S.H. TOWNSEND: IS THERE A WAR ON WOMEN? QUESTIONS REMAIN UNANSWERED

18 Nov

To my loyal readers:  This is the first column in my series dealing candidly with the so-called “war on women” in the United States. 

war 3

Is there a war on women? If so, how has it affected me? These questions sound like a run of the mill college essay questions for a women’s studies course, don’t they? I find these questions thought provoking.

This is not just a topic limited to the female population of readers. I would like for the men to weigh in as well. I’m fairly sure that men on the sidelines of some of the battles have witnessed injuries, as well as casualties in this war. Maybe the women in their lives have inexplicably found themselves locked in a battle for which they hadn’t prepared.

I too have been thrust into battles for which I had not prepared. In my defense, I wasn’t aware that I needed to prepare for battle. Nobody informed me about this war, but little did I know I was being groomed for it by one of its key players.

war 4

I was raised in an “alternative” household. That’s what they called it during my childhood. To put it into terminology that everyone can fully comprehend, I was raised by a lesbian couple. My brother and I were instructed to keep quiet about it, because had the authorities been alerted, we would have been immediately removed from the home and taken away a mother who loved us and took care of us.

Please understand, I am not trying to turn this into an article about gay couples raising children, nor will I engage in a debate on this topic. My upbringing is imperative to my perspective of the war on women. I understand that people are curious, and I encourage valid inquiries about my upbringing. I also understand that people can be rude and judgmental. I had my fair share of teasing in junior high regarding the fact that I was raised by a lesbian couple.

My mother’s former partner was a misogynist. She abhorred men with a passion. She was proud to be a woman, but she wanted to be treated like man. Her attitude toward both genders left me quite perplexed as a child.

war 2

When my mother’s partner was a child, her identity was stolen from her by her mother. She was forced to wear dresses and have long hair. The same thing was then done to me by her. Gone were my lace dresses and patent leather shoes, replaced by caps, jeans, and tee shirts.

When I became interested in boys, which tends to happen during teenagedom (a term I coined, because teenagers think they rule and reign) my mother’s partner hated every single guy I brought home. She informed me that I was just as good as any man, and none of those boys were worth my time or energy. She was thrilled when I broke my engagement, and angry when I attempted to reconcile with him. We were unable to repair our relationship.

Is there a war on women? I was thrown into this war from birth, and I never even got to choose whether or not I wanted to participate.

How has it affected me? I will discuss how the war has affected me in part two.

war 1

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