I have just invented the Madeleine Albright Conundrum. A powerful man is forever sexual. A powerful woman is neutered after the age of fifty.
Women are the majority, and yet, we have less power. Is it really about the testosterone and the stronger body? Is it only that we are weaker when we are pregnant? Is it only about animals and how, in Nature, the female is hunted down and mounted? “She has wide hips, Oop. She will bear many sons!” (Always sons.) Silly of me to ask about her brains and personality. But, if the situation were reversed, and there were a thousand men available for every woman, wouldn’t we want the younger male? Or would we be in so much danger of kidnapping and rape that we would never leave the house? Maybe that’s why Nature made more of us...to keep them calm and satisfied. I just have faith that she wants us to be equals; hunter and gatherer, a team.
I don’t know what it is to be a man and have a body full of testosterone with all those ancient jungle drums addling my brain at the sight of fertile female breasts and legs. Post Menopausal women are freed of this stupidity. Our minds are clearer, although I do feel a certain glow go through my body at the sight of one man’s eyes or another’s hands. But since my body is now old, it is considered nauseating to speak of it. James Woods is not quite old enough for his lusting for twenty-year-olds to be disgusting. Hugh Hefner is, but we tell ourselves that we know that those girls are simply decorative and never shtup the Cryptkeeper. Still, it would be all right if they did, because they are permitted.
Betty White is not, but she earns a paycheck by joking about sex, knowing that we laugh at the absurdity of her being sexual. A man is admired for buying a younger spouse and a woman is pitied for it. And yet, one of the best parts of being an older woman is that you don’t have to make jokes about yourself. I’m not tortured by sexual feelings. I don’t gaze at younger men. Women are able to turn sex on and off and be appropriate. It doesn’t keep us up at night. We are free. But if I was enamored of a man, I am well skilled in giving and receiving pleasure. I just have to lose enough weight to get him to care. My brains and personality would not be a factor in this. And to be honest, nor would his be to me.
Or is the problem our commercial society? How much business and profit would be lost if women didn’t wear makeup or jewelry? If we didn’t (giggle) HAVE to have a hundred pairs of shoes? (You know I don’t.) Does the pink and fluffy princess materials pushed on little girls reflect a reality or create it? If they never saw it, would they want it? The lace and makeup question is perhaps the most complicated one of all. Using them never makes you less equal, but neither does not using them. Is an attractive woman more “Equal” to a man than an unattractive one? Sex, to me, is naked and fresh out of the shower. More like the jungle conquest than the ones in “Sex and The City.” But with the lace and makeup, is it real or an addiction promulgated by commercials. This is the hardest question of all.
I won’t live to see complete equality or complete peace between the sexes. I fear that if the economy gets worse, women might become expendable. It’s obvious that in third world countries, that they are fighting to keep women as chattel and second class citizens. The men eat first. Religions try to make sexism into a tenet. Politicians try to control women’s health and reproductive rights. You never see them trying to pass laws affecting men’s health and productive rights. This is why prostitution is a leading career in Washington.
The most important thing is protecting the young and making it better for them. And what we have to do is stop. Stop deferring to men. Stop lying to men. Stop pleasing men. It doesn’t work after a certain age and every time you sacrifice your equality, you sacrifice the equality of your daughters, nieces, and students.