Hear Ye, Hear Ye… Your Last Chance!

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IMPORTANT DATES:

Submission deadline is TODAY, January 24th, 2017, at 23:55 PST. Submit now!

Voting opens at 00:05 PST tomorrow  and ends on Tuesday, Jan 31st at 23:55 PST.  To read all the poems and vote, click any of the links previously given for this #NewEra poetry contest-challenge linky party!

Participants should remind their followers, beginning tomorrow, to go read and vote on their #1 Favorite poem for this challenge theme.  Submit, Vote, Win… that’s how this linky party works!

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Split Personalities

Split Personalities | Memee's Musings

Caring and Compassionate
Lady of Liberties
Indiscriminate and Independant
Nowledgeable* Negotiator
Tenacious yet Tactful
Open-minded Overachiever
Nasty Woman

Rude Racist
Uncouth, Unapologetic, Un-American
Misogynistic Millionaire Megalomaniac
Phony President

*K=Know-how

This month’s Poetry Party theme is Politics!  Whether you agree or disagree with my perspective I encourage you to participate!  The more we share with one another, the better we know and understand one another.  And although I do not vote and cannot win I never put forward a poetry challenge without requiring myself to participate.  So please accept my poem for what it is… my feelings based on my life experiences, biases and perspectives just as your life experiences, biases, and perspectives aid you in determining your viewpoint on any given topic.  Below you will find the important dates and the submission link for #NewEra Poetry or, to learn more, click the previously given link.

IMPORTANT DATES:

Submission deadline is Tuesday, January 24th, 2017, at 23:55 PST. Submit now!

Voting opens at 00:05 PST on Wednesday, January 25th and ends on Tuesday, January 31sh at 23:55 PST.*

New Era Poetry

New Era Poetry | Memee's Musings

So, how about that election?  It’s a new year and a renewed commitment to my blog which was lagging there at the end of last year.  Being that we have a new exciting/controversial President-elect, a new congressional balance, and many changes in the wake I thought it appropriate that our first poetry party of this new era be about and around politics.

Yep, you heard me right.  This will either be amazing or sink into the deepest waters of blogpost detritus.  No matter what country you live in, what language you speak, your age, or political alignments please put your thoughts about anything politics into poetic form and join us for #NewEra poetry.  The best thing about poetry is that it can be freeform, #norules!

There are however rules for Memee’s Poetry Parties:

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The hashtag for this month’s party is #NewEra.  I will post a reminder for final submissions and a call for you to let your followers understand that voting occurs offsite and you’d like them to go to the punchbowl, read all the submitted poetry, and vote for their very favorite.

IMPORTANT DATES:

Submission deadline is Tuesday, January 24th, 2017, at 23:55 PST. Submit now!

Voting opens at 00:05 PST on Wednesday, January 25th and ends on Tuesday, January 31sh at 23:55 PST.*

All participants get a badge, and the favorite poem will be featured, reblogged, archived for posterity and that poet will receive a one-of-a-kind badge representative of their achievement.  Winner announced Feb 1st, 2017.

 

Questions?  Comment below or follow the link at the top of every page entitled “Memee’s Poetry Parties.”

Get Your Badge!
Thank you for partying with Memee! Invite your followers to enjoy the fun by displaying this participation badge on your site. Place it anywhere; a sidebar; your About page; with the poems you bring to Memee’s Poetry Party.  Challenge your friends to join!  It’s up to you!

Growing into Political Awareness

Growing Into Political Awareness | Memee's Musings
Photo courtesy of Madi Robson

This beautiful piece of writing is by Demetra Szatkowski. This is a coming-of-age story about politics, belief systems, and being female. Everything except for the title above and the photograph is credited to her. She posted this on Facebook and said we could share it. I am happy she is allowing us to share it because that is what I wanted to do as I read it, share it far and wide with every woman I know. I hope you will enjoy it.

