Posts tagged ‘Home’
I’ve only done three funny women posts. This will be the fourth one. The first three were on Susan Harris, Dawn French, and cartoon character Daria Morgendorfer. I’m going to come full circle because one of Susan Harris’s characters on Soap mentions Marlo Thomas. Jessica Tate, played by Katherine Helmond, muses that Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas must be in a perpetual state of morning bliss when they each wake up in the morning to discover that they are married to the other one!
Marlo Thomas was born in 1937 to comedian Danny Thomas and his wife Rose Marie (not to be confused with the comedic actress Rose Marie from The Dick Van Dyke Show). She was named Margaret Julia Thomas, but that was shortened by her parents to Margo. Later, because she mispronounced her own name, the nickname became Marlo.
Marlo’s father was a Lebanese American and a big success in show business. Marlo’s mother was of Italian descent, and the family was Catholic. Marlo was the oldest of their three children.
Marlo went on to graduate from the University of Southern California with a teaching degree. She got into acting by taking a lot of guest starring roles, and eventually became the first woman to be the lead actress in a situation comedy about a single career woman. That Girl premiered in 1966, predating The Mary Tyler Moore Show and paving the way for shows like Murphy Brown, The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd, Designing Women, Ally McBeal, and, yes, coming back around to Susan Harris again, Golden Girls. The show was successful and ran for five seasons.
After That Girl, Thomas went on acting, mostly in television movies, and became active in feminist causes. Together with Gloria Steinem and others, she helped found the Ms. Foundation, a charitable fund for the advancement of women’s rights issues in the United States. She’s probably most remembered by people of my generation for helping to put together the book and movie and record Free to Be You and Me. Free to Be You and Me explored and questioned popular gender stereotypes and Younger people will remember her as Rachel Green’s mom on Friends.
Later, Thomas produced Free to Be a Family, which presented alternatives to traditional nuclear families as being just as much a family as a mom, a dad, and 2.5 kids. Marlo is funny, she’s a feminist, and she’s been married for the first and only time, since 1980 to the previously mentioned Phil Donahue. Before the advent of the phenomenon called Oprah, he was the King of the Daytime Talk Show. They were married the year she turned 43.
Today, Thomas devotes her time and attention to her father’s children’s hospital, St. Jude, and has raised a great deal of money for a charitable hospital that never turns down even the most challenging cases of terminally and gravely ill children, based on their families’ ability to pay. That’s a legacy that she can be proud of.
I found an article on the internet today that’s just plain silly and blatantly sexist. Not surprisingly, it’s featured on Fox News. The article mentions a study conducted by a female graduate student that attempts to correlate the amount of hours a mother works per week with her child’s increased chances of being obese, as compared to moms who stay at home.
This article is so biased it incensed me. You know, in American society most of the time a man and a woman have a child together, and then they, together, have to feed and care for the child. That is a joint responsibility that all too frequently ends up on Mom’s checklist. Dad’s checklist hasn’t changed: go to work and bring home the bacon, mow the lawn, take the trash out, and fix stuff when it’s broken. Mom’s checklist has changed: care for kids and husband and make sure they have food and medical care and a clean, warm, comfortable home, and bring home the bacon.
Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s great that women work. If you’re a stay at home parent of either gender, I applaud you as well. If you can afford to do so, then children are always better cared for when a loving parent stays home with them. But not everyone has that luxury. The single dad doesn’t. The single mom doesn’t. The couples who work for low wages don’t.
Why didn’t the study attempt to correlate the amount of time that parents spend working with childhood obesity? Why didn’t the study take into account stay at home dads? Why didn’t the study also look at gay and lesbian couples who raise children? Why are we once again targeting mothers as being solely responsible for their child’s well-being and not calling fathers to task as well?
I’ll tell you why. This is the feminist backlash at work once again. Keep those women barefoot and pregnant! Don’t give them career options, fool! Marry them young and hot and make sure that they don’t ever crawl out from under your thumb. If they can make as much money as men can, then they will figure out that they don’t need men. The sad thing about the feminist backlash is just how many women help some men to perpetuate this inequality, ones like the
stupid bitch woman who conducted this study.
