I did not refinish this desk so my daughter could find a rich husband [PICS]

By  | February 17, 2015 |  Comments | Filed under: DIY, Remodeling & Design, Feminism


My oldest daughter begged for her own room the minute she found out we were moving (again.) Fine. She was stuck with her little sister while the baby relaxed in a baby Xanadu far too long and now it was time for Bee to have a room of her own. Virginia Woolfe would be so proud of us. The new digs are full of inspiration and moroccan boldness – even a repurposed bird-motif duvet cover I sewed for our guest room two houses ago. The central cool thing is the hand-me-down desk I refinished for her to do her homework.

I did not hand refinish this desk so my daughter could find a rich husband.

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BEFORE . . . I painted my hands orange for a week

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AFTER . . . like 3 trips to the hardware store

Before we get to the rest of the pictures of my daughter’s new room, let’s talk about the rise of the terrifying backlash against education equality for American girls. I need to address the conservative thought leaders who actually say things like,

The pay gap between men and women is not all bad because it helps to promote and sustain marriages. -Phyllis Schlafly

Like marriage as a means to financial security is a good thing? That places the power in the hands of 50% of the population and throws the other half to their whims.

Most feminists don’t take a woman like Phyllis Schlafaly seriously. They laugh at her 50’s prom hair and dismiss her as a rambling idiot. I say her ideas are too dangerous to ignore. Phyllis Schlafly is constitutional lawyer hired with the task of speaking publicly at universities. Shlafly doesn’t stop there. Her desire to widen the pay gap was met with tacit agreement from educated people in 2014, but just a few weeks ago she made another widely accepted assertion: the rape epidemic on college campuses is caused by too many women going to college in the first place.

Soak that in.

In 2015, a respected, successful political thought leader is speaking on college campuses and spreading the word that women cause their own rapes by seeking an education. It’s not a joke. It’s not the Onion. People aren’t just averting eye contact with this person on the train or feeding her caramels in a home. She stands up there in the broad light of day, to a nodding audience, and says that my daughter shouldn’t seek a higher education because she will contribute to perhaps her own rape merely by her attendance at college.

It may seem like inequality for women and girls is limited to some far off place. I mean, it is indeed true that girls in other parts of the word don’t have access to education at all and can be legally kidnapped. You may not realize the tides are turning here too. Right here in my new state of California I’m seeing curious essays being circulated like, “6 reasons NOT to send your daughter to college”. I won’t link it. You can google if you really need to.

American people (religious conservatives, mind you) mere miles from me, choose to educate their sons and not their daughters. For all the merits of homeschooling, which I don’t want to knock, there lies a misguided opportunity for families to use homeschooling as a veil for not educating their daughters.

I don’t want to preach to the choir. If you’ve found my blog because you have an interest in feminism or equality or are just a part of the general population who takes educating American girls for granted, I welcome you to stay, but that’s not who needs to read this.

If you are not educating your daughter and guiding her to at least have the chance to make the choice to support herself, you have crippled her just as badly as if you had bound her feet.

There is lots of talk of wives “submitting” in the religious community, but why does “submission” have to mean lack of financial opportunities? The answer is fear and control. Contributing to that as a parent is abuse.

I did, in fact, refinish that desk for my daughter to use for doing her school work. I pay more than I comfortably should for my girls to go to school in a bid for them to get ahead, get educated, make choices with wisdom and have careers. I don’t get three kids dressed and fed and out the door every morning to school so they can marry rich. In fact, I don’t give one single fuck if their future salaries emasculate their husbands.

I refinish the desks, iron school uniforms and put in the hours as room mom NOT so that my daughter can grow up to be a housewife who puts her talents to bantering with her husband. Of course we stay-at-home-moms have our value. I made that choice. My daughters can too. But that’s the crux of it – let’s make ALL the choices available to all your children, boys or girls.

I have an all-female line-up of kids, three of them, and I’ll be damned if their opportunities get blocked because real live walking updos like Phyllis Schlafly say the wage gap should be widened (widened!) because ladies want rich husbands. Does she not consider women who already have children and are the breadwinners for their families? Why should they be paid less or hit glass ceilings due to the family obligations that men sail through every day?

I refinished my daughter’s study desk so she can make every cent she’s worth and never have to depend on a man to put food in her mouth.

Now. For those pictures I know you came for . . .

 

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