There are so many fundraising events in the Santa Clarita Valley that they begin to smear together into a psychedelic swirl of invites that I pitch into the trash bin as fast as they are opened. So, it was unusual to see one, which was handed to me, that caught my eye. Not initially, but after rereading it a second time. It was the flyer for the Valley Industrial Associations (VIA) Hollywood Canteen Bash.

The secondary headline for the benefit stated, “Where the Greatest Generation Danced With The Most Beautiful Girls In The World.” Wow! That basically says that the greatest generation were men, which is the furthest thing from the truth. The term greatest generation is a euphemism that describes the men and women who served in all capacities of the war effort during World War II.

VIA completely objectifies women as “beautiful girls” who were only around to dance with and entertain the men. That is blatant misogyny—a complete denigration of women and the amazing roles that they filled during one the darkest times in our Nation’s history.

More than 350,000 women served in the United States Armed Forces and sixteen were confirmed killed in action. They had their own branches including: The Women's Army Corps or (WAC), the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), the Women Accepted for Volunteer Military Services (WAVES). More than two hundred army nurses died during the war. And let’s not forget that on the home front many women were part of the civil defense programs across the country, raised money for war bonds, and so much more.

Women were on aircraft assembly lines, remember Rosie the Riveter, and filling other traditionally male dominated jobs. Women made up a tremendous amount of the expanded industrial output and filled in the labor force because so many men were sent into combat. These are women that kept the country, the factories, the industrial complex running during desperate times.

Yes, I used the word women and industrial in the same sentence. Something that VIA should be cognitive of in the future. Whatever dumbass created that flyer should be bounced out in the street. In fact, why is there a VIA? There is already a Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce, isn’t it a bit redundant to have a separate valley industrial association? Wouldn’t it be a more efficient organization if they were combined as one? There are too many overlapping organizations in SCV and elsewhere, which is a waste of critical resources.

The antiquated thinking on display at VIA, exemplified by that flyer, says to me that they should reconsider what their role is in SCV. Times have changed and women deserve every bit of respect that men get—equal pay, equal treatment, and equal recognition, both past and present for the jobs that they do. VIA has egg on its face and owes a public apology to women everywhere.

The sponsors of the VIA Hollywood Canteen Bash should rethink their involvement with this unnecessary organization that views women as eye-candy to dance with and not as the capable, hard working, intelligent, people they are. It shows that ignorance runs deep at VIA and the flyer more than proves that point.

I will not be participating in that fundraiser. VIA, use your big head next time!

Dave Bossert—commentary

Dave Bossert is a community volunteer who serves on several boards and councils. He and his wife have raised two young ladies as independent women who can and will accomplish anything they set their minds to. His commentaries represent his own opinions and not necessarily the views of any organization he may be affiliated with or those of The SCV Beacon.