Perhaps it has to do with the possibility of the election of the first woman President of the United States, but in any case, Mom – this one’s for you.
My mother was a free-thinker. For example, she was an atheist whose father was blacklisted for Communism in the 50’s. (He really was a Communist, unlike some who were just caught in McCarthy’s sick web, but of course, he was just a typical Jewish screenwriter of the times, not an eeeevil spy for the Russians.) Politically, she was quite liberal – an original Beatnik, in fact. She was, sometimes embarrassingly so for my Virgoan sensibilities, open about sex.
Oddly enough, she was also somewhat anti-feminist.
Let me explain that a bit. She had nothing against the goals of the feminist movement, but she felt that women being “free” to join the workforce was the wrong focus. Instead, she would have preferred that women get paid for raising the children and taking care of the household. “This whole ‘women working full-time’ thing is the biggest rip-off men ever perpetrated on women,” she once told me in a conversation I will never forget. “We already work full-time! Now we’ve got the possibility of two full-time jobs with pay for only one of them. Doesn’t sound like a good deal to me!” She also thought that bra-burning was stupid. “Hurts us more than it hurts them,” she said, in her typical blunt manner. And what about equality with men? “We are not physically equal to men. It makes us look stupid to suggest that we are, or that we can and should do a lot of the things men do. We should be celebrating our differences, not pretending they don’t exist!”
Interesting perspective, eh?
Here’s to you, my Mamacita. I miss your original brain, your empathy and your loving heart every day. I hope that somewhere, somehow, I am making you proud.