Amanda Kovattana

Middle-aged musings in interesting times

Thursday, August 03, 2023

My New Substack: Tales on the Gender Trail

With the publication of my book The Unexpected Penis: Conversations on the Gender Trail, I have taken the opportunity to start a substack specifically for articles about gender. This will allow me to more easily network with other writers focusing on gender. Visit it here.

I will maintain this blog for articles on topics other than gender. My articles on tiny house living are continued at

Thank you for looking in on my work.



Saturday, September 10, 2022

Thailand: My Covid Report

After two years of being confined to the United States, I was relieved to finally be able to return to my home country of Thailand for a different perspective. I had been relying on this outside perspective to keep me sane during the Trump years, but once Covid hit I was stuck here with the fear. Luckily I had just returned from Thailand just before lockdown, in February of 2020, where I had already experienced life under Covid and found things to be orderly and well run with no panic buying and an acceptance of precautions as the natural course of things. After all, they had been through SARS and Bird Flu. The government had turned all decisions over to the Ministry of Health so there was a minimum of politicizing. Thailand followed what its neighboring countries were doing while working with other doctors internationally towards finding effective treatments. 

I was curious to know how my family and many friends in Thailand had experienced the pandemic. I asked everyone about their Covid-19 experience, if they were vaccinated and how they had treated their Covid case once they got it, as most everyone of my two dozen contacts had gotten it. The variety of answers I received made Thailand and its expat community look like the Cantina in Star Wars, so filled with all manner of perspectives and a variety of sources of information all mingling together in peace as befitting a cross-roads community of planetary relationships. These photos from the airport in Bangkok also tell a story. One that indicated a shift away from Western medicine. 

Gift Packs of Thai Herbal Medicines
Thailand had reported the first case of Covid outside of China; yet its death rate is one seventh that of the U.S. It is now 29th in numbers of deaths per capita in the world, with the U.S. being number one. Thailand had several lockdown protocols and a 14 day quarantine period for entry into the country and even between regions. Quarantine was reduced to three days, then lifted entirely by November of 2021 with proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test within 72 hours of arrival.

Although slow to roll out the vaccine, Thailand now has 76.5% of the population fully vaccinated and vaccination or a Covid test is required for entry. (I showed my vaccine passport at SFO before boarding my flight.) There were four vaccines offered—two Chinese ones, a British-Swedish one and Pfizer. 

Five of my contacts had refused the vaccine, firmly believing that it had potential to do harm because the technology was so new, and so few clinical trials had been done. They were smart people who had developed health regimes as part of their lifestyle. One elder expat, who found Al Jezeerra to be the best source of news, found an older flu vaccine to take that was seen to have worked with Covid. She had a mild case, once infected, and was soon over it.

Another unvaccinated, who already had an autoimmune disease, had the worse case of all my friends as it impacted her intestinal system. She followed the protocol developed by a doctor in India and took a course of Ivermectin to reduce inflammation. She recovered in due time. My cousin and her two sons, were all not vaccinated. They got a mild case of Covid and she presumably used her skills in energy medicine to treat it. Her boys tested negative in 3 days. Another friend not vaccinated got it and was over it with no special treatment in a week or so.

None who refused the vaccine were closeted about their status as this was not considered a heretical stance to take, nor were they accused of betraying the common good. The vaccine did not, after all, prevent transmission, so logically made no difference to the common good. Nor did not being vaccinated result in more people being hospitalized because doctors in Thailand urged early treatment before the body could escalate to the crisis stage requiring ventilators et al. This was also the case in many other non-first world countries.

Doctors treating Covid around the world were sharing information uploaded to an international site. They were using every medicine available to them. Ivermectin being the cheapest and most available followed by hydroxychloraquine sulfate, both used to fight malaria in hot countries. These medicines were so widely used in Africa that it was thought to be the reason why deaths were so low there. I had already perused such a site and my friends in Thailand also knew about this sharing of information. While in the U.S. it was adamantly claimed that there were no treatments available until the new Remdesivir drug came out.

An expat friend from England treated herself and her husband with the ancient Thai herbal remedy Fah-talai-jone when they got Covid. 

