Allow me to ask something that some others of you may also have been wondering, but are too tactful to bring up:

Did age play a role in it?  

Not to downplay any of the other ingredients in the pie, but I don’t believe I’ve seen anyone ask the question that’s been nipping at me:

    Was age a factor?
    Not “age-ism,” just age.

(More below. First diary.  Hope this works)

I’m a 59 year old woman, which probably tells you a lot about my background with feminism.  As I read the introductions of other newbies, I think I’m seeing a lot of women of middle age and older. It looks to me as if the exodus included quite a few women who are veterans of earlier gender wars. Personally, I think that played a big role in all this for two reasons:
     First, I think we are the canaries in the coal mine of gender discrimination.  Our lungs are sensitive to gender pollution, because of earlier scars.  In a very real way, I think it is Our Job to be those canaries and squawk real loud when we sense Danger Jill Robinson!! Otherwise, how would younger women know they’re at risk, since some of them have never faced those risks before in their lives?  Also, if we don’t squawk, how will some of our less sensitive brothers know there’s a problem in the mines?
    Other liberals do other good jobs of alerting us to imminent problems.  Our black compatriots let us know when we’re veering off the good path.  That’s their job, you might say.  Our gay and lesbian friends, likewise.  Our labor brothers and sisters, and so forth down the line of honorable warriors in the liberal camp.  
    Canaries are lovely birds until they start choking.  Then they can scare the bejeesus out of people and they can annoy the management who wants everybody to keep working.  When they drop over dead or fly away, it’s good to sniff the air.

    Second, popular liberal blogs are places where people of all ages come to play.  From kids to great-grandmothers and fathers, we’re all there.  Those of us who are old enough to be the mothers or grandmothers of some of the rascally crowd usually take a tolerant attitude toward tomfoolery, but at some point–being parents and grandparents–we may put our foot down.  Enough.  Behave yourselves.  This is annoying to the rascals, of course, but probably useful in a mixed society.  That, too, may be part of Our Job in the movement.
    I’d be willing to bet there are VERY few prudes among the older women on this blog.  Hell, we grew up in the sixties or seventies, for god’s sake.  You want to talk liberal?  Hah.  And no, I won’t tell you what I did in the spring of l963.  Or l973, for that matter.  Hmm, ’83 was pretty good, too. . .
    Where was I?  
    Oh, yes, prudes.  Nah.  We just want to be able to talk to other people the way you BooTribbers talk to everybody here, which is to say, courteously and respectfully, with the aim of real conversation and learning and not just  winning arguments or scoring points off other people.
    So what do you think? Do you think I’m right and age had something to do with it?  Or do you think that was pretty much irrelevant?

P.S.  See what you’ve done?  I wasn’t a diarist over there, but you’re all so nice and open that you made me feel like throwing something out there for you to gnaw on if you want to.  Chew away, if you’re so inclined!

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