Back in 2008 I was sitting with an acquaintance in a bar, one of those funny loudmouths who likes to troll you in casual conversation, and especially in bar conversation. He said he was voting for Obama over Hillary, because you couldn’t trust a woman with her finger on the button. Hormones, you know.
I laughed, even as I understood that there were people in the world who believed that, and weren’t joking when they said the same thing. (Although probably all were voting for Mike Huckabee instead.)
So imagine my non-surprise when I saw this thing, written by an author whose work I sorta respect, if “been meaning to read ‘Weekends at Bellevue’ ever since I heard a thing on ‘Fresh Air'” counts as respect, on that very topic. I guess Time magazine, like all media outlets, is just click-whoring these day, but for cryin’ out loud:
The long phase of perimenopause is marked by seismic spikes and troughs of estrogen levels, which can last for more than a decade in many women. But afterward, there is a hormonal ebbing that creates a moment of great possibility. As a psychiatrist, I will tell you the most interesting thing about menopause is what happens after. A woman emerging from the transition of perimenopause blossoms. It is a time for redefining and refining what it is she wants to accomplish in her third act. And it happens to be excellent timing for the job Clinton is likely to seek. Biologically speaking, postmenopausal women are ideal candidates for leadership. They are primed to handle stress well, and there is, of course, no more stressful job than the presidency.
In other words, bitches be crazy, but after they dry up, they’re wizened crones, natural-born healers and midwives and oh go fuck yourself.
I am not, repeat not, a woman who sees sexism lurking around every corner. I understand that social change takes time, and am buoyed by the different gender landscape I see forming in the young people of today. And even though this piece reaches a crescendo of a group hug about women’s beautiful differences and the necessity of treating our moods as nature’s “intelligent feedback system,” I just don’t need this crap right now. Totally.
Although it did bring back a flash memory I haven’t recalled in ages, about a former Washington bureau chief at the Columbus Dispatch who once told a reporter doing a “girls on the bus” feature in the ’80s about how he didn’t think women were suited for campaign-trail work, because Periods, and he always knew when one was in progress, because of his very sensitive nose.
It was a good thing that guy only came to town twice a year, is all I can say.
Speaking of moody bitches, there’s not much in Slate that gets me reading past the first take, but I did enjoy this piece on “haterbragging,” i.e., the practice of using one’s online critics as self-promotion, with novelist Jennifer Weiner as the queen of all haterbraggers, citing her epic online joust with Jonathan Franzen, who always comes off as a dour old poop while she runs giggling rings around him.
A final female-centric story to make it a hat trick: The return of sidesaddle riding. Charlotte comes from an old horsey family, maybe she knows better, but as for me, this is one style I was never, ever tempted to try. One thing I learned from this, though: If conventional, leg-on-either-side horsemanship is known as riding astride, sidesaddle is called “riding aside.” Two letters makes all the difference.
Finally, I remember a friend whose sister went to work for Yugo, the now-defunct car company, in the former Yugoslavia, which was at the time a guaranteed-employment economy. The day she first toured the plant, the leader was embarrassed to come upon a large bin of upholstery scraps with two or three loudly snoring workers catching a midday nap. I guess this story shows it could have been worse.
Happy Tuesday! Sorry for the late update today — I did Kate’s taxes last night. She’s getting a refund.