Homelessness In America

HomelessnessInAmerica1A friend of mine from New York City sent me this photo. What was startling to both of us was the bale of hay in the man’s cart. Actually, the mixture of goods in this homeless man’s cart is mind-boggling. A few hours later, the cart had moved.

HomelessnessinAmerica2 Don’t know why some of its contents were on the ground, but people just carry on about their business. Another normal day.  The cart belongs to a man that my friend has seen locally for years. Last night he saw him sleeping on a mattress next to his cart. My friend bought him a sandwich at the deli and went in. This is life in America.

HomelessnessInAmerica3

People experiencing homelessness in America affects many persons. But you knew that, didn’t you? You either turn a blind eye to it or you may donate a few dollars here or there, drop a few coins into someone’s cup, turn your car window up when you see a pan-handler at a corner asking for money or wonder just if that person really is homeless. Or how did that person become homeless. You may think that homeless people are only the ones that sleep on park benches with cartons as blankets. Not having a roof over your head affects more people than you think in more ways than you can ever imagine in America.

I’ve known people that have slept in their cars (they were the lucky ones) because they didn’t have homes. People with college educations and excellent jobs or excellent job skills. Women who left abusive relationships because their lives depended on that decision. They had nowhere else to go and local shelters were full.

People who are on assistance who have slum landlords and are forced to leave their apartments because the city has condemned their apartments(the landlord’s fault) but there is nowhere to place them immediately.  Again, shelters are full.

Veterans who are on disability and cannot find a place anymore in our society and have fallen through the cracks. They’ve been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder but don’t have the resources to get the help they so desperately need.

I’m not going to talk about substance abuse and going down the rabbit hole as a reason for homelessness. That’s an easy mark for people to say that’s the person’s own fault. Well, no, it’s not. Something caused that substance abuse and that’s all I’ll say. Dark holes inside are created by a much larger abyss outside.

So there’s a problem in America that needs to be addressed. It needs to be respected. How can you help?

-Don’t look away.

-Teach your children to help.

-Don’t stereo-type.

-Smile.

-Donate your clean, good used goods.

-If you are an employer, find a way to offer jobs through programs.

-Buy local food coupons that can be redeemed and give them out instead of money.

-When you see a panhandler do this: http://www.nationalhomeless.org/want_to_help/panhandle.html

-C.A.R.E.=C – Contribute (food drives, money, etc.,)
A – Advocate
R – Reach Out (volunteering)
E – Educate (http://www.nationalhomeless.org/want_to_help/index.html)

The National Coalition For The Homeless has a factsheet with information on ways you can get help and give help here: http://www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/#want

Peace.

Sorceress.

All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.

 

 

 

Narcissistic Parents

Narcissistic parents are a trip. Once you realize you are the child of a narcissist, your world is turned inside out, upside down and blazingly real. Everything comes into focus and you suddenly see your life differently. You’re not the one at fault, you never were. And that’s the biggest coup of reading and learning about narcissistic parents.

Growing up under the thumb of this type of mother, I never understood why she behaved the way she did, why she treated me the way she did until many years later. I suffered for many years under her wondering what I could do to win her approval. I never could. At least not in private. In public, she always behaved differently.

Vampire is an excellent blog for those of you who fall under this category. Take a look here and check this blogger out: http://thewebofnarcissism.blogspot.com/. It’s more than worth your while. For an extensive list of blogs that discuss not only narcissism, but other mental health topics go here: http://narcwriters.blogspot.nl/. Warning: Be prepared to bookmark because this list is amazingly long and awesome.

Peace.

Sorceress

All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.

Ivanka Trump-Feminist or Daddy’s Little Girl?

So what is a feminist? And why do people shy away from admitting they are proponents of women? Even women are hesitant to say they are feminists. That’s a mind-boggling thought to me. I’m proud to admit that I will stand up for women and their rights in our society and other cultures around the world. Not only in one set of economic standards, but for women with varying financial backgrounds.

But you have to start at home. Young women may have children or not have children, the choice is theirs. Birth-control is a necessary health care benefit that helps them to get ahead in the business world. If they do already have children, they need day care for their children. A mother’s job is not easy.

