Wednesday, March 09, 2005

On Women circa 2005

International Women's Day just went by yesterday. If you didn't notice it, this is because you live in a patriarchy. Also it is ostensibly Women's Month, but no one realizes this.

Riane Eisler published an article about bringing back the old feminist truism that "The personal is political" -- revamped for our new reactionary times. She asks:

"How can we expect people raised in authoritarian families -- where men are ranked over women, and where children learn that any questioning of belief and authority will be punished -- to vote for leaders whose policies promote justice, equality, democracy, mutual respect and nonviolence?"

See the rest at the link above or here:

Meanwhile, intelligent people can still be heard to ask very different questions, for instance about why any distinction is made about the status of women, about why women's problems should be discussed when men have their own great problems (more male suicide, violent deaths, depression, stress related health problems). And they ask, aren't we all just "individuals"? These questions are not as intelligent as the individuals who ask them however, since the question is not a genuine inquiry, but rather defensive resentment.

The answers are not far to seek. On the global scene including the so-called "developing" countries, the distinction made is this: The sheer quantity of women is much more than men for poverty, human rights abused, sex trafficking victims, rape and harrassment, restricted opportunities, servitude, sexual oppression through mutilation, force, threats; and lack of schooling, and rates of illiteracy.

The deeper analysis would reveal how the specifically male suffering, the gender differential across society of male stress, suicide, and violence is connected directly to the patriarchal system, where half of humanity is made to dominate the other half. Domination extends throughout subtle hierarchies between and among males too for this reason.

And the industrial domination of nature is woven into these hierarchies, where in order to dominate nature, historically it was necessary first to subdue and dominate classes of people. Oppression dehumanizes all parties in the hierarchy.


Coming tomorrow to Bloggence . . . "Hot Women of India: A Pictorial Review" -- featuring Vandana Shiva, Gayatri Chakravorti Spivak, and Arundhati Roy. Get your printers ready.


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