I Am The Woman I Designed

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Back in 1974 when I was 20 years old, feeling confident and comfortable in my own skin, I found myself at odds with most of my female friends and most especially with my older sister and mother, who were all becoming strident feminists. As an overtly independent person from the day I was born (or free spirit as I’ve often been characterized), the women around me saw my anti-feminist attitude as antithetical to the way I lived my life up to then. Rather than having a rational conversation about the basis for our difference in opinion about the NOW (National Organization of Women) movement, these women jumped to the conclusion that I had sold out or been brainwashed by the guy I was so gaga about at that time. Nothing could have been farther from the truth but the attitude that I was a traitor to my own sex was so incredibly absurd to me (particularly in light of my chosen career) I never took their anger seriously. My friends and my mother eventually “got it” when they finally realized that while they were busy going to conventions, participating in protest marches, and getting riled up about the inequities of life and neanderthal men, I was busy pursuing and succeeding in careers that had traditionally been for men only. But to this day, I know that one of those women still holds a grudge against me for the perceived disloyalty. I just don’t get it.

More than anything else, I value freedom. I firmly believe that that ALL people have the God-given right to be free, in their thoughts and in their choices, limited only by one rule: that the exercise of their freedom does not infringe on the freedom of anyone else.

Now, because of our right to think as we choose, it is inevitable that we won’t agree with everyone else and as far as I’m concerned, that’s not only okay, it’s how we learn and grow and it’s what makes life interesting. The problem I saw (and still see) with NOW (and with any other radical organizations) is that their agenda is not to ensure the freedom of women to think for themselves and choose how they want to live their lives, but they want to force (by legislation or intimidation) everyone to think as the leaders of the organization(s) think. Besides the fact that you cannot legislate thought or morality, the very concept of there being only one “right way” to think or live, is abhorrent to me.

When I decided to be an Audio Engineer and Producer back in 1972, I knew of only one other woman in all of Northeast Ohio who was active in that field. Yet, I never felt artificially barred, limited or discriminated against in any way due to being a woman, and in fact was well on the road in a promising career in radio and advertising until I got stopped in my tracks as a result of a stroke that left me almost completely deaf at age 27. Twenty years later, when I decided to accept a job as a construction field superintendent, only a handful of women held that position in the Greater Cleveland area, and while it took 2 or 3 days at the beginning for the guys to feel comfortable having a female “boss”, soon we were able to develop respect for each others’ skills and knowledge and became a very effective team. The key to the success I found in traditionally male-dominated careers was that I never asked for, nor allowed, anyone to give me any special consideration simply because of my gender and because I harbored no anger or resentment towards my fellow workers simply because of their gender, we were able to have a relaxed atmosphere to work in, joking with each other without fear of it being taken the wrong way, allowing each of us to simply be ourselves and rise or fall based upon our own individual talents and efforts.

While there are certainly greater opportunities for women and for minorities than existed 40 years ago, this advancement has been hard earned by millions of citizens, one individual at a time, in spite of organization’s like NOW and not because of them. The only visible legacy of these kamikaze “What About Me?” armies is an overly sensitive nation obsessed with appearing to be politically correct while seething with an under-current of anger, fear and distrust permeating the public lives of its’ citizens; a President and congressional majority which advocate that the US should turn a blind eye to terrorism and fascism (as long as it is “over there”) and which is feverishly ramping up to control nearly every aspect of our lives; and a country that looks down on gay couples wanting to marry and wanting to adopt children while the majority of heterosexual adults are either divorced or never married yet continue to have children that they have no time or interest in raising. In my humble opinion, the NOW revolution was ill-conceived from day one but false pride has blinded those who rallied behind it, looking to lay blame and to get something for nothing rather than standing on their own two feet, marching to their own drum, and win or lose, facing their own music.

What a waste.

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered on this blog are free for your personal use while subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

I am the Woman

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Can Art & Poetry Serve A Purpose Without the Story Behind It?

