My mother got an artsy poster depicting a fish riding a bike with the quote by feminist leader Gloria Steinem: “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.”
She put it in the hallway. When I asked her what was up with it, she smirked. Here’s why I asked:
My mother never worked a day in her life, thanks to my dad.
She never had to drag herself out of bed day after day to go to a job she hated. She never had to worry about where the money would come from to pay bills. She was never stressed with fear of pleasing a boss, getting along with co-workers or possibly losing her job. All that was on my dad.
And aside from his full-time job, my father was responsible for all the “man” work (translation: grungy and unpleasant) including repairing cars, fixing the roof, yard work, carpentry, plumbing, etc. My mother is, and always has been, completely dependent on my father for absolutely everything.
One day my mother decided she didn’t want to drive any more. She didn’t flunk the driving test. She didn’t have a disability. She just wanted to be chauffeured around by my dad. She wanted to be delivered to your doorstep like a present.
It’s on one of those chauffeur driven trips that mother found the fish on a bike poster and evidently thought, “Oh, this is for me. Who needs a man? I sure don’t. I guess I’m a feminist!”
My problem with her getting that poster—isn’t so much the slogan and her inability to see that it doesn’t apply to her—is that it’s a slap in the face to my dad.
Where’s the gratitude for all that my father has done for her? How about getting a poster that says, “I owe everything to my husband”?
My mother takes my father for granted like he exists only to serve her needs, while erroneously believing she can do without him.
That is modern day feminism. In a nutshell. My mother is a perfect example of a feminist. That is the root problem, her kind of thinking. This is what men have a right to be angry about.