2013/11/25

I Am Reminding You of the True Message

Now You Control It

BY JANET GOODRICH
jmg@jmgoodrich.com


I believe that the women before us who fought for equality would be ashamed to know that their long sacrificing battle is nowadays defined by sex, birth control, and abortion.
Political rhetorical has increasingly regressed to a single-minded erroneous characterization of women's rights; full circle, defining women once again by their reproduction organs. It was that definition of women those 19th century Suffragettes fought to change.
Regretfully, in this 21st century, we have waned. We have lost their vision.
It was not abortion that Charlotte Perkins Gilman spoke of when she said, "It is the duty of youth to bring its fresh powers to bear on social progress. Each generation of young people should be to the world like a vast reserve force to a tired army. They should lift the world forward. That is what they are for."
It was not about birth control that Susan Anthony pleaded to those disenfranchised 19th Century women when she said, "There never will be complete equality until women themselves help to make laws and elect lawmakers." 
It was not about sex when Pearl S. Buck said, "Let woman out of the home, let man into it, should be the aim of education. The home needs man, and the world outside needs woman."

Those women believed that they were more than their reproduction organs.
Those heroines that stood, fought, and sacrificed for women's equal rights would be dishonored that their fought-for dignities have been redefined by sexual activity.   
Define women as women, strong, intelligent human beings, willing, and quite able to succeed on their own merits. Florence Nightingale believed as much when she said, "Instead of wishing to see more doctors made by women joining what there are, I wish to see as few doctors, either male or female, as possible. For, mark you, the women have made no improvement they have only tried to be ''men'' and they have only succeeded in being third-rate men." 

It is undeniable that birth control and abortion have always been in the conversation, however, inaccurately, it has come to define women's rights, and I believe that they, Nan Robertson's "Girls in the Balcony" fought for rights such as equal pay, equal work conditions, equal opportunity, and respect in the workplace. Those women wanted to do their job, wanted to perform on an equal basis, and fought hard for that right.
Harriet Rabb,who led the fight against Newsweek said about 1964 Civil Rights Act said,  "this fight opened those doors in the 1970s through which many fortunate and deserving women have followed." 
Those doors opened to recognize deserving women as contributing humans on this earth, not vessels, not objects, simply human beings. 
Those women thinkers knew it was a revolution to redefine women as human beings rather than by their reproduction organs. Charlotte Perkins Gilman was clear: “There is no female mind. The brain is not an organ of sex. As well speak of a female liver.” People, folks, women, men, all have other needs.
For every quote on birth control there are dozens for women's rights in politics, in the work place, medically, socially, and I believe our pioneers would be sadden to know that what they fought for so precariously has become redefined as sex, birth control, and abortion. Catharine MacKinnon was right when she said, "It's mainly a few elite women who benefit greatly from standing with the forces that keep women down."
Birth control, unprotected sex, and abortion are individual choices not predicated on inequality. Choice, expressed in the wise words of Eleanor Roosevelt: "One's philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes... and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.
Realize this; it has been only 129 years since the United States had to pass a bill requiring ten "men" as witnesses to acknowledge that a woman fought in the military. March 28, 1884, the House of Representatives passed House Bill 5335 validating Sarah Edmonds Seelye service in the Civil War:
        "Truth is ofttimes stranger than fiction, and now comes the sequel, Sarah E. Edmonds, now Sarah E. Seelye, alias Franklin Thompson, is now asking this Congress to grant her relief by way of a pension on account of fading health, which she avers had its incurrence and is the sequence of the days and nights she spent in the swamps of the Chickahominy in the days she spent soldiering.
        That Franklin Thompson and Mrs. Sarah E.E. Seelye are one and the same person is established by abundance of proof and beyond a doubt. She submits a statement . . . and also the testimony of ten credible witnesses, men of intelligence, holding places of high honor and trust, who positively swear she is the identical Franklin Thompson. . . ."
 
Up to the 1960's women were not of legal age of majority until age 21 but men were legal at age 18.   
If 49 years ago you started in the workforce when you were 18 you may have just retired. Is there one woman among you that feels the fight is over and there is absolute equally? Know this, if we are talking about this, the fight is not over, and if we let sexual activity control the conversation, we lose.

