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Jett Superior laid this on you on || July 29, 2003 || 8:52 pm

I was talking with my mother late Sunday afternoon, still punchy from Blogathon happenings and just a little froggy.

Conversation, as it always does, turned to the three-pack and their goings-on. We began discussing ten-year-old Scout’s upcoming scuba certification and my constant amazement at her boldness (she is the only female in the class, and the only person under twenty), at her take-no-prisoners approach to seizing life, of her tendency to voracious appetite where trying on new things to see what fits is concerned.

“You know what that is,” momma remarked to me, “It’s the manifestation of her fear of failure.”

I’m sure, despite only fiber optics as a mode of communication, my mother could feel the exaggerated roll of my eyeballs. I love my momma. I respect my momma like no other person that strolls this Earth. One of the reasons for both of these is that she taught me how to call ‘bullshit’ when such a thing is necessary. So I did.

“No mom,” I said with a measure of annoyance in my voice (more annoyance, in fact, than I truly felt) “it’s not.

“It’s not a fear of failure, it’s a fear of not being enough.” Those two things are entirely different, but they are separate entities that are oftentimes mistaken for one another or cited interchangeably. This is a grievous error.

Then, early this morning, I found this over at Venomous Kate’s, and it made me both sad and uncomfortable. The one thought that rose above all others after taking in Kate’s post and subsequent reader commentary in was -are you paying attention, people?-

We do this to ourselves.

How many times do I have to say it? Men are not the fucking enemy.

They may not always understand us, because the way we are hard-wired is inherently gender-specific (regardless of what feminism and its proponents would have you believe) and different but different is goooood.

Repeat after me, ladies:

DIFFERENT IS GOOD.

Isn’t enough of life boiled-down, washed-out, homogenized, hurry-hurry, no quality nowadays? Must we impose the same sanctions on our dealings between the sexes? Once again, with gusto, lather, rinse, repeat: DIFFERENT….IIIIIS….GOOOOOD. Were it not, so many of us would not keep finding a man to keep around, to grow dissatisfied with, to discard and attempt to find another. We’d (well, maybe you…not me, man) be whiling away life on some estrogen farm somewhere, drinking pastel-colored concotions of weak alcohol content and trading pumpkin pie recipes.

Me, I like straight tequila and talking about sex. And I hate punkin pie.

We don’t have too much on our plates for no reason. We have too much on there because we are not smart enough or bold enough to veer from what is supposed to be the ‘liberated (HA!) standard’ and say, “You know what? No thanks. I’ve enough.”

My grandmother –who was, in all actuality, old enough to be my great-grandmother by the time I came along– had no less to do than we do now, just a different framework to do it in. And a different mindset to do it with. The woman herded nine children daily; granted, she could have had less, but she was poor (birth control, apparently, came with monetary gentility rather than spiritual nobility): Birth control wasn’t easy to come by, was generally frowned upon and besides, the frank matter of it is that you needed a large family in those days.

That woman rose before dawn each morning to do washing and get it up on the line in time for the morning sun to dry it so that it could be pressed and folded before midday. She hand-heated her heavy black iron, mixed her starch from scratch. Everything got ironed: T-shirts, underwear, sheets. There were no wrinkle-resistant percales back then. Poor people had cheap cotton things, which were used until they were threadbare sheaths of bedcovering and garment. When the sixties finally arrived, my memaw received a couple of chenille bedcovers as gifts. They were prized posessions until she died.

She cooked three meals a day, three full meals. This was done without the benefit of cans or boxes or any manner of processed food save for the sausage she had ground and stuffed into gut herself or the chow-chow carefully put up into jars twice a year. She baked the biscuits, strained the tea, stirred the gravy, broiled the meat if there was meat to broil. She then served it all to men that would take second and even third helpings before excusing themselves from the table without so much as a glance toward her. She would seat her children then, and only after they had gotten their fill from what was left by the menfolk would she sit down quietly to fold her hands and say grace over a (largely decimated) meal for the third time. Then she’d pick from the remains; I imagine there was probably little of satisfaction for her belly there, and barely little more of sustenance.

She washed all the pots and pans and dishes and cutlery, as well as dried them and put them away.

