While Shea was busy making us rich in St. Louis, I watched "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men" based on the book by David Foster Wallace. And this quote stuck out about understanding women:
"My position is that actually most of the time you can figure out what they want, I mean, logically deduce it, if you're willing to make the effort to understand them and to understand the impossible situation they're in.
Schizophrenic media discourse, exemplified by, like, for example, Cosmo. On one hand, get liberated. On the other hand, make sure you find a husband. Who wouldn't be nuts with that mess laid on them all the time in today's media culture?
The most important thing is to understand her, understand the paradox. Damned either way."It is a messy paradox that extends far beyond Cosmo magazine. When we were in high school, it was the girls who were putting the names of football players on the back of their "Senior Women" sweatshirts so that they, as "little sisters," could bake them cookies before every game. (note: I had no part in this nonsense.) At the same time their teachers were telling them they could shatter the glass ceilings they would no doubt encounter.
Now, there's the urge to be career-driven and competitive and not subject to some man for purpose or direction - especially when there's talk of that icky submission word. On the opposite end, there's the inherent desire to have children, be vulnerable and let the man lead in a relationship.
I do believe in letting a man lead and submitting - I think it's the way God made us. (Go ahead and throw your feminist spitwads at me.) But there's a huge part of me that feels resentful that most likely there will come a day when I have to choose between my career and my kids knowing that that day will never come for Shea. Though, he has the burden of being the financial provider, an instinct most women lack. Sometimes I put on makeup not because I want to or think I need it but because society tells me everyone will feel bad for my husband who has a wife that doesn't care about her appearance anymore. I give in.
However, I wonder if in today's world, the pressure to choose a female role actually comes from fellow females rather than males. I recoil when I have to explain why I think women and men actually are made differently. Why I don't push back when told women should be godly, faithful, gentle, self-controlled and loving rather than pushy, dominant, self-seeking and loud.
It's actually other women's judgments that scare me the most.
We judge the women who stay home from their jobs, cook dinner every night and just play mom. "Aren't they bored? Don't they lack purpose? Clearly, they had no motivation. She obviously can't stand up to her husband."
We judge the women who are career driven and less family orientated. "She probably doesn't even know her kids. How selfish and arrogant."
Damned either way, indeed.