Words & Banter

A Historic Backdrop. Literally.

Screenshot taken by Black


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Are you familiar with the saying … behind every great man is a great woman?


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Yes, it generally refers to a woman working behind the scenes. But, in this instance, I am guessing that you are referring to Vice President Harris, who is also President of the Senate, and House Speaker Pelosi sitting at the rostrum while President Biden addressed Congress.


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Not fair! You stole my punch line. But politics aside, it was so inspiring and amazing. Although I'm sure you have a different perspective.

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Actually, I agree. It was a historic occasion. Especially when you realize that these two women are No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the line of presidential succession.


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I didn't think of that, which makes it an even more powerful image. As there's no secret of the importance that President Biden places on women being not only involved, but having powerful and meaningful roles, in his administration. It's truly an amazing time for women and, perhaps more importantly, for girls. Wasn't it only last month that we talk about how the Senate Sergeant at Arms office was A Senate Dream Team because for the first time since it was created in 1789, its leadership team is all women?


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Says the woman who a month ago did not even know there was a Senate Sergeant at Arms office.


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Fine, but that doesn't change the fact that we're seeing more and more women in government with important leadership roles and high levels of responsibility. But it's more than just impressive positions and titles – they're role models proving "You too can do this."


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Even the military, which has had a "less than welcoming" history when it came to women (allowing them to serve during wartime but not peacetime, and questioning whether they were fit for combat), has taken great strides. Last month President Biden nominated two female generals to positions as four-star combatant commanders. And, last week the White House announced he'll nominate a woman as the first female four-star admiral in Coast Guard history.


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I think it's safe to say that would have been unthinkable not that long ago. When it comes to President Biden's campaign pledge to have more women in powerful positions, he really is putting his words into action. And that's not taking into consideration all the other appointments and nominations being made!


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Exactly. In fact, they just released his 100-Day Staffing Report, and of approximately 1,500 key agency appointees, 58 percent are women. At the U.S. Department of Labor, a critical agency in terms of the issues facing women in the workforce, almost 70 percent of the appointees are women. The report is barely two pages long, but it is obvious that when it comes to the support and advancement of women, it is an era of "historic and transformative leadership."


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No kidding. And well said!


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Actually, they are not exactly my words. I "borrowed" the phrase "historic and transformative leadership" from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's formal invitation to President Biden to speak to Congress and then applied it specifically to the women of his presidency.


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Which takes us back to where this conversation started …
Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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As you know, I love history, but I appreciate many people don’t.


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I am one of those people, so not sure where you are going with this.


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Exactly. So, when you first wanted to talk to me about the history of credit cards, I should have known something was up.


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Or, at least been curious.


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How was I supposed to know it would make a difference in my life?


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Why else would I want to give you a “history lesson”?
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Photo by mevans on iStock
Let’s be very clear. Autism has no correlation with intelligence; it’s a developmental disability (or what Black refers to as “DIFF-abilities”). And it’s a spectrum disorder, which means each autistic person has their unique mix of abilities, challenges, and ways of seeing the world (can’t that be said of all of us?!) So, as we celebrate World Autism Acceptance Week, remember it’s more than just awareness – it’s about acceptance.

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Did you know that April's Autism Awareness Month? I wasn't aware (pun intended) of it until I read our local homeowner's monthly newsletter and it caught my eye.


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Actually, last month the founding organization, the Autism Society, changed "Awareness" to "Acceptance" to foster inclusivity, as knowing about something is very different from accepting it. But I am guessing that is not the point of this call.


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Although it isn't autism, it reminded me of years ago when we found out that Natasha has learning disabilities.


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I think you mean DIFF-abilities.


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Of course, that's another thing I remember. I was focused on the negative aspects of her diagnosis until you asked me, point-blank, "Why are they called disabilities?" And proceeded to explain that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses.


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Exactly! Imagine the world if everyone excelled at math, but flunked English. Or, a world of lawyers, but no musicians. Some people are better at social skills, while others excel at handling technical data. Why not just say that people who have different skillsets and abilities have DIFF-abilities versus making them feel like they have shortcomings?
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Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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As much of a history buff as I am, I’m embarrassed to admit that for a long time, I didn’t know March was Women’s History Month. But now that I do, I’m amazed by all the inspirational stories of women’s remarkable achievements.


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Too bad Natasha and Sawyer do not still live at home; it would be fun to start a conversation by asking them what women they find inspiring.


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I already know who they would pick. The first woman to race the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And I’d have to agree with them. Your Ferrari racing has made an impact on so many people. But especially girls.


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Until you mentioned it several years ago, I never thought about that. In the 1970s, I was one of the few women in business school. I then made a career in the male-dominated oil and gas industry. I am used to being a “token” female.


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Trust me. I watch people whenever we’ve done speaking engagements. It’s predictable ... we put up the family tree, and Natasha and Sawyer get awws, but your two racecars get everyone’s attention.
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