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Many things have come to light as I recover at home from a hysterectomy, regarding my own life-long struggle with depression and lack of self-worth, as well as similar issues with my friends and family.  I did not have TV for almost seven years, and since a December breakup I have moved into my own apartment and decided to break down and get TV and cable.  Then there’s the marriage equality fight, and the recent nomination of Sotomayor, and I started putting some things together and felt the need to share it with my fellow Kossacks.

Why is it that among my female friends this common feeling of loneliness and lack of self worth is so prevalent?  Why is it that on TV shows we see so many stories, real and fictional, about women with battered woman syndrome?  I’m a fan of Judge Judy (yes, I admit it) and over and over, I watch cases that deal with a girlfriend that “naively” gave money, clothes, jewelry, cars, motorcycles and even new rims to a worthless boyfriend who never really gave a crap about her.  In my own life, I have moved 11 times in 22 years, almost always because I was moving in with or out from a man.

Then there are the commercials.  My god, I certainly hadn’t missed anything during my TV-free years.  First I was shocked at how many focus on the “typical” family unit, or at the very least, always depict women in a relationship.  Is it my imagination or what??  At least half of the households in this country are single parents, and there sure are a LOT of single folks out there.  I would say at least half of my friends and acquaintances are single.  So why are 100% of commercials on TV about happy, romantic, Beaver Cleaver lives??

In particular, there are two commercials that come to mind.  One is for DanActive yogurt (you know, women LOVE yogurt)...

The commercial that I'm talking about focuses on a SINGLE woman with children, and went something like this:

“You have to work, manage your finances, take care of your children, and still have time for friends.  Take DanActive, blah blah blah”

Well I was pretty impressed; that is a pretty good depiction of just some the challenges that a contemporary woman faces.  But after seeing the commercial a couple of times, the commercial changed.  Now it goes more like this:

“I have to work, manage OUR finances, take care of OUR children, and still have time for friends…”

And suddenly our single multi-tasking goddess is joined by her very handsome hubby, helping her pour over the family finances and serving food to the chilluns.  What the hell??  And, another commercial for Cox Services here in San Diego did the same turn around.  After airing a couple of single mom versions, suddenly they switch to mom and hubby.  Why can’t Madison Avenue break this obnoxious habit??  Why is depicting women as single such a poison pill?

In my own experience, and anecdotally with friends and experiences noted above, a lot of this pain mentioned comes from a lack of mostly male approval, although sometimes just general approval from others is the compulsive need. What causes the pain, of course, is never finding external approval sufficient - because what we learn in therapy is that the approval needs to come from within.

But why do we have to go through therapy to learn this?  Is it in our culture, or genes even?  Or is it because women have been forced to endure male domination for centuries – no, make that millennia?

This whole argument about supposed “traditional marriage” and the articles written about both sides have dug up some real insight into a woman’s role in the institution of marriage.  Of course, we have the crap-tastic article from the Weekly Standard, “The Worst Thing about Gay Marriage: It Isn’t Going to Work” by Sam Schulman.  Although I have to admit that the essay is well-written, obviously by someone who is intelligent and well-educated, but MY GOD the assumptions he makes; it is really shocking how misogynistic and bigoted this man is, and apparently no amount of education will help him realize it.  I won’t cite all the quotes, but please go and read it yourself.  The one that I am choosing below simply shows how far women have yet to go to free themselves of the idea that they are worthless and vulnerable without the protective partnership of a man:

“The first [effect of marriage within the kinship system] is the most important:  It is that marriage is concerned above all with female sexuality.  The very existence of kinship depends on the protection of females from rape, degradation, and concubinage.  This is why marriage between men and women has been necessary in virtually every society ever known. Marriage, whatever its particular manifestation in a particular culture or epoch, is essentially about who may and who may not have sexual access to the woman when she becomes an adult, and is also about how her adulthood – and sexual accessibility – is defined”.

