May 3, 2013
This is in response to, “A Letter to Liberals” by author Michael Charney. His blog can be found here: http://www.chasingglennbeck.com/homeblog/2013/5/2/a-letter-to-liberals.html#.UYRcmoIyHdU
Hello, Mr. Charney –
Let me take a moment of your time to introduce myself. I’m a West Coast transplant currently living in Oklahoma, in a smallish town about 30 miles east of Oklahoma City. I live in a single-family home with my boyfriend and two dogs. Being older than you, we have no children left in the nest. Our sons are married with sons of their own and are living on opposite coasts.
Our house is very simple. It’s a good 75 years old, perhaps older. The plaster interior walls can’t completely hide the round vents that give evidence to the fact that this house was once heated by woodstoves. It’s a small place, less than 700 square feet with two bedrooms and one bathroom. The plumbing gives us problems sometimes, but in the six years I’ve lived here the landlord has always been quick to repair any issues that arise. I believe so firmly in living within my means that the rent is always easy to pay – on time, every single month. My landlord deserves his money no less than I deserve what I work for. We have a small HDTV on which we stream movies via Roku and Netflix because I refuse to pay for cable television – just another example of making sure we always live within our means.
Do you hate me? No? Then I feel safe in asking you to continue reading.
Like you, I work in Human Resources. I’m the payroll manager for a minority-owned security company that boasts a sterling reputation among our industry peers, employees, and customers. I’m also the published author of short fiction and non-, one young adult novel, one novella, and more ghastly poetry than you can shake a stick at. Seriously. I’m the worst poet since Rod McKuen. (At least no one can blame me for “MacArthur Park”.) I’ve always worked, often more than one job at a time. Staying home to raise my son was never an option and I’m not sure I would have done so even if given the chance, but I certainly don’t revile women who choose a career as homemaker and mom. That’s the lovely thing about the little movement called “Women’s Liberation” that came out of the 70s. Women are free to pursue professional careers or raise children. Typically we do both.
Are you hating me yet?
We are a spiritual family. My boyfriend is a Vietnam-era veteran who still embraces much of his Southern Baptist upbringing. Although I was raised Lutheran, for almost 20 years I’ve practiced a little religious philosophy you may have heard of called “witchcraft”. Surprisingly to some, not surprisingly to others, my boyfriend and I have no problem reconciling our beliefs. You see, we both believe in cherishing the earth and loving every single creature that walks, crawls, flies, swims or slithers across its surface. (Well, maybe the b/f isn’t so fond of things that slither. That’s okay. His heebie-jeebies didn’t stop him from helping me safely remove the snake we found in our bathroom last year. That’s the grand thing about love: It overcomes the heebie-jeebies every time. I adore him for that.) I don’t need weekly sermons to remind me that the Creator expects me to obey a certain moral code because that code is simple: Love one another. Help one another. Be good to one another. If you listen closely, I think you’ll hear the words of the wise and wonderful man you call your savior, Jesus of Nazareth, in those rules.
The other week when a little girl crashed her bike in the street outside of my house, I ran over to her. I helped her to her feet, examined her boo-boos, and walked her home to her mother. Contrary to what some might believe about “my kind”, I did not whisk her off to become the weekly sacrifice at a local witches’ coven. Witches don’t practice human sacrifice, nor do we worship satan. In fact, we don’t even believe such an entity exists.
Are you hating me now? Silently or overtly?
I don’t recognize any church dogma which tells me how I should feel about gay marriage or abortion. Among a multitude of other blessings, the Creator gave me a wonderful combination of intelligence and compassion that allows me to come to my own conclusion about such things. When it comes to gay marriage, I don’t care who is marrying whom as long as only consenting adults are involved. Any loving couple (or sextet or octet, I don’t care) who choose to commit their lives to each other are welcome to do so as far as I’m concerned. In fact, I rarely give the matter any thought at all. When it comes to abortion, I have stronger opinions, but when it comes down to where the rubber meets the asphalt, it’s not my place to make a decision for any other woman or to cast judgment on her for her choices no matter how far removed they might be from choices I’d make for myself.
How about now? Do you wish I didn’t exist?
