Hey, Old Folks!

I was listening to NPR Forum one morning with great attention, they were having a conversation on ageism. The author/guest asserted that we live in a culture that ingrains ageism (who knew?). I itched to call in and rant on this very accurate view of the subject! Unfortunately 81 year old me was busy in our barn cleaning stalls and unloading bales of bedding from our pick-up.  Fortunately for my psyche there was a ninety year old who called in with a list of the committees, oversight groups, etc. that he had been involved in over the twenty years since he retired, stating “I think I still have some value” to the community.

Ageism has not always been so prevalent.  At least in our neck of the woods, as children, we were required to show respect, and, yes, give up our seat to the older and infirm.  Whether that was true throughout the country I have no knowledge, but the lesson stuck with me. Now, it seems, I have outlived the age of respect and been launched into an era of disdain and contempt for anyone not of “our tribe”, and not only disrespect of our older citizens, but with the onset of this pandemic a willingness to toss them out of the lifeboat.

Hey, time goes by and our bodies, everyone’s bodies, wear and tear just like our machines do. It’s true I bruise more easily, my skin is paper thin and suffers bleeding cuts from mere pricks. I have asthma and my joints ache with arthritis. That being said, I will share a short history of my senior years: My daughter and I managed to purchase a 2.5 acre property around my sixtieth birthday. Partially in order to protect that investment I worked as an Office Manager (thus paying taxes) into my mid seventies. During that period there were two office assistants who made no secret of the fact that they were waiting for me to retire (or expire) so they could move up! Very nice and efficient ladies, but obviously felt I was too old for the job I had actually created 10 years before there was even an assistant position available.

I am not a competitive equestrienne, but love to ride.  One day I was having a pleasant morning atop my old, reliable Dutch Warmblood.  We were trotting around a corner when suddenly I woke up in the ICU ward.  I only know what my daughter told me.

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Java in retirement after my fall, probably a sudden pain caused him to react

Coming off after the second buck, I fell under his belly and  was dragged 20 feet.  They held me overnight, and apparently scanned for any broken parts or a destroyed  brain (had my helmet on)!  The next morning the discharge doctor, with his trail of followers,  told me: “Never get on another horse”.  Cue  laughter. “You are joking, of course!”  “Absolutely not, this is not funny, I am doing my job to protect you”. I get ready to leave and another medical person comes up and states: “you need to get a bone scan for osteoporosis”. I point to the hoof print on my arm and mentioned if 1200 pounds of horse could not break my arm ….!

My mind was  thinking do you tell a 20 year old skier with a broken leg don’t ever ski again? What about football players who endure concussions and are right back on the playing field? Oh yes, and Olympic athletes who run, skate, jump on injured limbs. Oh that’s  right, they are young and vibrant! Old ladies should stay in their rocking chairs.

I occasionally check into a group, online, of ladies over fifty who continue to ride.  A few even in their nineties. Some seventy and eighty year olds are still barrel racing or jumping! No thanks, not that good, and admittedly a bit more fragile than I used to be. But kudos to them all!

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Kris Machnik ice climbing image from mensjournal.com

Then there is climbing. Kris Machnick began her life in the sport at age 64, two years following retirement.  As of January, 2020, she was still climbing with other women, some in their sixties. President George H. W. Bush chose to sky dive for his ninetieth birthday. I am positive there are hundreds more examples of senior citizens continuing…or learning how…to participate in activities that validate there life, and could end it at any time.

George H.W. Bush Skydiving at 90 WFMY
G.H.W. Bush on his 90th (image by USA Today)

Everyone participating in a dangerous sport or pastime, and there are many seniors doing so, is aware that injury or death is always in the shadows. We once knew an equestrian in his fifties who was jumping a fence in a horse show, fell off on the other side dead of a heart attack. Not a bad way to go! Then there was a man in his eighties showing his Hackney at Madison Square Gardens, had a heart attack in the middle of the show ring, and was gone. Again, quick, doing what he loved, and among the people who appreciated his dedication to the sport. Death comes to us all sooner or later.  (By the time you are my age it is already later!) What better way to reach the end then doing what you enjoy, helping others, contributing to society, or continuing to work at what you do best.

Old age does not mean you are useless, bored or dead. It doesn’t mean you are expendable in order for the stock market to thrive.  In this century there are many grandparents, for whatever reason, taking on the burden of caring for their grandchildren.  One can see retirees volunteering to work  with groups like the Senior Gleaners to get food to the disadvantaged. Many of our leaders are aged, yet they are dealing with policies, problems, and international issues. (Admittedly some are doing so incompetently and disastrously, but there are others quite up to the challenge). There are young fools and young geniuses, lets give the senior citizens the same individuality: some are fools, some geniuses, and everything in between. Some seniors have, unfortunately, been hampered by health issues. Even so, having worked as a taxpayer and voter for around fifty years, they deserve not only care for their health and comfort but the same respect that you give others.

Native American tribes have a different attitude toward their elders:

A beautiful elderly woman in native dress Pinterest
A beautiful woman in Native clothing (image by Pinterest)

Each tribe has its own unique culture, language, beliefs and customs. Despite these differences, there is general  agreement that Native Indian elders are honored and respected by their families and communities, and they are considered to be the keepers of their tribes’ language and heritage.

New York Connects column by Cynthia Printup-Harms, the Director of Native American Independent Living Services (NAILS).

There have been other cultures that honored old age, including some Asian countries who, traditionally, revere their elders. Sadly, some of that is being lost as they copy the materialism and me first attitude that seems prevalent in today’s social norms. My hope is that we wake up to the kind of civility I saw as a child, minus the egregious racial/gender inequality and abuse that permeated the forties and fifties.

Old age is like climbing a mountain.You climb from ledge to ledge. The higher you get, the more tired and breathless you become, but your views become more extensive.

Ingrid Bergman

To the young and not quite so young: meet your old age when it comes with purpose, motivation and peace. In the meantime, please treat your older friends, relatives and passing strangers with respect, kindness and consideration. We all live on the same planet, we all find suffering and joy in our life journey, and we all grow old if we live to reach that mountain. Treat those who have “made it through the woods” as you would like to be treated at that stage of your life.  Have a generous heart, be aware of the hazards in life, but embrace an adventurous spirit, maintain your curiosity and  continue to seek new knowledge until “whatever Gods may be” call you home.

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The love of my life, Coffee, in a perfect partnership

 

Me Too

A family member recently was, as she put it, “disappointed” that I was not horrified by the allegations against Joe Biden. I understand why she felt that way, considering the fact that I am what the media calls “a survivor”. It was long ago and far away during my early childhood, and was curtailed around eleven or twelve. Obviously when the Me Too movement began I cheered for the ladies (and gentlemen) who were out there trying to right a centuries old wrong. The idea of adding my voice to the movement was in the back of my mind for quite awhile, until Al Franken was forced out of the Senate because once, as a comedian, he created a crass, juvenile joke picture that, rightly, offended the lady involved. I said offended. It was not rape, physical abuse, or an act of pedophilia. There is not a man over 50 who has not said something or done something, at some point in their lives, that offended, bothered or hurt a female. That statement is made based on the fact that our culture not only allowed it, but often blamed the woman, joked about her, or dismissed the recipient as an object for males to target. Perspective is a necessity in this day and age of #MeToo.

Many years ago my daughter, a young woman at that time, participated in an equestrian clinic with a well admired clinician from Sweden. He was a lovely, elderly man who was knowledgeable, kind and empathetic. He had a habit of putting his arm around the ladies shoulders as he was talking to them. His wife was present, and it was in full view of the class. One of the participants complained to some of the group about this habit, and how uneasy it made her feel. I remember my very astute daughter, also a recipient of this gesture, telling me that it did not disturb her because he was old, Swedish ( was a former member of the Swedish military), and it did not bother his wife. Raised in a different time, a particular culture, and not clandestine…truly if you feel imposed upon just quietly say “I’m sorry, I have personal space issues and prefer not to be touched”.  I have known women who automatically put an arm around friends’ shoulders, professors who 110514429.thbmake a like gesture to a student they are counseling, even police and healthcare workers when someone is in a moment of stress.

