It has been so long since I contributed regularly to the Holy Hormones Journal, I feel like I need to reintroduce myself to our readers.
I’m H. Sandra Chevalier-Batik, Leslie Botha’s writing partner and co-author of Understanding Your Mind, Mood and Hormone Cycle. I originated the Inconvenient Women Blog featured on our site in 2007; but for the past several years focused primarily on the research and production of our book and taking care of my mom in her final years.
As mom’s primary caregiver I have been totally focused on making sure her final years were happy and comfortable. Interestingly, my mom, and Leslie’s mom, died with in a few months of each other. For the past several months we have each dealt with our loss in our own way.
Loosing your mom changes your perspective on life. You wakeup each day…try to shake off your grief, the loneliness, and realize that you are now the front line of the family dynasty. You stand between the universe and your children and grandchildren.
Ready or not, you have inherited the mantel of matriarch.
I’ve been pondering my matriarchal responsibilities to my three granddaughters, ages 12 through 21, and my new-born great granddaughter. What kind of world have I, and the women of my generation, left to our girls; and as long as we are thinking about the legacy of the baby-boom generation, what kind of crazy “Red-Queen” Culture have we left for our sons and grandsons to navigate.
I emigrated to this country from Canada in 1966 and spent my twenties in Chicago. As an amateur historian, with an endless fascination for the variants of American popular culture, I had a front row seat to the cultural, social, and political clashes precipitated by the Baby-Boom generation. I was an “Another Mother for Peace” activist, and when Spiro Agnew spoke derisively about the anti-war protesters as an “effete core of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals” — I proudly wore my Effete Snobs button right next to my “War is Not Healthy for Children and Other Living Things” badge.
I marched for Civil Rights, and was active in the Citizens Action Program that protested the contamination from the south-side Commonwealth Edison plant. Somewhere in the Chicago Sun Times archives, is a front page photo of my five-year-old son holding a “I want to live until I’m 50.” sign. When the time came to trade in my faithful old VW for my Volvo, I was sad to loose my, “Don’t Blame Me, I voted for McGovern” bumper sticker.
Within a few years I left the cauldron of bare-knuckles Chicago politics and emigrated once more. This time, to the mountains of Colorado, to get on with my grown-up life, which of course, included organic gardening and meditation.
I, like the majority of other ‘Boomers’, had turned my focus onto building my career, establishing a business, and caring for my family. While most of us settled into the mundane aspects of lives, a small percentage of our generation, the stone radicals, decided to “Stick it to the Man,” by ironically enough, becoming the man. Over the intervening decades, core Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) organizers, Black Panther leaders and “Weather Underground bombers got out of jail, or were mysteriously pardoned and slipped into the tenured Halls of Academia or the Government Bureaucracy.
The plutocratic, political class was slowly being infiltrated and influenced by the old, proletariat protesting class — political transmogrification in action. I’d listen to the views of aging radicals on NPR on my way to and from work, or read their books and papers on the weekend. I found it ironic that the the most virulent, violent, activists of my youthful days in Chicago had eased into careers where they could continue to pontificate the protest ideology and still get paid every month by the very public and governmental agencies they held in such disdain. I was too busy building my life to consider the intended consequences of their plans for the fundamental transformation of America.
In retrospect, I wish I had been paying closer attention, or understood the ramifications of the cultural shift that was stealthfully moving across my adopted country.
Of course had I been paying closer attention, I would have recognized that the radicalized-left were clearly and publicly telegraphing their long-range plans for America.
… In the May 22nd, 1967 issue of The Harvard Crimson, editorial chairman, Richard Blumenthal penned an homage to the Students for a Democratic Society’s need to organize from protest to long tern resistance… under the title of “SDS: Protest is not enough.”
“In building a movement or radical social change. SDS is turning from the tactics of protest and confrontation–marches, pickets and sit-ins–to those of organization and resistance.”
— Richard Blumenthal, Editorial Chairman The Harvard Crimson
In case you were wondering where that young firebrand is now, Richard Blumenthal, Democrat, is now the senior United States Senator from Connecticut. Blumenthal also served as the Attorney General of Connecticut. If I listed the number of self-avowed, radical activist that are in positions of influence and power in both government and academia you would be stunned. I know I was when I finally got around to researching it.
So back to the mantel of matriarchy — my responsibility to my grandchildren, and the America my sins of commission and omission have created as their birthright. Over the next few months this Inconvenient Women will be sharing my research and conclusions about the real war on women and the perversion of good intentions. Hopefully, we can develop an honest and open dialog about our options for structuring a society, in which our children and grandchildren to strive and thrive.