Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Someone please give the woman in this picture a drink

I recently received this in an email being passed around as a joke. Wow. It's funny, but only until you think about the fact that at one point it wasn't meant to be a joke. But since my blog has been a tad cranky lately, let's go with the funny option here. The image here is too small to read, but if you click on it, you should get an enlarged view so you can actually read it. By the way, the underlines and circles are not mine, in case that wasn't obvious. Personally, I think the first part of the third pointer here is hilarious. Yes, I know it meant something else back in the day, but it still makes me giggle a little.


At August 23, 2006 11:32 AM, Anonymous Ann said...

it is still to small to see. but what is so funny about it. whats wrong with wanting to be a good wife? didn't you say you were married before?

At August 23, 2006 12:23 PM, Blogger Heather said...

I'll see if I can adjust it to make the image larger. In the meantime, there's nothing wrong with wanting to be a good wife. It's just that the definitions of both "good" and "wife" need to be evaluated. This guide I've posted here was published in 1955, and the definitions of those words are pretty antiquated by now--which is what's humorous to me. Well, I'd like to think they're antiquated, but are they? I'm not always so sure.
Yes, I was married before, and I could not be a good partner for my then-husband, because it wasn't the right life for me to be living. However, the partner I
had hoped to be when I first got married looked nothing like the woman in this guide here, nor did my ex expect me to be like that. These ideals from 1955 are false and misogynistic, claiming that the wife is subservient to and less important than the husband. That's pure bullshit, and anyone who still strives for these ideals today has been brainwashed. It's sad.
Of course, lesbians and gays are doing all we can to make it legal to marry. However, I think one of the real reasons it's such a struggle is that when gay marriage finally becomes a national reality (and it someday will, even if not for decades), the public will not be able to just drop each person in the marriage into a pre-formed identity like "husband" or "wife" and, unfortunately, people are always most uncomfortable when they cannot categorize other people.
Incidentally, let me say that that is definitely a benefit to being gay: there are no traditional gender roles expected of either partner in a relationship. I do hope to eventually have a life-long partnership, a marriage, though it obviously won't look anything like the "Good Wife's Guide" here.

At August 23, 2006 2:45 PM, Anonymous Ann said...

I would gladly go back to the submissive days if I didn't have to work. I would love to stay home and look 'pretty' for when my husband came home and all I did was cook all day. now maybe I have a Donna reed picture in my head but I think that there were better families, lower divorce rate and much less stress in general.

Obviously we differ in this view b/c for one I am not a feminist.

But I appreciate your honesty and the fact that you post your true feelings.

Oh I do have another question. Why do you keep in contact w/ your old girlfriend? I just figure she hurt you so why bother. Screw her, don’t' give her the satisfaction of talking to her.

One more question sorry - do you still talk to your ex husband? Did you get divorced b/c you realized that you weren’t being true to yourself and that you were gay? Did you always know? Sorry so many questions you just really have me thinking.

Don’t answer if you don't feel like it. I know they are pretty personal questions.

At August 23, 2006 3:17 PM, Blogger Heather said...

Actually, it's a myth that there was a lower divorce rate back in those "simpler" times. That's propaganda. Anyway, just because a marriage lasts, doesn't mean both people in it are happy. And, no, women were not happier then because they didn't "have" to work. Not "having" to work doesn't mean you have a simpler life; it means you have less control over your life. It means you don't make your own money. It means you are not able to pursue your own interests and strengths. It means you let other people make your decisions for you. It means all women are meant for the same things in life: being wives and having babies (there's nothing wrong with either of those, if it's what you truly want and you aren't giving up your identity to have them). It means your entire life is about making someone else's dreams come true (your husband's), not your own. It's a cop out. It means the work you do---raising children, keeping house--isn't appreciated or seen as real work (which it is). Staying home to look "pretty" for your husband makes you a sexual object, not a human being with a brain. Don't use marriage as a way to justify not wanting to work or not liking your career.

And there is nothing wrong with being a feminist, so don't approach it like it's a dirty word. The backlash over the past couple decades has made women feel it's wrong or "unladylike" to be a feminist. All feminism means is the belief that women are individuals, just as men, who should have the same opportunities and choices that men have (which we still don't have, despite what some would let you think). It is not about man-bashing or being anti-marriage or being a lesbian. It is simply about making sure women have choices in life.
I'm not trying to sound confrontational or mean, but this is a very important and emotionally charged topic for me, and I get really tired of women who have been brainwashed to think it's ok to be an object placed on this earth to make men's lives better, rather than their own.

Yes, I did end my marriage because I realized I'm gay, not exclusively because I'm a feminist or anti-marriage or anything like that. My ex-husband is a great person and was a great partner. But don't categorically lump my sexual orientation together with my being a feminist. Many straight, happily-married women feel the same way I do about feminism and the idea of gender roles.

I'd be happy to answer more of your questions in an email. The address you can use is heathers_blog_mail@yahoo.com.

And regarding my ex-girlfriend, not only was she my girlfriend, she had also become a very dear friend, and that's the part that's hard get over. It's easy to say screw her and move on. Not so easy to actually do it.


Post a Comment

<< Home