This herbal medicine is listed with the Ministry of Health as an official treatment for Covid 19 in Thailand. It is a very old traditional herbal medicine. "It cures anything," said my friend.

A Thai friend posted on FB that she was in quarantine because her partner had it and she was boosting her immune system with the Chinese herb Ganmoeling which she instructed me could be found in San Francisco’s Chinatown on Clement or Irving street. She posted her negative tests every few days. Few of my friends in California spoke of boosting their immune system. Few talked at all about methods to keep in good health. I was beginning to suspect that the entire American population had immune systems that sucked and said as much to an elder friend who had closely followed the CDC recommendations. He did not believe that vitamins were a proven health strategy and seemed to have few remedies for the common cold. He suffered badly from any flu that came around and would urge me to get a flu shot whenever one hit. I was not in the habit of getting flu shots at all and rarely got sick.

I did visit one expat couple in Thailand who had not had Covid. They were isolated in their condo outside of Bangkok at a beach town. Both had taken the vaccine. My friend of the couple, an American and her Canadian husband, both felt the vaccine was the way to go, much like my mates at home. My friend did concede that she took Quinine as an immune booster which I hadn't heard of anyone doing, but later found that it was recommended by doctors internationally as an effective immune booster against Covid as was vitamin C, D and other supplements.

The vaccine was offered to those who wanted it. Those of my Thai friends who were largely Western educated had readily accepted the vaccine as did their staff. Except for my cousin of the energy medicine training in Reiki. She felt that those who did take the vaccine were doing so out of fear, rather than seeking natural body affirming, healthy living strategies. Her brother had taken the vaccine, but upon relating his sister's experience seemed both impressed and mystified by her success with her energy medicine methods. Nor did he feel he had to state why he had taken the vaccine. 

There were no vaccine mandates. Thais believe that masks more prevent transmission. Those in my household wore masks when they approached me indoors and in the car with me. Masks were still mandated inside public buildings and recommended on public transport. They were surprised that I had not yet caught Covid and considered this status rare.

At the airport while waiting to fly to Taipei, I saw two duty free stores I had not seen before, both selling herbal remedies of all kinds, mostly made in Thailand. Gift packs even. Thailand has seen a renaissance in its herbal medicine practice, having shaken off being enamored of Western medicine and its pills. Such American drugs were offered for sale in Thailand below what we would pay for them in the US. I found this out when my mother went to buy her blood pressure medicine at the local pharmacy during one trip.

Positioned between two world powers, Thailand already has its own Chinese community concentrated in Bangkok. Enough to make bridging with China a natural fit. While the enticements of the West are already firmly established in multiple food franchises and shopping enticements. The technology of both were readily available.

My contacts in Thailand often ask me to bring them certain supplements and vitamins. My energy medicine cousin liked products offered by an American doctor practicing oxygen medicine. On this trip, due to a mistaken double order, I was carrying over $800 worth of two products, one to detox the body and one to energize it with amino acids, though I did not realize it until I saw a bill in the packing slip. 

I, too, have my health regimes and returned unscathed by the virus.

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Sunday, February 27, 2022

My Mother's Sweater

 (I wrote this post for my FB page and it is backdated to reflect the date of my original post.)

My mother knitted this sweater when she was a teenager in England circa 1952.  When I was a teenager she told me lots of stories about WWII and the London Blitz, a few about her high school and college (where she met my father), but she didn’t tell me anything about this sweater. Given the small size knitting needles she must have used for the dense knit, it may have taken her weeks.  It has a zipper which I assumed was designed to go up the back of the neck, but it’s actually more comfortable to wear at the front.

I would say that making this sweater was quite an accomplishment. One she could be proud of for her to have taken it with her to Thailand where there would be no need of sweaters and then pack it again to come to California where she passed it on to me once I was big enough. And I in turn saved it for decades because I had so few things from my mother’s childhood. Just a few books and a pencil sharpener in the shape of a globe.

My mother’s stories were mostly about the austerity of her childhood, the war, the rationing and how they reused materials to make new things, and having to sit in bomb shelters at night during the bombings. She told me about the whistle sound of the doodlebugs, (a flying self-propelled bomb) as it flew overhead. If it went silent they knew it was falling so everyone would look up when they heard the sound and say to themselves or maybe even aloud “keep going, keep going”. She told me these stories with a smile so as not to traumatize me or perhaps herself too. We being of the stiff upper lip tradition.

