agencies but by the medical establishment and friends and peers, mothers suffer as mothers. They suffer in the world of work, unable to get jobs for which they are qualified, paid less than they are worth, and denied promotions. They are policed, regulated, and disciplined from the time they learn they have conceived. They continue to bear more than their fair share of the household and parenting tasks, working the so-called “second shift,” a phenomena which has not really changed since the Second Wave.

Given that this is so, it is no wonder that the “opt-out” revolution continues apace, with women becoming stay-at-home-mothers when it is feasible for them. I believe the growth in attendance at fundamentalist churches since the ’80s is a direct response to the increasing discrimination against mothers. In those churches, women hear what they do not hear anywhere else–that being a good mother is possible if they just follow the church’s prescribed path–and they receive what they do not receive anywhere else: support and community with mothers and protection against the societal intimidation and policing reserved for mothers so long as they conform to church standards.

In the meantime, too often, discrimination against mothers flies under the feminist radar. In fact, the future of all women is inextricably tied to the future of mothers. Until mothers are free, women will not be free.

– Copyright 2012 Cheryl Seelhoff, All Rights Reserved

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Discussion

3 thoughts on “The Motherhood Penalty — On Discrimination Against Mothers as Mothers

  1. Heart, I can’t get into this in depth right now, since I’ve been online now for past couple of hours [our water turned off, and dealing with the reeling Re-trauma from the-RAPE-y the other day who/female/ told me, to leave my son with his abusive father and I could just go live from shelter to shelter, with a progressive spine disease mind you, yea and she used to work for a DV shelter, this is State mandated/court ordered The-RAPE-Y, due to child neglect charge/dirty house, I couldn’t WALK but oh Nigel, who has priors/two permanent restraining orders/DUIs, well he’s a Victim, being a ‘man’ who has to put up with a cripple–old non-fuckable, you know, never mind that it was HIS abuse that was directly the cause of the spine degeneration that I have now, diagnosed in 2009. The children are older teens, only one his bio, but the thing is, house was dirty, too many cats, and never mind two other adults in the house, they went after the bed ridden woman, which I was at the time, with medical proof, which didn’t matter, I wasn’t fulfilling the dutiful patriarchal mother role, anyway, no priors, nada, didn’t matter, three days after they busted in our house, they charged me with neglect, had to deal with CPS and their coddling Nigel bullshit, when they had to take me to hospital for further damage to my back [I couldn’t move AT ALL] then they dropped the case, to keep from being sued, but the criminal, they don’t care–it’s Private Corporate Probation/that I’m dealing with now, 6 months, but with the way system works–my being disabled/they term that as Mental Illness, regardless, and it’s a Death Sentence, they just don’t call it that. I’m poor, as you know, that has a lot to do with it…Nigel works for the State, so they cover their own, and they flat out don’t care HOW abusive he is, they don’t even listen to the children, one whom he has physically assaulted, after the DA made him a Victim, to win her case. Long story, but I was railroaded, public pretender was a joke, and well, bottom line, they colluded deliberately with Nigel. Being that I’ve never had to Deal with the criminal system/mental health, before, other than seeing others go through it, I had NO IDEA what was going on, how Horrible it has become, and it is today an industry of Genocide, especially the Family Courts. I began to do heavy research, I was Shocked at the numbers of women being charged with Domestic Violence through fast track for any type of self defense, who are forced onto drugs, etc., via mental health, and the Domestic Violence shelters are IN on this crap–come to find out, it’s all under the umbrella of Dept of Human Services/Courts, whose lawyers/pedo wank industry/PORN are sitting on the Boards over the Domestic Violence Shelters–those same ties are tied up with Child Protective, which is nothing more than a pedo-wank trafficking system, once they turn over children to the Agencies of Adoption, which in many states are NOT audited therefore they can allow pedophiles/criminals to Foster/Adopt children, and no one is charged due to how the immunity works/passing the buck, etc., lawyers are making Mega bucks off this, but more, is big pharma/Out patient Mental Health, anyway–so I have researched, found Mother’s Political Party, it’s Epidemic, the numbers of children being mass raped/slaughtered by abusers, all COURT ORDERED, and it IS a flat out DEATH WAR AGAINST MOTHERS, WOMEN, and because these are mothers, many of whom yes, are white, middle class, there hasn’t been a lot of exposure within the rad-fem, etc., or even the ex-Quiverfulls, not sure if they are aware of how the MRAs are using the courts to push women back into dark ages–but it’s not just the MRAs, either, there is some serious Eugenics, sinister shit going on–what I really was shocked at, was how this same thing is working in the Criminal, against females, with this whole drug war, and it’s not only on a full blown scale war against women, it’s flat out, Genocide. But it’s HOW it’s being done–under the guise of ‘good works’, so to speak, moralism, that many are not seeing it or connecting the dots, so to speak–but in All of it, Mental Health, Big Pharma, is heavily in on it, and that is how they are killing women, and children, terrorizing them, forcing silence, but what is Very disturbing,