To sum it all up, I’m a single mom and grandmother who lives her life with a quiet determination to abide by the Pagan Rede: Do no harm. And more than that, I try to do small, good things when I have the chance, although I confess that I don’t go out of my way looking for opportunities for demonstrating compassion. The opportunities seem to find me as often as necessary to remind me that we’re all in this together, and if we don’t start acting like it, we’re in big trouble as a country and as a species.
No, I don’t hate you Mr. Charney, and I never did. I hope the goodwill is mutual. The only complaint is that your “A Letter to Liberals” was admittedly not autobiographical, and I question why not. This piece, “A Letter to Conservatives” is entirely my story. My life is open to scrutiny and I can tell you right off the bat that anyone looking will find both good there and bad. I’ve done wrong, I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life and some of them were fairly egregious. I guess that’s what being human is all about.
I guess we’re not so different after all, are we?
March 30, 2013
I’ve been spending a lot of time at the VA Hospital since Mickey moved in. “A lot” translates to maybe eight day-long trips while Mickey had various ailments looked into including a broken shoulder (mea culpa) and cataract surgery. So it’s not like it’s become my second home, but eight visits is a lot to someone who eschews hospitals and had never been to a VA hospital even once prior to 2010.
An amazing thing about the VA hospital is the cross section of society you meet there. I expected to see veterans, yes, but the word “veteran” conjured a very definite mental image in my mind that I’ve discovered was nowhere near the truth. Yes, you meet the almost stereotypical dignified, white-haired veteran with the carefully coiffed wife sitting quietly by his side, but you also meet the crazy Nam vet with the greasy hair who’s cussing everyone, the pockets of black veterans speaking in slang that I can only understand a fraction of, young men with empty eyes, dying men with eyes full of pain, young women vets who carry an incredible amount of pride on their tiny frames, and lesbian vets who think a tall woman like me is the cat’s meow for some reason. And the most amazing thing of all is how many of them (white-haired vets with coiffed wives excluded) seek me out to tell me their stories. Amazing stories. Wonderful stories.
Yesterday it was Henry. An elderly black man that I had a hard time understanding at first, until he whitened-up his vocabulary enough for a pasty person like me to follow, which I thought was very sweet of him, considering that I was just another middle-aged white woman in the human sea that is the ER waiting room. He started out telling me that he’d taken almost no game this year. His eyes filled with regret. Not one single deer. I didn’t tell him that I’m a vegetarian, I just let him talk. He talked about going out hunting with his brother-in-law and bagging about a dozen rabbits, then discovering that dialysis had made him too weak to carry them out. There he was, he explained, in the “woods” with a dozen freshly killed and gutted rabbits and him too weak to take them home. But thankfully his brother-in-law hiked out for help and someone brought a truck and he got those rabbits home; he wasn’t sure why he bothered since his wife couldn’t cook a decent rabbit stew even after all these years of him bringing them home.
He told me about how in his time he wasn’t allowed further east than 8th street. “Your mama wouldn’t let you?” I asked. My own naivete astounds me sometimes.
No, it wasn’t his mama. It was the whites. Unless a black man was hauling garbage or mowing lawns, he wasn’t allowed past 8th Street.
Then he told me how he missed beans. Lord, how he missed beans. Something about the potassium in beans being deadly when you’re on dialysis, so he couldn’t have them any more. He remembered coming home from school and his mama would have a big pot of beans on the stove and a huge pan of cornbread, and you didn’t want to be late getting home or you wouldn’t get seconds.
And he told me about how he listened to the staff at the VA talking to people and how he was convinced the world had no sense left at all any more.
He asked me if I wanted to go outside for a cigarette. I didn’t want a cigarette, but I wanted to go with him, so we did. And we stood on a veranda under multiple “No Smoking – $75 Fine for Violators” signs while he smoked an unfiltered cigarette with hands misshapen by age.
He told me that being married to a military man was a special responsibility (I didn’t bother to tell him that Mickey and I aren’t married – I don’t think that was the point) and that he hoped I understood. I told him that I wasn’t sure if I did or not, but that I would try to understand better than I had before.
Then we went back inside and we watched the news and Henry got me laughing so hard about Obama flying B-52s over Korea that I’m sure I disturbed the people around us.
And then Mickey came out of the back and I said good-bye to Henry. We won’t meet again in this world, I’m sure and I’m sure he was sure of the same thing. It was in his eyes.
August 6, 2012
That’s what you called my thighs as we tangled in each other, and as I lie here with the wetness we made together drying under me, that’s what I call this relationship: Perfect.
