Monday, April 16, 2012

"There's no satisfaction for a man, unless....."

Betty, Bella, and Gloria - 1972
Remember that feminist movement thing in the 60s and 70s?  The one with Bella Abzug and Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem and Simone de Beauvoir? The one that happened so that we could make our own choices? We demanded equality in the workplace. We did not want to be tracked toward being only mommies, teachers and nurses; we wanted to be doctors and lawyers or, as in my case, directors. A lot of us were out there blazing trails. Some did it with flair, panache and publicity; others did it quietly, from underneath like tulips emerging in the spring. We believed we were making a difference and that future generations of women would not have to struggle to make those choices.

Or not.

When I heard Hilary Rosen’s remarks, I was totally offended.  I’m no fan of either Romney, but Ms Rosen was dead wrong in her comment about “never worked a day in her life.” Since she was not party to the discussions about what Mrs. Romney would or would not do, Ms Rosen has nothing to say on the subject.

Equally offensive was Michele (the Moron) Bachman’s comment:
           “One thing I know is when women are home full-time they have 
            a better pulse on the economy than probably their husband has.”

She claims she meant that women see prices rise first because they’re traditional grocery shoppers, but she damned an entire segment of the population with a reference as judgmental as Ms. Rosen’s.

Both of these women just fired unnecessary salvos right at the sisterhood. We fought those battles so women could choose one, the other, or even both. But the point is, we do get to choose...and both those women denigrated our choices no matter what they are.

I think what pisses me off most is that millions of women are going about their daily business working in jobs, getting paychecks, feeding their families, in addition to all the things we used to do when we were stay-at-home-ladies without having decreed more hours in the day. The expectation is that we simply shoulder the increased burden.

And we do. We do it because not working is not always an option. We look at what we do, take pride in what we do, and know that we’re setting a positive example for the women who will come after us….much the same way Betty and Bella, Gloria and Simone did when we were first making those waves. 

But it’s becoming increasingly clear that there is a growing political movement that would quash the gains we have made. Candidates Perry, Santorum, and Romney stood behind their podia and made pronouncements that would limit the choices women have. They would penalize us for having that which they don’t have: a uterus. We can grow new life and they cannot. That, dear readers, is not penis envy; it’s uterus envy. And we’re on to them.

Now, who hasn’t heard of LYSISTRATA? This is a little play written about 2500 years ago by a Greek guy named Aristophanes. In the play, the women want the interminable Peloponnesian War to stop. So when other methodologies fail to convince the guys running the war to knock it off, Lysistrata convinces the women to do what comes naturally: cut the menfolk off in the bedroom to force them to negotiate for peace.

If our male politicians want to use our sex against us, I would suggest that we follow Lysistrata’s example. If they want to inhibit access to birth control, we inhibit access to the birth canal.  If they want to limit our choices of what we can do with our bodies, well, I suggest we limit what they can do with theirs.

And to be honest, it isn't just about the  bedroom; it's about not rolling over and playing dead while these guys threaten everything we've held dear as a society. They are threatening social justice in ways that 20 year ago we would've thought impossible. The vast majority of the programs they threaten to cut target women and children, as well as our ability to care for our families. 

War has indeed been declared against the gender that makes up approximately 50.8% of the US population. Either we stand together as women against this attempt to drag the country back to the 19th century, or we should all start getting fitted for whalebone corsets. You know, of course, if they win, whalebone will suddenly become available…

Get my drift?

Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
There's no satisfaction for a man, unless the woman shares it.
                                                                                               c. 411 B.C.E


  1. Truce! Truce! For the love of heaven, Truce.

  2. And here I thought I wasn't gettin' any (get my drift) cause I hadn't done the dishes in a week...

    By the way, whalebone corsets are not a good fashion idea in the summer months. Good luck with that.

  3. I'm so glad I found your blog last month. Every post is a treasure!

    I'm 60 and I remember well the days when a woman sitting solo at a restaurant table was considered by many "decent" people to be "asking for it." I kid you not! And as happy as I've been to see many of our advances taken for granted in recent years, I fear we all need to be retelling our stories as a warning.

    1. Hey! Thanks for the kind words!

      I know you're not kidding...I was there. I also remember being told to go make food for the men who were planning the demonstrations. I was an early adapter; I thought that was offensive. The other "women" told me to relax.

      I haven't relaxed yet.

  4. went to your blog after reading your comment on Stanley Fish's column in todays NYTimes. Enjoyed reading! very smart and funny and seasoned with wit that has come from experience and good reference. i have many Women coming back to school that take my classes and they are indeed more savvy than me in many cases and i feel they are there as testaments to what i profess in my practicals of studio and cultural excavation and innovation. i am going to share this blog with them as i think they will appreciate it, as i do. Greg Metz
    University of Texas at Dallas. Visual Arts Prof. I hope to encourage you to continue! i like your bookshelves with no titles spines!