The World Hockey Summit met in August to discuss the future, foundation, and prominent aspects of the sport of ice hockey. On the agenda, the looming expulsion of women’s hockey from the Olympics. Committee president Jacques Rogge decided to place women’s hockey on notice following several lopsided scores in the most recent Olympic Games, held in Vancouver, Canada.
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As a woman, it can be difficult to find your voice and feel comfortable saying no. Because of how society socializes women, we are taught that it is important to please others, regardless of our own desires. If you have ever agreed to have sex with someone when you really didn’t want to, then you know what I mean. Some women pass down the idea to their daughters that they should put others first, perpetuating a cycle that results in the abuse of women. This is one reason that women remain in abusive relationships, or seek them out.
George Carlin. Bill Hicks. David Cross. Bill Maher. All vulgar and obscence comediens. And arguably the best because of their satirical wisdom and stoic personas. Much of their style of humor is lost in modern television, due mostly to ratings and a general lack of interest in moral topics that are, unfortunately, considered rebellious. You’d expect the following intro in an episode of South Park or as part of a discussion on Real Time with Bill Maher, but the source, CBS’ “Two and a Half Men”, is deceiving when considered the target audience is considered mainstream.
Mia (Emmanuelle Vaugier) reluctantly accepts the bracelet Charlie (Charlie Sheen) presents to her. She hesitates before reading the inscription on her new jewelry, “One month, two week, four days?” This is the length of time Charlie Harper has gone without sex. This is a point he elaborates on without encouragement; stating his $80,000 Mercedes and taunting Malibu beach estate, which in dating terms he refers to as, “A G-spot with two mortgages,” have failed to assist in his debauchery.
I watched a re-run of Family Guy last night. In this episode, Lois freaks out because she is exhausted from Christmas preparations. She sets fire to their tree and goes on a rampage through the town of Quahog. This episode really resonated with me, even though I don’t have children. I have done the majority of the shopping for the approximately 40 people on our list, many of whom are nieces and nephews on my husband’s side of the family. Last Saturday I spent hours wrapping all of those presents. And I’m still not done. I have to pick up something for my Dad, find the perfect book about trains for my Godson, get something for my neighbors who were overly generous last year, a gift certificate for my brother in law and his wife, go to Target and get dog toys for nine dogs, and maybe something else for my mother.
Then I have to buy the ingredients to make a Christmas Eve dessert, develop a shopping list for Christmas dinner, which will include making another dessert, and finish wrapping the gifts I haven’t finished wrapping, including some I need to wrap when my husband is elsewhere.
Christmas has become a race to exhaustion. And while I love to buy Christmas presents, I wonder if we have stepped too far afield of its meaning. While we hear all the time that we have to “get back to the real meaning of Christmas,” like a new group on Facebook called “Let’s keep the Christ in Christmas,” none of this addresses the pressure that, in most cases, women face during this time of year.
And why does the holiday pressure fall on women? I know I am the one who nagged my husband about decorating the house. I was the one who wanted our house to look “pretty” in my neighborhood. I was the one who went to get a tree and then decorated the whole thing while he cooked dinner one night. I did manage to get him to come shopping with me for some of our nieces and nephews, but I couldn’t get him to move at the pace I needed. Am I the one who puts this pressure on me? Do women bring this on themselves? Or are men happy to let us take charge?
I often get a good cold this time of year. Women run themselves into exhaustion, staying up late wrapping presents or baking cookies or decorating. I wonder if next year, instead of getting back to the real meaning of Christmas, maybe we could begin to think of an equality of Christmas, where no one person in the home takes full responsibility for the increased chores that come with this beautiful season of lights.
Dr. Juli Parker,
Women’s Resource Center