Sunday, April 4, 2010

Some Interesting New York Women

As "Mr" NYC, this blog obviously has an ingrained male POV. Can't help it, nature deigned it that way.

But this is not a male blog, just a blog written by one. Personally, I've always thought that women are the much more interesting gender (as a man, of course, I should probably think that). A lot is expected of women, and they do a lot: they are expected to be "ladies"; they give birth; they are looked upon by their children and by society as the natural caregivers; they are expected these days not only to raise families but also to work professionally; and they have to look good the whole time while doing it less they be called "frumpy." In short, women do a lot nowadays. Must be exhausting.

So I find stories by and about women in NYC interesting. Man they're under a lot of pressure -- if these stories are to be believed.

First, there's this piece by a New York woman who's boyfriend turned out to be a bi-sexual. Now, as a politically correct person, I have no problem with this proclivity. There's even a old joke that "bi-sexuality doubles your chances for a date of Saturday night" -- so for those lucky enough to find both genders equally attractive, more power to ya'. But for those of us who don't play on both teams, it's frustrating to be competing with other men AND women (or, in this case, other women AND men). This lady has an interesting take on her experiences dating a bi-sexual -- an only in New York (or possibly San Francisco or Amsterdam) kinda tale. You can't help feeling just a little sorry for her -- in this big bad city, it's hard for a woman to find a good guy ... particularly when that guy wants to find guys too.

Then there's this whole species of New York women known as "bottle girls." New York magazine has an amazingly revealing expose about them this week. "Bottle girls" work in clubs, and their jobs entail being waitresses, companions, hosts, "friends", and even semi-prostitutes for rich men. It can be very lucrative work for the women who are pretty and savvy enough to qualify for it, but it can also be exhausting and totally dehumanizing. This article really shows what a brutal world of Social Darwinism nightlife in NYC is. Everyone is a victim: from the women who have to entertain and sometimes sleep with these (often) foul men, and the men who are coughing up vast sums of money for the privilege. (You really start to wonder, after reading this, if anyone is actually having a good time at these clubs. Guess some of them are.)
The world of "bottle girls" and the peculiar ecosystem of nightclubs was blown wide open by the recent Tiger Woods scandal -- which apparently catered to the great golfer's every libidinous impulse and eventually triggered his PR disaster.

Warning: as one of the commentators on this story wrote, after reading it you may feel the need to take a shower.

But here's one story that will make you feel just the opposite. It will inspire you. It will make you smile and feel happy that there are still such people in the world. Meet Joan McAllister, an 80-year old West Villager who has been writing and publishing a newsletter for poor New Yorkers since 1987. She distributes her newsletter to city-run shelters and apartment buildings and each issue gives the poorest of your city's citizens information on "jobs, child care, food, housing and their legal rights." This New York Times piece profiles this highly motivated, self-appointed advocate for the poor and how her efforts have helped countless people. A woman all New Yorkers can be proud of, a shining example to all men and women a like.

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