Many moons ago, Halfmama dubbed me a Rockin' Blogger. (Someone else gave me the nod, too, and I can't remember who it was because as my last post indicated, I'm crazy like a fox. Remind me who you were and I will link to you here!) That Halfmama is very, very kind to me. I don't feel so rockin' these days. Well, actually, I do feel pretty rockin' on many days, but I feel that way just for getting through the day. Seems like I should do more than that to be truly rockin', but why don't I just shut up now and say, "Thank you, Halfmama! You make a girl feel gooooood!"
As a token of my rockin'-ness, I am to offer up five random thoughts on feminism. Here goes nothin':
1. I get sick of people saying to me, "Oh, you have boy/girl twins, it's a perfect way to study nature/nurture and gender differences since you are raising them in exactly the same way!" OK, maybe, yeah. But I don't think it's an excuse to label the differences between Maddie and Riley as gender-based. Two is a really small sample, people! Just because Maddie happens to be more verbal does not mean that girls are more verbal as a whole! Just because Maddie likes to give Elmo a bottle and Riley likes to throw Elmo on the ground and stomp on him does not mean that girls like to be little mommies and boys don't know how to show the love. (So that's not really about feminism, but it's about gender equality/inequality, and that will have to do.)
2. I think my husband was more of a feminist than me. As he always said, "I'm a counselor. I'm practically a chick!" He was very sensitive to gender issues. I hope I can pass the same awareness on to my kids.
3. When I lived in Africa, I worked on a project that involved getting some books printed in Gabon's capital city, Libreville. I had to find a printer that was willing to print the books at a reduced cost. How did I accomplish this? I left my (male) Gabonese counterpart at the office, got very dressed up, wore a low-cut shirt, and used my feminine wiles. No, no, no, I didn't sleep my way into a deal or anything, but I did charm my way into a deal on the printing costs with a bunch of sleazy men. Shameful? Maybe. But I can tell you right now that my colleague would not have gotten such a good deal, and I would never have gotten the deal I got by playing hardball. Not sure what all that means, but it was an interesting exercise.
4. I wish I was comfortable enough as a woman and as myself to not shave my legs. But man, I am a hairy girl and in the summer when I wear skirts I just can't stand how it looks not to shave.
5. Ultimately, I don't put much stock in gender differences. They should just not be a factor in things like career choices and how people are treated in the workplace. Of course, they are, but they shouldn't be. It just shouldn't be so hard. Why can't we all just get along?! Heh.
BONUS SIXTH ITEM!
6. It bugs the crap out of me that professional orchestras are still very male-dominated even though my own involvement in youth music programs leads me to believe that women are equally if not predominately represented at the amateur level. There are lots of professional flute players who are male, but not so many guys who play flute in high-school band or orchestra. What's going on? Is it the competitive nature of professional music that for some reason weeds out women? I find it curious, and troubling. How many female conductors do you see? Not many. And female composers? They are out there, but they are not getting the commissions that men are. I fail to think this is because their music sucks.
I will pass the Rockin' Blogger badge on to the following: Rachel at Kitchen Fire, OTRgirl at Sojournering, Emmie at Better Make It a Double, Lisa at A Letter to My Children, and Buddha Girl at Buddha Girl's World. If you have the time and inclination, share your thoughts. No matter what you say, you ROCK.