Portable

When Geoffrey and I were “running” a division of his Dad’s companies we were involved in legal proceedings of various types. During one lawsuit that we had to bring against two individuals, I had to sit in on an assets review.  What struck me most, other than how humiliating that process was for the individual being sued, was the answer one of the two, an attorney, gave when he was asked what were his most important assets.  He mentioned his grandfather’s watch and then said, other than that — he was a successful attorney and businessman, mind you — he considered his college and law school degrees to be his greatest and most treasured assets.

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That comment has stayed with me for many, many years.  No matter what I have accumulated in my life whether it is closets full of clothing, drawers loaded with jewelry, expensive cars and costly homes in affluent neighborhoods, my college degrees are among my most prized assets. I have four degrees from two schools — very good schools.  I had to work hard for those degrees and compete with  male counterparts at a time when still, shockingly, women’s intellect and professional viability were underestimated and disparaged, even in academia.

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They still are today.  Women can be highly educated, experienced and skilled, articulate and assertive, calm and energetic and hard working and still we are often dismissed to the point that we are routinely paid only 75 cents to every dollar that an equivalent man is given, and expected to be good about it too. When we get older, we are considered even less valuable than when we were putatively nubile and fertile.

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The best way one of us can deal with the lifelong underestimation of our abilities is to have strong adaptable personal assets that can be applied to a multitude of situations and challenges including a realistic and robust sense of self-worth. Naturally, the place such an asset is founded is in the home during early childhood. The importance of those early years for establishing a useful and positive supply of values and practices to carry one forward throughout life cannot be overemphasized. I have spent my life studying and attempting to raise awareness of this critical period in our individual development.

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Women are a large and influential cohort, 51% of the world population and yet, we still have to battle this misperception that we can be reflexively patronized and will accept it as the way things rightfully work.

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I said I would not write more about our upcoming elections in November of this year until after they are over and I will stick to that in terms of telling you what I believe is going on and how I feel about it in any specific way.

However, now that we clearly have two candidates running for the White House, and one of them has assumed a mephistophelian posture of unprecedented proportions, I feel I must at least talk about gender politics, if for no other reason than to let those of you in my community who live in other countries know where an educated, self-esteeming, calm and analytical woman stands on what is about to take place.  If I were living anywhere else, I would think this country has lost its collective mind. It may have.

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Up to this point, the women who have volunteered to be President — only two of them — have already had to run the gauntlet of sneering, contemptuous, sarcastic, belittling men on both sides of the aisle. One of them has been falsely dissembled and slandered for decades. Both of these women have stood their ground and fought back, calmly and forthrightly. I am a lifelong fan of one and not the other, but I give them both tremendous credit for having prevailed and flourished despite these degrading experiences with men who should know and behave better. The seriousness of this election should preclude the kind of junior high school tactics and rhetoric that has been and will continue to be employed in what I hope is a vain attempt to derail this historic achievement.

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The very fact that it has taken over 240 years to have even one woman POTUS is appalling and indicative of how entrenched this male-female inequality is, to this day.  As we move forward, I expect the adolescent conduct to accelerate. What is even more outrageous is the fact that women on one side of the political equation contribute to the imbalance and injustice by convincing themselves that their party is fair to women, when it has been notoriously exploitative and suppressive instead.  How can these people not see it? How can any woman be complicit in this injustice?

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In any event, my education (and my upbringing by two intelligent, educated, caring and enlightened people) and its consequent residue of self-assurance have given me the tools to navigate this hominid world, dodging pitfalls, curve-balls and verbal bullets along the way. My mother and father both had good educations and strong careers. At times my mother made more than my dad.  They were and are equals and treated me and each other with respect. And like every career woman, my mother kept up long hours, managing home and office, multitasking long before it had its own label.

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Both Geoff and I  got the best education available and that has armed us with the tools we need to carve out an independent, aware, progressive path for ourselves that we have applied in all the challenging circumstances we’ve encountered. Not without setbacks, errors, mistaken judgments, but enabling us to withstand the barrage of slavish group-think to which many in this country have apparently succumbed.

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I credit the two women thrust to the forefront of this current race with having similar assets. They have come to diametrically opposed positions as a result. But they are both strong, persistent, calm, articulate, fierce advocates for their beliefs and values, both of them show stamina and fortitude and no shouting hyperbolic boor is going to take them down.

That’s what portable assets do for you.

Next up: the Star of the See

Images: Chez BeBe assets: Port Hueneme

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/curve/

 

37 Comments on “Portable

  1. Love this, Beth. Like you, my degrees are among the most important of my ‘possessions’. The (superficial) evidence of them- the diplomas- spent a couple of years in storage, but are now re-homed in my study in my new home. Also like you, I dealt with almost-consistent underestimation (when I wasn’t dealing with blatant misogyny) since my field remains (white) male-dominated.

