As a young kid I often wondered why our world did not include women as key parts of our labor force. This was back in the late 1940s and I thought even then that it was wasteful not to have half of humanity not producing in the official work place (though women back then when men were the main breadwinners had the tough chore of having babies and being the primary care source for nursing them through to adulthood and the keeping of the family home operating smoothly.)

In high school, I saw much the same thing. Girls my age were worried about getting engaged before they even graduated high school. A few of them went to college, where the general impression was they went there to find a man.

My sister Minerva was the oldest of the five children of L.H. and Jessie Mosher. I was the youngest, and my three older brothers were all very good high school athletes (Ronnie is in the school’s Wall of Honor and David, the brother next to me, should be), but I have always believed Minerva was the best athlete among us. Back then, though, girls were not allowed to compete competitively and the school had no girl’s sports program for them. That is terrible to think about much less know it existed that way.

An important note is that Minerva was my rock, my anchor, in my dark years after our mother died when I was just 12. If not for her, I would not be here. I could always depend on her in moments of my distress, which were plenty in my period of darkness.

The point is that women are just as capable and just as important as men and in my view more valuable in the political sphere in the modern age. I’m tired of old white guys who get fat and elitist at the public trough and do little for the average Joe and Jane. Bring on more women like Abrams, Pelosi, Warren, Harris, Klobuchar and Porter, and find more Ruth Bader Ginsburgs.

Actually, to tell the truth, there have been plenty of women who in history have contributed greatly to what we are as a country and as a world. Most of them fought the good fight against tremendous odds. Some succeeded and didn’t get the proper recognition until much later, usually long after they died.

Time Magazine just did a cover story on the greatest 100 women of the Year, covering women over the past 100 years or so. The stories of these women give me the chills. Some of them gave their lives during their struggles for social justice. Haviva Reik parachuted behind enemy lines in Slovakia and according to the story in Time Magazine “fed starving Jewish residents, helped some escape and eventually rallied Jewish partisan fighters.” Two years later, in 1944, she was captured and killed by Nazi collaborators.

Hannie Schaft killed Nazis while working with Dutch resistance during World War II, and Hannah Szenes was executed in 1944 by the Nazis because after parachuting into Yugoslavia she was captured while trying to save Jews from deportation. She was tortured and put on trial and never betrayed her fellow resisters.

Jane Facwcett was a codebreaker in World War II that discovered where the feared German battleship Bismarck was located and passed the information on to the U.S. Navy that two days later sank the Bismarck.

Virginia Hall was this country’s greatest spy. The team she led during World War II was responsible for killing 150 Nazis and capturing 500. The Germans called her their greatest enemy spy. Her spying techniques are still being used today, 38 years after her death at the age of 76.

Dorothea Lange was a great photographer who resisted following the norm and 55 years after her death her work is given great appreciation for inspiring social change. Her 1936 photo of a migrant woman with three young starving children in a pea-picking camp in California titled “Migrant Mother” is now considered, Time Magazine says, one of the most famous photos ever made.

There were singers like the great Bessie Smith, who poured her heart and soul into songs dealing with working-class women, conflict and poverty, and Billie Holiday, who made famous herself and the song, “Strange Fruit”, which is about lynching of blacks in the South.

A sample of the lyrics:

 “Southern trees bear a strange fruit

  Blood on the leaves and blood at the root

  Black bodies swinging in the Southern breeze

  Strange fruit hanging from the Polar trees.”

  Federal agents tried to stop Holiday from singing it, as did a recording label, and numerous radio stations would not play it, yet she sang on.

How terrible is this. How terrible were we that we instituted slavery as part of the economy and when it was outlawed after a horrible civil war, substituted the Jim Crow laws. Racism is still a core problem in the country and has been given permission by the current White House occupant to come out of hiding and move to the front in our country.

We need more Billie Holidays to tell us it is wrong.

On a more positive note, there was perhaps the greatest athlete of all time – man or woman – dominating in the 1930, 40s and 50s. That would be Mildred “Babe” Didrikson, who was the best in any sport you can name – swimming, bowling, pool, baseball, tennis, golf, track, basketball and others.

In the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games she became the only female in the Games to ever medal in throwing, jumping and running events. That would be the javelin, high jump and 80-meter hurdles.

The Babe won 82 golf tournaments, including 14 in a row. She won the 1954 U.S. Women’s Open by a record 12 strokes.

The Babe was perhaps the original trash talker, always telling her competitors they were playing for second place. Then there was the time she was asked how she could hit the golf ball so far.

“I just loosen my girdle and let the ball have it,” the Babe said.

There is one more notable woman I need to mention. That would be Frances Perkins, who was the behind the scenes force for FDR’s New Deal as his Labor Secretary. She was instrumental in getting Social Security, unemployment insurance and pensions for the elderly. She also helped establish the minimum wage, maximum work hours and slammed the door on child labor with the Fair Labor Standards Act.

So give a shout out to Francis Perkins if you believe in helping others.

There are so many important women in history and I just hope that sooner than later we have one occupying the White House. We men have screwed up this world long enough. It’s time for a woman to bring order to our world.

Enough for today.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.