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In Favor of Feminism: Share Your Views

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  • olma61
    olma61 Member Posts: 1,026
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    Some early female role models/ inspiring women from my childhood- loved the Helen Keller / Annie Sullivan story, both were strong determined and made their mark on the world. Harriet Tubman, whose bio I read in a book from the school library - courageous, rebellious, strong. Marie Curie - because I loved science. Also the nuns in my Catholic grammar school, which was a completely female-led institution (although of course the Church itself isn't) where they encouraged and nurtured my intellectual curiosity.

    As for women of today whom I admire, I gravitate toward women who support free speech and self-determination and aren't afraid to speak plainly. Some names - Nadine Strossen, Lionel Shriver, “old wave" feminists Julie Bindel and Germaine Greer. Still like Meghan Murphy and her YouTube show, she interviews some interesting guests. I like Christina Hoff Sommers, too. As a mother of boys I appreciated her book The War on Boys (written in the 90s I believe) and I think she has some common sense takes on today's tendency toward fragility. Don't agree with every position any of these women take, but I see them as voices that are very much needed in the discourse.

    I really don't think very highly of today's elected officials of either party, regardless of their sex. In general, yes, it's good that the glass ceilings on elected office are finally being broken. And I credit all women who hav the drive and ability to be elected to high office or serve as a judge. I kinda like Sonia Sotomayor, probably one of the least “political “ on the Supreme Court, even though she's seen as “liberal" and does make predictably “liberal" decisions at times, some of her opinions are really spot on and not based on right/left politics but purely on the law.

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 5,087
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    olma,

    Is that the same Lionel Shriver who wrote We Need to Talk About Kevin? That was one of the deeply disturbing yet well written pieces of fiction I have ever read!

  • olma61
    olma61 Member Posts: 1,026
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    Yes! One and the same

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 5,087
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    Thanks, as I said, it was a very disturbing book but so well written I couldn’t put it down. I passed it on to my younger dd and she said, “ That was incredibly upsetting but what a read! “

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 6,232
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    Olma, I think the very first biography I ever came across was on Annie Sullivan. It was 4th grade and the teacher read a chapter each day of the book “Hellen Keller’s Teacher”. It totally fascinated me and I somehow got a copy of the book and read it through myself. It covered Annie’s childhood and went up to the time of Hellen’s breakthrough of spelling “water” at the well. Not until years later did I learn more about Helen Keller’s life beyond that point; both women are truly inspirational and admirable.

    I don’t know other women you mention but will keep my ears out to learn more.


  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 6,232
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    “Nothing Compares 2 U", written by Prince and sung of course by Sinéad O'Connor is such a gabulous song. This is an NPR on Sinéad, who has an autobiography out now (I'm on the library hold list for it of course).


    Sinéad O'Connor Has A New Memoir ... And No Regrets



    Sinéad O'Connor rose to fame in 1990 with a multi-platinum selling album. Two years later, a controversial TV appearance on Saturday Night Live threatened to derail her career. Since then O'Connor's struggles have often played out in the public eye. But with Rememberings, a newly published memoir, she's hoping to show there is a lot more to the artist "behind the music."

    It all started in Ireland, where O'Connor says she was brought up in an abusive household. Her parents split up when she was nine, and, after a few minor scrapes with the law, she was sent to a notoriously tough Catholic reform school. There, thanks to unforeseen circumstances, her life began to turn around. "Sister Margaret was like a mother to me," O'Connor explains. "There was a punk rock clothes shop in Dublin called No Romance. She took me there and bought me a red parka, and a whole lot of punk clothes, and my first guitar and a book of chords for Bob Dylan songs."

    She also brought in a guitar teacher, which led O'Connor to a songwriting collaboration with In Tua Nua, a band signed to U2's newly launched record label. Although O'Connor was too young to tour, she performed in and around Dublin, eventually attracting the attention of the London-based label Ensign. Ireland was an established proving ground for exports such as Thin Lizzy, the Boomtown Rats and U2. But when it came to women, its most well-known artist was a straitlaced pop singer called Dana, winner of the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest.

