When I was young, I got to be involved in a lot of “causes.” I was part of the women’s movement, part of the fight for racial equality, and an anti-war protester during the Viet Nam War. We, as the former youth of America, had a lot to say about what was fair, and how we wanted the people in our communities to treat each other. My mother was able to break the bonds of boredom and wifedom to get an education and become a professor at a full-blown University. My black friend and neighbor was the first negro to attend the Air Force Academy. Girlfriends who were banned from sports programs became soccer coaches - - and as the years passed, many of us forgot that these were all privileges we had to fight for - - many with their lives.
I have been fortunate enough to have had a challenging career, gotten an education, travelled, and raised a family alone. While I never broke any ceilings, I made a comfortable living and my girl children never really thought there were things that they wouldn’t be allowed to do “just because” they were girls. They could join the military, go into space, play professional sports, program computers, find the cure to cancer - - be the President of the United States!
Of course, we are cognizant of the fact that other countries are not as progressive. We have seen a young girl shot in the head because she wanted to go to school. We have seen women tortured, beaten, demeaned and used as sex slaves in other countries - - and we don’t like it one bit. We won’t tolerate it, will we?
Yet, here in America there are still pockets of our society where women are not welcome. I was puzzled, appalled, and downright angered to find that PARTS of the Santa community are like that. While at first, this was merely annoying, lately it’s become a little more personal.
There have been a series of posts on “Facebook for Santas” indicating that there are scholarships and prizes available for Santas through an organization called The Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas. Since I am interested in continuing my education as a Santa (i.e. Santa’s SISTER) and meeting as many people in the Santa community as I can, I wanted to “enter to win.” Unfortunately, I have been informed that I cannot become a member because I am a female “unattached” to a Santa member. Well throw me on the funeral pyre and light the torch!
Listen gentlemen (and ladies, too). I know that you can have any darn fraternal brotherhood tree house club festival that you want, but you are leaving out some mighty wonderful women folk, while you’re at it. There was a time when men thought the universe would collapse into a dark hole if women were allowed on the golf course, and guess what - - it ain’t happened yet. Of course, there are a million other examples, but you get the point.
For those of you who think you should support the independent women in your community, you should know about this.
And for those of you who think I’m crazy, it’s a club for BEARDED Santas, I assure you - - I spend a fortune at the waxing salon to get rid of mine.
In conclusion, I want you to know that I did not join the Santa community to be disruptive, or anything other than kind, generous, and the magical sister of the magical Claus. But sometimes you have to stand up for what you believe. I have been treated wonderfully by many other Santa organizations, including ClausNet. I have also received a lot of support from my local and not so local brothers and sisters. I’m hoping that we can help bring the others around to the 21st Century, soon.