Why have a happy childhood?

What is the purpose of ensuring a happy childhood?

It is like Hollywood films. They always have happy endings. Then when you get to your own real life, you get miserable.

It is like women reading romance novels. They read about this amazing man who sweeps her off her feet, and then in reality, every man she meets doesn’t match up. He isn’t ruggedly handsome, he is rather plain. He isn’t a Duke, his hound dog is named Duke. He doesn’t have a six-pack belly, he drinks a six pack nightly.

So to try to create this false happy childhood isn’t fair. It sets children up to become miserable adults. They will learn the world does not revolve around them. They will learn that nobody thinks that everything they do is cute. They will find there are no special accommodations for them.

Bad mood.

People try to blame women’s bad moods on their hormones, or the moon, or that they didn’t get enough sleep, or exercise, or healthy food. They never do this to men. It is that they are saying women can’t be anything other than happy and content and placid all the time. If they are upset or angry it is the result of something they did or didn’t do.

It never is the result of being talked down to, being belittled, being ignored, or overlooked.

Women are treated like children. We are treated as if we are incapable of making decisions, running households, running our own lives.

A female scientist is seen as an anomaly, a showpiece. She isn’t taken seriously. She is a woman first, a scientist second. Trade the word scientist for engineer, diplomat, doctor. It is all the same. Her gender is more important than her ability. Her hairstyle and clothing choices are questioned more than her skills.

How much of women’s anger comes from being treated as women, and not as people? How much from not being allowed to be who we want to be, but instead forced to fit into a socially acceptable mold?

A lot of anger comes from pain, and a lot of pain comes from being repressed, suppressed, oppressed.

I dare any man to go a month shaving half his body hair off every day, wearing hose that always bunches up in the wrong places, and shoes that destroy your feet and make it impossible to walk confidently.

And that is just taking care of the physical pain.

We need a “Black like Me” but for women. If men understood what it was like to be women, they’d get it. They’d stop blaming our moods on stupid things.

How much of women’s anger comes from dealing with men who treat them as less than OK? Who treat them as sexual objects? Who treat them as things?

Sure, we are in bad moods sometimes. It has little to do with what we have done, but what has been done to us.

American Untouchables

There are people in India who were known as the Untouchables. It was a caste. If you were born into a family of Untouchables, you were an Untouchable. You were the poorest of the poor and you weren’t even considered a person. There was no chance of ever bettering your lot – that was just the way it was. Nobody challenged this system for many years because the people who it bothered had no voice in the system, and the people it benefitted created the system.

We too have a system like this, but we don’t talk about it. If you are born poor in America, there is a pretty good chance you will remain poor. Sure, we talk about the American dream, that anybody can become anything. Through determination and hard work you can achieve your goals. We have as President right now a man who was born to a single mother and is of mixed race. That is pretty Untouchable by American standards. That start virtually guarantees poverty and being kicked around by the system. But he went to school and worked hard. He had drive and incentive and became a lawyer, and then a politician. I don’t really care what you think about his policies. What I’m impressed by is that he went from a very low position to a very high one.

Anybody can do this. But first, you have to believe in yourself. You have to put a value on yourself. And then you have to work hard towards a goal.

There are two ladies who have just started coming to the library. They are dirt poor. You can look at them and tell they are poor just by looking at them. Their clothes are ratty. Their hair is wild and unkempt. Their teeth are crooked and stained. Their speech is substandard.

I’ll call them Jackie and Diane. Jackie has to drive Diane around because Diane has an ID only. Diane’s husband is chronically ill and stuck at home. Diane picks up movies from him. It is always movies. Movies are the staple of the poor at the library.

We have a lot of DVDs at our library. Not all of them are movies. Some are TV series. Some are documentaries. The poor rarely get anything educational, and they even more rarely get books.

When they do get books they get romance if they are female, and it is usually low-end romance like “urban erotic fiction” and stuff like the “Grey” novels. The plots are the same in all of these. The story says that you, as a female, are nothing, and will remain nothing until you get a man, who will treat you badly and then leave you, so you will then be less than nothing.

These selections guarantee that the person will stay poor. They guarantee that the person will remain exactly where they are. They are escapism in name only. If they truly want to escape they will better themselves by getting material that is educational. But first they have to see themselves as worthy of escaping.

We may not have an official caste system in America, but we sure do have a self-enforced one.