She tilled, planted, tended and harvested a rather large garden; she cleaned and shucked and snapped and peeled and boiled and canned. Had she not, there never would have been enough to eat.

She made time to pray each day, but I learned from her that you don’t have to make a show of hitting your knees each day to commune with God. You can have an ongoing dialog with Him no matter your doings. God was her comfort, and Jesus was my memaw’s best friend. He helped her through a lot of long, hard, sweaty, exhausting days.

She had a sweet spirit and she smiled an awful lot. She never went to a restaurant until she was in her late thirties, when my Uncle Alphons (old enough to my my granddad) took her. She ordered a hamburger and it tickled her so much that one of the kids took her for a burger once a week thereafter for the rest of her functioning life.

Add to all she did and all she was ‘without’ the daily machinations of dusting and sweeping and airing mattresses and making beds and accounting for her spirited German-Irish-Italian brood (making sure that they did not kill one another in mirth or –more importantly– maim somebody who was not kin and therefore, would not be so understanding were something injurious to occur), scrubbing them, bathing them, laying on the switch as necessary and liberally showering them with the purest of mothers’ loves, and it’s amazing to hear that she never once complained. There was just that sweet spirit, that gentle smile, and a quiet control that was unsettling to behold…

Especially when compared to the shrill, hysterical natures of many women today.

Ladies, it is not that there is far too much to do, it is that we’re trying to be too much.

It’s difficult to be female. By the same token, it’s difficult to be male. It’s difficult to be human, folks, to get out of bed each morning, breathe deeply, put your britches on and do what you have to do. Yes, men and women are different psychologically, emotionally, spiritually, but that’s by and large A Good Thing. If men were anything like the bulk of women I know, I would run around choking everyone within reach.

I don’t understand women that are set at ‘BlameThingsWithPenis’ as their default. It worries me to no end. I worry about women in general, and what we are teaching our daughters with regard to men. Part of this is selfish, as I have sons and I want young women to be crafted who are worthy of the young men I am raising.

More importantly, I worry about what we are teaching our sons. You know, the boys who will grow up to court and marry our daughters. What things of worth are we imparting upon them as to how they are to view women?

Men are linear-thinking creatures. Ambiguity does not sit well with them. Emotional storms (though admittedly sometimes necessary) confuse and frighten them. What good will our sons be to their future womenfolk if what they see of us is a maelstrom of hormonal reactionism? God help us all.

If you’ve taken none of the rest of this to heart, or have been resistant to it because what I speak angers you, please set aside your prejudices and hear what I’m saying to you now: In our rabid quest(s) to evolve, we are leaving behind certain parts that are integral to the system. A system cannot survive nor function nor continue to evolve at acceptable rates if the integral parts are shed.

Rein yourselves in, ladies, before you find yourselves ‘beyond the beyonds’ and there is no longer quality to your life, only quantity. Do not abandon your sweet spirit, your gentle smile, your quiet control in your quest to have it all and be it all. Be still and know the pleasure of being the grand you that the universe saw fit to place here. That may be your only function in this world, and it may be of comfort to others. Why can’t that be enough?

Do we REALLY want to do to future generations of women what has been done to us? It was John Lennon that said “Woman is the nigger of the world”, and for once in my life I’ll agree with a smelly hippie. Only, we subjugate ourselves FAR more nowadays than anyone else ever has in the past. We are slaves to convention, pushed and pulled by some bullshit status quo that not many of us had any say-so in. Why have we (and are still continuing to) allowed this? I resent the fuck out of it. Why am I told who I have to be because I have tits and a twat, most especially by others sharing the same anatomy? I’ve felt ten times more pressure in my life to live to this woman’s or that woman’s standards than I have to live to any man’s.

Shame on us for waggling fingers at men over what some of us pushed for without consulting the whole. Put the blame back where the bulk of it lies.

Gloria Steinem, et al. do not speak to or for me any more than the man in the moon does and they never have in the past: I am perfectly capable of conveying my thoughts and feelings for my very own fucking self, thank you. I look really fucking good in a skirt, and you can open a door for me ANYtime. Neither of those things diminishes the exceptional me that I am. They don’t have to diminish you, either.

