Banks County Opinions...

November 1, 2000

By Rochelle Beckstine
The Banks County News
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 or me?
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 a girl.
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 themselves can.
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 help.
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.

By Shar Porier
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 meetings.
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 us.
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.




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The Banks County News
Homer, Georgia
Telephone: (706) 367-5233 Fax: (706) 367-8056

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