Ivanka Trump is attempting to put together a fund to support female entrepreneurs around the world. She has said, “The statistics and results prove that when you invest in women and girls, it benefits both developed and developing economies.” Sounds like a wonderful and encouraging statement, but it’s not. It’s a smokescreen statement that means nothing when in reality, the person saying it will not come out with distinct statements supporting women’s rights.

Ivanka Trump met with Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood in April to discuss what Planned Parenthood is about. Apparently, she was unaware of the behind the scenes logistics of this organization and needed to be filled in on exactly how Planned Parenthood operates. She still remains silent on the topic  although she has told news media she has told her father privately how she feels. That means nothing. Absolutely nothing. Those are words, Ivanka Trump. Words that  you are not backing up with reality.

She also had a plan that was backed by Democrats for  affordable, accessible childcare with tax credits (although the tax credits were not as beneficial for lower tax brackets). We are still waiting.

So the point of all this is what does Ivanka Trump do in the White House? She talks beautifully. As she should, she is well-educated. She calms Daddy down. She’s Daddy’s little girl. She’s being sent as an envoy without the explicit knowledge needed for this job around the world. She admitted that she didn’t have the knowledge she needed at the Women’s Summit in Berlin when she said she hoped to garner as much knowledge as possible from being invited as a participant.

So instead of starting with the people that voted her father in, middle America and blue-collar workers, those who put their hopes and dreams in someone who told them that they would bring America back, she is aiming her goals at entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs deserve help, too, yes. But how many entrepreneurs voted for Trump? Who needs help more? People with college educations with start-up businesses they have created or people in the rust-belt who are on unemployment and believed that the coal factories and/or their jobs were being brought back? Citizens of our country who need to simply put food on the table, pay their rent/mortgage, find affordable daycare and have affordable healthcare that answers their needs and maybe go out once a month if it’s in their budget?

Ivanka Trump needs to look not at the wealthier, although these are who are in her immediate circle, so that’s who she is accustomed to seeing. She needs to address the entire country she lives in and actually work with them. Not give them lip service. She has a chance to actually do some good for the people, but she isn’t. She is following as Daddy’s Little Girl.

No one can diagnose her as a narcissist by seeing her actions only. But Ivanka Trump shows no empathy for those truly in need of help. There are women in America in dire straights who need Planned Parenthood. After meeting with the President of Planned Parenthood in April, Ms. Trump still wants to develop and raise money for women who are entrepreneurs? She isn’t talking about Planned Parenthood and the women who depend on the services they provide. Why?  We’ve all seen her angry when an interview didn’t go her way (Cosmopolitan). This is what happens when you are the daughter of POTUS. You are asked questions. You need to answer them with grace and style. But if parts of Daddy are in you, well, maybe you can’t.  I don’t believe she can recognize what little America wants or needs. If she could, she would have done something for the hurting people of America by now. She wouldn’t be selling clothes that she makes in another country and ships here for prices that many Americans cannot afford. She would be attempting to help the women of America in some way that hits home. But she is not.

I’m still waiting, Ivanka Trump. You have an opportunity as the daughter of POTUS. You took this “job” in the White House. Make it worthwhile instead of being fodder for the press. Make your 4 years legendary as a woman who made strides for women, who someday women will actually look up to, not down on. You are an intelligent woman who has the financial means, the backing and now the power to actually create projects that will benefit more people that need them right now and will benefit from them for generations to come. Make all women proud of you, not just a select few in your immediate financial circle. Start at home and look at your father’s constituents. Ask them what they need. That might help you devise programs for your own country that benefit the right people. If this is something you are emotionally capable of doing.

Don’t be afraid to come out and actually do the work behind your words, Ivanka Trump. That’s what a true feminist does. Because as of right now? You’re still Daddy’s Little Girl.

Peace.

Sorceress

All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.

Sexual Harassment-Take Down Predators

So in talking about sexual harassment in the workplace, I wanted to talk about the mind sets of women. Women that should know better. Women that accept men talking down to them which in turn, lays a foundation for the acceptance of sexual harassment.

