Tag Archive | women’s rights

Feeling Equal? We’ve come a long way baby but we still have a long way to go

If you think you are equal let me take you back to when I was a kid.

Please return all your credit cards. Your husband can let you use his when he feels you deserve it.

Please quit any job that isn’t secretarial, in nursing, in janitorial or teaching. Everything else is a man’s job and you are taking work from him. You may not own your own business unless it’s Tupperware, Mary Kay or Avon.

Your job, if you are allowed one, will include getting your boss his coffee, shopping for his wife, getting his lunch and getting his dry cleaning. There will be no women in management. (At one of my companies we found an old manual that included how to smoke like a lady at work at your desk if your boss allowed it and why you couldn’t wear pants. This led to enormous hilarity)

You can’t teach science, or math, we may let you teach art but everyone knows the great artists are men. You may teach language arts and home ec.

All PE classes will be segregated again and girls may now do ladylike things like take walks. The boys B teams can now use all the girls fields and the girls gym. How do I know that? Because that is what my school did in my newly built school in 1970. We may let you play tennis out of season and there will be no girls teams for sports. Title IX has been repealed.

Or as in my high school all the girls taking physics will get an automatic A whether you do the work or not because you will need it for your college transcript. (I refused to take it for this reason. I earned my grades)

All girls must take home ec and pass cooking and sewing with at least a C. You need to know how to take care of your family. You may not take shop, ladies do not take shop.

Remember to have permission from your husband or your father to go to the doctor. Your husband must okay your emergency hysterectomy or c section or any other medical procedure for that matter. My mom made us change doctors when I was in 7th grade because he (the doctor) tried this on us and she wanted us to have access to birth control or abortion that was 1966.

You may not take the Pill, use an IUD or any other form of birth control. The only appropriate birth control is holding an aspirin between your knees. (I’m not kidding, we were told this in health class)

You must be a member of your local church or synagogue or you can count on being shunned by your neighbors because you are a “bad girl”.

Remember to have permission to be out after 10pm from the man who is in charge of you.

You must wear dresses and skirts to work and school and they have to be of appropriate length.

Please remember to always wear a hat and gloves and invest in a good slip and girdle. Foundation garments are very important. Your comfort is not important, obeying the rules is important.

Makeup must be discrete as well as perfume otherwise you will be a slut
Tampons are not worn by ladies, please only wear napkins. There is no ibuprofen, cramps are a sign from God of Eve’s sin.

You may not drive without permission or for that purchase a car or any large major appliance except maybe a new sewing machine. Men can’t be expected to know about those things.

You will also be living in a world that still has measles, chicken pox, mumps, polio, German measles and scarlet fever so there is a good chance one of your children may have a disability such as deafness and blindness, if you get any of the above while pregnant there is a very good chance your child will have a disability. Oh and there is no mainstreaming for disabled kids. Iron lungs can’t go to school. They have to be homeschooled but then you should be at home with your kids anyway.

Like the 1950s/1960s?


Women’s body parts are biologically female and were in plain sight Saturday

One of the things I loved about the March and the signs was that a lot of the Trans definitions of womanhood got thrown right under the bus. Everywhere you looked there were drawings and paintings of women’s body parts. The parts men do not have. There was none of the Penises are female crap anywhere to be seen. There were uteri, ovaries and fallopian tubes painted on shirts, signs and women’s faces. Dykes were out and seen and could not be erased. Women could not be erased.

It was safe to be. You didn’t have to worry about creepy glances in the station and sometimes I have been in that station and on those early trains and have worried about my safety. Anyone trying that in that crowd would have not gotten away with it at all. And that was with absolutely no personal space available. I felt safe and that doesn’t happen very often in public.

What a lot of people who call themselves Pro-Life don’t get is that Pro-Choice people are Pro-Life, we’re for having the right to choose whether our lives matter too.

The Handmaid’s Tale signs do scare the bejeebus out of me because it would be all too easy to try to get away with in some states right now.

The best part was that every woman there was making clear that pussies belong to women. I’m sorry but the men in pussy hats just cracked me up. Men wearing pudenda just is inherently funny to me. There was a male Buddhist monk wearing one in the crowd on his shaven head. How is that not funny?

People had really gotten creative when they couldn’t knit too. There were a lot of pink fleece and felt ones besides knitted ones and every colour of pink and I saw a few strategic purple ones too. Nice to see other “family” out in the crowd.

There is a knitting shop down the block from our apt and I hate knitting but I’d love to learn to crochet. Maybe they can teach me to crochet a pussy hat for the next March. They are talking about an International Women’s Day March here. I’m game.

