screenshot nagging9

Actually, @BrianKelm, you are wrong (see links at bottom of post).

Men and women want to direct their lives, their days and their downtime. This is true for males and females, men and women, boys and girls. No one wants to be constantly reminded that they have failed to do something that someone else wants them to do. No one.

But let’s look at what constitutes nagging, which is a negative behavior typically attributed to women, especially wives, mothers and girlfriends.

“Nagging takes the form of verbal reminders, requests and pleas,” Michele Weiner-Davis, MSW says on WebMD.com. “It goes from a reminder to a nag when the person who is being reminded gets offended.”

screenshot nagging3

The rest of the WebMD article is filled with well-meaning advice for those who suffer from the horrible habit of nagging others to get what they want.

screenshot nagging7

I propose that the behavior that is characterized as nagging is nothing more than one person who does not have enough power in a relationship attempting to communicate his or her needs.

In many cases, this behavior occurs because one person feels an unequal distribution of responsibility and desires a true partner in life. But is it just that?

I think what we most often call nagging is simply female leadership and responsibility.

I propose that calling female leadership in relationships and the family nagging constitutes silencing behavior by men and women.

It is also a part of the effort to keep women as objects for men’s pleasure and use.

screenshot rules for women


This is a perfect example of male power being asserted in potential relationships, right? Men define what is considered desirable in women and women either toe the line or get no men. Except this is a woman. I admit that I am confused by this mentality.

In my English literature classes I marveled at the female writers who never married. For most young women, the idea of never getting married might seem foreign and bizarre. There must have been something wrong with Emily Dickinson; no man wanted her, right? She must have been ugly or difficult or mentally ill.

Nah, she was free to write and that was all that mattered to her (while she cared for her parents and their house, of course).

How happy is the little Stone
That rambles in the Road alone,
And doesn’t care about Careers
And Exigencies never fears—
Whose Coat of elemental Brown
A passing Universe put on,
And independent as the Sun
Associates or glows alone,
Fulfilling absolute Decree
In casual simplicity—

-Emily Dickinson

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the only way a woman could have any power over her own life was to remain unmarried and have enough money (and an understanding father or brother or lover) to allow her some freedom.

What options were available to women when they had almost no legal rights, could not vote, could not own property and were not allowed to, in most cases, manage their own wealth.

What careers were open to women?

Men could legally beat and rape their wives in most cultures, and still can in some.

Fast forward to contemporary times. We have a man and a woman in a traditional relationship (this is just an example). In most cases, the man can do whatever the hell he wants without question or judgment during working hours. He has a career, might be the primary earner, so he must work long hours. He is unavailable the majority of working hours to handle the hundreds of tasks required to manage a family, assuming there are  children now. Those tasks fall upon his wife even if she works full-time outside the home.

Ask any man who has stayed home while his wife was the primary breadwinner what it is like to manage a family. I encourage you to ask a man because if you ask a woman, her voice has less weight and import to the discussion – that is a whole ‘nother blog post.

Here is an enlightening Huffington Post article from a male perspective about what it is like to be a man in a family and to stay at home with the kids: Douchebaggery and the Stay at Home Dad by Christopher Noxon.

“Must be hard on his manhood,” Noxon says. “Must make up for it in other ways.”

Noxon goes on to describe behavior such as turning “diaper changes into acts of performance art when company is around but who otherwise leave the dirty jobs to mom.”

And this is a big part of the problem: men have had a choice in what domestic tasks they undertake and women haven’t.

Watching old movies about poor women who have been left with a houseful of kids, it is common to hear the comment: “At least the kids and house are clean.”

Would anyone ever say that about a man whose wife ran off and left him with the kids? Of course not. How many times are men forgiven if their kids’ clothes don’t match, hair isn’t combed, and school lunch consists of a peanut butter sandwich and a soft drink (okay, single dad tropes abound here).

Single dads and even married dads often get a pass.

We all know that in the majority of two-income households women still do the housework, cooking, shopping and caring for children (yes, this is documented though changing slowly).


These are responsibilities, not just chores. If they are not done not only do the children suffer but you will end up with child services knocking at your door accompanied by a couple of cops demanding entry (Big Brother is watching).

Yes, this is the scenario that not only floats around in most female parents’ heads, but is also a reality.

So let’s talk about nagging.

In the majority of cases, women are carrying the load of family responsibilities. Most are also working full or part-time outside the home in addition to the full-time job of running a household.

