Aunt Betty was a feminist and never knew it. A flaming redheaded fire bomb born in 1924 she survived life, she survived men; seems she survived everything life threw at her from the time her derelict mother dropped her off in orphans court in Pittsburgh as a small child. My dad was her half-brother, different fathers, same mother. The mother of these two children was a Pittsburgh North Side drunk who had her children taken away from her to be thrown into foster homes during war time.
Growing up with Aunt Bessie as we called her, she disciplined me with a hair brush. I remember trashing her bedroom, dumping all her face powder in the room, then jumping on her bed in victory as she came flying in the room to stop me. She beat the hell out of me. My mom had to stop the beating, but I learned not to mess with Aunt Betty ever again.
She rode horses, she wore jodhphers, and I’m supposing that’s where I inherited my love of horses from because no one else in the family possessed that trait.
Her husband left her for other women. Left her at home to raise his three boys on her own. She had never had any career so she found one. She became a nanny for a couple that worked for the Pittsburgh Symphony in Pittsburgh and traveled constantly, raising their children for them. They loved her. They fixed up her house, paid her well and treated her like gold. She saved every dime, maintained the house she lived in and raised her boys. Seems nobody ever noticed. It was just what you did when life got the best of you. You survive.
I have no special admiration for the women today who proclaim to be feminists. I have no clue what they’re fighting for anymore. Pussy hats? Weak crap.
If Aunt Bessie had worn a pink pussy hat and danced in the street her family would have fallen apart. She kept that family strong and together, made sure her children were taken care of, did everything she could possibly do to keep their life intact after a another ‘derelict’ walked out on her. THIS is feminism, there is no other way to describe it. She wasn’t treated equally, but she still had choices. Her choices were simple. Survive or die.
Somewhere along the way women have become weak. They no longer sacrifice for their family and their children. Sacrifice does not exist anymore, not like the women that first knew feminism without knowing even what the word meant. These were the strong women, they may never come again.
FORTITUDE is the only thing there is in this life. Embrace it or die.