(snip)

“But the duty of virginity can seem like a privilege, even a luxury, if you contrast it with the fate of child-prostitutes in brothels around the world”.

(snip)

“This most profound aspect of marriage – protecting and controlling the sexuality of the child-bearing sex – is its only true reason for being, and it has no equivalent in same-sex marriage.  Virginity until marriage, arranged marriages, the special status of the sexuality of one partner but not the other (and her protection from the other sex) – these motivating forces do not apply to sex-sex lovers”.

Emphasis added

Now, (deep breath) I realize that just these snippets are offensive on so many levels, but for the subject of this diary I will confine my comments to those that relate to the role of women in marriage.  Schulman isn’t wrong; in fact, he is correct about the biblical incarnation of marriage.  However, as Barbara G. Walker writes in her article for the Freedom From Religion Foundation called “A Short History of Marriage,” there was a time before biblical authority had spread like a virus around the world that things were quite different.

“Human males were once as unaware of fatherhood as any other mammals, but all people knew they were born of, and raised by, a mother.  Men claimed no ownership of children. Our cartoon Paleolithic ‘cave man’ with a club intimidating ‘his’ mate and ‘his’ offspring is an absurdity derived from our modern patriarchism.  It seems much more likely that women owned the cave and the land, provided most of the tribe’s food and clothing, planned and built dwellings with the men’s help, shared child care, and coupled with various men whenever they felt like it.  Certainly there was no such concept as monogamy, even though some women may have retained particular males for long periods, or even for life.  Like other mammalian females, women probably ignored men when they were pregnant or nursing.  This custom still prevailed in many primitive cultures recently studied”.

(snip)

“When men finally discovered that they had something to do with reproduction, they began to claim the allegiance of offspring…  The bible maintains a whole patriarchized view of a wife as a husband’s property, because it was necessary to restrict each woman’s sexual activities to one man only, so he could be sure that the children she bore were his alone.”

And thus we have this whole idea of one-way monogamy, marrying a virgin, the power of the husband to cast out the wife whereas the wife cannot divorce her husband, etc.  The relegation of woman=wife=property (value) is still SO with us today, as Schulman has demonstrated.  I highly recommend reading Walker’s entire piece; she also discusses the fact that actually the Church was against marriage before it was for marriage.  It wasn’t until the 16th c. that they accepted the civil institution as a religious institution due to public pressure.  (The Catholics were BIG end-timers, even back then.  They felt that no one should be having sex – period – or else Jesus would never come back.  Nice try).

So back to my initial quandary: why is it that women feel so worthless sometimes, especially if they’re single (and I count lesbian women too)?  I think that answer is pretty obvious; the pressure to be in a relationship is still extraordinarily huge.  Hell, we still can’t even get congress to pass the ERA.

Some point to the “liberation” of women in the sixties and seventies as contributing to the high divorce rate and the destruction of so-called “family values”.  Perhaps, but why then all the lather-rise-repeat?  Even our buddy Mr. Schulman admits he has been beguiled into walking down the aisle three times.

I would postulate that the divorce rate is not a symptom of women’s “liberation” – GASP! – but rather the modern ideal of romantic marriage.  After reading, watching and experiencing, I don’t think that it’s possible for the vast majority of people to remain in love with one partner.  Sure, it happens, but that certainly isn’t the norm.

So sisters, please don’t let your self-worth depend on whether or not you’re in a relationship; remember those ladies in the cave.  Believe me – they knew, before men did, how babies were made.  And they chose to keep it a secret.  They were goddesses and had the power of creation.  They controlled it and men literally worshipped them.  In many cultures, as Walker notes, the cult of the goddess was huge.  A man could have no credibility, no access to power, unless he was attached to a woman.

