Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Human Females = Subspecies
Now that I have your attention, I have to ask how we can collectively eliminate this attitude toward females - around the world. Girls and women in developing countries and in some cultures considered sophisticated, often accept that they are nothing more than chatel, controlled by the boys and men in their lives. It has always been that way and always will be. Ignorance of basic science plays a huge role in this dichotomy. There are still men who believe they plant a human seed and that a woman's uterus is simply the garden where it grows. If the resulting offspring turns out to be the wrong gender (female), somehow it seems reasonable to blame the woman! Multiple generations of women suffered female genital mutilation, so their female relatives must also. It is viewed as a pious act to maintain purity, when, in fact, it is torture and often murder. Girls and women who have undergone this ritual suffer because of it throughout their lives. Being that rape is a common method of shaming and exerting power, the victim's suffering is doubled. Then, it is tripled when she is ostracized and the perpetrator/s go unpunished. Honor killing or forced suicide often is the fate of rape victims. When and how did women become so powerless?! I take comfort in the fact that women, particularly African women are stepping into leadership roles. The current president of Liberia, The Honorable Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is proving to be an admirable role model. That's a huge responsibility, but she seems to be up to it. Women there and in other African nations are picking up the reins of power and improving everyone's lives. Some of this has been out of sheer necessity as so many of their men have killed each other in power struggles. Fickle fate? I don't think so. Women leaders have a tough, uphill climb wherever they are. Religious leaders often chide them and sabotage their efforts. Still, with support, both moral and material, from other women, they are making progress. Patience and perseverance rather than rage and impulsiveness seem to be winning favor. Women understand the need for universal education in developing peaceful, productive societies. We also understand the value of tact and cooperation.