Those were the last words in an invitation extended to me to read one of my short stories at an event at a neighborhood restaurant scheduled later this month. And because I've been saying "principles must count for something" a lot in conversation lately, I feel I must walk that talk. I will decline the invitation to read at this "women only" event.
Not because I don't love women and the amazing energy generated when they gather together, because I certainly have enjoyed such company many times. But it seems unfair to me. I would not be attending if the invitation had said "skinny people only" or "Jews only" or "midgets who left home at twelve to join the circus only".
I've decided not to do anything that excludes others.......even (gasp) Republicans. I believe it's the only way we can heal. We need to stop concentrating on our differences and celebrate all we have in common. That can't be done by holding events that focus on "only" anybody. What's that Abe Lincoln quote? "United we stand, divided we fall." Maybe we should take that to heart. I'll read my story another time, when they have an event open to one and all.