Spirit of ’77

I check Ebay, periodically, for memorabilia and whatnots. Some, I look at but never buy, comforted to know that I can usually find multiples and so assuming I can always get what I want if I really need it. Some, I never expect to see, like the catalog from my old camp which I believe I’ll be buying later this morning.

I’ve taken on a project that has me thinking about Houston, so browsed some Houston-related items before considering the thought that I might do better in a search for old postcards and such by finding a local shop rather than purchasing one by one online.

Before clicking back to my usual morning round of blogs and news sites, however, I thought I’d search to see if there were any items listed from the National Women’s Conference held here in 1977.

Groggy, even at 8 a.m., I couldn’t manage to pull together those 3 words, so just searched “1977 women’s,” and found this:

Just a photo of the top flap of a San Francisco-area newspaper from 1977 documenting a demonstration called by pro-choice women to protest a threat to cut government funding for abortions.

This is the crux of why it’s been so tough to finish blog posts lately. Or to talk about politics. Or to watch the news, or read the paper . . .

This article name-checks federal funding and Governor Jerry Brown. I can probably find a similar article written within the last six months, and it is 34 years later. It is enough to make one retreat into shelter blogs and DIY projects like fixing up the old bamboo mirror I snagged at the Bluebird Circle Shop a couple of weeks ago.

But, I’m old enough to know by now that women’s work—the hard work of making this country run the way it should—is never done. I can’t hide behind chairs I found on Craig’s List that just need a perfect coat of milk paint and minor upholstery I can do at home with a pneumatic stapler and hot glue gun when wingnuts like Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry threaten to dominate the national dialogue. So I’ll try to pick it back up again.

I hope we can stop them, but at the very least, we have to bear witness to the great harm that could befall our beautiful, fragile democracy if we let the other side win.

On a slightly more upbeat note, I was encouraged to find so much Wonder Woman and Bionic Woman stuff. I also thought this McCall’s pattern captured the hope for equality that buoyed many women in the 70s:

Both Bob and Carol do the cooking! As long as Bob is also helping with the dishes, I’ll overlook the retreat to gender stereotypes in the aprons on the right.

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