Diane Vogel Ferri is a teacher, poet and writer. Her essays have been published in Scene Magazine, Cleveland Christmas Memories, Raven’s Perch, and by Cleveland State University among others. Her poems can be found in numerous journals. Her chapbook, Liquid Rubies, was published by Pudding House. The Volume of Our Incongruity was published by Finishing Line Press. Diane’s essay, “I Will Sing for You” was featured at the Cleveland Humanities Fest in 2018. Her novel, The Desire Path can be found on Amazon. She is a graduate of Kent State University and holds an M.Ed from Cleveland State University.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Coexist VI -The Sexes

I believe in the equality of all human beings and in coexisting, but I have never felt the need to label myself a feminist. I think that's because it's so obvious that God made men and women with different abilities, strengths and desires. Feminism sort of said to me that I was supposed to be more like a man. We all raise our children to be "anything you want to be." But maybe we should say - find your strengths and do something you can do well. I know so many twenty-somethings having so much trouble being anything that they can't choose something!
With the possiblity of a woman president, the question of strengths arises for me. Would a woman be a good president? Maybe. But how differently will she handle the job then men have? At last Tuesdays debate Hilary spent valuable time complaining about having to answer the first question. Really, Hilary? Did that, in any way, further your quest to be President of the United States? It seems like you'll get a whole ton of questions once you're the Prez. Why would you even consider saying something that could be construed as whining when you're the first possible WOMAN president?
Washington Post published a piece on March 2 entitled Women vs. Women (We scream, We Swoon, How Dumb Can We Get?). In it Charlotte Allen sites women screaming "I love you Obama" while he's in mid-sentence, and other women actually fainting at Obama rallies. Allen asks if we are the weaker sex, "or even the stupider sex. Our brains permanently occluded by random emotions, psychosomatic flailings and distraction by the superficial."
Allen sites the popularity of Grey's Anatomy among women. (No offense if you're a fan. I used to find it entertaining too) She writes, "Want to be a surgeon? Here's what your life will be like at the hospital according to Grey's : sex in the linen-supply room, catfights with your sister in front of patients, sex in the on-call room, a 'prom' in the recovery room so you can wear your strapless evening gown to work, and sex with the married attending physician in an office. Oh, and some surgery."
My Grey's moment of truth was an episode when Christina was to marry ? (can't remember his name) I flipped on the TV to see her hyperventilating, pushing the wedding dress to the floor, saying, "get it off me, get it off me" I found that scene so pathetic, so offensive and repulsive that I turned it off and never watched again. Is that the way professional women think it's okay to be portrayed on TV? I know it's just a show, but, let's be honest - it makes intelligent women look as mature as their dress size.
It's scientific fact that men's and women's brains are different. In general men excel in visuospatial skills (math, abstract thinking, driving). Women usually have superior verbal skills (reading, writing, talking) My point? Maybe we should all try to be good at what we're good at - and not try to all be alike.
If women want to be taken seriously then maybe we should act grown-up (at least in public). I've had my fair share of pity parties, long cries and irrational emotions, but I've noticed I'm doing it less and less as I get older. (All it ever got me was a husband that looked like a deer in the headlights anyway.) Personally, I avoid the teacher's lounge at all costs. I can't stand all the bitching.
If a woman wants to be president she shouldn't complain about what comes with the territory. If you're an intelligent woman don't swoon over Obama. If you're raising a daughter, don't buy her Barbie dolls and tell her she's a princess, because she's not. And don't tell her she can do anything a man can do because maybe she'll spend her life trying to prove that when she'd be much better at and happier doing something else. Don't get me wrong - we're all completely capable - we're just not all the same. Feel free to disagree. It's just a thought.

1 comment:

Kelly Jene said...

You know, I gotta say Good for you. This was a great post. And I agree with so much of it. I was raised with my two older brothers. In one moment my father would berate me because I didn't want my first job to be at the tire store, and in the next breath, he and my mom told me to get in all the typing classes I could because I could never be anything more then a secretary. Geez, thanks mom and dad.

I have to agree with your opinion on Grays. We watched that for about two episodes in the beginning and that was it.

I find with our culture, now that we are passed the feminist movement of the 70's, we are now portraying a new female. You can see it on most shows nowadays (like Desperate Housewives). A woman on tv is not successful unless she is skinny, domineering, sexually active, and telling men how stupid they are. Have you noticed most jokes these days are about putting men down?

I was never blessed with a daughter but I figured if I was I would have given her a pile of legos and blocks just like my sons. These build skills that are useful and not at all gender related. And as they grow and show interests you help them grow, whether its Barbies or GI Joe. I think just as in boys, strength should be grown. Emotional, physical, mental, spiritual.

Sure we'll have tears and bad days and pms, but we're strong, just the same as men. Equality. I think it's time we had some in this world.

Sorry for the novel.