Women are too strident in their advocacy.
Women Are Too Strident In Their Advocacy
I have seen this canard foisted often in the public arena. Women are deemed “strident” if their advocacy of a good and decent cause, when their voices rises above the level of a genteel whisper. Yet, some of our finest and most noble representatives in Washington have been Women. Jeanette Rankin, Margaret Chase Smith, Eleanor Roosevelt, and several contemporary worthies, have exhibited the moral courage to stand up, under the considerable fire of male opposition, and take an ethical position that turned the tide of history for the American people.
One is mindful, of the stately visage of Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith, chastising Wisc. Sen Joseph McCarthy for his excesses in the 1950’s, one of the few at the time who had the courage to do so. And you can’t say enough about people like Eleanor Roosevelt, and all of the causes that she led, to improve life in America for all of its citizens. Yet, still the undercurrent against “stridence in women’s speech” lingers.
Were I born of that remarkable and esteemed gender, you wouldn’t just hear “stridency” in my voice, against all of the inequities that women fight against. You would hear a goddamn howl of outrage that would shake the foundations of society. And I would have long ago engaged in acts of open rebellion and political activism that would have had me shot or incarcerated decades ago. Stridency my butt! Let all men stand in the long lines for the restroom, that women do on a crowded day in any sports or holiday venue. They wouldn’t tolerate it. Let all men be paid 70% of what women earned for the same work! There would be rioting in the streets!
I like to think over the years, that I have tried to ameliorate some of these inequities, at least in venues where I had the ability to do so. Most of my career has been spent in Civil Service. Equal pay and the other irritants have long been at the top of the organized labor political agenda, here in New York State. Their collective efforts have yielded fruit in many areas of the public workplace. Their political clout has altered and improved many areas of the public domain, for everyone, in a dozen fields.
So, the next time you see or hear some knucklehead say that women are “too strident,” get right in that person’s face and utter the classic street rebuttal, “stridency my ass.” And if collectively, people do that every time the issue is raised, the false and silly notion will go the way of the dinosaurs who first uttered it. Right into the dustbin of history.
Many of the worst inequities against women, minorities, working people, the disabled and others not on “the top of the social heap” have changed and improved greatly during the last fifty years in America. We still have a long way to go. And I hope women will continue to stand at the forefront of the issues of the day, as they always have, and help make America a better place to live. God Bless you every one.
Joseph Xavier Martin