A Feminist View

I consider myself a feminist.  Perhaps the mainstream feminist would disagree with that assessment, but in my mind, the definition of a feminist is one who believes men and women should have equal opportunity in all things and that they should be treated equally.

What surprises me though, is that, from what I’ve experienced, a goodly amount of feminists believe that stay-at-home mothers are being forced into that role by men, or that they are somehow influenced to do so.  My question to these feminists is this:  If we are equal to make our own choices, and should be treated as equals, is it not a feminist move to choose to be a housewife?  (I, myself, choose to work in life.)

It just seems rather ass-backward to tell women we should be treated equally, but then sneer at the women who wish to be housewives because they made a choice.  My mother worked forty plus hours a week when we were growing up, but she made that choice so that we could have horses, a nice house, good land, etc.  That was her choice.  I know women who choose to be housewives and they keep immaculately amazing care of their houses, they participate in charities, in clubs, etc.  They are hard-working housewives and mothers.  Why do some feminists think any less of these women?  Where is it really acceptable?

One of the other questions floating around is whether or not a woman may be a feminist and be pro-life? Is it possible to believe women should be treated equally and believe that personally against abortion (in extreme cases such as rape or if there are medical complications)?  I think that it is perfectly fine.

If a woman and man have sexual intercourse, they both are required in order to create life.  (Let’s leave the in vitro discussion out of this please.)  SO they are both responsible for said life.  The problem I have is this:  A woman continues to claim autonomy over her body at all times.  She can make the decision to have an abortion, to allow that life to grow into a fetus and then be born.  The man has no say in any of this, but he helped to create said life; he was part of creation.  If she decides to allow the fetus to grow to term, he has no say in whether he is part of that life.  It is thrust upon him, whether through child support or co-existence or marriage.  How is that equal? Yes, it’s her body, yes she has control of it, but if we are to say we are equal, then both parties involved should have a say.

The point I’m really making is that in the beginning, I believe that feminists wanted to be treated equally, but now, as with institutions such as affirmative action, they are using these views to punish people for past wrongs and push themselves up and above.  We can’t be equal if we’re trying to punish one another for past wrongs.  It breeds tension and eventually hatred between minority groups and majority groups.

Just some food for thought.

Being Grateful

So lately I’ve been extremely observant of the people around me and I have to say I’m kind of flabbergasted.  I don’t understand how people who have so much can be so ungrateful.  I watch the people around me and I’m disgusted by how much they don’t appreciate the people in their lives.  Why are people always so unsatisfied with their lives?  I even notice myself doing it and it’s kind of frustrating and upsetting.  How are you not satisfied with everything you have? And this isn’t a dig on capitalism by the way.  Any of you who know me know that I’m a staunch fiscal conservative who believes in the free market and climbing up the ladder of success.

I just watch people around me and I feel like they’re acting like really selfish children.   You want it because you can have it and you don’t think about whether or not you ought to have it.  Do you need that sixth car?  Do you need that next ball python more?  It’s amazing to me how many times a day we think about ourselves.  When do we think about other people? Is our society innately greedy?  When do we stop thinking about ourselves?  When do we stop expecting people to do things for us?  When do we stop feeling entitled to everything?  Do we?

And is it a bad thing that we do think about ourselves? Is it wrong to want that sixth car even though you don’t need it and you constantly complain about money?  Is it wrong to want that next ball python even though you really can’t afford it?  Or does wanting not really matter until you actually do it?

I know that some of my liberal friends would say that we have too much and we don’t need everything we have.  That we’re all materialistic, that we should be worried about the hazardous affect we have on the environment.  I would agree to a point.  The question I have for them is, “why not?”  Why not have those extra things?  Why worry about the environmental affects we have when we’ve financially kicked our grand kids to the curb with debt?

Where do we honestly find the happy medium?  I really don’t know.  I try to be grateful for everything in my life.  I have an amazing Man in my life, I have the most beautiful scale kids, and I have a supportive, loving family and friends.  I have a roof over my head, I have food in my belly, I am warm and safe.

If we spend most of our life trying to achieve something fulfilling within ourselves, what is left in us to truly enjoy life?  Do we spend the rest of it restless and unhappy?  Do we ever achieve peace?  Are those of us who are blessed enough to have moments of peace lucky?

