Block Parties and Politics

By Georgie Bright Kunkel

While examining his female patient, the doctor tells her: "Your heart, lungs, 
pulse & blood pressure are fine. Now let me see that little thing which gets you “ladies” 
into all kinds of trouble." The woman started taking off her clothes when the doctor said, "No! No! Please put on your clothes. Just show me your tongue."  I am sure that any so-called bull session would find men as loquacious as women in a women’s coffee klatch. But traditional humor focuses on the stereotypes for both men and women.

Recently at church we sang a hymn with words bringing out that some women are strong and some men are gentle.  We aren’t all stereotyped by sex. Granted, there are more strong men and more little women but within each group of men or women there is great variation. It is possible that an exceptionally strong female might qualify for a football team but professional teams aren’t recruiting women. Football is symbolic of male might and prowess. It is reserved for the strongest of the male sex. What nurturing woman would appreciate playing the dangerous game of football anyway.

I have always said that I wouldn’t want any football player in my health plan. Their injuries would raise my rates for sure.

Since women do bear children and suckle them they are more likely to think of nurturing than war.  Maybe we ought to give the nurturers a chance to make policy. We might negotiate more and fight less.  We haven’t as yet allowed a woman to be president. There is evidence that at least one woman is gearing up to run. I would not vote for a woman just because she is a woman, however. But I would hope that after all the years that women have been under represented in our political scene that at last a woman could reach the top. Women have risen to positions of representing power and assisting power figures. Liz Carpenter is a case in point. She was a brilliant writer and rose to be the press secretary for Lady Bird Johnson after serving the president as well. She joined the ranks of Perle Mesta who gave splendid parties attracting men in power.

At least block parties in Seattle have become more democratic and cooperative. Both men and women come, bringing potluck fare. I attended such a block party recently. So here we were, people long retired, others who arrived after a work day to join those who could come early and help set up. One brought her little girl dressed in her layered party dress. She knew what parties were for as she danced up a storm. I couldn’t resist dancing right along with her. Yes I can wobble my hips and swing my arms with the best of them. Amongst the picnickers were two dogs, one the house dog and the other a visitor. There was only one squabble between these two which was soon settled by the owners separating them and calming them down.

I was probably the only one there who had never touched alcohol before. After many years, I learned that drinking one glass of wine each day reams out your arteries. I can’t go back in time to refresh my arteries but I can dream of a woman candidate for the presidency. Hopefully it won’t take as long to put a woman in the White House as it did for women to get the vote.

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

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