    is the numbers of Juvenile Females/children they are doing this crap too–it’s like, they are looking for female children, through the various doors of the System, and slowly lobotomizing them, sterilizing them [chemical fgms and that’s what the side effects of these psychotropics do, which also is a form of sterilization] and killing them.

    It is deliberate, make no mistake about it–it is deliberate. And the rapes/mass trafficking of FEMALES in both our juvenile, foster care and prison systems, is no doubt, a mass planned organized porn-bdsm crime racket. The similarities to the methodologies of Behavior Mod/Cognitive Mind Control that is used, to that of BDSM, is IDENTICAL–and I don’t think, for one minute, it’s by pure chance or accident–NOT with the Lawyers involved–this is Corporate, this is Deliberate, and this is Planned Systematic Murder/mass Rape/trafficking of Females, in this nation, in our backyard, all behind so called Help Agency doors–and the numbers of victims are growing, by the day. It’s serious, on epidemic proportions–the few who are aware of the ‘agenda’ or in various groups, one the Human Rights Commission for Mental Health [Christan Scientists but they do know about the big pharma abuses], the Mind Freedom Org, Mother’s Political Party [court ordered abuse/Kansas is horrid as precedence and Feminists all over this nation really need to take notice] and other small groups. But it’s the mothers-children’s groups, that are getting the brunt of the abuses–African American women, there are some strong groups there–fighting same thing, same thing–the genocide has been going on against their children for Years, through the penal system especially, Latinos in AZ, CA, Mental Health in Minn, Indiana [often mixed with CPS], New York [horrid],

    anyway, my assertions to Any feminism, to the probation or theRapist, is under behavior mod, due to how Mental Health works–deemed as ‘defiance’ which means automatic death sentence, via drugs/or electrocution execution [what I term it], Kansas is working to make this shit mandatory for ALL rape victims/DV victims, IF this legis passes, we are in Big trouble. Because it will go from state to state–but my point is, the courts, have been doing this crap–along with CPS, for very long time, they keep an entire data base [just like the porn-stripping industry does, which I find oddly similar], that is generational–in other words, this shit, is Planned Out. Do keep in touch, please, Jane

    Posted by Jane | July 2, 2012, 2:19 pm
  2. Heart, to give you an idea of what’s going on in our court systems, how Epidemic it is, this one woman has been keeping track of the cases of children murdered by fathers, most court ordered abuse [meaning, mother no matter what evidence of DV, is deemed ‘mentally ill’, aka hysterical via modernized witch hunts, and through the bogus PAS [parental alienation syndrome] OR mothers jailed for minor drug/poverty charges or mothers who have been ‘labeled’ mentally ill [CPS really thrives on utilizing this to grab children for foster/pharma care], etc.,

    that blog is, http://dastardlydads.blogspot.com/

    the cases MONTHLY of murdered children, invisible mothers, is numerous month to month all across this nation,

    also, http://ncmbts.blogspot.com/

    legis included about Kansas [mandatory mental psyche evals for all rape victims/dv victims or shelters lose funding, etc] as well as how the system/monies are being used to mass traffick children, females in the system

    it’s Very difficult getting any info on the criminal/women, a lot of the criminal briefs on gender, is pushed through ‘agenda’s’ to push for more monies for big pharma/forced drugging–via Behavior Mod, etc., in other words, using feminist language to push for more harmful policing/thought control of women–particularly DV victims, rape victims and trafficked-prostituted women behind bars, but I did find some