It was not until recently, when I found a written account of her wartime memories that I realized how young she was at five years old (during the London Blitz) and that they were sitting in the dark. Raised on the movies of the war, I had pictured a naked bulb hanging overhead. This fact of being in the dark made me angry for some reason. But the emotion that really got me was that she was so bored sitting there. And remembering how mad I had made her when, one summer, I had complained to her of being bored. 

“Do something creative,” she had told me as if boredom was a luxury. I never complained of being bored again. This tense boredom of sitting in the dark gave this message a whole new meaning. 

When war breaks out I think of embedded resilience. How this emotional self sufficiency is taught in a culture (and how it is not). And during times of crisis how tough it makes you by necessity. And how these lessons of wars are carried (and passed down) by the immigrants to this country. Along with skills to learn to do something creative as in this sweater.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

The Perils of Lesbian Dating

I wrote this piece for my friends on FB back in August a couple of months before the BBC published its piece on similar experiences happening in the lesbian community. I hadn't wanted to write something so personal as how I operated on a date, but it turned out to be an effective story to convey how gender ideology is impacting the personal lives of lesbians in a way that is increasingly becoming a form of harassment. 

Throwback Thursday: In 2014 I was active on dating sites OkCupid and Match. I enjoyed meeting women, hearing their stories and telling mine. I also corresponded with two transwomen who contacted me. Both had recently transitioned. One described her journey to me at length answering my gentle questions. She was exploring her feminine nature on a spiritual level encouraged by her yoga teacher she told me. After two weeks she said that telling her story to me was the reason I had appeared in her life and we did not need to meet or correspond further. 

The other, pictured here, had just moved to the Bay Area and asked to meet me. I suggested the restaurant and picked her up outside her condo. Given what she was wearing (a semi formal gown) I treated her like a lady and opened the car door for her. She also waited for me to open the car door upon our arrival. She towered over me at close to 6ft as I opened the door to the restaurant. We were at a Thai restaurant where I could show off my Thai by ordering dinner. 

As we talked I learned that she was from Texas where she had raised three children as a man and that her wife had not wanted to remain married as she transitioned at the age of 58. She asked her company to move her to California for the more liberal atmosphere. She was well received here and her workmates seemed to think her transition was innovative; the company was a weapons manufacturer and commercial and military electronics firm. She appeared to be quite high up in this firm and was regularly flown across the country to review projects. She offered that she was politically on the conservative side of liberal.

As I was realizing how highly paid she likely was I was also noting that there was nothing about her story that was the life of a woman. Nothing of the history and struggle of being a woman. Nor did this tall thin person appear to be a woman apart from being dressed as one. All I could feel was the male privilege of a high ranking man. And such a presentation did not qualify as a woman in my book (her trans struggle notwithstanding). Not that I was going to tell her that. I had just thought there would on some level be something that would say woman to me. Then she mused that having transitioned it seemed that she would have to take up the identity of a lesbian. It was not a category that seemed to garner much enthusiasm.

I thought of how I had spent a good deal of my life energy defending this category of lesbian long before any of my lesbian peers had come out or thought it was even a good idea to be out. And I was offended that here was a man assuming that not only could he just take up this title, but without even considering if other lesbians would have him as a romantic partner. He certainly wasn’t asking me this question (or anything about me for that matter). Why did he not just seek partners from the pool of bisexual women? I had seen a profile of such a woman who specifically stated that she would date transwomen because as she put it she "was familiar with the equipment”.

At the end of our dinner we each paid our way and I asked our waitress to take our picture. She was happy to do so and that was the last we saw of the wait people. Thai people know a transwoman when they see one. Or as my aunt once put it “that’s a Katoi; you can’t fool me” when I showed her my college photo album and she pointed out my friend Mark in drag. Katoi is the word for third gender meaning those, mostly men and likely gay, who cross dress and take on the role of the opposite sex. 

I took my date back to her condo and gave her a hug in the parking lot. She wrote me later that she enjoyed our time together, but did not wish to date me because I was too close to having just ended a long term relationship. Such judgement did not sit well with me. Hadn't I decided I was ready to enter the dating pool? In turn I said that I did not wish to date her because she didn’t have enough body fat on her. 

