The State Of Women

women-in-authorityHow will our world change if women were to rule?

I read an article titled “Woman, Be Silent” by Teresa Silverthorn a few weeks ago. The article started by mentioning a legend about the first civilization of humanity, where women held the authoritative power over the male community, and were created solely for supervisory reasons. Then the men took over the power of the community using trickery.

The article continues on, here are some excerpts:

Today. Our daughters are dressed in push-up bras, slinky clothing, with low self-esteem. They are used by the media to sell. They are used by the media to provoke.

They are used, and remain silent. They are exploited, and remain silent, thinking this is their only way to survive. They were taught this by their mothers, who barely survived. But, did so, by remaining silent.

I have seen how women sometimes hurt themselves indirectly when they force their daughters to abide by cultural expectations and by how they raise their male children. They are not to blame though, women around the globe have power because they raise tomorrow’s generation, but they are restricted in their ability to change the generations; they are bound by pre-established systems that they live in and depend on.

The restrictions that women face stem from the way in which the current systems of life are set up, we can call these systems the systems of living; what I mean is that the current laws, cultures and expectations of women all depend on the systems of living.

People live up to what is asked of them, many personalities are shaped by the cultures they are exposed to, individuals rise or sink due to these systems of living. The way people see themselves depends to a large extent on the systems of living they find themselves in. The same is true with women. Even an essential question like ‘what it means to be a woman’ in its entirety is determined by that woman’s interactions with the systems of living.

What I’m trying to say is that people grow and get shaped and molded into grown individuals, but it can be argued that the majority of people become what society, and other systems of living, want them to be.

Most people function within the boundaries of systems, laws and institutions. The systems are many, for instance you have the social systems, socioeconomic systems, judicial systems, political systems, monetary, medical, transportation, educational, cultural and belief systems to name a few.

Institutions serve the systems and laws spell out the ‘public’ rules of the games. The games are what we do i.e. the simple action of living within a system. If you live on earth, and not alone in a jungle, then you are a player in a game, but likely more than one game simply by going by your daily life. Everything you do, every day, depends on a vast number of systems.

All of these systems are man made, I don’t mean people-made but actually made by males. Most of these systems, or laws, or games, were at the least largely impacted by men, but more likely to have been totally created by men with little input or influence from women.

That legend about the first civilization of humanity, where women held the authoritative power over the male community is very interesting. Even if the legend was true and women did rule, it is not far fetched to conclude that nowadays, due to civilizations rising and falling, wars, etc that such inherent authority in the female population has long been extinct.

My male counterparts say that women are weak namely due to their emotions, thought process, or physical strength. I find this diagnosis of weakness (a stereotype) very flawed, it is based on male standards of what is good or bad, it is based on what the current systems of living find favorable. Like I said, these current systems of living were man-mad, they are not divine and far from being perfect.

I believe that, for countless of generations, that women have not had the chance that men have had to reshape this world. Women have so much potential and so much power to influence and change generations to the better. I also believe that women see things differently than men. Women, have not had the chance at creating most of our current systems.

If the legend is true, then men have used trickery, violence and fear to take power. Does this sound familiar today? These tactics are seen in the failing financial systems, in politics, corporations, households and even in laws. While fear, violence and trickery have  been used to control the masses for ages, I believe that it has in particular been used to control women.

I wonder what would happen if women were freed of all boundaries, what if they no longer had to follow the laws set by systems (laws such as cultural expectations, traditions, costumes, dress code, role in society, role in leadership, what beauty is, etc..)

What if women held the authoritative power over the male community? What if they worked on reshaping the systems of living?

How will the systems change?  More importantly, how will women change?

Humanity, especially women need to question norms, repair systems and refuse to play the game as dictated by men and the current man-made systems (society, organized religion, etc). Reinventing the systems should be done in order to align them better with our moral views and spiritual inspirations.

Did my male counterparts stop to consider that perhaps it is the values, laws, expectations (ultimately the systems themselves) that are flawed?  No, why would they? The majority in power in any society (be it a racial, cultural or religious majority) seldom volunteers to stop to reconsider their views of the minority. I don’t think you would disagree if I say that women are the minority around this world; not in numbers but in authority and power.

Everything we do, see, and live-by cannot be taken for granted or assumed to be set in stone. All of these things rely on systems, these systems can and should be periodically re-invented, to help humanity and the human race to evolve.

