“She’s a gem,”  I overhead them say.  “A very good girl.”

I glanced over, expecting to see a child in a pinafore.  Instead, I saw a fully grown woman, elegantly dressed.  She wasn’t aware of their commentary, walking by her admirers down the concourse to some unknown destination.  And as I resumed my reading, I couldn’t help but wonder how she might react to such an assessment.

There were dozens of families, lone strangers and couples crowded into our Southwest gate that afternoon.  I casually looked at their faces, trying to discern which of them were good or bad.  Was it possible to determine merit based upon appearance alone?

It made me reflect upon the strange duplicity with which we as women are reared.  We are expected to exhibit virtuous behavior in public and intuit how far we may abandon it in private.  Most of us spend a lifetime on a tightrope, afraid to stray to either side for fear of losing our balance.

As a consequence, we drive our natural impulses underground or wildly act upon them.  It’s no surprise then that the two usual epithets hurled at women, bitch or whore, reference love… either by its absence or its unrestraint.  A grim reminder that as the appointed keeper of unconditional love, we must dole it out conditionally.

It’s a curious thing to be assigned a task and not being allowed to perform it.  As such, we fail by default and foster generations of women frustrated by limitation, most of whom are not aware of why they are angry.  We assume that carrying the mantle bestowed upon us should provide the fulfillment we seek, but when it does not, we rarely question it.  That would not be appropriate for a good girl.  Instead, we smile, confide in our equally-frustrated girlfriends, and hope for the best.

So it was with a sigh that I returned to my book.  Did I think I could overturn millenia of habit with a single thought?  Maybe it was better not to question unnatural order; a good girl operative can maneuver more efficiently if no attention is drawn to her.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: