NASA engineer Dawn Schaible, left, works during the flight test of the Max Launch Abort System on July 8, 2009, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. (Dawn Schaible) Women’s History Month could conclude this week with its own bit of history, a moment a […]
I am eating breakfast at a Fairfield Inn in Tucumcari. And drinking coffee. Lots of coffee. I would like to make it home today. Sticking to the Interstate route, 40 to 25 to 10 adds an hour to the trip. So I’m getting on US 54 and heading SW cutting across New Mexico until I hit I10. We will see if I get tired and want to stop before Tucson. I’m getting an early start so I’m hoping for seeing the furry crew tonight: Hubster, Buddy, Jujube, Zippy, and Randy, though Randy has no fur. Randy is a turtle. Hubster is human.
This route will take me through Alamagordo. Does the name ring a bell? It should. The Trinity Test exploded the first atomic bomb at a site near Alamogordo. This was conducted by the Los Alamos scientists in 1945. Together all this was known as the Manhattan Project.
I will be passing by historic land, history thick in the air and the fabric of the universe today. I will maintain an air of reverence for how the world changed through events and processes transpired in that sandy country.
I have previously stopped at the Clovis site in the Blackwater Draw. Been through Roswell, too, but did not stop. To my mind the fervor of fictive narratives and the mythos of Roswell has always been related to the cultural vibrations of what we loosed on the world with Trinity.
Nothing quite as world-changing apparently happened via the elections yesterday. The patriarchy, the oligarchies, the kleptocracies, the corporatocracies are all alive and moving. But the era of kratocracy is he crumbling. You cannot put the genie back in the bottle keep the Jeannies out of office. This century 1945 – 2045 has framed types of change and rates of change which are truly unEarthly and out of touch with any sort of Gaian balance.
Mother Nature. Needed now more than ever.
I knew from the first thought of doing the challenge this year that I wanted to do the word vessel for the letter V.
Women being thought of as vessels is a problematic, but common concept. I suspect it is one of the most harmful iconic visualizations of women in the world.
I do not want to disparage any belief, if it is a loving belief or a fact-based belief. I will not honor hateful or demeaning beliefs. Simply referring to women as a vessel is demeaning, it is akin to referring to men as tools. If you want to take the verse from 1 Peter about weaker vessels as some sort of justification for misogyny, please read and comment over at The Myth of the Weaker Vessel. As that article states,
It says as, not is. The misquoted version leaves out the terribly important word as (Gk. hōs.) The Bible doesn’t say, “The women is a weaker vessel.” It says, “Show her honor as a weaker vessel.” Those little letters make a big difference. It’s not an equivalency but a comparison.
Once humans figured out that sperm had something to do with pregnancy, men seemed to want to take possession of their erratic projectiles to which eggs allowed entrance, though had they known about eggs perhaps much turmoil and subjugation might have been avoided. Put quite bluntly women are not vessels for men’s genetic materials. Like everything related to humans, male and female must increasing act together in collaborative action if we are to continue to live and thrive on Earth.
I truly love the notion that there was once a matrifocal society. We do not know that however. The myth of the ancient peaceful matriarchy is just that, a myth. We have no evidence of that. We do have artistic evidence of women being pretty damn important to early, prehistoric, cultures around the world. Fertility and the ability to bring forth new life is freaking impressive! It was most likely held in awe until a prescientific worldview by some Mesopotamian folks realized the concept of paternity when they began breeding animals for traits from mother and father, and decided to create a patriarchal conceptualization of the world that justified ownership and control over other living beings such as livestock and women.
I’ve often thought about writing an alternate history where a feminist time travels back to Biblical times and offs Abraham or perhaps Zoroaster and reroutes human culture away from the big three patriarchal religions. If I ever knock off all the books lined up waiting to be written in my brain, I will get around to it. I have to get my damn medical abuse memoir written and published, even it self-published so I can get on to the fun stuff!
