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Archive for July 1st, 2009

How bad Is it? ~ Skirting the Truth at Cairo, Telling it in America, Turned Down at Brown, Left to Tell after Rwanda

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I was told to shorten my titles.  This was the original:

In Cairo, Obama Delicately Skirts the Issue of Islamic Violence Towards Women, but Chesler (Honor Killings), LetsGetHonest (DV and Christianity), Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Infidel), Nonie Darwish (They Call Me Infidel), Immaculee Ilibagiza (Left to Tell, 91 days in a Rwandan bathroom) shoot from the hip on the dangers of ANY pride/shame/hate-based culture

 

Note:  Of the above “notables” obviously President Obama’s OFFICE outranks the rest of us, but I’ve put 4 famous female voices (& mine) to 2 male to underscore, well, who and what the others have downplayed

Note:  LetsGetHonest’s voice here doesn’t mean she considers herself on a par with these feminist &/or COURAGEOUS for Truth women, but that my experience resonates to elements of their voices.  I have many role models, but these are among them, particularly Imaculee with her faith and Dr. Chesler with her decades of feminist writing & reporting, including on some matters regarding the courts.  
The two “Infidel” Books (“Infidel” and “They Call Me Infidel”) describes aspects of polygamy which  – – strangely — spoke the inbred emotional truth of my own family line, in ganging up against a grown, literate mother to (try and!) teach a lesson about authority, and the punishment being removal of children and “excommunication.”  (and my family line identifies itself, with apparent pride, as NOT believing in God, this is for supposedly inferior intellects and emotionally weak individuals).  

[Have been told to shorten the posts, too, not just the titles.  Working on it!]

 This post, July 2 (2 days before “Independence Day” USA)  had been on hold. Unlike several women featured here, I added my voice to theirs, telling it like it is, then self-censored out of fear:  I felt MY contribution was too radical, too out-spoken, and too indignant.

Well . . . . 

BUT, I have noticed the headlines since July 2nd — a litany of murder/suicides, family annihilations, and slaps on the wrist for men punching, stalking, kidnapping or threatening to kill women, after which they then kill.  I had my children stolen for daring to report abuse, violations of court orders, and for refusing to “submit” to arbitrary orders on how to dumb down my smart daughters.  I know what “shunning” is.  I know what “enabling abuse” is.  

I have never experienced fundamentalist Islamic violence against women, but the sense of the Christian version of it over here is starting to feel like a sort of ritual purging process.  It is starting to ffeel like “No Exit” unless there is a miraculous parting of the Red Tape, a CLOUD covering my behind and a FIRE leading the way.  We already tried the “appeal to reason” paradigm, or the “appeal to law” ONE, ALSO.  We also did the “it’s not in your best interest” reason, but some people will pay a lot of money for the privilege of refusing to stop abusing.  Like they say, truth is on the auction block, and was sold cheap, Lies fetched a higher price.

I pay attention, and have SEEN Protestant so-called Christian Caucasian men drilling young men how to dominate women twice their age in the name of their god, and been subjected to this as well.  Recently.  Yeech — Retch!  What kind of “sanctuary” is that??

However, now that a suburban California back yard finally released ,29-year-old Jaycee Dugard and her 11 year old and 15 year old girls fathered by the man who kidnapped HER when she was only 11, I felt this post is quite appropriate:

This case is shocking for its combination of statistics (18 years! Missed opportunities!  “We never knew!”  “But they looked like a nice couple!”  “I spoke with Jaycee on the phone, she was courteous and professional” (She was not only a sex slave, but also supported this man’s business while living in shack-like conditions in a back yard with her kids).  A WOMAN called the police reporting that people were living in the back yard.  Like my calls and reports to police that another man, their father, was going to kidnap MY daughters, her voice was not heard.

Are we willing to listen and change behavior YET?  The behavior “we” need to change is to get smart and act on hunches.  While people who take the scriptures too literally are castigated and censored, disdained in public media, how about some of us in the U.S. start taking the 3 charters of freedom:  Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights literally for a change?  Starting by knowing their INtents based on their CONtents!  And then recognizing that humanity is a DNA thing, not a color thing or a gender thing!  And the usage of “all men are created equal” in the first was NOT “men vs. women” and did not say, although it was so practiced, “all Caucasian landowning males.”  It meant ALL EQUAL and not to be colonized, or, like Miss Dugard (sr.) was, pimped.

 

I am United States citizen by birth, and was never beaten, or degraded because of my gender before I married.  Nor was I forced into marriage.  But women of faith or no faith nowadays who attempt to leave, risk being stripped of children, or killed, for the act of — leaving their marriage and asserting legal rights they already have.

While our current President has described the angst and sense of loss he felt not having his father in his life growing up, the rest of us describe some of what it’s like to be a target of violence and punishment for the crime of having been born without a Y chromosome, for some, a life sentence punishable by death.

 

President Obama, pre-election, helping out Senator Bayh in Indiana, with some more Mother-Omission:

2006 – EVER TRYING TO RAM THROUGH ANOTHER BILL, FINE-TUNING & REDEFINING FATHERHOOD AND HEALTHY MARRIAGE

As one of my fellow-bloggers commented in Indiana Mothers for Custodial Justice:  Evan Bayh is not his Father’s Son,

Senator Evan Bayh’s (fatherhood-promoted) own father Senator BIRCH Bayh, was in favor of equal rights for women:  so much for a chip off the old block, and passing down values from father to son, politically.  

According to this post (Verifiable Here) both Senator Evan and then-Senator Obama co-sponsored  YET ANOTHER “Healthy marriage and Responsible Fatherhood” bill, which was defeated in 2006.  

Like this Senator, and another well-known FR attorney from the Chicago Area,  both the Senators also remembered all the Hoopla around Father’s Day, Fatherhood, Father Celebration, and etc., etc. (can we say “patriarchal?”) in June PR (June is Father’s Day month, FYI), but forgot the same on Mother’s Day, in May.  Actually, in 2009 and (I found) 2008, PR around now-President and then-Senator Obama eclipsed this acknowledgement of where they came from, literally (they  had mothers, right?), as the word “Mother” has become, as I blogged elsewhere, virtually invisible linguistically in connection with “families” on the whitehouse.gov site.  The preferred term, for those of you not in the know, is “Parent” when it comes to the divorce situation, and “Women” when it comes to who’s having violence (including murder) perpetrated against them by, often enough by the father of mutual children.

~ ~ ~ ~

It is difficult to control a population aware of their “unalienable rights,” not intimidated by verbal derogatory talk, or economically dependent upon abusers or captive to them by the threat of death as they leave.  Now one factor that often gives a mother courage and motivation to LEAVE abuse is precisely her motherhood, so no wonder it would be threatening to any:

Fear/Shame/Pride-based culture or religion.

The mother/daughter/son bond, culturally needs to be degraded and broken (stepmothers will do) if we are to have a truly sheepish culture that will do what they are told without protest.  Family Court venue is GREAT for this, and I happen to believe was designed for the purpose, despite all the hoopla from under-funded (??), under-recognized (????????) fathers, especially those who like to minimize their own violence towards their own women, often prompting separation, which even that bill (above) recognizes is a primary cause of separation!

 

@@@

The link “parsing Obama” caught my attention, and led to an article from “Real Clear Politics” on the Cairo Speech.

I have just written on “Women” vs. “Mother” and the weak (# occurrences) presence of both when it comes to Family Issues being discussed under the current US Administration’s “White House” page.  Not only were the words barely absent, but their usage (which I didn’t analyze and post — but noticed) was also weak.  In looking for the word “mothers” I would have to assume that after the age requiring home nurse visitations, we don’t exist.  For example, the President’s own mother was transformed into the word “parent” in a  sentence highlighting absence of a father.  To people who haven’t been through systemic prejudice against their “mothering” it may not register, but when examined, it’s blatant PR omission.  It undermines the credibility of the whole page.  (granted, the month was the month of Father’s Day, however, if someone has a record of this page during May and wishes to countradict my post, please feel free to comment).  

SIMILARLY, when it comes to speaking in this nation, Egypt, the mention of Islamic violence (not bias, but violence) toward women, the omission is just as loud.

So, I just slapped up the article, with someone else’s commentary on it, for your consumption.  Then I searched out and pasted up interviews, articles or book reviews from several women who do NOT Delicately skirt the issue of violence towards women, and hate talk in general.  Two of these women came to America, and one of them, since coming, has converted from Islam to Christianity.  

A third woman from Rwanda didn’t convert, but was already Christian.  Her story isn’t about gender violence, but it was another “can’t put down” book of survival in the face of hate, and refusal to hate back.  The individual verbal abuse or hate talk that often DOES escalate to physical domestic violence got me (in marriage, after marriage) sensititve to moods and fluctuations in language that might indicate an “event” about to erupt also precedes genocides or attempted genocides.  The speech sometimes works the speaker or groups of speakers up, or justifies the abuse.  Whether the Holocaust or Rwanda, hate talk is a danger sign.  Just as PTSD from domestic violence does indeed have similarities with PTSD from actual war.

So, this had me also noticing books and commentaries on the languages preceding genocides or attempted genocides; Rwanda had caught my attention earlier from the book on which the movie “Hotel Rwanda” was based.  This book details times when pastors protected, and times when pastors betrayed, those that were being hunted down.  So I include the “Left To Tell” book because it seems relevant.

And I added my two bits.  And a few links indicating that this fatherhood stuff is turning to vigilante behavior, unfortunately.   And pointed out, again, what our Declaration of Independence was about….

On my blogroll to the right, is a little Youtube showing just how low my President bowed, casually, quickly, to the leader of a Muslim country, in the company of Queen Elizabeth and a G20 meeting.  This disturbs me, and was of some serious debate in a blogtalkradio dialogue (as I recall the source, anyhow) moderated by Dr. Phyllis Chesler and Marcia Pappas of NYS NOW.  Is he the leader of the free world, or at least part of it?  Then what’s that obeisance about?  Would he kneel to the Pope to be politically correct, kiss the ring and insult all those boys and girls abused by priests, and the concept upon which this nation was founded, Bill of Rights Number I?  

I myself am VERY disturbed at how domestic violence killings are starting to take on a vigilante nature, as if in retaliation to a woman leaving a family, or exposing a sin, how DARE she?  As a mature woman and mother who has been dumped by the roadside by a combination of my own family and my ex-batterer, apparently for — again, exposing family something or other — I am thinking about:  

  • How
  • Why
  • Who ARE these people?
  • What IS this world?

How many OTHER myths have I believed about life, my country, my family, the legal system, etc.?  I will tell you one I have let go of:  “The American Dream.”  I have switched this my dream from anything material, and am changing it to a character issue, a personal one with myself.  

I am calling upon the combination of my God (NOT the one that is a respecter of persons, or genders, or legalistically profiling and whimsical in judgment, that I have seen in certain places), and my courage, and putting my intellect a good bit lower, respectively, than it used to be.  Plus, from within, my emotions of concern and compassion for others, and whatever picture I can imagine.  Indignation about injustice only goes so far, and as the injustice basically never stops, another motivation must be found.

I think part of the trouble around here is that people pretend to be neutral and detached (a high value) when they aren’t anything of the sort.  They can incite to violence, ride roughshod over families, due process, and civil rights, as easily as any other nation or culture, but claim this is based on “evidence-based practices.”  In one place on this post, I included a Rwandan woman — the issue was not on men versus women, but the same principles:  hate talk towards a certain group of people (Tutsis) and how quickly it ignited. 

