i went to a luncheon today to hear a formerly well known television writer speak. she told humorous stories of the good old days of t.v. when she was one of only a handful of female comedy writers around. she was tough and bawdy and claimed, in order to make it, she needed to be one of the boys. she also claimed to be a feminist and a huge supporter of hillary clinton.
i was on board with it all until she announced, proudly, with just a hint of irony, that she had "fucked her way to the top". suddenly her feminist credentials seemed tarnished. even my feminist friends who did fuck their way to the top thirty years ago, have the good grace to lie about it today. i looked at this woman, undoubtedly talented and now in her late fifties or maybe a drop older, who, some where along the way, made a decision that in order to be successful she had to shed her feminine side and become a man, or as she put it "a bad imitation of a man". she wasn't man enough to be the real thing and she had traded off enough her femininity that she was no longer either.
today, she is not all that famous or successful, though she is still out there trying. i felt sad when i left. this is not how it was supposed to be. the promise of feminism was not supposed to be that we had to trade in our lipsticks and lingerie for razors and jock straps. i thought that the promise of feminism would free us to be the best we could be and not some dime store version of a man.