Happy Single Working Women’s Week 2018!

Here we are again. Ready to celebrate another Single Working Women’s Week.** Do you feel like we’ve made any progress towards liberating ourselves to celebrate the challenges and joys of being a single woman in today’s world?

Sometimes doesn’t feel much like it, right?

Just saw a tweet from @SinglePhobia passing on the frustration of seeing no one on the @MorningJoe television show even try to stand up to a conservative author whose new book claims “feminism has failed us.”

I’d say feminism has made some significant changes. Certainly we’ve made great strides in the workplace in terms of career opportunities – with miles yet to go over terrain that can still feel particularly grueling. See research by Psychology Today’s Single Living editor.

The first time I watched an episode of Mad Men, the television series about the advertising business in the 60s, I almost got sick. Simply couldn’t watch it because I’d lived through that time, and the men’s snide, condescending attitudes brought back miserable memories.

Recently, after hearing over and over again how many awards the show had won, I decided to control my revulsion and see if I could figure out what was so good about it. Suffice it to say, the acting was pretty darn good, but the plot line – which too frequently involves the tall and handsome, privileged-but-somehow-vulnerable male star sleeping with practically every female who comes into his field of vision – wore thin after a few seasons.

The net effect of watching was to remind me just how subjugated women tended to be back then. The most amazing character in the series was the single woman who rose from copywriter to creative team coordinator by standing up for herself – a courageous move that in the real world would have been just as likely to get her fired. She also completely hid the pregnancy brought on when she fell for one of the ad execs saying he couldn’t stop thinking about her – and let him impregnate her on the couch in his office. Once he dumped her because she was too uppity about being promoted, she never let him know about the pregnancy. Just wore disguising outfits and put up with the snide comments about her getting fat – and then gave the child up for adoption, probably because pregnancy termination was illegal back then.

Read the Huffington Post article about feminism that started the Tweet storm. And you may want to know I finally saw the last few episodes of Mad Men and found them surprisingly satisfying.

Happy Single Working Women’s Week**!

 

**Single Working Women’s Week in 2018 goes from July 29 to August 4. And of course Single Working Women’s Day is Saturday, August 4 every year. As seen in Chase’s Calendar of Events 2018.

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Cirque du Soleil’s art is magic

LUZIA Cirque du Soleil

My many-years-single-working-woman daughter treated us once again – a little late but in honor of Single Working Women’s Week – to a performance of the Cirque du Soleil at United Center in Chicago. Well, in the parking lot of the United Center, because the show requires such specialized equipment and rigging – due to the many extraordinarily imaginative features it includes – that they can’t set it up inside the building. They have to bring their own tents and equipment.

Imagine: a wall of water, falling from 60 feet above and not splashing the audience at all because of the carefully designed landing space on the elevated platform stage. Imagine safety railings that flip out from the edge of the circular stage so that no audience members are in danger of being struck by the wildly swinging platforms from which acrobats fly into the air and land across the stage with an ease that belies the disciplined agility of their efforts.

The physiques of the acrobats are inspiring. The women, scultped to perfection by their rigorous training and diligent practice. The men, muscular beyond any ordinary body – the contortionist so flexible it’s creepy, the strong man so intensely muscled that he can hold himself up by two ropes with both arms extended straight out. Unbelievable.

The clown is nothing like the old-fashioned image of a painted nose and big shoes doing stupid things. This clown is a central figure in the adventure of the story of LUZIA, this year’s 2017 Cirque du Soleil show. His antics are amusing and intelligent.

The sight that most awed me was the bigger-than-life-sized horse “puppet” made of pierced-metal, sculpted into real-horse parts with joints that were fully articulated – providing the priceless beauty of motion that only the body of a horse displays. The horse was operated by three dressed-in-black people inside the animal. Remarkably, their visible presence did not deter us from fully enjoying the animal in action. So lifelike. So beautiful. And the mane, flowing in the breeze. I’d love to meet the team that made this creature.

Anyway, the costumes, the lighting, the staging, the characters and the story in this show are well worth the money they charge for tickets. If you’re never seen a Cirque du Soleil performance – this is our second, and we are in love with the thing – save up if you have to. It’s a show you will remember for a long time – great place to go with a single friend to celebrate Single Working Women’s Day or Week. Or any time. The show is touring around the globe.

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The circle of life – the mother in us all

Women. Mothers. Single women as mothers. The nurturing qualities for which women are justly celebrated are not distributed in equal degrees. But regardless of what kind of mother you yourself are so far–or hope to be–you have a mother of your own. And there’s no human connection like the one between mother and child. Even when fraught with pain, it is yet the most powerful bond on earth.

Tomorrow is a day to celebrate the mother in us all. Let us stand together on this day. For just a moment, close your eyes and imagine you’re holding hands with every other woman on earth–imagine your neighbor, your coworker, your friend, your sister, aunt, cousin, your mom (even if she’s not here). Feel in your sister’s hands the warmth of her love for you, feel the energy of your friend’s pains and joys passing to your fingers. Send your coworker the peace you feel in a tender moment with someone you love, feel tension and pain ebb away in the shared warmth of your hands touching.

Feel the strength you pass between you, the courage you celebrate in each other, the laughter and the tears you share with all these other women. And just for a moment, know with absolute certainty that we are all in this together.

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