    http://resistancebehindbars.org/

    anyway, there is another in CA, and the Prison letters which is annually I think, but again, that annual letter, is censured, there is nothing regarding Probation because the Private misogynist corporate owned, makes damn sure women are silenced [what I am dealing with now], they particularly do this with immediate labels of some kind of mental illness, once That industry gets a hold of them, particularly if they are middle aged/elderly such as myself, it’s pretty much a death sentence–Anyhow, I was able to get some info, there is ONE brave woman who is writing, in Alaska, about the abuses there on probation, she too is Disabled, they seem to really go after physically disabled women who are very poor, and particularly the homeless. What is horrid about this, is that many of the Abusers ARE other women–

    anyway, what isn’t seen is the connections between these women and the children they are forced to leave who are caught up in the system, where big pharma pedo wank apologists are free to ‘do with them as they please’, this is what is very troublesome–the victims are young, Very young in fact–

    black children are being murdered in high numbers in foster care–on I would say, genocidal proportions, if not murdered out right, they are being brain damaged/health damaged from heavy use/of psychotropics, which might as well Be murder because they truly can’t function outside of institutional care which for most, winds up being Prison.

    it’s called also, Mass Incarceration–what often is not being looked into, is the trafficking of these women from prison to prison, I got wind of this on a Prison Newsletter–when they investigated women rape victims in prisons [recent too] who were sent from one state where they were raped to another state prison where they were raped Again–

    anyway, on the mass incarceration, http://stopmassincarceration.tumblr.com/

    only a few Rad Fem blogs are covering this–I think because of the mother arena there isn’t a lot of exposure to this within Rad Fem blogs, but it is spilling over, if that’s the correct way of saying it, into every area that covers women’s human right issues–

    I thought you’d be interested, you had mentioned similar things to all of the above in your past writings. What I see that is so dangerous about this–is HOW these porgrams [and they are porgrams, I’ll get into this here in bit], are being handled down from the very elite courts-lawyers, corporations into the private sector.

    Now, as to the genocide component, and I found this by pure accident, I was doing research one day on Genetic Foods–genetic cows, chickens, etc., OK, what I found is that the Genetic Research here in Colorado–of the University, is directly over Behavior Modification of Criminal/Defiance etc., at this same university, which means,

    they are using Genetics of animals, in one section–and in another section, genetics research/gene and blood, for Criminal and how too, for behavior mod–not just research,

    and this is where Women come in–genetics, wombs. I saw something about this, though they now are closed down, on a blog of a group, that was fighting Eugenics in Bangladesh a few years back–it appears, they are doing this crap–here in the States, without us even knowing,

    and they are doing this, through Dept of Human Services, blood studies, through data collected, of none other than female children, through the system–who are under doctors care–meaning, Mental Health [rape and incest–foster care, etc].

    I don’t think–this is coincidence, not one bit. It just looks Too much like the porgrams that Hitler’s Mutterland and the prior Mental Health Death Machine did in Germany, even prior to Hitler. [many are not aware of those porgrams, which Hitler got many of his war camp ideas from, where many gas chambers came from, were from those very mental hospitals where they killed patients in the thousands].

    What is interesting here however, is the cross over from mental health/behavior mod which includes psyche treatments, to that of females being forced to go under–via either courts, criminal or even now–as mandatory to get State paid help for d.v. or rape, and all that–is directly tied to the genetic studies/testing in the bigger scope of things.

    Just some things I think we should really keep close monitoring-research on, as well as exposure.

    Peace,

    Jane

    Posted by Jane | July 2, 2012, 3:00 pm
  3. Heart, thank you for putting these up, though I kind of hesitated in relaying the past couple of years. I share my story of gallows on a few blogs because my own blog, though I’ve written some, Nigel stalks it–to pull info from it to use it against me, long story, complex, and don’t need to get into too much detail on that, summing it up, I live with a narcissist who is extremely brilliant, in a psychopath way. [he’s Academia, perfects his ruse through the whole Hippie-Libertarian garbage, well when it suits him, that tends to change like the seasons, whatever]. Anyway, so I haven’t written much on it, that and it’s Embarrassing, because I did have a mental-or emotional rather, I prefer emotional break down after years of dealing with being hostage [due to finances/debts] as well as PTSD, which once injured, the effects of sped up like a train wreck. Something about being in chronic pain/not able to move much–the mind really goes into a hamster wheel, so things I was able to Avoid thinking about or Denying, I could not any longer,

    anyhow, I believe there is a reason for things, first thing I was forced to do was question the whole Religion issue. Why through out life I tended to go from one pole to the other, a lot of that I’m sure had to do with the type of Ritual Abuse and Life of in those conservative religious constructing of my soul, that mixed with paganism [not the good kind] So, yea….

