Thursday, September 24, 2009

Estrogen and tonic

Dorchester, Mass. is home to Boston's most refreshingly resilient women. You can cast your vote for mayor, but the real people who can turn this city around reside between Washington Street and Blue Hill Avenue. While some talk about charter reform has been bandied about the electorate recently, no one has proposed what would probably be the most effective form of reform: a Dorchester-based matriarchy.

You may argue that this form of government has some reverse sex-discrimination issues. I reply, let the best women do the job for which they'll be elected. I'm not talking about an Amazon kingdom [sic] but a council of legislators who have experienced the best and worst Boston has to offer: the single mothers, the married mothers, the mothers who are involved in commited relationships without the benefit of legally binding contracts, the women who know how to balance a budget with no fat to cut and keep miniscule economic units running within an unfathomable machine between booms and busts. With that much common sense and hard sense around one table, Boston would have the best bond rating in the world.

Bad economy? The women of Dorchester know how to weather that and come out ahead at cycle's end. Tight credit? Dorchester's women know how to haggle and leverage advantages. Slow job growth? Dorchester women know how to keep many hands occupied and out of mischief.

Sam Yoon was right about this: Boston needs change. Business as usual is working but business could be better and Boston needs a shot in the arm. Mr. Yoon was partly right with his prescription. There does need to be less testosterone at the top. Boston needs a shot of estrogen and tonic. What neighborhood is better equipped to provide it than Dorchester, a place where households defy all odds to keep their hearths welcoming, nourishing places where the next generation of upwardly mobile citizens learn their lessons, get their bearings and learn to stand on principals.

There is a League of Women Voters in Dorchester. It's about time there was an official League of Extraordinary Gentlewomen ensconced in City Hall. This would at least be a layer of bureaucracy that people could identify with. Everyone has a mother and most people have a sister. Quite a few men have girlfriends. Few Bostonians have their own lawyer.

A citizen of Dorchester is called a Dorchesterite, this includes both genders because English doesn't distinguish. In Italian, they are divided: Dorciestriano for a man and Dorciestriana for a woman. In the 1960s and early 70s Dorchester's women would be called Dorchesterettes! with an exclamation point added for extra allure. If I may borrow a hackneyed metaphor to title Dorchester's women, I suggest we call each one a pillar of the community. Every man in Dorchester should wear a hat. That way they can tip thier hat in respect to the Dorchester women they pass on the street.

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