Conceited Women United by Barbara Ardinger
This was originally released on August 2, 2014.
I have a sign hanging on the wall: UPPITY WOMEN UNITE. In large, red, capital letters. I don’t remember where I got this poster from, but I know I have it from the late 70’s or early 80’s. I’m sure it’s the late 1960’s when second wave feminism took off and haughty women started to grab our attention. That’s when Betty Friedan said that being a real ’50s housewife was like having a mental illness. It was when Gloria Steinem founded Ms. Magazine, that she (oh, horrors!) She didn’t give us any recipes or tips for the house and she didn’t tell us how to dress to entice our men into bed. It was then that Mary Daly began to bring us a completely new and original version of the English language. Ahhh yes, those were the good old days. And also the bad old days, when the equal rights amendment was not ratified.
“Uppity” can be an annoying word. In the old days, if someone called you arrogant, it meant that you were inferior to them and that you were not in what they thought was your right place. If you were black, for example, and you didn’t get off the sidewalk when the whites came, you were arrogant. If you were a woman who wanted the same pay for doing the same work as a man, you were arrogant. Those women in the 1980 movie 9 to 5 were very presumptuous. And they won the battle.
The haughty women did not stay in the kitchen or the bedroom. They used, oh, horrors, the pill. They marched to take back the night. They went on stage and played their drums and guitar and didn’t sing like they should. They shouted. And they got into politics. Bella Abzug said that a woman’s place is in the House. Shirley Chisolm became the first black congresswoman in 1968 and ran for president in 1972. (And I voted for her.)
The English teacher in me wants to say a word or two here. Look at the phrase “haughty women get together.” It could be a front-page headline saying that the strong women who aren’t staying are coming together. Or maybe it’s a simple declarative sentence. But add punctuation and we get more power. “Arrogant women, unite.” Now the verb is imperative. We must unite. Let’s make it louder: “Haughty women, unite!” Now it’s a command.
So arrogant sisters and arrogant brothers too, they know how to multitask. Press the toggle button on your corpus callosum and let your imagination run wild as you read this. Let us consider what the planet would be like if we had the same rights (and rites) in all things. Please understand that I am not saying that women should be at the top. I’m not talking about “power over” but what Starhawk calls “power with.” This is shared power, which leads to shared magic.
Imagine that you are one of a great multitude of flying people united as points of light on the earth. Float quietly up there for a few minutes. Think of the power of people united, the energy of people working together. Now let’s get down to earth. Floating power is fun, but it doesn’t do much. Imagine that you are a member of a group with a goal. Tap down. Stand on the ground and consider the fact that everything on the planet is alive, not only people, animals and plants, but also rocks. The things we have built also have a vital force. Adopt panentheism for a while. Now there is something to do: find a church that does not accept arrogant women or arrogant brothers. You are united. As a united and arrogant people, go to that church and stand in a circle around it. Send friendly but assertive energy to that church so that even if an entire denomination or religion doesn’t change right now, that one church can change. The next time you go to that church, radiate the same energy that you walked into.
You can also find a church that values arrogant people. Send energy of gratitude to the church and all the people in it.
WOMEN’S UPPITY COMBINATION. If enough arrogant women and our arrogant brothers come together, we will eventually reach critical mass. A critical mass can lead to an explosion. I prefer to see a spiritual and peaceful explosion. What do you want to see?
BIO: Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D. (www.barbaraardinger.com), is a published author and freelance editor. Her latest book is Secret Lives, a novel about grandmothers who do magic. Her early nonfiction books include the daytime book Pagan Every Day, Finding New Goddesses (a pun-filled parody of goddess encyclopedias), and Goddess Meditations. When she manages to stay away from the computer, she goes to the theater as often as possible: she loves musicals and movies where people sing and dance. She is also an active volunteer with the Community Emergency Rescue Team (CERT) and a member (and occasionally secretary pro-tempore) of a neighborhood organization that focuses on code enforcement and citizen safety. She was an AIDS emotional support volunteer and a literacy volunteer. She is an active member of the Neopagan community and is well known for the rituals she creates and performs.
I like Loading…
‹From the archives: I believe Anita! by Maria Cartier
Categories: Activism, Feminism, General
Tags: «Take Back the Night», 9 to 5, Barbara Ardinger, Bella Abzug, Betty Friedan, critical mass, Equal Rights Amendment, Gloria Steinem, Mary Daly, points of light, Shirley Chisolm, Starhawk
- Click to share on Twitter (Opens in a new window)
- Click to share on Facebook (Opens in a new window)
- Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in a new window)
- Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in a new window)