    O'Connor had other ideas in mind, writing emotionally complicated songs that drew attention to social issues, sometimes referencing the difficult circumstances of her own childhood. Dissatisfied with the producer who was enlisted to work on her 1987 debut, The Lion and the Cobra, 20-year-old O'Connor took the reins herself.

    When label bosses pressured her to grow her hair and dress in short skirts, she had her hair shaved and took on a decidedly anti-glamorous look. In her memoir, O'Connor writes that Ensign executives also sent a doctor to coerce her into having an abortion when they learned that she was pregnant. Instead, she gave birth to her first child a few short weeks before releasing the album

    Directed by her record label to look more feminine, Sinéad O'Connor asserted her independence.

    As for the music, there was nothing else like it on the radio, says music critic Jessica Hopper: "She just seemed like an emissary from a bold new world." Refusing pop formulas, one of the tracks opened with a Gaelic recitation of Psalm 91 by the singer Enya. Another featured a cameo from rapper MC Lyte. Yet another, referencing a poem by William Butler Yeats, was a dark, intense song about her mother, who died in a car accident when O'Connor was 19.

    "She came along at a time when alternative music was just starting to cross into the mainstream, but she was straddling both those things," recalls Hopper, "She was immediately iconoclastic."

    The album enjoyed substantial airplay on college radio and MTV. Future Riot Grrrl pioneer Kathleen Hanna says her roommate shared a copy she bought on cassette. "We just sat there in silence and listened to the whole entire record," Hanna recalls. "I don't even think we talked. It felt like being on a journey; it felt like someone had written songs that were already living inside me. It really felt like meeting myself."

    The label expected to sell around 25,000 copies of the album; instead, it's sold 2,500,000 worldwide. The Lion and the Cobra earned O'Connor a 1989 Grammy nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. As a show of support for artists who boycotted the ceremony to protest Grammy's decision not to televise the award for Best Rap Performance, O'Connor performed with Public Enemy's logo shaved onto the side of her head.

    She broke even further into the mainstream with her Prince-penned single, "Nothing Compares 2 U," and its unforgettable music video, which vaulted her 1990 sophomore effort, I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got, to the top of the charts in several countries, with estimated sales topping seven million worldwide.

    Although O'Connor was nominated for four Grammys, she declined industry awards, asserting that they were too focused on commercial success, and not enough on artistic merit. When she was invited to perform on Saturday Night Live, O'Connor closed her set by tearing up a photo of Pope John Paul II, a gesture intended to draw attention to the Catholic church's complicity in perpetuating child abuse, already in her native Ireland.

    The Anti-Defamation League condemned O'Connor. So did Madonna and Phil Hartman. Conservative groups steamrollered her records. And when actor Joe Pesci hosted he threatened to smack her. Two weeks later, O'Connor was booed at a tribute concert for Bob Dylan, signaling the end of one phase of her career, and the start of another.

    "She was the first celebrity in mainstream culture to be cancelled" Hopper says. Part of the scandal, she notes, was O'Connor's defiant refusal to act the way we expect pop stars to behave—particularly female artists.

    O'Connor says that even though the rebuke was painful, she isn't sorry. She had wanted to use her voice to turn the trauma she had experienced into a powerful healing force.

    By the mid-1990s, she'd stopped making hit records, but she never stopped making music. In addition to songs of her own invention, O'Connor restyled Irish folk songs, reggae and religious music. She brought her unique sensibilities to music made famous by others, artist collaborations, songs made for films and efforts to support human rights.

    Over the years tabloid culture has remained fixated by O'Connor's creative and personal permutations, which have included explorations of spirituality and sexuality, candid personal disclosures, and occasionally inflammatory public comments. While male artists such as Bruce Springsteen have been lauded for openly discussing their struggles with mental health, O'Connor not so much.

    As her book jacket states, she has "fascinated and outraged millions." But O'Connor has also inspired them, surfacing at a time before an alternative culture marketplace had been fully realized, and broadening the lane for other artists such as Fiona Apple and Michael Stipe to get their music across.

