We just took a quick trip to Reno for a wrestling tournament for our son…a 10 hour drive that my husband insists on doing in 8.5. So, to make the kids more comfortable, and quiet, I rented some DVDs from the library. Since our kids enjoy the I Love Lucy reruns on TV, I rented the whole first season. Which is 6 discs long…shocker!
I’ve always loved Lucille Ball. She’s great! I love the balls-out physical comedy she employs. She’s the epitome of the saying we’ve but up in our kids’ bathroom: “If you’re not willing to look stupid, nothing good will ever happen to you”. She was an insanely beautiful woman who was not scared to make an ugly face, act stupid or fall on her face.
Anyway, on the way home, the headphones that the girls were using decided to die so we played the audio over the car stereo. It had been a long time since I had watched the show and I’ve never just listened to the audio…it was an interesting experience. Interesting in that I never realized how much of an asshole Ricky was. Seriously. What an overbearing, machismo-drenched, sexist pig. Now, I get that it’s a generational thing…in that time frame the ‘ever-obedient-little-wife’ and the ‘always-right-must-be-obeyed-husband’ where the expected norm. But cheese and crackers, people! When he threatened to take her over his knee and spank her for not obeying him, I just about lost it.
I think Mike enjoyed watching me squirm while I sat there listened to the audio, trying to reconcile my love for that show and my absolute abhorrence of what I was hearing. As I was trying to decide if it was worth turning it off or if the girls wouldn’t even realize what they were hearing, our youngest piped up from the backseat with “I don’t like him, he’s a jerk”. Thank you sweet Jesus!
The deeper question that Mike posed to me is “What are you, a feminist now?” And you know what…I don’t know. Partly because I don’t think I know what the true definition of that word is…it’s been so twisted and manipulated by the media and other groups. Am I militantly set on women doing everything that men can do? No, I think there are things that only each gender could & should do. Such as a story Mike told me about women guards working in a maximum security prison that specialized in sexual predators…that’s just f’cking stupid. So, no I’m not a feminist. But then there is my deep annoyance at men telling women what we can and can’t do because of our gender or based on someone of our gender’s weakness. So, yes I guess I am a feminist.
Ah shit, I don’t know…I just want people to look at me and see a person who has capabilities and deficits just like everyone else. Not because I have boobs instead of a penis but because as a person, I have strengths and weaknesses that are unique to me. And by extension, I want people to look at our kids, whether our daughters or our son, and measure them by their worth as a person, not strictly as part of a gender. Whether that makes me a feminist or not, I’m not sure I’ll ever figure out. But I’ll keep working on it and trying to figure out how to impart these fragmented thoughts to my kids in some way to make them understand that their worth in this world is not relative to their gender.