…stop theif!

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If I rob something from you and give it back, am I giving you a gift? Can I give you something that’s already yours?

The most dangerous thieves are the ones who convince you that what they take isn’t really yours in the first place. They think it’s either theirs by right or it’s up for grabs to the first taker. It’s theft by a con job.

If that happened to you, you would need the power to stop the thief. You would need either the power to take back what’s yours, or the power to stop the thief before the rascal walks off with your stuff.

So, neighbor, here’s the Jamestown Gazette’s question of the week: If you could, would you help stop a thief from stealing somebody else’s stuff? I’m sure your answer is “Yes!”

Now that I know you agree with me, I know you’ll understand why we’re celebrating Women’s History Month by celebrating Women’s Empowerment. It’s about the power for women to keep what’s always been theirs and the power to stop thieves from taking it.

Please adjust your thinking. Society, and men in particular, cannot give women their rights. That implies they’re ours to give. The real power is to stop stealing what every woman was born with and has an absolute right to already.

My preference is to stop trying to give women equal rights, but instead to stop stealing them in the first place.
Women’s History Month celebrates many outstanding examples of remarkable women who have taken back their rightful power. Consider the 50-year fight for voting rights.

On August 26, 1920, Congress passed the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. To be precise, it can be argued that the right to vote was not “granted” by that Amendment, because nobody ever had the moral right to withhold it in the first place. It was, rather, acknowledged and publicly admitted that it was always a human right in the United States and that the thieves had finally been stopped.

With that in mind, next time you hear an argument about fair payment for women’s work, just answer, “Don’t ask silly questions if you do not want foolish answers.” Nobody can condone the thief who pays workers unequally.

“A thief has three characteristics,” according to Dr. N. Ravichandran, professor and management researcher. “First, a thief is not recognized by you as being a thief; second, the thief robs you of what you have without your realizing it at the time; and third, a thief leaves you feeling very foolish after you have been robbed.”

The women we are celebrating in this week’s cover story about empowering women do not meet Dr. R’s third criterion. None of them feel foolish for taking back, owning, and using the power that some thieves still try to steal.

The Jamestown Gazette itself, owned and published by a woman, Stacey Hannon, is only one of many local and regional examples of today’s women who are of the kind celebrated by Women’s History Month.

One more caution against thieves must be stated: The right to power and self-determination is not reserved for only exceptional women and men. And those qualities are not always lost by theft. They can be thrown away or left sleeping, which is even more tragic than having them stolen.

So, for both the women and the men among our readers, be inspired by Women’s History Month to keep and use wisely all you were born with. It’s yours and nobody else’s.

Enjoy the read.
Walt Pickut

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Walt Pickut
Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.