I once knew a woman who was the product of 1970’s feminism.
She was short in a shrunken sort of way, and she managed to be neither masculine nor feminine. She didn’t have any hobbies — aside from shopping — so she spent most of her days puttering around the house, watching TV, and pretending to be busy. She liked to buy fabric, but didn’t know how to sew or do anything crafty, so she mostly kept it stored away. Sometimes she would hang it on the walls as ‘decoration’. She would oscillate between expressing interest in learning how to sew clothing, and taking pride in her ignorance towards all things domestic. She rejected all of the traditional feminine skills, but failed to pick up any masculine ones in their place. As a result, she was a hopelessly bland person.
Her cooking skills began and ended with heating up restaurant leftovers in the microwave. She and her husband ate out every day, and their kitchen was the most pitiful that I have ever seen. Half of the burners on the stove didn’t work, the fridge was undersized, and there was less counter space than there had been in my studio apartment. This woman once asked me where I got my recipes, explaining that she wanted to learn how to cook, but the next day proclaimed herself as being “too busy doing important things” to bother.
She fancied herself as being a spiritual, New Age-y type person, and wanted to launch a personal website centered around that. She paid web developers thousands of dollars to build that website, then would ultimately reject it for arbitrary reasons. Even now, a year later, she is still paying for a domain name that doesn’t contain any content. She promised my Lover to let him finish her site on several occasions, since he needed work at the time, and then hired someone else out from under him, whom she overpaid to do absolutely nothing for two months, and then fired. When he asked if he could take over from them, she told him it was ‘too much stress’, even though nobody had put her under any pressure at any point during this process.
Spiritually speaking, she didn’t seem to have any sort of intuitive powers, since she failed to be right, or even wrong, with any sort of consistency. Her “spirituality” expressed itself through telling others how spiritual she was, and didn’t seem to have any real bearing on her life.
Since I knew her while I was pregnant, her favorite thing to say to me was, “I don’t know anything about that — I didn’t have any children of my own.” Every single time, she would bring up the topic herself. It sounded less like conversation, and more like bitter resentment because I had chosen motherhood when she had (thank God) denied herself that experience. I took to avoiding her because of this.
She got stoned on a regular basis, and was rather gleeful about that fact. She claimed that it was the only thing that helped her fibromyalgia, but her symptoms would come and go according to her whims — one minute she was too weak to pick up a two pound grocery bag, and the next she was hoisting around a ten pound cat.
Her husband was the quiet sort of alcoholic, who needed a few shots of vodka every night to fall asleep. I wondered where all the vodka he kept on the kitchen table was going until we realized the footsteps we heard at 1:00 AM was him getting up to drink. He let his wife make all of the decisions, professing apathy in the matters, but when he was alone he told my Lover that being in a relationship with a woman was like “having a live grenade in your pocket.” There was no sense of any sort of fondness between the two of them, just personal problems clinging to a codependent relationship.
Ultimately, this woman stabbed us in the back and put us in one of the hardest situations that I have ever lived through. She is one of the reasons why I have since cut off any sort of association with people who profess to be liberal, because while she epitomized the mindset, her actions were not unique.
When we originally talked to them about staying there, she said that she herself had been homeless for awhile, and that she had only found a place to stay when a woman she met let her crash on her kitchen floor for a year and a half, before her current husband had married her and provided her with a home; she said this had opened her eyes to how hard it could be to get out of homelessness, and she wanted to help someone else the way she was helped — to “pay it forward,” as she put it. After we moved in, they both told us how much they liked having us stay there, and how we made it feel much more like a home in their house, which made it all the more unexpected when we were suddenly told we had to leave.
Since we still hadn’t found a reliable source of income, she told my Lover he could finish her website (again), saying, “That’s the least I can offer you,” but when he asked her about it a day later, she got defensive and claimed that she “hadn’t promised him anything.” She criticized him for ‘not looking for work’, when she had been quite aware of his job search and had made frequent comments about the state the economy was in, She had even caused him to delay his search for over a month while she “organized” the website project that he was to help her with, before abruptly deciding to go with someone else.
When she told us we had to move out, she called my Lover an “ungrateful fuck” after he bluntly told her that she was putting us in a difficult situation, even though he had spent hours and hours doing technical work for them — fixing their phone lines, getting their internet bill lowered, fixing their cable hookups, and negotiating with the power company over a dangerously low power line in their back yard.
Since she knew just how bad was to put a pregnant woman on the street a mere two months before she was due — especially after she had promised me a safe place to stay during that time, — she began blaming me for being pregnant in the first place. She went from talking about how great it was that I was having a baby, to ruefully asking “Why did you do it?”. When we brought up the promises she made, she became irritable and acted like we should have been looking for another place to stay the entire time, because “we should have known this was temporary”.
Like every single one of her peers — the avowed liberals of the world — she was hypocritical, dishonest, unethical, and willing to do anything that promoted her own comfort even if it destroyed the lives of people around her. Her husband works daily, comes home and does all the house work, and quietly drinks himself into an early grave while she watches TV and blames the world for her problems.