That is not to say that some persons, both men and women, might use such a gesture as an intro to further encroachment. It is up to the recipient to judge for themselves and react in the way that serves their purpose without diminishing the other person, because you could be wrong in your judgement of intent! The point is, an arm around your shoulder is not harassment in and of itself. A silly picture where the subject is more than fully clothed, asleep, and he is not touching her, a crew of male workers whistling as you walk by, or even a simple  “wow, you look beautiful today,”  may be annoying, but are not life changing, personality crashing, horrific events.

Enter Joe Biden.  He is an old man who grew out of a culture that was greatly paternalistic toward women. One way to show a protective spirit toward the female was to put one’s arm around them. Yuck, maybe, but life changing?  Think about being a victim of pedophilia and compare the two.  Ask survivors of violent rape, intoxicated rape with fraternity brothers watching, or even someone subtly forced into “servicing” a boss who has the power to promote or fire. Those are life changing and traumatizing events.

Okay, sniffing the hair is creepy, but does it really affect your life? The other side of the

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Joe Biden

Joe coin is this: he will pick good people around him, and listen to them. He has promised to choose a female running mate. He understands how important our allies are.  He believes in science. He understands the climate is changing for the worse (except at the moment, the virus seems to be cleaning up parts of mother earth)!

Of course the elephant in the room is the one complaint of actual physical encroachment. First, compare that to “the Donald’s” twenty plus women, ranging from minor incidents to actual rape. Second, regardless of the “MeToo” movement one must consider the source. Journalists have researched the lady quite heavily: she has made accusations against other men along the way, she has changed her story multiple times, she was praising Biden up until he started his run for the presidency, and in the cesspool of Washington D.C…where rumor and leaking are rampant…no one could find so much as a hint that such an event had occurred. This, in spite of her claim to have issued a formal complaint against him, which she now says did not mention the sexual harassment…she thinks…she would need to see it again to remember what she actually said.

Joe Biden was not my choice for president.   We had a chance to elect the most qualified person ever to run, and the electoral college blew it. We had an opportunity

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President Trump (Photo by Michael Reynolds for EPA-EFE/Shutterstock.)

this time to choose a female candidate from among multiple entrants, and instead chose an elderly, white, paternalistic male to run against an elderly, white (orange?) misogynistic, narcissistic male who refuses to pay vendors and is willing to watch people in “blue” states die rather than send aid. (By the way, there are many Republicans in those states.) So many opined the choices they had in 2016, seeing it as between a reality show host with a checkered background (but popular…could have a beer with!) and a highly qualified, but “unlikable”, woman…who now gets standing ovations wherever she goes! Now we are down to reality TV, “grab a pussy” person against grandpa…my choice would have to be grandpa.

While reading an article from The Washington Post I was struck by a quote gleaned from a guest column that Alyssa Milano –  actress, #MeToo activist, and Biden supporter – did for Deadline, which covers Hollywood and entertainment.

“How do progressive women choose between the p—y grabber in chief who has done so much damage to our country and a man who has allegations made against him?” Milano wrote .

She added, “Believing women was never about ‘Believe all women no matter what they say,’ it was about changing the culture of NOT believing women by default.”

Hear hear, there is a woman who gets it!

 

I Have Been Told…

I have been told not to reply to Face Book streams

I have been told my passion is bad…for me                            Flag

I have been told with love, and concern for my health

I have been told to distance myself from the cesspool of politics

I have been told not read the comments that denigrate our country,

Spread falsehoods without checking, and find it acceptable to sacrifice the old and vulnerable

How can I not answer the under educated, the lies, the misinformation?

