The Sisterhood of Shared Indignities (A Double Post by kenosha Marge and InsightAnalytical-GRL)

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

SISTERS

~~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.

***

INDIGNITIES

~~By InsightAnaltyical-GRL

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.

19 Responses

  1. [...] The Sisterhood of Shared Indignities (A Double Post by kenosha … By insightanalytical 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 … InsightAnalytical — Watching Our World – http://insightanalytical.wordpress.com [...]

  2. Marge and GRL –

    Excellent articles! You both hit the nail on the head and expressed EXACTLY what so many of us have felt reawakening in ourselves during this campaign. It’s not the big instances of gender discrimination, it’s all the seemingly endless little ones. All the “sweeties”, all the questions of female reporters ignored while the men are taken seriously. All the snide little comments about Hillary Clinton, trying to imply that no matter how smart she is you just don’t want a woman with her finger on the button because, well she might get PMS or something.

    The time has come for all women to realize that the Democratic Party has been lying to us for decades in telling us they were the party of women. When it came right down to it and push came to shove, they let us know in no uncertain terms that we were really only there to clean up after the festivities.

    Well, boys, I’m here to tell you something. You can have your platitudes and promises. You can stuff Roe v. Wade where the sun don’t shine! And you can forget about ever getting support from this woman until you mend your evil ways. Oh, and let’s not forget Sarah Palin. The Republican listened to the PUMA movement and put up a woman with waaaaay more qualifications to be President than your man Obama, yet you tell us we should be insulted by this; that she’s no Hillary.

    Well, DUH! But who was it that took Hillary out of the running? Was it John McCain? Nope. Was it the Republicans? Nope. Was it the voters in the Democratic Primaries? Nope. Was it Barack Obama, a blatant sexist that couldn’t deal with his ego being bruised and threatened? Yep. Was it enablers in the Democratic “leadership” like Nancy Pelosi, Donna Brazile, and Howard Dean (3 girls that ought to know better)? Yep.

    So back off of Sarah. And back off of Hillary. And back off of us. Cause ya know what? We’ve got each others backs again, and ya know what else? After all this time, IT FEELS GOOD!

  3. Sexism is the very reason for the saying about the woman scorned. They think we should just be quiet and let them tell us what to do. It would be one thing if they actually knew! But to let them continue to screw women over and expect them to “stay sweet” and follow behind cleaning up their shit? I don’t think so! Those days are long gone!

    Great reading on both articles. I think we need to stick together and keep reminding the younger women what it was like back then and how it’s not really that different now.

    CQ

  4. Wonderful stories, Marge and GRL. So similar to mine.

    The Stepford Obamagirls are the complete antithesis of feminists. That they lay claim to being feminists is beyond outrageous. This is the generation that has reaped the benefits of the work ours did and contributed nothing to furthering the cause of all women. They have gone so far backwards that they now attack other women on the basis of their sex.

    Well, we have news for them. An attack on Clinton OR Palin is an attack on every one of us…and come November we will not forget.

  5. In fact Liberal Feminists who don’t support all women are just Female Liberals, not Feminists IMHO.
    ………………………………………….

    YES, THIS NEEDS TO BE PUT OUT THERE FOR ALL THOSE CALLING PALIN NAMES AND TO THOSE DEMS WHO CALLED HILLARY NAMES TOO!

    As long as we are held hostage by the Dems with one issue as the ‘feminist theme’ we will continue to get nothing! Look at the depletion of Title 9 and all the other services that have been whittled away. They even removed the ERA this year, thinking no one would notice!

    My feeling NOW is that the DNC didn’t treat Hillary as a ‘person’ but rather as the female, never mind the fact that she was the best qualified, never mind that she had 35 years of service, never mind that she had the popular vote, they simply wanted her out of the way for the man. The DNC has had some plan in place and I now even wonder if our elections matter with what they did on May 31st in not counting the votes for Hillary Clinton. They went so far as declaring Floridians 1/2 a person to get Obama elected?!? How is that for commitment to the MAN!

    Yup, we need to examine if the Democrats are willing to see us as ‘people’ and when the game will be fair for women! I recall a little girl waiting in line saying she came to see “The smart girl!”, me too, me too!

  6. Over the years, we have gone from women saying to men,

    1. We don’t need that language here, thank you.

    2. F*** that nonsense.

    3. F*** you!

    4. F*** me, f*** me, oh, please, please, please, f*** me!

  7. Funny you should mention Phyllis Schlafly.
    Yesterday I heard Phyllis Schlafly (on news radio) saying that women shouldn’t focus on not being paid the same as men who do the same work. It really p*ssed me off. But I didn’t think of having her gang-raped either. Just ignored would do.

    These two posts said everything I’ve been thinking for such a long time. I have “Female Liberals” in my family. I cannot tell you how disappointed I am.

    LAst night, my daughter asked me if I were worried about Sarah Palin assuming the presidency if John McCain had a heart attack during his term in office. I said I was more concerned with ME having a heart attack if Teh Precious were elected. She’s chosen McCain/Palin.

