Some Thoughts…and a Poem

Yesterday I wrote this line “If you happen to read this and are Pagan, gay, female, or some combination”. I have been corrected by Z. I should have skipped the words “Pagan”, “gay”, and “female”. I should have used the word “human”. Z is a wise lady.

I was reading the comments section on a “politically charged” topic. That comment section prompted this thought…”i was reading a comment section of an article when i came across a guy that said “who cares what the anti’s think?”. he misses the point. the “pro’s” will always be pro. the “anti’s” will always be anti. the view you have to sway is the guy in the middle that hasn’t formed a view either way. if your conduct or commentary is so outrageous that it forces them to have a view, odds are it won’t be the one you want either pro or anti. you have to use reason to give that person a reason to side with you” *editorial, when I write to myself I am not as grammatically correct. Sorry* Where that thought goes, though, is that maybe I need to correct MY approach. It is entirely possible that I need to find a way to motivate the middle to my point of view. Some people will always either agree or disagree. Where the conversation should be is with those that have not formed an opinion.

*editorial…again…I read and love  Kipling. I have to use a filter. I understand that he was a product of Victorian England. I recognize the “baggage” that carries. In the poem that follows, he is being both racist and sexist. Please look beyond that to the truths that are in there. Thanks*

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

The Female of the Species

“WHEN the Himalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride,
He shouts to scare the monster, who will often turn aside.
But the she-bear thus accosted rends the peasant tooth and nail.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

When Nag the basking cobra hears the careless foot of man,
He will sometimes wriggle sideways and avoid it if he can.
But his mate makes no such motion where she camps beside the trail.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

When the early Jesuit fathers preached to Hurons and Choctaws,
They prayed to be delivered from the vengeance of the squaws.
‘Twas the women, not the warriors, turned those stark enthusiasts pale.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

Man’s timid heart is bursting with the things he must not say,
For the Woman that God gave him isn’t his to give away;
But when hunter meets with husbands, each confirms the other’s tale—
The female of the species is more deadly than the male.

Man, a bear in most relations—worm and savage otherwise,—
Man propounds negotiations, Man accepts the compromise.
Very rarely will he squarely push the logic of a fact
To its ultimate conclusion in unmitigated act.

Fear, or foolishness, impels him, ere he lay the wicked low,
To concede some form of trial even to his fiercest foe.
Mirth obscene diverts his anger—Doubt and Pity oft perplex
Him in dealing with an issue—to the scandal of The Sex!

But the Woman that God gave him, every fibre of her frame
Proves her launched for one sole issue, armed and engined for the same;
And to serve that single issue, lest the generations fail,
The female of the species must be deadlier than the male.

She who faces Death by torture for each life beneath her breast
May not deal in doubt or pity—must not swerve for fact or jest.
These be purely male diversions—not in these her honour dwells—
She the Other Law we live by, is that Law and nothing else.

She can bring no more to living than the powers that make her great
As the Mother of the Infant and the Mistress of the Mate.
And when Babe and Man are lacking and she strides unclaimed to claim
Her right as femme (and baron), her equipment is the same.

She is wedded to convictions—in default of grosser ties;
Her contentions are her children, Heaven help him who denies!—
He will meet no suave discussion, but the instant, white-hot, wild,
Wakened female of the species warring as for spouse and child.

Unprovoked and awful charges—even so the she-bear fights,
Speech that drips, corrodes, and poisons—even so the cobra bites,
Scientific vivisection of one nerve till it is raw
And the victim writhes in anguish—like the Jesuit with the squaw!

So it comes that Man, the coward, when he gathers to confer
With his fellow-braves in council, dare not leave a place for her
Where, at war with Life and Conscience, he uplifts his erring hands
To some God of Abstract Justice—which no woman understands.

And Man knows it! Knows, moreover, that the Woman that God gave him
Must command but may not govern—shall enthral but not enslave him.
And She knows, because She warns him, and Her instincts never fail,
That the Female of Her Species is more deadly than the Male.”

I posted this poem because I think Kipling touches on some truth. That, at the bottom of things, men fear what women are capable of. That women have to face things that men will never face. That, as much as we don’t want to admit it, we place roadblocks in the path of women. That we really do treat women as “less than equal” because it strokes our male egos to pretend to be better than half of humanity. We miss the point entirely. Women are more courageous. Women have been and continue to be repressed and persecuted. It is not that women are lesser than men. Maybe I make the mistake of putting women on a pedestal. Maybe my view is also skewed toward the side that says “women deserve MORE respect than men”. That is also possible. I think that we, men, need to do one of two things. We need to either raise women to the level that we think we are at or, we need to deflate our egos to where we have put women. Probably both…

A final thought…I wish I could convince the world, or even a few people, to see the world through my eyes for just a tiny second. I wish that they would see that having a different faith or love is never going to be a threat. I wish that the ones that think my friends have less worth because the eyes, and the hearts and minds behind them, look out with a different perspective, does not make those eyes wrong. Gay is not a threat to straight. Marriage equality is not a threat to marriage. Pagan is not a threat to Christian. Female is not a threat to male. Period. Ever. Please do not reverse the equations and be a threat to them. Humans ARE a threat to other humans. Kindness and love toward people that mean you no harm are Christian values.

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