Saturday, December 27, 2008

Any Comments?

[photo: an art print available from]

You know how the NY Times publishes on page 2 these careful, finagling corrections of, usually, the mispelling of the name of a less-than-famous person? I haven't had to do a correction yet. I get very few comments; several women have told me they couldn't figure out how to use the "comments" feature. I have made that easier, and tried it myself on my previous post, posting as Anonymous (for those who don't have a URL) but signing my name.

So here's my self-correction: On August 22 I posted "The Women's Fault!!!," which verges on being a rant in response to a post by a man who observed that there are almost no female Buddhist bloggers, and it's their own darn fault. I pointed that millennia of oppression made us like we are. I didn't like his attitude.

But the broader truth is that it's true, we women have been scared of technology. Maybe we haven't been encouraged to develop that part of our minds. In any case, my friend Gini is the only other woman I know who really loves to play on her computer, which is what they are so good for - the best toys ever. We talked about that the other day - why are women missing out on so much fun! - and speculated that maybe we women are afraid to look smart. Historically, intelligence has not been seen as one of the feminine virtues. Think of the older women you know who leave the whole political thing up to Daddy.

An interesting image came to my mind, of Pam, who comes once a year to inspect our house for termites, and once took out a hornet's nest for us. She is a woman in her thirties with a career in pest control, a job no girl I knew would have dreamed of before the feminist revolution. A brave job, technical and somewhat dangerous. What interests me is not just that she does that for a living, but she does it perfectly groomed, her blonde hair in place, her makeup just right, wearing pretty earrings above that masculine uniform. She seems to prove a woman can do "man's work" and still be feminine. It makes you think of the oft-repeated observation that Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels. If she can do that, you can start a blog.

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