We have become an incredibly morally bankrupt place (as well as fiscally — and they are related), while drowning in certain materials and products.  However, the solution to this is not to be found in the institutions, but rather in the people who are aware that these institutions are not going to replace human basic functions of:  produce, protect, educate, alleviate, CREate (when it comes to arts, ideas, concepts, etc.), that which we have procreated.  If you’re new to this blog, you’ll notice that when I have a strong emotional reaction to a certain thing (or idea), I pile on labels, like sauce on a hamburger, or whipped cream on a milkshake, or, . . . . or. . . .    

 

I was referring to the churches, some of which I left voluntarily, and one of which I got thrown out of last month for being female, having understanding of a Biblical passage, and speaking up (even with permission).  How dare I think I knew something!  

See:

Family Values” Pundits not so upstanding themselves.

 

This is a new site to me:   REAL CLEAR POLITICS.  This dates to June 2009

I simply posted the whole article.  Any italics are my emphasis, some (not all) of the other style changes are mine, too:

 

Did Obama Say Enough About Women’s Rights?
Posted by Cathy Young | Email This | Permalink | Email Author

 

As I said in my previous post, I had a largely positive reaction to Obama’s Cairo speech.  However, I agree with David Frum’s criticsm of Obama’s comments about women’s rights — which should have been a key part of an “outreach to Muslims” speech.  In contrast to Obama’s strong affirmation of the principles of democracy, his discussion of women’s issues and Islam was too general, too weak, and afflicted with excessive even-handedness.

{{with which “even handedness, as I have beLABORED in previous posts, the Whitehouse.gov agenda on families is not even remotely afflicted.  It flat out ignores the fact, practically, that mothers exist.  Period.}}

Here is the passage in its entirety:  (OBAMA):

“The sixth issue that I want to address is women’s rights

“I know there is debate about this issue. {{“debate”?!?}} I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal, but I do believe that a woman who is denied an education is denied equality. And it is no coincidence that countries where women are well-educated are far more likely to be prosperous.

Now let me be clear: issues of women’s equality are by no means simply an issue for Islam.

{{EXCUUUUUSE me?  Is this or is this not a dodge, or an understatement?  Was there a political or safety reason for this understatement at this particular conference?

http://www.phyllis-chesler.com/211/are-honor-killings-simply-domestic-violence

I have posted an excerpt below.  And photos.  OK, now you may continue reading President Obama’s speech…}}}}

 

“In Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia, we have seen Muslim-majority countries elect a woman to lead. Meanwhile, the struggle for women’s equality continues in many aspects of American life, and in countries around the world.

Our daughters can contribute just as much to society as our sons, and our common prosperity will be advanced by allowing all humanity – men and women – to reach their full potential. I do not believe that women must make the same choices as men in order to be equal, and I respect those women who choose to live their lives in traditional roles. But it should be their choice. That is why the United States will partner with any Muslim-majority country to support expanded literacy for girls, and to help young women pursue employment through micro-financing that helps people live their dreams.”

Frum takes issue, in particular, with Obama’s remarks about the head-covering issue: he points out that not only “some in the West,” but many women in the Muslim world regard the hijab as a symbol of female submission (not to God but to man), and that many women who “choose” to cover themselves (sometimes not only their hair but their face) do so because of coercion and intimidation either by family members or by radical Islamic militias.  I do believe Obama was right to affirm a woman’s right to choose hijab; quite a few Muslim feminists regard it as a legitimate and positive form of religious expression, no different from the Jewish yarmulke, and quite a few moderately traditional Muslims are alienated by the categorical rejection of the hijab as oppressive.  However,  it would have been fitting to balance his statement with an assertion of a woman’s right to choose not to cover their hair — a right that, in some countries, they are denied not only by informal pressure and harassment, but by law and official policy.

As for the rest of this passage, it was nice of Obama to assert the importance of educational opportunities for girls and women, but that’s about as uncontroversial as it gets: who, except for the Taliban, disagrees?  In all too many Muslim countries, the main problems facing women are far more severe: forced marriage, vastly unequal treatment when it comes to divorce and child custody, and socially sanctioned violence.  How can one talk about women’s rights in the Muslim world and not mention honor killings?  Or the horrific recent public flogging by a Taliban militia in Pakistan of a 17-year-old girl whose apparent offense was to have stepped outside her house without a male relative escorting her?  Or cases in which Islamic courts have sentenced rape victims to death for fornication or adultery when the rape could not be proved under a stringent standard requiring two male witnesses?  (While we’re at it, how about the fact that in Islamic courts, the word of a female witness is officially given half the weight of a man’s?)  What about female genital mutilation?  Against the backdrop of these genuine horrors, literacy programs and micro-financing for young women’s employment look like a rather feeble response.   How about first ensuring that the girl who participates in a literacy program doesn’t get brutalized for showing a strand of hair in public?

In this context, Obama’s comment that “the struggle for women’s equality” is also a problem in America is also, to say the least, unhelpful.  Yes, there are still gender disparities in the U.S., though I think many of them are due to, as Obama put it, women not making the same choices as men.  But to mention what sexism still remains in American society in the same breath as the violent misogyny and patriarchal oppression still pervasive in much of the Muslim world today is a truly misguided attempts at even-handedness.  It’s a bit like saying that of course it’s a bad thing that of course it’s a bad thing that Joe locks his wife in the closet, beats her senseless, forbids her to talk to any other man and monitors every penny she spends, but hey, Bill spends only half the time his wife does on housework and child care and treats his own career as more important than his wife’s, so if he voices disapproval of Joe he’d better mention his own failings too.

Yes, of course it’s not only in Muslim countries that women face severe oppression.  (The issue of women being elected to lead in deeply patriarchal cultures is a separate, and fascinating, one, but I don’t think it’s a good measure of the overall status of women in society.)  And I know there is a vigorous debate about whether Islam is inherently more female-unfriendly than other major religions and whether an Islamic feminsm is possible.  Nonetheless, the fact remains that in recent decades we have seen a rollback of women’s rights in many societies — sometimes a drastic rollback — due to the influence of Islamic extremism.  Obama’s failure to mention this fact was extremely disappointing.  Talk about a missed opportunity.  In my previous post, I said that Obama’s comments on women’s rights deserved no more than a B-.  Analyzing them now, I’m lowering the grade to a gentleman’s C.

 

I give it an “F.”  See below:

PLEASE READ THIS ARTICLE:  I PASTE ENOUGH TO ENCOURAGE YOU TO GET OVER THERE AND READ IT!

 

Dr. Phyllis Chesler:

 

 

Are Honor Killings Simply Domestic Violence? (title is URL)

by Phyllis Chesler
Middle East Quarterly
Spring 2009

 

Families that kill for honor will threaten girls and women if they refuse to cover their hair, their faces, or their bodies or act as their family’s domestic servant; wear makeup or Western clothing; choose friends from another religion; date; seek to obtain an advanced education; refuse an arranged marriage; seek a divorce from a violent husband; marry against their parents’ wishes; or behave in ways that are considered too independent, which might mean anything from driving a car to spending time or living away from home or family. Fundamentalists of many religions may expect their women to meet some but not all of these expectations. But when women refuse to do so, Jews, Christians, and Buddhists are far more likely to shun rather than murder them. Muslims, however, do kill for honor, as do, to a lesser extent, Hindus and Sikhs.

 

{{Everything underlined here, was an issue in my Western, non-Muslim marriage.  I snuck education.  I was stalked, through my own family and individually for leaving to the point that I have had major fear to finalize this divorce, and have not;  I experienced retaliation consistently of engaging in activities outside the home, specifically anything that related to my former profession.  This retaliation could come in the form of interfering with me getting out the door, or sabotage — allowing me to start, but making it hard to complete, a simple season’s engagement; complaining about or withholding funding for something as elementary as a simple black skirt and shirt to perform in; display of weapons immediately after returning from a rehearsal, leaving the car with insufficient gas to get back from one, and other night-mare-inducing behavior.  This extended also to times my daughters were engaged in music as well; UNBELIEVABLE.  I have watched my piano be physically attacked, buried under virtual trash, and then I was mocked for not practicing it enough, which I barely could find time to do in a day.  I left home once, with an infant, in another state, for a week.  I was given extra tasks to complete before leaving, and I came back to a house that was dangerously trashed –NO dishes had been done, broken glass on the floor (and we had a baby), and a special plant/bush I’d given him had not been watered, and was dead.  Food in pots was moldy; I was stunned.  In subsequent (to marriage) public times, in court, he repeatedly talked about the condition of the house, as if I didn’t also work, or was solely responsible.  I had an unbelievable time getting access to a car, which was resented.  

Finally, when I was able to leave the family home for two weeks, for a music camp, with daughters, when I returned, I’d been thrown out of the bedroom, a lock installed, and in short, this was when I determined to leave.  These TYPES of activities continued, to this day, post-separation.  Every decision I made that entailed putting daughters in a music class, or lessons, was permitted reluctantly, but eventually stopped.  Then public declarations were made that I was isolating and depriving them.  I attended a VERY liberal Midwestern college, and as a young person, was not restricted or berated for anything regarding my gender.  The place I met this man was not illiberal — it ordained women, we preached in teams, and sometimes lived together.  

During this marriage, I began to doubt that I was indeed in America.  I had never heard of any experience like this, or known anyone who had experienced a situation like this violence, and abuse.  Speaking of it to the variety of people I did, indeed, come in front of year after year, few of them had words to describe this thing that was happening to me.  To this day, my “liberal” relatives will not use the word “domestic violence” or “abuse” in front of me, practically, and appear to be furious that I have actually spoken in these terms and insisted that this is indeed what happened.  The denial has taken it beyond the legal terms — there has been, within my family — a literal denial that any of the laws to protect people from domestic violence exist, apply, or have anything to do with our case, or my many difficulties. Experientially, it needs a name.  Now, gradually, through blogging, networking, reading, talking — and I have not been through ANYthing like the women below here — I have come to understand that this is a serious moral / emotional / social crisis our country is in.  There are powerful political factors that HAVE to say the words “domestic violence” with their mouths, because the cat is out of the bag, and the horse is out of the barn.  BUT, they are diluting, reframing, derailing the conversation and attempting, in many and disturbing ways, to turn back the clock on this matter of women saying NO!  You can NOT do this! and saying it through the courts.

Every woman has to determine how she is going to respond to this shunning, when women in our world survive, and are emotionally supported primarily through their connections with others.  that is the value that is respected (often) with American women.  We are in our communities, we have children  OR, we have careers, or juggle both.  For women of my age (middle, OK?) to have both lost children AND career, and contact with their family, but not be a radical feminist, is indeed interesting.  We can come into the church perhaps as ministers, acolytes (so to speak), or servants supporting its infrastructure.  I, for one, no longer care to support the infrastructure of anything so dysfunctional.  I consider myself to be courageous and independent (in certain ways), but there comes a burnout level.  I have PTSD, and when exposed to more “women, get thee behind me, Satan” talk in certain denominations (many of them), I simply have to speak up, then leave.  I will not hang out there.  At least I have a few options.  

