In the Home Stretch
SHE stood against the kitchen sink, and looked
Over the sink out through a dusty window
At weeds the water from the sink made tall.
She wore her cape; her hat was in her hand.
Behind her was confusion in the room,
Of chairs turned upside down to sit like people
In other chairs, and something, come to look,
For every room a house has—parlor, bed-room,
And dining-room—thrown pell-mell in the kitchen.
And now and then a smudged, infernal face
Looked in a door behind her and addressed
Her back. She always answered without turning.
“Where will I put this walnut bureau, lady?”
“Put it on top of something that’s on top
Of something else,” she laughed. “Oh, put it where
You can to-night, and go. It’s almost dark;
You must be getting started back to town.”
Another blackened face thrust in and looked
And smiled, and when she did not turn, spoke gently,
“What are you seeing out the window, lady?”
“Never was I beladied so before.
Would evidence of having been called lady
More than so many times make me a lady
In common law, I wonder.”
–Robert Frost “In the Home Stretch“
A wandering professor once posited that we had reached peak feminism. That is, the movement as political agitation is at its nadir. There will always be instigators, but diminishing returns will neutralize the ability to mobilize numbers. Kerfuffles such as the recent saga of Suzanne Venker support this. Or not. Yeah, probably not.
Rather than dismiss our wandering professor, though, let us look to another example, a rather racy one — the audacious amateur blogger.
Read through that post, or this one or this one, and try to name a way that the modern scene has really benefited her. Venker is getting paid, so she’ll carry water. Audacious is unemployed, lonely, and dreaming of getting married and raising some young ‘uns out in the country.
And she’s not alone.
Those stories, the faceless girls, may be the canaries. The Venkers who are peddling wares for their 15 minutes feint, but reveal little. Perhaps our wandering professor was correct after all. Alas, the wreckage shall not be pretty.
“But I ask,
What are you seeing out the window, lady?”
“What I’ll be seeing more of in the years
To come as here I stand and go the round
Of many plates with towels many times.”
“And what is that? You only put me off.”
“Rank weeds that love the water from the dish-pan
More than some women like the dish-pan, Joe;
A little stretch of mowing-field for you;
Not much of that until I come to woods
That end all. And it’s scarce enough to call
Bonus link: Charles Murray on benevolent sexism. That’s a nice way of phrasing it.