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I am 12. My family is on vacation in South Carolina.
“I don’t think a woman should be president,” I say contentedly, walking alongside my parents.
They both disagree.
“No, women are too emotional,” I say. “And I can say that, because I am one.”
***
I am 14.
I have decided that I’m not a feminist. “Feminism is stupid,” I say to anyone who brings it up.
It’s not even a real thing. I get things out of this system too. I know how to work the system. If I can manipulate men to get what I want, then that means I win. Men are not smarter than me. I have already discovered that I can flirt to get out of things, and that if I wear a low-cut shirt and bend over, it is distracting. I like having these advantages.
***
I am 16. I have just started driving, and I have a NOBAMA sticker on my car.
I know nothing about politics, but I was raised with Republican grandparents and parents who followed suit. I know that my grandfather is smart and so he must be right. I know that Republicans are for the people who work, and Democrats make the way for lazy people who want the government to hand things to them.
I argue with the people in my class who make fun of me. “Obama shouldn’t get to be president just because he’s black,” I say. Black people aren’t a big deal to me. I don’t even see color.
***
I am 18.
I like being cat-called. I smile and wave back at the men who do it. I laugh at other women who say they don’t feel safe. I feel safe, because I know how to handle myself. Anyway, it’s just boys being boys. That’s just how men are. It just means I’m attractive. Other women should face reality and deal with life.
***
I am 19. I am teaching yoga. I think politics are stupid. I don’t see why everybody can’t see that we’re all one. I think that if we could all just live in the woods everything would be fine. Politics have nothing to do with who I am as a person.
I read an article about yoga and cultural appropriation. I decide it isn’t real, because I’m doing a good job and helping people by teaching.
***
I am 19. It is fall, and I have started school in Vermont. My roommate is from New Jersey. The election is happening in November, and this is the first time I’ll get to vote. I still think politics are stupid, but being able to vote is exciting, plus my teachers always said I should. I am going to vote Republican, because I know my family is smart.
But my roommate is also very smart, and her family has a lot of money. And yet she is a Democrat. And when I ask her questions, she has an answer for all of them. And when she explains different policies, I realize that my actual values align more with hers than with the Republicans. I feel a bit ripped off. We watch the debates. And I love Obama. And I vote for Obama.
And he wins, and it’s like a fun game, and I happily move along with my life.
***
I am 20. I read stories about girls who have been raped. I have friends who have been sexually assaulted. I remember boys grabbing my butt without asking in high school. I start to wonder if it’s all connected. I learn what “rape culture” is.
I am 20. I stop wearing makeup. I stop caring so much about what my appearance looks like. This process is extremely difficult for me, and takes me months of anxiety and tears to get used to. I am angry that it is so difficult. I am angry for the 12-year-old girl that felt she needed to start wearing makeup in the first place. I am angry for the 12-year-old girl who wrote lists about how she could make herself more attractive. I realize that people are still nice to me even when I don’t look “pretty.” I realize that it is society who has been telling me I need to look put-together, I need to wear bras, I need to shave all parts of myself.
I am really fucking angry when I realize how much the ideas of powerful men have controlled my life. I am really fucking angry when I realize how much my teenage thoughts were taken from me by society.
***
I am 21.
I am in San Francisco. I am walking alone, and I get cat-called the most I ever have in my life. At least once per block. It is unbearable, the comments are disgusting, and it is irritating. I am mad. Sometimes I tell them to stop. Most of the time I feel too unsafe to say anything back, so I have to ignore it.
I feel angry that I live in a world where I feel too unsafe to even be able to defend myself.
***
I am 22.
I own a yoga studio. It has been 10 months of owning a yoga studio.
I become disillusioned with the drama-filled community. I google, “I don’t want to teach yoga anymore.” Up pops an article about cultural appropriation.
This time, I understand it. This time, I research for hours and days upon end. I read everything. I am uncomfortable about everything. I do not like it. But I understand it. I recognize the truth in it.
Research leads to topics about social justice in general. Dreadlocks are appropriation too? I watch videos and read articles written by people who are not white.
I am upset. I don’t know what to do with this knowledge, because no one around me wants to hear it.
***
I am 22. While my internal world is crashing down, my outer world is opening up.
I read about the refugee crisis in Greece. I decide to go.
I am scared. I am met with resistance and fear from people around me. But I have found a group of volunteers online who are actually there, who are able to calm my fears. I trust them, the people who are actually there.
When I tell my parents I’m leaving, my mom says, “Well, that’s noble.”
