Archive for the ‘feminism’ Category

alone

August 13, 2013

There is something about being home alone that is just too great for words.

I just want to run around naked yelling WOO HOO until that gets old, then sit down with chips and whiskey and watch TV.

I don’t have TV.

However, I do have whiskey. And my roommates are out picking up dinner, so I will hold off on the chips.

For now.

I am reading Caitlin Moran’s How to be a woman and enjoying myself.  I am imagining that I have a friend like this, feminist and hilarious and saying things I can agree with at least 80 percent of the time.

I admin a small group of atheists.  I’m not really in charge of anything so much as I bake cookies and have people over.  However the group has managed to attract not one, but two abused women.

Now really, I don’t mean to complain.  I have been in an abusive relationship myself, and it’s not like I hold it against them.  I get it.  I get it in a way that they might not appreciate, not now, when there’s this male overlord of their life and they are refusing to look that reality in the face.  I get it.

It’s just that I have this crazy idea that maybe, most women are not in abusive relationships.  Maybe they are single and maybe not, but they are respected and appreciated, and people of all genders are generally kind and considerate toward each other.

I had this crazy idea that I could start this group and we would be a bunch of somewhat-literate, thinking, rational atheists who get together and watch movies and chat and eat chips and drink whiskey together.

So far the group has attracted two odd couples and a few single males.

There’s a woman my age who hasn’t been employed a day in her life, I don’t think.  She’s recently had a baby and is quite happy, but I’m not sure her husband is such a nice person.

There’s a young woman who’s a few years out of high school.  She was in the foster care system and eventually adopted.  She’s very clever, got a 4.0 in high school, and she’s with a guy who I really dislike but I am trying very hard to be fair.  He is unemployed and a caricature of a libertarian; she is, like I said, very clever and wants to go to school and be a programmer.  Her boyfriend wants her to do some team-truck-driving thing with him.  It’s his dream.

Sorry.  I’m trying to be fair.

What I’m getting at is, I’m tired of abuse and manipulation and lazy entitled males who get away with it and always will.

I was chatting with one of my roommates last night about how these dudes can get away with it, the abuse I mean.  And he said, “It all goes back to the fear of being cheated on.”

“Well,” I answered, “I guess that’s why I don’t get it.  Because I don’t fear that.”

That’s not literally true.  I would hate to be cheated on, and I would probably end a relationship if I’d been cheated on (again) (as my ex-husband did).

But have you ever seen those Twitter tags that go something like, #myboyfriendbetternot and it’s always about cheating, or looking at another girl, or texting, etc.

And that is just not the first thing that pops into my head.  “My boyfriend better not think I’m gonna do his laundry!”

But as I thought about it, I remembered my ex.

He’d confessed to his godsister that he’d cheated on me.  It had happened before we got married.  She told him he had to tell me.  So he took her advice.

And I’m no psychiatrist, but when he told me that, I think I just shut down.

“Do you forgive me?” he asked.

Yeah, sure.

I mean, what could I do about it at this point?  I’d already traded my professional-level job for a high-school-level position.  I’d married him and moved in with him.  Really, what was I supposed to do?  We were married.  I knew what that meant.  I had to forgive him.  Had to, or else all kinds of things would happen that were 100 percent against my programming as a Christian female.

So I forgave him.

And I disconnected some cables in the computer of my brain, if you’ll pardon the dramatic metaphor.

So of course when he confessed to cheating on me again, eight years later, I just stared at the wall and said “Okay.”

How many times do you think he didn’t tell me about?  With that kind of reaction out of me?  He might as well have been telling me that he’d lost the keys to his car but found them a minute later.

So what I’m getting at is, these atheists in the group (my roommate argued) don’t have the security that god is watching the wife, so they feel like they have to use other manipulations to control her.  Because being cheated on is the worst.

But I was just thinking that maybe there’s were some women in the world who might like to be my friend.

And maybe those women wouldn’t have their significant other telling them, “Nobody likes you. You’re crazy and they are just putting up with you.”

Or, if that’s not a relevant method of control: conning her out of her wages and making it so that if she wants to go somewhere, she has to borrow his car because she doesn’t have her own.

I was thinking there would be some women who could come over and run around the house with me and have chips and whiskey.

I think I would be an okay friend.

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why women in combat are beside the point

January 23, 2013

Females are allowed to serve in combat now, and this is supposed to be a great thing for females and a win for feminists.

It is not.

Of course it is fantastic that soldiers will be judged on their skills and ability rather than on their sex.  And, of course, females may struggle to qualify for these positions that have opened up– after all, most males don’t qualify for those positions.

Panetta’s decision was obviously a correct move– as long as the qualifications don’t change.  It is a mistake to deny anyone opportunity and prestige before they are even tried.

But it’s still beside the point, and here’s why.

It encourages this idea that females are only good enough if they can do the things males can do.

So if male work is worth more, female work is valued less– just by virtue of it’s being done by a female.

Obviously females should not be rejected from lines of work, or activities, than males traditionally do. 

But think about a nurse, homemaker, secretary, librarian or elementary school teacher.  They are probably female. 

Now if you think about a doctor, lawyer, or university professor, those professions are probably are lot less gendered, but leaning male.

But maybe a computer technician, sports commentator, truck driver– you think male, right?

And if you see a female in those professions, you might think she’s pretty special, because you know she’s probably worked twice as hard for half the credit.

Pilot vs. flight attendant.

Lawyer vs. paralegal.

Doctor vs. nurse.

Do you see where I’m going with this?  The problem isn’t that females aren’t participating in male professions– that can be overcome by females working hard and proving their value.

The problem is that males aren’t participating in female professions.  That would require an enormous change in the way we all value work and gender.

Haven’t you met a male who was great with kids– who would have made a great mother?  But I wonder: as much as he loved his kids and enjoyed making a home and raising them, how long do you think he could stand it, after a lifetime of people teaching and reinforcing the idea that males are providers— that they just don’t do that Why?  Just because!

Have you met a male nurse?  Didn’t you wonder why he wasn’t a doctor– if there was something wrong with him; if he couldn’t cut it, if he was just lazy, or ran out of financial aid or something?

But I bet you didn’t think that about a female nurse.

Myself, I’m a librarian.  And while most of the librarians I’ve worked with have been female, how many library directors do you think were female?

Ah… now we might see some advantage to being a male in a female profession.  But that’s a bit off-topic.

Right now, I’m glad females have another opportunity.  But it still makes me wince.