A Woman’s World Of Woe

Some further thoughts related to yesterday’s post about the constantly bitchin’ women.

A liberal woman friend, in a recent conversation about the TV show Downton Abbey, said something to the effect that the series showed how horribly women were treated back then (the turn of the last century). I suppose she was talking about one of the female characters who would have become an outcast from “society” if her one night stand with a man to whom she was not married were revealed.

And what was the worst thing that could have happened? She would have left England for America (where such things, even then, were less consequential) and into the arms of her extremely rich American grandmother and where she would probably have lived out her days wanting nothing while acquiring numerous husbands and lovers. ‘Twas a pity, no?

Not surprisingly, the entertainment industry has been grinding the feminist ax for decades. The wildly popular TV series Mad Men has purported to enlighten us on the putatively horrible lives women were forced to live in the early 1960’s. As one who grew up in the 1950’s, I offer a list of behaviors I was conditioned to perform that, since the Great Emancipation of women in the 60’s, seem to have become mostly out of fashion:

1. As I mentioned yesterday, men were trained to rise when a woman entered the room and not sit until after the woman did. I don’t see much of that anymore.

2. Men were expected to remove their hats in the presence of a woman as a sign of respect. Fuggedaboutit!

3. Men were expected to give up their seats on a bus or train to a woman. Maybe an obviously old woman (or man) nowadays.

4. When the Titanic went down, women and children went into the life boats while the men drowned. I wonder if that quaint custom would be followed today.

5. Men were involuntarily drafted into the military, but not women. And speaking of Downton Abbey: How many women died miserably in the trenches and battle fields of World War I?

6. Men were expected to pick up the check for dinner etc. when out with women. Today, I don’t see too many women reaching for their Visa cards when the check comes. Some thing don’t change.

7. Men were expected to hold the door for women and allow them to pass through first.

8. Men were expected to carry women’s packages. As an elementary school student, I remember walking an early girlfriend named Ann Caruso home and carrying her school bag. That’s what I was supposed to do. I don’t see any of that today.

9. Men were expected to buy women expensive gifts like jewelry while women could get by with giving a man a tie.

10. Men died early of stress related illnesses like heart disease and stroke while women, relatively speaking, lived on. And as more women took on high pressure full-time jobs after their “emancipation, their incidences of heart disease and stroke rose.

Yes, pre-emancipation women did the laundry, but with the invention (by men) of the automatic washer and dryer, what had once been day long drudgery became a minor chore. Yes women cleaned and cooked, but those activities were made a lot easier by modern inventions like the vacuum cleaner and electric or gas powered stoves and ovens.

But of course then there’s the 800 pound gorilla for feminists: the caring for infants and small children. In my experience, there are some women who hate and resent having to care for their children and cannot wait until they drop the little buggers off at “day care” and get back to the really interesting stuff like sucking up to customers, clients and bosses. I think women like that really ought to forgo motherhood.

But there are others who just love being with their babies and toddlers and do not mind at all changing their diapers and seeing to all of their other needs. These women, if and when they have to return to work, often suffer from real separation anxiety and depression.

Of course, their suffering is something the movement types would prefer not to discuss. It just isn’t a woman’s “health issue” like birth control and abortion. No, the movement types want to concentrate on getting the taxpayers to pay for the squirt’s day care so the woman can get back to the place where, they proclaim, she really wants to be: the office.

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