How can I bury my passion and ignore what is happening?

To the country?

To the world?

To us?

What happens if voices of sanity fall silent and the cacophony of chaos is allowed to roam unfettered?

I direct my passion, state my status, and politely ask for reason

I then go quietly about my life with horses, dogs, birds and flowers

To wait for the next lie, the next outrage, that must be answered

Answered, and left warming the table, while I move on

Tell me I do not need passion

Tell me I do not need truth

tell me it is time for my voice to be silenced, and that I should vanish without a trace

And I will quietly, politely answer “when hell freezes over”

 

Perspective

wp-15858870037262431013976874269743.jpgWhere my neighbor sees unkempt weeds, I see a meadow that provides shelter and food for the many wild things that share our property.

Where a friend sees a messy floor, I see happy dogs playing and chewing up bags and boxes that cost me nothing.

Where someone else sees a dead tree, I see a snag that provides perches for birds who want a clear view of their surroundings.

Where my neighbor sees a pile of composting horse manure, I see rich nutrients for the garden that feeds me, as well as a ‘diner’ for birds, and a playground for my dog.

Where some horse people see wasted years in a six year old gelding who has not yet been ridden, I see a journey with a challenging horse that has resulted in a bond that those critics will likely never experience.

In this challenging time, it is important to keep things in perspective.  Perhaps this is a time to actually reassess our own perspectives on everything.  Life is messy.  My place, by many people’s standards, is messy.  Yet, where others see problems, I see joy.  Joy in the birds that sing all around me.  Joy in the puppies that play at my feet.  Joy in the horse who trots up to greet me, and now happily joins me in our ‘work’ together.

Short of a tragedy, if something makes you unhappy, annoyed, or generally displeased – it is not really about that thing, but about your perspective.  Try changing your perspective, and perhaps you too will find joy in the messiness of life!

Stay well!

Lia

Driving While Female

My driving odyssey begins, strangely enough, in my eighth year. Try, try , try, I could not read the blackboard in school. Next step, see an eye doctor and discover I was deeply near sighted.  The one moment I vividly remember is waiting for the bus, sporting my new glasses, and looking down at my feet…oh my god, I could see individual blades of grass! (Of course that is not what I said, horrors, not in those days!) Thus began my lifetime relationship with  an extra “appendage” on my nose.

Fast forward to 1954 when I was old enough to begin the road to driving. The country was coming out of a time when not all women were drivers, and those that were drove only when their husband was not in the car. There were brave outliers, or single working women (generally looking for a husband). However, the general consensus was women drivers were a danger, or comedic, or both on the highway.may-31-1950-cartoon-mocking-female-drivers-cartoon

If a male character had a traffic accident or fender-bender in a comedy made before 1970, a woman driver was most likely the cause. And if the mom of a pre-1970 Dom Com got behind the wheel, it was all but guaranteed she’d come home with a crumpled fender and an improbable story that completely exonerated her by shifting the blame to another driver or perhaps a tree which lunged out into the street at her.                                                                                                                   from TVTropes

Slightly before I actually applied for a learners permit, someone, I believe it was my older brother, let me try driving on a forest road in the backwoods. As I recall the car ended up nose to nose with a bush.  Thus ended his desire to teach little sister to drive! The next move was visiting the DMV with my father and going through the paper work to start legally learning to drive. This included reading the eye chart with glasses perched on my sensitive teen years nose prompting my father to explain to the agent that his daughter was blind as a bat.  Imagine how the feeling of denigration and unworthiness washed over my youthful self! The next nail in my desire to drive came when a female relative applied for her license and failed the test. She ultimately qualified, but the damage to my psyche was complete.  No driving, and I could avoid being laughed at, feeling inadequate and altogether stupid.