I’m posting a couple of pics of me and my girlfriends, some single, some not, some in unhappy relationships.  But guess what – can you tell which is which in these photos?

 title=

 title=

Never forget the goddess power of creation that is in all of us, regardless of whether you actually bear children.  Power is the key; don’t let it go, don’t give it to someone else for free.  Don’t feel ashamed because you don’t have a partner.  And if you do and you’re unhappy, try to let it go.  If you need help, please get it.  Because life is too short and a healthy, happy, confident woman has so much to give!

UPDATE: Just watched the video and noticed the Google Ads provided at the bottom of the screen.  What a riot!  Thanks Google for helping me prove my point!!

WOW!!  THANKS grog and Diary Rescue!!!  I posted this Saturday afternoon; I thought the helicopters disappeared and I was lost forever....  ;-)  Thanks - this really is an honor!!

Originally posted to La Gitane on Sat May 30, 2009 at 03:52 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  great diary, post a tip jar (4+ / 0-)

    thank you for the thoughtful diary.

    post a comment so people can "tip" you for the great diary.

    This White House is way different. It's better! ~Rachel Maddow

    by catchaz on Sat May 30, 2009 at 04:21:19 PM PDT

  •  hysterctomies. et. al. (4+ / 0-)

    I don't know, I am sitting here with this cancer in my gut, halfway through a series of radiations which are knocking me out and may fry my lower guts forever. It is hard not to personify this thing eating at me as some kind of evil. I have no sociological reflections on this. I know I'm being treated according to a fairly new approach.  But I trust these guys. Am I depressed?  Of course. I would be some kind of nut not to be depressed. me and my wife are depressed. Saying goodbye is hard. Thinking about saying goodbye is hard. It's got to be done.  

    •  I'm so sorry... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Carol in San Antonio

      I have a good friend with a rare blood cancer.  She is on permanent disability, and in most cases it turns into leukemia.  She realistically believes she has about 25 years left.

      When you see her you'd never know, but she goes through chemo, numerous tests and procedures, and needs daily rest.  In general, she can't get her heart rate up too high.

      It took her two years to recognize and accept her reality, and the frustrating unknown.  Illness is a real bitch; but I think the most important thing is to cherish the things and those that you love, making the most of your time left.

      Again, I'm sorry for your illness.  Talk it through, get some help if you need it.  It will take time but it sure will be worth it.

      "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

      by La Gitane on Sat May 30, 2009 at 06:11:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It really is okay to be single (6+ / 0-)

    I'm on Twitter so if you'd like to follow my tweets, please do!

    by slinkerwink on Sat May 30, 2009 at 05:17:10 PM PDT

    •  It sure is hard on your social life, once you (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chi, slinkerwink, La Gitane

      are past the youthful clubhopping stage of life.

      •  well, single isn't about clubhopping (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FeDhu, La Gitane

        It's about the freedom you have. The freedom to travel, to meet people, to go to concerts, to hang out with your friends, to go to museums, bars, and be with your family.

        I'm on Twitter so if you'd like to follow my tweets, please do!

        by slinkerwink on Sat May 30, 2009 at 06:34:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  After you are past a certain age, you find (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Chi

          that many, if not most, of the people you would socialize with are married, and that can be awkward, in my experience

          •  So socialize with other people. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            slinkerwink, FeDhu, La Gitane

            God, you people are so narrow! Why not enjoy the company of older people, younger people, people of different cultures, people of different income brackets.  I have friends who are twenty years younger than me and friends who are twenty years older. The only thing you need are common interests!

            •  It can be a problem when... (0+ / 0-)

              YOU are ready for some fun, but THEY don't feel comfortable being with those unlike themselves.

              Apparently, both parties have to have the same open attitude, or no enjoyment can take place. And that's so incredibly frustrating.

              I'm at the age when people in my peer group are starting to couple up and raise families, and I'm afraid of losing friends because of THEIR feelings of "birds of a feather flock together".

              Too many times, relationships mean "things you have to perpetually wait for, ducks you have to get in a row, and only then is it right to have a good time." Well, you could be waiting forever for the right timing or the right chemistry. Life is too short to spend waiting all the time!

              Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

              by Lucy Montrose on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 08:48:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  find something fun to do! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            chemicalresult

            show up to the local NAACP, soup kitchen, church, LARP, whatever's fun and interesting.

            Or go play frisbee in the park.

            Jesus ain't comin', go ahead and put the Nukes back now.

            by RisingTide on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 07:39:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  The freedom to even enjoy your own company! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FeDhu, La Gitane

          I am so sick of going into restaurants, etc. and being asked, with an astonished look, when I request a table for one, "You're by yourself?"

          "Yes," I'll answer. "Is that not allowed? Is there a rule against it? If there is, please let me know and I'll leave." Tacky, I know, but I get so sick of that attitude.

          I enjoy doing thing with my friends, but I don't deny myself experiences if no friends are available. In fact, some things are better alone. I have friends who will spend an hour in a store, musing over every item. I don't enjoy shopping--gasp! is a female allowed to be that way in our culture?--and their dawdling drives me nuts.

          On the other hand, I like eating with friends, talking politics with friends, going to movies with friends, volunteering with friends....and I hate clubs.

          Clubhoppers...expand your horizons!

  •  I lucked out. (6+ / 0-)

    I had an almost 21-year relationship with one of the coolest guys who ever walked on the planet. He was sweet, loving, and treated me like a fellow human being. "If you've gotta say it, yes, I'm a feminist. But what I really am is a humanist. I believe in the equal dignity of all human beings." is how he'd explain his beliefs about gender roles.

    I never met Richie's like before, and I know I never will again. I lost him to multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, last year. I have a very good and special male friend now, but it is unclear whether he and I will ever be as close as Richie and I were.

    Single Payer Happy Hour, coming to the LA (SFV) area 6/26/09!
    No more SPECIAL RIGHTS for HETEROSEXUALS! Equality now!

    by Pris from LA on Sat May 30, 2009 at 05:44:57 PM PDT

  •  I loved this diary, thank you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Carol in San Antonio
  •  If you have cable watch C-Span (0+ / 0-)

    its the best thing on cable.
    The WS quote was a hoot!

    Blackwater is changing its name to Xe.

    by Toon on Sat May 30, 2009 at 06:18:00 PM PDT

  •  I hope you don't mind if I ask.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Carol in San Antonio

    but, what was your reason for needing the hysterectomy?  I am in need of one myself due some uterine fibroid tumors, but because I am without insurance at the moment, I am having to live with some very horrible side-effects. I have been trying to use some natural/herbal things to help with the symptoms, but so far not so good.
    Anyway, great diary, and please take care as you heal inside and out.

    "Imagine all the people, Living life in peace..." -John Lennon

    by angrybird on Sat May 30, 2009 at 06:31:03 PM PDT

    •  No I don't mind (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      angrybird, Carol in San Antonio

      It was absolutely because of fibroids; my uterus was the same size as a woman's who is four months pregnant!

      The procedure was called a laparoscopic supra-cervical hysterectomy.  They didn't have to cut me open, they left my cervix intact, and they also found a huge tumour on my ovary.  They were able to biopsy that laparoscopically (benign) and remove it laparoscopically as well.  The whole operation took about 3.5 hours.

      Luckily, I have Kaiser Permanente and I am well-cared for.  But it sure as hell ain't free; my premiums are hard to pay for but always a priority.  Sometimes even over rent.

      Those "horrible side effects" that you speak of landed me in the ER twice in two weeks with severe iron anemia; I almost got a blood transfusion.  I don't know what to say, but if your condition is similar to mine alternative medicine won't get rid of it.  It might make it easier to bear (hell, women have been dealing with doctors ignorant of women's health for centuries), but only removal will finally take care of it.

      The team of docs that I had were really an A-team; the procedure I had is relatively new on the scene, and if they had to open me up I would have spent 3 or 4 days in the hospital.  This was outpatient.

