Tuesday, November 4, 2014

What is W.A.R.M.? Feminism at its finest

The red light turned on, and the teleprompter started. Sandra took a deep breath and followed.
“Thanks Clarice.” She flashed her television smile, all teeth and no warmth.  “I’d like to welcome you to Sandra’s Social.  On this our first episode I’d like to tackle the one social topic that we all have an opinion on.”  Automatically Sandra switched sides to face Camera 2 via instructions from the teleprompter.  “Everyone has participated in the old argument of man vs. woman at some point and time in their lives.  Mars and Venus has become a catch phrase signifying the social acceptance of men and women being as different as night and day.  Are men and women destined to be on different social planes for eternity?  Will there ever be true equality? Will men actually start calling the morning after?” She threw in a fake laugh for good measure.  “For you ladies who are sick and tired of status quo, I have a special guest for you.”  
She consulted her notes, and then presented her face to the camera again.  “Unbeknownst to the Metroplex there is a contingent of women who have decided to take social evolution into their own hands as my special guest Michelle Gardner will explain.”  
Sandra stood as Michelle walked onto the set, obviously done up by the same hair and make-up girl, but pulling it off much better than Sandra in a crisp smart looking dark blue Versace pants suit with matching Dolce & Gabbana pumps. Looked like Brenda took someone shopping.  They shook hands briefly, and Sandra sat behind her desk while Michelle took a seat next to her.
“How are you Michelle?” Sandra opened warmly.
“I’m well Dr. Dalianas,” Michelle answered in a slightly wavering voice.
“Please Sandra.”  They give each other fake smiles, and Sandra leaned onto her desk to give Michelle a curious look.  “Tell me about W.A.R.M.”
Taking the cue Michelle smiled. “Well Sandra,” she crossed her legs.  “W.A.R.M. stands for Women Assisting in the Reclamation of Man.  I’m a sociology major at SMU.  My studies have predominantly focused on women and minority groups.  Well a year ago a friend of mine and myself, after reading your book, “Dealing with the Socially Naïve Mind”, decided that we could in fact generate a social evolution.  I think Janice Parker said it best.  ‘Change doesn’t initiate itself; change is a product of rebellious thoughts that spur rebellious actions.  When this starts the only action to counter it is a reaction, the very thing it needs to grow.  Thus it is a wave that cannot be stopped, a tide that will spend itself in its own time.’
Sandra nodded appearing detached. “I’ve read that book, Man’s Social Rejection of Change I believe it’s called.”
“Very good reading.”  Michelle canted her head, and smiled even broader.  “But back to W.A.R.M..  The basic function of W.A.R.M. is to bridge the gaps between men and women by retraining men to understand the new woman.  It’s not the fault of men really.  Our generation has undergone very revolutionary transformations in our societal structure.  We stand on a precipice, and we can either climb down safely or jump.  You just have to consider the facts. Women’s equality didn’t have a voice that was actually heard until the 1920’s. That was less than 100 years ago.  There are people still alive that recall in detail the acts that transpired to see to this, most of us are direct products of the very society affected the most by this.  The basis of W.A.R.M. will be immediate and local.  The US is liberal enough to actually enact the beginning stages.  Women who were ready for this change have socially adapted to this quickly, not all but a majority have.  Extensive research shows that the faction that loses the most power in social change always adapts the slowest.  So there is a proper acclimation period that must be recognized.  What my group does is try to ease the period for men. Even speed up the process by putting them directly in contact with the new socially reformed woman.”
“Sorry to interrupt, but this sounds a little assuming.”  Sandra paused dramatically. “Why would men need assistance in this period of acclimation? Shouldn’t you just let nature take its course?”
“True Sandra, but in this cause we have to recognize that nature demands that men and women learn from each other.  We are not saying that nature will not handle this, or even that it’s unable to proceed without our help.  Our intention is to aide.  This is a learning process for both sides.  Women need to learn how to tell the difference between a pre-equality man and a post-equality man.”
“So there is a difference. Not all men need assistance.”  Sandra looked avidly towards the camera then back at Michelle.
“Some men have successfully made the transition, while others are dragging their feet in favor of older ways.  
“What is your opinion of making the,” she formed cliché quotes with her fingers, “transition?”
