Lily Herold for WIAC 17

OU student Lily Herold stands near the Civil War monument on the university's College Green. She was among dozens of local women who responded to our 25th annual Women in Athens County survey.

For the 25th year The Athens NEWS proudly presents our “Women in Athens County” section. This special section gathers responses from women throughout Athens County to questions about important issues both local and universal. Once again our staff put a list of questions online during much of October and called upon our female readers, www.athensnews.com users and Facebook friends to offer their points of view.

In this online version of WIAC 2017, we included two questions that we lacked space to include in the print edition.

This year, as usual, our survey respondents came from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. We had students, professionals, administrative workers, food servers, artists and stay-at-home parents respond. Many of them play multiple roles in our community. As for race and ethnicity, we did not ask, so there’s no way of knowing whether our survey respondents reflect the racial makeup of Athens or Athens County.

Other than editing for length, typos, and obvious spelling and grammar errors, we have kept the survey responses worded the way the were sent to us. We believe this captures the diversity of voices in Athens County and lets each woman’s voice shine through.

All in all, we believe that this year’s “Women in Athens County” shows off local women in the best possible light. If you decide your thoughts and views should be heard, look for our next survey in October 2017. For now, enjoy the “2017 Women in Athens County” section.

We extend our sincere thanks to all the local women who helped with this endeavor by taking the time to fill out our survey.

Finally, in order to encourage responses to our Women in Athens County survey, we said we would have a drawing after the contest to award a $30 gift certificate. We drew the name on Thursday, and the winner is Brittany Yancey of Athens.

 

Have the first 10 months of the Trump administration been good or bad for American women?

“With the exception of those who are white, wealthy, straight, cis-gendered and Christian, the current ‘presidency’ has not been positive for anyone. Sitting comfortably on his golden throne in our nation’s capital, a certain avid golfer (but not-so-avid policy maker) has brought about an endless slew of setbacks – some of which, such as proposed funding cuts to Planned Parenthood and a failure to advocate for equal pay, are especially negative for women. On a more optimistic note, the inadequacy in the White House has served to unify those who see fault in divisive rhetoric and derogatory twitter storms. When empowered people of all genders graced the streets of Washington on Jan. 21, America began to heal age-old wounds – wounds we hadn’t even known still persisted.”

– Lily Herold, 18, student

Athens

“Neither.”

– Angie Shamblin, 49, health-care administrator/business owner

Coolville

 

“Very bad.”

– Kate Meyers, 87, farmer

Athens

“Good for everyone as politicians learn business people can do a better job than they do.”

– Barbara Lindsay, 71, retired

The Plains

“BAD. Misogyny and still being told by old, rich men what we are allowed and not allowed to do with our bodies and what treatment/services are allowed is a travesty in this day and age. If we did the same to them, there would be riots in the streets.”

– Nicole Lewis, 32, quality-control specialist

Nelsonville

“Absolutely horrible. I'm not going to mince words: we have a rapist in office.”

– Caitlin Seida, 28, writer and media consultant

The Plains

“Not so sure for women.”

– Latisha Finan, 31, pharmacy technician

Buchtel

“I’d say bad at first, but the results of issues brought to light bringing more people to discuss and take actions like never before. I often think it takes the worst in a few to bring out the best in many. I do hope positive results can come from all that is bringing good people forward to take passionate action.

– Suzanne Greif, 54, runs a rabbit rescue/graphic designer

Athens

“Good.”

– Brittany Hudnall, 20, babysitter

Chauncey

“Horrible.”

– Lyndsey Fought, 32, writer, entertainer

Coolville

“Bad is an understatement. Women's rights (both social and reproductive) are being threatened and going backwards.”

– Brittany Yancey, 28, restaurant manager

Athens

“Horrible.”

– Margaret Demko, 42, social work

Athens

“It's been both, honestly. Because sexism and rape culture have made their way into the White House (this is bad), many women are finding their voices and speaking out about sexual harassment and assault. It's not going to be tolerated (this is good). I certainly don't approve of this administration but because of it, women will unite and progress.”

– Kami Perritt, 40, patient advocate

Athens

“It has not affected my life.”

– Brittany Eubanks, 31, police officer

Albany

“Bad.”

– Destiny Hooper, 30, early-childhood educator

Athens

“Yes. When the rhetoric from the president is degrading and disrespectful to women, it sets the tone for what (and who) he prioritizes. Unfortunately, his behaviors, words and actions are not only bad for American women but for people of color, LGBTQIA, Native American, Hispanic, immigrants, people with disabilities, and so many other underrepresented groups in our country and around the world.”

– Connie Patterson, 38, assistant dean

Athens

“I don’t really follow politics.”

– Christina Koon, 25, personal-care assistant

Nelsonville

“Horrible; he is trying to take away our rights.”

– Brenda Barth, 58, warehouse employee

Athens

“Pretty neutral honestly; there haven’t been a lot of direct policy changes affecting women. A lot of conjecture, but just nothing that concrete.”

– Jessica Kasler, 38, operations manager

Nelsonville

“I don't think it's been good or bad.”

– Tracy Simons, 47, program specialist

Glouster

“I don't think it's been good for anyone except Ivanka.”

– Mary Wetzel, 31, mother

Athens

“Good.”

– Teresa Grimes, 60, mother’s helper

Albany

“Very bad.”

– Heather Perin, 33, farmer

Athens

“In some ways, it has been good because it has opened the eyes of many women and driven us to participate in meaningful political action. It also shows how sharp the divides are between married and unmarried women and women of color and white women, which unfortunately sews a lot of animosity in our discord.”

– Chelsea Freeman, 27, administrator at Ohio University

Athens

“Bad.”

– Mary McDowell, 27, substitute teacher

Athens

“Maybe both? I think that Trump has made it clear he thinks little of women, other than as tokens and playthings. However, I think his overt ‘terrible-ness’ has given women more of a voice, has pushed women to not be complacent about their rights and opinions.”

– Robin Stock, 41, fundraising

Athens

“I feel good so far.”

– Bonnie White, 34, Cook 1 at Ohio University

Athens

“Bad. When we elect alleged sexual predators to positions of power, we trivialize crimes against women and embolden dangerous rhetoric.”

– Isobel Hutchinson, 24, Ohio University student

Athens

“Bad.”

– Danielle Guinsler, 32, assistant director, special initiatives

Athens

“I have a job that I love, money in my purse. I am blessed...”

– Kim Wine, 55, teacher

Glouster

“Bad. Women continue to face an uphill battle over overt sexism and discrimination, and having a sexual predator-in-chief in the White House who is a recent convert to woman-restraining ‘family values’ has undermined women's position in the workplace, in health care, in the right to reproductive self-determination.”

– Lyrr Descy, 68, retired grant writer, currently a landlord

Athens

“No widespread change from the previous administration.”

– Lindsey Curnutte, 21, student

Athens

“Bad.”

– Kat Tenbarge, 20, student

Athens

“Horrible.”

– Meg Saunders, 33, assistant prosecutor

The Plains

“Bad/embarrassing.”

– Andrea Courts, 31, hairstylist

Athens

“Bad. Very bad.”

– Anna Stevens, 36, homemaker

Millfield

“I do not think the survey allows enough characters to fully answer this question. The Trump administration has been terrible for women.

– Misti Smith, 38, development coordinator / PTO president / mother / wife

The Plains

“Bad.”

– Karen Bailey, 58, certified diabetes educator, dietitian

Athens

“Awful, terrible, BIGLY bad!!”

– Autumn Brown, 40, manager

Nelsonville

What would you like to see happen with American health care in the next 10 years?

“I would love to see universal health care for all. If my taxes go to ensure the health and well-being of those around me, then sign me up.”

– Nicole Lewis, 32, quality-control specialist

Nelsonville

“I really think a system modeled after Uruguay's would work well and benefit every single person.”

– Caitlin Seida, 28, writer and media consultant

The Plains

“I would love to see a move toward universal health care with a solid emphasis on improving the health of our children and caring for our elders.”

– Amie, 50, freelance writer

Glouster

“I would like to see socialized medicine become law, and also become accepted culturally.”

