April 11, 2008
Oppressed By The Matriarchy!
Last night as she slept between Green Tea-dyed, cruelty-free organically grown free range bamboo sheets, the Blog Princess tossed and turned feverishly. Just before the loathsome little alarm clock on her nightstand could commence to hopping back and forth faster than Teddy Kennedy with a bladder full of brewskis, her hand shot out from beneath the all natural down coverlet and squashed it like a bug.
"GET YOUR *%^$#@! LAWS OFF MY BODY!!!!", she yelled, startling The Unit so much that he fell right out of bed and curled up into the fetal position on the floor. Served him right for allowing himself to be duped into supporting the Chimperor's illegal and immoral war for oil. "Honestly", she thought to herself tolerantly, "I don't know why I married him. Rethugs are so stupid." Why, anyone who wasn't a lying, partisan hack knew that the troops who actually think for themselves plan to vote for Obama. If it weren't for a few brave truth tellers in the media, no one in this country would ever get the straight scoop.
As she swept the covers aside her foot shot out to give The Unit a swift kick to the groin just to remind him who was in charge. Really, men were so violent. If women ruled the world, Gaia would be a far better planet to live on: a peaceful agrarian paradise where first worlders engaged in fair trade practices and people of color and alternate gender identities were guaranteed safe spaces; where everyone felt validated. Unlike men, women invariably practiced caring and sharing; they didn't need to engage in power plays and mean spirited attempts to dominate each other through primitive displays of aggression. Swinging her feet over the side of the bed, a gleam of gold caught her eye.
She felt a pang of unease. The delicate shimmering on her left ankle represented the golden shackles of involuntary servitude to the patriarchy. Men were such pigs. Always lording their unearned gender privileges over the little womyn. For a moment she was tempted to rip it off and throw it in the lake behind their house... It would serve him right, the bastard. Thankfully, her superior feminine logic skills kicked in just in time. Forcing her to throw a valuable piece of jewelry into the lake would be just like a man. They were always trying to control women, to make them do things they didn't really want to do. She wasn't about to fall into that trap! Nossir!... err... ma'am.
No, she would reclaim her own identity by defiantly keeping and wearing the tokens of the Patriarchy! Ha! And double Ha! *That* would show him he couldn't push a strong, independent fully equal New Age Womyn around!
The warm, inclusive purity of my inner womynspace was something he could never violate with his narrow, hate-filled biases against anyone different from himself! Yes, the princess was off to Michigan to reclaim her inner god-Des: the dignified Ur-womyn within!
And he couldn't stop hyr! Now where did that moron put his wallet, damn it?
Posted by Cassandra at April 11, 2008 06:49 AM
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Fortunately, the purity of your inner womyn space was preserved by excluding unpure males such as I from crossing the link. Otherwise, who knows what mayhem I might have wrought?
Impure Male Thought of the Day: What is a diamond really worth except as a cutting tool?
Posted by: spd rdr at April 11, 2008 09:43 AM
You know, one of the lessons of "reintegration" for me has been the degree to which women push people around. I guess I really had been blind to it before; this was the first time that I'd lived among and worked with female officers and enlisted living under military regulations, as well as male. The military environment acts as a brake on a lot of bad behaviors (although it also prevents some very natural and healthy behaviors, like drinking beer).
It's nothing so vicious as kicking their husbands in the groin, but there is a segment of womankind that attacks men who are doing anything manly. Shortly after coming back, I was sitting with a friend of mine, who had a carton of milk he wanted to open. Since he didn't have (feminine, I suppose) long fingernails, he pulled out a small pocketknife and was using it to open the thing.
A woman nearby sneered, "That's so apelike." (I had thought that the habitual use of tools was one of the signals of evolution at work; but nevermind.)
While in Savannah, my wife and I stepped aside from City Market so that I could enjoy a cigar I'd bought at Savannah Cigars. It was the only cigar I've had since returning to Iraq; but it seemed like a simple pleasure, on a beautiful day in dappled sunshine. We went over to the nearby square, to look at the new monument to the Haitian Volunteers who fought in the American Revolutionary War. Many people there were smoking cigarettes when we arrived, so it seemed like a good place for the cigar.
