Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sometimes "liberation" isn't "freedom"...

I like to say I was liberated long before the Women’s Lib Movement ever gathered steam, but many people question that statement. I considered myself liberated because I made the choices which best suited what I wanted from life. Those included being a traditional cookie-baking, bread-making, floor-scrubbing wife, and a stay-at-home mother (until early widowhood sent me back into the working world).

I felt no need to carry a protest sign or lie down in front of a car when more prudent actions provided more benefit to everyone concerned. Burning my bra wasn’t an option—frankly, it did more for me than its ashes would have done in the public forum. Screaming for retribution for every real or imagined slight only lowers credibility, and I respected my own.

In short—I knew who I was and what I was (gender: female and proud of it) and did not choose to align myself with those who wanted the protection that goes with being the “fairer sex” but sent the opposite signals.

Now before anyone gets fired up, may I just say I believe women are entitled to equal rights in all things based on our common humanity. But there is a right way to remedy inequalities and a wrong way. Just recently I was treated with discourtesy and disrespect by the representative of a company with which I’d done business. It was a case of “Me big smart man, you dumb old lady”.  I simply didn’t do any more business with them, nor have I recommended them as I often do when I have a good experience. It was totally unnecessary—and beneath my dignity—to make a “federal” case over someone’s bad manners. 

I write characters who are “liberated women” because they think for themselves and give themselves permission to make individual choices—not join a herd of sheep. They’re not perfect—far from it!—but they soldier on and hope for the best in all things.

  • Lost one job because her employer died
  • Had to walk away from another when she was expected to turn a blind eye to illegalities
  • Put cardboard in her shoes and did without enough food to provide for her young niece for whom she was guardian
  • Put her pride in her pocket and reapplied for the job Alan Ashley had offered her ten years earlier and which she had turned down because she didn’t want his money or his bad temper
  • Guarded her secrets even when it meant giving up the love she’d never expected to come her way

  • Stayed with an unfaithful husband in a bad marriage (which she had every right to leave) for 30 years because she believed in the institution of marriage
  • Re-invented herself as a professional after being thrown over for younger woman
  • Had the courage to take a second chance on a love relationship
  • Stood up to her adult daughter who wants to take over where the ex-husband left off
  • Refused to take the opportunity for revenge
  • Took seriously “Honor thy father and mother” until compelled to protect her own physical safety
  • Worked hard for everything she had and didn’t complain about the necessity of doing so
  • Dared to dream of her prince charming
  • Dared to refuse the prince what he felt his due when it didn’t coincide with her moral standards
  • Took a child not her own and gave him all the love she’d been denied

  • Dug in her heels when threatened just for wanting what was hers
  • Knocked down more than once but refused to stay there
  • Proud—but not too proud to accept help
  • Took herself and her son out of a bad marriage to save them both
  • Started over not once but twice
  • Refused to budge from her deeply-held beliefs
  • Recognized the easier way as the wrong way
  • Knew forgiveness didn’t equate weakness

  • Admitted to wrong decisions
  • Ready to move her life in a new direction
  • Refused to play the blame-game
  • Knew how to apologize and mean it

All of these women could be criticized for the decisions which didn’t fit the liberated theme. But they made the decisions which were right for them. Can you be any more free than that?


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