Reproductive freedom was everywhere you turned. Since men can’t get pregnant none one was worrying about their feelings on women and their bodies. It was awfully refreshing.

Adventures at the Women’s March or at least what I saw of it.

Saturday was a bit of an adventure for me and I never even got to the Women’s March. I had planned on getting to the train about 7:45 but even that I’m afraid would have been too late. I headed out around 8:15 and quickly ended up in traffic which never happens on a Saturday morning on our street, Does not happen, ever! And the closer I got to the Red Line terminal the worse it got so I turned and went an parked at the Ralph’s ¾ of a mile away and walked with my cane.

My thought at the time was that the friends I was supposed to meet could drop me at my car later. So I got to the station and it was a sea of humanity at 8:30 am and the March was officially until 11 am. If I hadn’t already had my Tap card I never would have made it in and down the escalator which was not running. I like to ride in the first car because the lines to get in the door are usually shorter, so I pushed my way down to that end of the platform.

Every train that came into the station was already full because people were getting on trains farther up to ride to our station for the turnaround because all the trains were already full. It took them over an hour until 9:37 am for them to send an extra long empty train and by then I had been standing that too long

It was great. Every one was happy and singing and chanting, granted it was things like “Not My President!” and singing “God Bless America’, lot of guitars present. But people were excited and sharing their signs and making sure the tons of kids present were safe and not getting too near the edges of the platform.

One man told me he thought that if the crowd had been Trump supporters someone would have been shoved on the tracks by now. I loved the men in the Rebel Alliance shirts in large groups of women that were their family members. Usually with a little girl on their shoulders. There were so many little girls with signs they had made themselves and were quite happy to share what their sign meant and why it was important. Made me a proud former Girl Scout leader to see these tiny women.

You know it’s a Women’s March when that much love and glitter is being spread around.

I had been adopted by some women by the time the train finally arrived that we could get on and people made sure I and some other more fragile people could get on. I ended up standing and by the time we got to the third station I must not have looked well. There was nowhere to sit and people were crammed in there like a Japanese subway train and it was hot and getting hotter.

People were telling why they were there and there women saying they had been there before and we could do it again. One gentleman and his wife and been Freedom Marchers and had walked with Dr King. There were people of every colour and ethnicity. There were tattooed kids next to soccer moms next to people like me with walkers and canes and in wheelchairs. There were well dressed people and there were people who weren’t and there were some bewildered people trying to get to work.

You could hardly breathe and a woman asked if I was okay and I wasn’t I was really hot but I was not going to go down without a fight but somehow people got me to a seat that magically appeared because there was absolutely no room. By then I must have looked awful because everyone was asking if I was okay and I started to feel faint. I used to faint a lot as a kid but I haven’t in years but I knew I was in trouble when the black sparkly tunnel appeared so I mentioned I felt faint.

You know it’s a crowd of women not men when you say something like that. Next thing I knew my head was shoved between my knees and about 6 water bottles came at me but since I was afraid I was going to be sick I couldn’t take them. There was no room to be sick. So someone asked me what I needed and I told them I thought getting off at the next stop was my only option. A group of women got me off the train and onto the train across the station going back. They risked losing their places on the train that were so hard to get to take care of me. I am so amazingly grateful to have been in their presence. Just WoW! They did not have to do that and they did.

I ended up sitting at the station when it got back until I felt well enough to walk all the way back to the car. I did have to stop a few times before I got there but I made it and then got home. So I never got the March but being in that crowd and with all those wonderful women was worth everything.

I’m going to make it next time and I’m eternally grateful to have been among and with those women!

I’m walking… again…

In 1986 I did the March for Women’s Lives here in LA, well actually in Culver City. It was the biggest protest March I’ve ever done outside of a Gay Pride parade. It was on March 16 a week after a huge one in DC. They say there were 30,000 people there. I think there were more. It’s was allegedly the largest march at that time in LA since 1968.

It was amazing to be with so many like-minded women. It wasn’t easy because it was pouring rain and there was lightning and thunder and I’m terrified of both since I had been struck by lightning a few years before. My friends had to do a whole lot of talking to get me out of the car. Everyone was supposed to wear white. In a very short amount of time it looked like the world’s largest wet tshirt contest. We were soaked to the skin but somehow joyous.

We marched and on one street it was lined with men holding bloody baby dolls and calling us murderers. They’d put out cribs and were dressed in white medical coats and were almost black faced their faces were so darkened with anger. You know that dark red men get when they are furious? Some were dressed as ministers and priests and were shaking Bibles at us. I kept thinking, how on earth do men get a say in what I do with my body?

