*Sorry to do a blast from the past. There’s stuff going on. Nothing bad. Well, mildly bad as apparently minor-surgery-the-saga will have to be repeated in six months. But mostly stuff I have to get done/finished/written that is getting in the way of even having a blog idea. And, well, this seems apropos. – SAH*
The Myth That Kills – A Blast From The Past from October 2012
I’m very afraid this is another of those posts that will get me accused of being a “gender traitor.”
That’s just fine. If you think a gender – the fact that you were born with one piece of physical equipment – demands your loyalty and forces your opinions to be the same as those people with the same piece of equipment, call me a traitor. Guilty as charged.
You see, I tend to think of people as people. This has largely been a handicap in writing fiction in the current age, because I’m expected to view women as saints-and-martyrs and men as oppressors-and-satyrs.
Have I met some examples of those? Oh, heck yes. Hasn’t everyone? But I’ve met the opposite too. Hasn’t everyone? So why is only one of those the “correct” thing to put in a novel?
Ah, but you’re going to tell me that pushing women as victims, as saints, as nurturers is the way to go, so we can carry on with the feminist victory and equality of the sexes.
(Looks across the computer at you) I don’t think that word means what you think it means.
Equality means, in this as in anything else, equality before the law not equality of results. This is something that we keep forgetting. Look, that was the ultimate difference between the American and the French revolutions. Americans wanted equality before the law. The French wanted equality of results.
They had justifications, too. They were dealing with an historically beaten-down peasantry, starved, uneducated (though not nearly so much – the revolution happened because education had started to spread. Never mind. We’re going with how they viewed themselves) used to being deferential. They needed more than just equality before the law, they said. They needed to redistribute some of those advantages, to enforce equality of results for a while.
We all know how that ended up, right?
It always ends up that way. Humans are individuals, not groups. When you empower the groups, you empower the worst in any group. The power-thirsty, the aggrieved, those who want to manipulate group-outrage for their own purposes.
It is the same with women. It’s lots of fun to read the more sentimental writers of centuries past (and the not so sentimental and totally un-ironic feminists of the last century) go on until your eyes bleed about women being kinder, gentler, softer, nicer.
Poppycock. Poppycock with powdered speciousness. Yes, women presented that way. This was the result of centuries where women had the subservient position.
The first one of you to open her mouth about how this is the injustice feminism needed to correct is going to go to the corner with the dunce cap, so help me bog.
The reason women were “oppressed” for “six thousand years” (longer, for certain values of women) had NOTHING to do with men dethroning the goddess myth and destroying the perfect matriarchal society because they’re evil or any other re-writings of the Judeo-Christian myth of Eden. Marija Gymbutas was – yes, I’m crossing Godwin, and I have a reason – as much of a fabulist as Hitler, and about as good a scientist. She didn’t have armies at her disposal, but those who believe in her might in the end bring down civilization as effectively as the Nazis would have done, so I do not apologize for using the analogy. (If you don’t think convincing women that all men are their enemies, handicapping boys in school, running men out of the teaching profession, and generally making men guilty-until-proven-innocent is a civilization-killing meme, you need to go out and meet some real men and some real women.)
Women were subservient in society due to that horrible oppressor: biology. When you were going to have to be a celibate or spend half of your life pregnant, you missed out on other aspects of life. Yes, I love those of you who had no problems in pregnancy. I had to diametrically opposite experiences: the first pregnancy would have killed me without strict bed rest, for the second I kept forgetting I was pregnant. HOWEVER in both of them in retrospect, not at the time, I missed vast chunks of intellectual function. There is an hormone cocktail that is supposed to make you fat, happy and dumb during pregnancy. It is what it is.
Worse, even for women who never get pregnant, until modern hormonal treatment, we women were prisoners of our hormones. Even now I have more than a friend who hit menopause and… became someone else. In very rare instances, the change is for the best. Most of the time it’s a “What on Earth happened to your brain?”
I thought I had dementia for a long while – I literally couldn’t remember the names of my characters or what had happened from a chapter to the next. And if I wrote it down, I’d have to go look at the notes, and then when I came back to the book I’d forgotten what I’d looked up. For a while (most notably the last Musketeers mystery) I had to have a friend check my work because I’d forget what I was doing and had tons of internal inconsistencies.
Turned out it was an hormonal problem, not dementia and not menopause, as I thought.
Now, that’s an extreme case, mind you. But it’s not unusual. And though men, too, can have this type of issue, it is considerably more common in women. What makes us women — the ability to generate new life – also makes us cyclical creatures, both in the monthly sense and in the life-cycle sense. And if you think your hormones don’t affect the way you think, let me tell you the only reason you think that is that you’re inside your skull and being affected. Until my experiences with hormonal insanity I too thought I was impervious.
Anyway, the point is until modern medicine with contraception and hormonal supplements, women were swimming with an iron vest strapped on. Add to that that only women can be sure that their children are theirs. This made men – of course – wish to make sure women were controlled, to make sure the kids they were providing for were their own. It made for a society where women were somewhere between children and chattel and men had all the responsible positions. (Though even then some women managed to break through. Individuals are… individual. It’s one of their characteristics.)
