Blog 1783 – 08.11.2020
Raggedy Ann’s New Sisters
Raggedy Ann’s New Sisters
By brother and I never had sisters. According to my birth certificate, my mother did have twin boys before me, but they died shortly after they were born. Eighteen months after me came my brother and then baby making production ceased. I heard my mom say more than once that my dad was sad he had no daughter. My mother would have been, I think, jealous of any other girl always around the house. She had to be the undisputed queen bee. I do not think she loved herself nearly enough and therefore even the love of my dad and her two devoted sons could not make up for that lack.
Till I had a daughter of my own who was from the moment she came beloved by not just me and her mom but by two older brothers (and later her other mother and a younger brother), did I realize what my dad, mother, brother and I had missed out on. I have had four wives and each of them brought sisters into my life the first and second had one each and the third and last two each. But five of those six sisters still live and I still love them all. Lyn, my third wife’s older sister passed last summer and she was one of this blog’s most devoted fans. She acted as if each one was written just for her and it was as they all are written for any and everyone who reads them.
I think all girls and women should be treated by all boys and men as dear and beloved sisters. Sadly that is far from the case. Women historically and even in many places today, actual sisters, are treated like property. One hundred years ago this year the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified to the U.S. Constitution securing suffrage, the right to vote for women. Suffer had the original meaning “allow” as in Jesus’ line in the King James Version of the Bible, “Suffer (allow) the little children to come to me.”
U.S. women in the early years of the republic were allowed to vote in some states. The 1787 U.S. Constitutional Convention placed voting rights in the hands of the states. Women in all states but New Jersey lost the right to vote. In 1807 women lost the right to vote even in New Jersey. In 1838 Kentucky passed the first state wide women’s suffrage law allowing female heads of household in rural areas to vote in elections deciding on taxes and local boards for the new county “common school” system. In 1869 the territory of Wyoming was the first to grant unrestricted suffrage to women. Later in 1888-1889 they insisted on keeping it before becoming a state. For these and other facts about how U.S. women got back their right to vote, Google “Timeline of women’s suffrage.”
Virginia Slims a cigarette geared toward women in the nineteen seventies used the slogan, “You’ve come a long way, Baby.” At that time the Equal Rights Amendment, ERA, sought to guarantee equal legal rights to all U.S. citizens regardless of sex and to end legal distinctions between men and women in matters of divorce, property, employment and other matters. The first version of ERA was introduced in Congress in December of 1923, the year and month my dad was born. I am pretty sure he was not aware of that. Few men of his generation were and many yet today are not. The ERA still has not been ratified.
In 2020 the average U.S. women makes only 81 cents to ever dollar a man makes. In addition this figure may skew downward as the Covid 19 pandemic’s effect on the number jobs and hours worked appears to hit women disproportionately harder.
Women if you are expecting men to rectify these inequities don’t count on it. People in power are usually quite content to keep it and will fight hard to keep the status quote as history teaches us. We have a historic opportunity this year to elect not only a women to the Vice Presidency, but one who very likely might end up being the first woman President. High time, says this guy, that a woman took the reigns of government at that level. I am encouraged to see more and more women not just voting but holding office as state governors, and congressmen, Supreme Court justices, and senators both state and federal.
In the 2018 mid-term elections women voted in higher percentages than men again. Sisters unite, voting your interests is in the best interest of us all. What man in his right mind would not admit that even at our worst we are better men for the influence of women in and on our hearts, lives, and minds. It is we men who often behave the least evolved and have the farthest to go. We need women not just behind us, or beside us, but out ahead leading the way. You definitely have my vote. Only you can make the difference this time.
Your friend and fellow traveler
Saying Namaste and Please Vote to all my sisters,