Thoughts by Richard Bleil
As a semi-professional blog writer (I have ads but so far, it’s brought in no revenue), I really should learn to look at my calendar a bit more often. Once again, I am late in my blog post about National Women’s Day.
This is INTERNATIONAL Women’s Day. Here in America, Women’s Day was celebrated on February 28 because, damnit, we don’t care. We do what we want.
And, yes, I missed that one, too.
It’s quite an accomplishment for men to have oppressed half of the population based on gender for so very long. It has to be one of the most monumentally stupid mass effort possible. In World War II, with so many men off fighting Nazi Oppression in order for it to crop up in our very own back yard under the leadership of an American television personality president, the factories were trying to run full speed to create weapons and ammunition, but they lacked employees. So, they did something heretofore unheard-of; they turned to hiring women to work in the factories.
Can you imagine? Women doing men’s work? I mean, this wasn’t just nursing or secretary work, they had to use…horror of all horrors…TOOLS! And why not? They’d been living with tools since the beginning of time, but there were barriers. One of the major barriers industry had to overcome was just this (ridiculous and I hope you realize sarcastic on my part) stigma. Even women had been raised and conditioned to segregate men’s jobs from their jobs. Enter Rosie the Riveter.
The second world war gave rise to some interesting advertising phenomena. Someone at the telephone company realized that they could save money if they could get Americans to answer their damned phone just a little bit earlier (man there’s a lot of swearing in this post). Fortunately, the second war was raging, so they linked it to the war effort. They advertised that if you can answer your phone on or before the second ring it helps clear the circuits for important warfare communications. The campaign was so successful that America became the first and only nation where the citizens would routinely interrupt sex to answer the damned phone.
For my younger readers, this was when people used their phones to actually talk to each other.
Rosie worked. In the advertising campaign, and as the advertising campaign she worked. Women started working in the factories to help the war effort, and to everybody’s surprise, they were good. As good, in fact, as their male counterparts if not better. Of course, they weren’t men, so they didn’t get the same pay, or respect, but they did it. At the end of the war, the real men were ready to get back to their factory jobs but, like idiots, they actually expected women to give up their jobs and simply step aside for the returning men.
But the women learned an important lesson. They learned that their upbringing and indoctrination into the life of servitude was nonsense. (What I want to write here starts with “bull” but there’s been too damned much cussing in this post already.) They wanted to stay. As it turns out, they enjoyed getting out of the house (who knew?), they enjoyed labor (despite men coming home every day complaining about their days), and they enjoyed their independence. The priming was complete, and the fuse was lit for the sexual revolution.
But the revolution is far from over. Even today women have been indoctrinated to believe too much in gender roles. I have several friends who have been having problems with their significant others, and I even caught myself thinking “but all men do that.” Whether that’s true or not, it’s not right. A marriage is meant to be a partnership, not the adoption of a servant. Controlling finances is a form of controlling women. Separation of household chores into traditional his and hers is nonsense.
I have a friend who complained, among other things, that her man had a habit of starting a task and never completing it. I myself have a drain snake sitting in a bathroom drain as a reminder not to use it until I fix it. She said the wood for one project had been delivered and was sitting in the hallway for too long waiting for him to start. Another friend’s husband ignores her completely when she says she is overwhelmed and asks him for help. Why should this be so? If the project is too much, why doesn’t he ask her for help with it? I’ve recently wished I had a significant other to help me build furniture. It becomes a great bonding experience, it’s motivating to work with someone, and when complete you can both look at it and see what you’ve accomplished together. Even doing the damned dishes helps, damnit, and these days all that means is put the damned dishes in the damned dishwasher.
Okay, maybe I’m getting too heated. We minimalize the role of women in our society, and around the home, is my point. Instead, we should cherish the efforts of women, and elevate them to where they belong. Until we learn to do this, the war on women will never end.