Thursday, July 31, 2008

you've come a long way, baby.


back when i was young and the kids drank big ms and the mothers drank tab and the fathers drank melbourne bitter, or vic bitter, none of that fancy shit, and when no one really thought much about going to the shops on your bike and buying a bag of lollies; when fish and chips were a weekly treat, when going out for dinner meant the local chinese restaurant, and chicken and sweet corn soup was exotic but not too outlandish so that it was the only thing, along with dim sims, that fussy 7-year-old male virgos would eat. back then, thinking back, it's easy to think that things were simpler.

that men and women were a little more cut and dried in their gender roles.

i know things were being challenged in the '60s and '70s - hell, at the moment i'm re-reading nancy friday, and i've read greer, as well as naomi wolf who kind of tries to pick up, along with paglia, the new wave of thinking.

but why, when all is said and done, am i still washing a man's underwear and hanging them up, working out what to eat for dinner, worrying about the management of the household, AS WELL AS THINKING ABOUT EARNING MONEY, thinking about my mortgage, trying to summon some sort of interest in sexual pleasure (fuck nancy friday and her libidinous life; she was/is childless).

at least i don't iron his shirts. what a fucking emancipated woman am i.


Anonymous said...

Nah Mate.
You just sound lovely.
Real and earthy. True.
Keep it up.

GS said...

I muse in a similar way when in the past week I have cooked 6/7 of the evening meals, am getting the washing in off the line at 10.30pm in my dressing gown because its going to rain over night and it is my "job" to put the rubbish bins out. Yes and I am the one paying the mortgage while the man of the house goes to uni. Hmm.

Perseus said...

I'm with anonymous... you do these things because you're nice, and normal. That's my guess anyway.

I LOVE ironing, by the way. I'm sure one day when I actually get a wife she will be most impressed with that.

Melba said...

dave and perseus - my first reaction was: oh how lovely, they like me, i am validated by these men who think i'm nice and normal.

but then i thought: am i nice in your eyes only because i do these things for a man/family? am i earthy because i say fuck? what if i don't want to be nice, or aren't really? what if my more natural state is nasty? do i really crave the approval of strangers in this way?

part of me does want your approval, but the other part, the more real part perhaps, which is more rage-filled and unattractively greer'ish, makes me want to say "you don't get it".

and how can you? you have testicles and penis and dave, maybe you have a wife/gf who is nice to and for you. and perseus, you want one. or you think you want one. if i was a man i'd want one too. in fact i do want one. i want a wife too. but then she would just annoy me i'm sure.

AOF - you get it.

Perseus said...

I love Greer. It has nothing do with that, though. If I was your husband and you hanging out my clothes and then suddenly stopped doing those things and went and got a job as a merchant banker I'd deal with it and either hang my own clothes out or leave them on the floor or pay someone to hang the clothes out. Point is, if you became a merchant banker I'd say, "Hooray!" and if you decided to stay at home and hang out the clothes I'd day "Hooray!".

It's the bastards that say, "No, how dare you go and get a job / not get a job / have a life / not have a life / talk to other men / not wear lipstick / wear lipstick etc. etc." that are the problem. The controlling ones who think you are their possession and can order you to do things. They are the problem, not me an Anonymous who are simply saying, "Oh, that's nice of you."

Anonymous said...

Lately it's become fashionable to say 'my partner' rather than 'my wife' or 'my husband'. Often this is because the Significant Other is not, actually, married to the speaker. But i've noticed that actual married couples are now saying it about their spouses. Curiously, as you say, there is not much partnership going on in these relationships, despite the language we use to frame them.

Princess and me are best friends, as well as partners, and i like to think that approaching our relationship that way - as friends - does away with expectations (on both sides) that she will look after my shirts. Would my best male friend wash and iron my shirts for me out of expectation? I think not.

Housework needs to be done, but if ppl were truly partners, and if they approached the running of their lives together as a team event, i think there'd be a lot less Stepford angst in the world.

Melba said...

perseus, i love that you love greer. that makes you a top bloke in my opinion. unless you're shitting me, and you love her because of her entertainment value?

i am booked to see her key note speech at the melb writers' festival. it's on rage - indigenous rage specifically - and i can't wait to see her. then my princess and i (different one to gullybogan's) will drive down the coast to watch geelong on the sunday hopefully beat north melb. we will have chinese food with my dad on the saturday night, and it will be the perfect weekend. greer/chinese food/football.

and thank you too for pointing out what you did. you are right. sometimes my anger and resentment get in the way of me seeing simple things for what they are. i intellectualise everything which is very tiring for everyone concerned. i would like to be a nicer person, i guess that's why i bristle when people call me nice. i don't quite believe them. i think they've been fooled, or tricked into thinking so.

but really, man or woman, we are all just trying to get by, get on with people, trying to do our best. desiderata.

gullybogan - maybe things are more likely to be equally shared around the house when both partners/ppl work full time, or both people are putting in the same amount of time in paid work, and there are no kids. once kids arrive, it seems to fall to the woman, no matter how much she is working outside the home, to be the manager of all. oh yes, she may delegate, but she is still the one to shoulder the running of the household (this anecdotally observed by me). unless her husband/partner is a househusband-type and she is earning the bucks OR he has reversed his role of major breadwinner, downscaled his outside work commitments and she has stepped hers up, and so they've arranged things differently.

unless these things are spoken about and explicitly hammered out in a kind of union'ish way, the default position seems to be woman = manager of household things; man = major money earner.

and for this reason, i guess i'm saying i don't think much has changed looking at that traditional family unit: 1 man, 1 woman, + kids.

our family is different again - we are blended, with step-relationships adding another layer (or 3,000) of difficulty to the mix.

as frankie said in love my way, last episode - the only thing harder than being a mother is being a step-mother.

but that's a whole other post.