Recently, I had lunch with a woman who was retired from a job as a life-long secretary in New York City. She was an efficient worker, and had worked for professionals in a field for many years. She was good at her job and enjoyed it. She was very pleasant and a knowledgable woman. Except for the idea that women “had their place”.

She told me this story of acquiring her last position. Her new boss was deemed difficult and had acquired many secretaries before her. She was determined to stay with this man, because the money was good and she said, she didn’t think he was all that bad. So I questioned her, “What was considered so bad about him that so many others left after a few weeks? After all, if he couldn’t keep other secretaries, there had to be something about him that was wrong/harassing/too demanding in the workplace…?”

She went on to tell me that he was a boisterous man, and could be rather loud at times, but that didn’t bother her. And then the bomb hit. She said, “Well, you know, he would always call me honey, or dear, or sweetheart. But I didn’t mind. I considered it a name of affection. After all, he was my Boss.” And there you have it. He. Was. My. Boss.

So I asked her, “What if you called him, honey, or dear, or sweetheart?” Her eyes opened up to the size of saucers. She gasped, literally. “Oh my god, no!” she said. “I never could. He was my boss! That was not my place!” I just looked at her with amusement. “But it was his place to call you those terms of endearment? You have a real name.” She was looking at me as if I was the one making a mountain out of a molehill. “What’s the big deal?” she asked. “He didn’t mean anything. That’s what he called the women in the office. They were only secretaries. He was the boss.”  There it was again. He. Was. The. Boss. Giving him the right to demoralize anyone beneath him simply because of his title.

“But did he call the men in the office by anything but their real names?” I asked. “Oh no, always their real names.” she replied succintly. End of that question. As if I was ignorant for even asking the question in the first place.

No matter what I said, how I said it or why I tried to explain that it was wrong for this boss to call her and other women “dear, honey or sweetheart” instead of their real names, she just didn’t get it. Nothing I said could penetrate her armor.

When I look at women that support Trump, even though he has treated women demeaningly,  has been caught on tape talking about women in lewd and lascivious ways including women that have spoken out about his fondling and kissing them against their wills, I cannot understand their admiration of this man and his lack of morals. A predator is a predator. They do not change their coats. They cannot change.

I find this type of acceptance of men that push women down and negate them fully unacceptable. It only encourages them further. Years ago, I felt that surely by this time, our world would have changed. It has not. And apparently, with women still supporting these types of predators, it is not going to change in the near future. This is a deplorable situation for the young women of tomorrow.

I will say this again. You are your own person. You do not have to submit to a predator’s will. You do not have to be their fantasy. If you do, you are allowing them to continue their fantasy at your own expense. And with that comes the degradation of your own character. Stand up for yourself. Be strong and fight back. Take down predators one by one. We should not allow them in our world. If not for yourself, for your daughters, for your granddaughters. No means No.

Peace.

Sorceress

All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.

Sexual Harassment-Circa 1977

Bill O’Reilly’s exit from Fox has me thinking of sexual harassment in the workplace and how it has not changed in the last forty decades. Except for money. I have to think that the almighty dollar bill has something to do with people coming forward to talk about their experiences with high-profile people and their discomfort with what they say has been said to them. Forgive me if I sound disgruntled, or jealous, because I’m not at all. I admire Wendy Walsh for not asking for money and simply telling her story. That’s what this should be all about.

This is about sexual harassment and how it makes a woman feel. It is about disempowering a woman, about taking your stature, your power in the workplace and using it against an employee. It is about using your lack of morals and grinding them against who you suppose might be vulnerable and might not fight back. That’s the key. It’s a sickness that the perpetrator cannot stop. They calculatedly pick people who they think might not turn around and tell them they’re dicks and go back to Human Resources or whomever is at the head of the office. It just takes one person to speak up. In Bill O’Reilly’s case it only took one until the cup spilled over and then the story broke. Fox News had been paying how many women to keep their stories quiet. But this type of sexual harassment has been going on forever and women have not been talking about it. I did. Back in 1977. Here’s my story.

