Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Aviatrix, First Woman Pilot for Hughes Airwest, Mary Bush
I read this book because it came up free on Book Bub, I needed a book set in the past for summer reading and because my dad is a hobbyiest pilot. It was kind of hard, in a heartbreaking way, to read. Now, I don't sympathize with the new wave of "feminists" who are extremists in their demands about women-how they would rather see a quota of females in male-dominated professions than see those women earn those positions. And in some areas, forced women participation is absolutely necessary. I AM a firm believer in equality and people being treated fairly no matter what. I may personally feel my highest calling is in the home, but I am NOT going to judge a woman who chooses to feel differently. That's what this country is all about! Or well, it SHOULD be. It should be about being able to believe how you would like and not be punished for it. For the most part, of course, exceptions are always going to exist (ie we shouldn't let people get away with murder because they believe the person deserved to die).
Mary Bush kept impeccable integrity in the onslaught of shauvanist males in her chosen profession. I read of incidents of rampant pornography, sexual innuendos, public humiliation over intercom to passengers, and other things which led Mary to have very real physical symptoms as a result in working in a hostile working environment. And becuase there were no laws, there was nothing anyoen could legally do for her. How sick! That people wouldn't do the right thing becuase it wasn't legally required of them. It's disgusting. She gave some men-and women-benefit of the doubt. Maybe some people WERE truly innocent and niave enough to not realize that sexual harassment was and is a real issue. I'm disgusted that it still happens today. And I'm disgusted to know that if it's going on towards women, then there will be-even if it's to a lesser extent-sexual harassment towards men as well. The way Mary put it was although they "were morally wrong, were not legally wrong."
One thing I found infinitely amazing was that her psychiatrist gave her an initial dianosis and recommendation for treatment (leaving the profession at least temporarily-which then turned permenant), and then later wrote her a letter apologizing and recongnizing that he believes his assessment and assertions for treatment were wrong. And what he wished he would have recommended for her. It takes a really amazing person who will admit that as a professional he was wrong and wishes to apologize and track down the person in order to do so. Mary was very frank and forgiving. She said people make mistakes, it wasn't his intent to do harm or ill. And my personal note states "What a great assertion, to realize that mistakes are just that, and not intentional sabotage." Mary said of it "Even though, by that time, it was too late [to go back to the profession and fight for equality], I appreciated the gesture. It made me realize that we are all just making our way in this world, doing the best we can. We don't always do the right thing, but it's not that we do the wrong thing intentionally either. We learn, we pick up the pieces, we keep going." I think society as a whole would do better to think this way.
Her faith in God was nice too. A really interesting perspective she shared when going through a crisis of faith was this: "Cristis in faith is normal, though, and i realize that I expected too much from God. he wasn't at fault; my expectations were." I think I'm guilty of this as well at times!
Even though she gave up her dream career, she talks about where one door closes, another opens. She said that had she stayed in the field, she probably would have not chosen to have children and she was able to have 2 boys who greatly enriched her life. She learned the delicate balance between being independant and interdependant, she states: "I've learned that too much independence can be problematic. We need others, too. There's a healthy level of interdependence than people, in general, need to strive for. I was forced to examine my life in order to make sense out of everything that happened. This examination has only made my life better."
As far as writing, Mary isn't a writer, so this book read in a way that was remenisceint of someone just telling their story. There's a lot of technical jargon that she does a good job of explaining, but sometimes it was a little lost on me-even though my dad is a pilot. This could be a stumbling point for some readers. There are photographs at the end of many chapters that are really fun to look at!
It was enlightening to know more about the struggles my forebearing women have been through. I am grateful for their efforts to better the world for me and my daughters. I long for the day when people are no longer judged by race, religion or gender. When everyone is looked at for what they can bring to the table. For those who don't get a job to automatically assume the discrimination victim card because they know discrimination is no longer a thing, but that everyone gets a position based on their merit and ability and nothing else. I don't know if such a world is possible, but I'd love to live to see the day when the mere idea of treating anyone lesser for any reason is as preposturous as the medicinal remedies of the midevil times.