Saturday, January 29, 2011

This is not a tidy world of tyrannical men and victimized women

Posted by Hannah at 11:58 AM

layers of oppression
Look we exposed a new oppressive layer!
I had been reading some reviews about a book called, 'Half the Sky:  Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women'.

Christianity Today has a quote that I see as universal in some aspects, but when it comes to our culture it gets blown off.
While women do suffer at the hands of men, the authors point out that it is women who abort their female fetuses, who cut the genitals of their daughters, who favor their sons over their daughters for education and medical treatment, and who often abuse their daughters-in-law. "In short, women themselves absorb and transmit misogynistic values, just as men do. This is not a tidy world of tyrannical men and victimized women, but a messier realm of oppressive social customs adhered to by men and women alike."
All over the world we have social customs, and belief systems that can be oppressive.  It's never a tidy world, but often looks like the layers of an onion.

Once you deal with the top layer, and peel it away?  You normally have different issues to deal with underneath.

We all have something in common.  We can view the first layer of the onion, but we have major issues with the layers that follow.  We may all have different issues, but we all have our layers of the onion don't we?

I think it is safe to say that most in the western world think we are further away from the misogynistic values that other parts of the world absorb.  We can see the plain barbaric practices, and are amazed at how some are taught to view the value of life in general as so different and 'less than'.

We humans have layers of belief systems, and customs that can be oppressive to many.  We can talk and accept what we see as the 'worse of the worse' on the other side of their world, but just like the countries this book speaks about?  We also have issues accepting and changing our own debits.

As I was reading this book review on Christianity Today I thought of some of the beliefs systems that we have shoveled at us.   

Another reason for making women and girls the focus of anti-poverty programs has to do with an impolitic secret of global poverty: Some of the most wretched suffering is caused not just by low incomes, but also by unwise spending—by men. It is not uncommon to stumble across a mother mourning a child who has just died of malaria for want of a $5 mosquito bed net and then find the child's father at a bar, where he spends $5 each week. Several studies suggest that when women gain control over spending, less family money is devoted to instant gratification and more for education and starting small businesses.
Because men now typically control the purse strings, it appears that the poorest families in the world typically spend approximately ten times as much (20 percent of their income on average) on a combination of alcohol, prostitutes, candy, sugary drinks, and lavish feasts than they do on educating their children.
We are very blessed to live where we do today.  People in our portion of world would line up around the corner in order to give $5.00 for the mosquito bed in order to save that child.  It would indeed save the child's life, but the attitude when it comes to the man's visit to the bar will go unaddressed.  I'm NOT downplaying the huge gift to this family for the $5 mosquito bed at all.  If we don't deal with the heart issue there will always be another child in that boat is more the point.

Once we peel away at that onion do we deal with the misogynistic attitude that placed this family in this position in the first place?

Normally, we rush to say women can be just as bad instead.  That solved LOADS doesn't it?

We have huge issue with facing things right in front of our noses.  We can't even talk about this without everyone getting up in arms, and turning it into a gender war.  If we talk about it people get defensive, and throw out, "YOUR gender is WORSE!"

BOY!  We got far didn't we?  Thankfully, the poor child got the mosquito bed.  You have to wonder if we will EVER get to peel off the next layer of the onion though.

People want to acknowledge there are humans that HATE the opposite gender?  Okay.  I will acknowledge it.  Can we move on?  

Most of the time we can't, because look at where the conversation goes?  WHO is worse?!  Its not a competition, and if we can never get past that 'competition' mode the next layer of the onion will never be dealt with.

I would HOPE that most people on this earth AREN'T 'haters' of the opposite sex.  I personally love men myself!  lol!

I never have had an issue with acknowledging that 'people' can be selfish, entitled, self absorbed jerks when they set their minds and hearts to do so.  The media shows stories of NOT just men, but women that can be downright evil.

That seems to be ignored, because we have people repeating the banter about how 'feminists' are ruling the world now.  How all media, commercials, shows, etc are 'man bashing'.   Its mentioned so much people just believe it.  They ignore the fact we have dumb shows like Jersey Shore (like either gender is awesome there huh?), and commercials with dumb blondes that walk into library to order a burger and fries.

What is strange is once you point the exceptions out, because they present it as they 'don't exist' - and you show they HOW they overlooked it?  They will treat it as 'footnote', and continue the banter.  You see if you repeat something enough people will believe it.  If you can get people to believe it?  They will never get to the next layer of the onion.

