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Dec 19, 1996 06:23 PM
by liesel f. deutsch

It seems to be trading confidences week around here. Several women have
opened up to me lately, and I can tell you of some of the things that are
dead wrong between the sexes. The man thinks if he goes out to work for 8
hours & brings home some money which may or may not be adequate, he's done
enough. Meantime, perhaps the woman also holds down a job. On top of that,
she's the kingpin of the family. She sets the tone in the whole house. She
helps the kids achieve high goals or not, depending on how much trouble &
hours of working with them) she's willing to put in. If the floor or falling
apart, & needs to be replaced, she has to work twice as hard to keep it
clean. If she has no dryer, she has to take the time to hang her laundry on
a line. If money for food is short, she has to make up for it with good
cooking. No matter what else she does, the woman keeps the family together,
and she does it in sickness or in health. So I hear, the roof leaks for 2
years and he just can't get around to fixing it. She's expected to work
atround this. The kids don't help her, well, he doesn't either, so she has
to do all the hard chores herself. She's expected to do all the work
nevertheless. But the kids throw spit balls at the dining room mirror, when
nobody's looking, and the father laughs about it, while she cleans up the
mess. He gets sick. She nurses him. She gets sick. He decides to go on a
vacation to Florida. If she's so weak that she has to drag herself around
the house to make herself some tea or warm up a can of soup, well that's her
tough luck. It seems that very often we women just get dumped on, and we've
gotten so used to it throughout the centuries, that we just take whatever
gets dished out to us, and we struggle on from there. No matter how sick, or
pregnant, or anything else we are, most of us manage to carry on taking care
of our families and all the chores. Nobody says "thank you", not ever. Good
ole Ma, she always knows how to cope with any situation that comes up. Just
let her shift by herself. She'll be ok. I'm reminded of an insulting French
saying, which is eminently true "la vie est un desert, et la femme est le
chameau qui nous y transporte." Life is a desert, and woman is the camel
(also means idiot) which transports us across it.
Actually, the word "nous" means "we", but in this case "we" means "men".
OK, so now let's see how any old macho man can rationalize this away.


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