Wednesday, April 16, 2008

You've Come a Long Way, Baby?

Yesterday I saw the Fox News coverage of a teenaged girl getting whacked over the head with a folding chair by another teenaged girl. This took place at Achieve Academy Charter School in Arizona. The day before that, I was treated to the video of a 16-year-old Mulberry, Florida girl, Victoria Lindsay, being beaten up by other teen girls while two knights guarded the door. I've heard rumors that chivalry is dead. It's worse than that.

This morning I read that Lindsay, who now has hearing and vision problems, is not going to return to her public high school; she is going to homeschool. BUT WHAT ABOUT SOCIALIZATION? The article stated that "she won't be able to attend her prom." OH, NO!

These two stories made me think about the comments of the guide at the Titanic exhibit that we visited in Galveston recently. As I was studying one of the photographs of a famous rich couple, Col. John Jacob Astor and Madeleine (Force) Astor, the guide informed me that "sexism" was rampant in those days. He explained that Col. Astor did not survive the sinking, and his widow remarried without reading the will, which provided that the widow would be disinherited if she remarried within a certain time period. The guide opined that this wouldn't have happened if the tables were turned and the woman had died instead of the man. (I have since read that the will stipulated that Madeleine would have the use of the money and estate home indefinitely unless she remarried, which she did not do until World War I.) Since the guide was in error about the Astor story, I'm not sure if he was correct about his second proof of "sexism": Women were not allowed to smoke in public on the Titanic. How oppressive!

I told the guide that it seemed to me that women of that period had it better than we do now--that they were more likely to be put on pedestals. He was a little perturbed and walked away. Curiously, he didn't mention the "Women and children first" rule for getting into the lifeboats. I shudder to think what the rule would be now that women are "equal". I can just picture Titanic teen girls punching the other passengers and slamming them with the deck furniture in order to secure their places in a lifeboat.

No comments: