Why Believing in One Concept is not Necessarily Contrary to Another
Why Maintaining the Trust of Subjects or Clients is Paramount to Business Success
Nine Methods To Implement For A Successful Career And Life
Can Revolution be Reconciled with Love For Queen and Country?
How Marxism interprets Current Events in Our News
This e-column is devoted to the reactions I received to an article I wrote entitled, “The Space Shuttle, Ted Bundy, and Unplanned Pregnancies.” If you have not read this article, it is available at: https://www.katherinefry.net/the-space-shuttle-ted-bundy-and-unplanned-pregnancies/
An Episcopalian’s Interpretation of Recent Traumatic Events
How The Crucification of Christ Changed our Society, Families, and Businesses
Does the Non-Binary Gender Movement Threaten the Recognition of Female Special Considerations?
Should Women Have an Absolute Right to An Abortion?
Why our raw genetics must become an integral part of our overall health plan
Why our raw genetics must become an integral part of our overall health plan
Would daily life really change if the Federal Government, as we know it, disappeared?
Are Fairy Tales Harmful, Or Do They Have A Productive Place In Modern Society? By Katherine Fry, CEO/President Mediafy Communications Group People have always had a fascination with fairy tales. To this day, they are still being reimagined in the general public’s imagination. The likes of Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty continue to inspire young women throughout the generations. Young girls, from a very early age, are read these stories about damsels in distress, and the prince that saves them from a long slumber with true love’s kiss. These girls also learn about the ensuing beautiful wedding, followed immediately by “happily ever after.” This then begs the question-are these fairy tales realistic, or do they create unhealthy stereotypes and expectations for our daughters? In essence, is encouraging our daughters to believe they need to be saved by a knight in shining armor a storyline that needs to be buried and forgotten? Growing up in the 1980’s, my generation received more than just stories. Disney pandered to our imaginations, bringing us movies, books, toys, and even theme parks, all easily available for our parents to purchase. Trips to the grocery store consisted of the obligatory stop in the magazine section to select our future fairy tale wedding dresses. Throughout all of these fantasies, the message remained clear-girls are princesses, and somewhere in the world lived our prince charming. In essence, life really began after we found him and married him. I distinctly remember the day, in 1981, when I realized princesses really exist. Walking through the grocery store with my mother, my eye caught a picture of Lady Diana Spencer on a magazine cover stating “Diana, Princess of Wales.” Suddenly, a light bulb switched on in my head. At that moment, I realized princesses really exist, and not just as fairy tale characters, but as real people making real differences; and my life changed. Princess Diana’s marriage to Prince Charles promised us a traditional fairy tale, but failed to deliver. As it turned out, our damsel in distress evolved into her own woman, who instead of conforming to a traditional role, chose instead to reinvent herself. This decision inspired countless women, including me, to looked up to her and follow suit. Instead of waiting for prince charming, many women emulated Diana’s sense of independence coupled with good deeds. For example, many of these women spent their time volunteering in soup kitchens and churches. A poignant moment occurred when Diana stated, “People think that at the end of the day, a man is the only answer. Actually, a fulfilling job is better for me.” The fairy tale had not ended but instead been reimagined, as a beautiful princess, bravely facing the world alone. The arrival of an independent, and dare I say, feminist Princess Diana, led to the reimagination of the fairy tale for many women around the world. Rather than planning our royal weddings, many of us began planning our own futures, and that future no longer relied upon finding a prince. I personally expressed to my mother that I would never get married, and instead began planning to successfully brave the world alone. Many women of my generation excelled in school, and then their careers, but continued viewing themselves as princesses. Nothing had changed, and yet everything had changed. This generation of women arguably navigated into uncharted territory. Girls born in the 1970’s, today represent some of the most independent women in history. They are CEO’s, physicians, professors, and priests, amongst other professions. Many are married, and many are not, but what distinctly stands out with this generation of women is their level of financial independence. Most of my female contemporaries emulated Princess Diana in some way at some point in their life, and still carry fond memories of her to this day. While dressed in the obligatory Diana dress and hat, we count ourselves amongst the highest levels of volunteerism. For us, the fairy tales read to us in childhood evolved into a representation of financial independence and professional success. Whether we married or not is now of little consequence, because we learned through Diana’s example that the knight in shining armor is no longer necessary. In essence, we did not need saving, because we saved ourselves. As a woman of the Princess Diana generation, I consider myself lucky to have learned how to reimagine the fairy tale for myself. Quite simply, this could not have been done without the fairy tales of my youth, coupled with the reality of Princess Diana’s life. For me and my generation, throwing out the fairy tales, and branding them unseemly, would have arguably negatively impacted our lives. Perhaps the fusion of fairy tales and feminism, that has so defined my generation, will serve as an example for future ones to come.
