We’ve teamed up to reflect on our early experiences with–and without–baseball gloves and how our sensibilites about being a woman have developed from there…and where we are now during this political season.
kenosha Marge and InsightAnalytical-GRL
~~By kenosha Marge
I’ve been a glass half-full kind of person for most of my life. Running around crying “woe, woe” would depress me into a near catatonic state and I would likely get freezer burn from digging for the Häagen-Dazs at the bottom of my freezer. I have always believed that some how, some way, things will get better. And that’s the way I felt about Women’s rights. For a very, very long time.
I couldn’t play on the baseball team because I was a girl. Didn’t matter that I could play better than most of the boys on the team.
When I asked for a new baseball glove for Christmas I got a doll. You want to talk about one pissed off 12 year old? I said thank you, went upstairs to my bedroom and didn’t even bother to open the rest of my gifts. Years later my mother admitted that one of her worst memories was seeing that doll sitting on my dresser, still in the box, gathering dust.
I was an early bloomer as they like to say and by the time I was twelve I was almost used to every male I knew and most I didn’t know, never looking me in the eye. My new focal points were midchest and evidently far more interesting that my face or my green eyes. I developed a deep and abiding loathing for folks who weren’t interested in me, just certain body parts.
When I was a Junior in High School I was told by my parents that there wasn’t enough money to send both me and my brother to college so they would be sending him. I would probably just drop out and get married anyway was the justification.
Being young and stupid I showed them. Six months later I was pregnant and I dropped out of school. I went to night school after my oldest son was born and finished High School, class by class and credit by credit. It took me over 8 years and by then I had 3 kids. I was well and truly stuck in a life I hadn’t wanted and was never comfortable with. Because that’s what women are supposed to do.
I was a feminist and believed that I was just as good as any man ever born. I saw, that I was not only as smart as most of the men I knew but that I was smarter.
Now all these years later I look around and see that women haven’t come very far. We are now expected to keep the home fires burning and bring in a paycheck too. While always being supportive of our spouse and/or significant other of course.
Some women, many women are now the heads of their households and while holding on by their fingernails they are holding on. These women deserves our help and our admiration. I know several of these women and they always make me think of the song by the Eurhythmics, “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves” and the ever wonderful Aretha.
There are women calling themselves feminists that don’t support other women unless they share the same ideology. A sisterhood of sisters that doesn’t support all the sisters is not my idea of feminism. In fact Liberal Feminists who don’t support all women are just Female Liberals, not Feminists IMHO.
Many so-called feminists seem to think that denigrating Conservative Women is okay because they can’t possibly be Feminists if they are Pro-Choice or like to hunt or go to Church regularly.
One female cretin “comedienne” (Sarah Bernhard) is even making jokes (see video) about having some of her black, male friends gang-bang Sarah Palin if she ever comes to New York. Putting aside the hideous aspect of a woman, any woman, making jokes about rape, what does it say about her black, male friends if she thinks they are available upon demand to gang-bang a woman?
I have friends and relatives that are Republican Women and this decision by many Liberal Females to attack another woman is disturbing to say the least. Evidently “feminism” isn’t about gender, it’s about ideology. If that is so, then these Liberal Females are just that, liberal females. Not feminists in my eyes. Never feminists and never part of a sisterhood. Because a Sisterhood doesn’t allow any woman, any female, any sister to be denigrated, insulted, and attacked for her gender.
That, in my mind is exactly what has happened to both Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin. And women, hell they not only jumped on the Misogynistic Band Wagon, they often led the parade. Excuse me if I see hypocrisy in women who loathed what happen to Senator Clinton but join in the attacks on Governor Palin because she has insulted them by running for VP while being female and Republican.
If women want equality, if they believe that all women deserve to be treated as equals then they would stop enabling the denigration of women simply because they share a different philosophy of life. I have spent most of my adult life disagreeing with nearly every word that ever came out of Phyllis Schlafly’s mouth. Yet even the thought of suggesting that she be “gang-banged” makes me sick to my stomach. That another women would say such a thing makes me despair. Women will never be equals so long as other women put stipulations on who may be a feminist based on being conservative or liberal.
If you want a good conversation of feminism join Dr. Violet Socks over at the Reclusive Leftist. She’s fighting the good fight.
And we need all the voices we can gather to shout down the anti-woman rants coming from many on the left, male and female.
kenosha Marge wanted a baseball glove, but got a doll instead.
I was luckier. I had my own baseball glove. Growing up in a neighborhood of boys, I was a real tomboy… played baseball constantly with them, played tackle football with them, rode bikes with them, and my best friend was Ray.
Then, I turned 12 and someone told me that “I looked like a girl.” Girls weren’t allowed in Little League back then, and I remember when Ray, who had moved up to Junior League, came over and told me that I was better than most of the guys on the team and that he wished I could play. But the other baseball buddies went off to chase girls who didn’t own gloves, and that was the end of my playing days.
