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Member since: Thu Mar 16, 2006, 02:07 PM
Number of posts: 9,704

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My parents fought for civil rights in the early 60's in south GA.

My Daddy was an attorney in a small, college town, and represented the town school board. It was 1963, and schools throughout the south, including my hometown, had been successfully ignoring the Brown vs Board of Education Supreme Court decision of 1954 which overturned the seperate but equal doctrine of the south. As the school board attorney, my father advised the school system to comply with law and begin the process of integrating their schools. He believed it was the moral and legal thing to do, and they should get on with it. All hell broke loose. My parents became national figures for next 3 years. During that time, there were death threats and scare tactics. The FBI was sent to guard our house and to protect us because the town sheriff surely wasn't gonna do it. Reporters came from all over the country, some lived with us for days at a time. During that time, my mother gave birth to their 5th child. One night, in the cover of darkness, the FBI smuggled my family out of town, and we fled to Atlanta. We left all our possessions behind. They were eventually packaged up for us, and arrived weeks later. I remember my mother sobbing over personal items that had been destroyed or lost in the process. My father found it hard to get work in Atlanta and became very depressed. The strain of it all became too much. I don't remember them arguing or yelling. The marriage just fell apart. They got divorced in 1966.

My mother got custody of all the children and went to work as a real estate agent. From her, I learned about the travails of being a single, working mother with 5 kids, ages ranging from a toddler to a teenager. She taught me about what women must endure in the working world. In 1968, she wanted to buy us a house, and although she was a successful real estate agent, she was unable to do so -- the banks would not make loans to single women without a man co-signing. In 1969, she still managed to buy her first house by assuming a VA loan. In the mid 1970's, she began investing in real estate, and did quite well for herself. She never remarried.

Not long after my parent's divorce, my father married a psychiatrist. She was my stepmother. They had a child, my father's 6th. They had to relocate to New Orleans for a few years, but we visited them over summer, and my Daddy would come to see us sometimes in Atlanta. I remember being confused by it all more than anything (and I missed my Daddy terribly!), but eventually, it became normal.

Each Christmas, we would all get together at my paternal Grandmother's house. My Daddy grew up in a huge family with 8 kids. All of my aunts and uncles and cousins were there, and we were as welcome as we had ever been. They continued to treat my Mama and all of us as family, and showed delight at seeing us. My Daddy and Mama were very cordial, and I watched my Mama and my Stepmother talk about children and being working mothers (in the late 1960's!)

Simply put: they were all amazing role models.

Unfortunately, my Daddy and my stepmama got divorced after 7 years of marriage, but she remained an important figure in my life. My father encouraged all of us to continue our relationship with her, and would call us kids each year to remind us of her birthday. He did this for many years. (She is 89 now, and just came to visit me last month here in NY with my brother and his family.) She never remarried.

About 15 years after his second divorce, my father got married again, and they had a child. His current wife is much younger than he is. I don't call her my stepmother because I already have one; besides, I was a grown woman when they married. They have been married for 27 years now and she is my very good friend. She used to be an editor for a major news magazine, and she is my favorite editor when I write. I love her very much, and she has been wonderful for my Daddy.

All of these women have been amazing role models in my life.

My husband threw a 50th birthday party for me a few years ago, and invited friends and family from all over the US. My Daddy, his wife, my stepmother and my Mama all came (along with all my siblings, except the youngest who was in college). My local friends had a chance to meet my crazy, wonderful, eclectic family. Some people at the party asked me if it was at all uncomfortable to have my Dad and all his wives together under one roof. I laughed. "No. Not at all. That's my family." I don't want to make it sound like it was always charming, because it certainly wasn't. They are, after all, human. But they rose above the drama, and they did it with dignity, and they did it for the children.

Oddly enough, despite the pain and confusion I experienced by my parent's divorce when I was little, I think in many ways, my life has been enriched by divorce.

Thank you for the thread and the opportunity to share my story, H2O Man.

In the old days, we had mods here on DU.

They sent shit-stirring stuff to it's appropriate forum or locked it altogether. From what I'm seeing lately here on DU, the mod system worked better than what's in place now. Posts like the SI cover or the fact some guy got his SI magazine today would get sent straight to the men's forum or the lounge. If threads became too contentious, they got locked. It was at times frustrating to see some OPs get swooped to the dungeon, but overall, it was the right way to do it. For some reason, the jury system doesn't seem to manage this sort of thing very well. Maybe it's because there are only 2 choices, leave it or hide it. Maybe there should be a way the jury could vote to send it to a different forum. I just don't know how that would work.

It's sad. I think the quality of DU has been diminished by this dumbing down.

On EDIT: Maybe there could be a "send it to the mods" option. Then the mods can decide if it should go in a different forum or get locked or whatever. That way they don't have to check EVERY thread, only those that are sent to them.

The Top 8 Ways To Be 'Traditionally Married,' According To The Bible

Faith is a very important part in many people's lives, and some people are very adamant about the government keeping "traditional marriage" alive. However, I don't think "traditional marriage" means what they think it means. Maybe instead of "traditional marriage" we can focus on two loving people being committed to one another?