    The exposure that came with O'Connor's commercial success had a particularly significant impact on young women, Kathleen Hanna says. "Because she was a punk who ended up making these pop records, or what could be considered pop records, they had such a far reach," she explains. "I think it was validating for a lot of people to hear her on mainstream radio."

    In recent years O'Connor has embraced Islam and adopted a new off-stage name, Shuhada Sadaqat, which she says means "truthful witness." She also started reclaiming her musical legacy, playing a string of sold-out shows and garnering rave reviews.

    Although the pandemic has paused touring, it's given O'Connor the chance to work on new music, and to resume her longtime goals, which she describes as, "Do what I love. Be imperfect. Be mad, even."

    The one thing O'Connor isn't planning to do is apologize. "I feel that having a No. 1 record derailed my career," she writes in her memoir, "and my tearing the photo put me on the right track."

  • miriandra
    miriandra Member Posts: 2,133
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    Amazing women all.

  • dogmomrunner
    dogmomrunner Member Posts: 498
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    I absolutely agree with those saying that Clinton (Hillary) was the most qualified candidate for president. Unfortunately people didn't like her voice, her pantsuits, her decision to stay in her marriage (which if it was mainly a career move, I still applaud), etc.

    As far as VP Harris, she was/is as qualified for the job as all of the male VP candidates have ever been. And she did it in heels.

    I am a feminist which for me has been largely about my decision (our decision) to not have kids. Somehow for many women I am some sort of traitor to womenhood for this decision. My jobs/career have been in mostly female dominated fields so I haven't faced discrimination in that area.

    Good conversation and thread DivineMrsM.

  • flashlight
    flashlight Member Posts: 311
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    A select group of women will make U.S. history in Texas come July.

    The Football Division of the Texas Association announced in a news release Tuesday that the Texas High School Sixman Coach's Association Division All Star Game will have an all-female crew of officials on July 17 at Wichita Falls Memorial Stadium.

    The officiating crew will be led by Crystal Cooksey of the Dallas Football Officials Association, who made history in January when she was the first woman official to work a Texas state championship, specifically at the 1A Division II State Championship game.

    Female officials have been making their way into the sports history books in football divisions across the board. In January, Sarah Thomas became the first woman to officiate a Super Bowl. Thomas worked as a down judge between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Great news in sports!!

  • trishyla
    trishyla Member Posts: 698
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    Awesome news, flashlight. My entire family are huge soccer fans and regularly watch the English Premier League. They have finally started having female officials there as well. It's about time.

    My father in law, who is in the US Soccer Hall of Fame as a referee, said, before he passed away last year, that the first female sideline referee in the EPL was one of the best he's ever seen. High praise indeed from someone who was involved in soccer for nearly 70 years.

    Edited for spelling

  • trinigirl50
    trinigirl50 Member Posts: 158
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    Ok, I can't ignore it and I did try, BUT

    "Stay in your lane"??? Can you imagine how many times a woman has been told "stay in your lane" or a person of colour told "stay in your lane?" What the bleeping bleep is that about?

    Hey it's a changing world, there are new ways of "Being" under exploration. Let's not throw them under the bus because it gets in the way of our personal issues. I have real empathy for JK Rowling's perspective (and it is annoying the way political correctness seems to have morphed into reverse bullying) but we have to figure this out because it is not going away.

    My niece uses pronoun "they" which is absolutely confusing to my literal minded self but... Don't tell my sweet caring smart brave niece to stay in his/her lane. Dont tell my prep school transgender friend to stay in his lane either.

    Make fxxxking room for them.

    Also illmae, where on earth did you grow up that your parents had equal opportunities?

    It's easy not to notice the disparity when it isn't really part of your vocabulary. I myself thought I was treated equally and never noticed things much (despite my mother being a vocal feminist while I was growing up, and she walked the walk too, educating my father along the way).

    However, it began to dawn on me when I worked in London, many of my work colleagues (male and female) would point out how "equal" things were for women. I finally asked all of them in my dept (3 men 2 women) to disclose salaries. ALL the men were on higher salaries than the women for the same job. This was London in the early 2000s. I promptly went to my boss and demanded a raise which I got.

    I love you AliceB.

