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Kings Mountain, North Carolina, United States
"A mind lively and at ease" is a blog by a first-generation Russian-Ukrainian immigrant Maria K. (Maria Igorevna Kuroshchepova). An engineer by education, an analyst by trade, as well as a writer, photographer, artist and amateur model, Maria brings her talent for weaving an engaging narrative to stories of life, fashion and style advice, book and movie reviews, and common-sense and to-the-point essays on politics and economy.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Today... either live with us or live without us

By "us" I mean women. My husband and I listen to a lot of American comedy on Pandora. Most of the comedians are male, and all of them poke fun at women, be it their significant others, their sisters, their moms, or women in general. Most of it is good-natured fun, much in the same vein as my husband and I being silly at each other, and is genuinely funny. With some of them, however, I have to wonder, exactly what happened between them and women, because when they get started on the topic, they are vicious.

Don't get me wrong, I am fully aware of the nasty, selfish, manipulative, energy-sucking bitches out there that give the rest of us a bad name. But isn't knowledge of people a trait of a good performer? Doesn't it make sense to any actor, and to a comedian in particular, to exercise good judgment in the matters of portraying large groups of people based on a handful of examples?

One particular comedian argued that the reason men earn more than women for the same jobs is that, in dangerous situations, women and children get rescued first, and men need to be compensated for this dangerous position of being...well, male. He stated that the most hardened feminists would pretend to be super-girly just to get rescued in a fire or in a hostage situation. I realize that this is just his particular brand of humor, but the delivery was such that I wanted him to get stuck on a drowning boat.

First of all, the tradition of saving women and children goes back to our cave-dwelling ancestors. Women carry within them the ability to procreate the species. If all men in a tribe were wiped out by the enemy, women and children could still carry the tribe's heritage and genetic code into further generations. With modern technology, a man's sperm can be frozen and preserved for ages, and used later to quicken an ova. However, in order for that ova to grow into a human being, you still need a woman. While earlier and earlier preemies are being rescued, we have not yet developed an incubation system sophisticated enough to develop a human being from beginning to end. So, I wanted to say to this guy, "You can be rescued first when you learn how to bear a child and give birth."

If he considers the pay difference a compensation, why doesn't he mention the need to compensate women for centuries of being deprived of the rights to own property, hold a job and vote? Surely, there are some punitive damages involved there. But no, that can't possibly fit into his act - it would ruin his entire line of reasoning.

It was also apparent that this guy has never heard of female firefighters, policewomen, female paramedics, whose job is often as dangerous as that of the police force, and women joining all branches of the military and demanding to be sent into combat on par with men. I mean, it's only been on the news for years, and how is a busy man like himself to follow it all.

The same gentleman (using the term loosely here) attacked Oprah for saying that motherhood was the hardest job in the world. His arguments included (but were not limited to) the fact that Oprah was not a mother, so how would she know; that it's not like stay-at-home moms had to breathe coal dust all day; that any job that could be done in one's pajamas and involved running around with a couple of kids couldn't possibly be all that difficult.

So, the man berated Oprah for making a statement about motherhood, while not being a mother herself, yet he had no qualms making numerous statements about motherhood, not at all bothered by the fact that he was not a mother himself (and could never be).

He also clearly had a very skewed notion of what motherhood entails. I hope he never has kids, because someone who believes that parenthood is limited to running around with your kids in your pajamas is just not good parent material. Dads, I hope you are as ticked off about this as moms, because this dude was not just dissing motherhood, in his description of what was involved, he pretty much crapped all over the concept of parenthood in general.

The last but not the least, one very fundamental fact never seemed to enter this comedian's mind: the difference between a job and parenthood, is that you get paid for a working job, and, if push comes to shove, you can quit. Even if you have the most wonderful, well-behaved, low-maintenance children, you never get paid for the time you spend taking care of them, educating them, feeding them, dressing them, attending to them when they are sick, and you can never, ever quit.

Right around that point, on behalf of all parents, I wanted to kill that guy. Suffice it to say, I no longer listen to him. I hope his Pandora ratings drop and he never gets any gigs ever again.

Listen, guys. We all have terrible relationship stories to tell - men and women alike. If we, women, judged all of you based on some doozies we have encountered in the past, you wouldn't get a date without a complete psychological evaluation and background check. I am sure the feeling is mutual. But we are human beings - we really should know better than that. Not all men are jerks. Not all women are manipulative sluts. Men are not the only ones that are prepared to sacrifice their lives to save others. And parenthood is a much harder job than anyone can imagine, until they try. Live with it.

Those of you that really hate us that much - figure out why, get a life, get therapy, join a monastery, become best friends with your right hand, and quit spewing your stupid, ignorant, negative crap at other people, infecting their minds with your idiocy and possibly ruining their personal lives in addition to your own. Either that or stop whining that women don't want to stick around you for more than five minutes, and how it makes them all arrogant bitches. You are not the best of your gender, and we don't want you. Get it?

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