Friday, January 9, 2015

A Feminist Reacts to Old Maid

I just had to throw out the Old Maid.
The game was part of a package of four simple card games that I bought for my 5-year-old grandson for Christmas. Crazy 8s, Go Fish, War—and Old Maid. I took a hard look at the ugly photo of said Old Maid, and my immediate impulse was to throw the cards out. But I hesitated. Was I taking my feminism too seriously? Just a harmless children’s game, right?
I left the deck of cards in the box overnight.
By morning, my mind was made up: into the garbage it went.
My grandson will no doubt be exposed to the sexism that still pervades American culture. He’ll observe the obsession with women’s boobs everywhere from the sidelines of an NFL game to eye-candy ads for of all kinds of products marketed to men. He’ll see women trivialized and rescued over and over again in movies and on TV. He’ll hear coaches buck up their players with taunts of “Nancy” and other slurs that equate female with lack of courage, persistence and endurance.
But I won’t contribute to the brain washing. He won’t learn from me that being an unmarried older woman is to be a loser.
I buried the cards under the scraps from last night’s dinner.

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