Monday, June 25, 2012

Feminists Don't Have a Sense of Humor

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, prohibiting discrimination based on sex in any school receiving federal money. As the father of two (now adult) children, I'd suggest its positive and lasting impact on all of our daughters and on our sons cannot be overstated.

I grew up in a house with a very self-assured mother and three sisters sure of themselves sisters-all of whom at every moment (it seemed to me) did exactly what they wished, when they wished, but ours was not the typical American household in the Sixties.

We forget now, watching the WNBA, women's softball, soccer, lacrosse and basketball championships on ESPN and the other permutations of All Sports TV that exist, that level playing field wasn't always so, but as big a fan of sports as I am, I'm more impressed with the expansion of opportunities in non-sporting fields and will let the talking sports heads analyse to death what Title IX means between the lines.

I was in the last generation of  white American young men who grew up in the club-areas of privilege to which women and people of color other than white had little access. My generational cohort became doctors and lawyers and generals and court officers but it was on our watch that women became our legal equals (they may have already been our emotional, moral and spiritual betters) as we heard more talk of a glass ceiling and then the sound of it being broken than had been the case for the previous one hundred years.      

If the Nineteenth Amendment was the promise of equality, Title Nine was its fulfillment and through its implementation, the redemption, if you will, of all of our souls. It helped make all of us feminists if you decide to define that term as meaning 'based purely on ability and nothing else.'

Though, again thinking of my mom, sisters, sisters in law, wife and daughter, having a sense of humor in the face of the failings and foibles of life on this small green and blue planet, especially when interacting with the morons and mopes of the opposite sex is certainly helpful.  
-bill kenny

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