I was walking with my friends, mostly lesbians, Girl Scouts and Pagans (some of us were all of the above) and I was very glad I was in a large group. Cocooned in that large group of women was the most comforting thing when faced with all that hate. There was a lot of joy in marching like that even though it was horribly uncomfortable and we were starting to shiver pretty badly by the time we got back to our car.

I remember listening to the speeches by women like Jane Fonda and being ready to go into battle at any moment. I remember thinking these women could do anything right then.

And now…

We have to do it all again. We’re still fighting for our human rights. We’re still fighting for the rights to control and define what a woman’s body is. That should not be. Lesbians still fighting to be seen and listened to. We never passed the ERA and maybe it’s time to resurrect that again.

So Saturday, I’m walking again and it’s supposed to be the only sunny day this week. I’m wearing black this time. I haven’t decided whether to wear a gay pride shirt or a goddess shirt or split the difference and wear the goddess tshirt and my gay pride hat from work especially since it’s from a healthcare company and we need to save ACA. I don’t have a pussy hat and I’m the world’s worst knitter. I failed knitting in the class we took in 7th grade Camp Fire Girls at Sears. So a baseball cap it will be.

I’m marching with my camera so I will post pictures, So far 70,000 people have registered and another 70,000 are “interested”.

I’m walking. 30 + years later. I think this time it will be with a cup of Starbucks hot tea in my hand, I’m older and I want my comforts too. I’m also taking my tactical flashlight and my medications and other things in case all hell breaks loose.

But I’m walking.

Thought on the election and a playlist to deal with it

I waited until today to vote because I wanted to stand in line with other people who would be excited to vote and they were. I’m usually the 3rd or 4th person in line when I arrive before 7am. This morning I got there about 6:30 and I was closer to 20th in line. The line quickly went around the building and around the 7/11 parking lot next door.

People were standing absolutely quietly in line. Maybe because it was early but the woman who got in line behind me said she had never been so excited to vote and the woman who was getting in line behind her and said she was surprisingly emotional about it.

The atmosphere felt a little like being in church on Christmas Eve, full of anticipation and yes, hope. Hope that our voices would be heard.

The crowd was at least ¾ s female and mostly younger than me.

I know I was excited. I haven’t been this excited to vote since June 6, 1972, my first time. I have to admit I voted Republican that first time because my parents were Republican but that was the only time and after Cam and I came out Mom and Dad started voting Democratic while still being registered Republicans because of the hate the Republicans were spewing against gay people. I don’t think they ever voted for a Republican again. Having gay kids made them converts. For my dad it was a switch back, he was a Democrat until he married my mom. The difference between being raised on a rural farm in Illinois and having been deprived during the Depression , riding the rails as a hobo and having joined FDR’S CCC in California to get a meal and a job  and finally joining a union and a woman whose parents were well of during the Depression in California and who hated FDR.

So today I voted for the women who went before to give me a choice to make my voice heard. Please vote, it’s so very important.


Election Day Playlist

All over the world – Holly Near, Ronnie Gilbert, Arlo Guthrie, Pete Seeger

America the Beautiful – Melinda Carroll

America the Beautiful/ This Land is Your Land – The Limeliters

America (My Country Tis of Thee) Craig Duncan

Battle Hymn of the Republic – Craig Duncan

Be thou my vision – Craig Duncan

Blowin’ in the Wind – Peter, Paul and Mary

Boys in Green – John McCutheon

Da Pacem – Libana

Don’t lose heart – Cris Williamson

Dona, Dona, Dona – The Chad Mitchell Trio

Dona Nobis Pacem – Melinda Carroll

Dona Nobis Pacem – Yo Yo Ma

Every day heroes and heroines – Deidre McCalla

Follow the light – John McCutcheon

Freedom is Coming – Circle of Songs Kate Marks and Friends

From a Distance – Bette Midler

Hawaiian Roller Coaster – Kamehameha Schools Children’s Choir

Hard Times Come Again No More – Yo Yo Ma, James Taylor, Edgar Meyer, Mark O’Connor