So, I did not drive until my late twenties when the army let my husband go, and  he spent his release money on an aged Jaguar (that we later had reason to believe had been used for smuggling pot!)  He patiently worked with me on honing my driving skills, and wonder of wonders, I took my driving test in a Jaguar and passed first time!

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My first car in the process of repainting

By now women drivers were quite common and actually expected to be ferrying their kids around. Life intervened, including separation, divorce and loss of a Jaguar to drive. Instead I became a Pony Club mother/leader and purchased a mini pickup to ferry animals, kids, tack, jump poles…you get the picture! One shining moment was carrying a pick up bed full of kids up the side of Mt. Diablo to the kitchen building.  There was always a line for our “taxi”, out in the open air on a mattress in the truck bed!

The real challenge was my daughters first vehicle, an old, commercial van that she purchased for $500 and promptly named Charlie. It was great for pulling her horse trailer, and she drove it beautifully. Being the only vehicle I had available while she was interning overseas was difficult, to say the least, but I overcame my anxiety and limited my driving to a bare minimum! Not to say it didn’t cause embarrassment. Charlie coughed out fumes fairly often when waking up, and one day I made the mistake of starting him in a local mall without checking the rear view mirrors. I believe the poor lady walking past our back end was a bit surprised, and not in a good way!

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Very similar to my daughter’s van, for which we have no picture!trepidation and just breathed a sigh of relief on her return!

Ultimately that morphed into a pink pick-up truck my daughter acquired that was…barely…capable of pulling a two horse trailer. My big brother took one look and asked my daughter  “what does your mother think about driving that truck?”  It probably seemed impossible that his wimp of a sister could even drive such a vehicle (he had never seen the van), much less love it, as she assured him I did (it was so much easier than Charlie! Not to mention physically more comfortable!).  I had become the regular hay-pick-up driver on weekends, while my daughter worked horses or repaired the barn destruction caused by said animals! That continues to this day, only now my vehicle is a bit larger, silver Dodge Ram pick-up.

I began by eschewing driving any vehicle at all. Much of the reason for that attitude stemmed from my early observations of how women drivers were viewed, how girls with glasses were teased and denigrated, and fear that I would fail the test as my relative did. Unfortunately I was not equipped with the defiant determination and bravery of the early feminists, or perhaps I lacked sufficient motivation to drive a car. There is no question that my late entry into becoming a driver impacted my confidence level to some extent, made me a bit more cautious (no, I do not dawdle, I drive the speed limit but obey signs and laws), and kept me humble enough in that respect to avoid joining the “I am such a good driver I can weave through traffic, do illegal U-turns, etc.” club.

I allowed societies view of women during that era to affect the trajectory of at least one aspect of my life. My daughters generation was fortunate to live in a different time. She was expected to drive and took Driver’s Education and Training in her school, obtaining her license at 16 and taking over our car from that moment! How the times have changed…except, of course, where they haven’t.

Lean Left

No, this is not a political rant, it is a statement on body mechanics, my body mechanics to be precise. It also touches on life issues, and, yes, some of what I have learned can, philosophically, be applied to the body politic.

Decades ago I was informed by a physician that one leg was shorter than it’s mate and it was amazing that I could walk so well. The solution was for every pair of foot wear to have an eighth of an inch added  to the right shoe. (Note: Jackie Kennedy had the same condition and every pair of shoes had a slight lift added to one shoe). After one attempt to fulfill that prescription I gave up.  What the heck, I had spent over thirty years with no clue about my “disability”. It stood to reason I could continue on in blissful denial, and so I did into my senior years.

