The Clare Spark Blog

April 29, 2016

The Woman Card

Valside.com image

Valside.com image

In this, the weirdest and most inflammatory and polarizing election season that I can remember, Donald J. Trump is calling his likely Democrat opponent Hillary Clinton, a player of the “Woman Card,” who would not even be in the running were she not a Woman, capitalizing on the novelty of being the first woman President. Hillary supporters are predictably indignant, predicting disaster for such (Trumpian) sentiments.

This blog tries to explore the current condition of women, married and unmarried. I take it for granted that my readers know that I am a feminist who is socially liberal (e.g., pro-choice, but who does not entirely dismiss the pro-life argument). See https://clarespark.com/2016/04/01/70s-feminism-and-its-bizarre-legacy/.

Women who are married to an adequately earning mate, have never had it so good, but those who are forced to work outside the home (either ideologically, or because of inadequate income) are in the same position as working males, either laborers or professionals. Because they are competing with men (and are subject to the same dangers to life and limb) such workers probably don’t have the leisure time or energy to evaluate the campaigns of competing parties or candidates, not to speak of the arguments about the “proper” roles and capacities of mothers/workers. (See https://clarespark.com/2012/10/03/the-sexual-revolution-2/.) I suspect that this group is fed up with male domination and would be happy to see at least one “strong” woman be the Leader, presumably one attuned to their needs, spoken and unspoken.

But whether married or unmarried, women are likely to be the only family members who take care of the elderly. It is strange to me that few politicians or journalists address this shock to the middle-aged women who thought that their “traditional” female duties would be over after the nest is emptied. I find it odd that even the relatively few “geriatric” physicians (including psychiatrists) are not addressing this source of stress, though television is full of ads for (invariably female) home care assistants.

Georgia ad

Georgia ad

Neither Hillary Clinton (nor any Republican or Democrat either) is addressing The Woman Question, except to defend or attack “abortion rights” (and equal pay).  Instead Mrs. Clinton is subsuming the volatile abortion issue into “women’s health,” while Carly Fiorina attacks Planned Parenthood for cutting up “babies”.

I continue to join other feminists in asking the ever more salient question, “Is there life after birth”? (https://clarespark.com/2015/10/10/is-there-life-after-birth-states-rights-and-controlling-our-children/).

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September 12, 2015

Why is gay marriage a hot button issue for religious conservatives?

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 7:09 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,
Alabama protest

Alabama protest

The culture wars have overtaken the 2016 political campaign, as the Kim Davis incident in Kentucky, along with the overwhelming importance of “faith” now becoming a favorite topic on Fox News Channel, and no one, including Fiorina, seems to know how to analyze Donald Trump’s put down of Carly’s “face” that he blatantly describes as un-presidential (and indirectly as ugly).

This brings me back to misogyny, and the taboo against excessive androgyny (or blurring of male and female characteristics, apparently the case in ambitious Carly F., who dares to invade male turf).

First, misogyny. It is not widely acknowledged (though obvious) that women compete with other women to snag the most desirable males, and both model and resent gorgeous women, who simultaneously “plain” women strive to emulate, putting themselves through time consuming and expensive regimens of perfect hair, makeup, and recently, toned bodies as desirable as Greek goddesses are imagined to be. Pre-nup agreements guarantee that powerful, successful males can dump their wives with minimal consequences, while competition with younger women adds compulsion to wives striving against the inevitable status of “crone” as she transitions from middle to old age, keeping plastic surgeons busy.

Is it any wonder that social conservatives strive to perpetuate heterosexual marriage as a sacred obligation? Is it any wonder that many women find mothering and housework to be a desirable alternative to competition in the workplace, either as workers or professionals trying to balance the multiple demands of home and work, all the while fearing that husbands will “work late” with presumably more attractive women?

No one is free of some misogyny, unless s/he has worked through ambivalent relations with Mother. As more and more women gained status in the modern world, the rage against MOM became overt for reasons I outlined here (https://clarespark.com/2015/05/09/monster-moms/).

Second, on gay marriage: No other issue, other than abortion, has aroused so many negative emotions in persons of “faith.” I have known gay men and lesbians ever since the 1970s, and have never seen a gay relationship that was free of similar power struggles common to heterosexual relationships. (https://clarespark.com/2013/03/27/power-in-gay-andor-heterosexual-attachments/.)

It has been the contention of this website that all human relationships are problematic and ambivalent, and that no amount of religious conviction can erase the difficulties between even non-sexual contacts. Yet, social conservatives continue to live in denial, imagining that sex-role polarization within the heterosexual family (fathers are the warriors, providers, and disciplinarians, while mothers offer an unconditional love that may be associated with Jesus, hence his notorious “feminization” in the 19th century) can solve the problems of unemployment and illegitimacy in urban minority communities. (This issue is apparently too hot to handle, see https://clarespark.com/2015/08/08/the-moynihan-report-march-1965-and-instability-in-the-black-family/, one of my least read blogs).

hc-christ-sacredheart21

I admit to being androgynous, like many other writers or artists, for I do not concede to males a monopoly on intellect, rationality, or insight. When I was in college, my zoology textbook described males as rational and women as irrational; an assumption that I didn’t protest at the time. That was the late 1950’s . Can we move on, please?

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