Thoughts from the ammo line

I will just say TGIF. Today Ammo Grrrll delivers #WAR ON WOMEN – KITCHEN EDITION. She writes:

Here is a surefire path to the Presidency: first, be no lighter than beige or tan. Hide every single detail of your murky past. Forever. Have no living relatives. Then, vote “Present” about a hundred times so that you can never be tainted with having an opinion. Spout gibberish in a pleasant manner until anyone with half a brain wants to stick a fork in her eye if she hears “Hope” or “Change” one more time in her life.

When asked – but I kid, he was NEVER asked! – what you are hoping FOR or what you intend to CHANGE, either suggest that your inquisitor hates “the other” because of his funny name or look off into the distance, chin raised, in an imperial way. Later, someone will put a glow-y halo around your head. This, of course, assumes that you are a Democrat.

If you are a Republican, your past will be subjected to what Rush has referred to as an “anal probe”; your garbage will be sifted, and every single word you say will be misquoted, wrenched from context, and thrown into your face. If you say nothing offensive yourself, you will be forced to say whether you agree with what the next guy, Todd Akin, for example, said.

Poor Kasich. He tried to tell a true anecdote, expressing gratitude toward women, about how he got elected to the state legislature in the ’70s and he mentioned “women” and “kitchen” in the same sentence. Hater! Sexist pig!

So, this is what we’ve come to, now. The aptly-named Twitter came alive with the squawking outrage of a weasel-infested henhouse. And some really smart people are still wondering why Trump is ascendant?

I am no fan of John Kasich. I would vote for him against Hillary or Bernie, but then, I would vote for Harold Stassen (even dead), Chuck Norris, or Caitlyn against them.

But as a woman, I once again felt embarrassed for my gender and also felt sorry for Kasich whose only sin was telling the truth. Let us get the full Quote of Hate right: “How did I get elected to the legislature? I didn’t have anybody for me. We just got an army of people and many women who left their kitchens to go out and go door to door and put up yard signs for me…It was an army of women that really helped me get elected to the state senate.”

In the middle there, near the ellipsis, he also pointed out that that was then, this is now, and that now there are no more volunteers because EVERYBODY is out working, nobody is at home. He does not say or even imply that this is a bad thing. It’s just what IS now.

In Jewish Temples, what is often called a Ladies’ Aid group in churches is called The Sisterhood. Many years ago, our dynamic woman rabbi, feminist par excellence, gave a stirring paean to the Sisterhood which she called “The backbone of the Temple.” These were the ladies who volunteered for everything from organizing fund-raising to teaching Sunday School, to baking pastries and cookies for the Friday night reception after the service. And guess what? Not too long after that, with that generation of ladies getting older, passing away, there were no younger ones to replace them. Basically, Sisterhood was no more.

Why? Because, just as Kasich said, everybody was now out working for pay. Nobody was in the kitchen except maybe Lupe, the Guatemalan nanny. Do not think for a moment that this does not affect every organization that has traditionally relied on an “army” of volunteer women.

Nor should you think that it does not do a massive injustice to disrespect those amazing women – including my mother and probably yours – who kept a house and raised several kids and also did all those volunteer jobs, both through organizations and through basic, human kindness. A death in the family? Casseroles and cakes would appear. A disabling accident? Ladies would arrange to take your kids to Little League, shop for your groceries, clean your house. For as long as it took.

If you think for a minute that these were less important tasks than what women do today – which, granted, are sometimes those things PLUS a job – then you think wrong. Kasich meant no offense; he gave no offense. Not to any sane person who was not looking for a reason to be offended; he spoke the truth. And in today’s political climate, Truth is as unwelcome as that weasel in the henhouse.