HERos — Headlined on OpEdNews.com Mon 2/22/16

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Atticus Finch Harper LeeHarper Lee, like Boo, almost always out of sight, but rarely out of mind, put human faces on our strengths and weaknesses, but only fleetingly altered them.  Nonetheless, she remains, my HERo.

Amidst the crescendo of election nomination campaigning accelerating like earth’s temperature, with un-statesman like personal attacks and hoarse rants surmounted only by passionate desperation — I long for the poetry of justice and the prose of unbiased civility, waiting teary eyed for the past due recognition of all of America’s Harper Lees – the half who were denied the vote, land ownership and, in divorce, a credit card in their own name.

So hello young lovers whoever you are:  Maybe we should give former Secretary of State Madeline Albright a break for her hellish reference, as her journey through unjust gender imbalance, exceeds your years of student loan debt.

Despite the lives of Molly Pitcher & Margaret Corbin, Los Angeles’s property owner and philanthropist Biddy Bridget Mason, Congresswomen Jeannette Rankin & Tammy Duckworth, Suffragettes Alice Paul, Anna Julia Cooper, Ida B. Wells-Barnett — and of course, Amelia Earhart, Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor Roosevelt, Marian Anderson, Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou and Harper Lee – women still occupy too few pages in American history books – however many have writ large, casting a giant shadow of protective courage, sacrifice and patriotism to shade the Millennial path to prosperous equity.

Women like Abigail Adams, Air Force Lt Col Margaret K. Hamberger, Army SPC Jessica Y. Sarandrea, Master Chief Petty Officer Jackey Smith, Admiral Michelle Howard, Army Sergeant Latianna Wilson, first female Silver Star for combat heroism recipient, Leigh Ann Hester, Army CPL Jessica Ann Ellis, Rachel Maddow, Senator Elizabeth Warren, most decorated Army Col Ruby Grace Bradley and Anita Hill have paved our path to the ballot box with, blood, sweat and tears.  

America’s female half has always contributed tremendously to the development, independence, security and survival of our American nation — standing their ground beside, or instead of, men – living the American experience of gut wrenching gender, as well as economic, disparity.

I’ve seen the movie and listened to the audio book of To Kill a Mockingbird, many times – but now, it’s too soon, too sad, too tragic to bear so much honesty crying out from the wilderness of our political, geographical, racial, and historical charades.

Without Google, or Apple, aiding and abetting, how many of us can identify a photograph of current female members of Congress or mayors policing the police, or challenging lead water supplying Governors?  Do we know how many women serve on the now eight-member Supreme Court? Can we spell their names?  Pick them out of a lineup?

Can we even yet discern female points of light nationally, globally, even galactically, with pen, sword and vision; serving in home kitchens, as House Reps, committed to country on and off the battlefield — in the Senate, municipalities, State Houses, Courts, carpools, PTAs and Family rooms?

Gay or straight, Liberal or Conservative, rich or poor, of every belief, faith and tradition, from every tribe, community and skin color, the lives of women have taught us the truth of duty, honor and family — yet still they are denied Constitutional equality.

In this presidential election year of extremes, I dare to hope all will discover within them, the courage of women, and protect the privilege of voting from reactionary anger, fearful frustration, national fog of war, and the male tendency toward oversimplified Open Carry solutions to our global challenges.

Even before religion was resurrected as a tool of Conservative politicians to rewrite history and compromise science, women of all faiths, social-economic levels and political, racial and sexual persuasions were ignored, cast as second class citizens, even abused.

Maya Angelou RememberedIn honor of our HERos who have honored us, let’s now live, act and vote to honor our better half.Akemi Women Make it Work Small




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