While I’ll save the intellectual, well-thought out important debate to my older sister, I still have a slight complaint with the world I live in and their political correctness.
I’m not going to debate, I don’t want to discuss politics. I’m the one that turns and runs with my fingers in my ears when someone wants to discuss who should be in charge of what, and why this law is bad, etc. etc. I prefer my world in which I act according to my conscience and walk with God in every day situations.
Take me, the cross between high-school and college student right now. First off, I do want to add a disclaimer on my upcoming complaints and say that, yes, I’m actually highly enjoying Art Appreciation. In general, I love my no-nonsense teacher, and she likes how engaged I am in the class. We get along capitally.
So, we begin to study women in art. And then we sidetrack and study some women and their rights, Victorian all the way to present. Still somewhat relevant – no one is complaining.
My first problem:
In general, the expected consensus is that we are all supposed to agree that women were terribly abused in their rights, (Need to emphasize the upper-class, here. Not necessarily talking about the working-class women) practically forced to wear corsets, stay in the home, forced to have children (le gasp!), forced to be religious and pure (double le gasp!!), and forced to obey their husbands (triple le gasp! Pardon me if I faint dead away).
In further discussion, the textbook and my instructor would have us believe that while the women were forced to stay home while society thought it was totally okay if men went away into the houses of prostitutes all the time. “Nobody cared what [the husbands] did” (- actaul quote from my teacher). But oh no, those poor women… they had to stay home and couldn’t go the prostitute’s…wait, what are we even talking about again?
I’m kind of confused at this point. My art-turned -history teacher now is wanting me to first accept that all married upper-class men force their wives to stay at home with the kids while they go gallivanting off to clubs and prostitute’s homes all the time. And yet she also wants me to shake my fist and say it’s not fair that the women can’t go… too…?
Like I mentioned before, I do get that it’s a little stupid that women couldn’t go out (couldn’t, aka, where looked down on if they did) to cafe’s, public places, etc. But please. Are we really taking it to how it’s not fair that the wife and husband can’t go cheat on each other equally? Why are we making a point about how couples should be sexually independent of each other instead of say… why maybe prostitution is a bad thing…?
These poor male fellows in this class are twiddling their thumbs, biting their lips, and staring at their desks while us girls are supposed to rally and pump our firsts in the air about the injustice of it all.
My Second Problem:
Besides the expected “tisk tisk” from me about how it’s not fair that women couldn’t act foolishly like “all” men did (really. you’re going to say that all of the husbands did this? Not one of them didn’t visit prostitutes and stayed loyal?) I’m also supposed to sigh in sadness at the art of the women in the homes with kids.
I mean… isn’t this the most tragic thing you’ve ever seen?
Let me tell you a side-story, which is the first thing I thought off when shown a picture (similar the the above) and told to sigh in sadness about it.
I was visiting a school, talking to an AP US History class teacher, trying to decide if I should take the class there. I asked what we studied. He pointed happily at his textbook: “Only this! That’s it, and you get the score!”
Okay, I guess he wasn’t understanding me. I inquired further,
“Like, what historical documents and stuff to you study? Or American Literature and such?”
“Pffft! We don’t do that! I want you do have a life!”
Ouch. Apparently, I don’t have a life. He completely misunderstood what my questions even meant. Apparently this gal doesn’t have a life if I want to read…like…actual history documents and such?
This was the same sort of effect that this Art Appreciation class has had on me.
“See these women?”
“They have to obey their husbands. ”
“They stay at home.”
“They raise their kids!!! “
“Isn’t that just awful?? They aren’t allowed to have a life!”
“Well. I guess I don’t want a life. I’ll be seeing you. I’ll just convert to an abused woman and stay crumbled in agony in the house married to a dishonest husband who leaves every night and surrounded by wailing children I must teach to read and play the piano. Because that’s not a real life. By doing all those abused women-y things, I’m no feminist.”
There were problems. I’d like to vote. I’d also like to not where a corset. I’d like the freedom to go swing dancing, walk downtown with friends, etc. I have those freedoms now. And I do want women who want careers to be able to go get them. My sister (I swear) is going to be the most awesome and obnoxious first-lady someday or something.
I’m not informed enough to know if there are still problems in the light that there were a hundred and ten years ago. I’d argue that the inequality of today comes from the general acceptance of pornography, gentleman’s clubs (I hate driving through West Virginia and Missouri and a local street in my home-town), and the stripped down celebrities like Lady Gaga who seem to abuse my privacy and do more damage to women identity then all those men who apparently underpay us.
But that is a discussion I’m not really qualified to argue about.
For now, excuse me while I crawl into my anti-feminist role of getting married and raising kids at home.
By the way Art class, your feminism is sticking out its tongue a little rudely at my feminism and calling it the problem. I’m not sure that’s really fair.