The thing is…as I stood there with him lauding Dorothy Chandler’s moving and shaking as the boomers happily frothed it really made me think of the accepted narratives of women versus the energetic actualities.
Half the women I was raucously with were the class before the bra-burners. The ones who charged into the workforce and fought the war. First Wavers on the beach who ran hard as they could up the ramparts, the way it is historically told.
But it’s a lie.
A collectively accepted one, but a lie all the same.
The bread all were fed that wiped out a broader truth.
I looked at the cocksure grin on Dorothy Chandler’s portait in the Founders Room & knew that brazen audacity in my eggs. Viscerally. Before Darryl dove deep.
Chandler’s moves in the 50s were akin to the guerrilla marketing moves we were using at the turn of this latest century.
But her moves were predicated on something that I rarely see given credit. Chandler mobilized armies of women.
But those women had just Been mobilized and held EVERYTHING DOWN.
WORLD WAR TWO…women flooded the workforce. So five or six years later I am sure that autonomy was still fragrant to their spirits and amplified how they came together under her.
& she grew up in FDR & Eleanor Roosevelt’s time, was born while women were elbowing their way into the vote.
Women have been bubbling up and fixing shit the whole time here.
& there are all kinds of men , but in the case of a force of nature like Chandler there’s three primary ones:
1.The males- often secularly seen as “successful” whose actual manhood was actually highly tremulous- who rued the day she got worked up & did all kinds of dumb pantywaist-boy shit off in the cut to try to railroad or outright sabotage what she had on her heart to do. Like those who tried to stop her getting the land even though it was a great idea, mad it was her;
2. The men who, though they lowkey talked crap & took light jabs -like the mouth-always open bust- regarding her “nontraditional ” vibration, were smart enough to see that she moved in rooms full of men they faltered in better than they ever had & went along to get along, “can’t beat’em? Join’em~” smirks in place as they gave her her props;
3. The motherfuckers who saw her and gave her all she asked to do what she’d wanted to do.
Those are the dudes with the ginormous grins standing With her in all these old photos.
Where I’m going with this is…
The more I learn, the more I recognize that things don’t change.
She was running into those groups in the 50s. Women were running into it in the 70s & 80s in tsunami waves. & my generation was navigating guys cut from those same bolts of cloth in the late 90s &00s.
What changes are the ranks.
The sheer number of dudes in the second category tripled in my generation. The admittance shifted.
Time doesn’t March forward.
There’s expansion and contraction of comprehension and bandwidth.
… but what would a true forward movement actually entail?