First of all, let's congratulate my friend Jen. She is the newest addition to the full-time academic world. Jen just scored a gig teaching at University in California. She is an amazing person who vastly underrates her own talents and abilities, so please go to her blog and congratulate her.
Speaking of women (I know what you're saying: "great segue"), I just learned that in Hawaii, they celebrate a Japanese/Okinawan holiday called Girls Day. Known as Hina Matsuri, it was originally a day when girls displayed their dolls of the royal court. Like so many other holidays, it now has taken on a life of it's own in the States. Now it's simply a day to celebrate the women in your life.
I have to give praise to women today. You have it tough. Sure, for all of my incessant whining about women having the power in relationships, outside the home it's a fucking war zone. I can't imagine what it must be like for you out there. When I was close to the East Coast Princess, she once told a story about how she sent off some samples of a metal she was working with for her PhD thesis to a machine shop. They returned the sample to the lab but changed her first name to a closely spelled guys name. She said that she ran into this sort of thing all the time: No woman would ever be interested in being an engineer. But she toughed it out and from what I understand now, works a kick ass job.
If I ever have a daughter, I'll have to prepare her for a world that isn't quite ready for a strong woman. Sure .... society gives all the lip service about how a woman can do anything in this world today if she sets her mind to it. But we all know that there is a glass ceiling and some old school men will seek to keep that ceiling in place. I'm going to tell her that she can do it, but that she needs to be prepared to be seen as a bitch by small minded people who will be threatened by her. She may have to be a bitch at times, a ballbreaker at others; but it's necessary to get ahead ahead in this world.
I was lucky to have such an excellent woman in my life. My mother, at one time, was the mousy little housewife who only lived to make sure that my old man had his green chile ready when he got home from work. Once she started working and making her own money, she decided she wasn't going to put up with my dad's bullshit and God bless her for doing it. I've seen my mom become so strong and self-assured during my lifetime. What kind of woman is my mom? A couple of years ago at X-Mas, my brother brought his girlfriend at the time over for the holidays. He decided to take off with his friend for a bit and left her at the house for over 4 hours ... alone. Once my mom found out, she told her, in no uncertain terms that "you NEVER let a man treat you like that. NEVER. I don't care if it's my own son, you never let a man treat you like that." Mom rules like that.
So have a happy belated Girl's Day. I hope you ladies keep plugging away and get ahead. Just remember that even though there are many who will try to keep you down, there are tons of us who think that you're great and find strong women ... well ... pretty damn sexy!