– Kristen Dempsey, 20, student

Athens

“It would be great if health care would actually be affordable for the middle class, just as it is for the people under the poverty line.”

– Latisha Finan, 31, pharmacy technician

Buchtel

“I hope that the many who are stepping up to take action to preserve and improve on the groundwork that was laid by the Obama administration make headway in improving health care for everyone.”

– Suzanne Greif, 54, runs a rabbit rescue/graphic designer

Athens

“Single-payer established.”

– Lyndsey Fought, 32, writer, entertainer

Coolville

“Socialized health care.”

– Brittany Yancey, 28, restaurant manager

Athens

“Single-payer.”

– Margaret Demko, 42, social work

Athens

“I'd love to see health insurance be eliminated as a for-profit industry and for Americans to have universal coverage.”

– Kami Perritt, 40, patient advocate

Athens

“I would like to see everyone who needs health care to be able to get it without going broke or into debt.”

– Brittany Eubanks, 31, police officer

Albany

“Universal care for everyone.”

– Destiny Hooper, 30, early-childhood educator

Athens

“Equitable affordable health care for all citizens.”

– Jamie Broach, 30, speech language pathologist

Athens

 

“More affordable coverage for everyone, and birth control covered at 100 percent. Mandatory paid maternity leave.”

– Sarah Lack, 27, communications/marketing

Athens

“The American health-care system should provide affordable and high-quality care for people across income levels, genders, ability/disability, pre-existing conditions, etc.”

– Connie Patterson, 38, assistant dean

Athens

“Better health benefits for the working poor.”

– Christina Koon, 25, personal-care assistant

Nelsonville

“I would like to see everyone covered.”

– Kim Spencer, 38, veteran service officer

Millfield

“Continue health care for homeless, low-income people who need it and see more doctors who will accept it.

– Brittany Allwine, 27, homemaker

The Plains

 

“That everyone has insurance. We need Medicare for all.”

– Brenda Barth, 58, warehouse employee

Athens

“Free abortion. Late term abortion. More health clinics for women. Free birth control.”

– Enakshi Roy, 34, teacher

Athens

 

“Honestly, it is a slippery slope. I think some take advantage of the system rendering it almost useless. Others have to pay through the nose. Bridging the gap between the free and the paid while keeping premiums low for everyone would be ideal. Make those who don’t deserve a free ride pay and those that pay now, pay less.”

– Jessica Kasler, 38, operations manager

Nelsonville

“Everyone should have health care that's affordable. Years ago, health care was affordable and coverage was good. Over the last decade, premiums have increased, there are high deductibles, and coverage has decreased. I was recently diagnosed with colon cancer, and I have good insurance compared to most. However, I'm struggling to pay my medical bills while I'm on medical leave.”

– Tracy Simons, 47, program specialist

Glouster

“Universal health-care medicine shouldn't be a luxury.”

– Mary Wetzel, 31, mother

Athens

“I would like to see the politicians to work together to get it fixed.”

– Teresa Grimes, 60, mother’s helper

Albany

“Free health care for all.”

– Heather Perin, 33, farmer

Athens

“I would like to see more focus on health outcomes and an emphasis on more public-health campaigns for issues such as violence against women and the opioid epidemic. I think some kind of single-payer system similar to the U.K's or Canada's could be a model.”

– Chelsea Freeman, 27, administrator at Ohio University

Athens

“It needs to be free and available to all persons living here.”

– Mary McDowell, 27, substitute teacher

Athens

“I think we should go to a socialized system that treats everyone equally with regard to access to care and does not require families to go bankrupt just because of a health battle.”

– Robin Stock, 41, fundraising

Athens

“To continue to better take care of our elderly, veterans, mental health, children and anyone who and everyone who need it.”

– Bonnie White, 34, Cook 1 at Ohio University

Athens

“Health-care affordability is paramount, but accessibility in rural areas is especially important in Athens County.”

– Isobel Hutchinson, 24, Ohio University student

Athens

“I would like to see a single-payer system put in place!”

– Danielle Guinsler, 32, assistant director, special initiatives

Athens

“Equitable care for all. Smarter regulation of insurance companies, pharma companies and health systems – they are profiting while our people are paying. Go after Big Pharma for the cost on society of the opioid epidemic.”

– Kari Lehman, 44, education

Athens

“Competitive costs, through exchanges, purchasing across state lines. Reduce drug costs!”

– Kim Wine, 55, teacher

Glouster

“Single-payer health care.”

– Lauren Dick, 42, grant coordinator at Ohio University

New Marshfield

“A single-payer system. I lived under one for nine years in Belgium, where we paid higher taxes than in the U.S., but got our money's worth. Human health cannot be an insurable event, a ‘risk’ to any corporation's bottom line. Birth itself is a pre-existing condition! Health should be regarded in the same light as national security, education, clean air and water, food security, and infrastructure. We should pool our resources through our taxes to maintain the health of all people in this country, which is the only way to keep them productive and allow them to pursue their right to ‘happiness’ and career fulfillment without having to worry about how to pay for health care.”

– Lyrr Descy, 68, retired grant writer, currently a landlord

Athens

“All have access to free health care.”

– Tammy McCauley, 55, retired

Coolville

“I’d like to see lower costs/premiums for Obamacare, more freedom in choice for patients. Cheaper drug prices.”

– Lindsey Curnutte, 21, student

Athens

“Single-payer.”

– Kat Tenbarge, 20, student

Athens

“Free.”

– Meg Saunders, 33, assistant prosecutor

The Plains

“Become free, obviously.”

– Andrea Courts, 31, hairstylist

Athens

“I'd like to see a system put in place like in most of the rest of the industrialized world. Free for all, paid for with tax dollars and government subsidies.

– Anna Stevens, 36, homemaker

Millfield

“I would like the government to stop focusing so much time and energy on regulating a woman's reproductive organs and instead redirect that effort to find cures for cancers and other life-threatening diseases. We also need to better care for our poor, elderly and veterans.”

– Misti Smith, 38, development coordinator / PTO president / mother / wife

The Plains

“Universal health-care option.”

– Karen Bailey, 58, certified diabetes educator, dietitian

Athens

“Single-payer system. Or something that provides access to quality affordable health care for all Americans.”

– Autumn Brown, 40, manager

Nelsonville

What would you like to see happen with American health care in the next 10 years?

Drastic reform. (Perhaps an intervention from our Northern neighbor?)

– Lily Herold, 18, student

Athens

“I would like to have less government control. I would like to see businesses and individuals have more and better choices, in regards to our health-care insurances.

– Angie Shamblin, 49, health-care administrator/business owner

Coolville

“More like Obama care.”

– Kate Meyers, 87, farmer

Athens

 

“Sell insurance across state lines to reduce costs; reduce governmental regulations of insurance companies to reduce costs.”

– Barbara Lindsay, 71, retired

The Plains

At what age should sex education be taught in American public schools?

“Sixth grade.”

– Brittany Hudnall, 20, babysitter

Chauncey

“As early as possible, 6-8 years old.”

– Lyndsey Fought, 32, writer, entertainer

Coolville

“It should start early, and the information should be strictly scientific and age appropriate.”

– Brittany Yancey, 28, restaurant manager

Athens

“Sixth grade.”

– Margaret Demko, 42, social work

Athens

“Immediately. Children younger than kindergarten are sexually abused. The sooner they know ‘right’ and ‘wrong,’ the sooner they may speak up and get help for the abuse.”

– Kami Perritt, 40, patient advocate

Athens

“I think it should start in middle school and continue through high school with different content depending on the age group.”

– Brittany Eubanks, 31, police officer

Albany

“Ninth.”

– Destiny Hooper, 30, early-childhood educator

Athens

“Third or fourth grade.”

– Jamie Broach, 30, speech language pathologist

Athens

“Middle school (seventh or eighth grade).”

– Sarah Lack, 27, communications/marketing

Athens

“Sex and health education should be introduced in developmentally appropriate ways starting in Kindergarten.”

– Connie Patterson, 38, assistant dean

Athens

 

“Nowadays, 12.”

– Christina Koon, 25, personal-care assistant

Nelsonville

“Sixth grade.”

– Kim Spencer, 38, veteran service officer

Millfield

“Fourteen.”

