Middle-class women talk, as is typically all people care to focus on. Pausing about 8 minutes in, let me say a few words on parenthood and economics in today’s society. First off, I have a cool job and don’t work in Corporate America, and that’s terrific. I get by, so it works for me. Self-employment has been my preference for a decade thus far, and I’d recommend it to others (much as I assume our government will aim to obstruct that employment route eventually, probably through enhanced taxation requirements). And I’ve deliberately set out to be child-free since my teen years (back then postponing the decision until I was older while assuming I didn’t want kids, until it became crystal clear that me + kids is a bad idea, as I’ve stood for several years now and will not change my mind about). From a long line of women who all worked: my mother (the most pandered to out of all) in a myriad of not particularly high-paying positions; my grandmother on an assembly line for 32 years ’til the plant moved to Mexico, so then to Walmart, and now cleaning people’s houses; my aunt worked at the sewing plant and now cleans people’s houses; great-grandmother helped her husband maintain a farm, and back further it’s agrarian living so far as I’m aware. Where are those types of women in discussions that revolve around how women are trying to climb the corporate ladder or are out buying big fancy houses and maxing out $300k on consumer credit for household furnishings to keep up with the Joneses?
For as long as I’ve been listening to anyone talk on the subject of feminism, nearly all talk revolves around the middle- and upper-class women and their ambitions and lifestyles. While I understand it is precisely that group of women who have been instrumental in making the feminist movement what it is today, it’s this narrow focus that drives me nuts about the subject of feminism because it leaves so many women simply out of the equation, as if we don’t even exist and our family histories are irrelevant. Doesn’t anyone else pick up on that??
Listening on, agreed that we have the kind of consumer culture that now offers a plethora of goods and services to citizens that previously were only dreamed of or were restricted in access to only those with wealth. And with that has come The Great Spoiling of kids and teens — parents showing their love by buying their children things, as is heavily encouraged though we ought to know this produces brats who don’t appreciate the value of much. Then add to that the cultural focus on all who are young and attractive, and it’s a recipe for stupidity, especially for younger gals who grow up in this kind of society and imagine it no other way. BUT, I now observe teenage boys jumping on their own hyper-consumption train — was recently speaking with my boyfriend’s teenager who announced he now owns approximately $2k worth of shoes, some of which he never even wears and owns purely for the satisfaction of saying so. (My boyfriend is in no position to buy him all of that — those luxuries come from his mother’s side of the family.) And I sat just as dumbfounded, wondering why no one pipes up to tell this kid that this is insane consumerism. I tease him a little about his brand-name obsession, but as his dad’s girlfriend I gotta be careful since I’m pretty much the only one who seems to see this as a negative fixation. So, anyway, it’s not a topic limited in focus to women and girls, not anymore, and most especially not since so many men have gone “metrosexual.”
And on the topic of hurting women’s feelings (approximately 25-26 minutes in), I’m wondering who are these people out here who supposedly care oh-so-much about not offending women. Because that again dumbfounds me. I’ve been criticized my whole life and very openly, by family members, by neighbors, by supposed friends, by classmates, by employers (back when I cared to work for businesses), by lovers, even by strangers. Where is all this sheltering supposed to be taking place? People aren’t supposed to hurt women’s feelings? That’s a new one to me, much as I enjoy not having my feelings hurt, and sensitive as I admittedly am.
On the topic of men’s conduct in strip clubs — it all depends on the kind of joint you visit. I remember a club down in Memphis where the men didn’t behave well, and one time saw a Hispanic man roll up a bill and try to insert it into the naked woman in the cage. She and I both got pretty pissed over that. What an asshole. He didn’t seem to care if security booted him out. But the strip clubs I’ve visited up in the Midwest have overall been more reserved. Never been around male strippers so can’t comment on that, though I can imagine it would be a freak show.
Anyway, it’s not the best day over here. Some days are depressing and this topic has me tripping down memory lane, reflecting back on sore spots where my protection and feelings certainly didn’t seem to matter one iota (deleted the details since it was TMI). Gotta head back to work but maybe I can finish listening (now at the 43 min. mark) later.
[Edited for clarity’s sake 2/28/2015]