Thursday, November 30, 2017

0f #MeToo

I, along with most women, have lived with awareness of the smug presumed superiority of men . . . a ‘knowing’ that their position of being in control is exactly as it ‘should be’.  I am pleased to see signs of that assumption being challenged with the #MeToo movement.  It is bringing to light one piece of a deep human flaw.

Prejudices exist, some very overt, while others are often subtitle and even unrealized.  Do men today realize that the treatment of women as sexual objects (there for their personal gratification) is the ultimate expression of humankind’s deepest, most lasting prejudice—male superiority over women?  [prejudice: preconceived opinion that is not based on reason; dislike, hostility or unjust behavior deriving from unfounded opinions]

For thousands of years women have been silenced, kept from participation in decision making, dictated to about what ‘place’ they were allowed to occupy—various restrictions were imposed, while a male expectation was that women were there for a man’s pleasure.

In a primitive world ‘might means right’ made a lot of sense, brute strength was often the criteria for survival.  Men, being stronger took the lead and it eventually developed into a system of patriarchal rule—a system of society or government controlled by men.  Women were subjugated—and their perspective was left out.  Thus was meaningful contribution of one half of the human race lost to the world.

Men and women view life and the world through different lenses—that is not pejorative, it is simply fact.  The differences are not absolute and there are many nuances but surely no one would argue against the reality of fundamental difference between men and women that is more than simply anatomy.

We no longer live in a primitive world and women have awakened.  About 150 years ago women began demanding that their voice be heard.  They won the vote, began to pursue higher education and in the 1960’s led a women’s liberation movement, jobs opened up—but old habits and prejudices die hard; some men continued to expect that women were ‘there for their pleasure’.  That assumption is now being challenged.  Social Media with the #MeToo surge is shining a bright light on that flaw and I applaud it—BUT I caution over zealousness, let’s not accuse every man who pats a fanny of harassment, they came from a culture that endorsed it.  Save your anger for the real perverts who molest children, expose themselves, and draw a woman into an unwanted sexual contact.

                                                                                                                                 * see Feb 20, 2017

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