We Have Stories To Tell
By Erica and Karen
Those of us who are Lustre Ladies, who had decades’ long careers and are now retiring, have amazing stories to tell. Maybe we’re not celebrities or famous. But our stories—what we accomplished, our successes and how we achieved them—are fascinating. Let’s start telling them.
First, we were historic. We were the first generation of women who entered the workforce in huge numbers, who demanded careers, and who worked until our careers ended. We lived the Women’s Movement, following the brave first movers. Our stories are part of the historical record of a tumultuous time of expanding freedoms—now to be expanded once again to embrace us as we age. And we did it all together.
Second, our stories contain lessons for everyone, not just our sons and daughters, nieces and nephews. The next generations are facing many of the issues we faced. Sexism. Harassment. Balancing career and family. Our stories will tell them how we did it, and why the struggle is worth it.
Third, correct the myths. Yes, we had to be assertive and aggressive, but we weren’t bitches. We tried to help each other. Yes, we loved being women who had careers, and yes we grew up during the sexual revolution, but the two were not causally linked—we didn’t use sex to get our jobs. Yes, we worked with many wonderful men who gave us opportunities and supported our advancement, but we also ran into walls put up by other men. Yes, we succeeded, but it wasn’t always a straight line. And, for sure, there were many missteps and mistakes along the way. Maybe it looks simple now, but we fell in a lot of ditches. But we sure had fun along the way! And now we are poised for something new and wonderful one again.
We have told the stories of some Lustre ladies, and we plan to tell many more. Let us know if you have one. Our strength is in our numbers. Still.