Way back when I was in High School.. . I think it was 1964 and I was already becoming a radical leftie when my mother sat me down for one of those mother transkid/daughter talks.
By the time I was in high school I had been busted so many times for so many transkid infractions that I was getting treated like a girl when it came to matters involving having boys around me.
Any how it was about that time that Betty Friedan’s book “The Feminine Mystique” became a huge best seller. My mother bought the paperback as soon as it came out because it was about her and many if not most of the mothers of baby boomers like me. As soon as she finished it she gave it to me and told me to read it. After I read it she told me that it reflected the real lives of women far more than the romantic ideal I had absorbed some what second hand.
I heard her. We were working class people our lives were hard but I was part of a generation raised to believe we could do anything.
Besides I was going to run off to Greenwich Village or Paris, some where and live an artistic life of poverty chic complete with lots of black clothes, short skirts. I was going to be cool.
Further being an obvious transkid pretty much sucked and it was easy to see that even if women were second class citizens they still had it better than we did.
But there was something else. Even before I was conscious of it, a sort of pre-feminism. There was a movie character, a surfer girl named Gidget. The novel by her father was better than the movie. It was girls can do things like surf that are stereotypically thought of as guy things.
By 1964 movements for justice and equality were all over the place. I remember us saying “Come the Revolution.”
Any way here’s some numbers. These come from the March 2009 edition of “In These Times”
59 Number of cents women made to each dollar men made in 1963 when President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act
78 Number of cents women made to each dollar men made 2009 when President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
4,000 Number of dollars that a family income would increase by if women were paid the same as men of similar education, age, union status and geographical region.
0 Number of states in which women have achieved economic parity with men.
SRS removed all the transsexual baggage and excuses as well as handing me a whole new reality. Simone de Beauvoir has that famous quote about one is not being born a woman but one becomes one. After SRS all the expectations, discrimination and cultural baggage that is the burden of people with vaginas between their legs instead of penises becomes a reality. If you cut loose of the excuse of transgender then you have only the shared reality that is common to all women
February 24, 2009 at 12:26 am
Having been post for some 25 years and living comfortably with a husband who has a good job and a professional woman myself I was shocked and sickened to discover in this 21st centuary and with equal pay laws in place here that a male work colleague earned more than I did especially since this man worked under my direction. I discovered this when his pay details were accidentally placed in my envelope at the end of a month. It wasn’t a small amount either. Needless to say I found another job soon after I was both dissaponted and sickened by the incident. As you rightly say Suzan. it is a reality shared with all women.