Do all possessions have a gender?
Like, for instance, ships, cars and women? Have you ever heard an inanimate OBJECT referred to as he/him? How did women get to become objects? Easy question.
Because for thousands of years only men were recognized as persons and women were their possessions. The harder question is why women do not OBJECT, why we continue to reinforce this by acting like objects.
If this seems unfair, think about the following two sentences. There is agreement that men want to objectify women and see them as breasts and long legs. Many women wear clothes that show vast amounts of cleavage and leg.
Why aren't we acknowledging that the rash of inappropriate acts occurring in our schools at all levels is the "training" of our culture's family values and its media? Why wouldn't a youngster diss girls when he is taught that it's O.K.? When he is taught that males are superior and women are prey? And when most girls are taught that they are non-people/victims?
Children learn from so many sources, even the comics! There is "Kathy," a daily reminder that women are just foolish, vain and useless. Contrast this message with that given to boys and girls by the Mark Trail strip.
A recent "Dennis the Menace" strip presented Dennis and Joey going out to build a snow man. Mother suggests that they build a snow woman. Boys decide to do this. They note that it can be small because "girls" are small (woman = girl.) When they find that what they have built is a snow MAN despite their intentions, they decorate it: a silly hat, an apron and makeup turn three snow balls with a carrot nose and eyes of coal into a woman. Note that large and/or tall women are not even a consideration; and woman = girl (a female child) at whatever age or state of maturity she may obtain. This goes along with the male-defined women/girl as small, insignificant, not an adult as a man is.
Have you seen the pictures of RuPaul, the female impersonator, both as a him and a her? Why is it funny when a female is impersonated and not when a male is? Why is there a psychological "behavior deviation" when men cross-dress, but when women do (in the words of Freud) this is not deviant because wanting to "be" a man, ie a human being, is understandable but wanting to be a woman ie object, is sick.
Historically, we have seen that when there is a Goddess/God parity, there is near parity of the genders. Equal- or non-gender deities do not support the kind of rules our culture has imposed on us, such as "might makes right," so the weak (women) must not only be a subordinate but also a lesser being than the strong (men.)
For thousands of years, women have turned round and round on the wheel of a culture largely driven by men. As has been said, if we do not learn from history, we are destined to repeat it and repeat it and repeat it, each generation going round and round without hope. So many women already have spun off into oblivion in despair, having let go of their quest for personhood because of the time in which they lived.
We live in a time when we have choices.
Carpe Diem! Seize the day!
Copyright 1997 Renee T. Louise and Ruth M. Sprague, Ph.D. These articles may be republished for noncommercial use only, provided that they are copied intact, and that this copyright notice is attached. Address all queries to: TWANDA@ConnRiver.net.
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