There is a shit-load of stuff that must be done every single day. I can attest that this stuff is exhausting. I can attest that it all needs to be done the next day, too. Again, it is exhausting. It really never gets less exhausting (and is never fun or entertaining).

Let’s examine the common middle class family (and here are some lovely Tweets to help you with this mental picture).

screenshot nagging8

screenshot nagging2

screenshot nagging1

screenshot nagging4

And then there are these words of wisdom from what looks like a teenage boy:

screenshot nagging12

These Tweets seem to be posted by spoiled, bratty teenagers and adults who still expect their mommy’s and women to do what? Take care of the family and household.

It is a parent’s job to prepare his or her children for the real world. This involves gradually increasing responsibility while teaching life skills.

In the U.S., there seems to be a problem with this process. Kids are spoiled and entitled and rarely work for what they possess. At what point do they learn how to deal with the responsibilities of an adult life if they are cared for well into their 20s.

Male children have historically been cared for well into adulthood, while female children were taught to care for themselves and others from a young age (I know I am generalizing, but overall this holds true).

We are living in the 21st century. We have equal rights, shared responsibilities, two incomes…


And yet, women are still taking care of the hundreds of big and small tasks that are required to maintain a household and care for a family.

wife going to bed tasks

By Becky Mansfield, YourModernFamily.com



Hell, women want men (and sons and daughters) to step up. That is what most women want. They want their men to be grownups. Do something that isn’t self-focused. Care for someone else without being reminded or told to do so.

Why does a woman have to ask a man (or a son or a daughter) to do anything? He or she should just do it.

Take out the fracking trash. Wash the dishes. Vacuum the house. Walk the damn dog.

I tell my sons that the goal is responsibility, not task completion.

One of my sons is responsible for two jobs that he does not do unless I threaten him with losing computer access. That makes me a nag, right?

No, it doesn’t. It makes me responsible for his jobs.

And for the Troglodyte young woman “Mimi” who thinks that the perfect woman should stop nagging and take care of herself and “be tight” for her man: what are you on?

screenshot nagging13

Women perpetuating the myth of nagging is just wrong.

Real men are faithful, responsible, take care of business, don’t treat their partners like servants and sex slaves, and aren’t entitled little boys.

Nagging??? That is NOT the problem.

I want to leave this blog post on a positive note. Thanks @JimParedes for Tweeting this:

screenshot nagging10

Town and Country Magazine’s article about this subject credits “nagging moms” with helping their daughters to be more successful in life.

A University of Essex in England study found that “the girls with moms who set high standards for them growing up were more likely to go on to college and earn higher wages,” Kristen Lauletti said.

Why is a mother’s leadership characterized as nagging in this article, though?

I think it is time to change the language we use to describe female behavior.

How the church silences women

shhh2I left the church, all churches, because of how the Christian religion views and treats women. I am just sharing this up front (if you haven’t read previous posts).

I have written many times about how the women in my church (and the pastor, who was a woman) used silencing behavior to shut me down, everything from intervening when I was trying to be honest with my husband in counseling sessions to handing me a list of Bible verses about “gossip” when I needed to talk to someone about my abusive husband.

There is something seriously wrong going on. It is common for women who are in bad marriages, some abusive, some not, to be pressured to remain in those marriages no matter what. It is a duty, marriage is sacred, it would be a sin to divorce.

Let’s first talk about the sacred institution of marriage. This is a doctrinal thing. Marriage is mentioned in the Bible, and it is likened to Christ’s relationship to the church. From that analogy, marriage has become primary while the people (and their children) in that marriage are secondary.

“God hates divorce!!!!!!!!”

God probably hates a lot of things, but I don’t think divorce is at the top of his list.

This is a symptom of a much bigger problem. People (individuals) come last in the Christian religion.

Yep. They do.

When duty, or doctrine, is more important than relationship, then you will end up with dysfunction of some kind. And those who put the marriage before the people in that marriage are being dysfunctional. They are encouraging dysfunction. They are perpetrating dysfunction.

I have declared to anyone who wants to listen that I reject the Pauline letters in the New Testament. I think they run contrary to the teachings of Yeshua (he was Jewish, and his name is NOT Jesus — I know, picking at gnats).

Women must remain silent in church. Women must obey their husbands in everything. Women must wear head coverings. Women must wear dresses. Women must…

This is all legalism. Paul was a legalist.

