The Patriarchy is Dead Bitchez! So Quit Complaining!Posted: September 11, 2013
I guess my paycheck last Friday didn’t get the memo on the death of Patriarchy. I wonder if either of my daughter’s noticed it?
I understand that the big picture is not always reflected in women’s daily experience of life. Maybe a woman has an overbearing husband or a retrograde boss or just a lingering problem that has no name. But as a collective, it sometimes feels that women look too closely at the spot right in front of us. This is a moment, unprecedented in history—and also pretty confusing—when young women who work how they want and have sex how they want may also quilt and can fruits. When working-class women who quietly leave the only steady paycheck on the kitchen table every week may still believe that a man is the God-ordained head of the household. So I want to tell these women who are seeing only oppression: Look around.
Dear Hanna Rosin. I am looking around. Down here in the ninth ward, it ain’t all rich white woman privilege, even–actually ESPECIALLY–if us bitchez have doctorates in such non traditional sectors as financial economics. Ever spend a day with the finance boyz club? My youngest is doing that now and they’re surprised she wants to be a trader and where the action is instead of being a cute marketing fixture at the corporate headquarters of TDAmerica. Then, let’s talk about my daughter the gynecologist who is trying to avoid a state where her medical degree counts for less than the odd predilections of the boyz in the state legislature.
A fun anecdote: a “well-educated” woman once dared to challenge Rosin at a reading. “Lucky for you that you have the luxury to agonize about your choices,” she said. “What about the woman who picks up your trash after you leave at 5?”
“This is when I knew I was dealing with some irrational attachment to the concept of unfair,” Rosin writes:
For my book I’d interviewed plenty of women who might find themselves picking up the trash, likely as a second job after a full day of school or another job, or both, because their husbands—or, more likely, the fathers of their children—were out of work. My young interrogator might be annoyed to learn that many of those women who pick up the trash yearn to bring back at least some aspects of the patriarchy. They generally appreciate their new economic independence and feel pride at holding their families together, at working and studying and doing things on their own, but sometimes they long to have a man around who would pay the bills and take care of them and make a life for them in which they could work less. And they want the men in their lives to be happy. It’s elite feminists like my questioner and me who cling to the dreaded patriarchy just as he is walking out of our lives.
Oddly, that woman is not the only “elite feminist” — the type of woman Rosin portrays in her book “as benefiting from the new era of female dominance, when women are better prepared for the current economy and have more independence to choose their life path” — who doesn’t agree with Rosin that women should stop whining about injustice. Why is that? Because some elite feminists are capable of caring about the majority of women who aren’t privileged enough to choose how often they want to work at what type of job. Rosin’s argument only makes sense if you pretend financial concerns and racism and sexism aren’t deal-breakers for most people — to do that, you either have no qualms about trolling to sell your book or you live in a fantasy world.
“I understand that the big picture is not always reflected in women’s daily experience of life,” Rosin writes. “Maybe a woman has an overbearing husband or a retrograde boss or just a lingering problem that has no name.” Some names: sexual assault and domestic violence statistics, abortion restrictions, the gender wage gap (which, hey, does exist for women who don’t look like Rosin).
If you’re not currently a CEO who is also an award-winning quilter, console yourself by searching the #RIPPatriarchy hashtag.
We’re clinging to structurally reinforced sexism like a bad boyfriend, and it’s time to say, “See ya later, Patriarchy.” It’s been real. Thanks for all the good times.
We’ll never forget …
1. The 200 abortion restrictions passed since 2011, closing 58 (or roughly 1 in 10) clinics.
3. “Bikini bodies”; “baby bump debuts”; and “post-baby bodies.”
4. Thigh gap.
5. Juice cleanses.
10. Vaginal-tightening cream.
11. Vaginal-bleaching cream.
12. Anal-bleaching cream!
13. Being called sluts.
14. Having no friends because we’re sluts.
15. Wondering if, when, and how we can “have it all.”
16. Never winning any prizes.
17. Not being geniuses.
18. All the books titled The ______’s Daughter and The ______’s Wife.
19. Vibrators shaped like cupcakes.
21. Disney princesses.
22. Real princesses!
23. That thing where dudes get an extra half of a seat on the subway for their balls.
24. Not having mandatory paid maternity leave.
25. Having an unemployment rate higher than it was at the beginning of the recession, thanks to the public sector jobs lost in budget cuts.
26. The lines for public restrooms.
27. Doing the lion’s share of child care and house work, even if we have full-time jobs, then being told we chose the wage gap.
28. Getting raped because of skirts and heels, alcohol, “the hormone levels in nature,” and social media.
30. Girls Gone Wild.
31. Revenge porn.
32. Honor crimes.
33. Dowry deaths.
34. Purity balls.
35. “Peak nubility.”
37. “Women’s suffrage and individual freedom are incompatible.How’s that for an unpopular truth?”
38. “We Saw Your Boobs”
Yup. There’s that and I got 99 reasons for thinking the Patriarchy is alive and well and Hannah Rosin is not one of them. Wanna wait and see what happens to a Hillary Clinton Candidacy in a few years now that the bro got in before the ho? Think things will change? Nope. Me Neither.