To survive abuse, sometimes, one has to become two people:  a public one and a private one.  This includes sometimes with one’s spouse.  At some level, my soul was not going to show itself any more, for another verbal beating for mere existence.  Instead, I took the verbal tirades for being, supposedly, apathetic, wimpy, not caring and passive.  Well, being anything else got me physically assaulted, or some other form of escalation, sometimes involving property destruction, or attack on pets.  Children were in the home.  I just couldn’t keep that up, and guess what:  No one was backing me up.  No one was confronting this man, really.  At the end of the day, I had to come home to sleep.  He began accumulating guns, and large knives.  I don’t use these, or know how to, and it wasn’t too long (although more than a year) after this that I realized — we had to separate.  I cannot tell you the level of shame and embarrassment I had, with or without children, having to hide my mail, ask strangers for rides, or a few $$ to put in the ggas tank (if I had a car).  One night, I got stranded late at night in a downtown urban area after my night job.  I took a ride with what might have been a drug dealer to get to a gas station.  My ex came and got me, but with the news that someone had run over the cat that day, my favorite one (I always found this suspicious timing).  The concern for my personal safety was at zero level.  I kept journals.  My journals were targeted, and I had to remove them from the home for safekeeping.  He went after, and befriended the people keeping them, I got them back.  

NOW:  Now, I cannot live that dual personality way, and will not. When I go into a church and am expected to adopt a certain demeanor — I won’t.  It’s like violence to the soul.  I am one person:  I will tell someone (in my family) if I am upset with them, and why.

The Court System:

The Family Court system in this country has become a charade.  It rewards short-term performance in front of evaluators, mediators, judges, and other people.  No one really looks behind the scenes — there is no interest, time or resources to fully check facts.  For the most part.  This system rewards the batterer “snake” personality:  Charming, manipulative, dissembling.  Or, alternately, wounded and looking helpless.  I have seen a (female) judge leap to aid my ex, to the extent of testifying for him, as if he could not speak.  I have watched him interrupt an attorney and derail the direct question, and get away with this.  When I go to court, I am primarily PTSD, although I try pretty hard.  All such a person needs to do is get through the next appearance with some person in authority, get their way, and afterwards, do whatever they want.  

 

There are too many similarities between the hypocrisies and coverups of fundamentalist religion, and what I see in these courts.  It is going to take women, feminist women, to address it.  The other factor is, in this court, children are involved.  We are  not always 100% on board with the radical feminist regimes.  I cannot tell you how many women in my situation, leaving batterers, losing their kids to stand by helplessly as their kids are showing symptoms of abuse, including child sexual abuse, are themselves religious.  Many of them, their husbands or partners specifically targeted them in these circles — because the environment is male-domination-friendly.  

When I say in my posts, that churches are NOT havens for women leaving violence, or necessarily shelters for them, I am absolutely in earnest.  i hope, in my way, to be able to speak to this and do something about the shameful failure to support — or even SPEAK about — the laws against violence towards women, and children — in these venues.  They are in their own ether, with their own agenda, and their own intents.  I do not believe this is the genuine religion of, in my case, the man Jesus Christ as I read about him in scripture.  I read nothing about his abusive or dismissive treatment of women; in fact it is the opposite.  I think what we have now is a charade of that.  For the most part.  I don’t think most people have the guts to do what he did, but some do.

(WOW — where did THAT come from?  Well, I’ll post.  I may erase some of it another day…..)

 

Amina Said (L), 18, and her sister Sarah, 17, were shot dead by their father Yaser at their home in Irving, Texas, in January 2008. Said was upset by his daughters’ “Western ways” and was assisted in the killing by his wife, the girls’ mother. The victims of honor killings are largely teenage daughters or young women. Unlike ordinary domestic violence, honor killings often involve multiple family members as perpetrators.

Let’s Get Honest comments:

In “ordinary domestic violence” family members could be either hostages, victims, OR enablers.  The truth is, it takes enablers for a PATTERN of domestic violence to thrive and grow.  There is denial, there is incompetence, there is scapegoating, there is helpless ignorance in what to do.  Many people in my culture have very strong emotions, but in certain classes and circles, this is not “socially acceptable.”  So they suppress them behind circuitous speech, evasive answers, or simply no answers.  When I got, out, I had some strong emotions (anger) as I began to stop hating myself (which was safer) and be angry.  My anger was noticed – his violence, and the danger this represented — was not.  I only recently simply decided to forgive, and do this entirely detached from any reason to, other than a decision, and a desire to be free from anger, and reactionary mode, which is typically either anger, or depression, when the insults, aggressions, etc. continue.  That’s how I am choosing to handle it at this point.  

I am posting quite a bit here about Islamic violence towards women.  However, I am doing so with an understanding that forms of Protestantism (mainstream and nonmainstream) Christianity can still kill, destroy, and maim — physically and emotionally.  I am here to warn out country not to ignore this hate talk from governmental circles towards women.  In the lingo of domestic violence, denying it is a form of it (a.k.a. crazymaking).  Below, is a passage from “Infidel” about “baari.”  If I am able, I will find the passage from a Focus on the Family publication that sounds uncomfortably similar.  And I will say, the “shunning” and patronizing (social, psychological) takes a different form, but still exists, when a Christian woman throws out an abusive husband and then shows up in church unapologetic.  

And expecting to be treated with respect. Or worse, looking for an opportunity to actually speak or teach the Bible (this was why I got thrown out of the last place, and I was entirely too submissive in that as well).  I finally came to the conclusion that it was safer outside those buildings.

Another alarming trend, vigilante-style behavior  — AND TALK — around the issues of the family courts.  Continuing on the topic of Honor Killings, which was “skirted” nicely in the Cairo speech, above….

 

The United Nations Population Fund estimates that 5,000 women are killed each year for dishonoring their families. This may be an underestimate. Aamir Latif, a correspondent for the Islamist website Islam Online who writes frequently on the issue, reported that in 2007 in the Punjab province of Pakistan alone, there were 1,261 honor murders. The Aurat Foundation, a Pakistani nongovernmental organization focusing on women’s empowerment, found that the rate of honor killings was on track to be in the hundreds in 2008.

There are very few studies of honor killing, however, as the motivation for such killings is cleansing alleged dishonor and the families do not wish to bring further attention to their shame, so do not cooperate with researchers. Often, they deny honor crimes completely and say the victim simply went missing or committed suicide. Nevertheless, honor crimes are increasingly visible in the media. Police, politicians, and feminist activists in Europe and in some Muslim countries are beginning to treat them as a serious social problem…

(SO WHY ISN”T OUR PRESIDENT?)

 

 

PLEASE ALSO, READ THESE TWO BOOKS.  OK, THREE.  I DID.  I COULDN’T PUT THEM DOWN, IN FACT.  AND I FELT I WAS READING ABOUT MY OWN FAMILY.  I LIVE IN THE WEST.  I LIVE IN THE USA.  I DIDN’T EXPERIENCE, PHYSICALLY, AT ALL THE SAME AS THESE WOMEN.  WHY DID IT FEEL FAMILIAR?  

I FEEL AS THOUGH OUR FAMILY HAS BECOME LIKE A POLYGAMOUS CULT, AND WE ARE A SMALL, NUCLEAR, PROFESSIONALLY INVOLVED FAMILY, ABOUT 3RD GENERATION IN THE COUNTRY.  NO ONE HAS BEEN JAILED.  WHY DID THE BEHAVIOR SOUND SO FAMILIAR, AND WHAT’S GOING ON?  I BELIEVE THAT IT IS THE EMOTIONAL, SPIRITUAL CONTENT OF THE BEHAVIOR WHICH IS THE SAME, FROM CULTURE TO CULTURE, EXPRESSED DIFFERENTLY.  HATE IS STILL HATE.

 

This book, and woman, are so well-known, I don’t think there is too much to be added.  However, if not, READ.

WIKIPEDIA:  (evidently not fully current)

Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Nl-Ayaan Hirsi Ali.ogg pronunciation (help·info)Somali: Ayaan Xirsi Cali; born Ayaan Hirsi Magan 13 November 1969 in Somalia)[1]is a Dutch feminist, writer, and politician. She is the estranged daughter of the Somali scholar, politician, and revolutionary opposition leader Hirsi Magan Isse. She is a prominent critic of Islam, and her screenplay for Theo Van Gogh‘s movieSubmission led to death threats. Since van Gogh’s assassination by a Muslim extremist in 2004, she has lived in seclusion under the protection of Dutch authorities.

When she was eight, her family left Somalia for Saudi Arabia, then Ethiopia, and eventually settled in Kenya. She sought and obtained political asylum in the Netherlands in 1992, under circumstances that later became the center of a political controversy. In 2003 she was elected a member of the House of Representatives (the lower house of the Dutch parliament), representing the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD). A political crisis surrounding the potential stripping of her Dutch citizenship led to her resignation from the parliament, and led indirectly to the fall of the second Balkenende cabinet.

She is currently a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, working from an unknown location in the Netherlands.[2][3] In 2005, she was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.[4] She has also received several awards for her work, including Norway’s Human Rights Service’s Bellwether of the Year Award, the Danish Freedom Prize, the Swedish Democracy Prize, and the Moral Courage Award for commitment to conflict resolution, ethics, and world citizenship.[5]

 

HERE IS A LINK TO A 2007 Interview (NY Mag Review of Books).  “The Infidel Speaks,” by Boris Kachka, Feb. 4, 2007

 

SHE SAYS SOME EXTRAORDINARILY RELEVANT THINGS.

I THINK IT EXTRAORDINARLY REMARKABLE THAT MY PRESIDENT DIDN’T MENTION MUCH ABOUT THE TREATMENT OF WOMEN, OR ANY OF THESE EXTRAORDINARY ONES, WHEN VISITING A MUSLIM COUNTRY.  NOTE (AS TO “CAIRO SPEECH”), NONIE DARWISH, BELOW, FLED EGYPT FOR THE USA, AND CONVERTED TO CHRISTIANITY.  HER YOUTUBE AND A PARTIAL INTERVIEW IS BELOW (SO LABELED:  THIS IS THE SOMALIAN SWEDISH AMERICAN WOMAN HERE:

 

 To her admirers, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a maverick, bravely defying the Netherlands’ political correctness to address Europe’s growing cultural rifts. To detractors, she’s a charismatic bomb-thrower with as little regard for her adopted nation’s safety as for her own. Both sides would have to admit that the former Somali-Dutch politician is a master of self-reinvention. After a rough childhood (circumcision, daily beatings) in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Saudi Arabia, she escaped to Holland from a forced marriage, eventually joined the Dutch Parliament as a Muslim criticizing her own culture, and made a provocative film with Theo van Gogh that got him killed and sent her into hiding.

This is why I think that, just perhaps, President Obama might have been a little remiss to simply not address this issue in a Muslim nation.  Nonie Darwish’s father was killed in jihad, and she left Egypt for the US.  Now here is an American leader back in Egypt, speaking on this topic, and nothing substantial?

When a rival threatened to revoke her citizenship, the resulting furor toppled the governing coalition. But Ali just moved on, resigning and moving to Washington, D.C., where she now works for the American Enterprise Institute. It’s all retold in her eloquent new memoir, Infidel. Stopping by Soho House recently, she spoke with New York about life and politics in her latest adopted land.

  

You’ve been here for six months. How do you like the U.S.? 
That is the question they all ask! I love it. The most comforting thing is the anonymity. I’m not allowed to talk about security—to tell you who in this room is security and who is not—but the pressure cooker of Holland is over. I am now just one individual in the melting pot.

 

You’re at a conservative think tankperhaps an odd place for a harsh critic of religion in political life. 
I consider myself nonpartisan, but I’m a liberal—not in the American sense, because Americans seem to refer to communists as liberals. What we see in Europe, because of the welfare state, is government pretending to provide all sorts of services they shouldn’t be providing.

 

Let’s Get Honest comment:  My point EXACTLY, in many of these posts! 

