Monday, March 25, 2013

old-fashioned values

Watching a PBS documentary about Grace Kelly...she was asked if she would continue acting after she married Prince Rainier, and she answered quietly, "That is up to the Prince." Cut to the Prince being asked the question, and he answered simply, "No." Then a bit later in the documentary, the [now married] couple were asked what the succession would be if she gave birth to twins and a girl was born first...the Prince answered that while the rule is firstborn without regards to gender, the girl would not be allowed to rule and would be expected to voluntarily cede her right to her brother.

It was jarring, and I was relieved that things had changed so much since then...then I thought about current events and some of the ways that we seem to be heading back to those times, and then recalled a surprising turn a dinner conversation took the other night. One man spoke very strongly about what was "ladylike" and "classy" and the things a lady "absolutely should not do" [for the record, the ones he mentioned specifically were "fart openly, even in the solitude of her own home; take out the garbage; hang shelving; and 'anything that is very clearly a man's job'"]. Thankfully, he didn't find the support he seemed to think he would amongst the group, but it was a stark reminder that these mindsets still exist, and that I am very lucky to be surrounded by people whom I respect and who respect and accept me for who I am as a whole, even if I do put up my own shelves.

[And for the record, if being "ladylike" and "classy" means not being able to take care of myself or my home, or take out my garbage, or fart and burp in my own home, then I'm absolutely okay with not having those descriptions applied to me. Though I doubt that comes as a surprise to anyone who knows me...]

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