Mad (wo)Men

Madmen is on Netflix now.  Did you know?  All four seasons.  Which means tonight I sat for many hours catching up on the 4th.

Every time I watch that show I feel uneasy.  The womanizing.  The way Betty treats Susie (the daughter).  And the one female that has a job besides a secretary, Peggy, well, she’s not that likable.  In fact, she plays dirty, sells out the other girls, and is kind of a bad person.  I know we’re supposed to feel a bit bad for her because she does what she does to survive in a man’s world, but honestly, I still think she’s pretty nasty at times.

But really, they all are.  It’s that show.  Like the movie, Magnolia.  You know everyone is dispicable, and yet you want them to be OK because you get the back story and glimpses of humanity.

Tonight’s show was particularly hard to watch — lots of cheating and poor Susie being treated bad.  It got me thinking, for such a long time I’ve had this hope — I hope I get to have girls, or at least one.  I know lots of people that want little boys – and I get that – -boys are pretty great — funny, and quirky, and fascinated with everything.  But I’d love to raise a girl to feel strong, and capable, and smart, and assertive.  Even if the rest of her experiences say otherwise – at least in our home, she’d hold her shoulders back.

I used to be so ashamed to be a woman and I hope my “imaginary” daughter never feels the weight of that gender shame.    I carried deep beliefs about my gender:  that we weren’t allowed to lead, that we weren’t as smart, that we were over-emotional, that all we did was nag and control, and that men would follow us.  A professor of mine once asked us to explore the question would we rather be a man — and at the time – I said I would.  I barley had to think about it.  Of course.   And I meant it.  I felt confident that all the dreams I had for my life – the kind of profession I really wanted — I could only have if I was a man.  If I remember right, no man in the class said he’d rather be a woman.  Unless he was making a stupid joke about how it’d be nice to have boobs.

I don’t feel that way anymore.  I simply love being a woman.  I really do.  And I’m so glad my brain has been rewired and I don’t hate my sex anymore, or see us as less than.  No, we’re incredible.  We have the capacity to make life inside of us.  We have the capacity to collect the brokenhearted.  We have the capacity to heal, and lead, and create.  We are strong, and capable, and present.  We make the world FULL.  I secretly think God might prefer us to men.  That might be complete heresy.  I try to make it my practice not to say what God thinks or likes as if I have first hand knowledge.  I just sense, I guess i FEEL, very loved and honored as a woman, not by church, or my culture, but by God.  It’s something internal that I can’t describe – just a deep delight I sense he has in all of us – all those moms in church, praying for their kids, and driving them all over, and serving men that suck and won’t change.  Man, when I think about the sacrifices my mom made for me.  I don’t even have words.

And lastly, I am so grateful to all the women that went before me.  All those poor gals that lined up to fight for the right to vote, or drive, or have a job!  And all those women that endured constant sexual harassment in the workplace before the law finally got on our side.  And now, all of us women that continue to fight for equal pay, God bless all of us.  We’re worth it.





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