– Brittany Allwine, 27, homemaker

The Plains

“Sadly, it should be earlier because kids are not what we were. They are too educated these days. Because of the internet.”

– Brenda Barth, 58, warehouse employee

Athens

“Thirteen.”

– Carleen Dotson, 45, small-business development center adviser

Athens

“10/11 years.”

– Enakshi Roy, 34, teacher

Athens

“Twelve to 13.”

– Jessica Kasler, 38, operations manager

Nelsonville

“In my opinion, the earlier, the better. Ten would be a reasonable age of understanding.”

– Tracy Simons, 47, program specialist

Glouster

“12ish or whenever is the median age for puberty.”

– Mary Wetzel, 31, mother

Athens

“Eleven.”

– Teresa Grimes, 60, mother’s helper

Albany

“From the start! These days kids are exposed to so many things from public and media, and a lot of patents are not involved enough in their children's life to regulate and teach them about it.”

– Heather Perin, 33, farmer

Athens

 

“I think it should be from 7th grade and up. During junior-high years, it may be prudent to allow parents to opt-out.”

– Chelsea Freeman, 27, administrator at Ohio University

Athens

“Appropriate biological education should be taught to students as early as elementary school; this can then be extended to sex ed in fifth grade.”

– Mary McDowell, 27, substitute teacher

Athens

“Early. Kids are ‘older’ than we were when we were their ages. They have so much more access to information and are exposed to themes very early on. I think they need age-appropriate education very young, increasing as they grow and mature, so that they have the right/correct facts on which they can base their actions as they get older.”

– Robin Stock, 41, fundraising

Athens

“Eleven to 13 to stop desensitizing our children but rather to better educate.”

– Bonnie White, 34, Cook 1 at Ohio University

Athens

“First-grade students should be informed about ‘good touch and bad touch."’ Sex safety and pregnancy prevention are appropriate for middle school.”

– Isobel Hutchinson, 24, Ohio University student

Athens

“Sixth grade.”

– Danielle Guinsler, 32, assistant director, special initiatives

Athens

“Should begin as early as possible, with age-appropriate lessons for kids to learn about their bodies.”

– Kari Lehman, 44, education

Athens

“I'd have to see the curriculum...”

– Kim Wine, 55, teacher

Glouster

“Twelve.”

– Lauren Dick, 42, grant coordinator at Ohio University

New Marshfield

“As early as possible. It should begin in kindergarten, through age-appropriate narratives that answer children's honest questions without giving them more information than they can digest.”

– Lyrr Descy, 68, retired grant writer, currently a landlord

Athens

“Ten.”

– Tammy McCauley, 55, retired

Coolville

“Thirteen or grade six.”

– Lindsey Curnutte, 21, student

Athens

“Kindergarten (with parental consent).”

– Kat Tenbarge, 20, student

Athens

 

“Thirteen.”

– Meg Saunders, 33, assistant prosecutor

The Plains

“Fourteen.”

– Andrea Courts, 31, hairstylist

Athens

“It should be a gradual conversation, starting in kindergarten.”

– Anna Stevens, 36, homemaker

Millfield

“Right now in our local school system, it is taught in fifth grade. I would like to see reproductive health discussions start in third grade. Children seen to be maturing at a much younger age and by the time some get to fifth grade, they have already gone through many hormonal changes.”

– Misti Smith, 38, development coordinator / PTO president / mother / wife

The Plains

“Fourth grade.”

– Karen Bailey, 58, certified diabetes educator, dietitian

Athens

“Middle school but I have not researched best time; this is my guess. I feel it is the age kids start to consider becoming active.”

– Autumn Brown, 40, manager

Nelsonville

 

“I would say around age 12.”

– Angie Shamblin, 49, health-care administrator/business owner

Coolville

“Nine years old.”

– Kate Meyers, 87, farmer

Athens

“Eleven but first it must be taught in the home.

– Barbara Lindsay, 71, retired

The Plains

“As the mother of a toddler girl, I have already started telling her exactly what her body parts are. I think it's important for her to know. That being said, I think general information should be given starting at first grade, getting into more details as they mature. They don't need to know how it all works that young, but what is what and why is important information.”

– Nicole Lewis, 32, quality-control specialist

Nelsonville

“Sex ed should be taught from day one of a child's life in an age-appropriate manner. Children need to know the names for their body parts, how to describe what's going on, and what is and isn't appropriate. God forbid anything happens to your child, and you want them to be able to effectively communicate what happened.”

– Caitlin Seida, 28, writer and media consultant

The Plains

“From the very start everyone should be using the proper terms for genitalia. Menstruation and puberty should be covered no later than third grade, and safe sex practices should be discussed thoroughly very soon after. Abstinence-only education DOES NOT WORK and tends to stigmatize little girls.”

– Amie, 50, freelance writer

Glouster

“Thirteen.”

– Tishaunda Stacy, 34, student

Sharpsburg

“Fifth grade.”

– Kristen Dempsey, 20, student

Athens

“When you enter middle school in seventh grade.”

– Latisha Finan, 31, pharmacy technician

Buchtel

“I think there are many aspects of sex education that can be introduced at an early age. Teaching respect for others, listening, and communication lay the groundwork for introducing the rest. It’s never too early to begin with that.”

– Suzanne Greif, 54, runs a rabbit rescue/graphic designer

Athens

What role should abstinence play in a public school’s sex-education curriculum?

“As an option taught, but not the only option.”

– Jamie Broach, 30, speech language pathologist

Athens

“As the only option to 100 percent prevent STDs – but not the only option.”

– Sarah Lack, 27, communications/marketing

Athens

“Abstinence is a choice, along with other choices. It shouldn't be listed as more or less important than other choices.”

– Connie Patterson, 38, assistant dean

Athens

“Main role. But I don’t feel like it will make a difference.”

– Christina Koon, 25, personal-care assistant

Nelsonville

“It should play the same importance as safe sex.”

– Kim Spencer, 38, veteran service officer

Millfield

“Seventy percent.”

– Brittany Allwine, 27, homemaker

The Plains

“It is important to have a strong family foundation.”

– Brenda Barth, 58, warehouse employee

Athens

“Mentioned as an option.”

– Carleen Dotson, 45, small-business development center adviser

Athens

“None. Instead of preaching abstinence, we should be focusing the efforts on promoting safe-sex education. Additionally, children should be exposed to stories of teenage parents, their trails and problems in life, and how it is a bad idea to have unprotected sex. Furthermore, children should be taught how to avoid peer pressure.”

– Enakshi Roy, 34, teacher

Athens

“It should be taught, but also should be enforced at home.”

– Jessica Kasler, 38, operations manager

Nelsonville

“It should be at the forefront. I was a pregnant teen at 17.”

– Tracy Simons, 47, program specialist

Glouster

“It should be encouraged for health reasons but they still need to know how everything works.”

– Mary Wetzel, 31, mother

Athens

“It should be a relatively major role.”

– Teresa Grimes, 60, mother’s helper

Albany

“Abstinence isn't as important as safety.”

– Heather Perin, 33, farmer

Athens

“Abstinence is a valid option that should be present during sex education, but presenting it as the only responsible option leads to unhealthy attitudes about sex.”

– Chelsea Freeman, 27, administrator at Ohio University

Athens

“None. It is not a realistic or effective method of contraception.”

– Mary McDowell, 27, substitute teacher

Athens

“Abstinence is certainly a choice but I think it is short-sighted to only teach abstinence. I want my kids to have facts and information, and to know other options should they choose to be sexually active.”

– Robin Stock, 41, fundraising

Athens

“A pretty high one to stop desensitizing our kids but to better educate.”

– Bonnie White, 34, Cook 1 at Ohio University

Athens

“Abstinence is a valid way to prevent pregnancy and STDs. It should be mentioned along with birth control and condoms.”

– Isobel Hutchinson, 24, Ohio University student

Athens

It should be mentioned as the only 100 percent foolproof method but only alongside all options and their success rates.”

– Danielle Guinsler, 32, assistant director, special initiatives

Athens

“It should be taught as a choice that a person makes and is respected if it's what s/he chooses. Teach alongside birth-control methods, and the impact of STDs and unplanned pregnancy.”

