Friday, November 26, 2010

It's worth sharing....

Anonymous said...
"It is highly typical of the rabid plagiarism which now passes everywhere for emancipation, that a little while ago it was common for an "advanced" woman to claim the right to wear trousers; a right about as grotesque as the right to wear a false nose. Whether female liberty is much advanced by the act of wearing a skirt on each leg I do not know; perhaps Turkish women might offer some information on the point. But if the western woman walks about (as it were) trailing the curtains of the harem with her, it is quite certain that the woven mansion is meant for a perambulating palace, not for a perambulating prison. It is quite certain that the skirt means female dignity, not female submission; it can be proved by the simplest of all tests. No ruler would deliberately dress up in the recognized fetters of a slave; no judge would appear covered with broad arrows. But when men wish to be safely impressive, as judges, priests or kings, they do wear skirts, the long trailing robes of female dignity. The whole world is under petticoat government; for even men wear petticoats when they wish to govern." -G.K. Chesterton "What's Wrong with the World"

Friday, November 19, 2010

Winning isn't everything

Seems no matter how I go about my day, I can't win any of the wars in this life. I checkout a book from the library I'm sure my son will like, only to hide it under the couch after the thirteenth consecutive read.  I get him to sleep for three hours in the afternoon, but then lose two hours fighting with him to go to sleep that night.  I purchase a mop to make floor cleaning easier on my back and knees, and fail to buy one that is self-wringing. I set out to wash the dishes, only to slice open my thumb with a knife and spend the next twenty minutes applying pressure to stop the bleeding.

Rooms I clean are immediately cluttered.  Floors I scrub are instantly sullied.  Clothes, blankets, towels, and diapers I wash, fold, and put away are promptly soiled.  Newton's third law of motion seems to apply to the forces of helpfulness and destruction as well.  "No rest for the weary," my grandmother would say.

I suppose if winning these battles of life was my only aim, I would give up.  I'd get a job, send my kid to the sitter, and hire a maid.  Then I could cling to the illusions of victory- a pay check, a socialized child, a clean house. But even these offer nothing but weariness.  I'm not working to win any earthly prize.  Rather, I'm doing the tasks God has given me to do while I'm here.  Frustrating as it may be, I rejoice in my toiling and take my defeat in stride.  For there is nothing better than to be joyful and take pleasure in all my toil, knowing that my reward is in heaven, where juice does not stain, and syrup does not stick.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's a sing-a-long!

To the tune of  "I've Been Working on the Railroad."

I've been working on the laundry,
all the live long day.
I've been working on the laundry,
and it piles up more I'd say.
Even though I throw a load in,
two, then three, now four!
Still the basket's overflowing,
flowing out the door.

Laundry won't you go,
laundry won't you go,
laundry won't you go away-ay-ay!
Laundry won't you go,
laundry won't you go,
laundry won't you go away!

Someone wiped cookie on my sweater,
Someone dripped sauce on his shir-ir-ir-irt.
Someone just messed his diaper.
And dragged his blanket through the dirt.

I'm singing...
Shout! Shout! Get the stains out!
Cheer! Cheer! It's a mess, I fear!
Gain! Gain! Make them soft again!
We'll be working through next year!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

And to illustrate the point

An interesting visual interpretation of my concern with women in pants, with the added illustration of my point that dresses make one appear feminine.

Monday, November 8, 2010

In defense of differences

I realize that most of my case for women to wear dresses stems from a couple underlying premises, mainly that men and women are different, and that it is good for men and women to be different.  Any good logic student could point out that I would have to defend these premises in order for any conclusion based upon them to be sound.  So first things first, men and woman are different.

Surprisingly, I actually have to defend this. Our society seems to be rather intent on reducing gender differences, so that mankind is made up of equally able and qualified individuals, so that all tasks can be mastered by both genders.  Magazines instruct women on how to get their men to do their traditional jobs- "Make your expectations clear, relenquish control, don't be a martyr!"  And when all else fails, hire help. Women cry out that they are fully capable of doing any task traditionally assigned to men, calling those who object neanderthals.*  A small underground movement is encouraging men to breastfeed. But the facts remain clear- at this point in history, men and women are different, as evidenced by our physicality.  Men still can't give birth.  And even though surgery can do wonders to outward appearances, our DNA will bear witness to our differences.  I'm sure someone somewhere is try to work those kinks out, but for now, the premise stands.  Men and women are different.

Now for the harder part: it's good that men and women are different.  I've been pondering this for awhile, and I can't find an obvious reason outside of Scripture and its account and defense of creation why we should encourage such differences.  On the surface, equality sounds like a good idea.  Men and women would have equal access to all jobs, because there are qualified men and women to do all jobs. It would be wonderful if I wasn't solely in charge in birthing and feeding the babies, and I would gladly turn over the laundry duties to my husband.  I appreciated having a life outside of the home, and enjoyed cashing a paycheck.  But as my husband pointed out, this is a rather Gnostic view of life-that one's self is only housed in the body, and therefore cannot be influenced by it.  Essentially, that my gender shouldn't influence the role I play in my family. The self can be breadwinner or homemaker, regardless of the body's gender.  While this sounds fine in theory, I read through Brave New World and shudder at the thought of a society ruled by gnosticism.

It is better to understand that we are whole, unified beings, and our "self" cannot be separated from the body.  Our bodies influence our selves, and our selves are reflected in the ways we present our bodies to the world.  Every piercing, tattoo, hairstyle, accessory, blouse, and shoe make a statement about who we are.  Dresses and skirts make the statement that the woman is different from man, a delicate flower to be treasured and protected.  Pants make the statement that woman is no different from man.  She can open the door herself, even while pushing a stroller and making a conference call.  No one rushes to her assistance because she doesn't want it.  She isn't treasured; she isn't protected. She is pardoned, and forgotten.

*I must say, however, that I am gladdened to hear that a mother who knew her child would have Down syndrome chose not to terminate her pregnancy. Seems a rarity these days.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Triangle, Revisited

Due to a recent inquiry regarding the warmth of skirts in winter months, I thought I would post some more of my own apprehensions with wearing skirts.

My house was 60 degrees this morning, due a gas main break late yesterday afternoon, which put our heater out of commission.  Not terribly cold, but cold enough.  Cold enough for me to pull on jeans, not the cute skirt.  Not to say that it's impossible to stay warm in a skirt.  Cold-weather options would include ankle-length skirts, though I'm not a huge fan.  Without a slit, they can indeed be as warm as a pair of pants if made from thick material. 

Tights offer some amount of warmth, but not enough to keep one warm during a snow storm.  And, the short-skirt/tight ensemble poses a unique problem to someone would might have trudge through snow in -40 degree weather on a regular basis (which I may have to do later this winter).  I just don't think snowboots look great with a skirt, and snowpants would be difficult to pull off without sufficient privacy. I personally opt for tights on Sundays, mostly because I can't stand to wear non-sandal shoes without some kind of sock.  (I refuse to throw out the legging option, because I was pretty sure they were ugly in the 80s.)

I've done enough research to realize that not only has outer wear come a long way, but so has underwear.  I suppose another option would be the lovely long-legged bloomers or full-length, panted slips worn in the 1920s.  I suppose the closest thing we would have today is the secretive Moromon temple garments, though you have prove you're a member to actually purchase them online. If you're into the ankle-length skirts, my drama days are proof that petticoats and bloomers offer quite a bit of warmth to the wearer, but few styles today are petticoat-friendly.

I suppose the answer to the question is this: if you wish to stay warm while keeping with modern skirt styles, there is no adequate way to keep warm, so crack up the heater.  Or wear pants.