Thursday, May 29, 2008

Poor Hillary

When our second child was born, I remember my mother offering some encouraging words since we had hoped for a daughter but instead got a second son. She said, "It's a man's world anyway." I imagine she got to say that fairly often since she had seven grandsons and no granddaughters.

Recently, I've been remembering those words with some articles I've been reading in the news lately:

--The British Household Panel Study, which followed the same 5,000 families for more than 15 years reported that the tendency of women to carry a greater burden of the domestic chores is a major reason for the gender pay gap in that country. While single men do only four or five hours of household work a week, single women put seven hours into cleaning and maintaining the home, the study said. And wives and live-in girlfriends do more than 12 hours of domestic work every week, with destructive results for their careers.

--Last month, a study by University of Michigan (my fav school!) showed that having a husband creates an extra seven hours a week of housework for women. Meanwhile, men save an hour a week of housework by having a wife.

--An Indian newspaper in an article titled "Deleting Girls" reports on the practice in India of aborting female fetuses: "(son-preference) roots lie deep in tradition, and are entwined in inheritance laws and in women’s status. Modernity and economic progress have not made a dent in this arena. On the contrary, they seem to have further entrenched the desire for sons to ensure that wealth remains within the family. Prosperity and sex-selection seem to go hand in hand in this country."

Tough being a woman anywhere. It's nothing new though. Here's something I ran across quite by accident. I was listening to a CD of the legendary Carnegie Hall concert performed by the Benny Goodman orchestra in 1939. This was a unique event in that it was the first time jazz was ever performed at that noble venue.

The concert had sold out long before the event itself and the crowd was very appreciative of the music from beginning to end. However, after one artist took the stage to perform, the audience cheers reverberated long and loud, so much so that after the performance, Goodman had to apologize that they did not rehearse an encore with this performer.

It wasn't Goodman, nor Harry James, Lionel Hampton, Gene Krupa, Count Basie who got the strongest ovation at this unique event. It was Martha Tilton, the band's female vocalist who really brought down the house. Yet her name is not even among the eight performers listed on the CD cover.

At Martha's website, her biographer explains, "Unfortunately, performers like Martha who sang with a popular big band got little recognition. While she lent her beautiful voice to a recording (and without her voice, a song may not have been nearly as popular), Benny Goodman got the credit."

Maybe that's what my mother meant when she said, "It's a man's world." I think Hillary's finding that out too.


Blogger LZ Blogger said...

Big Dave ~ While for the most part I agree... but if the corporate world is any indication... "things... they are a changin'" and it could be a women's world sooner than we know. That Glass Ceiling is getting smashed everyday. ~ jb///

6:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave's Dad hear.Dave I don,t know about your Mother saying "It's a Man's World" as soon as I get up the courage, I,ll talk to her about that.

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oops, where is my proof reader?

8:32 AM  
Blogger jan said...

I also think that many women, (even Hillary?) enjoy playing the victim which doesn't help their cause.

8:53 AM  
Blogger Lynilu said...

Dave, this is an interesting and familiar (to me) topic. "lz blogger" makes an interesting point, but I must remind how long it has taken to begin finding cracks in the infamous glass ceiling.

Being a bit of a history buff, I've been aware for a long time that women have been politically powerful for centuries, but always in the wings, so to speak. Women have covertly influenced the actions of their men, sometimes "running the show" but not publicly. Sad, because I know a lot of brilliant women, some who could actually do better, IMO, than the man they are behind.

Back to your point ... Hillary is, indeed, finding it out. It is still what it is ... a man's world, and we women will have to continue to fight our way out of perpetual second place. This election follows the trend of history. Women received the right to vote in America about 50 years later than black men. Despite Abagail Adams' suggestion to her husband, John, in the infancy (or perhaps even gestation period, I'm not sure) of our nation, that he fight to include women's voices in the development stages, it would be over 150 years before all women were able to vote. (Prior to the 19th Amendment, some women could vote if they were landowners.)

Does this mean it will be another 50 years before a woman can expect to be elected to the Presidency? I certainly hope not. I think we are moving on a faster track now toward that goal, but in it's collective head, America is not quite ready for a woman to sit at the head.

I would never care to be in politics, but I find these facts demeaning. As a woman with above average intelligence, I'm insulted by some of the methods used, decisions made, directions pushed. I know there are many women who could do better, but won't be given the chance for years yet. Those who try to change the mold as Hillary has, will be castigated, just as she has.

Isn't it interesting that we assume people can't possess traits of both sides of the male/female personality: sensitivity/ability to make tough decisions; intelligence/understanding need to consider intellect of others; ability to think as an individual/integrating other's opinions; nurturing/encouraging strength in self and others. But when it comes to "roles" we seem to contain women to the soft, private side and men to the strong, leadership part of society. Why can't we accept that we all possess many characteristics and let each other succeed in whatever area is the source of strength in that person without stigma?

Oh, well. It is an interesting world, isn't it?

9:26 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

And today, the news is breaking of another preacher at Obama's church making fun of Hillary's teary-eyed moment in New Hampshire.

