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Daily Breakthrough 1977-11-19
Page 35
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Daily Breakthrough 1977-11-19 - Page 35. November 19, 1977. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. April 19, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/6372/show/6369.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(November 19, 1977). Daily Breakthrough 1977-11-19 - Page 35. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/6372/show/6369

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Daily Breakthrough 1977-11-19 - Page 35, November 19, 1977, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed April 19, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/6372/show/6369.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Daily Breakthrough 1977-11-19
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date November 19, 1977
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 37 page periodical
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Original Item Location http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332726~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 35
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name femin_201109_534bh.jpg
Transcript Continued from page 19 cipating the second half of our lives freed of many of the worries and responsibilities that went with our younger years: the dependency of our children, the anxieties (recently discarded with joy) of wanting to please everybody. Old is knowing what's precious, savoring what's important. Old is being gutsy enough to ask questions without fear of appearing stupid (knowing that the essence of stupidity is to not ask for fear of appearing stupid) not to waste time with inconsequentia, yet caring enough to spend time on things that might to a younger person appear inconsequential. It's knowing the consequences of using others and of allowing oneself to be used. It's not being too hard and not being too soft. It's having seen it all but knowing there's more to come. Maybe it's having less to lose and therefore being less reluctant to risk it all. To lie about your age is to prejudge yourself and everyone who looks old or who indeed is old. It is to forget the person and remember only the label: "old." That's what we used to do when we remembered only religion and made such remarks as "a. Catholic could never be elected President." That's what we used to do when we kept blacks out of universities and women out of executive suites. We forgot about persons and saw labels instead. Only "exceptional" persons managed to overcome the self-fulfilling prophecies about people who bore those labels. But there are some unique characteristics of the label "old." No one's born with it. There are no adoring mothers whispering through a lifetime; "You're okay. You can do anything! Go out and show 'em!" Instead, there is a lifetime of exposure to the myths about old age. Older persons who don't fit the myth—people such as Arthur Fiedler, Leon Jaworski, Georgia O'Keeffe, Bob Hope, Rose Kennedy, Margaret Mead, Benjamin Spock and Helen Hayes—are rarely taken as role models. Instead, society continues to look at them as "exceptional"—people making the best of a bad situation, doing with a "bad" age what Barbra Streisand did with a "bad" nose. If being old, instead of putting you in that powerless, unemployable, re stricted, dependent, intractable, difficult, childlike place, gave you new freedoms, rights and responsibilities, you might decide that being old is, as Alex Comfort put it, a good age after all. There's only one way that will happen. All of us over 40 can learn from the civil-rights and women's movements. We can, like the gays, come out of the closet, acknowledge our age, and then set about making society's institutions, especially government, responsive to our needs. Only by sophisticated politicization can we affirm our label and at the same time escape it. Old people who are having fun and enjoying their lives say almost without exception that they no longer think of themselves in terms of age. Nor do their friends. They've escaped their label as surely as Streisand has escaped her nose. Yet everyone still knows it's there. Let's make "old" a label to be proud of. Ageing people of America, unite! You have nothing to lose but vour age. I wrote this because what's important about me and to me is not my age. But for your information, I'm 52. I am a woman. My many roles include, in no particular order, being a mother, wife, daughter, writer, editor and friend. During the past 8 to 10 years, many people to whom I have told my age have said, "But you don't look 52"—or 50, or whatever I was at the time. That's considered a compliment in this society, which worships youth and denigrates age. For a long time I was vaguely distressed every time I heard this so-called compliment. I found it hard to conceptualize in my own mind—let alone tell the person—why it bothered me. But it did. Then one day it came to me: If I don't look or act (another "compliment") 52, how exactly is a 52-year-old woman supposed to look and act? Why is looking and acting your age—when that age happens to be over 40 or 50 or 60—such an insult (opposite of compliment, right)? And why should I feel so damned good about not looking 52 (or 62 or 72) when, first, I'm bound to look that way eventually, and second, when I do, I don't want to be excluded from anything? Get it? Continued from page 34 standards; they just demonstrated them." Lissa, who tagged along on her father's sabbaticals to Paris, Rome and Geneva, was sampling Swiss ski slopes while her friends back home were skateboarding down Telegraph Avenue. At 14 she won the Swiss Gold Medal, the highest award given to a private citizen, for skiing in 10 kinds of deep powder. "I taught skiing in California and played tennis in the Berkeley community," she says. "But I didn't do either competitively. I guess I always liked to do things on an intramural level." On this point, the two Rhodes diverged. Competitive sports were so important to Denise Thai that as a high school junior she wrote to her state senator demanding the right to try out for the boys* tennis team at Berkley High. It was in the spring of 1972, two months before the passage of Title IX, and her school had no girls' team. Denise went to court and won the landmark case, becoming the first girl in Michigan high school history to play on a boys' team. She played third singles. "My high school didn't have anything for girls back then," says Thai. "Now they have a pool and a sports complex, and it's completely different. I wish the decision had come earlier." But it's not the pool or the sports complex that triggers this lament. "I would have loved to play Little League," says Thai. Despite their frequent forays into the politics of athletic administration, sports was less a cause than an addiction with them. "Sports is the main thing in my life," says Thai. Muscatine agrees. "My body goes absolutely berserk without exercise. If I don't run four miles a day, or do something else, my body won't tolerate it.' Muscatine graduated in 1976, was awarded the Radcliffe Alumna Athletic Award for her fight to push through changes at Harvard and left Cambridge for Greenville, Mississippi, where she worked for the civil rights-minded Delta Democrat- Times. Though she insisted she did not go south for scholarly pursuits, there was a natural tie-in between her employment and her summa history thesis, which was based on 2,200 interviews with Civil War slaves. Her thesis traced the development of the black family in slavery, with special attention paid to the role of women in the family and the effect of that development on present cultural patterns. When she wasn't pounding out stories for the Delta Democrat-Times, Muscatine stayed in shape playing tennis and jogging. Meanwhile, back in Cambridge, Thai had dropped off the basketball team to give more time to her own senior thesis but continued as top singles player for the tennis team. In November she wrote to Muscatine apologizing for not writing more often. It seems she'd been too busy applying for a Rhodes Scholarship to write. Needless to say, Muscatine knew the feeling. r ■■■■■■■■■ VALUABLE FOOD COUPON ■■■■■■■■■■^^ FREE MEDIUM SOFT DRINK ■ WITH THE PURCHASE OF ANY SANDWICH C L GOOD AT ANY JACK IN THE BOX* FAMILY RESTAURANT ONE COUPON PER CUSTOMER. COUPON NOT VALID IN COMBINATION WITH ANY OTHER OFFER. COUPON EXPIRES NOV. 30, 1977 J breral tering Tiste Cfehss &kiffefo - <JmmcAe& (713) 9804667 f$*&-f$P& 1968 WEST GRAY 526-2273 4101 SAN JACINTO 523-1760 PAGE 34 NOVEMBER 19, 1977 DAILY BREAKTHROUGH