Jeanne Schinto - December 19, 1951
“Dang!” I thought as I saw the title of this final short of BASS 1984.
“A frigg’in sports story…ugh…how I dislike sports stories…”
Well…a sports story I did not get.
It would be too easy for me to write an entry on my feelings concerning our cultures objectification of women…of girls and of youth.
It would be the easy way out, and honestly, the easy way looks pretty good considering the time it has taken me to get through this anthology. I’d simply like to write a couple of paragraphs of my thoughts covering the above and then consider what I would write about in my entry which would close out the BASS 1984.
‘ol Mr. Updike has given me a nice treat in the form of a really good story by Jeanne Schinto. He’s not letting me go just yet.
Good for him.
But the real credit of course goes to Schinto – It’s her story that provides the reader of the anthology with a fine ending as well as a few things to consider.
As with the other authors I read, I looked Schinto up. Turns out she is still a writer – a journalist. She has a Facebook page so I decided to shoot her a quick message.
She was kind enough to reply before the evening was through.
She wrote that “Caddies’ Day had been rejected by 27 magazines before Greensboro Review took it. She also included this little P.S. - “I see that you're upside down in your FB photo, just like the narrator of my story was, briefly!”
This little sentence added another position in my observation of the story.
Here is my FB photo.
I like the photo because it’s my subtle way of encouraging people who see it and inquire about it to look at the world from a different perspective.
I make a conscious effort daily in most encounters and situations that I find myself in – to position myself differently in order to see what could be hidden or if there is a message that I am missing by approaching things from the “normal” “upright” vantage point.
Was the narrator of this short hung upside down so that she could see the world as it was? Maybe…that could be one interpretation. I though think that for that instant she was hung upside down, she was simply placed in that position to “really” be made aware of her powerlessness.
The men could have continued with their teasing and touching…honestly, their fondling of this young girl – and that too would have conveyed the same message to her. She has no power in this world.
Why was this girl there? Did she venture so close to these men/boys to purposely be fondled? Was it her fault?
Today, in our culture, I think that young girls are being told it’s OK to walk down that path near the Caddies. It’s OK to let them touch you and hang you upside down. There is an excitement to flirt with them and the danger that accompanies the situation you are placing yourself in…you are empowered.
It’s not safe to walk near the Caddies - it’s not OK to let them fondle you – to hang you upside down.
Sometimes clearer heads to not step in and stop the action. Sometimes things go too far.
I think our culture has done a great disservice to the young women in this country by objectifying them. Youth (very young) and beauty (not natural beauty) are worshipped.
We need to turn ourselves upside down and realize what we have done and are doing to our future. Although - at times I’m afraid it’s too late.