Sometimes just a spark is all that’s necessary
Today’s post was originally going to explore the topic of small countries’ efforts towards independence but an entry in our Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Lost moved our train of thought in a different, yet quite related, direction. We were reminded of a cigarette brand whose late 60s marketing was geared exclusively to women. Even though the memory had nothing to do with ponderings on smoking, advertising or even women’s liberation, the idea behind the campaign, the quest for determination, did.
Virginia Slims groovy slogan of “You’ve come a long way, baby!” reached back to those generations who had come through depression, a few world wars and huge changes to gender roles in both social and domestic milieus. Fast forward fifty years and it is all the more poignant for despite the radical adjustments we have all made, things really aren’t a whole lot better. In fact, one might argue that they are worse. Our own mum has been known to shake her head in disbelief and mutter “I don’t know how you do it” which is odd considering how both she and her own mother conducted their lives, taking risks and acting outside of accepted convention – besides, like them, it is not as if we have much choice in the matter.
We have, sadly, been duped by the media machine that decided we could be everything to everyone all the time: that we could not only wear the pants but have a closet filled with matching hats that we could defiantly don all at once or interchangeably on a whim. We were told, tempted, nagged, chided, berated and reminded that we could do anything we desired if we really wanted to – be saint and sinner, sacred and sex object, saboteur, sage and saviour. It is not true.
There is a dark and pervasive strain of something or other that has been poisoning the well of our being. As usual, we thought it was just us in our little bubble feeling put-out and put-upon but the more we read and created a dialogue, it became apparent that there are many of us out there suddenly realizing that the moment we stop to take a breath we feel like we are drowning. The author of the post that led to all this postulation wrote of a certain state of being lost, in a “fog… that suffocates the quality of daily life”. Is this malaise generationally endemic? Has it struck only North Americans who have been bombarded by false hope and the pipe dream of attaining super-womanhood or is it a plague that knows no borders? Who can say: it is the stuff of discourse but some days it makes us want to just start a fire under the whole thing…
This fortnight the Big 5 Challenge is dedicated to all those of both genders who are still fighting the big battle, one in which a constantly metamorphosing enemy defies pinpointing and where the front lines keep moving from day to day.
“Who is your Underdog?” – young or old, timid or bold, flash in the pan or kicking the can, cartoon or larger than life …
We would love to know who flies above the crowd for you.
For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, some great entries and the guidelines for this challenge can be found here: Need more info, want to browse past themes or get the badge for your blog? See HOW DOES THIS WORK.