    Re former first Lady MT. "Who cares? I really don't, do u?"

    Hahahahaha.


  • betrayal
    betrayal Member Posts: 2,403
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    ThumbsUp

  • olma61
    olma61 Member Posts: 1,026
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    Look, I don't want to go off on this topic either and derail the thread.

    However - let me ask you this.

    Isn't telling women to “get over it and get with the times" just more of the same misogyny, the same old “your concerns don't matter, shut up"?

    And women quite literally are being forced to shut up as many who try to speak are deplatformed, not just on social media but in real life?

    Someone used the word “judge" up there. Hey, I don't judge either. Do what you want in your own life. If it is relieving gender dysphoria, go ahead on. And yes, people don't deserve to be discriminated against in housing or employment. But - your liberty ends at the tip of my nose. Boundaries aren't evil

    One of the problems here is, along with the effort to protect everyone's human rights, we've abandoned all boundaries. Not just trans rights protections have been put in place. There's now “self ID" - where frankly, any man who wants access to formerly female spaces can access them. No diagnosis, no surgery, not even a sincere effort to pass.

    Don't female rape victims have a right to their own spaces, and to counselors of THEIR OWN sex, their own choosing?

    Don't female inmates have a right not to be housed with male sex offenders, and yes this is actually happening now, it's not a what-if, slippery slope argument. Do they not deserve protection? Yes, trans inmates need to be protected too, but not this way.

    https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/prea/sb-132-faqs/

    I don't give a shit about sharing a restroom with someone who is actually trans, who makes any minimal but sincere effort to pass...usually “the other side of the debate" says that's already happening. I agree, it is, I have no problem there.
    In the 80s I worked with a woman who was perhaps intersex...she did not look unambiguously female but didn't appear trans and was married to a man. She did seem atypical in some way, not just butch. She wasn't “out" about whatever her condition was and guess what? NO. ONE. CARED. We knew she was “different" but for me, it was not our business. She was accepted as a woman because that's what she told us she was. Fine. No problem there.

    The problem is when guys in wigs post photos online of themselves in women's restrooms with gross comments, just proving that women's fears are well founded. The problem is that female prisoners are really being forced to share cells with sex offenders, who became “trans" post-conviction, and men who appear strictly to be men can disrobe and shower in female changing rooms where children are present and the staff can't do anything because accepting someone's self-ID is the law.

    Not only aren't we allowed to say “stay in your lane" - women don't even HAVE a lane anymore.

    Im gonna feel bad if I get banned from here - I need this space for my health. And if Divine thinks the discussion is disrupting her thread I'll delete my post. But I had to get this off my chest.

    Hope this brings some understanding, too

  • flashlight
    flashlight Member Posts: 311
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    trinigirl50, You can't have it both ways. Meow, meow!!

    When I was getting radiation a trans women came into the dressing room and changed. I really didn't give it a second thought. When it was just the 2-of us she told me about her prostate cancer diagnoses. The techs treated her with respect. Olma61, I completely agree with you. There has to be a line in the sand. trinigirl50, probably doesn't have any understanding about rape victims or what is happening in our jails. I don't want to go into the beach shower house and change/shower in front of a trans female. I want my space respected. I want my children's space to be respected. I agree with Caitlyn Jenner transgender females should not be allowed in women's sports.

  • illimae
    illimae Member Posts: 5,657
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    Trinigirl, first, I’ll clarify that my earliest memories begin around 1985, so my exposure to life is likely different from some of you that clearly recall obvious inequality. I also grew up in a Southern California beach town, generally liberal and laid back. Both of my parents worked, my dad tried and failed to run his own business and my mom worked as a commercial bank teller, my older brother and I were latch key kids and mostly raised ourselves. At that time, at least as far as I could tell, there didn’t appear to be any barriers getting jobs, credit, etc and due to dads lacking work ethic, I believe my mom was the bigger income earner. I don’t like them much on a personal level but I definitely saw an independent and hard working female, as well as the lazier type of man that I would never tolerate, both valuable lessons.