***
 


A woman cannot live in the light of intellect. Society forbids it. Those conventional frivolities, which are called her 'duties', forbid it. Her 'domestic duties', high-sounding words, which, for the most part, are but bad habits (which she has not the courage to enfranchise herself from, the strength to break through), forbid it.”
The world is put back by the death of every one who has to sacrifice the development of his or her peculiar gifts to conventionality.  Florence Nightingale
 
 


 
 

 

2012/12/02

1988 RX7 GXL


Baton Rouge, Louisiana 2012


My Old Used Carr

It seems to me that it wasn't that my Uncle Carr was particularly nosy, he was just a lone neighborhood watch on Park Avenue. He was almost a century old, ninety-eight. He said that it was his civic duty, sort of like the Lone Ranger and his vision had been to be a Ranger. Said it all started when he was a boy, and he made Eagle Scout, and that he was part Indian. I think, Cherokee, or maybe related to Pontiac. Before he retired, he was a trooper with the state and he really loved working outdoors. Then he moved to a suburban area and was like villager in a town and country.

My memories of Uncle Carr were mostly of the nights when all my cousins and I would dart to his home (unless there was a storm) and we would pile on his front porch for our nightly summit to look at the galaxy for nova, or wait for an eclipse. The evening zephyr would blow through the aspen and set the tempo. He always started his stories by pointing out Taurus in the sky with his great big cutlass that we called the Excalibur, and then he would slice it toward Saturn, the big blade gleaming in the moonlight, taking our breath away. And he would really yell if the neighbor's Audi box (that's what he called radio) was louder than him.

It just seemed that he knew about everything, and we loved listening to his stories about when he was a trailblazer. We would sit silently, the only sound we made was to acclaim our stanza: Jim-my! He had been to Dakota and Laredo on a caravan, and roped wild mustang and rode a wild bronco. We never tired of hearing about his hunting expeditions for cougar, fox, impala, lynx, and jaguar and how crossing the ford near the delta ended up a quest to cope with spiders and super beetles. He told us stories of battles in Granada that always began with a Chevy cry that made chills go through our spines and we believed he was only about the most intrepid person in the world. To all of us, he was a grand voyager, an explorer, a real pathfinder. Our own celebrity.

He said that things were different today and that when he was a boy the fireflies were as big as birds. He even sometimes called them firebirds.

But, the thunderbird of his life happened after the Christmas he had bought Aunt Mercedes a sable coat. She was rather cavalier about it and then on a caprice, she ran off to Monte Carlo with Uncle Carr's sidekick, a courier that was working as an escort. She thought the courier was supreme because he once had been a Samurai. He gave her a diamond ring that looked like a prism and it turned out to be a topaz.

It was classic story. Uncle Carr always told it with a prelude about her being like Cressida, the Trojan woman that was unfaithful to her lover. He hired a tracer to probe into where she had gone, but she could always dodge him. Uncle Carr warned us boys not to let a pickup like her get her talons in us. He said she thought she was Crown Queen Victoria. But, I know he missed her, because when he recalled her legend he talked about her like she was regal, and sometimes he thought he saw her, but it was only a mirage. It turned out that she liked the rover life and made her mark picking up an occasional diplomat, and once a Marquis. She thought he was a regency, like a king.

Uncle Carr didn't hate many things. Maybe just golf and New Yorkers and after Aunt Mercedes ran off, the continental dynasty (that's what he called it). He hated royals.

More than anything, I enjoyed Uncle Carr telling the stories about when he was a boy and his favorite colt pulling him around in his cabriolet. His Pa once let him drive his brougham that was pulled by his prize pinto and he sure got in a fury when Uncle Carr was given a citation for driving too fast. His Pa always said, "That boy will do just what is his own accord."

Uncle Carr never realized how much his stories meant to us kids. He made each of us want to excel. It was really sad that he thought that he had already lived his life and all he had was memories. So, he just talked about the past and quit living in the present. Sure sometimes things are bigger and better in memories, but he couldn't see the broad spectrum of things. I didn't even know it until later that he had altogether quit living. He was the omni to all of us and I thought it was just a bad joke when he called himself an old used Carr.

© jmgoodrich

2011/09/25

WHERE WAS THIS PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN




Standing to the right is Minnesota Fats,
to the center is William W Baker from North Carolina.

2010/10/20

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