Hills of America – Emerald Rose

I will be gentle with myself – Circle of Song – Kate Marks

Ishq’ Allah – Melinda Carroll

Jubilate Gaia – Libana

Just around the Riverbend – Judy Kahn

Last Night I had the Strangest Dream – The Limeliters

Let there be peace on earth – Melinda Carroll

Peace is – Fred Small

Peace Prayer Mandala – Libana

Peace Train – Cat Stevens

Ready for the storm – Kathy Mattea

Singing for our lives – Holly Near

Something about the women – Holly Near

We shall not be moved – The Seekers

Well, may the world go – John McCutcheon & Tom Chapin

Women of our time – Judy Small





A prayer on a historic day

I hail Lady Liberty

I hail the women who went before me

The abolitionists of my line

Who became Suffragettes

I hail Columbia

I hail the women who were beaten

The women who were jailed

The women who were force fed

The women who defied the men

Who tried to suppress them

I thank them for their sacrifice

I thank them for birthing the 19th Amendment

I hail the Constitution and the Bill of Rights

I hail the 26th amendment that allowed me

My first vote for President in 1972

I give thanks for all who fought for this privilege

I wear white today to honour those women

I wear white to honour the first woman to run for President

We have waited since June 4, 1919 for her

I honour the women of colour that fought

For the Voting Rights Act of 1965

And who were unsung when they fought

For Suffrage in 1919

I honour the women for fighting

For what we take for granted

I honour them and I voted

I voted for an honourable and honest


All hail Lady Liberty

All hail Columbia

May she stand a top the Capitol

And watch over her.

So mote it be


Why I vote


This is me wearing my VOTE dress in 1972. It was the first election here in the US where 18 year olds had the vote. We got it because of the Vietnam War. The rationale being that if you were old enough to be drafted and have to fight in a war you should have a say in it.

My grandmother was a first wave feminist and I am a second wave feminist. I have never see anything that would lead me to believe there is anything of substance that a man can do that I can’t.

I have voted in every election I could. I did miss one when it was a city election and I had moved and didn’t register in time but since I had no idea about the people running in that city, I don’t regret it.

Tomorrow I will vote at 7am and I will wear white. I will wear white to honour both my grandmother and the women that were beaten, starved and force fed simply because they wanted the right to have a say in the government and its laws that governed them.

I will wear white to honour an honourable woman and to vote for her. I will not vote for an orange child rapist bullying thug with the brain of a Cheeto that conveniently has his hearing after the election. I will not vote for an idiot antivaxer. I will not vote for another idiot who doesn’t know where a major war is obliterating an entire city and its people.

I was so proud of that Vote minidress. I wore it everywhere. This was Grad Night at Disneyland. They made us wear dresses and we weren’t allowed to wear pants because in 1972 pants were not allowed in the dress code so a minidress that was shorter than my arms was a better option. and my friend in the photo? She is a Superior Court Judge. She was ASB President at our college when I was President of AWS (Women Students). Now it’s kind of odd to think that they had to have a President of Women Student but there wasn’t a President of Male Students because after all they could be President until Suzi was just the President.

You could register to vote 6 months before your birthday and that meant that although my birthday was June 2, I could proudly vote on June 6th and I did.

1972 – Women still couldn’t get credit in their name. Roe v Wade and Title IX would become a reality. It’s not that long ago. My male classmates were being drafted or anxiously trying to get into college to avoid the draft. Home Economics was still required for girls in Junior High. Pantyhose didn’t exist so you had to wear a girdle or a garter belt. There was no lovely ibuprofen when Aunt Flo from Redlands came to visit. Only “sluts” wore tampons because you could lose your virginity. The “pill” was not readily available and if you got pregnant you were sent to St Mary’s Home for Unwed Mothers. Sanitary napkins were worn on belts with nasty spikes to hold them in place because the napkins were the size of small boats. In 1972 I was told by another woman who was an Archaeologist at UCLA that I should give up my dream to be an archaeologist if I didn’t have a rich daddy. She told me this at our JCL convention where I had just won ribbons for knowledge of Latin.

In 1972 the world was a different place for women. There were no out lesbians in 1972 that I knew of. I knew gay men but lesbians were invisible. No woman had gone to space. Few women were in government. Few women were high up in company structures. The women managers when I started at Penneys were only in things like HR and Women’s Wear, all the other manager’s were men. You couldn’t find a woman doctor even in Gynecology.

My parents had always made us go with them to vote and they told us we could never complain about anybody in office if we had not bothered to vote. I still believe that.

The first thing I did with my graduation money was buy a charter subscription to Ms Magazine. I have marched against wars. I have marched for a women’s right to choose. I have marched for the right to love who I choose out and proudly. I will march again if I have to or support those who can do the things I can’t like my friends at Standing Rock.

I’m voting tomorrow to change the world again. To hopefully, make it a better place, a place where women don’t have to stand in a man’s shade.

And I will always, always, always exercise my rights under the 19th amendment. Vote tomorrow! Make your voice heard. It’s the only way we can. Every vote counts. And vote for the most qualified person. I’m with HER!