But what do you make of Christian conservatives in your ranks? 
No one in the American Enterprise imposes their beliefs. We clash, and I think that’s what the West is all about.

 

But you’re with them on the whole “clash of civilizations” thing? 
When I was in Holland, the idea was, all cultures are equal and all are to be preserved. My idea was, no, all humans are equal but not all cultures are equal. In the culture of my parents, we never seemed to be able to succeed in such basic issues as getting food, interacting and living in peace with each other, or adapting to our environment, and the West, they’ve succeeded in all those. I’d been taught Western culture’s only bad. Maybe that’s good for your self-esteem, but it wasn’t taking us anywhere.

This woman comes from WHERE?  And she understands the Declaration of Independence (principles) better than we do?  It’s not the CULTURE, it’s the HUMANS:

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

THAT IS THE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENTS.  NOT DISHING OUT HAPPINESS AND HEALTH, BUT SECURING THOSE RIGHTS!

That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

 

LOCALLY SPEAKING, SOME WOMEN NEED TO DISBAND THEIR FAMILY UNIT, TO SECURE THEIR SAFETY.  WHO THE HELL IS THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO UNDERMINE THAT DECISION BY GOVERNMENTAL DECREE, AS HAS BEEN DONE IN THE FATHERHOOD RESOLUTIONS, GRANTS, INITIATIVES, AND TASK FORCES ??  ???  

THE MAIN QUESTION IN THESE MATTERS IS WHETHER OR NOT WOMEN ARE INCLUDED IN THE INCLUSIVE NOUN “MEN”  NOW, WOMEN HAD TO FIGHT FOR THIS, BUT IN 1920, AFTER SLAVES, WE MANAGED TO GET THE RIGHT TO VOTE.  THIS WOMAN CAME FROM A RELIGION, THE NAME OF WHICH MEANT, “SUBMIT.”  THE NAME OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, PER DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE FROM GREAT BRITAIN, ABOVE, IS IN ESSENCE, PERMIT.

NOW AS TO FAITH-BASED INITIATIVES, I’D LIKE TO CITE THE PRIMARY CHRISTIAN VERSE USED TO JUSTIFY WIFE-BEATING:  


 

 

You’ve dismissed accusations that you’re lashing out because of childhood traumas. So why write a memoir graphically detailing the abuse you and your siblings suffered? 
It became important to say, “Okay, you guys keep accusing me of using my past. Let me tell you my story, and my story shows that I do not blame the death of my sister on Islam. I do not blame female genital mutilation on Islam.” My whole awakening was triggered by the eleventh of September, and it did not affect only me, it affected a lot of people.

 

 

Do you regret certain things you said about Muhammad—like that he was a pervert and a tyrant? 
I don’t regret that. I’m still convinced that for Muslims to integrate fully into modern society, we cannot avoid discussing the prophet. We didn’t only deal with communism militarily, but we said it is a bad idea. The works of Karl Marx were discussed.

 

 

Maybe academia would have been a better—and less dangerous—venue. 
Politics is not a good thing for me. But I wanted to bring out the issue of Muslim treatment of women in Holland, and I could only accomplish that in Parliament. If I had been a professor, it would just have disappeared in a cabinet.

 

 

 

 

“the Territory that is now Somalia was divided between the British and the Italians, who occupied the country as colonizers, splitting it in two.  In 1960 the colonizers left, leaving behind a brand-new, independent state.  A unified Somalia was born.”  

Page 12 of her book “”Of course my mother had no right to a divorce under Muslim law.”  “a woman who is baari is like a pious slave

 

“If in the process of baari you feel grief, humiliation, and everlasting exploitation you hide it.  If you long for love and comfort you pray in silence to Allah to make your husband more bearable

 

Page 13 of her book

 

 

 

AND:

“They call me infidel”. Ex-Muslim Christian Nonie Speaks out

This was of interest to me because the author had experienced a regime change within her home country, and then come to America and experienced a change of religion.  So she spoke of the qualitative differences.

 (11/20/2006)

Egyptian-born Nonie Darwish is “too controversial” to speak at Brown University, where her invitation to speak was just taken back. The title of her new book about says it all Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror . Good luck with that one. Here, where we’ve been attacked by jihadists, we don’t like to hear about the enemy we face.

(THIS IS AN INTERVIEW.  EXCERPTS, HERE:)

LOPEZ: Are the majority of Muslim women oppressed? What can be done for them?

DARWISH: The majority of Muslim women are oppressed and that is due to Islamic sharia law which severely discriminates against women. Even the most educated and powerful Muslim women are faced with a legal system that is very discriminatory against women. Muslim women start the marital relationship from a weaker position. The Muslim marriage contract itself is unfair to women because Muslim men can add three more wives if he wishes. That changes the dynamic of husband/wife relationship even if a Muslim man does not exercise this right. Polygamy has a devastating impact on families. There are chronic social ills and tragedies stemming from this single right.

The court system is designed to oppress women, without a doubt.
 

{{Commentary:  I read her book.  She talks about how polygamy (one man, many women) pollutes relationships not just between the man and the woman, but also between women:  backbiting, whispering, intrigue.  I remembered my own case, which has many women involved in protecting a single man, vigorously defending his behavior, which was criminal, as though it were honorable, and I were the criminal for speaking up.  I could not put this book down, asking WHY? does this sound like my family?  I think these are spiritual issues, and that while the West does NOT endorse polygamy, within the court systems, at least, many of these dynamics are at play — first wives, second wives, etc.  They are used against each other, undermining ALL women.  }}

LOPEZ: How prevalent is “honor killing”?

DARWISH: According to Islamic law sex outside marriage is prohibited and the penalty for that is often death. The woman is always to blame because she is regarded as the source of the seduction. Muslim men’s honor is dependent on their women’s sexual purity. It does not matter how honorable the character of the Muslim man; but if his female relatives commit any sexual taboos, Muslim society will dishonor him. Arab culture is based on pride and shame** and a Muslim man cannot survive with this kind of shame unless he kills the source of that shame which is the female relative who have had sex outside of marriage. It is not known how common this crime of honor killing happens since it is often goes unreported and the police often looks the other way, but I believe it is common in certain parts of the Muslim world if the girl is discovered to be no longer a virgin or pregnant. That is why most girls in the Middle East remain virgins till marriage and there are very few births out of wedlock in the Middle East.

{{**I am concerned about the culture of “manhood” in the west being based on the same things.  It is not a good basis.  I also believe that, despite the level of indoctrination being nothing of the like, this same BASIS of education in the U.S. exists — and that is not a good basis for human behavior.  Rather, how much better, to respect accomplishment in a variety of life situations.  But school is NOT a variety of life situations, it is ONE of life’s many situations.  To teach people to be puffed up, or feel inferior, based on their grade performances (although it is good to study and learn, and be able to have those skills), is simply wrong.  How much better to be, rather engaged in the process of learning, and let that be the intrinsic reward.  We will have better people.  

I believe (opening up a bit here) that what happeend to me in music was, I was allowed to be more expressive, and less analytical, also less about, producing a grade.  I didn’t value grades — already had them.  They did nothing for me socially and weren’t hard enough to earn.  They di dnot increase my sense of self-worth at all, as an adolescent.  I learned to be ashamed about things that had no basis in shame, including my (good) grades, and so forth.  The act of going to and from a classroom is not exactly a major accomplishment in life.  The ability to help others learn to do something, or to engage as a human being; to build something, to design something, to perform something.  But to fill in the correct multiple choice answers on a test sheet according to data you were fed in a textbook?  That’s nothing; it’s for the convenience of the school comparing you to everyone else.  . . . ..  I remember failing on purpose, just to see what it felt like.  I still graduated at the top of my (public high school class).  The skills needed in college were entirely different.  Thank God, there were pianos and there was singing, which led to different types of social interactions.

I believe that what I noticed about this book was when she spoke about the intense hatred, rivalry and bitter suspicious, ongoing, between women in particular.  I have been dealing with this for the many years since I left my ex-husband, after the difficulties while dealing personally with him in the home.  It really is wearing to the soul, and saddening.  I am still seeking and believing for some of these family issues to resolve, but I feel sad when I see that, for the sake of eradicating my world view and values, my children were, literally, uprooted from contact with me, as if I might contaminate them somehow, with self-confidence, and the courage to be different.  The courage to expect a woman to have equal legal rights to a man, in America, our country.  So far, “NO DEAL”!!}}}}

LOPEZ: What’s it like to be a journalist in Egypt? Worse than life under the Patriot Act?

DARWISH: I was a journalist in Egypt in the early seventies when I worked at the Middle East News Agency in Cairo, Egypt. I was an editor, translator, and censor. As a censor I decided what was to be allowed for publication and what was not allowed. Egyptian media outlets at the time were controlled more or less by the government. Journalists were not really journalists in the Western sense of looking to expose government corruption and internal problems; they were more concerned in blaming the outside world. Military information was totally off limits in reporting. I once said to a fellow journalist that I met a Jew in one of my trips and that that was the first time I met a Jew. The colleague warned me that Arab journalists who communicate with Jews in foreign countries come back to Egypt in a box. Very few Arab journalists were even aware of the true role of media in a society. As to Western life under the Patriot Act, I think it the opposite Arab government controlled Media. In the West it has often become Media controlled government where freedom of the Press (having too much of a good thing) often comes before other important things in Western society, such as for example national security. Sometimes Western media has no tolerance for any restrictions and that can help America’s enemies.

LOPEZ: 
What made you leave Egypt?

DARWISH: I always regarded America as the land of hope, equality, and opportunity and that was my motivation. I also wanted to leave the Middle East with its problems, its jihad, its pride, anger, and anti-Semitism and above all the constant state of war with Israel.

I CAUTION, the United States of America, I CAUTION them to monitor the “us/them” mentality in every area of life.  I CAUTIOn them to keep a lit on this vigilante return to Fatherhood, and the farming out of any conscience, guidance, and education of their young to anyone such as those in those in the Executive Branch of Government, who are presently engaged in establishing, on one hand a national religion (through a variety of means) and on the other hand, a totalitarian system in which choice is the heresy.  Opting out of government involvement in the basic processes of life is a heresy.

There are aspects in which the fatherhood movement — as practiced, reminds me of the KKK.  It is the same type of hate speech.

I am going to talk about another, very uncomfortable genocide I have read in some detail about (it just came up, and I continued reading, OK?  It’s what I DO!)  Rwanda.  This is of interest to me because some churches protected, and some betrayed.  Here is a personal, amazing story I ran across.  Again, it is told by a woman:

 

LEFT TO TELL

 

 

In 1994, Rwandan native Ilibagiza was 22 years old and home from college to spend Easter with her devout Catholic family when the death of Rwanda’s Hutu president sparked a three-month slaughter of nearly one million ethnic Tutsis. She survived by hiding in a Hutu pastor’s tiny bathroom with seven other starving women for 91 cramped, terrifying days. This searing firsthand account of Ilibagiza’s experience cuts two ways: her description of the evil that was perpetrated, including the brutal murders of her family members, is soul-numbingly devastating, yet the story of her unquenchable faith and connection to God throughout the ordeal uplifts and inspires. This book is a precious addition to the literature that tries to make sense of humankind’s seemingly bottomless depravity and counterbalancing hope in an all-powerful, loving God.”
-Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review, March 2006

 

We all ask ourselves what we would do if faced with the kind of terror and loss that Immaculée Ilibagiza faced during the genocide in her country. Would we allow fear and desperation to fill us with hatred or despair? And should we survive, would our spirit be poisoned, or would we be able to rise from the ashes still encouraged to fulfill our purpose in life, still able to give and receive love? In the tradition of Viktor Frankl and Anne Frank, Immaculée is living proof that human beings can not only withstand evil, but can also find courage in crisis, and faith in the most hopeless of situations. She gives us the strength to find wisdom and grace during our own challenging times.” 
-Elizabeth Lesser, co-founder of the Omega Institute, and author of Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow

“Left to Tell is for anyone who is weary of the predictable “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” trance most of the world suffers from. Immaculée Ilibagiza breaks that spell by bravely quelling the storm within, and contacting a force so powerful that it allows her to calm the storm “without,” and more important, to forgive the “unforgivable.” Her story is an inspiration to anyone who is at odds with a brother, a nation, or themselves.”
-Judith Garten, teacher and counselor of The 50/50Work© and a child of the WWII Holocaust

 

 

 

(As far as I got on this post July 2, 2009

Experts Examine WHY Breastfeeding is best: We MUST Know!

