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A Current Example of Bullying – Trump and Macron!

Thursday, April 26th, 2018

Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron are back in France and have left the American public with lots to talk about and even more to think through.

President Trump has a way of bullying those who arrive as “important guests” both domestic and foreign from the moment he holds out his hand to shake theirs.  The only person on whom he did not use this bullying handshake was Vladimir Putin.  Trump has a bullying handshake where he makes the person on the other side wince as he pulls their arm and then the rest of their body towards him with one of the most bullying handshakes I have ever seen.

Emmanuel Macron was no exception.  Macron, however, has made it his mission not be bullied by this handshake nor to be passive in an attitude of acceptance with a “this too shall pass” sub-text.  He has taken on Trump’s handshake and given back which, during this visit,  resulted in an amazing display.

The media and many others took it as a “bromance”.  To say they missed the point is to say they exist in a society which accepts and does its best to ignore and deny sexual abuse in its many forms.  That is exactly what we saw Emmanuel Macron put through during his trip to these United States.

President Macron, however, gave the country an exquisite example of how to handle such a bullying.  Bullying of all kind will be with us forever if we don’t start calling it what it is when we see someone being bullied instead of finding other ways to describe what we know is an act of unashamed bullying.  That could have been an example of a woman being abused and I think the media would have talked about a budding romance instead of stepping in to stop the atrocity – which is what we saw acted out before the world.

Trump’s initial handshake was returned in kind and Trump’s bullying was on high display as he responded to the need to push Macron down to puff himself up – in front of the world.  I hope others have the guts and insight to come forward to condemn the display President Trump put on as his ego kept pushing him to uglier heights.  Not even children would have participated in that dandruff act.

Not to be deterred by how ugly he was appearing to all, Mr. Trump continued trying to oppress and subjugate President Macron and Macron’s response should be in a book on bullying as one person’s way of brilliantly handling an extremely distressful and continuous almost non-stop display of oppression and bullying.  Instead of seeing and commenting on what was actually happening, the media continued to claim – “they must like each other.”

Beginning with the handshake, Trump practically bowled Macron over as he tried to pull him towards himself.  Macron responded by maintaining and giving back to Trump what he got from the handshake and responding and making it about the ‘French Kiss” by putting his arm around Trump and kissing him on both cheeks.  Since it seems possible that Trump goes both ways, President Macron’s attempts didn’t land the way he intended.

and on and on it went.

Clearly, Macron’s response – his coup de grace – was put forward during his speech to the American Congress during which Macron laid out his policies and ideas including almost all of Trump’s policy stances and the beliefs Trump has made a part of his ‘reign’ as president.   President Emmanuel Macron’s stances were totally opposite to Donald Trump’s.  In giving that speech, President Macron did not wince, pull back, chance his beliefs, etc.  He was forthright, forthcoming and clear and he had the American Congress with him – showing where they really stood when any possible attempts at blackmail, bullying, pushing were removed and one could respond as one felt.

Clearly, Melanie Trump showed she was truly the wife and soul mate of Donald Trump when she appeared in the white suit with hat which at one point moved Brigitte Macron out of the picture.  When she appeared with “the Don” it was clear the arrogance and posturing of one was totally acceptable and generated pride in the other.  They appeared in a strong statement which looked totally out of place for the company, the situation, the reflection of herself as hostess.  She was clearly uncaring about Brigitte Macron and was only out to outshine and put forth her worth – which she apparently holds as her body and what she puts on it. The sexist male – the misogynist male has a female counterpart whose chief value is invested in how she looks.  It was an outsized look and had a very hard edge which did not show as the hostess, but as the guest attempting to outshine all the other guests.

In his speech to Congress, President Macron came across as human, compassionate and seriously working to make this a better world for the least of these.  His wife, Brigitte, looked like a caring, compassionate and serious person who was working with her husband and while her dress was quite elegant, it was also very human.  She was not trying to outshine, outdo, send out an image to puff herself up or any of that.  She was dressed in a lovely “human’ way.  The contrast was astounding.