If you opened your eyes, I’d see they’re the same robin’s egg shade of blue as the sheets. But you don’t open them; they are shut and shaded with a dark fringe of lash.
Perfect, the stubble of two days on your cheeks and chin, the casual shock of black hair falling over your forehead. Perfect, the musculature of your naked frame in a semi-fetal position amongst the bedding. Perfect, the scent of our sweat.
We have the same expectations of each other, the same desires. Neither one of us wants more than the other can give. There will be no heartache or longing. We understand each other.
I rise earlier than you and shower alone, and then hurry back to the bedroom where I can stare at you while I pull on my clothes. Your beauty is breathtaking and for just a moment I wonder how I can leave you here like this.
If I live to be one hundred, I will never experience a love as perfect as ours.
Careful not to wake you completely, I lean over and caress your hair with my cheek.
“I have to go,” I whisper.
You half-turn, half-reach for me, half-asleep. “Already?”
I kiss your lips, which are dry with the morning. “Good-bye.”
Rolling my bag to the door, I take one more look at you and I realize that I have never and will ever know a love as complete as ours. That realization is so profound that I could cry, but I’m too happy for tears.
I step out into the hallway and shut the door behind me, thankful that you never asked me, “What’s your name?”
August 6, 2012
Love was easy in the days
When adolescence barely crested the hill
The sunrise was giddy
The sunset was fire
And all we knew and all we cared to know
Was the landscape of each other.
Shuttles and war exploded
And bills and obligations
Obscured our view and
Love wasn’t so easy to find
When wallets were empty.
But now I look back and
Oh, the love wasted in worry
Unseen for all the bulk rate mail
And unopened letters!
Where was I?
Where were you?
You were there
As was I, although I didn’t always know it
And love was always
Just as easy as your warm embrace
Your julipped drawl
And the brilliance of your crystal eyes.
July 2, 2012
I’m very glad that, due to health care reform, insurers will no longer be able to drop patients who become critically ill. I’m very glad that the Medicare Gap for seniors will close, allowing them to afford prescriptions that are beyond their ability to purchase at this time. I’m delighted that sick children can no longer be turned down due to pre-existing conditions. I’m happy for the families of college students that they will be able to keep those students on family insurance plans through college and beyond. I’m very happy for all of these long-overdue reforms. I just have one question: Why do I have to pay for it?
I’m among the class that got you elected, Mr. President: The working class. You remember us, don’t you? We’re the “little people” who you promised to look out for. Better take a good look at us while you can because, thanks to the health care mandate, many of us are about to sink into that dreadful class, the Working Poor.
I’m a single working professional. I also clean offices on the weekend to make ends meet. I know when my dog’s vaccinations are due and I save up over the months in order to take him in on time. I see my doctor twice a year for high blood pressure, and I save up in advance for those visits also. I save up for my annual car registration renewal. I save up over the summer for the boots I know I’ll need every other winter. No, I don’t buy new boots every year. I save up over the winter for the sandals I know I’ll need every summer. No, I don’t buy new sandals every year. Mr. President, I have shoes in my closet that are part of my wardrobe that I purchased while you were still battling Mrs. Clinton for the candidacy. I keep my work clothes in good order; I have to because I can’t afford to replace them. I regularly wear one skirt I purchased on the clearance rack at Lane Bryant in 2006. My newest skirt is two years old.
My van is a 2009 Plymouth Voyager with over 120K miles. I paid cash for it in 2007. I have no credit cards, no TV, no smart phone. I take no vacations. I have no savings or retirement plan. I live simply and – what seems to be unheard of in this day and age – I live within my means. I read tarot cards for the little money I need to support my hobby, which is painting found pieces of wood or glassware and from which I derive exquisite enjoyment. I don’t go to the movies. I have no living room furniture because it got old and I couldn’t afford to replace it, but that’s okay. My living room is filled with bookcases and tables that were given to me and it’s quite nice, if I do say so myself. I rent a 75 year old house that has some structural issues, but I love it because I’ve made it into my home. I enjoy my life, even though I live paycheck-to-paycheck.
Why do you want to take what little I have from me? Is it because I’m too happy in my little world where I can pay my own way and where I ask for not a single dime in handouts? I guess I don’t fit the profile. I’m not on assistance and I’m not independently wealthy. Ergo, there is no glory in espousing my cause.