28 worked it out »

  1. brynne 7.29.2003

    Let me just express my extreeeme like for you right now. Not that I didn’t like you before… just more and more.

     
  2. stinky pete 7.29.2003

    ya knows, if’n ya don’t open doors for the chicas, how ya gonna see their backside?

     
  3. Jett 7.29.2003

    Yeah, stinkypete, that was entirely my point.

    Suck-a my cock-a, nitwit.

     
  4. KC 7.30.2003

    By far the best post that i have read of yours to date. It actually makes me feel kinda warm inside, that someone else out there actually takes the time to understand.

     
  5. Dean 7.30.2003

    Someone should publish this in print .

    And if you had a “cock-a” Jett, I’d offer to “suck-a” it for ya! ;-)

     
  6. Kingolf 7.30.2003

    I’ve noticed that in your long posts there’s always something that makes me laugh and something that makes me nod.

    You’re the kind of person that blogs were invented for.

    Scratch that, you’re the kind of person that the fucking internet was made for!

    For every 5000 idiots I meet here there’s a Jett somewhere, making the net a good idea after all.

     
  7. timato 7.30.2003

    punkin pie sucks. iffin i wanted to eat sumthin i could suck through a straw, i’d eat baby food.

    not to say that i don’t knock back the occasional jar of gerber’s pureed banana…

    still here, still listening.

     
  8. Venomous Kate 7.30.2003

    Praise from an unlikely source: but you made some awesome points in there.

     
  9. The Llama 7.30.2003

    Two comments:

    1) Fantabulous post! Very well said, points that I’ve been trying to make for a while but hadn’t the words in which to express them. Thanks so much. I’ll be sending people hear by the boat load to read this. Bravo, Jett.

    2) Sorry for being a fuckwit; but I did make an honest attempt at a picture. My plans kept just falling through. But made a good solid attempt several times. I suck. Friends?

     
  10. Mandy 7.30.2003

    Holy fuck!! One of the greatest things I have ever read….sums up exactly how I feel.

     
  11. Nyx 7.30.2003

    I agree with the rest – but by saying men are ‘linear thinkers’, you’re setting them neatly back in their precarved places. I’ve known women who couldn’t think in circles if their lives depended on it, and men who thought in Mobius loops…and a good balance of both to both.

    Is there even any generalization of the sexes which fits anymore? Men have penis, women have vagina? [But what about all those lovely transsexuals?]

     
  12. Patti 7.30.2003

    They should give Pulitzer Prizes for blog entries that kick ass. Or just prizes… Or at the very least, the whole world ought to take some of this stuff to heart… Damn fine bunch of smart people in this bloggy world… and Jett, you lead the pack. *bowing to your greatness* ;-)

     
  13. jen 7.30.2003

    well said, jett…so, very well said.

    i think your grandmother and mine were cut from the same cloth, and she will forever be my hero….and my inspiration. she didn’t once complain about the things that she had to do, or any inequity…she just did, what was best.

    raising a daughter myself, i am constantly struggling with ways to EMPOWER her to think…to not be afraid of a challenge, and to go places that she has never gone, before. that is the greatest gift i can give her, confidence in herself and in others.

    you could write a book on your beliefs, on your thoughts and on your ideas.

    that post, was simply, beautiful.

    thank you for sharing.

     
  14. John 7.30.2003

    I read the V. Kate post and thought about how much of a spouse I would need. I realize sometimes people like to say that they give 110% and I’m sure it’s not just their way of saying they flunked math. I have to admit getting 100% is ideal, but as someone once said, “always being your best is what mediocre people do.”

    So I decided to figure out what percentage would work for me and I constructed a survey. It ended up consisting of one question, “what percentage would you expect from your spouse?” and I must say I’m quite proud of it.

    Now my answer had to calculate in a daily average because I figured I could settle for about 2-7% in the morning because I’m not much of a morning person and until I had my coffee, “Fuhgeddahboutit!” I also had to eliminate morning quickies from the equation because they would skew the results.

