I’m writing from Wyoming.  I’m staying here with Great Grandma, and she is the feminist I aspire to be, and the woman the Feminist Movement wishes would just go away. Sadly, the Movement has nearly gotten its wish – Grandma is a rare breed anymore. Feminists with a big F are in the business of creating victims, while feminists with a little f brook no bull**** and never use or tolerate profanity (I already said I’m aspiring).

Grandma is turning 89 this week, and she has had an amazing life. Honed on the wheel of the Great Depression, she has turned her natural knack for homemaking into an unparalleled expertise. This woman can truly make do with next to nothing, and not just any slap-it-together do, either. Everything she makes is simple and cheap, and you’ve never tasted or seen better. I used her go-to recipe for banana bread this morning to get rid of a few old bananas. I was worried when I looked at her list of ingredients – bananas, flour, a little crisco, a little sugar, an egg, baking powder, lemon juice, and if they’re available, nuts and raisins. In my experience, quick bread without butter, sour cream and spices isn’t worth making. I shouldn’t have doubted her. The bread is already gone (lectin free and gluten versions both).

Lots of people are talented, but Grandma is also tough as nails, compassionate, capable, willing to try anything, smarter than a new penny, full of horse sense and won’t stop serving others. Grandma brooks no nonsense from anyone, from the juvenile court judge her son appeared before when he got a ticket, to the old lady she took in for seven years because the woman needed a home, to her dozens and dozens of  grandchildren and great-grandchildren. And yet she has a kind word, something to eat and a helping hand to offer to anyone who crosses her path, and she still gets down on the carpet and wrestles with the little ones.

She also complained to me the other day that her kids took away all her good hammers – “just because Grandma can’t see doesn’t mean I don’t need a hammer. I can feel a nail and pound it just fine.” So I got to help her pound nails with her puny hammer so she could put up more Christmas lights in her windows.

This is the kind of woman I hope to be someday, and these are the kind of women I’m trying to raise, and I’m sad to say, there are few enough of them out there today.

I could share a million and four stories to establish Grandma’s bona fides as a feminist, but I’ll just tell you this one. Her husband (who I never got the chance to get to know the way I do Grandma) had a brother (or maybe a sister) who was no good in a general sense, maybe an alcoholic sense. Anyway, the child of this sibling was more or less dropped on Grandma’s and Grandpa’s doorstep, and he was very ill and small for his age. Grandma did what she could for him, but soon realized he needed to see a doctor, which was a big deal and a big expense for them. The doctor gave the baby some medicine and told Grandma to feed him a certain kind of canned milk with Karo syrup. The bills were adding up, and there wasn’t any extra money in the house. One day when Grandpa came home from work he started complaining about the cost of Grandma’s special regimen for the baby. Well, that made Grandma mad because she had been working her butt off trying to keep this baby alive and get him healthy, and she didn’t really want to hear about how much it was costing. So she told Grandpa she was going out, and she went to the local department store and bought beautiful, new, completely impractical shoes, a new dress, a new hat and a new jacket, and she brought it home and laid it on the table for Grandpa to see. “You want to see me spend money? I’m just getting started,” she told him. And she said Grandpa nearly fell over laughing and told her she should go shopping more often.

So my question is, when are Feminists going to quit complaining that men talk down to them, that men are violent just by existing, that men aren’t doing enough to erase the differences between the sexes and when are Feminists going to start living life as Grandma does? Feminists need to be tougher and smarter if they want respect – which is really all anyone wants. Forcing men to be women isn’t going to make men respect women more. Women who are capable, loving, resilient, and willing to laugh and have a good time command respect.

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