Monday, January 9, 2017

The Decrease of Women Power thru the Ages

Now I am really straying form my blogs on reclaimed wood. This is about what I believe is the decline in women's rights thru the ages. I became interested in this subject as I witnessed the inequality that exists today between women and men. This has been brought to my attention especially as my two super granddadaughters are soon to enter the real world. I want them to have an equal fighting chance with their male counterparts, and be tough enough to challenge them.

Let's look at the importance of women in society thru the ages. Then compare this with today's environment.

American Indians.
Prior to the tribes being destroyed, women were the important element in the tribal structure. There was a clear division of responsibilities. The men were the hunters and the warriors. The women bore the children, raised them, did the cooking, made the clothing, tended the gardens. It is interesting that the women were the force behind all tribal actions. The men were the only ones allowed in the governing pow wows, but they were controlled by the desires of the women being the scenes. Not so today in urbanized Indian communities.

Scandinavian Vikings.
Women were revered. The men were the warriors, but the women ran everything else. Some would even fight beside the men in raids around Europe. If a woman was abused, the abuser would be banished from the settlement. If a man raped a woman, his "manly parts" would be cut off and could be hung at the house of the woman. Then banished. This certainly is a lot different than today when the rapists can get off scot free and the accuser woman is criticized and emotionally hurt for years.

Prior to the recent downfall of this country, there was a reform movement to reduce poverty. The government actually paid qualified families in cash rather than food stamps and other welfare. In return, the families had to insure their children went to school and a number of other things. This worked. AND the government only paid the cash to the woman of the family. They assumed, rightly so, that the woman would spend the money on needed items of food and clothing. Rather than drinking it up. Now, is this further evidence of the importance of woman? This worked until corruption and the oil crisis blew the country apart.

Italy and other Mediterranean countries.
I recently read: "in Italy when Mama is mad, better watch out, but if Nona is mad, better run." I found this true when we visited Italy a lot a few years ago. There is a constant respect for women, especially as they age. Elderly grandmothers live with their children and are not pushed into nursing homes. They are respected for their wisdom and lifelong family contributions. And they continue to contribute to the family life.

OK, then when did all this change? Maybe the respect for women's rights never did occur in America as in older countries. Maybe we are too new to have established this tradition. Except, look at the pioneer women. They were tough and considered equals. They ran the house and often fought alongside their men. Maybe the urbanization of America was the cause. Who knows.

Maybe it started with religion. the Catholics only had men in their hierarchy until recently. Birth control was an issue - often against women's rights. In certain areas, like Salem, unusual women were sometimes branded as a witch and burned. Maybe it was that few women worked outside the house, vs today when it is 50%. "Women's work" was not as respected as "what the male breadwinner"did. This possibly created a sense of who is more important.

Today we have abuse in the workplace. Unequal pay for equal work. Rapes that were not dealt with like those by Bill Cosby. Rapes on college campuses that were pushed under the rug for years. Gang rapes on the Panama City Beach last year while people stood around and watched. Trump and his response to Megan Kelly and his "fondle" comments on the bus. And on and on. This is a total lack of respect for women.

Finally today, we have an environment where women are not scorned for speaking up, whether it is on campus or in the workplace. Courts are awarding massive settlements as in the FOX News abuse cases. College administrators are finally taking the side of the abused woman and punishing perpetrators. Equal pay for equal work is becoming more common.

This is all great. But we have a lot farther to go for equality for women of all races and backgrounds.
We all need to be aware of this abuse today and let our voices be heard to fight it. Maybe cutting off a rapist's penis and testicles isn't such a bad idea.

Well, I have once again vented on one of the issues very important to me. I apologize for offending anyone. If you disagree, that is your privilege and I respect this. However, those who believe in this issue, must let their voices be heard. That is the only way changes can be made.


Thanks for listening to me.
Have a happy and healthy 2017

John "Gabby" Gabrielson
(they do not call me Gabby for nothing)


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