Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Toward a Ladyless Society

In the movie A League of Their Own, we learned that it was of the utmost importance for female professional baseball players to learn how to be ladies. Accordingly, players took etiquette lessons where they learned the so-very-relevant-to-baseball skills of walking with books on their heads, crossing their legs properly (left over right, a lady reveals nothing), and sipping (not slurping) their soups.

Thankfully, we Vagina-Americans no longer have to learn how to be ladies when we embark on careers, pursue educations, or play professional sports. Well, most of the time that is.

Anyway, my point is that feminism has done a lot to rid society of the notion that lady people are very different from those people that are just humans who are otherwise known as men. Historically, concepts of gender difference have been used to assert the natural supremacy of men and to deny women and girls opportunities in the public sphere. That is why, when women began doing things that people did, like play baseball for instance, it was very important to remind everyone that these new athletes were, first and foremost, ladies. And, lest anyone be mistaken, they weren't athletes like how people were athletes, they were lady athletes.

Applying this line of thought to broader society, it can be interesting to observe people who bemoan the Loss of Ladies In Society. Indeed, writing in the Townhall, Eva Lorraine Molina asks, "Where Have All the Ladies Gone?" In this article, aside from at first appearing like a lesbionic take on a Paula Cole song, Molina speculates that feminism has pretty much ruined ladyness.

She argues that a Real Lady doesn't tell dirty jokes, doesn't let men tell dirty jokes in her presence, doesn't swear, and doesn't consider herself "one of the guys." Our Charm School Instructor continues, admonishing ladies to always dress appropriately, to not do anything at a "social gathering" that one would regret the next day, and to be all-around well-mannered.

In all, I find Morraine's advice to be quaint. And also a bit boring, but that's tangential. In fact, the only thing fascinating about her advice is that she targets it only to conservative women.

I wonder why that is.

If ladyness is all it's cracked up to be, wouldn't it behoove liberal women to be ladies too? Does it just go without saying that liberal women are inherently incapable of ladyness? Or, is it more likely that she wants only conservative women to be ladies so they can bask together in the glow of their uptight moral lady superiority and convince themselves that, despite all of the progress in the public sphere The Feminists are making, they are okay with their traditional-gender-role-dictated limited lot in life because at least they are ladies and that Means Something?

Inquiring minds want to know.

A recent study has demonstrated that feminists actually like men more than non-feminists do. I think that some of these women who oppose feminism are quite resentful of their "God"-given role in life and, as such, have come to really embrace the status of Lady. Historically, we have seen that men have used that very status, lady, to deny women opportunities in the public sphere through the benevolently sexist notion that ladies are too frail to do all of the things that men are just "naturally suited" for. Perhaps it is the case that some women use that status to make themselves feel superior to women who pursue opportunities traditionally reserved for men, and especially those feminist women who tell dirty jokes and fuck people on their own terms just like how male people have done for thousands of years.

The anti-feminist conservative ideology at once tells women that they belong only in the home but also that they are on a pedestal.

Nonetheless, we should never be mistaken as to what anti-feminists believe a lady is and is not. At this point, it is fitting to answer Ms. Molina's question, "Where have all the ladies gone?"

My answer is simple. Short.

They have become people. With all of the good and bad that that entails.

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