I'm not Craig said...

I've been reading your blog for a while now.

It is my considered opinion that you are actually nice, even if you don't know it.

I seriously doubt that I have been tricked into thinking this, because I've been reading your blog (and, therefore, your diary) for a while now.

I should also add (with all due modesty) that my judging of character skills are awesome to the extent of verging on the superhuman.

As for craving the approval of strangers, that was my biggest reason for starting a blog in the first place. The only thing that has changed in the two years that I have been doing this is that now I also crave the approval of former strangers who have become friends.

That may be a whole other post too. Which I may write if/when I start blogging again.

Speaking of which, blogger (or possibly my computer/internet service provider/someone else) has gone mental and won't let me near a number of blogs, including my own, so I apologise for the delay in responding to your comment on my latest post.

Also, I haven't forgotten about sending you French recipes, but I have lost my copy, and a friend who still has hers keeps forgetting to bring them to work.

I will get them to you before the next Tour, I hope.

*Deep breath*

Okay, back to reading the franchising code of conduct now.

Perseus said...

I can't access a few blogs either. It goes to the page then says I can't look at it.

Melba - no, I wasn't being facetious. I'm unashamedly a Greer fan. My three favourite Australian public figures are Germaine Greer, Phil Cleary and Richo.

Her intellectualism is astounding, her opinions maginficent, her humour brilliant. It was my mum that got me into her. Mum left school at 12 and was married and pregnant (with my eldest sister) at 18 and has been a housewife ever since (she's 68). Not your classic Greer-lover, but, Mum holds her up as a hero. She talked about Greer when I was a little tacker, so I have this long-term familial respect for her as well.

When Germaine said "the animal kingdom got it's revenge," my Mum said, "Oh my, she just said what we all think."


Tonight is a danger game for Geelong. We have a sniff, and we have motivation (if we win we get in the 8). GO TIGERS!

Perseus said...

its, not it's.

Melba said...

inc, you know i love you and your words mean a lot. thank you for that. and i hope you keep blogging. dude. and the frenc recipes can wait, i'll be here. you know where to find me.

perseus, if i wasn't already married i would ask for your hand and offer you my tired old womb. a man who really loves germaine? fantastic. my mum also turned me on to germaine. we both thrill to her, and admire her and read her essays, books, everything.

and richo - is that tiger spunk matthew richardson? if so, i agree. i have crushed on him for years. not that i know anything about him personally.

yes, a big game tonight. i said about haf an hour ago to clokes that i wouldn't mind if richmond beat geelong. it would be good for geelong to have some pressure taken off. JUST NOT BY COLLINGWOOD.

Ann ODyne said...

Saint Germaine.
This afternoon I had coffee with That's So Pants and we discussed Dr.Professor Greer and her Melbourne convent experience and how she turned out. We were triggered by The Age Magazine cover of her.

and yes also to
"animal kingdom revenge"

and I am also getting You Cannot See This Blog for some blogs. weird.

As I type, I hope that Chinese food is going down well and your perfect day was perfect.

Perseus said...

Lucky Ablett wasn't playing. We would have lost by 20 goals!


Do you have a sister I can marry?

sublime-ation said...

Oh thank god someone else feels like this.
Why have I had to come home from work every night this week and clean up after my two male housemates?
And when I mention this, I am 'whinging'. At least I have one (male) housemate who knows how to clean a house.
And yeah, you rule. But you also ain't no ones slave.

Anonymous said...

That post sure took a turn. I was expecting the 2nd paragraph to read:

"that restaurants would be charging $30 for a red mullet foam as an entree."

Anyway, I went for a ride on the weekend and the results are in. The package sits just above the chamois at the front, so if you are dressing down it would be out of sight (but you would be sitting on it - ow!). If one is dressing up or to the side, it will be above the chamois, hence the displays on Le Tour.

Anything else I can do to help?

Melba said...

right, that's it. greer post imminent.

perseus - sister already married and sprogs sprung off from. sorry. will keep eyes and ears open for potential.

jesus sub. cleaning up after housemates??? i'd be moving out/kicking them out. depending on who has the most hand.

grover - thank you for fulfilling your research duties. i am so pleased to know now exactly where the packages sit within the chamois. and my life will never be the same now.

off to last 4 eps of underbelly. oh yes.

Dr Zibbs said...

I'll drink a gimlet to that.

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