My dad says, “Watch out for the Muslim men, because they will want to hurt you.”
***
I turn 23 while I am in Greece, in a camp full of single Muslim men. A camp I had been terrified to go to because my entire life I have been taught by the world that Middle Eastern men want to rape blonde girls like me.
But bigger than my fear is my conviction that I do not want to live in a world where that is true. I feel that I would rather die than have to live in a world where I am always afraid. A world where I hope that stereotypes aren’t true, but am too scared to go find out and know for sure.
I think that the comments about Muslim men are based in racism, but part of me is afraid that I am wrong. I think, those beliefs had to come from somewhere, right? I am afraid that society is right and that I am wrong.
And I am not wrong. I am so fucking not wrong that I want to scream it from the rooftops and yell at every single person who had the nerve to say that I was. BECAUSE I WAS RIGHT ABOUT THE WORLD.
I meet the people that negative articles have been written about. I hear first-hand the stories of tragedy and war. I hear the other side of the story. I begin to understand, truly, how the media shapes our views.
The newspaper writes an article about me where I say that America is partially to blame and people from home attack me in the comments in ways I didn’t even know were possible. And I do not care, because they are not there. They do not see what I see.
And I come home and I am upset because how do you convey that experience to people?
***
I am 23 and I am laying on the couch at my best friend’s apartment while he tells me the history of the Middle East, that he majored in in college but I had never learned about before.
I start crying as I begin to understand the layers upon layers of the history of the world, and how different events have impacted each other, the mistakes people have made. I can relate the history to the stories of people I have met in real life.
All of a sudden politics feel extremely important.
***
I am 23.
It is before the primaries.
“I just don’t like Hillary Clinton,” I say. “We should have a woman president, but not her. I don’t trust her.”
Someone I respect a lot shares an article about how sexism has shaped our views about Hillary.
I read it and am not sure. The whole country says Hillary is a criminal. At least some of that must be based in fact, right?
I talk to people who confirm my views. Then I talk to other people, and they say, you’re wrong.
***
I am 23.
I have decided to travel, by myself. I am in Vietnam. I adore Vietnam. I buy a book on the history of Vietnam and start to read it while I am in the country and it is like magic, to be able to see things in front of me as I read about them.
I take a tour of areas of war by a war veteran.
I go to the Vietnam War museum and I have to stop over and over again to sit quietly with tears running down my face as I try to absorb everything my country did to that country. History I have never learned, not in this way.
I realize that politics not only are important – they are a matter of life and death.
***
I am 23. I start reading books from perspectives of people who are not like me. I read Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, which makes me inconsolable for hours. I read the autobiography of Malcolm X. I understand what he means, about knowledge being the most powerful thing. I read article after article after article on racism, on sexism. Articles written by people of color, and articles written by other white people who say “I have been there too, and this is what you need to work through.”
***
I am 23. I am with people from other countries. “We quite like Hillary,” they say. “Our leaders like dealing with her, she is really intelligent. We don’t get why people from your country hate her.”
I am 23. I watch as an unqualified man gets to run for president because he has a ton of money. I watch as he is excused from his racism. I watch as he gets to say anything he wants because people are tired of political correctness. I watch as he brags about sexual assault.
I watch as men excuse his actions away. I watch as women excuse them away, and I see my 14-year-old self explaining why I’m not a feminist. I feel incapable of describing how this is the same. How oppression can be so deeply rooted that we do not even know it’s there.
***
I am 23.
At least a quarter of my country thought this man would be a good president. Around half of the country didn’t think he was bad enough to get out and vote against him.
I am 23 and am told that I’ll grow out of being so upset about this one day. I am told that when I’m older, I’ll understand that this is just democracy. I am told that because I am 23, I’m not able to see that everything will really be okay.
I am 23. I am told to be more positive, that I should not be so angry, that I should really be getting over myself so that we can move forward as one.
I am told that I am too vocal. I am told that I am not being vocal enough.
***
Next week I turn 24.
I am not putting up with this any longer.
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*inspiration for this comes from Lauren Hayes. Her article was featured on The Codex and was entitled Stoking Fires and Poking Bears: The Evolution of a Nasty Woman. You can follow both The Codex and Lauren Hayes, separately, by clicking on their links above and then clicking on the follow buttons for each.

