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Sunday, April 2, 2017


My mother had a severely fixed idea of what girls and women should be like. You know, girls and women are:
  • pretty ornaments
  • submissives; never in charge
  • caretakers – always seeing to the needs of others, especially the menfolk
  • quiet and acquiescent; no strong opinions unless a man’s given it to us
  • damsels in distress versus heroes
Despite her best efforts, harangues and chastisements I could NOT fit the mold. It’s not who I was. Who was I though? A dude in a chicksuit mebbe? Nope. I didn’t feel that I was born with the wrong equipment though I was surely jealous of all the bennies that came with a penis. (They had whirlpool hot tub things in their locker rooms. Never got called a slut when they got lucky either)

Despite the drawbacks, I liked being a female type kiddle and Mae West showed me the way. YES, that Mae West.

When I was 12, the midnight Saturday movie was always either W.C. Fields or Mae West – sometimes BOTH! Fields was amusing but, holy shit, West was a bolt of lightening to my 'tween brain. She was strong, smart, def her own person, witty as fuck AND not afraid or embarrassed by her sexuality. Mae West became my hero.

NOT just the actress/sex symbol either. She wrote nine of the 13 movies in which she starred. (I wrote the story myself. It's about a girl who lost her reputation and never missed it.) I found her 1959 autobiography Goodness Had Nothing To Do With It (based on her flip, fab line from the movie Night After Night) and devoured it.
I freely chose the kind of life I led because I was convinced that a woman has as much right as a man to live the way she does if she does no actual harm to society. (source)
Tell it sister! So many of her quotes became words to live by.
Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.
My father told me that I could be anything I wanted. He didn’t say you can be anything as long as it’s demure wife and mother.

Things MIGHT be a little different now versus when I was coming of age in the, supposedly, swinging ‘70s. Maybe there's less pressure for young women to play a very specific part.

There's role models like Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Loretta Lynch. In the entertainment world there’s the very funny Amy Poehler and the très sexy Beyoncé who’s said:
Humanity requires both men and women, and we are equally important and need one another. So why are we viewed as less than equal? These old attitudes are drilled into us from the very beginning. We have to teach our boys the rules of equality and respect, so that as they grow up, gender equality becomes a natural way of life. And we have to teach our girls that they can reach as high as humanly possible. (source)
Joss Whedon (oh, swoon!) has said:
You either believe that women are people or you don't.
If you're someone who genuinely believes that women don't deserve or aren't as much as men, you're like the plague. On the big history chart, you're the plague. ... It's just pointless and deadly. (source)
Tell it brother!
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
~ Mae West
And now I have the magnificent Gill Scott Heron's song Let Me See Your ID playing on my internal turntable. AWESOME! The Amazing Bob and I were both wild about him.


  1. Donna: Yes, it was you who turned me onto Mae West ;-). I remember when you discovered her. "Is that a gun in your pocket or are you jus happy to see me?" ❤️

    1. AND!!!
      I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it.

  2. That's a strong role model.

    I know a LOT of impediments still exist in attitudes for women. But I see my mother - who says her parents loved all of their kisds equally, yet only my uncle was encouraged to go to college (even though my aunts did not have children young) - and I think things have changed.

    I can't imagine seeing a new female co-worker at work and sizing up ability by her gender.

  3. You rock Mister Hamid and that's all there is to it!