Why One Prominent Republican Finally Decided To Leave It.It has been hard for Eileen Padberg as a long-standing Republican and a woman. Incessantly questioned by her female friends and co-workers over the years for her political activism, Eileen nevertheless held firm. A believer in individual rights and liberties, the Republican Party seemed the right party for her when she registered over fifty years ago. Eileen proudly campaigned for Barry Goldwater in the 60’s, Richard Nixon in the 1970s. In the 1960’s she joined the John Birch Society and then led The Young Republicans. Eileen went on to campaign vigorously for the Republican Party on local, state and national levels, advocating the party’s core values that she held near and dear to her heart. Eileen first started questioning her loyalty to the Republican Party in the 1980s during debates for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). One Republican stated, “If we pass this bill, husbands will leave their wives for their secretaries, and everyone will have to use the same restroom.” (1) This absurd statement became a cathartic moment for Eileen. She realized that in politics, we need more women at the table, and that “if women are not at the table, they will be the main course.” (1) Most significantly, in that moment, Eileen Padberg became a Feminist. As the years went by, Eileen continued to hope that her Republican Party would change. She advocated for the removal of abortion from the party platform, considering it contrary to the Republican core values of individual rights and liberties. Eileen states, “How much more in your life can the government get? Abortion should be a personal decision-not one made by a white, male congressman.” (1) She also experienced the decimation of Title IX women’s insurance, including the removal of birth control as a covered benefit. Furthermore, Eileen and her fellow female constituents failed to receive support from the male-dominated Republican Party on most bills regarding environmental issues. As a result, she witnessed most environmental bills fail to pass, signaling an even greater divide between the two genders. The undertone surrounding these debates revealed a very dark, insidious, anti-woman rhetoric. These events left Eileen feeling utterly alone in the Republican Party, advocating for women’s rights and causes about which women generally felt strongly, but men generally did not. Eileen began to feel the Republican Party “dying by a million cuts.” She received a call four years ago from Loretta Sanchez, a former female congresswoman, stating “There are at least a hundred bills every day, on the floor of Congress, that are anti-woman and threaten women’s rights… in some shape or form”(1) Eileen went on to say that “We do not have enough Republican women to fight this. Last year we had 23 Republican women, This year we have 19. Republicans do not help women get elected. It is very disheartening.” (1) Indeed, women are sorely unrepresented in our country. Statistics released in 2017 reveal that the United States ranked 97th on the list of countries with adequate female representation, with 100 being the worst. (2) In fact, the US ranked as having the lowest representation of any developed country, just above Kurdistan. For example, Rwanda has 39% female representation, while Afghanistan has 27%, and the United States has 23%. (2) Eileen viewed these statistics as a reason to stay within the Republican Party, and to continue advocating for women’s rights. She states, “Equal representation of women in our Congress is essential. The fact that we do not have it is incredible to me. We have so much work to do in our own country.” (1) For as long as Eileen can remember, women candidates have lacked the support of her party. The Republican Party is still shaped by what is known as “the good ol boy’s network,” where men use their positions, power, and influence to help other men. This makes politics today more about who you know rather than what you know, which is alarming considering these are the men making decisions regarding our lives, businesses, and femininity. For Eileen, the Kavanaugh hearings represented the straw that broke the camel’s back. Eileen states, “I do not surmise that she (Christine Blasey Ford) was right or wrong, but …I know the Brett Kavanaugh’s of the world. I’ve met hundreds of them in my career. He is the ultimate party boy and probably did not think what he did was abusive or wrong. My point is, the treatment of her was so atrocious… She was a credible witness, not somebody looking for a job or to make money. Her family suffered. She had to flee her home. She suffered death threats. And Brett Kavanaugh? He was appointed to a lifetime position … to a position that is going to affect women for their whole lives… she suffered immensely.” (1) After the last day of the hearings, Eileen Padberg called and changed her voter’s registration from Republican to nonpartisan. She simply could not support a party that no longer supported her or her fellow women and treated them with such disrespect. Eileen Padberg, a woman with a stellar reputation in her party, a woman who supported her party against all odds, and a woman who tried repeatedly to assist her party in evolving and attracting more women, finally left it. She states, “people who found out were incredulous, but I could not take it.” (1) Following the Kavanaugh hearings, Eileen Padberg reflects on the future of the Republican Party and its relationship with women. When asked if she thinks the Republican Party will ever remove abortion from their platform, she answers, “No, and they are doomed until they do.” She goes on to assert that “The Republican Party has a huge problem with women. In this last election we really saw it. Anne Wagner, a well-known, vetted, and experienced politician was going to run for the National Republican Congressional Committee…Kevin McCarthy, the majority leader for Republicans would not support her. He picked (to support) a less experienced white guy. “ (1) In essence, despite her best efforts, nothing really has changed in the Republican Party regarding women. In the aftermath of Eileen’s resignation from the Republican Party, she has moved on to nonpartisan politics-specifically in the areas that will help her fellow women. Last weekend she helped organize and participate in a fundraiser for a women’s shelter called WISEPlace, which stands for “Women Inspired, Supportive, and Empowered.” This shelter assists unaccompanied, homeless women, and has provided such assistance for the past thirty-one years. The capital campaign, of which Eileen co-chaired, raised a quarter of a million dollars. Now that, Eileen, is something that WILL make a difference. Phone Interview, Eileen Padberg by Katherine Fry, December 10, 2018 http://www.unwomen.org/en/digital-library/publications/2017/4/women-in-politics-2017-map
