Monday, May 08, 2006

Backbone?

I occasionally read the New Dharma Bums blog, and this was the post for today.
At the end, she asks what are our real impressions of ourselves.
Here's mine: I usually have the impression that I have a spine of steel. Then something scary or awful happens, and my spine wants to shrivel up and leave me a pool of goo. But I try to keep my head up...is my impression true?
And I really get pissed at people who act like they have no spine at all...past friends I have had who are pushovers, women who can't stand up to their husbands, strangers on the street...but I also don't like to place people in boxes and slap labels on them.
That brings up an interesting thought I have had: Please excuse my French for a minute, Geoff, Jim and Rita...
[they don't like it when I revert to "saucy" language, but it's necessary to make my point]
When we say a man is brave, we say he has "balls" or "the stones" or lots of other goofy references to his genitalia. Cojones????? That one makes me smile.
When we say a woman is brave, we may say that she has "balls" but also that she has "guts" or "backbone" or "spine". Now...if we look at this literally, men's strength comes from their sexuality, and yet a woman's strength comes from the parts of her that every human has, so it's in reference to her humanity, right? Try THAT one on for size, gentlemen.
And along that vein, here's one that really bugs me, too: Why is a woman's bust size in direct, transverse ratio to her smarts? The bigger they are, the dumber she is? I beg your pardon.
And those who know me also know that I HATE gender roles. And I think Geoff and I can blow out of the water just about every gender stereotype there is. All the power tools in the house? Isabelle calls them "Mommy's tools".
Okay, I think my rant is finished.
Sooo...what is your impression of YOU? And even if you don't post it on this blog, it's an interesting thing to ponder to yourself.
Sorry this post wasn't about birds or my adorable daughters. But I would like to think that in a way, it is about the girls, because I intend on raising them to be two incredible women who will take over the world, if that's their wish. They will have the confidence, the impression that they are powerful and strong and smart and fun and wonderful.
They can be President. Or a Mom. Or an astronaut. Or all of the above.

8 comments:

LauraHinNJ said...

In my experience, women who are *brave* or who stick up for themselves, have a spine, etc. are labeled as bitches - those characteristics in a woman are viewed negatively.

Susan Gets Native said...

Amen, Laura.

Shannon said...

Laura that is a great point. It is up to us bitches to be proud of that label and wear it well. I consider it a honor to be called a bitch. As a matter of fact my Dad always told me that he raised me to be a bitch for that reason.

Endment said...

When I was in school - teachers focused on the importance of being fair - Life isn't fair. --- I think ranting may help :=)

You ask a difficult question "what is your impression of YOU?" when I saw your question, I realized that my life has changed so drastically recently I discovered I don't know --- I guess I have to figure out.

MojoMan said...

I guess I live in a different world. Around here, the women are smarter, more focused, more courageous and basically run the show. We pathetic men just hope to lurk under the radar and stay out of trouble.

Susan Gets Native said...

Mojoman, that's how it is in our house, but I don't like to bring it up because my husband likes to keep up the illusion.
Geoff, you wanna back me up here?

Confused-ious said...

Poor MojoMan.
In my house (and I have conclusive proof) I am the smarter one!! After all, I married my wife, and she married me. So, who was the smarter one in that arrangement!?!
Hmm, maybe that doesn't pro..., er, what was I saying?

Susan Gets Native said...

And hey there, Mojoman...you sayin' that Ohio women are weaker than Mass. chicks? We gotta take this outside, man?
:-)