Women weren’t always so easily beaten.
Cathy Guisewite draws Cathy, the comic strip. After 34 years of making fun of mothers, swimsuits, and chocolate, the Notorious C.A.T. is calling it quits. There aren’t many female syndicated cartoonists. Heck, there aren’t many syndicated cartoonists period anymore, and Guisewite was one of those few who gained phenomenal worldwide fame. Even though it apparently only takes an hour a month to write a daily comic strip, Guisewite has decided that the burden of “Cathy” is too great for her to bear.
Oprah Winfrey is retiring from her daytime talk show (“The Cosby Show”) next year. The Big O put the small Illinois suburb of Chicago on the map. She pioneered the reading of secular literature, campaigned for President Obama, and has the unprecedented honor of appearing on every cover of O Magazine. But all her achievements stem from her humble TV show. The show is the heart of Oprah, and Oprah has decided to rip out her own heart.
You know who doesn’t quit? MEN. Men have a much better track record when it comes to “gittin’ ‘er done.”
In the movie Predator, Dutch (played by a young unknown named Arnold Schwarzenegger) goes toe-to-toe against an alien who hunts people for sport. This alien can camoflauge itself by becoming invisible. It has weapons mere mortals cannot dream of. And yet, in the end, Dutch blows up the Predator with the equivalent of a nuclear bomb. Dutch survives this catastrophe by hiding behind the fallen trunk of a tree.
Do you think Dutch wanted to call it quits? When the Predator killed every other member of Dutch’s party, did Dutch throw his arms up in the air and admit defeat? No. Dutch finished the job.
In the comic strip The Family Circus, Billy wants to be an artist. His problem is, he stinks. The kid can’t draw. Oh, Billy’s dad (“Dad”) occasionally lets the boy take over when he’s hung over. But that’s only temporary. You know why? It’s Jeffy, Billy. It’s always been Jeffy. Look at the signature beside the circle. Does it say “Billy and Bil Keane”? No, it does not. “JEFF and Bil Keane” is what it says. Jeffy is already taking over The Family Circus, Billy. Jeffy, your kid brother, has usurped you.
Billy knows he’s never going to get The Family Circus. At best, he’ll be lighting Jeffy’s cigars and filling the tires of his Lexus. But does Billy quit? No. He keeps submitting his hokey drawings to Dad, and as long as Dad is around, Billy will occasionally get his drawings into the daily paper.
Dear readers, I can hear your complaints already: “Kid Shay, both women you mention are real people who have achieved a level of success anybody would find admirable, whereas your male examples are fictional characters.” Does this make my point moot? Does it disqualify this entire post? Am I practicing yellow journalism?
To my critics, I will respond with a question. As my partner blogger so eloquently says: “Why do you hate America?”