    I have had to check out of paying attention to anything that is going on south of our border. I just can’t cope. That guy’s comment about HRC playing the ‘woman card’? Yeah. Over and out for me.

    That we are still having to demonstrate our stamina and fortitude in the face of such injustice and imbalance is staggering and demoralizing to the extreme.

    Although I have ceased to listen to the nonsense happening in the US, I am, still, trying to sort out viable ways to help make female voices heard up here in my neck of the woods (which is one of many excuses for not hanging about with my WordPress peeps as often as I’d like).

    Thankfully posts like this one- and your ongoing encouragement- make the attempts seem less-daunting.

    We are forces with which the world need reckon- thanks for that Friday morning reminder. Have a great weekend! xo

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Cole!

      The Clinton campaign is sending out literal “woman cards”, like a credit card or ACLU card to carry in our wallets. It is peach coloured and has the words Deal me In, on it. I love it and am going to whip it out flamboyantly, wherever I go. Especially Mother’s Day with the tea partying in-laws.

      I don’t blame you for tuning out. I get so upset that Geoffrey has almost banned television altogether, even though we watch so little of it.

      One observer said she was most appalled by Trump saying Clinton was weak and had no stamina. So misogynist. I feel like writing Ivanka a letter but Deanna has asked me not to. How can Ivanka stand by while her father even invokes Nazi sympathy?

      Truly, Cole, this country has fallen prey to talk show monsters. I am so sick of all of them. I do think Trump will fail, TG.

      Thank you for the encouragement, Cole. Sigh!!

      xx

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Beth, I agree with both you and Cole. The “playing the woman card” and the “she’s so unqualified” statements are absolutely sexist fodder. Trump also said if Hillary was a man, she’d only have 5% of the vote. If she was a man, she would never be considered “unqualified” with both a senate seat and a term as Secretary of State on her resume. I am SO praying young republican women get so fed up with Trump’s misogynist words they rebel against the party and vote Hillary into office.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I don’t understand how we came to this Susan. What is wrong with people in this country? So many of us are struggling. What in the world makes them think Trump cares about them/us or has the means and background with which to do anything?

      His business record is one of opportunism and selfishness, yet they think he is going to look out for the little guy? He has made his money taking advantage of the little guy!

      What I think is happening is the abuses of the plutocrats have resulted in a great deal of despair and confusion. It has all finally caught up with Washington. Years of failed trickle-down starting with Nixon and perfected by Reagan and the Bushes.

      But instead of blaming them, they blame the left. Have they all been asleep? Now they are totally vulnerable to propaganda by whoever says the most outrageous things the loudest.

      It is really shocking to me.

      Thank you!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Oh, me too, Beth. For me, it’s been a rude awakening. I can absolutely see how Hitler happened. I know some think that’s a horrible and drastic comparison, but when people live in fear, it’s easy to arouse anger and hate by dehumanizing groups of people (Muslims, transsexuals) and blaming them for whatever is behind the fears (joblessness, homeland attacks, etc…). Trump has made it possible to see this happen step by step – it’s a Mein Kampf manual.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Exactly. He is frightening in that very way. He is just a bully and used to having whatever he wants. He is deliberately misleading people, pandering to them,while I am sure he looks down on every one of them. It is a terrible abuse of a very serious process.

          And look at the violence at his rallies. He encourages it.

          Just like Hitler.

          It is exactly the same process. Even using Lindbergh’s slogan for his Nazi sympathizers: “America First”, was that ignorance or a dog whistle??

          Liked by 1 person

          • Wow, I didn’t realize that about Lindbergh. And I am disappointed in Ivanka. But being raised by him – a narcissistic megalomaniac – (probably with borderline personality disorder?) must have done some damage there. I do wish, though, she would step out from under his shadow – even with the possible threat of disinheritance – and step up for Hillary.
            Wouldn’t that be awesome!?!

            Liked by 1 person

            • I think she has probably been a Democrat up to this point. Look at what happened with Omarosa — she once said she had Hillary tattoed on her arm, just last year. Trump got to her and got to Ivanka. I am sure he rules his company and family with an iron fist. And, Ivanka has converted to Judaism and has a Jewish husband and three Jewish children. How could she stomach these fascist overtones?

              Like

          • Susan, that’s exactly what it’s like. She has to tow the line because he is her boss! Frightening. I am watching the protests outside the convention center where he is speaking in California right now. Northern Californians despise his rhetoric.

