Thought for the Day: Feminism in Rural Florida

Builders

Since the topic of Feminism has been bantered about on the election circuit this week, I thought I might share a perspective from rural Florida. While celebrities and urban national media try to claim the right to define the word, perhaps some consideration should be given to women, many of whom live in rural settings, who see Feminism as self reliance.

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The internet is filled with fake photos of people without names, but this isn’t one of them. Above is my friend Suzanne, in a picture taken in our small rural town last year. For perspective, Suzanne is 5’3″, weighs well under 100 pounds. The gator is 10’6″ and weighs well over 500 pounds. Suzanne is a very independent, experienced hunter. She caught this gator on a snare, and finished it with single, well placed thrust of a 6″ sheath knife. She abhors waste, and the majority of the gator was prepared and preserved as food.

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Suzanne is very knowledgeable and accomplished in hunting fishing, and field craft. Unlike most people, her supermarket is the great outdoors, and she is particularly healthy, at attributes this as a major factor.  While the depth of her skills is respected, her values and choices not considered unusual in our small town.

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Suzanne is a regular neighbor here; She works at the auto parts store, she is a grandmother with accomplished kids, she has a number of friends who would all attest to her being kind and thoughtful. If you asked them to define her with one word, I am pretty sure almost all of them would choose “Independent.”  She often hunts alone, the company of others being a choice, not a requirement.  At the very core is Suzanne’s self reliant nature, she doesn’t rely on any man for support nor protection. She doesn’t need to, she can count on herself. In my view, this is what makes her a real feminist, and frankly, American.

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While that is a pretty simple definition, it is far more inclusive than litmus testing women by requiring they always vote their gender and have a subscription to Cosmopolitan.  But what do I know, I live in rural Florida.

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Your Aviation Connection: Behind all my work on learning, building and flying, what I am really seeking is the independence and freedom that comes with self reliance. This is intrinsic to homebuilding, and combined with the expression of craftsmanship, is the essential core of Homebuilding.

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About a week ago, a woman I know who lives in an urban location and perhaps mindset, shared a post on Face Book that was purported to be a set of instructions for women, to avoid being sexually assaulted or raped. These included cutting one’s hair short, always being in the company of men after dark, etc. As I read these I thought merely following them, altering ones appearance, demeanor and mindset, was already being the victim. The predators got to dictate behavior of the women. Living in fear isn’t winning.

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I am no expert on martial arts, my limited pugilistic understanding solely derived from teenage years spent in a high School where fist fights were very common.  I will plainly state that people who tell women a few hours of training will allow them to thwart a determined attacker with 2 or 3 times their body weight are selling a sick fantasy.  Many people may be uncomfortable with this, but the only reliable way a 100 pound person defends themselves against a violent 250 pound assailant is with a handgun. I am not suggesting that anyone must own one, I am only commenting on the low odds of small or older people defending themselves in hand to hand fighting.

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I understand statistics well, and there is little case to say that suburban and rural men will ever need to defend themselves. Sadly, when one factors in sexual assaults, the most under reported violent crime, the same can not be said for women. Looking at how some sports celebrities have been given a pass,  and how we tolerate having the same person who waved his finger and said “I didn’t have sex with that woman” now on a national stage as the arbiter of what disrespecting women is, unfortunately tells me that the issue will not be taken seriously any time soon.

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In such a reality, the individual should retain the human right to refuse to be physically victimized, by whatever means necessary.  It is not my right to question anyone who chooses to seek their protection from a husband, a police officer or a judge.  It is just my observation that my friend Suzanne is a free spirit, and I believe that much of this is derived from the inner knowledge that ultimately she can count on her own skills and judgment, and she will not have to beg the indifferent for protection nor beg the evil for mercy.

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-ww.

 

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About William Wynne
I have been continuously building, testing and flying Corvair engines since 1989. Information, parts and components that we developed and tested are now flying on several hundred Corvair powered aircraft. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics and an A&P license from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and have a proven 20 year track record of effectively teaching homebuilders how to create and fly their own Corvair powered planes. Much of this is chronicled at www.FlyCorvair.com and in more than 50 magazine articles.

2 Responses to Thought for the Day: Feminism in Rural Florida

  1. jaksno says:

    I’d love to see that gator on a bed of crushed ice in the supermarket…never tasted one, but hopefully parts of it could be made to taste like bacon….oohyah

  2. Sten says:

    Some woman, please convey my admiration /Sten

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