– Kari Lehman, 44, education

Athens

“Since many families shirk their responsibilities and neglect to ‘teach’ their children ANY morals, public schools need to set the example...”

– Kim Wine, 55, teacher

Glouster

“Minimal role.”

– Lauren Dick, 42, grant coordinator at Ohio University

New Marshfield

“Abstinence should be just one component in sex education. And it should not be based on moral or religious considerations, but on common sense and understanding the role of sex in the human experience: delaying sex is to delay pregnancy and avoid infections. It should be framed in such a way that it complements, rather than replaces, safe-sex strategies and a sex-positive attitude. At bottom is the need to understand the scope of human sexuality, to give it meaning and context. Moralistic abstinence ‘education’ (which is a contradiction in terms) tends to relegate sex to breeding and birthing within the confines of traditional marriage. It does not take into account the diversity of the human experience. But if teens can delay the onset of sexual activity, they can concentrate on developing other aspects of their lives, including academics, their passions and aspirations, and their self-esteem. Too often sex is a mechanism girls use to get attention or hold on to a boyfriend, and having a baby is their way to get unconditional love from somebody. They need alternatives.”

– Lyrr Descy, 68, retired grant writer, currently a landlord

Athens

“Large role.”

– Tammy McCauley, 55, retired

Coolville

“Abstinence should play a part in sex education for public-school students, but all birth-control options should be presented also.”

– Lindsey Curnutte, 21, student

Athens

“Abstinence is the safest method of sex.”

– Kat Tenbarge, 20, student

Athens

“Little.”

– Meg Saunders, 33, assistant prosecutor

The Plains

“None. They wouldn't listen; just teach them to be safe.”

– Andrea Courts, 31, hairstylist

Athens

“It should be shown as what it is – one option in an array of choices an individual must make for themselves regarding their bodies and lives.

– Anna Stevens, 36, homemaker

Millfield

“I do not believe abstinence should be the only option taught in sex education. We need to teach our children about safe sex and abstinence.”

– Misti Smith, 38, development coordinator / PTO president / mother / wife

The Plains

“As one possible option for birth control, but not the only option offered.”

– Karen Bailey, 58, certified diabetes educator, dietitian

Athens

“It should of course be promoted and lifted up in a positive light as an option but not alone.”

– Autumn Brown, 40, manager

Nelsonville

 

“I think that all birth-control methods should be taught.”

– Angie Shamblin, 49, health-care administrator/business owner

Coolville

“Abstinence as a strong and encouraged possibility.”

– Kate Meyers, 87, farmer

Athens

“Primary.”

– Barbara Lindsay, 71, retired

The Plains

“Abstinence is the only 100 percent way to not get pregnant or get an STD, and that should be taught. However, starting around 11 or 12 (sad, but true), they need to know that condoms will keep them safe and healthy.”

– Nicole Lewis, 32, quality-control specialist

Nelsonville

“Abstinence is a choice, just as valid as any other choice when it comes to sexual behavior. But it should not be touted as the ONLY acceptable option or the ONLY sex education children get.”

– Caitlin Seida, 28, writer and media consultant

The Plains

“It should be covered as part of a comprehensive plan but only as a part. It should also be very neutral in terms of language and should never be taught in the shaming terms such as the ‘soiled or used’ item. Girls are not commodities. They are humans with human needs, just like the boys are.”

– Amie, 50, freelance writer

Glouster

“A large role, but not the only role. Kids need honesty!”

– Tishaunda Stacy, 34, student

Sharpsburg

“None. It’s not realistic.”

– Kristen Dempsey, 20, student

Athens

“I think it should be 50/50. Give the kids all options. The more you tell someone not to do something, the more they want to do it. So why not teach our children both sides and let them decide?”

– Latisha Finan, 31, pharmacy technician

Buchtel

“Abstinence alone doesn’t work, but as a part of the whole picture, it’s worthy of discussion. Education about relationships, health and achieving your goals may be the most important groundwork to lay in order to teach young people to make careful considerations about the decisions they make regarding sex.”

– Suzanne Greif, 54, runs a rabbit rescue/graphic designer

Athens

“None, as statistically it does not work.”

– Lyndsey Fought, 32, writer, entertainer

Coolville

“Zero.”

– Brittany Yancey, 28, restaurant manager

Athens

“With a practical approach.”

– Margaret Demko, 42, social work

Athens

“It should be taught as an option but not as the sole form of sex education.”

– Kami Perritt, 40, patient advocate

Athens

“The emotions dealing with sex should be discussed. Abstinence should be encouraged but shouldn't be the curriculum.”

– Destiny Hooper, 30, early-childhood educator

Athens

 

Is a small college community (such as Athens) a good or bad place to raise children?

“It's nice that it's smaller community but the poverty level takes a toll on child rearing as well as the drug epidemic.”

– Tracy Simons, 47, program specialist

Glouster

“Pretty good. I like that it's mostly safe and more diverse then surrounding areas.”

– Mary Wetzel, 31, mother

Athens

“Athens is a wonderful place for raising kids.”

– Teresa Grimes, 60, mother’s helper

Albany

“We have a great community for raising children with a lot of resources for parents.”

– Heather Perin, 33, farmer

Athens

“I am not able to comment on this issue personally. However, childcare availability and child-free activities seem to be a struggle for many parents. Ohio University offers new parents the chance to bond with new babies, which I think is very good.”

– Chelsea Freeman, 27, administrator at Ohio University

Athens

“I think it can be good and bad. I generally sway to the ‘good’ side because so many opportunities are right here and available for kids. But there is a privacy thing that is lacking in any small-town environment.”

– Robin Stock, 41, fundraising

Athens

“Athens is a good as long as people take the opportunity of the resources and education and local recreations that are available.”

– Bonnie White, 34, Cook 1 at Ohio University

Athens

“I cannot have children. However, I would raise them here if I could. Programs like ‘Kids on Campus’ really enrich our community. Unfortunately, our public schools are underfunded, but that's common throughout Ohio.”

– Isobel Hutchinson, 24, Ohio University student

Athens

“It's a good place. Children have exposure to thought leadership, the arts, academics, and a generally inclusive culture. It's a true community with people who care about one another. It also exposes children to poverty and its impacts, and teaches resourcefulness vs. materialism.”

– Kari Lehman, 44, education

Athens

“I did not raise my children here, but I wouldn't have hesitated to do so. My husband did raise his daughters in Athens. But it's a different place today. Athens may be losing some of its innocence, but it offers so many other opportunities. Having neighborhood schools is an asset. By all means, fund all schools equitably (which is not the same as equally). Hire great teachers everywhere, introduce enriching programs in less well-off neighborhoods, but don't lose the anchor that a neighborhood school represents. The idea of busing children to a campus far from home is awful.  Make EVERY school great. Diversity comes in many forms, and simply housing all kids in one place is not the answer. The sense of community doesn't stop with being a small college town.”

– Lyrr Descy, 68, retired grant writer, currently a landlord

Athens

“Fantastic place.”

– Tammy McCauley, 55, retired

Coolville

“Athens seems like a great community to raise kids, but the college/binge-drinking culture doesn’t seem like it would be a good introduction to drinking for Athens teens. A lot of educational opportunities are here that wouldn’t otherwise be available without the university.”

– Lindsey Curnutte, 21, student

Athens

“Good in the months when the students aren't here. The community is very humble, loving and local-giving. I do, however, find the months while the students are here to be slightly difficult for my friends with children.”

– Andrea Courts, 31, hairstylist

Athens

“There are pros and cons but I'm choosing to raise my children here.”

– Anna Stevens, 36, homemaker

Millfield

“I am a townie, I loved growing up in Athens, and I enjoy raising my family in Athens County (I live in The Plains). I believe it is a great place to raise children because of the level of diversity offered. Having Ohio University in our back yard and being able to use campus resources is a benefit that not all children get. I am very active in my son's elementary school, and I enjoy seeing the Patton College of Education's elementary education partnership students working one on one with students in our school.”

– Misti Smith, 38, development coordinator / PTO president / mother / wife

The Plains

“I believe all environments are what you make them. They can be good or bad, dependent upon one’s outlook. All and all, I believe the Athens area is a great area to raise children.”

