Crazy as a Loom

Friday, August 16, 2019


First off, photos have no connection to the text.

I just have been thinking and thinking, and some things I just need to say.

Popular, or not.

Many years ago, I worked in the paper mill.....I started there when my first child was just a baby, weeks old.
It was a good paying job, and it was awful.  Boring, repetitious, mindless, hard.

But that wasn't the half of it.  In the 8 years I worked there, I put up with a truckload of misogyny.
From snide comments, to inappropriate advances, pinches on the backs of my arms, it was never an easy place to work.  I used to be afraid to go upstairs to the break room/rest room, because meeting a man on the stairway once turned a little frightening.
And always, there was the undercurrent, that you were, after all, a woman.

Until the day that I was working on a paper line with someone I grew up with.  He was on one side of this huge pallet of paper, and I was on the other.  In conversation, it was revealed that he made $.50 an hour more than I did, and had been there a year less.
Thus began a year of fighting for what I believed was mine.
Equal pay.  Equal rights.

I was relentless, and my 72 yo self is pretty impressed with what my 25 yo self was willing to go through.
Eventually, with many, many meetings with the company, the union, and many letters to  the agencies that I thought would help me, I got my place in the line of progression that had previously been only for men,
Two of my friends went with me. 
All the rest of the women who worked there were afraid, and turned it down.

I made more money, had more interesting jobs, and I felt vindicated, but  I had to endure even worse 
treatment from the men who had antagonized me all along.

It was still worth it, every minute of it.

It may be that I grew up thinking that I was every bit as good as a man, because until I was about 13,
my father treated me like a son, and even called me "Tom".

So I expected to be treated well, and I expected to have every opportunity, and I believed  that I could probably do just about anything my male counterparts could do.

By the time my father realized, or had to accept, that he had just the one daughter, well, it was probably too late to change my attitude.

So anytime, I ever heard a man say that I could not do something, or that because I was a female, I didn't qualify to even try, my blood began to boil.

I am that way to this day.
I raised my daughters to that same standard, the "you can do whatever you want to do in this world" standard.

Okay, so all that prefaces my question, the one that is burning my brain up, night after night, keeping me awake, when I really want to sleep.

It's this:  

How can women in this country support a man in the White House, who is so blatantly a

Hasn't every  single woman in the world, experienced these feelings, at some point in her life??

Haven't we all had that discomfort when we've been assertive?
Felt that our self worth was all tangled up in  our appearance, our sexuality, when in
fact, there is always so much more to us?

Haven't we all been pressured to conform to someone else's idea of what good little girls should be like?

Aren't we all kind of tired of it?  Less money, less opportunity, less respect.

I hear it all the time, "It's a man's world."

Well, F that.  To be real.  

I much prefer the sentiment in a birthday card L gave me.

"There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that two women can't do, before noon."

So there.  
Women, stand up.


Peg Cherre said...

'Nuff said. Get out and VOTE, women!

Florida Farm Girl said...

Oh, yes. What Peg said!!!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Well said.

mudmaven said...

Absolutely! Take the anger to the voting booth!

weaverpat said...

I'm the same age as you, Hilary, and also worked in a paper products plant. It was the age of total accommodation to the male ego. I was denied raises because I didn't 'play nice' when the bosses made their dirty little jokes and comments about the female employee's bodies. I wanted to work in the art department but that was 'men only'. I hated the place. I still distrust men in suits.

As for the 'thing' in the White House, I can't call him a man or even a human, I don't understand how a woman could possibly support his words and actions. I can't wait to vote against him. Until then, I can make phone calls and protest against his disastrous policies.

Maryse said...

I am with you and I don't get it either..

Susan said...

I think back to the many jobs I've had : working in a print room for an engineering firm and being taunted by the junior engineers; working in a cosmetic department and having men hit on you as they shop for their wife's birthday gift; I even worked as a deli clerk and meat wrapper and got groped in a walk in cooler by the boss; Sexually assaulted by the head of security at a department store when I was assisting with an arrest..... the list is long and decades long.

All throughout, I was always underpaid. I never earned more than $15.00 an hour.

The push back is starting and it will be a battle of wills for some time. But its started and that's a good thing.

Trump is a dinosaur, a relic. He optimizes all that was wrong with men (of any time period) but especially the 80's, 90's etc. The idea they can have anything, take anything. Sadly there have always been women who are lacking in self confidence and so fall in with the 'bad boys'. Boggles the mind.... really. Example: three Trump wives? several mistresses? How is he sexy? Oh, yea.... he's rich and carries a BIG ego.

Teaching our daughters to stand on their own two feet, and sons to treat women with respect starts right from infancy..... It seems to me that starts at home and you have done a fine job!

nck0628 said...