    Figuring on a somewhat normal life (ha!) I’d have a day job so she’d be in the clear until about 6pm. This leaves the rest of the evening while our hypothetical children are awake. If I had hypothetical kids, they be certain to be in bed by 10pm so if they’d ever play that message on TV again, “It’s 10:30, do you know where your children are?” I could say, “I do Mr. TV man! I DO!” Between 6 and 10 I would have to divide up my percentage with the kids so where J equals my time and K equals the kids time it and I would have to factor in my own emotional neediness at the time as N with what I can sense as hers (H) would look like this: J/K+N/H=”percentage of spouse”

    Of course, after the hypothetical kids are asleep we could determine what to do with the remaining percentage points through a process of “open dialogue” which has shown to work according to Dr. Phil. This leaves me with the answer of: Morning%+( J/K+N/H)+Evening% and I think it’s quite a simple formula for happiness, really.

    Finally, I would have to concur with Jett on all points but the one Nyx pointed out. After all, my thinking has been described as lateral by some and tiresomely tangent taking by others. Also, my Grandmother on my Dad’s side had to put up with 9 kids too (God bless her) and my Grandfather who did work a lot at home and on the job, but kind of drove you nuts in the process-in a good way. He’s just a perfectionist and at 89 is finally slowing down a bit.

     
  15. ntexas99 7.30.2003

    No bullshit, bare and in-your-face truth. Does it get any better than this?

    This shrill and sometimes hysterical (and might I mention wild-eyed?) woman is touched, and grateful, for your post.

    you absolutely rock

     
  16. G. Oldielocks 7.30.2003

    Wow!

    I’m with Dean…this should be published in print (all but the part about punkin pie)

    (:

     
  17. fucko 7.30.2003

    I was gonna take issue with the “linear thinker” comment, but someone beat me to it.

    Just because it was a blanket statement. And — uh, my personal problem in my personal relationship was rooted deeply in the fact that I am a fluid thinker and my ex was a linear-to-a-fault thinker. But otherwise…I’m not gonna bother to praise you because you stole all your good ideas from me anyway.

    *punches arm*

     
  18. Today, Jett speaks truth.

    The blogosphere rejoices! exclaims ‘this is the most enlightening piece i have ever read’! gushes!

    It is concerning that talking sense is so unique these days.

    It worries me that someone saying 2+2=4 is nominated for a Pulitzer.

     
  19. Gary 7.30.2003

    Jett .. I came and read ‘cuz Patti said to. Glad I did. Read the venom over at that other place and then finished reading you. Praise? Yep. Thanks? Yep. Yer good people, Jett. But you don’t need to hear it from me — or anyone else. Best part about you is you already know it …

     
  20. Patti 7.31.2003

    Misssster Bartlett, not a lot of people out there are able to get 4 when they add two and two. I think if they gave prizes to people using common sense, the power of reason and brain God gave them, other people might be so inclined to use those things a little more often. Maybe every day, like jett does! What say you and I start up a fund? We can call it, “The Barlett Prize”. ;-)

     
  21. John 7.31.2003

    There’s no such thing as common sense.

     
  22. sugarmama 7.31.2003

    and for once in my life I’ll agree with a smelly hippie.

    You crack me up, girl.

    Well said, overall.

     
  23. ezrael 7.31.2003

    Well shucks, Nyx and John already said most of what I was going to say. And pretty much everyone else said the rest. Meh. Hate being predictable.

     
  24. lunar 7.31.2003

    Thank you. Your timing could not have come any better.

     
  25. myla 7.31.2003

    nyx and, ah, “fucko” said what i wanted to say. i don’t think you can generalize about how the sexes think. i’ve seen proof to the contrary.

     
  26. Carrie 8.1.2003

    I’m not much of a commenter, but have been enjoying your blog for some time now. Just wanted to say that I really enjoyed this entry a lot. I’ve always wondered why women are so resentful. I have a wonderful husband and we share household duties and make each other happy. We take a lot of slack here in Sweden because I’m a happy stay-at-home wife (mainly b/c I can’t get a job) but I truly *am* happy to be able to take care of things that need taking care of. I don’t really see the need to stress myself out just for the “joy” of having a job. I don’t think I’m really expressing what I mean, but just had to agree with your post. Women (and men) need to do what makes them happy, not what society expects of them.

     
  27. Kat 8.1.2003

    Amen.

     
  28. Ryan 8.6.2003

    This post made my day. You are very wise, it seems. =)

     

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