Reaction on Reading Packets

This post is a reaction to the 3 packets of information that was given to my Women’s Colloquium class over numerous topics including rape, the lack of female artists in museums, sexism, women in the courtroom, and women getting into the education system and creating careers for themselves. So inevitably this reaction will cover a lot.

The readings started off talking about colonial women for the most part. How the wife, way back in the day, was more than content to stay home and help the family by making candles and spinning/weaving. This was their way of contributing while the man farmed or had a job in town. Women back then did not feel the need to have a job because they were still contributing to the profit of the family in their own way. And it makes sense, they did what they were good at, and still had a feeling of self worth. As the world has evolved and become much more industrial, the man takes giant strides, while it seems the woman is always two steps behind. While the man left for his job or career the woman was left behind with housework and possibly childcare. No longer having a feeling of self worth because (as most studies show) there is no recognition giving to the wife/mother of doing household duties. No pat on the back, it is expected of them to do these chores.

Now there was the very rare exception of a woman working as a doctor, architect, lawyer, and politician; but these poor women were depicted as “strange mutations” thank to the media back in the 50s and 60s. Just how rare? Here are some stats for 1960: 6% of doctors were women, lawyers 3%, and <1% of engineers. What about professors? Hell no, when women were going to a higher education they were always taught by men who said “you’re taking a mans spot here, but really you’re only filling a quota.” They never had female professors and the crazy thing was that they didn’t even question it! It baffles me that women once were thought about his way, and though about themselves this way!  Women were, and occasionally still viewed as the weaker sex, even though the college attendance is dominated by females now. An example of them being the weaker sex, is when employers would pay women less for the same job that a male was doing. One employer even asked a single business woman  “Do you have a family you have to support?” ‘No.’ “What about a mortgage?” “Not yet but I would like to buy a home soon.” “Well that’s why the man gets paid more!” I was appalled by this nonsense! What about a man who is not yet married and living alone as well! Same circumstances. What is sad to think is that we still have this sexist pay gap!

I hate what society has been forcing onto us since the beginning of time. That women are meant to be raised “pure” and are to be raised under their fathers rule until they are married and basically pawned off to their husbands care. That they are a piece of property, and there for only reproductive purposes.

Moving into the area of television, where it was clear women had only limited options is despicable. What’s even more depressing is that the roles women had back then portrayed them as either children (I Love Lucy) or a modern housewife with all the trimmings. Now don’t get me wrong Lucile Ball was a revolutionist when it came to women in comedy and producing her own shows, but she didn’t really portray her self as a powerful woman in the show. In the 970s we had a boom in household wives watching soap operas (information herehttp://soapcentral.com/soapcentral/news/2005/0509-historyofsoaps_01.php) and although those shows were based around some strong resilient women, they were mostly based around cat fights and love stories. As of late in the 2000s we have women fighting over companies and much more than just a man.

When I read about the flight attendants and about their “height and weight requirements” I was outraged. I could not believe that they were hiring girls on just their looks, and their marital status. They had to be single and plan on marrying within at least 3 or so years (preferably 18 months). Meaning these girls were never around long enough to realize how crappy their lack of benefits were, and they could never advance in position. They were eye candy, meant to be slim and appealing to the business men flying. This also meant that marriage was death to a woman’s job or career. Kaput! You’re done. This also meant that women wouldn’t get hired for other jobs regardless of better schooling than men in things other than just flight attending. Want to know how employers went about this? “Do you plan on getting married anytime soon?” -“Well eventually.” “Alright we’re going with the man, thanks for your time.” And the sexism wasn’t even seen as sexism! It was the norm! How obscure that life must have been.

Something that I read about in one of the excerpts was how a woman waiting to meet a business perspective in a bar was asked to leave. That it was a place for men and that she could not “solicit” there. Pretty much calling her a whore. It blew my mind! I could not image just chilling at a bar in a hotel, possibly waiting for someone, and then be accused of being a prostitute! I would be outraged, and so would that women. Its like comparing the following pictures:

I would be appalled!

Unfortunately I did not get much out of the Guerrilla Girls, aside from it being a great PR tactic for women artists. I liked the idea of it, and the point they were trying to prove. Along with the Riot Grrrl Manifesto, the lack of grammar, which I know is ironic for me considering how poor mine is, I found it was to hard to follow.

I found the 3rd wave portion to be a bit on the “bitchy” side, although I have been known to get pretty steamed up before on touchy issues as well.

