Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Will we remember her name?

June 13, 2017

I freely admit to being a woman of a certain age. Nothing can take the place of life experiences and decades-long friendships. I've seen a lot of change in my lifetime - some good and some not-so-good. I'm old enough to remember the year 1968. 

You don't remember 1968? The Tet offensive was launched. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. Andy Warhol was shot. Robert Kennedy was assassinated. Nixon was elected president. The unemployment rate was 3%. Helen Gurley Brown was running Cosmopolitan magazine and was one of its editors until her death in 2012. 

You remember Helen Gurley Brown, right? In 1962 she wrote "Sex and the Single Girl." Gurley Brown is the one who said, "Good girls go to heaven. Bad girls go everywhere." She also conceded women face obstacles that are gender specific and declared- rightly so - a woman can rise above it. She was a role model for women for decades because she was correct. She struck a chord that rang true across many years - over fifty years. It still rings today albeit in more subtle tones.

And she famously got Burt Reynolds to pose nude in Cosmos. But did this icon to the success and freedom of women ever pose nude herself? I do not think so. 

The celebrity/social media news has been full of stories about a certain celebrity who posted an image of herself sans pants. It caused a ruckus, to be sure. 

I wonder at some of the "feminist" things I've seen in the last year. It seems to me feminism has become all about the flashbulbs and the headlines and who can shout obscenities the loudest. Today's version of feminism is not about continuing to lay firm foundations and embracing longevity, the bigger picture, and the future for our daughters. It's no longer about getting your message across while maintaining your dignity and self-respect. 

Do I think this celebrity has the right to behave the way she wants? Yes, I do, provided she harms only herself. 

So the question becomes did she only do damage to herself, or will her actions bring harm to other women? Will it harm our daughters? 

Maybe, in fifty years, if anyone remembers her name, we'll find out. 

KC Kendricks

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