We’ve done OK since leaving our caves, save for our perverse propensity to try to eradicate each other. Even when resources are not scarce, some folks seem to prefer to kill and plunder instead of sowing, reaping and creating themselves. Maybe we just crave more elbow room. Human footprints on the once-sacred moon demonstrate the lengths we’re willing to go to escape the clamoring crowds.
The humanization of our world is only about 12,000 years old, not even a blink in universal time. Wood and stone, copper, bronze, iron and steel have begot mini-microprocessors in less than a wink of Earth’s existence.
Yessiree, we’re really something all right.
But, while we’re patting ourselves on the back – or stabbing others with the same motion – shouldn’t we examine the notion of where we might be if we had utilized more than half of human brain capacity?
It was a stupid kind of selfishness, probably intermixed with nagging fears of losing their dominance that inspired men to denigrate women to sub-human status.
The first philosophers, Pythagoras and his immediate followers, broke tradition and recognized women’s equality. But, their heirs reverted to superstitious misogyny for keeping women in lowly places while denying the human race access to what they might think or say if accorded proper, basic training.
From Aspasia of Periclean Athens to Hypatia of Alexandria – skinned to death at the instigation of a saint – is a span of about 800 years. What were their sisters thinking all that while? Nor have our Eastern cousins been more enlightened: suttee, sharia and tightly-bound feet – likewise enshrined into male-made laws.
And, if you want to claim oppressing women is ancient history, here are a few headlines from the Huffington Post over the past five months:
– How Trump’s Labor Secretary covered for a millionaire sex abuser;
– Saudi Arabia allegedly tortured women’s rights activists;
– U.N. says violence and harassment is keeping women out of power around the world;
– Teen who refused to drop sexual harassment charges burned to death (Bangladesh);
– UN bows to U.S. demands, waters down resolution to help survivors of sexual violence in war;
– School bus driver who raped 14-year-old girl gets no prison time
– Man who kept girl in dog cage, sexually assaulted her won’t serve prison time (Georgia, U.S.); and
– Amazon allegedly fired 7 pregnant warehouse workers for taking too many bathroom breaks.
Last December, NBC News reported:” Female journalists, politicians received abusive, hostile tweets every 30 seconds, study says.”
In March, KFOR-TV revealed: “Study claims that Oklahoma is one of the worst states for women.”
On May 2, ABC News reported, “Sexual assaults in military rise to more than 20,000, Pentagon survey says.”
And, of course, there is the institutionalized Republican crusade to deny women status as full-fledged adults capable of managing their own bodies.
Check out this GOP collection provided by The Daily Kos.
“If a woman has (the right to an abortion), why shouldn’t a man be free to use his superior strength to force himself on a woman?” — Lawrence Lockman, Maine GOP state representative, 2014.
Or, “If you want an abortion, don’t ask me to pay for it….That’s a gift from God. There are no exceptions with that.” – Darryl Glenn, Colorado GOP senate candidate, 2016.
This echoes another GOP senate candidate, Indiana’s Richard Mourdock, from 2012: “I struggled with myself for a long time but I came to realize life is that gift from God, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape. It is something that God intended to happen.”
And, if this kind of pre-destining illogic were applied to every crime, no one should be held accountable for anything. It’s all part of a bigger plan.
Face it, gentlemen. We’re Exhibit A that physical might does not make right.
And Exhibit B has to go to GOP women who support their own devaluation. (Traitors revel in their duplicity; it makes them special.) Here’s Republican State Senator Kim LaSata from Michigan: “Of course it should be hard! And the procedure should be painful! And you should allow God to take over!! And you should deliver that baby!”
Marginalizing women marginalizes humanity. It’s a lousy history. What about tomorrow?
(Gary Edmondson is chair of the Stephens County Democratic Party: scdpok.us or facebook.com/SCDPOK/.)