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Friday, August 10, 2007

S.O.v.2 asserts herself... and loses

...for her own good though, of course. Miss decided that she didn't wish to wear clothes today. A notion that we normally indulge. But this morning there were workmen coming - new house: so, electricians to install the fans (it's the desert, you NEED moving air), painters to fix the chip on the entry and other things, yet another electrician from the warranty company to repair a buzzing light switch (you really don't want your light switches or any kind of electrical equipment to be buzzing or, sparking or speaking to you in any manner, that is decidedly bad), delivery men to deliver replacement dishes and a laptop messenger bag for me to hold my new laptop that S.O. bought me (to make up for a lot of bad Octobers in a row where we were too skint most times to even go out to dinner, let alone present) which I now write this blog entry on... aaaaaaanyway, she din' wan' no clothes. So, I told her, "Look baby, you should feel lucky that you have a daddy in your life to be careful of these things. You can't go around in just a diaper today, no way. Daddy would not allow it, no way, no how, not in your lifetime will he allow you to go around half clothed in front of strange men". She understood.

I always think it must be nice, to have a daddy consistently in your life for your childhood. I had no daddy in my baby and toddler years and I had a daddy in my adolesence but none in my teenage years. I can't think, now that I have a daughter of my own, which are the most important years. I am grateful for my father though (stepfather in legality sense, real father in spirit and substance) who gave me a sense that I was an important and valuable person in the world. I think that, in many ways, saved me and probably my sister too from many of the pitfalls of being a woman who was raised without a father.

But S.O.v.2's innocent request got me to thinking about women in society today and how there are no more protections for us, as a class. If there ever really were. Men used to make all sorts of verbal and physical protestations to the 'protection of their women' and we used to believe them. But that all started to errode with the start of the last century and especially at the onset of the industrial age. It's a sticky wicket. The more independence from men and male society we acquired, the more men left off the sense that propriety should win and the more advantage women were taken of.

I have no doubt that by the time the women's movement came about it was in no small part born of the understanding that society and men, collectively, were no longer going to be taking care of them... in any way. And men's response to the women's movement has been a passive agressive "screw you" to women. "OK, fine. You wanna make your own money, feel your own independence, pursue your own interests, go right on ahead honey" and then proceeded to let every gratuity towards women slide. No doors opened, no 'ma'am' or 'miss', no even buying on the first date! For you doubters out there I just have few things to say; "Girls Gone Wild", Internet porn, and .76 cents to a man's dollar - almost 40 years after the women's movement began. OK, you argue, "Those women in porn are consenting..."... ah duh, because they no longer have the option of a man taking care of them.... Any woman who has been a single mom can no doubt attest to the fact that men do not have the same sense of responsibility that they might have many decades ago. Empirical evidence does not recount the statistical evidence of women - and their children - living in poverty in embarassingly large numbers.

So, yes, when Daddy warns S.O.v.2 about men in any way shape or form I'm listening and encourging her to as well. Sure, my teenage self would have balked but I was naive and didn't know what I know now. As mothers of daughters, we used to worry about raising 'nice' girls. I propose that that is no longer necessary nor warranted. No one in taking care of a nice girl. No man is looking out for your 'nice' daughter anymore. Except her daddy if she has an active one... No, women, girls, are taken advantage of these days. Let them be bitchy. Every woman needs a little inner bitch in order to look out for herself these days... because Daddy won't be around forever.

And to those of you mothers raising sons, make sure they are good guys. I always tell S.O.v.1 that he should never tell a girl he is going to call when he isn't really... of course he is only 5 but you can't start too early.

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