We used to spend our summers in Bradley Beach. I was 14 but I wanted to hang out with the 16 year olds. I was a hairy girl, though, and there was no way I could see myself with them unless I shaved. And no way did these girls want a hairy baby with them.
So I asked my friend how to shave.
There were showers outside our cabin. Since I didn't have an allowance, nor did I know what a depilatory was, I decided to borrow my dad's razor and shaving cream and do the deed in that outdoor shower.
Ignorance is not bliss. I had no idea what affect my shaving would have on dad's razor. He nearly cut his face off. Mother didn't shave, so it took him a while to figure out what I had done. He wasn't really an Orthodox Jew, but he still believed that you shouldn't do anything to change what G'd gave you. So, not only was he mad about his razor, but he was more mad about being disrespectful to G'd.
No matter. The result of the shaving lasted the whole summer, and by the grace of G'd I was able to join those 16 year olds and have some evening fun at the boardwalk.
Mother blamed the new 'bad' behavior of people on the pill. Condoms and French Letters were fine, but they still belonged to men. The pill, for the first time, put behavioral choices in the hands of women. What power! How liberating that was.
I don't think mother objected so much to the liberty of sexual behavior, as to the lack of consequence and the break down of accepted behaviors between men and women. In old China, if you got pregnant outside of marriage, you could be asked to jump in a well and drown. Today, in certain Middle East countries, you could be killed for ruining the purity of your family's name. In places in Europe not so long ago, as well as here in the States, you might have been sent to a home for wayward girls. The consequences of sexual relations were definitely dire and certainly a damper on acting on your urges.
The pill certainly changed that. The whole idea that you could enjoy sex and not consider yourself a bad, filthy person, was and probably still is, a revolutionary idea. The idea of touch itself is still dangerous. Oh, bless those Puritans! People need touch. Remember those abandoned babies in Ceausesu's Romania? These babies were housed in orphanages where they were not held or touched or physically loved. They died. Closer to home, we heard of a woman offended by being bumped by a kid. It was a 9 year old black kid. She made a scene and tried to call the police. OMG. Brings back images of Southern women accusing Black men of rape when it never happened and having these hapless men hanged.
The pill or not, touch and sex are still too taboo to talk about openly. Still too taboo to not condemn or vilify the physical, the body. And yet, it seems we are obsessed with the subject. Face those Pilgrims and stop burning people at the stake!
I like listening to this guy named Ralph Smart. And he is smart. He looks at things in a unique way and expresses his ideas in ways that help you see differently. Like this expression BS. BS is not just bull shit, but belief systems. And it is those that operate behind the scenes of what we see people doing.
I was raised well, I think. Right and wrong. This and that. However, when it came down to it, they never helped me deal with anger, or shame or other strong emotions. They never helped me when the time came to know what to do. That is what troubles me the most with all the demands of how to behave are raising their heads.
It's fine to admire a dad who works with young boys, adolescents, and tries to guide them in the correct way to treat women. It's fine when the priests do it, when teachers and shrinks do it. But there you are, and your feelings arise, and all that training goes out the door.
In the sixties, there were conscious raising groups and activities. The idea seemed new at the time. It may seem naive or even new agey now. However, meditation does indeed raise your consciousness. Wayne Dyer and others who are not strange or foreign promote meditation. It works! You can become the master of your mind, the master of your emotions. Not to suppress them. Not to feel guilty that you haven't lived up to any BS, any standard of what is right or wrong, but to recognize and even honor your emotions. Become a witness to them. Recognize them. And let them pass through like clouds pass in the sky.
Had I know what meditation was when I was younger, I am sure it would have saved me lots of turmoil and distress. Raising our awareness as human beings will work better than finger pointing, new rules of behavior and more BS!
You can scream, you can yell, protest or whatever, BUT there are always going to be haters. And not just quiet ones. Ones that actively harm you. They will never go away. They will just reproduce.
So, why even fuss about them?
How about taking all that energy and finding a way to produce affordable housing? Provide a living wage? Affordable fresh food?