Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The rule of thumb

                                      Have you ever had your eyes opened to a blindness you have carried and cherished nurtured and reveled in your whole life. This happened to me in the instance I am willing to talk about when I was first married 18 years ago it was march and I wanted to share a huge family tradition in my house with my husband. We watched the Quiet man every year faithfully loved it quoted from it, well my Dad my Sister and I did. My Mother was not a fan and "joked" with my Dad about John Wane being an alcoholic wife beater, but we will get back to that later. SO with joy at sharing the treasure I sat down with most of my family and my hubby to watch the greenness of Ireland and the listen to the melody and wit of the people. As the movie went on I noticed my husband getting more and more uncomfortable. when the part came when the town was marching across the field with John and the woman came up to give him a stick "to beat the lovey lady with" That was it he was done he left the room and went to talk to my Mom. Later I asked him why he had left, his response was that John Wayne had not been very good to the wife in the movie and he just did not care for it. That sat with me for a long time made me think of the role of Men and Women.

My Mom
                                    Growing up in my house was interesting in my teen years my Mom worked at an abuse agency. My parents "debated" about politics my mom being Dem my Dad Rep. One of the impressions I did at age 5 was Jimmy Carter, it was in total me drying off my teeth and putting my lip up on top of the throwing up 2 peace signs and saying "Hi, I'm Jimmy Carter" my Nixon was worse. SO I grew up in a house that talked regularly about issues not so much personal issues but issues. My mom talked about women's rights but made sure to clarify she was not off the deep end about it. Meaning she shaved her legs and arm pits and being married meant everything to her. I always kind of saw her as a hippy want to be she wanted the things they did but the norm was not so bad. She had always been popular, never with out a date since Jr. high, she had grown up kind of privileged with a Dad who was a respected Business man in Madison. She was the dream of her area of time happy wife with 2 daughters she dressed well and loved her family very much by day. Her job had always taken her to places of compassion and hard to look at places of our society. She had become a nurse because her mom was a nurse. the Jobs I remember her having were starting the head start in Beaver Dam writing the grants for them then working for the WIC program weighing babies and doing quick checks for them, the one that left a lasting  impression on me was when she worked for the abuse shelter. I remember all the radical friends and their talks of women's rights and thinking it was over stated to think women were not valued to same  as men. When my mom died I was lost I did not know what to do she was my rock the one I could always count on, the one I could be real with. Who was I now with out her? I drifted for years holding on to the only thing keeping me floating, my faith but that was so new I had no idea how to manage it. I lost so much of who I was and those around me suffered, in that time became hard and unsure of my self. It was this time in my life this rebel part of me my Mom loved and hated with intensity started to rise up in me. It started questioning things and making me think through things I had not. along this way I found friends that challenged me to do the same and loved me while I worked it out, And I found my self again. I am not as proper a women as my Mom would have liked but I do think as she always did she would admire me for being me.

                                      The idea of equality for women has come back up in my life that seed firmly planted by my Mom and I have been spending time thinking about Her and the influence she had on me in this part of my life what a revolutionary she was fighting in the courts and If my mind remembers right working to pass laws or get them enforced anyway. Yesterday I saw a picture talking about traditional Marriage and what that actually looked like. Women property until 1768, Monogamy since 1899, wife own property 1900, contraception 1965, interracial couples 1967, credit in her name 1975 (I was one), Husband owns all property by default done 1981 (I was 7), and Legal marital Rape ended 1993 (I was one year out of high school).  First off I would be one illegal women in the 60's, married to a Mexican and owning credit and all. But it got me thinking the right not to be raped was won in my life time when I was an adult. How crazy is that? As I looked into this not so fun fact I learned was that the saying "rule of thumb" comes from the rule you could beat your wife with a stick as long as it was  no thinker than your thumb. really how does that work. sorry "Timmy Dad got to into beating your Mom with the stick and beat her to death but it was with in the rule of thumb so wink wink it's ok, pass the ovaltein Daddy worked up an appetite." Come on I am tired of the whole we are still fighting for this. it is 2013 we should be so past this by now we all should be equal. everyone! It just seems like there is more hate more subjugation of people or it is a growing trend anyway. the generations of women starting in the 1700 have been on this since than and we still have people like Rush Limbaugh saying things have gone down hill since we let women vote, and he is still on the air. REALLY are you kidding me? Some is paying him to be on there saying this. NO really they are even Radio aint free.

                                    Women we have a heritage of strong compassionate women a sisterhood we have an obligation them, our selves, our daughters and sons to speak up, stand up and do not except less. Men do not think you gain by this idea when one of us loose our power we all are weaker for it. I am not generalizing Men, I know many that understand and revel in this encouraging the women in their lives to be who they are and be free. I have been luck enough to be married to one. It is time this stopped being an issue and started being history.


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