“That’s the first time anyone’s complained of that to me,” she responded taking it as a complement. I didn’t want to appear rude by pointing out that I didn’t sleep with men no matter how much of a woman he fancied himself to be. I was fine letting these men have their woman idea of themselves. I just wasn’t willing to accept that I should be expected to date them.

In debriefing this experience I learned that there was a term called “the cotton ceiling” that referred to lesbian underpants. It was used in a title of a workshop at an LGBTQ conference offered in 2012. The complete title “How to Overcome the Cotton Ceiling: Breaking Down Sexual Barriers For Queer Trans Women” was for a workshop designed to convince lesbians that transwomen are women (biology notwithstanding) and should be regarded as such. It is fully admitted in the workshop description. I was incensed by the concept that barriers had to be overcome so a man could, through linguistic sleight of hand, persuade a lesbian to consider him a suitable romantic partner. I did not wish to be strategized by such language. I am the kind of woman who considers the visual thought experiment of removing my underpants for the purpose of breaking down sexual barriers for male access to be a violation akin to rape. 

And that my friends is how I came to be “peaked” as they say in the resistance.

Now workshops are recommending that transwomen in my age group hide their trans identity due to our exposure to 2nd wave feminism and steadfast ideas of what a woman is; whereas before transwomen had been proudly open about their male to female status on dating sites. And so it was that I found myself earlier this year corresponding with a person presenting themselves as a woman who I strongly suspected was a man. So much was every line devoid of female camaraderie and imbued with a slight tone of condescension. There was only one small portrait to go by plus a lot of group shots from a winter mountaineering expedition while she tried to impress me with her LinkedIn resume which showed the considerable commercial accomplishments of an architect. When I told her of my early lesbian activism and asked about her coming out she said that was a question that required a lot of thought and would have to wait as she was being deployed to the Gulf by the Coast Guard. And that was the last I heard from her. Yes, no transwoman wants to be interrogated by a long time lesbian activist as to their lesbian credentials. 

What is the logical outcome of this hiding strategy? Where does the secret end? In the bedroom? In the deplatforming of homosexuality? In the reprogramming of lesbians? All this already seemingly a done deal with the young.

Today if a lesbian states on her profile on lesbian dating sites that she will only date biological women she will have her account shut down for not adhering to community standards. To state a preference for a biological woman is to use “hate speech” and is called “genital essentialism”. Lesbian groups that state biological women only are shut down. Lesbians are being asked not just to mind their own business, but to show their solidarity to transwoman i.e. men by pretending to be open to sleeping with them. The term “lesbian” is now more and more being associated with being a hater. While "pansexual" is the preferred term for "bisexual". 

Transwomen fond of positions of power have asserted their voice and their demands in just about all organizations devoted to women and lesbian causes. The American Medical Association by advise of trans activists recently recommended that the designation of sex be removed from the public side of birth certificates making biological sex a matter of utmost privacy implying that we have no right to know the true sex of a person. As if it will no longer be obvious given enough plastic surgery and pharmaceuticals. 

The public will continue to be asked to ponder if laws that safeguard women and girls safe spaces and opportunities reserved for them being now open to men is just fine for a society that prides itself in upholding women’s rights and women's opportunities. This is just my report from my lesbian corner of the world on the status of compelled speech, thought control and the right to assemble here in the U.S.

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Sunday, June 27, 2021

To Incarnate As A Woman


My ‘big sister’ cousin in Bangkok made this avatar for me. She chose the photo. The one that reminded her of my father. The one I posted to show the butch side of myself. The male persona that telegraphed itself from a previous life into my rebirth as a woman in this life. For clearly my karma as a man in that previous life needed a new perspective. I may have been a womanizer, a man of power. An abuser of such power as a man with many wives as one (American) psychic channeled it. I was a young feminist angry at male privilege when I received this news. It struck me as a cosmic comeuppance. It gave me more compassion for men, but made me no less of a feminist.