Just some food for thought.

The Python Ban

I have snakes and support their ownership.  The Python Ban is an affront on pet ownership as a whole.  I realize that there is a problem that is confined completely to the Everglades and outcroppings of surrounding areas; however this problem IS only in those areas within Florida.  There are already pieces of legislation in Florida for ownership of Python molurus bivittatus (Burmese pythons)

The original bill included 9 species of snake, including another 10 sub species of Boa constrictor.  What stopped them from keeping all nine species of snakes is a requirement that the federal government has in place that involves a massive amount of time, field research and money.  Adding boa constrictors or any other species to the current Python Ban would push the financial burden quota over that amount and force the Fish and Wildlife Services to actually do some real work to put all nine species on the Lacey Act invasive species list.  So, basically, in order to add all nine snakes, they had to prove that the financial burden on the country (on citizens, man power, etc) was worth the impact it would have.

Organizations like HSUS and PETA were also financial backers for this bill.  On multiple occasions across the country serious herpers have offered to go into the Everglades and help remove these animals.  HSUS opposes this measure, stating that, “Hunters could mistakenly remove non-target snakes from the ecosystem.”  Anyone who considers themselves a reptile person knows the difference between a Burmese python and native species like cottonmouths, corn snakes, king snakes, etc.  In fact, the few scientist/breeders who were able to go into the Everglades did a lot of research on the last few years of cold weather Florida had.  Greg Graziani and Shawn Heflick discovered that a large majority of the Burm population died during those cold snaps, dwindling the numbers of their populations a great deal.  The FWS, HSUS, PETA, and our Secretary of Interior ignored this information.  They also ignored an independent study where ten Burmese pythons were released with tracking devices in a controlled closed environment in South Carolina.  All ten pythons did not survive the winter.  They discovered that the probability of these snakes flourishing outside of the Everglades was minimal.

Now, I am not opposed to regulation.  Permits, licenses, etc., are the kinds of legislation I have no problem with.  If homeowners associations and apartments ban these animals, I have no problem with that.  Most states already have legislation in place.  Florida already has Burmese pythons banned from their state.  There are truly irresponsible people in this country who buy these animals without doing the research and having the knowledge of them.

There are, however; people out there who make their living by raising, selling and breeding these animals.  They have spent thousands of dollars to house these animals properly, to provide food, substrate, electricity, etc.  Most of these people take amazing care of these animals because without them, they wouldn’t have money to feed their families or themselves.  Many of them have struggled under the weight of this hardening economy as well.  Perhaps they should give up their dreams of spreading the love these great animals and perhaps they should go to a nine-to-five job and forget about the animals who gave them joy and happiness.  I don’t think so, though.

We live in a country where we are told that, with hard work and a little elbow grease, we can own our own businesses, we can flourish, we can do what we love and be profitable at it.  Kevin McCurley, the owner of NERD(New England Reptile Distributors) and the author of The Complete Ball Python, has spent his life loving these animals, and now he has dozens of snakes that he can’t sell.  He and others even suggested an adoption/foster program for people who could not even care for their animals, except that if they crossed state lines they would be breaking the law under the Lacey Act.  There are hundreds of people just like him who are just trying to live their American dreams and who are just trying to support their families.

When you allow the government to be influenced by false information, by sensationalism, and by fear we lose our hold on this great nation.  This is just another step further down the road to losing our liberties, to having our homes invaded.  We should not punish the whole for the irresponsibility of the few.

And so it begins…

After a considerable amount of time last night talking to Daddy, I decided to start writing a blog.  I feel as though maybe I can start to siphon off a lot of the anger I hold within myself.  We’ll see what happens.

I used to write all of the time.  I also used to smoke, but I don’t do that anymore.  I would write for hours every day about my life, about my feelings on things, about politics, about everything.  My goal is to try and post at least twice a week.  I’ll discuss topics ranging from the lifestyle to politics to feelings to the status of my “get Mel healthy” plan.

This is the only warning that you’ll get that if you’re squeamish(another disclaimer!), don’t read it.  I’m not going to mince words or beat around the bush.  Don’t like it?  Please don’t read it and please don’t talk about it.  Just appreciate that I’m bearing my soul for the world and that I’m trying to be a better me.  I believe this is a step in that direction.