“You Mean….., You’re a Woman?”

Why are we talking about women all the time?

It was a day kind of like today. Temps were in the low 60’s, partly cloudy skies, early spring, and swollen buds on my Japanese Magnolias. Spring had arrived. After breakfast guests, I hurried through tidying up the rooms. Like a hibernating bear, I desperately wanted to be out in the sun. I grabbed a portable radio and there I was, dancing away and digging a ditch.

Physical work is immensely gratifying and beads of perspiration popped on my forehead. The robins were following my every move. They would perch, on the top of a dirt clod, waiting for me to turn over the next shovel full. Yes, I was digging a drainage ditch. Our house has a basement, and we are always conscious of water standing near the foundation. My mission was really twofold, spring maintenance for the basement and to lay out an herb garden. The grass was still brown, but I had a vision.

I was wrestling with a French drain, when a pickup truck whizzed into my neighbor’s driveway and stopped about 15′ from where I was working. It was our Mayor and our State Senator, who was also State Chair of Ways and Means. The Mayor spoke first, “What the hell are you doing, Daughn?”. I recognized his voice.

Still stooped over and self-conscious that my butt was facing him, I turned the radio down and swung to pitch an elbow on the end of my shovel. I was caught, busted, and tried to look as presentable as possible. “I’m digging a ditch…..”, I went on to explain. Mayor said, “Why isn’t (husband) digging?”, and I made some excuse. Seizing the opportunity to make a deal for my garden, I approached his truck, explained about the herb garden, and asked him for some ‘rip-rat’ to edge my garden. Rip rat are the large stones placed near a new exit ramp by DOT to control erosion. “How much do ya’ need?”, he replied. I pointed to the length needed and asked for a little more. “Okay, I can see it happening for you.”, I was smiling, that was easy.

“We need to talk to you about something important.”, said the Mayor. State Senator nodded in agreement. I braced myself on the edge of my shovel, “What does he want me to do now….”, I thought. I was ready, here it came, “You have to be the next Mayor”, he proclaimed. I reacted physically, reeling, but there was no chair to sit in. “Huh?”, I was stammering. He blindsided me.

Background #1: The Mayor and I were good friends. He was one of my husband’s best friends. Both of them had construction companies and knew each other for decades before I moved home. He was the best of Mayors for our little town. He was decisive, fearless, a man’s man, ruggedly handsome, and a champ when it came to negotiating. He was 6′ 3″ and imposing, wealthy, naturally intuitive, and also well educated. His experience in municipal bonds was limited, and because of my experience, I helped him. I was also shrewd, steeped in contract law, and provided added benefit. The two of us played good cop/bad cop and ‘danced’ together in a negotiation like we could read each other’s mind. We worked on the hospital, the schools, Christmas parades, federal agencies, and natural disasters. He never called or rang my front doorbell when he needed me, he just walked in the back door. Most of all, my family was deeply experienced in recruiting corp’s to our area. Together, we worked on many, many deals, successfully landing 4 Fortune 500 companies in our town, which improved employment, tax base, school system, etc. Beyond that, I liked the guy.

Background #2: Our State Senator was also a friend. He was recently divorced when he brought a lovely woman to an event at our house. It was their first date. He proposed to her at our house, and they were married at our house. She became a girlfriend to me. He was an incredibly adept politician who “got things done”. He listened constantly, never missed a word, and rarely spoke. He was a powerful man who was about 20yrs my elder. At the time, I had just turned 34.

Our State Senator broke the awkward silence and explained the Mayor was ‘moving up’. Because of his local success, the Mayor was appointed to head the State Dept of Econ Development. Because of a surreal performance during a natural disaster, our fire chief was also moving up to head Emergency Management for the State. That left a leadership problem at the local level. As he described, “the funnel of new business we had established was important and stability was paramount”. I was the natural choice to fill in. The decision had been made. I was the chosen one.

