Friday, August 11, 2006

The New Millenium Woman

I have seen this ad and mused on its mythology. Glenn Reynolds links to this blogger at myspace who is not happy with what she sees. Go look at it and then come back.

What do you think the ad says about women?

One of the pinnacles of womanhood is motherhood. I've said it before: men can't do it, no matter how hard they try to control it, dominate it, and take it away from women (inductions, medications, unneccesary and harmful procedures like shaving, enemas, episiotomies, c-sections), only a woman's body can hold a baby. Sorry, guys. Your genetic gift is heavy lifting, risk taking and ground acquisition sports. And we need that too, by the way, but that's a gender discussion for another day.

That a woman's view of success is defined by what a man can, but a woman tries to do better, irritates me. Grunt. Grunt. We won't be equal until we have women in full battle gear leading a ground regiment. Why are hyper-masculine standards used as the measuring stick for feminist success?

I have a beef with women and mothers in society. Motherhood is now a choice at the end of doing the "important" stuff. A baby is the narcissitic, consumeristic cherry on the top of a "meaningful" career, a mid-30s "egalitarian" marriage (Seen a pregnant man, yet? Marriage ain't egalitarian. It CAN'T be.) and lots of travel and things, things, things.

If the ad were honest, the last picture would be a woman, attached by tethers to each wrist, arms extended with an Apple Laptop (the ad is white), Blackberry, I-Pod and Manolo Blahniks in one hand and a diapered baby in the other. Or an even more honest depiction would be the woman in the same position with her boss, ex-husband, boyfriend and mortgage on one hand and her kid in the other. Under duress, and heart laden with guilt and confusion, a mother might choose motherhood. If she doesn't have anything better to do.

The ad should have showed the 50s and early 60s ladies pregnant. It should have shown the late 60s and early 70s ladies smoking pot--too busy workin' and lovin' to have kids (Gen X is the smallest, remember). Today's woman, like today's man, is a screwed up mess of conflicting expectations and desires. A woman feels like she's a sell-out if she has a baby. To cover her internal conflict, she accessorizes her baby. The baby is the snotty Gucci bag on her other very hip, hip. So the Clorox ad shows a twiggy thin woman, back arched seductively, showing off her big baby bump. How chic. How trendy.

A woman president? Definitely a possibility for the new millenium. A woman content with motherhood? Not a chance.

1 comment:

Chalmers said...

Sad thing is, this is yet another example of how women attack women (not your post sis, but the post you linked to). I still think that there will not be a woman president because women will turn on her and elect any moron man before they will support someone of their own gender!

To me, there is nothing more beautiful than a pregnant woman, not because I like to oppress women, but because there is something incredible about the ability to create life. I have not been blessed yet with children of my own, but I cannot wait!

Not sure that I find the picture seductive, I just find it to be fun and happy. Either way, if women would band together, they could officially take over the world.