“God, the planet earth is an awful place to be a woman,” I said as Andy brought me coffee in bed. “Except at our home,” I added.
I was under the covers reading a piece in the Guardian by Abigail Haworth about female genital mutilation. In the U.S., most women can rest assured that their daughters are safe from circumcision, yet we’re earning only 81 cents to every man’s dollar. Does that mean we’re paying a 19% tax for a starting chance at sexual wholeness?
There I go, pulling two disparate facts from the internet. What am I? Irrational? Is this crazy woman talk? Oh, I know, I’m an unmarried woman — I must be attempting to think with my libido again.
Earlier today, Andy played a recent Daily Show On Demand where John Stewart excerpted broadcasts of talking heads pointing out that Romney was the preferred candidate among married women. I was busy in the bathroom plucking hair from over my upper lip, so I didn’t see the bit, I only heard it. The spin was that married women voted out of concern for their children and the future of the country, whilst single women voted primarily to keep abortion legal. Stewart’s crew handled it well, of course — addressing the absurdity of the faulty logic without honoring it with an argument.
They handled it coolly, but I’m still angry. I’m striving to learn how to better articulate my feelings about all of the above.
I’m sure that gaining knowledge of feminist theory will help, but my education keeps getting interrupted by my current job demands. If I allowed myself to succumb to complete financial dependence on Andy, I could spend all my time learning how to be a better feminist.
It’s not an all or nothing situation, though. My goal is modest: I want to be able to identify ways I may be inaccurately viewing, judging, and thinking about women’s roles.
About a month ago, I read an excerpt from one of Andrea Dworkin’s essays. I found it inaccessible and got confused by my own emotional reactions. Her body of work is too vast for me to dive into casually.
I decided to find a more contemporary scholar to read — someone who has already processed not only Dworkin, but the full canon of feminist thought. I’ve decided that Deborah Siegel’s Sisterhood Interrupted is a better starting point than Dworkin. Andy picked it up for me at the library.
And now he’s doing the laundry, like he does every week. Our home is a pretty good place to be a woman.