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Sniffing Language

 

Cobblers notice shoes, hairdressers notice the other end of a person.  I’m a domestic violence survivor, writer, reader, and I notice (sniff, I observe, I sense dynamic alterations in) LANGUAGE —  the linguistic environment surrounding present and potential policies that might affect the personal survival, health welfare, and safety of my kids, me, or others I know and love, to be quite blunt about this.

 

I can detail about when and where this started to happen too.  I noticed it, a shift in mental processing of things, a heightened sensitivity to the environment.  This was odd — the less time I could dedicate to planning a rehearsal, or choosing a method or approach to a certain topic — because my life was totally dedicated to the safety and survival issues at hand, and seeking ways to ensure them, change the dynamics, and safely set a distance from a man that I simply couldn’t get the courts to give me a restraining order on, or enforce an existing court order of ANY sort, upon.  Nor could I get any social group to communally put some pressure on the guy to get real, get a job, or get lost.  Or, as I say here, “get honest” about any number of manners.  So, I didn’t do the usual things I formerly was taught lead to good rehearsals leading to good singing.  I had to get the general idea (as in, repertoire), get in there, go on instinct, respond to the singing I heard in the situation, and just lead.

 

The odd (and disturbing — at least to certain theories about how things work) about this was, they started singing better.  Rehearsals were more dynamic, and skills and sound improved.  In more than one group.  Go figure!  Hmm. . . . .  

 

I came to understand that the habit of being dynamically sensitive to my environment, and little details in it, had carried over into the rehearsal situation.  And in the arts, this is GOOD, because they come from the spirit and soul within.  I had no time to be cerebral, cognitive and detached, I had to be present, open, and responsive.  And that was EXACTLY what the job required!

 

The exact opposite of this approach to life and relationships can be seen in the detached, categorizing, labeling, and pronouncing language of some of the social sciences.  I do not think the entire field should be tossed, but I think that there are serious loopholes when doctrine is made in a laboratory, without understanding that people (adults, children, and others) really DO behave differently under observation, for the most part, than when not.  If the family law system acknowledged this, I think custody evaluators would probably be done away with.  You can’t really evaluate someone who is doing a performance for you, come on!  And if anyone is GREAT a “performance” it’s a family, or an individual, caught up in the cycle of abuse, incest, or domestic violence.  Or, alcoholism, for that matter.  The whole DEAL is about keeping up the pretense, not talking about it.  

 

A woman’s or a child’s safety could be literally dependent upon how good a front she puts up for public, once the abuser knows he’s being looked at more carefully.  I know about this. 

 

For more on this hypersensitivity, see the book “Animals in Translation” by Temple Grandin, an autistic (or autims survivor?) animal behavioralist.   I understood, after reading this, how my mind had begun to behave more like a deer in the headlights, after a few years post-restraining order, mid-family court, weekly-exchange of kids-wise.  I had lost the sense of predictability in our daily schedule, and I had lost this because EVERY weekend, and leading up to it or recovering from it, I had to deal with a potential incident with the father of our children regarding picking up or, if I was able to, retrieving our children from exchanges.  This was one of the most insane custody orders post restraining order I have EVER heard of, but it was all we had to deal with.  This also relates directly to why I no longer work in a certain field, in which jobs happened on weekends.  The two became so associated in my brain that engaging in in the one, to this day, reminds me of that trauma.  This can be great on certain arts, and hell on the rest of life.

 

PREY animals notice more and interpret less.  This is why sometimes horses wear blinders, when pulling a taxi in traffic, for example.  Humans are designed to interpret more, and once they have  got a label, enabling mental filing, notice less.  However, a teacher (or conductor) must both keep the goal in mind AND notice, and reconcile the balance.  They learn how to do this (for survival).  

 

Theorists, on the other hand, may continue to get a government funding grant, whether or not their theories are true, work, or help or hurt people.  There is a considerable distance between funding and performance.  I notice, therefore, cognitive detachment in linguistic descriptions in some of these topics.  

 

Sometimes this “noticing language” habit is entertaining and fun. Sometimes, it’s disturbing and annoying.  HOWEVER, I think that society might do well, in general, to listen to some of the people on its outskirts.  We are the canaries in the coal mine, and certain things we have to say might contradict (in fact generally WILL contradict) the experts.

 

Of course, the experts are the ones who have the platform, even when their opinions contradict each other — they seem to carry more weight than anyone whose degrees are not as high or deep (Ph.D.) as others.  Remind me, next decade, to go get that Ph.D., maybe it will help…..

 

 

That’s one way of explaining that I happen to notice language.  And there is a style of talking about basic human behavior (of which stalking happens to relate to hunting, which is sometimes followed by a kill, which is why I don’t like being the one followed, or told by people I report this to, you’re exaggerating.  No, I’m not….  I trust the instinct in this one.)  I’m almost getting to the point that I don’t trust language that doesn’t take into account some basic human instincts and realities –ONE of which is, soon after birth or after giving birth, making the nipple connection, and nursing — or allowing it to take place.

 

. . . 

 

OK NOW….

 

Is there really a war on fatherhood?  Or is it on motherhood?  Where’s Mom?

 

 

Consider this word:

 

Breastfeeding, 

 

When, where, how and why did it become so odd a human behavior that it required research papers to be published, to examine — or safeguard — it?

 

What is now called breastfeeding used to be (culturally, and universally) commonplace.  

 

 

Trailer words associated with the fact that both a breast and getting fed happened to be involved, included:

 

Nursing, Cherishing, Protecting, Imparting,

Loving, Knowing,


Gentleness, Compassion, Confidence one is loved and wanted,

just  being there and looking at each other, or nudging each other in a relaxed, nondemanding fashion,

were formerly normal, healthy human behaviors, and not only right after sex.

(If you’re unclear, see “google images” for some visuals)

 

 

I CALL THOSE GOOD THINGS.  

 

 

 

Now the relationships between some of these must be studied, so as to better predict [and manage] outcomes

 

 

I predict that studying what used to be normal, healthy human behaviors (but have been dismantled by various institutions, and industries in “developed’ countries) will soon become the normal human behavior.  It certainly appears to be a healthy way to make a steady income, healthier than most. these days, including producing food, if you’re a small farmer, or milking cows.

 

Asking, well, was it GOOD or NOT good?  If it was good, WHY was it good?  How can we duplicate it, or better yet, multiply it, without dismantling, if possible, some of the institutions that formerly dismantled, or put some pretty weird warps, in the human family situation.  

 

Who funds these studies and poses these questions?  Typically, a government, or a private foundation funding either the government, or some nonprofit, that has an agenda, or some combination of all of the above, as we find in the Fatherhood Movement’s cooperation between many entitities, casting its wide and technically superb  (inter)net (presence) over the human, well, language, eliminating the usage of the word “mother” in order to restructure society into a different image.  I am going to post another time about a former (not very reputable) campaign from the heart of Fatherland America, which trumpeted the virtues of “motherhood, virtue, patience, temperance” and so forth.  And what they did to whoever they thought wasn’t promoting these.   

 

WHY is Breast Best?  Well for one thing, anything so many men are fixated on can’t be all that bad.

 

Just kidding — WHY is breastfeeding best?  Why not ask a Mom?  (Where did Mom go, anyhow??)

 

Nursing is normal.  Did I know much about it before I began?  Honestly, no.  I just, well, there was this brand new kid on my tummy, and it seemed the right thing to do. 

 

Seems to me that slavery was one thing that used to break up families, intentionally so.  Hmm.  SOME folks got educated, but others weren’t supposed to be.  They were to be educated to the limit of their job prognosis.  Hmmm.  

 

I also predict that with the womb to tomb categorization of humanity, from the moment they are born, caught, extracted, or brought forth (depending on how literary you are feeling) and begin to wiggle, the measuring WILL not stop, we will forget what a normal human, bonding relationship WAS.  We won’t have living examples of it to learn from.  

 

Now that ATTITUDE worries me.  I have been worried about this for many months, as I began to examine where my justice went, especially this last year.  Where my children went had already been determined, and I had also correctly looked up that the correct label for the manner in which they went comes under the category “child-stealing.”  The next question was, why was there no concensus on what the law already conceded, and what could I do to get them back?  I looked around with wonder and amazement to see that with flip of the coin, what in one situation was a felony, in an entirely different one (see title of this blog) was interpreted as initiative to be rewarded with custody.  SURELY a father who would love his children enough to steal them, and harass their mother with court case after court case must have been motivated by love and concern.  And SURELy a mother who actually resisted this, and attempted to retain an emotional connection (let alone visual contact) with BOTH her children AND her livelihood (profession) through choosing an alternate educational arrangement must have an unnatural attachment thing going on.  Now, I didn’t have one set of kids I DID nurse and one set I DIDn’t for comparison, but I do know that, even absent from them, there’s an attachment there, and it’s weird every day to have it suddenly aborted.  Yes, I did use that word.

 

 

In my last post I looked at “Where’s Mom?” in a website representing our national direction, and suggested that the ship of state may have lost its moorings, possibly by ignoring the obvious:  So far, technologically, you DO need a Mom to actually get a family, even if it’s dis-assembled shortly after birth.  

 

 

 

Where’s Mom? is a very relevant question, I thought.

So, here’s an article that came across my (virtual) desk, my Inbox, on some astonishingly new and revolutionary perspectives on WHY breastfeeding is best, at least up until a judge decides she’s doing it for the wrong reasons, to get even with an ex. . . . . and sets a limit on how long this parental alienation can be permitted.  The things judges must know these days . . . .

 

We noncustodial Moms (yes, we converse with each other about how and why that happened, and we research and blog, and vote and call our Congresspeople, and write, and support each other, because the court system sure ain’t…..) were happy to find one that counteracted some of this “father-absence” hypocrisy.  YEAH, a lot of fathers are absent.  Now let’s talk about WHY! and stop scapegoating an entire gender!  

 

This article supports the premises that for an infant to have a bonding time with Mom growing up (which may or may not contradict our present government’s wish to push things in a different direction, send Mom to work and give us those babies; we have Ph.D.candidate Human  Behavioralists needing a grant-funded slot at the local Head Start outfit, think about their job futures, OK?  If they do not publish, they might perish!  It’s your civic duty to produce low-income babies (or neglect staying home if you’re not low-income) for them to study.) 

 

It IS interesting too, it talks about more than the nipples and what spurts out of them, it talks even about more than the cuddling.  It looks at subsequent behaviors.  So do I, at the bottom.  I picked a few well-known names.  