  8. Leslie, what a great response! Wish I’d thought of it when I was asked much the same question.

  9. During the primaries I went out canvassing one day with teo women. Things went well until we came to one particular home. The guy there looked almost exactly like The Fonz. We began our spiel and suddenly the guy walked out of the door and confronted us. “You have to go with the guy,” he said. And then proceeded to instruct us how it wasn’t a woman’s place to run the show. It was a shocking and instructive experience.

    Some people are just idiots. I don’t think it is related to gender. But I do stand side by side with both of you demanding equal respect and opportunity for everyone.

  10. No Pagan, Idiocy knows no particular gender, race or age. We’re just taking on one issue at a time. And right now we’re in Feminist Mode

  11. I am sixty years old, and the tale of sexism in my life is too long to print here. In one way or another, it has been a constant. It has stopped me in a lot of things, and it has certianly lessened my effectiveness and success. However,it has not stopped me. And… it hasn’t affected my memory.

    I can look back at any ten year period,think sexism and a number of situations will float into mind. All they ever did was anger, annoy, vex and drive me. Perhaps I was born with certain handicaps in my social developement. I don’t think I ever realized what my “proper” place was. It was always where I wanted to be. If there were those annoying types in the way, then I had to figure out how to get around them.

    I was lucky enough to be born with mental capacity that allowed me to answer my critics, and think through whatever they tossed my way. They have never defeated me, they have only made me mad!

    It makes no difference to me whether the sexism comes from men or women or the media or my associates. I never agreed with Libby Dole or Phyliis Schlafly, or Anita Bryant, and I don’t agree with the hate-mongering women who tore into Hillary and are now tearing into Sarah. I will, however,defend their right to spew that garbage. Then, i will resolutely,turn my back on them, and raise my voice higher to make sure that everyone knows denigrating and debasing women to keep them dowm, will not be tolerated.

  12. Excellent articles. BTW, maybe you two should put together your articles and have them published. I’m sure numerous books will appear about the election, but not so many about sexism. Your views are much more appropriate than any publication by NOW. Another idea, start a new organization to replace NOW. To continue the PUMA idea, call it PAW (policies for American Women)

  13. Great comments Warrior and Nana.

    I think Grl has also come up with an excellent title for a group that many of us belong to whether we know it or not. I.E. “The Sisterhood Of Shared Indignities”.

    For every woman, and man, that spews sexist crap there are hundreds, thousands, hopefully millions, that are repulsed by them and what they say.

    I don’t think that the media has a right to repeat lies and smears but every one else is entitled to their bare their nasty little souls. I do believe, and I am ever the optimist, that decent people will turn their backs on them.

  14. One of my sisters works for the same company as her husband. They have the same job. A few years ago the company gave her husband a company car. But my sister? Nope. They offered to help her finance a car she had to purchase at a lower rate than normal. At the time I was shocked that a company would be so blatantly sexist and urged my sister to confront them. But she isn’t into making waves and kept her mouth shut accepting to be treated with less respect and less opportunities than men. It was disheartening.

  15. Agree it is disheartening Pagan but it is also something that women face every day. Do they make waves and lose a job they need? Because many of us have found to our dismay that the squeaky wheel doesn’t always get the grease, sometimes it just gets replaced.

    Sadly many in the work place are placed in a position where standing up for their rights means not paying for a roof over their children’s heads or putting food on the table. We shouldn’t have to make those decisions. But the sickening reality is that we do.

    Always remember the Golden Rule; he that has the gold rules.

  16. The Sisterhood of Shared Indignities is one of the best things I have read this season. I’m 70, had a long career, and suffered a long string of painful humilities and gender-based injustices that short-circuited my career. I could fill notebooks with the instances!!

    I have felt the same way during this election cycle: all of the ugliness heaved at Hillary & Sarah reopen all of the forgotten scabs of my own painful experiences.

    I, too, have a couple of women friends who did not support Hillary, have always been for Obama. They just assumed I was now for Obama, now that Hillary was defeated, and emailed me ugly jokes, etc. denigrating Sarah Palin. I emailed back that denigrating ANY woman was not funny, and included a write-up from “Women Count” that says pretty much what you two say above– doesn’t matter WHAT party the woman is in, sexism is just plain wrong. Well, wow! Boy, did the knives come back from a long-time friend. She said I must be “a terribly unhappy person to believe and send her all that feminist garbage!”

    Why standing up for women must spell unhappiness is beyond me. Until I remember that this woman has never worked outside her home since she was married nearly 50 years ago. Her husband is one of those smirking sexist types. (Hated Hillary because of “her thick ankles.”) She always defers to him, and agrees with him on everything. Maybe it’s her that’s unhappy!

    Long story short, I think I’ve lost a couple of dear old friends. So be it… Maybe they weren’t who I thought they were all along. But, maybe they’ve learned something new about me, too.

  17. You’re not alone in the lost friends department….

  18. I fear many of us have lost friends eebaltimore. However perhaps friends that don’t allow us to be ourselves aren’t friends worth having. And perhaps we have found new friends that share our beliefs in things we find important.

  19. ea-Well put. Does #4 refer to all those push up and out bras?
    What happened to bra burning and the desire to be comfortable and free. I’m showing my age here and have been wondering throughout this election cycle, where did all the feminists go?
    Thank you Sisters for helping me decide whether to vote against the democrats and unapologetically in favor of Palin.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 25 other followers

%d bloggers like this: