Blurring the Win to Contend with Defeat

I’m a little confused. There is a major tennis match and the challenger takes down the champion and Serena Williams claims sexism. Again, the lowly male has appeared with his toxic masculinity and deprived Serena Williams of her much-anticipated win. For all intents and purposes, she just didn’t play a great game.

Upon investigation, every mark down given by the referee was correct and even her coach acknowledged he had done some coaching from the sidelines. Instead of accepting her defeat gracefully, she said it was the ever encroaching prejudice against females by the male population which deprived her of her win. She said that males are treated differently on the tennis court.

Now THAT really make me shake my head as she wasn’t playing a male, the challenger was very much a female and she just played a better game than Serena Williams. Miz Williams, instead of accepting her earned defeat with grace and dignity had to find fault with everyone but herself for the loss. At her press conference, later, she said she just wanted to continue to defend women . . . while the real winner of the match, a woman, was reduced to tears and her fantastic win was put aside with the loser’s unfounded tirade to save face. I guess Serena Williams didn’t count the young woman she was competing with as a female as she sure wasn’t watching out for her rights as a female . . . and the winner.

As I read through all the reports regarding Serena Williams’ tantrum on the tennis court, I didn’t see as much praise for the real winner of that day – Naomi Osaka, a rising star who became the first tennis player born in Japan to win a Grand Slam championship.

Has Feminism Improved the World?

I’m one of the children of the past that can speak for myself on both sides of the feminism issue. For the first seven years of my life, my mother was a stay-at-home mother who would oversee my school lessons, bake cookies, fix dinner every night and made sure water actually touched my body when I was sent in to take a bath. She was able to be there for every little school performance and made costumes even when I only had a two-minute walk in part in the school play. After-school rehearsals were not a major problem as dinner would just be a little bit late. Fast food was not an option.

Then one afternoon when I was in the last few weeks of third grade, my Dad was the one who picked me up from school. I asked where Mom was and he said she was at work. That was the first I had heard about this. We went home, I sort of did my homework, did not study my times tables, and waited until eight o’clock that night for dinner.

My mother was working as the parish secretary and housekeeper/cook for the pastor. His meals came first and she made enough so there was usually a meal for us when she finally got home. The smell of dinner simmering on the stove no longer happened at our house.

Now, her working was considered the best of all possible situations as the church office was through our backyard and across the busy highway. It seemed a good deal longer to me. My grades went down from straight A’s and there wasn’t always time in the morning to make sure I washed or my mother remembered to brush my hair. She worked seven days a week because she enjoyed her work and the grownup company. I definitely came in second to the job. Whenever I felt sick, instead of ‘poor baby’, it was an anxious, “Are you sure you aren’t well enough to go to school?”

Fast forward to me with my first born. My mother was still working for the same pastor but slowing down and I was asked to help out with a paycheck. I was assured I could take the baby to work and see to his needs at the job. The church was 45 minutes away but it sounded as ideal as was possible since we needed the money and the pastor was a long-time friend.

The long-time friend, however, went into thoroughly boss mode and he kept alluding to his plans that when the baby was old enough for school, the pastor could get him in the Catholic school and I could work full-time. Uh, what? I casually mentioned that would be difficult especially if we had more children.  Father looked taken aback and said, “Don’t you have enough on your plate as it is?” Uh, WHAT? The fact was that I was already pregnant with baby number two but hadn’t mentioned it yet.

GK Chesterton’s quote was so right. Bosses are bosses, no matter their vocation and my time was his time no matter what time I was needed and everything else came in second. I wondered how to gracefully resign from the job. The money wasn’t worth it when there were times when my baby had to cry so the boss would get his project done. Crying babies didn’t seem to phase him. I credit God with sending me a clear sign about what to do. I was getting ready to get on the road to work, one morning, morning sickness (second baby) in check and toddler ready to go. Our elderly car refused to work. I looked at my husband, walked to the phone and called the pastor and told him the car was dead and I couldn’t come in to work. In fact, I said, with a second baby in the works, I thought it was time I turned in my resignation. And I never looked back!

I almost made the same mistake my mother did only I had my child right there to see what trying to divide my time was  doing to him. The employer was making me a slave to his work needs and felt a kindliness that he allowed the baby to even be there.

I went back to being a totally stay-at-home mother from then on and still am today even though the children are grown up and my youngest is self-sufficient even though she enjoys staying at home for the time being. I’m back to being a ‘slave’ to my husband which is the best possible job in the world. I no longer have to struggle with the bad math of being a full-time mother with a full-time job because, in the long run, it just doesn’t add up.

Hear Them Roar?

People in the neighborhood where I grew up looked askance at my mother. Why? She was the only working mother. She didn’t, however, demand recognition or proclaim any kind of independence . . . We needed a second income to survive and pay bills so she found a job and quietly went to work every morning.

She continued in the same job for over thirty-five years keeping herself far, far away from the growing keening of women suddenly discovering they needed to find themselves and heading for the healing side effects of jobs and the rite of passage into becoming superior to men.

Growing up in those years were interesting in observing how women were making their presence known. First, many left their housework and children to do other people’s work and forgot the art of being a happy homemaker and degraded any woman who found satisfaction in caring for their family. And, before the world could acclimate to this reorganization in the female population, the hippy agenda came into play and in order to be truly free females, chastity, God, soap and water often went by the side of the road as younger women experienced ‘freedom’ and discovered how low men came in human classification.

The roaring women grew louder and their voices more shrill and determined with leaders taking the reins and saying they wanted a world where all women would be in the workplace . . . whether they liked it or not. The new breed of the female species sported hairy legs, burned their bras, and threatened any male who forgot himself and held a door open for them.

Next on the evolution of the ‘modern woman’ was the subject of abortion. Working and free association with anyone they chose, caused problems like pregnancy so abortion and birth control were welcomed into their battlefield for freedom.

The Church did not escape unscathed. Suddenly women were at the altar, serving Mass and being put into the position of making decisions that used to belong to the pastor. Family planning was of utmost importance as work and babies don’t always work well and Catholic families decreased drastically. All this brought into play smaller families which didn’t encourage vocations. Females taking over the Readings and Mass serving tends to keep males away lest they do something to go against the ‘free the females’ agenda.

The world is certainly in a mess today and the women still blame the men even though the men have constantly succumbed to their presence in all aspects of life. The children are in day care and after-school activities so Mom can make a difference in the world.

I worked the first two years I was newly married. My job was a challenge and I learned a lot that is still useful, today. It was hard quitting as one gets used to the idea of being needed and appreciated. I found out I was pregnant a couple months after I ‘retired’ and never thought about the work since. And all the women I worked with who told me I had to think of myself, first, and keep working, got lost in the shuffle of major changes in the office and lost their jobs. Employers are not like husbands and children and to be ashamed of putting them first over a pseudo-independence ends up being a dry, empty way to spend one’s life.