I want to step out of character for a minute here and tell you about women. Yep, I’m gonna mansplain babes to you. (Ok, not that far out of character.)
Our better half.
The distaff side.
Sugar, spice, and the rest of the Powerpuff Girls song.
Can’t live with ’em…pass the beer nuts.
We know ’em, we love ’em, we wouldn’t be alive without ’em.
And they’re so damned cute! Except the fat ones, of course.
Hmmm. I’m not sure there’s much more to say about them after that.
Oh wait! There is:
Women are mens’ equal.
Er….except average upper body strength. Oh, and average height. We got ’em there, boy.
Everything else though?
Ok, before you say it, yes, there are biological differences. Like, NewWifey(tm) can’t write her name in the snow. And I don’t burst into tears every 28 days when I CAN’T GET THE FUCKING LID OFF THIS JAR OF NUTELLA!!! Stuff like that.
(I pause here to acknowledge that I, ah, occasionally make comments or jokes deemed to be at least *slightly* sexist. Jokes like, “What do you say to a woman with two black eyes? Answer: Apparently it doesn’t matter. She didn’t listen the first two times.” I’ve used that one a few times here, in fact. But in my defense, they’re funny as shit. And NewWifey(tm) loves them, and often goads me for more. And I also tell tasteless jokes about men…although I can’t think of any at the moment for some reason. Basically, jokes are jokes, and not reflective of…ah, fuck it. They’re just jokes, ok?)
Anyway, those aforementioned biological differences don’t mean dick (so to speak) when it comes to Things That Actually Matter. Once I didn’t have to have to go out every morning and throw a spear through a Mastodon, my massive guns became a purely decorative item. And NewWifey(tm)’s not gonna realize her dream of becoming starting quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs, no matter how hard she tries.
But that doesn’t mean we’re not equal. We both get to grandma’s house. Just by different routes sometimes.
I came to this conclusion early, btw. My mom was brilliant, graduating high school at age 14. My 4 sisters inherited her intellectual prowess.
In college I almost made the US Olympic fencing team. My girlfriend DID make the team, and could regularly kick my ass. Or rather, stab my ass.
Now I’m married to a woman who has replaced the exhaust system on two of our cars, without my help, who can keep up with me on a dirt bike, who started her own small business, and who plays a pretty mean classical viola.
Our family primary care physician is a woman. She’s saved my life at least twice now. She’s also my regular golf partner, cooking buddy, and video game nemesis.
The single greatest boss I ever had, hands down, not even close, was a woman.
And on and on and on. The point is, right from the get-go I was exposed to living, breathing arguments against the myth of male superiority. So I never bought into it.
So what does that make me?
I’ll tell you what it makes me. It makes me really, really happy.
I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that half my species is not irredeemably stupid and incompetent by mere virtue of birth. Do you know how inconvenient it would be if every time I needed a doctor, a lawyer, a zoologist, a pastry chef, a mechanic (like my wife), an oboe player, a German chancellor, a Norwegian prime minister, a Burmese state counselor, a Polish head of state, a British prime minister, or someone to portray Margret Thatcher in the movie “The Iron Lady”, I had to disqualify half the field because they didn’t have a penis? (Margret Thatcher herself, by the way, would have made the cut, as I have it on good authority that she in fact did own a penis. Named George Bush.)
Flipside, I can’t tell you how really, really pissed off it makes me that this country has not passed the Equal Rights Amendment. Despite CENTURIES of women performing the same tasks as men, at the same level at men, we cannot for some reason agree that “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex“. I swear to god, if Phyllis Schlafly ever comes back to life I’m gonna kill her. Like a man.
Now having said all that, it should be obvious that when NewWifey(tm) asked me if I wanted to accompany her to the Women’s March on Washington today, my answer was, in no uncertain terms, “NO“.
And I didn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, the thought of being hemmed in tightly by hundreds of thousands of women has an intrinsic allure. I mean, I could probably cop DOZENS of feels and claim it was an accident!
But here’s the thing. I have been on a number of right wing stations over the years, and in fact am currently the mid-day news guy on one in particular (I don’t have a say in where the network places me). I see how they do things. If pictures and videos show a mix of men and women in anywhere near equal proportion, it’s my contention that they will spin it something like this: “Apparently not enough women felt strongly enough about these so-called ‘womens issues’, so they had to pad their numbers by recruiting husbands and boyfriends so it would seem like there were more of them than there are.”
I honestly believe that as many men as possible should have stayed away so that there would be less ammunition for misogynists – and their apologists – to use in their upcoming “analysis” of the event.
NewWifey(tm) understood. (She’s pretty smart for a girl.) She also understood how bad I felt about staying home. This is an issue I’ve felt very, very strongly about for years, and she knows it. But I had to do what I thought right for The Cause, not what was right for me.
So we got up at 1 o’clock this morning. NewWifey(tm) was going with our local Planned Parenthood chapter, and their bus was scheduled to leave at 3am. It was an hour trip to get to the bus.
