Your mother?
Friday, August 16, 2019 at 9:51AM
Elena Taurke in Feminism, Moms are People Too, Motherhood, People Getting Old

"Elizabeth Warren" by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 White male says to me: "Elizabeth Warren? I agree with what Bill Maher says about her...she reminds everyone of their mother." 

Oh. Really?

And that is a problem because you would never elect your mother for president, right?

Why not, exactly? Because she nagged you when you didn't clean your room? Because she picked up after you when you didn't and perhaps hated herself for doing it, then suffered with low self-esteem because she was cleaning instead of writing/surfing/acting like she was born to do? Because she judged you? taught you right from wrong so that later when you chewed with your mouth open no one would say "Didn't his mother teach him manners?"

I get it. Women of that generation, my generation (a tad older but still, I see it coming) don't get much love. We had to make the difficult choice as young women, be a strident feminist or be a femme and manipulate the patriarchy. Neither role gets us points now. Younger women like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Rashida Tlaib can be fierce and beautiful, but if you are fierce and older, mockery follows, unless you are Nancy Pelosi, who unapolagetically uses old-world style to keep her cool and keep the men in place. 

The New York Times In Her Words column recently skewered likeability coaching for professional women, and then reviewed gender judo, which is the practice of using a gender stereotype in order to gain power in surprising ways. Like, act like a helpful mom 95% of the time so that you can slice and dice on the sly. Hats off to Nancy Pelosi for mastering this practice. Those of us who are a bit less smooth careen off those likeability rails.

The other day I was walking along in the West Village and saw a clump of young adults bump into a woman my age. Apparently she made a sound because the group cracked up imitating her: did you hear that? “woah!. woah! woooaaah” hahahahhahah. They took turns bumping into each other and making this feeble sounding exclamation. There seemed to be something hilarious about the slight silliness with which she took offense.

How I wished I could have been a superhero at that moment. I would have given the woman shoulders to turn around, square off, and demand an apology. She had a right to take up space on the sidewalk. We're not done yet. 

August 2019

Article originally appeared on PsychoZen (
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