What About Women?

Red_stop sign_2012-08-01

2016-03-31 – Tuesday I wrote about how ignoring inconvenient people can really backfire. I wrote about Israelis who ignored the Palestinians. I wrote about Americans ignoring African Americans, Native Americans, and gays. I talked about the Democratic Party that turned its back on working class whites. In response, I got the question:

What about women? (Thanks, Ilze.) My response, after a brief word from my past self.

[Considering what we see in the media every day, April Fools’ Day has lost its kick. The fools have 365 days, not just one. It’s time to reclaim at least one day a year for the truth-tellers. Read EightOh9’s solution: a new holiday to celebrate truth-telling: #DiogenesDay.]

If you are an Israeli and you are ignoring Palestinians, you can pretty much wall yourself off from having to ever really encounter a real one. If you are a white American, you can live much of your life without ever seriously interacting with a black American—especially if you live in rural areas. If you are a straight American . . . well, then it starts to break down.

Men and women? Forget it. It’s not an accident that the most misogynist societies demand dress to make women invisible. Even segregation is tried. But when you get right down to it, you can’t have a human society and keep men and women separate for very long.

How does this play out in fostering oppression? To a large degree, the separation IS the oppression.

But beyond that, I’m not sure how to analyze the situation. I suppose that my bottom line is always the Golden Rule. Do unto others.

And this is founded on a realization that the “others” are really not very different from you. That which hurts the “other” could be turned around to hurt you. But if you don’t recognize our common humanity, the Golden Rule is out the window.

It might work for a while, but it always comes back to bite you.

So, Ilze, I know that this is not any deep insight. There are forces in our society (just like in other societies) who keep fighting the battle to keep the others out. As far as I am concerned, these battles ultimately fail. Who keeps fighting them? Losers. But, good grief, the losers are very persistent!

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