Wig and Taped Mouth

Thought this was a pretty scary mannequin. 


Aside from the disheveled hair covering her head and half her face. 


You can see that her mouth and nose is taped over with clear masking tape!


Clearly she looks like she has been abused or worse, and the image is that she can’t even scream for help. 


Why anyone would advertise women’s fashion in this misogynist way should be beyond all of us. 


There are a lot of crazy nuts out there.


This photo is a small reminder of what we face in terms of ugliness in this world. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Interfaith Movie Today

This afternoon, we attended the interfaith movie screening of “The Judge.

The movie is about a Palestinian woman who becomes “the first woman judge in a Shari’a ‘family law’ court.”

Let’s just say it wasn’t easy for her to break into this male-dominated profession within institutionalized religion in the Middle East.

Thinking in an interfaith way, I guess it’s maybe not so dissimilar to women breaking into the profession of the Rabbinate.

Another similarity between the religions was that there were many Islamic religious leaders that were very conservative and dead set against women in the Shari’a courts, while others stood up against the tide and inspired change — I think we have similar disagreements in Judaism between the ultra-orthodox who want to stick with the “old” historical ways of doing things, and the more liberal Jews that seek the freedom to alter those ways.

During the movie, there were some interesting take-aways like under Shariah law, men are allowed up to 4 wives!

Another funny line in the movie was when one of the men said that the men never make trouble for the women (i.e. it’s all the women’s fault).

In the court cases filmed, there seemed to be a lot of cases of domestic violence and of divorce, and in one case in particular the wife was actually stabbed to death in the court house by her husband who she was trying to get a divorce from.

Overall, it felt good to attend the event and try to be a part of the healing process between people.

The event was sponsored by the Jewish-Islamic Dialogue Society (JIDS) of Washington, D.C.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Shooting At You

As I heard recently in a movie:


“When someone is shooting at you, you know their intentions.”


Sounds simple right?


But often the person throwing shots your way may be couching their real intentions and telling you:


“Ah, it’s nothing.”


Some may try and rip you off, and tell you: 


“It’s just business!”


Others punching you like a punching bag tell you:


“You need to get a thicker skin!”


People f*cking with your head ask you:


“Aren’t you being a little paranoid?”


Yet others blame the victim calling you out for any sign of weakness”


“Why are you so pathetic? Crybaby!”


The truth of the matter is when people shoot you, take potshots at you, or otherwise physically, verbally, and emotionally abuse you, there is usually some evil sleight of hand and tongue at play.


People that are good people–don’t abuse you!


There is no guise or beguiling when people are being truthful and when they truly care about other people. 


When they shoot at you, yes you know their intentions.


Stop pretending they didn’t mean it. Stop accepting empty promises that they won’t do it again. Stop listening to hollow refrains of sorry. 


People can be selfish and evil beasts that rip others apart because they will benefit from it or simply because they can or want to.


– Pain and suffering of other human beings is what they relish and feed on like blood is to a vampire. 


Good people–do good to others. 


– They want to give to others and see others flourish–they know G-d and understand the real purpose of life. 


When they shoot you, you know their intentions. 


Sure you can shoot back and sometimes you have no choice, but the best way to win is to be that good person.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Better A Mensch Than Money

Love.jpeg

Here is a lesson that I learned when it comes to love…

Better a mensch than all the money in the world.

Some people think that money is their Golden Calf.

They literally and practically worship it.

They are so greedy for it, hoard it, protect it, and believe in the power of it.

But what I say is you can choke on all the money!

Those who put the emphasis on money are sick and empty with materialism that means nothing in the end.

Better the love of a good, decent human being and best friend than all the money in China.

For money you can buy lots of meaningless things, but with a mensch you can have a potential for a life of real togetherness and even a chance at some soulful bliss.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Fighting Domestic Abuse

Domestic Abuse.jpegNonviolence.jpeg

I came across these excellent graphics used to educate and prevent against domestic dominance and abuse.


The first wheel shows how “power and control” are used to instill fear and dominate domestic partners as well as in an overall pattern of relationships with physical and sexual violence:


– Intimidation

– Emotional Abuse

– Isolation

– Minimizing, Denying, and Blaming

– Using Children

– Male Privilege

– Economic Abuse

– Coercion and Threats


In contrast, the second wheel displays positive patterns of “equality” in relationships and nonviolence and are marked by the following attributes:


– Non-threatening behavior

– Respect

– Trust and Support

– Honesty and Accountability

– Responsible Parenting

– Shared Responsibility

– Economic Partnership

– Negotiation and Fairness


Have you ever noticed a pattern of domestic abuse behaviors that include the following?


