Posted tagged ‘“Enough Already”’

What My 18-Year Old Self Would Have Thought – Another Reason I’m With Her

November 6, 2016


I keep trying to remember what my 18 year old self would have thought of a woman running for President.

It is hard for my nearly 60-year old self to recreate. There’s only one thing I am sure of.

If someone had told me that the U.S. would NOT have woman president,for the next forty years, I would not have believed it. Because I knew, of course, a woman could  be president; i.e. that women were certainly able enough.  I had gone to a girls’ high school, where all offices within the school–as in student council–were held by incredibly able young women. The administrators of the school were very able older women, though, we had, of course, a male head.

Yes, I also knew that my girls’ school had far far less funding than the partnering boy’s school–female alumnae just couldn’t give as much as male alumnae. But still, at the girls’ school, we were convinced that our actual academic and other achievements equaled or surpassed the achievements of those at the boys’ school, and that we too would use that education to do important things in the world.

Of course, many of my classmates have done such things, including having wonderful and informed children (one of the most important  things you can do for the world, and the only one I’m sure I’ve done.)

But the point is that I never, back then, would have believed that there would be so few women in high national office for so many many years.

I say this to those who think that it’s not a big deal that an able woman is finally in reach of high office.  I say this to those who don’t like Hillary because of her baggage (not understanding that women candidates especially of my generation carry a kind of baggage, women coming from days when they did not have much economic or political power, women who even now are deemed to carry the baggage of their families/spouses  in ways that men are not).  I say this to those that think,  of course, there will be other women coming to fill high office, other better women.

Another thing my 18-year old self never imagined:  that in this 21st century, to be a woman with any national exposure in the United States, you have to be as made-up i.e. cosmeticized as a fashion model.  That a woman would have to have styled hair and styled eyes to maintain a place on the national scene.  This is especially the case of many female newscasters, unfortunately, the most visible women in national prominence– (The only ones that seem to get a break are gay women.)

Geez.  What happened to the old (as in young) Barbara Walters and Jane Pauley?
I think I can safely say that Shirley Chisolm and Bella Abzug did not take a lot of time over their make-up.

So, what is the point of this post?

  1.  I am so sick of women having to fit into those heels and those eyes.
  2. Do not underestimate the type of squeezing and carrying that women have to undertake to qualify for prominence in this country.
  3. Don’t assume that, of course, there will be a woman president soon (as in, but just not Hillary Clinton.)
  4. Vote.  And more than vote, support.  At least for the next few days.  For this now, let go of the back-biting.  Make it happen.

After Hearing the Tape (Trump/Billy Bush)

October 8, 2016

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After hearing the tape (Trump/Billy Bush)

The story I don’t want to write tonight is a story of laying on a bathroom floor of white and black square tiles that float above a spine that connects to the hard shiver of even my finger bone, but not to the throb of those soft spots that I am pretty sure were also once me.

The bathtub is one of those old-fashioned ones with feet that they call clawed, only truly, they are cold painted iron, only they feel by my ears like one more thing calling me stupid, part of that black and white right-angled roar.

Almost every woman has been subject to some level of sexual assault; many of those women have been told (even if only by  inhaled cultural assumptions) that it was her fault.  This is particularly the case of women who were conditioned (i) to be pleasing and (ii) to use whatever looks (and complaisance) they had as part of their currency to negotiate the world.

Men like Donald Trump rely on relative wealth and power to push such women around, to take advantage of them, knowing that the women’s own concern for negative consequences made up of the feeling (self-abdicating) that it was all her fault, the feeling (true) that it happens to everyone, the feeling (sensible) that she will be smeared if she complains, the feeling in those cases where the woman continues some skewed and toxic relationship with the attacker that she should at least try to get some good out of the situation–some job, some economic benefit, some absorbed power, maybe even some form of turned tables–

An ego is a delicate thing.  Women’s egos probably shatter a lot more frequently than glass ceilings.  It can be hard to see clearly through all those cracks in self-esteem and self-worth.  But this much we’ve got to be able to see–we cannot elect someone like this to national office.

One more of the many reasons I’m with her.


Sorry for those that hate political posts.  This election is obviously very important to me so I feel compelled to use whatever forum I have. 

“Is It Working Now?”

March 6, 2013


Internet still funky, i.e. on/off.

Days in NYC still box-ridden.

Some can turn obstacles into art.

Others can only churn out elephants, and even those,

just one at a time.

My Fair Ladies? No Room For Their Own (Securing the Chaste in Prose/poetry)

October 4, 2012

My Fair Ladies?  (No Room For Their Own)

My female ancestors from the far North were lucky, I realize of late.

Living in a raw climate, they could tolerate the extra layer of chastity belt.

Sure, it clanked when they walked, but the red hot poker up the janzi and similar genital reconfigurations were saved for royalty and,
occasionally, the psychically inclined.

All I want is a room somewhere–

While my particular ancestors were none of these, but commoner sorts.

Far awaiiy
from the–
Born into an age and place that needed women able to walk (even if clanking)–

cold night air–

a barren landscape where the few females were valuable, if chattel,

with one enormous chairrrrrr—

whereas in the more populated world of today, it seems that women are sometimes


expendable chattel. 

And, what with scrap metal so precious and thorns and threads and knives and other young girls so cheap,

no one even bothers with–


clanking.  Cutting straight to the–



While in my so-lucky case,  I can worry about

a room somewhere–

So way beyond unfair,

heart hurts.


I’m sorry to those who follow this blog that I am still thinking a lot about the oppression of women – a very big and grim subject.

The above is a draft poem for dVerse Poets Pub Meeting the Bar challenge hosted by Anna Montgomery which is a challenge to mix up poetry and prose.  In this case, my poetry owes a debt to Alan Jay Lerner, the lyricist of “My Fair Lady.”  

Enough Already – “Divided by Too”

July 25, 2012


Divided By Too

If you say it once,
you say it six times, half-
a-dozen, twelve divided
by two, your
words soon bricks in
my wall.  You call it
explaining; I call it


This is posted for “Real Toads“, for a poetry challenge by the wonderful Mama Zen to write something in 35 words or less. Her idea (with which I agree heartily) is that most bloggers go on just too darn long. (I include myself in this indictment;  I should also add that the voice of the “I” in the poem above is probably not mine, as I’m guessing I tend to fall into the wordier category.) Enough said.