KTEP - El Paso, Texas

Kitty Eisele

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AILSA CHANG, HOST:

In many countries, citizenship means you are required to do something. In America, a fundamental right for many is the freedom from government.

But the 2016 election saw voter turnout at a 20-year low. Some polls show a public either turned off by politics and government, or unwilling to engage with people with different views. Other polls show many Americans are uninformed when it comes to basic facts about their country.

In the summer of 1936, a plain and sturdy farm woman from southern Minnesota traveled to New York to meet the mayor, stay at the Waldorf, dine at the Stork Club and make headlines in every major newspaper.

That woman was Susan Eisele, my grandmother, who Country Home magazine selected — out of 4,000 entrants — as its "Rural Correspondent of the Year."

The award came with a $200 prize and a two-week trip to New York and Washington.

Remember that health class you had in middle school? Where you found out all that stuff about your body? We wondered why there wasn't a class like that for middle age. Could someone tell us what happens to us as we move through the decades?

Morning Edition asked listeners to send their questions about women's bodies and aging as part of our ongoing series Changing Lives of Women. We heard from hundreds of you asking about everything from sleeplessness to STDs to sex in old age.