Love this, are and always have been an extraordinary woman..advocate for all women. I cannot even pretend how anyone could support this...this...monstrosity. I cry..rant to anyone who will listen..but have felt lately...after my constant calls and letters to senators, congress people...very discouraged. I lost a friend a year ago as I was honest about Catholicism and him and all around him...all she could bring up was the abortion issue. It was tough to lose her but our beliefs are so different. Guess I needed to get that out!! Yet, in the nursing realm in this very small town I experienced all you speak about and flagrantly.I was not always as strong as you and knew I had a child to support on an RN salary of 4.10 per hr.Tbese physicians would be out if it were now. I have tried to be kind and speak in a civil manner to people who think differently from me, but I cannot any longer.I would give my life for a child and to see what has and is transpiring on the border..everywhere with mass shootings and the massive cruelty with the immigration know as I need not go on.I say every single day to myself...why are we not in the streets? I have no doubts he'd have people shot. My granddaughters are my life. How can I not do all I can to change this..for them? Yet..nothing seems to course. Till then, the utter destuction of our democracy..our environment..a multitude of other things. I question faith so much and yet..I need to believe. I do.

Cindie said...

Well said Hilary and I've wondered the same thing, how can any woman support that man. A neighbor of mine, a trump supporter said to me once that she loves our president, his morals and all he stood for - I couldn't even say anything at that moment because I was so stunned and my mouth was hanging open - all I kept thinking was morals??? what he stood for??? I did say something later once I got over the shock.

Joanne Noragon said...

Evangelicals support him. Those opposed to abortion support him. Much of the midwest, hoping for high paying union jobs support him. Misogynists support him. Racists support him. White supremacists support him.
Remember marching on Washington the day after the inauguration. Those same numbers and more must descend on the ballot boxes this year and next. It won't be easy. Polling places are being shut down. Voters are being stripped from the polls. It won't be easy. It must be done. All you youngsters out there must register, and then take your friends and go vote.

Cindy Carpenter said...


Caroline in NH said...

Absolutely agree.

Melissa said...


Rita said...

Totally and completely agree with you! I am baffled by his followers who are like my sister who is "right-wing Christian" and hoping for anti-abortion laws. Where in the bible does it say that the ends justify the means. Blinders are a dangerous thing.

Sojourner Design said...


deb said...

Many, many women, I would go as far as to say most if not all women have been discriminated against and abused by men in some form or fashion. I am sorry to say that many, many men are a sad bunch of egotistical, shallow, despicable human beings. Where do they get their ideas from, is it in their genes, their upbringing, their place in society, I have questioned and sought the answers to no avail. I can relate to your story of standing up for yourself as a woman in the "institutional" working world. I spent the majority of my career working for the Department of Defense as a Engineering Technician/Planner. I worked on Submarines, Air Planes, Electronic Communications or all sorts. Everyday I was abused to some degree in that job. Some of it sexually, some mentally, the snide remarks and cat calls when just walking down the aisle taught me to walk in a stiff fashion. I endured as you and countless other women have the constant discrimination from men. Our pay always lower and our opportunities always minimal if non existent. It's a way of life we have come to know but never accept.

In our attempts to fight back against the male establishment we have gained little in many cases except our own pride in ourselves and there have been times when that has been enough for us. To know that YES we are strong, we are intelligent, we are loving, we do care, and we have the right to be all that we can be in a world that for the most part has tried to diminish our worth. All we can do is keep up the fight and take our victories as they come.

I went to Washington DC after the current monstrosity was "elected" how he came to be "elected" and still retains support I as many others will never know. I had a great experience that day in Washington DC. We were fighting mad, yet harmonious, everyone there showed great respect for everyone else. We were there, we were right, and we knew it and that somehow was enough at that moment. We were butt to belly, elbow to elbow, there wasn't an inch to spare anywhere we felt strong, good, important, and most of all proud of who were were as women. We were well aware of our history and our struggle and yet true to our nature we were and remain hopeful for the future.

The idiot in the oval office is only one of our adversaries, there are many others but the difference with him is that he has the stage and is getting away with unheard of behavior that is destructive to not only women but society, yet somehow retains the support of some segment of women. I can only surmise that those women who remain in support are the same women who follow at the heels of men and stay where they are "supposed" to say behind a man. They are fading slowly, becoming less in number as we continue the fight and set the example to the young women today. They are our hope for the future. Make them strong, give them the strength to continue the uphill battle to the front of the line!

Sorry I rambled but it feels good now and then. I am woman, hear me roar! And you can only hope the B------- in the oval office is somehow thrown out the back door. Let there be someone strong enough to bring some steadfast sense back into our country before it's too late. Put that person on the ballot so that I can vote for them and quit being utterly exasperated on a daily basis...from tweeter.

Sending a hug and thanking you for the forum.

Carol said...

I wonder the same thing every day.

thecrazysheeplady said...


Anonymous said...

Your post is on point and to the point. The responses give your post even more weight and power.
I feel that over the coming months there is no greater goal than to assure that we have a human being in the White House.
Thank you Hilary for sharing your story and stating your position.

shadypinesqltr said...

I have just found your blog and am enjoying it very much. I also totally agree with your views expressed here. I'm hoping for a better world for my granddaughter.

Valerie said...

Amen....and doubly true for those in the Senate majority that fall in line with him.
My constant prayer & mantra is a plea for justice.

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