Saturday, November 13, 2010

Lazy Saturday Morning

Rick and Faye, lovebirds

A dozen of us met up at the Kelvington bar last night for steak and lobster, which the hotel cooks up once a year or so. Roads were shitty -- slippery and rutted with snow and slush -- and it was foggy,  but the company was excellent and so was the food. The photo above was taken last weekend when Faye and Rick (the L-bo's, as Scott calls them) stopped over for a short visit Sunday afternoon. Now the yard's got a foot of snow covering it.
Most of us went to the L'bo's for drinks after supper. Eyebrows were raised when I put on or took off my ski pants and winter jacket over a long-sleeved thermal shirt, a fleecy, a lined quilted vest, jeans and wool socks. It seems to take forever, which is the part I hate. But I was warm in cold vehicles and on my way to and from them, so I don't care how high the eyebrows go. I'm toasty and relaxed instead of shivering and tense, even if I do look like I'm ready to take off across a field on a ski-doo.
Alas the L'bo's are a bad influence and generous hosts, and I drank a couple sambuca and Irish creme shooters -- though only sipped them -- after two rye/ginger presses, tall, during the meal. I thought I'd be safe. But no; not feeling great this morning. Booze and me are going to have to part company completely, apparently.

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From the Oxford Canadian Dictionary:

Feminism: the advocacy of equality of the sexes, esp. through the establishment of the political, social, and economic rights of women.

Humanism: 1. an outlook or system of thought concerned with human rather than divine or supernatural matters 2. A belief or outlook emphasizing common human needs, seeking solely rational ways of solving human problems, and being concerned with humanity as responsible and progressive intellectual beings.

Fortunately these two "isms" aren't mutually exclusive.
I'm lucky enough to be part of a generation of women who were handed equal rights on a silver platter, hard won by women who came before us, so that it's easy to think inequality is not really a problem anymore. That's here in Canada; in most of the world, women are still treated like chattel, legally and socially. It hasn't been that long in Canada, either, that women have enjoyed a legal right to custody of their children after a divorce, or the right to own property, or the right to vote, or even to own their own bodies to the degree that they can legally choose to get an abortion. 
And women are still providing most of the domestic services in their homes shared by men. For free, and often neither acknowledged or appreciated, but taken as a given. The oddities are women like me, who refuse to accept that it's their duty, and not their husbands', to make the suppers, do the dishes, and clean the bathrooms. I get those things done — and the grocery shopping, and so on — because they need to be done and if I don't take the initiative, they won't get done and my own life will suck, and I'm not willing to live in a hovel. But I never, ever think of these things as only my duty or that I've fallen short if I don't do them consistently or well. To hell with that.
These are my personal politics and they are sometimes a struggle to maintain in the face of sexist expectations that are so entrenched we don't even realize we're cowtowing to them.
In my household there has to be an exchange or sharing of domestic responsibilities that we both agree on, and when we don't, Kathy is not happy. And you've heard the saying "When Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." My feminist activism is not public; it takes place on my private turf. I think this must be what Maggie was talking about. It requires as much energy and focus, maintained, as any other kind of activism. When they say "The personal is the political," I know exactly what they mean.


I'll be looking up recipes on the internet for some of the ingredients from Saudi, like the dried lemons. Bev gave me some ideas but I'll still want recipes. Lately I have no inclination to cook; none whatsoever. So it could be a while. But I'm thinking curries. Mmmm.