Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake
jaylake

"Mister you knew who you were then, girls were girls and men were men"

Very long workday. (13-1/2 hours, including the big dinner.) Whew. Went well, though, and all my bits were fine.

I'm still nibbling on this worldview thing of recent days. A little story: Back in the early 1990s I worked for an ad agency in Austin, TX. One of the art directors was a woman about my own age (30ish then), divorced, living with her fireman boyfriend with his funny 2 off/1 on schedule. She was also a very committed Evangelical Christian who attended one of the megachurches which were already springing up in North Austin and Round Rock at the time. Most Mondays she'd come to work all bubbling with indignation over the latest offenses of liberalism against man and god, courtesy of the Sunday sermon.

One day she was on about why couldn't things be the way they were back in the 1950s, when the streets were safe and the schools were good and America was strong, and how liberals had ruined things for everyone. I looked at her and said, "Are you nuts? In the 1950s, you wouldn't have had this job, because they would have given it to a man with a family to feed. In the 1950s, you wouldn't be able to own your home without your ex-husband's permission. In the 1950s, you wouldn't have been allowed in the door of your church, not divorced and living in sin with your boyfriend. What was so great about that?"

She got very exasperated and said, "That's not what I'm talking about!"

It's kind of like taking the Bible literally. You don't get to choose the good and ignore the bad, then proclaim your absolute rectitude. That cherrypicking of the Norman Rockwell past makes for great rhetoric, but ignores so much of what was true for everyone who wasn't male, white and upper middle class or wealthier.

safewrite mentioned in comments to one of my recent posts a bumpersticker which read "Imagine the world without liberals." I think that's a fabulous idea. You'd also have to imagine a world where women didn't have the vote, couldn't own property, couldn't get divorced without their husband's full agreement, where there were no protections from or recourse for domestic violence, where there were no weekends, 40-hour work weeks or paid vacation, no child labor laws, no workplace safety standards or workmen's comp, no clean air and water requirements, and a whole lot of other evils of liberalism.

I think even the most dyed-in-the-wool Bush conservative would just as soon enjoy many of those benefits.

Remind me again what's so great about that worldview?
Tags: politics, religion
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