A moment or so later, as I was reading the history of the Chasseurs volontaires de Saint-Domingue, a woman pushed by me angrily, spitting in passing: "I'm being driven out by your cigar. It's too strong."
She didn't stop for an apology, if one were due -- I hate to bother anyone, of course, though it was an open, public space in which others were smoking, with a good breeze to boot -- but simply stalked off with her head held high, as if she were enforcing the will of the righteous.
My wife didn't notice, fortunately, or she would probably have waylaid the woman. It's just as well that didn't happen. Women are so very nonviolent, exceptis excepiendis.
Posted by: Grim at April 11, 2008 09:54 AM
silence! your impure male voice has diluted the radiant purity of my womynspace!
Posted by: Cassandra at April 11, 2008 09:54 AM
This is probably a foolish question, but what's the significance of the munchkin wearing the 3-D replication of an anopheles mosquito's gene sequence?
Posted by: BillT at April 11, 2008 09:59 AM
By the way, I read through the whole "reclaiming" link, and I still have no idea what a reclaiming ritual is (except that involves dancing and beaches), or what it's meant to accomplish. I did pick up from the other link that the music festival was for women only, and they wanted to find a very gentle way to tell transsexuals that they don't count.
Posted by: Grim at April 11, 2008 10:00 AM
Posted by: Uncle Fester at April 11, 2008 10:02 AM
I don't know, Bill, but I once had to fetch some girls out of the Etowah River who wore their inner tubes that way. There was a thunderstorm coming in, and it wasn't safe for them to be out there anymore, so the owner of the farm asked me to go get them in. As they were hiking through the pastures, the horses -- who knew all of these girls perfectly well, as they were ridden by these same young women almost daily -- were so alarmed by the oddity that they spooked and herded up.
One of the young ladies thought it was funny, and went charging after them with her hands waving in the air, causing them to stampede off to the far end of the field. The poor beasties.
Posted by: Grim at April 11, 2008 10:03 AM
Well, for whatever it may be worth Grim, I think that there is plenty of rudeness on both sides of the human equation. Men just notice female rudeness while women notice the male variety more.
I agree with you that both those examples are extremely rude.
However, on the flip side I grew up with guys actually physically groping me in shop class, on the school bus and in the hallway (yeah, classy), leering and making catcalls so badly on the Navy base where I lived that I was, quite literally, shamed into not even going outside in the officers quarters where we lived unless it was strictly necessary (again, classy - I was 16 - would you like your kid sister to be treated like that?) and I've talked to I can't tell you how many women over the years who have been disheartened by the way men treat them (literally talking right over them in conversations, interrupting them in midsentence, etc.)
These things are rude by any standard you care to name. So yes, women can be catty, bossy, and mean.
Men can be grossly insensitive at times and also domineering. But luckily, most men (and most women) are not like this :) And the best response to bad manners, I've found, is still an icy stare held for several uncomfortable seconds. It generally has a very good effect as most people know right from wrong.
Posted by: Cassandra at April 11, 2008 10:04 AM
"However, on the flip side I grew up with guys actually physically groping me in shop class..."
I don't doubt it. Teenagers are barbarians. Goodness knows I was one (although never so much of one as to grope women without their permission).
No, my point wasn't that men aren't rude or that they don't push people around. Of course they are and do.
My point was only that I hadn't noticed the degree to which women do. I guess it just seemed a natural feature of the environment; like how you don't really notice that the sky is blue, until one day when it is orange (which it also can be, in Iraq). When it's finally blue again, it strikes you far more than it had before.
Posted by: Grim at April 11, 2008 10:10 AM
One of the young ladies thought it was funny, and went charging after them with her hands waving in the air, causing them to stampede off to the far end of the field.
They knew that young ladies running through a pasture waving their hands in the air during an incipient thunderstorm is liable to attract lightning.
