The Historic Totem Pole of a Woman’s Worth

The story begins with a historical perspective on how female African American slaves were treated in America’s past. The basic gist is that these women were slaves first, and then women/ mothers/ wives second. All slaves worked, regardless of their gender.

What could bring them back to their gender in a slave owner’s eyes would be the owner’s sexual onslaught onto the woman. This rape was yet another despicable form of control. Pregnant slaves, as well as those who had recently given birth, were to constantly work in the fields at the same level as any man.

While a slave woman was valued as a reproductive machine, that capability still did not give her preferential treatment. The black female slave was at the very bottom of society. Even her gender was another way to lower her already abysmal place in life.

Even today, being black or being a woman makes a person less likely to succeed. The preferential odds are against individuals who are not white or male.

There is now a classic psychological experiment: who is most employable? When a job is posted and many people apply, white men are the most likely to be hired, then Asian men, then Hispanic men, and then black men.  A white woman is on the same ranking employability level as a Hispanic or black man. Lastly comes the black woman, below all the rest. Having a vagina has always been a handicap.

This is no surprise, considering that black men gained the right to vote with the 15th Amendment- while women of every race waited until the 19th Amendment.

Truly, historically women in America were generally considered lesser beings from every angle. We are still today assessing the female’s place in our society. Hopefully, there will eventually be some consensus on a woman being equal in rights to a man. Or those who aren’t of Caucasian, European descent being employable. Or gay people being equal to straight people. Or not having to use any label to determine your life’s course.

If the American dream is to use hard work and determination in order to climb and succeed, then the dream would be much more plausible without weighted labels. As Gaga says, we were born this way, so make like musical Glee and reach for the stars.

Or something less cheesy sounding.



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So Sexist It’s Comical

 

Gender roles are clearly established when it comes to children’s toys and clothing; blue for boys, pink for girls, GI Joe for Jack, Barbie for Jill. But, there had been an influx of children declaring this is not fair! There was the little girl throwing a tantrum about the colors in the toy aisle, then there was a little girl writing to Hasboro about the discrepancy in female characters in the game Guess Who, the dad who stood up for his three-year-old son’s right to wear a dress like his sister. However, big business isn’t taking notice.

Marvel Comics is having a big year. The Avengers II is coming out, Iron Man III, huge influx in interest in comics—both male and female. It’s only natural that they would want to capitalize on this. Marvel has been ahead of the social curve—usually. They had the first comic hero gay wedding, they created a deaf superhero so that a little boy would feel good about his hearing aid–  I’m a huge Marvel fan…but they screwed the pooch on this one.

The shirts for the Avengers franchise have “boys and girls” versions. The boy version is blue and says “Be A Hero”. How cute is that? I can picture my little nephew running around in that pretending to be The Hulk or Captain America. You know what I can’t see? I can’t see my niece running around in her version of the shit that says, “I Need A Hero”. That’s right, my niece can run around screaming like a damsel in distress while my nephew can run up and save her—clearly the girl always needs saving. Nonsense! Marvel…why? Why did you have to do this? We had such a good thing going! And why is the girl’s shirt eight dollars more expensive? Not only do I need a hero I need to pay more to declare it? Screw you! I’m frugal and therefore I am the hero of my bank account…I don’t need a hero I am a hero!

Strike one Marvel…you’ve got two more—don’t screw it up.



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LOVE Will Conquer ALL

I’ve spoken about being pro-equal rights. I’m a huge advocate for same-sex marriage. I’m a huge advocate for equal rights for all people…and animals. I’ve been very upset and angered by the hate I hear being preached during this very important time. On the 26th and 27th of this month the Supreme Court is hearing arguments for same-sex marriage. There is only one argument that I feel is worthy, and that is: people have an inalienable right to marry the person they love no matter of the gender.

It’s been hard for me to have a positive attitude during this time because I am so angered by the blatent ignorance and hate. But then I read this article by the NY Daily News:

“Jenna Wolfe and Stephanie Gosk of NBC come out as couple; reveal engagement and baby on the way”

NBC newscaster Jenna Wolfe is The Today show’s Sunday anchor. Wolfe said she and partner Gosk, a foreign correspondent at NBC, have been together three years, plan to wed and will have a baby by December. Here are some choice quotes from Wolfe’s blog and her appearance with Gosk on the Today show Wednesday morning:

“My girlfriend, Stephanie Gosk, and I are expecting a baby girl the end of August,” Wolfe, 39, wrote in the debut post for her new pregnancy blog.

