“The New York Times has a powerful editorial…slamming the Pentagon’s new sexual assault report, which praises the estimated 19,000 sexual assaults or unwanted sexual contacts in the last year as progress. As The Times says: “The total number of assaults is too high by orders of magnitude and the incidence of reporting is far too low. Only a very small fraction of those who experience assaults are reporting them, and an even smaller number are sufficiently confident of their fair treatment in the military justice system to actually pursue an official investigation. As usual, only a tiny number of the complaints resulted in a conviction.” Please take a moment to read and share this editorial to spread the word about the need to pass the Military Justice Improvement Act, so we can create a fair, impartial and independent system of military justice for our brave men and women in uniform. #passMJIA.”
Wow. This is a huge step forward for women worldwide. The right to choose what will happen with their bodies, to plan their families instead of accepting what chance throws their way—When abortion was legalized in the United States, women’s economic forecast improved exponentially. That cannot be denied. This is not to mention that overnight, morgues reported far fewer deaths of women. You might make abortion illegal, but in so doing, you don’t stop them from happening, you make them deadly, essentially punishing the women who seek this procedure for reasons that are frankly no one’s business but her’s and her doctor’s. Furthermore, most arguments are based on religious reasoning (oxymoron in my honest opinion) and not science or sense. In the United States we are guaranteed freedom of religion and from religion. It’s in the bill of rights, which may not be abridged as per the words of the amendment. To enforce religious belief on another person, to make law something born of faith, is illegal and unconscionable. So, again, this is really a huge step forward. I can only hope that as the United States slips further from it’s foundations toward a dominionist right wing that the UN will continue to speak out on behalf of the women of the nation, or our bodily autonomy is going to be taken away.
How often history does get it wrong. I have to say in the past year, learning more about Native American culture has taught me that in most cases of a culture that is non-white, that history is seriously misconstrued, disregarded, or, worse, not written about at all. It has to do with the concept of privilege, which often turns eyes away from ‘minor’ contributions to human life to the ‘major’ contributions. Who defines what is minor and major is often the dominant group – whites of Europe. However, it is my hope, and with articles from Indian Country Today and other resources, I’m seeing a surge in Native/Indigenous research – both scientific and historical. They’re covering everything from the Land Bridge Lie to artifact identification and mounds like the one pictured here from Ohio. The realization that all groups are major contributors to the human story is one of the most important lessons we can learn. Everyone has contributed and all perspectives are important to gain the complete picture.
“What is certain is that ancient Ohioans were not only building extremely sophisticated geometric works that rivaled or surpassed those of contemporary classical Greece, but they were also repairing or renovating them over millennia.”
Read more about the Serpent Mound via History Got it Wrong: Scientists Now Say Serpent Mound as Old as Aristotle – ICTMN.com.
Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening is a daring exploration of the suffering of depression by women when such a diagnosis was just developing. Before the 19th century, from antiquity into modern times, the common term to define a depressive disorder was melancholia (Boer and Kasper 3-4). This broad term encompassed a number of psychological disorders and, according to Gerit Glas, the debate over “mood disorders” lasted well into the 20th Century (5,16). Through the character of Edna Pontellier, the novel contains several typical symptoms of the disorder as we recognize it today: sadness or unhappiness, crying spells for no apparent reason, thoughts of death, restlessness, frustration, excessive sleeping or insomnia, slowed thinking and a loss of interest in normal activities (Mayo Clinic).
One of the most common pieces of advice to an author is to write what you know. Chopin may not have directly experienced the dilemma’s experienced by her character Edna , but the author’s past suggests that she had a great deal of insight into the issues contained within the text. Nancy A. Walker discusses these points in her introduction to the novel (3-21). Chopin’s environment in childhood as well as adulthood bred a woman who was ahead of her time. Her mother “told her stories that emphasized the role of strong women in her maternal ancestry” and made sure her daughter was well educated (3). Much like her character Edna, Kate was not in love with the upper middle class society she was part of, nor the limitations it provided young women (5, 35). Also like her character Edna, she married a man that would provide a sensible match and happened to be a mercantile businessman (5, 39-40). Kate lived in New Orleans for several years and experienced greater freedom than most women of her time (7, 11, 23, 87). In her thirties, she was known to be attached to a noted womanizer (11, 42, 119). Walker then comes out and directly states that much of what she experienced ended up in her fiction (7). With much of what she knew, first or second hand, filling up her work, it is highly likely that knowledge of depression (then Melancholia) was within her repertoire.
Continue reading the review at: Melancholia and the Infinite Sadness: Chopin’s Daring Revelation of Depression in The Awakening
 Melancholia, the build up of black bile in the system, which gives the sufferer a sense of despondency or mania. Glas, Gerit, “A Conceptual History of Anxiety and Depression,” in Handbook of Depression and Anxiety, , ed. den Boer, Johan A., Kasper, Siegfried, Sitsen, J.M.A., (New York: Marcel Dekker Inc.: 2003)
 Melancholia and the Infinite Sadness is a word play on the Smashing Pumpkins 1995 recording “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness”, oddly enough a piano melody. Corgan, Billy, Byrne, Mike, Fiorentino, Nicole, Schroeder, Jeff, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, Virgin Records US, October 24, 1995, compact disc.
Sadie Sue Shagbottom Sings Jingle Bells, sort of #5
Happy Holidays to all!