So I've been conjuring a purposefully over the top treatise on why women should be paid twice as much as men for everything we do--duh, because we have the babies and have to manage all that complicated baby-having-feeding equipment for most of our lives, praying it doesn't grow tumors, bleed us to death or, God forbid, not work; and why women should pay a tiny fraction of what men pay in taxes--because we generally are more interested in, say, oh, anything on the planet other than bombs and tanks, plus we tend not to fill up the frikkin' penitentiaries to beyond capacity with all that testosterone-driven criminal behavior. Has anyone ever added up what women spend on 40 plus years of "feminine hygiene?"
Sadly, it got too complicated to stay in actual hyperbole for the whole essay, since my peri-menopausish enlarged uterus is pushing the laptop out of arms' reach and I've been filing extensions on my own taxes since 2006.
Instead, I'm going to talk about a particular subspecies I had the pleasure of contacting last night, Republican women. Of 15 or so, only two hung up on me, and the rest were polite and cultured. A few sounded grateful for the conversation, even if we didn't agree on every point.
For the last several weeks I've been surveying all manner of Democrats and the Unenrolled (is that a band name or some type of science-fiction typology) for the Maine Dems to see how people think they'll vote in the Fall. Mostly, it's been dull.
The Democrats are down the line Dems except for Susan Collins. Anyone know what spell has she cast on us to make us think she is the least bit reasonable? I'll leave it to others to answer this question. (Calling Alna Dem, calling Alna Dem.) The Us seem simply confused. Guess that's why they're unenrolled. Suffice to say we Ds and Us are a mostly uninspiring group.
For real fireworks get thee to the nearest Republican woman haunt. Anyone have any ideas where that might be? I was calling them at their homes, so I don't know where they congregate around here. Maybe the Christmas Cove club whose acronym I can never remember, or the Wawenock Golf Club.
I'm telling you, the answers I got from these women, many of them in their 70s and a few in their 80s were a total hoot. One well-spoken, slightly hard of hearing woman said she had "no earthly idea" whom she would vote for, Obama or McCain. She said she hated to vote for McCain for fear of getting four more Bush years and that she was "worried about his age." I had to stifle a giggle since the sheet in front of me said this voter was 78.
When she volunteered that Bush had been an unmitigated disaster, I asked about the Constitution and she expressed sincere dismay. When I asked her if she knew that Obama was a Constitutional scholar she practically giggled. "Oh my, no, I didn't know that," she said, "Well, that's really something. That would make for quite a change," she added.
One R-gal I called turned out to be a woman I've known for more than 30 years. The former Audrey Leeds, brother to the fabulous Loring. He and I were graduated from Gould Academy together lo' these many years ago. She and her husband are in the cottage rental and retail business in the Boothbay region and she's in a snit about state taxes, and I mean snit. I could barely get a word in edgewise.
Audrey is a smart, even canny woman. After she vented, I managed to say that Maine is never going to support itself. "We are a debtor state," I said. As long as the national picture is bleak, we're in the soup. She more than agreed that the national picture is bleak and that state taxes and federal taxes might actually be separate subjects. By the time I reminded her that Warren Buffet--whom many Democratic women have never heard of--famously says it's a "crime" that his secretary pays more federal tax than he does--and that our tax rate for gazillionaires has never been lower--oh, except when we had no income tax, she had calmed down significantly.
Then I mentioned the Supreme Court. I said, "You have a daughter, right?" She said yes, an almost nine year-old. I asked her if she wanted her daughter growing up with this Supreme Court and Audrey practically shuddered.
At the end of the conversation, she said her dear brother Loring had told her that "Barack Obama is a gift" and that we have to be ready to receive it.
My favorite Republican woman conversation was with an 88 year-old. She first said she didn't know who she would mark for president. After we talked for a while she said I had given her food for thought and waxed nostalgic for the days of the WPA, when "we did something good for the community AND the people who needed work."
My least favorite were the two who as soon as I said I was calling for the Maine Democrats, said something to the effect of, "Oh no, not your kind on my telephone," and summarily hung up.
Or there was the one woman who repeated my questions for her husband, who fed her the Republican party line answers. Really, she sounded like she'd never given electoral politics a single thought in her life. The piece d' resistance was when I asked her what her most important value was in this election cycle, she repeated the question to her husband and he shouted, nay bellowed, "Christian values." Nuff sed.
What century are we in again? I wonder who would have been in charge of that conversation if women had the the tiniest chance to earn equal pay for equal work. What mad revolutionary talk she might have spouted had she earned a paycheck for caring for her children rather than being dependent on her husband's largess.
Honestly, I don't know whether to laugh or scream and claw my face.
1 week ago