Are you weary of hearing about some new group of self-declared victims screaming to demand justice for some hurtful indignity or lack of respect or a random bad day or an ingrown toenail? Do you turn off the news when it features another red-faced person shouting about how life is so unfair and someone should fix it now, dammit! If these crybabies could just cry us a river we could solve the drought problems in southern California.
A generation ago, people saw obstacles as a challenge and then moved them out of the way. They accepted that yes, life sucks sometimes, so pull up your big girls pants and survive the pressure. How about acknowledging that most of the perceived problems are small compared with what women in third-world countries encounter every day. Mad that you make minimum wage? Try surviving on a few dollars a day. Then go take classes to improve your skills so you can make more money. Women in other parts of the world have limited opportunity to advance beyond their dire situations. We can.
Middle-aged women have lived long enough to know how to solve problems by themselves without depending upon others to do it for them. Some of us laughed at the “burn the bar” demonstrations of our college days, mainly because we needed our bras to hold up the girls. Most young women of the 1970s refused to join anti-war demonstrations because we had jobs and we couldn’t ask for a day off to march in the streets. We not only survived, we thrived and earned money to contribute to worthy causes.
Now as we approach retirement with hope for a peaceful old age, we notice all the yelling and commotion from younger factions that have no clue what it means to be a productive member of society. We’re tempted to smack them with a rolled up newspaper and say, “Stop barking!” We’re awful sorry about all the angst, and we will vigilantly support all viable projects, but don’t expect us to pat your head and give you cookies. Go bake them yourself.
So,I’m calling on all middle-age women to march, and shout, and bang drums, and demand self-respect and freedom from oppression. Take to the streets, unless you pass a wine bar at happy hour. Then, by all means, stop marching and go in and find a table. I’ll be waiting.
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