Funny Girl with a Serious Attitude

Author, Journalist, Poet & Humorist posing as a Samurai Jew

Francesca Biller

Francesca Biller
Location
San Francisco, California, United States
Birthday
February 02
Title
Author, Award-Winning Journalist, Poet, Short Stories, Humor and Art Culture
Bio
Award-Winning Investigative Journalist, (Edward R.Murrow Recipient) and 5 Others), Essayist, Short Story writer, Historian, Humorist, Poet and Author. Interests of Passion I write about: Musings & Studies about the human condition, family history, memoirs & humor, Japanese & Jewish Culture, adult and parent-child relationships, political satire, art, writers, inspirational-themed studies, the 442nd Infantry, the empowerment of both men & women, music including jazz and rock and roll, the culture of the 1970's and more. ______________________________________ Recent Published Work For: The Japanese American National Museum- (including articles featured in exhibit.) The Chicago Sun Times The Huffington Post ElephantJournal.com The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles Empowering Parents.com The Lakeview House International Journal (Poetry) The Jewish News Weekly ofSan Francisco USA on Race.com Discover Nikkei.org (Japanese American National Museum) Senses Magazine The Printed Blog The Benicia Herald The Daily Buzz Interfaithfamily.com Babyzone The Syndicated News . . . and others _____________________________________ My essays are now published in a series of Textbooks about multiculturalism called "Multiculturalism in America: Opposing Viewpoints." Currently -- I am writing a book of poetry, as well as a compilation of short stories and essays ______________________________________ Radio & T.V. includes appearances on syndicated national talk radio programs, including for CBS Radio and others wherein I have discussed politics, parenting, anti-aging/health as well as comedy appearances about pop culture. _____________________________________ Journalism Awards: The Edward R. Murrow Award, 2 Golden Mike awards, 4 Society of Professional Journalists First awards and The Los Angeles Press Club. Awards were granted for Excellence in Reporting for both print and broadcast reporting. ______________________________________ Blogs & Sites : Open Salon.com I've Got Issues ---  www.francescabiller.org  The Elephant Journal The Huffington Post ____________________________________ Social Media Website: www.francescabiller.com Twitter @francescabiller  Facebook @francesca biller Facebook Writer/Fan Page - @francescabiller-humorist-writer-author

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OCTOBER 16, 2012 11:08PM

Women, Self-hatred and Romney's appeal

Rate: 9 Flag

 

As a young girl who grew up in the 1970's, the women I knew were strong, decisive and unapologetic about their core political beliefs and social views.

 

There knew how they felt about issues that affected them; and the right to make decisions about their reproductive rights and autonomous political freedoms were no different.

 

As a ten-year old child, I overheared female teachers discuss equal pay for equal work and about how they planned to strike if they didn't receive a pay increase.

 

I recall my grandmother divorcing my grandfather during the 1950's because, in her words "he was god awful," and that it was the best decision for her and her family.

 

It wasn't a popular decision by Post-War standards or by today's, but it was hers.

 

I also recall my mother and her friends talk about contraception, families, abortion and other "human issues" with clear, concise language that conveyed honest integral forethought and intelligible unscripted passion.

 

As the mother today of coming-of-age daughters, this is not their reality.

 

They say they don't hear much, if anything, from older women, friends, moms or teachers about political and domestic policies that might forever change the future of their lives.

 

What they do hear a lot about is bullying, teen suicide, YouTube reality stars of the moment, and about how hard it will be for them to afford college, if at all.

 

My 13 year-old recently became a vegetarian because she is passionate about animal rights. 

 

She also showed me a popular video that predicts the end of the world by the time she turns 20 due to global warming, overpopulation and germ warfare.

 

But she has not said anything about being able to make choices about her own body.

 

Imagine that . . . a young woman whose very future will depend on who becomes elected, and yet she has no idea what is at stake.

