I know, I know, I have been so darned chatty lately that y'all can barely keep up. I'll try to lower the frequency. To something slightly above coma, okay?
So there has been alot of hubub lately (for example here and here) about the Maureen Dowd article in the New York Times. (Yes I realize that the story is over a week old, an aeon in our information age, but I feel the need to discuss...now.) So most likely y'all have read it by now, and are familiar with her finer points. If not, go ahead, I'll wait.
So basically, my take on her article is this. The sexual revolution failed. And, though I come from a wildly different mindset, generation, and background from Maureen, I have to agree. Before you get your panties in a bunch, hear me out. Growing up, my wonderful parents taught me that I could do anything. Believing them, I went on to be interested in math, engineering, adventure sports, women's leadership, etc. Along with these wonderful things, I also believed that a woman had just as much right to show her interest in a man, as he did toward her. There in lies the rub. Because it just doesn't work that way. Being as hard headed as I am, it took me entirely too long to learn that.
A man is expected to make passes at a woman, heck numerous women if he's unsuccessful. Even in our "modern" society, if a woman dares to make her intentions clear to one man (whom she might be genuinely interested in), she is deemed any one of a load of nasty things; a slut, desperate, a tease. Persistence is charming in a man, frightening in a woman. Yes I understand that relationships must proceed slowly, but why is it assumed that the woman will always be the "braking" factor? And this is not just bitter personal experience that no one wants to hear about, I have had some explosive fights with male friends while defending the name of female friends who just happen to be damned tired of waiting around. "Oh, you just love the thrill of the chase, well I don't give a flying fig, I'm lonely now!" Sorry, I'm feeling a bit vitriolic about the entire debate.
I had been having some of these type of conversations with the Whippersnapper in the last few weeks (before she LEFT FOR THE SEASON!) and it is apparent that despite being 10 years my junior, the issues have not changed. I felt the need to help her fill her social schedule so that she wouldn't have to PLAY hard to get, since she would genuinely BE hard to get. And that is the only solution that I have ever come up with, a maniacally full schedule is sure to put you in high demand. Great, at least we don't have to play games anymore.
Now I need to bring it down here a bit in conclusion. I have a wonderful husband. I am a hair's breadth from receiving a Master's in environmental engineering. I love my life, and there's no place I'd rather be. (Well, maybe New Zealand, but that's beside the point.) I feel that I am a blessedly successful feminist. But less than a decade back in time, I had to learn to be the relationship boundary monitor, and not an active seeker. And I can't deny that THAT disappoints.
And in classic scientific paper style, I must now move into questions of the future. Do I try and spare my children some of the heartbreak that I experienced, and teach them that, yes, a woman must play hard to get? Or to I keep flogging my head against the wall of patriarchy, and try, despite culture, media, and a millennium of history, to pass on the mantra that "a woman can do what ever she wants"?
Hope I haven't harshed on your day. Thanks for stopping by.