Before I delve into the pure joy I felt while watching Storm Large perform on America’s Got Talent, allow me tell you a few things about women in their fifties.
I speak with authority. I am one.
First of all: I was eight years old before a woman could obtain a credit card without her husband’s permission. Then we came of age in the 1980s, which was an absolute sewer of a decade. Where do I even start?
Ronald Reagan, ketchup as a vegetable, jazzercise, leg warmers, being rated 1–10 when we walked down the street, Wall Street, cocaine, awful hair, some truly terrible music, Jesse Effing Helms, and most of all, stuck in the crevice between traditional female norms and being told we can do anything.
We can have it all, they said.
Here’s the part they didn’t mention, but implied:
Sure, have a career. Just remember your primary purpose. You are here on earth for the benefit of men.
We were lied to. We got nothing but lip service. Doing it all is a bunch of bullshit. But guess what? The women of our generation were the guinea pigs. We had to sort through all this on our own.
We had to go through the torture of telling ourselves we should look like Cindy Crawford while raising three kids and vacuuming and running a company as CEO; then hating ourselves because we couldn’t. If we complained, we were told,
You wanted equality.
There’s a term for this in business: we were set up to fail.
Here’s a jingle we used to hear on TV:
I can bring home the bacon
Fry it up in a pan
And never ever let you forget you’re a man
A little respect, please. We survived this message:
You’re responsible for everything and you cannot escape that. Because you’re a woman. Enjoy. I mean..Enjoli!
Second: Computers. I was thirty years old before I got one. We are too young not to know how to use them, and too old to be naturally fluent. When you pile on…