Monday, April 12, 2010

I want to be meee...



Once upon a time I was a Girl Scout. I even had the green dress to prove it.
It was made out of heavy twill and had buttons all the way down the front.

I really liked Girl Scouts because we made interesting things. My friend, Geraldine, was in 4H (Head, Heart, Hands & Health) which was a group sponsored through the county extension office. She wanted me to join too. I didn't want to be in 4H because I didn't want to be a farm wife.

I had already made that decision in the 4th grade. In fact, I didn't even want to be called a "Mrs." I had already formed the opinion that a girl lost her identity because married women were always referred to by their husband's name. Even the church cookbook credited the recipes to a man's wife--eg. Mrs. George Good, not Mary Ann Good. (In other words, any woman who is married to George Good.)

I wonder how many generations of women felt as I did at the injustice of being an auxiliary person. I'm so lucky to have been born in an era when we were all becoming enlightened about human rights issues. I'm not an ardent feminist (I am a Minnesotan after all.) Nevertheless, I have arrived at a place where I'm just me--a whole person in my own right!

By the way, I saw Geraldine at our 50th class reunion last year and she's happily married to a farmer.

8 comments:

Kathy said...

What a wonderful post. You will love this....my son has a friend who got married and took his wife's last name!!! Wonder who runs the show in their house. :)

Buttercup said...

Thoughtful post. I grew up in a city so there were no thoughts of being a farmwife, though I did expect to be married right out of college. Of course, our expectations often don't match our lives. I was a Girl Scout for years and loved it. Especially liked camping and being in the out of doors.

^..^Corgidogmama said...

Golly, I remember this uniform well~Mine has been long gone, how cool that you still have yours!

I work on old obits at the library, entering them into the computer. It amazes me how many women, who died in the mid 50's, only have their married name, their husband's name.. Mrs. John Doe, to be listed for eternity. It's as if she never existed! I do a slow burn each time I type one of those in! Sheesh!

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

I was already 42 when I married, and I kept my name. Older relatives in my family and my hubby's still can't figure it out, after 25 years.

Holly, the Old Western Gal said...

I keep my own name when married. I marry MUCH too often to go changing it each time, lol!!!

You have been a very determined person from the get-go, Ms. Sparrow! In fourth grade and already so wise...bet you drove your teachers crazy, lol!!!

Sparrow chic said...

I remember my mother telling us we could be and do whatever we wanted. No expectations about getting married. I think my sisters and I did great.

Teresa Evangeline said...

I was in 4-H, but never felt like it was my comfort zone, shall we say. Just trying to fit in, more than anything... It's nice to hear from people who understood, from a young age, how essential it is to keep ones own identity. It took me awhile... :) Good post.

CherylK said...

I couldn't agree more. On the same note, I know several married women who chose to keep their maiden names. I'm sure you were a stellar girl scout even if you didn't want to be a farm wife!