Thursday, May 04, 2006

Diminishing Showers

My best friend's baby shower is on Saturday. Some of you who've been reading my blog for a while might recall her lovely wedding last April. And now a baby! I'm so happy for her and her husband.

With the shower looming on the horizon, I've realized that a once-familiar reaction is surprisingly absent: righteous indignation over the sexism of showers.

Showers used to set me into quite a lather. It all started when I was in college and flush with the rhetoric of my women's studies classes. When I was a college sophomore, I attended a shower for my sister's third baby (who just turned 17, by the way, just to put into perspective my own decrepitude). In the context of my coursework, it dawned on me that showers given for and by women reinforced every single hausfrau stereotype out there. Who needs men at a shower when only the women will be doing the housework and the baby rearing?

For one class assignment I dashed off a fiery screed on this topic -- I can't find the paper right now, but you can bet it was dead earnest, impassioned, and lacking anything resembling relevant supporting data.

Nowadays, I could care less about the implicit (explicit?) sexism of showers. It's not that I travel in particularly socially enlightened circles wherein showers are attended by both men and women. I guess it's just that as I've grown older my passion for tilting at windmills has cooled, my perspective shifted. With so many big-ticket social concerns for me to fret over, showers have moved out of the "So mad I could spit" category and into the "Meh" realm.

I guess this is a standard progression, from youthful fervor to adult complacency. I just hope that this complacency isn't misplaced and that my threshold for indignation isn't now too high. I mean, shower games still set me off, so hope is not lost.