I have passed by this billboard frequently in the last few months and decided to take a picture of it today. It sits on the main northbound street that runs into Downtown Denver.
What can I say, I love fossils. The T-Rex, the Brontosaurus, you name it, they all fascinate me. I have to admit, I almost wet myself in anticipation when I first laid eyes on this billboard. I mean c’mon. An expo is coming to town that not only features fossils, but gems and minerals as well!?! Good golly! Needless to say, I am excited. I got out of work early so I could blog about it.
I would like to survey my readers on their favorite fossils and some of the best expos they have att….shit…
My bad, this was meant for my Geology blog. Oops.
Well, I guess while I’m at it, I could offer a few words about the other billboard. See the ugly yellow and black one?
The one, I should point out, that is doing its best to distract motorists from what could shape up to be the greatest exposition in the Mile High City’s history? Yeah that one.
My first reaction was disgust. What kind of sick, repressive, patriarchal culture makes a woman wait an entire day before she can be unshackled from the chains of “marriage” slavery? I am outraged. Offended as well.
We know this billboard ain’t meant for men. Most know how lucky they are, and would never think of divorce. Only a few men at the top, who trade in wives like used cars, consider it. These men have high powered lawyers to handle their dirty work. No need to call an 800 number.
I have a few objections. First, as we know, women’s education is in poor shape in this country. Thanks to male privilege, little girls are slighted and ignored by the male dominated public school system. Sure, there are a few female teachers, but the administration is a “good ol boys” network if I ever saw one.
With that as preamble, I ask the question: How many women, especially those of lower socio-economic status, are able to read the word “divorce” on the billboard? What are they to do? What about women that can’t speak English? Are they supposed to suffer the indignity of divorce in a week, or even a month?
Think of the difficulty and danger that is faced by having to write down or dial the number while driving. I realize what fantastic multitaskers women are, but should we put yet another additional responsibility on their plate?
Pull over you say? Please, and be late to work, where a man is champing at the bit, looking for any reason to fire her? If you are going to ask those kinds of questions, I‘m going to have to ask you to leave. Take the misogyny with you.
Clearly if this injustice is allowed to stand, we will see the patriarchy attempt even bolder acts of oppression. These brutes are devious. And patient. I suspect most of them have read Rules for Radicals. They understand incrementalism.
First they make women wait 24 hours for a divorce, then a week, then a month, and pretty soon divorce is outlawed. Once this happens, the burqa isn’t far off.
I try to be a solutions driven person. It’s not enough to complain about the patriarchy. Bold action is needed to keep it at bay. With that said, here is my idea that could rid the country of the injustice of a 24 hour waiting period.
After all, women aren’t guns, they are equal human beings. I was only confronted with this sickening display of male aggression hours ago. My solution may be hasty, but something must be done. Remember, no justice, no peace.
Without further delay, I suggest: The drive thru divorce window. Think this is radical huh. I call it tit for tat. The male power structure, in places like Las Vegas, Nevada, already have drive thru MARRIAGE windows. Typically what happens, is a man will get a young and inexperienced woman drunk, or even slip a drug into her drink, and then sucker her into marriage slavery. By the time she realizes her mistake, days or even weeks can go by before the situation is rectified.
Corrupt judges have even been known to deny a division of the assets in these situations. The victimized woman is left with nothing. A disgrace. We can strike back though. It will take perseverance and hard work.
Obviously, women have a very hectic schedule. The 35 hour work weeks, the yoga classes, jaunts to the spa, picking up the only child, and vital trips to the mall can make finding time for a divorce exceedingly difficult.
I propose a law, federal mind you, not some bullshit city council proposal, that requires McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, even Arby’s, etc. to provide an additional window that deals exclusively with divorce.
For women who make healthier choices, I would require Kiosks at Whole Foods, Subway, Qdoba, and the like.
Suggestions on naming this important legislation is greatly appreciated.
Don’t give me some Constitutional mumbo jumbo either. Heck, we could amend the Americans with Disabilities Act if we have to. If this country can make businesses provide wheelchair ramps, handicapped parking, and wide doors, it can certainly make them build an additional drive up window or kiosk. What’s the big deal? After all, think how many women in America are disabled by their lazy, asexual, insensitive, and often brutally violent husbands.
A women could order a happy meal for HER child, pay for it (hopefully with the husband’s credit card), pick it up at the next window, and then, instead of driving directly to the day care center, make a quick stop at the divorce window.
