The Almost Daily Thread

musings from the blue chair

Why I March

I will march with women as long as my feet will carry me. In my 67 years I have worked my way through many a gender equality issue.
I married young because I believed it “the thing to do”.

After 10 years, I became a single mother and discovered that in spite of having complete control of the finances, I was without any credit rating. After my second divorce, and while, indisputably, not the primary bread winner in either marriage, yet being again in charge of the finances, I was AGAIN without any individual credit rating.  Yes, even with the 7 years of living single between marriages. Credit ratings were attached only to the male and because my single days were previous to the 2nd  marriage they disappeared.

I worked as a banquet waitress (my second job) carrying heavy trays wearing high heels because it was the dress! Why haven’t males been expected to wear high heels to be sexy?

I lost a job once because my commissions paid me more than the boss made for a quarter of that year.

I was any number of times sexually harassed in my job. I was in sales and I certainly encountered sex for business offers. One, in particular, from a  man who was a friend of my father’s, albeit, my father was deceased.

I’ve bought make up, had my nails polished -many women color their hair (I don’t. My hair is still red!) -to step correctly, ie young and perfect, into the cultural acceptance of beauty. Has a man?

So, we, across the board, earn less and we spend on looking culturally acceptable.. (I LOVE YOU, PAULA ANN, my dear friend who does nails and throws in the loving counseling because that is the kind generous soul she is). And, I really do like to have my toenails polished in the summer!

And whose is benefiting from the sale of all that make up and cream and beauty enhancer that we are force fed by our culture? A marketing plan that tells us to be who we are and shine through our God given faces?

Why isn’t there a male word with the same connotation as  misogyny?
mi·sog·y·ny — (dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.
“she felt she was struggling against thinly disguised misogyny”)

Why is hysterical and hysterectomy from the same root word?

Why is is history and not her-story? Because I think they would write differently.

How many years has it been since women were chattel? Not so many.

Why isn’t there male genital mutilation?

Why is there still a sex trade using young girls as bartering tools?

Why were the girl children killed in China?

Why was there foot binding?

Need I go on?

Yes, I sill go on and I will march for the freedom/equality path I have and will continue to pave for my daughters and my granddaughters and your daughters and your granddaughters.

Take nothing for granted. The freedoms we have now, someone has protested to provide.

Why is this permitted?

Did you know that in 2015, women working full time in the United States typically were paid just 80 percent of what men were paid, a gap of 20 percent? While the number has gone up one percentage point from 2014, the change isn’t statistically significant — because the increase is so small, mere tenths of a percent, it doesn’t amount to perceptible change. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the earnings ratio hasn’t had significant annual change since 2007. The gap has narrowed since the 1970s, due largely to women’s progress in education and workforce participation and to men’s wages rising at a slower rate. Still, the pay gap does not appear likely to go away on its own. At the rate of change between 1960 and 2015, women are expected to reach pay equity with men in 2059. But even that slow progress has stalled in recent years. If change continues at the slower rate seen since 2001, women will not reach pay equity with men until 2152.

http://www.aauw.org/research/the-simple-truth-about-the-gender-pay-gap/

 

 

Thank you Donald Trump for bringing our issues to the open and letting us examine our values in front of the world, our neighbors, ourselves.  I am certainly more and more convinced of my beliefs – the truths I hold to be self-evident.

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My winter project – 2017

To go through, sort and organize a box of letters collected from the home office of my Uncle John, retired newspaper editor.

Uncle John died in 2007. In our disassembly of Uncle John’s favorite area’s of the house, the basement and his office/library we discovered…well, we discovered Uncle John was rather a pack rat. Not a hoarder. He had discriminating preferences!

Very notably, Uncle John collected books. Lots of reference books and biographies and books about Kentucky. Books whose information is now readily, immediately available online- at the push of a button or the statement of a command.  Articles that he cross referenced to other articles and books he had read. A newspaper man’s legacy.  (Ah, what will happen to the love and connection of the turning of a page.)

Uncle John also collected oddball stuff like swizzle sticks, matches, parts of clocks. He had one glass jar labeled “the tiniest nails on earth.”
He saved stacks of paper’s from Hazel’s, his mother, who taught him everything he knew about saving stuff. “Save it, it might be worth something someday,” I can hear her say, as plain as if she were right here beside me.

Also, we found a box of ephemera from his first wife, Janet, who passed in 1975. Her baby books, high school yearbook. On my.

After Uncle John’s passing, my sister and I spent many months visiting Carolyn, his widow. On “Tuesday nights with Carolyn” after dinner, we organized the paper and personal belongings, pilfering, plowing, crying, grieving, laughing with wonder and curiosity at our findings. I came home with 9 Rubbermaid tubs, full. Many of these items were returned to the Cincinnati Enquire for their archives. Two winters following I sorted from the late 1800’s to digital. Ten+  3-ring binders later – it is archived!

Except for this small box of personal correspondence gathered from drawers and files. Some of the letters are written to Uncle John. Many are copies of letters he wrote to others, particularly Aunt Mary. He retold many family stories and reported on his life in general.
This winter I will open the box and sort and organize. I will cry and laugh as I read and experience the calm, curious, humor and opinions of my Uncle.

I had hoped to share these moments with Carolyn and rehear the storied through her voice, but I waited a winter too long. Carolyn died at the grand age of 97, having only retired her high heels for 5 years!

My procrastination to dive into this project (which is much smaller than the first one) has found it’s way to the kitchen table for completion this is the winter.  I approach my project with fresh grief and one of the first pieces of paper to fall out of the box is Carolyn’s acceptance speech and the newsletter from the Cincinnati Junior League announcing her designation as Carrie Nowland Sustainer Award!  She notes in the speech that she, Carolyn, is the same age as the Junior League.  so, wish I could share that with her.

So, Carolyn and John, as I review a few of our years together in letters, I am so incredibly grateful for for the lessons, the memories, the meals, the stories, the books, the editing, the Grater’s, the blueberries, the impatiens (restarted from reseeding from 1956 to 2007), the blooming of the Cereus  and…and…and…

Your written memories will soon be in linear order. I promise!

 

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