"Life is so much simpler when you realize no woman is helpless when there’s a man around"
“Life is so much simpler when you realize no woman is helpless when there’s a man around, and remembers that she’s a woman.” A couple of word’s might be switched around, but thats the gist of a wrap up from a show called Gidget. For those not familiar with the show, it’s about a spunky, young teenage girl living with her professor father and all the wild adventures her antics get her in. In this particular episode, Gidget deals with the issue of independence. She decided she’s not going to depend on some boy for a ride and begins saving up to buy a car. She also joins the auto class at her school, so that she can care for her car. Everyone around Gidget acts as if she’s crazy. She has to enroll in the class before talking to the teacher, because she knows he’ll just talk her out of it. A bunch of the boys band together to buy the car she was saving for, so that they can give her rides in it. Her father mocks her for being more like a son. And at the end of the episode, she’s learned her lesson.
While on a date with a boy, the car stops working. So, Gidget takes care of it. Her father frowns and says that the poor boy must have felt emasculated. Gidget giggles and explains that she didn’t fix the car. She stood in front of it looking helpless, until a nice boy came along and fixed it for her. And then she provides us with that beautiful quote above. I was shocked watching this. I’m 19. I have constantly been exposed to the die that independence is important. Women can do anything men can...etc. ‘Gidget’ aired this episode in 1965. And 2013 me is floored.
It sometimes amazes me how different the world I grew up in, and the world my mother grew up in are. I was never told to smile and look pretty and that a boy could just do it for me. I was always told by my single-mother that you shouldn’t learn to depend on anyone but yourself, because you can never guarantee that they’re always going to be there for you. I value my independence. I’m in college and I work and live off my own savings. I don’t expect anyone to contribute to my education except myself. While I appreciate a door being held open (and I myself often hold it open for others), I’ve always gotten slightly uncomfortable when a boy has offered to pay for my meal/movie ticket/etc. It’s not because I don’t love free stuff. I’m cheap and I love getting something for free. However, when a man purchases something for me, I can’t help but feel that it’s either because it is in some way implying that I can’t buy it myself or because it is a trade-off for something he will get in return. Either way, I have always politely refused. The only time I have ever let a boy pay for me is when it was a platonic friend, who had a girlfriend. He paid, because he knew that I didn’t have a lot of money and didn’t want to spend the extra money to see something in 3D and was kind enough to pay for my ticket, because he came from a wealthier family. While I appreciate acts of kindness, I sometimes find it difficult to sacrifice my sense of independence, in order to accept them.
And I'm not alone. There is an entire generation of women, who would be just as shocked by the sentiments and morals expressed in Gidget as I was. Because, luckily, that kind of thinking in America is an almost forgotten antiquated idea.