Going to try and stick to the point

This morning as I was putting on my earrings I had my usual struggle with my left ear. I thought, geeze, I’ve had pierced ears since I was 16 and the holes are just the same size now as then. And then I thought about other things, like…

I was born in 1946, keeping that in mind, I never, as a kid, was told I couldn’t do something because I was a girl. Think about that for a minute. I did not experience gender discrimination until the late 1970’s when I was told that I couldn’t have a job I wanted because “women just don’t do that”.

Oh my father would often make remarks like “Girls don’t an education” which didn’t really affect me because my parents were not involved in my life. I made all my own school decisions. I wanted to go to college so I enrolled myself in the academic (or as they might call it now – college prep) courses in high school. I think I was a junior in high school when my father found out I was NOT taking a secretarial course! Oh yes, I forged my parent’s signatures on all school paperwork starting back in 6th grade.

I grew up in the 1950’s and 60’s believing I could be anything I wanted because I was surrounded by women who worked at professions that were probably, at that time, male dominated. In 6th grade (a pivotal year for me) when my teacher dubbed me a ‘poetess’ I corrected her – I was a poet, the word being a neuter noun.

My doctor was a woman. The sister of a friend of mine was an ordained minister. In my world there were women who worked in just about every profession that, at that time, would have been considered ‘men’s’ jobs. Doctors, lawyers, professors, accountants, clergy, writers, artists – all women who I knew.

These people were not members of my family, we were completely working class, blue collar people; the men worked at manual labor, the women worked in factories. My world existed outside my family confines, looking back it was rather a big world.

And while I was thinking back on all these things, I thought “I shall write about this and ask the question – What colored your world?”

And then I thought – “Isn’t there a song with a title like that? Sure enough there is. I had completely forgotten about this song and how much I liked it way back when…monotonous as the tune is, hearing it again, I still like it, silly sentimental fool that I am –

7 thoughts on “Going to try and stick to the point”

  1. I like that song. An oldy but a goody. I think it was probably my dad that colored my world.. Nit so much by what he said but by what he did. Then there was my mither and others who always reminded me of how afraid of my own shadow i was.

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      1. Why am I not surprised you forged your parents’ signature? Lol! I don’t remember feeling like there were things I couldn’t do. My mom is outspoken and strong willed so although she was a secretary at one time, she was later a realtor for many years. One of my grandmas was an entrepreneur who owned a bakery/deli in our small town of St Mary’s, KS. I remember women in professional roles although I don’t recall having a woman doctor. I didn’t until I was old enough to make my own decisions. Very interesting to think about this!

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        1. By the time you were born and growing up things had changed a tiny bit, having strong independent women in your life does color your outlook. My maternal grandmother, who I really didn’t know well, was a wheeler and dealer…she worked 7 days a week in sweatshops and with the money she bought real estate all over NYC…lots of stories about her, she was a ballsy woman. When she sold up to move to California she was a wealthy woman.

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  2. Yep! I lived in the same world growing up, Grace… the only thing different was that my parents never limited me because of my gender. There’s a lot of talk today about “women can be anything they want to be”… and my response always is “Couldn’t we always be?!” I was born in 1956 and was never ever told I couldn’t do or be something because I was female. None of my friends were either, that I know of. Most of my girlfriends went to college and there were women “everything” back then: doctors, lawyers, nurses, and yes, housewives too if they so chose. I kind of feel like women are *more* limited now than they used to be. It seems a woman can’t choose to be a married, stay-at-home housewife and mother even if she wanted to be today. How sad when limits are put on to anybody, regardless of gender.

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