Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Front Page

My quick scan of the front page section fueled my feminist fury. I had to set it aside. I covered it with my notebook and left it for days, distracting myself with mundane chores. Later I plowed my car through drenched streets to pet the kitties at the local shelter.

The next day, I gathered my poems, sorted them, prepared to make a book. In mid-afternoon, a movie at the mall – an animated one, supposedly for kids but with messages for us all. I relished the spunky hero, a tiny female bunny who becomes a cop.

So, I think I’m ready now to look again at the front page, to try making sense of this world that continues to suppress and devalue women.

Here’s what I saw:
Page 1: Progress in closing gender pay gap stalls. On page 6, the continuation of the story is titled Pay drops in fields in which female workforce grows. Dismaying to see that old attitude in print: if a woman can do it, it must not be worth much.

Page 1: Are water births safer or more dangerous? accompanied by the photo of a woman in a pool, holding her newborn. The continuation and an article about the local birth center fill page 8. Another article about births at the local hospital tops page 9. Wow, two and a half pages on bringing more kids into the world!

Page 4: Women pay more and wait longer for abortions in Texas, accompanied by the photo of woman whose husband had lost his job, forcing them to move into her in-laws home. And they already have three kids.

Page 5: No defense (or public defenders) for Louisiana’s poor, accompanied by a photo of the lone public defender in Vermillion parish – a woman, of course! Beneath that article, a small item: Woman holding gun shot by police. And, I might add, killed, though that information seemed a footnote the end of the article.

And yet, some hope: A feisty little rabbit heroine and – for at least one day – women dominated the front page news.