 

As this issue is now at the battlefront for our American psyche, albeit often discussed in a clinical and emotion-less manner, I finally made the choice to tell her about the choices she didn't even know she had.

 

Her reaction was anything but apathetic and passionless. 

 

Rather, she told me how much she wished she could vote, and in her words, "No one knows the way I feel about what is going on in my body, and no one should have the right to make laws against me."

 

Out of the mouths of babes.

 

What is most disturbing is that many adult women lack passion about this very serious issue now way past its due date, and in need of passionate militant discussion and action right about now.

 

As evidenced by the closing of the gender gap among likely women voters who have come out of the Romney-ized gender woodwork as sudden supporters, the words baffling and shocking doesn't even begin to describe the frustration that myself and like-minded women and men feel.

 

Who are these women anyway?

 

Do they not realize that the Romney-Ryan camp plans to criminalize women if they choose to abort unwanted pregnancies?

 

Do they not realize they will be become less than second class citizens and that their own daughters will endure forced political rape and fascism of the worst kind?

 

Do they understand that this will be just the beginning of a War on Women that will no longer just be a cute political catch phrase, but a real war that they may never recover from?

 

And is it really so very long ago when we appreciated the struggles and liberties that the Women's movement and Civil Rights movements afforded both women and men in this country?

 

Evidently, it has.

 

In the world that I grew up in . . . we lived without the 24 minute News Cycle; without the unabashed bashing of Presidents; without abusive infighting amongst our own fighters and allies; and without the indoctrination and proselytizing of women and men into a class and gender warfare that only hurts us all. 

 

In the world I grew up in  . . . the Republican party was not the party of backwards uncivil ideology; the Democratic party was not like the Republican party of yesteryear; and people seemed to thoughtfully converse about what we knew would dramatically change the landscape of our country in more than 10-second sarcastic soundbites.

 

And in the world I grew up in . . . being part of the middle class was about the values that we shared more than the dollar amount on our paychecks; women and men fought together for many of the rights and freedoms that we now enjoy; and we all knew that our individual opinions mattered more than a campaign or poll that told us otherwise.

 

But something has happened to the American people, and especially to women.

 

While there are many outspoken, intelligent female leaders, lawmakers, activists and pundits who have faced the issue of reproductive freedom head on, there are many women who seem to deny the issue as imperative, ignore it, and even rally against the issue as a non-issue.

 

As I talk to women, and hear these Now-Decided females discuss their support of a Romney-Ryan ticket, they don't seem to be aware or care much about the grim realities they will face; not even as much as my 13-year old who has only been cognizant of the issue for less than 24 hours.

 

But even worse, I sense a feeling of personal mistrust, psychological malaise and un-realized self-hatred among some women.

 

One only need look at the most popular television shows among females to make some sense of what is happening to the culture of women.

 

Among them are programs like the Real Housewives series, the Bachelorette, the Kardashians and a myriad of other misogynistic shows wherein women get drunk, get in brawls and cuss each other out over clothes, cheating men and anything at all that is unsubstantial and antithetical to our authenticity as powerful and autonomous political and social beings.

 

The plasticization of women is not a new phenomena in this culture, but it is getting exponentially and horrendously worse. 

 

With a seeming new religion in this country that of worshipping Paparazzied-Pinups by both young and older women as real and admirable; it's no wonder that the threat to massacre women's reproductive rights might be irreverent, if not downright appealing. 

 

The choice debate for many women now means having the right to secure fake breasts, turned-up noses, flat stomachs and Barbie-esque chiseled faces, with no one having the right to tell them otherwise.

 

Seriously.

 

Just turn on your television, listen to the radio and surf the Internet and you'll find "the most talked about issue" for women today is about 'how we look,' and not about how or what we think.

 

That goes for little girls from the Toddlers in Tiaras age-range right through women who are part of The Greatest Generation who wonder what the hell has happened to ours.