In all of the years that I tried to relate to and communicate with my husband, he often told me that I needed to submit: over and over and over again. He never quoted the verse that commands husbands to love their wives as Jeshua loves the church. He never quoted the verse about how a man who does not care for his family is worse than an infidel.

I was told that it wasn’t my place to discuss _____ (fill in the blank), how I should not do this or do that, how my prayer life was even under his purview.

But when spiritual leaders in a church use the same silencing behavior on their congregations, you end up with a bunch of unthinking, repressed people.

Do you know one of the leaders in my old church stood up and said how much she hated running into this one woman she knew because she was always so down and negative (this was the same person who shut me down with a sheet of scriptures on gossip when I needed to confide in someone).

Dysfunction is prevalent in Christian relationships because of the fear of truth. There is a fear of honesty. There is a fear of reality.

“Don’t interrupt my religious moment with your unpleasant reality, please!”

“Oh, your husband is abusing you? Your reward will be in heaven. You must do your best to submit to him anyway.”

“Shhh, women should be silent.”

The judicial system, encouraged by our Christian heritage (patriarchy in general), permitted husbands to rape their wives in the no-so-distant past.

A man who beat his wife was justified in the last century.

Hell, women didn’t even have the right to vote until 1920, and then civil rights, rights over their own bodies and personal life decisions, took many more decades.

Men rant about how unfair the judicial system is because they say it favors mothers in divorces. Have they not looked at history where a hundred years ago women had almost no rights at all? Children (and their mothers) belonged to fathers/husbands.

Women had to remain in bad marriages if they wanted to keep their children, not be homeless, and have any kind of financial support. There weren’t even many professions available where women could support themselves. Women still make a lot less than men today.

Inequality is ugly.

Why are men threatened by women’s rights? I do not understand why men are threatened by women who use their voices.

And religious men can be the worst. Actually, let me correct myself: religious women can be the worst. I wonder if there is some underlying fear that if a friend has justification for leaving her husband, she might question her own marriage. Things start to get shaky and undefinable when women have autonomy and self-determination. There is a loss of control.

Oh, and here we are: control.

Silencing women comes down to the need to control. And when the church (which is the corporate body and its individual members) silences women, it is exerting control over them, control that it should not have.

What if we let women speak and then decide for themselves? Would the world come to an end?

The justification for Paul’s letter, the historical context — at least what I was taught — was that women would just stand up and speak when gathered in the early church.

Gasp! Choke!!! Oh no!

Some kind of directive was necessary to keep them under “control.”

And today, the church silences women by insisting that they wear dresses, defer to their husbands, defer to their pastors, defer to… well, everyone. Heck, women should speak quietly and not make trouble. Women should…

Silencing behavior. Control.

How long will women put up with such ridiculousness? How long?

For those who are still skeptical, I challenge you to explore gender equality in the Christian religion. The Junia Project is a lovely place to begin.

I challenge you. What do you have to lose? Control?

Bad [good] feminist

Roxane Gay has a powerful message about the many faces of feminism. It is not just about feminism, but the female voice. Listen closely starting around 9:30 of her talk about what happened to her voice and what she did about it.

We are all bad feminists if we think there is an ideal to which we must aspire. I am a human who wants equal access, equal opportunity and equal rights. Whatever that looks like, that’s what I want.

Using my voice is very important to achieving equality. It is vital. I will use my voice.

Thank you, Roxane Gay.

The filthy truth about women

In my ongoing evaluation of my failed marriage, when I take a break from beating myself up I engage in occasional analysis of my estranged husband’s attitudes and behaviors, and his very obvious disappointment in me as a woman, wife and Christian.

This morning I read Jonathan Swift’s “The Lady’s Dressing Room” where a man, Strephon, exposes all of a woman’s filthy secrets: her bodily functions, her sweat, snot, and excrement. She has been posing as a beautiful creature when all the time she has been sweating, pissing and shitting. The shame! The travesty! Peter-Paul-Rubens-Adam-und-Eva-The-Fall-of-Man-1628-29

I think about the women of the Bible who are put up on pedestals for men to admire and women to aspire to, and others to despise and blame: Mary, the mother of Yeshua (Jesus is a corruption of his real name) who worshipped her son every day of his life provides the world with an archtype of female perfection, while Eve, the mother of all mankind who was perfect until she thought for herself, provides fodder for the finger pointers and blamers (the same people who think women should cover their bodies because men might lust after them).

