Presidential hopefuls for 2016 are beginning to crawl out from under the woodwork. Aside from the usual suit and tie variety, we’re seeing some hints about a female presence on Pennsylvania Avenue, and not just in the role of first lady. At a mixed gathering I attended recently this possibility was discussed at some length. It was interesting to see the reaction of some of the men in the group to the idea. There were asides about emasculating the country and one gentlemen went so far as to say women were incapable of handling military matters and were better off tending to sharing recipes for bundt cakes and making babies. Really? I had to defer to my calendar and confirm this was in fact 2014. Yup, no doubt about it. I managed to keep my lips zipped, but only because Rick was watching me nervously and poking me on occasion as he could see my lips beginning to move of their own volition.
Certainly this is not a new debate, and many changes have occurred surrounding it since it began. Feminine representation in Congress and women “manning” governor’s chairs in some of our biggest states. In particular, Ann Richards being the second of her gender to hold the office of governor in Texas. Sarah Palin comes to mind as well, putting Alaska in the news. Women have carried the big stick in other countries for centuries, not just in recent years. If you consider somewhere around 30 BC Cleopatra was controlling the reins of Egypt, the U.S. is sadly lagging behind in staffing up our highest office with the ladies. Personally I wouldn’t want the job, male or female. I’ve seen the results of four years behind that desk, graying hair, constantly being rated and found lacking, a crisis before breakfast every morning. Thankfully, someone else seems to keep signing up and as my citizenship papers continue to say Canada, I don’t have much to say about the situation, although I’ll be changing that this year.
Historically men are the warriors and women the hunter gatherers, or something of that nature. Gathering definitely seems to be a female trait. My other half can stand with the refrigerator door open for an hour and never locate the ketchup on the shelf directly in front of him, while I can go to the fully stocked pantry five shelves deep and locate a box of toothpicks towards the back behind a family sized box of Cheerios. Why is that? No really, why is that?
One man in the group suggested we shouldn’t point out the differences between men and women, rather work in unity. Hmmmm. Like all forces in nature there is balance between the sexes as well, or so I believe. As I’ve discussed before you cannot appreciate light, unless you have experienced dark. Happiness is all the richer once your rise above sadness. Yin and Yang, black and white, men and women. Tra la.
Certainly not an expert on the male of species, even after diving into the matrimonial troth four times, I can speak from my experience to the subject. From my perspective, there are definite differences in how we approach our feelings and express ourselves. This does not mean we can’t mesh with one another beautifully, but when we come together I believe it is with a different way of thinking.
My other half is quite fascinated that I can spend time “yacking”, as he refers to it, with my friends even though I may have spoken to them the day before. “What an earth more could you have to say to one another?”, he’ll ask me. The friends I am speaking to have spouses who most probably wonder the same thing. As of this writing I have never cohabited with a man who spent an entire hour on a phone conversation with anyone, with the exception of possibly a family member in crisis or waiting for tech support. Women tend to discuss their problems simply for the need of airing them, rather than necessarily seeking a resolution. Female friends are often the ideal listening partners, as men seem to want to institute a solution and hope it involves far less conversation to get there. If you asked men, most probably many might say women have too much to say about most everything, and it is true we tend to be more garrulous by nature. In essence, our modus operandi when it comes to sharing our feelings in general comes from a different place. This is not to say one is better than the other by any means, but they are not the same.
It should be interesting to see what happens should a woman enter the White House and seat herself behind the desk in the oval office. I suppose the gentlemen I spoke with the other night would assume she might be better at dusting the desk than sitting behind it, but I beg to differ. Women are assuming leading roles in business all across the board. Meg Whitman, Hewlett Packard, Rosalind Brewer, Sam’s Club, and Virginia Rometty of IBM all prime examples of female CEO’s in charge of running huge corporations. Our roles since my grandmother’s day, when women were largely at home raising the children and managing the house, have changed. Is this good or bad? I’m not sure. Perhaps there was a clarity to having defined roles missing now. As a male or a female we knew better what was expected from us when we signed on with the team. It’s more fuzzy now with one blurring somewhat into the other. Men are staying home while their wives enter the work force. Women eventually will assume combat roles in the military. Slowly business has caught up with the world around it and women are now getting paid nearly equal to their male counterparts for performing the same job.
Always, I think, we’ll remain different. Whether the man is home changing diapers or the woman working as a pipe fitter on an oil rig, still the differences remain. That, I think is a good thing. Perhaps if we were too alike there would be no attraction?
Ah, deep thoughts for a Sunday. This was absolutely delish soup, but spicy. If you prefer less heat, reduce the amount of chipotle pepper and use 2 can of diced tomatoes without the jalapenos. As my Cajun friends in the south used to say, “if it don’t make you sweat, it ain’t worth eatin”. Perfect for Super Bowl.
Crockpot Spicy Pork Posole
3 Tbsp. Canola oil, divided
4 lbs. pork shoulder, cut into 1″ chunks and trimmed
salt and pepper
3 cups onion, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 lb. brussel sprouts, halved
4 tsp. oregano
4 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. coriander
2 bay leaves
8 cups chicken broth
2 15 oz. cans tomato sauce
1 14 1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes with jalapenos (use 2 cans of diced tomatoes in juice if you don’t like heat)
1 14 1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 1/2 chipotle in adobo sauce, finely minced
1 Tbsp. adobo sauce
2 can white corn, drained
2 Tbsp. lime juice
2 cups cooked rice
Garnish with sliced avocado, radishes, lime, and chopped cilantro
Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in large skillet over med-high heat. Sprinkle pork liberally with salt and pepper. Brown pork in two batches on both sides. Remove from skillet and place in previously sprayed 6 quart Crockpot.
Add remaining Tbsp. of oil to skillet. Reduce heat to med. and saute onions and green pepper for 5 mins. Add garlic and continue cooking for 1 min. Pour over pork. Top with Brussel sprouts.
Mix remaining ingredients through adobo sauce together in large bowl. Pour over meat and vegetables. Cook on low for 9 hours. Add corn and continue cooking 1 hour. Add lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.
Garnish with avocado, radishes, lime, and chopped cilantro. Serve over 1/2 cup of rice.