 

As the mother of daughters who are growing up in an age of a mass media culture that has gone awry and vile often at best;  it is impossible for me to keep them from hearing, viewing and becoming influenced by what is spewed vitriol-like at all of their senses at a continuous and menacing speed.

 

We are robbing the living daylights right out of our children, and especially from our young girls.

 

But they are not to blame.

 

They only echo what they see and remain silent about what they don't.

 

Until real women begin to speak up more about the real issues that matter to us all, we are surely in danger of becoming a gender and a people who will self destruct from the inside out and no longer be heard insofar as even the most mundane of issues.

 

The issue of reproductive rights is not one of those issues.

 

For those women who have now decided to vote for Romney, I only hope they understand that under his reign, being a woman will mean that we have decided that we are not "not nearly as important" as a law that overlooks our best autonomous and viable of interests.

 

Even the cells that have barely begun to grow in our bodies once we become pregnant will have more property rights, humane and human rights, and more legal rights than we will.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if under Romney-Ryan, the fact that I am a woman will mean that I have a naturally occurring and pre-existing condition.

 

The only solace that I can muster is that this is some strange, Twilight-Zoned phase that will only momentarily pacify the political palettes and once primed posture of women in this country.

 

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The marginalization of women is well under way. So is the marginalization of men. I seriously doubt that it could have reached the proportions that it has due to the efforts of one political party alone. This is a concerted, organized, and wilful effort to turn us all into sheeple.

Our world is in the process of turning upside down. The ethics and principles we once lived by have all been smothered by the philosophy that money is all and those without it are nothing more than the dregs of society who are lazy, good-for-nothing bums seeking to live off of the hard work of those with money.

This is, perhaps, a sign of the immanent collapse of of our social system. If so, things are going to get a lot worse before they get better.

The old principle of "last in - first out" will likely see women bear the brunt of this inhuman philosophy. I am less surprised than you at the lack of understanding exhibited by the younger generation. They never lived in the days when women were fighting like hell just to be recognized as fully human!

The next step will likely be to spread the idea that men are responsible for what is happening to women's rights. This will be done in keeping with the philosophy of "divide and conquer." If the powers that be can initiate a gender war amongst us that will distract us from their efforts to attain absolute and total domination of all who are not part of that economic elite.

When you combine that with more and more shooting wars that we're involved in, that will require more and more cannon fodder, which will, in turn bring about another round of the draft and you get some idea of where we're headed. I'd bet that we're less than 20 years away from suspension of elections "for the duration of the emergency", meaning the duration of foreign wars that we'll keep on initiating so as to grab off the resources of other nations too small to effectively resist us.

At that point the oligarchic fascists will be in total control.

The only thing that could prevent this - or even slow it down - would be a massive uprising of resistance to it. And that ain't gonna happen. We are no longer the courageous, hard-working, strongly independent people our forefathers were. We are soft. We're not just soft, we're foolish; not just putty in the hands of the oligarchs, but silly-putty.

It will be generations before we can sweep out those "masters-of-all" and restore human rights, if it can ever be accomplished. I am glad to be old enough that I'll see very little of all this. But I weep for what might have been and for my grandchildren who will inherit from me a mess unequalled in human history.
.
I have to agree with much of what you say here.
I have felt that the focus of what I use to call the "woman's movement" has gone from laser focused a few decades ago to spread across the spectrum as of late. That spreading has left the battle lines thin at best, and may sometimes come across as weak or passionless.
Any growing girl has at her fingertips thousands of points of views on hundreds of topics that, once elevated to her vision, might call to her for her beliefs and support.
Maybe it kind of waters down the movement by simply spreading it out so thin?

I have two daughters...both under 22....and frankly, what they seem most passionate about is country music and Marvel superhero movies. I love both daughters dearly..but obviously, I have let them down.
When we talk of what the women of their mother's age were passionate about...or "what mattered in the old days," I get vacant stares and a loss of interest.
It probably means I am doing a poor job of explaining, but well....I am trying.
I want to see something in them that says they will fight for themselves...and for the generation that is soon to follow them.

