Jerry Lewis the late comedian used to use that greeting when he played the bellhop and in turn I wonder was that a query or a callout? Funny I never think of Jerry Lewis as a man who understood women. But my recollections of many shows and movies I watched on television with my father had few strong female role models. Even Lucy who everyone loved was often the butt of the joke. I recall women being the Mother, the Sister, the Dead Wife, the cute Wife, the Witch, the bitchy neighbor or the kindly young Teacher. But the male images stand strong and I can in my lifetime recall Ralph Kramden the Bus Driver played by the late actor/comic/host, Jackie Gleeson as he would say to his exasperated wife Alice: "One of these days Alice, to the moon" as he would wave his fists in the air. I recall Miss Kitty behind the bar in Gunsmoke but no other women to run the home where Bonanza ran the Ponderosa not with the aid of a strong female mate but by the aid of Hop Sing. Later one of the sons came out to the Prairie that led us to the stories of the Little House that sat along it. Funny only recently of late did I find out that the iconic author of said books was in fact a screaming racist. Well go figure, Pa was a strong figure. Did I mention Picasso was a screaming misogynist? Himtoo?#
Taking a step back on the days of yesteryear what flew then does not necessarily fly now but in all honesty did it ever? When is it humorous to gesticulate a fist to your wife? To take lands belonging to others? To put anyone in indentured servitude? And when a woman ran a bar in the west was she also the town Madam? Funny that in most other Westerns not the case but maybe Gunsmoke was ahead of its time!
Two weeks ago which in media years is like dog years times seven, New York Magazine had a women in power edition. Well much has changed since then. Let's start with Megyn Kelly. Trump must be loving that one. Again when did she find out that blackface was not appropriate? Same time she realized when Ralph was swinging his fists and promising to send his wife to the moon and not in an Apollo mission I guess.
The next profile was the Girl literally and metaphorically Lena Dunham. She is shuttering her literary mag Lenny, has split from her business partner and is not apparently writing a script about a Syrian refugee. Does that fall into something bizarre, cultural appropriation or just odd? Every time I hear about her or hear her I go: "Really? Thanks you can go now."
Then defining Stormy Daniels as a hero. Really I have nothing wrong with sex workers but I watch the Deuce is that not enough?
Nikki Haley the former Ambassador to the United States. Just another woman in the Trump Cabinet who has no role other than serving the master. Irony that only one other woman remains, Elaine Cho and she is Mitch McConnell's wife. I doubt she cares or laughs when Trump wheels out his ancient Chinese secret joke at Cabinet meeting.
Or how about Andrea Mitchell while avoiding the question about her aging dotard of husband, Alan Greenspan, the man we can thank (well via Ayn Rand) for the 2008 economic collapse. No pillow talk on that one I guess.
I did not find it surprising in the least that missing from the least was the lean inner herself, Sheryl Sandberg, All that data mining and Russian fixing of elections kind of took that luster off. Me not so much as I never liked her and now I guess I was right!
But one name on the list was one I had not heard of until I read Mother Jones and read an article about what a nutfuck this woman is on high order. Marjorie Dannenfelser is one crazy bitch. The article in New York Magazine fails to demonstrate the depth and lengths of her obsession and and predatory behavior that crosses the line with regards to activism. But it points out that all of this began with a man, first the one she thought knocked her up then the man who confronted her with his values at a Pro Choice meeting. Funny how men seem to know how to handle women like that - too the moon Alice!
These are the same nuts who shout out "Get your Government hands off my Medicare!" Or advocate smaller Government and not all in your business unless that business is your vagina then its all hands on the pussy! The same people who don't want medical clinics that are affordable and available to provide things like birth control, family planning and contraceptive education, sex education and of course pre or post natal care that might cost them money. They are just for women to be Handmaids and breed away and some white couple will come apparently and whisk the baby away to a fully happy life - as long as they not Gay and are White and Christian.
I do think that Marjorie is nuts but then let's be fair and talk about Sarah Silverman for a minute. Never liked her and never found her funny. Now she has always had more famous boyfriends and when in comedy that was Jimmy Kimmel and when she wanted to act oddly Michael Sheen was escorting her to the Oscars. Now that is over and she is an Activist she is busy being a feminist like me too!! No wait she is not a member of that club no Ms. Silverman was a willing collaborator with Louis C.K and by that I mean she lent him a helping hand with not comedy but his dick. Funny that was not what she said back when it all began (her sister however) but memories fade and return I guess or so I have heard..... Okay then. Really? Did we need to know that and does she think that while she admits it was consensual it does nothing to help those women for whom it was not as it puts a cloud over their head. The cloud says: "You did not get famous despite your willingness or ignorance to admit you helped jack him off so now you say it was assault." Thanks I hate clouds!
I am a proud Feminist with a capital F (figure that one out) and no men are not feminists. Quit that shit you are men whom support women. Feminism is in the name itself - feminine to be a woman. Feminism came from the notion that women want/need/demand equality. And like white folks who marched with black folks for civil rights they are not black so it doesn't mean you can't help but you ain't one so step up and to the back of the line but not in the front. You can be with us you are not one of us. These are lived experiences and that is what defines us.
So when I realize what it is like now nearing 60 how all that was fought and all I thought was won will now be lost I wonder what or who will lead us. You need leaders, fighters and fearless individuals willing to step up to the front and the followers to be behind to move, to be seen and be heard. I see no one. I think of the vote and how women fought, struggled and died to get that right for me and I rise on their backs to the booth I don't step over them. But there is no sisterhood when women fight other women to deny them health care, the right to marry the ones they love, to do with their bodies what they want with whom they want and the right to collect a payment in exchange. When women use Jesus and God to cover their anger and rage that no helped them when they were down and when they were too abused, neglected, ignored and in turn reconciled to the corner. No one puts baby in the corner!
Power is a tenuous concept and it is fluid. It is tied to money, to physical beauty, to gender, to heredity and to war. Power should be like respect - earned - and in turn shared like the Golden Rule. But in the current state of America we are drawing lines, taking names and doing what exactly? Equity, equality, access and availability are all issues that we face. Look at education? Look at health care? Or how about the work place? The home? And on and on. Keep making lists and then again what exactly? Is it about the right thing or about you? Project much?
Why do you care what other women do with their rights to be women? What are you afraid of? That maybe a woman shall lead us. Let's find a new "its" or "ism" I like Humanism. Times Up alright.