      I might suggest going to Planned Parenthood; they might be able to hook you up with some clinics, hospitals, doctors and funding to get an exam and have the procedure if you need it.  In the meantime, take LOTS of iron in supplement form.  Ferosol is good; at the depth of my anemia I was taking 600mgs per day (normal for women is 18) but when you're anemic you need it.

      I hope this helps - get well soon and work to find healthcare options that may exist in your community that you might not know about.

      "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

      by La Gitane on Sat May 30, 2009 at 06:46:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you... (2+ / 0-)

        so much for answering my question. Yes, I am doing the iron supplement thing and I am looking for a job with health insurance (not an easy task here in Michigan at the moment), but I hadn't thought of Planned Parenthood; thanks for that suggestion, I will look into it.

        "Imagine all the people, Living life in peace..." -John Lennon

        by angrybird on Sat May 30, 2009 at 06:52:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I an a nurse and had this done in the same way (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          angrybird, Carol in San Antonio

          for the same reasons.  If I had to do it over and how I wish I could I would have the uterus lazered which burns out the fibroids and their ability to regrow but leaves the uterus intact.  It should also be cheaper and with much less side effects.

          Cutting the uterus cuts a lot of nerves and may seriously diminish your sex life which they never want talk about.

          •  I think you're talking about (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ladybug53, Dvalkure

            Thermal Ablation; I was not eligible because the fibroids were just too big.  And, they never would have known about the tumour on the ovary because they couldn't even see my ovaries in the ultrasound.

            As to the sexual side-effects; they left my cervix intact and this is supposed to keep your juices flowing. ;-)  The only drawback is that it still leaves you susceptible to cervical cancer; I just need to continue getting pap smears every three years.  No biggie.

            "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

            by La Gitane on Sun May 31, 2009 at 02:50:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I hate that damn buzzword "relationship." (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Carol in San Antonio, La Gitane

    It's like everything is a contract now. "What do I bring to the relationship?"  "What do I get out of the relationship?"  It's like the actual people don't count anymore, only the contract.

    "We have to work on our relationship." A relationship is a thing. I don't worry about things, I worry, enjoy, care about people. I talk, work and do things with people. I am not one half of a damn relationship, I am a friend, a family member, a loved one, and I have friends, family members and loved ones. I like, love, dislike or hate people, not relationships.

    •  It makes having friends and loved ones sound... (0+ / 0-)

      ... so dry and stale.

      Meanwhile, the media, our communities and medical, psychological and spiritual authorities keep hammering their message of how much lesser our lives are if we don't have relationships. No wonder so many of us feel we HAVE to be in them.

      So relationships become obligations, instead of sources of enjoyment.

      You're more likely to be happy if you know you have the freedom to NOT be happy.

      Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

      by Lucy Montrose on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 08:52:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm 30 years old (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Poom, Carol in San Antonio, La Gitane

    and have never had a serious romantic relationship with another person. I have good friends, I've had some short but intense encounters, but in the end, I prefer being on my own. I'll admit, I'm perverse enough to watch as people try to fit 'I'm happy alone' into their narrow world views. Some people try to convince me that in reality I am miserable and should hook up with the first available penis - er, breadwinner I see and settle down in domestic disharmony. No thanks, I know how to use a hammer and a screwdriver, change the oil and the tires on my truck and if I run into something too big for me to handle on my own, I have male friends willing to lend a hand as long as I provide the refreshments. (Food and water, you perverts!)  

    •  I hear you (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53, Dvalkure, Poom, Pariah Dog, Eirene

      And I applaud your independence!!!  Part of my problem was that I felt absolutely worthless if I wasn't dating or in a relationship.  This also created problems in the relationships that I was in.

      Now, at 40, I am finally perfectly okay being single.  It's a great, liberating feeling, and will keep me out of bad relationships because I'm no longer so goddamn desperate to be in one.

