Msnowe's Blog

Not Too Busy. And Don’t Apologize.

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on October 3, 2007

In reference to Seelye’s article posted yesterday ( http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21094175/)

The tired opinion, the age old cop out:

“Many said yes, guessing that perhaps twice as many men as women, maybe even three times as many men are involved, at least on the traditional politics-oriented sites.
As for why, readers offered lots of reasons, including this newsflash: women are just too busy, often with the household chores that men choose to ignore in favor of going on the computer.”

In conversation, I often hear this age old line, “There aren’t too many women I know of who have done, or are doing X, but they’ve been busy with other very important matters,” (like taking care of children, cleaning house, etc.)

So it makes sense that a large percentage of the population would use this excuse when discussing why they think women are not as active in politics. Of course, the entire construct of what defines “active” is up for debate. Just because male politicians and male media dub certain outlets as important, doesn’t mean that political activity in other facets is less important, or not taking place – it’s just got minimal coverage. It’s like the age old question: If politicians debate in an empty forrest, does what they say really matter?

There are a few issues that need to be stressed:

1. Women HAVE BEEN and ARE doing X, but they’re just not getting the credit or coverage for it. (and they haven’t throughout history)

2. Women can be just as aggressive, macho and vulgar as men – and it is completely unfair that they are judged as outsiders when they flex their political muscles. If they have virtual cajones, men shouldn’t label them as “unfeminine,” because the whole idea of men having the power to be the only sex which can express their vulgar, outraged opinions is a completely social construct founded in nothing but a false sense of dominance. Well, women can be procreant, virile, and energetically potent too. The only problem is that society by and large discourages it. It isn’t that women don’t produce, or don’t try and participate in political debate. Strong women with opinions are labeled “feminazis” or other degrading epithets, in order to strip them of their accepted gender associations and stigmatize the public. Striping down socially constructed gender associations should be a positive – it usually strips down stereotypes, but instead this tactic is used to bully and persuade the general population (men and women) that because these women are performing outside the normal expectations, there must be something wrong with them, or they at the very least have an over-emphasized instability that causes fear because of their threat to the status quo. Well, sometimes the status quo needs to be crushed and beaten to oblivion – and women are just as capable, if not more so, to do it.

The idea that women “aren’t doing things because they are too busy with other, more important aspects of a ‘female’ lifestyle” is a lie propagated by the male majority (and many traditionalist women) which essentially aids those who tell this lie in two more ways:

1. It continues to spread the female/male submission/dominance stereotypes (even fooling some impressionable women) and creates an accepting society and panders to the male expectation of these views.

2. It allows the men and women who spread these notions to sleep at night, by giving them a sense that the tasks assigned to each gender are separate, yet equal. (If we’ve learned anything from segregation, we would know that this train of ideology ends in an incredibly wrecked and mangled social network).

The fact of the matter is, no one has any truly accurate way of measuring the degree to which women participate in politics, and even if there was a way, the numbers would be skewed because of the social environment woman are forced to navigate through, which says that women who try to do too much, and be too busy are overextending themselves – they should leave those little piddling issues of rule of law and intellectual debate to the men folk. Well, to get all masculine and vulgar – that’s a pile of steaming shit.

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