Ain’t I a woman?


sojounre 2

From our family photo album


by Sojourner Truth

Delivered 1851 at the Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio

Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that ‘twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what’s all this here talking about?

That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman?

Then they talk about this thing in the head; what’s this they call it? [member of audience whispers, “intellect”] That’s it, honey. What’s that got to do with women’s rights or negroes’ rights? If my cup won’t hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn’t you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?

Then that little man in black there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ’cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.

Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain’t got nothing more to say.

Anger still seethes

I remember the girl who sat across from me in sewing class in 7th grade

I remember how she disappeared amid a flurry of rumour

I remember her reappearance to the next school year, a year later

We knew where she went.

It was 1967. And we knew she had been swallowed up with no choice

By St Mary’s Home for Unwed Mothers

When she returned no one ever said a thing.

I remember the ones whose parents in 1970 and 1971

Who were out of school for “medical procedures” because their

Parents had enough money to pay for something that was

Not yet legal

I remember my very straight arrow mother choosing a differnet doctor because the Catholic

doctor in 1969 didn’t believe in abortion and my mom wanted that option

open to her daughters, legal or not.

I remember the friend who later told me about almost bleeding to death

From a back alley practitioner

I remember not once did any one say anything about the boys

who changed a girl’s life and bore no consequences

I remember marching in the pouring rain in 1986

Dressed in white, the largest protest march ever in LA

I remember being elated to be with so many like-minded women and some men

And coming around the corner in Century City to be confronted

By angry screaming men covered in blood and waving bloody baby dolls

And being beyond angry.

How dare they scream at women

How dare they try dictate what I do with my body?

How dare they condemn little girls who were barely out of babyhood themselves?

To being mothers or having to pretend the new baby was their sister and not theirs

How dare this history be repeated?

How dare they???

I know you are but what am I?

There is always someone calling names. For some of us it started when we started school


My first memories of first grade are the boys calling me names. I was the only kid in glasses. I was the only kid with disabilities and the only non-Jew in my class. That area of North Hollywood was almost exclusively Jewish. Teachers that were Jewish made it clear that I wasn’t wanted too. I remember an older boy running up behind me while I was waiting in line to go into my first grade class and knocking me down and stepping on the back of my head and breaking my glasses. No one did anything about him or did anything to stop him. Thank you, Mrs Soloman!

Or the time in 3rd grade the teacher announced to the whole class after state testing that I was reading at 10th grade level. It took all of 30 seconds at recess for the pinches and punches to start because the teacher added that the rest of them shouldn’t let a Gentile do better than them. So Thank you Mrs Camp!


It’s no different now. Boys and men call names. They do it to hurt and to control. There are so many names they call women to hurt.


The problem with name calling is that eventually you get de-sensitized to it. When most people start getting called names in Junior Hi or now, middle school, they can’t handle it. This caused a weird problem for me when I was called names again in Junior Hi. I had been so bullied in my elementary school before we finally moved that I didn’t recognize it or pay attention. This lead to a weird sort of admiration on the part of some people because I didn’t react. They didn’t know that I by then had learned not to hear it.


Oh those were so original. Yeah, I knew I was skinny and flat chested but I’m smarter than you. So what! It went in one ear and out the other. Are the names supposed to tell me something I don’t already know? My dad was fond of teasing me at that point. He’d say “two peas of a washboard” but I could wear an undershirt and not one of those awful contraptions with stays like my gym partner who was a 40d in 7th grade and always had bandaids under her bra.

DYKE! LEZZIE! And from the really stupid, FAGGOT!

Words used by men again to shame and control but what if there is no shame? I’m not ashamed to be an out lesbian. I have been since 1979. There is nothing wrong with loving people who are like yourself and look like you do.


More words to control women, Heaven forbid we show that we are aging. We are all supposed to look 20 forever? Hell no! I wouldn’t go back to be 20 for anything. I like that I’m aging! I like that I have grey and white hair. Not so found of the things like arthritis but then I got that diagnosis when I was 9 and had already been in dance and gymnastics for 3 years. And yes, I’m a Witch, I have been for over 30 years. Tell me something I don’t know. Names again to control how a woman behaves and lives. Even the worst word a boy could be called in grade school made sure the other boys thought he was feminine. “Sissy!”


So now we have the latest words to come along and again they are being used on women by men to shame them into behaving. This kind of male, when they were six, were mean and evil and now when they are grown and claiming they have the non-existent “laydee brain” are still mean and evil and they need to grow up. It didn’t work then and it ain’t going to work now.

I’m rubber you’re glue, what you say bounces off me and sticks to you!