Who Has the Ultimate Power?

By Georgie Bright Kunkel

Last fall was the 40th anniversary of the state Equal Rights Amendment but not many people realized it. It went by without a blip on a radar screen since it didn’t have the priority that bringing a male basketball team to Seattle has. In the late sixties I sat on a state commission which went through the state laws to eliminate sexist content. However, sexist titles were not touched. Recently there was an attempt to change these sexist titles and this was met with anger and calling those who wanted to make these changes feminazis. Shades of the sixties and the backlash against women insisting on change in a man’s world.

Men still tend to dominate in politics and war while the female is left with the so-called softer side of life. Since women traditionally were not as formally educated as males they learned using intuition. What they learned did not bring them as high up on the economic ladder. They say that men who secretly envied the childbearing ability of females had to build higher and higher skyscrapers to compete. And looking at the skylines of cities around the world men have succeeded in building empires unequaled in all history.

The world of music, art, and poetry, once considered not as important in the public school curriculum, is now known to be life supporting and replenishing for all human beings. There was once a talented art teacher in Seattle who brought excitement to her students as well as all those who were entertained by her colorful outfits that she wore everywhere. As a Raging Granny I realized the power of dressing colorfully.

Once when I was walking at Seattle Center in my provocative Granny garb a young man came up to me and said, “I really love your colorful outfit.” That was when many younger women were dressing in dull colors for the most part. My theory is, “Life is too short to dress drab.”

Remember when Sputnik challenged our society to put more money and effort into math and science education? It wasn’t because math and science would make our school children more fulfilled as human beings. It was the old male competitive spirit arising. If math and science aided Russia in putting Sputnik into space before we did then we must boost science and math education. We mustn’t lose the race, right? When it was announced that this country put the First Man on the Moon, I wrote to NASA and asked, “If we have finally sent the first man to the moon, there must have been a woman who got there first, right?”

Honors doled out to men are for valor in battle or scientific discoveries. Women get honors for doing more volunteering than anyone else in the community. Let’s face it. Power and money still rule and, as usual, men still dominate the spheres of power in the world. War making is the ultimate power game which we are once again hunkering down to pay for with cuts to in order to bridge the gap. Who will have the guts to “pin the tail on the donkey” of needed change? Whistleblowers often go unrewarded but there are always thoughtful people who will step up to do the right thing.

We need more of them.

Georgie Bright Kunkel is a freelance writer who can be reached at gnkunkel@comcast.net or 206-935-8663.

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