It's so much more complex...

There was a thread this evening (it has since been locked, thank goodness) with a poll on how many people were BOTHERED by the SI image. Of course, it linked back to the photo, just in case you missed it the first time. The poll was broken down by gender, because, you know, that MATTERS. Anyway, I wrote the following post to try and explain that I was never bothered by the image per se. The problem for me was so much more complex. The thread got locked while I was writing, and I worked hard to articulate this, so I've decided to make it an OP. I hope you can forgive one more of these threads; because I really want this one to be an olive branch.

When I come to DU, I might quibble with a fellow DU'er on whether or not Hillary would make a better candidate than Warren. Or I might disagree with someone's interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. Or maybe I'll peruse n2docs latest comic postings. But, what I least expect is an in-your-face T&A thread. The picture itself seemed out of place here. It was shocking because of the location, not the content.

Please understand, to be a woman in our society means to live with perfect bodily images all around us. From early on this happens. Young girls resort to bulemia and anorexia in misguided attempts to be "thin enough". We grow up comparing ourselves constantly to the ideal, one that even Cindy Crawford admits she cannot achieve -- as she once stated, "Sometimes I wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and wish I could be Cindy Crawford." She knows as well as anyone how the images are all smoke and mirrors. Actually lots of photoshop, but you know what I mean - IT'S NOT REAL! So we can never BE IT. Compound that with the current war on women that is happening all across this country. Do I need to provide you with the statistics of how much less we earn, or on the glass ceiling, or how women's reproductive rights are under attack, how our bodies are unnecessarily probed?

And then we come here and see THAT! It was juvenile, no question. But more than that, it was insensitive. Juxtaposed to that image was a map of how abortion clinics are closing all across the country. There was a post detailing a woman's rape, and another one reporting some asinine chauvinist statement by a FEMALE republican. The SI post was disgusting because of WHERE it was not WHAT it was.

I was proud of myself. I ignored the SI post. But eventually, on some other stupid thread, I was drawn in. Why? Because I could no longer sit idly by and watch women being ridiculed. I had reached my own personal tipping point on the matter. Suddenly we were FEMINISTS, as if that were a bad thing. Suddenly, we were BOTHERED about an image of beautiful women - Heh, what's wrong with us? Can't we take a joke? Why are we so overly sensitive? No. No. No.

For the first time, after 10 years at DU, I had a comment hidden by jury in one of those squabbles. And rightfully so. The point I was trying to make was valid, but I was wrong in how I was saying it. I felt so ashamed.

I want to try to do better now: It's not the IMAGE -- It's the CUMULATION!

So, let's be clear -- I love a gorgeous body. I love being attractive. And Manny, I love the Beatles. But what I don't love is insensitivity, and the pretense of innocence where baiting is concerned. You are not ignorant. You know damn well what you are doing. And it is not helping women. Not one iota.

Walk a mile in our shoes. The spiked ones. They're the sexiest. Do it for a day. I dare ya.

The gender wars in GD have gone too far.

I am so dismayed by the lack of compassion pertaining to womens' issues here on DU -- the underhanded baiting, the overt and covert bullying as evidenced by threads like this:


The chauvinism is masked in humor and sarcasm. But they are hurtful and serve no purpose other than inflame. And yet, it has 85 recs, and survived a jury 6-0. What has happened here on DU?

The ugliness is also justified by comments like "Well, she's a woman and she thinks it's okay!" As if chauvinism is a male-only club, which it certainly isn't.

When did the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover become a political thing?

Juries are not banning these threads. Some DU'ers applaud the discussions as though they are somehow a good thing. The only solution I can see is a separate forum for anything that is gender based. If it has gratuitous sexy images for no apparent reason other than to titillate or provoke, then send it to the gender war forum. If a gender is inserted into the title, yet is not pertinent to the OP, send it to the gender forum. If gender warring takes over the comments, send it to the gender forum.

Please refer to my thread here (which also fell into more gender warring. Unfortunately.):


Just please, please, PLEASE do something. This would not be allowed for one second if it were race-baiting or threads underhandedly attacking the LGBT community. So why is it allowed with women?

People are getting hurt. It's bullying. And it diminishes DU.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.

Can we PLEASE have a "gender forum" where all gender-based threads can go die?

Rules could look something like this:

**** If a gender is called out in the OP, but has no pertinence to the topic, it belongs in the gender forum.

**** If the OP is gratuitously sexy for no reason other than to be sexy, it belongs in the gender forum.

Threads about real political topics where gender is a factor, including rape, abortion, LGBT threads, etc., would not belong in the gender forum. Political satire can also be excluded. But the gratuitous stuff...get rid of it.

Any other rules?

I'm just so sick of the gender wars going on right now in GD. It diminishes DU. I honestly think some kind of rules need to be established.

Am I alone in this wish?

How Vladimir Putin protects Russia's children

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