Sunday, September 02, 2007

Labor Day - What can it mean?

Labor Day weekend. I used to think it was a holiday weekend - and I think it's truly supposed to be just that, to honor our laborers throughout history. But I think it has come to mostly be "just" a three day weekend - to get ready for school, take a last break before winter, etc. But at our house we have labored.
We have a greenhouse - not the new, no-maintenance-vinyl/fiberglass type thing you can build now, but an old-fashioned wood-and-metal frame room attached to the original house dating back to 1920 - converted into a sunroom sometime during the past century. "Charming", you may say, but "maintenance!!!!!!" the practical will proclaim. And it's that five-year time for practical to win. It has to be maintained - scraped, sanded, washed, primed, painted inside and out.
Now, there are choices. We could just ignore it (but it will only get worse), we could move (it doesn't go away - just becomes someone else's problem), we could pay someone to do it (but would they do it right?), or we can do it ourselves, which we are doing. In our mid-sixties (both of us), we probably shouldn't be doing this kind of work, but it's our choice this year.
It's sort of like the AAUW mission - equity for women and girls - we know it IS still an issue. I could ignore it - but it would only get worse. Or I could pretend it's not a problem (but it IS), or I could assume that someone else will take care of it (but will they do it, or do it right?). OR - I can decide that since it's my problem it's my responsibility. As part of this wonderful organization, that's my choice.
Those of us in AAUW have decided that this battle needs to continue until true equity for women and girls is achieved - and we have decided that this is OUR battle. I urge any of you who feel the same way to seek out your local AAUW branch (or, if there is none nearby, to become an individual member) and join us in this mission! Check the Association branch locator ( to see your options.

1 comment:

juliek said...

Dear Betty:
Boy! Can I relate! As prez of the NYC Branch, half of my job was managing our historic brownstone (built in 1864)... through multiple renovations, a boiler failure, floods, two years of nightmarish electrical repairs, dirty windows and spindles up the glorious old staircase past the coffin niche that I cleaned or dusted myself, having donned my apron for almost two years. But it was somewhat a labor of love because when all was said and done not too many people knew who cleaned but I knew it made the AAUW mission brighter because the venue was more attractive.
Too many times, we put off what needs to be done today. That is true for historic houses as well as our daughters and granddaughters in particular. We need a Women's Equality Amendment so they will not suffer indignities and poverty of salary deprivation that we did.