Sunday, July 21, 2013

One Step Forward, Five Steps Back

My house cleaner happens to be an Israeli male, a person with a wife and children.  He comes to my house once a week, because I don't know where I would find the time to do it myself, with my 24 hours already fully scheduled.  It is a gift to myself, those two and a half hours that he makes my floors clean and shiny, and helps me feel a little human.

This man likes to practice his English with me, and brags that he can even slog through "real" English mystery novels.  When he arrived last week, I told him about the lecture I had attended about Feminism and the Post-Feminism Era.  He responded, "Feminism, that's old news!  Didn't that pass us by already?"

I explained that this attitude typifies the problems for women today, that Feminism achieved exactly the opposite of its intentions: instead of freeing us to pursue our goals without the traditional stereotypes, we now do double the work in order to conform to the new attitudes, while maintaining the role of the 1950's housewife.

My cleaner then launched into a diatribe, clarifying first that he loves women and respects them, and thinks that we are not appreciated enough for who we are, who we can become and what we do for our families.

Great start, you would think, especially for an Israeli, where the macho generally overpowers the potential levels of equality that could be achieved in this country.

And then: "Feminism is a terrible thing, it changed women for the worse!  It changed the way women talk and walk and dress, Feminism created women who are too strong and that makes them unattractive."

He continued, "Women should be soft and take care of their men and their family, and let the men take care of things, like it should be."

We have a long way to go, baby...

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