    therefore, winding through all this, to keep some control over what was left of the little self I had [fighting the State, which is like some torture four wall sacrificial hell from some nether world] I began to look into the whole Mental Health, Prison [there was time I thought I was going to jail, I still could, for any technical violation, etc., which seems to be the norm from what I am hearing] so, to prepare myself, that and well, having completely given up–the system Does that to you…it’s like not just a Nigel but thousands of Nigel’s Legion of Demon Army you know, with one big gawd, etc.,

    that and mentally, it just messes with one’s mind. But I began to see so much, that I thought even with what I knew, was from times past–because of the journals [political/sociological, etc] we tend to THINK that these abuses are of the times past, because they’ve been written about or covered by academic /professional feminists, etc., but that’s HARDLY the case,

    in fact I found that there is a second type of RE-EXPLOITATION of these MISERY cases, of the wounded, and that not only that–but that these wounded women, particularly IN the system, are Targeted by Predators [religious, academic, book writers, legal ambition scholars/lawyers, up and coming professionals in the Fields, so forth] just like men target women in the sex industry. Because these women are completely powerless, meaning the STATE has stripped them of all their power, they are vulnerable to exploitation from all types of other sources–as a means of Funding, from publishing to grant writing to whole lab experiments [social labs]. I think some of the worst forms of exploitation are in the whole Thesis writing of higher ed students….reason I say this is because for one, the Women caught up in the system machine are in no way Compensated for telling their stories of horror, particularly those in Prison who tell about the abuses, prior rapes, etc., and they in no way profit or are empowered by telling….

    and laws don’t change. What does profit however is the pockets of those who USE these women and their hellish lives and in many ways. This is why, when one researches one can be easily duped into thinking that because so and so of such and such University or Law School has covered it, well ‘why there must be some changes soon’, only to find in Reality,

    it’s as quickly forgotten about, particularly as a social agenda of change, the day it’s published-written. To note, there are a FEW exceptions to this rule–I have found some really good writings/activism in regards to such, however, what IS ironic and odd about those, is that they were not of the upper elite crust of academia/law schools, but often young women, in radical activism working to make change. More of the grass roots types–published zines, so forth. But there simply is not enough of them to do any real impact.

    Anyway, not only the prison system but what horrified me was the extent of just how little has changed within the Mental Health system for Women either–women Still to this day can be taken against their will, and made a prisoner. This depends on the state–some states are still back in the dark ages, but the Reason these abuses still occur is the lack of knowledge about them. Elderly women are the most at risk–I do believe this is a deliberate stratification to rid of elderly women. I also don’t think it’s coincidence that elderly women’s Memories are targeted for extinction the most–which as you know, is a blatant attempt of Erasure.

    Mary Daly and I do believe Phyllis Chesler [though I have not read her book, I intend to] wrote on the abuses of the Sciences, or Necro-death structure/worship against female energy/lives. I read [and still do, it’s kind of my friend Bible right now, comforting due to what I’m going through] Gyn-Ecology, of which has SAVED MY INNER LIFE SOURCE in ways I can’t describe, so much KNOWING in that book, she knew too, you know, lived and worked in that whole environment [religious],

    so yea….anyway, don’t know how long I’ll be so called free, physically, can’t tell in this outright WAR against us now, you know, just a sense, but as long as I can, I write/ to share, keep updated, because I know, it’s so needed right now. So many distractions, and there is an Undercurrent, being planned against All Women in this nation,

    and a strong one at that. We’re all under attack in one way or another, and have been, have you noticed, the Isolationism, and separation? I have, that and being silenced, I in some ways think the internet is good to get the word out, at the same time, I think it’s been one of those things that has left us wide open for attack–and Confusion especially,

    you know Mary wrote, a lot about the Foot Binding and Mind Binding [I love how she used Language that is Spiritual, I so got it, LOL], well you know those same empires, there was Confuscious, [spell?], Confusion,

    and I don’t think it’s just me, sensing this.

    Jane

    Posted by Jane | July 3, 2012, 11:24 am

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