A Woman for Our Times

Hopefully I won’t offend my oldest and best friend by re-posting her post that she placed on Facebook, upon hearing of the death of Helen Thomas. I couldn’t have stated the following any better if I had tried:
“One quick note, from someone who will soon turn 60, to all of you young women out there…
Last week we lost Helen Thomas, whom you all may not know. She was a stereotype basher and monster trail blazer for women journalists in Washington. Thomas was a Winchester, KY native, and although we may have disagreed on some politics, my hat is forever off to her for her no-nonsense approach to journalism, such that coverage of her was always about what she was doing and accomplishing and never about possible sordid affairs or hanging out with celebrities. She was often funny, but never ridiculous.
When I was a young girl, there were very few options for me. I could be a teacher — certainly what my parents wished for me. I grew up in a time when I was taught I was supposed to look like Barbie, where vacuum cleaner producers made jeweled vacuums so that I could dress up in my heels and shirtwaist dress and “fly” through my housekeeping with a huge smi…le on my face. My grandmother, mother and myself all fought in our own way for women’s sufferage and women’s rights. My high school refused to let me take industrial arts and instead insisted I take home ec so that I could learn how to cook for my husband and family. I did not marry, not for a very long time. I had no children. I worked horses on farms and tracks where women in the horse business were considered whores and therefore fair game for sexual harassment. One of my horses took two track records at the Red Mile and Scioto Downs. It was nothing, but was a huge victory for me.
Now I watch popular television and see women portraying their freedom by putting their g-string clad butts in the camera. Thankfully I see other women who are just as beautiful, and are spending their lives doing incredibly productive work for our society.
My hope for all young women out there is to realize there was a time you could not appear in public without a male escort, you were not legally able to inherit or own property, you had no vote and so no voice in our government. There was a time you were locked out of almost all professions save teaching, nursing and perhaps being a librarian. Please don’t throw away what all of a population of strong and pioneering women have won for you. Your goal should not be being as sexy as you can be, but to find out who you are and to be that person to the fullest extent, which of course will make you irresistible to the “right” lover and soul mate. The most beautiful thing about a woman is her soul, especially when it’s shining through.”
                                                           —-Thank you, Lyn. Well said.

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