So, after months of doing just the bare minimum of housework, the cute, innocuous little dust bunnies under the kids’ beds turned into Dustosaurus Rex and it was time to do a proper cleaning. As in move the furniture and sweep and mop every inch of floor and wash down the walls and baseboards and dust everything. Took nine hours!
My kids actually made their beds this morning! Without prompting! It’s like living in an alien, dangerous world when the house is this clean. I don’t want to damage their immune systems, though, by not exposing them to a lot of germs, so I won’t be doing that again for a long while. I’m a very caring mother in that way.
So much interesting stuff happened in one day! I really loved this piece for Jezebel, lamenting the disappearance of sixty million women from India!
Where did they go? All those human women? What happened to them?
Well, some of those HUMAN BEINGS, who just happened to be women, were murdered and some were sold into slavery and some were lost to accidents but most of those female human beings were lost because they were….
Oh ho ho! So abortion IS killing a human being then? I thought it was just removing a cluster of icky, unwanted cells. Like cleaning pus out of a wound or something.
In a future post, I want to take a look at the laws and culture in India to try and suss out exactly WHY Indian families opt to abort their daughters. If we begin from the assumption that Indian mothers and fathers are not evil, misogynists who imagine the face of their infant daughters and are subsequently filled with murderous lust and rage, and instead consider that there may be some very real, tragic, avoidable and possibly enshrined in law REASONS that Indian families MUST choose sons over daughters, I think we will find something quite interesting.
My thinking on this is heavily influenced by Karen Straughn’s piece at AVfM, where she unpacks exactly why countries like Afghanistan and China appear to hate women. It’s one of the most thought-provoking things I’ve read in a long while.
That will be for another day.
Today, I was captivated by Katie Roiphe’s post at Double X over at Slate, in which she laments the seeming reluctance of women to support Christine Quinn for Mayor of New York, because Christine is a WOMAN, and dammit, women should always vote on gendered lines.
One question raised by New York’s simultaneously boring yet circus-like campaign for mayor is why the hard working women of New York don’t care more about having a female mayor.
Katie seems genuinely perplexed by this and she offers a few reasons WHY women might not particularly give a shit about Quinn. First up, Quinn might just be a piss-poor candidate.
Part of Quinn’s problem here is clearly the specifics of her candidacy, the perception that she is a party hack, a bureaucrat with no inspiration, a brassy or aggressive personality without redeeming brilliance or vision.
Oh, come on now, you dumb bitches! Just because Quinn lacks brilliance and vision and interpersonal skills doesn’t mean she should lose your vote. Vagina, ladies! That redeems everything. Maybe it’s because New York ladies aren’t really into SYMBOLIC power? Could that be it? Katie thinks maybe.
In part this may be because in a city like New York, women are too accustomed to female power in general to be hugely excited by the symbolism involved. We are so used to watching women wield power at newspapers, banks, magazines, television shows, publishing houses, law firms, that we are almost bored by it; we have our fair share of Hillary Clintons and Anna Wintours and Jill Abramsons and Tina Feys and rising female ambition is not rare or exotic or precious to us anymore. It’s not something that stops the presses, that in and of itself gets out the vote.
Hmmm. Let’s see. Hilary Clinton is powerful because she married the right guy. Gosh, it sure is easy to cultivate a network of political support when your husband was the fucking PRESIDENT!
Anna Wintour is successful because she was born to the right father. Getting a foothold in the print business is a wee bit easier when Daddy was the Editor of the Evening Standard.
Jill Abramson went to Harvard where she snagged Henry Little Griggs III. Her father in law is a producer with NBC news. Her hubby is the president of Triad, a huge PR firm.
Perhaps New York women, more than most, understand that women’s power is almost always derived from men’s power, and that a rough and tumble home girl who also happens to be gay is not really any sort of workable role model for the truly ambitious lady?
Just a thought.
Revealing her true thoughts about the depth of the average woman’s character, Roiphe muses as to whether or not Christine just isn’t “cool” enough. I think that says a whole lot about Katie and not much about women. Lots of women loooooove Hilary, and that bespectacled little geek is about as far from cool as you can get.
Another murkier element may be that Quinn is somehow not stylish enough, not cool or personally commanding enough to garner the enthusiasm of many New York women.
I don’t necessarily agree with Hilary politically, but I have to say, her often unfortunate struggles with her hair endears her to me. Aw, honey. Just pick a style and go with it. Personally, I think she pulls off the badass man cut quite nicely.
Roiphe wonders if it’s just because women are cunts, especially to each other?