There, a smiling, and understand woman ( a man with this job could only provide unneeded trauma) would take down a bit of vital information and enter it into a national database. Within minutes, hamburger still hot, a woman can drive away emancipated. Now that, my friends, is more like it.
Think of the additional jobs this third drive thru window could provide. At first, I thought, that wise, undocumented Latinas, from south of our border, could fill these positions.
Thinking about it more, I don’t think this would work. Although wise in many ways, they wouldn’t be sensitive to the feelings and plight of an American women. Most are just not educated enough to understand the perils of the patriarchy.
I think a partnership with local colleges, possibly the women’s studies department, would be more fruitful. Perhaps, some sort of internship, or required community service, would do our young budding minds some good.
Another option would be a collaboration with community organizers. I’m waiting on a callback from the Denver Acorn office as we speak. Their recent work in helping a woman start a brothel tells me they are natural allies. Small business, especially women owned, is the backbone of this country.
Child support and custody, alimony, division of the assets, and other messy situations are often used by men to try and make a woman feel guilty about her decision. These situations can be time consuming, mentally draining, and hurtful.
To me, this is just as offensive as the 24 hour waiting period. After all, a woman has to get on with her life. In addition, like free speech, or freedom of religion, a woman has a right not to feel guilt, or regret her decision in any way.
She might have even met a man who better fits her needs. A man who understands a woman’s unique sexual desires, or one that is more mature and financially stable. Is she supposed to ignore her feelings to appease some archaic patriarchal standard?
Sometimes, a newly freed women just needs to get out with her girlfriends. Friends who have been by her side, through thick and thin, while she survived the hell of marriage slavery. After years of living this drudgery, women often need to hit the town, and go to night spots, to mingle with the more enlightened and less bitter. After years of emotional abuse, validation from younger, less demanding, and open minded men, feels wonderful.
Believe it or not, former oppressors aren’t so understanding. In fact, they often try to blame, or make their former slave feel guilty about the situation. Sometimes they even fight for child custody. What chutzpah. They will do anything to maintain control.
Many are complete deadbeats who object to meaningful child support or alimony. They expect their former chattel to live on crumbs. See how brutal the patriarchy is? Even the tiny strides that have been achieved by the hard work of politically powerless women’s groups is fought tooth and nail.
This is why the national database is vital. It should be set up to divide assets( and freeze them when necessary), provide for restraining orders, give custody of children to the victim, and set proper alimony payments.
Shortly after, it should set up a years subscription to match.com, or, if the woman chooses, adultfriendfinder.com. Local nightclubs, travel agencies and shopping centers might be convinced to provide gift certificates to the newly freed.
All of these details should be completed before the last sip of Diet Coke.
In addition, a Federal officer should be dispatched immediately to remove the ex-husband from the woman and child’s home. This should be easy to set up. If local home security companies can pull it off, certainly our federal government can.
This step is vital in allowing a woman to move on with her life. To expedite the process, contracts with rent by the week motels should be established so the federal official has a place to quickly take the ex-husband. Many men are lazy and make little money, and many have no friends or family who will take them in. Prisons no longer in use, or not at full capacity, is a possibility as well.
Perhaps a public/private partnership with Uhaul could be had. Anything that belongs to the husband, in consultation with the national database, could be stored by Uhaul at the ex-husbands expense.
Keep in mind, speed is essential. A woman shouldn’t have to change her hectic schedule much in order to avoid seeing her former oppressor again. Any contact could cause trauma, or irrational second thoughts about the divorce. A quick trip to Macy’s should be the extent of any time killing.
Happy Meal+divorce+finish Diet Coke+daycare center+Macy’s+return to home sans husband = peace of mind, empowerment, and equality. Oh, and most importantly, the 1st step toward closure.
I would also support adding divorce to the “Family and Medical Leave Act” to protect women during this trying time. Eh, check that. 12 weeks UNPAID leave? Gimme a break.
I propose the “Recently Emancipated Leave to Find Yourself Act“. After a divorce, a woman should be granted 18 months of paid leave to find closure and start a new life. Perhaps a government sponsored trip abroad would be helpful. Free daycare sounds like a good idea as well.
This is just one possible solution to the scourge of the 24 hour divorce. I’d love to hear any other suggestions you have as well. I think that any solution should not only fix the obvious injustice of a time consuming divorce process, but also work to eliminate any bad feelings a woman may suffer in the aftermath. Remember the patriarchy’s biggest weapon is guilt.
I’ll leave you with some final words…
George Bush, while a clear oppressor of Stepford wife Laura, got one thing right when he said this: “When people are hurting, the government has gotta move”.
Well, women are hurting. Now lets move.