Thursday, May 20, 2010

Most days, I'm glad to be out of touch

A friend on Facebook posted a link to a column by well-known political writer Maureen Dowd, which poses the Carrie Bradshaw-like question "When does a woman go from being single to unmarried?"

My first thought was: there's a difference?

I guess so. "Often, for women, once you’re 40 or 50, or simply beyond childbearing age, you’re no longer single. You’re unmarried — meaning it isn’t your choice to be alone."

Huh. Where do people get the handbook that tells them these things?

My second thought was: when does a man go from being single to unmarried?

Apparently, never. "Men, generally more favored by nature as they age, can be single at all ages."

Again: really? Segueing nicely to third thought: on all counts -- says who?

I shouldn't blame Dowd for this, because I guess she's responding to things other people are saying about the new Supreme Court candidate and her single status. But still, I cannot contain myself. It is the year 2010. How the frak can this possibly still be an issue?And why is rampant idiocy still being validated and made respectable by addressing it as if it were in any way legitimate?

If any human being devotes themselves to the kind of life that makes them capable of being a decent Supreme Court judge, with all the learning and effort and dedication that entails, and some people want to turn around and say, well, she couldn't find a man: those people are idiots, they are probably muddying the waters deliberately, and most importantly, the "attack" is not only a non sequitor, but ridiculous, because no woman in the world should be judged for not having a man.

We are not cavepeople. We are not livestock! The worth of human beings has absolutely nothing do with whether or not they mate and/or breed.

It also occurs to me, the whole ideological rallying point of America has always been liberty and justice for all. Now, actual liberty and justice are difficult, contentious things, and involve a lot of grey areas, a lot of definition issues, a lot of conflicting interests, etc. BUT -- it should be possible for the media and the mass audience of this country to say that liberty and individualism are American values, so people should be allowed to make their own choices in life, to live differently from one another, without being condemned for it. In other words: her being unmarried has nothing to do with her job, so who cares? Anyone who wants to judge her negatively for something like that is actually un-American!

Okay, I know how easy the holes would be to poke: but couldn't we make it an advertising slogan? Prejudice is un-American. Discrimination is un-American. Forcing people into little boxes, whatever those boxes are, is un-American. If we can't be free in our daily lives, in any meaningful way, in areas that don't even effect other people, how on earth are we going to be able to stand up for the kind of abstract larger freedoms that our nation supposedly stands for?

Note to the reader:
I've been out of the loop for a bit: embroiled with various plans and schemes, most of them in the so-called real world, leading to less blog time -- and, tragically, way less time for movie-watching. If any of my peculiar notions come to fruition, you'll hear it here first!

1 comment:

memsaab said...

Excellent and worthy rant, my sistah!

Your unmarried AND single friend Memsaab :)