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YourThoughts December 2017
Coming Up:

The January about power - how we define it, claim it, experience it, repurpose it - and we're asking: . Power? What does that word mean to you? Tell us about it. Send up to 100 words to editor@womenspress.com
Deadline: December 10, 2017

The February issue is about being invisible and we're asking: When do you feel invisible?" Tell us about it. Send up to 100 words to editor@womenspress.com
Deadline: January 10, 2018

Girls in lead roles
One thing that I would like to see changed for girls is for them to be able to have more stories that have girls as main characters. There are few books with female protagonists and even fewer that feature girls of color. There are many books with boys as main characters, with girls taking a secondary role often serving as assistants or love interests. Sometimes, a girl character may be more of a hero than the boys but she does not get the proper credit for saving the day. I would love to see stories changed especially for our young readers. This would help girls to find more characters to be inspired by. I think this would make some girls more interested in reading.
Melissa McCormack, Maplewood

The notion of a vanity romance
I thought marriage would offer me the freedom and ability to obtain it all. After experiencing marital bliss for a mere 3.5 years, I realized stepping back into the 1950's, assuming primarily a domestic role, came with a very high cost. Once the financial business of the house was heading in a direction that didn't sit well with me, nor was I at liberty to ask questions and provide recommendations on how to course-correct a WWIII-like bomb.

I was overjoyed to no longer have the pressure of providing for day-to-day monetary needs and wants. I could fade to black with a role of dinner party host and Pilates enthusiast. I took a back seat to the hustle and grind of life and a front seat to my children, self and all things beautifully-manicured home.

Blind optimism and solely trusting another human being for financial stability and futures was a major misstep. Precisely when my June Cleaver pearls broke and I realized I wasn't happy, I made the necessary choice to cut my losses before it was too late and I was too resentful. I started over with two children, a struggling business, a negative bank account and $0 in my retirement. I made the 'Feminine Mistake' - gave my power away.
Tamela Crawford,
Golden Valley

Read and talk together
I'd like to see discussion groups for different age groups for girls and women. To read a book together of a modern topic and get together every other week at a local library to discuss it and other issues that may arise. This idea could be developed through community education classes that offer a wide range of opportunities.

Talking together is so important and enriching. It allows one to not feel alone in one's thinking. It educates girls and women to have open mindedness. Shared experiences enrich the givers and the receivers. This idea could help creative and critical thinking, which would empower girls and women.
Patricia Gohla, Minneapolis

The confidence carried
A change I would like to see would be from girlhood, an emphasis be put on a girl's achievements, rather than their looks. So much money is spent on makeup and cosmetics. Young girls are taught to be pleasers, rather than following their own stars. There is nothing wrong with trying to look your best, but often the girls are made to feel inferior if they are not physically perfect. If they are educated to value who they are inside they will be much happier and more self confident.

At the other end of the spectrum, as we age and become wrinkled and all the things that come with age, it is much easier I think for an average women to accept the process rather than a Beauty Queen who got ahead due to their looks. The others have gotten their self worth due to brains, personality and hard work. No one stays young forever. We are the women we carry inside of ourselves.
Arlene Koktavy, Lonsdale

Cross-culture interaction
I made my female friends who were Norwegian-American, German-American and Asian-American as soon as I moved to Minnesota. The cross-cultural interactions are effectively influencing us to change our lives.

We share the life experience of ourselves, our mothers and grandmothers. The Norwegian-American woman gives us confidence we are capable to do what we could do. The retired German-American urges us to pay attention to environmental problems threatening the human health. The young Hmong woman misses her childhood that she spent together with her grandmother as a housewife on a mountain. However, she is working in the modern city to build up her professional career. In comparison to the lives of their mothers and grandmothers, the women from the southern Asian countries are deeply aware the significance of an education for a woman.

Our cross-cultural interactions and communications encourage us to pursue any potential change in life.
Annie Xu, St. Paul

Changes for all
I would like this question to be a "moot point." That the quest for equity, justice and opportunity for all females would have been realized and secured long ago. I would like the posing of this question to leave us stymied and struggling to remember a time when women and girls had to navigate through violence, human trafficking, workplace inequity, and a diminished social worth in comparison to their male counterparts. It's a good question. It's a fair question. Let's hope the future will allow us to ask: "What would you like to see changed for all humanity...?
DeEtta Miller, St. Anthony Village

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