Thursday, April 26, 2012

What Women Want

Ah, Sigmund.

That man has a long shadow; the question now haunts politicians.  It appears that Democrats and Republicans are battling for the all-important female vote.  Of course, like women weren't important before but  . . .

The Matron is enjoying this show, all these men declaring their political and personal devotion to the women--particularly the mothers-- of America, and strutting out their own women folk as evidence.   The Matron particularly loved when Ann Romney forgot to take the silver spoon out of her mouth before mentioning her lean years of living off stock.  It's okay, Ann.  Everyone talks with their mouth full from time to time.

Of course there's all the hoopla about working mothers.  All human beings who have a brain and a mother already know that all mothers work.  Some just have two or three jobs, and one pays currency that can be banked and exchanged; the other pays currency that fuels the 3 am feedings or the grim visit to a principal's office or  . . . well, the very minute you may be reading this.

It occurs to the Matron to ask, as she often does:  "how did this question come to be?"  Why is the conversation regarding women framed in terms of who works more?  Which woman is more valuable, which suffers the most, which do we worship, which has cultural freight.  

Really.  Is this the debate that women would have started?   No, the Matron thinks that women, were we to be framing the cultural conversation about women (because we're not), we wouldn't be asking somewhat pointless, unanswerable questions but making demands.

What do women want?

A world in which no woman aspires to be a human Barbie and if she did, she wouldn't be such a super big hit.

Equity in public restrooms.  Can't some architect or city planner or whatever just add a few toilets?  Is that really so difficult?

Less rape.  Wait -- we're dreaming!  NO RAPE.

A world in which this would be met with global outrage.  Instead, nobody's paying attention.

To not continue, in every culture and country of the world, to shoulder a significantly larger portion of household responsibilities related to children, cleaning, cooking, shopping, laundry.  Every culture and country.   Regardless of other employment status.

Reproductive responsibilities--from birth control to child care --  to be equally shared between men and women, and the understanding that 'reproduction' is not only a female function.

Widespread celebration of hair, wherever it grows.

 The word 'strident' removed from the English language.

The phrase 'those extra ten pounds' to follow 'strident' into history's dim corners.  Let's add the ability to self-assess how one's ass looks without actually looking at said behind . . . or another woman's.

How about a world in which our daughters marvel at the incomprehensible idea that women once died from illegal abortions, couldn't vote, were paid less for the same work as men, and understood sexual harassment to be-- in some form subtle or not -- simply part of the terrain.  


A problem arises as the Matron types.  She realizes that this is a futile endeavor.  You see, she always writes for the nice swift ending -- a snazzy line or a soft spot, just to really bring it all home for the reader.  

But this list -- what women want?  No pithy ending in sight.