“But I can’t”, I shook my head. They were dumbfounded I would turn down such a gift. Yet, I knew something they did not, something I could not reveal. I offered an excuse, “I just started my business. I have 23 people working out of my house, a mortgage to pay.” “Don’t worry about the money”, was his cool reply. Curious answer. “B-b-b-ut the salary for a Mayor was a pittance, and I’m not naturally wealthy!”, the Mayor knew my personal finances well. I had a 5 year plan and a 10 year plan. The pay cut would have been about 80%. Again, “Don’t worry about the money”, said the State Senator. They explained, they had already spoken to my husband (to see if I might be interested) and he was “on board”. I was flattered and honored. It could only be me, the opposition would be a pompous, dangerous, and inept man.

I reluctantly objected again. “I was no politician.”, which they countered. “I was only 34yrs old.”, which they countered. The town’s Mayors were always older men, born and bred in the town, deacons of their churches, past Presidents of Rotary. I was from the town, baptized and married in a local church, but I spent my whole life….. away. I was a newbie, sort of. “Who in the hell would vote for me?”, I was puzzled. The Mayor sighed. Our prominent black alderman had proposed me to be the new Mayor and had also met with my husband (to see if I might be interested). I was assured the vote because as our Black Alderman said, “Of all people, I was tough but fair”. I smiled slightly, always liked that particular alderman, he was also ‘tough but fair’.

I was looking at the ground, thinking, running out of excuses and kept resisting. The Mayor sensed something was wrong and he asked, “What the hell, Daughn, I’ll help you campaign!” and “It will be fun!”. Finally and more sternly, he demanded, “What’s the damn problem?”.

I rose my head slowly, and narrowed my eyes. Deep breath.

“I’m pregnant”, I blurted. “My due date is October 21st and the election would be the beginning of November”, silence…….., “How’s that going to work?”, I said, “How can I campaign?” Plus, “What if the baby, God forbid, is not okay?”

The shock washed over them in a less than a second. The Mayor put his head on the steering wheel, then he threw it back against the headrest, staring at the grey velour on the ceiling of the pickup. In the passenger seat, the State Senator put both arms against the glove compartment to brace himself. The Mayor let out a breath, turned to me and said, “You mean…… you’re a woman?”.

Almost immediately, the Mayor said, “I ……..just……never……. thought of you as being a woman”. I chuckled. His reaction was overwhelming and sincere. Can’t be faked. Here was a man, an accomplished and experienced man, who LOVED and ADMIRED every inch of women, ALL women, especially his wife. Yet, he perceived me differently than other women. I was his buddy with a numbers brain. I was 110% female, no mistake, and definitely a “babe” at the time, but I was one of the guys. How cool for me? I landed the secret keys to the guy kingdom.

Best compliment, ever.

I shook my finger at him and swore the both of them to secrecy. I had not told my husband I was pregnant. They were the first to know.

When women enter the workforce or become involved in their community, they enter as people who contribute to a group effort. I never beat my chest or asked for special dispensation because I was a woman. We all know the rules. There isn’t another set of rules for women – or is there…. now? Have we lowered the standards for women? Doesn’t that naturally lead to lower performance for the whole group effort? I chose to over-perform and not be a token hire. It’s the ONLY way to earn the respect of the entire group and ever be considered “worthy”. To hell with being “equal”.

Furthermore, we all know people who seek to denigrate others to elevate themselves. It’s not healthy psychological behavior. It’s wrong but fairly common in social media, today. The women in this photo, the new and flashy women of the Congress, seek to degrade all men, and others of various religions or races, to elevate themselves. It’s wrong and destructive behavior.

I submit, if AOC were a man, she would have already been admonished and cast aside for her flighty and irrational statements. Imagine the response to the “Green Deal” if presented by a 29yr old white male, freshman Congressman. Would ANY news outlet have covered HIS idea? On a regular basis, she condemns men, only because they are men, and immediately defers to victim status, demanding special treatment because she is a woman. She will never earn respect in this way and can only be a token hire. She seeks another set of rules, for her.

This kind of self-absorbed behavior leads to resentment on behalf of those who do the actual work. Resentment of this nature is bad for any organization, yet we would be hard pressed to find a company, today, where it does not exist. Are women or ‘skin colors’ promoted for the sake of diversity? Yeah. AOC’s behavior harms all women in this way. Deserving women are constantly tested to prove and reprove themselves as worthy and NOT the token hire.

