As today is Women’s Day I have thought a whole lot about our role in society and why things seem to be so out of balance. Why is it that women still to this day and in our culture are treated with disrespect? Are those men who claim to be working for equality only paying lip service? Why is it so hard to understand that we should all work together for our common good and that men cannot survive without women? And
why is it that man is the norm and woman is somehow an anomaly?
Drugs and disesases
Just look at medical research: all of the research has until very recently been focused on men and how they react on the drugs. Why? Because men don’t have those pesky hormonal changes every month. This has led to that when women get the same drugs as men, and with the same dosage, their bodies don’t react the same way and the drugs are often actually harmful to women. Even the lab rats they do the research on are almost exclusively male (good for the female rats though)!
It has only recently been discovered that women don’t have the same symptoms as men when they get, for example, heart attacks. This means that a woman is a lot more likely to die from a heart attack than a man, because she and those around her don’t recognize her symptoms. This is absolutely crazy, but it is unfortunately true.
Many a time women’s diseases have also been called hysteria and other degrading things just because men do not have the same problems and the (mostly male) doctors don’t know what the problem is. Just about a hundred years ago women were forcibly given hysterectomies to ‘cure’ sexual frustration! It sounds outrageous but is (sadly) true! To this day diseases that are predominantly female are scoffed at and treated with disregard until some more enlightened scientists prove they are real. I do hope my daughters will never have to experience doctors who act like that and that if they do; they will have the strength to speak their mind.
When we create things
The same thing goes for almost all areas of society: what women create is not given the same value as what men create. For example: a piece of wooden furniture from a hundred years ago, made by a man, can cost enormous amounts while a beautiful rug or lace, made by a woman, often costs almosts nothing. When a man learns to crochet or knit it is considered very special; a woman who does the same thing is of no interest.
Outside in or inside out
The attitude when we seek happiness is also, in my opinion, permeated by male values. And please note that I don’t mean that women don’t do this too, because we do! We have taken on a lot from what we have learnt is the ‘correct’ way to do things and since society is male dominated, we do things that way too. We seek outside confirmation instead of giving confirmation to ourselves, which also means that when we do not get that confirmation we feel lost and even useless.
Religion and the feminine
It is also interesting to see that in many of the major religions women are considered inferior and the old female deities are made out to be bad and evil. Wise women were called witches and they were persecuted and killed, mostly because they did and knew things men could not understand and so they were considered dangerous. Looking at how things are today: medical research is still dominated by men and those who know a whole lot about natural and herbal cures are mostly women, and if these women talk too much about what they can do they are thrown in jail. Not much has changed in that regard, except the burning at the stake part.
The right to our own body
It is unbelievable that female rape victims are treated like they “asked for it” by the courts and law enforcement, even though all research into this shows that what they wear is insignificant. Rape is not about sex, it is about power. In some countries it is even illegal to get raped! In other countries the rapists will not be charged if they marry their victims! I would say that the logic in these laws is not exactly striking, to say the least, and if I was a man I would do anything in my power to rectify these injustices.
This post might be provocative to some, but if you think about it: we all have masculine and feminine sides, and we do things accordingly. The problem is that what we do or create is so often valued differently, and we have to learn to talk about these things without letting our egos get the best of us, so that we can create lasting change. A lot of the problems would go away if we could teach each other instead of having one gender always being the instructor and norm and the other always being the pupil and anomaly.
Please tell me your thoughts on this or any of the other posts, I’d love to know what you think!
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