I was born a female human. I can’t/don’t want to change this. I can only learn to live with it and the limitations religious views and social/cultural norms yave placed on my gender. Recently, a few conversations with friends have revolved around the second class citizenship of women and how they are viewed worldwide. This goes beyond fat shaming or slut shaming; it is a genuine concern had by our male counterparts who don’t know what is okay to say to or expect of women anymore. My latest exchange via IM inspired me to explore why I think this oppression of women is possible. Here’s the discussion that followed:
Male Friend: I hate the complex world many women live in, the drama moms/religion/media stir up. The fashion stigmas. A male friend once asked me: Why are high heels associated automatically with sin? These shoes are plain evil because they hurt your feet/provide insufficient traction and support, but flat shoes are just as bad, you can slip and fall easily, but they are preferred. Southern Baptist culture shuns heels and promotes flats, which are scales of the same pain and discomfort, yet one shoe is more benign than the other. Why is there are a need for religions to shun female visual appeal? As a man, I think more women should dress up and own their look because frumpy is so drab! As the women in my life age, the get more prudish all in the name of God. Why?
Me: It is all about sex. Heels are associated with sex. Dress codes are about control, purity and chastity. It becomes a competition of who can be more perfect.
Male Friend: There’s a baby competition: what mommy blogs better, looks better and avoids the most food allergens.
Me: You want my opinion?
Male Friend: Duh!
Me: Cracks knuckles (starts typing)…
If we base the analysis on what the holy scriptures preaching religions claim as gospel, the whole female gender theme in their writtings alludes submission, obedience and progeny as the reason for women’s existence. Women are told since day one that they are a tool for God to bring children into this world, that they must love and obey their husbands, and that they must learn to sacrifice themselves for the greater good. Women aren’t told or refered to in these gospels as smart or independent. They aren’t exhalted as providers, just care givers. Women aren’t free and as property belong to their fathers, then their husbands and their children. She must be proper, perfect, pure, and chaste. If asked, she must give herself to her husband on demand. She is not to have feelings, or hopes or dreams. She can’t say no to her elders or protectors. She must oblige. Therefore, we are told how to dress; how to act; how to get used to not being in control; how to smile, nod and be nice; to conform; to fail gracefully; and to look pretty and stay quiet. Only complacent women can raise God fearing adults, and productive members of society. To raise the kind of husbands that can smack their wife is she doesn’t follow protocol because God grants him this right. I am flabbergasted that some men on this planet are still taught by all the women in their lives that this is acceptable. It isn’t.
The sad part is women get to go to school and later college because the government, unholy at its heart mind you, demands it. I’m sure many out there cringe at the notion that women are citizens and as such have unalienable rights that cannot be taken away. They can vote, work and schedule abortions. They can buy contraceptives and enjoy sex. Gasp! Those who believe in a higher power usually make the mistake of telling their female counterparts that their service to God and country is to be barefoot in the kitchen with a baby on her hip. Shut up sweetie, and let the adults talk about adult stuff. Your opinion and voice is automatically discarded because you don’t have a penis. Anything that indicates that you have a personality or independence is deemed a sin. So many women stick to cooking, cleaning, baking and disinfecting for the sake of their family, to not get slapped or beaten because they failed at their duties. They live a provincial life to keep appearances and to make him, the man of the house, look good. (Male friend adds: But not too good…) Because of these expectations women learn to hide who they are and what they think because they don’t want to be shunned. If you make the mistake of showing you are better off without him you get put in your place too. If you are better than him at anything, him being any man, they will berate and chastise you until you quit. Devil creature, be gone!
Somewhere along the line many women broke free. They rebelled, enlisted others in the fight and created their own allies and liberators. The smart ones made their male heirs more human, kinder, and respectful and their female heirs fearless. This gave us women more choices, more champions and better opportunities to win battles and ultimately the war. I think the woman is crap mentality is still prevalent because women propagate it. Many believe they are not worthy of freedom from these stereotypes, tropes and archetypes. They don’t know that they add value and have power; they are scared to realize their whole way of living is a lie. Isn’t it convenient to own a slave that doesn’t suspect its condition or is being controlled? We all like to receive free services. That’s what many single women, wives and mothers provide to their men: free labor. Bet they barely get love and respect, or a thank you. I always worry about the wives that are raped by drunk husbands, beaten by their own kids and chastised by their own kind because they truly believe it is their duty to serve. This is the only thing that motivates me to make sure certain gun rights and laws are retained because I am going to need to own an assault rifle to defend myseld if the redneck Republicans win the election and come after my rights because I am female.
Bottom line: For some groups a woman’s worth is solely reproductive. Nothing else defines her as a woman and because she is a resource aka a baby making machine she must be protected and regulated. That’s why so many folks have issues with men transitioning into women. They have to be questioning internally why anyone would want to exchange their rightful place among the overlords and supreme rulers, anointed and appointed by God himself as superior to all on the planet, to become subordinates. Why would anyone want to give up the power their mighty appendage gives them? Why would anyone denounce being a man, renounce their position at the top of the food chain and live under the control of what they used to be? Sometimes I wish I had been born male so I could rule the world easily, with privilege and no questions asked. I’d like to think being a woman is more than having babies and making sandwiches. I’m sure you do too. But those don’t and think they are damsels to be rescued will continue to enact laws for our own good. We barely have enough Supreme Court Justices that are female to give counsel on women’s rights. In the end, it’s the men that decide our fate and this is 2016.
Male Friend: This is why I think you are amazing. Your analysis is as close to the mentality of the liberated and strong woman my mother taught me. Women who think like you are the ones we should seek out and marry. Too bad even my mom has decided to revert to the misogynistic thought that a woman is of her family and should act accordingly, that my wife complains about other women who are out there owning it. Never change friend.
The End. What do you think?