These women are, or were, godly, lovely, and pure in their undefiled religious presentations, until they’re not. Mary, the Madonna in Catholic tradition, remained a virgin after the birth of her only son who was conceived apart from any filthy sexual act. She was never corrupted by sexual intercourse, except Protestants think she actually married Joseph and gave birth to other children. Eve, of course, brought about the knowledge of good and evil, ruining the perfect life she and Adam had in the Garden of Eden. But before she did that, she was perfect (brainless, but perfect).

These pure, holy women didn’t sweat, piss and shit. They just didn’t, unless they were human. Eve obviously became quite human while Mary, the mother of Yeshua, never did according to some religious traditions. As a matter of fact, she became deified to some degree.

But the rest of us are not biblical characters or virgin mothers. Women are, in reality, human beings. Apparently that was of concern to Jonathan Swift: the humanity of women. I wonder what he thought of his mother.

Some men are born of very human mothers. These mothers can be selfish, emotional, and not perfectly beautiful. They blow their noses, menstruate, have sex with their partners (who are usually the father), throw dirty things in bathroom waste baskets, brush their teeth and spit in the sink. They, on occasion, probably even stink up the bathroom. These poor boys live their entire childhoods in the presence of filthy mothers.

My husband had such a human mother, and he married a human wife. I think this was a big part of our problem.

How in the world did it become necessary that women maintain this clean, pure, and certainly-not-so-human persona?

Humans are creatures of nature. They eat, drink, burp and fart. Their bodies excrete waste, purging what is toxic, attempting to keep inside only what is healthy. The human body is a beautiful, amazing, and some even consider miraculous system of organs, nerves, bones and grey matter. It takes in and it excretes. It must do this. How has this become filthy? Or is it merely female excrement and fluids, menstrual flow and breast milk that is distasteful or disgusting? Do you know how many men are disgusted by the thought of ingesting breast milk? A lot!

Has religion so twisted gender perception that women are either spiritually-superior or morally-inferior beings? Are the roots of misogyny nourished by the misconception that women are on earth primarily for the care, nurture and pleasure of boys and men, and that the only successful women are those who maintain this illusion of purity? What about the concept of feminine perfection?

I could write all day about the beauty and glamour industries that make millions, nay billions, of dollars so that women can be made presentable to men. In our natural form, I guess we are abhorrent, so we must be shaved, plucked, with some parts restrained while others are presented for sexual appraisal and worthiness to breed.

Are these pressures to engage in extreme beauty regimes misogynistic?

Is misogyny rooted in a desire to be mothered by and married to a Madonna figure, a type of female perfection? Is mankind holding a never-ending grudge because of a woman exercising free will with such catastrophic results?

I feel as though I am on the verge of some kind of understanding (and it occurred to me that I was venturing into Freudian territory).

The psychology of the male is a mystery to me, but I feel as though I have been allowed to peep through a tiny crack in the curtain, board, or huge boulder used to guard the power of man.

The dirty beautiful truth about women is that we are natural creatures. Maybe we should begin to embrace this truth. Maybe misogyny needs to first be addressed by women by analyzing our own attitudes and rejecting the many feminine stereotypes that are in actuality illusions.

Something to ponder.

P.S. I entered “beauty of natural woman” in a Google search for images and hundreds of photos of perfect women with professionally-applied makeup and perfectly-styled hair popped up (screenshot below). Good grief!
screenshot beauty woman

Women against feminism supported by a LOT of men

This National Review Online article supports the Women Against Feminism movement. The article is interesting, and does provide insight into what motivates the women behind this movement, but the comments are especially telling. Article comments are where you see what people really think about an issue. I love reading comments. Below are some screenshots of comments. Although not required to do so, I have blurred out the usernames of the commenters. I especially appreciate the individuals who took the time to provide definitions and clarification on what feminism means to them.

screenshot waf1

screenshot waf2

screenshot waf3

Feminism under fire

BBC.com is one of the online news sources in my news circuit. I saw a story this morning about women against feminism. Huh? I tried to keep an open mind as I clicked play to watch the video part of the story.

There were women stating that we didn’t need feminism any more, that it is toxic, that women don’t need to hate men to pursue their ambitions.

