With the PA vote loaming on the horizon, I'm going to resist writing about the Primary race. We'll know enough tomorrow night, and I can wait.
I can't really wait but I have to so instead of getting anxious now, I'm going to wait until about 5pm tomorrow.
I am struck, over and over again, by how gender plays out over, and over again. The way one can talk about a woman, her body, her dress, her voice, her hair, her makeup, is mind blowing to me. I cannot believe it's encouraged.
I sat in the train station this morning and listened to a woman talk to a group of women friends. My back was to her and I could not see any of them. She commented about an obvious mutual acquaintance of the group's.
She said I was pretty enough to be her friend. Can you believe it?
With only my ears, I imagined a twenty some year old was speaking. When I stood up, I saw a group of forty something year old women.
How is it that we have gone through the struggle for independence and equality, for centuries, and still be our own worst enemies?
I posted the picture yesterday because my friend Donald sent it to me and it did, in fact, look like one of the Christmas drag parties. (He really doesn't look that bad in a dress, though.) The first thought that went through my mind was that I always found the women against abortion were women no one would want to sleep with.
I'm doing it, too.
All in good fun, and that was the intent of the photo. It made me laugh when I opened it. I am not, by any means, the most politically correct person to ever walk the earth. I do, after all, eat meat, wear leather shoes, and quietly believe in investing in the stock market.
But where and how do we draw the line?
Girls have, for the last decade, outperformed boys in school. And yet, when they graduate from college, the real world sets in- all the good grades mean nothing. Women are paid less, over all. African-American men make more than white women.
I guess those 50 extra years of voting rights made some difference.
Seriously, what happens to women after college? Is it the way our educational system is set up? Is it that women are better trained to be factory workers- the current standard of our incredibly outdated system- and then fail later because they are not competing in a factory world?
What about the experience, the socialization in schools, that leaves women at times vicious with each other? I mean... what kind of mess brought us the likes of Ann Coulter?
Mostly, I wonder, why it is that being anti-Obama has garnered me some of the most hateful accusations of being racist, but when I point out the misogynist comments made about Clinton I'm told to get over myself?
That's just the way it is. No harm, no foul.
I wish I had some answers, some studies to point to, or some solutions to offer. I don't. I embrace the girls in my life and encourage them to be stronger, faster, better... I'm not sure that's the right thing to do. I can't imagine changing something without taking it over.
It's playing the boys game by the boys rules. I'm not sure women will ever win in that arena. I'm becoming more and more certain I don't want to win.
I want a new field, a new place, and a new image of success. One that reflects the best of what women can be, as women, not the sum of body parts men find attractive. I have no idea what that looks like but it is something to try and dream of. What a school would look like, a business, a government in a matriarchy, minus all the negatives women carry about themselves.
Regardless of the election results in November, I appreciate Clinton's run for the presidency. Win or lose, she has gone out in the boy's game, the man's world, and balanced gender rules the men she's running against haven't a clue about. She's done it by being stronger, faster and better... and I'm still not sure that's the right thing for women to strive for.
But until we have that new place, the new field, we are only left with the familiar arena. If the girls in my life are ever to be given the tools to create a new image of success? We will have to get past this one first.