Gay Marriage

BLOG-Delcaration-760x760“Who’s happy?” one of my friends said over drinks this past weekend in regards to marriage. He wasn’t being facetious. He was really asking. Okay maybe he was being a bit tongue-in- cheek since he is actually happily married.

But as I looked around at my group of friends, I saw something I’d never really seen before:

A friend who was divorced and with her new husband. A friend who was there alone because she was in a fight with her spouse. A friend in the middle of a divorce. A friend who is widowed. And one married couple.

That same day the New York Times reported: 5-4 Ruling Makes Same-Sex Marriage a Right Nationwide.

So of course, this historic news came up in conversation with my friends.

“It will be the new normal,” one of my friends said, a bit concerned or at least unsure. “It’s all the children of today will know.”

“That’s okay,” another friend responded. “Fifty years ago Blacks and whites didn’t share the same public restrooms and then that became the new normal.”

How was that reality even possible?

I guess it’s a good thing that situation feels antiquated and, more to the point, it is evidence that in time we'll look back and wonder how we could've denied marriage rights to any particular group.

I must admit I stared for a long while at the twelve photos of the same-sex couples on the cover of the newspaper, wanting to know their stories, imagining their lives— what it was like for them before this vote and what life would be like for them now.

I took a hard look at these people, happy for them, feeling celebratory that they’d accomplished this goal—to be together, openly and legally.

And now they had what we had.

Marriage.

And yet here we were a handful of mostly married people: all living our own individual lives, all making different choices, at different turning points.

What did we all have in common?

Choice.

Maybe the divorced friend would remarry, maybe not. Maybe the married couple would stay together, maybe not.

I recently read that the word gay has become so prevalent in meaning homosexual that people hesitate to use the term in its original sense to mean happy or joyful.

I’d like to use the word in its original meaning here.

If it’s what you choose—Gay Marriage for all.

Feminism and the Age of Aquarius

BLOG- Women Strong Ones Cropped“Women are in nearly every way that really matters, superior to men and, moreover, that this superiority is finally becoming evident in our societies.” “In addition to women’s superiority in judgment, their trustworthiness, reliability, fairness, working and playing well with others, lower levels of prejudice, bigotry and violence make them biologically superior.”

“Men are responsible for much more than their share of the world’s wars, drug abuse and sexual misbehavior.”

The above statements appeared in The Wall Street Journal over the weekend. They are the words of Dr. Konner, a professor of anthropology at Emory University and author of, Women After All.

I’ve been collecting data on this topic, doing research, for months.

Pay attention. You’ll see it everywhere.

FEMINISM.

Feminism is having a revival. With a twist.

The feminism I remember from my childhood (the I Am Women Hear Me Roar era) had an angry tone. People, including women, turned away from feminism because it seemed acrimonious, and so even if women agreed with its message often they didn’t want to associate or align with the movement. The feminism of today is less brash. It is more inclusive and balanced.

Roxanne Gay, author of Bad Feminist, addresses this issue in her book. She writes about how a woman might’ve rejected feminism, believing she wasn’t a feminist, simply because she enjoyed reading Vogue. Today, feminism is taking on a different quality.

In Wonder Women, Debora Spar, challenges how women were told they could be equal to men and have it all. “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan, and never let you forget you’re a man.”

That perspective, or myth, left women overwhelmed, struggling to balance a career and family. In our culture, an attitude of  be careful what you wish for emerged as the women’s movement was blamed for women’s problems.

So here’s what’s new: Feminism is now asking men to step up and be part of the change. Sheryl Sanberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, and the author of Lean In, says that men may fear that as women do better they will do worse. But the truth is that equality is good for men too.

At Elizabeth Irwin High School in New York City there is a course in Feminism. The boys in the class made a video, clips of each of them stating, I am a feminist.

Every year at Omega Institute there is a Women and Power Conference. 2014 was the first year that men were invited to be a part of the conversation. Elizabeth Lesser’s speech was extraordinary and I encourage you to click on the link and read what she has to say about women and men and power and change.

In her speech, (which remember was a lecture on women and power) she talks about her stepson, and how he is consciously choosing to be a full-on parent. She told her stepson that the way he was being a father was changing the world at its core.

I see my own sons talking to their children and I know something is shifting. In a world that has “denied women of their smarts and men of their hearts” my two and a half year old grandson cannot only distinguish one emotion from another; he can verbalize his feelings too.

“I’m angry at you, Dad.”

“Why?” his father asked.

“Well, I’m not angry at you. I’m angry because we’re not leaving.”

He’d had his coat on and was waiting for his father for some time. He was frustrated and tried to express that. In my day, and in generations before mine, a young boy would not have been allowed to talk to his father in this manner. A boy’s frustration and anger might've shown up in a less than productive way, possibly even a violent way.

We are in a transition.

I can feel it.

I think its because we are entering the Age of Aquarius. I first heard about the Age of Aquarius in the late sixties. As a child, I sang to the 5th Dimension on a record player.

I didn’t know then that the Age of Aquarius was a real astrological age.

But a few years ago, I learned about the Age of Aquarius while attending a lecture at the 92nd Street Y. What I learned was that an astrological age lasts approximately 2,500 years and that the change into this age has begun.

According to the lyrics of the song, the Age of Aquarius will occur…

When the moon is in the Seventh House and Jupiter aligns with Mars

Then peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars

Harmony and understanding

Sympathy and trust abounding…

These are the values (love, brotherhood, peace, empathy) we need to focus on, knit into our consciousness. These principles, historically, have been associated with woman, and were thought of as weak or too vulnerable.

But no longer.

If this is where we are headed, women must take leadership roles. And men must support them.

Let the sun shine in.