Saturday, August 15, 2009

Fair's Fair?

Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. - the yet-to-be adopted Equal Rights Amendment to the US Constitution
I had a martini last night in the upscale bar of an historic downtown Austin hotel. It's a great spot for a good drink and for watching the basically upscale people of my town parade and preen through a Friday night. I left after one drink feeling more than a little grumpy over the clear evidence of inequality in the standing of women in America: We are not allowed to grow old and fat like men are. Couple after couple walked through the upstairs bar at the Driskill hotel last night, and I am not exaggerating when I tell you my scientific survey of the bar population showed 2 of 3 couples were mismatched in this significant way: Men were generally overweight and under dressed and the women on their arms were fit, fashionably dressed, and eye-catchingly accessorized. What's up with that? Why do we women feel the need/obligation to keep looking like the pick of any litter, while men are allowed to eat and age? One might argue that women prefer men who are not preeners. But, come on my sisters - you know you're looking at the 1/3 of the male population that's staying in shape and thinking, "I remember when my husband looked like that." And, you also know that you're staying beautiful just so he won't look around and think that. Here's a news flash, girls. He's looking around anyway. Do your own survey. The matter of equality comes to two questions: Do we women want our men to stay gorgeous like we are, or do we want to be allowed to abandon the compulsion to look like Barbie until the day we die? My husband tried to put the questions to rest by pointing out the extended life bonus women statistically own in the United States. Women, on average, outlast men by about 5 years. I suppose his implication was - women who stay in shape outlive men who don't. All I could hear in his logic was the promise of a chance that I might have 5 years at the end of my life to get as out of shape and out of fashion as I like. Forgive my idle Saturday pondering...but if you have time to squander over such trivia - think for a moment about the cultural icons of couplehood below. How would life be different for women if Wilma Flintstone or Marge Simpson or Alice Cramden or Lois Griffin had been the chubby ones? Peace.


Anonymous said...

So true, so depressing, makes me want to have another doughnut with my coffee this morning!

Mama de la Paz said...

If you're a woman...I hope you did!