The cosmic joke of reincarnation is that we are all "born in the wrong body". Over and over again for the sake of experiencing separateness and a different perspective with each rebirth. For that is the human condition. To compress the entire gloriousness of the soul into this animal existence of biological human form. It is the seat of our existence to experience this dissatisfaction and if we do not see it at first we will in sickness, old age and death.

To incarnate as a woman is to be gifted a relationship so closely tied to the body that it feels like an assault. An assault of messiness, drippiness, blood red so visible we must learn to hide it as part of our suffering, our coming of age. And what about birth that ultimate messiness? Or as my American teacher of womanhood told me “The woman is the one whose body is turned inside out in pregnancy and birth. The woman is the one who faces her own death. And she breast-feeds. She feeds the baby out of her own body. She feeds the baby her own blood turned into milk. It is the woman who is forever changed in that physical metamorphosis. And it is so utterly completely and totally difficult.”

I am gifted in this life to love women as a woman. To serve and empathize with women. To luxuriate in their bodies, their carnal sacredness and beauty. To receive their love in my earthly body of female knowledge. I am gifted in this life to bridge two cultures (three if you're counting) so that I may better see all that an incarnation has to offer in human society. I rejoice in being reincarnated yet again. To once more arrive in a new body in an unfamiliar life so that I may be reborn into new knowledge as I spend this incarnation getting to know it so very intimately as my own life experience. 

I offer you this message of incarnation in a familiar form from American culture.

"Goddess grant me the serenity to accept the biology of my sex, the color of my skin, the circumstances of my birth. The courage to be proud of who I am, who I have become and can become. And the wisdom to know it is all a journey. A karmic ride."

Happy Pride Y’all.

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Thursday, May 27, 2021

Birth of a Resistance

Last Sunday, 60 Minutes aired a segment on “transgender health”. As reported by interviewees the original intention was to do an hour long story on young people who regret altering their body in their attempt to achieve the goal of changing their sex. Trans activists objected heavily to this story about detransitioners claiming it would endanger the lives of trans people. So the program was cut to 14 minutes and more was added from the pro-trans side to give it “balance”.

Yet a story about a young person happy with their transition cannot compete with those who regret theirs. Regret being one of the most compelling human conditions especially when the stakes are so high as to involve cutting off body parts that give you biological function  and sexual pleasure. 

Thus the add-on scenes seem scripted and the explanations by a trans therapist do nothing to clarify what this is even about, and why so many are going down this path. The guidelines cited for transitioning are too vague and the timelines too short before medical treatment is given is the only conclusion to be had. And when a medical doctor claims that puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones are not an experimental treatment no studies are offered. (I have already posted the statement from the original Dutch researchers pleading for more research on puberty blockers because they themselves knew their work was experimental.)

To ignore these detransitioner cases of regret and harm is to appear heartless to the tragic turn these lives took. But an industry that has decided to affirm and escort into medical treatment anyone who decides that their problems stem from being the wrong sex cannot afford to be wrong. 

Entire mental health institutions have set aside a hundred and sixty years of developmental psychology to bow down to the concept that humans have a soul that is gendered and those with body dysphoria must be rescued from their physical body. As if their whole body were one big birth defect for which, if not treated, the only outcome is suicide. To question this ideology is to be called transphobic and bigoted. Researchers and institutions unused to such accusations have stayed silenced.

Framing and manipulation of language by the trans ideology has kept the public confused. Defeat has been a master teacher as women from all manner of backgrounds bond over this issue, sharing information on how this is affecting so many. Medical students are being taught to negate biological sex through correct trans ideological language whereby they are told that there are women with penises (and men with vaginas) for instance. Never mind that men and women are biologically subjected to different medical issues and that this should never be overlooked as in the case of the transman who didn't know "he" was pregnant so no medical personnel at the ER thought to check this possibility in diagnosing "him" resulting in the loss of the baby.

To deny that detransitioners exist is foolhardy. Trans activists will hang themselves by their own rope in their attempt to cry foul on these detransitioning stories. 60 Minutes was unable to do much of an investigation given the politicizing of this issue, but even in the truncated time offered with only two of the four shown allowed to speak (30 actually interviewed) all the components of how this phenomenon arose are there in the details of these compelling stories. Along with their revelations about gender stereotyping. These young people who are seeking to give meaning to their messed up lives have nowhere to go, but out into the open with their stories.