As I looked at all of that my mind brought me back to Barbara Bush’s funeral and life.  Her funeral, for me, was a brief moment of public respite. At the end, she gave us a time to reflect, to think, to move away from the upheaval – panic – intensity of nothingness – the passionate hiding of something unsavory.  There was no name calling; no trying to upstage and outshine; no arrogance; no posturing; just people coming to witness to the life of someone they knew either as a close friend or in her capacity as mother, wife, First Lady, volunteer, helper to those in need, etc.  Somehow, I could not see Melanie Trump ever being such a lovely, humble person who knew who she was and presented herself not as an artificial model using her body to sell whatever it was she was selling.  The hat ruined the suit and showed a person with a very hard edge who was anything but a warm, caring human being.  I have yet to see any of those qualities in either Melanie or Donald Trump and that white hat and suit emphasized the arrogance, artificiality and lying image of the couple.  What is a ‘lying image”?  Presenting oneself as an image projecting not who you are but projecting that which one needs to show to make public one’s concept of power and control and that ‘better than’ attitude so constantly projected by the Kushner/Trump family.

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Everything talked about in this blog and in any other blog in the Bettina Network, inc. is the opinion of the person who wrote the blog and does not necessarily represent the opinions of Bettina Network, inc. It is the property of Bettina Network, inc. and/or the person who wrote the original blog.
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Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you. Please also tell us if you want your name as your byline or if you want your article to appear without your name.

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Aileen Clark Hernandez – (1926-2017)

Monday, March 13th, 2017

by:  Marceline DonaldsonI won’t say rest in peace.  I will say I hope you are living your life after life in a heaven in which everyone is equal – where love abounds – where justice has no meaning because the evils of this life have all fallen away.

At the end of life, one begins to think of what has my life meant! Did I spend my time wisely?  Did I work to make this world better for those I am leaving behind?  Did I do justice, love mercy, walk humbly as I tread this earth?  Can I expect to be welcomed in heaven because my life on earth was lived without making others feed my ego by feeling and acting better than?

I think Aileen can say yes to all of those questions.  She worked hard and produced much.  Not the material things in life, but those things which really count over the long term.

I first met Aileen in the 1970’s when I was elected to the National Board of NOW.  Got to know her even better when I went to a national board meeting in San Francisco with my youngest daughter who was about 4 years old at the time – and we stayed with Aileen.  The week we spent with Aileen was one I shall never forget.  I could have decorated Aileen’s house, it was that comfortable and familiar.  NOW members took turns during the meeting taking care of Jacqueline.  NOW’s commitment was to making sure board members felt free enough to bring their children.   We stayed in touch for a brief time after that, but then……

What most amazed me was her commitment to history.  She had incredible files, unbelievably organized, of everything she had done which would be of interest to historians down the road.  Her commitment to equality and justice was deep and dictated how she spent her time.  I am very grateful to have met Aileen and to have had the chance to see and be involved – for a brief time – in her life.  It was one of those times which changed mine.

When I met Aileen, we realized we had a lot in common.  Both went to New York University.  Both raised with parents who designed and sewed theatrical garments.  Both loved fashion – probably as a result of that upbringing. Both had a passion for  doing what we could to change this world for the better – and so much more.  She was a mentor for me and I am sure for many other women.  I count myself as being blessed to have had  mentors, throughout this life who have been strong, committed, beautiful people with an understanding of how we are all related and all working to bring about equality, justice, love for one another.

Aileen Hernandez

Writing these memorials is becoming a much too often occurrence.  I guess I have reached that time of life when people you know leave – frequently – for a different place and then it is time to fill those gaps in your memory because other things took precedence and you are left regretting not having called.  That is happening to me far too often.

That speaks to the way we have ordered our lives.  the activity, the action, the cause, the work of the moment becomes all consuming and involvement with friends from a lifetime ago gets pushed back for another day.  And the surprise and regret comes when you realize that day is not coming until your eyes close for the last time.

Aileen’s work and accomplishments were many and huge.  She was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.  Twenty years from now, that newly coming to adulthood generation will look back to ask why she did not receive the acolades to measure her life’s work.  And the answer will be clear.  She was a woman who worked hard for women’s rights, equal rights and justice for minorities and for the union movement.  That combination is lethal in this society.  We don’t want to hold up such icons because they might just become the trail blazers to attract our children to become like them.

Aileen Hernandez, Pauli Murray and others have clearly shown the sexist lie to the now re-surfacing comments about the feminist movement being a white women’s movement.  The gains of that movement have had to push through racism, classism, xenophobia, homophobia and more to be achieved and even then those gains have been tenuous as the next generation tries to negate and destroy that move forward which freed us all for a brief moment.

Thank you, Aileen, for having been so consistent in your life and your work.  Thank you for being one of those bright lights and beacon to all of us showing us how to walk through some difficult times.  Thank you for having the courage to be one of those founding NOW at a time when the fight for the equality for women sorely needed such an organization.  Thank you for being there at a time in my life when I needed mentors, showing me there is a path you can follow because others have been there and walked through the stuff that gets thrown at you as a strong feminist and that gets thrown from all sides.

I know those greeting you on the other side are rejoicing and celebrating your life on this earth.

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Everything talked about in this blog and in any other blog in the Bettina Network, inc. is the opinion of the person who wrote the blog and does not necessarily represent the opinions of Bettina Network, inc. It is the property of Bettina Network, inc. and/or the person who wrote the original blog.

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

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Women, Get Back into those Constraints!!!

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

Women, girls, ladies, transgenders,  your life is about to change.  The fashionistas amongst you are going to really suffer for the next decade.  For those of you old enough who were fashionable in the 1950’s and 1960’s this will be a historical return to a very unhappy and uncomfortable time.  For those of you young enough to look at this as an adventure, you are in for a rude awakening.

The young Hadid followers are looking at getting you back into those horrible girdles.  There are comments and rumors that the girdles and corsets and other things that push your innards together making them scream for air and relief are making a return.  All during the time you were so constrained and constricted and felt this breath of fresh air when that all went away, that relief is going away and those straight jackets, stomach pinchers, breast-shape changers are returning.  Some of the neglige’s and other night wear is also coming with constraints so look at this as a possible 24/7 phenomena.

It was nice being able to go out and about without all of those underpinnings.  Look at the work women have been able to do without waistlines pinched in and stomach almost touching one’s back.  Well, that scared a lot of menfolk and after a little conference – the higher up machismos decided it was time to bring back one of the little mores that led to inequality and men performing their jobs better than women – men didn’t have those corseted constraints.

There have been periods in history of constraint and freedom.  Look at the flowing robes of the Greeks and the tightly laced up underclothes of the Victorians.  The freedom side of fashion only lasted a fraction of the time the constraints were in place.  Freedom had to come or all women would have the diseases and struggles and depressions and staying home all the time attitudes that used to exist when they had to stay in those body reshaping undergarments for such long periods of time.

I was one of those and know how painful and full of stress it was to walk around smiling with your kidneys, lungs, stomach and other assorted organs in the body being pushed into one another.  How I survived is nothing short of a miracle.  I think it was the feminist revolution that was my salvation and is the reason for any achievements I have been able to make since then.  Burning the bra – with some of us burning the girdles at the same time was no cutesy thing, it was crucial to the success of the movement.  I remember being at work wondering how I was going to get to the end of the day without keeling over and feeling a great sympathy and simpatico with Japanese women who had heavy constraints and the Chinese women who had their feet bound.  My feet weren’t bound, but they were as constricted as they were when I used to dance in toe shoes.  Toe shoes are those dance shoes that make a ballerina, when she walks around with no shoes on,  look great from her ankles up and like a candidate for surgery from her ankles to the tips of her toes.

