And no, I don’t mean kilts, which although they look like skirts, aren’t.
No, I’m referring to an interesting phenomenon I’ve noted. It’s probably not new (is there anything in human nature that is new? It just comes around again and again) but it was new to me. I’m talking about a fear and loathing of the males of the species. Now, I get that some women look back into our history (I have to look no further than my own mother, and Mother-Dorothy, but more on that later) to see “dire opression and horrors, and oh, my… swoon.”
Heck, there are college girls in Massachusetts shrieking about the oppression of males… by a statue. And, well, I’m standing here watching this like high entertainment (or very, very low, since I have that sort of sense of humor). You see, I live in a generation that has won more concessions for women than pretty much any before us. Girls, take a deep breath, and maybe some smelling salts, and listen up. You worry about the oppression of the male gaze, whatever the heck that means?
I grew up at an age where, had a high school counselor said to me what one said to my mother: “You can’t go into architecture, that’s a man’s field.” I could have gotten him fired for discrimination. Was he right? no. Was she right to listen to him? No, she didn’t have any actual barriers, just that he’d said something stupid. Nowadays? Men are terrified of what they say and do around girls. I can see your self-satisfied, cat-who-ate-the-canary smile now. Wipe it off your face, that is not a good result.
See, the whole point of suffrage and feminism (the early days) was equality. Having the other sex afraid of your sex, oppressed and out of a job because you wanted one, even though you didn’t have the best qualifications? Does that sound like equality to you? No?
But what do you care, you’re the one in power.
Are you? Now we come to the skirt part of the post. When I was a a younger woman (stop snickering, Amanda and Kate, I have been proclaimed to be the product of an older time by that odious blogger, so there. Not the baby any more) I made a decision to wear skirts and only skirts. I did this to remind myself with a physical momento of my need to be an obedient wife. I wore skirts only for seven years. You’re gasping, aren’t you, with a hand to your mouth, thinking “that poor dear, so oppressed!” or you’re thinking, OMG, she’s a far-right-wingnut. Nope, neither.
See, it was my choice to wear the skirts, to accept the oppression. I walked willingly into that trap. I’m not dumb, and I did know what abuse was (I thought) and I did it anyway. You’re walking into the same thing. By denigrating men, under-educating and overmedicating boys in an attempt to force them into little-girl molds, you are destroying your other half. Camille Paglia became one of my heroes in a fell swoop, with her recent books and articles on the war on men. She says: “When an educated culture routinely denigrates masculinity and manhood, then women will be perpetually stuck with boys, who have no incentive to mature or to honor their commitments. And without strong men as models to either embrace or (for dissident lesbians) to resist, women will never attain a centered and profound sense of themselves as women.”
You’re so strong, you don’t need anyone, you can have sex and walk away without more effort than that genital sneeze you just enjoyed… But you’re putting the skirts on willingly. When you are ready to settle down, what man will have you? Boys are by definition not mature, and mature men… well, you have betrayed their trust, kicked them when they were down, and ground your heels on their faces. You expect them to just ignore what you were and are, and be willing to become your other half? Sister, it’s not happening.
Am I suggesting that you become oppressed. No, a thousand times no. I’m suggesting you stop looking for offense at every turn, and consider this. Twice in my life I have been mortally betrayed by men. The skirts were part of the second one. Do I blame the skirts? Nope, I still wear skirts regularly, although not every day, for sure. I like the way they look on me, and I’m a big fan of swishy skirts and how they feel. So I’m not going to discard them just because of an unpleasant interval in my life.
As for the men? Well, there were two in my life who were odious beyond words. But there have been dozens, even hundreds, who were good, decent, kind, honorable people who cared for me. My father, and my partner, among them. I’m not going to give up on the male sex just because some men are evil. No more than I am going to give up on my female sex because some members are evil, short-sighted, and misguided.