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What the Ladies are Thinking

A few weeks back I mentioned my intention to interview and feature the thoughts from women across the West Branch Valley. The question I would be asking was with all that is currently going on across our nation and beyond, what worries them the most. I thought this would be a simple topic to cover; it was much more complicated than I could have ever imagined.

The ladies I interviewed were a balance of democrats, republicans, and independent thinkers. I was clear their identities would not be revealed, as I wanted them to respond openly. I should also mention a few of the ladies I spoke with no longer live in the local area.

So here is what I came up with. Please read the column remembering that it is from daughters, mothers, wives, grandmothers, and women from every walk of life. A little advice to the men reading. Please read on, even if this column differs from your views. I think we all need to not only ask the tough questions but hear what the ladies in our lives are thinking.

– Our government showing weakness to Russia and China. Parents are not teaching children self-discipline and morals. People not attending church, causing them to close, and children not learning Christ’s teachings. Woke teaching in our schools. Transgender women in girls’ sports are ruining their chances to succeed — high prices for fuel, food, and housing caused by government ignorance.

– It’s the impending, or maybe already here, financial crisis. I’m seeing increasingly more ‘financially solid’ people struggling to buy groceries and support their families. We are all quickly realizing we are only a missed paycheck or two from poverty. In addition to that is the housing issue. Rent prices are obscene, so saving for a down payment on a house becomes impossible, especially with interest rates.

But it goes hand in hand with what I said before. It all makes it feel impossible to get ahead. But one financial bomb has you — if you’re lucky — living paycheck to paycheck, but it won’t take much to be incapable of making your bills.

On the strictly female side, I would say sex trafficking and sexual assault. I think most women would agree that more than war, more than guns, drugs, anything else, even murder, sexual assault, and concerns about trafficking are our biggest fears.

– Sex trafficking, as a woman.

– I’m concerned about the level of vitriol in our society for people of differing political or social views. It deepens our political, social, and economic divides and makes people fear “the other.”

– Patriotism is more than hanging the American flag. I think America’s biggest threat currently is internal. The extreme views we are witnessing nationally and allegiance to political parties on both sides are weakening our democracy, fracturing the foundation and security of our republic. Those views are not the views of the majority, and they are fueling the spread of disinformation and potentially enabling an autocracy to take its place. We need to find our common ground and focus on what brings us  together as Americans. Democracy is our greatest strength, but Americans are currently working against each other and don’t seem very interested in our country’s welfare. Russia and China are just sitting back and watching us implode.

– I’m concerned with the loss of traditional jobs due to technology and company downsizing — waitresses, mail delivery, etc., can be done with robots. Front-end retail jobs disappearing

– Well, there isn’t one single issue I  think is the biggest. I feel the issue of immigration needs to be addressed. The immigrants are not paying taxes, getting health care, are exempt from mandates, and are taking benefits from our veterans. I also think abortion is a huge issue. I feel life begins at  conception. If it’s illegal on both state and federal levels, procedures will be performed in unsafe conditions and risk the mother’s life. As someone who was adopted, abortion isn’t the only option. So many childless couples desperately want a baby. Inflation is causing many, many people to choose between food, bills, and medicine. Th e elderly are most at risk, and I feel more needs to be done to help this population. The working class, like us, is struggling as well.

– The issues of today that concern me and come to my mind daily are how vulnerable we are as a country to attacks. Th e trains derailing, balloons and objects with Lord knows what is inside them and the power grid being compromised. I feel like we are under attack. I ask myself, what state will our country be in when our babies are adults?

– I fear what the state our country will be in for my kids and grandkids. I fear that what is seen as a strength in our country, “freedom,” has also become our greatest weakness as a country and has made us vulnerable to anything! I fear that, as a country, our entire family unit is being dissolved to put us in our weakest state! I fear we are eliminating the middle class all together, and I will work until I’m 100 plus and will still have nothing left for my kids! I fear not being able to pay bills to provide for my family. I fear more inflation because it’s just another way to transfer our money to the government without saying raising taxes. I fear my kids’ safety in the hands of law enforcement. I fear as a country; we are at our weakest, most vulnerable state ever. I guess, in a nutshell, I fear we will self-destruct as a country.

– I think women do walk in fear a lot of the time regarding the violence in our nation — I can remember feeling like this since I was very young and first went to school; women stay on high alert when alone; it’s worse now than ever in this world — anything can happen anywhere now! I also fear for women’s rights and who is making those decisions — our government scares me. And lastly, the future of our children in this nation from education, social media, their safety, the future of what will be left of our planet for them, the list could go on and on.

– With what’s going on now, it is the fear of war with Russia and China! I love my country, and we used to be known as strong, and now we seem weak because of our leadership. The Chinese have their spying tactics; the Russians want more power. I feel they are the biggest threats to us with their nuclear weapons. I pray for the future of our country. I fear for my children and grandchildren.

– I’m most worried about climate change because if the planet’s health deteriorates to the point that it can’t easily support life, it makes all other issues irrelevant. Wow. A pretty powerful, enlightening, and frightening synopsis from the ladies. Please think about what they had to say and talk about it in a positive and constructive manner. Don’t allow your pre-conceived thoughts to get in the way of what they are thinking. One thing that is obvious, is that the ladies face more fears and challenges than most men even think about.

Thank you to editor Steph for giving up her space this week, as I ran a little over in words. And as always, please let me know what you think. My contact is always on page 4. Let’s all be safe out there.

God bless America.

Jim Webb