Matthew Lickona 2:45 p.m., Dec. 10
Hello, Ladies - and some enlightened Gentlemen
Hey, Ladies…and you lovable Lugs,
So much is going on in this world. Occupy this, occupy that. There is one very important factor that we continually ignore on this planet.
Here is my theory. I honestly believe that the suppression of women in this world and their lack of involvement in corporations and governments is the single most dangerous thing we have done to this planet. I myself have occasioned to dare tread the hallowed ground of the male-dominated bully blogs to offer my side of things, only to be told to “stifle thyself, Edith” (and not so politely). Sometimes I have fought back, but most times I have skulked off to my corner, my valid point dismissed because I happen to identify myself as “Ms.”.
There is a fear amongst women that if they voice their opinions they will be seen as an “angry feminist” or, even worse, a “man hater”. Imagine, being labeled a hater just because you dare to speak for yourself!! There is a pining for things to go back to the old way, when women were little more than domestic servants. I see this in the television shows being touted as “nostalgic”. Pan Am, Mad Men, The Playboy Club, Charlie’s Angels (and don’t get me wrong, Mad Men is brilliant sexism, but the others I dismissed as overkill). They have already cancelled Pan Am, which failed to reach its target audience. Women. They honestly thought women would fall all over themselves to watch sexy sisters doing it for themselves, when anyone who is over 12 knows that few women flew back then as passengers, and it was implied that built in to the cost of your ticket was a first-class blow-job. I could hear the collective groan of all those advertisers when the cancellation was announced – Clorox, Swifter, All-Temperature Cheer. All items intended for, and used almost exclusively by, women. Here I will digress a tad and say that Sir James Dyson gets a pass, as he does not utilize in his advertising women pushing his vacuums in an orgasmic frenzy as if it would then make love to her after her chores were through, and rather explains the science behind his ingenious invention as though we were capable of getting it through our silly little heads.
Don’t waste an expensive college education only to be relegated to the steno pool or “service” work. The term “non-profit” is a joke. Someone is profiting, and he isn’t female. I once took a class in non-profit work (thinking that maybe when I retired I would work in some sort of administrative management) and there was not a single man present – not one. I raised my hand and asked the teacher why no men got involved with non-profit work. She seemed surprised, as if the answer was obvious to everyone but me. When she recovered, she told me “their involvement is more in the building and running of the non-profit corporations, not volunteerism”. Stunned, I looked around and it dawned on me – this pearl necklace and twin-set crowd had no intention of getting their manicured hands into the actual administrative work that is required to run a business. They were there to learn how to get on the board of a non-profit, so their wealthy husbands could get their names on a plaque and wield influence. As the class went on, and the questions leaned more and more toward that eventual board, I grew bored and left during the break. I never returned.
Now some may say right there that I backed down, didn’t fight for the teacher to focus less on board seats and more on how things actually work, but the class, just because of sheer participation, was skewed toward what we traditionally (and wrongly) identify as feminine. There was no chance in hell that teacher was changing her curriculum to satisfy the one rogue trouble-maker in the class who actually challenged the status-quo and why should she? That was not what those ladies were there for. It would have been unfair of me to take up their time with my own desire for a more complex explanation of how things work. As I made my way through the parking lot of Mercedes C Classes and BMWs, I thought “jeesh, this is how it still is”. Even with all our supposed enlightenment, men can still own us. It might be in exchange for a cushy life, but why do we have to bury our brains at the altar and take a subordinate role in life? Because we are conditioned to feel embarrassed if we speak up. Nice girls don’t do that, they get married.
I happen to be very lucky. Most of the men I have the privilege of having in my life, including my very dear husband of ten years this week, are honest, hard-working and do not exploit their positions in life in order to enrich only themselves. My goal is not for women to take over, but to assume more leadership roles in the running of this planet. I want for all men and women to have an equal opportunity to make better decisions so that we don’t have to OCCUPY anything to demand our fair share – it will already be happening. Women will take their positions as equals in the boardroom and demand that advertisers stop the barbaric practice of making women constantly feel like shit about themselves. They will have the authority to say “no, what you are doing is wrong and will have disastrous consequences for – take your pick – the economy, the health of the public, the financial future of our children”. They will not put their own interests first, because it is not their nature. Sure, one could argue that women have run companies less than honestly, or into the ground, or that women have every opportunity to be whatever they want to be. But when I read dismal statistics such as these – “Currently, 12 FORTUNE 500 companies are run by women, down from 15 last year, as three left their posts and were succeeded by men”, I would have to say the vast majority of opportunities are still being offered to men, and the vast majority of white-collar crime has been committed by men, and the people receiving the golden parachute after bringing a company to the brink of failure were, there is no denying it, men.
I believe by nature women are more honest, more nurturing and better organized than men. These traits have been exploited for years in the service of men who are determined to keep it in the human mindset that a woman’s place is in the home or is to be utilized somehow to make their lives more pleasurable. How do we change this? Don’t stand for it!! Get involved before it is too late and DEMAND the better paying job, the higher level of responsibility, the influence to make change for GOOD. Most important, vote, particularly if the candidate is a woman whose intent is to do a good job and not self-serving or gratuitous. There are women in this world who are killed because they dare to drive a car and have ZERO rights. They are raped, mutilated and beaten – many times by their own relatives. They are used as instruments of war. How is this possible in a supposedly civilized world that these horrific things are STILL being committed against women and that men have not stuck up for us but instead continue to allow them to occur AND participate? That they would wage war over religion and oil but not for equal protection under the law for all women in the world? What did we do to deserve such treatment after all the good we do, including bearing children? Women navigate through this world in a heightened state of awareness because we fear for our safety. I tried explaining this phenomena to a male acquaintance, and he had no idea how to wrap his head around it. I told him “that’s because you are not a rapist and you are not female”. (Speaking of war, I honestly believe in some parts of the world women are literally going to have to take up arms in order to protect themselves.) You have a voice – use it. Because when this great Mother Earth eventually implodes (and mark my words, if things keep going the way they are, it will happen), guess who is going to be asked to clean up the mess? It’s time to say “clean up your own f*cking mess”.