Thursday, August 25, 2016

On being a certain sort of woman


Maybe it is something about having a woman on the verge of winning the presidency, but I find myself encountering bold discussions of the realities of women's lives with a frequency not prominent for awhile. Or maybe I'm just paying more attention ...

Kristi Coulter offers up a message that is the antithesis of the battered bumpersticker above. Recently having got sober, she calls it as she has lived it as an accomplished young professional.

... And there’s no easy way to be a woman, because, as you may have noticed, there’s no acceptable way to be a woman. And if there’s no acceptable way to be the thing you are, then maybe you drink a little. Or a lot.

... A woman with a single-malt scotch is bold and discerning and might fire you from her life if you fuck with her. A woman with a PBR is a Cool Girl who will not be shamed for belching. A woman drinking MommyJuice wine is saying she’s more than the unpaid labor she gave birth to. The things women drink are signifiers for free time and self-care and conversation — you know, luxuries we can’t afford.

... Is it really that hard, being a First World woman? Is it really so tough to have the career and the spouse and the pets and the herb garden and the core strengthening and the oh-I-just-woke-up-like-this makeup and the face injections and the Uber driver who might possibly be a rapist? Is it so hard to work 10 hours for your rightful 77 percent of a salary, walk home past a drunk who invites you to suck his cock, and turn on the TV to hear the men who run this country talk about protecting you from abortion regret by forcing you to grow children inside your body?

... Maybe women are so busy faking it — to be more like a man at work, more like a porn star in bed, more like 30 at 50 — that we don’t trust our natural responses anymore. Maybe all that wine is an Instagram filter for our own lives, so we don’t see how sallow and cracked they’ve become.

This is absolutely go-read-the-whole-thing writing.

2 comments:

Hattie said...

This is really important. My several nieces drink too much and are oblivious to the way they are damaging themselves and others while believing they are experiencing fun and freedom. They are all high achievers but have hit a plateau. I wonder what they could accomplish if they stopped drinking! Their personal lives are pretty disastrous, too, and they give a kind of slack impression, as if they are not paying enough attention. They used to be as bright as buttons, all of them.

Hattie said...

Adding to this: even in this sexist and ageist world, we have some basic responsibility for ourselves. The 40's deterimine what a woman's old age is going to be like.

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