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August 19, 2005

What? No Tech Wench???

It's funny (thought Cassandra, Blog Princess to herself, ruefully). Yesterday, after a week full of heavy stuff about Cindy Sheehan and the WOT I wrote what was meant to be sort of a light-hearted piece about how gender roles are changing. And it struck me then how much trouble I was having bringing it to a close.

Normally when writing about economics or the WOT or law I just sit and write until I'm done. It's fluid and easy and the words and ideas just flow. But though I knew what I wanted to say, I found myself hesitating, censoring myself for fear of giving offense. Not saying what I really meant and then getting angry when I realized what I was doing. That is such a typically feminine response. It is so ingrained in us that we don't even realize we're doing it, and I keep trying to root it out in my writing. Not because I enjoy giving offense (in fact, I face the prospect with fear and loathing) but because it is dishonest when your intent is to drag ideas out into the open and examine them: to see if they hold water.

At any rate, it all struck me as particularly funny this morning because as I was reading The Corner, I ran across an interesting item that dovetailed nicely with something ruthlessly excised from my post yesterday. Right after this section...

I don't want to go back to the days when it was automatically assumed I couldn't do certain things, go certain places, say certain things just because I was born female. That's hard for my daughter-in-law, who is an astonishingly bright young woman, to imagine. Sometimes it is hard for me to imagine, but I can still remember when it was reality.

...I had written something like this:

I still have the aptitude tests I took when I was fifteen. When I look back, there were several careers which matched my skills perfectly, yet the counselor did not recommend them for me.

I would like to think there was a good reason why law, university professor, and editor were the only professions suggested to fit my profile. According to the book I was given, computer programmer, city planner, diplomat, detective were a few others that would have suited.

I stand by that thought. It's my honest opinion, but I took it out because it sounded too whiny, too strident, too Rad-Fem. But perhaps more importantly because it was certain to grate on someone's nerves and frankly it was a position I didn't care to defend. So you can imagine my amusement when I ran across this:

What Shall I Be? The Exciting Game of Career Girls

"Let's get our little American girls ready for the wide-open working world!".

Eagerly I searched for my chosen field...

TECH.jpg WHAT??? NO TECH WENCH??? We forget, lo! these many years later, how far women have truly come since your Princess was in grade school, back in the Pleistoceine Era when Great Beasts wrestled in the tarpits...

Too funny.

Your personal qualities and feminine charm will come in handy in your chosen field:

calm.jpg no_life.jpg

Play your cards right, and you, too, can go to COLLEGE, where you will learn valuable career skills like:

grog.jpg mind.jpg

Honesty time here.

I write an awful lot about women's lib and the excesses of feminism, and that really is what I am complaining about: the excesses of feminism. I like men just fine the way they are and I think both Joatmoaf and JannyMae had it right in the comments section last night.

I like a man who respects himself. And I am very happy to finally live in a world that allows me to respect myself on my own terms. Of course, I've always been able to do that, but the difference is that now I don't have to fight the rest of the world for the right to compete. It is just assumed that I do.

The truly remarkable thing, which we tend to take for granted these days is I didn't automatically have that chance (nor did other women) when I was younger.

What grates me about some modern feminists is their tendency to try to elevate women by putting men down, or to define the entire world in female terms and label everything masculine as dysfunctional, as though only half of humanity counted. This is the Politics of Grievance. They're committing the same error as the NAACP and other faux civil-"rights" groups: inflicting the same injustices on their former 'oppressors' that they complain about. All in the name of redressing past inequities. But two wrongs don't make a right. You can only use your weakness and your former oppressor's guilt as shields for so long before your opponent wises up to the tactic. And the worst thing about this tack is that your own sense of self-worth ends up irreparably damaged by the culture of Victimhood. It's hard to win the race when all your energy is focused on beating your opponent about the head and shoulders with his own guilt. Better to spend it on learning to run faster.

People who genuinely respect themselves don't need to put others down to raise their own self-esteem, nor do they need to dominate others. Competing with them is another thing entirely. But a secure person can generally accept being beaten fairly. Channelled properly, pain is a great motivator. It's what makes you try harder the next time, or correct the mistakes that kept you from winning. Or it may simply motivate you to find another race that suits your talents better - where you can really shine.

Posted by Cassandra at August 19, 2005 06:07 AM

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Tracked on August 20, 2005 12:53 PM


"What grates me about some modern feminists is their tendency to try to elevate women by putting men down, or to define the entire world in female terms and label everything masculine as dysfunctional..."

It occurs to me that if you substitute Democrats for feminists and women, and Republicans for men and masculine, we have an explanation for todays politics.

Posted by: richard [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 19, 2005 10:50 AM

Great points in the whole article. This line particularly struck me:

"People who genuinely respect themselves don't need to put others down to raise their own self-esteem, nor do they need to dominate others."


Posted by: JannyMae at August 19, 2005 11:21 AM

"People who genuinely respect themselves don't need to put others down to raise their own self-esteem, nor do they need to dominate others."

What a stupid statement. Cassandra, you ignorant slut, thanks for keeping me from lifting my self esteem. Now go drink in the weekend.

Posted by: KJ at August 19, 2005 01:49 PM

Oddly, reading that comment made me feel really, reeeeeally smart.


Posted by: Cassandra at August 19, 2005 02:02 PM

Humoressly (or not, you choose!) I was reading a book about Saladin (some warrior guy from the 11th century and his religion, Islam, sheesh, how irrelevant) and he commented on the time he spent as a "hostage" among the Crusaders (nothing like Abu Graib, mind you), in that, get this kids:
"...The women and wives of the crusaders did not have to walk behind their men, were allowed to speak without permission and sometimes moved about without the company of their husbands and spoke freely to strange (not brothers or aquaintances, or somebody like KJ, for instance) men."

Those wacky, straightlaced Christian oppressor Crusaders, and their problems with the Muslim world......950 years ago.
Cassandra, Cricket, Janny Mae get thee to your burkha, pronto!

Posted by: David at August 19, 2005 03:28 PM

Wait a minute. I thought the Christian conservatives were just like the Muslim terrorists. That makes it sound like a true cultural difference.

Posted by: KJ at August 19, 2005 06:37 PM

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