      If I meet a guy I like, then great.  If I don't, that's great too.  Good friends are much more important.  And thinking about the other comments regarding knowing a diversity of people, I totally agree.  That's what makes life interesting.  I have friends of all ages, colors, sexual orientation and gender.

      And I do love my independence!!  ;-)

      "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

      by La Gitane on Sun May 31, 2009 at 02:55:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I missed this on Saturday (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        La Gitane

        So consider this your second tip jar and have one on me!

        I just have to add one thing. It's great that you're feeling less obligated to be with a man, but you ain't seen nuthin' yet, gal. That hysterectomy you just had is going to bring on early menopause. And then it'll be Katy bar the door!

        No kidding, for me at least menopause changed more than just my ability to bear children (which I never did anyway). My perceptions of just about everything changed and it was astoundingly liberating. Hope you love it as much as I did (all of you).

        Thanks for a great diary.

        Meddle not in the affairs of dragons... for thou art crunchy and good with ketchup.

        by Pariah Dog on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 03:26:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  single women of all ages (5+ / 0-)

    salute you for an outstanding diary.

    and how come I can't recommend? says the date to recommend has expired...and this was posted yesterday?
    i'm stymied....

  •  And the politicians are always talking about (0+ / 0-)

    how cutting taxes will help families.  Don't they ever think about single people?

    •  don't worry - they're lying to everyone (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arlene, Pariah Dog

      They don't care about the well-being of families. They just figure that it's a reliable (read "gullible") voting block.

      •  How many wannabe leaders... (0+ / 0-)

        ... have kids ONLY because they believe (too often rightly, I'm sad to say) it will burnish their image years down the road?

        Fathers do get promoted faster than non-fathers. Politicians do feel they can't relate to middle-class Americans if they don't have spouses and kids.

        We have not learned as a society how to relate to people not like us. Too often, "relate to" means, "have the same lifestyle and attitude towards life as". So people who want to run for office, or be a leader in their company, feel they have to suck it up and have kids, so they'll be "responsible" and "relatable".

        Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

        by Lucy Montrose on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 08:57:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  relating (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          La Gitane

          It's really not that hard to relate. It just takes a bit of time, and the ability to think for yourself. Unfortunately, it's so much easier to teach people not to relate. I followed the Bosnian War closely, and was horrified at how Serb leaders vilified Bosnians. Same ethnicity, just different religions. If you hear repeatedly that your neighbors are after you, you end up taking arms against them. Something very similar happened in Rwanda. The same is true of Republicans (gays! baby killers! racist Latina! etc.).

          We do seem to be making progress (all thanks to Dems, thought): Sonia Sotomayor is divorced, right? And doesn't have kids? Not an obstacle. Now, if she had been an agnostic or atheist too, I would have been ecstatic.

          Speaking of having kids for gain, one of Dick Cheney's five well-timed deferments resulted from his wife being pregnant. The timing couldn't have been a coincidence.

  •  I'm perplexed (0+ / 0-)

    "Human males were once as unaware of fatherhood as any other mammals

    I realize the diarist was quoting, but whether this means that all other mammals WERE unaware of fatherhood throughout evolution, or that they still ARE, it's a bizarre assertion. "Paternity confidence" is an incredibly powerful force in evolution. Humans, like other mammals, devote time and energy to their own offspring. Women are (typically) sure who their babies are, and until recently (I mean DNA testing), men couldn't be sure. Males who didn't care have been eliminated from the gene pool by males who did.

    Our cartoon Paleolithic ‘cave man’ with a club intimidating ‘his’ mate and ‘his’ offspring is an absurdity derived from our modern patriarchism.

    Then why do you see the same behavior consistently throughout the animal world? Skip chimps and gorillas if you think we're too close, and look at apes with which we had a common ancestor ten  millions years ago or more.

    break down and get TV and cable(...) Why is it that among my female friends this common feeling of loneliness and lack of self worth is so prevalent?

