I cannot say that I know exactly what prompted me to write about this. I respect the fact that lots of women are doing excellent advocacy, writing persuasively and causing change in some circumstances affecting women’s lives across the planet. Though I give deference women’s voices on the issue, it’s my studied belief that this ought to be tabled as basically an international human rights issue, for the reason that what threatens her directly imperials every one of us.
Given the sensitivity and rightful passion around the subject, I ought to tell who I am and my interest herein. Male, heterosexual, liberal transitioning to anarchist, why the unusual mull? I have a wife, sisters, daughters, grand daughters. My friends are mostly women, I managed women and have been managed by women. Given that and the fact that I have a sound academic and experiential background that tilts to human services, I can say that I am very comfortable with gender and identity issues. But I can’t ever say, that I have insight into what a woman’s world is like, even having been told or tutored.
I believe that the recent sexist vilification of women by Mr. Trump, pressed me to think of what it might be like, being a woman in a very gendered world. For clarification, this is strictly about a body perceived female. How might that complex identity sense and react to the world as constructed? Does she deny what could be her predicament? Acknowledge it but file away what she knows to be true about her security?
I recall that my concern escalated when political minds started explaining adult males’ confusion about the word “no”, while wresting women’s agency as to work, pregnancy, choice and even her exceptional inability to tell the truth; to relate her very own victimisation. Emboldened, some men and women, began laying exclusive claim to God. That is the known pattern of encroachment. The objective. – her complete subjection and body control. It was not lost on me, Kellyanne Conway’s summer dress worn to deliver her insulting message to women, that perhaps they ought to appear more feminine. Later she was outdone by a female professor of a prestigious American University who voluntarily expanded her own job specification to include advising specially chosen young women on what to wear to work, for Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s pleasure. Whether one is more comfortable with those appalling propositions, perceived as a class or gender issue, what is indisputable the constant erosion of trust and value pertaining to women.
Focused on the United States of America, some expressed that she navigates within a Rape Culture, I am not sure that the concept could be substantiated or lucidly explained. It presupposes that, some men’s predatory behaviour is somehow unique to USA. I am not suggesting cultural relativism; how much worse it is in some other countries. If a Rape Culture is what we have, then there must be something, at least a significant part of it, that happens only here. Might we consider forcible female subjugation? The elements are there, multi-variously. I think that what we have more resembles a Culture of Abject Indifference. One that is selfish, coarse, relativistic and narcissistically myopic. In such a culture amorality grows distinct.
I see a world where a woman has to constantly react against herself being defined as property. Don’t fight it, it only gets worse. To support that concisely, take the phenomenon of rape following an abduction. The repugnant act, painful and debasing, as is, must not miss the incomparable horror. She knows that her chances of leaving the scene alive is often minimal. Her experience is that wary and cautious as she might be, she knows that the female body recovered from the dumpster, dredged from a river, unearthed from a fast dug grave could be hers on any day, anytime. Anywhere! How does she process a world of perpetual terror. Yet, bear the shame if survived. The trauma may produce a state of false normalcy overlaying constant vigilance. That is a mentally unhealthy state.
Then came Trump’s assisted political directing. The essence being, he must take back America or take America back from whomsoever wrongfully has it. That’s whimsical, but I imagine those dormant seeds of repression sprouting. Shouting alarms.
I wonder if in women’s world’s she might not be mistrustful of other women -some pushing her forward, others pulling her back to traditional gender roles, but worse are her sisters who stomp her down to her narrower “proper place”.
One Elizabethan author critiqued, that women were the window dressing for the parlour. How quaint. Today the comely bodies are tagged as eye candy, without protestations. Does she feel obliged or relieved, to allow for the more sexually objectified women to be the feared beasts’ fodder.