My daughter grew up working her way into riding horses. Cleaning stalls, working on goat farms, ultimately driving a rural paper route. As I made the fast track into my fifties she maneuvered me into riding with her and learning the elements of Dressage, the thrill of jumping and the absolute peaceful, relaxation of riding on a trail through natural habitat. Full confession, my body is not a naturally, graceful dancing machine. There is a stiffness built into my gene structure that was absent in my daughter’s DNA. Regardless of what you may hear or think you know, an agile body and an agile mind are  great components for becoming a comfortable and happy equestrian. My comfort level and ability grew as she molded my bodies abilities. I will not elaborate on the exasperation on one side and frustration on the other as the journey continued! But we conquered, momandcoffeetrottingand I became an able rider.  Then came the years when we could not ride for various reasons. My body aged, I worked at a desk until my mid seventies, and suddenly there was a horse, a home and an arena.  And my skills had disappeared. Back to frustration at the lack of balance…until…my daughter noticed I was always tipped to the right. It became evident even as she watched me walking that I put all my weight to the right.  It became a mantra for us, “lean left mom”, or I would be in the barnyard feeling tired and think “lean left”.  The feel in my body would immediately become more relaxed and energetic.

Through all of that I discovered the importance of balance in the body whether riding or walking. More importantly it made me consider balance in life. Take a teeter totter, put a 200 pound man on one side and a 30 pound kid on the other…there is no balance. The work life balancesame with your daily life, too much focus on work can be detrimental to your health. Too much focus on play can bankrupt your family! You can also apply balance to your diet (moderation is king), your language, the use of social media! Extrapolate that to the political scene. Too far right and you have an authoritarian dictator, too far left and you have a government controlling the entire economic structure of the citizenry, to their detriment.20171225_1641301390602241.jpg

I have learned that nuance, moderation and balance are paramount. My mantra continues to be “lean left”, carry my walking stick in the left hand, bring my left shoulder down and back, keep my life balanced. Because if you lean too far in one direction , you could fall off the horse!

 

 

What’s the Matter with Women, Today?

Remembering my fights with big brother 70+ years back I must have been a feminist before the term was invented. My feeling as a young girl held that I was, and should be, as important and respected as my big brother. Life slapped me in the face a bit over that belief as time went on, but if the “was” got a bit tattered, the “should be” remained.Girl power quote, feminism slogan. Golden glitter inscription fo

In the forties and fifties young men were taught to open car doors for their dates, which involved getting out, shutting the driver side door, walking around the car and opening the passenger side, while his date waited for the door to open. As a child I had always opened doors for myself. It was a difficult task schooling myself to wait for…essentially “permission” … to disembark. Happily the young man I married seemed to feel I was healthy enough, strong enough, and capable enough to open my own doors! After eighty years of living (many of those decades on my own raising our daughter after his abandonment) I can fault him for many things, but he respected my independence, my intelligence, and treated me as an equal partner. Perhaps that gave me the groundwork for my belief system as an adult.

Which brings me to my experiences as a mature student at the University of Washington. The red nosed elderly chair of the Audiology department, who stated that women did not bully bossdo well in his department, was a dinosaur, but normal among older males for the time. On the other hand, the Principal of the grade school where I student taught was a woman. Her mantra was that I needed to be in late evening meetings where I had no vote, no voice, and all I could do was sit and listen, while my young child was home alone. “We have lots of latch key children here” was her statement when I tried to get dispensation, or even leaving early.  I rode a bike the few miles to the school each morning. I chose to wear trousers for obvious reasons, and was informed that was improper. This was in the mini-skirt era, and ended with my  wearing  a dress over the slacks, and abandoning the slacks upon entering the school. Also being very aware of bending over in the classroom!

I did think those were incidents in the past and women had finally come out of their cocoons, until I was working at UCD. My supervisor was a very nice woman who helped me immensely as a graduate student and employee, but the one conversation among all the women that has never been forgotten pertained to so called feminism. “I like having the door opened for me…I like the men to stand when I enter a room…I won’t give up the little niceties”.

To my male acquaintances, you have no need to stand when I enter your space. As an octogenarian I still open doors for people if I am in front of the pack, I would be happy to give my seat to a person of either gender if they are frail, handicapped or stressed. Equality to me means equal in responsibility to be helpful, understanding and kind, equality in legal rights, as well as equal opportunity and pay for identical job duties.  Some may remember the old saw that males had to support families and therefore needed more money, women were just making extra dollars, which enabled prospective employers to offer less salary to females: married, single, or widowed with children.

