Saturday, February 14, 2009

Being Born

I wasn't born a feminist. Life made me one.

Don't get me wrong, I love men. I just wish we would see the likes of Nietzsche, Kafka, and Darwin in skirts. So far, this has yet to happen.

There's always Susan Sontag, of course, Anais Nin, and Virginia Woolf, but there aren't nearly as many women in the annals of world literature as there are men. And, for that matter, how many Helen Thomas's, Molly Ivins, and Maureen Dowds are there?

Can it be that women are genetically less inclined for higher order thinking? The Kabbalah would have one think so, and so might Bill Maher. As I get ready to go out to dinner, I think about why this is. Is it just that the big bad corporate media won't allow us to penetrate that glass ceiling? Or, do women have some personal responsibility for our conspicuous absence on the roster of the all time greatest minds?

Watching Nikki Giovanni being interviewed on Bill Moyers Journal, I was struck by her allusion to Snow White's theme song: "Some Day My Prince Will Come," I thought back on all the princes who've come and gone in my life, those I've loved more, those I've loved less.

More importantly, watching Nikki Giovanni's interview last night, I thought about how many restless nights were spent looking up at the ceiling, and prevailing upon higher powers to find my astral mate, time that could have been far better spent writing for cripe's sake.

Close your eyes and think about this: how many guys lay around in their Victoria Secret lingerie crying their eyes out because they have no one to spend New Year's Eve with? Nope, guys are better compartmentalizers-----they're better at going to work, and focusing, in the midst of marital catastrophe, or a third world war.

Frankly, I think guys get the short end of the stick precisely because they're socialized into thinking they're less "manly" if they show a little emotion. Guys need to be able to express their feelings more, and women need to stop visualizing themselves as incomplete without

Women have to learn to reinvent themselves the way men do. Somehow, we feel less than fulfilled if we aren't at the nucleus of a nuclear family. Our focus is on outward creation---giving birth to that which is corporal not cerebral.

Change will come only when women also accept that to create a piece of art has as much value for a woman as to create a child. To paraphrase the Bob Dylan line: "She not being born is busy frying."