War on Women? Count Me for the Defense!

In all my years growing up in the good old Soviet Union, I never met a non-working woman.  Let me put it another way: because all citizens were required to work and the government had officially abolished the differences between sexes in the workplace, one hundred percent of women were doing their part in creating paradise.  The result was general misery, as usually is the case in going against human nature.

One consequence of this pretend equality was the diminishing number of offspring.  My generation was the generation of only children.  While our parents had plenty of siblings, my husband and I don't have any.  I don't even remember anyone in my school having a brother or sister.  It was not an official policy like the present one-child policy in China, but just a reaction by women to a terribly oppressive life.  When my children had to create a family tree in elementary school, they were shocked to discover that they had no uncles, aunts, or first cousins.  None.

When I had my first child, I used to go to a small park where about twenty new mothers would gather every day with their baby carriages to chat and exchange tips.  Faced with returning to work after a year of caring for our babies or suffering extremely unpleasant repercussions, the women in my circle split approximately 60-40: 60% would have liked nothing better than being able to stay home and take care of the family, while some 40% could not wait to go back to work.  Yes, I know, it's not scientific, but since then I've observed the same pattern virtually everywhere.  Sadly, the analysis was more or less pointless because nobody really had a choice.  That's how the Soviet Union became known as a country with full employment.

Naturally, life in America brought a lot of changes along with some interesting linguistic surprises.  For example, I was informed by my dear friend and classmate in a doctoral program that I am a feminist.  Who knew?  I felt like Moliere's M. Jourdain in "Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme" discovering that all his life, he was speaking prose.  Immediately I started looking at the thousands of women calling themselves "feminists" and screaming about "speaking for women," and I didn't like the bunch one bit.  First, who the heck was asking you to?  I am perfectly capable of speaking for myself, as is, I am sure, any other sane woman.  Secondly, it seemed that there were three qualifications for being a professional feminist: aggressiveness, narrow-mindedness, and bad taste in clothing.  Each was unappealing, but all three together was much more than I could tolerate.

So I became extremely disappointed in women in public life.  I decided that Margaret Thatcher was that exception that proved the rule, and we'd be stuck with sanctimonious time-servers as far as I could see.  Then Sarah Palin showed up, proving in her own inimitable way that the type of women presumed to be extinct is alive and well.  All of a sudden, commonsense women realized that it's better to utilize their spines than wait for the men to grow a backbone.  Turned out Margaret Thatcher was not an aberration, and there are now ladies in the public eye, like Susana Martinez or Nikki Haley, who display more toughness than the opposite sex.  I am convinced that if the governor of Arizona were male instead of Jan Brewer, he'd have folded like a cheap camera under the pressure from all sides (could we declare Scott Walker of Wisconsin an honorary female?).

The risible "War on Women" is not about free contraception.  It is about taking away the ability to decide what to do with your life and forcing women into "one-size-fits-all" shackles.  I have lived that reality, and it's not pretty.

So I'll take Ann Romney, who "never worked a day in her life," over the overpaid professional loudmouth who led the charge against her.  I'll even vote for Mitt if Ann promises to keep him in line.

Luba Sindler would like to thank her daughters for being young women with common sense and her husband for his understanding and support.

In all my years growing up in the good old Soviet Union, I never met a non-working woman.  Let me put it another way: because all citizens were required to work and the government had officially abolished the differences between sexes in the workplace, one hundred percent of women were doing their part in creating paradise.  The result was general misery, as usually is the case in going against human nature.

One consequence of this pretend equality was the diminishing number of offspring.  My generation was the generation of only children.  While our parents had plenty of siblings, my husband and I don't have any.  I don't even remember anyone in my school having a brother or sister.  It was not an official policy like the present one-child policy in China, but just a reaction by women to a terribly oppressive life.  When my children had to create a family tree in elementary school, they were shocked to discover that they had no uncles, aunts, or first cousins.  None.

When I had my first child, I used to go to a small park where about twenty new mothers would gather every day with their baby carriages to chat and exchange tips.  Faced with returning to work after a year of caring for our babies or suffering extremely unpleasant repercussions, the women in my circle split approximately 60-40: 60% would have liked nothing better than being able to stay home and take care of the family, while some 40% could not wait to go back to work.  Yes, I know, it's not scientific, but since then I've observed the same pattern virtually everywhere.  Sadly, the analysis was more or less pointless because nobody really had a choice.  That's how the Soviet Union became known as a country with full employment.

Naturally, life in America brought a lot of changes along with some interesting linguistic surprises.  For example, I was informed by my dear friend and classmate in a doctoral program that I am a feminist.  Who knew?  I felt like Moliere's M. Jourdain in "Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme" discovering that all his life, he was speaking prose.  Immediately I started looking at the thousands of women calling themselves "feminists" and screaming about "speaking for women," and I didn't like the bunch one bit.  First, who the heck was asking you to?  I am perfectly capable of speaking for myself, as is, I am sure, any other sane woman.  Secondly, it seemed that there were three qualifications for being a professional feminist: aggressiveness, narrow-mindedness, and bad taste in clothing.  Each was unappealing, but all three together was much more than I could tolerate.

So I became extremely disappointed in women in public life.  I decided that Margaret Thatcher was that exception that proved the rule, and we'd be stuck with sanctimonious time-servers as far as I could see.  Then Sarah Palin showed up, proving in her own inimitable way that the type of women presumed to be extinct is alive and well.  All of a sudden, commonsense women realized that it's better to utilize their spines than wait for the men to grow a backbone.  Turned out Margaret Thatcher was not an aberration, and there are now ladies in the public eye, like Susana Martinez or Nikki Haley, who display more toughness than the opposite sex.  I am convinced that if the governor of Arizona were male instead of Jan Brewer, he'd have folded like a cheap camera under the pressure from all sides (could we declare Scott Walker of Wisconsin an honorary female?).

The risible "War on Women" is not about free contraception.  It is about taking away the ability to decide what to do with your life and forcing women into "one-size-fits-all" shackles.  I have lived that reality, and it's not pretty.

So I'll take Ann Romney, who "never worked a day in her life," over the overpaid professional loudmouth who led the charge against her.  I'll even vote for Mitt if Ann promises to keep him in line.

Luba Sindler would like to thank her daughters for being young women with common sense and her husband for his understanding and support.

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