by FJ Rocca 8/10/15
A small contingent of women (probably today’s feminists) take the same position as other “minorities” that there is a large majority keeping them down. They are playing on political correctness to accomplish certain goals they define as improperly as those of women in general. But the concept is false on two levels.
First, it defines women as a class, a mass, a collective. Women are individuals just as men are. Each woman has a mind, heart, lungs, a brain, the capacity to learn, act and achieve, and the ability to choose her own goals. And by the way, the 2010 census tells us that women are a majority, not a minority. They comprise 50.8% of the US population.
Second, it defines women’s goals as universal. They aren’t. Because each woman can define herself, she also can decide what to do with her life’s energies. Many women become lawyers, doctors, politicians, business owners, technicians, cab drivers, school teachers, IT specialists. As the King of Siam says in The King and I, “etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.” Lo and behold, some women even choose to be housewives, mothers, homemakers and matriarchs.
Yes, women have not always received proper treatment in society at large. According to the great historical author Barbara Tuchman, many women in the Middle Ages chose the convent over a marriage in which they would be dominated, often cruelly, by a husband who thought they were chattel. Up until the early 20th Century, women did not have the vote. There was a glass ceiling forty or fifty years ago. My wife once told her father she wanted to be an architect. He discouraged her. It was unlikely, he explained, that a woman could be accepted in the profession.
But not anymore. Women are seen in all walks of life and a great many of them are visibly and admirably successful. Ask Condoleeza Rice. Ask Carly Fiorina. I’d say, ask Hillary Clinton, but she takes the lying narrative to new heights, as does Michelle Obama, who recently claimed that America had somehow been unfair to her. Sure.
The narrative is false because certain people use it as an excuse, a tactic. Without the narrative, they can’t portray women as victims, and being victims is the way they gain sympathy—and inspire guilt in all the rest of us. This is not the way most women feel, of course. Most women nowadays work. They have jobs and responsibilities outside child rearing or cooking dinner (which they do in addition to doing their outside jobs). Women feel like individuals. They act like individual people, persons. They don’t act like a class, a mob or a collective, because they aren’t one.
The narrative may be partly a plot to elect Hillary Clinton, the intent being to inspire the kind of guilt that got Obama elected because he was black. However, Carly Fiorina is also a candidate and willingly puts the notion down. It is true that the position of women in the society has improved, but in the minds of most women, it is probably about the same as it has always been because human nature does not change. Women want marriage, family, solvency and children. They want a home and all the other “entitlements” they’ve always had, including having men open doors for them and buy them diamonds. They want to be attractive and sexy and often easily compete on an intellectual level with men. They don’t really need to compete, of course. They just need to be what they are, naturally smart and talented in many areas, and they need to take credit for what they do.
By the way, getting a woman elected President does not improve the lot of women in general, because achievement is not a class thing. It’s an individual thing. A woman who wants an education can get one. Even if she doesn’t have a university door held open for her, even if she isn’t married or even if she isn’t encouraged by a father to become an architect. She can work hard and make her own way. Nobody is holding women back. In fact, it is rare among men even to stereotype women nowadays. Not only is it Politically Incorrect, but it’s also repugnant to everyone but the crudest types.
Nobody needs permission to achieve, at least not in American society. It’s what makes our country desirable for women, unlike Muslim countries where women are less than chattel and in many Hispanic countries where males often engage in traditional misogynistic attitudes. And there are pockets in our society where the attitude toward women in general is negative. But women do not need to remain in those pockets. They can break free fairly easily—by reading books, acquiring skills and learning to move themselves forward and upward in society. Attitudes are only attitudes. The glass ceiling no longer holds anyone down if she exhibits intelligence, talent and the will to work smartly hard. The best ammunition with which to fight a fictional war on women is to ignore the enemy that doesn’t exist.
FJ Rocca was born the day after Pearl Harbor in the same hometown as Johnny Appleseed. He is a trained classical musician, a published illustrator and a prolific writer of fiction and non-fiction. His website is candiddiscourse.com. • (739 views)