 

(Did I mention it’s written by women, also?)

 

 

Abstract

Research paper no. 43

Breastfeeding and infants’ time use (title is link)

Jennifer Baxter and Julie Smith

Australian Institute of Family Studies, June 2009, 48 pp. ISBN 978-1-921414-09-1. ISSN 1446-9863 (Print); ISSN 1446-9871 (Online)


Being breastfed during infancy is known to improve developmental outcomes, but the pathways by which this occurs remain unclear. 

 

 

Research Paper no. 43:  “Breastfeeding and infants’ time use.”

 

 

(More commentary on what governments are studying these days…..)

 

While I’m glad this study DOES support the concept that breastfeeding is good, as when judges in Canada and Australia have to decide on whether or not to agree with the obvious, or respond to the gentle tug on THEIR consciences from the “But Dads are Nurturers TOO!” demands, Moms (Noncustodial ones, through family court matters) were happy to read this, I still have to ask, WHY do we have to even ask?  I mean, in what kind of world are studies needed of this?

 

Here’s what kind of world:

 

IN a world of ever-shifting psychological and spiritual plate tectonics, it’s only human to want to be oh so sure about the obvious.  WHY do we need to be oh-so-sure?  (Using the word “we” loosely, I am not in that mix)

 

WHY is how to develop and serve “humans” and “families” really necessary??  What are they, food?


Why not leave them alone to figure it out? Why not treat them as animate beings with spirit, soul, body, desires, individuality, and what’s more, hopes, goals, and a variety of pathways in which to wend their way through life, like their hunter-gatherer ancestors?

That is, FYI, what they are — not slabs of flesh, inanimate, passive, waiting to be directed, injected, detected, and projected upon the motion picture screen of some faraway government policy!  Unless they (translation:  WE — ALL — begin to see each other in this manner, the only logical consequence is more and more literally inanimate, and in fact lifeless (or is it comatose?) slabs of flesh, and there may not be enough slots to store us in.  Please, PLEASE, remember Auschwitz, and the ATTITUDES that preceded this, and stop the stereotyping and detached, detached, well thank God it ain’t ME, emotional noninvolvement with other human beings, when it comes to running nations and large enterprises.


People have been born for many, many centuries and millennia.  Nations (if not religions, unfortunately) and empires have come and gone.  

 

(And these two are related).

 

With each new empire, history, and culture, is often re-written, by the winners.

 

They can crumble over germs or steel, over oppressing people so bad they simply well up and oust a regime, assassinate a dictator, and/or each other.  Or assassinations, oustings and regime changes can happen for other reasons.  In this world there are now, and have historically been famines, floods, fires, and wars; there is cruelty and prejudice, there is waste and greed.  These are qualities that, as far as I can see, have been around a long time, and are not going anywhere soon.  And I ABSOLUTELy don’t believe they are going away by government fiat, design or study.

 

Given that generic assessment of history, I have to ask, then what exactly are were DOING in this profession of Human Behavioral Sciences?  What were its origins, what are its purposes and why are “we” doing these things?


I’m a researcher, in fact both my parents were too, one a scientist, the other a librarian.  I’m a SEARCHER, I’m curious about causes.

One thing in my searchings I have come to conclude:  some of the worst damages to human rights, and people, has been in the name of theories (or doctrines) similar to the ones I’m reading about now, in our country.  I think it’s an ATTITUDE thing, to study human populace as if they were rats, or mice, or microbes.  I’m not anti-medicine, nad I do appreciate knowing things about molecules, hormones, and, say, that what just happened to me when that stalker called, again, may relate to adrenaline or cortisol, and has some sense behind the chemistry of it.  


However, I think in the social sciences, it’s gone off the deep end into crowd control.   I think it is a clear indication of caste-maintenance, which ain’t supposed to be in the USA, but is.


Who’s developing this master race and utopia? 

 


Didn’t we learn anything from Hitler, or any other genocides?  Didn’t we get embarrased enough by the study of “phrenology”  (measuring skull sizes, to assess intelligence) which to me has an uncomfortable sense of sociology. 

 

Anyhow, this study may be supportive of more maternal time.  Governments have already determined it’s Breast is Best, but what to do when a couple can’t keep it together til the kid is weaned?  Then there have to be policies, judges have to decide, and these judges need experts. W ell, experts are just handy to have around.

 

Are there any MOMs around who have actually seen children grow up that they nursed (and haven’t been incarcerated for this on the basis of unnatural attachment theory)?  

 

Isn’t smarter, healthier, loved and having been held by Mom at least several times a day enough to know?  Apparently not.  I tend to wonder if this isn’t because another artificial nipple, breast, nurture and cuddling experience is in the mix, and will need justification.  OR, it’s been challenged, and then a study is needed to maintaing a semblance of nature in nurture of infants.

 

 

Given what I’ve been reading about our Present Administration’s Parenting Advice (yes, that spells “PAPA”), motherhood is no longer acceptable.  It has a conflict with Early Head Start and propping up a seriously design-flawed educational system that neither nurtures nor educates adequately, and was based on producing factory workers who don’t take orders or think too much.  Crucial to this is boxing them up, and mediating all experience through the teachers and textbooks (which are highly censored).  

 

I just watched the video of Michael Jackson recently, being interviewed about  his father’s severe abuse of all 5 Jacksons, including having them perform with him sitting in his hand with a belt, and ironing cord, using Michael, the youngest, as a role model to chastise the other children, mocking his facial features (you didn’t get it from MY side) and a fairly normal adolescent thing called pimples, about how he didn’t want to grow up (and the uncanny transformation of his own face into something that looks like his hero, Peter Pan), about how his dermatologist nurse (and another surrogate Mom) gave him 3 children, which were snatched at birth (never got to nurse a drop), although by agreement, and now they are going to live with — either Grandpa (that same one that would’ve/should’ve been arrested in our day and time) or Mom (who volunteered her womb and viewed human beings as presents, not people).

 

The most common sense reason for nursing I can think of is that it APPEARS to be part of the design plan for human beings, and a host of other animals also.  Take it away, and they’re sucking down something else for a lifetime perhaps, substitute attachments.  I don’t know.  It just kinda makes sense.  Give the Mom and baby a chance to sit together and make a physical connection. It works together, it helps her womb return to normal size right faster, it’s overall a good arrangement unless she’s been on something harmful which would get into the child.  LIfe is rough.  Give’em a break!

 

 

In the US, we have HHS.

 

 

IN Australia, it’s “AIFS”

Australian Institute of Family Studies.

And has these clearinghouses:

 

 

Research and clearinghouses

 

Like over here, they publish, they serve, they have resources, and they have events.  That’s nice…

 

 

The natural human response, anyone with some spirit at least, is to resist being managed, and only put up with so much as is necessary to get by.  People are MOST human and I say most happy, really, pursuing things — that they CHOSE to pursue.  Ask an adolescent male.  Ask a stalker.  Ask a Mom or Dad going to night school.  There’s something about the pursuit of it, not the having it served up in a soup line.  There’s something about making one’s own personal goals, that brings out the best in a person, or when it’s in a community, that community.  When it gets too large, we lose the human element.

 

There’s not much more intimate, at the start of life, than what’s now called “breastfeeding.”  And there’s not much more tenderizing to a Mom, when it’s in a supportive environment especially, and producing a feeling of well-being, etc., than nursing.  I do not mean to idolize this, but I do mean to call attention to this.

 

I think this term must have come up when other ways of feeding began to compete with it.  It’s not just about FEEDING.  It used to be called NURSING.  Now, Nursing has become a profession (and a great one, I acknowledge), and I hear there’s a shortage of it too.  Perhaps if we could give people better EMOTIONAL and PHYSICAL support near the beginning of their lives, they wouldn’t need so much – or go about getting so much in other, unhealthy ways — later on in life.  Many diseases and compromised immune systems have origins, it’s coming out, not only in antibodies not received as a kid, but sometimes emotional abuse and trauma — the exact OPPOSITE of nurturing.

 

 

So, here’s an article that came across my (virtual) desk, my Inbox, on some astonishingly new and revolutionary perspectives on WHY breastfeeding is best, at least up until a judge decides she’s doing it for the wrong reasons, to get even with an ex. . . . . 

 

 

 

Abstract

Research paper no. 43

Breastfeeding and infants’ time use

Jennifer Baxter and Julie Smith

Australian Institute of Family Studies, June 2009, 48 pp. ISBN 978-1-921414-09-1. ISSN 1446-9863 (Print); ISSN 1446-9871 (Online)


Being breastfed during infancy is known to improve developmental outcomes, but the pathways by which this occurs remain unclear. 

 

Well, God forbid the us not knowing by what pathways developmental outcomes can be improved?  We are, after all, in the business of improving development.

One possible yet unexplored mechanism is that breastfed infants may spend their time differently to infants who are not breastfed. 

Please — PLEASE tell me, some institute is not about to intervene with that Mom’s growing relationship with an infant, and either put a video in the home for later analysis, send a social worker with a note pad to take notes, or ask the MOm, self-reporting, to distract her attention from that little being, to documenther time use.  Give them a break!  They’ll be in school before age 5 (at least in the US) all right already.

 

This paper analyses infants’ time use according to breastfeeding status in order to help inform the debate about how breastfeeding leads to improved child outcomes.

 

“improved child outcomes”

??

 

OK, well that sounds desirable.  I’m just not used to the terminology yet.  It sounds odd on my tongue.  It sounds like a process that might belong more in an auto assembly line. 

Now me, I’m more practically minded.  If it works, keep doing it, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  That’s what my ex used to tell me when our children were sleeping, and I’d go to adjust something, make them more c omfortable, more covered, more something.  “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  

If it works — keep doing it.  If it doesn’t work — as, for example, pushing fatherhood on an entire nation as a response to violence against women and/or feminism, appears to be gettingi more women and children, and men, killed — THEN I’d think this should be closely examined.  But why breastfeeding works ???

 

The analysis uses infants’ time use data from the first wave (2004) of Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC), derived from diaries completed by the parents of almost 3,000 Australian infants aged 3-14 months. It explores how much time infants spend in activities such as being held or cuddled, read or talked to, or crying, using data on whether or not infants were still breastfeeding, and taking into account other child and family characteristics. It also compares time spent in different social contexts. Finally, the paper uses the time use data to analyse which infants were still breastfeeding, and what factors are associated with differences in time spent breastfeeding.

The results show that breastfed infants spend more time being held or cuddled and being read or talked to, and less time sleeping, or eating, drinking or being fed other foods.  {{Well, in America, Obesity is a major issue}}

They also cried slightly more, and watched television slightly less {{I’d say that’s positive}} than infants who were not being breastfed. Those who breastfed spent more time with their parents, and in particular, almost one additional hour a day alone with their mother compared to non-breastfeeding infants.  {{This beats being ignored in a daycare situation.  This gives baby and Mom some down time, which she could use also!}}

These findings have important implications for how children grow, and show the value of time use data in exploring pathways to development for infants and young children. The possibility that cognitive advantages for breastfed children may arise from their distinct patterns of time use and social contexts during the breastfeeding phase is an important area for future research using survey data such as from LSAC.

 

Summary

Being breastfed during infancy contributes to positive developmental outcomes, as well as to good nutrition and health. Expert guidelines for optimal infant feeding recommend that infants be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life (National Health and Medical Research Council, 2003) and, along with appropriate complementary foods, continue to be breastfed for up to two years and beyond (World Health Assembly, 2001).