Health care reform mandates that I purchase insurance or pay a penalty. It will be affordable, you say. How do you know, I ask? How do you know what’s affordable to me? I’ve seen the tables. I work in accounting; I understand math better than most people. According to the calculations I’ve seen, I’m going to be required to pay up to approximately $150 a month for health care insurance. That’s a day’s lunch to you, I’m sure. That’s a month’s worth of groceries to me. “Affordable” is such a subjective word; you have no idea how it terrifies me.
Mrs. Obama, have you ever cried when you received your electric bill after a particularly hot or cold month? I have. Have you worried about Bo when he was sick and you couldn’t afford to take him to the vet? I’ve worried sick about my Slevin. Is your dog so much more important to you than mine are to me? Is Bo somehow worthy of health while my Slevin is not, simply because I didn’t marry the “right man”, or earn a scholarship to college? Is the fact that my babies are everything to me meaningless, as long as someone somewhere will get to see a doctor while me and my dogs will not? Because I can assure you, paying for mandatory health care insurance will destroy my health and the health of my companion animals (as if my health and theirs can in any way be considered separate issues) in a way that you cannot or will not understand.
One last question, but it’s rhetorical: Why is it that no matter what the issue – health care reform, foreign war, immigration, tax reform – why is it that the cost of these always falls onto the backs of we Americans who are working the hardest?
June 15, 2012
Frankly, I thought my days of being an equal rights, women’s rights, human rights activist ended 35 years ago. Once I saw the wage gap close, I lost interest in the feminist movement; I figured it would continue to close, silly me. After all, feminine or masculine, we’re all the same in my mind. With the exception of the few years that I was married to an incredibly chauvinistic man from a part of the country that I always associated with gentlemen, a California girl like me had little exposure to anything akin to sexual discrimination, and so I turned my interest to the animal rights movement. All of my efforts turned in the direction of saving our animal brethren from misuse, mismanagement, and mistreatment by humankind.
Michigan Speaker of the House Jase Bolger changed all that when he censured Representative Lisa Brown for saying the word “vagina” during a debate on abortion.
Let me put this out here in print so there are no misunderstandings about where I stand. Abortion rights, in my opinion, need serious constraints. Again, this is JUST MY OPINION. A perfectly healthy woman carrying a perfect healthy fetus should not be allowed access to a late-term abortion. Unless she’s a complete idiot, a woman knows by the second month whether or not she’s pregnant. If she can’t decide what to about that pregnancy by the time she reaches the end of her first trimester, too bad. I sympathize with, understand, and feel badly for women who are faced with whether or not to carry a pregnancy to full term as they approach that 12 week mark, especially those women who were impregnated by rape, but after that I feel a woman has made her bed. Procrastination, denial, whatever – to me it doesn’t matter once you’re past that first trimester. You’re pregnant. You’re going to give birth. Deal with it like so many of us have throughout history. If the health of the mother is at stake or if the fetus has serious physical defects, that’s another story entirely – late-term (or “partial birth”) abortion might be the only viable option for many women placed in that horrible position. My heart goes out to those women and to their unborn progeny, poor things.
So now that I’ve made my own personal beliefs about abortion public, let me continue. Because my anger isn’t about the abortion issue per se. My righteous indignation springs solely from issues regarding the First Amendment.
Why can’t Lisa Brown say “vagina”? She has one, after all. Why shouldn’t her opinion on the abortion issue be heard? After all, when it comes down to where the rubber meets the asphalt, abortion is a women’s issue. Why aren’t more women on both sides of the issue speaking out?
Is it the fault of the media? I admit to ignorance here because I don’t follow mainstream news. Does the media ignore pro-life movements run by pro-life women? Why is it only stuffed suit Christian men who are speaking out on behalf of the pro-life contingent? Is the media silencing pro-life women by refusing to publicize their agenda? Or is the popular opinion true that pro-life women are sitting idly by like good little wifeys while their men (the ruler of the household according to at least two of the world’s major religions) do all the talking?
All we hear about are pro-choice activists. I think it’s about time for pro-life women to step up and voice their opinions in a way that can’t be ignored. Let’s get this discussion going between those who are the most impacted: Women on both sides of the issue. Conservative women. Liberal women. Women who stand somewhere in the middle like me.
Women, sisters, come on! Are we going to be silenced on this issue, represented only by the militant few? I cry bullshit on that. We did NOT come from a man’s rib. Mankind came into this world via our vaginas – one road in, one road out.
Let’s all be heard. Ladies, no matter where you stand on this issue, do not be silent. Now is not the time.
May 8, 2012
One of my co-workers and my man Mickey are loosely connected through a serious of sad events that occurred to a mutual friend of them both. This friend lost his wife; the next day, his daughter died.
Mickey IM’ed me at work today to ask if I knew anything about the funeral for the daughter. Since she had been estranged from her father for many years and none of his friends knew her, no one was clear about the arrangements. I asked my co-worker who told me how Mickey could find out about the arrangements.
I IM’ed this message back to Mickey: “Shawnee News-Star obits, Deanna Something.”
I stared at that message a long time after I sent it. The local newspaper online obituaries. Someone whose name was unknown to her father’s friends. My heart broke a little and I cried.
To make matters worse, the newspaper posted the wrong funeral date. It listed the services as tomorrow, but they were actually today. So even the friends of this friendless woman’s father weren’t there to gather around her sad remains as they were consigned to the earth.
Deanna, I’m so sorry. I’m sorry your sad life led you off of everyone’s radar. I’m sorry you died alone and troubled and friendless. Most of all, I’m sorry I didn’t know your name.
In my heart, I’ve renamed you. You’re no longer Deanna Something. Go with God, Deanna Glorious, and melt into the sun. Be bright. Shine.
April 29, 2012
A lady who is a friend of both my dearest co-worker and my sweetheart is dying tonight. She’s been under hospice care for some time and her family has gathered this weekend because the time has drawn near. I think it’s wonderful that she’s surrounded by love, surrounded by those she cares for and who care for her as she spends her last minutes on this plain. I know this is the kind of death most people (when they dare to think about their own deaths at all) aspire to. I’m not one of those people.
I’m not a bit afraid of death, but I have a genuine horror of lying sick in a hospital bed somewhere waiting for it to overtake me. I don’t want to go out like that. I can’t think of anything worse than letting death take me on its terms, at the time and place of its choosing.
If I have the misfortune of knowing that death is stalking me more closely than is requisite for my moral comfort, I want the presence of mind to meet that mother fucker on my terms. I want the strength to strap on my spiritual weapons and to meet death at high noon on a dusty street somewhere while tumbleweeds blow across the landscape.
“I heard you were looking for me,” I’d say.
“Looks like I found you,” Death would reply.
I ease my hand down toward my sidearm, fingers flexing. “Are you sure you want to do this, Hoss?”
Death sighs. “Got no choice, Slim.”
I nod. “Okay, then. But I have only one question for you, Death. Do you feel lucky today, punk? Well, do ya?”
When death takes me, as he naturally will some day, I want him to come out of the fray with his robe torn, his scythe bent, and his faith in his own inexorability shaken. I want him to go home battered and bruised. I want him to sit in his recliner in front of the TV and pop a beer and say to Mrs. Death, “That was a rough one, honey.”
Yeah, I’m ready. I’ve been ready for years. But I warn you now, Death, it’s going to be a cage match. Better eat your Wheaties, my friend.
April 6, 2012
And aren’t we all? From the time we’re born, we’re hurtling toward death on a non-stop flight, sometimes without inflight meal service or drinks. There is no way to divert this flight to another destination. This fragile thing we call life is going to end somewhere, someday.
Maybe I’m weird, but I’m totally okay with that. I don’t have any strong religious faith that I’m going to end up at the Pearly Gates with a harp in my hands. I only have the faith that I’ve lived my life as fully as I could and will continue to do so until my heart stops beating. The only advantage (if one can call it that) that I have is having looked death in the face and having had the time to do an internal tally of what my life was before that moment.
On April 4, 2006, I ended up in the local ER with cardiomyopathy. The left ventricle of my heart was ballooned out and my lungs were filling with fluid faster than I could cough it out. After the “sound and fury”, the rush of EMTs to get to me the hospital, and the concert of doctors and nurses, and the tests and nitro and more tests and consultations, I was left alone in my little curtained-off cubicle. But I wasn’t dead yet. I could still hear what was transpiring in the hall beyond, and I could see feet below the curtain.