In light of the recent four hour documentary on the opiate industry by HBO it is an easy leap to imagine that the opiate crisis was hardly the exception, but rather the ruling strategy when it comes to the pharmaceutical industry pushing a product. The microdosing of cross sex hormones is a concept now being marketed to lesbians suggesting that masculine-presenting women should want to use testosterone to erase their female bodies.

I had the pleasure of co-hosting a Zoom presentation on transgenderism recently. We had Scott Newgent as a guest. Scott had an article published in Newsweek stating her concerns about children undergoing sex reassignment treatment as a transman who has suffered serious medical complications from transsexual surgeries. She now defines herself as a lesbian transman who would detransition if the prospect didn't require more painful medical alterations.

Scott would be livid with the statements made on this 60 Minute program by the pro-trans side. She argues that, at 42 years old, she was not given all the information she needed to navigate her dysphoria which she now says was a mental health issue related to homophobia. She had to do all the medical treatments first to find out that modifying her body did not solve her issues. So, as she points out, how can anyone expect a teenager to understand all they need to know about it. (She has three children in this age range.)

Scott claims that 9 out 10 trans people regret their transition. Buck Angel being the only transsexual in her circle who is happy with transition. The remaining one percent wish there were things they knew regarding side effects before committing to it. Buck now answers questions as "Transpa" giving cautionary advice on a personal YouTube channel.

Scott also said that even with all that went wrong with her phalloplasty she could not find a single attorney to take her case to sue for malpractice. Every attorney explained that there is no baseline of correct procedure for such surgery because it is experimental. Buck Angel has not attempted a phalloplasty because of its terrible failure rate. 

Given the relentless overreach of transgender ideology especially in schools ever more information is being launched blog-by-blog in classic grassroots fashion. Transgender Trend in the UK was one of the first to aid parents with science-based information devoid of gender identity ideology. Individuals (some with their identities carefully hidden for fear of being called transphobic and losing their jobs) are posting compelling information they have researched. One reveals the educational material used in schools where children are being taught gender ideology. The story books for children are so creepy I could hardly watch more than a few minutes at a time. So much did the narrative suggest that children should view their body as a disassociated entity as though it could be traded in like an appliance if it didn't satisfy them. Not to mention changing one's sex as a journey of self realization as described in fairy tale fashion in the book I Am Jazz (about YouTube child star Jazz Jennings).

Recently I reviewed a parenting book focused on advising blind sided parents faced with the harrowing journey of a child suddenly announcing they are trans. The title Desist, Detrans, & Detox: Getting Your Child Out Of The Gender Cult caught my attention. It was such a statement of resistance. The author and her team also have a website offering information challenging gender ideology in the context of developmental psychology. They kindly published my review.

The collaboration gave me a chance to talk to the author about the section in the book that she called "the God part". She explained that she and her team did not want the book to be perceived as solely a Christian book, but did feel it was important to include the section challenging the idea that a child can be born "wrong" because so many Christian parents want to be pro-trans in order to atone for the sins of Rightwing Christians.

I have heard the same said by a psychologist (a gender specialist who recently resigned from the Tavistock gender clinic in the UK). He commented on the eagerness of psychotherapists to be trans affirming in order to atone for the damage done to gay people by their profession in the past. I would say that the profession has been recalibrating their assessment of gay people since 1972 when homosexuality was delisted as a disorder from the diagnostic manual of mental disorders (the DSM). They were still listing gender non-conforming presentations as a disorder, but that too was being gradually reassessed as “gender dysphoria”.

To throw away all methodology in favor of deferring to what those afflicted with body dysphoria declare is true would be to throw the baby out with the bathwater. When it comes to mental health it is still wise to have an objective person challenge your thought processes as to why you have come to a certain self-diagnostic conclusion. To allow teenagers to self diagnose and then give them body altering drugs without any attempt to question further is rash don’t you think? Yet that is what is happening with these quickie one hour assessments at Planned Parenthood which is now the leading dispenser of cross sex hormones for those 18 and over.

This is my first public collaboration with the resistance against transgender ideology. I am one of the few contributors to show my picture and name as other contributors are parents wishing to protect the privacy of their trans identifying child.

