I remember sitting in Mrs. Hall's Senior English class discussing the women's movement of the day, the day being the early 1970s. I remember arguing with Connie Carter about the role of women in society and I was making the not so enlightened point that women were taking good jobs away from men and the men needed those jobs to support their families. What a pig.
Then I met Marty. She saw the pig I was and decided to take pity on me and turn me into a silk purse. Marty has always been a woman of strong thoughts, opinions and words and she quickly explained (sounds more polite than the conversation was) the absolute lunacy of my ideas. I'm not saying she completely changed my views of things, but, maybe just shining high beams of new light on stupidity made the difference. Certainly, over time, my views have changed radically and after all of these years and history I can clearly see how much the women in my life have impacted me.
I'm not sure when I ceded control of my life to the women in my life, but it is clear I lost control somewhere along the way. I am now adrift in a sea of estrogen. I'm not making a value judgement about this, I'm just stating it as fact. Women rule my life, I think they always have, and if most men are honest, well, we're not always that honest, so why make the point.
Clearly, I have always been drawn to smart women. I married a smart woman. A smart woman gave birth to me. I helped sire a smart woman. I love all of these smart women. Between Marty, Renae, Nikkie, Erica, Erin, Sarah, nurses, doctors I'm surrounded by smart women, all of the time. It's exhausting. I'm not sure which is the most exhausting part, the smart part or the woman part or the combination thereof, I just know it seems like I have always been told what to do by really bright, really strong women. I'm clearly serving penance for my ignorance as a young man.
The last part of my career with TXU I spent working in call centers. Most of the people who worked in call centers in TXU were of the female persuasion. Most of the management of call centers at TXU were women, really smart, strong women. I can't tell you how many of my male compatriots at other parts of the company marveled at my ability to work in such a female rich environment. I like it. I liked working for Helen, Brenda and Jan, well not Jan not so much, but the others, they were incredible people who were always a couple of steps ahead of me. They were smart and I like that.
I'm not sure what all of this means but to recognize as a young man, and yes sometimes as an older man, I have been stupid and I had stupid ideas and opinions. Many of those rather misogynistic ideas have now been put to bed, buried. What's left is but to say to Vicki, Barbara, Janet, Roseanne, Susan, Helen, Linda and yes to Connie: "I was wrong and you were right". And then add those six magic words my bride taught me years ago...."How do you feel about that?".