Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Just Behave, Dear!

Warning: there are some choice words in this post. 

Something is trying to rage out of my inner being.  My bullshit meter has been going off a lot lately.  A LOT!  Most of my Facebook friends know where I stand on GMO's (genetically modified organisms) as in our food supply is mostly derived from genetically modified seeds (foreign DNA forced into plant seeds).

I drive my Facebook friends crazy with my postings on my wall and on Kellogg's pages (we are boycotting Kellogg Company and trying to inform the general public on what GMO's are -- most people don't know anything about them).

So I heard that most farm bureaus are just biotech marketing forums  SOOOOO I decided to start checking out farm bureau Facebook pages.  What do I find? All of these pro-GMO and chemical posts, blogs, etc.  Apparently farm bureaus ARE just biotech marketing forums.

Anyone who really knows me knows that I am not a quiet, demure, obedient woman.  Nope.  I'm not.  I am polite.  I am punctual.  I am respectful.  I am law-abiding and I pay my taxes.  I don't cheat and I don't steal and I don't usually swear.  Most people misinterpret these characteristics to mean that I am gullible and submissive, maybe even not so bright.

I do think for myself.  I do not allow my friends and family to influence me much.  On the flip side I am not a gossip and I am not self-righteous (most of the time).  I believe what I believe because these are the conclusions I have reached after careful research and deliberation.  I am, however, always willing to listen to the other side and have the ability to understand the perspective of the opposition.  I respect those who are passionate about whatever they believe.

Now we get to the point of this blog post.  I started commenting on farm bureau articles.  I got the usual corporate responses.  I was respectful and posted a different view.  I can do this all day long.  What I can't stand, and what has really angered me until I am nearly seeing red is a man telling me that the government and chemical companies declared that something is safe, so it must be.

Okay, something in me wants to completely blast these guys.  Here is what I am hearing:

"Don't worry your pretty little head over such things, honey!"

Yep, that is what I am hearing.  This whole thing just gushes paternalistic, patriarchal bullshit!!!  Really?  You say so, and you're a man in business, so that settles it?  We should just believe you?  Really???

I will leave you with this little piece I got from a book I own called, Bright and Happy Homes, Household Guide and Companion, The Choicest Treasures of Wisdom, Instruction, Amusement, and Devotion, published in 1882 by Fairbanks, Palmer & Co.  

How great a thing it is to understand a daughter's mind in which sensibility, that demands sympathy, has so much larger a place than logic, that needs only to be reasoned out.

We believe that there is sex in mind, and that the essential type of womanhood appears equally in the example of the highest culture and genius, as in the average standard.

Every page shows the woman's guiding pen, no matter whether a De Steal or a Godwin ranges into the bolder realms of thought, or an Edgeworth or Hemans walks among the daily affections and cares of life.

A true culture must be based upon this fact, and the mind must be trained in accordance.

Little may be gained by persisting in making a dry logician of a school girl, for abstract reasoning is rarely a woman's forte, but precisely on that account, the reason must be appealed to by the living truth, which will find a ready response from perceptions so quick and intuitive as often to see at a glance what the logical understanding will with difficulty argue out.

It is a great mistake to try to train a girl to be a man, in case of mind, or way of life.

We can never slight the hint of nature without bringing down her retribution, and temporary success but delays the evil day.

Truly trained, the girl will have as much reason as the boy; and hers will be more intuitive, whilst his may be more formal and severe in its reasoning.

Strength of character will be hers, not, perhaps, so much the stern sense of justice that most marks the masculine conscience, as the full and earnest affection that adds mercy to justice, and love to duty.  Force of will shall be hers, not perhaps the iron will of man, but what is quite as well, and in its place better, the heroic patience that conquers evil by enduring it.

The result shall be a disciplined, sagacious intellect without masculine hardness, delicate sensibility without imbecile listlessness, active energy without moping drudgery, a combination of powers and graces that wins homage from every heart.

I would not adopt any definition of woman's power less generous than the hint of nature, and the will of God.  Rather allow the largest scope to the development of every gift, and trust the feminine instinct to vindicate its own prerogative, whatever be the talent called into requisition.

In another passage in this book it discusses women doing the work of men:

While woman preserves her sex, she will necessarily be feebler than man, and having all her special bodily and mental characters, will have, to a certain extent, her own sphere of activity.  When she has pretty well divested herself of her sex, she may then take his ground, and do his work; but she will have lost her feminine attractions, and probably, also, her chief feminine functions.
Yes, men used to believe this.  Many still do.  Just ask some of the older men who still think they run the world.

Finally, I really love this passage:

Yet more sternly we must carry out the doctrine of the need of an education essentially self-relying...

He will remember its (fortunes) uncertainties, and beware of sanctioning the too prevalent folly which regards woman as born to be petted and dependent, and brands a rational and self-relying education as masculine and ungraceful.

If we have our eyes open we must see the wretchedness of this system, and regard every daughter as cruelly treated who is not enabled without loss of self-respect, in case of need, to take a stand for herself, and prefer, to an uncongenial marriage, or a degrading dependence, reliance upon her own arts of accomplishment or utility.

One second I think the author of this book is a real Neanderthal and the next I realize that he is quite progressive in his attitudes towards women.

Just had to share where my head is today.


  1. OH I FEEL YOU. I too am sick to death of men deciding how things will be for us, and especially hate a condescending response that sounds to me too like "don't worry your pretty little head about it."

    I love your sentence "I can do this all day long." You keep doing it, Michele. I just love that. They don't know what they're up against -- an immovable force.

    1. I will keep doing it! For many years I suppressed my own voice for peace in my home. Why any man would desire that, I don't know. Alas, the voice has gotten louder over the years. I hear that the older women get the less inhibited they become verbally. I never want to be obnoxious because obnoxious people wear me out, but I never want to let myself become quiet just to maintain peace in a relationship ever again. It isn't worth it.