A Very Good Point

Reading a good post on Ricochet, trying to put my finger on how I can possibly use the topic without it all going wahoonie shaped, and from left field a lady makes a really, really good point:

Judithann Campbell
There is a way to empower both men and women without taking away women’s rights; parents should stop forcing their daughters to pursue careers. I am 41; I have never wanted a career, but I used to make up stories about careers that I supposedly wanted, because saying that one doesn’t want a career is socially unacceptable. I doubt that I am the only women who has done this; many or most women pursue careers not necessarily because they want to, but because they are told that they must; if we allowed young women to do what they wanted, many or most would stay out of the workforce. A few would still want careers, and they would have every right to pursue them, but everyone would be better off if parents would stop trying to turn their daughters into Hillary Clinton.
#56 ·Sep 19 at 7:09pm

Very much this. I am glad I spent the time I did in the Navy– in no small part because that’s how I met Elf– but oy am I sick of folks talking about how I’m “wasting” my life by raising my own children.  Total crab bucket, too, with unhappy women who regret their choices trying to force girls to follow them.  Those ladies I know who are genuinely happy with what they did tend to encourage folks to follow (I’m looking at you, mom, with your constant when-am-I-going-to-finish-a-degree stuff) and most assuredly still do the guilt trips, but they don’t try to invoke some sort of sex loyalty thing.  In general, of course– if someone hasn’t figured out that you can come up with one or two specific examples that counter the tendencies, they should probably be reading elsewhere….

What’s really sad is that our technology right now is perfect for making ‘traditional’ feminine living highly productive in a large number of ways, but the all-women-must-ACHIEVE thing is counter-productive to that goal. (Among many other factors.)
Thank goodness for the internet, I’d go nuts without someone to “talk” to, some mental stimulation.  I love Elf dearly, but he’s working–he doesn’t have time to play with ideas, and the weekends aren’t long enough for all the half-baked notions to be hammered out.  The net (especially blogs) let me find the ideas, hammer them out and either discard them or store them for future thought.  Really good ones I can send to him, and we can polish them before introducing them to others.

I hesitate to hold myself as a norm, but since I rather lack in female friends of the same age… I am really, really sick of Boomers working out their issues on my generation.  My history class was poisoned by it, social studies was poisoned by it, the time I should have had to work out what I wanted was instead guided to filling out the holes they felt from the freaking sixties— without the framework that held those holes.  The Ricochet podcast was pushing a book that is a good example of the blow-back I sense– called something like “Your Teacher Said WHAT?!”  Many dry jokes about the “kill the Indians, slavery, WWII Internment camps” theory of history.  I gotta say– not funny.  Most of the history I was offered in school was aimed at correcting the notion that America is perfect… problem being that we’re two generations, at least, past that being commonly taught, and from those Boomers I’ve spoken to, it was more complex than that if you were paying attention.  (Don’t get me started on the mangling of world history.  Or on the paying attention thing, really– that idiot girl in Canada is a great example of not paying attention.)

In school, I greatly annoyed a couple of teachers because I persisted in pointing out that their broad-strokes-correction-stuff wasn’t entirely accurate.  An annoyingly pig-headed ranch kid with a teacher mother and two professional, college-educated grandmothers is not someone who buffallos easily, especially when you’re trying to paint the pre-60s as a wasteland where women cowered in fear and were ignorant, powerless, uneducated sops.

Now, I can look back and understand that we were looking at different sorts of power– they were measuring it by how much of the recognized man’s power a woman had, I was looking at a more amorphous form. (Major irony points: I’m a geek girl, which means that my brain is more “masculine” in the language they were speaking, while they were and are better at “nurturing”{education} and cooperation style things… these uber-feminist 60s gals were using masculine measures of power while I was using feminine ones.  A large part of the problem came from us speaking in different frameworks, and our frameworks were reversed from what one would expect!)

