Over thousands of years it has been apparent that men hold not just the majority of power but that women lie in the backwater. I don’t like that statement but so many men refuse to even begin to yield to equality so they may maintain a firm grip on power.
Of course I would object to the firm grip on power by men. My objection is rooted in the obvious need for equality and its benefits on many fronts. In fact, the reality of inequality extends to race as well. Getting a debate is difficult because laying all the cards on the table is hard to achieve and threatens those who currently hold the power.
Granted, a long time ago men held power and women were subjects of that power and that, in all probability is the simple truth. But rather than wend our way through the labyrinths of history, probably we can have a discussion to begin to accept a few basic points. Way back in history men dominated for purposes of tribal defense among other things. It was difficult for a pregnant woman to assume full partnership with men in tribal warfare. It was a difficult time. The fact is the struggle for power may now have a somewhat different form but continues to be an ongoing struggle.
In history women cared for the young and tended the living space. The circumstances put men in power. Certainly there were many complex factors over thousands of years. Let’s leave it there because the issues today are complex but probably have many other bases.
For me the single most important issue today is about why men continue to hold so much power and domination. But a truly important issue for this post relates to women holding power over their own lives and especially over their fertility. What stands out most prominently is a woman’s right to an abortion.
The regards of women’s rights is complex but the issue of abortion has a highlight of its own. Let’s turn to the most stunning of all in my estimation which is the right to an abortion because of rape. And for me the roots begin earlier. The fact in history is that women are generally less powerful. But when it comes to abortion we have to turn to something more basic which seems simple but is not.
In my years as a psychologist working with couples I saw an all too common issue of who wanted a child of a particular sex. People often had preferences as to the sex of a child. Time and again I saw serious problems when the child of a specific desired sex did not arrive. Often I heard from one or the other couple that each might want a son or a daughter. All too often it was admitted that a given parent wanted a son or a daughter. Often it was a son who was wanted. The truths might not be admitted but often came out in couples therapy. The revelations could be difficult for the couple and the unwanted child might suffer behavioral problems and depression.
But now let’s turn back to a woman’s right to an abortion. The whole issue of abortion is difficult enough but is especially difficult when we turn to pregnancy from rape. As a man I’m appalled by the restriction of rights of women who have been raped and became pregnant. How dare men deny her the right to an abortion. It is bad enough to deny a woman’s right to abortion under any circumstance but under conditions of rape this is a terrible abuse of women’s rights. Granted, I can understand a discussion about sustaining existing life but,with rape, the consequences for the child and the woman can be terrible, deep and eternal.
In my practice, time and time again I saw so many tragic stories when the unwanted sex of a child produced conflict and depression. But the entire issue takes on the worst possible consequences if a woman is forced to bear and raise a rapist’s child. I understand conflict and discussion but we reach a point where it seems too often it is unacceptable male dominance with consequences they don’t bear but are responsible for.
Perhaps this issue alone highlights the most severe consequences from male dominance.