Luckily I do not have to navigate this territory alone. I have a friend (an adult human female) with whom to debrief, share information and construct clarifying analyses. We message each other daily with the latest discoveries and triumphs as legislation kicks in state by state in the US and in the UK where the discussion is further along. We are also in a study group with two men who are concerned about the implications of all this thought control on free speech and discussion vital to a healthy democracy. We have presented information to others hoping to encourage critical thinking rather than just going along with whatever the trans coopted LGBTQ organizations dictates must be so. 

Lesbians have long been protesting the presence of heterosexual men identifying as lesbians in our dating pool and commandeering lesbian only space. Gay men were late to the party, but are taking notice and contributing to the conversation now. One talented man with the handle Mr Menno creates witty song videos that offer in three and a half minutes what would take me lengthy carefully worded articles to parse out the same issues. 

Over the last year I have been fascinated to watch women learn that outrage must be replaced by carefully thought-out language on such a meta level that it feels like feminism and womanhood are being freshly discovered. The farther this ideology reaches and the closer it gets to thought control the more people will be drawn to question it. Discussions of psychology, philosophy, what knowledge-based learning means and what women’s experience consists of are becoming so basic that the collective discussions become a mass educational process as if the world were just being born. Movements like this become a review of the entire society. A much needed cultural audit it may be too carrying with it a great deal of energy and excitement as we realize what is at stake.

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Thursday, January 21, 2021

The Inauguration

As posted to my FB page

Thoughts on the morning of: I am somehow reminded of a sunny January day when the Challenger exploded on live TV. Today it is what is in our heads that will have us glued to the TV. May it be uneventful in the nicest ways. May we be a governable people. May the peaceful transfre of power remain the organizing principle of this country. For it is a beautiful thing. I never fully appreciated this before. 

My Morning After review: I didn’t expect to be so moved by THE INAUGURATION. The joys, the firsts, the brilliant colors all chiefly brought onto the stage by women. It was that final scene in a tense suspenseful movie when those in hiding can come out again into the sunshine. But there was no director artfully manipulating this storytelling. It was ritual that held it together. And in the making of this event each person makes their own decision as to what to bring to it. From my personal favorite, Lady Gaga in her inverted Vulva skirt so large and so red (so as to be seen from the eye of a satellite) belting out the anthem on her own personal gold microphone to the poised and petite powerhouse of a young poet in a bright yellow coat rapping the nation into participatory attention to this thing called democracy. Words to march by.

“If only we’re brave enough to see it

If only we’re brave enough to be it.”

My eyes followed Kamala Harris stepping out in her Shirley Chisholm purple, her pearls and her spike heels with her protector husband standing in ritual on the Capital steps to see her predecessor out. Pence giving us that grace just by attending where the Other would not. And so we had our moment of knowing what it looks like when a woman stands at the helm. A preview. 

And I stayed too to watch the new President and his Dr. First Lady leave in the protector vehicle and then get out and walk all the way to the White House. She again in spiked heels. So much more are the details by which women will be judged. But it is now by with style that ritual is enacted.

And then almost a throwaway moment as Kamala walks up to the White House and returns the salute of the military officer with the many gold braids adorning his coat. Salutes not in submission, but as second in command and as a woman. That’s not something we’ve seen before.

President Jo Biden gave a speech I actually listened to, so compelling was the reality he actually addressed. And then we had a much deserved party of high caliber entertainers all across the nation and a fireworks display that pulled out all the stops. I had no idea what a patriot I was to find this all so gratifying.

But I will offer a recent story. Last year in Thailand at a farming conference attended by a handful of nations I was the sole representative of the U.S. which prompted the presence of our flag on the stage with the five other nations. And we were told that on the final day we would be asked to sing a song of our country. I would have to sing it solo in English, the language everyone would understand. When I thought of the song I would sing I was so choked up by it I near burst into tears in a field of cabbages. So when the microphone was passed around on the shuttle home on the last day I belted out in my best high school musical style the song that had welcomed me to these shores in 5th grade in 1968. 

“This land is your land and this land is my land

From California to the New York Islands

From the redwood forests to the Gulf Stream waters

This land was made for you and me.”

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