If I were Queen

Assemblyman Sam Hoyt of Buffalo is in a peck of trouble over infidelities committed with an Albany female, which has resulted in all kinds of tawdry e-mail-posting nastiness which I won’t bore you with (except to raise an eyebrow at how easily some Albany females can be bought with the promise of a parking spot), and an Assembly ethics investigation, which I will briefly bore you with in the form of a link. On TAP and elsewhere, the demeaning culture for women in Albany is debated again, as it was during Spitzer’s painful exit.

If I were Queen of all New York women, I would issue an immediate recall of any and all women from Albany — legislators, interns, activists (oh what the heck: all of them, including the barmaids). Not a person with a double X chromosome would be found in that town. I would direct all of my subjects to assemble forthwith at Seneca Falls, where we would have a massive closed-door meeting and straight talk session: Are too many women in Albany selling out their sisters for parking spaces? How much is the experience of women in Albany affecting the dignity and aspirations of all New York women? Is there a better way to power and influence? Are New York women getting the support they need in this endeavor?

Big questions. But if you can’t ask them in Seneca Falls, New York, birthplace of the American women’s political movement, where the hell can you ask them? If New York women can’t talk about such questions as they relate to democracy, who on earth in this country can?

3 Replies to “If I were Queen”

  1. If only you could be the Queen! What fun we’d have.

    I don’t think making the women leave is the answer. I think some kind of Chastity Tracking Underwear for all elected officials might be more practical. After all, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think that the remaining males wouldn’t be “targeted” for parking permits. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, if you know what I mean.

  2. while i constantly keep sticking my finger into the wind to make sure i’m not reacting to the culture today the way parents in the 1950s reacted to elvis (although i’d like to think the difference is fear of sexual expression vs. sadness at sexual exploitation), all of this somehow seems to meld together into an america where women are increasingly sexualized – no longer as a means of freedom – but instead in an all-too-traditionally degrading, dehumanizing way.

    listen to pop music, and the great love songs are replaced by this awful, adolescent, ugly crap … a lot of it built around male command, and women shinnying around on poles, and worse. this is what an awful lot of the kids, male and female, are listening to 24/7.

    and i just look at the messages being sent to girls, even by such seemingly-innocuous mediums as the disney channel, where the 10 and 11 year old stars are these thin, made-up girls in women’s clothing, usually surrounded by bumbling and adoring ‘imperfect’ (often kids with weight problems, or kids wearing glasses, or ‘ace students’ in thick glasses, because the last thing we want is our girls exhibiting their brains), all of which says: this is how it ought to be in high school, kids.

    and then our politicians … these ugly scandals of the last 15 or 20 years have not been this kind of sad and very human stuff involving long and discreet love affairs that we sometimes hear about with famous leaders who spent a lot of time away from their families. our new political scandals are ‘spitzerized,’ powerful guys hitting on – or buying time with – young women who all too literally, in their hero worship, could be their daughters, which supplies leering, half-envious potty humor for late-night tv hacks and radio jocks with nothing in their quivers but a sixth grade sense of humor.

    yeah, sure, it leaves you to wonder about susan b. or harriet may mills or all these other stateswomen who came along at a time when a guy could legally rape or beat his wife, when the absence of the vote for women allowed for a system that sustained barbaric rules, and these folks literally put lives and reputations on line to make a change … but i don’t think they anticipated an america where mtv and vh1 would someday make reality shows about cooing women whose only mission is to find the right kind of dominating, baby-talking, condescending man who will protect them as they make their way through life.

    when i’m in typical guy mode, i think the hillary folks are just being sore losers who are playing democratic kamikaze. but then sometimes when i step back and think about all this crap floating around out there, i can see how someone would see this as another infuriating part of the big slide … although even if it is, blaming obama, i think, is choosing the wrong target.

    sean

  3. You don’t sound like a 1950s parent… you sound like a parent. :-)

    As for your laments about messages sent to girls, I totally agree, except I’d also note there are equally dispiriting messages sent about what girls “should” be doing other than that. Michelle Obama gave a lovely speech the other night, but I noticed she said something to the effect of “when my girls have children of their own…” as if, of course, it’s only natural that’s a path a girl would want to take. An easy enough thing to say without any malice aforethought, but in this election year some women are thinking harder about the future of girls and the horizons that are or aren’t open to them. You try not to think about it, but the same message is still overwhelmingly communicated in so many ways – a woman’s worth is in her body, or in her nurturing or caretaking instincts, but not her mind or intellect (that’s an extra feature, but not what she’s really “for”). In some ways, this is the most conservative era for women that this country has seen since the ’50s.

    Now, my generation had it easier with the messages, so I can’t really complain — compared to my mother’s generation where it was “Hurry up and get married and have kids, there’s no such thing as too young” or, at best, “Go to college and get your M.R.S. degree.” Personally I don’t feel threatened by any of those messages (and certainly didn’t feel pressured as a girl by the messages you mention, but that’s because I was genuinely clueless and didn’t notice them until I was much older), but try to be a well rounded individual open to experience. But it surely is a minefield of expectations and messages — in both directions.

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