Women must learn what 'liberation' is


September 20, 1992|By SUSAN DEITZ

Q: I wish to commend you on the article you wrote about abstinence.

I work as office manager and counselor in a nonprofit pregnancy aid center where I see young girls each day who are unmarried and fearful about their futures as they come in for pregnancy testing. So many of them, out of what they feel is necessity, abort their unwanted babies and then are left with the feeling of emptiness, guilt, loneliness and fear. Some, because they have problems coping with the abortion decision, actually turn to drugs and alcohol in order to sleep, and this of course presents another problem. In 95 percent of the cases, whether such a girl aborts her baby or keeps it, the boy will break off the relationship.

My counseling always includes the building of self-respect and love for oneself, so that they can say "No" and feel good about it. To me, that is more what a liberated woman stands for than one who freely gives away her body without a marriage commitment at the least.

A: I had better remind female citizens that authentic liberation, the real stuff, brings the ability to say "No" when appropriate.

We women need more practice in uttering that one syllable because its two letters are more liberating than any march on the Capitol.

Q: I have been single for 26 years and wouldn't give it up for anything.

I'm writing in answer to your recent column about single people being treated differently in society. I feel it is very unfair to charge them more when they travel and stay in hotels; it is true that the hotel doesn't make as much profit on a one-occupant room, but we cause them less work (less cleaning time, etc.) and we still pay the tax.

More than one person has complained about the next issue: the service you receive when you go alone to a restaurant is discriminating, especially for a woman. I once complained at a lovely hotel where I was stopping for a week, because the head waiter wanted to seat me in the dining room corner all by myself.

After I spoke up about this, I got a great table and good service whenever I came in for a meal. (The head waiter later told me

that I was the first woman who had ever done that.)

A: The fine art of complaining is something relatively new to most women, who either sit meekly -- and mutely -- without saying what is on their mind, or overdo the moment with belligerence. There is great strength in a quiet manner. A lesson to us all.

Los Angeles Times Syndicate

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