Anyone who says, Women have always been oppressed, is saying that women have always been stupid and incompetent. Except our women, today.
Who has the low opinion of women?
I think Ill puke on the next person who claims that, since during a different era women were not as obvious as men in commerce and government, they held no place in society and didnt matter. If true, what existed then that suddenly no longer does now, that held off the revolution until today?
Today, were women not able to vote, get a loan, or left out of government and jobs, they would certainly be oppressed. Today, post-industrialization, societys only power structures are commerce, government, and the media. That does not mean they are all that could ever possibly exist nor ever have, nor that they always held the meaning they hold for us today.
Government was not part of everyones daily life until the 1930s. Until then, politics was sport. Before factories, where did industry reside? Only two hundred years ago, there was no distinguishing of home, work, school, nor industry from the household and community. Everyone worked where they lived. Womens personal relating and connecting defined both household and community and were vital to and an intrinsic part all effort, however separate they were from men and however different their role.
Even hunter-gatherer societies exhibit separate clustering of men and women due to their different natures. Different does not mean unequal, nor make anyones efforts less inter-dependent. Differences create equality: different but equally essential contributions. That we now value entirely different things than ever before hardly means everyone else was always like us. Women have NOT always been oppressed. Theyve usually been the most privileged members of any society, highly valued.
The major power structures of middle ages Europe and every other society including many still today were church, the household, and community. The latter two were defined by women and intrinsic to all function. But today, in our giant-industry, big-government, money-only, secular society, all have been buried. Only being a half-consumer-half-producer makes you matter. That makes it important for women to have education, the vote, and jobs. It does not mean they were ever oppressed.
There has been a gigantic change in societys economic context and social structures, only seen once before. Ten thousand years ago we shifted from hunter-gatherer to agrarian, and that took a thousand years.
This is not anyones fault. It was not anyones conspiracy. It happened because we all lusted for the material benefits and power industrialization brought. But it came at a cost still not understood.
Here where feminism let women down. Faced with these changes, it said, Give women a place, not, Give femininity a place. It even often demeans femininity.
Women still need to know they matter as a woman, not as a pale imitation of men. They need to know that being a women, with its unique skills and orientation, is an asset as it has always been not told they must suddenly adopt male values and ambitions. They need to know that being a women is just as important to society as being a man, not that they have to turn into men to have meaning.
But by crying women have always been oppressed, scapegoating men, and trying to compete with men at everything, the real issue and needs are ignored. In fact, the fears generated by the elimination of the importance of being a woman have been exploited by those seeking power for themselves. Feminism has not just been a diversion from the real issues facing women, but exacerbated the problem. It, not men, said Being a woman is meaningless; to have importance we must do whatever they do.
The threat for women remains, without a name. What makes being a woman, matter?
That is oppressive to women.
©2007 KC Wilson
To nourish children and raise them against odds is in any time, any place, more valuable than to fix bolts in cars or design nuclear weapons. - Marilyn French