{{I did this for one child.  I couldn’t for the other, but there were intervening factors (like Dad hitting me, and I know this affected the hormonal balance) intervening.  Neither child has ever had an issue with intelligence or obesity, and they were healthy growing up.  They weren’t clingy and they weren’t overly aggressive either, until years later, and this was when they became property fought over, and in the light of this, they were institutionalized again — at least their education was.  I know that in our case, this was not aimed to help their education, but to break their bond with me.  I cannot speak for every case.}}

 

While being breastfed during infancy is known to improve developmental outcomes, the pathways by which this occurs remain unclear. Components of breast milk are known to be important to brain development, but an important question remains as to whether the observed developmental advantages of children being breastfed also represent unobserved differences in the early life experiences of infants who were breastfed compared to those who were not. For example, there may be aspects of the breastfeeding mother’s behaviour or her interaction with the infant that differ from the non-breastfeeding mother. {{I KNEW THAT!}}  One possible yet unexplored mechanism is that breastfed infants may spend their time differently to infants who are not breastfed. Time use research provides a potentially useful tool for further investigation of this issue.

A possible link between time use and children’s outcomes has a basis in the literature on infant development – for example, attachment theory – which indicates that positive interactions with caregivers have implications for secure attachment and socio-emotional development. 

CAREGIVERS are mother-substitutes.  They are not in the original plan.  If you believe in plans.  The word is longer.  The short word is “MOM.” or “MOTHER” (pick your language).  

I know, from the family law experience, that my behaving as a protective or educated mother was not wanted by certain other partiesMy children themselves did not have a problem with this until we went into court, which even the mediator documentedIt was a manufactured problemThe mantra, the ostinato, the continual claim was that by refusing to worship the government education factory (based on its performance), I was a heretic, and eccentric, and those kids were going to grow up weird and isolated.   It was viewed with suspicion, and it was STOPPED.    I have often thought that is children were simply allowed to be in their families (and the families were not violent) for as long as the individual kid was ready, before going to schools, schools would be far better.  They do not need to be clingy and run in packs and herds, hurting each other or (when older) their teachers, and vice versa.  They might have a sense of identity and belonging, and being loved.  Unfortunately, this is NOT part of the economic development plan for “developed” countries.  

Children’s development opportunities may therefore be affected by who they are with across the day, and where they are. Further, associations between somewhat older children’s time use and their development have been explored, with some relationships apparent, which lead us to question whether such relationships may also be apparent for infants. In addition to exploring the association between breastfeeding and time use, this paper also provides a broader examination of infants’ time use, to help understand the possible development opportunities for these infants.

And so forth.  You can read it.   I would just like to end with, after breastfeeding has been properly explicated, I suspect the conclusion would be the same:

 

DO IT.

 

Just like after the interrelationship between domestic violence and custody in family law settings has been properly explicated, I suspect that the CORRECT conclusion would be, as to domestic violence.

 

STOP IT

and as to when this is mixed with custody

 

DON’T!

 

THERE IS A REBUTTABLE PRESUMPTION AGAINST CUSTODY GOING TO A BATTERER.  BATTERING A WOMAN IS  A POOR ROLE MODEL.  BATTERERS DO NOT MAKE GOOD PARENTS UNTIL AND UNLESS THEY HAVE ADDRESSED THIS ISSUE AND CHANGED IT AND KEPT IT CHANGED.  ONE HIGH MOTIVATION FOR CHANGING IS TO GIVE THEM A DOSE OF THEIR OWN MEDICINE, WITH EXPLANATION.  THE ALTERNATIVE BEING, TO KEEP PROVIDING HIM OPPORTUNITIES FOR MORE OF THE SAME.  THIS INCLUDES STRICT ADHERENCE TO THE RESTRAINING ORDER (ONE VIOLATION  = IMMEDIATE ARREST).  PART OF ABUSE, IN CASE YOU HAVEN’T BEEN THERE YET (LET’S HOPE) IS SETS OF MEANINGLESS, TRIVIALLY JUSTIFIED, AND EVERCHANGING RULES APPLIED TO THE TARGET PERSON, NOT THE PERPETRATOR.

(I’D BETTER STOP, THIS RESEMBLES MANY SCHOOL SITUATIONS).

 

I expect that after I’m a long gone (which I hope will be a long time away)  that family law system will still be around, and attempting to dilute and explicate the truth, that it just don’t make sense to say a person can beat another person (or have sex with a minor child) and be a good enough role model for custody, let alone visitation, let alone supervised visitation.  These things — giving custody, visitation or supervised visitation, to a person who has not addressed this problem, called criminal behavior within the family — are going to naturally confuse a child about what’s right and what’s wrong, not exactly something I’d like the next generation to be confused on.

 

I’d like to end with what I’d consider a common sense and practical outlook towards human development, both in the womb and immediately after birth:  this is a healthy attitude towards onesself, I believe.  It just makes sense:

While all these things are wonderful to understand, and be aware of:

List of tables

  1. Overview of infants’ activities
  2. Who infants were with
  3. Breastfeeding time use
  4. Effects of breastfeeding on infants’ activities after adjusting for other characteristics
  5. Effects of breastfeeding on children’s social contexts after adjusting for other characteristics, different estimations compared
  6. Infants’ activities in minutes per day, OLS results (coefficients and [95% confidence intervals])
  7. Infants’ social contexts, OLS results (coefficients and [95% confidence intervals])

 

Can I summarize this?

 

Psalm 139

12Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.

14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!

18 If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.

 

Those are the words of a man who understands he is in relationship with Someone who loved him, wanted him, knows him, and that he knew was constantly thinking of him, that would never leave him alone.  What better model for this than, at the beginning of life, being held, loved, and nursed by a mother?  That act of nurturing and loving is at times attributed to God who, although He is portrayed as a Father, has also these characteristics:

 

Isaiah 14: 1 Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.

 

These are the words of someone who had a sense of purpose in this life.

 

2 And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me;. . . .

 

Isaiah 49

14-15 But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.   Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.

 

 


Nursing and compassion go together.  It’s not just about the baby!  It’s about the relationship.  Not forgetting . . .  Not having compassion for a child one has nursed MAY happen, but it’s not the norm.

Here’s another verse about “cherishing” like a nursing mother, Paul (who takes a lot of heat for his supposed views of women):

I Thess 1: Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ. 7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: 8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.

 

These are from before the days of Enfamil, and babies were nursed by another human being.  For the most part.  It wasn’t always Mom, but it was a woman. Why?  because there weren’t factories, cubicles, etc., to the extent we now have them.  And it was common knowledge that this was a cherishing, tender activity, and associated with it, the desire to give to that child, because the child was precious.  

I understand this.  I nursed my children.  I don’t see them, I still would like to give, and have been prevented from doing so.  Even though they’re almost grown, they were not full-grown when the sudden breakoff of that relatinoship (by a felony act called “child-stealing,”) was a radical disruption to what I was doing with my life which was called imparting good things to my kids.  I do not think that I was inbred — in fact I was a practicing music professional in my communities, and as networked and integrated into other people’s and community institutions as most people are (if not more so, being self-employed).  I most certainly had an independent soul, personality, and preferences — something I had to fight for during marriage (where this wasn’t welcome), and rebuild after it.  I had close and long-term personal friendships, also.

But the primary one was with my children, because they were not yet grown up.  They were not in college.  And some crucial life struggles and issues were still in process.  So, that’s what my life was centered around.  This was part role model part provision, part demonstrating, by providing, that they were worth sacrificing for, but that a mother was not to be “used.”  

A major part of this struggle (in our case) had been to assert a simple right to leave abuse, and as such, that this did not entail suddenly entering a childlike incompetence (in fact it was the opposite) and inability to make decisions, or face a challenge.  . . . .  An assumption was made that my daughters were a BURDEN that needed to be relieved, and dumped in a school, so I could get about my REAL life, which was not (as I had been at the time), a profession, but actually making sure I found a 9-3 job, (or a 9-5 job with daycare) and left the real education to the real experts.  . . . Well, that was nonsense.  The insult was that, I should view children as a burden to be dropped off.  I found the attitude odd.  And it was coming from people who did not themselves have kids.  I have since come to the conclusion (or opinion, really), that these people, like I was at one time, were relationship-starved, despite all the art, all the literature, all the work, and all the adult friends they maintained.  I think they were bored and lacked purpose in life. And I had the misfortune to come near their radar screen with children in hand.  The assumption was that I could not POSSIBLY walk and chew gum, or work and have kids, and what was worse, HOMESCHOOL them too?  This was based on an incredible ignorance of almost all the above topics.  

And I was forced back onto the welfare state, needlessly, and told to be thankful.  I’ll tell you how I feel about this.  I HATE it because I know how it happened, needlessly.  It’s abusive, it’s insane, and it communicates a pervasive distrust of me as a person, and bottom line assumption is of incompetence.  Oddly enough, the factors driving me to this point also made the same assumptions.

I HATE having choice being so taken away from me, but whether to take a handout, or not, resulting in an unnatural relationship.  I HATE the insanity that a government would come in and because of Food Stamps be forbidden to buy vitamins, toilet paper, or cat food, lest I might really be buying cigarettes or booze.  I can go and buy candy and sweets or potato chips, til I get diabetic with the same money, so why not a little choice?  the real reason is the need to have something to measure.  At the same time, they do not take kindly to being measured themselves, lest they come up a little short.

Back to this topic:

Noncustodial mothers, and I know many, do not understand why there is such a national drive to disgrace us and scapegoat us individually, and collectively.  Individually, we have some pretty good ideas why this happens, but nationally, I’m here to tell you, this thing ‘mother’ is important, along with “father.”  Any version of “fatherhood” that cannot pronounce the word “mother” alongside it is a bastardized version of the real thing, a caricature.  Good grief. We are cruel enough already, why add to this?

The word “nurse” in the last reference doesn’t mean the one in a white uniform with a crisp cap (and hypodermic in hand), but the mother (“her own children.”)  It’s a noun used only once in the Greek NT, “trophos” (transliterated), but the verb it comes from “trepho”, means is “

A primary verb (properly, threpho; but perhaps strengthened from the base of trope through the idea of convolution); properly, to stiffen, i.e. Fatten (by implication, to cherish (with food, etc.), pamper, rear) — bring up, feed, nourish.

Here’s one more:

Matthew 23:37 (ERV)
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killeth the prophets, and stoneth them that are sent unto her! how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

The image of Jesus as a mother hen is not, I admit, the most common one, but the gathering and healing/helping, soothing, stopping the fighting  activity (see context) obviously was not..

These verses referring to this common activity: nursing, cherishing, being gentle, imparting, caring, not forgetting, wanting a person (to have a child be WANTED is a big deal!), gathering the kids together and settling the squabbles, before they kill each other ! is not in the competitive context and as opposed to females we find it today “Dads are Nurturers Too!” but was simply part of a natural part of being a complete human being.  

These are from the psalms of David, who was a major figure in the Bible, Old Testament and new, whose exploit with giant-slaying (“David and Goliath”) as well as with women (“David and Bathsheba”) as well as his progeny (Jesus Christ is sometimes known as the “Son of David” although there were many generations between the two recorded) and he was able to overcome having to flee, and live in caves and dens, but then fulfil his destiny to become a king.  Isaiah (the second quote) was also a key player, and Paul — who takes a lot of grief in some circles, in case you didn’t know — over the supposed, “woman shut up in church!” thing –and is heavily relied on for this same reason by a lot of churches that never see MY face any more — in practice, well, I just don’t seem him acting terribly dismissive of women in the book.   

