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Power - the give and take of it...

Ok, feminism has reared it's beautiful head again - thanks Jayne - and as per usual, I can't resist...

What this idea about Power... Apparently men have all the power, and women who don't acknowledge that are so entrenched in the patriarchy they can't see what the rest of the Feminist population has long been aware of.

Patriarchy has existed as long as recorded history, and quite possibly a lot longer, as women have been oppressed by men in more, and more subtle ways, than they can even imagine.

It seems there was once a balance between the power of men and women, but that was before recorded history so we don't really know or comprehend how women lost their power.

And here comes the bit that really confuses me... Men got the power, but we never gave it away, it was stolen from us... It was stolen from us, and in the 1000s upon 1000s of years since this crime took place, we've never been able to steal it back...

Does that mean we deserve what we get?

I mean, obviously, men have something we don't, if they can steal the power and there is nothing we can EFFECTIVELY do to get it back.

We, women, are the ultimate victims, and there is no hope. If we've never regained our equality in all these millenia, then what hope is there?

Ok, if you haven't figured it out, I'm being pretty sarcastic here, because I don't believe that women are as powerless as some feminists would have you believe. I believe power is a perception, and therefore it must be equalised in the mind.

Also, and this may seem like I'm betraying my kind, womankind, but seriously, why haven't we corrected the balance in all these years?

Is it because women, while liking community, don't work well together. The women who achieve places of power in this "man's world" have a tendency not to support other women, while men form "boys' clubs" all over the place? That seems to glibb an explanation to me...

Dave has asked why, in this day and age, women still don't have equal pay for equal work in Australia. Where are the women's unions, where are the boycotts of the companies who won't budge on pay reassessments. And childcare, for those women who want to work outside the home, why aren't women taking a stand and refusing to work for companies that don't provide adequate and affordable childcare for their employees?

Ok, I hear you, then women wouldn't work, because there'd be no where to work, and then we couldn't afford anything. Single women would suffer, most. What about single women banding together then, forming cooperative communities? What about sacreficing a few luxuries and living a little lighter? If women just took a stand, things would have to change because, let's face it, the workforce actually does need us, or don't we believe it does?

The thing is, many women want to be GIVEN equality, they want the power handed over to them. It ain't never gonna happen. and while you're feeling powerless in your relationship and waiting for your male partner to change is chauvanistic ways and GIVE you some respect, your going to stay powerless, because you're GIVING away your power...

See, we make a lot of noise about men being warmongering, and how we just want peace, but I think that is the crux of the issue here. We tend to hide behind "the higher road" a lot, as a way to get out of having to act and possibly suffer pain.

Women, in their MILLIONS need to be prepared to suffer, a lot, in order to make some change, if they feel the change is warranted, in fact, for a while, women might need to suffer MORE than what they currently are (women in Western society, certainly), and I think, deep down, we know that, and that is why we don't act.

Men have shown that they are more than willing to sacrefice themselves for what they believe in (owning land and oil, spring to mind), but we just want to have stuff handed to us. We want to sit and talk loudly and rage on the net about the inequality of women, as long as we don't have to give up anything we already have. Afterall, it's not actually US working in the red light district of Delhi, or being raped and then stoned in Africa... We're happy to help by sending a bit of money, and not buying that new top, or signing an instant petition on the net, sure, not an issue, but to actually make real sacrefices that might involve going hungry or maybe even being REALLY scared for our very lives and that of our children, nuh-uh, pass, I'd rather just sit here rage on the net instead, and wonder why in 1000s of years the equality have never been balanced out...

We've always had the power, women, we just don't make good use of it...

As Dr Phil likes to say (gosh, I'm quoting a man, naughty, naughty), "Your situation reflects your priorities"... If you feel oppressed, why are you allowing that situation to continue, what about that situation is working for you?

