Wrestling with Meaning and Reality in the Women’s Movement
Normally one could outline the fundamental issues in a movement but in the case of women the fundamentals are not at all clear.
The first things which needs to be confronted is that there is a movement at all. How curious a statement! We have a list of issues but exactly why there is a need and why there is a growing movement to do something about the problem is unclear. And then there is the matter of opposition dwelling in alternative realities.
It Is Happening
First we face the fact that women are calling for an end to subjugation. The movement is happening in waves and there is far from universal acceptance of the need for change. One question is why it is happening just now after tens of thousands of years of human history.
Why now may be the hardest question. The need for it is a matter of justice and we have a need for their unfettered contributions. Such a need is far from being accepted universally. Women call for it and struggle to find allies.
Many of us contend that subjugation is unfair and wasteful. Why limit the contributions of half the population? It is almost as if the answer is—because we do. When we look around, we can see many issues where opposition is not well supported or clear in its base.
Agreement on Reality
Working to solve the problem would be easier if there was an agreement on reality. The question of reality is a major focus of this blog. In fact opposition seems to extend to the believe in some quarters that there is no subjugation. No matter how well drawn the arguments there are those who do not accept the argument. Even in the matter of women being paid less for the same work. The fact that it is documented yields little change or acceptance of the need for change.
A Stubborn Problem
It would appear that the starting point which is most clear is the agricultural revolution when more children were needed to tend the farms. Thereafter it becomes more complex. The fact of the position of women has become a matter of culture and cultural change inevitably runs up against opposition partly because culture is not changed easily.
There is an open question about why women are permitted so many kinds of inspiration but not the inspiration that comes with equality and full partnership. To me the women’s liberation movement is a glorious dawning. Yes, I still call it women’s liberation because I fell in love with the term decades ago and, to me, it has special meaning.
Then there is the matter of men. In the ongoing set of posts about patriarchy there are many things which become apparent, not the least of which is male devotion to power, control, their own fear and insecurity. They have to admit their weaknesses, fear of each other and failings before they can admit women to the full benefits of the world—to their own benefit
Then There Are Attributes
In some posts on this blog I have touched upon the stunning effects of the Mysterium and I must say I think that refers to the inherent power of women to enchant and bond which is threatening to many. Quite possibly threatening to some women as well as men. With it comes inherent obligations of various kinds. And by obligations I mean such things as fulfillment of real and implied promises. Another part of the problem is that all the cards are not on the table. Where does such power lead?
A Debate Without Foundation
What I mean by foundation refers to the fact that we debate the subjugation and the need to end it, but as when I refer to attributes, it is not at all clear what must be brought to the table. We do not look behind the scenes often enough. Bringing change requires us to wrestle with that maddening thing we call reality on which there is little agreement within each of us and certainly not among ourselves.
And with that elusive spirit we call reality comes issues of fake power, male insecurities and fear, the steadfast flow of culture and deep psychological /emotional roots. It may well involve a contest of power of many kinds.
What Is Fundamental
I think the fundamental statement of this post is that I believe we need to do a much more thorough examination of the basics related to the subjugation of women. And this is a must do project.
Later I will get to the idea that this movement is leading all of humanity somewhere. We may need to set our sights on the future and what may be in store for us. And by saying that I do not suggest what is coming must be disastrous or cataclysmic as some may fear. That may seem an absurd statement but there is distinct unadmitted fear in the air. What is to come may, indeed, be glorious. Dare I use the word transformational?
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