When my grandmother was a little girl, women around the world united to demand the right to vote, and despite the antipathy of the patriarchy, won it.
When I was a little girl, my mother – a recent divorcee in a society that shunned divorced women – marched and shouted for the Equal Rights Amendment, which unfortunately was lost.
I think the difference between the 1920s and the 1970s is that the establishment was not prepared for the fervor that swept from Turkey to England to America, uniting women in the quest for the right to vote, whereas in the 1970s they had learned their lesson and knew exactly how to throw up roadblocks to prevent our equality.
Fundamentally, men do not want empowered women.
In the past few decades I have witnessed a massive campaign to keep women in the Western world – which I assume is mirrored in the rest of the world – in servitude by indoctrinating us into the mindset of Desirability…. we must be beautiful, and sexy, and available…. and to the extent we are, that defines our value. This is accomplished through the media – movies, magazines, and other forms of visual communication.
The unfortunate reality is that adolescent girls are extraordinarily susceptible to this mindset and by the time they enter adulthood it has become ingrained in their consciousness. The only way out of the trap is to have a family that thinks outside the mainstream, encouraging their daughters to dream and do. So for most girls, it’s the luck of the draw whether they become slaves (unpaid, uneducated mother/wife) or have the freedom to follow their dreams.
Throughout the history of humanity, women who are either divorced or widowed become absolutely disempowered due to lack of education and income, and are forced into prostitution. It’s a viscious cycle that has only seen evolution in the past 100 years, and yet here we are, with the establishment trying very hard to disengage any safety net that we have fought so hard to achieve, forcing us back into that cycle of horror.
In my mind, there is no question that women are of equal value to men.
In fact, I think that our potential is even greater… because we have proven that we can work, raise healthy children, take care of our homes and still accomplish more.
To take it a step further, equality is not even the right word; given half the opportunity of men, we will accomplish twice as much.
Until we achieve a society in which women are valued for our contributions, we must call ourselves Barbarians.
Achieving that level of evolution is but a dream at this moment in time, but I believe it’s not impossible.
White women of wealth have the greatest advantages in our world and it’s up to this particular group to pave the way for ALL sisters, present and future. When we are selfish and think only about our own profit or progress, we stand and fall alone. But when we include our sisters through communication, volunteerism and empowerment we stand and fall together, and therein lies the true power to change the world.
This time of extremes may well be the last chance we have to surge forward toward our equality, just as was done for voting rights. We must unite under one goal only, to eliminate the chaos of personal opinion – and do everything in our power to make it happen.