-Linda Silva Palleshci
When Erika asked me to write a piece for this month’s theme “women” I was so honored and I thought it was going to be easy peasy. I have been a woman for 61 years and should know a lot about being one. But I would start to write about the way it is for women — in the past and now, and I found myself getting angrier and angrier. Not that I am angry all the time. I’m not. I am a very agreeable person, for the most part — don’t ask Carl! But when I start thinking about the injustices it makes me a little crazy. And I am not talking about just the other parts around the globe where it is obvious that our sex is deemed inferior. I’m talking right here in river city (old reference, anyone got it?).
Not worthy in so many other areas — not the same pay, not the same chance for promotions, not the same respect. Even in religion — not the same. And things aren’t better on the old abortion scene either — a huge fight so hard won now in jeopardy?
And I am a feminist but that never excludes men, I don’t hate men, I hate ignorance in all people. All men are not created equal, most of them are absolutely marvelous and know our value and delight in our minds, our strength, our hearts and well, other things. They know we are their partners; we are travelling this road with them together. I married a feminist. I married a man who knows the worth of a person–a humanist.
I have fought, in my own way, for women. I am proud to be a woman. My mother always told me, and still does, that I take everything to heart. That I worry about too much. But how can one not? How can we not worry and be angry or saddened by the plight of women? How can we not see that our state is always a fragile one — unlike us, we are anything but!
The fact that I am invisible to a large part of the population is disturbing. And since that has happened, since I began not to matter to society at large, I am really noticing the very few really old people who come into Boston–and when I see an older person I think “hurray for you getting out here amongst the young who don’t want you here.” Not all young people, of course, that would be horrible, but there is a shame in being older. “You let that happen to you!” if one eats better, exercises more, stands on the left foot for four hours every other Tuesday — you wouldn’t get old! I don’t want to be ashamed of what is natural.
And as I have gotten older I have seen a very positive shift in myself and other women: we get stronger, we get far more pragmatic, and we are often the ones that are depended on. We, while aware that we have lost our “juice” in society, don’t take as much guff as we might have earlier. My feeling is this: as we age we get a little more in touch with our masculine side and men get a little more in touch with their feminine side. This brings me great joy because, at some point in everyone’s lives they are touched by a loving hand and they know, in their heart of hearts, the utter humanity of that touch–that there is ultimately no difference in gender–it is only when we are very young and very old that this is obvious. Or if we are wicked smart, like me–cause I am not really super old yet!!! How’s that for a little humor!!!
And I know while I am stronger in so many ways. I am still a little girl in others, unsure, insecure, but I can do the job. And I am blessed with knowing a wonderful group of women friends, old and young, who make me hopeful.
We are so thrilled to have Linda dole out some truth! Go visit her blog and try not to fall in love with her beloved Carl. He’s breaking hearts all over the place.