Creative Acquisition, or, the Long and Short of It



CURRENT BOOK:  The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir

I finally finished the monstrous The Second Sex.  I even had to use most of my lunch breaks for the last week (which I was already cutting short in order to leave work early on Friday to take my husband to march in a St. Patrick’s Day parade in downtown New Orleans), reading 75 pages instead of 50 every day, so I could make sure I stayed on track and didn’t use up too much of my allotted time to read it when I still have four books left.  While the suppression of women throughout history is indeed an important subject, I never realized there was enough material to fill an 800-page essay about it.  Especially after finishing Our Bodies, Ourselves I have never been as glad to get required reading over with.

And I’ll confess I skimmed the d-mned thing.

This book just did not resonate with me.  I do agree that women need to strive for independence and should not rely on being taken care of by their fathers and husbands.  And that marriage doesn’t really benefit women except for the pressure that society still puts on them (at least, it doesn’t really have any practical benefit for women in Louisiana, when it just locks you into a community property arrangement which is not necessarily a good thing if your spouse is not financially stable).  And that women are improperly judged based on externals and standards of behavior which present a double standard when one considers how society judges men.  But that’s as far as I’ll go.

It seems like de Beauvoir is basically just complaining about all these things that bother her, and delving back into history, without acknowledging how society has changed and is changing, and without offering any opinions as to how society should treat women differently than they have in the past.  And it’s just not something I respect when someone says “You’re doing this wrong” without also making clear “This is the right way.”

So FINALLY on to the next book.  I was able to get The Woman Warrior on interlibrary loan, and it is blessedly short.  I had to exercise what I’ll call “creative acquisition” to get Them from the library, because I had go outside of my library system and get a friend who lives in the neighboring parish (which is how they refer to counties in Louisiana) to get it for me from her library.  It was longer than I expected but I think it will still be easier to read than The Second Sex or Our Bodies, Ourselves.  Although my packet for my trip  to Ireland did not arrive on St. Patrick’s Day which would have been sublime, it is supposed to be in the mail, and at least we now have new cabinets in the bathroom with doors and drawers.  And after weeks of harassment my husband finally ordered the towel bars and cabinet pulls.  So hopefully we can move everything back in there soon.  And considering I wanted a new bathroom for Christmas, to at least get it for my birthday would be something.


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