Girls. The shopping. Most of it is window, admittedly, but the shopping. When did I become a shopper, eh? I mean in real shops, not in Edinburgh's smorgasbord of charity secondhand goods shops. Since arriving in Canada for my annual family visit, I have bought:
a cool notebook
a present for B.A.
a postcard for B.A. (which I didn't send)
a postcard for Polish Pretend Son (which I didn't send)
a three dimensional Easter lamb cake tin
vintage clip earrings
glass candlestick embossed with crucifixion scene which I rescued from ironic hipsters
Quo Vadis in Polish
some used books, two of them online to be delivered to the Historical House
Deborah Gyapong's The Defilersfor my birthday present tablet
lavender essential oil to deter moths
cedar blocks to deter moths
MAC eyeshadow (just one)
cute black shoes from Value Village ($10)
cool blue-green dress from Value Village ($12)
purse-sized Polish dictionary from Value Village ($2.99)
a Canadian passport ($210--no lie!)
nine copies of my own novel (for which I will be paid back, though)
another present for B.A.
cute case for my new tablet (on sale!)
headphones for my new tablet (cheapest in stock!)
great stationary from The Japanese Paper Place (cheaper than in the UK)
seemingly endless TTC (transit) fares
Dining out would be a killer, but dining has mostly been on coffee and tea, since I have been good and have come home to dinner every night.
I write all this in the hope that B.A. does not have a heart attack. I couldn't care less if some Eavesdropper makes some wisecrack to his computer about women and shopping. Humans are hunter-gatherers, and shopping is hunting and gathering, so to shop is human. If I should chance upon a male friend or acquaintance in the next few weeks who says "Women and shopping!", I will stare at him with feigned greed and shout, "Where's my present?"
This is part of my refusal to active in the war between the sexes. If accused of loving to shop, I will admit that I personally do indeed love to shop. If accused of being over-emotional, I will admit that I personally am over-emotional. If told that my place is in the home, I will admit that I personally love my home and do most of my work there. If told that I have no head for math, I will admit that I personally have no head for math. If told that I am a member of the weaker sex, I will point out that possession of a handgun would render that "weaker" thing irrelevant.
Then I may or may not, depending on the circumstances, point out that although these observations apply to me, they do not apply to all women, or most women or perhaps any woman other than me. (He could always look up gender stats on Google.) The observations might apply to some men I know, even the "weaker" part if you count my young nephews as men. My husband's workplace is, amusingly, also his home. Oh, and now my brother works from home, too. How cool it would be if we could all work from home: people with shops could just live upstairs or behind the shop. Office-workers could all telecommute. People say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. Perhaps some day you'll join us, etc.
Men love to joke with, jostle and test each other, so it is not a wild stretch for them to attempt to joke with, jostle and test women, too. Like women who cannot get it into our heads that men are not just like women inside, many men forget that women are not just like men inside. It's not usually flattering, but then it is probably not flattering for men to be treated like a combination bestest girlfriend/ tissue. ("There, there, Seraphic. There, there.") However, sometimes it is flattering, particularly when we do actually want to be "one of the boys", as I certainly did when I was a boxer and when I was the only woman (or one of two) in various systematic theology courses. (Nothing says creepy like a male religious telling you he hopes Father Karl Rahner had a mistress.) And it is quite flattering when Polish Pretend Son tells me that I am a feminist, for this means a young man is actually interested in my 40-something emotional reactions. I admit that I personally am shallow that way.
Unfortunately, I have not thought out a snappy answer to "You're a feminist" yet. It would be easy if, like Reader Sheila, I identified with the feminist movement enough to call myself a feminist: then I would just say "Yeah, so?" However I do not, so it's a toughie. Hmm. Maybe I will try, "No, I'm a Christian", and see how that works.*
*This is now OT, but I want to stop a chorus of voices from pointing out how to be Christian is to be a feminist, or that there are lots of Christian feminists, by saying that when it comes down to the moment one must choose between Christ and feminism, Christians choose Christ. Was Mary Daly a Christian when she died? I fear not.