Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.

-C.S. Lewis

Friday, June 03, 2005

19th amendment blues

At this point in history you’d think the amendment to the U.S. Constitution that guaranteed women’s suffrage would be among the three or four things that we all can agree on these days. I guess not. Kansas State Senator Kay O'Connor, who is running for Secretary of State (Kansas) got all retro on us on September 19, 2001, saying that she does not support the 19th Amendment and that if it were being considered today she would vote against it. "I'm an old-fashioned woman. Men should take care of women, and if men were taking care of women we wouldn't have to vote."

What idiot Kay is trying to say (I think) is that she misses the time when the idea of family was less fluid, when gender roles were more defined, men worked at jobs and women worked at home. She misses it why? Maybe it didn’t seem as complicated? Maybe it’s easier for her to relate to people if they have clearly drawn lines around them? Maybe because she was about eight friggin’ years old and had exactly zero responsibility that things seemed so much simpler back them. For starters, would it be too much of a stretch to say that, using Kay’s terminology, that the “larger evil,” of which women’s voting is a symptom, are in fact the pressures that are causing these profound changes? I think it’s pretty reasonable to assume so. Now I’m no economist, nor am I a social historian, but let me take a gander at one of the reasons why the roles of family in the traditional sense might be changing.

She says that men should "take care" of their women. I assume this means bringing home the bacon as opposed to rocking them to sleep or spoon feeding them mashed carrots. So if this is indeed the case, perhaps she should consider the fact that her own beloved GOP wakes up every single morning trying to make the working man less capable of supporting his family on one salary alone. Remember, to the party of the CEO, high wages and secure, heavily invested pensions are a bad thing. I will echo Kevin Drum here in saying if decent wages are bad, then what’s the point of a decent economy? It’s probably too hard for her to understand that most double income families are just doing what they have to do to get by. All this talk of the ownership society while it becomes harder and harder to have anything left over to save. The traditional worker institutions like unions and pensions are being systematically dismantled. And now that even Social Security is on the chopping block, isn’t it a wonder why many families have two incomes. I guess Kay thinks these women out there working and voting should take one for the team, stand up to “evil,” quit their job and default on their mortgage. Actually, I’m done speculating about what Kay could have meant by her ridiculous comment, and in any case, she said it over three and a half years ago, so it’s old news anyway.

Just some ridiculous Miniver Cheevy, rose-colored, house-of-mirrors, river-flows-backwards, historical x-ray specs that lady must be wearing. I’m sure the good people of Kansas will lap it right up. I shouldn’t be surprised though. It must be confusing, stultifying and blinding to go through life so totally ignorant of anyone’s lifestyle but her own.

Jas said...

That Kay gal shouldn't be out running around Senate anyways, when there's kids and grandkids to be tending to. Her husband needs to "take care" of her and make sure she doesn't overstep her boundaries again.

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