WOW! You will find this hard to believe, but I AGREE STRONGLY with just
about everything you said, only I could not have said it so well. Yours is
one letter I will print out and keep, it touches on so many aspects of life
in America today.
You write that the <perceptive cultural norm> helped push women through the
door. Now, I suspect I'm a lot older than you, and I remember my first
glimpse of Women's Lib, in 1971. It was a TV ad, showing a worn and weary
young woman standing in a messy kitchen, babe in arms, toddler in high chair,
small child clinging to mommy's skirt demanding attention. Mommy wails "I'm
tired of being just a housewife!" It was the word <just> that chilled my
bones. At that time we had two college age kids and two teen-agers, all
raised in a cooperative community my husband and I had founded. I certainly
didn't see myself, or anyone I knew, as being <just> a housewife. But I had
a sense of foreboding, that I was seeing a <perceptive cultural norm> of the
future, one where full time nurturing of the next generation was somehow
demeaned and denigrated.
<The feminism I know opened the door to CHOICE>, you say. <Women (and Men)
should be supported to do what is best for them and their families regardless
of cultural stereotypes.> I AGREE. Question is, who is supposed to provide
that support? You describe, with great eloquence, a lifestyle based on what
is expected and influenced - and supported - by cultural stereotypes, a
lifestyle you have now turned away from, by choice. Where and how did you
find support for that choice?
You write, <I am now making an effort to create the kind of community I want
to live in. I've been lucky enough to find other folks who are willing to do
something about that, too.> Bravo! (And don't think of it as <just> an
effort>. Like CSA - our farm has had wonderful experience with that -
forming a community takes commitment, only longer term, and the rewards are
even more satisfying.)
But to get back to the main point of my original letter, I keep feeling that
to get to critical mass we can't just rely on luck. As I remember, Kesey's
monkeys ended up transmitting the new behaviour (washing their sweet
potatoes) from one island to another, as if by telepathy. We humans have
lost that knack, we have to talk and listen or write and read, and we have to
compete with all that verbal garbage from the media. I feel it's critical
that we speed up the communication process, as Internet makes possible.
Speed seems even more important when I learn how chemical and pharmaceutical
companies are getting government agencies to speed up approvals of substances
and methods that cannot even be tested without risk. I wish I could believe
that <one person at a time> would work. I wish I could believe that
agribusiness is my grandchildren's major enemy. I'm glad (I think) that I do
believe everything that happens on this living earth is connected. I do
believe that thoughtful loving giving humans have to become better connected
pretty damn quick, and when we do the results could well be a future beyond
our most glorious imaginings.
Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts,
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