*Or* maybe they just had latex allergies.
But I know seeing Anopheles-Chick charging *me* at full bore would send me scampering...
Posted by: BillT at April 11, 2008 10:11 AM
Is Gores' global warming tied in any way to Gaia's hot flashes?
Posted by: vet66 at April 11, 2008 10:13 AM
I guess I don't like women (in general) much, so I do notice. Women try to push other people around all the time. We just do it indirectly whereas men tend to be far more direct about it, which will often make them easier to deal with.
I don't really see all that much difference, all things being equal, in the way men and women behave. We go after the exact same things. We just do it in slightly different ways and sometimes for slightly different reasons.
Posted by: Cassandra at April 11, 2008 10:23 AM
The Earth is PMS-ing!!!!
Posted by: Alana Gore at April 11, 2008 10:24 AM
"But I know seeing Anopheles-Chick charging *me* at full bore would send me scampering..."
It looks to me like a photo from a Renaissance Faire or something similar. These things are tremendous fun, but you do have to be on the lookout for some of the revelry.
For example, I went with the wife and Dear Sovay to the Maryland Renaissance Festival one year, and we had so much fun that we stayed until close. The sun had set, and I was waiting on the ladies, sitting on a log by the car.
Suddenly, I heard a scream that was coming closer and closer. I stood up, just as a girl of about the shape and size of the one in the photo above swiped a sword through the space I had recently occupied.
She looked up at me with dazzled, drunken eyes -- as much one of Dionysus' wild women as any who lived in ancient Greece. She staggered for a moment until she recovered her balance, and then demanded:
"How did you know I was coming?!"
Posted by: Grim at April 11, 2008 10:26 AM
Vibra Willow? Not gonna touch that one... wouldn't be prudent. Witch camps? Being called an ape for the practical display of proficiency in the usage of tools? And smoking a cigar, outdoors, in the open, now invokes righteous indignation and a fit of pique.
Sheesh.. Being sequestered in the home for an extended period of time might not have been such a bad thing after all. Missing all that might just have made my day, month, year, years.
Posted by: bthun at April 11, 2008 10:30 AM
"I guess I don't like women (in general) much, so I do notice..."
I like women a very great deal, so it could be that I just never bothered to notice. :) It has been irritating me since I got back, however. These little snide attempts to drive manhood out of the public space clash badly with the daily sacrifice and bravery on display -- both by men and women -- in Iraq.
"We go after the exact same things."
I'd say that was only true at a fairly high degree of abstraction. You can say, "Both men and women want: food, sex, power, independence, love." At any level lower than that, though, the differences become increasingly noteworthy.
Posted by: Grim at April 11, 2008 10:33 AM
It has been irritating me since I got back, however. These little snide attempts to drive manhood out of the public space clash badly with the daily sacrifice and bravery on display -- both by men and women -- in Iraq.
I worried a lot about the whole 'reintegration' thing with my husband. Especially after a whole year.
We've done this twice before. The first time wasn't too bad.
The second was awful. Worst time in our whole marriage, though that isn't saying much b/c as a whole we don't fight much. So I was pretty nervous about this time around.
So far, it has not been so bad. We are both trying very hard, and I think we were both nervous about it long before he got back. I think you're so aware of all the things that can go wrong that maybe you are more careful and considerate.
Or maybe we're just getting old - I don't know. At any rate, that is one thing I have noticed with him - he has expressed a certain amount of... I don't know... annoyance with women in general? Comes perhaps from being in a more male environment?
I don't do a lot of traditionally female things (or at least the ones that irritate him), though there are others I do that I'm sure drive him nuts :p Lord knows I am not always easy to live with.
Posted by: Alana Gore at April 11, 2008 10:44 AM
We're having a modest time of it. My wife is wonderful, and I don't think she and I are having any difficulties to speak of. (Partially, this last year has been awful for her -- both her parents died, as you may recall -- so she is just so glad to have me back that it's smoothed the reintegration).
