Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Boys and Girls Part I

Ah yes. A most popular topic amongst (whoa, apparently "amongst" isn't a word) most people. It pops into my brain...usually....and now I can't think of the actual blog I've been brewing for a while. Oh well. That one was probably overly sentimental anyway.

So, boys and girls. Why is it that we get into these debates over what people think, and how things are, and how they should or shouldn't be? Is it just me? Am I target because I happen to enjoy "goofing off" (that's what I'm calling it. You can call it what you will) at parties and/or gatherings? Someone always asks my big ol' mouth what I think about it all...about the debate...or the state of things...whatever. And I carefully (I give myself some credit) dive in. Why? I'm pretty sure I'm better at debating the realities than the people that try to rile me up.

When I was a little one (girl, that is), I used to surf the channels on the radio to find a girl singing. It's not that I didn't appreciate music sung by boys. I did. My parents mostly listened to oldies, so there was a lot of Frankie Valli, Brian Wilson, Simon and Garfunkel, etc. All boys, I know. There was also A LOT of Judy Collins. My dad LOVED Judy Collins. I still listen to one of her albums, Sanity and Grace, and think of my dad. BUT, for me, and my time, the station changing/searching for female voices lead me to Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, The Bangles, etc. I don't know why I wanted to hear girl voices, other than the fact I felt that I could emulate them (magnificently at age 6), or the fact that I KNEW, I KNEW there was something different about us.

So there it is. My rebuttal to the first argument that people throw out against feminism: You can't deny that men and women are DIFFERENT. Correct. I cannot, and I do not wish to do so. Some propagandist had the grand idea to toss that one out to the women all over the world fighting for equality. Can't you just see him right now? "Hey, y'all! How can y'all be equal if y'all don't have no penis? Y'all are different. Get over it!" And the tragedy (the familiarly American of all tragedies) is that it worked. People are still using that same DAMN argument. OH FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE! Read a book.

Yes, I knew at a young age that I was different. Even before I really had any idea about the anatomical differences. I never wanted to be Van Halen when we played pretend. I was always Cindi Lauper (even though I totally wanted to be Madonna, but my friend Melody HAD to be her, and I HAD to be Cindi...so...whatever. I woulda rocked The Apprentice). I was always a girl because I always wanted to be a girl.

And just as I never wanted to be a boy, the women who first began to speak out,  step out, and stand up in the name of equality had no interest in being boys, or men, or what have you. They were always only women.

So let's start there. A dialogue. It's not a trap. It's a dialogue. There is so much to say. Margaret Fuller, an early proponent for women's rights (my favorite, actually), organized "conversations" wherein she encouraged men and women to talk about what they new, and how they felt, and what they wanted. It was a place for men and women to teach each other, and it was, if not ground breaking, the beginning of something as such. Elizabeth Cady Stanton attended Fuller's conversations. She wrote the women's declaration of independence (using a great deal of Fuller's teaching), which was signed in 1848 at Seneca Falls, NY by 68 women.....and 32 men, and that was only the beginning.

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