Both Sides of the Fence

A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!

Beauty and the bus

Aging, It's not easy, Politics

Fifty two years ago today, Rosa Parks stayed seated on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, and the world changed.

Of course, it wasn’t that easy. And it wasn’t a random act. Parks, a seamstress, was active in the voter registration movement for who were then called Negroes. She’d attended a desegregation workshop as a representative of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

“(There) I found out for the first time in my adult life that this could be a unified society…I gained there the strength to persevere in my work for freedom not just for blacks, but for all oppressed people."

The bus event wasn’t planned, but you might say Parks was primed. Still, it was a signal moment in a struggle for human equality that goes on today.

I remember learning in school about this tired and dignified little old lady who had “spoken” truth to power against the wrong of segregation. Somehow, that image made her arrest more worthy of indignation. Nobody likes the idea of big scary police putting their hands on tiny little old ladies.

But today, I am reminded that Rosa Parks was 42 at the time. Martin Luther King Jr. was 26.

In 1955, 42-year-olds were not old but certainly were considered mature. And that was a good thing. There was work to do: families to raise, mortgages to pay off, business to be done, freedom to be won.

Parks went on to co-found with her husband the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development to help young people pursue education, register to vote and work toward racial peace.

In searching the Net for news about  women around Parks’ age at the time, I found Sarah Jessica Parker and Teri Hatcher. Google links led to “Older women having babies,” “Hottest women over 40,” “Fashion don’ts for women over 40,” “Older women and younger men.”

Pages and pages of diet, exercise, and skin care. Articles about women’s desire to be thinner, sleeker, hotter.

Nothing much about being grown up and taking responsibility for the world.

I don’t know what’s wrong with this picture.

Maybe we need more buses.

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