Tuesday 21 – Wednesday 22 April 2015
To begin with, I have to admit that I’m not a fan of the phrase that I’ve used as the title. I don’t believe that there should be any categorisation of people as either real women and men, and ‘others’. As idealistic as I might sound, we’re all just people. There’s no ‘real’ about it. Maybe those who use that term might consider using genuine or disingenuous to describe rather than categorise others. However, I’ve chosen to use the phrase because it lends itself to what I want to write about.
Yeeeeaaaahhhh, I go could anywhere with that title, couldn’t I? I could, but . . .
There’s really only one direction that I’m going to head, and it’s a bit of a dodgy location that I’m on my way to visit. Quite a few of my Armchair Philosophy posts begin with words to the effect of ‘So, I read an article recently’, and in the case of this post, yes, I did read an article recently, and then I read the comments in response to the news article on the Facebook page of the news agency that had posted the link to the article. Are you still following me? Good.
The article was about a woman who was turned away from the QANTAS lounge in Perth because she was deemed to be wearing thongs. Birkenstocks, in fact. Now, the news media agency that ‘broke’ the story made an interesting decision in wording their title. They made sure to mention in the heading, knowing that it would grab attention, that the woman turned away from the lounge was pregnant. This was not merely a story about a woman being turned away from the lounge, no, this was the story of a heavily pregnant woman being turned away. *Insert my sighs of frustration and disgust here*
This article divided an entire gender, as the comments in response to the article became a scenario of childless women versus mothers. And that is the point where you sh!t me to tears. WTF is it with women bagging each other out because others do or don’t have kids? Before you think I’ve dismissed another point here, I’ll get back to the Birkenstocks later. What I think the real issue of this article should have been is why is a heavily pregnant woman flying? As far as I’m aware, it is advised by doctors that heavily pregnant women should not fly. It’s dangerous to the health of both the mother and the unborn child. Surely that should have been the point.
Anyway, reading the comments attached to the post, you’d think that . . . sh!t, I don’t know what you’d think. But let’s get to the crux of what’s pissing me off: not every woman in the world a) wants to be a mother, b) has the opportunity to be a mother, of c) can be a mother so can we please stop giving childless women sh!t now? And while I’m at it, childless women: stop with the sh!t on the women who are mothers. Enough already. You’re two ends of the same spectrum – that of WOMAN – and the last thing you should be considering is paying out on other women. We have enough to attempt to combat in our lifetime, so we shouldn’t need to be looking over our shoulders anticipating an attack from another woman because we don’t want kids, or we happen to have kids.
Mamas, I know you’re probably well sick of childless women making judgements about you. I know that you’re probably royally pissed that someone with no kids tells you how you should be raising your booger eaters, how you should feel when you’re pregnant, how you should be dealing with everything about your life with booger eaters. The flipside is also true. As a woman who has absolutely no intention of bearing children, I am hugely, vastly, incredibly, undeniably, sick and tired of being slagged off and disrespected because I’ve made a decision about my life. You made a decision about your life – to have kids – I’ve made a decision about mine – not to have kids. There are two sides to every coin. Remember that.
Not to mention the women with children who pay out on childless women who haven’t made the choice not to have kids but, in fact, are medically unable to have any. You start in on childless women and you start in on those women too. You forget that many childless women are unable to have kids. That’s when you start becoming a b!tch. It’s fine for you, you have kids, but again, there are many, many women who are unable to conceive. Don’t lump people into categories. Actually, a better thing to have written is simply don’t be an a$$hat.
So my point thus far is simple: women, stop disrespecting each other. That’s it. There is no us and them, kids versus none. There is one way of describing us, and that is as women. Whether you’re a mother or whether you’re not, just remember that for the most part, if we’re lucky enough, we’ve all made a decision about bearing children.
The second thing I want to cover with this post is the fact that the woman who was denied access to the QANTAS lounge was in breach of the lounge dress code. She was wearing Birkenstocks, and the dress code states that thongs are not allowed. Now, I know that the Birkenstock website calls them ‘sandals’ but let’s be honest, they’re just really ugly and expensive thongs. As a podiatrist, surely the woman has an idea about shoes that could provide her with the level of comfort that she required as well as be adequate for the lounge dress code. The lounge dress code apparently states that shoes with an ankle strap, which they deem to be sandals, are allowed but thongs that are rubber or leather are not. It’s a dress code. It’s simple enough to follow. Don’t make a big deal of the fact that you’re denied entry into a lounge because you wore ugly-a$$, expensive thongs . . . and just remember that you made a decision to have a kid, so don’t offer pregnancy up as a reason why you should be allowed to have the rules overlooked. I have a back injury but nobody ever gets off a seat and offers it to me when they see me hobbling around looking for a seat. Before you get your knickers in a twist, it’s an example to demonstrate a point – the point that everyone has something that they can offer up as a reason why something should happen to their benefit.
The real injustice here is that the woman probably paid a hundred bucks for a pair of ugly thongs.
Look, I’m pretty sure that someone is going to chuck a hissy fit about the fact that I don’t have booger eaters and I’m recording an opinion of this. I’m going to get an earful for daring to write this, but hey, I’m sick of women sh!tting on each other because some have kids and some don’t. Mothers: good for you for having booger eaters. Childless by choice women: good on you for not increasing the world’s hugely expanding population. But the moral of this post is women have enough to fight for, so let us try not to fight amongst ourselves.