Other women on the cover also seek a different set of rules, to win based on “feelings” or “their truth”, which is usually not actual rational truth. Why is the DNC seeking a “woman of color” to run for President instead of touting accomplishments of the person?

They seek to be placated, for all others to bow before them, to stop and listen when they speak, NOT because of what they say, but because of their color, religion, or sex. Why? Why would anyone presume to be superior because of skin color, sex, or religion? Who are the real bigots, here?

Pelosi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

128 thoughts on ““You Mean….., You’re a Woman?”

  1. Daughn you are an incredible writer and an incredible woman! We now live in a society where being white and a male is a death sentence. I happen to be both. As a Principal of a predominantly all boys high school in Fort Apache, the Bronx, I had the ability to hire my entire staff since I started the school from scratch.

    In education, a majority of the adults happen to be women. I hate to admit it but they gave me some of my biggest headaches. If the boys were mean to them they expected me to be their father and protect them from the mean Black and Hispanic boys. Plus a majority of them were white and assumed I would absolutely defend them because I was white.

    What always bothered me was the fact that they were all flaming liberals that would fight for every cause yet they needed me to be the hammer whenever the boys of color were mean to them.

    By my 7th year I had enough. It wasn’t the students that burned me out, it was my predominantly female staff.

    I told my wife if I had to do it again, I would have had an all male staff. People are free to call me a sexist. My sanity and my health are far more important.

    Liked by 20 people

      1. AMEN!!!

        The most treacherous boss I ever had was a woman and I had some real doozies, like the retired government chemist… Come to think of it I got both of them fired.

        I always HATED being a ‘token woman’ it meant you had to fight twice as hard to have your ideas considered. Also you might get hired, but you did not get the raises or the promotions… unless they needed another token.

        Liked by 9 people

        1. I had one woman boss…I would send emails with a list of questions, and she’d answer the first one only with “let’s talk about this.” She was one of the veggie brain wonders. Eventually, I would send a series of emails with one question each. Half the time they weren’t answered.

          Liked by 7 people

        1. Male bosses, male co-workers, male friends. Life is WAY easier in a man’s world. Women are their own worst enemies.

          The passive-aggressive, process-oriented (rather than results-oriented) style of ‘most’ women is a challenge in relationships at home and work.

          (apologies to all the women here who don’t fit that profile 😍)

          Liked by 6 people

    1. I’m a woman, and I agree. Men were easier to work for and work with. And yes, I’m speaking in generalities and OF COURSE there were exceptions. And still…I preferred men. Much easier to work with and for.

      Liked by 6 people

            1. Ladies maybe you haven’t work with men (any gender they choose that day, gay, lbgtq or ???) in the art world. They make women look like pikers, catty, mean, manipulative, back stabbing and on and on…
              Would much rather work for a woman loving man in a man’s world any day.

              Liked by 2 people

    2. Fifty years ago, I taught in a small Catholic school. The women teachers and the nuns were great. Small environment. Prior to that, I worked HR for a steel mill. Large office, 90% were catty women. Because it was HR, some of them saw my testing scores prior to my first day at work, and because I was working my way through night school, I got targeted mercilessly. They insinuated that I thought I was too good to just work in an office, and some said so.

      That’s okay though, within a year they learned I started dating someone from within the company. It was obvious from where his phone calls originated in the company that he was an up and comer. Drove them nuts trying to learn who he was that phoned me during lunch. They weren’t invited to the wedding. After 50+ years, I still chuckle.

      Liked by 8 people

    3. Ditto….
      Daugn…… ANOTHER exceptional story.
      You are a born Writer……
      Your writing style draws me into the story….
      Paints a mental picture….
      and before I am ready…
      The story ends.

      (BTW …. it’s “Rip-Rap”, Not “rip-rat”)

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Theyre putting that all over the fwy on n off ramps here. Replacing a lot of green with rock. Pretty rock but a bit sterile. Im pretty happy seeing all the places where ponds have sprung up from all the rain. We should have poppies and other flora everywhere in a few weeks.

