Gun-Totin’ Liberal: Whether The Media Wants Us To or Not, Some of Us CAN See Both Sides

Uncategorized, We Are In This Together

First things first. I have a label that needs cleared up. By Webster’s definition of the word: I am a feminist. I agree; proudly.

Definition of feminism

1:  the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes


But by the internet’s definition of the word, as of late; being a feminist also makes me: a man-hater, a psychopath, disrespectful, a fear-mongerer, a “sheep,” a crazy lib, a baby-killer, vulgar, and a Trump-hater.

Hmmmmm. Now wait a minute. When did a peaceful movement for women’s rights around the globe become such a grounds for attack? (NOTE–I did not call it a *protest* because it was not a protest, as so many of its critics have mislabeled it.)

And why are the biggest opponents of it, mostly WOMEN?

Why are so many women so pissed off that the rest of us felt like celebrating how far we have come, while standing in solidarity on how far we also have left to go?

I have read their points. Is life in America pretty great? You bet. But are there still factual inequalities, and marginalized groups still needing attention, both in our country and abroad? You bet. Pretty sure phrases like “Glass Ceiling” wouldn’t be in our vocabulary if there wasn’t one. 

Are there women in positions of power in major corporations today? 

Absolutely. I acknowledge that yes, there sure are. It IS possible. Should there be more? YEP.

There is no need for me to rattle off all the myriad ways women STILL aren’t quite on a level playing field, because that has been done beautifully by many other writers over the past few weeks. You can search for about two seconds on the Internet and find those lists, if you really want to read them. 

You can also find some rather lengthy and poorly-written rants floating around too, admonishing those of us who are proud of the peaceful movement the Women’s March represented. Even if we didn’t agree with 100% of what went on in it. (Was Madonna inappropriate? Um, hello, she’s MADONNA. Would I have worn a full vagina costume to the March? Nope, but that lady had the right to, and I am not about to judge her for it! You do you, lady!)

However.

Where am I going with this, you ask?

Well–I am going to a place nobody ever wants to talk about, because it doesn’t cause any flame-fanning or insult-wars or un-friending or viral-sharing on facebook, and it certainly doesn’t make the media any money.

I am going to a place called THE MIDDLE.

Why?  One reason:

I am so tired of everything being either Left or Right.

You marched, so you are a MAN-HATER.

You are pro-choice, so you want to KILL BABIES. 

You watch FOX News, so you are obviously the FAR RIGHT.

You read the Huffington Post, so you are obviously the FAR LEFT.

Well I can’t speak for the rest of you, my friends, but I would argue that no, I am actually pretty much smack dab in the MIDDLE.

I am proud to call myself a Gun Totin’ Liberal. Here’s why:

-I LOVE my guns. 🐘

-I LOVE hunting and shooting clays, heck even just shooting for the sake of shooting. I have a loaded 38 special in a locked case in my bedroom, because my husband travels a lot, and I want a backup in case my security system doesn’t keep the bad guys away. (And I am a good shot, too!) 🐘

-I am ALL for capitalism. 🐘

-Property rights are HUGE (read:YUGE) to me as a member of a family farm/ranch. 🐘

-I believe global warming is a valid concern that we should give a damn about. 🐴

-I drive a big gas-guzzling Tahoe to haul our huge family around, so I definitely rely on the petroleum industry. 🐘

-I am a very proud feminist. 🐴 (Which my husband SUPPORTS, btw. Because men of quality truly do support equality. Even republican men who support Trump 100%, while their wives respectfully disagree and vote for the opposing candidate. My amazing husband and I are a team, and he doesn’t WANT me to “obey” him, he wants me as a willing partner in our marriage, our family, and our household. I don’t have to “let him lead” and he doesn’t have to let me “raise the kids.” We split everything pretty much 50/50. Really. We do.) 