Does any of that still apply? No. Thanks to modern medicine, we even can figure out whose daddy is whose without keeping women in purdah.
And though it took a little while, society changed. Women started taking the place of equals in society. Like the French peasantry, which would have come along once barriers to their equality under the law were removed, we have started taking intellectual callings and sometimes physically intensive callings.
We are now, if we want to be, equals.
The problem is that most of us don’t want to be equals. And the reason for that is that most of us have been sold on the feminist creation myth of the great mother and the perfect society with men as the spoiler of paradise and the villain. And most of us are stupid enough to buy it. (Yes, I know men worshiped goddesses. If you think that made the society feminist, you have birds in your brain and you probably also believe there’s some magical herbs that are as effective as the pill and have no bad side effects. (No. There aren’t. There was a bush that had similar properties, but it went extinct in Roman times). Societies that worshiped goddesses often demanded the most control over women and engaged in temple prostitution. They also had a marked tendency to child sacrifice. On the other hand, most societies worshiped both.)
Also, most men are of course bigger than us. Stronger. And there’s the whole historical inequity. Just like the French peasants. So we demand laws that favor us and more importantly we demand the blood of our enemies. And we demand to be treated with a respect and a care that would have scared Victorian maidens. We use the slightest thing as a weapon. Because only when the oppressors are gone, will we be free.
This was bad enough when it was the French peasantry. But men are not some aliens dropped on the Earth from afar – they’re our fathers, brothers, sons and husbands. They’re an integral part of what makes humans humans. They’re not a monolithic group, just like women aren’t, but statistically they’re better abstract-and-visual thinkers and the people who are more likely to think outside the box, just like statistically we’re the socially-oriented people, more detail-specialized and better at cooperating.
Society – a civilized society – needs both to survive and go forward.
But women have been sold on males-as-the-boogeyman and therefore they see evil intention and coordination and conspiracy behind males’ being people. Meet one abusive male, and you’ll go through life convinced that all men are like that. Does anyone do the same when meeting an abusive woman? I don’t know about you, but I’ve had bosses from hell in both genders. So, why is only one accused of being “oppressive”?
Because it’s the myth. And it’s a myth the power-hungry people who took charge of the feminist movement (one that initially only wanted equality under the law) are happy to perpetuate. It’s a myth every college, every entertainment gatekeeper cherishes.
It’s a poisonous myth. It’s also a stupid one. No one in their right mind would talk about “War on women” for instance. Are you insane? Why would normal men – yes, your husband, your brother, your son – want to make war on women? And yes, that means you, your sister, your mother. Hell, even my gay male friends like women and have mothers and women friends. And yes, for those of you about to be stupid, even males on the opposite side in politics have all of those, and no, none of them hate women. (Except perhaps the occasional pathological case.)
(If you bought that wanting to not pay for contraceptives out of the public purse and at the expense of other people’s religious conscience is a “War on women” you might want to inform yourself. Not giving you something for free is NOT restricting access. Otherwise, people are restricting your access to food, housing and entertainment. Is that a war on humans?)
I’ve watched the rise of this myth with slack-jawed amazement. HOW can you even think that. Guys, my men – and I live with three of them, husband and two sons – couldn’t “conspire” to keep chocolate hidden from me (they’ve tried.) And they’re all three of them brighter than the average bear. WHY would you think men in general would want to conspire to keep you in submission? Most modern guys wouldn’t know what to do with a truly submissive woman.
Oh, I know. It’s the myth you heard, from Gimbutas and her sisters in school all the way to the latest movie you watched. Males want power over you.
Well, some males maybe. Those who belong to a religion that dresses women like upholstered furniture. But it’s just one culture and there’s reasons for that (including but not limited to a culture of scarcity and a tradition of bride kidnapping.) It’s not all men, and it’s certainly not MOST men of the western world.
Like the women who no longer remember why women were “historically oppressed” the men alive now were never in a society where men had the upper hand.
I have a friend who believes that it’s a pendulum. Men had the upper hand, now women do, then it will swing back.
Unless science has some sort of pendulum too, I don’t see where she’s right.
What I see is women who were freed by tech advances and who THINK they were freed by marching shoulder to shoulder and taking permanent offense. These women live in a state of paranoia, dreaming up male privilege that is invisible to anyone but them, and taking offense at ever more ridiculous things – even things that have nothing to do with gender – because they’re so terrified of men taking the upper hand again.
I look at them going to war with spelling: Womyn, Herstory. I look at them dancing around dressed as vaginas (!) because apparently the most important thing in these women’s lives is their sexual organs. I look at them acting as a pack and attacking whoever they’re told to attack because “so and so is anti-woman” and I think… these are humans? These are civilized people? Don’t they see they’re being tools of the Marxist divide-and-conquer strategy? Don’t they see the end of this is either societal destruction or TRUE backlash for the sake of saving civilization?
Apparently not. So… carry on. Dance around in your little fabric vaginas. Think that all men are out to get you. Refuse to have children, because some of them might be male. And scream, scream, scream about made-up outrage.
That’s the way to bring civilization down and destroy the technological advances that brought us equality. If that’s what you want, DO carry on.
Apres nous, le deluge.