          Liked by 2 people

    4. Flep, I can understand how you felt. I found it much easier to work with men–most of the women I worked with were also very catty.

      Daughn, this is such a fine piece of writing and love this story so much. Can’t wait for your book–I hope. Thank you, sister, you are a real inspiriation.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. He became the Mayor for the next 20 years. Our school went from a level 5 (best and only 2 in the state) to a level 3. We lost 2 of the companies and he increased property taxes 528%.
      Bad leadership.
      Timing was wrong for me and once he was in, he campaigned hard, so I would not enter. We fought like crazy. Strangely, his mother pushed him to marry me when I was young (teenager)
      When I learned of her plot, I was horrified.
      He was ugly, too!

      Liked by 12 people

  2. I heard today that the Olympics is going to allow transgendered MALES who have not had gender reassignment surgery to compete AS WOMEN. I had a not-so-good reaction, so I went to see a good friend of mine, a very level-headed woman. I mean, good grief, women can’t physically compete with men. It’s ridiculous to me. My friend had a different take.

    Her thought: “Well, women have been trying to be ‘equal’ to men, so here’s their chance (friend used to be in the military, she is a bad-ass, but totally knows her limits).”

    I pondered it for a bit, and realized she had a good point.

    And the entertainment to be had in watching the feminazi class try to thread the needle between PROMOTING and DEFENDING women’s sports while simultaneously NOT OFFENDING the trans community is going to be EPIC.

    Good times, I decided.

    Liked by 13 people

  3. I think that at least part of the fixation over gender orientation is intentional, and meant to be a distraction away from content of a persons character.

    A quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. comes to mind. Substitute “the color of their skin” with “their gender” for current relevance.

    ” I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

    Liked by 12 people

  4. Like I said with Flep, I can’t stand the whining.
    I had an acquaintance who BEGGED me to hire her daughter, teach her the fine points of how to run a house. Excuse me? Do I look like a Swiss Finishing School?
    I hired the girl.
    She showed up, first day, from high school, wearing a miniskirt, black tights, and high heels.
    There are 9 sets of stairs in this house.
    How the heck was she going to work?
    I sent her outside to rake the front yard. She didn’t get the message.
    This is funny….. she was only here 3 weeks. One day, I was in the bathroom, and husband came in and told me to go see what she was doing in the kitchen. She was peeling carrots, with the wrong side of the carrot peeler. Husband shook his head and said, “How will they feed themselves..”
    Finally, she was so dumb….
    The attic door has a funny handle which cannot be turned from the other side. Thus, when we are in the attic, we have to leave the door cracked slightly. All it takes is one time, locked in the attic, and you get the idea.
    We were taking down Christmas decorations, and she kept getting locked in the attic, again and again. What the heck, I thought.
    Come to find out, my 11yr old stepson was messing with her. When we finally discovered her, she was sitting on the attic stair, crying. She quit.

    Liked by 9 people

  5. What gets me about this topic is that for well over a hundred years, women in this country have been conditioned to not be satisfied. With anything. Place in life, spouse, wardrobe, figure, the very essence of what it is to be a woman. Religion.

    Yes, we should be paid equally for equal work – and in one of my areas, music, that does happen and has for centuries even if there are those who will sleep with the director for a part – but there is no reason to be constantly dissatisfied.

    Frankly, some of us would rather stay at home and keep house than live with the drama of a workplace and then come home to have to keep the house anyway.

    I’d say something about splitting attention, but that might not be taken the right way.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Women, generally, are paid equally for equal work and the left spins the myth it’s not true.
      Why would ever want to be equal?
      Viva la difference!