I saw feet clad in what looked like shower caps. I saw those feet approach and stop outside my cubicle. Then I recognized my son’s unmistakable size 16 Nikes facing those shower-capped feet, and a pair of small battered flip flops that could only belong to my daughter-in-law. (Who else wears flip flops in April in Washington state?!?) And I heard the owner of the shower-capped feet say that my condition was tenuous at best.
Is it strange to say that, looking back, it was the best moment of my life? Not the happiest, of course, but the BEST. Because it defined who I was from that moment until now, and if I’m lucky until the end of my life?
Laying there in my ER cubicle, I had to do a quick review. I asked myself, had I made mistakes? Oh yes, indeed. Had I done wrong? Oh, you betcha. And that being the case, what kind of legacy was I about to leave behind? Easy answer!
I was going to leave behind love. No one I had ever loved would doubt my love for them. No one who knew me would doubt that I always did what I thought was best for them, even if it didn’t turn out exactly as I’d planned. I knew at that moment that I could go without any regret other than perhaps a few bucket list items that might entertain me but which would ultimately do nothing to enrich or diminish what defined “Debi” in the minds of those who loved me.
I survived, obviously, and I survived with an amazing gift. Because I know how deeply the love in my life has touched both myself and those around me. I’ve been richly blessed with extra time to build on that legacy, but I can totally look forward to death without a qualm.
Funny thing about love. You take it with you when you’re staring death in the face. I learned that in 2006 and I’ve lived it every day since. I’m the luckiest person I know.
February 29, 2012
I read a blog today on cafemom.com that absolutely blew me away. I wish I could find the link because I’d like to give credit to the blogger and also to show my blog followers that, as incredible as it sounds, I’m not making this up. The blog was regarding today’s grandmothers.
The blogger wrote how she often hears from her friends that their mothers (today’s modern grandmothers) aren’t at all fit for the job. They’re too busy getting plastic surgery or gadding about town or engaged in other pursuits of a purely selfish nature to be bothered with babysitting their grandchildren. The ladies who posted comments seemed divided into two camps: Those who said grandmothers are under no obligation to be built-in babysitters and those who felt modern grandmothers fall egregiously short of ideal. To the later category I’d like to point out just a few things.
1) Women in my age group (50s and 60s) have raised our children. Now it’s your turn to raise yours.
2) These gadabout grannies you’re so unhappy with are the same generation of women who opened up unheard of avenues for ourselves and for you, our daughters. There has never been a time in American history when women had more independence, controlled more personal wealth, or enjoyed greater professional esteem. We were not happy with career choices of teacher, nurse, secretary, or stay-at-home-mom. We’re CEOs, we’re astronauts, we’re doctors, professors, truck drivers, policewomen, soldiers, working moms and stay-at-home-moms. We’re not just secretaries – we’re Secretaries of State. And thanks to our battle for equal rights, you’re free to choose to be any one of those things also. We fought for what we have against odds that you will hopefully never have to face, usually juggling the role of wife and mother at the same time. And now that these women have reached an age when they can finally exhale, you want them to suddenly turn domestic? Do you really expect this generation of smart, strong, educated, determined women to suddenly be happy in the role of nanny for your convenience? Surely you’re joking.
3) We’ve worked hard all of our lives to raise our families while most of us maintained careers outside of the home. We’re tired, okay? Now we’ve reached an age when the amazing loads we’ve carried for decades have finally started to lighten. We’ve seen our children become happy, wonderful adults with families of their own. We’d like to go to the day spa once in a while without being judged as uncaring or distant from our grandchildren.
4) There are now more grandparents with legal custody of their grandchildren than at any other time in American history. If we’re generalizing, your argument that we’re uninvolved can be rendered invalid on that fact alone.
I’m not a grandmother, but most of my friends are. I know how much they adore their grandchildren. Yes, there are bad grandparents – and bad parents and bad aunts, uncles, cousins, ad infinitum. There will always be weaker, more confused, or perhaps just plain unfit people involved in the lives of children. But if your definition of “bad” consists of not allowing ourselves to be your unpaid domestic workers, well…
We’re strong and empowered, making more money, living longer and looking better than ever before. We fought to get here and we fought to get you here, too, because we never want to see you subjugated, castigated, and cast down because of your gender. It’s all out there for you, honey, for your generation, because we wanted a better world for ourselves and for you.
No need to thank us.