1.7 Million and Counting!

1-7-million-ballots-and-counting

Yes, more election stuff. But I will keep it brief. Hillary Clinton currently has a vote lead of 1.7 million more ballots cast for her than our President-Elect Donald Trump and still not all of the ballots have been counted! And despite the fact that there are many (too many) petitions out there asking the electors to flip their vote our hopes for having a sane, rational human being leading the world has gone. We are, in essence, stuck with this bully to lead the world. Countries which once looked to us for guidance may choose differently, and I wouldn’t blame them in the least. Our soon-to-be president  will in all likelihood choose 3-4 Supreme Court Justices who will dictate the laws of our country. His leadership will undoubtedly adjust our sails and send us on a new course the likes of which we can only imagine. And will have ramifications for decades to come.

We cannot change this fact, but we can try to protest in small ways our outrage, our fears and our strength and determination. And so I ask those of you who are concerned about the future of America for yourselves or your children or your grandchildren, for your friends, for your neighbors, or for your co-workers, please consider participating in this quiet yet moving demonstration which will hurt no one and cost you less than $2.

This is not my original idea. I am simply sharing it (thus the quotes) and a few minor tweaks on my part. However, for the safety and security of the creators I am not citing the originators. It is their wish that we all who feel like participating, share and show support.

“Join in and send a postcard directly to Trump! Here are the basic instructions to participate:

“** IMPORTANT – Don’t mail your card until SAT. NOV. 26th **

“1. Get a postcard from your state – any picture that represents your state.

“2. In the message section, write this simple 2-word message: NOT BANNON!

“3. Sign your name if you wish to do so.

“4. Address it as follows:
Donald Trump
c/o The Trump Organization
725 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10022

“5. Affix a stamp – you can use a 35 cent postcard stamp, or a normal letter stamp.

“6. Take a picture of your postcard that you can share on social media using the hashtag #stopbannon . PLEASE DO NOT USE A REFERENCE TO HILLARY CLINTON OF ANY KIND. She is not responsible for this and should be kept far away from any ramifications.

“7. Drop it in the mail! We are aiming to get these mailed between Saturday, Nov 26th and Monday, Nov. 28th to create a concentrated avalanche of postcards. But if you can’t send yours until later, don’t let that stop you.

“Now invite, invite, invite! The more voices we can get in the mail, from the more states, the better. To make it go viral we will all need to share the details with our sphere of influence in whatever ways we feel comfortable. Feel free to copy and paste the details or even post your own event. The more the merrier!

“If you are unfamiliar with Steve Bannon, he is a white nationalist who is also the head of a media company that proliferates alt-right (misogynistic, homophobic, anti-semitic and white supremacist) views.” He was the first hire to the Trump Administration, with no need for congressional review and approval. He will be the Chief White House Strategist and President Trump’s senior counselor. Do you remember how Dick Cheney was the puppetmaster to George W. Bush… well, this time it will be worse. It will be Steve Bannon.

So please join with me in sending a postcard from your area, anywhere in the world, to Mr. Trump with the clear and succinct message: NOT BANNON!

Please help keep the American Dream alive. We are a melting pot of nationalities and the differences we bring is one of the main reasons we are such a great nation!

