Today is International Women’s Day! In addition to my work online and face-to-face with women as well as with the products offered by our shop, I support two resources that help make every day “international women’s day.” I sponsor a woman through Women for Women International and I keep multiple microloans going at Kiva. We started making Kiva loans in 2012 when we covered economic freedom in the Cakes for the Queen of Heaven feminist spirituality class I was teaching at the time. We decided to put our money where our mouths were and make a collective loan, from our women’s circle to a women’s circle somewhere else in the world. We collected $50 from the members of the circle and I made two microloans to two different women’s groups, both in Senegal. A few more women contributed in later months, I contributed another $25 of my own and we got a $25 referral credit, and I’ve steadily kept microloans going there ever since, loaning a total of $800 to 32 different women’s groups in 20 countries since we began. The cool thing is that this did not cost me $800, instead it is the same, original money from that long-ago Cakes class that I keep relending as soon as my Kiva account builds up to $25 in repayments. There are 6 loans currently going, from what was originally only $50. Just a drop in the bucket. I encourage you to do this too!
The new filmHidden Figurestells the story of three black women (among many) who helped to save the American Space Program. In segregated Virginia, these women battled both racism and misogyny, deftly fended off micro- and macro-aggressions against both race and sex, and figured out the very mathematics necessary to launch Americans into orbit and bring them back safely. Ultimately, their work helped to win the Cold War.
Their stories have been largely untold until now. Their lives were mostly unknown by the general population. Sadly, despite their incalculable service to their country, despite the fact that they fought against all odds and proved their value and their capabilities, the same fights are still being waged. Racism is alive and well; misogyny is on its way to taking power in the White House.
It grieves me deeply to learn of the death of Carrie Fisher, whose humour, cleverness and bravery have been an inspiration in my life. Carrie Fisher's legacy includes bravely sharing some of the most intimate details of her lowest points, from her struggles with drug addiction and bipolar disorder to the objectification that she was subjected to as an actress, to nasty, petty remarks from an entitled media whom, it seems, were angry that she didn't just stay perfect in her gold bikini forever and had the audacity to get old. She faced it all with courage and a cynical and sarcastic wit that I, who have had some considerable struggles in my life, find both inspiring and smugly satisfying. She was an accomplished writer, penning memoirs, script band-aids, and her bestselling novel Postcards from the Edge, which was later made into a movie starring Meryl Streep and Shirley McLaine. But of course, she remains best known for her portrayal of Princess Leia Organa in the Star Wars Saga, and this is, of course, why I know about her.
"Some decks may be stacked against us...but this deck is ours. Our Tarot."
Just came across this fabulous feminist Tarot deck on Kickstarter, highlighting 78 powerful women from history.
Emily Dickinson as The Hermit, Hildegard of Bingen as The High Priestess, Josephine Baker as the Queen of Wands, Joan of Arc as The Fool, Harriet Tubman as The Chariot, Abigail Williams (one of the primary initial accusers at the Salem Witch Trials) as The Devil--doesn't Our Tarot sound delicious?
Women and the feminine were a major but not decisive thread in the presidential campaign that elected Donald Trump Nov 8. Not only was his behavior and words regarding women execrable, he was running against one. In terms of the popular vote, she won. In terms of the electoral vote, which gives the advantage to small rural states because they elect two Senators and so have two additional votes no matter how tiny their population, she lost. More specifically, Clinton won in the cities and lost in rural areas. She won the most votes but not in the countryside.
And the nature of this difference is a clue to one of the most important long term trends this election revealed.
A look at traditional burial sites in China. Muslim Americans join in protests at Standing Rock. And a consideration of the Confucian perspective on politics. It's Faithful Friday, our weekly segment on faiths and religious communities from around the world! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
Indigenous tribes in Taiwan obtain newfound recognition from their government. A food crisis in Venezuela affects its southern neighbor Brazil. And the hunt for a scapegoat by the Turkish government for the recent failed coup is explained. It's Fiery Tuesday, our weekly segment on societal and political news from around the globe! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!