– Angie Shamblin, 49, health-care administrator/business owner

Coolville

“A good place.”

– Kate Meyers, 87, farmer

Athens

“It’s good to have programs for children like the community choir and bad since it is such a prevalent closed-minded liberal attitude.”

– Barbara Lindsay, 71, retired

The Plains

“In general, I think it's wondeful. I grew up here and value the diversity of opinion; if only we had more general diversity!”

– Nicole Lewis, 32, quality-control specialist

Nelsonville

“I'm not entirely sure yet. My daughter is 5, and we've seen the good and the bad, but we live in the county, not the city proper. With a lack of reliable transportation, the city and its events may as well be the moon.”

– Caitlin Seida, 28, writer and media consultant

The Plains

“I wouldn't have my children attend Athens City Schools. The smaller communities have great schools, though.”

– Tishaunda Stacy, 34, student

Sharpsburg

“Personally, a school with a higher standard of academics (such as an Ivy League) would be better. Less partying, more maturity.”

– Kristen Dempsey, 20, student

Athens

“There are both good and bad. Sometimes the kids see some college students acting in ways I would prefer for them not to see, but they also get to experience events that the college has for the community, which is great.”

– Latisha Finan, 31, pharmacy technician

Buchtel

“I think Athens is a great place to raise children. Having the university here creates many great educational and recreational opportunities for young people.”

– Suzanne Greif, 54, runs a rabbit rescue/graphic designer

Athens

“Athens is not a small college, in my opinion. Also, the amount of partying happening at any college influences how good/bad it is. I think Athens is great, but I don't know if I'd be taking children to Court Street in the evenings, especially Friday and Saturdays.”

– Lyndsey Fought, 32, writer, entertainer

Coolville

“As a mother, some aspects are difficult. It's tough explaining to your 5-year-old why some man is puking during the Homecoming Parade. However, they are good teaching opportunities.”

– Brittany Yancey, 28, restaurant manager

Athens

“Like anything else, it has its positives and negatives. It's a benefit to be in a close-knit community that is truly neighborly. But, as someone who didn't spend my childhood in Athens, I'd miss the proximity to the abundance of activities that a larger city offers.”

– Kami Perritt, 40, patient advocate

Athens

“I don’t have kids, but I plan to and will raise them in Athens, so I wouldn’t raise them here if I thought it was a bad place.”

– Brittany Eubanks, 31, police officer

Albany

“There are pros and cons; I think in general, Athens is a good place to raise kids.”

– Sarah Lack, 27, communications/marketing

Athens

“I love raising our kids in Athens!”

– Connie Patterson, 38, assistant dean

Athens

“Athens really isn’t a bad small town. I do feel like it can be hectic being a college community.”

– Christina Koon, 25, personal-care assistant

Nelsonville

“Good, I love raising my children here.”

– Brittany Allwine, 27, homemaker

The Plains

“I do not have children, but from what I hear from friends, it is a good place to raise children.”

– Enakshi Roy, 34, teacher

Athens

“Good unless you want to go down East State Street at any point in time. Athens is getting bigger, yet we have infrastructure issues that need addressed. Also the drinking and drugs brought in from the college students need to be limited.”

– Jessica Kasler, 38, operations manager

Nelsonville

Are the Trump women (Ivanka and Milania) good role models for American girls and women?

“Hard to tell, since they live in Donald Trump's shadow.”

– Robin Stock, 41, fundraising

Athens

“They seem to be at least independent, well-educated ladies…”

– Bonnie White, 34, Cook 1 at Ohio University

Athens

“Ivanka and Melania are both wealthy and successful women. However, there are many female role models who are not linked to hateful people or rhetoric. So, while they could be role models for some, there are better ones out there.”

– Isobel Hutchinson, 24, Ohio University student

Athens

“Yes! Confident, strong, accomplished women, who strive to better the lives of others, and prove their love for their country...”

– Kim Wine, 55, teacher

Glouster

“Probably not. Ivanka was born into privilege, and Melania has made a pact with the devil. Melania does not appear to be the person she was in Slovenia. She doesn't seem approachable or empathetic, and her obsession with her prohibitively expensive wardrobe must be off-putting to ordinary people. What are girls supposed to learn from that? If we're disappointed in Ivanka, in whom we pinned any hopes for some semblance of normalcy at the White House, we shouldn't be. It must be hard for these women to shed the sense of entitlement that comes with great wealth and a life-long association with a narcissist. And it must therefore be hard for any woman or girl to relate to the Trump women. We don't yet know enough about daughter Tiffany or the wives of Eric and Donald Jr.”

– Lyrr Descy, 68, retired grant writer, currently a landlord

Athens

“No. They adhere to the unrealistic roles society imposes, that causes girls to try and attain.”

– Tammy McCauley, 55, retired

Coolville

“I think women like Ivanka Trump, Kellyanne Conway and Hope Hicks are strong role models for women and girls. They are working in the Trump administration as strong female leaders. Conway was the first woman to lead a successful presidential campaign, and I think that impressive fact is forgotten by a lot of people because of the person she works for.”

– Lindsey Curnutte, 21, student

Athens

“No, because they support a horrible man. Bad people by association.”

– Andrea Courts, 31, hairstylist

Athens

 

No. They are complicit in the abhorrent behavior of The Donald.”

– Anna Stevens, 36, homemaker

Millfield

“Hell no. Next question.”

– Misti Smith, 38, development coordinator / PTO president / mother / wife

The Plains

“Yes and no.”

– Karen Bailey, 58, certified diabetes educator, dietitian

Athens

“No, cheated, dramatic, and visual appearance focused… Beauty is within.”

– Autumn Brown, 40, manager

Nelsonville

“Absolutely! I believe they are both intelligent, classy ladies. They are successful business people in their own right.”

– Angie Shamblin, 49, health-care administrator/business owner

Coolville

“Maybe 50 percent good/bad.”

– Kate Meyers, 87, farmer

Athens

“Good but why are you considering them role models? Is your criteria marriage to a politician? It is not a good criteria.”

– Barbara Lindsay, 71, retired

The Plains

 “In general, no. I think they laud a man who puts them down, and I refuse to have anyone put me down due to my appearance or personal beliefs, and hope to instill that in my daughter.”

– Nicole Lewis, 32, quality-control specialist

Nelsonville

“I can only think to say that they are an example of how women behave when living within a toxic relationship and family life – something all too familiar for many women. They may not be thriving, but they're surviving.”

– Caitlin Seida, 28, writer and media consultant

The Plains

“NO! Ivanka has accomplished zero on her own. Her business practices are every bit as bad as her father's and she has proven time and time how utterly out of touch she is. Her policies are stunning displays of hypocrisy.”

Amie, 50, freelance writer

Glouster

“Milania is a no. Still undecided on Ivanka.”

– Tishaunda Stacy, 34, student

Sharpsburg

“I still don’t know much about them, but it seems like Ivanka is a hard-working woman, and I believe that is a good role model for girls.”

– Latisha Finan, 31, pharmacy technician

Buchtel

“I don’t think they are. I think they don’t portray the intelligence and values we’ve seen in many First Ladies, such as Michelle Obama, Eleanor Roosevelt and others.

– Suzanne Greif, 54, runs a rabbit rescue/graphic designer

Athens

“Good god, no.”

– Lyndsey Fought, 32, writer, entertainer

Coolville

“Absolutely not.”

– Brittany Yancey, 28, restaurant manager

Athens

“They COULD be.”

– Kami Perritt, 40, patient advocate

Athens

“I don’t know. I don’t pay attention to them.”

– Brittany Eubanks, 31, police officer

Albany

 

“Better than Donald, but there are much better role models out there.”

– Jamie Broach, 30, speech language pathologist

Athens

“I think there are far better women who are educated and successful in their own right who can serve as much better role models.”

– Sarah Lack, 27, communications/marketing

Athens

“I'm not going to bash any woman including Ivanka or Milania Trump. They are both successful women who have been given a lot of privilege. I hope they can use their platforms for good.”

– Connie Patterson, 38, assistant dean

Athens

“They are not; they don’t know what the real world is like.”

