Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Ice Queen

One of my best friends was watching the Super Tuesday returns a couple of weeks ago and her five year old daughter would periodically pop into the room and say, “Is the girl winning?” J would tell her daughter how to pronounce Hillary Clinton’s name, ask her to repeat it, and then ten minutes later the child would come back into the room and say, “The girl is on TV!! Did she win?!”

During the course of this historic primary I’ve been perplexed about who I would vote for. For awhile I comforted myself with the knowledge that since Indiana’s primary comes so late, it was a rhetorical question at best. But now that we’re talking super delegates it seems like the responsible thing to do is to make a choice.

I’ve read the debates that have been waged about how a feminist should vote, and I don’t really fall into the school that says a feminist must vote for whoever holds the XX chromosomes. On the other hand, I love the idea that for this five year old it is completely possible for “the girl” to win. In another eight years, when she’s beginning to get self-conscious and, if we are to believe the studies, ‘dumb down’ so she’ll be more attractive to men, she might not think it is a possibility (or care). So I keep thinking. Fortunately, I have until May to come to some conclusion.

There is the possibility that I shouldn’t even consider myself a feminist. Yesterday there was an ugly ice storm here, and because I am housesitting and because that house is down in a hole with a steep drive, I had fears that I wouldn’t be able to get out this morning for work and get myself to the airport this evening to pick Z up for our Valentine’s Day celebration. As my brain played out four or five different scenarios ranging from my being stuck in the house until Spring to me being dead in a ditch, I found myself wishing that he were already here so he could handle this—navigate the drive, dig the car out if it slid into a ditch, just, you know, be a man and figure it out. Now, keep in mind that Z rarely drives in America and he is from Africa where there may be snow on Kilimanjaro but there isn’t any in his little hunk of Zimbabwe. Why would I so quickly assume I couldn’t handle it but he could? I wasn’t raised with a man around and Z doesn’t make any similar assumptions about my capabilities. Yet still, there it was: let the man fix it.

Oh, it’s shameful to realize how far you are from the feminist ideal. Tonight I’ll pick up some kitty litter and a car-sized shovel and use my Girl Scout training to ensure that I am prepared for every possibility.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can relate to this. Dave is leaving town for a couple of weeks soon and I'm already a little panicked about what will happen if we get another big snowstorm here. I imagine we'll all just be stuck here in the house until he returns. This seems to be a more plausible scenario than me getting the snowblower out and figuring out how to make it work, anyway! I'm not a feminist when it comes to the big machinery, I'm afraid.... (He tried to teach me how to use the riding lawnmower a few years ago and let's just say it didn't go well!)