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24 January 2012

Short Essays as Posts

Other than technical writing, and when it comes to writing prose, I am most comfortable with writing short essays.  Except for the occasional Post, I will probably think of a topic and write a short essay on it and perhaps add to it, later, as Comments, as I later think of more to add.

As always, I'm perfectly happy to hear others' opinions, particularly if you like what I've written, of course, and invite Comments and Discussions and suggestions for future Posts and discussions.  All I ask is that they be respectful and clean language.  (This is not to say I'm a prude, mind you, but it is a Blog which many others might read and I do not wish to have mine sullied forevermore in the ether.  I do not wish to have to censor anyone's Comments; it shouldn't be necessary.

More Thoughts on Women in the Working World

Many men are intimidated by strong women in the work place and especially politics.  The more rabid conservative type men are, in my opinion, afraid of strong women and, again in my opinion, are exhibiting a paranoid weakness.

Being single most of my life, I have dated many women of all stripes:  High school grads and Phds, very short and very tall; strong and weak in the work place; skinny as a rail and very slilghtly plump; a bit younger than me and up to  twenty years older than me.   I've dated models and women not quite so beautiful.  For me to have dated any of them, I had to have seen something in them which warranted my interest, something which drew me to them.  Of course, there was then the problem of their seeing someting in me, as well, not always a given.

This brief essay is basically about the strong women which so frighten conservative types.  I have dated business women who were hell on wheels at work.  Whether they commanded respect from their underlings or instiled fear in them is irrelevant as far as I'm concerned.  In my experience, they revert to our traditional concept of  women at home, in a relationship with me.  Much of their actions at work are - while not an act - necessary to conduct their work on an equal basis with men, whether with those she oversees or those who are higher in the corporate hierarchy. 

But, at home, they become my girl friends.    We had already established that we had some common interests, part of what drew me to them, of course.  I am most comfortable with their taking the traditional women's roles, at home, whilc I perform the traditional men's roles, but there is an overlap in some things and I do not mind - and, in fact, enjoy - doing things together.  Then there are other occasions when we might be doing two different things, but as long as we are doing our diffeent things together (in close proximity), I'm just as content and I believe they are, too.   I do like to have some time to myself, but I also enjoy being with them much of the time.  A good balance between the two is ideal.

I have to admit that I do particularly enjoy being her man and having her ask me to do things that she claims not to be able to do herself.  I'm happy to help.  If it's an advantage of my height or strength or knowhow, that's perfectly normal and to be expected.  However, there have been things which I think they should be able to do for themselves, particularly if I'm not around at the time.  I've been known to give them a set of tools and show them how to do various small tasks for themselves.  I enjoy teaching them these things and I'd like to think that they do not feel I'm being condescending.

Needless to say, I've been thinking about a number of women in my life as I write this; women of many different temperaments and skill sets and education.

I know, I tend to go off on  tangents, but, being an Engineer, I tend to go into details and explanations for my basic premises, background to explain my conclusions.

I wouldn't dare state that I  understand women, because I don't.  We are the same and utterly different simultaneously.  I never say to them "I understand" when I'm being used as a sounding board or a shoulder to cry on.  I simply say that "I can be understanding."  Those are two entirely different concepts and women understand that and appreciate my empathy.

In summary:  I am not afraid of strong women.  I know better.

02 January 2012

Women's Titles

I'm one hundred percent for women earning the same salaries for the same work as men perform, but there are some things about this equality thing that bug me.

Until I got bored with it, which didn't take many episodes, I was watching the latest version of "Battlestar Galactica."   (I truly much prefer the original.)

When I first heard one woman officer called "Sir," I assumed it was a writer's prerogative, his/her way of distinguishing between now and the way it might be hundreds of years in the future; much like inventing words or a language for a story.  It was startling, but I didn't concern myself with it.

Recently, on "Castle," I heard the new female police captain insisting that her underlings refer to her as "Sir" and it occurred to me that I heard it somewhere else, a time or two, whether on television or radio or in real life, I do not recall.

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I cannot fathom women wishing to be referred to by men's titles.  What is wrong with Madam or Ma'am?  One would suppose that the people who began this trend could not come up with a unisex label for both men and women.    Combining "sir" and "madam" into "Siam" probably would not do.

I can understand why some women like the third form of title for women, "Ms," to confuse us men as to their relationship status.  I can think of a few good reasons for this:  Safety and not wanting to be harassed.  (As a man, I would prefer to know if a woman is single, but a woman being referred to as "Miss" still does not tell me if she is in a relationship.)

The way to refer to a chairwoman (or chairman) is now "chairperson."  Why?  Is it not obvious which sex is chairing?  I want to be referred to as "Chairman," thank you.

Much of this nonsense gives me the impression that some women are not proud to be women.  I won't go so far as to say they wish they were men, however, although I imagine that could be the case in some instances.

What is wrong with Stewardesses and Stewards?  Actresses and Actors?  I keep hearing female tv, movie or stage celebrities referred to as actors and it's fairly obvious to me that they are, in fact, women.

Postwoman is somehow a bit clumsy, as opposed to postman, but I prefer it to Postperson.  The female version of mailman would be, of course,  mailwoman, which could be a tad confusing, to say the least.

There are many other examples, of course.  Calling a woman "Dude" is particularly irksome to me, although using Dudette or Dudess is just plain weird.  You'll never catch me using any of them.

For thousands of years, women have taken great delight in keeping men confused, but our society, unfortunately much aided by the media, is taking things too far.  Men have traditionally (and sometimes mistakenly) been the top dogs, so to speak, and women are ostensively working on catching up.  In most areas, especially in the workplace, I agree with them and support them where I can, but I want women to be women and men to be men; a simple enough concept, don't you think?