Children in the United States are taught early on, that suicide is unacceptable. In school, they are taught that it is a symptom of mental illness. In church, they are taught that it is a sin against God. In Sunday school, American children are taught that only God can decide when their lives are to end, and taking such a decision upon themselves is both inappropriate and possibly unforgivable. In essence, God decides when our life is to end. The decision to end one’s life is most certainly not a personal choice. In many parts of the world, suicide is criminalized. The criminalization of suicide has a historical basis. Louis XIV of France issued an ordinance stating that the body of persons who committed suicide should be “drawn through the streets, face down, and then hung or thrown on a garbage heap.” Additionally, the state confiscated all of the person’s personal property, depriving their heirs of an inheritance. (1) In other parts of the world, including the US, it is illegal to assist or even encourage others to commit suicide. Doing so can result in a felony, accompanied by heavy fines and jail time. For the person attempting suicide, an unsuccessful suicide attempt can result in involuntary confinement in a mental institution, and involuntary psychiatric treatment. Continuous treatment plans are put in place, that must be followed by the patient, or involuntary treatment will again ensue My “foster brother” killed himself in 2013. He had been at odds with my family for quite a while. Living in my parent’s basement, he never contributed financially, despite being in his late 40’s. My father, being the kind soul that he is, took my foster brother in as an adult, and offered to assist in putting him through nursing school. However, despite my father’s best efforts, my foster brother failed out of school, with my father having co-signed the student loan. Beginning nursing school again elsewhere, my parent’s hopes remained high. They continued to believe that this relatively young man would graduate, get a good job, and ultimately pay back his student loans. However, this desired result did not occur. Instead, my foster brother committed suicide, leaving my parent’s “holding the bag.” When my parent’s first told me of my foster brother’s suicide, my feelings emerged as conflicted. An episode of Jerry Springer came to mind, because of the sheer insanity he had wrought upon my family. But soon, the reality set into my mind. This individual, who had once been a dear friend, had left this life of his own accord, by suffocating himself with a helium-filled bag. On the verge of failing, yet again, out of nursing school, he had perhaps seen no other alternative but to take his own life. Or had done it to get back at us? One family member stated, “He killed himself because he was a loser and he knew it.” Our friendship had ended, and my father had given him a non-negotiable move-out date. A million questions went through my mind. The families of suicide victims are often left with a plethora of questions, and no definitive answers. In essence, this became our reality. In 2016, the United States recorded 44,965 suicides. (2) This represented the highest rate recorded in twenty years. Risk factors include “depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorders, and substance abuse. “ (2) Other reasons include exorbitant debt, divorce, break-ups-essentially the list is endless. One of the hardest parts is the reason may never truly be known. Many people believe suicide should be a right. “The right to die is a concept based on the opinion that a human being is entitled to end their own life or to undergo voluntary euthanasia. Possession of this right is often understood to mean that a person with a terminal illness, or without the will to continue living, should be allowed to end their own life…” (2) Many people disagree. When my foster brother committed suicide, I refused to attend the memorial service, because my hurt, disbelief, and disgust, all compiled together, resulted in me stating, “We are not allowed to kill ourselves, so why is the church even giving him a memorial service?” My mother responded by stating that the church no longer viewed suicide as a sin, but instead as a symptom of a very severe mental illness. In light of this suicide epidemic, many have begun to suffer from “suicide fatigue.” The sheer number of people threatening it, to whoever will listen and offer them sympathy, has resulted in what some have called a backlash. One member of my family has stated, “I do not believe in suicide prevention. If you want to kill yourself, go ahead and do it. Just please don’t talk to me about it.” It has been stated that when a person is truly suicidal they simply do it, telling no one. This remains the case with my foster brother who told no one of his deadly plans. Is my relative unreasonable in her statement regarding suicide? There is something to be said for “calling someone’s bluff.” For literally a year, a friend of mine told me consistently of her desire to kill herself. When I eventually told her to go ahead and do it if that is truly what she wanted, she immediately ended our friendship. I can only surmise that suicide is not truly what she wanted, and that her words to me expressing otherwise represented half-hearted attempts at attention that resulted in words from me she did not want to hear. The debate over whether or not human beings should be able to kill themselves is still very real and ongoing. Some believe it is a right, while others consider it a crime. The epidemic of suicide in the United States has resulted in criminal legislation and mental health reforms. Once regarded as a crime, it is today largely decriminalized, and viewed by many as a sign of mental illness. Others, however, feel fatigued even discussing it, preferring to view suicide as an individual right. Wherever one stands on the spectrum, this largely explosive issue promises to remain a hot topic for many years to come.