– Brenda Barth, 58, warehouse employee

Athens

“All women in a power situation have the potential to be good role models.”

– Carleen Dotson, 45, small-business development center adviser

Athens

“No. Because they send the wrong message that ‘only looks matter.’"

– Enakshi Roy, 34, teacher

Athens

“Given that they can use their voice, yes.”

– Jessica Kasler, 38, operations manager

Nelsonville

“Milania hasn't done much, in my opinion. Ivanka works hard but having a Twitter-tweeting father doesn't help her.”

– Tracy Simons, 47, program specialist

Glouster

“They are not people that I want my children to admire.”

– Mary Wetzel, 31, mother

Athens

“Of course they are.”

– Teresa Grimes, 60, mother’s helper

Albany

“For the most part, it seems their most objectionable trait is their connection to Donald Trump. There are a lot of ways to be a successful and happy woman, so individually I don't think they are particularly bad role models.”

– Chelsea Freeman, 27, administrator at Ohio University

Athens

“Absolutely not.”

– Mary McDowell, 27, substitute teacher

Athens

Over the past year or two, have politics created tensions in your extended family? If so, how have you dealt with them?

“Politics are always a sore spot. My family and I don't agree for the most part.”

– Caitlin Seida, 28, writer and media consultant

The Plains The Plains

“Yes. Remember that it's fine to debate each other, or even argue, as long as you apologize when necessary. No name-calling!”

– Isobel Hutchinson, 24, Ohio University student

Athens

“Not really.”

– Danielle Guinsler, 32, assistant director, special initiatives

Athens

“Fortunately, we mostly agree on our politics.”

– Kari Lehman, 44, education

Athens

“Yes! Coping strategies vary, from day-to-day...”

– Kim Wine, 55, teacher

Glouster

 “I have stopped following several cousins on Facebook for their support of Trump and their increased bigotry as a result.”

Amie, 50, freelance writer

Glouster

“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion so it is not something we discuss when we are all together.”

– Tishaunda Stacy, 34, student

Sharpsburg

“I’m not in contact with many of my extended family members, so I don’t have those discussions, although I’m sure there’d be tensions with some.”

– Suzanne Greif, 54, runs a rabbit rescue/graphic designer

Athens

“Absolutely. It is dealt with poorly by trying to educate them on Facebook. And them getting angry at me.”

– Lyndsey Fought, 32, writer, entertainer

Coolville

“Yes. Racists are much more vocal since the president himself finds racism acceptable.”

– Brittany Yancey, 28, restaurant manager

Athens

“Yes, we don’t discuss it.”

– Margaret Demko, 42, social work

Athens

“Not really, most all of my family are hardworking Americans, who desire the same things and have the same goals as most hard working Americans. We are all very patriotic (most of our families have served, retired, or are serving in the military). We all think quite a bit alike.”

– Angie Shamblin, 49, health-care administrator/business owner

Coolville

“Yes, and it is a topic that has been left avoided if at all possible. It's unfortunate that we have gotten to this point as a country where people cannot disagree without it becoming an out and out argument.”

– Nicole Lewis, 32, quality-control specialist

Nelsonville

 “Not really. The past nine years were pretty divisive so there hasn't been much of a change in the past few years.”

Kami Perritt, 40, patient advocate

Athens

“Yes. I have unfriended anyone who openly supports Trump from my Facebook.”

Destiny Hooper, 30, early childhood educator

“Yes, I have avoided conversations with those members.”

Jamie Broach, 30, speech language pathologist

Athens

“Yes, since last November. We don't discuss politics at family gatherings.”

Sarah Lack, 27, communications/marketing

Athens

“Somewhat. I've chosen to talk about it with the family members I really care about and have picked my battles with the others.”

Connie Patterson, 38, assistant dean

Athens

Photo? - Yes

“Total tension; relatives pitted against each other.”

– Brenda Barth, 58, warehouse employee

Athens

“Debates that end in laughter.”

– Carleen Dotson, 45, small-business development center adviser

Athens

“No, we are on the same page when it comes to U.S. politics.”

– Enakshi Roy, 34, teacher

Athens

“No, we are smart enough to not let it change us. We all have opinions, but some people take it to extremes by letting it dictate their lives.”

– Jessica Kasler, 38, operations manager

Nelsonville

“God yes. I bite my tongue a lot.”

– Teresa Grimes, 60, mother’s helper

Albany

“Yes, we speak out a lot about the problems and try to get the truth out to as many people as possible.”

– Heather Perin, 33, farmer

Athens

“Yes. For the most part I try to state my opinion politely and leave it at that. Most of my family know how I feel; belaboring the point seems like a waste of time.”

– Chelsea Freeman, 27, administrator at Ohio University

Athens

“Yes. I have family members who are no longer speaking to me over it.”

– Mary McDowell, 27, substitute teacher

Athens

“Some, sure. But I have always been a lefty in a household of righties, so I am used to it!”

– Robin Stock, 41, fundraising

Athens

“A little; we are taking it as well as we can.”

– Bonnie White, 34, Cook 1 at Ohio University

Athens

“Yes.  Both my husband and I are progressives, on the far left.  But we still disagree about whether it was a good idea or even necessary to ‘allow’ Trump to become president in order to precipitate social change. As a woman and an ardent feminist, I have a different perspective, based on a different life experience and priorities. I tend to be more pragmatic, to see things in shades of gray rather than as black and white. As for our extended family, we prefer not to antagonize but try to engage those who may have seen something promising in a Trump presidency. Ugh!”

– Lyrr Descy, 68, retired grant writer, currently a landlord

Athens

“Yes. Because of the craziness of the current administration, we are much more worried and concerned for our right to make choices.”

– Tammy McCauley, 55, retired

Coolville

“Yes. There are multiple disagreements. We tend to argue and then move on.”

– Meg Saunders, 33, assistant prosecutor

The Plains

“Yes, very much. I come from a religious family, so they are very conservative. They will do anything the church tells them to do. My views couldn't be further from that.”

– Andrea Courts, 31, hairstylist

Athens

“No, thankfully.”

– Anna Stevens, 36, homemaker

Millfield

“I believe it has somewhat.  I try not to get into political arguments with family.  I save them for strangers on Facebook.”

– Misti Smith, 38, development coordinator / PTO president / mother / wife

The Plains

“Yes. I have encouraged my adult children to not argue politics with their cousins.”

– Karen Bailey, 58, certified diabetes educator, dietitian

Athens

“Yes , we don't talk about it”

– Autumn Brown, 40, manager

Nelsonville

Are parents today generally too protective of their children?

 “I admit, I am way too protective of my children.”

– Misti Smith, 38, development coordinator / PTO president / mother / wife

The Plains

“Seem to be polarized; some are, and some are disengaged... and many in the middle.”

– Autumn Brown, 40, manager

Nelsonville

“No. It’s a must in today’s society.”

– Destiny Hooper, 30, early-childhood educator

Athens

“Not too protective; I feel like kids today don't know the value of hard work and parents are too slow to discipline kids.”

– Sarah Lack, 27, communications/marketing

Athens

“This question implies that I know the best way to parent. I try to do the best I can. Sometimes I'm probably too protective, and other times I'm probably not protective enough.”

– Connie Patterson, 38, assistant dean

Athens

“More protective than my parents were. But, you have to be nowadays.”

– Christina Koon, 25, personal-care assistant

Nelsonville

“I can only speak for myself. I am very protective of my child.”

– Kim Spencer, 38, veteran service officer

Millfield

 “No, they aren't protective enough.”

– Tishaunda Stacy, 34, student

Sharpsburg

“As a parent myself, I believe we are a little more protective of our children. Life is more complicated then when I was a kid.”

– Latisha Finan, 31, pharmacy technician

Buchtel

“Compared to when we were younger, I think today’s parents are very protective. I’m not a parent in today’s world, so I can’t really make that call.”

– Suzanne Greif, 54, runs a rabbit rescue/graphic designer

Athens

“Not really. They may be spoiled but they aren't too protected.”

– Lyndsey Fought, 32, writer, entertainer

Coolville

“Yes and no. I think kids should be able to run around and get dirty and scrape their knees. However, we now have to protect our kids from online threats, which is a fairly new concept in parenting.”

