One characteristic of winners is they always look upon themselves as a do it yourself project.
Come in. It's safe.
Recently someone sent me an email of images of what America was like in the 40's and 50's. There were pictures of cars, buildings, food and drink, things we used and did. I noticed that all the pictures of women were either pin-up girls or smiling motherly types in the kitchen wearing aprons. I remembered that back then there was a company that sold appliances and gadgets for the home. Their slogan was "Less Work For Mother" as if the word "mother" meant household servant.
I went along not doubting that premise until I met my first feminist, who was a man, by the way. Slowly my brain washing began to disappear in an enlightenment, not only about the role of women in the world, but about everyone's ability to transcend stereotypes and ingrained attitudes about themselves.
"Women should stay in the kitchen where they belong." That remark was part of the backlash against the feminist movement. I asked myself why, if the woman's place is in the kitchen cooking meals, were all the major chefs in the world men. I began to ask myself a lot of other questions about the assumptions I had been tricked into believing. One of them was that any woman or member of a minority group who achieved a special place in society was an exception. When the 60's arrived so did the civil rights movement and all sorts of assumptions were being challenged and toppling over like false gods on to the temple floor of reason.
If I ever write my autobiography, which I will probably never do (who would read it after all) it would be called "Places." That word has a lot of meanings to me. It has a special meaning in the theatre, it also refers to my vagabond life and it also touches on something that has been a major subject of thought and effort in my political and social leanings.
"A woman's place is in the home." There's another reactionary remark. In this country we have a Constitution that emphatically eliminates any caste system from our lives, and yet there are many who just as emphatically insist on imposing such a system on us. That powerful but invisible force has kept people down and prevented them from achieving their potential. In spite of the flowery words to accompany our rights, there are so many ways in which people are "kept in their places" by the ignorant/arrogant bigotry of others and their policies of favoritism and neglect. But the equal rights fight is still on and the winners are the do-it-yourselfers beating the keep-in-your-placers and emerging as exceptions to the stupid rules.
I grew up poor and sometimes homeless, I know where my place is. It's with the do-it-yourselfers, the place in which my country gives me the freedom and the legal right to be.
DB - The Vagabond
May a cool breeze blow through your day.