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Geneseo Republic - Geneseo, IL
A full-time teacher in the Carmi-White County School District
Namby-Pamby Females
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About this blog
By Erin Pennington

Ms. Pennington is a full-time teacher in the Carmi-White County School District. Her degree is in Secondary Education English and she has a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership. She has lived in Carmi with her daughter Taylor since the year ...

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Simply Ink

Ms. Pennington is a full-time teacher in the Carmi-White County School District. Her degree is in Secondary Education English and she has a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership. She has lived in Carmi with her daughter Taylor since the year 2000.

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By Erin Pennington
April 18, 2013 12:01 a.m.

Coming from a line of strong women meant that I grew up with very clear ideas on how women should behave. The worst thing you could be in my family was a “namby-pamby female”. To be a namby-pamby meant that you were a victim, a weakling, a God forbid “clinging vine”. It is funny how this was more often conveyed rather than voiced, although sometimes it was also verbalized.

My Grandmothers were all widows at young ages. They faced life head on and were always ready for whatever came their way. Looking back on it, I don’t know how they made it, because none of them had a driver’s license or even had an education beyond the eighth grade. They survived on sheer determination, grit, and prayer. They had a sense of humor and a passion that knew no bounds. They loved life and their children and grandchildren. They were God fearing women that knew the power of prayer and the wisdom of grace.

As a woman today I marvel at the way they could save money on next to no income. They did it because they had to. They never had anyone to rely on and they managed. They knew how to handle their finances, homes, yard, chores, etc. It would have been in their best interest to remarry, but if they did that, they would have to sacrifice the freedom that they came to know. My Great-Grandmothers even lived alone until their death way up in their nineties. They had little respect for namby-pamby females that could not stand on their own two feet. Such woman probably couldn’t open a jar by themselves or even push-mow their own yard.

My mother is a woman of the ‘60’s. Her view on life was also one of independence. She would say, “Erin, never be a clinging vine. Get your education and make yourself a life.” It’s not that she never wanted me to marry she just wanted me to have a back-up plan in case life didn’t work out the way I had planned. While it is true that “no man is an island”, it is equally so that not all women are namby-pambies. Someone recently sent me an e-mail that said, “Only weak men are intimidated by strong women.” As a modern woman, I think it is possible to be interdependent without being a “clinging vine”.

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