Thursday, July 24, 2008
Dreams of EqualityA friend of mine once commented, when reflecting about the state of inequality between women and men, that women would be respected as men's equals, when they began to do jail time for white collar crime, when women could get themselves in a position of power, and and actually get close enough to that big cookie jar, to get caught with their hands in it. I'm not sure about the analogy, I mean Martha Stewart went to jail for lying, even though she lost money on the deal, and the press went crazy with the story, and there are many CEOS today who have acted irresponsibly with investors money, who get these massive severance packages, and go on to be on the board of the next big venture.
I think real equality is a long way off.
I'm a big supporter of women's sports, mostly because when I was young, we didn't have professional women's teams. I think it is important for women to support these fledgling leagues, because if we don't, our daughters will have fewer choices. I think it's important for girls to learn how to compete, how to be part of a team, and how to play hard. If I had a daughter, I would feel so much more comfortable if I knew that after school, she was hard at work practicing free kicks on the soccer field, than if she were at the mall shopping for make-up and shoes with heels. I would of course want her to study, and be smart, but I would much prefer that she be tough, rather than pretty. Pretty will get her married, and maybe that might last until the second child, but after her husband has an affair with the baby-sitter, I would want her to know how to be tough.
But that's just me, and I don't have a daughter.
In women's basketball, media attention is pretty much limited to the play-offs, and the one or two celebrities, it was Lisa Leslie, with her great looks, and this year, it's Candice Parker the rookie, who has talent coming out of her well...whatever. Nikes. I am usually not home to watch the finals, so I TEVO them, and never have to worry that I will hear the outcome on the news before I get home to re-play the game, because there really is no mainstream reporting on the WNBA. So imagine my surprise when I found a story on the main page (not the sports page) of CNN yesterday. It wasn't Lauren Jackson scoring a record breaking 50 points in 3 quarters. It was a brawl. It was a bench-emptying fight between the Detroit Shock, and the LA Sparks. It was like, Whoa Dude! Cat Fight! Pass the Doritos! Wow this is cool. Too Bad they're not Wrestling in Mud!
So maybe I'm glad I don't have a daughter, because I'm not sure how I would explain it all to her. Our dreams for our daughters will have to wait, until women define success in our own terms, and own our own networks, and decide that athletic ability is more important than a cheap sideshow.
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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