Tag: feminism

Boys who need broken winged girls

“I call it broken wing syndrome,” I explained to my friend, another mother of sons, who was telling me about how one of her sons always seems to find girlfriends who “have just gone through a bad breakup,” or are “having a hard time at home” or are just a “hot mess” as we say in the South.

“And it is its own form of misogyny,” I continued.

“How so?” she asked with a puzzled look on her face.

I shared with her what I shared with my own son who used to gravitate towards the broken winged girls near him. “If you are drawn to a damsel in distress, it is because you can’t tolerate an independent, strong woman.”

I get it. That’s how the world worked for most of its history. The biggest decision for a woman was who she would marry, because every other part of her life flowed from that decision. His income determined their economic status, his views determined their politics, he spoke to the mechanic and the HVAC person. She just needed to find herself the right man.

Not so much, anymore.

This has created quite a shakeup for the children of the 60’s and 70’s, my generation. Most of us grew up in households where there was a stay at home mom who did all the household work, the raising of children and whose career was captured in the title “homemaker.”

You would think this model wouldn’t fit in today’s many two career homes, but because it involves women sacrificing, it actually does fit in a great number of homes. How many full-time working women, if they asked their spouse, “how about we switch household responsibilities for a couple years?” might expect an angry reaction?

Why would that be? Could there be inequity in household chores, and could it possibly be a gender related issue? Are women granted an open vista of opportunity in the workplace but their home lives still resemble the 1950’s?

I give tremendous credit to my husband and all men like him, who although they grew up in more traditional homes, are equal partners in this two-thousand and seventeenth year of recorded history. They didn’t have role models for this new way of doing things. They may be the truest innovators of our times.

It takes a lot of strength for a man to be with a strong, independent woman who doesn’t need him. He has to have a well managed ego to give equal value to her thoughts and opinions. It is much more challenging to have an equal partner rather than a subordinate. You can probably measure a man’s strength by his ability to tolerate a woman’s.

It certainly makes sense that some women are more comfortable with the old model where their man takes responsibility for them and any problems they may be having. It’s what most of us watched during our formative years. It makes sense that some men have internalized these images of being the one in charge, making all the decisions while their wife prepares dinner. Men and women were a good match—women were raised to be supportive and subordinate. Men were raised to be strong and authoritative in their home.

Then all those uppity women went burning their bras and stuff, and things changed forever. Well, in many ways they did.

Women are still going to have problems, their broken wings, but they have learned how to reset the break themselves, although someone being there to give them Tylenol and some soup is really nice. Men can now lean on their partner for support and advice. They don’t have to hide their worries and maintain a stiff upper lip. In many if not most cases, they also don’t have to carry the entire household finances on their back, which has to feel good.

There will always be the broken winged among us. Just take them to the hospital. They probably need professional help more than they need a boyfriend.

We’re all fat

Women, we are all fat.  Fat is just the first line of attack.  If you aren’t fat, then you might be too skinny.  Or have a flat chest.  Or too big of a chest.  No thigh gap.  No butt.  No eyebrows.  Bushy eyebrows.

If a man or “women hating woman,” wants to shut you down, put you in your place, get you to stop talking or acting in a manner in which they don’t agree, they will go for a physical feature.  It’s cheap.  It’s easy, and it works.

Several sexist pigs, who represent and work with women, decided to go for the easy jab these past few days.  Here are a few of the highlights-

Judge Bailey Mosely in Texas called the marchers, “a million fat women.” (You can call his office by clicking on the word Judge for the number. I did and told the woman I was sorry she had to work in such a hostile environment.  She seemed very appreciative of the support.)

J. R. Doporto from New Mexico kept the fat joke rolling when he posted a meme about fat women marching. (Click on the link for his number)

Mike Causey @gocausey2012, N.C. Insurance Commissioner, also posted a meme about fat women marching.  Original, these guys.

First, a moment of silence for their poor wives and daughters.

Great, now that that’s done let’s talk about this form of controlling behavior and how we can confront it and let it wither away.

First, we all have something that can be attacked.  All of us, every single one of us.  I know what you are saying, “But Mary, Gisele, what about Gisele?”  Yes, Gisele meets all the requirements for being pleasing to a man’s eyes.  For now.  Today.  The unfortunate problem is, God willing, Gisele gets older.  And then, what will they say? (I know you know how to answer this)

“Have you seen Gisele?”

“The model, yeah.  She certainly went downhill.” (burp)

“I know.  She used to be so hot.  Now, she looks like hell.  All old and stuff.”

Or, if Gisele, attempts to deal with society’s pressure for her not to age-

“Have you seen the work Gisele’s had done?”

“Yeah. she looks ridiculous with those lips and all.” (burp)

Do you see my point?  There will always be something.  Maybe not today, but one day all women will have had to stand before a man and be judged.

We need to see it for what it is, an attack to keep us quiet, in the corner, not sayng upsetting things.

Second, we need to call it out when we see it, and we need to teach our daughters to do the same.  When we hear men say, “Look at Kathie Lee’s face!” and even though Kathie Lee is on the TV and not in the room with us, and we may not even like her very much, we need to say, “Why do you feel you are in a position to judge someone’s appearance?”

It’s just a question.

Let the silence envelop the room.  It’s your first time doing this; people are not going to react well.  Ask again.  If you get anything but a reaction of remorse for being so rude, then you gotta go for the jugular.  I’m sorry.  It must be done so they can understand how hurtful their behavior is.  Here is an example:

“I’m just curious why you, with that receding hairline, roll of digested Krispy Kreme’s sitting on your belt and nachos in your mustache make you feel you are in a position to judge her.”

Mean, I know.  Sometimes you have to experience it to understand it.

Finally, please tell me you aren’t one of those Judgey McJudgerson’s who makes themselves feel better by thinking how good they look in comparison to other women, and then I hate to even write it, please tell me you don’t say those nasty thoughts out loud.

Never talk about a woman’s appearance, ever, except in positive tones.  Always.  Everywhere.  Everyday.  Remember, you will have your day, and we’ll have your back.  Or backside.  Or nose.  Whatever they decide to criticize, we are going to be all over their ugliness.

 

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