My son has needed a lot of work. He had managed to drive my poor wife into exhaustion, and so was accustomed to getting his way because she had given up fighting about it. Thus, as any five year old left to his own devices will be, he had become willful, given to ignoring orders and instructions, lazy, brittle of temperment, and withdrawn into himself.
The week camping near Savannah has been very good for him. It was a rough first few days, but he seems to have recovered quickly. I suspect he will remember the many good times on the vacation, and not the difficulties that attended them. I was very pleased with him the last two days. Of course, we'll have to make sure this carries over into his day-to-day life here at home as well; but it's clear he needed the time and attention from his father.
I was greatly worried about him over the winter, but I think he'll be all right now. A boy does need his father, though, so very much.
Posted by: Grim at April 11, 2008 11:15 AM
Boys absolutely do need a good father.
Girls, too, for different reasons. And the same ones too.
I was very strict with my two headstrong lads, mostly because it kept my husband from having to be the disciplinarian during his all too brief time with them. But I doubt I would have been as tough on them if it hadn't been for my husband. He set a lot of the tone. Also I got a lot of my ideas about childrearing from reading. When I started to feel worn down, I often took heart from books, oddly enough. They were my constant companions and if I started to doubt I was doing the right thing, more often than not I would think of something I'd read, or a favorite character in a novel and that would set me straight.
Posted by: Cassandra at April 11, 2008 11:44 AM
"These little snide attempts to drive manhood out of the public space clash badly with the daily sacrifice and bravery on display -- both by men and women -- in Iraq."
It is rather sad, I agree. Thank goodness it is only in a limited sense, and that not all women are like that.
Despite the occasional snide comment, I have to say that it is rather nice to revel in one's manliness. Using a tool for a new and practical purpose feels right good. Sort of like opening jars.
In a related topic, I don't recall where I read this, but I do remember it gave me a laugh: A man's macho-meter is measured by how much he's dumped on by women.
Posted by: Kevin L at April 11, 2008 12:32 PM
"Since 1976, the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival has been created by and for womyn-born womyn, that is, womyn who were born as and have lived their entire life experience as womyn. Despite claims to the contrary by Camp Trans organizers, the Festival remains a rare and precious space intended for womyn-born womyn."
The Festival has consistently communicated our intention about who the Festival is created by and for. In 1999, Camp Trans protesters caused extensive disruption of the Festival, in which a male from Camp Trans publicly displayed male genitals in a common shower area and widespread disrespect of women's space was voiced.
Posted by: Gene Pool at April 11, 2008 01:20 PM
A boy does need his father, though, so very much.
Though it may be too late for some of your readers, Cass, those still in early-child-rearing mode may find it beneficial to check with their local YMCA about the "guides" and "princess" programs (fka "Indian Guides" and "Indian Princesses"). They are programs designed to assist dads and their kids in goofing around together with other dads and their kids. It's great for the kids, and good for the dads too. My sons are now long past Indian Guides-age, but we still have great relationships that are based, to a large part, on all the time we spent together camping, building fires, canoing, hiking, telling silly stories around campfires, and returning home Sunday afternoon reeking of dirt, campfire smoke, sand, salt water, and a lack of personal hygiene. Before we know it, they all grow up and relocate; our time with them before they leave is so very brief that we do well to spend as much time with them as possible.
Oh yea - and there are no womyn around neither.
Posted by: Laughs In The Face of Danger at April 11, 2008 01:36 PM
Cass: I see you've been speaking to my ex-wife again. Tell the harpy I said hello.
Posted by: a former european at April 11, 2008 02:45 PM
Posted by: Alana Gore at April 11, 2008 10:44 AM
I have 306 down and 59 days to go until my tour is up. I have never thought overly much about the rejoin after the deployment, maybe because we have spent so many months at a time apart over 27 years. We get all these re-integration type briefings and I guess some people are just lucky. I know I'm an a$$, just lucky I married a womyn who knows what makes me be nice ;)
But I understand and know folks who don't have it so lucky as I do.
