For some of you, this post is officially late. I thought I’d share anyway because it’s better than not. Enjoy
Today, on the anniversary of the 19th Amendment, we celebrate Women’s Equality Day.
In 1776, Abigail Adams wrote to John Adams, then serving on the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, and reminded him to “not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands.”
Seventy-two years later, in 1848, women across the country gathered together for the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York. And it wasn’t until 72 years after that, in 1920, that women in the United States officially gained the right to vote. 94 years later –[women have made leaps and bounds in every facet of American life, from the classroom to the boardroom.]
Source: With everything happening around the world these days, I like to keep updated on what our government is doing, what they are saying, what they are REALLY saying, etc. I do not rely on one source for my information gathering and while on a quest to find “reputable” sources (oxymoron?) the thought occurred to me: “You wanna know what their (White House) saying? Sign up to be on the presidents mailing list. So that’s what I did. I get first hand, straight from the horses mouth, (?) rhetoric. Lol.
Well, this is an excerpt of a letter I received today from the White House. I didn’t share it all because this paragraph was used set the tone for what’s being called “The War on Women” and what ‘they’ feel are the answers… funny, I don’t feel like war has been waged against me. *sarcasm. I was impressed with the start of the letter though, so I shared.
To all of my sisters in arms, Good Job, Ladies!
And while on the topic of “War on Women,” I’ll quote a well-known slogan (TARGET: women, c. 1970’s) by a well-known tobacco company:
We’ve come a long way, baby!
Betsey Stevenson Member Council of Economic Advisers @CEABetsey
More than 8.5 million individuals served in the U.S. Armed Forces during the Vietnam era, 1964-1973. Approximately 2.8 million served in Southeast Asia. Of the latter number, almost one million saw active combat or were exposed to hostile, life- threatening situations (President’s Commission on Mental Health, 1978). It is this writer’s opinion that the vast majority of Vietnam era veterans have had a much more problematic readjustment to civilian life than did their World War II and Korean War counterparts. This was due to the issues already discussed in this chapter, as well as to the state of the economy and the inadequacy of the GI Bill in the early 1970s. In addition, the combat veterans of Vietnam, many of whom immediately tried to become assimilated back into the peacetime culture, discovered that their outlook and feelings about their relationships and future life experiences had changed immensely. According to the fantasy, all was to be well again when they returned from Vietnam. The reality for many was quite different.
A number of studies point out that those veterans subjected to more extensive combat show more problematic symptoms during the period of readjustment (Wilson, 1978; Strayer & Ellenhorn, 1975; Kormos, 1978; Shatan, 1978; Figley, 1978b). The usual pattern has been that of a combat veteran in Vietnam who held on until his DEROS date. He was largely asymptomatic at the point of his rotation back to the U.S. for the reasons previously discussed; on his return home, the joy of surviving continued to suppress any problematic symptoms. However, after a year or more, the veteran would begin to notice some changes in his outlook (Shatan, 1978). But, because there was a time limit of one year after which the Veterans Administration would not recognize neuropsychiatric problems as service-connected, the veteran was unable to get service-connected disability compensation. Treatment from the VA was very difficult to obtain. The veteran began to feel depressed, mistrustful, cynical and restless. He experienced problems with sleep and with his temper. Strangely, he became somewhat obsessed with his combat experiences in Vietnam. He would also begin to question why he survived when others did not.
For approximately 500,000 veterans (Wilson, 1978) of the combat in Southeast Asia, this problematic outlook has become a chronic lifestyle affecting not only the veterans but countless millions of persons who are in contact with these veterans. The symptoms described below are experienced by all Vietnam combat veterans to varying degrees. However, for some with the most extensive combat histories and other variables which have yet to be enumerated, Vietnam-related problems have persisted in disrupting all areas of life experience. According to Wilson (1978), the number of veterans experiencing these symptoms will climb until 1985, based on his belief of Erickson’s psychosocial developmental stages and how far along in these stages most combat veterans will be by 1985. Furthermore, without any intervention, what was once a reaction to a traumatic episode may for many become an almost unchangeable personality characteristic.
