WINNERS OF THE WHAT WE GAIN BOOK GIVEAWAY
What an amazing response to the Wednesday drawing for a copy of What We Gain as We Grow Older: On Gelassenheit by the well-known German philosopher, Wilhelm Schmid.
We heard from a lot of people who have never commented before and one woman asked if she, living in Scotland, is eligible. Yes. About 20 percent of TimeGoesBy readers reside in countries other than the United States and everyone has an equal shot at winning.
There are five books available and therefore five winners. I'm listing the names you used to sign your comments, not email names. Here goes:
Each of you should use the “Contact” link at the top of this page to send me your name for snailmailing and your postal address. I will then get the books out to you forthwith. If, perchance, I do not hear from a winner by noon Pacific standard time on Monday 15 February, another winner will be chosen.
Congratulations all. I know you will enjoy the book.
This was fun. I wish we could do it more often but that's up to publishers and to my willingness to read a bunch of books to find ones I believe are worth recommending. Also, thanks to so many of you for your kind words about this blog. I feel abashed when I read them. Now to today's post...
There's a rumor going 'round – well, it's been around for as long as Crabby Old Lady can remember – that with old age, men get grumpy. You know, the “get off my lawn” stereotype.
Some people blame this phenomenon on lower testosterone that comes with age. Crabby questions that theory since in other circles, testosterone is said to be the cause of much male belligerance. But for the purpose of Crabby's next sentence, let's just go with it. Two recent events lead Crabby to wonder if women suffer a similar affliction for the same reason – low estrogen in their case.
Two venerable old women - both worthy of our respect and admiration for groundbreaking accomplishments that have paved the way for all women - strayed into grumpy old man territory last week.
First, Madeleine Albright, the 78-year-old who served as the first female U.S. Secretary of State, tried to shame young women into voting for the second female former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton:
“Special place in hell for women who don't help each other?” Hunh? She has angered this Crabby Old Lady and embarrassed herself.
The clamor over that had not settled when, according to Katie Dreyer at Huffington Post, 81-year-old, feminist icon, Gloria Steinem, told HBO talk show host, Bill Maher,
”...that younger women were selling out by supporting [presidential candidate] Bernie Sanders, a sad phenomenon that can apparently be explained by young people's desire to impress the opposite sex: 'When you're young, you're thinking: “Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie,"' [said Steinem].
In Crabby Old Lady's view, that contradicts everything Gloria Steinem has stood for over the past half century and is nowhere near, to Crabby's knowledge, how young women today behave on issues as important as who the next president will be.
Crabby understands that these two strong, committed, hardworking women who have done more than most to improve women's rights would like to see a woman president in their lifetime. So would Crabby. But not by belittling young women.
Following near universal condemnation for her outburst, last Sunday Ms. Steinem took to Facebook to publish what has become the standard-issue political apology - “misspoke” - of anyone who lets slip what he or she really thinks. She wrote, in part,
”In a case of talk-show Interruptus, I misspoke on the Bill Maher show recently, and apologize for what's been misinterpreted as implying young women aren't serious in their politics.”
Misspoke? Misinterpreted? How? It was hardly a nuanced argument that might be difficult to make clear, and Crabby doesn't believe it for a moment. Here is Steinem's full Facebook statement:
Crabby Old Lady feels betrayed by these towering feminist pioneers. Ms. Albright and Ms. Steinem have diminished themselves which may diminish their legitimate and important accomplishments for those young women they have maligned who were not, like you and me, there when the earliest hard work for women's rights was being done.
Worse, this is not only a setback for women but for old people, adding crabby old woman to the long-time grumpy old man stereotype. Elders don't need this.
Crabby is giving Katie Dreyer, the young woman from Huffpost quoted above, the last word today. She says it well:
”If I ran for President of the United States, I would want people to vote for me based on my views, my experience, my approach to debates and negotiation, and not because I happen to have been born a certain sex.
“I am a woman, but I am also a human being. This is what Steinem and Albright have taught me in their admirable fight for gender-equality.
“Whether I support Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton is ultimately unimportant; what is important is my right and ability to choose in the first place. Of all people, Steinem and Albright should have understood this.”
[EDITORIAL NOTE: It has been a long time since Crabby Old Lady has made an appearance in these pages. For those who are unfamiliar with her, she is the third-party alter ego I use to give me some distance when I'm really angry and sometimes (not this one) when I'm trying to be funny about something irritating but not necessarily significant.]