  • olma61
    olma61 Member Posts: 1,026
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    thank you flashlight. I do appreciate that trini’s post said we have to figure this out ... yes, I agree with her there and all voices need to be heard as we do that.

    Your mention of radiation treatment reminded that when I was having radiation, there was a Muslim woman there one day who had just been diagnosed. In the waiting room, one of the staff was discussing with her a request she had made to be worked on by female staff only. They were trying to accommodate her with appointment times. This is just one of many situations that needs to be figured out.

    And sports as you mentioned.


  • trinigirl50
    trinigirl50 Member Posts: 158
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    Well if you are directing that at me Olma, then let me answer as honestly as can.

    I certainly did not say "get over it" but maybe yes to a little bit of "get with the times".

    I do have respect for the very real concerns you mention and I also believe the "times they are a changing" and it behooves us to move forward or die. While we work it out (and get a lot of it wrong no doubt) there will be plenty to debate.

    I absolutely believe in boundaries but "stay in your own lane" just doesn't sit right with me. I suspect that comes from my own personal experience.

    I am thoroughly enjoying this thread. I enjoy the well thought out/written commentary and the comments from everyone else (I am in the "everyone else category).





  • trinigirl50
    trinigirl50 Member Posts: 158
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    thank you illmae for taking time to explain your particular experience. My son who is just 15 also has a completely different life experience thus far. Long may it remain so!

  • olma61
    olma61 Member Posts: 1,026
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    thank you trinigirl50. Understood

  • betrayal
    betrayal Member Posts: 2,403
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    The definition of boundary according to the Cambridge dictionary is: a real or imagined line that marks the edge or limit of something. Dictionary.com defines boundary as something that bounds or limits; a limiting or bounding line and "lane" as any narrow or well-defined passage, track, channel or course. So while I agree that boundaries do not have to be evil, considering who is doing the imposing of such needs to be assessed as to their intent. If it seeks to control my right to equality, then it is just evil. A lane, to me, is just plain wrong since it is a form of constraint not of my doing.

    So we need to identify those injustices as you mentioned Olma61 and address them. Personally, I do feel that my right to privacy, in a dressing room, can be violated by someone else's children's presence but that seems to be the norm now and imposed on us without our consent.

    Women can sometimes be their own worst enemies so let's see if we can find kernels of agreement in other's comments. I do care.

  • trinigirl50
    trinigirl50 Member Posts: 158
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    Women have been struggling for so long for equality: it is painful and it is slow. It would be great if we got that done and dusted and then dealt with genderfluid and transgender issues but I can't put my niece or my friend back in a box.

    Flashlight - Being a feminist and supporting transgender or gender fluid people are not mutually exclusive. I am not a cat.

  • trishyla
    trishyla Member Posts: 698
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    I have to admit that even though, I'm a fairly liberal feminist and I know and love gay men, lesbians, trans men and trans women, I still struggle with certain gender issues. I am not comfortable with "they, them, their " gender pronouns. Not sure I ever will be.

    That being said, I will honor someone's choice of pronoun, and strive to treat everyone with dignity and respect. That's the least I can do.

    Being a mother and a survivor of sexual assault, I can also understand both sides of the issue when it comes to how to accommodate the needs of the trans community while still protecting the vulnerable among us. It is a hard balance to find. But I believe that if we come always from a place of respect, we will eventually find that balance.

    Just my two cents.

    Trish

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,946
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    My *very personal* opinion is that I can't expect rights for myself and deny them to anyone else, as long as those rights don't do any actual harm to anyone else. Someone's nose getting metaphorically out of joint is not harm.

    I take a lot of road trips with my husband, at least until early last year. In October of 2019, we were in western New York and spent time at the Women's Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls. I wasn't prepared for how emotional I felt walking among the statues of the women (and men) who started the movement to give women equal rights. We made a lot of stops on that trip, and I was so happy when my husband later mentioned that this museum was his favorite place that year. I encourage anyone who hasn't been there to try to visit if (and when) you are able.

    https://www.nps.gov/wori/index.htm


  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 6,232
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    I find the discussion on transgender issues interesting. Other than reading Sarah McBride's book, “Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality" I know next to nothing about transgender matters, so I am learning. It seems okay to voice your opinion as long as, and I don't think anyone's done it yet, but as long as we don't insult each other in the process. Some insult examples: “You have to be stupid to believe that!" or “Your views are grotesque!" (Not quite sure what the “meow, meow" was all about and if it was something innocent, fine; if it was some form of insult, learn not to do that here please.)