I found a lot of the information on rape astounding. It really made me think about it, with all my “human sexuality” classes I’m taking it made me think about what is classified as rape even more. I have also gotten in discussions before with many people about what is considered rape. But honestly I think that I don’t support everything they had to say about rape. I know this is a very touchy subject, so I will try to not be coarse about it. But honestly, I don’t think you can put all the blame on a guy. Like in the instances where the information said “a woman can say no even after some fooling around has begun.” I don’t know how I feel about that. Purely because, let’s face it, everyone fools around after drinking, everyone can feel like it was a mistake the next morning, but only a woman can say after the regret that is was rape? Bull sh*t. You can’t blame a man for reading the situation wrong. If you started fooling around and decided half way through that you didn’t want to continue sex, and hardly voice your opinion on it, that to me isn’t rape. I do believe if you push him away and say “no” sternly then yeah it would be. Although rape is a very serious accusation, I feel as though some women don’t treat it that way. It can sometimes be who mislead who? Who regretted what? And that can turn into something that could ruin one of the participants life.  And what about men getting raped? IT doesn’t happen as often but it does. Men raping men and women raping men. But those men hardly ever step forward. It breaks my heart that things like this happens in this world and no thing can seem to fix this. Their was talk of teaching boys in school, in sexual education programs, that rape is bad, and is a crime. That could help yes, but that’s only one generation out there. What about the generation that has already learned they like to rape others? I read in one study of a university, that if it wasn’t breaking a law/wasn’t a crime 60% of men would rape a woman. That is way to high of a statistic for me to ever feel comfortable around college guys.

Rape has been around since the dawn of time. How do we “beat” it out of society when it’s been engrained in their DNA. What I also found incredibly interesting was the fact that our bed time stories are based around rape. Like Little Red Ridding Hood; that was about rape?!? SAY WHAT? How had I not realized that yet in my adult life? It is so clear to me now. I was blind before. And it is always a man coming into save the damsel in distress. It is a retired story line, it has been used for as long as their has been stories to be told. A women gets into trouble and a man must save her, and sometimes save her from another man. It’s disgusting to think about.  But you find another wolf in an old Grimm story with males as the leads and they can save themselves! The 3 little pigs is the example I am using right now. Over all it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth, when I wish what I was tasting was bacon. It makes me think about any powerful woman in those old stories. They are the evil ones, the antagonists for the helpless protagonists. The old cannibalistic witch in Hansel and Gretel, the spiteful stepmother of Cinderella, the mother of Snow White, and those are just a few. Why must we have the powerful women be the evil monsters?

Although some of the examples given in the reading are very disturbing and those women deserve the rights that every woman deserves. Domestic does not mean safe just because you have your husband there to save you. Wives can be raped by their husbands as well too. I believe society needs to change, that seems improbable.

That is all I care bare to say on this subject.

~Jacki K

Even the second First Lady had a tough time talking to her husband.

Our second President of the United States was John Addams, his wife was Abigail Adams a daughter of a minister, and of small education, only writing, and arithmetic, but that was more then most women in this age of the “Revolution.” The letters exchanged between the future president and his wife was during the time when John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson were drafting up the Declaration of Independence in 1776, she was writing to him about including the women in the declaration. That not only just the men should hold all the power, that women need to have independence just as well and be a part of the country’s power.

John’s retort to her letters of equality and respect? He laughed. He just plainly said that there were more important things on the declarations plate. It would be foolish to tack on something irrelevant, thank gods this has changed since then. I don’t believe that I myself, if put into Abigail’s shoes, would be able to stay with a man who would scoff at my dreams and ideas. It blows my mind that woman’s rights were looked down upon that much. I can’t help but say how much better it is today, yet at the same time have men still scoff at women rights.

Abigail Adams was a woman before her time, already knowing that women would suffer for decades to come after. She tried fighting for us long before anything was even considered being done about it.

 

~Jacki K

A reaction to the “Declaration of Sentiments”

A long time ago, centuries even, in 1848 sixty eight women and 32 men signed a declaration of sentiments. This declaration was not unlike the one our founding fathers of America signed in 1776. But unlike that declaration, we women are still struggling for equality. The declaration signed in 1848, nearly a century later, was one for freedom and independence but not for a country but for women of all kinds to be free of their slavery to men. To not be the property of their husbands or fathers, to be their own identity, claim their own property, have a voice, be a part of government, and have the same code of morals as men.

To read what women had suffered through so much only 150 years ago is depressing, especially when it comes to the fact that we have come a long way, but not long enough. Women hold hardly any standard in the area of the government, and are scrutinized that much more when running for candidacy. As though the fact that they can give birth to another human being is a reason enough that they “couldn’t handle the job.” If anything shouldn’t the ability to bare life be a pro upon why they could lead a country or state or providence? No man on earth can do what a woman can but any women on earth could do what a man does.

One of the excerpts I found most influential was the following: “Whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of those who suffer from it to refuse allegiance to it, and to insist upon the institution of a new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.” This touched me so deeply with the current controversy on the birth control debates going on. To me I read it as, if your government is keeping you from living a happy and prosperous life, then you must stand up and do something about it, it is acceptable to fight for your right, and I find that Birth Control covered by insurance companies is plenty under the line of fulfillment. I don’t see what the big deal is, and I definitely think that we should try and get this bill passed, I am woman, I have my rights like any other human being, and I am the only one who should be in control of when I want to reproduce.