Okay, I kind of understand where they are coming from. There are some radical feminists that seem to get press every time something controversial that affects women’s health, equal pay, and so on pops up in the news.

Are they really radical, or are they the women who continue to recognize that even today there is still not gender equality?

Well, is there? I don’t think so.

If we had gender equality, there would be family-friendly policies in place for moms and dads who work outside the home, rooms for nursing moms who need to pump while at work, flexible work hours and built-in family leave for fathers.

If we had gender equality, women wouldn’t make less than men for the same job. Sorry, but this is documented. Pay equality is an issue. Deniers can say it isn’t so, but facts and figures support the claim.

Has anyone even considered what women give up to stay home with their children? No social security earnings, no retirement protection, little legal protection should the earning husband abandon her. It is like the dark ages legally and financially for women.

The only way for women to be protected is IF they work outside the home and have their own separate income, kept apart from their husbands.

1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted.

That is some serious hatred there. Yes, rape is a hate crime against women.

How many of these anti-feminists spend time scouring news sites, reading comments to articles? I read comments by men who still think women should be silent, pregnant, and in the kitchen and certainly not bothering their pretty little selves about the big, bad world. Granted, the generation of men who spout this crap will eventually die out, but what about the men that they raised?

Feminism is not a movement or a set of behavioral guidelines. Feminism means equality for women, plain and simple. So anti-feminism means . . . what? They are against equality? Really?

Merriam-Webster defines feminism as 1. “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities;” and 2. “organized activity in support of women’s rights and interests.”

Because I am fairly intelligent, I surmise that these anti-feminists are objecting to the second definition of the word. They take issue with the organized feminist movement that lobbies and actively fights for a political and social agenda that benefits women. I don’t agree with every tenet of the organized movement myself, but I certainly do not oppose it, either.

And the idea that demanding equal rights means that men lose rights is ludicrous. It does mean that they must adjust their workplace behavior to include women. This means that good ‘ole boy club atmosphere must be relegated to the men-only clubs. It doesn’t belong in any workplace.

I learned the hard way that any woman that surrenders her financial independence to stay home and raise children, care for the home, and support her husband’s career is taking a risk. This is a sad truth in our modern, enlightened society.

Are most feminists man-haters? I think not. Opposing entrenched ideas that stand in the way of an egalitarian society does not equal hate. It means they oppose unfair ideologies and practices that continue to keep women from having equal access and opportunity to pursue their dreams.

Gender neutrality: Is it even possible or desirable?

I have thoroughly enjoyed the evolution of language in the United States as gender-specific words have become gender neutral. Instead of policeman or policewoman we have police officer. Instead of fireman we have firefighter. How do we change seamstress to gender neutral: sewer? Um, women and men who sew are not the same as concrete conduits for waste. Sometimes this gender neutral thing hits a wall.

Addressing the concept of the words used to describe occupations, I have observed some wonderful changes that have resulted in many gender-specific occupations opening up to both sexes. My son’s middle school has a LOT of male teachers. This is great news for boys.

Wait!!! Aren’t we supposed to be gender neutral? Is it really possible? Let’s be honest here: men and boys can usually relate in a way that women and boys cannot. In pursuing gender neutrality should a boy be required to be less male, or something in between a boy and a girl, or pretend to be a little of both? Is it possible for human beings to be gender neutral? Can we draw out the feminine in boys? Is it really there to draw out? When girls mature into women and pursue occupations such as firefighting or law enforcement, do they need to exhibit male characteristics in order to be successful? Sort of, and no, or possibly yes.
I gave birth to a single girl in between the boys. These little humans were different from the get-go. A couple of my boys were like bulls in a China shop, and all love math and the sciences and are mechanically inclined. My girl was quieter and softer but she was just as adventurous. She was climbing out of her crib before 18 months and was the one that ended up in the ER for stitches and concussions. As a woman, she loves big purses but prefers that they be in a camo design. She will wear a dress but prefers jeans and flannel. She loves trucks and guns and her little baby girl. She really loves being a mommy, a LOT!

I confess that although I bought my daughter dolls I didn’t encourage her to play with Barbie or any fashion dolls (she had some but didn’t like playing with them). And when she mentioned that she was thinking about trying out for cheerleader I nearly screamed, “No!” at her. I taught a couple of my sons to sew and crochet at their request. My sons all know how to cook, clean and do laundry. My oldest seems to be a really great husband who cooks, cleans, and changes diapers while working full-time (my daughter-in-law also works full time as a physician).

