Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Changin' places

The Austrian tease, once asked if I thought I was a white woman in my previous life.  While, I'm not a firm believer of that whole previous life idea, I played along and said "Absolutely not, I was always a luscious brown girl". Yes, I do carry on about the size of my brown carriage but obsessing about its color - NEVER. I love the melanin I'm in. But it did get me thinking, if there is any other way of being that I have entertained.

I have definitely fantasized about being skinnier, richer and better educated brown gurl and I should have acted on those more than dreamed.But I have also entertained the thought of being a man a time or three - a tall strapping beautiful black man, of course. A combo of Morris Chestnut, Idris Elba, and Rick Fox who speaks 3 languages fluently, eats his veggies and scuba dives. It's my fantasy, remember?  If you don't know who they are, Google 'em - you will not be disappointed. That said, I'm not a man trapped in a woman's body like the transgendered claim to be, I am the gurliest of gurl - my 14 year old teases me about it all the time.  I scream upon seeing bugs, love wearing dresses and having boobs, love being able to cry for no reason at all, and though I've don't have nearly enough to stock even a small store, I can be stopped dead in my tracks by a gorgeous pair of shoes. As wonderful as all that is, throughout history and sadly it continues to be so, possessing the XX chromosome has proven to be far less advantageous than XY.
 
The glass ceiling is as impenetrable as ever, case in point there are only 18 females CEOs among 2011 list of Fortune 500 companies. That's 3.6 percent!! Of that group only Ursula Burns of Xerox represents African American women. The article even had the brazen boldness to say 2011 was "A banner year for women in business."  What man drunk on power, his title or both wrote that bullsh*t! Do you know American women still make on average about 77 cents to every dollar a man makes. Almost 500 dollars a year less. That's "average" which means there are tons who make much less - like 40 or 55 cents to every dollar. And although this little blue planet of ours boasts 195 independent countries, including newly ceded Southern Sudan, only 20 heads of nations are women. Again only one, 2011 Nobel Laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf represents for the African diaspora.

The continuing fight in the US over a woman's right to control her reproductive health is exhausting, infuriating and archaic. I'm proudly espousing a leftist point of view, I know, but the delusion that someone unrelated can legally allow or disallow as the case may be, a woman to govern her own her reproductive health is just plain insanity. Hell Americans hold the right to own a firearm more dear than the right to govern one's own body especially if it that body houses the double X chromosome. For centuries women and babies have been suffering and dying in the process of gestating and birthing so you'd think we'd be further in this debate. Abortion is not the only issue here as there are societies and religions that don't even want women to practice family planning. It is in the best interest of all of us, men and women, that these choices remain individual and personal. In life, a larger portion than any of us would like to admit depends solely on timing.  And no one knows that better than a women who's a couple days late in her cycle. Two, four or sixteen cells do not a person make. I've no doubt that if men had babies, who chooses for whom would never be issue.

You ever notice how many prostate PSAs and erectile dysfunction drug ads are on tv now. I swear you can barely get through a program without hearing at least 3 of them with the sappy music going on about some dudes malfunctioning equipment and voila`a cure. I don't mean to make light of it because there is nothing worse than being with a guy who can't get or keep it up when you're all hot and bothered. That 4 hour erection seems a lot more attractive at that point doesn't it? But seriously when was the last time you saw a commercial for a drug that cures menopausal hot flashes or a mammogram reminder when it's not October? If penis cancer were anywhere near as common as breast cancer, doctors would long ago have found a way to treat even the worst cases without having to do a radical and horribly disfiguring penictomy (you know what I mean) as is too often the treatment for breast cancer.

Another example as if I haven't already stated my case, is the recent Penn State University football coach scandal. It appears that for over 15 years PSU officials all the way up to the President KNEW and sickeningly covered for their good ole boy, pervert coach Jerry Sandusky despite eyewitness accounts of him engaging in sexual acts with underage boys. However when the most accomplished  female basketball coach ever, Rene Portland, was accused of creating a hostile atmosphere for lesbian players, Penn State quickly distanced itself from her. She resigned and was replaced quickly. I'm not excusing her behavior but Athletic Director Tim Curley had no problem sacrificing her while he and PSU President Graham Spanier and VP Gary Schultz continued to protect and likely perjure for a friggin' felon and sexual predator who I hope rots in Hell, if the allegations are true.

Men too often have that luxury of thinking only of themselves or putting themselves first.  They can still drink booze while the baby's gestating and  nursing; if he's married and has to work late it's normally up to his partner to pick the kids up, fix dinner, put the kids to bed and probably be ready for some late night romancing when he gets home.  Regardless of the fact that she likely has worked a full day away from home as well. Most will pee all over the toilet seat (or floor) like they never saw it (hello it's in the same place it was last time you came in) or leave the seat up so we fall in the cold bowl. But male selfishness, is rarely more evident or sad than when a relationship ends. He will lie and cheat to hide his (their) assets and it is the extremely rare man that refuses to leave the relationship without his child. He's likely more worried about getting the 46" inch Plasma tv or the Land Rover than who gets custody of little Sydney. And if you're really unlucky, he just might kill you and the baby too.

The USA, the richest, mightiest country on Earth (though those superlatives are truly being tested now) still ranks far below all the Scandinavian countries, Germany and the Phillipines(!?!) in rankings of at least 4 internationally recognized gender equality tables. We were number 19 in 2010. In the words of Seth Myers of SNL - REALLY!?!

This Fall, the United Nations chose a beautiful baby girl, Danica May Camacho, born in Manila to symbolically mark the global population milestone of 7 billlionth person on the Earth.  I hope in the 30 years or so years it will take for little Danica to finish college and embark on her profession, that the Fortune 500 list includes at a least 250 Female CEOs of all hues and ethnic origins and more of the world's leaders both in government, science and business will have been or are female.

Don't get me wrong, I really do like men and have even loved some.  I still hold out hope that I'll find one to share my quirks, love of travel and golden years.  Despite everything I said here, I've told my daughter that she should at least give serious consideration to finding a man to love and share her life. Just not to make him her life nor finding him her life's work.

I'm not mad, I'm not hating, I'm just saying - I have thought about it and things would be different if I were a boy..


Even just for a day
I’d roll outta bed in the morning
And throw on what I wanted then go

Drink beer with the guys
And chase after girls
I’d kick it with who I wanted
And I’d never get confronted for it.
Cause they’d stick up for me.

If I were a boy
I would turn off my phone
Tell everyone it’s broken
So they’d think that I was sleepin’ alone

I’d put myself first
And make the rules as I go
Cause I know that she’d be faithful
Waitin’ for me to come home (to come home)

(performed by Beyonce, composed by BC Jean and Toby Gad)

1 comment:

S said...

Excellent - such true statements and points. And I am so proud of this years' winners of the Nobel Peace Prize - they are making amazing changes in the world (I just wish their recognition was not so noteworthy)

Also - I've rarely wondered what it would be like to be a guy until I met my half brother at age 28 and we are so a like in looks and personality - it struck me as oh there I would be.