            Like

  3. Beth!
    I agree your thoughts on the gender discrimination.
    I have two daughters and have given them the best of education and they are up-to now to face the world, much because of the education that is provided.
    But here in India we do not have anything like the female has to be paid less; 75% as you say. I should say with pride that at times they are paid more than the males depending on their placements.
    On more thing which astonishes to me always is the President of America; till today you have not got one female President with such a history. See the Asian nations including India there are so many Presidents, Prime Ministers and Chief Ministers who are females who have been doing well in-spite of the male domination.
    Anyways being here after a long time was a pleasure.
    Fond Regards,
    Shiva

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are so right about all of this, Shiva.

      I have been to India. Women are strong there now, and getting stronger (in addition to being beautiful!).

      I so love India, everything about it: the food, the music, the colours, the textiles, the crafts, but most of all, the gentleness and kindness of the people. How is it possible that we cannot be kind and gentle in the USA, when you have a billion people there, managing to get along?

      Having a woman President here is long overdue and I think these terrible actions on the part of one of the two major parties is going to accelerate electing Hillary.

      It serves them right!!

      Thank you as always for your informative and supportive input, Shiva.

      🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: NaPoWriMo – Day 29 – “Surrendering Memories” by David Ellis | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

  5. You make me feel good when you talk of India, its textiles, people, food, crafts and music.
    I would want you to read my Post on my Music Menu “The Greatest Musicians and Lyricists of Bollywood.” It takes a lot of time to read it, but you can divide your time and read that, as you are interested in the Indian music, I so refer.
    You have also not read my latest poems and Quotes please go through, I am sure you shall enjoy. When you have time pleaseeee.
    Have a nice week end.
    Shiva

    Liked by 1 person

    • Shiva,

      I forgot to mention Bollywood. I absolutely LOVE India’s movie industry and know many of its stars. In fact, we just taped a Bollywood movie this week to watch this weekend.

      You will probably be happy to know that more and more Americans are paying attention to India. I went there on my honeymoon!

      Yes, I will certainly be reading your latest posts and the one about the great musicians and lyricists of Bollywood. I cannot think of another country, after the US and Britain, that produces such high quality films and musicals as India. Like everything India does, it is done intelligently, beautifully, thoughtfully and kindly.

      I can see a day when India is as close an ally to America as the UK, Canada, France and Germany are right now. And it can’t be too soon for me!

      ❤ Namaste,

      Beth

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am so happy about this comment.The regards you have for India. You spent your Honeymoon here, that’s great everyone here wants to go there.
        I am now sure you will be very happy to read my that post on Bollywood. That has given lot of satisfaction and won acclaim even from my father, he said after reading that – ‘You should be given a PhD (Doctorate Degree) for this study.’
        I take pleasure in telling you that once upon a time I had tried and wanted to be a Hindi Film Star. I was selected the only one in South India, but during that time I was just 17 years old and was advised to finish my Degree.
        Anyways….
        Take pleasure of the week end and come to me after you red the Post.
        Thanks so much!
        Shiva

        Like

  6. I love reading about matters relating to women’s rights and opportunities. This post was not only beautifully written, but it also offered a perspective on how historically disadvantaged women have been in politics. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Very generous words, Naima. Women’s rights are so important and it is a shame we even have to single them out as despite our numbers, we are still disadvantaged. How ridiculous. Thank YOU!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I am sure you will be surprised but for awhile I thought Kasich should have stayed in and taken over Cruz’s voters and affiliates. I was hoping at least Trump would not be the only game in the Republican party. So many, many people in my warehouse, basic job think he will “Save the day!” They have no tolerance for migrant workers, immigrants, ethnic groups but work side by side with prison inmates (on our weekend shift, supervised and not killers) and they work beside several of my friends who have become “naturalized.” My Filipino friends love Hillary. My table mates are two for Trump, my gay friend, Sandy, is for Hillary. I will say my Mom and brother Rich voted for Hillary, as did I, in the Ohio primaries. I liked the way you wrote this post. I believe in our “Sailing into the Future,” hoping against hope that sanity will prevail!
    The Obama’s have been not very good at getting their years in office recognized but I must add, they are very quiet, good and reliable people who really weren’t prepared for the Senate and Congress to never accept President Obama and his V.P. I saw both Michelle and Ms. Biden, both on the Voice. Her first name alludes me, sorry, Beth! I was impressed at their dignity and how the Armed Forces in the audience gave them a Standing Ovation. I only hope that we will be proud of our next President. My brothers and one who is married, (Susan) are talking about moving to Canada! ha ha!
    Thank you for visiting my post today. I am leaving the library and you were my last “Goodbye and Good Night!” hugs, Robin

    Liked by 1 person

    • I thought Kasich would try to become the nominee at the Republican convention but someone got to him, from the party. Probably Priebus.

