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Monday, June 26, 2023

Gender Issues

 By Anna Von Reitz

I must have been about three.  I was still adorable (at least according to elderly relatives) with Shirley Temple curls and fluffy crinolines and ribbons everywhere.  And I do mean EVERYWHERE.  

My Cousin Douglas had just informed me that I was a girl!  

“A girl?” I wailed disbelieving my bad fortune. 
“But I don’t want to be a girl!!!!”  I stamped my foot clad in patent leather. 

Welcome to the gender identity crisis. 

It was already apparent to me that girls worked longer hours for less pay, that men (who were often great dolts) tended to rule over women, and that women got stuck with bearing babies and tending little kids and sick people and they didn’t get paid for that, either. 

Being a girl was one click away from worse then death.  It was like starting a horse race with a 300 pound handicap. It was terrible news!  I was aghast, desperate, staring around like a cornered animal. 

I remember it like yesterday and my Mother repeating in a voice like doom, “Yes, you are a girl….”

Much later in my life I came home from work as a young upwardly mobile  executive one night and saw the contents of my refrigerator:  one half-eaten apple encased in Saran Wrap, an open box of Arm and Hammer Baking Soda, a bottle of ketchup and three cans of beer.  I opened the freezer and saw an ice cube tray. 

This was the same overall content of at least three refrigerators I had encountered that week, all belonging to young upwardly mobile male colleagues!  

It turns out men and women aren’t so different after all.  

I was just as driven, deprived, unhealthy and absent from my own life as they were.  Who knew?  

Once you become cogs in the Great Wheel of Commerce, your gender identity didn’t matter any more than any other aspect of you.  

What mattered, was how much “value” you could add to the company. Slick Kids like myself were much in demand —- we weren’t paid well and we got no respect —- but we were in demand just the same.  

Our minds and bodies were like investment opportunities, snapped up for later exploitation.  And, we were told, we should feel honored to be part of such a great team!  

A team of what, I wondered as I looked around. 

An assemblage of sorry minions scraping by, sleeping for a couple hours here and there in nice split level townhouses just like mine, from age 22 to 40, when the mortgages got steeper or refinanced and the heart attacks and midlife crisis episodes began. 

Oh, no,no,no!  I could see the world on a platter set out before me.  The problem was, man or woman, it wasn’t a platter full of anything I wanted!  

I had a serious discussion with my fellow-minions.  It went something like this — hey, guys, this may be a job, but this isn’t living. This is some odd substitution for dying outright….look around at what you, personally, are struggling so hard to achieve?  

What does it mean to be a Junior Vice-President by the age of 40?  

A very few of them were able to recite the salary and benefits of a Junior VP and I figured right then that I had identified my serious competition —- but even they couldn’t answer the more serious questions. 

Finally, one of them blurted out the Awful Truth. 

The advantage of being a Corporatist is  the advantage of a tribe of cavemen, the ability to coordinate the hunting and killing of Mastodons.

Nothing had actually changed.  

Then it was killing Mastodons, and now we were “executing” contracts.  Even the language of. The Corporate World gives clues to anyone who bothers to listen. 

We execute contracts.  We sink deals. We leverage options. 

Having identified my hard core competition in the mostly- male group of up and coming business executives was bittersweet because I knew it was information I would never use. 

I and one of my male minion cohorts escaped that night into the cold clear air of a place where we could actually see the stars at night 

And we both realized that we had barely escaped with our lives. 

Your gender doesn’t matter and neither do your gender roles. What matters is your life and what you decide to do with it—— then, now, and forever. 


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