Diversity Weblogging

Marriage Bashing?

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Halley was kind enough to link back to me and Liz yesterday after we referenced her README post. However, she added a follow-up note about her post that caused me to choke on my morning coffee:

I guess I want to add that README is not about male-bashing, since I’m crazy for men, but rather marriage-bashing, which drives me crazy. There is something new coming along to replace marriage. I don’t know what it’s called, but I know it’s coming and it’s high time.

Halley is a lovely woman with a zest for life and smart and capable, but my first reaction reading this was an unqualified: What? Well, it was really: WTF!?

My original/edited response yesterday to Halley’s post is that I don’t think that weblogging necessarily does even the playing field for women. This week, during an email exchange with another weblogger – a well known A-List weblogger – he used the term ‘hysterical’ to describe both my disagreement with a procedure another group was following, as well as my reaction to comment editing – something he said no one else disagreed with.

(Before you ask, no it wasn’t Sam. Sam would never use a term like this in a technical discussion.)

I wasn’t going to talk about this online because I’m still thinking about the exchanges from this week, trying to figure them out, and my energy is elsewhere at this time. But when I read about Halley’s README post being a pushback against marriage, I had to say something. Had to.

Marriage has nothing to do with women and respect in our fields and other aspects of our lives. That’s the battle we’ve been fighting all along – that there are other options for women other than being caregiver and wife, though these are also valid choices. Women can be police, doctors, soldiers, nuclear scientists, and yes, even computer technologists – and still be content and happy to be a woman, be ‘feminine’, and yes, be happily married or otherwise paired.

To me a great marriage is one in which both partners are free to grow and to reach beyond their internal boundaries if this is what they want and need. However, we go through our lives being who we are, making the most of what we are, regardless of our gender – a good marriage should be nothing more than a perk.

Contrary to the songs, we’re not complete and made whole through the love of a good man or women; we should be complete in and of ourselves, by ourselves. But a good marriage or partnership, and children if this is what we want, can add to the joy, the contentment, the excitement, and the adventure.

Women and equality in our chosen professions has nothing to do with being married or not. Unless you want to be a nun.

I am a passionate person, and I freely admit I have a temper. And if someone were to tell me, Shelley, you’ve got a bad temper and you need to back off and cool down, I can live with this. And if they tell me I’m not listening, or I’m rocking the boat, I can live with this, too. I can even live with being called an a**hole. But when they use gender dismissive terms such as ‘hysterical’, well then I see we have a ways to go – even in this egalitarian world of weblogging.

But fighting the good fight because we’re searching for a replacement for marriage? Well, that doesn’t rock the boat, it misses it altogether.

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