Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Victorian times

Sometimes I get really angry that I am a woman. I can't go pee in the woods with out exposing my bottom and the risk of getting my shoes wet. I am incapacitated for a day with extreme stomach pain once a month and gush out great quantities of thick blood after that for a week becoming anemic. I have had a human being grow inside of me and stretch me out and leave me scarred. I have to spend more than 50euros to get a contraption to hold my chest fat in place just so I can run with out pain. When my house is messy I am terrified people will see and judge me because society places all the responsibility on me as the woman to keep things neat even thou there are two adults in the house. I cannot cut my hair short because a shaved head would probably kill my mother, even thou they are ever so comfortable. People judge me more on appearance, something I have very little in control over, more than they judge me on intelligence and ability. I have to maintain my looks, it is considered my duty to my husband even thou a person has relatively little they can do to halt the ravages of age.

When ever I have these thoughts I try to remember I have so much more freedoms than women used to. I can wear comfortable pants, I can vote and I do not need my husbands permission to make simple decisions and legally I have the same rights as a man. If I cannot remember these things I read a Victorian novel, like Ann Veronica by H.G. Wells. Then I remember how lucky I truly am. This story is about a smart biology student named Ann Veronica who wants her human rights. She is in her early 20's she is smart and does well in her college classes. Yet she has to live with her father and ask permission to go to costume balls with her friends and can't even get a good answer as to why she cannot go. As a result she runs away to London hoping to get a job and freedom. Unfortunately neither is to be had for a woman of her times. She was never educated in the sexual politics between men and women and accepts a “loan” from an older man that is not considered a loan by him and he practically tries to rape her and she apologies for punching him ion the jaw and feels guilty for it. In one part she gets in a heated exchange with her male teacher. He is against votes for women, more or less, but mostly just enjoys the argument. She accuses all of mankind as treating women as a joke and not giving them any freedoms and that he, her teacher, could never understand the confinement until he tries to run in petticoats.

Reading this book made me appreciate comfortable foot wear, pants, the vote, and having full legal freedoms just like a man. I truly hate the Victorian era and it is a great contrast in its attitudes to mine. I wonder how women can faint with out the aid of corsets? I think it does not happen.

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