Tell me is love[...]
still a popular suggestion
or merely an obsolete art
forgive me for asking
this simple question
I'm unfamiliar with his heart
I'm a stranger here myself

why is it wrong
to murmur I adore him
when it's shamefully obvious I do
does love embarrass him
or does it bore him
I'm only waiting for my cue
I'm a stranger here myself

I dream of a day
of a gay warm day
with his face between my hands

have I missed the path
have I gone astray
I ask and no one understands

Love me or leave me
that seems to be the question
I don't no the tactics to use
but if he should make
a personal suggestion
how could I possibly refuse
when I'm a stranger here myself

Please tell me tell a stranger
by curiosity goaded
is there really any danger
that love is now outmoded
I'm interested especially
in knowing why you waste it
true romance is so fleshly
with what have you replaced it
what is your latest foible
is gin rummy more exquisite
is skiing more enjoyable
for heaven's sake what is it

I can't believe
that love has lost it's glamour
that passion is really passé
if gender is just a word in grammar
how can I ever find my way
I'm a stranger here myself

How can he ignore
my available position
why these victorian views
you see here before you
a woman with a mission
I must discover
the key to his ignition
and then if he should make
a diplomatic proposition
how could I possibly refuse
I'm a stranger here myself

I'm a stranger here myself - Kurt Weil (One touch of Venus)

I guess it is the "if gender is just a term in grammar" part that made the song stick in my mind. Because that is what I often think about. Yeah, I know I'm weird. But hey, this is my journal. And if you don't like it, nobody forces you to read it.
In 1754, Dorothea Erxleben, from Quedlinburg (Prussia) got her doctorate degree from the University in Halle (Prussia, too).
Why is that worthy of a journal entry? It's the 250th anniversary of that event. But the most important thing: Dorothea Erxleben was the first woman to get a doctorate degree in the German world. Also, it was practically illegal for her to graduate, and for her professors to let her. Only in 1908 did Prussia pass a law that allowed women to go to university at all!
But apparently, the University in Halle did not agree with the ideas of the Prussian state. Good for Dorothea. But still she must have been a rather stubborn person to go through this. I'm sure it was hard for her. Not only to get into university in the first place, but also to study there. Being the first woman ever to be there.
How may the men have reacted to her? I'm sure some made fun of her, telling her she would never be able to learn enough. Some might have pitied her. Something like "Poor thing, can't find a husband..."
Whatever the students thought, the professors must have supported her. Otherwise she would not have been able to study.
I wonder what would have happened if she hadn't. Prussia took about 150 years to create a law that allowed what she had done. If Dorothea had never existed, maybe women would have gotten the right to study only after WWII or so, through the influence of other countries. Prussian law made up the most part of the law of the German state founded in 1871, so that idea is not taht unlikely as it may seem.
Yes, I'm glad that this strong-willed woman existed. I am glad that the University in Halle was so modern as to allow her into their sacred walls.
But most of all, I'm glad that women today can study whatever they want.
Today, I came across a quote that seems to hold a lot of truth:
Frauen haben heute mehr Rechte.
Mehr Macht hatten sie früher.
In my own translation:
Today women have more rights.
In they past, they had more power.
It's by Charles Aznavour. OK, so he's a man. But that doesn't mean he's wrong. I have heard that the Swiss women didn't fight for suffrage because they had their husbands so well in hand that the men voted for whatever the women wanted anyway.
Today, some men don't open doors for women anymore. They don't help you put your coat on. With the whole emancipation thing, I think we confused many men so much that they don't know what to do anymore. They don't want to give us the impression that we are weak ore something, but I personally wouldn't mind having a man come over to help me to check the pressure on my car's tires. Unfortunately, it never happens to me. Maybe I look too emancipated, or so young that men think I can do it on my own. Which is true. But these things are not a question of being able to. Some things I just don't like to do. Working on a car is one of them. Or working with machines, from lawn mower to chain saw. I did all that, as my father deemed it necessary for all of his kids to be able to do these things. But I would never refuse any help offered.
Today there was an article in the newspaper. Something about too few women in top positions. The secretary for women, family and social affairs or whatever her title is said that women apparently are not willing to put 150% of their energy into business. Her consequence was that we should let men do more work at home with the children.
Now let me get this straight: Even if we don't want to, we should leave our kids at home with our husbands or boyfriends and become managers of our companies???
If a woman prefers to have a career instead of kids, why not let her do it wihtout making a fuss over it. And the other way round: if a woman decides to give up work and stay home with the kids, don't treat her like some kind of monster, stabbing generations of fighters for women's rights in the back.
Same for men.
THAT would be true emancipation for me, if you can live your life the way you like without having it interpreted in any way connected with your sex.

