A Mean Meme
I am usually the first one to defend social media when it comes under fire from those who see it as a harbinger of the end of the world as we know it.
Do I think that social media keeps us from interacting with each other? Do I think social media isolates us? No, I don’t. I am in touch with literally hundreds of people who, without social media, would be only vague memories. Now I know the names of their kids, their grandkids and their cats.
I also don’t think the end of the world is near. I don’t think our recent harsh weather is somehow sinister or “unnatural” or that a deity is punishing us for letting gay people get married.
Just because I’m a tarot reader doesn’t mean I’m superstitious. Just because I eat organic foods doesn’t mean I want to return to the eighteenth century.
Once in a while, though, I wish the “share” button on Facebook came with a disclaimer, or a warning.
Something like “Did you really read that meme? Do you really agree with it? Do you really think propagating this is helpful to the world?”
Many of the memes we wantonly share on Facebook contain inflammatory statements presented as facts. One trip to Snopes can save us from spreading lies and creating confusion, but it’s so much easier just to hit “Share.”
The meme that has my garters in a twist today isn’t factual, or even very political. Well, to me it’s political, but most people won’t see it that way. It’s really just a cute, funny thing that means no harm at all. It’s from EMZKIE at Poopsie. It goes like this.
Yes, I'm a woman. I push doors that clearly say pull. I laugh harder when I try to explain why I'm laughing. I walk into a room and forget why I was there. I count on my fingers in math. I ask for food and then don't eat it when I get it. I fall in love too fast with someone who doesn't actually love me back. I hide the pain from my loved ones. I say it is a long story when it's really not. I cry a lot, more than you think I do. I care about people who don't care about me. I try to do things before the microwave beeps. I listen to you even though you don't listen to me. And a hug will always help. Yes! I am a woman! And I am proud of who I am.
Am I the only person for whom reading this is like sliding down a razorblade into a pool of salt? Ouch!
I’m all about gender pride in the face of oppression and all that, but let’s take a look at how this meme defines women.
Women are delightfully stupid. Women are giddy and silly. Women can’t do math. Women suffer in silence. Women are overly sentimental. Women are industrious in the kitchen. Woman do not require reciprocity. Women are comfortable being defined this way, because women are just featherheads with big hearts!
Who shares this meme on Facebook? Women do!
All I can do is shake my head.
There are so many great quotes about being a woman. What about Maya Angelou’s acclaimed poem, “Phenomenal Woman?”
When I see intelligent women hitting the Share button on the “Yes I’m a woman” meme, I want to respond with the words of Mary Wollstonecraft, from 1792 (that’s more than two centuries ago, if anyone’s counting).
In her “A Vindication of the Rights of Women,” she said, “My own sex, I hope, will excuse me, if I treat them like rational creatures, instead of flattering their fascinating graces, and viewing them as if they were in a state of perpetual childhood, unable to stand alone.”
I think Mary might have been inclined to poo-poo Poopsie, just as I am!