During the reign of Henry VIII, Queen Anne Boleyn reigned supreme, while her sister Mary suffered banishment from the royal court. Mary, formerly the King’s mistress and mother to two of his children, betrothed a low-level courtier in an unsanctioned marriage. This marriage caused a major uproar, resulting in the banishment of Mary and the removal of both children from her custody. Katherine and Henry Carey, the two children shared by Mary and King Henry, thus fell into the care of Queen Anne, their beloved aunt and step-mother. Mary Boleyn, separated from all near and dear to her, nevertheless survived the massive pillage of her family. Her father, sister-in-law, and even her cherished sister Queen Anne, all lost their lives to the executioner’s ax. Mary’s banishment resulted in her survival, and her children lived on in the court of Queen Elizabeth I. Both children made fabulous marital matches, ultimately bearing children of their own. Yet the memory of Mary, living far away from court, lived on through her enigmatic nickname of “the great and infamous whore.” The royal courts thought they had seen the last of Mary Boleyn. Dead six years after her banishment, her children resembled their father enough to evoke a certain degree of deference. Their cousin and half-sister, Queen Elizabeth I, a niece of Mary Boleyn, died childless, effectively ensuring that no Boleyns would ever again sit on the royal throne. Indeed, the Stewart’s came to power, and the Boleyns retreated to the background of history. However, a closer examination reveals that sometimes history is not all that it seems. History has a funny way of favoring the underdog. The least expected outcome is often the one that takes center stage. This certainly seems to be the case with the likes of Mary Boleyn. With her humble beginnings as a royal mistress, to her disgraced exit from her family and the royal court, Mary Boleyn seems the least likely candidate to make any sort of meaningful appearance again in the pages of history. And yet, here she is, staring us in the face-or rather, her 12th great-granddaughter, stares at us through the papers and our televisions, as our very own very Queen Elizabeth II. Yes-a 12th great granddaughter of “the infamous whore” Mary Boleyn, sits on the throne of England. Through her mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, Queen Elizabeth II is a direct descendant of Mary Boleyn through her daughter Katherine Carey. It’s as though Mary Boleyn has reached out from the grave, assuring that her bloodline remains on the throne of England. As a matter of fact, the late Princess Diana is a descendant, as is Sarah Ferguson, the ex-wife of Prince Andrew, the Queen’s second son, and mother to his two daughters. Kate Middleton, the wife of Prince William, third in line to the throne, is also a descendant. In essence, catastrophic deaths could hit the royal family of England, and Mary Boleyn’s descendants would still sit on the throne of England, as her descendants are heirs from nearly every direction. This is quite incredible for a shunned, and disgraced ex-mistress to King Henry VIII. Like Mary Boleyn, women have emerged as the underdog in today’s business world. Previously relegated to positions of either the Madonna (Queen Anne) or the whore (Mary Boleyn), within the realms of the bedroom and/or the realm of childrearing, women have now emerged as leaders within the business world. From Facebook and Yahoo, to Hewlett-Packard and eBay, women have proven themselves as more than capable of leading businesses to financial success. Just as Mary Boleyn reaches out from the grave into the modern-day royal family, so do the late women who entered the business world in WWII as temporary replacements for men serving abroad. History has a way of constantly favoring the underdog. As the “great and infamous whore,” Henry VIII banished Mary Boleyn to the footnotes of history. But her descendants have gone on to the comprise the contemporary house of Windsor. Just as Mary Boleyn rose from the grave, modern-day working women also represent the rise of the underdog. While initially considered merely temporary replacements for men serving abroad in WWII, today’s women can be found in all four corners of the business world. Like the modern-day royal family and the presence of Mary Boleyn, a catastrophe could hit the business world and women would still emerge as leaders. Like Mary Boleyn, against all odds, women in the workforce are here to stay.