    I can't necessarily answer your question, but you might be interested in a link between TV and suicide. It's explored in a book entitled Overcoming Loneliness In Everyday Life. As I recall, a 20- or 30-year study by the World Health Organization found that the introduction of TV into a country was followed by an increase in the incidence of suicide some years later. Although TV doesn't have to be a solitary experience, it often is. The fact that we live in such a mobile country is a very serious social problem. When you move, you often lose roots. Plus TV plants all kinds of silly ideas in people's heads, like the need to borrow in order to live beyond one's means, just because everyone else is doing it, just because everyone else is watching the same nonsense. (I'm half-joking. There's a lot of interesting stuff on TV.)

    those ladies in the cave... They were goddesses and had the power of creation.  (...) Never forget the goddess power of creation that is in all of us, regardless of whether you actually bear children.

    This seems contradictory to your intent. You're explicitly linking power and self-worth to procreation, but doesn't that make a woman powerless if she can't procreate, or doesn't want to?

    •  Wow, Dr Reason (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dvalkure

      That's a lot of reasoning...

      1. Yes, I was quoting Walker.  By saying "unaware of fatherhood" I think she means the father's actual role in baby-making.  As smart as some mammals are, I don't think they really understand why they mate.  That's why mother nature made it feel so good!  ;-)
      1. I don't see too many males intimidating females; in fact, it's more the other way around.  And sons will challenge fathers in certain species for rank and territory. But males intimidating their offspring; that I don't remember seeing on National Geographic.
      1. Not really sure where you're going here - your ellipses basically represent a transition from introduction to subject (best as I can explain it, as someone who draws better than she writes...)
      1. No, not at all.  Creation and procreation are not the same.  Throughout time, the female deities typically represented all forms of creation.  Whether we women actually procreate or not, that power of creation is still within us.  That was my point - it is this same power that men have worked for centuries to dominate and control.  We still have the power; we just need to dig down and whip it out...   ;-)

      "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

      by La Gitane on Sun May 31, 2009 at 11:15:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have been trying to do the online dating (0+ / 0-)

    I have been trying to do the online dating thing for quite a few years, since my partner left.  I just re-upped for another year of match.com, actually-- even though my experience is usually frustrating.

    The frustrating thing is that very little actual dating gets done.  partially that is just me: I am the wrong height (under the 5 foot 10) and the wrong age (52 and counting) and have the wrong attitude towards monogamy (dubious.)  The women who end up in the dating pool claim to be obsessed with monogamy, and most of them truly are obsessed with monogamy.  (There are others who aren't really obsessed with monogamy but who are just saying what they think they are supposed to say.)  This is odd, because most of them are on the online dating site in the first place because a monogamous relationship didn't work out for them.  And it is also odd because the whole setup is not conducive to monogamy, especially not for the men, who have to take the initiative and who tend to look at a much broader range of potential partners than women do.  

    A guy who logs onto match.com or a similar site sees page after page of (usually) smiling women, most of whom are somewhat interesting.  It's fun, even if ot frustrating too.  He also knows he needs to be cautious abut getting too attached to any of these women since most of them are going to be totally uninterested in them and since some of them are possibly psycho.  The setup is not at all conducive to monogamous feelings--- and yet the first demand those women make on these men is monogamy.  The demand is often stated in ludicrously explicit terms.  (Men do make ludicrously explicit demands of female strangers they encounter on these sites, but not in their public profiles.)

    Women are also expected to take it for granted that being cheated on and/or abandoned by their partners is the absolute WORST thing that can happen to a person. Most men on the other hand view a breakup as justa  bump in the road.  (There is a minority of men who feel otherwise but they are whackos.  Sadly, those whakcos are often more adept at getting into monogamous relationships than the relatively sane men who are more cautious about relationships.)

    •  Online dating isn't for everybody (5+ / 0-)

      I was on for awhile, about 7 or 8 years ago.  I think it's good for practice dating.

