Sometimes it's hard to be a woman,
Givin' all your love to just one man
You'll have bad times, and he'll have good times,
Doin' things that you don't understand
But if you love him, then you'll forgive him,
'Cause after all he's just a man
(Tammy Wynette, Stand By Your Man)
It’s old-tyme chivalry going back to King Arthur. Todd Akin opens doors for ladies, doffs his hat in elevators (I do too), and would be scandalized if one offered to pay the check (not me!). If he saw The Honeymooners, he understood Ralph Kramden, Brooklyn bus driver who hollered, “No wife of mine will ever work a day in her life!”
In the 1951 movie, Bright Victory, Arthur Kennedy returns blinded from WW-II. His girl can’t handle it and they split. He learns he can become a lawyer if someone reads law books to him, finds a new girl and says, “Honey, we’re going to be a lawyer!” The blithe chauvinism—she does the reading, he gets the degree—of days when it was unthinkable for a woman to be a lawyer, is the world of Todd Akin, who after a debate with Claire McKaskill called her “unladylike,” and “a wild cat.” Her response: “I was a prosecuting attorney and came out fighting. What did he expect?”
What he expected began long before 1947 when he was born. Todd Akin lives in a world I learned about from Ardrah Buddin, my WW-II navigator who grew up in South Carolina, believing that there were nice girls and the other kind. He was much more interested in the other kind because nice girls didn’t like sex, even when married, so a man had to have “something on the side.” Budden grew up, he said, thinking that “nice girls don’t even shit, they take chemicals.” But he expected to marry a nice girl. It’s likely Todd Akin thought those things.too because at age 55 he still thinks that a nice girl can’t be knocked up by a rapist because her body “shuts down.” If she gets pregnant, she must have “asked for it,” so isn’t a nice girl after all. (Talk about blaming the victim!)
Akin is scared of unladylike wild cats like Claire McKaskill, only comfortable with weak fluttery nice girls. A century ago, too blushingly delicate to spread their legs, they rode horses side-saddle. In Italy in the 1950s, nice girls rode motor scooters side-saddle, behind a man, knees pressed primly together.
“Women and children first!” cried gallant gents on the sinking Titanic, and sure enough, 74% of the women survived, only 20% of the men. But I’d like to know what percentage of those saved women had been in First Class, how many came from below.
Todd Akin loves Tammy Wynette.
Stand by your man, Give him two arms to cling to
And somethin' warm to come to, when nights are cold and lonely
Stand by your man, And show the world you love him
Keep givin' all the love you can, Stand by your man.
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(TO SEE "MITT ROMNEY RAP," CLICK HERE)