Since the psycho F-man first asked, "what does a woman want?" we have been apologizing for our very existence.
Some of us try to answer the question. We say that it really isn't a penis that we envy, it's simply that we are human beings and we want to be recognized as such. Secretary of State Allbright said it succinctly "Women's rights are human rights."
A culture that values one gender over the other sets up a process of conditioning that is difficult to overcome. For this reason, many women choose not to buck the system. Some do this by relying on doctor-prescribed drugs, such as Prozac or Valium, to mask their feelings.
Whether the hegemony likes it or not, women have egos and expectations just like men do. And they are fragile just like men's. More and more women every day are fed up with the culture's edict that they live their lives in the shadow of father, brother or husband -- they want to live their own lives.
Now we are in the process of passing this change on to the next generation and the hurdles we encounter in this process are very high and deeply entrenched.
Formerly, we accepted the decree that when we married, we two (wife and husband) become one, and there was no doubt which one "we" became under law and under custom. Just as slaves take their master's name, so do most women in marriage. All this is not lost on even a very young child.
Also, children still quickly learn that the "important and strong" gender is male while the "subservient and weak" gender is female. Children, regardless of gender, react to this cultural environment that is imposed on them. So we must constantly expose children of both genders to a different standard of behavior and expectation. Fortunately, these examples are becoming more prevalent as more and more women are getting noticed for something besides their bodies. We are delighted to see signs on business with a legend similar to this, "Jones & Daughters."
We were channel surfing the other day and our attention was caught by two talking heads, one of each gender.
|The discussion concerned national politics.
It was a perfect microcosm of a "traditional type" of intergender
"He" spoke authoritatively on the topic and had to be stopped by the moderator who insisted that "she" be given equal time.
"She" replied to "his" argument point by point.
"He" continued his dialog on the subject, ignoring every point "she" had brought up, and again had to be stopped by the moderator.
This went on for a while and then the moderator introduced the subject of harassment, saying, to the woman, "If women were the dominant gender, do you think they would harass men as men now do women?"
She answered, "I think, if our culture supported our dominance to the same extent that it presently does the male gender, we, too, would harass. However, I do not believe it would be sexual. Instead, we would force men to sit down and REALLY LISTEN TO US!"
The moderator just lost it! -- couldn't stop laughing. The man's chin dropped to the floor -- he had finally listened to, and heard, a woman.
BUT MANY HEARD US IN NOVEMBER, 1996! Self-defining women used their VOTES to tell the political/religious patriarchy loud and clear, "We are human beings and we shall be heard! Women's Rights are Human Rights."
We GenderGappers have just begun to fight!"
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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