I made her breakfast, filled her Thermos with coffee, made tortellini alfredo and put it in a Tupperware for her dinner on the way back, and then got to experience one of those gender difference things I mentioned earlier.
“Honey, which shoes go better with this top?”
“It’s going to be a long walk from the DC Metro station to the National Mall, so I should probably wear sneakers. But I’ve got on a black top with a pink scarf and the pink pussy hat, and the sneakers will clash. Should I go with these loafers, or the flats?”
“Babe, are you crazy? You’re gonna be so packed in no one will be able to see below your shoulders, let alone your feet. Wear the most comfortable thing!”
“I am NOT pairing this outfit with brown and purple sneakers! Now tell me which of these two match better.”
I looked at the two individual shoes she held out. “I don’t see any difference.”
She rolled her eyes. “One has a heel! Jesus!”
I looked closer. She was right. “That one” I said, pointing to the heeled version.
“What are you crazy?” she said. “Heels? When I’m gonna be on my feet all day?” She stomped off towards the bedroom to put on the flats.
I decided not to point out the incongruity of worrying about matching footwear when she was about to demand she be taken seriously for things other than her fashion sense.
Women. Can’t live with ’em….
Despite that little crisis she managed to get out the door by 1:45. I waited up til she called that she’d gotten on the bus, then went back to bed.
When I woke up I saw she’d sent me an email telling me they’d arrived (and were given free bagels!). I spent the rest of the day flipping between C-Span and MSNBC, both of which were providing live coverage. Oh, and writing a sentence here and there for this entry every commercial break.
So now it’s just after 6pm and NewWifey(tm) just called, exhausted and happy, and kind of overwhelmed. But mostly exhausted. Oh – and she has to pee. Didn’t go all day. But there’s a bathroom on the bus, and as soon as it pulls up she’s making a beeline for the stall for relief, and the first bit of privacy she’s had since before sunup. Just thought you’d like some behind-the-scenes detail.
Meanwhile, she emailed me some pics. She was right up front, right next to the speakers’ stage, with some big building behind it:
The crush to get out:
And of course, the requisite Garden of Protest Bras:
Thanks for such wonderful mammaries, gals!
Before I wrap this up – I want to have a nice meal ready for my little Mrs. Pankhurst when she returns from her meeting of man haters – I do want to say something in all seriousness about this situation in general.
It is my sorry task (sorry these days, anyway) as a news anchor to read through many, many more stories every day than I could ever hope to get on the air. And what I’m seeing, when I look at the whole picture, is this:
Donald Trump is a smokescreen.
Yes he has said, and done, and proposed truly horrific things. Things so bad they just can’t be not reported on. And his cabinet picks so far induce terror in those who are familiar with the characters involved. So they get a good share of air time, too.
But the effect has been to remove scrutiny from legislative moves that are about to fundamentally alter the way we as Americans live. Moves that would normally have the press – and presumably a good number of citizens – running for the pitchforks and torches. But they all can’t take their eyes off the screeching, tweeting, orange topped Kraken that’s somehow managed to enter the ship’s bridge and eat the captain.
Seriously, this is like everyone running to the crib to see why the baby is bawling nonstop, and while we’re standing around fretting a thief sneaks unnoticed into the living room where he cracks open the safe behind the Velvet Elvis picture, steals your retirement savings, the bawling baby’s college fund, and your Topps Mickey Mantle rookie card, before sneaking out still undetected. He’ll never be caught, or held to account.
That’s what’s happening to us. Our Mickey Mantle card is being absconded with, all because the fucking baby won’t shut up.
We’ve got to pay attention.
You’ve probably heard that within an hour of Trump’s inauguration the White House website removed its LGBT resource page.
Or maybe you read somewhere today that the plan to cut mortgage insurance premiums on federally insured home loans has been suspended (if you’re not familiar, that means it’s now going to cost more to buy a house. Guess who gets the extra money? I’ll give you a hint: which newly minted resident of the White House made his billions in the real estate market?)
Or perhaps you’re familiar with the Texas Voter-Registration Law fiasco, which numerous courts have ruled to be blatant racism designed to keep black and Latino voters (ie: Democrats) from getting all uppity and casting ballots. Well a new judicial branch is about to be foisted upon us along with that Electoral College choice for the Executive Branch, and…shit, I’m too depressed to even type it out. Look it up if you’re interested. And you should be interested.
BTW, do you know what the emoluments clause is? Just asking. Not that it matters. Since nothing apparently does any more. Not even the word “autocrat”.
Woof. Look at me, carrying on like a little girl! I think I’m just gonna go bust open a Whitman Sampler (mmmm, caramel cream!) and fire up “The Notebook” again on Netflix. That always makes me feel better. Well, that and Propofol. Good thing I have a 4 years supply!
G’night kids. Oh, and wear your loafers tomorrow. They’ll look killer with that skort. ‘Atta girl!