      Well, he doesn’t like a lot of my values anyway so I guess I cannot mourn his departure other than his leaving Drumpf in first place.

      What a despicable person he has turned out to be. Even if he is faking it for his own purposes, the things that come out of his mouth are unconscionable.

      It is too bad Hillary has been so private and guarded all her life. She is paying a heavy price for it, though I cannot blame her.

      Geoffrey and I are the only two Hillary supporters we know. Every single person in his family hates her. Every neighbor here hates her. We are alone in a sea of Republicans, with relatives who are for Sanders but afraid to tell us, on my side.

      Sigh!

      Liked by 1 person

      • My artistic brother likes Sanders but the two professors, Mom, my DIL and I like Hillary. Male candidates have done secretive and illegal things but women will always face a tougher examination and have to live up to a higher standard. Hillary may be more moderate than she lets on, which may help her in the long run.
        I have a few gay friends who felt Kasich would be not good at making life easier in the future and Kasich did vote to stop funding to Planned Parenthood in Ohio. My gay friends live across the street from a black couple who have a Hillary poster up and a white couple with Trump. Sandy put up a Hillary poster and wanted to add, “You’re surrounded. Give up, Trump!” 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        • I think there has developed what I consider to be a false narrative that Sanders is the real and principled liberal and Hillary is the phony opportunist. I think it is exactly the opposite.

          When she becomes President, and I am confident she will, her actions in the White House will reveal the same steady, determined, hard-working, intelligent wisdom that she has demonstrated in past roles.

          The Right Wing just cannot give up their grip on the money and that is what all these lies are about. I believe they have falsely propped up Sanders by seeding his rallies with their own people. It now has gone to his head where even he believes he can win or should win.

          He cannot and should not. He is not right for the job. As for Trump, he is only for Trump — selfish, narcissistic, lazy, and nasty. Good riddance. I just have to ride out the next six months.

          At our Mother’s Day celebration, a near brawl broke out between the family members — it was indicative of how deeply divided we are, largely due to the lies that have been perpetuated.

          Ah well, I am rambling. Thank you Robin for sharing and for being a fellow traveler on our side, the woman’s side, of the street.

          xoxo

          Liked by 1 person

          • We hopefully will see the true Patriot, a woman who has served, shown those positive character traits you mentioned and Hillary will win the Presidency.
            I am sorry to hear of a near brawl among in-laws, at Mother’s Day. 😦
            On a similar subject what do you think of a man I have made friends with, along with becoming fond of him who said a rather confusing message. He said, “I have mellowed and used to be conservative on international affairs and am now less so. I am still concerned on the subject of our country’s state of affairs.”
            Beth, I am really nervous to confirm my fears. I suppose I could ask, “What do you think of Trump?”
            So far, all other written and oral communication we agree upon, family, community, etc. Politics was just recently broached, prodded by my brother who asked me to find out where he stood. (No one in either family have been introduced.) We have spent meals and activities together. I am holding back on anything other than hugs and hand holding. I know few people in my circle of family and friends, who would tolerate a “real” conservative, in fear of retracting Planned Parenting, right of choice, immigration, . . . . is there still hope? I really laugh and feel comfortable with him. I thought having Italian roots, open mindedness towards coworkers, my gay female friend. . . cross your fingers please and hope he doesn’t like Trump. You can delete this since it doesn’t apply to your post. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            • I am so happy you found someone that you think might be the right person, Robin. That is wonderful.

              I think politics is important too. Ask him who he voted for in the last election. I think you have to find out.

              I have litmus tests and that’s one of them. I could not live with a smoker, a Tea Partier, and in my case, a meat eater. I am a real animal advocate, so that is a no-no for me. Oh, and a gun lover. Those four things are deal breakers for me. No guns, no tobacco, no meat, no right wing fanaticism. I wouldn’t want a drinker or drug user either. Now that I think of it, I am difficult to live with!

              Let me know. I want you to be happy.

              This can absolutely stay here. You are my friend and my posts are just an excuse to interact with friends in this little community!!

              Liked by 1 person

  8. Next time we are in person, I will ask him this. Rather than text or call him. I like reading what face’s reveal. Thank you, dear. At least it was about politics (and personal lives)! Lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I agree, you can read a lot by a person’s reaction. It is such an important area of life now. I think of Diane and Kurt in the Good Wife – total opposites and somehow it almost worked.

      Like

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