• Carol

You'll Be Sorry

That's what I told my editor when she said that I could write about pretty much anything I wanted to, as long as it was about women. Well here goes Ladies.

I AM SICK TO DEATH OF BEING A SECOND-CLASS CITIZEN. In case you are not familiar with what it means when you write in capital letters regarding printed media, emails, articles, posts, etc., IT MEANS I AM SHOUTING. First let be say that this article will not be in any kind of sequential format. Instead, I'm just going to rage about thoughts that come into my head.

A word of caution, okay, several words of caution, I’ve been told I have an unfiltered mouth to go along with my unique way of thinking. Don’t you just love the word unique, it means different, but we all know when someone says it about something you have expressed or created, it is a polite way of saying ‘crazy.'

Why is it that we look up to football players and other sports figures and make them heroes? They’re not heroes, most of them are just a bunch of dumb jocks that know how to run, kick, or throw a ball around, with their feet, their hands, or with a stick. It doesn't take a genius, and it certainly isn't brain surgery.

Do you want to know a real hero? It was my Nonie, Italian for grandmother. She had six kids, raised each one of them to be independent thinkers and loving individuals. She carried every one of her six kids on her hip while she cooked spaghetti sauce as part of menu items for one of her many businesses. She packed up all six kids and loaded them in a broken down old Studebaker when my grandparent's beer garden restaurant and home was burned to the ground by the KKK in Texas. She did the majority of the driving, as my grandfather had been beaten and whipped by those brave hooded men and was in no shape to drive much. My Nonie was a pioneer woman, albeit she didn’t drive a covered wagon, but her old Studie forged a path to a new land and frontier that she would soon conquer. That ladies is a hero!

Have you ever been to a party and in the middle of a conversation that is being dominated by men; you get a chance, so let go with a pearl of wisdom? Now this pearl, which is absolutely relevant to the conversation, is greeted with ambivalent stares. Don't you just want to smack ‘um in the head when they look at you like you just spoke some kind of outer space language and they can't figure out what you said? Of course, if one of the men said the same thing it would be like ‘tada’ what a relevant and intelligent statement.

Ladies, I have some sad news for you. If you think that we have become relevant or equal or pertinent or valued by the majority of men, then your head is still in the sand or someplace where the sun doesn't shine. I’m not saying all, the majority, which means most, but it doesn’t mean all men. There are still some good ones out there. However they all seem to be taken, so if you find one you don't want - please share.

I am also not saying that we, as woman, haven’t made accomplishments along the way – we have. But why is it when we read about the American Revolution we hear about the bravery of the valiant men, who fought for our freedom? Have you heard of Margaret Corbin or Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley? Well, they were two women, who after their husbands had been gravely wounded, picked up that 12-ounce ball of solid iron, loaded that cannon, lite that wick and fired at the enemy. Both husbands died, but their wives stood their ground and fought the enemy just as bravely and valiantly as any man amongst them.

Have you read your history? Do you know what women had to do to get the vote? We marched, we gave speeches, we risked our lives to get the vote. All men had to do was be born with a penis. We finally got the vote with the passage of the 19th amendment in 1920. And we had to work at it, and I'm sure there were some wifely duties that we are not performed unless a husband capitulated and agreed with their wives.

That brings me to another point. Isn't it sad that to achieve what we desire in this male-dominated society we have to cut them off to get what we want? And don't go pretending you are Miss Mary Jane Sunshine and have no idea what I am even talking about. We've all done it, and if you haven't, it works, try it.

Why is it that men are considered better chefs? Who said? I want names. Woman are still the cooks in most households. Oh, men cook too I know. They lite that barbeque and put on that stupid apron that says “#1 Cook” that the kids gave him for Father’s Day, slap that steak on the grill, and voile they are chefs.

By now you must think I hate men and I am some kind of women liber. I'm not. I love men; they are so good at so many things. I especially like them tall, with long greyish locks almost down to their shoulders, a thick iconic mustache, and a voice that is recognized around the world. Yep, Sam Elliot, what a fox. That man can put his slippers under my bed and eat crackers too, anytime he wants. And I would just like to add that now in his seventies he is just getting sexier and sexier.

The main topic these days is ‘sexual harassment.' Gez, I'm getting tired of saying it, writing about it, and reading about it. It's too much already. I think we are getting jaded about the subject and that's not good. Why is it that every time there is an issue concerning a woman you see Gloria Allred’s face and voice? Now we got the daughter, Lisa Bloom, joining in on the reindeer games.

I remember when I was a single parent and looking for a job about, well it was a long time ago, but I don’t see where things have changed that much. I actually had some HR woman tell me although I was more than qualified for the job, she felt like she had to give it to some guy as he had a family to support. What was I, chopped liver, I was trying to support a family too, but alas I had no penis so…..

Don’t believe the bs they are shoveling about how women are finally on an equal playing field with men. I don’t know where this imaginary field is or what instrument they are using to measure this field, but if you find out let me know. And if they tell you things have changed and there is equality in the workplace, that sack of dung is way too heavy with fantasy. Remind them, very recently when Matt Lauer was fired for horrendous sexual harassment allegations, that when a woman was hired to take his place, she was making considerably less for the same job, and I mean like in the neighborhood of 13 million dollars less.

