A Woman's Place In America

A Woman's Place In America

Remember to never let a man choose your life, because that is how you lose control of your life.
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Last week, Politico held their fourth annual Women Rule summit that included conversation on women in Congress, women on the campaign trail and discussion with women currently in the White House with President Obama. During their "Women on the Trail" section, keynote speaker Kellyanne Conway addressed her future role with advising President-elect Donald Trump. "My children are twelve, twelve, eight and seven, which is bad idea, bad idea, bad idea, bad idea for mom going inside," Conway said about her future in Trump's White House. Conway then added, in reference to male colleagues questioning why she would not work in the White House, "The question is would you want your wife to. Would you want the mother of your children to? You really see their entire visage change. It's like, oh, no, they wouldn't want their wife to take that job."

Conway is the first Republican woman to run a presidential campaign, which speaks levels of strength, determination and dedication for a woman to break such a glass ceiling. However, her overall figure for breaking barriers is now overshadowed with these words she has spoken. Though Conway can be viewed as a modern-day matriarch, she is still almost 100 years behind in terms of women (and mothers) working to provide for their household. It is important to note that Conway did not say that women should deny a job such as that in order to raise a family, but she did essentially say that the power in the house still belongs to the man and that a husband is still the deciding factor of how his wife should live her life. To believe that a woman's dreams and goals in life should be set to the side for the sake of children and the sanctity of marriage is extremely asinine considering how far women's rights have come and how many women fought to be able to work.

I am not saying that children do not come first as a priority, but it seems as though people forget that in a marriage with kids, there is more than one parent. Even in the wording of what Conway asked to men, "Would you want the mother of your children to," she is depreciating mothers and implying that children are their fathers offspring alone. However, society preaches to women that they are the ones who hold responsibility for raising children. So, why must a woman who has an amazing opportunity in front of her dismiss it because her husband does not want to set aside his pride and ego to take on the role of a father?

If a man cannot step up and realize that the woman he loves is trying to pursue what she has worked so diligently for, then as a woman, you do not need him. Every woman is superwoman, and until a man is capable of giving birth to a child and bringing life into the world with his own body, he has no ability to dictate how his wife chooses to make her living. Jamie Smith, who served as deputy White House press secretary with President Obama, can vouch that having a child and being successful is 100 percent possible—and she did not need a man to decide for her that this job was possible.

There is no reason in this day and age that a woman's husband needs to decide what is right and what is not right for his wife to do. If he cannot step up to the plate and be a parent just as much as a woman is expected to, then he truly is not the type of man you want your kids to look up to. To put your kids first, you need to be able to show them that they can do anything that they put their minds to and that nobody can ever stop them from obtaining every dream and goal that they have set for themselves. Daughters need this especially, with a society that still teaches them that they need approval from a man before they make decisions for themselves, they need a mother who is not afraid to stand up and show them that a man does not decide your life, you decide your life.

Cover Image Credit: aflcionc.org

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'Baby, It's Cold Outside' Is NOT About Date Rape, It's A Fight Against Social Norms Of The 1940s

The popular Christmas song shouldn't be considered inappropriate.

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The classic Christmas song "Baby, It's Cold Outside" has recently come under attack. There has been controversy over the song being deemed as inappropriate since it has been suggested that it promotes date rape. Others believe that the song is another common example of our culture's promotion of rape. You may be wondering, where did they get that idea from?

The controversy has led to one radio station, WDOK, taking the song off the air and banning it from their station. Some people believe that this song goes against the #MeToo movement since it promotes rape. However, people are not considering the fact that this traditional Christmas song was made in the 1940s.

People are viewing the song from a modern-day cultural perspective rather than from the perspective of the 1940s. "Baby, It's Cold Outside" was written in 1944. Many people have viewed the song from the perspective of our cultural and social norms. People believe that the song promotes date rape because of lyrics that suggest that the male singing is trying to stop the female singer from leaving, and the female singer is constantly singing about trying to escape with verses like "I really can't stay" or "I've got to go home."

When you first view the song from the perspective of today's culture, you may jump to the conclusion that the song is part of the date rape culture. And it's very easy to jump to this conclusion, especially when you are viewing only one line from the song. We're used to women being given more freedom. In our society, women can have jobs, marry and be independent. However, what everyone seems to forget is that women did not always have this freedom.

In 1944, one of the social norms was that women had curfews and were not allowed to be in the same house as a man at a later time. It was considered a scandal if a single woman so much as stayed at another man's house, let alone be in the same room together. It's mind-blowing, right? You can imagine that this song was probably considered very provocative for the time period.

"Baby, It's Cold Outside" is not a song that encourages date rape, but is actually challenging the social norms of society during the time period. When you listen to the song, you notice that at one part of the song, the female states, "At least I can say that I tried," which suggests that she really doesn't want to leave. In fact, most of the song, she is going back and forth the whole time about leaving stating, "I ought to say no…well maybe just a half a drink more," and other phrases.

She doesn't want to leave but doesn't really have a choice due to fear of causing a scandal, which would have consequences with how others will treat her. It was not like today's society where nobody cares how late someone stays at another man's house. Nowadays, we could care less if we heard that our single neighbor stayed over a single man's house after 7. We especially don't try to look through our curtain to check on our neighbor. Well, maybe some of us do. But back then, people did care about where women were and what they were doing.

The female singer also says in the lyrics, "The neighbors might think," and, "There's bound to be talk tomorrow," meaning she's scared of how others might perceive her for staying with him. She even says, "My sister will be suspicious," and, "My brother will be there at the door," again stating that she's worried that her family will find out and she will face repercussions for her actions. Yes, she is a grown woman, but that doesn't mean that she won't be treated negatively by others for going against the social norms of the time period.

Then why did the male singer keep pressuring her in the song? This is again because the song is more about challenging the social norms of the time period. Both the female and male singers in the song are trying to find excuses to stay and not leave.

On top of that, when you watch the video of the scene in which the song was originally viewed, you notice that the genders suddenly switch for another two characters, and now it's a female singer singing the male singer's part and vice versa. You also notice that the whole time, both characters are attracted to one another and trying to find a way to stay over longer.

Yes, I know you're thinking it doesn't matter about the genders. But, the song is again consensual for both couples. The woman, in the beginning, wants to stay but knows what will await if she doesn't leave. The male singer meanwhile is trying to convince her to forget about the rules for the time period and break them.

In addition, the complaint regarding the lyric "What's in this drink?" is misguided. What a lot of people don't understand is that back in 1944, this was a common saying. If you look at the lyrics of the song, you notice that the woman who is singing is trying to blame the alcoholic drink for causing her to want to stay longer instead of leaving early. It has nothing to do with her supposed fear that he may have tried to give her too much to drink in order to date rape her. Rather, she is trying to find something to blame for her wanting to commit a scandal.

As you can see, when you view the song from the cultural perspective of the 1940s, you realize that the song could be said to fight against the social norms of that decade. It is a song that challenges the social constrictions against women during the time period. You could even say that it's an example of women's rights, if you wanted to really start an argument.

Yes, I will admit that there were movies and songs made back in the time period that were part of the culture of date rape. However, this song is not the case. It has a historical context that cannot be viewed from today's perspective.

The #MeToo movement is an important movement that has led to so many changes in our society today. However, this is not the right song to use as an example of the date rape culture.

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