Thursday, March 24, 2022

What is a Woman? Really? Part I

 Helen Reddy’s anthem, “ I Am Women”  which debuted in 1971 set the hearts of every woman and young girl looking for agency and a chance for equal opportunity in what was a man’s world hope and courage in what we hoped was a brave new world. 

While I can appreciate and readily accept transgender individuals in my sphere and will argue with my last breath for one to live his/her/their authentic lives, biology is what it is. And it is offensive to those of us who fought for acceptance to top universities, a chance to be hired for a job that was considered the purview of men, compete in fair sports events against other women, the right to apply for a mortgage without a husband or father as co-signer, get a credit card without a male co-signer, wear trousers, get a law degree, successfully run for political office, not be fired for aging, or just be accepted as an individual American with the same rights as men.

I was born in 1959. At that time women were expected to quit their jobs as teachers, nurses or secretaries after they married to take care of the house, husband and children. Divorce was unacceptable. Women could not have bank accounts. Unmarried women were pitied and considered ‘spinsters’. A woman without a husband was considered a lesser being. When young women went to university, it was be,Ives most were looking for a MRS degree. When I applied for my first adult job in 1980 I was a ‘quota’ hire. I was the first woman hired in Indianapolis, Indiana as an outside insurance claims adjuster by the now defunct Commercial Union Assurance Company. The men treated me as a pariah. The wives of adjusters wouldn’t let their husbands eat lunch with me….assuming that a single woman wanted to nab their husbands. The clerical support staff disliked me for trying to take a job from a man. The men took bets on how quickly they could get me to quit by treating me like a servant.

Think about it! This was 42 years ago- a near blip on the continuum of time. Women had been marginalized and treated as chattel for the entirety of humankind. So, yes! We deserve to enjoy what we’ve fought hard to achieve without having biological men marginalize us once again. 

Lia Thomas is  celebrating her true self. But she is doing so at the expense of biological women who deserve the chance to compete on a level playing field. And Thomas does so with absolutely no grace or self awareness. 

This is heinous. 

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