So, after forty years of reporting about women, Ellen Goodman is retiring. I guess she's earned a rest. It has been an eventful forty years.
Ellen Goodman and I are contemporaries and I have spent much of those last forty years reading her columns and nodding my heading in agreement. Sometimes I also shed a tear or crumpled the paper in frustration, because a lot of what she had to report on was not progress. It was the story of the continued demeaning of women and women's concerns, "women's issues" - i.e., life, death, the bringing up of children, the dignity of work and the desire for equal treatment in the workplace, health care and the desire for equal treatment in that arena, as well. The list could go on and on, and it has, but it is a list that is too often overlooked by the mainstream media. We are lucky that we had Ellen Goodman there to kick them in the shins and sometimes in the seat of their pants and say, "Hey, fathead, you are overlooking more than half of the human race!"
The things that are close to the hearts and minds of women are things that are essential to the continuation of the race and of culture. They are the things that make life more comfortable and safer, things like clean water, safe food, and air that won't make you sick. These things are not as sexy to politicians, media moguls, and other powerful people as missiles, guns, shoe bombers, and the latest celebrity sex scandal so they get short shrift in the 24-hour news cycle and even in the printed media. But Ellen Goodman never took her eye off the big picture, the things that matter, never got distracted by all those extraneous issues. She wrote about the things that count and she made people care about them.
Thank you, Ellen. Enjoy your retirement.
Now will someone take on her mantle and continue the work? Please?