I'm not saying we should forget about family or old school traditions. I was brought up in a very large Italian family (is there any other kind?). The two things drilled into my head growing up was love and respect, and necessarily in that order. At every meal, the men were always served first, ergo if the head of the house had another male family member there, or a male friend, they too were served before anyone else. We did that as a sign of respect, not because we had to. Unfortunately, it didn't stop there, we also waited on them hand and foot, and I bet most Italian families did the same thing. I mention the fact that my Papa, Italian for grandfather, was spoiled rotten and so were all his sons, to elaborate on a point. I will refer to this point a bit later in the article, but it came up in my cluttered mind, so I wrote it down or typed it down.

I learned other places besides home that boys or men were somehow ahead of most things. They got to play all the fun sports like football and basketball, remember I’m old, so when I was a kid, girls weren’t allowed to play these sports. Oh, don’t get me wrong I played them with cousins and on the street, just not at school. I could throw farther than all my boy cousins, didn’t matter what kind of ball. I could beat up most of my cousins and friends, yet every time I wanted to be captain of a team it was always the same, “You’re a girl!” It was like I had some sort of disease or warning on my back, “Beware girl – no penis.”

I was Italian, so of course, I went to Catholic school, and things didn't seem any different there. I used to ask the ‘w' word all the time, why, which did not ingratiate my presence with the nuns. Then, in the fifth grade, I asked the ultimate ‘w,' and I was unceremoniously kicked out and banished from those hallowed halls of learning. Don't worry I attended Catechism every week, was confirmed, got married in a Catholic church, brought my kids up Catholic, the whole nine yards. I did not realize when I asked my last question to Sr. Nameless, although she is most likely not on this plain anymore, that question in the fifth grade that it was probably the beginning of my rebellious intellectual side.

I've always had a rebellious nature I am told and used to protect my personal space fiercely; a prelude of things to come. I'm using myself as an example of how in many ways we, as the society of females, have been partly responsible for how and why we are second-class citizen. For me it was family influence, for you, it may have been something else. I did family therapy on battered women and children, and for those women, most of them were beaten into submission.

The bottom line is most of us were taught to be second class citizen by family, friends, and society as a whole. I'm talking about for generation after generation -centuries after centuries. Did you know at one-time women were in charge of everything? They were the judges, lawyers, doctors, heads of state, the list goes on. Although their titles may have been different, ultimately their jobs were not. The menfolk (what an archaic word), had to go out and forage for food to feed their hungry families; they had to fight and defend their lands for their families. Actually, the roles were defined simply, and it worked!

Yes, I'm actually giving the men of today a valid reason why they think and act like they are the stronger, smarter, and the more qualified person for most jobs. How could they not think that? Society has never taught them anything else. It's akin to an athlete if you will. If they show any kind of promise at a very young age, they are pampered and coddled. Many glide through school without even learning the basics, they get to college, and it continues at an accelerated pace. Ah, the agent comes 'a-knockin’ followed by a professional team signing them and that folks is all she wrote. They were privileged children, and now they are privileged men, never having to really learn that life can be hard and some people actually work for everything they have.

Can we really blame these privileged guys? How can we, this is what they have been taught, it is called learned behavior. I remember in college when I took my first psych class we learned about some guy named Skinner and his theories on learned behavior. I got the message then, and I still have it. I'm not calling for anarchy; I'm just making a point. Unless the women of today start trying to educate society about equality, real equality then we will remain second-class citizens.

I, for one, do not think the way to teach is to threaten, badger or belabor a point ad nauseum. I do believe the old saying ‘You can gather more bees with honey than you can with vinegar' came about from experience and not someone's imagination. Maybe we should take this ole' saying to heed and begin to change things at a gentler pace; then if that doesn't work, we can still cut them off or beat them over the head with that cast iron frying pan.

That brings me back to teaching boys how to teach girls, then when they grow up, if they ever do, maybe, just maybe things will begin to change. If my Nonie taught my uncles how to pitch in and possibly get their own damn espresso, maybe the message would have gotten through to them, that they are not the center of everyone’s world, just her center. Like most things, it is learned at home, and taught by parents, family, and teachers. Whoa, don’t get me started on teachers, that is a whole other subject. My cluttered mind again wanting to take over.

I'm afraid society has evolved into two different groups, and they are not male or female. I think the roles have been somehow confused or blended together and we are at war with one another. Men against women, women against men, men against men, women against women, we are so quick to blame. Hell, we want to blame someone for the mess we're in, why not each other.

How about this for a novel idea: how about respecting each other first, penis or no penis. That would be a great start, and I mean really respecting each other not saying one thing and doing another. This lesson has to be taught from childhood, so we all have a responsibility to show by actions what respect looks like. Children ape the actions of their parents; I think we tend to forget that from time to time.

Now I am calling for anarchy, but not women against men; I'm challenging everybody whether you have a penis or not, to stand up and take a stand now, today, this very minute. Make the decision to teach your sons and daughters how to respect each other and you as a parent, then it will trickle down to other family members, teachers and anyone in their circle. Is this a fantasy? Possibly, I have many of them, but I'd really like this one to come true in my lifetime. That is without having to put a hit out on Katherine Ross.

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