The wonderful photograph was taken by Brandon Day and acquired through Unsplash. It’s a great source for free photos under the Creative Commons Zero license, so check it out!

#wcw From a Very Wise Woman

Wise Woman | Memee's Musings

Women have, for so long, used this quote  when facing the uncomfortable truth that they have ignored relationship red flags.  Women have used for so long this quote to support other women who are making a hard decision to leave an abusive partner.  As women we find strength, truth, and understanding in these wise words by the remarkably wise woman, the poet Maya Angelou.

It is not my intention to turn this blog into a platform for political debate or discussion.  It has always been a place where I place my thoughts.  Thoughts that need to be purged and thoughts that I want to remember. So, right now it is reflecting election stuff and I hope that you, my lovely minions, will continue to visit me and like me despite any varying viewpoints we may have.  #IStillLoveYou #IStillRespectYou

I have been very troubled by the outcome of this election.  I am a person who is filled with love and kindness, tenderness and compassion.  And, as many humans do, I tend to think most people are similar to me and therefore I believed it would be impossible for a man filled with so much hate and venom, a man who enjoyed stirring the pot and riling people up, enjoyed inciting and igniting their angers and fears to ever become our president.  He does not represent my values.  And every night as I sleep I am haunted by the outcome.  Last night was interesting.  Last night I dreamt that I was watching a breaking news story, that President-Elect Trump, having had no idea of the scope of the presidential job, announced that he would not be taking the job.  And now, as a result of our not having a president-elect, President Bill Clinton would be remaining in office for another 2 years as we go through a new presidential election.

Dreams are weird aren’t they?  Anyway, back to my quote.  I have heard and even continue to hear people say that Trump was putting on a show to gain supporters and that is not who he really is.  That now that he has won the election his true colors will shine through and we will discover that he is in fact none of what we saw reflected over the course of the 2 years, plus, that he has been in our eyes and ears spouting his viewpoints.  But I say look at his past, look at all of the history of behavior, all of it, decades and decades worth.  He is exactly who he was during the campaign and if that is not enough to persuade you, look at the people he is surrounding himself, look at his posse of friends who he is placing into key positions in our government.  Wake up, America!  We have some serious trouble in our future.  It’s time to start educating yourselves for survival because this America that we have known and loved and been blessed to grow up in, it’s going to be changing and it may never be the same again.

There, that’s the end of my rant.  Love thy neighbor as you would love yourself. Hate is a dangerous thing.  I do not hate this man.  But I am very, very weary of him and fear what we will suffer, each and every one of us.

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If you’d like to play Words Crush Wednesday along with me here are the details:

Cut/paste and follow these 3 simple rules:

(1) Always pingback to the site you discovered #wcw on with every Words Crush Wednesday post. In this case, that’s me: memeesmusings.com!

(2) In your post, use the badge they’ve created just for you – In this case, you’d use the Panda badge (size doesn’t matter), just grab it below.

(3) Tag your post #wcw so the Words Crush Wednesday community players can find you.

(4) Optional: When you are ready, create your own badge for those you inspire to play Words Crush Wednesday. If you do not create your own badge then your inspirees MUST use the badge from the blogger who inspired you — it’s on your post — so be sure to make it easy for them to find. (P.S. I create all of my graphics on Canva.)

If you wanna play #wcw with me, here's your badge!
If you wanna play #wcw with me, grab that panda badge!

* To see the badge I earned, visit my very first #WCW post. And, here’s my pingback: Rebirth of Lisa

I Side With…

Today’s guest post is very different then those of the past.  It’s all written by me.  I wanted to share a podcast with you that I discovered on YouTube and thought today the most fitting day, because I may have written a lengthy explanation but the importance of the post is what you will watch/listen to in the podcast. I wrote a lot. Don’t feel obligated to read it. But I do encourage you to watch the podcast and take the I Side With quiz. I have found that the I Side With quiz is the only quiz that matches you to political parties and candidates based on your specific stances on the topics at hand.

