"Up with Patriarchy!" said my mother-in-law gleefully.
I laughed, ruefully...nervously.
My Mother-in-Love and I were scheming up a terrible episode. We'd print up these bold t-shirts with pro-patriarchy slogans, drive down to the University of Oregon, and take a walk down 13th street. Oh, the satisfaction.... Oh, the danger....
To those of you who have not heard, the University of Oregon is at war with Patriarchy. You'll hear buzzwords such as, "hate-free zone," "diversity," "culturally sensitive," "tolerance," etc., but that really depends on what you already believe. If you are a straight, white Christian male, then "hate-free-zone" means people feel free to hate you. And, mother earth forbid it if you happen to be pro-patriarchy. That would be like a "matter-anti-matter" collision. I science could harness the energy released by a collision between a pro-patriarchy straight white Christian male, and a pro-matriarchy, lesbian, pagan, we could break free of our reliance upon foreign oil.
I remember taking a class called "Women's Studies." There were maybe two other guys in the room. What were we doing there? Well, I don't know about them, but (at the time) I wholeheartedly believed in the cause of feminism. My mother is a wonderful woman, and I heard that wonderful women like her were being oppressed and enslaved by something called the patriarchy. So I signed up for women's studies to learn more about it. And I was hoping to learn about what was going on in the forefront of the "cause."
Well I learned all about it.
I learned that my white male body was the root of all evil! I also learned that underneath everything that we know and cherish, is a cosmic female cycle, upholding us; and this was in spite of the fact that she was constantly being defiled by all that was male in the world. Indeed; the idea behind this and other classes of its kin, is that womankind has been enslaved by the patriarchy; that is to say, traditional white males. Of course other classes I had taken taught me that I was also responsible for the enslavement of blacks; why should I be surprised to find out that I was also at fault for the oppression, and supression of women? It was like being a straw boss at a union meeting. My body couldn't be tuned to the lunar cycles; My body was responsible for all violence. I learned that my male body was behind all of the problems in this world.
Just today I was reading a magazine called, "Natural Home" (earth-inspired-living). There was this article about an architect named Sarah Susanka. "Suddenly I was filled to overflowing with an aching sadness.... All the souls of the oppressed feminine energies of millennia came pouring forth through me into the world." Oh yeah, I thought, this reminds me of the U of O. Of course, as I read further, I realized why; we both had the same alma mater. (By the way, did you know that "alma mater" is latin for cherishing, or fostering mother? It's a conspiracy!)
Anyway, time passed, and I met a wonderful young woman who actually liked being a woman. Being feminine didn't make her mad. My being masculine didn't make her mad. (Now my occasional lapses in tea-ettiquette is quite another thing.) Her whole family liked for the women to be women and the men to be men. How confusing ! How refreshing! How...nice. I thought that such women had died out in the 1800's.
After being re-educated by my Mother-in-Law, I am now basically uh, proud? to be... ah.... a man.
I'm (sweat forming on my forehead)
....a (shaky hand wiping sweat off)
....man. (nervous twitch and a quick shot from an asthma bottle.)
So, that's okay with everyone?