This is (II), which goes with (I here). Hopefully, this will ingratiate me back in good graces with the women I outraged as they read (I).
I’ve told Judy Roach that I am a reformed male chauvinist pig, not a cured one. (I) is probably a case in this point, but I like to think that it is more accurate to call me a feminist, a champion of women’s rights who happens to sport a pair of testicles.
Of the three prongs of the social revolution of the 60’s that helped shape Bill Clinton, so many of our generation, and me, the most successful prong, in my opinion, is the women’s movement. Congratulations, ladies! You’ve come a long way, baby! We still don’t have the ERA women deserve, so there is much left to be done, so, you go, girl!
My good friend Dr. Jim Burns recently reminded us that Obama is doing his part to further and protect the rights of women. It is a major reason to vote for him which I stupidly left off my list of reasons.
Nowhere does sexual discrimination show its ugly head than in the issue of control of reproductive rights. To this day, as we saw a Washington Republican/sexist organized panel consisting of all men testifying on women’s reproduction and contraceptives, it is amazing how the church, the government, and sexist men everywhere want still to control what goes on in the bedroom between men and women, and, moreover, want to make the bedroom a playing field tilted in favor of those of XY chromosome persuasion.
Let me ask, was there any social outrage when male enhancement drugs like Viagra and Cialis came out? Oh, let’s allow the men to expand their sexuality and live more fulfilling lives! But the women? Let’s fight contraception, abortion, and all manners of ways women can have to control their sexuality similarly as do men. After all, they are JUST women! The idiot Limbaugh, as my grandfather used to say “split his britches” when he tried to attack that young female law student testifying for the right to have women’s contraceptives covered by insurance, calling her promiscuous. Such hypocracy! Do you think men have trouble getting their Viagra or Cialis covered by insurance? Hell, no! The same could be said of the idiot Perry here in Texas, as he leads the fight to cut support for women. When I think of what should be done to the likes of Limbaugh and Perry, I think of what my granddad and uncles used to do to young boars with a pocket knife. But, admittedly, that is too barbaric, even for them, so, more realistically, I hope that young law student gets her degree(s) and goes after the discriminating words and discriminating laws against her sex.
Personally, I am proud to say I had in Cisco within my own extended family examples of strong, pioneering women who were “ahead of their time,” even before the revolution — a great aunt, an older female first cousin, and my mother. Since then one of the coolest social experiences of my life is meeting and getting to know strong women who remind me of these three. Many of these strong women, I’m proud to say, are former students of mine.
American Catholic women are showing the way for all females everywhere. According to one survey I heard, 98% of American Catholic women use contraceptives, despite the official positions of the Church and the Pope. Even if that number is exaggerated, this speaks volumes. To wit: American women of all religious and non-religious persuasions are acting upon a high moral principle: just like the men, women should have complete control of their sexuality. Contraception, abortion, and reproductive and sexual good health are not the concern of the church, the state, or the neighbors.
The bottom line of this moral principle is biology. Of all the anthropoid apes (gorillas, chimps, orangatans, gibbons, and humans) the human female is the only one not to show external signs of ovulation during the monthly cycle, except for one — the menstrual flow itself. This has evolved, the consensus goes, to fool the male into observing the woman as inviting and receptive for sexual intercourse for almost all cycle long. And, as a rule, the straight male buys into this charade with gusto! Why would women evolve this way? It is the essence of our pair bonding, the life’s blood of our species. In our deep evolutionary past, when some human females had swollen genitalia at ovulation, they got less protection from the males (remember, these were tough times, when it was not clear our species would survive the nights full of predators like leopards, and women biologically live and lived more in periods of vulnerability than do men, because of the effects of pregnancy) than did those women not so swollen. This is because the “mood” of women showing external sign was like that of other animal females — the swelling denotes limited receptivity. In other words, a woman not swollen is seen by the men as more receptive if she does not tell him to go to hell (Often, a swollen woman would tell a man to go to hell, if she was being selective in her mate.). The women who survived the night were the ones with a man alongside her with some kind of weapon to ward off the leopards, because he had deposited enough sperm in her for him to believe the child she will bear will be his. If she doesn’t display swollen genitalia, he gets month-long sex and she gets month-long protection; she is more likely not to conceive with each mating, and if she does conceive she has the ability to keep the father around and away from other women. Later, when clothes came along the fascade became easier for the girls.
This is the biological basis of what we call “falling in love,” or pair bonding. In time the “keeping of one man to herself” and “wow, she will do it all the time” combined into a couple loving each other for much more than for sexual activity. It became the basis of all romantic culture to this day. We say things like “I am incomplete without you” to the one with whom we bond.