“We felt like we wanted to share our adventures with a wide-eyed, little person,” she blogged. “The more we talked about it, the better the idea seemed.”

“We were constantly on the road, juggling a thousand balls at once,” she told the mag. “It’s a miracle we got it all together.”

“This is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to us,”

“But I don’t want to bring my daughter into a world where I’m not comfortable telling everyone who I am and who her mother is.”

“The beauty is that we live in a time where there’s no need for secrecy.

“For a long time I had feared I would never have a child”.

“This baby doesn’t care that I was in phenomenal shape before getting pregnant. She doesn’t care that I had a near perfect diet. She made the first four months brutal for me … B-R-U-T-A-L.”

“There were days when all I could eat were Saltine crackers, Apple Jacks dry cereal and plain pasta,”

“As a kid, I would have chosen raising my adrenaline over raising children any day of the week. But then a funny thing happened on my way to adulthood … I grew up. I ran smack into the old nursery rhyme: “First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes Jenna pushing a baby carriage”

I didn’t attribute names to the quotes because they could be the words of any couple. These two are in love, they want to make a lifetime commitment to each other and share that with the world, and they want to raise their child together. It’s beautiful.

As I said before I’ve been down and angry about what I’ve heard as a result of the same-sex marriage hearing. But then I heard this…and I was reminded the love is beautiful, family is what matters, and people can scream hate at the top of their lungs, they can twist the word of God to work for them, they can try as hard as they possibly can to stop it…but LOVE will win. LOVE always finds a way.

In the darkness it’s hard to see the light…but light will come. Hate is dark…love is light. I have faith that LOVE will win, maybe not today…maybe not even in my lifetime…but LOVE will continue to grow, you can try and stop it but you will never stop people from finding each other—from loving each other—from supporting each other…LOVE will win.



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Bathroom Behavior

Ben and Birdy is a very successful blog. The blogger covers an array of topics, recipes, stray thoughts, ideas, old photos…it’s basically a well-run diary. But there is one entry that is getting a whole lot of notice. The title of this entry is called: “An open letter to the guy who chased my son out of the men’s bathroom after mistaking him for a girl” and the entry is as follows:

“I just want to start by applauding your decision to shout at us right off the bat. “She was in the men’s room! Your daughter was in the men’s room! A girl in the men’s room!” For one thing, how else will we learn? For another, how else will we be covered in spittle? Plus, I think it’s good, if you see something unexpected, to proceed with violent certainty rather than with, say, wonder or even doubt. Like the time I found that slightly darker O in my bowl of Cheerios and freaked out because I knew for sure that it was a wheel from the landing gear of a miniature UFO that was going to abduct me and probe my anus; if it were cereal, it would look like the rest of the cereal. Likewise, if you see a doll with short hair, even if it’s lying next to a pair of scissors, you should think, “Ew. When did Ken’s boobs get so big?”

 

It made sense, too, to continue to insist that he was a girl, even after he calmly explained that he had been in the men’s room because he was a boy. (“It’s Ken! But Ken has boobs!”) And your distress over imagining that a preadolescent girl saw your man parts—“I was naked in there! She saw me naked!”—makes such an important point about the prevalence of peeping-Tommery in young girls, and the ways that middle-aged men are vulnerable to them.

 

To answer your question, “Are you its mom?” more unambiguously: Yes. But you’re smart to ask, because maybe the whole family is a transgendered house of mirrors and I’m really “its” dad! (Last laugh—i.e. my having it—alert!) Certainly, though, it made a lot of sense to imagine that I had colluded in the perversion of sending a girl into the men’s room because, after all, what parent doesn’t want their daughter to be in a tiled room full of urinating men?

 

In conclusion, thank you for your valuable input. I can only hope that my son will leave behind his girly days of placid confidence and grow into somebody as manly as you—with the kind of balls it takes to scream at a child in public.

 

yours truly,

Its Mother

I loved this letter. She was able to shut down an idiot without calling him an idiot so I will. This guy is an idiot. I’m assuming the child is rather young since their mother is with them in the restroom. I’ve seen so many little boys in the ladies room because their mother takes them in there to go to the restroom. I have never seen anyone freak out about it. Young children in a restroom should never upset anyone. They’re young children, they are not interested in your “parts”, they are interested in going potty. The fact that this was a little boy and the man insisted it was a girl and then an “it” is infuriating.

The fact that a grown man yelled at a woman and then at a child is infuriating, the fact that we are so concerned with gender roles is also infuriating. The only thing that isn’t infuriating is the fact that this child will be fine because their mother clearly knows how to handle this situation.



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