Our Slip is Showing

In the “old days,” women would wear slips under their dresses and/or skirts; to not do so was considered a violation of proper modesty. The slip could be whole or what was called a “half slip,” which was, as the name indicates, a garment that hung from the waist down.

Half slips were notorious for not being cooperative. You would get what you thought was your size, and the slip would be fine for a while, but sooner or later the elastic around the waist would wear, and the slip would not stay in place.

In variably, the slip would hang below the hem of the skirt or dress, and some other sympathetic woman would whisper, “Your slip is showing.”

I thought about that as I have been watching what has been going on in our government. Our foundation is one which was built on racism and sexism. Though we were purported to be a democracy, the Founding Fathers seemed to have disdain for the idea of too much power coming from the people. This government was always about elevating and keeping some in power, and about keeping other people down. According to Howard Zinn in A People’s History of the United States, four groups of people were not represented in the Constitutional Convention: slaves, indentured servants, women and men without property.” (p. 91) Even at the inception of this “great democracy” the value system was firmly in place: the rich were to run the country and to maintain their power and increase their wealth by exploiting the working poor. Writes Zinn: “the Declaration functioned to mobilize certain groups of Americans, ignoring others.” “The American people” was never the masses, but was really the small group of wealthy, white, male landowners…”We the people,” a phrase coined by Governor Gouverneur Morris did not mean Indians or blacks or women or white servants.”

Charles Beard, a 20th century historian, wrote in his book An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution  that “the rich must, in their own interest, either control the government directly or control the laws by which government operates.”

If we read and study this history of America, we might not get quite as agitated as some of us are in the present day as we watch what is going on in our government. We are abiding by traditional American political history. That history is not a stellar one; it is fraught with discrimination and bias, with government allowing for and even sanctioning those who do what they think best in order to keep the moneyed class in power, to keep the oligarchy intact.

And while it has not gotten as much attention as the escapades that have been going on in and around the White House, the sexism that was written into our Constitution is rearing its ugle head as well. The House constructed a health care bill that is sure to have devastating effects on many, including women. In their work to craft this bill, a picture appeared having only white men in the White House, deciding whether or not maternity care and mammograms should be considered to be “essential” health issues to be covered under the Republican bill. (http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/03/trump-health-care-summit-white-guys)

As this administration barrels through proposals that will hurt so many people, it seems that her slip is showing – a slip which includes her racism, sexism, and paternalism at the least. With these people in power, poverty will increase, as will mass incarceration; voting rights are in danger of being seriously compromised, and anyone who challenges the policies stands the possibility of being sanctioned. These people in power are not unlike, it seems, the Founding Fathers, who envisioned a country run by a small group of wealthy white men who controlled everyone and everything.

The slip which is America’s undergarment has been soiled by the dust that comes from such injustice, but it is America’s legacy. Those in power do not worry or care about if the slip is showing, but, rather, only that it stay in place in order to maintain – or in this case, regain – the status quo.

It’s called “making America great again.”

A candid observation.

Girl Talk – The Hot Flash

There is nothing quite so comical…and annoying …as “the hot flash.”

When I was a child, I would laugh at my older women friends who would be fine one moment and ready to strip the next.

More than once I was warned, “You just wait,” but being young and all, I couldn’t relate.

That has all changed now.

What in the world was God thinking? How can it be possible to be comfortable one second and ready to strip the next, no matter where you are?

What logic is there to having your window open when it’s 5 degrees outside, because even as you need the heat on in the house, the heat loses to “the hot flash” every time?

A hot flash has power. Were we to capture the hot flashes of, say, two or three women at one time, and bottle it, I wonder how much energy from that heat we would be able to measure?

Case in point: I was at an event, dressed quite nicely, thank you, getting ready to make a presentation, when, BOOM! All of a sudden, out of nowhere, came “the hot flash.” I felt my face grow warm and beads of sweat break out on my forehead. I did the proverbial “look around:” Was this just me or had the heat suddenly gone up in the room? But no, nobody else looked the slightest bit bothered. It was me.

I wanted to fan, not just my face, but under my arms, between my legs …and I wanted to fan with much energy! But because I was in public, I had to do the dainty fan thing.

Ugh.

Menopause is quite hilarious, actually. It is amazing, what hormones changing around in us women do to us. It messes with our bones, it makes mood swings really interesting…but the funniest part (although not funny when you’re having one) is…the hot flash.

Mine aren’t really bad, and not all that frequent, thank goodness. I try to watch what I eat and exercise; I have heard that doing that sort of thing is helpful. I do not take hormone therapy; I’d rather let nature take its course…but these hot flashes are rude! They intrude in places and at times when they are not appreciated and where I cannot strip in order to cool down!

Sometimes, when I am getting my hair dried at the beauty shop, “hot flash” comes and sits with me, so even as my beautician dries my hair, it is getting damp again because “the hot flash” is making its way from my feet to my head!

Ugh!

I always say that when I die, I hope I have an opportunity to have a conversation with God. One of the questions I’ll ask is why we women had to have the menstrual period experience. Why don’t men have a lovely, monthly visitor with whom to deal? It doesn’t seem quite fair…

But clearly, one other question I would like to ask God was why He/She felt it necessary to make us women go through menopause and experience “the hot flash?”  Surely this isn’t all because Eve tempted Adam to eat the apple in the Garden of Eden, is it? If it is related to that, shouldn’t Adam have to bear some of this…experience, seeing as he had the power to say “no” to her but didn’t?

Something is wrong with this picture, I write, even as I need to stop to fan. Yep, you guessed it…I am having…a hot flash.

A candid (and hot) observation…