Chapter XVII

because you never know someone from the very beginning



How Men Accommodate Women

I have been deep within my own life of late.   Have not taken much time to allow my mind to open to things other than work.  Or, frankly, to be open to thinking about observing life.  I have just been in the thick of it.

And all is well.  This is not a sign of bad things. 

But today I was rattled back into the land of the blogging.  I heard someone say "we can accomodate her need to start a family."  This was not directed at me.   It was outside of my scope of existence – but I overheard it and I thought "Hmmmm" as I looked down at the firm name on the bag said sayer was carrying.  I almost turned to him and said "How kind of you, to accomodate a woman being pregnant in your workplace.  I am so sorry I did not bring a medal to hand you."

And then I thought, no.  Let me not be mean.  I do think it’s ridiculous that people think we "accomodate" a WOMAN’s need to start a family.  It was not about the husband.  It’s perhaps his need, but not his problem that needs to be accomodated.

I have mixed feelings about this.  On the one hand, I hate that it’s a woman thing.  On the other hand, it’s not the guy who is out of commission for some period of time (maybe it should be – hello, anyone seen the pump?).  So since I am befuddled on whether or not this is actually offensive, I will reserve judgement for now.  But I do think it’s interesting that it’s always HER issue.  Just like when a father stays home with the kid one night, people say he is "babysitting."  No, friends, he is PARENTING. 

Bullshit Balls

Have you heard of these "Purity Balls" being held around the country?  Info here.  Are you starving for a ticket?  Perhaps you are out shopping for a snowy white dress right now for your innocent daughter.

The pictures on the site are downright creepy.  Weird men surrounded by their doting daughters.  Good luck, everyone.  Tell your kids sex is bad and you will be tainted forever if you have it.  Oh yeah, you are evil too.  That’s the way to keep them "pure."

This type of thing just perpetuates stereotypes about women and girls.    It’s clearly not possible to teach girls how to lead healthy sex lives, or perhaps abstain because the guys who are trying to get in their pants are well, like typical teenage guys.  What about trying to build their self confidence through positive means?  Making them realize they don’t need to have sex with some crater faced putz to be worthwhile.  No no, tell her she’s UNPURE if she decides to have sex.  Fire and brimstone. 

And dare I ask, what do these same folks teach their sons?  Well I bet a WHOLE LOTTA NOTHIN because little dude is not even around for the lecture, he is out trying to impregnate half the neighborhood.  No matter, if teenagers have sex, it’s the GIRL’S fault.  She is the one who took the vow of purity, right?  Right. 

Booo to South Carolina

There are times when I am light and airy on this blog.  Not today.   I read an article this morning that has my knickers in a twist.  Check this out.  In South Carolina a bill was approved that would require a woman to view an ultrasound of her fetus before she has an abortion.  Under any circumstance.  If she was raped.  If she is a victim of incest.  No matter.

Pure punishment of evil evil women.  And the father?  No mention of him whatsoever.  It’s insulting and condescending to women, in addition to simply being (in my opinion) WRONG.  Senators, get the hell out of my body.

I wonder if anywhere in our justice system in addition to sending a murderer to prison, we force them to watch or listen to evidence of their transgression over and over (assuming of course that evidence exists).  Ummm, nope.  Just women who don’t want to have a child.

I am now boycotting South Carolina (not sure what that would mean…no trips to Charleston?  but I will find some way!).  This kind of crap makes me want to march on the very lawns of the legislators that think this makes sense. 

More Dusting, Less Cancer!

And people say sexism is dead.  Oh contraire, friends, OH CONTRAIRE!  Check out this officially sponsored pile of crap.  I mean, this must have been sponsored by the Get Women Out of the Workplace Society, in this case, otherwise known as the journal entitled Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention.  You have to read it to believe it, but the title is (and I kid you not), "Housework Cuts Breast Cancer Risk".

Oh, you gotta laugh.  Let’s not focus on researching a real cure or prevention, let’s spend more dough on SWIFFERS to avoid cancer.

The F Word

There is a lot of controversy around the word FEMINIST.

Many women I know would be horrified to be labeled "feminist".  This is too bad, since the reason many of us have the opportunity to work, have choices and are not automatically assumed to be idiots is thanks to the Women’s Movement.  But nevermind all that.  The word Feminist has ironically militaristic, man-hating overtones.  Too bad, really.  Particularly considering there is still a lot of work to be done for women to be fully equal (I could go on and on about this but don’t have time at this moment to climb yet another Soapbox, or write my Manifesto, excuse me – Womanifesto, or even Chickifesto!).  In lieu of that, I thought I would post this which I saw online courtesy of helenbettysgrrl


Boobs in the Boardroom, and Other Fanciful Tales

Hello world, I am woman!

You might ask, why does this matter?  I would love to think it doesn’t matter – being a woman.  Has no effect on my day whatsoever.  But that would be lies, darn lies!  Not only is there PMS to contend with, but darn it all, there is still sexism out there. 

"Ah, hellooo", you might be saying, "what did you expect?"

Well I expect more of people.  The problem is, sexism, racism, classism, other related "isms" are not as obvious today (i.e. when is the last time you saw a "No Women Here" sign?) and because they are more subtle but still exist, I contend they are more dangerous.  Bias is all around and everyone is in denial, so nothing changes.  And it’s much harder to fight because it’s not overt.

A few examples:
– I had an argument with a man who is nice to men, crummy and condescending to women.  Happens in every case I have witnessed with this particular man.  Is it a trend or does it just happen to be that all these women he interacts with really suck more than men?

– I was in a meeting last week.  Progressive company.  8 people in the room.  I was the only woman.  Oh wait, there was that woman who brought in more coffee…right.  It’s 2006, remember that.

– Also in said meeting, a fellow meeting participant insisted on calling me Mrs. Sachs.  In fact, I think at one point I was simply referred to as "The Mrs."  (jokingly of course HA HAHA can’t you take a JOKE you sensitive WOMAN!).  I turned my rings around self conciously, hiding the evidence, suppressing any thoughts they might have had that now I am to be taken less seriously ("Oh she won’t be around here much longer anyway – baby track you know").  Too bad the term "baby track" also has negative connotations.  Children are our future, right?

– My husband has yet to asked what it’s like to settle in to married life.  Me, I have been asked no less than 6 times.  Settle in to married life?  What?  I am now a wife and my life is supposed to change?  More on that in another post.

Let me be clear, I think women can be pretty horrible to one another – it’s not men that are at fault.  I recently left a women’s networking group because the minute I asked "Hey, how can I get something out of this that helps my career?" I was treated like a hostile interloper.  You could practically hear the whispers "GOD how selfish IS she??"

I don’t want to harp on this; bitching does no good.  But I wanted to get it off my chest.  It’s irritating that this crap exists. 

All this makes me want to have a second glass of wine to grin and bare it.  But I am not a drunkard.  I have one glass and embrace the boobs.  They are the outward and visble sign (ok, not SO visible but give me a break) that I am woman and darn it that is good.  I can work, I can have kids, I can feed an infant (hope so anyway), I can bring home the bacon and cook it up in a pan.  Be proud of the boobs!  Welcome them into the board room.  It’s about time.

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