Have you noticed something here, ladies and gentlemen? We are who we are primarily because of the women. Certainly, in the sexual sense, women run the show! And they always have. One of the ironies of human history is that societies are primarily patriarchal, not matriarchal. I would guess that is because pregnancy is incapacitating. It became more practical for women to let the men think they run the show. The outcome of that has, throughout history, been a long line of abuse and mutilation of women, unfortunately. Women do not deserve, nor have they ever deserved, the sexist discrimination and abuse they suffer to this day.
Here’s a goody: The “default” sex in nature is female. This was proven in humans when a mutation was discovered going back to the 18th century on an island in the Carribean, were a few little “girls” turned into boys at puberty! And I mean “turned” in every sense of the word: their female genitals morphed in a few weeks into male ones. Turns out, if we are born males, or XY, and in the womb we do not get our first shot of testosterone (the second comes at puberty), as the Carribean mutuation was apparently causing, we are born girls, complete with all the female equipment, as if we were XX! (Cases were documented in certain villages along certain family lines, when a little “Roberta” turned into a lilttle “Robert,” over a short period of time. Equally fascinating was that in most cases the village treatment of the changed child morphed along with the child. “Robert” was accepted, for the most part, as had been “Roberta,” who had disappeared.) I think the ramifications of this tidbit is worth another discussion sometime, but, for now, I can’t see how it favors the “male cause.”
As an aside, any biologist, MD, or pediatrician will tell you that the same tissue in the fetus will form either into male genitalia or female genitalia, depending upon which hormone surge occurs. That is, XX triggers a surge of estrogen to form a girl, and XY triggers a surge of testosterone to form a boy.
We are seeing sexual freedom in every sense of the word come to women as well as men. What social conservatives cannot stomach is: that means women are free from having to marry, having to have children, etc. etc. Finally, finally, we are seeing women achieve the status of true citizens. Conservatives tend to be a century or so behind; perpetuation of the species is a matter of pair bonding, not marriage, which is a mere social construct. In the long scheme of things marriage will wax and wane, with no negative consequences to us as a species; what is alive and well, and in no danger whatsoever of diminishing is pair bonding. Pair bonding is in our genes, not marriage.
I am an opitimist, and I look forward to women worldwide controlling not only their sexuality, but more and more power and money. I think that will be a world much better than the one today.
By the way, ladies, if you are looking for a religion that treats you better than the others, I recommend Christianity. Its historical record is better than the other major religions, even though it is still patriarchal, for the most part. As we learn more about the origins of Christianity and its teachings, it is exciting to see how women are “shaking off” the sexist reprisals the early Church hurled at the “weaker” sex. The essence of the Christian belief in love is the relationship of a son to His mother; Jesus was shaped, like any other boy who grew up with his mother, by a strong woman. Too bad the Catholics elevated her beyond her strength, her motherly humanity. But lo! Now we see the comeback of Mary Magdalene; she is called a “whore” in fewer circles, nowadays; the sham of the Church running a smear campaign against her is being revealed. She was as close to or closer to Jesus as any of his other apostles. See the March 2012 National Geographic? She is now listed (I think correctly) as an apostle along with the others; she was the first at the empty tomb; she was one of the first evangelists; she showed the “boys” how to witness. Now, I’m not talking The Da Vinci Code here — that is a novel. (Is there any part of the word “fiction” we don’t understand?). Everyone should look her up in the lost gospels.
And should any of you ladies not be looking for a religion at all, more power to you! You, go, girl!
In case any of you doubt I can get more controversial, how about this? Think about this, ladies. I think the depiction of the apostle John (the one who Jesus loved) to Jesus’ left in Da Vinci’s painting of “The Last Supper” is too feminine — it’s a woman! It’s Mary Magdalene! Don’t argue with me — take a close look at it. If that is not a woman, but a true rendering of John, then John must have been a “pretty boy,” if you get my drift. Way to go, Leonardo! You brush-stroked a blow for women everywhere for all time!
I leave you with something that has really helped me in recent years — evolutionary psychology. I am like most men, I think; we can’t figure out women! I have lived with the same woman now for over forty years, and she still baffles me! The thing is, I still baffle her. Evolutionary psychology says that we sexes are not supposed to understand each other, for, if we could, we would not get so crazy and irrational about each other when we fall in love. Or, in turn, our ancestors might not have made it as a species in those leopard-filled nights. If you have ever fallen in love, you know you cannot see the flaws all of a sudden in the object of your desire. Sylvia and I are so fortunate — we went “ga-ga” for each other at roughly the same time. Whatever might seem to each something undesirable if we were completely rational about the situation was ignored and brushed aside. That is the modus operandi of falling in love, of pair bonding. That we are married is, in a wierd sense, incidental, done so society doesn’t bug us about our relationship, as if our relationship was any of their business!
Thank God for women! I love every part of them; I wish I could fathom them a little more than I do, but, I think I just argued that that is wishful thinking. Thanks to all of you of the XX for making us all possible.
How’s that, ladies?