For me 2010 was a watershed year.Last June, I faced the fact that I was turning 79. No longer could I convince myself that modern times and advanced knowledge had so improved our lifestyles that we no longer had to think of ourselves as old. I could see 80 on the horizon and for me 80 qualified! Somehow, by hook or crook, I had successfully staggered through seven decades of life,and I told myself that I should now be able to call myself old without wincing.
So I did the logical thing: I started a blog.And then I started a second blog. And, wonder of wonders, people have told me to keep at it, even including some of my own family! And here it is, straight from the shoulder. On turning 79, this is what I think:
It was the 60's and Betty Friedan, the author of "The Feminine Mystique", was becoming a household name.
She couldn't have found a better customer than myself. It was Betty who made it okay to want more than just being a housewife.Though she recognized some women were perfectly content with traditional domestic life, she said there were others who would benefit both themselves and their families by working outside the home or going back to school. Betty Friedan seemed to be writing for me!
The suburbs, she said, were largely bedroom communities, deserted by adults who worked elsewhere and led stimulating lives. Sensing a void now that my children were growing older, her words seemed to offer me direction. I deeply loved my family and didn't want to do anything to hurt them. Yet here was encouragement and a view that returning to school would actually be good for my family, and it gave me the social approval I craved ." Maybe", I told myself," I should consider finishing my degree".
And when I went back to school the women in my classes were a new breed. Simple tasteful clothing reflected the new view of women that was sweeping the nation. I could only imagine the opportunities on the horizon that would present themselves. With our new sense of empowerment we would no longer be shackled by the need to spend all that time making ourselves magnetic to the opposite sex. We could now be ourselves: human beings in search of opportunities for self expression and fulfillment.
Well here we are, well into the 21st century, and I'm just wondering a bit. Pop plastic surgery is commonplace, those high heels we discarded have been replaced by platforms and stilettos that challenge our feet and our balance, and revealing clothes are falling off female bodies in practically any setting.
Have we "come a long way, baby"? Just asking.