I was fresh out of college and had acquired a temp job at Dutch Boy Paints. The same day I was hired, my boss asked me if I wanted to go full-time and not permanent.  How lucky, I thought. First day in on a new job and I was being hired full-time. Little did I know of the harassment to come.

Next to my desk was another man who I’ll always remember as a gentleman. He was a few years older than I, and he came to be my protector. I have no idea why, but he took it upon himself to keep my boss away from me. He was the liason of sorts between that boss, myself and I. It was a strange situation that the boss had no idea his underling was trying to stop.

My boss was married. That didn’t stop him from inviting me out to lunch on a daily basis. I would bring in my own lunch as an excuse, but since everyone went out to lunch, I didn’t like being alone in the building. K (the protector) always went to lunch with him. They would take long lunches at fancy restaurants and clubs. K would tell me how during the lunches the boss would talk about me. He didn’t like it as much as I didn’t. I had only been married about 6 months at the time.

On occasion, when K would invite me to lunch, I would go. The boss would interject himself along, but I would pay my own way. I would be careful not to sit next to him. K would always watch him. The boss would drink heavily during his lunches too, which would antagonize him to harass me more. I always stood my ground. I threatened to tell his wife when she called. He would threaten to fire me. I would say I would go to HR with this conversation. I was 22 years old on my first job that I knew I was not going to stay in.

At times, the boss would go to a bar across the street from the plant and extend his lunch/drinking hours. He would call my line and beg me to come to the bar. Since I had to answer my phone at the office, I would have no idea it was him. I would hang up once I knew it was him on the line, drunk and his tirades. K called one time. He told me to pack my things and go home. He said the boss was that drunk and didn’t want to tell me what he was saying, but that it wasn’t good. He said for my safety I needed to get out of there Now, and before anything happened, and he could only contain him for so long. He begged me to leave. I listened carefully to what he wasn’t telling me and I knew. I picked up my things and left before anything could happen. To this day, I always thank K for being a Protector. For knowing what was wrong.

But that wasn’t the only harassment going on at Dutch Boy Paints. As I said, I was young. I didn’t dress provocatively. As a matter of fact, I wore suits most of the time. I hated dresses. It was a plant with offices and at times, I had to go down to the industrial part, so suits were the better option.

I was delivering copy to another office one day, when a particular executive passed by me. As he did, he brushed up against me, and grabbed my derriere.  That’s the politest way to say it. Then he quickly walked away. I was stunned. What? I thought. This man just grabbed my body. Ok, I’m pissed. I wasn’t sure who he was, but if I ever saw this dude again, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, but not smile, keep away, and certainly say something.

Sure enough, next time I see him, he manages to grab me again and disappear quickly. The executive does it again. Now I am Seething. I go to another woman in the office that I know who does payroll and ask her who he is to get a name. She tells me. So now I have his name and what position he holds. I have the dates he harassed me physically. I’m thinking what to do with this information. It’s 1977. Men could care less back then and women’s attitudes …. well, if you were a feminist back then you were considered a radical. I think I was always a feminist since the day I was born. I was not going to be a pincushion for this man’s hands.

Sure enough, the third time he sees me, he gropes me. And I turn to him, blocking his way, and I tell him, that’s sexual harassment, and I’m reporting you. He laughs. And walks away. Which drove my anger and determination more. I immediately went to the office of the General Manager of Dutch Boy Paints and made an appointment for the next day.

I had all of my dates ready when I went in to talk to him. I calmly explained to the GM when and how this executive sexually harassed me. I told him the workplace was not a place for this type of behavior. I told him that I was not going to stand for this. My body was my own. The GM leaned back in his leather chair, wrapped his arms around his head, smiled at me and said, “Do you really want to ruin this guy’s career? He’s a nice guy. He didn’t mean any harm. He was just being friendly. Besides, he has kids.” I’ll never forget those words and the condescending tone of the GM that day.

I looked at him levelly and with a very cold voice, I said. “He should be thinking about his own career before he places his hands on a woman in the workplace. He is a sick man who cannot keep his hands to himself. Either you bring him in here, you dictate the law to him and slap penalties on him or I will hire an attorney. The choice is yours.”  The smile left his face quite quickly and his chair snapped back into sitting position. “You’re serious?” he said. “I am.” I responded.  “I won’t wait for days, either. Today.”

