a sobering thought
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri, 6 Feb 98 19:53:15 -0800
Subject: a sobering thought
Forwarded-by: Cal Herrmann <email@example.com>
Forwarded-by: Christie Fox <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: cathleen bemis <riva@PACBELL.NET>
On this, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I am old enough to remember that
in my adult lifetime, it was illegal for a woman to own stock, buy or sell
property, or dispose of any of her own assets without her husbands
I worked as a barmaid in a time when it was illegal for women to pour a
drink, so all bartenders were men; I made 50 cents an hour, he made 2.50 an
hour, and he took half my tips.(1972)
I remember when it was legal for a prospective employer to ask a woman about
the regularity of her periods.
I remember when it was legal for an employer to fire a woman who became
I remember when a woman was not allowed to be a GS9 in civil service.
I remember when women could not go to medical or law school because they
just couldn't do the job.
I remember when women couldn't be scientists because they couldn't do math.
I remember when my male boss patted my pregnant stomach and asked me if I
swallowed a watermelon.
I remember when my male boss squeezed my (large) breasts and unsnapped my
bra in the office. He and the other guys laughed. I cried.
I remember being the first female electronic technician in the county and
then on the Navy base where I worked, and how there was no restroom for me
to use. Boy! Did I see a lot of girlie calendars!
I remember when the choice for a womans life was made by her father, her
husband, her legislator, her President, in matters of her body, her mind,
her education, her marriage, and her old age.
I remember when literally women spent their life barefoot and pregnant.
I remember being hung out to dry by women who I tried to mentor in this male
I remember being hung out to dry by women when I fought with the union for
child care concessions.
And now I see women again defeating themselves and the progress their
mothers fought for by bickering, infighting, posturing, and giving credence
to the likes of gloria, phyllis, and martha.
Women are no longer feminists, but they have choices, they have options and
they have power.
I am fifty, and I didn't.
© 1998 Peter Langston