Women and the future of AmericaRichard "Doc" Rioux · October 24, 1993
For five thousand years, men have controlled most governments. Look around. What do you see? Bosnia, Somalia, Haiti, Los Angeles, Detroit. Is the world a better, safer place? If you think so, stop reading. If you think men have largely mishandled things, read on.
Since I entered the world of work in 1966, nothing has struck me more clearly than this fact: Most women are more reliable, hard-working and attentive to duty than most men. Women are also underpaid. It is grossly unfair for women to be paid less for doing the same work as men.
In the Encyclopedia of World Proverbs, there are 227 proverbs listed for women. Just about all of the proverbs are insulting. This is symptomatic of the lies perpetrated against women throughout history.
In world history, the women who rose to govern nations were outstanding. Think of England's Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria and Margaret Thatcher; Russia's Catherine the Great; Austria's Maria Theresa; India's Indira Ghandi; and Israel's Golda Meir. Each demonstrated great leadership skills, governed with wisdom and strength, and led at critical times.
In the U.S., we have never had a woman as president, but we've had women in positions of national power who were or are incredibly capable people. Think about Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosalyn Carter, Elizabeth Dole, Senator Nancy Kassebaum, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Trade Secretary Carla Hills, U.N. Ambassador Jean Kirkpatrick, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Attorney General Janet Reno and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Smart women, wouldn't you say?
Much of recorded history irritates me because it has been written about men, by men, for men. During the American Revolution, women like Abigail Adams wrote articles on independence, organized Daughters of Liberty groups to boycott British goods, and fought in the militia. In the 19th Century, women became health care reformers and helped lead the fight against slavery. We would not have won World War II if women had not built ships, planes and tanks. Women were in the front lines during the civil rights movement.
The problems in America are largely male-created. Drugs, promiscuity, violence, child molestation -- these are problems almost all caused by status-seeking, pleasure-loving, power-hungry, lustful men with bad manners and messed-up priorities. Women must unite in the cause of restoring America. They must demand an America that respects life in the womb, nurtures children, emphasizes education, cares for the sick, honors intelligence, demands truth, promotes gentleness and efficiency and underscores spiritual and moral aspects of being.
In the Santa Clarita Valley we have some examples of remarkable women. We have the innovative leadership of College of the Canyons President Dianne Van Hook, the political savvy of Mayor Jan Heidt, the dignified generosity of Councilwoman Jo Anne Darcy, the mental acuteness of Connie Worden, the energy of State Senator Cathie Wright, the warmth of Assemblywoman Paula Boland, the tenacity of Councilwoman Jill Klajic, the brilliance of journalist Elizabeth Glazner, the common sense of Newhall Land's Marlee Lauffer, the dedicated talent of teachers like Patty Bloomfield and Gerry Sauer, and the heart of Peggy Freeman.
And there are thousands more women in this valley who toil from dawn until long after dusk caring for children, getting to work on time, cleaning house and paying the bills.
In A People's History of the United States, a story is told about an aged black woman named Sojourner Truth rising to her tired feet to address a convention of women in 1851:
Look at my arm! I have ploughed, and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman?
I would work as much and eat as much as a man, when I could get it, and bear a lash as well. And ain't I a woman?
I have borne thirteen children and seen 'em most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?
For historians or sociologists or media moguls to represent women in any other way but strong, hard-working and intelligent beings is a scandal that must end.
Women of America, unite! Save us all from the wreckage men have wrought.
- 30 -
© 1993, THE SIGNAL (Santa Clarita Valley, CA) -- ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
for more of Dr. Richard Rioux's commentaries in The Signal