We seem to allow the extremist's of this world to rule so we don't have to deal with layers of the onion.  Do the extremists rule it?  No.  The world isn't perfect, and our society does have debits no doubt.  Its easy to find a target to blame it on, so we never have to truly look to see if something within us needs to change as well.

We can acknowledge the misogynistic attitude, and cultural norms of other parts of the world.  We can talk about the man that drinks away the $5 that may have saved his child's life.

We when get closer to home?

We can't seem to apply the same common sense practices.  Its almost seems like a 'gang' mentality.

If you pick on one male/female you are attacking the entire gender.  Its a childish attitude of 'picking on' as well, and not acknowledging facts.

If you show one female that is evil - then you attack the entire female population.  They then go into stats showing 'how' oppressed women are.  Just because you point out this evil women doesn't mean there is an assault on the entire gender.

Guess what?  Men aren't any better!  When you point out an evil man that doesn't mean ALL men are evil either.

We love to apply generalizations to gender instead of dealing with the evil within the person. 

We then add an extra layer of faith.  How about we apply some of silly and downright stupid things we say about acknowledging ethical and moral 'rights' of women there?  We can't use the word 'equality' because people can't grasp the concept for some reason.  They can't wrap their heads around the fact people are speaking of sense of dignity - not 'sameness'.

Can you imagine us applying 'if we give more equality to those women you would have 'sameness'! 

If you give those women more power in that part of the world you will have more homosexuality!

LOOK they are trying 'rule over' their husbands!

You think John Piper's speech may work?

She’s going to say, however, something like, “Honey, I want so much to follow you as my leader. God calls me to do that, and I would love to do that. It would be sweet to me if I could enjoy your leadership. But if you ask me to do this, require this of me, then I can’t go there.”
Is the speech going to change their hearts?  Is that going to GET the man out of the bar, and give the $5 for the child to save their life?
This is not a tidy world of tyrannical men and victimized women, but a messier realm of oppressive social customs adhered to by men and women alike.
One of these days I hope the world grows up and puts on big people's pants on as the saying goes.

There is no doubt parts of the world are more barbaric in their treatment of women and children.  People seem to forget within the term 'children' you have boys.  Those boys live the 'oppressive' portion growing up.  Once they are old enough its socially acceptable to raise above that station.  They are to take their proper place, and they are taught by the actions of generations past what their behavior/attitudes should be.

Instead of acknowledging human nature about how the strong will RULE the weak in sinful ways at times?  If we look at the animal kingdom its the same way... we take it as a outright attack on gender. We love to speak about the hierarchy of families, and compare them to military type of examples.  What we don't like to point out?  Human's lust for power and control that does happen with any type of hierarchy you can come up with.  If females were in that seat of power?  They would not do any better, and THAT part we can speak about!

When do we speak about the concept of to much power for anyone is NOT a good thing for ANYONE?!  It effects the human race in general.  How there are no winners, and even the ones on TOP can't be either.

We are to busy looking to BLAME instead of just looking at facts.  We are getting so defensive we can't even deal with the truth as it looks us straight in the face.

You have men and WOMEN teaching/enabling/accepting these misogynistic values.  There is no human dignity for anyone.  There is no sense of true value of life for ANYONE.  You have both genders participating in this, and the war of gender blaming is another smoke screen.

I read another review, and it was quoted as saying:

I also think it's important for people to understand that "women themselves absorb and transmit misogynistic values, just as men do...the greatest challenge is to change ways of thinking."  There is no doubt in my mind that a significant reason why women are treated so poorly in so much of the world is because everyone thinks it's okay.  Education is vital because it changes the way women see themselves.  And that's what changes their world.
Sadly, they may also wish to warn them about those changes as well.  The overzealous feminist - for a lack of better term - will then be used as a weapon to those that attempt to cross over a border for the new station in some circles.

Men and Women use the most extreme model of her, and can apply almost anything evil they can think of to lay at her feet.  You see education does change the world, but with that education comes a new form of avoidance, diverting, and smoke screens.

We can't seem to separate the radicals from those that have points.  They will all be thrown in the same bucket and labeled with the most extreme traits people can come up with.  Education would be awesome in so many parts of the world, but warn them about the new layer of the onion that they will be facing.

Sadly, it transforms into a new layer of hate that people encourage and accept.

"This is not a tidy world of tyrannical men and victimized women, but a messier realm of oppressive social customs adhered to by men and women alike."

This is so true.  It's not that easy and simple.  People get completely weird, and then it turns into a competition on WHICH gender can be more 'tyrannical'.  That is the new messier realm of oppressive social customs adhered to by men and women alike.