The executive was suspended for 30 days from the workplace. So I was told. I did ask for proof, which I received. I also asked for a letter of apology, also received.  I also knew that my boss would get wind from this story. And that it would have an immediate impact on him. I thought that I would be able to kill two birds with one stone. Basically, I did. He started ignoring me and office life settled down. I’m sure the few other women in that plant were harassed but no one had ever stood up. It just takes one.

Be That Voice. Find your inner strength and stand up for yourself. No means no.  Never allow yourself to be a victim of someone else. The law for sexual harassment has been in place since 1964. Use it. Do not allow predators to circumvent the law and use you for their pleasure.

If you or anyone you know is a victim of sexual harassment, you may find this document helpful: https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/fs-sex.cfm.

Peace.

Sorceress.

All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.

Ever See A Fly On A Leash?

Psychopaths are abusive to animals. So they say. And the way they are abusive isn’t always the way you might normally expect.

Daniel had come into my store one day. I was re-dressing the main window. He hopped up on the ledge and began talking to me. I was working with mannequins and set-ups while he was (I’m guessing here) trying to impress me. There was a fly in the window buzzing around. It was summertime and the front door was open.

“Ever see a fly on a leash?” he asked. I just looked at him while I kept myself busy. No, I’d never seen a fly on a leash and I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about.

Before I realized what he was doing, he reached over and plucked a hair from my head. Yeah, literally, plucked a strand of hair from my head. Lucky for him it was one strand. Altho I did let loose with a string of expletives and was angry at what he had just done. He said he needed the strand of hair to show me something.

He then proceeded to catch the fly. I’m sure by now you know where this is going but I’ll keep on telling the story. His back was to me at this point. I was thinking this guy is a bit off/weird/whatever and kept on working. He suddenly turned around and opened his hand. In it was the “fly on a leash”.  He had wrapped my one strand of hair around the fly, tied it, and it was now tethered.

To some, that may just be a fly. To me, it was a living insect that he had just trapped and was torturing. And to do that so quickly and successfully meant he had done this before. Who actually thinks of leashing flies? Yeah, well, I guess psychopaths and their assorted counterparts do. It takes a uniquely convoluted mind to think of that one.

Oh those Red Flags.

Peace.

Sorceress

All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.

Stop Victimizing The Victim. Start Penalizing The Perpetrator.

You can’t victimize the victim. You shouldn’t victimize the victim. But it still happens every day.

In states where laws determine a victim must come forward, they must also include protection for the victim. Protection in the form of a PFA, non-harassment in the courts should they testify, protection when they testify and empathy and compassion from their local police department(s).

Very often, victims of domestic violence, rape, stalking and similar crimes are frightened and further abused without any further support networks. These victims are protecting their children, their pets and their homes. They may not have the resources they need to garner the support that is needed to protect them. They may be unaware of where to go or where help is located.

Although commercials and print ads are prevalent, it isn’t easy to find help. At times, actually securing the help you need may seem as if you have to jump through hoops of fire. It’s easy for an observer who has never been through hell to sit in their arm chair and simply say “Leave the bastard. What’s wrong with that woman?” But they’ve not experienced the trauma and they’re not standing in their shoes. Our society needs to educate from an early age that abuse and bullying is wrong.

Just as a beginning police officer is stunned with his own stun gun so he feels the force of what that gun can do, those in power that respond should be made to feel what it’s like to be bullied/beaten/berated/psychologically abused and so on so they can fully appreciate what they are dealing with when they respond to a call. They need to understand that No Means No. That “good ole boys will be good ole boys” doesn’t mean anything. They need to appreciate the fear in a victim’s eyes. They also need to stop coddling men who are bullies over women because of their own insecurities. We need to educate our law enforcement to understand that victims should be handled with a national policy, not with an officers pre-conditioned idea when they answer the call.

Enough is enough. Stop Victimizing The Victim. Start Penalizing The Perpetrator. Their time has come.

Peace.

Sorceress.

All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.