The Banks County
November 1, 2000
Women's lib: Not
a bad idea
I always thought I was one of those women who longed for the
days when women were "ladies." Doors were held open
for her. No one dared utter a crass word in her presence and
"yes, mam" was standard fare. Then women were only
expected to look nice and talk sweet, but they did far more-they
ran households and countries without having to consider wage
gaps or being token employees.
I attended a women's college, not because I didn't want to share
classes with sweaty jocks, but because the campus was so beautiful
that I couldn't imagine an unhappy day beneath the awesome power
of hundred-years-old stately oaks. Agnes Scott is not a finishing
school. It is not a "girls' college." The program is
rigorous. The first word that comes to my mind when describing
Agnes Scott College is liberal. Aggie boasts a liberal program
of study. But the real "liberal" at the school is the
mindset of the faculty and staff.
My junior and senior year I was married and living off campus,
feeling oddly out of place in a group of very open-minded women
in regard to anything but traditional values. If I had uttered
my belief that perhaps the world was a better place when children
didn't spend so much time in day care, someone would have called
for a priestess, I'm sure, and we would have had an exorcism
of a sort. So my beliefs remained in the closet and three years
of social history, women's studies and social psychology didn't
alter my longing. I didn't leave school raging at the establishment
or bashing men for thousands of years of oppressiveness. I didn't
mind that Eleanor Roosevelt wasn't routinely studied, though
her husband was. It didn't bother me that no one could tell me
who Aphra Behn is, yet everyone knows Keats. I knew there were
great women and I knew I accomplished everything I set out to
do. So what if the rest of the world didn't acknowledge them
However, Tim Thomas did what my time at ASC could not. All he
had to do was tell me I could not help him move one little board
out of our shared office space and into storage. He said even
if I wasn't pregnant he wouldn't let me help him, because I was
Henceforth, I want credit for everything I have done. I don't
want to be told that because I'm a girl I can't do something.
Maybe once women shout their accomplishments, men will sit up
and take notice. "Maam" makes me feel old. And I kind
of like the colorful vocabulary children are forbidden to use.
After all, as a writer, can I say that I have control of the
English language without knowing slang? Part of the gift of writing
is knowing when and how to use words to get a reaction.
I am just as capable as anyone else; in fact I would argue more
capable. Men like Thomas just don't understand that women do
"men" things all of the time, often better than they
I bait my own hooks when I go fishing. I take the fish off when
I catch something. I throw him back in the water without any
I assisted in the building of a two-story log home. I toted logs,
long screws, power saws, power drills, hydraulic nailers, shingle
stacks and a 25-gallon container of Gatorade routinely. I operated
said power tools. I hammered nails into walls and glued floor
joists together. I helped straighten boards that were warped.
I placed shingles in rows as I had been shown how to do even
though the graphite got all in my hands and it itched. I nailed
those shingles onto the roof of the house and the shed in the
middle of summer.
I have helped people move on 14 different occasions, often carrying
sofas, tables, love seats, mattresses, entertainment centers
and book shelves. In the last three months, Eric and I have built
one large computer desk and a dog pen. I can throw a football
decently. I'm learning how to play pool. I can scour bathtubs,
vacuum, do laundry and dishes, make dinner and work forty-hour
weeks and still have a few hours of time to watch my favorite
TV programs. I can intimidate all 6'4", 225 pounds of my
little brother with just a look and a flick of my wrist.
I want credit for all of this and maybe next time I offer to
help Mr. Thomas, he'll take me up on it.
But I do still like to have doors opened for me.
Rochelle Beckstine is a reporter for Mainstreet newspapers.
The Banks County News
November 1, 2000
We still have decisions
This year has undoubtedly been the final straw in the voters'
minds. The effect of negative campaigning has taken intelligence
and information out of the race for the last time.
Both political parties have avoided the important issues. Incumbents
stand on their "laurels." A "slam" is safer
than a commitment.
This year, as in many past, we are on our own in deciding who
should represent us. It's a gamble on our futures.
But perhaps we can take a more active role in guiding our futures,
in determining how they will be spent.
On waking next Tuesday, we will still have choices to make.
We can choose that political maneuvering to avoid open discussion
will not be accepted.
We can choose to hold our elected representatives accountable
for every decision made.
We can choose to be constant, unwavering watchdogs seeking honesty
and integrity in our elected officials.
We can choose to go to those council meetings and school board
More importantly, over that first cup of coffee Tuesday morning,
we can choose to do something the politicians are unable to do.
We can choose to put aside parties and prejudices.
We can choose to work together to make this a kinder, gentler,
better world. What will the future hold? The choice begins with
Shar Porier is a reporter for MainStreet Newspapers.
The Banks County News
November 1, 2000
Every vote counts
Banks Countians have several important decisions to make at the
polls on Tuesday, Nov. 7. Several key local races will be decided,
including sheriff and chairman of the board of commissioners.
Local voters will also cast their vote for president.
Many people have become disillusioned with the political process.
Negative advertising and mud-slinging are a part of races from
the local level to the national level. This turns some people
away from the process and makes them stay away from the polls
on election day. This is a mistake for anyone to make.
Every vote does count. Many races in Georgia have been decided
by only a handful of votes. History even shows that one vote
has made the difference in a tight race. This makes it crucial
for everyone to cast their ballot on November 7. While the process
may be in a sad state, it is still imperative that we all go
to the polls and put the right people in office.
Check out the candidate profiles in this week's issue to get
a closer look at those seeking office. Look at the record and
experience of each candidate. Then, go the polls on Tuesday and
make an informed choice.