Thursday, March 24, 2005
A Must-Read From Aunt B!
Forget what you know about "urban feminism". This piece is told from a good ol' country gal's perspective. Of course, I love to read stuff from the city folks too. But sometimes my life experiences make it hard for me to relate to what they're talking about.
Here's one snippet from the post:
We white Midwesterners really do segregate by gender--women in the kitchen, men on the couch in front of the TV. In the kitchen, crowded around sinks or hunched over luke-warm coffee, you learn more about the ways that men do women wrong than you can bear. As we're talking around things, in our typical way, you learn which silences mean rape, which mean abuse, which mean infidelity, and which mean the marriage is over. You learn the quiet ways women warn each other about which coaches must be watched and which Sunday School teachers need "help" with their classes. You learn a lot about sucking it up and taking it. You learn a lot about being trapped. You learn to feel lucky with your limited options.Yep. So far, that sounds like my household growing up!
Critics of feminism act like women were content with their lives until the women's libbers ruined it. But I'm here to tell you that in places where feminists are casually dismissed as angry dykes, women are quietly seething.
But don't mistake Aunt B. for someone playing victim politics here. Rather, she calls on women and girls to take control of their own destinies.
But, nieces, here we are, chance culminations of the history of the universe until now. Put down some real roots, in good, fertile soil. Let yourself grow to your rightful shape. Take up the space that's due you. Read and write and dance and play, because you can. Laugh because it unsettles the powerful. Do you want a lover who is good to you? Stop rewarding jackasses with the gift of your holy heart. Do you get what I'm saying to you? This is all we have, this is all the time we have, and you, who are as blessed and sacred as anyone, are wasting time hesitating.Well said, Aunt B! Bless your heart!
Here's what I know: no one will give you the life you deserve. You have to just start living it. You have no obligations to any person or institution who wastes your time with nonsense that kills your soul.
Folks, these excerpts here don't do it justice. You really must read the whole thing.
My (late) mother was one of the delicate flowers who married a brute, but refused to leave. Before she died last summer, they celebrated their 43th anniversary. She was an intelligent, professional woman, who could never quite shake her traditional nature. In her case, “love” was the determining factor and she convinced herself that it was all that mattered. I hope to engrain into my little girl (9 on Monday) the importance of mutual respect, rather than cultural roles.
That said, today's self-entitled, "but, but, but ... that's different" woman I run into far too many times has the attitude of "Princess when I wanna be/equal when it suits me".
BOTH parties should define what they want and be willing to compromise and be empathetic. Relationships take work.
Men AND women have our grousing sessions. Blaming a whole gender is, and I speak from experience here, going to bring you nothing but misery and bitterness.
I hope I added to the discussion.