“I’m glad you asked Sandra.”  Michelle uncrossed and recrossed her legs the other way, as Sandra had instructed her to do when going into a long tirade.  “It’s simple, a man has successfully had the transition when he can look at a woman and not see only a means to sate his sexual desires. When he can hold actual conversations with her, and respect her opinions. When he doesn’t divide chores by gender, but based on likes and dislikes.”  She looked directly into the camera. “When he can look into a women’s eyes and know, not just say it, but know that he is looking at his equal.”
“Some people would argue that what you speak of is a type of manipulation. What about those people who are perfectly happy with the way things are?”
“They don’t have to participate.  We still live in a democracy where our rights and freedoms are upheld by our nation’s very constitution.  W.A.R.M. is by choice like everything should be.”
“Some would say that your W.A.R.M. is a highly volatile feminist group. A sort of man-hating faction that won’t accept what we have before us in our society.”
“I do understand that there will most likely be opposition and anti-W.A.R.M.ists as it were.  I also understand that we could be perceived as a fascist militant faction trying to set its own agenda into play.  That couldn’t be farther from the truth Sandra.”  Michelle canted her head slightly with a smile.  “The truth is that the women of W.A.R.M. are merely trying to aid male and female relations.  We are trying to help assure that relationships of all kinds benefit from the teachings.  It is an understanding we are reaching for, not a separation.”
“The women of W.A.R.M.,” Sandra let the phrase hang for a moment, then continued, “Would a man be allowed to join W.A.R.M.?”
“Of course, we would be hypocritical if we did not allow equal membership.  The name W.A.R.M. is merely that, a catchy name meant to garner attention.  This group is open to support from all sources.”
“Could you outline some of W.A.R.M.’s objectives and goals?  I find myself very curious as to the actual scale and scope this project intends to attain.”
“Well W.A.R.M. would like to begin here in the state of Texas with the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex.  Meetings will be instated in various locations as an introductory course, an initiation of sorts.  The initial meeting will be free, and only serves as an informative Q&A session for potential W.A.R.M.ists.  After this there will be literature provided, and then anti-misogyny courses would start where potential W.A.R.M.ists would be taught to teach others, thus expanding the base of meetings to outside the Metroplex moving into the surrounding states, and hopefully nationwide by the end of a 5 year cycle.”
“What is the benefit of the reclamation of man?”  Sandra winked at the camera.  “I know a lot of women who enjoy men as they are.”
“I enjoy men as much as the next woman.  I question the motives of women that don’t want a change, and I warn men against those women who would prefer things to remain.  Most likely it is because a man that doesn’t consider a woman an equal is easy prey for women who enjoy that type of sport.”  Michelle laughed lowly, “But that’s another subject, and another group.”
The ladies threw their heads back and laughed together.
“No, the benefit is more tangible than that. You lessen the truly tragic cases, and   instances where men believe and feel like they are even expected to visit violence and sexual aggression onto the women in their lives.  Have you ever been in a battered women’s shelter Sandra?”
Sandra sobered immediately.  “Yes I have.”
“So have I.  For those watching that haven’t, you should educate yourself in what inequality of the sexes has done to some lives.”  She looked pointedly into the camera again.  “I concede that in most of those cases you have troubled minds and people that, whether inequality were an issue or not, would’ve found someone to hurt.  I’m saying, why make it so easy for them.  Most of those women concede to being considered pieces of property.  The men thought it their right sometimes to even think for the women.  
There are still a large number of countries in the world where women are less valuable than cattle.  Just because we are Americans does not make us oblivious to this.  The next time you are online go to a thesaurus, and put in the word woman, and be as appalled as I was at the large number of derogatory, demeaning, and most upsetting, inanimate words that are associated with being this gender.  All of this thinking is a crippling misogynistic malady that holds our society firmly in its grasp.  We are at a very crucial point where we can decide to change this, or to simply endure.  Myself and the ladies of W.A.R.M. have made our choice.”
The shot closed in on Sandra who was nodding approvingly with pride at Michelle.  She glanced up with a look of surprise on her face, smiled, and then immediately placed her impassive façade up again. 
“Thank you Michelle.  You have given myself, and my audience much to ponder.”

Sandra's Social Book 1 of The W.A.R.M. Front series
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