Thursday, January 1, 2009

Silencing My Inner Gloria Steinem


Sometimes I think the feminists really screwed us over.  Don't get me wrong, I would not have the degree or the job that I have were it not for the feminists (and I guess that is a good thing, although sometimes I do wonder). And I do like to vote and own property, it's lots of fun.  And I LOVE birth control, I can't imagine life without it.  Well, actually I can, and it would be entail lots of celibacy, because as much as I love sex, there is nothing, NOTHING worth having a million children for.  Not chocolate, not sex (now if only chocolate caused pregnancy, I would weigh like 2 pounds). Honestly, I can barely stand the thought of having a second child now that I know what I am up against.  

Where the feminists went wrong, however, is raising our expectations into the stratosphere of complete justice, not just under the law but in our private lives.  Sorry, Gloria Steinem, but women are never going to get a fair deal there.  A large part of it is of course biology, which the feminists typically ignore, and at their peril.  There is NOTHING fair about having a baby.  I really don't think I have to list the pains and agonies of pregnancy and childbirth.  While I went through 9 months of pregnancy hell, then another 24 hours of labor and delivery hell, plus another month or so of C-section-recovery-breastfeeding hell (which in my opinion is like pure, distilled, unadulterated hell) Kevin had to pack a bag to take to the hospital.  Oh, and then he had to drive to the hospital, very taxing. Beyond the birthing, women just seem to get stuck with the kids most of the time, I'm not sure why--could be cultural expectation, could be biological instinct.  It could be men are just really smart and know if a baby is crying, the nearest woman will cave before the nearest man and go and deal with it.   I know that is what happens with housework.  Men seem to have an incredible ability to tolerate dirt and disorder.  They know that if they just hold out, some woman will have a nervous breakdown and go into a cleaning frenzy.  

But the feminists have modern women convinced that if we don't split the housework and the childcare completely down the middle, we are being cheated and mistreated and disrespected.  And that is probably true.  But I am a pragmatist, and I know it is a heck of a lot more work to badger a man into doing more housework and childcare than it is to just do it yourself.  For instance, Kevin, in theory, does the dishes, that's one of his like two chores.  Now I can watch the dishes pile up in the kitchen day after day until they resemble the Leaning Tower of Piza, I can try to work around them while I cook even though our kitchen is tiny, meanwhile I get more and more angry until we have a massive fight and he eventually stomps in there and does them and things are tense for another 2 days, at which point the dishes start piling again and we start the whole process again.  Or I can just take 15 minutes every day and just do them myself.  And that's probably what I would always do and I would probably be happy with that if it weren't for those damn feminists in my head telling me I am perpetuating a system of patriarchal injustice in addition to degrading myself blah blah blah

So shut up Gloria and leave me alone!  And those of you who have husbands who do a bunch of housework on their own initiative, well, I don't want to hear from you either.  You wreck my theory, and as an academic I am trained to ignore such evidence.

2 comments:

  1. I think the feminists forget the part about how men kill the rats and the bugs and fix the cars and cut the grass and think that the only chores to be done are laundry.

    Me, I'd rather wash dishes two hours a day than carry the dead, festering rat out of the basement.

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  2. Yeah, Kevin doesn't really do any of that either :) except cut the grass. he has no stomach for bugs and rodents, when we've had either, I always have to take care of that too. But he did cook dinner last night AND do the dishes, maybe as part of a New Year's resolution of some kind, so I feel I was too hard on him.
    So where's your blog? I click on your name and get nada!

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