– Brittany Yancey, 28, restaurant manager

Athens

“Not enough.”

– Margaret Demko, 42, social work

Athens

“I'm not sure you can be too protective of your children in the world today. I do, however, think there's a difference between being protective and coddling. I do think too many parents coddle their children.”

– Kami Perritt, 40, patient advocate

Athens

“Yes, sometimes. But we have no choice but to be more protective.”

– Brittany Allwine, 27, homemaker

The Plains

“They have to be more protective; this is a sicker world we live in.”

– Brenda Barth, 58, warehouse employee

Athens

“No, I do not think so. I think they are more aware of issues such as child sexual abuse, depression etc., and this might be misinterpreted as over-protectiveness.”

– Enakshi Roy, 34, teacher

Athens

“Absolutely not. If anything the exact opposite. They let them run amuck.”

– Jessica Kasler, 38, operations manager

Nelsonville

“No, they need to be more protective. In a society where both parents have to work, children are often left to rear themselves.”

– Tracy Simons, 47, program specialist

Glouster

“Yes! we don't let them do anything.”

– Mary Wetzel, 31, mother

Athens

“The culture is changing, and I feel that parents are judged harshly if they aren't seen to shelter their children.”

– Chelsea Freeman, 27, administrator at Ohio University

Athens

 “Yes and I'm a parent. In ways we shelter from the bad sometimes, which I feel now could impact her reality of the outside world, but she's also very bright and knows more of the outside world than I'd like to believe. So in general I'd say still yes but dependent on the family or parents.”

– Bonnie White, 34, Cook 1 at Ohio University

Athens

“Maybe, maybe not. As long as someone's parenting style isn't inflicting harm upon their child, I'd say it's none of our business.”

– Isobel Hutchinson, 24, Ohio University student

Athens

“Absolutely.  Children need to experience consequences to build resiliency and ultimately make good decisions.”

– Kari Lehman, 44, education

Athens

“Our society has become ‘too protective’..."

– Kim Wine, 55, teacher

Glouster

“Yes, I think so.  Children are not free enough to experience life fully without excessive structure and scheduling, and being tethered to their smart phones.  Children need to learn some things through personal experience.  Attempts to protect them from all harm may be counterproductive, just as it's better to build up one's immunity naturally than to rely on pharmaceuticals for everything. The key is for children to develop resiliency. They will experience hardships and setbacks, but the resilient ones will come through this better than those who have been shielded.”

– Lyrr Descy, 68, retired grant writer, currently a landlord

Athens

“No, in fact the opposite. They have to work so much they don't have time for them.”

– Tammy McCauley, 55, retired

Coolville

“Yes and no.”

– Kat Tenbarge, 20, student

Athens

“No, it's a scary world at times. One of the reasons I don't want to have children of my own.”

– Andrea Courts, 31, hairstylist

Athens

“Sometimes. Sometimes they’re not protective enough. I don't think that's any different than previous generations.”

– Anna Stevens, 36, homemaker

Millfield

What are the biggest challenges facing women in America today?

“Reproductive rights being attacked and diminished, pay inequality, and rape culture, to name a few.”

– Anna Stevens, 36, homemaker

Millfield

“Respect. Respect my intelligence, respect my choices, respect my body, respect me.”

– Misti Smith, 38, development coordinator / PTO president / mother / wife

The Plains

“A trend backwards in women's rights.”

– Karen Bailey, 58, certified diabetes educator, dietitian

Athens

“Equality with employment, sexual harassment and assaults.”

– Autumn Brown, 40, manager

Nelsonville

 “The same challenges facing all people in America today, for one too many regulations, too many hoops to jump through to accomplish anything in this day and age.”

– Angie Shamblin, 49, health-care administrator/business owner

Coolville

“Equal pay.”

– Kate Meyers, 87, farmer

Athens

“Dealing with getting accurate information from a biased media.”

– Barbara Lindsay, 71, retired

The Plains

“Mansplaining. Also, women belittling other women. Mean Girls are still out there; there are shows on TV that judge a woman by what she's wearing, not her performance or contribution to society, but how much cellulite she has! I think the notion that women ‘ask for it’ is still a common notion for men, and that is disgusting.”

– Nicole Lewis, 32, quality-control specialist

Nelsonville

 “The challenge right now that I'm finding is having anyone take me seriously. Yes, I have a vagina, but it does not make my experience or input any less valid than that of a penis-having person.”

– Caitlin Seida, 28, writer and media consultant

The Plains

“Trying to keep the progress that has been made without being pulled backwards; trying to remind people what it means to be a true feminist and still trying to break down lingering barriers and obstacles.”

Amie, 50, freelance writer

Glouster

“Fair wages.”

– Tishaunda Stacy, 34, student

Sharpsburg

Photo? - Yes

“Sexual discrimination.”

– Kristen Dempsey, 20, student

Athens

“Being taken serious in male-dominated career fields.”

– Latisha Finan, 31, pharmacy technician

Buchtel

“I think that keeping things progressing for women during this administration will be a challenge. Awareness is growing, but legislation is in peril. While women have made strides throughout history, and I never want to belittle the hard work and sacrifice our foremothers made; we still have a good ways to go.”

– Suzanne Greif, 54, runs a rabbit rescue/graphic designer

Athens

“Trying to find a job.”

– Brittany Hudnall, 20, babysitter

Chauncey

“White men; getting health-care including abortions restricted from them; rape; patriarchy in general.”

– Lyndsey Fought, 32, writer, entertainer

Coolville

“Health care and equal pay.”

– Margaret Demko, 42, social work

Athens

“Pay ineqaulity. Sexism. Rape culture.”

– Kami Perritt, 40, patient advocate

Athens

“Changing gender roles and stereotypes.”

– Brittany Eubanks, 31, police officer

Albany

“Affordable health care. General talk in the media about woman.”

Destiny Hooper, 30, early childhood educator

– Destiny Hooper, 30, early-childhood educator

Athens

“Job equality, hidden sexism.”

– Jamie Broach, 30, speech language pathologist

Athens

“Health care, maternity care in particular. Being able to make decisions about our sexual health without politicians getting involved, including the right to choose to have an abortion.”

– Sarah Lack, 27, communications/marketing

Athens

“Sexism, Sexual harassment/assaults, women not standing up for other women.”

– Connie Patterson, 38, assistant dean

Athens

“Health care.”

– Christina Koon, 25, personal-care assistant

Nelsonville

“Finding good-paying jobs that will work with our hours for child-care purposes.”

– Brittany Allwine, 27, homemaker

The Plains

“Right back to equality.”

– Brenda Barth, 58, warehouse employee

Athens

“Equality.”

– Carleen Dotson, 45, small-business development center adviser

Athens

“Access to health care. Income inequality. Dropping out of workforce because you cannot afford childcare.”

– Enakshi Roy, 34, teacher

Athens

“The inherent sexist nature of our society.”

– Mary McDowell, 27, substitute teacher

Athens

“I think it's a challenge to try to speak for an entire gender. In my own life, as mother to a teen daughter, I just want to raise my child to make good financial decisions, to speak up for those who can't speak for themselves, to give back to the community, to be brave and fearless, to follow her instincts and do something she loves. From a broader perspective, I think we need more strong, smart women in political leadership positions. I think we need people – in general, gender notwithstanding – who are level-headed, bright, compassionate and thoughtful in political leadership. I think we need to stay out of people's womb's and bedrooms and focus on the broader issues affecting our communities.”

– Robin Stock, 41, fundraising

Athens

“Sexual harassment and assault are far too prevalent to be ignored. The #MeToo campaign demonstrates that.”

Isobel Hutchinson, 24, Ohio University student

Athens

Photo? - Yes

“Unequal pay, sexual harassment, lack of family-friendly policies in the workplace, and expensive childcare options.”

– Danielle Guinsler, 32, assistant director, special initiatives

Athens

“Objectification of women in the media, normalizing valuing women only for their appearance, and reducing the value of women's contributions.”

– Kari Lehman, 44, education

Athens

“Hollywood's portrayal of women… Themselves!”