The norm was supposed to be woman in the kitchen, man in the office. This is the norm that many people, both men and, unfortunately, many women, would like to see resurrected in our social structure.  I believe it is an underlying (sometimes not quite understood) motive behind the vehement “pro-life” screamers and greatly injurious laws to allow rapists, who impregnate their victim, access to the subsequent child; to force preteen children to carry their abuser’s child to term, or to require invasive procedures before permitting an abortion. For many men it is a matter of control.  For many of the women it goes back to that patriarchal era when women had babies and men took care of their women .

My mother was a “Rosie the riveter”. Those women contributed immensely to helping Rosieour armed forces win WWII, and were immediately discarded upon the return of our troops. Women had a baseball league during the war to fill in for male players then soldiering. That was allowed to fail as the men returned. It has been a long hard slog to emerge from the kitchen, put on shoes, have our babies when we were ready to become moms, and choose how many children we wished to raise.

We have, and are, evolving and earning our place in the working world, gaining slightly in the political and power structures, and shedding light on abusive practices toward females that have long stayed underground. Nevertheless, the forces that abhor those changes and gains are still out there, and hitting back in egregious and harmful ways whenever possible. That reaction among some men, perceiving their control diminishing, I fully understand… though it saddens me. That reaction among women, in particular white women, is both puzzling and distressing. Why do we want members of our sisterhood beaten down? Why do we want to force our religious/moral/ethical beliefs on women we do not even know? Have we discarded the idea that an individual should be able to make their own choices, decide what is right for themselves, so long as they do not intrude on their neighbors safety or comfort? If so, who are the “deciders” that will tell us how to live our lives…old white men?

The warriors in this battle for equal respect and opportunity have been the feminists, and strangely many women who have denied being “feminists”…actually are! Do you work? Do you feel you are worth as much as the man doing the exact same job? Do you own property, and believe you have the right to do so? Do you like being able to sign for your own loans without daddy or some male relative co-signing the document (I had that happen to me in 1970, not that long ago)? Do you believe women should be able to do whatever job they choose (provided they are qualified and capable) such as astronaut, pilot, etc.? Then you are a quiet feminist. Those are rights that some personages would like to revoke and move you back into the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant.

What is wrong with women who lean toward blustery, older, white men rather than a well qualified, pragmatic, strong woman? We are faced again with, not one, but multiple strong women. And guess what? An old, sometimes comic, often misspeaking, huggy

bear, white man is leading the democratic pack , along with a grouchy, old, angry, white man. A lot of this is due to women, this time both white and black women, who identify the first with President Obama and feel he is “Uncle Joe” and will take care of them.  The second has created a cult like persona similar, but on the opposite end, of our president. So I ask again, why do so many women reject the idea of handing power to a highly intelligent, empathetic sister woman, and embrace misogynistic or sexist patriarchs? And why do so many women flinch from the feminist idea of equal opportunity, equal respect? Those women who were force fed and tortured trying to get all women voting rights saw a future where women were as valued and respected as men. Sadly that vision is still far in the future. A large segment of our citizenry, many of them women, still cannot accept the idea of a female in the White House and are perfectly willing to idolize as president an old man who brags about “grabbing pussy”.

Womens March on Washington
WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 21: General view of the Women’s March on Washington on January 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Teresa Kroeger/FilmMagic)

So, at the age of eighty, I am still searching for the value and respect that my brother received from the day of his birth.  No little girl should be regarded as less important than her brothers, or less likely to be successful at whatever she chooses to do in life.  No woman should be told females “don’t do well in my” department or class, both of which were my experiences.  Hopefully those women who have fought against such equality will discover their own value, join their sisters of all religions and ethnicities, and fight for the life, choices and freedoms their daughter’s deserve to inherit.