The Male Man Always Rings Twice
Feminism is relevant because the whole world depends upon balance and cooperation for life to survive. Feminism is the radical idea that women should have choices and freedoms to the same degree that men do. These days, even humanism is under fire, for asking: Who are humans, after all, that just because we have neo cortical thoughts, that we are better, or more deserving of life, than other life forms? Humanism, although fundamentally connected, is another story.
Feminism was inevitable, just as those who did not enjoy being slaves, (often women slaves, too) got together and chose to challenge the system. All progressive movements through historical time arrive when they could no longer be suppressed.
That women should have some control over their lives, bodies, reproduction, sexuality, and political choices, was an idea for which the time had finally come. The choice may be to stay home, or be a president. It is having the choice that is crucial.
The patriarchal system was based largely on the idea that the Creator was male. Where did this idea originate? Some think it was because males were more disposed to use brute strength. Bigger and more muscular people ruled over smaller ones. Also, that males could not prove paternity is said by some to have made them insecure. A desire to control this female energy took hold; at a time when some believe the female was as sacred as the male.
This social insecurity, so the thinking goes, morphed into the idea that God must be male, and omnipotent, because although women gave birth, surely the male contribution was important somehow. God, then, was re-made into the Male Man’s own image. It also aligned with the new (6,000 year old) monotheism, in that having just one God requires once certain truth, and not a pantheon of creators. When there is room for just one guy at the top, the thinking goes, they chose the right “Father” for the job.
Beyond theology, women have social roles that required them to primarily be care givers, and teachers of nurturing. This is certainly true. The idea that men were rough brutes that just hunted and killed is not proven however. Males surely performed hunting and gathering and some nurturing, and surely females, even as they do now, did the same. Most food sources have always come from small game, even insects and rodents, as well as plants, and the rare large animal. Agriculture, the exploitation of land and grain, was as radical as monotheism, arriving at a time for one to influence the other.
Today the social relevancy of feminism is integral to human rights. For now, humankind is still the measure of all things. We have yet to fully internalize nature’s teaching that harmony, balance, and cooperation is more useful for survival than our human creations of domination, war, garbage, and exploitation. Fortunately, throughout history human minds have with unique brain storage, been able to grasp past our Wiley knowing, to reach a common and wise knowing. This allows us to realize we can manipulate our environment, enormously. And, we can work for the side of justice and balance, which we have done, albeit slowly. Thus we have Earth day, a relevantly female (Gaia, our Mother Earth) based view. For those who saw wilderness, its integral amazement, its regulation and systems control features, its finite resources, and its ability to teach, sustain, heal, and support bio-diversity, such reality has been comprehended by our wisest philosophers, artists, scientists, engineers, and many more.
Caring for our most vulnerable, be they plant, female, minority, or other, is essential for the field of protecting and conserving the systems upon which we all depend. The feminine aspects of nurturing, encouraging choice, and free will rather than constant contest for domination are vital for all to survive. This is why all human endeavor must work against war and exploitation of “the other” and for peace and prosperity of all.
Globalization is gearing up to create a world wherein all inhabitants are in potential contest with corporate profits for the few. Rule by the “Elite” is hardly a new idea. It is how the world ran through most of history. Indeed, the idea of the people, all people, having some say, and more of those people all the time, was the true revolutionary thinking that brought on democracy. That the few should have control of the many is the older form of governance. With corporations however, there is a separation of church, nationality, and the idea of a monarch. Some think laboring life away for church, king, or state ideaology, whatever its many flaws, was better than toiling only for an elite few to realize immense profits.
Most of us have no problem whatsoever with allowing people to have wealth. The problem only comes when that wealth is subsidized, and all costs of it, are the burden of all the rest of us, including lost forests, clean lakes, rivers, and oceans, and soils.
As the powers that be change they DO bring advance word. The male man, in a $thousand dollar uniform, always rings twice. First he appears at your door in the guise of one asking for your support in gaining power. Then once in power, be it political, CEO, giant multi-national conglomerate, or war profiteer, he will ring again asking for money, labor, or resources, assuring all of us of nothing but good intent. Always, just follow the money, where is it going, who/what/where and how, does it sustain justice? And then make up your own mind. To have your free choice was hard won, in some parts of the world, not even feminism has arrived.