objectify

Jun. 16th, 2004 11:01 am
I try to learn new words in English every day. MOst of the time, I forget them again. Even in school I only remembered the words I needed. That's why my teachers hardly ever asked me to do vocabulary tests at the blackboard - they knew I wouldn't be able to. That might sound strange, but I alsways was on good terms with my teachers, we got along much better then I did with my classmates.
Anyway, yesterday, I came across a word that got me thinking. As the subject told you already, the word is "to objectify" (All my English teachers will love me for putting the 'to' there, I never did in school...)
Interestingly, my dictionary doesn't have the word. Maybe it is a rather new word, or maybe the writers of the dictionary didn't think it was important. I found the word in a comic strip. (Hey, as long as I learn something from it, who cares what it is?)
In the comic the question was whether a man would objectify a beautiful woman, but what I was thinking about yesterday was the exact opposite. Partly that was due to listening to 'It's raining men'. (Weather Girls - you remember, a long long time ago?) Mom and I really like the song, but my Dad was not amused. There are tons of songs in the charts about sexy women and male fantasies, and everybody accepts that. But as soon as a woman does the same thing, she's considered a slut. (Pardon the language)
I'm not a very emancipated woman. I don't really care whether the road signs that mark bike routes show a man's or a woman's bike. You might not believe it, but German feminists actually discussed about something like that! I absolutely hate the notion of putting a female ending to every word describin a position or a group of people. That's not possible in English, unfortunately, it is in German. That means to be political correct, you'd have to address male and female people explicitly. As in 'Dear male and female citizens, I am happy to introduce the male and female members of our parliament...'
Just an example, but you can easily see how stupid this is.
The meanest hting feminists could ever do to women in Germany was the so called 'women proportion'. It basically means that if you have a certain number of employees in your company, there has to be at least one woman in the team. No matter what business you're in. The last sentence in job ads used to be 'Women and handicapped people with the same qualification will be preferred.' I AM NOT HANDICAPPED! I'm a woman. And I don't want to ask myself if I got the job only because of my sex! Even though they now say the same thing in two sentences so there is no grammatical connection between women and handicapped anymore, I still consider the whole proportion thing an insult. As if we wouldn't be good enough to get a job on our own!
But back to the objectifying part:
Why is it acceptable for men to objectify women, but they run mad when women do the same? Maybe it is because women have been trained for centuries to appeal to a man by the way they look. Men are rather easy to influence if you have long legs in short skirts and wear a tight top. Men, on the other hand, are not used to look very attractive to women. Especially when they are in a relationship, they tend not to care about how they look. Now, seeing a group of women giving marks to the men that pass them must be pretty threatening to the average guy.
I have made the experience that men who are clean, well dressed and know how to behave are either married or gay. Gay is more likely, though. Such a pity, really.
To get to the point, the only thing I like in emancipation today (I'm not talking about feminists like the Pankhurst women, fighting for women's votes and the right to be educated.) is that we can act just like the guys, judging them from their appearance. Don't worry, boys, you'll get used to it. We did, too.
Unfortunately, our genetic dispositions are different. Women cannot be content with a man who just looks good. Men are different. As my brother once said: 'I don't need to talk with her...' So while objectifying men can be a nice sport, it will not do for life. Instead of spending hours in the sports studio, I'd advice any man who reads this to also read a book from time to time. A beautiful body is one thing, but women are demanding - it's not enough.

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August 2012

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