So Thursday 28 May is “take a girl child to work day”. I listened to some guy on Classic FM who spoke about taking girl children to the airport, or an airport, I should say, seeing that he spoke about how excited they got when they saw the rooivalk last year. And about how the girls get a Whole ‘Nother point of view once they see women on the floor fixing/servicing helicopters and so on. He called it “creating awareness around aviation”.
I don’t know. It seems to me to be just another way to break a nail.
Funny how everything (yes, I do actually mean everything – call it a world view, if you like) seems to be the exception that proves the rule. And each attempt to redefine the status quo and break out of the mould is just another clichéd confirmation of the fact that we give the status quo and the mould a certain legitimacy, by simply acknowledging these as worthy opponents. The world as we know it, and for the moment I refer to a liberal democratic state, I guess, makes sense to us, as it is. And that is where the problem lies.
Girls thinking of aviation, and particularly of the mechanics of it, is newsworthy. The fact that it is newsworthy should be ridiculous. The fact that women’s place in the world can be, even after the spectacle of Women’s Lib, continually redefined by men, based on the wars they might be waging, and the places where labour might be required should enrage us, not endow us with the notion that the world is somehow changing, and with it, women’s place in it.
Is our place in the engine room of the aviation factory? The guys who are helicopter mechanics are just helicopter mechanics. They dream of being bankers, virtually without exception, I will bet you, lots. (More than R10, which is normally my limit.) Women helicopter mechanics, on the other hand, are newsworthy. But they are not engineers, and they are not examples of how women redefine the roles of the sexes. They are just people who know what to do with a lug wrench, which has uses other than smacking that fella on the radio right through the chops.
The women covered in grease up to their elbows should be a terrible warning, not a good example. Look sister, they should say, this is where you will end up if you don’t do an MBA and make enough to retire, rich, by age forty. Otherwise you will work like a dog your whole life, subservient to men and their laws, and their morality, which serves only them. I wish somebody said that to me.
No, as young students we thought we would work hard and make meaning, and change the world. You don’t have to work hard to make meaning or to change the world. And you are certainly not going to find meaning fixing the machines of men.
If you look at BSG, who are the sexiest chics? The pilots, of course. I think when one is taken on a trip to the airport, one should leave with the feeling that you, too, can fly. We need a new Enlightenment. We are no better off when it comes to using our reason than we were in the Middle Ages. The world as it is, is inside us, and is who we are.
On another note… I saw an eminent writer, editor and now university professor at a wedding on Saturday, and he spoke about how difficult it is to write into the void. “You want some feedback,’ he said, and it was amazing how this was, only then, so obvious. Of course we want feedback. That is why I told everybody, including my parents, about my blog. Never mind the nom de plume. It’s me! It’s me! Read me! (“….read me, Seymore… read me….. READ ME!)
Now I am going to have to start another blog, and tell nobody.