Posted by: Sluggo at April 11, 2008 03:01 PM
silence! your impure male voice has diluted the radiant purity of my womynspace!
Just saying he has cooties would be more concise.
Posted by: Patrick Chester at April 11, 2008 04:58 PM
Now I know why men have mancaves...
Posted by: Dr. Harden Stuhl at April 12, 2008 02:35 AM
Them ain't cooties! Them's pets!
Posted by: spd rdr at April 12, 2008 07:51 AM
-- Homer AFE
Posted by: a former european at April 12, 2008 09:41 AM
Where did my darts go?
Posted by: Bad Cricket at April 12, 2008 03:24 PM
Grim, at least Cass didn't object to the smell of your cigar. That is progress.
As to my womyncave, it is my sewing room, nestled in the bowels of my domicile, where I slave to dress my daughter as befits a gyrl chyld, not a poptart.
Posted by: Cricket at April 12, 2008 03:26 PM
If I ever have a daughter, I'll be investing heavily in burlap.
Posted by: Grim at April 12, 2008 05:33 PM
If she has brothers, it won't be necessary. Already her brothers are protective and teasing her...to the point where she was about ready to clobber her baby brother.
He has not been taught the ways of Male Oppression to Womynspace; they just some naturally to little boys. He tailgates her when they ride bikes. He spars with her at karate class and giggles like mad when she can't take him down. He hides near her room and makes ghost noises. He yanks her scarf off her head and tells her it was making her head flat.
He is only seven.
Posted by: Cricket at April 12, 2008 06:06 PM
"If I ever have a daughter, I'll be investing heavily in burlap."Burlap and Hoppe's 9 products, patches, bore-snakes (now stop that!), carbon fiber rods, bronze bore brushes, etc.
And true that brothers are dandy in the overall scheme of things, but dads have a very important part in the play of the maturing of a young lady.
Why, I can't begin to calculate how much Hoppe's product I have gone through cleaning assorted firearms when a new puppy-paramour would arrive to take one of my daughters out on a date. Nor the number of times the 10 simply rules... directives have been relayed.
Tip: Photographs of field dressing wild game, particularly big game, seems to make quite an impression if casually displayed while reciting the 10 simple rules directive.
Posted by: bt_beentheredonethatWRTwithraisingdaughters_hun at April 12, 2008 06:45 PM
I will send the Engineer for mentoring purposes.
This is the Male Bonding Time spoken of in the Scrolls of Testosterone: "And it came to pass that
they did gather together to teach one another the ways of Protective Behavior Toward Daughters. The Mothers looked on, and Approved."
Posted by: Cricket at April 12, 2008 07:30 PM
Back in the day, we didn't receive reintegration briefings, but our wives did. The story related to me was the briefer telling the wives, "Now, remember, ladies, that HE's the one who thinks he's been on the hardship tour."
The way I approached our reintegrations was to realize that we had grown apart for awhile, so she was partly a stranger who I had to get to know all over again.
Posted by: Rex at April 12, 2008 10:57 PM
Partly a stranger...yep, back to the thrill of the chase!
Posted by: sluggo at April 13, 2008 01:33 AM
For a moment I thought Jane Hamster had hacked into VC.
Posted by: Mark at April 13, 2008 02:28 PM
Back when this Iraq thing started, the Engineer was posted overseas. After everything fell apart, I was so torqued and vexed I was nearly hairless.
He called to see how I was doing. I told him I was catching the next flight to where he was and I would take Saddam out with my own hands, have my drumming circle neuter bin Laden and mock the rest of al Qaeda if it meant that he could come home and take care of the house.
At least I thought it would work. Turns out it would have been too expedient.
Posted by: Cricket at April 13, 2008 04:09 PM
You absolutely kill me sometimes.
Posted by: KJ at April 14, 2008 02:15 PM
You have no idea how much I paid for writing this :p
Posted by: Cassandra at April 14, 2008 02:50 PM
You have no idea how much I paid for writing this :p
Exactly what idea would that be, Cass?
Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 15, 2008 05:47 PM