On the Upbeat, Positively Carolan

Expressing Oneself

“I don’t think I need a dick in order to express my opinion.” I recently read this tell-it-like-it-is expression in an internet blog. The blunt words came from a female teacher traveling in Brazil with a mostly male group, who kept shutting her down when she didn’t agree with them and spoke up for herself.

While I would not have put it so graphically, that woman’s experience triggered memories of old wounds in my own life …

Yes, I was the first female student body reporter in my school (voted by my peers). But I was “feature” editor of the school paper and “assistant” editor of the yearbook, while a male was Editor of both, anointed by faculty because a female could not be expected to hold these lofty positions.

Years later as a single female entrepreneur I fought the white conservative male power structure of my hometown. And lost, thank you so much, Portland! And that is partly why I headed to the sun of San Diego, where I worked good day jobs, was a cog in Hillary’s San Diego Team and used writing skills to skewer the misogynistic media. But in the end, I wonder if I accomplished anything.

As Ann Lees of Brookline, Massachusetts commented online, “I contributed generously to Senator Clinton’s campaign, and I’m glad I did. Her determination and stamina have been tremendous. Although I am a decade older than the feminists … I know all too well what it is like to be an intelligent and competent woman who feels professionally disenfranchised because of her gender.”

And as Erica Jong — and the current Supreme Court majority — reminded us, we still have much to do!







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