The vast majority of the Vietnam combat veterans I have interviewed are depressed. Many have been continually depressed since their experiences in Vietnam. They have the classic symptoms (DSM III, 1980) of sleep disturbance, psychomotor retardation, feelings of worthlessness, difficulty in concentrating, etc. Many of these veterans have weapons in their possession, and they are no strangers to death. In treatment, it is especially important to find out if the veteran keeps a weapon in close proximity, because the possibility of suicide is always present.
When recalling various combat episodes during an interview, the veteran with a post-traumatic stress disorder almost invariably cries. He usually has had one or more episodes in which one of his buddies was killed. When asked how he handled these death when in Vietnam, he will often answer, “in the shortest amount of time possible” (Howard, 1975). Due to circumstances of war, extended grieving on the battlefield is very unproductive and could become a liability. Hence, grief was handled as quickly as possible, allowing little or no time for the grieving process. Many men reported feeling numb when this happened. When asked how they are now dealing with the deaths of their buddies in Vietnam, they invariable answer that they are not. They feel depressed; “How can I tell my wife, she’d never understand?” they ask. “How can anyone who hasn’t been there understand?” (Howard, 1975).
Accompanying the depression is a very well developed sense of helplessness about one’s condition. Vietnam-style combat held no final resolution of conflict for anyone. Regardless of how one might respond,t he overall outcome seemed to be just an endless production of casualties with no perceivable goals attained. Regardless of how well one worked, sweated, bled and even died, the outcome was the same. Our GIs gained no ground; they were constantly rocketed or mortared. They found little support from their “friends and neighbors” back home, the people in whose name so many were drafted into military service. They felt helpless. They returned to the United States, trying to put together some positive resolution of this episode in their lives, but the atmosphere at home was hopeless. They were still helpless. Why even bother anymore?
Many veterans report becoming extremely isolated when they are especially depressed. Substance abuse is often exaggerated during depressive periods. Self medication was an easily learned coping response in Vietnam; alcohol appears to be the drug of choice.
Combat veterans have few friends. Many veterans who witnessed traumatic experiences complain of feeling like old men in young men’s bodies. They feel isolated and distant from their peers. The veterans feel that most of their non-veteran peers would rather not hear what the combat experience was like; therefore, they feel rejected. Much of what many of these veterans had done during the war would seem like horrible crimes to their civilian peers. But, in the reality faced by Vietnam combatants, such actions were frequently the only means of survival.
Many veterans find it difficult to forget the lack of positive support they received from the American public during the war. This was especially brought home to them on the return from the combat zone to the United States. Many were met by screaming crowds and the media calling them “depraved fiends” and “psychopathic killers” (DeFazio, 1978). Many personally confronted hostility from friends and family, as well as strangers. After their return home, some veterans found that the only defense was to search for a safe place. These veterans found themselves crisscrossing the continent, always searching for that place where they might feel accepted. Many veterans cling to the hope that they can move away from their problems. It is not unusual to interview a veteran who, either alone or with his family, has effectively isolated himself from others by repeatedly moving from one geographical location to another. The stress on his family is immense.
The fantasy of living the life of a hermit plays a central role in many veterans’ daydreams. Many admit to extended periods of isolation in the mountains, on the road, or just behind a closed door in the city. Some veterans have actually taken a weapon and attempted to live off the land.
It is not rare to find a combat veteran who has not had a social contact with a woman for years — other than with a prostitute, which is an accepted military procedure in the combat setting. If the veteran does marry, his wife will often complain about the isolation he imposes on the marital situation. The veteran will often stay in the house and avoid any interactions with others. He also resents any interactions that his spouse may initiate. Many times, the wife is the source of financial stability.