Judging by the excessive gushing in the press and on the tube, Wednesday’s dubious “Take Our Daughters To Work Day” — otherwise known as “Encourage Our Daughters To Skip School With The Blessing Of Thoroughly Intimidated School Administrators Day” — was a smash hit with liberals, touchy-feely bureaucrats, feminist scolds and a sizable percentage of the henpecked wimpoids unfortunately married to them.
As you might expect, the scam was dreamed up by some outfit called the Ms. Foundation in New York City, ostensibly to boost the regard of young females for their abilities by exposing them to a variety of careers.
Flamers such as Gloria Steinem and Congresswoman Pat Schroeder — who won’t be satisfied until women assume their rightful places in the offensive line of the Green Bay Packers — picked up on the deal. Aided and abetted by insipid television anchors and melodramatic editorial writers, the hustle soon took off nationwide. Before one could say “bandwagon” normally sane parents of daughters throughout the country had, sadly, jumped on.
According to my morning newspaper, thousands of girl persons between the ages of 9 and 15 — possibly including some in your town — were kept out of school for the day to learn about jobs and careers while boy persons were forced to attend school against their better judgment, poor little buggers.
Why the boondoggle couldn’t have been staged on a non-school day is beyond me, but the girls’ teachers and parents were said to believe that a more important educational message than anything they could possibly learn in school awaited them by accompanying mom or dad to local offices, hospitals and colleges for a day. Which is pretty much where at least part of the rub lies.
The girls went with mom or dad to the white-collar office, hospital and college but not, it appears, to the blue-collar shoe factory or sardine cannery or to the potato house to shovel up another load of agriculturally inadequate potatoes for the dump. Heaven forbid we teach them about life in the real lane.
They tagged along to the Legislature for a critical lesson in career fence-straddling, but not to the local garage to learn the techniques of a first-class lube job. They went with mummy to shuffle a few papers and attend an endless round of vapid make-work meetings, but not with bar-tending daddy to learn how to concoct a passable Harvey Wallbanger or bounce the occasional drunken bum from the premises with just the proper touch of class.
Statistics do not show how many mamas who work the nation’s strip joints and houses of ill repute nor what percentage of daddy pimps, pushers and punks blithely dragged their daughters off to work with them on Wednesday while leaving their sons to sullenly labor over their school books. Probably not all that many, although in this day and age nothing would surprise me.
In stark contrast to the Ms. Foundation’s promotion of mindless truancy, women made a real gain Wednesday when Secretary of Defense Les Aspin ordered the armed services to drop restrictions on women flying combat missions and serving aboard Navy ships.
And why not? If female fighter jocks possess the Right Stuff they should be flying Navy and Air Force fighter jets and piloting the Army’s lethal attack choppers alongside their male buddies, and a year from now they will. High time, I say.
For that matter, if women possess the requisite skill to drop a mortar round on an enemy bunker or knock out an adversary’s tank with a 3.2 rocket launcher or whatever the latest weapon of choice might be, they ought to be allowed to do that, too. And if they can spit from a man-size chaw of tobacco and curse like a mule skinner while doing so, well that’s a bonus right there. The enemy about to be vaporized cares little whether the hand on the kill button is some hairy-fisted paw or a dainty and equisitely manicured extremity. War, after all, is hell most any way you look at it.
But enough of the heavy stuff. Spring is in the air and the thoughts of an Old Dawg turn to more mundane things, such as Thursday’s Wizard of Id comic strip in your favorite daily newspaper. The wife, pointing excitedly to the ground, exclaims to the husband, “The tulips are coming up.”
“That’s too bad,” replies hubby, seated with his jug of spirits beneath a nearby tree.
“Why?” asks the wife.
“Because the lawn can’t be far behind,” replies His Laziness.
My sentiments, precisely.
Kent Ward lives in Winterport.