The New Woman | Paint the Town RED

Exploring Patriarchy – Chapter 6

It’s funny how different things are for men and women in a family that has just moved into a housing society. As I wrote earlier in a post called Microwave Madam, there’s a resistance to new. To the new woman if she has a life that’s different from that of other women in the society. A resistance that doesn’t seem to extend to men new to the building.

MM learned that this could provoke friendly curiosity, but it could also stir gossip. And since she’d been married some years and didn’t have children – pity, and advice on how she could remedy this. She’d feel embarrassed and wonder how a society so prudish about things that needed to be talked about, could produce women who talked about things that really were private and personal.

There were some digs and criticism that hurt. She learned it was okay to be childless as long as you were deeply unhappy about it. To accept what the God’s gave you and change your dreams accordingly, and be grateful and not ask for more? That, wasn’t acceptable she realized. One had to have children, or be miserable that one didn’t have children. There was no other acceptable option to some.

The hurt would ease later when she saw that the criticism came from just a few men and women who were deeply unhappy with their choice to have children and resentful that another wasn’t suffering as much as them. Surprisingly, these people would speak nicely to her husband. MM realized it would always be the woman’s fault for them, so she learned to walk very quickly when she saw them. Or greet them with a clearly-less-than-friendly hello if she hadn’t been quick enough. That seemed to keep them at bay.

And there were other things. MM would dress up to go out with her friends, or to meet her husband after work and go out for dinner. But when she really dressed up, it was to meet her mother. Mothers can get very upset if they spot any sign that their daughters are not quite as well dressed and groomed as they would like them to be. It can make them worry and she felt it was always best to be careful.

But this, funnily, would bring raised eyebrows and intrusive questions. And she’d wonder why and think – don’t the other women who live here visit their mothers?


Paint The Town RED
We’re the women who dress up to visit our mothers
we live by our own standards, don’t paint us with your colour.
Blow dry our hair and put on our best dress
no, it’s not a night out to paint the town RED!

We take less care when we go out with our men
‘cos our husbands are happy whether we’re twos or tens.
We’re the women who dress up to visit our mothers.
Where's all that suspicion coming from? 

Why can't you see good in another?

I invite you to read all chapters of Exploring Patriarchy and walk with Microwave Madam as she explores the impact of patriarchy on her life and on society. And looks for solutions.

Published by Anitaelise

Anitaelise teaches piano lessons at Anitaelise Piano Studio and writes poetry and essays at The Relaxed Housekeeper.

8 thoughts on “The New Woman | Paint the Town RED

  1. Love the poem – it really compliments the post! There is always an element that is negative – either you don’t have children or you have too many children… I learned early that I could ignore their criticisms.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! For me the criticism changed to envy from all or nothing women who let go of all their other dreams to focus on one dream – that of being a mother. And later realized other women had held on and found a and way to hold on and not let go.

      Like

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