After all, wanting more for our kids is a tradition in this country.......so is passionately speaking up for what is right.

Nice write.
Don't give up hope yet. The decisions of the future will be made more and more by women, and as we all know, women are smarter than men. Well at least some of them, you included. We can't let despair and doubt de-fetus. As a wise man once said, or so I was told progress is always 'Two steps forward and one step back'. Just hope that the one step back isn't into a hole that we have to crawl out of. The whole problem seems to stem from apathy and the need for immediate gratification for both sexes. Thanks for your post.
I know what you are seeing, Francesca, but your encounter with your 13 year old daugther and her awakened response is the best answer anyone can give--bring these issues to their attention, make them aware of them and what is at stake, and they will awaken from deep within themselves. In doing so, you are fighting the good fight. [r]
Donegal Descendant, The responsibility to be a good parent to my own children is mine, and mine alone, a job that I take on with often a heavy heart but always with a degree of gratitude and compassion.
Too many adults stay out of their children's lives, leaving their emotional, mental and spiritual well-being to schools, other parents and the influence of the media.
I believe that if we can only first begin as parents to share responsibility for teaching our children the values that we benefited from in our generation, it will be at least a start, albeit a small one, to easing the madness that we have found ourselves in today.
skypixie0, Your commentary is much appreciated as you made some integral points that I had not thought of, or had not elaborated on.
It is a scary time that we live in for both men and women. I am grateful that I have children as they see life with a fresh and often overly-optimistic view, which is something that I often need in order to remain passionate and active in all areas of life.
Furthermore, in my teaching them about what is valid and valued; it only helps to reinvigorate what I know to be true and just, worth fighting for and against, and worth discussing and acting upon.
Thanks for reading, and again, your intelligent and passionate commentary is appreciated.
J D Smith, As you well know, the first step in improving or even coming to peace with anything is to acknowledge it. I am sure that you did not in your words "let your daughters down."
The mere fact that you are their father and were present in their lives already puts you ahead of the herd--- one of the greatest problems facing modern society are fatherless children.
Furthermore, the way that you write about being a father more than suggests that you were and "are" a loving one.
They are blessed to have you in their lives . . . more than you know.
We cannot be "all things" to all children. Outside influences are stronger than ever with the looming and constant lens of the media.
Thank you for your thoughtful comments.
Peace my friend
Hugo First,
I appreciate that you call females as being the smarter sex-- and perhaps we are in some ways, especially when it comes to being able to make decisions about what is best for our bodies.
However, I am one woman who happens to be pro-man as well, and I believe that there are many men, including apparently you, who support women's autonomy and the political and personal decisions that she makes for herself.
Thank you for drawing this out, this cultural tide that yet wants to play women to type and, through immense media -induced fog, create images that are unrealistic, fit no one on this earth. You're right on in saying that young women are not out front, fighting, defining, working for their well earned freedom. And it is disconcerting to see this passive -- maybe misdirected generation --
not be more out there; maybe not in the streets, but at least being the activist that makes people like Romney the dinosaurs that they truly are. Are we going back to the Salem Witch Trials? Company managers deciding on women's health policies? What are we coming to here? I get this sense that there will be silent women making strong films and stories that tell of this travesty.
Great piece. R>>>>>>>>>
That is right; exactly, and Amen. Many try to blame the big money and its media (including women's magazines and fashion magazines) for the superficiality and unprecedented ignorance that exists among American women who would vote against their rights. The big money's media play a role in dumbing-down the population in general, but that is not the whole story.

You see many women who claim to be feminists every day on TV, for example, TELLING other women how to live their lives, and the format is always an amalgamation of patriarchal religious restrictions disguised as feminist agenda.

There is a wall separating women from absolute freedom. This wall is called 'telling women how to live their lives'.

