Tom Brokaw – You Missed Something

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Originally published on BoomerCafe.com March 26, 2010

tom-brokawA much publicized and anticipated two-hour documentary, “Tom Brokaw Reports: Boomer$!” aired on CNBC in early March.

I made a point to watch this venerable journalist recap my life as a boomer. And it was a great report, full of nostalgia of course, but also full of the realism that some boomers are facing today — downsizing with nowhere to go, healthcare costs for 72 million of us, conversation bites with boomers just like you and me and the problems we’re dealing with today.

We all love to look back at ourselves, don’t we? To remember Rock and Roll, hippies and flower children, JFK, Howdy Doody, the first TVs, Elvis, the first personal computers, Woodstock, man on the moon. And it’s good even to reflect back on the times of trauma — the Civil Rights Movement, the Gay Rights Movement, Martin Luther King, Vietnam and/or anti-war demonstrations, the Berlin Wall, the Kennedy assassinations. These events have been the bookmarks of our lives, captured beautifully in this show.

But wait a minute Mr.Brokaw — I think you forgot something! Where oh where in your all-encompassing two-hour documentary is the Feminist Movement, Women’s Rights?

Sure, you did have a 30-second mention that because of feminism, two women in a row have been CEOs of Xerox, but that was it. That was it? Are you serious, Tom? Were you having a ’senior moment?’

The far-reaching effects of feminism in North America include more jobs with equal pay, more equal divorce settlements, introduction of no-fault divorce, control over our own bodies including birth control and contraception, introduction of non-sexist language such as Ms. rather than other titles designating marital status, the word ‘humanity’ instead of ‘mankind,’ a revamping of traditional gender roles within a relationship.

So I have to ask, Why was the Feminist Movement so minimalized in this comprehensive documentary? Does it indicate a mindset from the producers/creators/reporter or from the media in general? Is it indicative of mainstream thinking? Is it possible that much of our population no longer remembers the huge impact that feminism has had on our lives?”

I’m shaking my head here because I have no answers. I can’t begin to explain or understand an omission of such huge proportion.

It’s the fact that Brokaw is so highly respected, such an icon himself, that makes the omission of feminism so much more offensive! It was a pivotal part of our history that marked a major shift for all boomers. To have it so minimized on this worthy documentary speaks poorly of those associated with its content.

Come on Tom! What were you thinking?

© Marcia Barhydt, 2010

All rights reserved

Celebrate Age! www.willowtree.ca

Marcia Barhydt is delighted to be 66 years old. A retired flight attendant who is now self-employed as a writer, she is embracing this part of her life, especially the whimsy of writing.

She is dedicated to challenging ageism, inequality and invisibility for older women, and she is equally dedicated to promoting a productive, positive and prosperous approach to aging.

Her first book; a collection of 17 articles, titled Celebrate Age! Raves, Rants, Thoughts and

Wisdoms Learned After 50 is available now. To read more and order Celebrate Age! www.willowtree.ca/celebrateage.html

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