An ever present problem with these flavor of topics is the outlying problem– who are the outliers?  The standard Dr. Quinn beaten-and-cowering-wife, the old Matriarch that has utter control over EVERYTHING, or folks like Elf and I?  (The mostly joking way of explaining Elf and I coming down to Elf gets the final say, but doesn’t even exercise an initial say most of the time.)


13 thoughts on “A Very Good Point”

  1. Additional information, or so it seems to me.
    In my various jobs over the years, I've worked for conservative, libertarian and Christian outfits as well as more “liberal” media outlets. There's no question which groups treat women the best. To take the most extreme example I can think of, I was once in a high-level meeting with various Lutheran leaders while literally taking care of my infant. They didn't blink. The idea that I'd be allowed to do that at my last newspaper is, of course, laughable.

    My folks are ranchers. All three children spent time on the ranch equipment, in the horse truck, in the saddle, clinging to the back of the motorcycle while changing sprinklers….

  2. I don't want a career. I mostly just want to have a good excuse to spend a lot of time in the library, with enough service to others that I don't feel too selfish about it, and room and board inclusive. But unfortunately, this is not a career profile one is offered by anybody except the Dominicans, and I didn't know anything about Dominican sisters back when I was young enough. Eheu fugaces, etc.

    But on the other hand, being an independent scholar (or just messing about with books with absolutely no intellectual rigor, as I do) is a good deal easier than it used to be.

  3. *half-formed flight of fancy*
    You can almost be a monk in the wilderness, part-time, just by doing your day job then going to an inexpensive studio apartment with decent internet access….

  4. “everyone would be better off if parents would stop trying to turn their daughters into Hillary Clinton.”

    Truer words were never spoken.

  5. those parents trying to raise little Hillarys need to look at her life and ask… do i want that kind of family life for my daughter?


  6. I am noticing a profound anger among some in the young twenties generation with Baby Boomers a group. This is unfair as I know many who never did anything to mess up society. Some were political activists; some were clueless followers, but some were more or less down-to-earth people caught up in a history they did not create and were trying to get past. One could make similar claims about certain different areas involving modern twenty-year-olds. Today, we have massive economic problems. Back then, there was the Vietnam War – the last time the U. S. had a draft for a very unpopular war. Many people were upset and it, along with the heightened influence of television, contributed to society going a bit off of the rails. The generation really responsible for the mess was the post-WWII generation. This happens after the disruption of a world war. It happened after WW I, as well.

    That being said, the whole, ” girls gatta work,” movement was a result of a conflation of a misunderstanding of civil rights, feminism, and a growing economy, but shrinking sexual morality. None of these was started by the Baby Boomers. They were simply the one's with enough free time on their hands (in part because if the automation revolution of the 1950's) to do sometime about them.

    The Chicken

  7. Should be, “ones,” not, “one's.”. Stupid IPad spell-checker…

    The Chicken

  8. One could make similar claims about certain different areas involving modern twenty-year-olds.

    “Could”? You hear anything but how horrible my generation is? Where?

    Good heavens, there was a big to-do on the radio about how those born between 70 and 90 don't respect authority. This, from the generation that's famous for rebelling just to rebel? (it did come to mind that those rebels could have pointed to the flappers and mobsters.)

    Of course, part of why there's anger at the Boomers is that they didn't have to pay to take care of their parents, they got gov't help with their children and they're now talking about how they need to get theirs from SS when those younger than themselves are aware that they're being left with the bill. It's not entirely rational, but the confrontational and demanding folks can't bull on forever.

    1. Since I see you posted this three days in the future; when you come back could you give me an address of where I can order a time machine? :)

      1. *laughs* Yeah, I put it on “all comments need approval” after a bit of a spam attack… and of course this is the ONE day that I wasn’t around my email all day!

  9. I was born in 79 so I fit the ‘those born between 70 and 90 don’t respect authority.’

    You know what? They’re right, I don’t respect a lot of those currently with authority, if they show me they are worthy of respect, I will respect them. As it is the seem more likely to show me they are worthy of nothing but contempt.

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 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )


Connecting to %s