Friday, March 15, 2013

As I mentioned in my first post, the EVE BLOG will “look at current events that show where we’re making progress and where we’re losing ground.” And two items in the news recently gave dramatic images of both.

Where we’re losing ground:

The way in which EVE are still targets of ignorance and cruelty was starkly demonstrated in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea recently. A 20-year-old local EVE was accused of sorcery by the family of a 6-year-old boy. When the boy died in a local hospital, a mob played out a scenario we thought was long gone from our modern world.

The young EVE was stripped, tortured, and tied up. Then, in a scene right out of the Middle Ages, she was burned alive as a witch by the mob as hundreds of witnesses, both horrified and picture snapping, looked on. And this was just the latest sorcery-related killing of EVE on this South Pacific island.

Fear and ignorance are very much a part of our Manplan world. So the emotions that led to this grisly act of mob murder are well known to us all. But the fact that EVE are frequent scapegoats for those emotions is chilling. Too often, EVE are still the ones who are thought of as “suspect” “conniving” and “disposable.” And they are usually the ones with less power, less influence, and less control. So they become convenient targets for the mob’s frustrations and ignorance.

Where we’re making progress:

On a more upbeat note, there was a fashion show held recently that was positively unique. It wasn’t big news in the world of designer clothes so this particular runway display had less media attention than those held in New York and Paris. But it must have been a monumental occasion for the EVE and men who were present. That’s because this fashion show was held in Afghanistan recently.

Local EVE walked a candle-lined catwalk in a restaurant in the capital city of Kabal to exhibit the designs of Shahar Banoo Zeerak. It was organized by a group working to empower Afghan EVE by breaking down barriers in this highly conservative society. Zeerak commented, “The situation always gets tougher and tougher every day by day, but we should not back down. We are here to move on and move forward, so I think if women step up and they show up in this field, I think they will do a good job.” (1)

Among my generation of EVE in America, many of us staged our first “fashion shows” in our living rooms or back yards when we were children. But in a country where EVE can still be subjected to “virginity exams” or jailed for trying to escape an abusive home, the staging of a simple fashion show can have serious consequences. So, let’s send a big “ATTA GIRL” to these EVE in Afghanistan who are claiming their rights to be visible and well dressed, even in this war-torn, extremely conformist society. And let’s be even more thankful for the freedoms we enjoy and determined to expand not only ours but those of EVE as well.

(1) The Lakeland Ledger, Lakeland, Florida, February 9, 2013.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Welcome to the EVE BLOG. For my very first posting let me tell you what I’ll be writing about and give a little background on the book the blog grew out of.

The title is Conversations with EVE (short for Every Vagina on Earth – my term for women because words like “fe-male” and “wo-men” don’t say who we are; they just say who we aren’t). If you linked here from the website (, you may already know that. If you didn’t, link back to the website to find out more about the book and read some samples.

First, what will the blog be about?

The EVE blog will be comments, information, and resources dealing with issues that affect the freedoms and happiness of EVE. It will share information about campaigns and activities that challenge the demeaning attitudes and restrictive policies we still face. And it will look at current events that show where we’re making progress and where we’re losing ground. Some of my postings may be irreverent and some may be humorous, but they will always talk about what’s happening with EVE.

I also plan to post about THE ADVENTURES OF EVE—questions, observations, and real life experiences. These will be personal views and stories of EVE shared either in person or sent to me through the website contact page. I hope to share successes and setbacks from many situations and many cultures, so please let me hear from you @ Because I know there are a billion stories out there!

Second, where did Conversations with EVE come from?

Like most “labors of love” it grew out of a desire to help people. My degree is in Applied Cultural Anthropology. And from my very first anthropology class I wanted to understand why people behave the way they do and why society operates the way it does. I had intended to study psychology, but soon realized that it isn’t the “abnormal” behavior that’s so fascinating. It’s the behavior that is considered “normal.”

It took me twenty-one years (1969-1990) to complete my Master’s degree, sometimes just being able to take one class at a time and sometimes being a full time student for a stretch. And during those twenty-one years there were quite a few things happening in my life besides college: marriage, motherhood, divorce, employment, remarriage, raising a son, being part of a large extended family, sailing, building an earth sheltered house nights and weekends with my husband, windsurfing, etc.

Through all those life experiences over all those years I came to understand the difficulties and dangers that many EVE face, even in the United States of the twentieth century. And I was given the opportunity to address some of those difficulties as Executive Director of our local Planned Parenthood affiliate. I really wanted this job because it was the only position in my area that would pay me to advocate for EVE’s rights. And that’s what I did for eight years. But it became apparent that there would be more money to provide reproductive health services to low income EVE if there was less overhead. So, I spent my last year at Planned Parenthood merging two affiliates and eliminating my position.

I had planned to take a little time off before returning to work since I’d been so busy for so long (with two ulcers while I was at PP). But my husband urged me to make it more than a little. So, I began working on other projects I’d never had time for: fixing leaks and looking for decent furniture, reclaiming the yard, learning to play a musical instrument (the dobro), and having some time for my husband, family and friends.

During this time of “not working” I thought about how I could be most effective in advocating for EVE’s rights. And it became clear to me that I needed to follow a different path when I did return to professional pursuits. I realized that I could spend the rest of my life working to make EVE’s lives better and never make a dent as long as the culture we live in continues to demean, restrict, and abuse them. So my new focus became figuring out exactly why culture is so anti-EVE and how to change that.

Part of my “research” during this period was talking to EVE at every opportunity about their problems and their passions. And it was during these conversations that I came to understand that not many EVE are aware of their TRUE social heritage or their TRUE power to change the way culture works. But telling them one at a time wasn’t going to inform very many. So the idea was born. I would write down these conversations and let all the women on the planet in on the “secrets” that they were social equals with men in the past and could be again in the future. And when I realized that I wanted to have this conversation with every member of our sex on the planet—Every Vagina on Earth—the title was set.

But the saying “Life is what happens when you’re making plans” became very true for me. The day after I finished computer courses to begin researching and writing the book my father suffered a stroke. As my sisters and I became involved in our parents’ daily struggles with this devastating event, it became apparent our mother was beginning to show signs of dementia. I probably could have assisted with caring for my parents and still began writing Conversations, but then life became even more complicated. A few months later, my grandson was born to a troubled marriage and I soon came to fill the role of mother as well as grandmother.

My family needed all the time I had for about six years. My parents passed away a few months apart, still living in their home with the love and care of family members, and my son and grandson moved to a place of their own. What now? It had been almost ten years since I first had thoughts of writing Conversations. And I knew that if I took a job right away, it would never be written. So, with the full backing of my husband I began the daunting task of writing my first book.

And here we are. Conversations with EVE will be printed in March, 2013, but the book is just the beginning of the Conversation. I will continue to talk with EVE about their problems and their passions and spread the word about the cultural (r)evolution that we can bring about. And this blog will be one way of doing that.

I am resuming my role as a visible, vocal advocate for EVE’s rights and EVE’s happiness. I hope you’ll join me on the journey!