– Constantly lecturing on political views the other person should hold.

– Keeping them away from their family and friends.

– Controlling the major life decisions.

– Hiding money and accounts.

– Demanding the partner stay home with the kids indefinitely.

– Using emotional withdrawal and/or passive aggressiveness to control.

– Requiring the other person to be available whenever they want.


Spouses and partners should be your best friend and not your servant or dog to kick when you get home.


Watch out for those who exhibit the bad behaviors and patterns of abuse and violence…and stay safe in good and healthy relationships! 😉


(Source Photo: Domestic Abuse Intervention Project – Duluth Model)

The Best Mother’s Day Present Ever

Women Can Be Anything

So today is Mother’s Day–one of the most important days of the year. 


My mom passed away from Parkinson’s Disease almost 2 1/2 years ago, and I miss her and my dad every single day (more than I can say or even come to terms with)!


I see lots of gifts being bought and given today to the mothers of this world, especially flowers, chocolates, and cards.  


But what would be the best gift we could give all our collective mothers?


That is simple…EQUALITY.


Whether it’s the glass ceiling that keeps women underemployed, left out of certain professions altogether, underrepresented in management and the executive suite, and paid 79 cents on the dollar for what men get…it’s not fair and it’s wrong!


Women can do what men do as good and sometimes better, and generally they complement men in the workplace and make us more productive, more innovative, more balanced. 


Diversity in thinking brings us better decision-making and more success in business and in government, 


Like in the photo, women can be architects or enterprise architects–they can also be vice president or president. 


Women should NOT have to endure any type of domestic violence or sexual abuse or discrimination…for G-d’s sake, we are enlightened!


Forget the flowers this Mother’s Day and give your mom a present that she will really love and cherish…a promise and commitment of respect and equality for women today and every day of the year. 😉


(Source Photo: WSJ by Andy Blumenthal)

Women, Not Things

Women, Not Things

In the context of the brutal raping and murder last year of a 23-year old women on a bus to the disgusting rape of a 5-year girl more recently in India, the Wall Street Journal (17 May 2013) has an article on “To Wed Your Rapist, or Not: Indian Women on Trial.”

It is an eye-opening article about the prejudices and horrible injustices that women face in India and other countries–and it’s not only due to the misogyny of some, and power- and pleasure-seeking of others, but it is based also on justices, lawyers, law enforcement, legislators, and spiritual figures in society that perpetuate the oppression of woman.

Some societies are stacking the deck, so women cannot reasonably win due protection–from legislators who do not write and pass substantive and equitable laws to protect women, to law enforcement that will not commit the resources to pursue the rapists and women beaters, to lawyers and judges that raise ridiculous demands for proving guilt and sentencing, and to spiritual leaders that blame the victim rather than hold the perpetrators to task.

These people who are supposed to bring justice to the victims, instead add insult to injury. Some of these include:

– Ruling against rape victims because they didn’t successfully fight back. For example, a “lower court ruled that she was lying citing among other things the fact that she could have scratched the man’s genitals, but didn’t.”

– Professing that victims are at fault for causing the rape, such as by wearing skirts, having male friends (i.e. “asking for it”), or otherwise dressing or behaving immodestly. At the extreme, one prominent spiritual figure actually held that the victim could’ve avoided trouble if she had “chanted a prayer, taken one of her attackers by the hand, and called him ‘brother'”–as if one can convince an attacker not to attack by holding their hands and gushing brotherhood.

– Teaching that rape is not possible for strong women or those of a labor caste. A 2005 textbook stated, “In normal circumstances, it is not possible for a single man to hold sexual intercourse with a healthy adult female in full possession of her senses against her will.” Oh, really? I doubt these teachers would like to test this hypothesis on their beloved mothers, sisters, wives, or daughters.

In Indian and other societies where women are so degraded, there is a standing notion of a rape victim having to marry their rapist–to make things right. Yet, how can this resolve anything? As if the incident of rape is not enough, the victim must endure a lifetime of rape–and by an individual without character or soul, who could commit such a brutal, violent act to begin with.

Forcing the victim to marry the rapist does not spare a woman the challenge of marrying normally after such an traumatic act, but rather it precludes her from ever having an opportunity to rid herself of the pain and shame, and go on to be with someone who truly loves and respects her as a person, and not an object.

As long as societies marginalize women through their beliefs, teachings, and systems of injustice, women will not be spared the agonizing harm they suffer by men who abuse their status of power. But as the old saying goes, “what goes around, comes around,”–what is incredible is that so many of these people just see it going, but don’t see it coming.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)