I watched approximately seven episodes of That 70’s Show today, propelling my love for Foreman, Hyde and Kitty, further and further. Mostly Kitty though. My favourite thing to do on days when I really just want to be mindless for a while, is to open up a tab with Netflix and then open up a tab with Tumblr, each halving my computer screen so I can be semi-engaged in each at once. Today was such a day.
After a few minutes (probably more like 20, but Tumblr can be a vortex) of scrolling, I saw this post and could think of nothing more fitting while I watch Kitty get ready to make dinner for herself and her family. Something I used to think was a domineering form of female domestication that embodied all things wrong with society. But now, I understand it to be so much more than that. Kitty (and if you’ve ever watched the show, you know what’s up) is truly a fantastic character.
She has a full time job as a nurse, where she regularly takes shit from the male doctors who think she’s not smart enough. Kitty also willingly puts up with Red’s chauvinistic behaviours, which are the guiding principles in his life. You can tell that she knows this is how he is, how ridiculous his behaviour is, and yet Kitty loves & respects Red anyway. I’m not saying people like Red don’t deserve love, but that for a woman as progressive as Kitty, she could have been with someone a little bit more aware.
So here she is cooking away, while Red relaxes at the table with a beer and newspaper in hand, and Eric is in the basement with all the others. It’s not because this is her womanly duty as a wife and mother, but because this is what she wants to be doing. She, and so many other women, identify strongly with stereotypical ‘womanly’ jobs not because they’re conforming to the societal norms (and so what if they are), but because this is what makes them fucking happy!
Such a notion was mind-blowing to 18 year-old Sarah’s brain.
That you could simultaneously engage in things that are feminine and yet ‘shed ideas of internalized misogyny’. For me, Kitty cooking dinner embodied this idea exactly. For so long I had purposely avoided things I thought to be feminine because my upbringing taught me that to be feminine was to be lesser, weak and unintelligent. Yet that’s all people who identify as women are suppose to be, feminine.
So, stir that pot, Kitty, chop that salad and mash those potatoes, girl. ‘Cause you’re trailblazing. Even if it’s from my laptop screen, on a fictional show that is nine years since over.