Saturday, November 15, 2014

On Image and Reality

I used to think of myself as “a throwback.” Some kind of “blue collar, traditional, parochial, working class hero” kind of guy, but I was never that, especially those times when I most thought of myself that way.

For one thing I didn't merely “not connect” with people, I just didn't connect with much of anything...with “god,” or country,” or anything else. I didn't believe what others believed. I didn't even believe the things I often felt I needed to pretend to believe, in order to keep from standing out like a sore thumb...or a rotting fish in a florist shop.

For one thing, I always KNEW...I just didn't merely believe, I KNEW that women were as dangerous as men, even more so, on account of men not believing women could be dangerous, nor even get mad, or shit or piss. A LOT of men...very capable men of the past held an idealized doll’s image of women, which is, of course, completely at odds with reality. Women are HUMAN, after all, so they piss and shit…and get mad.

Not to say there aren't pronounced “gender differences,” there are...BUT those differences don’t make women any less dangerous, in fact, their stealth or indirectness, has made many female crimes harder to detect. Just as “only a male” would climb up on a bell tower and randomly shoot a bunch of College students because he got “mad at the world,” it’s just as true that “only a woman” could poison her husband by putting ethylene glycol (which used to be the primary ingredient in antifreeze) and watch the poor schlub slowly croak in front of her.

I wasn't the only one who saw this, and I was far from the first. Hell radio raconteur Gene Shepherd (famous for authoring and narrating A Christmas Story) once remarked about this very topic…back in the early 1960's when he recalled talking to a cop friend, a detective from Chicago and asking the detective, “What do you guys look for when you come across someone cut up into 408 small pieces? I mean I guess you must start lookin’ for a mad man,” to which his detective friend allegedly replied, “No, in those kinds of cases we actually first start looking for a mad woman, because it takes a great deal of emotional attachment to engender that kind of rage.”

As Shepherd wryly noted, “In other words, Lizzie Borden was no fluke, friends.”

But for eons women have been exempted from labor…that is, work, or labor OUTSIDE the home, because society AND men valued that contribution that highly.

Women weren't barred from work, there were always women who worked outside the paternal grandmother, born around the turn of the last century, nearly all her life. The 1950s American woman was best portrayed by “Alice” on The Honeymooners, then by Jane Wyatt (Father Knows Best) or Barbara Billingsley (Leave it to Beaver).

Some of the idealistic views men had about women created unreasonable expectations for women and boxed them into confined spaces, but they did that for males as well.

The rejection of that traditional mindset has had some humorous and disastrous consequences. Women are not as capable as fighters, so they are not very effective street cops, firefighters or combat troops. Is there a very small percentage of women who CAN do those jobs?

Yes, but that number is very small (low single digits probably) and the number of those women who WANT to do those jobs is even smaller.

Hell, the difference between male and female military personnel is the difference between Robert Hansen (“the Butcher Baker” – a serial killer in Alaska) and Andrea Yates (the mother who murdered her five children in Harris County, within Houston, TX).

Recent videos that have gone viral that purport to show “outrages against women,” like “10 Hours of Walking the Streets of New York as a Woman” the now infamous “F Train SLAP” really just clearly demonstrate that females are NOT built or conditioned for confrontation.

Seriously, if you’re offended by remarks like “God bless you, have a nice day,” and “You’re beautiful,” and if you’re unable to physically back up your initial assault with a weapon (a stiletto heel, in the F Train attack), you have no business even thinking about doing Police work, firefighting or any other “Death Professions,” because they’re going to be “just too hard” for people of that ilk.

In the past society held to the view that women for making and running the home, rearing children, etc. deserved an exalted status and an exemption from the daily indignities and abuses that men who worked the “death professions” regularly dealt with, but in a world of stay-at-home Dads, and women who willingly confront and physically challenge men ( such a status, such chivalry quickly becomes quaint and antiquated.

We live in a drastically changing world, not only has religion lost influence as Theism (the partnership between religion and government) has been replaced by Corporatism (the partnership between Corporations and government), but the definition of the family, the male/female dynamic and the very nature of work are all changing rapidly.

While the economic dislocation has left millions adrift without meaningful full time work, tens of thousands have forged ways to forge income from home, whether by becoming professional sellers on EBay, Amazon and other retail sites (some have even started their own small outlet sites), doing bookkeeping, and providing other such services online and/or doing consulting work.

The things have already changed radically. That was probably inevitable. Things will almost certainly change even more drastically down the road in ways we probably can’t even fully conceive of now, but it’s more vital than ever to maintain a clear picture of what we gave up...even if it’s what we HAD to give up, to get to a “better place.”

It was NOT a terrible world. It WAS a simpler time, in some respects, and at least in some people’s minds, a better time. It can be argued that, “It had to be derided in order to make giving it up that much more palatable,” but we’re past all that now. That way of life is gone and gone for good and we NEED to be open to seeing both its good and bad aspects.

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