Oh hello there! I’m currently writing from my actual real live home. I feel like Dorothy with her Toto and all wrapped up with a little Kansas loving. I’ve been away in D.C. for most of the summer getting my intern on, so since coming home I’ve been sitting in either a beach chair or lounging on my sofa.
And here I am at home, spending my wholesome Sunday evening the all American way — with muh teevee. I got through most of my usual TV lineup – “Sixty Minutes” (while muting the insufferable Andy Rooney part); some “Law and Order” episode that my dad figured out waaaaay before I did; and finally I got to the coup de grace: “Mad Men.”
Now nothing gets between me and my television. Or so I thought! You see, despite criticism and absolute disdain- I have stood by the often distasteful “Real Housewives” franchise, sat through entire marathons of “I love New York” on VH1, I even bought into that whole “I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant” nonsense for a few episodes. So in a quick summary: I LOVE TRASH TV. Lack of propriety? Questionable morals? You know I’m watching. I am more loyal than a politician’s wife during a sex scandal (cough Jim McGreevey).
But along came “Mad Men.” I know the Emmy award winning show isn’t exactly on par with “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” but this evening, when I started watching a perennial favorite …. I just couldn’t do it. WHY? That’s what I was asking myself! I mean, come on, we have some Don Draper, we have some fabulous get-ups, we have POCKET SQUARES. But I just couldn’t do it. Every time I heard Betty get dismissed, or Peggy get shot down, or Joan skeeved on – I started to get upset. Because all of this nonsense really did happen, be it to my mother or her mother or even her mother.
This summer I interned at a renowned feminist organization, and it really changed things for me. I’d always identified as a feminist, but I became like exponentially more dedicated through this experience. It’s been one of those experiences, where I hadn’t realized that I had changed until I was placed back in my old surroundings.
I remember the exact moment where I decided that the ongoing feminist movement was something I was going to commit to. I was sitting in a lunch with Ellen Malcolm, who founded EMILY’s List (where I interned). As everyone was doing introductions, she suddenly cut one girl off and made her stop. The girl who she had interrupted obviously looked petrified and I am pretty sure I made a Scooby Doo inspired “HUHHHHHHH?” noise.
Ms. Malcolm then said something I will never forget: “Say your full name. Women so often just say their first name- like they shouldn’t be taken seriously. Say your full name.”
Oh man was I intimidated! I was all: “I always say my full name. I’m a baller.” Then I started giving it some thought…. I thought about all the times I introduced myself in that annoyingly high tone, “I’m TY-LER.” Oh, yuck.
And sometime between that point and right now, I’ve changed. And believe me, Imma jump aboard that Obama train like the groupie I am. So of course, I’m excited/nervous to see how my new, ULTRA PC personality meshes back at Hopkins. But I’m going to stand by that. Because I can.
YOURS FOREVER AND ALWAYS LOVES OF MY LIFE THE REASONS THAT I BREATHE,
(I know that it would have been more dramatic if I had signed with my full name … but I don’t think I’m supposed to use it here. IRONY!).