Yes, County Needs A Commission For WomenOn Jan. 22, I...


February 06, 1994

Yes, County Needs A Commission For Women

On Jan. 22, I attended a meeting at the Carroll County Office Building with the intention of hearing well-meaning persons debate the concerns on the Carroll County Commission on Women.

I listened as I stood against the wall in the back of this crowded room. After listening to those persons "for" the commission speak, I felt they had hit upon an area which desperately needs attention here in the county. . . .

Then I listened, with gritted teeth, to the opposition. It is so amazing how people choose to think or not think. Many who opposed did so because they did not want "their tax dollars" to be used in this manner. . . . We allow "our tax dollars" to be spent in less important ways. For example: How many of us will get the opportunity to live on the moon? Yet we watch millions of "our tax dollars" go up in smoke every time NASA decides to send a few persons and some metal devices through the atmosphere. We watch "our tax dollars" being sent to other countries to cure what ails them when we can't or won't take care of "home." We watch "our tax dollars" being pleasured away by so-called hard-working politicians, as they "do" lunch and dinner and the ,, taxpayer picks up the tab.

Those persons who spoke against this commission, especially the women, may not need or want someone to speak for them . . . These persons who were opposed were dressed neatly, most spoke fluently, and more than likely they have warm homes, transportation, and know when and from where their next paycheck will come. These persons may also have some family members or friends who can either shell out a couple hundred bucks or more when the need arises or they may know how to borrow it.

The persons who need an advocate were not present in large numbers at this meeting. Those needing someone to speak for (( them would not have been noticed in a positive light. Those in need are the women who are unable to stand up in a crowded room and speak, or they are the women who go the grocery store and use food stamps to shop while being scrutinized terribly by others with cash or a checkbook in their hands. Those women in need are the women who wait patiently for a monthly check because there is no child support or not enough support coming in on a regular basis, or they may be the women who have to deal with the degradation from a social worker who looks down upon her every six months when she must appear in the office of Social Services. . . .

It's fantastic if you are able to speak out for yourself, but do not make it harder for those who are in need of help from others. If you have the necessities in life, than you have been truly blessed. . . . The downfall of this country, from poverty to crime, is due to greed. And in this case, the majority rules.

Crickit R. Cook-Cook



The public forum held by our local legislators was apparently the largest and most vocal the legislators have ever seen. The hot issue was the request to establish a Carroll County Commission For Women. I was there to support the commission, and I found the open hostility of the opposition unnerving.

It became quickly obvious to me that its opposition was based on the unfounded fear that the Carroll County Commission For Women was backed by a group of "radical, liberal feminists." Its fear was fueled by attempts to link the supporters with the National Organization For Women (NOW). One woman spoke about these groups promoting homosexual and lesbian rights. . . . Naturally, we were shocked at such unfounded comparisons of the Carroll County Commission For Women with NOW. . . .

The recurring concerns expressed by the opponents were that this group would receive government funding, would not represent their views and would become a powerful lobbying organization.

I believe that the first concern was a valid one. However, the steering committee of the Carroll County Commission For Women had long ago accepted the fact that no funding would be available because of economic conditions.

The second concern was not valid. The members of the steering committee have varied political, religious, marital and employment backgrounds. In addition, the commissioners will have the right to choose half of the commission members. . . .

The third concern seems to revolve around the fear that this group will have too much "lobbying power." The main purpose of the commission is to provide women with a "clearing house" of information. . . .

Let us look beyond the unfounded fears which were fueled by misinformation. The time has come for Carroll County to establish a Commission For Women.

Cherie W. Jenkins


No More Tolerating Old Schools

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