How lucky I was to have been there on January 21 at this historic, record-setting event, an event that brought hundreds of thousands of people to our capital and inspired millions on every continent to march in solidarity. It was so over-crowded that I can honestly say I STOOD for women’s rights rather than MARCHED for women’s rights (!) and it was truly extraordinary in many, many ways. This is what delighted me most: Continue reading
This post is a tribute to friendship and a testimony to how women’s lives have improved in my lifetime. This year, 2016, I turned 70 and so did many of my friends, including my college room-mate Maxene. She was given a surprise party by her husband, who asked all of the guests to write a letter, poem, or story to be bound in book as a gift for her…an appropriate gift because Max is very close to publishing her own book, a memoir. Of course, I went to her party. Flew to Atlanta on Labor Day. This has been a hard year for my friend, she has struggled through many months of health issues, which alone was a big reason to be there for her. But, more importantly, Max and I have a lasting bond, a connection that I share with no one else.
The U.S. Women’s Soccer team, winners of the 2015 World Cup, are ranked #1 in the world and were recently honored at a White House celebration. These women, like many top female athletes, are an inspiration for girls who participate in sports at any level, from playing kickball in the streets to competing in school tournaments. But for women like me, who grew up without Title IX to guarantee fair access to athletic opportunities, their accomplishments resonate at a much deeper level.
It is well known that in the bird world males are the flamboyant, colorful characters, sporting bright plumage and singing about their assets to attract the less conspicuous females. I envy those lucky chicks who can hide in the foliage, quietly watching and judging all the song-and-dance routines before making their choice for this season’s nest-mate.
In the human world, we gals don’t have it as easy. Sexual attraction is our burden, much to the delight and profit of world’s fashion, cosmetic, and perfume industries. It’s even worse since medical technology joined the party. If we are no longer satisfied with the effects of putting paints, dyes, bleaches, lotions, and chemicals on our bodies, we have more options; we can enhance our bodies with “cosmetic” procedures, many of them surgical, some of them dangerous. The list of what women can do — and are really implored to do — to appear sexually attractive is quite long, starting with a little lipstick and ending god-knows-where in the realm of breast augmentation, facelifts, and tummy tucks. A chirpy song-and-dance routine seems simple by comparison.