-I am PRO-CHOICE. (As well as anti-abortion. Hear me on this: No one likes abortion. But we do like ALL options to be on the table, and for those options to be OUR choice for our own bodies.) 🐴

-I think our country ought to be able to figure out a better fix for managing immigration than just walling ourselves in. If we can fly to the moon, can’t we figure out how to get people from other countries in safely (and appropriately) and then back home, if their paperwork expires? 🐴 🐘

-I realize we need some amount of *gasp* socialism (yes I really did mean to type that word) to keep our country working smoothly. We need Medicaid. We need some unemployment. We farmers and ranchers love our programs and subsidies, such as CRP, crop insurance, or other programs in the Farm Bill. I love the idea of a one pay health insurance, or at very least an open marketplace like so many presidents worked tirelessly on right up until Obama finally got it pushed through. Can we improve on it? Surely. But do we need it? Hell yes we do! 🐴 🐘

So these are just a small sample set of the many ways I cannot be put in a box with a label on it under LEFT or RIGHT. Under Democrat or Republican. And I think my views probably represent, at least in part, views of many other Americans. 

So why then, do we keep drawing the hard line? I am tired of hearing all the things “I AM” or “I AM NOT” because I didn’t vote for Trump. I am just another American.

I want him to succeed as our president every bit as much as I would have wanted Hillary to succeed as our president.

I may not have supported him as my candidate of choice in the election, but I considered him. Even so, I was proud as punch watching the beautiful celebration that was our Presidential Inauguration. Regardless of my vote, 

I am Patriotic AF

(Ok, sorry, I had to.) I have voted for both Democrats and Republicans, in every single election I could, based on the research I did on issues and who I thought would do a better job.

I CAN have liberal views mixed in with some conservative ones.

I CAN support Planned Parenthood for all its many positives, and still not support abortions without cause.

I CAN be Catholic and still choose to be on birth control because I don’t want ten kids. (Thankyouverymuch.)

I CAN respectfully listen to your views, and you can respectfully listen to mine, and even if we don’t agree on all of them, we can both still be good Americans and good neighbors.

And I WILL wear pink proudly, because whether you are or not, I am proud of the great strides we are making in the world of equality. EVERYONE SHOULD WANT EQUALITY FOR EVERYONE. 

Shouldn’t we?

I suggest we all just sit back, take a big deep breath, and thank God (whoever your God may happen to be) for the blessing that is Freedom and Free Speech.

Love thy neighbor, even if you don’t agree with him. (or HER!)

Please. 

Let’s all try to be just a little bit nicer to each other.

Thank you.

Amen.

Don’t Put Me In A Box (Unless I Am Hank, Then Please Put Me In a Box)

Jeannette Rankin’s Legacy Lives On In Montana, and Beyond

Uncategorized, We Are In This Together

Regardless of the outcome of the election–2016 has already been a paramount year for women in politics. For the first time in history, a woman earned the honor of being one of the nominees in our presidential election.

It’s about time.

It seems almost too perfect that it has been exactly 100 years since our first great stride for women in politics.

In 1916–exactly 100 years ago–Jeannette Rankin became the first woman to be elected to a federal office when she was voted into the United States House of Representatives by the state of Montana. I am incredibly proud to call that great state home.

Equally noteworthy is the fact that when Jeannette Rankin was voted into Congress, women in our country hadn’t yet earned full voting rights. It wasn’t until four years later, with the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920, that women were actually allowed to vote in both state and federal elections. She fought hard for that right as one of the first suffragists in Congress, and women voters have been thanking her and her fellow suffragettes ever since.

Jeannette Rankin is a Montana legend. A role model to all women, both in our state and across the nation; she paved the way for women in politics. Ms. Rankin’s Montana memorial site is featured in an almost-haunting photograph taken and recently shared on Instagram by Kurt Wilson, a photojournalist for the Missoulian. The picture showcases how her headstone (located in the Missoula City Cemetery) got some special visitors on this unprecedented Election Day.  Of course; I can only speculate as to who put their “I Voted” stickers on her headstone, or brought her the lovely fresh flowers, but I do have a hunch.

I choose to believe they were women; women coming directly from their local polling places, proudly celebrating the fact that they had just cast their vote for the first woman to ever have a shot at being President of the United States of America.

Today, I wish more than anything, that Missoula wasn’t a six hour drive away, as I would love nothing more than to add my own tribute to that revolutionary lady. I would love to take my own mason jar of white roses to leave at that significant headstone, to thank her for her hard work. 

A woman didn’t win this election, but a woman ran

Jeannette Rankin, on behalf of women voters everywhere, we thank you for being brave. Thank you for your determination, and thanks for proving to our country that women can be leaders, too. May we carry your torch, and do you proud.

And I sure hope you are looking down on us, so you can see those beautiful stickers on your headstone.

(Photo Credit:  Kurt Wilson on Instagram)