Betty Friedan Would Be So Disappointed

Women have fought for years, decades, centuries, to be considered equal to men. We have struggled mightily for equal pay (still don’t got it) and equal rights (mostly got it unless you count being charged more for health insurance and having funding taken away for women’s health clinics). Ordinarily, people who know me would expect to find me on the front lines of the arguments in favor of women being allowed to do the same things men are allowed to do.

I’m about to disappoint those people. Because aside from stuff I just don’t want to do (mow the lawn, change the oil in the car, take out the trash, etc.,), there are a few things that I have no problem being forbidden from doing. Below, a brief sampling:

Be a Catholic priest…um…-ess
Here’s the thing: the Catholic church is struggling to remain prevalent in its people’s hearts and minds. It is struggling to maintain the number of priests it needs in order to continue running all its parishes. In some places, there is only one priest for two churches. One would think that allowing women to be…-esses would help solve this problem.

Yeah, not interested.

You’re talking about putting me in charge of hundreds, if not thousands of parishioners’ religious education and eternal salvation, and interpreting daily and/or weekly scripture readings to make them faithful to God’s word and relevant for the present day. That’s way too much pressure. And if I’m not allowed to fulfill certain God-given needs and instincts (God-given, people), I’m definitely out.

Be part of an elite group of military members
In the aftermath of the badass invasion of bin Laden’s McMansion in Fuggeddaboudit, Pakistan, I kinda wished I could be a Navy SEAL. For about four seconds. Because as super-cool as it would be to be part of the elite group of incredible amazingness that took down the world’s biggest jerk, I’m pretty sure the whole Oh-Crap-the-Chopper-Went-Down-Now-We-Have-To-Blow-It-Up- But-Wait-First-We-Have-To-Go-In-and-Destroy-the-Most-Evil-Evildoer-Around- (In- the-Dark-By-the-Way) Mission would have made me pee my pants.


Like, before we even got there.

And God forbid I be the person who actually fires the shot that splits his head open and blows his eye out of his skull (which happened, apparently). Because then the most evil evildoer around would be covered in my lunch.

Also, I don’t like guns.


Be President of the United States
Yeah, here’s what about this. It’s not that we’re not allowed, so much as it is that we’re not really invited. I think the campaign of 2008 was astonishing for a lot of reasons, but one of them was that the country elected an African-American who had been a professional politician for two years before they elected a woman, and in this case, a woman who had been a senator for several years after being the First Lady for eight. I think that was a pretty awesome choice the Democrats set up, and I’m not saying we elected the wrong person. I voted for the president and I will again. I’m saying if Hillary Clinton had gotten the nod from the Dems, I would have voted for her, but I’m not sure she would have won. You know who would have won? The guy who has apparently forgotten what he used to stand for, and had a dippy, but hot, woman who later quit her first term as governor of Alaska because it was too hard as his veep.

You know what it is about women and the presidency? I think it’s like this: I think it’s like getting picked last for whatever half-assed athletic endeavor is on the docket for the day in gym class. You don’t necessarily get picked last because you suck at Dodgeball. You get picked last because you’re smarter than everybody else, and that makes them uncomfortable.

Still, I don’t want the job. I’m curious to see what a woman president might do, but I don’t want to be her. Did you see President Obama’s face in that picture from the situation room the night they took down bin Laden?

Photo from cbsnews.comPhoto from


Photo from

Seriously. I never want to have to look like that, or make that call. Who wants to say “Go” when the chairman of the Joint Chiefs says, “Mr./Mme. President, we’re pretty sure Osama bin Laden is in this compound. There are also more than 20 women and children and a couple of other men, all of whom may very well be armed or wearing explosive vests. The compound is surrounded by several thick walls, and razor wire. The property is situated half a mile from the Pakistani Military Academy. In order to complete the mission, we need 25 men to land two choppers in the middle of the night, get over or through the walls, determine who within the compound is a threat and who’s just in the way, capture or kill those who are threats, verify the death of bin Laden, remove his body, sweep the entire property for any useful evidence, and get out without drawing any attention from the Pakistani military. If any of this goes wrong, we lose our men and bin Laden gets away for good. On your command, sir.”

Yeah, no thanks. You guys can handle that stuff.

I’ll make you pie.

...I just don't feel like it.


6 thoughts on “Betty Friedan Would Be So Disappointed

    • Thank you! I love the name of your blog… I’ll be checking it out forthwith. I made a blueberry pie yesterday. I wish I could say I hadn’t scarfed 20% of it down with a fork right out of the pie plate when I got home from an evening of cocktails with friends. But I can’t say that.

      • Oh, yum. I would have done the same. I still have a thing for the wonderful gooseberry pies with custard my Grandma used to make. Mmmmm, pie.

  1. Fabulous post, singlecell. I totally agree with each and every word, including the words about cocktails and pie. I myself was intrigued by the contrasting expressions on Hillary’s face and the President’s when I saw this image for the first time.

    • Thank you! My understanding is that that photo was taken when the folks assembled were hearing that the helicopter had gone down. I believe, if that’s the case, Sec. Clinton must have been thinking back to 1998 and Black Hawk Down, which happened on Pres. Clinton’s watch and led to some pretty bad repercussions. She had to have been thinking, “This is it; we’ve lost men, we’ve lost bin Laden.”

  2. Pingback: In Which I Bestow Honors On People | thesinglecell

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