Empowering Discussions, Poetry

Call To Action for the Promised Generation

Promised Generation

by Leah Oviedo

They promised our generation equality

Pulled hoods over our eyes to hide the reality

Work hard and you will reach the American dream

At any cost

They told us it was their fault when we failed

Does that sound familiar?

 

The real bad guys are still pale and rich

Stealing our tax dollars for oily, greasy power

Forget our schools

Forget our mentally ill

Cultivating poverty to keep us in check

Money will never buy happiness

Pull that hood off.

 

They said we can do anything a man could do

We can have it all

We are equal now

Except when they rape us

Except what they pay us

Pull that hood off.

 

Drug dealers and gangs roaming our streets killing our children

Lock away the bad guys, be tough on crime

Police are judge, jury and executioner

Jim Crow never went out of style

Just another form of slavery

Pull that hood off.

 

It gets better we’re told

Adults are mature, respectful

You can be out of the closet

Get married, be accepted

Unless you’re too flaming

Too gender bending

Pull that hood off.

 

The air is cleaner

We don’t need all these regulations

Don’t you want a new phone

A bigger car

Water turns our blood to cancer

Our mothers die

Mountaintops disappear and oceans turn to oil

Our fathers perish

Pull that damn hood off.

 

They are taking your jobs

Taking over your schools

They don’t deserve a living wage

Those people came here illegally

You think you did?

You think nobody civilized was here before you?

Pull that hood off.

 

Eat more chicken, less red meat

Pumped full of nutrients

Full of hormones and poison

Slaughter warehouse

Tortured to death

So you can have a 99 cent cheeseburger

Pull that hood off.

 

Terrorists are everywhere

Let’s kill them

On their own soil

Before they come here

Kill their children too

Just in case

Soldiers are disposable

We will honor them once a year

Pull that hood off your eyes

That suffocating, blinding, deadly hood.

 

Pull it off now before you don’t have any hands to pull with

It’s only uncomfortable at first

Then you feel the warm light

The light of a billion suns

Working together in solidarity

Not charity

Justice for sisters

Freedom for brothers

Healing our children

Who cares which bathroom you use

Opportunities for all abilities

Without borders

Respect Mother Earth

Open your eyes and look around at reality

Where is the equality

Pull that hood off and speak the reality.


I’m an artist and writer on a mission to bring healing arts into the mainstream. If you would like to support my heart work, please consider becoming a monthly patron on Patreon.com/Loviedo. For $1 a month, you can fund programs like my D.I.Y. Therapy: Healing Depression E-course, my monthly “Radical” e-zine and other creative healing projects, like “Cultivating Radical Self-Love: A Collaboration of Healers, Artists & Writers“.

Self Defense

Self-Defense: The Mistakes Of Teaching Violence “Prevention” to Women and Girls

textgram_1449536544“Prevention” is a word thrown around a lot in regards to self-defense. I really don’t like using it when I teach a class. Most prevention advice delves into ridiculous victim blame and only encourages females to feel fear. The advice goes something like this:

Don’t flirt too much, don’t wear revealing clothing at a party and don’t go out at night alone or if you do, don’t drink, but if you are drinking watch you drink closely, don’t accept drinks from anybody and never leave your girlfriends and never go home with anybody because if you do, it’s your fault for leading them on.

The real prevention we need to teach is not about being afraid of doing what you want and rarely is it about changing your own habits; it’s about awareness.

Women are more likely to be assaulted by someone they know, a romantic partner, a stalker or coworker. So how can we create safer spaces? By being aware of those around us whether they are close friends or casual acquaintances, both male and female.

  • Pay close attention to how friends treat you AND others.
  • Are they condescending toward you?
  • Do they ask or bully you to do things you don’t want?
  • Do YOU force yourself to change around them so they like you?
  • Do they mock feminism or often joke about women being the weaker sex?
  • Do they insist that rape culture doesn’t exist or that women really should “be careful what they wear or drink”?
  • Do they refuse to acknowledge media objectification of women and find these images “good” entertainment?

Being aware allows us to learn to trust our intuition and as we do so allow our true self to shine through. Because once we are aware of what we’ve learned to ignore and how often we blame ourselves we become stronger.

Sexism fuels violence against women. It gets worse every time we pretend hurtful words are okay and make excuses like, “Boys will be boys”. Our culture enforces many ideas about women being less than men. In this sphere is the idea that we are at fault for being assaulted or raped. It’s pushed forward by those with agendas, fundamental religious dogma and advertising agencies. So much of prevention is dependent upon who surrounds us. It’s what we put up with, what we expect from others and whether or not we are willing to speak up, say no and not put up with ideas and stereotypes that feed this harmful vision of women as less than men.

The other side of prevention, and the most powerful of course will be teaching men and boys how to become aware of how they treat women and girls. No matter how much women work to create change it’s critical that our males change evolve as well.

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When teaching self-defense I always stress the importance of striking vital points! If you gouge the eyes they can’t see where you move next, if you dig your nails into their ears and yank down they suffer tremendous pain, if you punch the solar plexus their breath is taken away and if you “pick the peaches” (grab, twist and pull on the testes) you can bring them to their knees giving you a chance to run for help and call the police. Read more Self-Defense Articles on this blog.

Be aware, don’t live in fear.

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I’m a certified self-defense instructor and encourage all women and girls to know their lives are important. You can learn more on the SELF-DEFENSE page. Please share this with your friends. Together we can create safer spaces.

Find INSPIRING books on Amazon.com and Bookemon.com.

See my ART onZazzle.com/OviedoStyle.

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Book Reviews

Supporting Other Authors Makes Me Smile

Supporting other authors makes my day. I am proud to be a small dollar philanthropist.

Lachrista Greco is an author and recent grad student in Chicago and is publishing an anthology of Italian American Women writers.  I know how hard it is to self publish a book, so I donated $5 to her campaign. Please check it out and consider supporting her with $1 or donate services.

http://lachristagreco.com/2012/06/25/please-donate/

My IndieGoGo campaign went live today! As you may know, I am trying to finish and publish an anthology of Italian American women writers on feminism, activism, body image, culture/ethnicity, sex and sexuality.

If this project speaks to you in any way (or if you think it will to someone else), please contribute what you can!

http://www.indiegogo.com/olivegrrrls?c=home&a=701934