As we know from life, women are hard on other women and the “woman’s vote” will always prove trickier and more complicated or elusive than it would appear. Women, especially, New York women, will not vote for a woman just because she is a woman, and they may even apply greater scrutiny to her and hold her to higher standards.
Finally, Roiphe suggests that New York women are just delusional, or at best, woefully ignorant. Maybe those idiots think there has ALREADY been a girl mayor?
It may also feel, in the irrational, creative fog of New York’s collective unconscious, like we’ve already had a female mayor.
I’d like to offer another explanation for why women won’t vote for another woman just because she IS a woman. Two explanations, actually.
First, white females make up 33% of the population in New York. Some of those females are children so fewer than 33% are voters. Everyone else is either male or of some heritage other than European. Why would any one of those people choose gender over any other factor? William Thompson is black. Using Roiphe’s argument that voters should choose candidates on the basis of identity politics and nothing else, then black women should vote for Thompson. Asian women should vote for John Lui. Hispanic women should vote for Erick Salgado.
But no, Roiphe thinks women – ALL WOMEN – should always choose their gender, and if it means throwing men with whom they identify more strongly on other dimensions of identity under the bus, well too bad, so sad. See ya later ,guys!
And feminists wonder why they are accused of racism? Such a mystery.
But I think there is even more at play, and that has to do with the fact that women outnumber men in New York city. All the pretty young ambitious things flooded to the Big Apple to pursue their dreams and ambitions and got smacked in the face with the reality of sexual economics. Women outnumber men by four to one in fancy pants Chelsea, in Manhattan.
It’s a candy store for men.
When women outnumber men, men have the upper hand. New York women, more than most, have played by the rules of the game, followed all the advice their big sisters offered, focused on their careers and material acquisitions and their own personal development and got well and truly fucked.
I think New York women are leading the pack when it comes to embittered young women, who are not so young anymore, and who realize they have thrown themselves to the wolves. I think Kate Bolick sums it up rather nicely:
Today I am 39, with too many ex-boyfriends to count and, I am told, two grim-seeming options to face down: either stay single or settle for a “good enough” mate. At this point, certainly, falling in love and getting married may be less a matter of choice than a stroke of wild great luck. A decade ago, luck didn’t even cross my mind. I’d been in love before, and I’d be in love again. This wasn’t hubris so much as naïveté; I’d had serious, long-term boyfriends since my freshman year of high school, and simply couldn’t envision my life any differently.
Well, there was a lot I didn’t know 10 years ago. The decision to end a stable relationship for abstract rather than concrete reasons (“something was missing”), I see now, is in keeping with a post-Boomer ideology that values emotional fulfillment above all else. And the elevation of independence over coupling (“I wasn’t ready to settle down”) is a second-wave feminist idea I’d acquired from my mother, who had embraced it, in part, I suspect, to correct for her own choices.
How many of those 39 year olds live in NYC? Lots. And when they look at Christine Quinn with her ambitions and accomplishments (scant that they are), they feel a little knife twist in their hearts. They’re not going to vote for a representative from the tribe that told them such fierce lies, and watched them let love and family and children and everything important pass them by.
Not a chance.
It’s a story that is becoming increasingly visible. The celebration of making your life all about YOU is giving way to the funeral for everything you will never have.
‘My life is a poorer place for not having children, and I am less of a woman for not being a mother. There is a vast realm of experience and growth I will never know’
The sadness over not having children is one that men and women share equally. Women, the ultimate determinants of whether or not children are born, make decisions that affect everyone.
There are so many aspects of what makes each of us human. We have many ways of identifying ourselves, and our affiliations, and what is meaningful to each of us. When Roiphe is perplexed, and continues to insist that gender is the ONLY meaningful way we can express ourselves as humans, and that gender should always trump every other consideration, she is inadvertently (or perhaps very, very deliberately) encouraging women to see themselves as part of a special, special group that deserves, special, special treatment.
So what if the mayoral candidate is a bureaucratic pinhead? So what is she lacks brilliance and vision? So what if she can’t communicate very well? So what if she has backed questionable policies in the past? So what if her funding comes from some dicey sources?
The only that matters is that Quinn is a woman?
New York women aren’t buying it. And good for them. Men who will only vote for candidates that are also men, and for no other reason are quite rightly dismissed as idiots. The same should be true of women. If the only reason you are voting for a candidate is because you share the same genitals, you are a bona fide moron.
Now voting for a candidate on the basis of hair is completely understandable.
Hilary for President! Provided she gives up the scrunchies. Jesus, woman. Scrunchies? You’re 65!
I can’t vote for anyone wearing scrunchies.
Lots of love,