Tuesday, May 29, 2012

That "wimp woman" meme

Tam at View from the Porch isn't amused at the "I cry more than you think" meme for "I am woman".
She is woman, hear her bleat.

Sorry, the meme's listing doesn't sound actually femininely oriented.

Most of it sounds like most folk I know, of various genders and persuasions, at various, usually private or distressed, times.

My understanding is that the workplace in general is a male-created, artificial environment meant to take as much advantage of workers/employees/managers/etc. as possible, for the best profit of the executives/owners. That is, modified slavery, without regard or interest in the well-being of the worker, the worker's family, and an explicit bar to letting life's traumas and responsibilities intrude into the company's race to revenue.

So how is it that measuring the aspects of a person that delineates "woman" is measured in her ability to participate in an artificial, manipulated environment just as subserviently as a man?

The major distinctions between men and women fall mostly in the realms of procreation, of creating and raising children. For the rest, distinctions of gender are learned from examples of cultural limits and expectations.

Wafting poetic about various cultural artifacts of "men's work" and "equal pay for equal submission to exploitation" are as pointless as "But the master hit me with the whip harder than he/she hit you!".

There are many people that have found ways in their lives to get around, or to exploit ("Hey! I'm a woman! I strip for a living!") their experiences and capabilities ("Why, yes I can mow the lawn before supper!") Others that haven't found the examples and opportunities to overcome obstacles to what they want should be encouraged and nurtured. Unfair rules ("But, officer, the road was clear from here to Kingdom come, and the posted speed of 15 MPH makes no sense here in rural Utah!") should be changed.

And mostly, the underlying assumption that meeting someone else's expectations will achieve happiness or virtue has to be challenged. Vigorously, frequently challenged.


  1. Did you even go read the linked post? Because I don't see how it's even tangentially related to what you have written here (unless this is a kind of Dadaist response and I'm just not getting it.)

  2. Replies
    1. The NYTimes had an article on the "mommy" wars within the feminist movement.

      The list of definitions that started this trail reads like a woman with a limited, protected world view, safely ensconced in the role of "woman" in a household headed by a reasonably ignorant but culturally oriented lesser light. A bit spoiled, perhaps, and proud of her protected status.

      My observation is that she equates fitting this common cultural role against a standard contrived centuries ago, with commercial interests and not the well being of people, families, or communities in mind. That is, she fits a cultural definition of woman, in a select and protected small part of a greater (but artificial) society.

      What makes a woman, or a man, is a choice barely limited by biology. Cultural and social choices are nearly limitless, with cultural and social implications, opportunities, and consequences. It just happens that I think our current political and social culture is dependent on the wealth generated by exploiting resources that are coming in shorter supply, and an economy and government destined to follow the centuries long (if we are lucky) decline of the Roman Empire.

      Recall that the understood Golden Age of Ireland was the days of the High Arl or King, ruling from the greatest (wooden) hall in Europe from 400 BC until it rotted to the ground about 800 AD. (I might have those two numbers turned around). The hall was memorialized in the book and picture Gone With The Wind as "Tara", the name of Scarlett O'Hara's plantation manor. The golden age. 1200 years ago.

      The British Empire isn't what it used to be. America faces budget constraints, internal friction, and substantive international consternation when projecting military or other expressions of our interest, our time is waning.

      The examination of cultural roles enforced by mobilizing people for WWI and WWII continued by their progeny in the 1960s. Women's lib is a mere follow-on activity to the upheavals of the past that have never entirely been assimilated. Re-examining roles, evaluating what is good for the family and for the community is something that the nation put aside in the 1960s to inspire the "space race" -- and raise a generation of engineers and scientists.

      The crude funnel snatching people from their communal roles to universities and corporate and government service are still in play. Universities and public schools turned from matching foreign scientific advances to making money off government programs.

      So, "I push on doors labeled pull." is a smug and contented satisfaction with a protected and undemanding role in a reasonably affluent life style. I just don't think it is any kind of definition unique to a woman