In any case, I do not believe that domestication of a few animals that happened to be amenable to human manipulation (all herd animals) needed to create the notion in some men’s minds that women could be controlled too, and owned along with children. Someone back then, (Sarah maybe?) should have noticed the passing on of both sexes traits in offspring and not allowed the one-sided story of children somehow being generated solely by the father with the mother just being a container. If only mitochondrial DNA had been understood back then! We would have actually known that women contribute more DNA, via mitochondria, than men, and so much heartache might have been avoided. (See my post Xes, Sexes, and Mitochondrial DNA for a fun post from an A to Z challenge a few years ago for the challenging letter X.)
If women are to be thought of as vessels then we should work to include men in this conceptualization as we are both vessels for some of the best and worst traits in our species. Let’s work on becoming vessels of love and light, shall we?
Women require information to govern in a democratic fashion just as do men. Understanding the evolution of a government, the systems from which it emerged, is essential to preservation, and betterment, of that government. Trajectories are real aspects of living systems and exert influence on contemporary processes.
From 18th century France, there were three estates of society:
- the clergy (religious heads)
- the nobility (rulers)
- the commoners (everyone else who is not a slave)
Among the political commentators and thinkers, the media has been labelled as the fourth estate of modern day.
In modern democracy, the three pillars include:
- the legislature (makes laws)
- the executive (president or prime minister)
- the judiciary (the courts)
The media has been labeled as the fourth estate of modern society.
The Fifth Estate, which has been labeled citizen journalism, has beeen broken down, I would argue incorrectly, into two types of journalism. The first being an extension of The Fourth Estate and the second as some sort of standalone pillar. In fact, to take the property analogies of estates and pillars of society one step further, I contend that information that can stand alone apart from a voice that speaks it, as is the case in a pamphlet, a book, or a digital transmission is the beam, brace, or buttress that makes pillars on estates into the cultural home in which we live.
Living systems, and we live within and are a part of a living system, are open systems.
I am not going to go any deeper into systems theory, self- organizing systems, or cybernetics, (but I would note, as an aside, that if you want to understand systems science through a woman’s eye, look at some Lynn Margulis quotes.)
Life requires change and the ability to bring in new elements and energy, as well as to delete, turn-off, or store-away other elements and processes, including tinformation paths and flow.
The transitions we are experiencing in the world are becoming more and more dramatic as we are living on the fulcrum of a tipping point where we cannot long balance; change will happen and the slightest actions, or inaction, by individuals can and will change the direction, the trajectory, of the path upon which we will find ourselves.
We do not know how this will all shake out. New technology brings new behavior. Gutenberg could not have known, nor could Martin Luther, that when Luther posted his 95 Theses, 500 years ago, that others would find his words so moving that they would use the new tech of the printing press to print and distribute hundreds, then thousands, of copies of Luther’s discussion points in what was literally the first viral post.
Women’s voices are strong, and the distributed nature of the digital web is quite feminine and whether we are using hashtags (#meto #timesup #shepersisted) or writing our own theses, we are engaged in public communication as people have been since the first humans gathered around an evening fire. Citizen journalism is a good thing if done with care. Most of us know which people we can rely on to give us good information. We know which bloggers, editorial writers, and cartooniswts we can trust to base their works, including opinion pieces, to be based in fact. How those facts are interwoven into “truths” are far more problematic. When we give our time and eyes to uncritically watching or reading “news” that is not reporting facts but into building viewers or followers, we are hurting ourselves and world that we communally build with our consumption and conversations.
We must, as women who are approaching 100 years of having the vote in the United States, become as responsible and careful with the information we create or share as we are with the food we give our children and families to build bodies. We are powerful and we hold the information that builds our children’s minds and our future knowledge used by our society in our hands.
Our mothers and grandmotherws figured out how to make cakes during the rationing of sugar during World War II.
We must figure out how to make our homes and businesses equally celebratory as we ration ourselves to verified information.
We must educate ourselves and navigate the current estates and pillars with a fervor that only mothers acting to preserve what they love can act.