I did not know this, or I certainly would have made a bigger deal out of it, but this past Sunday was International Women's Day.
I was confused because around my house, every day is woman's-day-I-love-you-honey-very-much.
In honor of the big day, the official Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano — apparently a bastion of feminism — ran a piece about the rise of female empowerment in the 20th century. Its conclusion as to the single greatest emancipator of women is summed up in the article's concise title: "The Washing Machine and the Liberation of Women — Put in the Detergent, Close the Lid and Relax."
The author — Giulia Galeotti, who is reportedly a woman — contends that while "some say the Pill, some say abortion rights and some the right to work outside the home" have been the catalyst for female ascendancy, "some, however, dare to go further: the washing machine."
Dare, Giulia. You go on and dare, with your bad righteous-fire daring self, girl.
Lookee, for real: The average front-loading LG may have brought women convenience — right up until you spend hours trying to resolve the unresolvable front-loader mildew buildup issues with customer service. But to say the washer has liberated the lay-dees is kinda like saying the cotton gin liberated slaves. It is inaccurate, and it's hurtful. And as a man I take my obligation to defend a woman's feminism for her very seriously.
I don't expect the Vatican or the Vatican's Daily Planet-type agitprop wing to get behind reproductive rights. However, to claim that a home appliance has done more for women than, say, "the vote" and "equal pay for equal work" is all equally ridiculous.
So ridiculous, it's hard to tell if the article is actually tongue-in-cheek or perhaps just a touch satirical. But from what little I know of Vatican operations, I'm guessing not. And normally, to a degree, I'd appreciate a conversation starter like this, but in honor of International Women's Day? Really?
I can't imagine it happening, but if L'Osservatore Romano really wanted to do something to honor women they'd quickly print a retraction. And printed with the retraction would be some coupon for cents off at 1-hour Martinizing.
This has been all very traumatic. I don't think I can enjoy International Women's Day again. Next year I guess I'll be heading back to Vegas for the International "We Ain't Saying" Day.
Slightly different objectives.