I almost titled this post “I’m not a woman” but the speculation would be insane. For the record I’m not “a woman”. I’m not “A man” either or “A mammal” for that matter.
I’m getting somewhat sick and tired of being lumped all in a group, and having things said about me that go something like “Women think” or “Women want” or heaven forbid “Women hurt most.”
Yeah, I know I often refer to women or men as a group. Sure. What I mean by that, in that instance is “A statistically average woman” which is a bit of a mathematical fiction. (Though not as much as a perfectly spherical cow, of uniform density, in a frictionless vacuum.)
Which is why I tend to talk about groups. The social mode of women comes out when there’s a majority of women in a work place or an industry for instance. It doesn’t tell us anything about a particular woman in that industry or that place.
So, why have I got that bee under that particular bonnet now?
Well, it’s not a bee. It’s probably a cicada, because it’s really noisy, but–
It’s the whole “drive to make everyone equal.” It drives me a little insane. I’m starting to suspect for some people — at least those who aren’t just stupid and insane — the drive is because of some perceived, (and perhaps real) injustice and mistreatment in their childhood from which they never recovered. At least I’m puzzled at “feed them and exercise them alike” in the comments on “two by two” referring to males and females, and that’s the only explanation I can find.
For those who’ve never raised kids, even in Portugal, which is a for-real sexist country, and was more so when I was little, sure, you might send your daughters to the village school, and your boys to the private school, for reasons of the boys making contacts that would help them in later life, mostly, but you didn’t refuse to feed the women/feed them less, or exercise the boys more than the girls. Heck, till I went to the all-girl school, we had gym with the boys. Also, until puberty, I could beat them all at rugby. Then testosterone gave them an unfair advantage.
Boys and women eat and exercise differently (boys tend to prefer more violent sports. Not all boys, of course.) because the hormones pumping through their veins and dictating their development are different since before they’re born. It’s not how we treat them, it’s what they are.
Which then brings us to making all women alike.
Recently I got yelled at (which is why my posts are going to be at weird times, until things stabilize) for my bizarre sleep-hygiene. Apparently — clears throat embarrassedly — while you can learn to sleep just under 5 hours a night and function fine for years, it’s like the joke my mom told about the Spaniard’s donkey “Just when she learned not to eat, she died.”
So I’m under strict orders to get off the net two hours before going to bed (backlit screens in general) and…. other stuff.
Why does this have anything to do with making women equal to men, or women equal to all other women?
Because the reason I got into this predicament was that I really, really — REALLY — wanted to write stories. And that meant that I had to steal sleep somewhere, so I could raise the kids, refinish the furniture, cook the food, and break into publishing, then keep up a more-active than normal writing life.
Look, would you impose that on any other woman? Even another woman who wanted to be a writer? I wouldn’t and I did it. I just really, really, really wanted to be a professional writer. And a mother. And the lack of enough hours in the day (or night) had to be overcome somehow.
On the other hand, I know women who spend two hours every morning (or evening) on their “beauty routine.” I never had patience. I don’t even remember to slap on moisturizer most of the time.
To force all of us to behave according to one or the other pattern would be painful, and probably stupid, not to mean lethal, if you mean my routine, because it is, as I’ve been assured “Killing yourself on the installment plan.” (I’m trying to fix it, okay?)
I don’t know about you, but I want a lot of things, and very few have anything to do with the equipment between my legs, or the hormones in my veins.
Yes, I wanted to have and raise kids, but so did my husband, which is why we went through infertility. That I was the one who’d bear them, was just the situation. I mean, no, he couldn’t do it.
I wanted to stay home with the kids, but it also was more convenient, because it was easier to steal sleep from that than from a conventional job, and I go a little bit loopy when not writing. But also Dan had better prospects, period. So I was the one who stayed home.
But I wanted a career, so I broke myself working for it.
Look — I’m me. I’m not “a woman”. I am physically weaker than most males, true. But for most of what I want to do that doesn’t count.
And intellectually I have more in common with Dave Freer than with most women, even my female friends. Because we both know what it’s like to want people to write our stories. And we’ve both worked crazy stupid hours to do it. And we both have the experience of trad pub. And–
Why is it that the promoters of equality are literally that. They not only want to make men and women EQUAL and believe that’s possible to a level it biologically isn’t, but they want to make everyone equal.
Poor sleep and crazy work times for everyone!
Only, of course, I wouldn’t be allowed to write. To strike a blow for equality, I should absolutely be an engineer, or at doctor, or at least a high powered lawyer.
Because …. women aren’t allowed to want to do things that don’t prove they’re as good as or better than men.
All animals must be made alike. Particularly if they don’t want to.
I’m not a widget. I’m not part of any lumpen group. I’m not following any group I’m forced into.
I’ll be over there, doing my thing.
And the equalizers can learn to leave me and those like me the heck alone.