      Liked by 8 people

    2. Im going to say something that bugs me, but I dont know if it should. I am a sahm. Essentially, mr gil goes to work, mows the lawn, and is supposed to wash our cars. He has zero other regular responsibilities. And yet, he has said he resents me bc I do not bring in money, therefore I dont financially contribute. Staying at home, I do everything else, but especially Im here for my kiddo. Im not sure at home or out there is easier either way.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. NOnonononoooooooooo, don’t ever feel that way.
        I made the choice. Best choice I EVER made.
        Got accepted to law school 2nd week of FEB and we closed on the house 1st week of March. Decision time, could not afford both.
        If I went the lawyer route, as a second career, I would have worked 12 hours a day + commute. I would NEVER have been able to have kids.
        Heck, I BOUGHT the house because it was next to the school. I wanted KIDS!!!!!!!!

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Just a suggestion regarding your hubby and his resentment. Prepare a bill on what it would cost to HIRE someone to do what you do. And be realistic, according to today’s prices. That should wake his butt up! Then add at the bottom the value of your love, support, all the little extra things you do for him (and you know they are many!) as = PRICELESS!

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Oh, Ive asked him just to check child care…. ive expl ained private school significantly. I think today he is on board for private school. Thats the best win I could get.

          Liked by 4 people

              1. You would!!!!!!
                One day, the staff added up everything that needed to be done at our house. We were trying to decide if we should hire more or if we could cut back.
                Wellllllll, we figured out we needed 14 people.
                YOU GIL, are the 14!

                Liked by 2 people

          1. Yes. Honey is good. He prefers cjic5olate chip cookies but just took up a diet. He let our beagle escape last weekend while I was out and the new neighbors found her, put her on a leash and was looking for her owner (he had left her collar with my number off). I came home and she was so happy. I didnt kill him, esp since this was the 2nd time, and that helped. I al so made a double batch of giant chocolate chip cookies for said neighbors. So he at least got to smell them. Lol.

            Liked by 3 people

      3. You are his HOME, Gil. Not the house.

        Perhaps you should remind him of that … and that all the money in the WORLD will never replace his home. YOU.

        Nip it in the bud!

        Liked by 3 people

      4. Well…. contrary to popular belief…
        Men and Women ARE different.
        Built different to serve different purposes.
        While I design and Build Houses, Fix the cars and everything else,
        Work a regular job, Mow the yard, Roll out Sod, Dig ditched etc.
        I was built to do these things.
        My wife keeps the house, cooks our food, Bore and raised our children
        all while having a regular job (after the kids were in school)
        I could NOT do the things she does.
        I don’t tell her often enough how much I Love and appreciate her…..
        Uh oh….. Be right back 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Dear Mr. Gil,
        A lot of women would cherish a man like you, being able to take care of the home, raise kids and be there for all things “family” is a gift so many can’t afford. Luckiest are the men that have a “home” instead of a roof over your head.
        Jealous,
        Anonymous

        Liked by 2 people

      6. My wife was in the hospital for over two weeks, and I had to take leave and stay home with the three kids all under ten.

        Umm yeah I appreciate my wife. I’ll stick with cybersecurity – it’s a lot easier career choice.

        Liked by 3 people

      7. We made the decision together that I would stay home after the birth of my 3rd child (my second husband’s firstborn). It was made jointly for the benefit of our family unit and I can’t begin to explain how grateful I was to have my husband’s support. We agreed to sacrifice financial comforts in exchange for my raising our family in lieu of daycare (been there done that for the first 2). The next ten years and one more child at home were the most rewarding of my life. As a stay at home mom, I replaced my salary with efforts, love and devotion to our family and my husband spoke his appreciation often. Your husband should be thankful. His child is raised by the person who loves them the most. Mothering matters!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. It’s the best thing in the world we can do for our kids. I’m also convinced the moms at home were what kept the schools in line.
          Moms were involved in schools. When we went into the workforce, the evil crept into the school.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Absolutely. Moms made kids toe the line so that when they entered school they were respectful of (school) authority. When we wonder where respect went with the new generations, you need only look for the missing parents.

            Liked by 2 people

    3. “What gets me about this topic is that for well over a hundred years, women in this country have been conditioned to not be satisfied. With anything. Place in life, spouse, wardrobe, figure, the very essence of what it is to be a woman. Religion.”