Panti-hose were a god send.  But even those began to be made as girdle tops and stocking legs.  I even complained about those because my freedom made those feel like a constraining garment.  Some women – but not me – ran around with a beautifully made shift and nothing else.  They were free of bras, girdles, pantyhose and it was an enslaved persons dream.  Well, women made great strides under those circumstances.  You looked great – and men drooled – but now, those who regulate such things have been constantly appalled that the strides women made were too great and it is time to move you back into the dark age of girdleship.

I remember feeling so sorry for those Victorian women who needed help to get dressed because first they had to be laced up in that girdle to give them an owl glass shape.  I don’t know what these new girdles will produce because the fashionistas don’t have any meat on their bones to push in and their organs are crying out for food.  Maybe constraining them through these new girdles will make them so pushed together their organs will start yelling for more space; for some freedom; and will forget about food.  That will help those of us who couldn’t pull off the starvation diets to wear those size o clothes.  Girdles certainly do control weight, but they demand a heavy price.

Maybe its time for women to demand constant ongoing freedom.  Don’t spend your money on your own oppression.  Opt for freedom of body, mind and spirit.  It is the only way to go and those underpinnings coming down the road deliver slavery, not freedom.

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Everything talked about in this blog and in any other blog in the Bettina Network, inc. is the opinion of the person who wrote the blog and does not necessarily represent the opinions of Bettina Network, inc. It is the property of Bettina Network, inc. and/or the person who wrote the original blog.

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

 

Your 2016 Clothes Regimen

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

copyright Bettina Network, inc. 2016 – Marceline Donaldson

With your beauty regimen taken care of – unless someone else has another version – it is time to tackle your clothes.

Advice is coming from all over, at this time of year, on what to do in your closet – New Year’s resolutions to make – and more, all around your clothes closet.

We have very strong advice – ignore all of it.

The worst advice being given out is for you to go into your closet and ‘clean it out’ of all those things you don’t wear.  Some say throw out clothes you haven’t worn for a year.  Others have guidelines for throwing away your clothes which are just as ridiculous.

We are a throw away society, but somehow our clothes have not come into the discussion.  Our advice is – whatever clothes you buy look at them as having to last a lifetime and then some, because you want to keep your clothes in such condition that you can pass them along to your children and grandchildren.

Clothes are not to be thrown away anymore than all those other things that we use and toss should be throw aways.

I have clothes from my childhood and in my closets are clothes that belonged to my mother, my grandmother and my great-grandmother and I wear them all.  It is a glorious time getting dressed because I put on the armor of the ages – my history on my back.  It is amazing how that helps when you get into something that is not quite pleasant or into controversy of some kind or into a very pleasant time which adds to the memories and becomes entwined in the threads which make up your outfit.

That used to be easy to do because the materials used for clothes were long lasting.  The silks wore like iron.  The cottons lent themselves to many transformations as the generations passed.  All you have to do is to be aware and take care of your clothes.  That means not throwing them on the floor, but being disciplined enough to take care of them when you take them off.  Put them in a dryer on ‘air only’ to make sure you don’t take little animals into your closets and use things like organic essential oil of lavender to keep the moths away from your woolens and other kinds of materials on which they like to feast.

Clothes don’t go out of style.  With a little skill with the needle, thread and scissors you can transform and re-create your clothes into something the material never dreamed it would become.  Hems go up and hems come down – your widen and then you shrink and then you widen again.  You don’t have to wear everything within the same year for it to be relevant and/or something you need to toss.

Those who recommend you ‘clean your closet’ are really cleaning out your pocketbook.  Making sure you are ready to be marketed to with this seasons’ styles – just make sure when you do buy clothes you buy timeless items and not the trendy kind.  The trend is not your friend.  It is what keeps many women broke trying to keep up and look like this year’s models – spending tons of money to look like those 13 and 14 year olds.