Via: 4Kpodcast

So I was bored and roaming around You Tube when I stumbled across something unexpected. A video podcast outlining a fascinating political tool? resource? game? from a website called I Side With. Curious, I began to watch the barely viewed podcast entitled, “Take the Quiz to Pick Your President.”

I think I was curious at first because of all these fun quizzes that find their way around Facebook. You know the ones I’m talking about: Who were you in a past life?  What Game of Throwns character are you?  Which Hogwarts house do you belong to? Was this another one of those and, if so, how accurate would the outcome be from what I believe to be the truth? So, I began the podcast video.

This little-known Podcastor is clearly extremely intelligent, educated and knowledgeable about the issues impacting our country. He has a very nice, calm voice to listen to and did a great job staying on track with his course of thought. Some podcasts I have listened to by other people have been very stream of consciousness (not unlike my meanderings here on this blog) which makes listening and following the topic difficult, to say the least. But this guy, this guy did a great job.

He tells you all about the ins-and-outs of the quiz while giving you a mini walk-through tutorial.  When I was done watching his 5-minute podcast I was even more curious about the quiz and how it would rate me.

However, before I delved into it I decided to find out a little more about it. So, I headed over to Reddit.  I discovered that most of the Reddit users results were that they side with Bernie Sanders.  I found that intriguing and so I kept reading.  And in fact learned that there is an entire conspiracy theory about this quiz being a concoction by the Sanders camp to win the votes of uninformed voters who do not do their homework by misleading them into believing this test is their quick-fix answer of who to vote for.

Again I felt motivated to look a little deeper. So of course the next place I headed over to was Snopes; “The definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation.”  But there was nothing there. So I went to another great though fallible resource of information, Wikipedia.

Again, I came up empty. Although I did learn about a second political resource website called Project Vote Smart. They also have a quiz and so for purposes of this article, I ended up taking both quizzes.  While I found the Vote Easy test to be a bit more fun (because the candidate campaign signs change positions each vote you make) I found much more value in the I Side With quiz.  The Project Vote smart quiz had 14 yes/no questions with zero ability for flexibility or to clarify your stance. Do you believe in abortion yes or no? Um, what about depends on … ?

Whereas the I Side With quiz had 65 questions and afforded me the opportunity to define my stance on all of the questions. We are voting for our next president. If we were going to rely on an online test to tell us who to vote for (which I will not) then shouldn’t we at least rely on a test that consists of a multitude of current issues and acknowledges that where we align ourselves on the issues is not necessarily absolute? The I Side With test gives us options, an array of responses and if we don’t fit into those responses offered, they allow us to input our own response. Thank you! I feel I have a voice.

Anyway, if nothing else the I Side With quiz will let you in on what the current issues are and give you an idea of who has similar beliefs as you do. So in that sense, even if you are not a voter, you might want to take it. Because one of those candidates will be our next leader. Shouldn’t you know how close they align to your own beliefs and in which venues?

I found on Yahoo! Answers an excellent response to the question of the test’s bias. This was from the election of 2012. The answer came from a man named Anthony.

Individual results are very accurate from my experience and from seeing friends across the political spectrum take it and get different results. The site lists all the answers for each candidate and provides source links, so how it matches answers is very transparent. However, when looking at the state results, for example Texas, keep in mind that most users that have taken the quiz are young internet users which fall on the more liberal scale and are less likely to vote than older conservative people who are not socially active online. In short, the quiz will accurately match you with a candidate, but it will not predict the outcome of the election.

Take the quiz, let me know. Did you get Bernie or someone else? I got Bernie and spoiler alert, so did the podcaster.

Again, here’s the podcast: 4Kpodcast’s I Side With political quiz info-tour

And here’s the I side With quiz: I Side With political quiz

And the Vote easy quiz: Vote Easy political Quiz

By the way, I Side With currently has quizes for the following countries (just click your link to find the quiz relevant to you):

Australia
Canada
India
Spain
U.K.