Gilda Evan’s Blog Article on The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap: A Metaphor of Tolerance and Strong Feminine

I’m at work, as a Nurse Practitioner in a rural clinic in Ojai, CA.,
where I also live with my husband Terry and our two rescue
dogs, Max and Bella. Thoughts arise while doing a pap smear or a
scheduling a patient for a mammogram, that I’m very fortunate,
that I get to help wonderful women, to empower fabulous women,
every time I go to work. It’s no wonder then that I chose a strong female
protagonist as the pivotal character in my new novel, The Persecution of
Mildred Dunlap.

It’s often been stated, jokingly and in earnest, that a lot of the
world’s problems could be solved with more women in charge: of politics,
medicine, law, business, etc.—an infusing of the female energy, a motherly
love; a concerned intelligent wisdom into our problem-inundated world.
It is therefore also no coincidence I chose a strong female figure to
demonstrate, in this chronicle of hatred and prejudice, how love and
friendship, based in tolerance, heal.

Were Mildred Dunlap alive in the 1950s when Betty Friedan wrote
The Feminine Mystique, she would have been an exception to the unhappy
rule, where women’s magazines were run mostly by men that showed women as either happy housewives or neurotic career women. Mildred was her own person, her own boss, kept her own counsel, rare in 1950, unheard of in 1895,when the story takes place. But, a strong woman in any time period surpasses the norms, which is what Mildred Dunlap did. She was not only strong intellectually, she understood tolerance. She lived it, and being a lesbian in the closet gave her good reason.

Tolerance, freedom from bigotry, was natural for Mildred. While the small
town she lived in went ballistic with gossip over the imprisonment of
Oscar Wilde, for having sex with another male, Mildred maintained an
objectivity of those around her, in seeing their hatred and violence, even
when directed at her. To see the human condition for what it is, to live
among it, and maintain a fair permissive attitude, when race, religion,
sexual preference, nationality, etc. differ from one’s own, is manifesting
tolerance. Mildred held her position of strength and tolerance, despite threat
to her health and life, and in the end it was this combination that surmounted
the hatred, the prejudice, and violence, to bring resolution.

About The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

The year 1895 was filled with memorable historical events: the Dreyfus Affair divided France; Booker T. Washington gave his Atlanta address; Richard Olney, United States Secretary of State, expanded the effects of the Monroe Doctrine in settling a boundary dispute between the United Kingdom and Venezuela; and Oscar Wilde was tried and convicted for "gross indecency" under Britian's recently passed law that made sex between males a criminal offense. When the news of Wilde's conviction went out over telegraphs worldwide, it threw a small Nevada town into chaos. This is the story of what happened when the lives of its citizens were impacted by the news of Oscar Wildes' imprisonment. It is chronicle of hatred and prejudice with all its unintended and devastating consequences, and how love and friendship bring strength and healing. Paulette Mahurin, the author, is a Nurse Practitioner who lives in Ojai, California with her husband Terry and their two dogs--- Max and Bella. She practices women's health in a rural clinic and writes in her spare time. All profits from her book are going to animal rescue, Santa Paula Animal Shelter, the first and only no-kill shelter in Ventura County, CA, where she lives. (see links below on Ventura County Star Article & Shelter) To find out more please go the The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap on facebook or Amazon or e-mail us at the gavatar addresses. Thank you. (photos: of Paulette, her family, and a reading at The Ojai Art Center, July 2012)
This entry was posted in ARTICLES, BLOGGER'S REVIEWS, INTERVIEWS, EXCERPTS, INTERVIEWS. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Gilda Evan’s Blog Article on The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap: A Metaphor of Tolerance and Strong Feminine

  1. natuurfreak says:

    Great post for reading.

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