From a note from one of my cousins, who’s home for the summer: “I’ve enjoyed going over to your mom’s and playing bridge with the three sisters lately. They are so kind and gentle, yet when they start playing bridge, they turn fierce and are quick to scold for sloppy play. Wild nights in Auburn, Indiana.”
(It’s like a fairy tale except instead of three Fates or three Furies or a Mrs. Whatsis, Mrs. Who, and a Mrs. Which, there are Three Very Particular Bridge Players.)
But what all these issues, no matter how gigantically separated an Esquire puff piece and a Tennessee mother’s jailing for meth may seem, reflect back at us: How, in this country, every barometer by which female worth is measured—from the superficial to the life-altering, the appreciative to the punitive—has long been calibrated to “dude,” whether or not those measurements are actually being taken by dudes. Men still run, or at bare minimum have shaped and codified the attitudes of, the churches, the courts, the universities, the police departments, the corporations that so freely determine women’s worth. As Beyoncé observed last year, “Money gives men power to run the show. It gives men the power to define value. They define what’s sexy. And men define what’s feminine. It’s ridiculous.”
It is ridiculous, and I wish we could all tell them how little it matters what they think. Except that of course most women, those who bear the brunt of these assessments, aren’t Beyoncé or Amy Poehler—who, not coincidentally, was on Junod’s list of newly un-tragic 42-year-olds. Instead, they are women who may not be able to pay for Pilates, let alone for day care or contraceptives, who may need but not be able to afford drug treatment, who Esquire would likely still rate as not-hot or more likely not rate at all, but whose fates nonetheless rest in the hands of empowered committees on the general value and status of womanhood in America.
I wish it were different. I wish that every woman whose actions and worth are parsed and restricted, congratulated and condemned in this country might just once get to wheel around—on the committee that doesn’t believe their medically corroborated story of assault, or on the protesters who tell them that termination is a sin they will regret, or on the boss who tells them he doesn’t believe in their sexual choices, or on the mid-fifties man who congratulates them, or himself, on finding them appealing deep into their dotage—and go black in the eyes and say, “I don’t fucking care if you like it.”"
"Tampons were packed with their strings connecting them, like a strip of sausages, so they wouldn’t float away. Engineers asked Ride, “Is 100 the right number?” She would be in space for a week. “That would not be the right number,” she told them. At every turn, her difference was made clear to her. When it was announced Ride had been named to a space flight mission, her shuttle commander, Bob Crippen, who became a lifelong friend and colleague, introduced her as “undoubtedly the prettiest member of the crew.” At another press event, a reporter asked Ride how she would react to a problem on the shuttle: “Do you weep?”"
"Permit me to warn reckless young women: seeing the trap does not prevent you from getting caught in it - and that doubles the pleasure."
|rochester:||accuses jane of bewitching his horse|
|rochester:||interrogates jane about her paintings|
|rochester:||leaves jane abruptly for months at a time|
|rochester:||stages an engagement with a hot rich aristocrat to hurt jane's feelings|
|rochester:||dresses up as a fortune teller to mess with jane's head|
|rochester:||neglects to tell jane about the murderous insane wife living in his attic|
|rochester:||wait jane why are you leaving|