On International Women’s Day

That a “Day” is required speaks to the issue.

For millennia, the prevailing social structures on this planet have been patriarchal. Literally, that’s father-rule. This shows up in all facets of society. Founding fathers and God the father, and an original idea is often referred to as seminal, from seed or semen. Did you know that orchid means testicle in Greek? It’s everywhere.

With this structure comes the implication that non-male is less than. If one is discussing size and brute strength, well yes, this is true. By and large, men are bigger and stronger than women. In other ways, there may be differences in style and approach, but different needn’t be less than. Lakes, rivers and oceans are all bodies of water, each different and each with their unique attributes.

It is my observation (and this is certainly neither original nor unique to me) that this really comes down to control. By claiming gender based power, divinely or human-inspired, rules are then made to limit the power and options of those not in the chosen group. Whether this is determined by gender, race, religion, social status or some combination thereof doesn’t matter. It is limiting the potential of an individual or group based on a category as opposed to the characteristics of a given individual. To me, this is an incredible waste of talent and potential.

How much does the world lose when we refuse to allow people to be who they are and truly explore and develop their gifts and interests? Follow your passions! Grow, learn, experiment, fail, try this, do another experiment, explore some more. Encourage this in all. Limiting options or choices based on gender is not only, unnecessary, it’s foolish. In this war-torn world of ours, with the planet struggling with overpopulation, climate change, starvation in the face of plenty, pollution and contamination of the earth, its apparent that “business as usual”–patriarchy, oligarchy, business-ocracy, call it what you will, is not working.

We need everyone to step up, to contribute. Women especially, as a different perspective is needed. As the saying goes, if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. And a definition of madness: Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different outcome. No more compromising all of our lives for unnecessary and harmful gender roles.

If you’d like a short read from NPR on 7 inspiring, gutsy women who are challenging and making change, here’s a link .


10 thoughts on “On International Women’s Day

  1. I agree that it comes down to power and I would suggest that the power is ultimately physical. “I’m bigger than you, BAM! SMACK!”

    The fact that there’s a “day” set apart for acknowledging and appreciating women is very revealing and kind of sickening. When I was a kid and discovered sports and running, I wanted to be a boy. Not because my gender identification turned in that direction, but because what I did naturally was more in the “boy” province than the “girl” province (at the time). Years and years later I was invited by an athlete student to the Scholar Athlete Awards banquet at San Diego State. I sat at a table with her (soccer champ) and her boyfriend (men’s soccer champ) and three petite girls — sprinters and middle distance runners. My races were the 100 meters, 400 meters and 400 meter hurdles. I was very fast and my coach (8th grade) sent me home with a paper for my mom to sign OKing me for Olympic Training Camp. My mom was incensed, refused to sign and said I’d “never find a man” if I ran. I was VERY happy to sit with those girls whose dreams were alive and well thanks to Title 9.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yaaagh! So sorry that your Mom limited your options that way. Raining on dreams is so easy to do, when they don’t fit our own imaginings. It must have been fun sitting with those young athletes being celebrated at their banquet.
      As a high school gymnast (not gifted) I recall returning to school the Monday after the state tournament. My friend was now the state champ at her level. The morning announcements included the football teams loss on Friday night, and no mention whatsoever that Roby had won state. There has been some change over the years. And there is such a long way to go.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I didn’t even regard myself as a feminist until I watched the debates between Clinton and Trump, and while I didn’t especially like Clinton, I knew exactly what Trump’s behavior was and what it meant. That is the “trump” card men can pull if they want to. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this complicated and important issue! It is so hard for women to be truly equal in a world where men have held the power for so long. In far too many countries, women still have no rights and can’t even go out in public without an escort or being completely covered up. In my country, women have many rights (and certainly more than we did when I was young) but we still have a long, long way to go……..

    Liked by 1 person

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