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When I was a young teen, I always kept a small spiral notebook and several Bic pens close at hand in the event I should get the urge to dash off some prose. Society was different back then. It was before “After School Specials” and was when the Victorian-Era attitude that “Children should be seen and not heard” was still pretty much the norm. Anyone who knew me back then would probably tell you I was this happy-go-lucky kid, always ready with a smile and some absurd observation geared to make people laugh and forget their woes. Very few, if any, had a clue what was really going on in my mind and my life. Of course, the same thing was likely true for the other kids at the schools I attended. It’s just the way things were back then. But keeping up the façade of “all is right with the world” was at times an unbearable burden and that’s where my poetry came in

Writing prose was a life-saving outlet back then in the same way that visual art serves me today. It allowed me to vent, to dream, to cry, to wonder, to argue and even to pretend. Early on, I discovered that I had the natural ability to assume the literary voice of any character I read about in a book, saw in a movie, or dreamed up from scratch and write about their feelings as if they were my own. It was really no different than what most authors and actors do, but because I recorded these creative ramblings in a book that had the word “Diary” on it’s cover, anyone who picked it up to read assumed it was all about me. Of course, I hadn’t intended for anyone else to read it but it happened nonetheless, each time causing great suspicion and worry or ruffled feathers or outrage on the part of the unauthorized reader(s). Had they only asked me what the poems were about or what inspired them rather than jumping to erroneous conclusions, a lot of grief could have been avoided. But, as I was still considered a “child” then, it never occurred to my elders that I could possibly have something intelligent to say or that my feelings mattered.

Thank God our society (for the most part) has finally woken up to recognize not only that children DO have opinions and feelings and that they deserve the respect to be heard, but also, most people today realize the importance of being able to share their feelings with others. As a society, we’ve still got work to do in learning how to listen to each other but it is getting better, one individual at a time. And as long as we’re moving forward in the right direction, regardless of how slowly, there is hope.

For tonight’s Freebies, along with a few empty frames for you to fill with your own content, I’ve mixed together a couple of my shorter prose, written when I was teenager with decorative backgrounds I created close to half a century later. These poems served their purpose for me at the time they were written and so now I hope they can serve some purpose for you. It really doesn’t matter any more what or who I was actually thinking about so feel free to interpret them in whatever way you choose.

Free Icons and Clip-Art of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered on this blog are free for your personal use while subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

Children Play

“Children Play Games” – 1973 by Leslie Sigal Javorek – (600 x 309px)

Nouveau-FrameNouveau Frame 2

“Art Nouveau Style Frames” – Download size: (600 x 763px)

Listen

“Listen” – 1973 by Leslie Sigal Javorek – (600 x 763px)

Book Opening

“Book Opening” (600 x 595px)

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Fox Spokane Art Deco Icons Pt. 2

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apropos of absolutely nothing to do with this morning’s helping of icons from my “Fox Spokane” icon series… a bit of melancholy pseudo-haiku fit for 4:00 am on this Friday morning.

Dreams of a simple life slip through my fingers and

F

A

L

L

to the floor

If you must know, this tinge of wistfulness has been well-earned over the last 36 hours. A simple oil change on my car today ended up costing me over $1000 dollars; my hubby’s back in the hospital (again!) for the 6th time in the last 18 months; our son took a turn too fast on his father’s pristine-condition Triumph (now no longer pristine), scraped the heck out of his leg and then had to return to his apartment (250 miles away) for a job interview last night; my live-in 91-year-old mother-in-law (whom I’m here alone with tonight) forgot today what to do if she’s thirsty and has a glass of water in her hand; and I just learned that my third round of chemo failed to do its’ job. In other words, it’s just another day here in Cleveland, Ohio and life continues to fly by. …Lovely.

Well, enough of that crap and onto something far more interesting and fun! Intermission is over and it’s time to return to “Fox Spokane”!

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered in the “Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day” section are free for your personal use, subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for Terms of Use) For commercial or any other use, please contact me for directly.

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