– Kim Wine, 55, teacher

Glouster

Mysogynistic viewpoints becoming more commonplace.”

– Lauren Dick, 42, grant coordinator at Ohio University

New Marshfield

“The culture has coarsened. Political correctness has taken a bad rap, abetted by Donald Trump. What it should be is the development of cultural, racial and gender sensitivity. Political correctness for its own sake is meaningless if it's not accompanied by a willingness to put oneself in the skin of others, to see life through their eyes and experiences. Women will continue to be sexual objects and second-class citizens as long as critical thinking, civics, cultural competency, gender equity and ethical decision-making are not part of the school curriculum and reinforced in the home. Social media have exacerbated the coarsening process, as critical thinking has given way to emotional rants and online shaming shielded by a sense of anonymity. But one of the biggest challenges facing women is the rollback of sexual and reproductive self-determination. If women cannot control their own bodies, and decide for themselves whether and when to become mothers, they are not free. Women typically also give more time to the raising of children and the home ON TOP of their jobs. The workplace needs to be more woman friendly, more family friendly, more flexible. But men need this too.”

– Lyrr Descy, 68, retired grant writer, currently a landlord

Athens

“Health care and choices for our own bodies.”

– Tammy McCauley, 55, retired

Coolville

“Equal pay for equal work.”

– Jessica Kasler, 38, operations manager

Nelsonville

“Equal pay in the workforce, being taken serious, and the ratio of men to women in upper management.”

– Tracy Simons, 47, program specialist

Glouster

“Men.”

– Mary Wetzel, 31, mother

Athens

“To be taken seriously. We have gotten better at standing up for ourselves than in the past.”

– Teresa Grimes, 60, mother’s helper

Albany

“Assault and discrimination.”

– Heather Perin, 33, farmer

Athens

“Rights to family planning, lack of support for mothers, sexual harassment.”

– Chelsea Freeman, 27, administrator at Ohio University

Athens

 “I think sexual assault and harassment on campus and in the workplace is the biggest challenge for American women today.”

– Lindsey Curnutte, 21, student

Athens

“Gender roles, sexual harassment and assault & for women of color, racism.”

– Kat Tenbarge, 20, student

Athens

“Sexism, health care.”

– Meg Saunders, 33, assistant prosecutor

The Plains

“Being seen equally, still... after all these years.”

– Andrea Courts, 31, hairstylist

Athens

What male-dominated roles would you like to see filled by more women?

“I would love to see more women in government roles of power, hopefully presidency is coming.”

– Nicole Lewis, 32, quality-control specialist

Nelsonville

“I'd like to see more women in infrastructure: public works, engineering and planning.”

– Caitlin Seida, 28, writer and media consultant

The Plains

“Science, definitely. I would also love to have more women in the forefront of politics at every level. We have far too many men making decisions for and about women without any input from them.”

Amie, 50, freelance writer

Glouster

 “The literary canon, so dominated by the writings of long-deceased white males, would do well to include female voices – particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds.”

The presidency also comes to mind.

– Lily Herold, 18, student

Athens

“I don't know of any career choices that woman haven't already made advances in. Most career roles can be filled by either sex and are today.”

– Angie Shamblin, 49, health-care administrator/business owner

Coolville

“All roles.”

– Kate Meyers, 87, farmer

Athens

“Any and all.”

– Barbara Lindsay, 71, retired

The Plains

“Police officers.”

– Tishaunda Stacy, 34, student

Sharpsburg

“Lawyers.”

– Kristen Dempsey, 20, student

Athens

“President.”

– Latisha Finan, 31, pharmacy technician

Buchtel

“Politics, of course, may be the most important male-dominated career women need to fill. We have more than ever, but need more women, especially women who support our rights.”

– Suzanne Greif, 54, runs a rabbit rescue/graphic designer

Athens

“STEM field, entertainment industry, CEO (general).”

– Lyndsey Fought, 32, writer, entertainer

Coolville

“Legal and elected positions.”

– Margaret Demko, 42, social work

Athens

“Politics!”

– Kami Perritt, 40, patient advocate

Athens

“Presidency.”

– Christina Koon, 25, personal-care assistant

Nelsonville

“Any. Women should be able to go into any job market.”

– Brittany Allwine, 27, homemaker

The Plains

“The president.”

– Brenda Barth, 58, warehouse employee

Athens

“All. In this time this should not be a question. Women should be in any role.”

– Carleen Dotson, 45, small-business development center adviser

Athens

“Judges. Police. Councilwomen. Politicians. Policy makers.”

– Enakshi Roy, 34, teacher

Athens

“Politics for sure.”

– Jessica Kasler, 38, operations manager

Nelsonville

“Upper management in major corporations.”

– Tracy Simons, 47, program specialist

Glouster

“I would just like to see more equal disbursement of management and leadership positions.”

– Mary Wetzel, 31, mother

Athens

“The presidency.”

– Teresa Grimes, 60, mother’s helper

Albany

“They already are.”

– Heather Perin, 33, farmer

Athens

“STEM careers are a growing field where women seem to have more challenges than men.”

– Chelsea Freeman, 27, administrator at Ohio University

Athens

“Literally, all of them.”

– Mary McDowell, 27, substitute teacher

Athens

“I mean... any of them, I guess. I think smart, capable women can succeed in any field, given the opportunity. But we also need to see more people of color in these opportunities, and people with disabilities.”

– Robin Stock, 41, fundraising

Athens

“Leading roles as so to speak. Also for the leading ladies to be paid more equal wages, not less than our men. A lot of women doing the same jobs are paid less and it's 2017. This should be unacceptable to most. These women are mothers, wives and leaders, and that takes a lot of multitasking and being able to do it with grace.”

– Bonnie White, 34, Cook 1 at Ohio University

Athens

“I'd love to see more of us get into trades. The world will always need electricians and plumbers.”

– Isobel Hutchinson, 24, Ohio University student

Athens

“Politics, engineering, technology.”

– Danielle Guinsler, 32, assistant director, special initiatives

Athens

“It's an issue in every role, from academics to politics to Hollywood to the hospital to the corporate board room.”

– Kari Lehman, 44, education

Athens

“The most qualified individual, regardless of gender, should get the job.”

– Kim Wine, 55, teacher

Glouster

“Grounds at Ohio University.”

– Lauren Dick, 42, grant coordinator at Ohio University

New Marshfield

 “None I can think of off the top of my head.  All careers should be open to all people as long as they can perform them. The question is what criteria one uses to evaluate performance and aptitude: up to now, too many professions have been evaluated according to male criteria. That needs to change so that the different abilities and experiences and perspectives of women (51 percent of the population) are not sidelined as irrelevant or at any rate less important, less valid.”

– Lyrr Descy, 68, retired grant writer, currently a landlord

Athens

“Politics.”

– Tammy McCauley, 55, retired

Coolville

“I’d like to see more women in politics, not only for elected office, like the president and in the House and Senate, but political jobs in general.”

– Lindsey Curnutte, 21, student

Athens

“Business executives, filmmaking, technology & engineering.”

– Kat Tenbarge, 20, student

Athens

“Government jobs, leaders, business CEOs.”

– Meg Saunders, 33, assistant prosecutor

The Plains

“All of them!”

– Andrea Courts, 31, hairstylist

Athens

 

 “Politics, STEM and management roles.”

– Anna Stevens, 36, homemaker

Millfield

“Being a police officer, I am already in a male-dominated field so it would be nice to see more and more women in law enforcement.”

– Brittany Eubanks, 31, police officer

Albany

“Politicians.”

– Destiny Hooper, 30, early-childhood educator

Athens

“STEM fields.”

– Jamie Broach, 30, speech language pathologist

Athens

“STEM and politics at every level.”

– Sarah Lack, 27, communications/marketing

Athens

“The presidency!”

– Connie Patterson, 38, assistant dean

Athens

 “I would love to see more women-owned businesses and more women involved in politics.”

– Misti Smith, 38, development coordinator / PTO president / mother / wife

The Plains

“Mayors, governors, Congress and presidency and military.”

– Karen Bailey, 58, certified diabetes educator, dietitian

Athens

“Politicians!”

– Autumn Brown, 40, manager

Nelsonville

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