Spinning, Knitting, Crocheting, Organic Gardening, Living off-grid, and chasing sheep - because- I'm, like, NOT SANE!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Any ole woman will do......or - scars from my southern childhood

The past week has been nothing short of pure mental torment for me. I mean, I know I fail regularly (if I weren't so secretive and protective I'd let you ask my family members and I'm sure they would gladly site many embarrassing and revealing moments of such failure) to keep my mouth shut if I cannot find something nice to say or a nicer way to say something very rude. To be truthful, it's not just because I was raised to believe that women were practically fortunate to not have been turned into the field like cattle and that a meek, quiet, and very busy woman was the best kind to be. Gee, and I wonder why - even though I've long since directed my attention toward growing and trying to let myself see and be some light in this world, I still can't seem to curb my workaholic tendencies. Exhausted, barely able to think straight some days and still nodding off to sleep thinking, 'dangit - I forgot to do (insert a, b or the whole alphabet here) today!

Having it just be that would be so boring and silly. It has greatly to do with self-preservation. See, I know that when I'm fuming, when my face is red, and when I want to walk up to someone and pull a Mo from the 3 Stooges on them - that is when I'd do best to keep my mouth shut. I say the dumbest things, totally miss making my point, and provide ample rope for a quicker thinker (which may be MOST of the population) to hang me with. When I'm cool headed? I can argue until the end of the world. But, when I'm furious, I look like a monkey hyperventilating. Okay, maybe a monkey hyperventilating is even more eloquent than I at that point.

So, I tried sitting on my hands. That just made me angrier because I couldn't be spinning or knitting and, besides, I then remembered that sitting on one's hands was meant to prevent the HANDS from moving....my personal experience is that it is of little use to prevent loose lips from sinking ships and angry women from hissing. I started spinning - a natural reflex for me when I need to think and still do something that makes me feel PRODUCTIVE. I didn't even notice what I was spinning until about 1/3 of the way into the bobbin. It was the Tia Dalma batts from the August Happy Hooves Batt Club. Poetic justice, I think. A strong woman who relies on her own prowess, intellect, and ingenuity to measure her life. Then, I realized that there was just no way I'd be able to NOT say something not nice and I'd just keep avoiding the blog until the hissing and bubbling brew of thoughts subsided or I finally had some of the yarn from my yearly dance of natural drying actually dry so I could show it to you.

It really comes to this. We're either fiber women or fiber men and I pretty much find that fiber men tend to be some of the most favorite people of my life and generally pretty 'wise' to the ways in which we can make a world where women and men make the world good - together. So, I've been getting increasingly insulted, p.o'd, and hostile to my bones over the last few months. I know what you're thinking. Well, not really, but you might be thinking something like (eyes rolling) "uh-oh, the hippie within has taken over," - or, "not another treehugging 'angry left' rant!" or, "gosh, she sounds alot like those voices in my head!". You get the general idea and so do I. I try to leave politics to other bloggers but since most of my knitting and spinning time this week has been peppered by this indescribable desire to scream bloody loud for days - I'm counting it as fiber talk.

A few months back, I made a choice that I would not vote for Hillary Clinton. I have my own personal reasons for the choice and I am certain that it had to do with her policy mostly and her attitude some. I just felt like she was so intent on winning that she lost the bit of humility that generally makes her endearing. That her approach was not as fair as I would have liked. It's not the first time I've felt that way. 16 years ago, I made a decision to become a SAHM. A few years later, when watching her speak, I was stung when she suggested that she could have stayed home making cookies but decided she had real work to do. I would be small to keep that as my reason and I assure you it was not. I've long since forgiven that sting, found out much more about the person behind those eyes, and generally come to respect her. But, she would not get my vote. Why? I won't vote for someone JUST because they are anything - be that elephant, donkey, woman, man, veteran, etc.

Women, I think, are beautiful creatures to the soul. I also think we've had a pretty unfair shake of the world dice. But, for us to change that, we must decide who we are. Are we men walking around in heels? Are we angry? Are we victims? Are we nuturers? Are we teachers? Are we people who have a deep understanding of the plethora of advantages that we have yet to utilize to bring a more fair and just balance to the human experience? Are we better? Are we worse? Are we all the same?

So, I start fuming every time I hear a former 'hillary supporter' claiming they have found the light and are now voting for the OTHER woman. As if all women are the same (though each one's understanding and position on the issues is drastically different). Then, I hear her running mate talking about how he can't wait to 'unleash' her on Washington. And every woman, it seems like, commentator or interviewee saying the word 'sexism' over and over and I start feeling like screaming, AGAIN. Do we want to be trophies, or respected members of a collective whole? Can't we just ask some real questions and get some real answers?

Urgh. I mean, urgh! I didn't want to vote for Hillary because I don't personally feel she is the right person for the job. That doesn't make me sexist, it doesn't mean I'm not a 'real' woman, it doesn't strip me of my own sisterhood. I could name a handful of women whom, if they ran for President, I would not only vote but would spend much of my free time supporting. I've voted mostly for one party but there have been many times over the years that I've voted for another. I've voted for women, minorities, men, and maybe even a hyperventilating monkey or two. Just because a woman enters the room on a ticket, doesn't mean that we have betrayed our womanhood by not blindly adhering to what I can only term as the female equivalent of the good ole boy system.

C'mon!(she's starting to hyperventilate,again)If we are going to run for office as women (which, personally, I prefer to pretending androgyny) then we cannot expect everyone else to pull out our chair for us! If we are running against a man, and that man asks questions about our credentials - that is not sexism. That - is politics. That's why you'll frequently find a man running against another man doing the same thing. We belittle ourselves and betray our sisterhood more, I think, by proposing this than we would ever do to just answer the questions with the confidence that we are assuming to have in our own abilities. My head about exploded when one of the interviewees (CEO of HP, woman, working mother of 3 kids under the age of 4) answered a question from another woman pertaining to whether or not a mother of five, one being a 5 month old baby might be able to give herself fully to the demanding task of the job by calling her sexist. Shall we start pulling each other's hair and fighting in a mud pit as well? Urgh, again.Why does asking the same question to a woman that one does to a man mean someone is being a pig? If you run on your motherhood, tout it as a credential of your life, and generally present it as your driving purpose for living, whether to satisfy your base or because it is genuinely true, then you can't turn away in horror when someone criticizes your performance or questions your ability to do that AND a job. In the world of men, anything they use as a credential to purport their overall ability is subject to questioning and critique, is it not? Play fair. And if you can't play fair, you better be tough as nails because your discrepancies are bound to come back to haunt you, sometime. But we have to stop saying a woman can do anything a man can do - and then expecting to be treated more fairly than a man in a game that is so cutthroat as politics.
tia dalma 023
Thank you for taking this little roller coaster ride through my brain. The Tia Dalma is spun and I quite like her. I'll go focus on her qualities a little more and take a day or two new hiatus. The fact that my hair looks like I've stuck my finger in a light socket and my eyeballs are bulging may be an indication that I should have done that a few days ago.