thanks Barbie, I needed that
From Mark Davis on the smash hit movie Barbie. He’s quoting the Barbie Soliloquy at the end of the movie spoken by “Gloria, a Mattel employee helping Barbie navigate the real world”:
You have to be a boss, but you can’t be mean. You have to lead, but you can’t squash other people’s ideas. You’re supposed to love being a mother, but don’t talk about your kids all the damn time. You have to be a career woman, but also always be looking out for other people.”
Then the crescendo: “But you have to never get old, never be rude, never show off, never be selfish, never fall down, never fail, never show fear, never get out of line. It’s too hard! It’s too contradictory and nobody gives you a medal or says thank you! And it turns out in fact that not only are you doing everything wrong, but also everything is your fault!”
So Mark continues: “As the teen girls, grandmothers and every generation in between burst into applause around me, I took a moment to process.”
Well yes, here we are, 230 years since First Feminist Mary Wollstonecraft and her Vindication of the Rights of Woman published in 1792. And now women are saying it’s Too Hard.
It’s really hard to live the roles of a woman and live the roles of a man as well. In fact, I’d say, it’s stupid. But the patriarchy!
Yes, what do we really mean when we say, with the feminists, that women have been oppressed? Since the Dawn of Time. By the Patriarchy.
Let’s just rehearse how chimpanzees, our closest animal relatives, live. From Before the Dawn by Nicholas Wade. The males patrol the border of the troop’s territory, and the females have babies and look after them. The size of the territory is significant, because it relates to the food supply, because the more territory, the more food, the more babies and, hopefully, the more baby chimps grow up to maturity.
The fact is that the same applied to humans until the day before yesterday, in our pre-industrial society. Your band, or tribe, or duchy, or empire, had to have enough food-growing land to keep everyone alive and to rear the next generation. And it had to defend that land from other bands, tribes, dukes, emperors that might like to add your food-growing land to their food-growing land.
So, while the women had the babies and fed them, the men were needed to defend the border from invaders: Huns Mongols, Vikings, Normans, you name it. And if you weren’t able to defend your border, you disappeared from history. Hello native Americans and Aztecs and all the ships at sea. But the patriarchy.
Actually things weren’t quite as simple as that, because while women had always planted and tended gardens, the advent of agriculture and plowing meant that men had to do the plowing, because women weren’t strong enough to manage a horse and plow, and anyway, they tended to get miscarriages when plowing-while-pregnant. But the patriarchy.
Actually, I get it. From the outside the life of men seems pretty cool. Powerful leaders, rich successful businessmen, handsome movie stars. Explorers, scientists, philosophers. How Dare men grab all that stuff for themselves! No doubt, but did you know that them word “career” comes from the French “carrière” which means racetrack? As in round and round the mulberry bush.
Now, I think that sports and careers for men is actually brilliant. It takes the male instincts for war and combat — the necessary skills for defending the border — and diverts them into safe and constructive channels. Brilliant, as the Brits say. But sports and careers for women is a horse of a rather different color. Not that it’s impossible, but that it doesn’t come quite as naturally as for men.
So it is not surprising that women come to complain about the heavy load of being wives and mothers and also corporate careerists. “It’s too hard,” as Gloria says in the quote above, and “everything is your fault.”
“I’m so exhausted.” That’s the other line I hear.
Yeah. If you consider that primates appeared about 55 million years ago, and humans and chimpanzees diverged over 6 million years ago, and agriculture began about 12,000 years ago, and the industrial revolution about 200 years ago, I’d say it would be rather foolish to imagine that human women, that have been doing things like having babies and feeding them Since the Dawn, could, just like that, step into instinctive male roles that go back millions of years.
If I tried something like that I would feel exhausted. Although I would not complain about it, because I am a man.
And I also understand that, as a man, everything is my fault. That is the meaning of “responsibility.” If something goes wrong, it is your fault. But the grass is greener on the other side.
But there is another matter with respect to the rights of women. The feminist movement, beginning not least with Mary Wollstonecraft, is a movement of educated women. No doubt educated women want to live a more creative life than the very creative and necessary life of bearing and raising children. But whatabout the rest of womankind?
Have the educated women ever asked the women of the ordinary middle class what they thought? Whether they were oppressed by the patriarchy? Whether they wanted careers? Any ideas? Bueller? Anyone?
And whatabout lower class women? Have the educated women ever asked lower class women what they wanted? Any ideas? Bueller? Anyone?
Do you now understand why I say that our modern educated class is the most conceited and unjust ruling class in history? Because they have no clue, except what they want for themselves. And that goes for educated-class women. In spades.