Many women don’t need men nowadays, but that’s not a bad thing. We still want them. We still love them. And wouldn’t it be a better feeling for both sexes to know that we’re in relationships with people that we respect and love instead of people that we want to merely use for their wallets or their housekeeping services? Wouldn’t you like to know that your woman has choices, and she chose you just because you’re you?
There may be a connection between women working and children being obese, but it doesn’t mean that there’s a cause and effect relationship. The cause of children, or anyone, being fat is taking in more calories than you burn. If you want to lose weight, then eat less and move more. It’s that simple. It has nothing to do with whether or not your mom works or how many hours she does work.
The article surmises that women who work don’t have time to prepare healthy meals, and so the childrens’ diets suffer as a result. Why is this automatically the mom’s fault? Where is dad in this equation? Did he skip out? Is he working, too? How come he can’t help out and make a healthy meal? Did he lose the use of his hands?
I sometimes wonder on this blog why I seem to be in the tiny minority of people in the world who can recognize this injustice for exactly what it is. I told the woman who sits next to me at work how I felt, and she understood. She’s expecting a baby in two more months, and she and her husband can’t afford for either of them to quit working. These aren’t frivolous people. They own one car that they share, and they live in a one bedroom apartment in a reasonably priced neighborhood. She gets it.
Usually, by this time of year, since this is America, and we are a commercial society, you can see not only Halloween but Thanksgiving and even Christmas decorations and preparations in all the stores. You can’t even go grocery shopping without being hit over the head with witches and pilgrims and elves. Back to school is the theme a week after the kids get out for summer.
One weird exception this year: canned pumpkin. Usually, the stores are full of canned pumpkin by this time. Not only is there tons of canned pumpkin, it’s usually featured in special displays, stacked in neat pyramids on the ends of rows, next to neat pyramids of condensed milk and prepared pie shells and pumpkin pie spice.
The other day the Mr. Brewsters and I were in the Super Wal-Mart, walking down the aisle where the canned pumpkin would normally be, and there were exactly two cans of organic pumpkin. Count them. Two. Organic?! You mean we have to be healthy, and we don’t have a choice in the matter?
This is, needless to say, unacceptable. I then heard that there is a nationwide shortage of canned pumpkin due to a crop that was destroyed by too much rain in Illinois last year. Why does all the canned pumpkin come from Illinois? What are we going to do for Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas? No pumpkin pie? No pumpkin bread? No pumpkin cake? No pumpkin bars or pumpkin cookies or pumpkin cheesecake or pumpkin fudge? I’m forgetting something.
Now, technically, we could use fresh pumpkin. Theoretically, this is possible. But have you ever tried to use fresh pumpkin for baking? In one of my Martha Stewart epileptic fits, in my younger days, when I cared about such nonsense, I decided to carve a pumpkin, pull out the pumpkin and use it for baking, remove the pumpkin seeds and roast them. My roommate had a three-year-old girl, and it seemed like a worthwhile pursuit. Yeah, not so much.
Actually, this labor of love took hours, made a mess out of me, a little girl, and our entire kitchen, and didn’t really produce the rapturous response I was expecting from my young friend. After the face carving stuff was over, it was all over for her. Her mother and I ate the pumpkin seeds. I saved the fresh pumpkin and stored it in the freezer to bake with it later. Oh, yeah. I remember now what I’m forgetting: pumpkin muffins. The pumpkin muffins were good, but I didn’t notice enough of a superior taste difference to warrant the work involved in gathering that stringy, pulpy mess compared to the work involved in, oh, say, turning a can opener.
So, somehow, something must be done to alleviate the canned pumpkin shortage. I propose that we trade with other English speaking nations, form a cultural alliance, if you will. I don’t think that pumpkin is as big a deal in England and Australia as it is here. We could make a deal. England, send us all your canned pumpkin that we know you’re not using, and we will, in turn, send you all our figgy pudding. Trust me. We are not eating the figgy pudding. Australia, we will send you all our vegemite in exchange for all your canned pumpkin. I think there are some English speaking nations in Africa. Most of India speaks English because the English used to occupy India. We will send you curry powder for canned pumpkin.
See? I solved the canned pumpkin crisis all by myself. If you hear something about canned pumpkin coming back into the stores, you will know who is responsible.