She's a pretty tough lady, though, I'm sure she'll use the news to her advantage.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Nankin said...

Having worked in "Construction Services" for 34 years, I can attest tot the fact that it's still a man's world.

5:21 PM  
Blogger Carine said...

I love your dad Dave! Oh, btw, I've been telling my everlovin' perfect guy for 27+ years now, that he has to give me a break-after all, I don't have a wife like he does to take up the slack.

6:59 PM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

I think this world would be a pretty sad place without women.....enough said.

As far as Hillary goes,,,,I wouldn't vote for her because I don't like her, not because she is a woman.....Same thing for Obama, I would not vote for him because I don't like his ideas, not because he is black......

2:03 AM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Dave ~~ I agree with your mother -
it is still a man's world. I hope your Dad gets on OK asking about it!!
I sure hope all that bloodwork gives you good results and you are OK. I have 3 monthly tests and often have 3 vials. Don't think I've ever had 4.
Thanks so much for the Link to Jimmy Stewart. I tried and they said unavailable at this time. I will try again. Look after yoursel, Regards, Merle.

5:32 AM  
Blogger Kacey said...

It does seem that Sen. Obama has not paid his dues, but has sprung from the Chicago political machine so quickly and easily. (Must be a guy thing.) Meanwhile, Hillary has been out beating the bushes (no pun intended) for lo, these many years.... I wonder if she will think that giving up sleep and a normal life will have been worth it. I still think that somehow Obama will self-destruct.

6:07 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

LZ BLOGGER--Never thought about business. Could be true. My immediate supervisor is a guy, but his boss and her boss both are women.

DAD--Don't let ma tell you otherwise. I remember her saying it right after Scott was born.

JAN--I never thought of that either. On that Lifetime Movie Network, women do seem to get victimized a lot.

LYNILU--We've seen women become heads of state of other countries. You wonder why not the U.S.

FRED--I heard the preacher segment you mentioned. It goes into that "What was he thinking?" category.

NANKIN--So that's one who agrees.

CARINE--27+ years? You must be right behind us. We celebrated our 28th today (Saturday).

LUCY--I dare say I think a lot of people feel the same way.

MERLE--Two who agree. Now if I can just get my mother to agree that she said it.

KACEY--If Obama self-destructs, let's hope he does it before he gets elected, if he does.

7:04 PM  
Blogger Lynilu said...

Hey, Big Dave, Happy Blogoversary!!

and in reply to your thought above .... yes, I do wonder. Somewhere in our history in this country we forgot to include women. Sad.

7:29 PM  
Anonymous cassie-b said...

As a working woman, Don picked up lots of the household chores.

Now that I don't work, not so much.
But he's still nice to have around.

2:10 PM  
Blogger WordWhiz said...

Just stopped by because I was thinking of you.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Betty said...

I'm depressed about Hillary.

And I KNOW it's a man's world. yet another example of what just happened in my own life- my 17-year-old Honda had some rust, as do all Hondas from that era, and several guys at work told me about this great body shop- the owner would do a great job for a reasonable price.

Long story short- he charged me more than double what his estimate was AND he removed only some of the rust. My request was to remove the rust from my car- ALL, not SOME.

Conveniently for him, he never did put his estimate in writing (I trusted him because the GUYS had raved about their royal treatment from this a**hole) so guess what? I'm just another woman out of luck.

You're right on the money, again.


7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I may get a female bashing here, but 'fraid I have to disagree with you.
Sure, in some areas men still have the advantage, but overall I'd have to say it's gotten pretty equal. AND.....Hillary? I definitely disagree! With her temper, bitching and complaining, sniffles and downright MEANESS, I'm sorry, but I don't think it has a thing to do with GENDER. It's all about the most qualified and the most competent candidate. And most definitely about who could face a crisis in the most composed and diplomatic manner. I'm afraid she loses out there, in my opinion.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

CASSIE--Vacuuming is my big chore. Beyond that, maybe bathroom cleaning, picking up, and carrying the clean clothes up two stairs from the basement. Mmmmmm, not too much when I think about it.

WORDWHIZ--I do check your blog from time to time too. Thanks for stopping by mine.

BETTY--To be honest, I don't trust car repairmen either. In Michigan, they have to give you an estimate up front, and get your approval for any additional costs.

TERRI--Hillary has her share of detractors, for sure.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It may be a man's world, but some forget that a hundred years earlier (especially in the Old West), it was the women who minded the homesteads while the men were away. The women defended the claims against robbers, wildfires, harvested the crops AND raised the children.

5:55 PM  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Well, that and the fact that Hillary is so polarizing....

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Zeppelin rules!!! said...

Hillary can hardly blame her implosion in the Democratic race on "It's a man's world." She primarily used being a woman to build momentum for her campaign.

Lynilu - Are you actually comparing women's suffering in this country to the black people's suffering? Ummm, I take it slavery, Jim Crow Laws, the Tuskegee Experiment and the $18K income gap between blacks and whites today are all neverminds to you. Might want to pick up a history book some time. Filled with little tidbits of information I call "facts".

7:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10:32 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home