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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Mr Trump, there is no "woman card"

This and That By Avis Anderson

I’ve been seething long enough and I need to say something. The other day Donald Trump, talking about Hilliary Clinton, said her candidacy for the presidency  is based on the premise that “she is playing the woman card.” I was furious. His words were an insult to women everywhere. What a dinosaur! I cannot believe, politics aside, that any breathing woman would put up with a comment like that and more to the point vote for someone who is this clueless.

I thought we were long done with that kind of rhetoric. I was going to college and starting a career in the 1960s and 1970s and I have seen what women have done in the past 50 years.  It is phenomenal. During my college days we selected careers in business, teaching or nursing. The young women who became lawyers and doctors held a special place in our lives. Since then the explosion of women in every walk of life has been achieved.

Over the past 50 years, given legislation and just plain hard work, women have proven themselves over and over again as social activists, astronauts, engineers in every field, computer gurus and Silicon Valley business women. They are medical doctors, both surgeons and researchers; their religious denominations have consecrated them as bishops; they are in our military academies, and serve in the military branches with officer positions. They are kindergarten teachers and college presidents, and congresswomen, like Elizabeth Warren, to name only a few career paths.  

If we move to the world, we find women central to the economic growth and welfare of many third world nations.  They lead countries — Margaret Thatcher in Great Britain, Indira Gandhi in India, Angela Merkel in a united Germany, Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar and others. I think of Malala, the little girl who was nearly killed by militants who believed women had no right to be educated. Surviving that horror she has not been afraid to speak out on behalf of the education of women all over the globe.

I know the stories from my own family history of women who were courageous and strong and raised children and grandchildren who have made a difference in their worlds. 

Traveling in India I heard a man say, “Educate the woman in the family and you educate the family.”  Indian women started small businesses and managed them to the betterment of the village. Women hold every university degree available to them. They are authors, musicians, artists. They work hard to bring safe living conditions, peace in places of conflict and education for the children of the world. In many places these mothers and daughters are still mistreated and abused but they are heroes in their own time and place.

You may not like Clinton’s politics, but she is an attorney, she has been a senator, a previous presidential candidate, first lady and a secretary of state. She is a stateswoman. She does not play “the woman card.” 

All of us women have a vital place in this world and I stand alongside my sisters of every color and religion and creed.No woman I have ever known has played “the woman card.” They have worked hard to achieve a contributing place in their worlds. I think they have to work twice as hard as many men in order to achieve what they have gained, but they are willing to do it to prove their abilities. Today in most places men and women walk side by side to make the world a better place to live.

I would challenge candidate Trump to really look at today’s world and take a step into the 21st century where he will meet and work alongside bright, creative, intelligent individuals who are women.

Avis Anderson is a retired pastor of Zion Lutheran Church in Glendive. Her online blog can be found at  www.prairienewdays.com.

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