Yesterday, through my Possibly Related Posts section I clicked onto a blog written by a young, sophisticated professional (her words) woman from Boston. She had some first date tips:
It’s proper protocol for a man to initiate the first date. A good man will know where he wants to take a woman; it should be well-thought out based on previous conversations and research…… A man should be willing to pick you up from wherever you are, that’s if you want him to.
At first I was pretty surprised, but then I realized that my daughter’s circle of friends operates within these 1950s boundaries as well. Even with all the stuff that goes on in high schools these days, the girls still wait to be asked out by the guys.
I often wonder exactly what our sisters in the 1960s accomplished. I’m not quite old enough to remember life for women prior to “women’s liberation”, so maybe there’s a whole bunch of stuff we just take for granted. But I have to wonder sometimes how it is we burned our soft cotton bras four decades ago and have ended up with upholstered, wired, polyester ones instead. (metaphor).
The feminist movement opened up professional and blue collar jobs that used to be held only by men. This was supposed to give women options. I’m thinking we got a little screwed here. Because now we have to work, we don’t really have an option. We have to work because before women hit the workforce full-on, housing cost one week’s salary. Now, it costs two weeks’ salary, which means we need two salaries to cover the same expenses we used to be able to cover with one.
Women also need to work, it seems, to define themselves. Those who can manage to be stay-at-home moms are seen as somehow not quite as valuable as women who are out there in the workforce. The stay-at-home moms themselves seem to feel inadequate because they’re not bringing money into the household. This is crazy, in my opinion. Did feminism intend to disparage a job as important as raising children and keeping a home?
And, although most women do hold down a full-time job outside the home, they are still the primary care givers and homemakers. Everyone still gets all excited when a man knows how to cook or when the wife comes home and hubby has vacuumed. He stands beaming in the middle of the living room waiting for copious praise.
- Men still have almost all the high-powered jobs – there are very few women politicians, CEOs. Women still do almost all the service jobs – secretaries (oh, excuse me…administrative assistants), social workers, nurses, hospitality industry workers, etc., etc.
- Women still make 20% less than their male counterparts.
- Crimes against women are still mostly punished as misdemeanors, often receiving less severe sentences than property crimes.
- Women are still responsible for children. Men can spawn children and shrug off the responsibility of raising them pretty easily. It can take decades for the molasses-slow system to try and enforce any child support orders. Dead beat dads have all sorts of legal “outs’ to avoid supporting their kids. Most never have to. At least in the 1950s men had to join the Foreign Legion or something to get out of supporting their children.
- And, single mothers are looked at askance. Of course, 40 years ago I would have been stoned to death or something, but even today, when doctors or teachers find out I’m a single mom, they suddenly become extra-patronizing. Social workers are called every time my child sustains an injury. People assume I have no money and am borderline retarded.
- There are still women all over the world who are legally considered chattel, who have no rights, who are treated like unpaid servants, who are abused, mutilated and killed with no repercussion.
- There are still women in countries like the US who are not allowed to decide whether or not they wish to get pregnant or carry a fetus to term and give birth.
- Women’s lives still revolve around getting a man, keeping a man, looking good for their man, making their man happy. A quick look at the women’s magazines, television programs, movies, shopping centres, cosmetic surgeon’s offices, etc., will confirm this.
- And, “feminism” is some sort of dirty word these days. What happened to that whole movement? We’re not exactly done yet, are we?
I know, I know…men have lots of problems too. They are shut out of employment equity opportunities. They are always portrayed as blithering idiots by the media. Their testicles are vulnerable, blah, blah. But this post is about women, okay?