When I was a teenager, I wanted to be a model.  I wound up on a few billboards and in a couple places, but what I could do was limited.  Why?  Because to really model the top clothes you had to be at least 35 years old or older.  Why?  Because it was deemed you had not lived long enough and didn’t look mature enough to be able to elegantly carry off the clothes being designed.  Today, if you are 18 years old you are practically over-the-hill as a model.  Those 13 and 14 year olds are who we look to as our style icons.  Now there is a sick society.  How have we let this happen?  Why would I want to wear clothes that look great on my grandchildren?  And it is people my age that have the money to spend.  My grandchildren have what they are given by their parents and grandparents or what they work to earn at less than minimum wage – so what is gained by using this age group to market the latest fashion trends?

If you keep your clothes in good shape and wear them every few years, they will keep you looking good for as long as you want to look good.  I am amazed at how up-to-date and forward looking are some of the clothes made for me as a very young person.

Today, I am searching the estate sales for coats, furs, shawls, scarves, matching hats, etc.  No one wants them and they are being tossed out of closets at break-neck speed.  I bought a beautiful green sheared beaver long coat for $50.  It is so in style that the comments I get are – ‘where did you get that coat’ – ‘I want one of those’ – ‘that looks fantastic’.  And I will have it for many years to come.  Where did I get that coat?  From someone cleaning out their closet who didn’t want that old thing because she didn’t wear it more than once every two or three years and all the advice put into her was that those items are items you toss.

I have a gorgeous pair of gold and black satin dress shoes which belonged to my grandmother.  She looked fantastic when she wore them because her legs were her best feature and those shoes showed off her legs beautifully.  I didn’t inherit those legs – that part of the gene pool went to someone else, but every time I wear those shoes I remember the times I saw her in them and she becomes closer to me.  I inherited many of her values and for that I am grateful.  Wearing those shoes or just playing with them in my closets renews many of the things she taught me growing up.  Not the least was – ‘waste not, want not” – a saying this society finds foreign.  A concept we need to re-discover and to use it in every part of our lives.

My grandmother was a modiste.  She designed and made clothes and in her teen years apprenticed to a Parisian designer by the name of Mrs. Wolf.  I wish I knew more about Mrs. Wolf or Wolfe, but I don’t.  Maybe someone will recognize the name and give me some history of this woman who set my grandmother’s life on the path it took until she died.  I also wish I paid more attention to and learned some of her sewing and design techniques.  What I learned was through osmosis, mainly, but my head does turn at a well made outfit.  I do tend to look at the seams and the way something is made before I take it into my wardrobe and I can wield a needle with a little proficiency. Can’t say the same about my daughters, but I can brag about my granddaughters proficiency at design and sewing.  So that talent will carry on – not as their main vocation, but it will run, skip and hop alongside whatever else they do.  Hopefully, they will also ignore the marketing and advertising which encourages them to throw away and clean out their closets on a yearly basis so they will have room to add more.

One article advised that you clean out your closet with a well disciplined friend who will not let you ‘get away with’ keeping those things you don’t currently wear.  How awful to so mislead the public into an activity which hurts all of us.  I just turned a wedding gown into a beautiful ‘dress-up’ outfit.  The gown was lace – and the kind you can’t get today.  Not the synthetic lace, but the real thing.  It was white so I dumped it into a large pot of tea and now it is a beautiful color.  Since I didn’t know what I was doing, the color came out blotched and uneven.  That only added to the elegance of the newly evolved dress.  I saved the scraps remaining.  Who knows what they will become, maybe even years from now.  The lace will certainly last.

My suggested New Years’ Resolution for you is to avoid those who are telling you to ‘clean out your closet’ and think about the environment, the sacrifices made by those who created the outfit, made the materials, and in some cases the animals whose lives were taken for what you are wearing.  Protect your clothes, take care of them and gradually you will come to see a new outfit from an older one, a refresher turn in the dryer, and learn to clean your own clothes so the materials which destroy us and what we wear will not take hold in your household or in your family.

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net


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