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May 5, 2022

What are they so afraid of?

Photo by MART PRODUCTION on Pexels.

If I were going to convert to any religion I would probably choose Catholicism because it at least has female saints and the Virgin Mary.

Margaret Atwood

The war over reproductive rights, which we all thought had been won 50 years ago, has moved on to the battlefield again, bringing with it the fear of losing all hard fought gains in gender equality. 

It made me wonder how long this fight had been going on. This is some of what I learned:

Christina de Pusan, a French philosopher from the late 14th century, is credited with being the first feminist.

The founder of feminism is believed to be Mary Wollstonecraft who wrote a book in 1792 titled The Vindication of the Rights of Women. She wrote that women are as naturally rational as men and if they were silly it was because society had trained them to be that way.

The actual word “feminism” was said to have been coined by a man, Charles Fourier, a French socialist philosopher in 1837.

The mid nineteenth century saw the ideas of feminism and social change take hold in both Europe the United States. Women were not mentioned or considered in any countries constitutions or declarations of law. The first woman’s rights convention was held in New York in 1848.

The women’s rights movement may well be the longest running revolution in history.

No wonder we are so tired all the time!

Several recent scientific studies have shown that women in matriarchal societies are healthier both mentally and physically and the families and communities within these societies also fare better than traditional patriarchal societies. The idealized matriarchal society is mostly a myth but there are places in China, India and Africa where some version of it exists and all of the members seem to have less chronic inflammation, lower blood pressure and longer life spans.

I struggle, after doing this small amount of research, to understand why those in power in the United States continuously try to reverse the progress of social ideas that would enhance the quality of life for all its citizens. Is it religious beliefs, fear of the loss of some imaginary power, or a fear that if gender equality truly came into existence that there would not be “enough of everything” to go around? If the latter is the case then what we have here is a serious lack of education in basic math. Equality literally means everyone gets their opportunity at a share of the pie- wages, voting rights, bodily autonomy and much more are all guaranteed in this equality pie. I just don’t understand why this is such a polarizing idea. The first feminist movement focused on education. I think ultimately we are still just fighting that battle. 

The future of  society depends on us figuring this out- and quickly..

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