Blaming the feminist or gender the way we do today?  Its just another flavor of misogynistic values.  The people that buy into the theory that feminists are the ones ruining everything?  They bought into the tidy world that is messier than their new social customs will acknowledge, and that are now adhered to by men and women alike.  Its our new layer of the onion, and its easier to blame something. Put it into a box so we don't have to deal with the messier part of life.

Extremes in any direction may seem to UPLIFT one group over everyone else, but honestly if you look deeper?  Its a false sense of security.  Its a smoke screen.  We tend to forget human nature always looks for the fall guy so they don't have to deal with their own evils within.

Once we learn to accept that?  I would hope we will learn to deal with the rest of the onion layers.  HEY!  I can dream can't I?  I want a better world for everyone.

I want all of us to appreciate the value of life for others as well as themselves, and I would hope in time that gender barrier is looked at as what it truly evil.  That line is what is causing the strive in so many ways, and its not the people on the other side of the line.

If we can't learn to stop the hate on both sides?  We will never deal with the 'human' part.  You have to wonder if that is what the Devil wants.  I'm sure it is, and we are buying into it hook, line, and sinker.

When we transmit misogynistic values - and we do that by 'blaming' the other gender - we are in fact encouraging hate no matter what side of the line you are on.  Its a nasty narcissistic cycle we are finding ourselves in.

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Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but to me, quickly pointing out that women themselves are responsible for the oppression of women smacks of male supremacy. Blame the women again.

People don't look deeply enough to consider whether some of these practices, perpetrated by men and women, were first imposed by men in male-dominated societies. Women in those societies accept the brainwashing of what they deserve, and because they don't think for themselves (abuse steals the mind), they become colluders in the abuse of females. If a woman were to cross the line and speak up, she would be labelled with the most perjorative of terms, a feminist, or worse, a radical one.

A non-abusive male would not immediately point to the abuse of females by other women to let men off the hook. It is a dead give-away of a male who resents the fact that his gender is being called to account for its attitude towards women in general, and he doesn't want to be accountable because he feels entitled to a superior position and to define womens experiences.

That't not to say that there aren't personality disordered women who perpetrate abuse. Psychopathy is not a gendered disorder. Male psychopaths will take advantage of anyone, male or female. And the same for female psychopaths.

However, we cannot deny that cultural and religious attitudes that men have toward women contribute greatly to the abuse of women. Pointing out that women do the same is simply a diversionary tactic to avoid looking at the uncomfortable truth that a lot of the time, it IS a case of tyrannical men and victimized women.

Hannah on 11:33 AM said...

I don't see it as 'blame the women'. That would be to easy, and you still have the rest of the onion underneath to deal with.

Its not as easy as the 'blame the other gender'.

There are is enough blame to go around. No one wants to look at that though. Its easy to blame the man, or the feminist, or third world countries attitudes. Its so easy to blame the 'other side', but no one wants to look deeper.

Its easy to find the scapegoat. If you have the scapegoat you don't have to dig deeper.

I would LOVE for the countries in question to have more education. It would benefit everyone to have the women in question be handed not just rights - but their dignity. Like everywhere some would resist, and some would grab it.

Just like men with a bit of power some women would abuse that position. It wouldn't be many, but as you see in our society THOSE are the ones you talk about the most. The men that can't have the power of the money anymore to go and spend in the bar? They are the ones that go and say 'equality is sameness'. You have women that resist the change in 'agreement'.

How do you deal with the next layer of the onion? We live it today.

Hannah on 11:40 AM said...

There is no doubt men have 'ran' things, and 'controlled' things throughout history. To say the opposite would be denial. Its sad that people can't acknowledge the 'attitude' that comes with that.

Instead of looking at that attitude we have blamed the feminist's of the 1960's.

That is a great example of not dealing with our onion. A small group of women ruined everything. Okay then.

Some women know in their hearts that is not true, but love the position of power they have when they agree with it. THEY also are the part of the problem.

Kristen on 8:09 PM said...

I think this is fantastic-- profound, and very true. We all need to look first at ourselves, and say, "How am I contributing to this problem without realizing it? What can I do to become part of the solution?"

Mara Reid on 9:30 AM said...

I knew what you meant Hannah.
You weren't blaming the woman.

I think anon just misunderstood you.
And I think you explained yourself well.

Very good quote from you comment: "If you have the scapegoat you don't have to dig deeper."

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