      But the point of my diary is that being single is okay (for men too!); that the pressure from the media, and loads of history, makes a lot of us feel that a relationship is the only way to happiness.

      I've finally accepted the simple fact that I might spend the rest of my life without a partner.  Accepted might be the wrong word; maybe embraced is better.  It took a REALLY long time to get here.

      One thing I know is that if you're looking for a partner (take it from me) then you tend to make bad choices because you want a partner so badly.  If you're happy with yourself, your life, and your freedom, if a partner does come along you'll be much more lucid and able to better judge whether or not that person is right for you.

      Stay on match - it's fun! - but don't count on finding "the one".  You, yourself, are the one.  Be happy being single - there's a lot to be said for it!!  ;-)

      "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

      by La Gitane on Sun May 31, 2009 at 11:05:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I met my partner... (0+ / 0-)

        ... through working for the Dems. The old, common-interests, shared-work still looks like the most reliable way to meet someone you consider a life partner.

        And his sister met her husband online, and so far they're working out pretty well; so it CAN work, sometimes.

        Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

        by Lucy Montrose on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 08:41:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great Rescue (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dvalkure

    When I was widowed, I felt like I had been paroled from jail.  I had had surgery 3 days before, so the pained look didn't have to be forced.  Feminism changed my attitude toward coupling.

    Hope you had a speedy recovery Gypsy Lady.

    Don't look back, something may be gaining on you. - L. "Satchel" Paige

    by arlene on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 07:44:22 AM PDT

  •  longtime single woman here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lucy Montrose, La Gitane

    And I have two things to share about it.

    1 ~ times when I have been the loneliest was when I was 'in a relationship' ( picture Peanuts' Lucy screaming ' Somebody's not doing their job'!!!!)

     2 ~ When I do get to feeling like a weirdo for being alone, I remember looking at a friend, desperately trying to save a very bad relationship and thinking
    " that there is a fate worse than dearth "

     These two thoughts bring me a laugh and remind me to count my blessings.

    Free Don Seigelman, jail Karl Rove ~ mission halfway accomplished !

    by Dvalkure on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:36:25 PM PDT

  •  The part I find hard to deal with is... (0+ / 0-)

    ... when medical authorities weigh in. Saying how much better it is for your health if you're married. Worst of all, using a lot of credible evidence about stress hormones and the mind-body connection, so as to be extra coercive.

    They know that the old scare tactics of "if you're not married by 35, you stand a better chance of being struck by lightning" won't work on smart women.
    But we WILL sit up and take notice, in this era of dwindling healthcare, if you imply that anything in our lifestyle is jeopardizing our health. So if we hear that we're more susceptible to heart disease and cancer if we don't have a regular boost of oxytocin coming in from cuddling a lover or (ideally) husband, we'll start to wonder... hmmm, maybe I'd be healthier if I weren't single after all.

    It's simply taking the old pressure tactics to a new, more sophisticated, more putatively credible level.

    Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

    by Lucy Montrose on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 09:07:50 PM PDT

  •  The commercial likely didn't change (0+ / 0-)

    After airing a couple of single mom versions, suddenly they switch to mom and hubby.  

    There likely were ALWAYS two version of the commmerical shot, one for single women, one for family viewing. If you look back on your viewing, you were likely watching some show which demos indicate it's watched by mostly women when you saw the first commerical, and when you saw the second, you were likely watching a channel or show which would have appealed to more to family viewing.

    Thanks for your insights.

    •  Hmm, I suppose (0+ / 0-)

      But I watch pretty much the same channels (mostly crime shows - I'm addicted!) and interestingly enough, the demos on the shows are obviously women because of the ads they run.

      And I haven't seen the single mom versions since the new ones came out.  But thanks for the comment - I'll pay more attention.  The whole issue has really peaked my interest.

      "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

      by La Gitane on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 01:31:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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