Another major figure in the Bible is Moses.  His story is, during a time of oppression and state-mandated male infanticide to get rid of the potentially upstart slave population’s potential men (and rebels), the midwives were instructed to kill the males.  They didn’t.  Moses was hid by his parents, and as it goes, they sent him down the river where Pharoah’s daughter (wanting a son!) picked him up, and raised him as her own.  Well, I guess she had a figure and a schedule to maintain, and a wet nurse was hired, which ended up being Moses’ true mother.  That worked out neatly, and I will bet that sometime during those months or years in which she got to nurse her own son, she also talked to him, and let him know who he was, and his heritage.  40, 80 years later, he is a national hero, confronting his own (surrogate) father and leading millions out of slavery.  

These major players in Bible history:  in approximate order:  God, Moses, Isaiah, David, Jesus, and Paul  (most of whom have been portrayed in statue and paintings by artists also — in fact, I think Michelangelo did at least David, God, and Moses) — all freely referred to the characteristics of nursing, cherishing, caring and in short, the supportive bonding relationship as a human need.  

I would quote from a different sacred script, but this happens to be the one I know best.  Please feel free to comment, if you wish, and if you’ve got some additional (relevant) quotes, I”ll incorporate them into the post.

Nursing was taken for granted as part of human life, and verbs and adjectives were associated with both nursing, and the word mother.

How did these people do such great, history-changing things without expert analysis of WHY breast was best?  

Can we say nursing is a good deal for both mother, child, and the rest of us? Yes, it’s not always possible or advisable, but i DO wonder what we’re in such a rush to get rid of it for (pre-, pre-, pre-school in the US) and then, from afar, examine, pronounce and compare it with something else (is there something else superior?) as if it were a foreign thing?

 

Let’s compare the language used to describe some of this one more time:

Psalm 13913 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.

14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

A soul that knows he has a place in this world and was KNOWN.  Assurance, reverence, awe, and praise.  This psalmist went on, being the youngest and often treated dismissively by brothers, and father, to defend and protect his sheep (he could nurture), to slay his giant, to also do music (the psalms), to survive being a fugitive from jealousy, and to go on to be king. When a prophet came to anoint the future king, the littlest one was ignored, not being thought worth a mention.  Older, bigger, better smarter? ones were paraded in front of the prophet, but finally (as it goes) this one was brought out, and anointed officially, prophesied over, and then (apparently) the troubles and jealousy began.  Oh well.  Who would have predicted that?  The best of predictions and analyses go wrong sometimes.

Was he himself breastfed?  Did he have parenting time?  Was he, as a shepherd, familiar with the life process of conception, child(lamb)birth, protection of young, leading, feeding, and staving off dangers from the flock?

Another thing, incidentally, he was famous for was humility — when caught in some serious wrongdoing (adultery, and deceitfully getting another man killed so he could have the wife) and confronted, he admitted it.  This is called repentance, and was commended.

  It’s all in the attitude.

Now, for contrast, a phrase from Study #43 on why, seeking to better perfect human growth patterns and predict, and, and, and . . . . 

 

These findings have important implications for how children grow, and show the value of time use data in exploring pathways to development for infants and young children. The possibility that cognitive advantages for breastfed children may arise from their distinct patterns of time use and social contexts during the breastfeeding phase is an important area for future research using survey data such as from LSAC.

.These data are then used to investigate the central issue explored in this paper: are the days of breastfed and non-breastfed infants spent differently, to the extent that differences in how breastfed infants spend their time could explain their more positive developmental outcomes? 

 

The analysis shows that infants who were still breastfed spent significantly longer in the day being held or cuddled (32 minutes more) and being read, talked or sung to (27 minutes more), after taking into account other child and parental characteristics. There was a small positive effect of breastfeeding on spending time crying or upset. Breastfed infants were more likely to have been reported to have spent some time crawling, climbing or swinging arms/legs, and some time colouring, drawing and looking at books or puzzles. Breastfed children, on the other hand, spent significantly less time sleeping (40 minutes less), other eating, drinking or being fed (54 minutes less) and watching television (9 minutes less).

Breastfed infants spent longer with their mother (57 minutes more) than infants who were not breastfed, including more time alone with their mother (45 minutes more). Breastfed children also spent somewhat more time with their father (15 minutes more), although this was related to time that the mother and father were together, as breastfeeding was not associated with a difference in the amount of time the child spent with the father alone.

 

(It’s a RELATIONSHIP THING, I told you!)  I wish our countries (respectively) would get OUT of the business of designing (measuring, comparing producing, evaluating and predicting, etc.) families.  I really do.  OR, alternately, worshipping them as a national ideal.  I think this can backfire, too.

 

As a word of explanation, I am not writing to discredit the authors, or the study.  Their credits are below.  My point was in the larger context of, my own wonder and awe not at, well, being fearfully and wonderfully made, but at the whole industry of studying human behavior with a view to predicting, developing, understanding, justifying, and possibly controlling it.  This is actually a positive contribution to the understanding that MOTHERING is important.  Not SMOTHERING.  

In my readings about the history of some of the larger social institutions dedicated to studying children and families, it came up that one cause of this was the tremendous amount of orphans caused by war, specifically World Wars I and II.  It was both a problem and a ready source of oobservation of what happens to kids without families.

Along these lines, and based on my experiences (and associations, readings, etc.) I am personally very disturbed by the nationalized, so-called “public education” system.  Over the long haul — and my life is five decades long, plus some — I was an academic success in a public school, but some of the values problems, and the absence in this context, of solid human connections with more than a few teachers, of discussions about the meaning and purposes of life was absent  Though smart, smart was not appreciated in our high school, in fact it was  social detriment.  Though smart as a kid, I was also picked on as a kid, and my main memory of elementary school was this.  I’m not complaining, I’m thinking here.  It never occurred to me to tell my mother (or father) about the bullying, which went on a long time; I was very young, and the entire schoolyard was involved at playtimes.  I still remember.  I had everything handed to me, excelled here and there, and came to life around high school because of music, and I know this was because of the communal experience of doing something worthwhile other than sitting in a classroom, bored, and waiting for the bell.  

As to bonding with one’s children, there is a bond.  I can’t help thinking about Michael Jackson’s 3 children, basically kids for hire, given up AT BIRTH (I don’t think any one of them got a single sip from their mothe’s breast, and the 3rd, he related, he took away right away, placenta and all, as soon as the cord was snipped.  The stunned reporter, well, was stunned.  Putting this together with Michael’s stories of his threatening domineering father (they practiced with him sitting by with a belt) and when relating it, Michael put his hand over his mouth.  His features were mocked, blaming it on the Mom.  Fantastic wealth, fame, and musical success, yet this person, I looked at him on TV, had tried to turn himself into Peter Pan, he did not want to grow up.  What did he have for his mother — a woman who was as chastised as the Dad?  His own children didn’t know mother, at all, and ALL of them are going to go now either to abusive grandparents (let’s hope that’s changed), or a mother who gave them up at birth and viewed them (the first 2) as a “present” for Michael. They might be fought over, they probably won’t be hurting for food (one never knows) but what would be their place in the world?  And what identity?

I am also looking at all the GRIEF in my own home, and life — first the bastardized version of “fatherhood” and “headship” that I lived with in marriage, which entailed also being domineered and, when necessary to make a point, assaulted, in the name of this ideal– and then, after I left that, the closest handy male who himself ALSO had not become a father, or raised a family, tried to catch up on lost time, with the assistance of his wife, and united with husband to remove the children from my care on the basis that i CERTAINLY couldn’t run a life without a man’s direction.  The real basis, I believe was their need as people, despite all success, to have a meaningful relationship with young people they were related to.  It just so happened they were short two, and mine were on the radar, and basically, that was that.

I don’t mean to give a hard time to people who can’t or don’t keep children with them longer.  It can work out.  

I do believe, though, that when it comes to national policy, it would be suicide to practice the disappearing Mom act.  It’s the beginning of life, and it sets a standard. Leave those children alone!  And let them bond with their Moms.  Support that standard, and many other things will do better — it might make for better mothers, too, if we allow them space and time to do it.  NOW, I have got to say, I think that the educational system exists in relationship to the job system.  They are intertwined.

 

And i think sooner or later when we look at educational failures, and human behavioral failures (which domestic violence, and associated things ARE), we have too look at conceptual failures to acknowledge some basic human truths. And one of those is that MOST of us don’t like being treated like cogs in a machine, or parts in an assembly line.  MOST of us would like some decent relationship with a sane human being that knows us, appreciates us, thinks POSITIVELY of us (which many school programs, alas, do not), and does not have an ulterior motive – job stability, money, sex, power, fame, prestige — etc. in there competing with why we are being raised as we are.  

Human beings need a raison d’etre, a purpose in life, too.  A friend of mine likes to say, all we need is:

  • Someone to love
  • Work to do.

One way to be able to love someone else is to have some self-respect (skills mastery, accomplishment, service, function in a community) oneself.  A sense that one is unique, not just a point on a bell-curve.  Let’s have a little motherhood in here, it’s a great start to other endeavors.  That nursing baby NEEDS Mom, and to be held.  That Mother/baby situation NEEDS Dad to protect it, and enable this situation.  If, however, Dad has become inappropriate because of violence, or absent by choice, or incarceration, then they need a little space to grow up.  Neither of them needs to be around violence or poverty and no child certainly should be treated as a piece of property — which is EXACTLY how too many institutions are indeed treating them, no matter what the sign on the doors.    

How complex is that?  In this regard, I think many institutions have got it wrong in trying to give people what they might rather earn or learn themselves.

Sorry to be so long-winded today. 

Here are the women who did the study; it’d be great to read the entire thing (link up top):

 

About the authors

Jennifer Baxter is a Research Fellow at the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS), where she works largely on employment issues as they relate to families with children. Since starting at AIFS, Jennifer has made a significant contribution to a number of important reports, including the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) Social Policy Research Paper No. 30, Mothers and Fathers with Young Children: Paid Employment, Caring and Wellbeing (Baxter, Gray, Alexander, Strazdins, & Bittman, 2007) and AIFS’ submission to the Productivity Commission Parental Leave Inquiry (2008). She has also contributed several Family Matters articles and had work published in other journals. Her research interests include maternal employment following childbearing, child care use, job characteristics and work-family spillover, breastfeeding, children’s time use and parental time with children. She has made extensive use of data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) to explore these areas of research.

Jennifer was awarded a PhD in the Demography and Sociology Program of the ANU in 2005. Her work experience includes more than fifteen years in the public sector, having worked in a number of statistical and research positions in government departments.

Julie Smith is a Research Fellow at the Australian Centre for Economic Research on Health at the Australian National University (ANU). She has published over 20 articles on public finance and health policy issues in peer-reviewed journals across several disciplines. She has authored two books on taxation (Taxing Popularity and Gambling Taxation in Australia), and received an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral (APD) Fellowship and Discovery Project funding for her research on the economics of mothers’ milk. She conducted a significant national survey of new mothers’ time use in 2006-07. Her research interests include: economic aspects of breastfeeding; the time use of new mothers <www.acerh.edu.au/programs/Time_Use_Survey.php>; non-market economic production and the care economy; taxation, tax expenditures and public finance policy; economics of the non-profit sector; tobacco control; and health financing. Julie was previously a senior economist in the Australian and New Zealand treasuries, and a Visiting Fellow in the Economics Program at the ANU Research School of Social Sciences. She was awarded a PhD in Economics (ANU) in 2003.

 

 

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