We have all heard the saying, "If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen."
You may have noticed that you and other women have never found the heat of a kitchen comes anywhere near the heat a woman faces when she dares to leave it. And, the heat she receives on leaving it is nothing to what she must endure IF SHE IS SUCCESSFUL.
Finland is a country where women rule. They got the vote 90 years ago and today the Vice President is a woman and women comprise 1/3 of the parliament (1/2 of them have advanced degrees.)
How the males and stepfordwives females laughed and taunted, making bets on how long it would take them to run the country into the ground.
It didn't happen. The women showed themselves well able to govern -- in addition, Finland has low teen age pregnancies and abortion is not only free but legal. The men still grumble.
When Prez Clinton appointed Madeline Allbright to the top cabinet position of Secretary of State, the talking heads and their sycophants declared that he did it because he wanted to run the State Department himself. If he had appointed a man, he could not do this since a man would, of course, be capable of directing State's activities -- the inference being that a woman couldn't because a woman needs direction (from a male, of course,) where a man would be able to think for himself.
The case of our Attorney General, Janet Reno, is most amusing. When first appointed, the media/pols said the same thing about her. Then, when Reno appointed special prosecutors, they raved about her INDEPENDENCE AND GUTS. When Clinton was elected for a second term, the media/pols became hysterical. "Clinton must reappoint her," they screamed. "If he does not, he should be impeached."
Now we are returned full circle. She is said to be "under his direction" -- a mere woman, once again since she has not followed the orders of the (mostly) male Congress and appointed another special prosecutor. Wow! Talk about "damned if you do and damned if you don't."
As a gender, we have not been very adept at accepting the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" which are aimed at any of us who has the guts to run for public office or rise to the top in our chosen profession.
We understand that boys learn to accept criticism and deal with it because of their "tribal" upbringing. They early on learn, through sports and cultural acceptance, to compete, win and lose. They bond with each other for mutual support. They are taught to strive for their own and their group's advancement -- to accept criticism and to give it. Girls are not.
Well, there are hopeful signs now that more women are getting into sports and other activities that were once denied to them. (Many thanks to Titles 9 and 11.) Generation X has some formidable members as do the Boomers. The Beat Generation is still in the battle but getting a tad worn out -- they were on the ramparts and have been struggling for equality for years and must soon pass on the torch.
Right now, it's really up to all of us to get into our government and make ourselves heard. Remember, it's not biology that's destiny, it's HISTORY!
Ignore history and it repeats, and all your protests will continue to fall on deaf ears and closed minds.
Copyright 1997 Renee T. Louise and Ruth M. Sprague, Ph.D. These articles may be republished for noncommercial use only, provided that they are copied intact, and that this copyright notice is attached. Address all queries to: TWANDA@ConnRiver.net.
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