      Discontent, Ingratitude, and Envy – these are the beginning of Marxism.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. On the other hand, I had a young man, 16yrs old, approach me in the yard, looking for a job. I didn’t need anyone at the time and rebuffed him. Gently, opened his palm and told me I was “making a mistake by not hiring him— because he was worth it and he would prove it to me”
    I had started walking away from him when he said it, and WOW, I stopped on a dime.
    I spun around and took a look at him, about 6′, kind of scrawny, clean cut, well dressed…… and he was ready.
    “You’re hired”, I said, “and challenged.”
    I LOVED that kid.
    He became my #1 guy.
    He became like a second son. He and his dad completely rebuilt a ’69 Camaro with the money he earned. AND, when HE went to college, he bought a house and rented the other rooms to students.
    Finally, he got married and I lost track of him.
    10 years later, I got a shoestring invite to a Mardi Gras Party in New Orleans. He was standing at the front walk with his arms folded, it was his house. He said, “’bout time you showed up”. I love that young man.

    Liked by 7 people

      1. He’s a Civil Engineer. Married an older woman, about 10yrs older, who had a child already.
        He is such a wonderful young man. Great zest for life.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Best hire I ever made for working in one of my labs was a Carpenters apprentice!

          Very bright, learned quickly, was never ever late and just about read my mind. I hope he did well at the company after I left.

          Liked by 4 people

    1. If you have no institutions to distract and/or apply faith or have as mentors and heroes, and the government is all that is left, people will just become those commie state workers. Either gung ho robust, and all in, or complacent and apathetic. Miserable all the way around, but the state, the world state, will be so far removed they wont care about anyone.

      Liked by 4 people

  7. Amen. Daughn tells great takes – creative nonfiction is the newest ‘buzzy’ genre for writers, except all any of them write about is their tales of woe (social justice, don’t cha know).

    Along comes Daughn putting a whole lot of creativity into writing her life stories. “True Stories Well Told”.

    Apropos Daughn’s title … my girlfriend and I still chuckle at her grandson who, when a toddler, took a shower with her & exclaimed, “Grandma! You’re a Girl !!” 🤣

    Liked by 7 people

    1. “Tale of Woe”, pfffttttt, I have no time for woe.
      One time, I had a gypsy tell me, I was “naturally happy and had no problems”. OMG, that’s a GREAT story for another day.
      But back to “grandma” and “girl”.
      My stepson was about 5-6 years old, we were at the little house, all in the kitchen, I was making dinner.
      Stepson asks me, “Miss Daughn, what’s a lesbian?”
      Man who would become my husband peered over his papers, looked down his glasses at me, and cracked a huge smile.
      “Well”, I said, “Lesbians are women who love other women.”
      He was only 5-6 and I didn’t want to dwell.
      He seemed satisfied and I went back to making dinner.
      A few minutes later, the woman who would become my evil mother-in-law, breezed in the front door and parked herself at the kitchen peninsula, drink in hand.
      I pondered how she would criticize and torture me today……
      My stepson got up and hugged his grandmother hello. She leaned down to give him a kiss on the forehead and he looked up to her, with that sweet innocent face, and said, “Grandma, I’m so happy you and Miss Daughn are lesbians.”
      It was a banner day!

      Liked by 6 people

  8. Joe L. Wheeler did a three-book series of compiled stories titled, “Great Stories Remembered”, which were published by Focus on the Family. Excellent reading. I had the first two, but lost one after loaning it out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Grandma had bathroom books, Dave Barry, Mike Royko, Reader’s Digest Condensed stories. Loved that stuff!

      Like

        1. Itswoot, I am crying tears of joy!
          What a beautiful story, and yes, Providence!
          Need a Kleenex.
          Thank you, thank you, for sharing.

          Like

  9. Daughn – you are a wonderful story teller. I think you should continue to post little life stories here, and when you have accumulated a critical mass of them, consider compiling them into a book. “What I found on the road less traveled” or something like that.

    One of my wife’s good friends runs a little book publishing company, and she specializes in helping newbies get published. I’d be happy to make an introduction.

    Liked by 1 person

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