Bagel, toasted. Hold the pandering.

November 13th

carrot cake with cream cheese frosting


My morning routine on a good day includes 20 minutes at the bagel shop, where I sit at a long family-style table and listen to half a dozen men play poker, talk politics and bicker. I usually join in mid-bagel with the political talk and by the time I’ve finished a cup of coffee, I am either annoyed and ready to flee, or wishing I had 20 more minutes to really make my point.
These guys are great. Their interests, political and otherwise, vary wildly, but together they enjoy a certain camaraderie that’s priceless. Strangely, I really feel part of a community when I sit down with them, knowing full well these are neighbors I would have otherwise never met.
All that said, today one of the gang (to remain nameless), started talking about how 2007 will be the “year of the woman.” Gah! Simply because one woman reaches new ground politically does not mean 2007 is the “year of the woman.” I think the expression is exceptionally degrading and pandering. The truth is, there are more women in college then men, more women studying the in sciences than ever before, and more women excelling at the tight-rope walk of successful families and careers than ever before to boot. So don’t put 50 years of progress in this country on top of one woman’s shoulders and tell me that it is “year of the woman.” That is total crap. If anything, it makes me think that we aren’t viewed as equal or gender wouldn’t be an issue.
I learned my fierce independence from two grandmothers, who as single women in the 1950s fought off the social stigmas of being divorced to create careers and raise their children. My Grandma Max took a postal route in rural Pennsylvania because she could be outside and get back in time to pick up her boys from school. My Grandma Sheila became an accountant and used her math skills to run several businesses for decades, all while raising two kids of her own. So don’t throw Nancy Pelosi’s accomplishment at me as though my gender is finally getting our acts together. It is insulting.


*Plus, I can bake a mean cupcake! These are carrot cake with homemade cream cheese frosting. They were delish, although I used a bit too much butter in the frosting and swear I could hear my arteries coughing.

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12 Responses

  1. The few times I succeed in commenting first on your blog is always a sort of mini-accomplishment…like getting in the door first on the sales the day after Christmas, beating the rush! 🙂
    I have just drafted a book review for my blog on a book that offended me in some comments regarding Italian women, written by an American man who is not married to an Italian woman. I might publish it tomorrow but I’m kind of torn because I don’t really want to cause waves, but at the same time I feel sometimes these opinions should be expressed. Your post has encouraged me!

  2. I hear you, sister!! It’s odd because I run into similar views held by people who I don’t even think KNOW what they’re REALLY thinking (and or saying). Frustrating to say the least.

    Did you have enough time(!) to put forth the counterpoint?

  3. Year of the woman?
    And here I was under the impression that we had been wandering the earth all this time.
    I’ll stop before I start really ranting. Obviously you see my point.

  4. Go girl! Women have been strong, creative, and hardworking and good at getting what we want for milennia. Year of the Woman…psshh.

  5. gary moore November 13, 2006

    I’m one of those crotchety old men who sit at the family table in the bagel shop. I don’t know about the cupcakes, but the lemon cookes were scrumptious.
    I had always thought of myself as somewhat conservative in my politics until I sat at this table. These guys are rabid facists! Talk about radical right wing fanatics. They make Osama look like a choir boy. Well, I gotta go. The Boss (my wife) is allowing me to take her to supper. I’m going on thirty-one years of marriage and I know who really has the final say so in my home and it certainly isn’t me.


    Poker Brat

  6. i wondered where this sitting and chatting with men was heading. but good for you. year of the woman cheapens us all. did he hear that somewhere or some up with it on his own?

  7. Thanks for standing up for all of us! My grandma worked as a nurse and raised two children alone when her husband died. Women have been making a difference and balancing millions of things for a long, long time without any fanfare. We will continue to do so……
    I am quite sure that fierce independence will continue to serve you well in these morning meetings of the minds. 🙂

  8. Too bad the women in politics aren’t ones we can be proud of. In my opinion, Nancy Pelosi is more of an embarrassment. Sigh. Hopefully the future will offer better options.

  9. I’m looking forward a time when there will be no year of the woman, or when there will be no one surprised coz a woman is elected at the White House, or CIA chief in command, coz all this would be only natural. But I guess I’m only dreaming.

  10. cupcake looks amazing. Not sure I understand the concept of “too much butter”, though …. 🙂

    (besides, carrots are vegetables, so they’re healthy, right???)


    (and yes, I am pointedly ignoring the “year of the woman” statement. You’re right, it is dismissive and not worthy of our discussion!)

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