I was great in high school intramurals, but there was nowhere to go for female athletes back then, so my sports career died. (At college, girls had to take this ridiculous class called “Basic Motor Skills” which involved jumping around with balls and such for “balance,” which featured tip-toeing gracefully in bare feet. Luckily, I had had a bone spur removed from my left foot and I got myself out of it. Heck, the guys didn’t have to take “Basic Motor Skills,” why was this a requirement for graduation for ME??)
Before I got to college, I sat through the sweltering heat of summer school to learn how to type. Wearing a skirt. I hated this to no end, but I learned how to type. My reward? Being forced to type letters for my brother a couple of years later, the same brother who was supposed to attend the same class, but instead, cut and was seen wandering Park Avenue with a buddy. He never learned how to type, by the way, because he had my mother doing it for him after I left for college. Talk about getting let off the hook and being “enabled”…
Fast forward to a summer job, my first ever, after my first year of college. I dutifully showed up at a place which made “flexible screw conveyors” and learned how to use the dictaphone. I typed up letters and quotes dictated by the boss, Mr. Gill. During my last week there, Mr. Gill went on vacation, and this slovenly, chain-smoking idiot named Tony, who thought he was God’s gift, was left in charge. The big, loud-mouthed boar had hassled me even when Mr. Gill was there, but now he became intolerable. You know what I did? The day before my last day, I got so fed up that I WALKED OUT!
And so it went…
Oh, I did the usual thing of training a nice young man at the market research firm I worked at. And guess who got promoted? He did. I left.
Working temps for awhile, I landed in the North American headquarters of Rolls Royce. One of the projects I had to work on was putting together the service manual. The guy in charge explained to me how to set it up for printing. I told him he was wrong. Well, we did it his way…and it was wrong. I was promptly terminated.
But that wasn’t the real battleground. That came when I decided I wanted to take an auto repair course at night. One thing led to another, and I was recruited to be the first woman in the Chrysler-sponsored auto tech course at Mercer County Community College. I was in my mid-thirties, surrounded by about 30 20-year-olds. We spent 10 weeks in the classroom and 10 weeks in a dealership. I did oil changes, searched for water leaks, replaced thermostats and moved up to replacing a few fuel filters. A few rotations later, I was still doing oil changes and water leaks, while the guys were doing the money jobs like brake jobs…
It didn’t matter that I found a car going out of the shop with a leaking carburetor that could set the car on fire. Or the one which I found with a faulty brake job. Or the problem that kept coming back over and over that turned out to be a “donut” between the exhaust manifold and the rest of the exhaust system…the problem that was “unsolvable.” The fact that a few male customers told the service manager that they only wanted me to work on their cars because I did the job right the first time didn’t matter. Yeah, I was doing water leaks on CONVERTIBLES by this time…
So, I protested to the program coordinator. A couple of the guys in class stood up for me. At the dealership, the shop creep plugged up the lock to my tool box with gum.
So, I considered a complaint wth the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), but before I decided about going through the crap involved, I got an invitation to lunch by the President of the company who tried to win me over with a promise that I would do “electrical” work… I wouldn’t have my own bay, of course, and at the time, “electrical” work consisted of dumping in sensors and power modules left and right. I had once found a problem behind the dashboard which I was told would cost too much to fix under warranty…and was instructed not to pull out the dash so the wiring could be replaced. Yeah, I had a great future as an “electrical expert” there…
So, I graduated NUMBER ONE in the class…and QUIT the shop. I paid back my student loan over a few years (which I could have had reimbursed if I had stayed). As far as I was concerned, someone else could find the mistakes…at least my credit rating was getting a boost.
These are just the high points along the way on my march to “equality,” but there are so many more “smaller” affronts that have made their mark.
So, let’s fast forward about 20 years to 2008. And what do we see now??
Respect for smart women? Respect for women in general? Not from the Obama campaign. Not from the media. Not from FEMALE Obamacrats in the Obama campaign and the media who think they are “different” from the rest of us in the trenches.
The indignities heaped on Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin are my indignities. I haven’t forgotten. The wounds have been re-opened. Like many other women, I’ve confronted some of the humiliations and insults that have come my way and walked away from others.
But deep down, I haven’t accepted them. And at this moment, the the affronts dished out by the Democratic Party and the expectations that I should “enable” it no longer cut it.
I can’t speak for all women of a certain age, but I can speak for me:
I’m mad as hell, madder than I’ve ever been.
Filed under: Current Politics, Life Tagged: | "Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves, Aretha Franklin, Barack Obama, Chrysler auto program, Democratic Party, Dr. Violet Socks, EEOC, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Eurhythmics, feminists, Hillary Clinton, Hilllary Clinton, Little League baseball, mainstream media, Mercer County Community College, misogyny, Phyllis Schlafly, Sarah Bernhard, Sarah Palin, The Reclusive Leftist, women's equality