Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.
Last week when I was writing about the film THE SHAPE OF WATER, I realized women are often treated as creatures—the concept haunts me. When did men look at the physical and emotional differences between our genders and decide one had to be superior to the other? They seized upon their physical strength and concluded they could bully their female counterparts (as well as anyone else who acted in a way they considered feminine); therefore, their dominion was natural. No wonder the only partially mythical female Amazon warriors had to be annihilated. Female oriented religious views were an affront. Men ruled. They wrote the books.
Fast forward to our enlightened times. Like fighting dogs, women (especially the wives and daughters of domineering men) are sent to attack one another, rewarded for drawing emotional blood. (“She must have asked for it. Nothing like that ever happened to me!”) My students in an all-male prep school were told that women who left their families to work were shirking their God-ordained maternal duties. The names of female scientists, medical personnel, writers, and inventors have often been obscured in favor of the name of some man. The powers don’t want their pets to start talking back.
And now we have #MeToo. Nothing new. Women have been used and abused over the millennia—at least in most cultures. But there comes a tipping point, the final straw, the moment when too many have endured too much. Imagine an American man alleging a physical crime against him whose claims go without investigation. He would have to be from a subculture considered inferior. Then he might be ignored. But not a “Christian” white man with money and prestige. He won’t be ignored. He has friends in power. A mare can be restrained to be bred with a stallion and no one heeds her screams. Women and mares are property.
I have never met anyone who encourages abortion as a casual pastime. But plenty of people feel free to set absolute bans—bans that pay no attention to the emotional and physical health of the woman or female child carrying the fetus, no attention to how and by whom the egg was fertilized, and no attention to the long-term health of the fetus. They assume the only reason any female would want an abortion would be to free her to have indiscriminate sex. To punish one wanton woman, they’re willing to interfere in the lives of countless families, discarding their difficult personal decisions as incorrect. They prefer punishment to better health care (including parental counseling), better pay, and better education.
I’ve never been in a group of honest, self-aware women in which no one else has been sexually harassed. For professional women, it’s almost expected. Most female groups contain one or several women who’ve been raped—most often by friends or family members. As I sat talking with other women about recent events, I felt latent rage rising within myself. I know I wasn’t alone. The same-old, same-old is finally too much. No wonder so many women are running for office. It’s time we claimed our rightful portion of the decision-making. Men who are mature and emotionally healthy stand by us. They like having partners as much as we do. We can compliment one another.
Women aren’t pets. In fact, we aren’t odd creatures. We’re valuable human beings and we have a right to be heard.