Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Unisex

Just seeing that word makes me long for the days before this idea was thrust upon us. Ladies' hairdressing shops were a female bastion where we could discuss ANYTHING with our primarily female hairdressers and sister clientele. If our mascara ran during the shampoo, no prob -- we'd fix it before we left. The first time I went to have my hair cut with a guy sitting in the next chair was horrible! I was SO self-concious! I chanced getting my clothes wet rather than wearing a robe that might accidentally gap open at some point. The feminist movement really screwed us! Now, I don't argue that it helped us, marginally, in the work world and forced schools to provide equal opportunities for boys and girls to participate in team sports. Those were GOOD things. However -- we women lost more than we gained. Specifically: I appreciate it when a gentleman opens a door for me; I open doors for others, too. Some women were very defensive about that, loudly proclaiming that women were strong enough to open doors for themselves! Guys got the message and stopped. We lost the right to be squeamish in biology lab classes. I'll always be grateful I got through high school before that happened -- I HATED dissecting things! Thanks to my male lab partner, I never had to actually touch anything. College dorms became coed -- major disaster! What self-respecting woman wants to share a bathroom with guys?! We hung out and studied in work shirts and panties in my dorm. Girls may still do that, but I doubt that they get much studying done with all the guys panting over them. We lost the right to expect a gentleman to give up a seat on the bus or train for a lady. Now, it's often a woman who gives up her seat for an elder or pregnant lady. Early, militant feminists made men fear being polite to a lady. Oh, and that reminds me: we were now all WOMEN -- the distinction between ladies and women was abandoned. After 40 years, women still don't rate the same pay as men; we have to share hairdressers with men; we still have to stand in buses and trains in ridiculously uncomfortable shoes; and our feminine mystique is out the window. Unisex appears to indicate a single, combined sex. I think today's young women and men struggle to figure out how feminine and masculine they are supposed to be. Is it possible that in this first generation of daycare graduates we'll have a new meeting of the minds? The women's movement tried to accomplish it -- accepting each other as persons first; male or female second. Maybe . . . but do we really want that?

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