Dinner and Gender Roles (Rolls?)
by Sanguinely Yours
Bombay Cricket Club was the choice location of a recent date. This particular date was with the well dressed professional from Portland. Not being a first date we could put our nerves aside and enjoy each other more freely. The restaurant is densely arranged with two levels and a bar on the main floor. A flat screen television is strategically placed at the bar for customers continued cricket enjoyment if they are so inclined. After our waitress made several attempts to take our orders, we finally decided it would be wise not to push our luck with this woman and just ordered her two favorite dishes along with a starter and two cocktails. Neither of us where well versed in Indian cuisine, and we barely had the opportunity to fully review the menu due to our conversation, so dinner would be a surprise.
At some point during our dinner, the conversation took a slightly more serious turn to women in the workplace, more specifically, in the military. How we landed on that topic, I do not know. It is a very interesting subject, like many worthy issues. It is dynamic and fascinating because of the varying components. This topic, to a great extent had me in conflict with my feminist ideology, traditional values, and my knowledge of human nature. In a reversal of roles I think my date may have taken more of a feminist view than I did in some areas and this may have slightly surprised him. Please do not misconstrue this, because I do believe that woman are clearly capable of all of the same things men are, but our tactics and behaviors may be vastly different. I do not pretend to know what goes on in the military or in a guys head (possibly I do not want to know, however curious I may be) The main point that I was trying to make during our discussion was that when you put a woman in to a male dominated environment the dynamic changes and things are often thrown off kilter, and vice versa.
Could you as a professional levelheaded and strong female with a solid understanding of the rules of life imagine living on an aircraft carrier for three to six months straight? If you can’t visualize it, think of the largest cruse ship you’ve ever seen, paint it a hideous gray, take away the comfortable beds, remove the beautiful wood, crystal chandeliers, art work, spas, elaborate dining halls, and the all so helpful stewards and cocktails. Imagine being confined to this DULL iron monstrosity, surrounded by clean cut, muscular, uniform clad men. Now now I didn’t say anything about good-looking single men, just muscular and uniform clad men, entirely different. So just forget about any illusions of being surrounded by good looking men in uniforms because it could fade quickly. Now imagine living without your usual outlets such as close friends, a quick jaunt to the store to satisfy a wild craving for some random luxury food or item, but maybe even more critical without the luxury of being able to just escape to clear your mind with a brisk walk or run outdoors. I think the term Cabin Fever might sound familiar! Now lets toss some emotions like chauvinism, animosity, sexual tension, or simply unfamiliarity in with the Cabin Fever salad and their it is an atmospheric change. It could also be something more symptomatic like tension that is built up because of an insecure spouse or lack of good decorum amongst colleagues.
Both the men and women in the military do great things and have proven their courageousness many times over to protect us and our liberties and for that I am grateful. I will continue to believe that women are strong compassionate creatures capable of doing great things, just as great as men, but I have not desire to slop around in mud or sand or live on an aircraft carrier with a bunch of stinky men. We have come along way since my grandmother’s generation and will continue to make strides. It will be interesting to see what evolves over the next 60 years.
So, back to dinner at the Bombay Cricket Club! Oh how I do enjoy curry, garlic, mangos, coconut, lamb and garbanzos. Unfortunately, I had to pray that the aromas permeating my body after this delicious dinner would not morph into halitosis. My date was perfectly splendid and I didn’t want him running away!