Gender neutrality . . . what an interesting concept. I agree with the goals of gender neutrality as long as a boy is allowed to naturally be what he IS and a girl is allowed to be what she naturally IS and we are not trying to scrub out their femininity or masculinity or punishing a girl for having feminine characteristics or a boy for masculine characteristics. Maybe I don’t really agree with the goals of gender neutrality.

I have explored the premise of gender neutrality and pulled out the really good parts and discarded the rest. I believe that people should be allowed to develop fully into who they really ARE. My job as a parent is to allow a natural evolution of my children’s personalities not with gender-neutral toys and hobbies but with full access to all toys independent of gender. Girls should not just play with dolls, mini kitchens and princess outfits but own and play with building sets, tools, and cars. Boys should not just be given army men, battery-operated power tools and race cars but be encouraged to play daddy with dolls and make meals using plastic pots and pans. My daughter received her own compound bow when her older brother got his. My boys love the written word more than their sister and own more books. My daughter was in Little League before any of her brothers (and discovered that sports isn’t really her thing). My goal as a parent was and is to support my children’s pursuits of their interests and dreams. As far as my limited finances afforded, I believe I succeeded.

Bottom line: If a boy wants to become a teacher, a previously female-dominated occupation, and a girl wants to become a police officer, a male-dominated occupation until the 70s, they should not just be allowed but encouraged to pursue their dreams.

I think the ultimate goal should be gender equality. Right? If we think about it, that really IS the goal of gender neutrality.

Here is what I think: at some point it was felt that gender roles were so deeply ingrained in our culture (and still are in many subcultures) that we needed to wipe the slate clean and eliminate the whole idea of gender differences before we could begin to see progress toward equality. I understand this. I think some psychologists may have mistakenly believed it was possible to create a gender neutral society. In spite of (what I perceive as) misconceptions of the inner workings of gender, the result of this gender neutrality effort has been expanded freedom and equality.

I must admit that I really love the progress that we have made in gender equality. I know young men want to go into child care, make excellent nurses, and certainly make excellent teachers. Men have entered fields that were previously exclusively female as flight attendants, maids, waiting tables (though in the 19th century men exclusively held these positions), secretaries (although the title had to be changed to assistant before the occupation was acceptable for men), teachers, nurses, and much more. Women now work in fields that have been predominantly male: they are college professors, military officers, doctors and researchers, military and commercial pilots, engineers, business executives, law enforcement officers, lawyers and judges, politicians, managers, leaders, and much more. Men are excelling in the fiber arts while women are welding large metal sculptures. Women are bringing home the bacon while their husbands stay at home with the children.

We are getting so close. I think back to the 60s and 70s (yes, I am that old), and the world has most certainly changed. Just a hundred years ago women couldn’t even vote in some states (women were granted suffrage in all states in 1920). Yes, we are progressing.

Is it all good? That is another post. What has occurred due to the loss of the neighborhood moms who were everywhere when we grew up? They kept an eye on all of us so we couldn’t really get away with anything until we got cars and could drive to the quarry (oh, the quarry).

Those moms became free to pursue their own dreams and desires while also being free to stay home (the economy has pulled many women out of the home who didn’t choose that path — good or bad?). Who is watching the children? Hopefully mom AND dad and teachers and neighbors, maybe grandma and grandpa — the erosion of the extended family has had its own effect on children and society. Unless we see the transformation of parental roles in egalitarian marriages there is a big gap in participation in child rearing and care, and in many cases the children pay the price. Transformation of the family has far to go. Again, that is another post.

Gender neutrality was and is a noble goal as long as it is merely relegated to being a tool in the pursuit of gender equality. Men and women are different. We have different parts and can do different things when it comes to sex and reproduction; but gender differences go much deeper than that. That does not mean that we need to be broken up into two separate groups who only meet over dinner and in the bedroom as in the past. Gender equality has brought the sexes together in a new and amazing way that is still being worked out. I have hope for the next generation, the generation that I helped raise to respect the individual and not limit other people merely because of their boy or girl parts or the timbre of their voices.

I have great hope for the future of gender equality, or equality, period. Isn’t equality for all what we really want? Just plain ole equality: male, female, black, white, rich, poor, straight, gay, Muslim, Christian. We all want equal opportunities, equal access, and equal voices. I know I do.

Celebrating equality today.