    As an aside, you might not see me on the forum as much on weekends when dh isn't at work since he and I often get busy. I sometimes grab a minute to read but don't always have time to post.

    I did like the story of women in sports!

  • olma61
    olma61 Member Posts: 1,026
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    Divine, thank you for checking in! Good to see other people's comments, too Appreciated.

    On a less controversial note, I was going to mention Ada Lovelace, who is known as the first computer programmer, but I see from checking her Wikipedia bio that this is disputed by some and even her role in Charles Babbage's project is i being minimized! Will have to research more and check the sources.

    The Department of Defense paid tribute to her by naming their ADA programming language after her. There is also now an ADA cryptocurrency named after her.

    Interes, computer programming was initially a “woman's job", as it was considered a clerical function. Men handles the more “scientific aspects" of working with computers. Somewhere along the line writing code became a “mans job", I don't know how or why that happened.

    Speaking of women in tech, it's also said that Hedy Lamar developed some tech that enables cellar phones to work. Pretty amazing. I wasn't aware of that until I saw it on the internet.

    Seeing Ruth Badger Ginsburgs image reminded me how much of a pioneer she was. I know she faced a lot of adversity in her early life and then was one of only a few women attending law school, couldn't get hired at first after graduating, etc etc. And also, cared for a husband with cancer while they were both attending school. Really impressive. From Wikipedia

    image

  • 2019whatayear
    2019whatayear Member Posts: 468
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    I’m a fan of respect for other people and one way I’ve found to respect others is to refer to them as they would like to be called, so if someone says Hi I’m Sandra , I say great to meet you Sandra, I don’t say great to meet you can I call you Sandy?

    I look at pronouns the same way. It’s an easy way for me to respect a fellow human and make them feel comfortable.

    We all here know more than many people that life can be hard and that words can cut deeply—so if me using preferred pronouns can help lighten a fellow human load then I’m going to do just that.

    ***

    Much of the rhetoric around trans people is very similar to the Anti gay rhetoric of previous decades -ie gay men are going to go in bathrooms and assault children. Trans People just want to live their lives as themselves just like anyone else.

    ****

    Speaking of historical women, Ida B. Wells is the founder of investigative journalist. She lived an incredible life -Ida B Wells Book

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,946
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    And Ida B. Wells just got two statues unveiled to honor her life, one in Memphis and one in Chicago.

  • edj3
    edj3 Member Posts: 1,579
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    Wrenn, I'm with you. Anyone who self-identifies as male, female, non-binary, etc.-- then IMO that's what they are. Much as our gay/bi friends never chose that path, neither did those who know their body gender and who they really are do not align. I mean really, can you imagine saying "oh yes I am going to choose to be viewed as a much less than person in our current society, that sounds like so much fun!"

    And sure, using their preferred pronouns can be awkward but our discomfort is as nothing to what they endure every day. The least I can do is get over my puny discomfort, and also apologize if I mis-gender.

    DMV, thank you for starting this thread.

  • 2019whatayear
    2019whatayear Member Posts: 468
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    Alice, They had a go fund me campaign for the statue in Chicago about 3 years ago and I was so excited to be able to contribute $40 to the fund. The statue is beautiful! I need to go see it in person before summer ends! (I live about 40 mins away)

  • olma61
    olma61 Member Posts: 1,026
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    In regards to sexual assault, I think women have concerns about sexual assault because we know it happens.

    When people say don’t be afraid of my dog, he doesn’t bite, some people, like my mother, used to say “Well, does he have teeth?”

    We might ask the same question about penises.

    Statistics show that people with penises commit the overwhelming majority of sexual assaults.

    I love men and I’m the mother of boys. However, I do not trust strange men (penis-havers, if you prefer) until they prove themselves harmless.

    Not sorry