Now think about these questions. Sit down, and consider these:

  • What if women were freed of all boundaries and laws set on them by our systems?
  • Now, what if women were the ones re-examining and reinventing the systems? What if men had no input what so ever?
  • How will women change? What qualities would be respected? How would women view themselves?
  • Will this fix every ailment that ails humanity? Will this be the path to a more spiritual and peaceful future? Will the human race evolve (mentally and spiritually) collectively as a result?
  • And, if women are to change themselves and the systems as well (with no input or influence from men) how different will the new systems be?
  • What kind of a global impact will this have? What about impact on families and children?

I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I have hope that if women were to have the authoritative power to re-create the systems of living, that they’d do a better job than has been done in written history and possibly build systems that are more peaceful & fair.

To men, I ask you to consider these couple points:

  • As children we relied on our mothers to be alive, they gave you life and kept you alive and taught you how to survive. Considering this, how willing are you to have women be viewed as rule makers, the ones in authority world-wide?
  • We are the product of the our systems of living. Most your values and expectations, even the way your mind processes ideas are greatly impacted if not totally shaped by your living systems. If you see women obsessing about their looks or weight, or if you notice any ‘weakness’ in them, I ask you to consider the whole picture. Do not forget that, just like you, women are the product of our systems of living. If you take a system that creates products then notice ‘weakness’ in the products, doesn’t this tell you that the systems are flawed, not women, or men (i.e. the products)?

I can only speak for myself, I know one thing for certain, if women are to re-invent the systems that all of humanity would witness a paradigm shift; just imagine how cultural values alone would change.

Thanks

Ethan

You can find the article referenced above here:

http://teresasilverthorn.wordpress.com/2009/04/06/woman-be-silent/


  1. May 12th, 2009 at 12:47 | #1

    Great post! Did you know that in the time of Paganism women did control things? It wasn’t until Christianity took over that things changed.

  2. May 13th, 2009 at 11:15 | #2

    @Erika
    Erika,
    I knew that but forgot it when I wrote the article. Thank you for reminding me!
    I wonder what their daily life, family, social structure, laws etc where like.

  3. May 26th, 2009 at 13:33 | #3

    I found an article on pagan women that argues that pagans need to stop portraying paganism as “this great bastion of gender equality and sanity”.

    Some quotes:
    “The simple fact is that there has historically always been gender inequality, whether the culture be pagan or Christian. The power of women varies from culture to culture, and it is certainly true that in some of these cultures women wielded considerably more dignity, respect, and power than they did in Medieval Europe. But to say that women were generally considered equal to or even superior to men is a ghastly exaggeration. Historical kingdoms, whether pagan or Christian, can brag very, very few ruling queens. ”

    “Wiccans are quick to cite Christianity’s abhorrence with sex as being part of their dislike of women, since sex is associated in Christianity much more strongly with women than with men. While chastity was certainly respected within early Christianity, it was not as central as it later became, particularly among men. Priests, for example, were not originally expected to be celibate. Certain intellectual Roman pagans, on the other hand, were suggesting right at the time of Christianity’s early days that semen was the source of a man’s power. Therefore, ejaculation and the loss of sperm weakened the man. More drastic solutions to this issue including tying tight cords around the testicles and outright castration – a practice certain extreme Christian ascetics adopted in an attempt to retain spiritual strength.”

    Find the article here: http://wicca.timerift.net/pagan_women.shtml

  4. May 28th, 2009 at 14:05 | #4

    hey this is a very interesting article!

  5. May 28th, 2009 at 14:13 | #5

    @KeHoeff
    Thanks for your comment!

    I found a PDF on “Women Under Paganism Before Christ” written from a Christian perspective. You may find it makes for an interesting read. Here’s the last paragraph, which pretty much shows the general tone or stance of this particular document. I quote:
    “How grateful, then, should women be to that influence which has snatched them
    from the pollutions and heartless slaveries of Paganism and given dignity to their higher natures. How misguided, how ungrateful is that woman who would exchange the priceless blessings which Christianity has brought to her for those ornaments, those excitements, and those pleasures which ancient Paganism gave as the only solace for the loss and degradation of her immortal soul.”

    download the PDF here: http://ncbible.org/Resources/FWORD01.PDF or here http://www.wholenessblog.com/FWORD01.PDF

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