Thank you, Francesca, for taking this tough subject on; excellent treatment. R
Francesca, those are the kinds of women who were my teachers, aunts, role models, too, using "clear, concise language that conveyed honest integral forethought and intelligible unscripted passion."

I agree, "we are surely in danger of becoming a gender and a people who will self destruct from the inside out..." if we just sit passively by and let forces for profit, or for archaic power structures & moralities, decide everything according to their own agendas.

Whatever shape or form a family comes in, whatever their beliefs, all the members of a family, each individual, needs to have respect and understanding of their own bodies, including reproduction, and have the choices and knowledge to care for their own bodies and make good choices for themselves. Otherwise, as you say, we are destroying our society from the inside out.

Thank you for posting on this important topic!
as a male i have only the outsiders view- certainly the slow realization of the wasted American resource of more than half our population for the first three centuries of our existance- women, all minorities despite the pleas of such as Abigail Adams has been followed up with only marginal investment in education, political and corporate placement. Our future is in our growth but gardening is more than scattering seeds and going in to watch football.

However life is very hard and all but impossible for those not gifted with right birth, intelligence, creativity, education, security and value through the formative years. Many are taught that their only chance of happiness, of heaven itself is through the intervention of a strong man and though it is easy to ridicule this, it has been ingrained for millennia. I guess I find it sad that anybody finds it necessary to marry a Limbaugh, Trump but it is not surprising; we have so far to go, but we have begun, we should not take three decades backward into the world of Romney but we will not stay there regardless. Its just fear, ingrained, institutional, manipulated fear.
Read, rated and shared to my Facebook peeps.
I am one of those men who feel as you do -- like you, I am baffled and shocked by the closing of the gender gap. How can this be? I have a few theories, and I know I'm likely to be roundly criticized for postulating and pontificating, but here goes.

Forgive me, but the sad truth is too many women respond to emotion than to reason. Women deny this at their peril, and thus they are easy prey for a handsome fast-talker -- particularly if he's rich to boot. That describe Romney to a T, and like every other sleazy hustler, he's just looking to score.

But while physical attractiveness surely plays a part, the most powerful emotion at play in this case is fear. People -- men and women -- are very afraid at present, afraid of terrorists, afraid for their jobs, their homes, their children and their future -- and some, it must be said, are afraid of the dark -- that is, people of color.

When people are so fearful, they put security above all other considerations, and they seek it wherever they think they can find it. Unfortunately, that is too often with soulless prevaricators who puke-up empty promises, and Mitt Romney is nothing more than a soulless prevaricator who pukes-up empty promises .

I confess, I'm afraid, too, but my fear is quite different, I fear we are witnessing a return to the sort of alpha-male-dominated society that permeates the Bible. It should come as no surprise that this coincides with the rise of Kristian fundamentalism in this country.

Living as I do in backwoods and backward East Tennessee, I see the deleterious effects of that sort of culture all too plainly, and what I see in the country is more and more something right out of Margaret Atwood's chilling book The Handmaid's Tale.
inthisdeepcalm
I also disturbed by the fact that younger women, not even necessarily teens or even college women; but women even in their forties and fifties are not as politically active or even more vocal about the issues that effect "all of us"-- not just women and our young girls.
The future is a scary prospect, and your commentary in regards to that is much appreciated as well.
Thoth, Your elaboration and commentary about women's images in the media are welcome. Especially as the mother of daughters, I am concerned about their futures, their psyche and how they see themselves. Thank you for reading and rating. This is a piece I have been wanting to write for quite a while now.
Peace
clay ball, I only hope that I am one of "those women" who will be a good role model for the younger generation whom I care deeply for.
Brie aka Barbara K, I appreciate your sharing this article, it means much to me.
Peace
Tom Cordle, I am grateful that there are men who feel as you do.
Thank you for your compassionate and thoughtful commentary.
Peace