Comments

HipbubbyMama said…
LOL well glad I gave you the inspiration! :D Interesting points (even if I don't agree with most of 'em) hehe :P
Sif said…
Aw, C'mon, that's piss weak, and you know it! WHAT don't you agree with, and why don't you agree with it, just saying you don't agree isn't very fair...
HipbubbyMama said…
Ok, LOL I didn't really want to get into a debate about it. :) Because I think you have a point to a certain extent re giving others power. But I think that's too simplistic a view. And I also think you're putting much too much blame on women. Most women I know have suffered from sexism at some point or another. I think those like yourself who haven't are lucky, but it doesn't mean it doesn't happen. It's very hard for an individual to effect a change when everything in her life is dictated by other's attitudes. For example:

"And childcare, for those women who want to work outside the home, why aren't women taking a stand and refusing to work for companies that don't provide adequate and affordable childcare for their employees?"

Well perhaps many women don't have the luxury of doing this? Maybe they just don't have a choice. Not everyone has the benefit of a god education, and many many women can't afford to be SAHM's or to pick and choose where they work.

"The thing is, many women want to be GIVEN equality, they want the power handed over to them. It ain't never gonna happen. and while you're feeling powerless in your relationship and waiting for your male partner to change is chauvanistic ways and GIVE you some respect, your going to stay powerless, because you're GIVING away your power..."

I also don't feel this is at all fair, because it doesn't take into account all the variables in any given situation. So women in less than perfect relationships might be "giving away their power" But why is it ALWAYS the fault of the women? See I think this is where we have to blame society and culture, because why do many of us as women feel we have to be the ones to change and mend things? Often women suffer from low self esteem and they think to be in a relationship, any relationship is better than being alone. Some men feel this too. But rather than blaming a woman for not being 'strong enough' why not blame a society which deems it acceptable for a man to not do his fair share? I know many many men who think this way-and their views are reinforced by talking to their mates who tell them the way it should be. I *know* this from personal experience, and you're really pushing shit uphill trying to reason or rationalise with them when their ideas are so set in stone.

And I don't understand your point about sacrifice. Why is this a feminist issue? isn't it a global, humanity issue?

I do agree that knowledge is power and that individuals are responsible for their own perceptions and way of seeing things. But I just don't understand you you can deny the existence of male oppression...
But as i said, interesting points and it is cool to disagree :)
Sif said…
I'm so glad you replied, I fully expected to be talking to myself.

You're misrepresenting what I'm saying, but you're not alone, LOL... I'm not putting all the blame on women, I'm simply saying that women, like all people, need to take on the responsibility for their part in their situation.

There really is not such thing as "can't", it is just a matter of finding a way.

As I said, why don't single women band together and form co-ops to provide child care for their children. In fact, why don't women, generally support each other a bit more, and accept support a bit more...

I totally believe men should be made to take their fair shared of the responsibility at home and with the kids, but are they going to do that while women let them get away with not doing it...

Ok, so it's not fair that women have to make their lives harder still to get their point across, but having long ago given men all this power, isn't it time women did whatever it takes to give men a wake up call?

It's not ok, to say, well, I'm really hard done by here and to make things any better I have to be harder done by for a while, so I'm not going to bother.

Also, on the point of edumacation. There are plenty of men who aren't well educated, but that never stopped them from doing whatever it took to gain the upper hand in the first place...

Or are women innately weaker, in mind and body, that we don't have what it takes to get our needs met (of course, I don't believe this at all)...

What I'm hearing is a lot of excuses about why it's so hard for women, and so unfair and why men are such bastards, and not a lot of , "They not going to get away with this any more, I'm setting my boundaries"...

Also, I keep hearing a lot about women in low economic situations, with little education or living in third world countries, but why is it then that women living middle class lifestyles, with reasonable education in a "1st World" country are feeling so oppressed, what their excuse?
Crazy Mumma said…
I have to say that I was genuinely puzzled by your post, because that hasn't been my experience at all. Hipbubbymumma's reply though pretty much summarised everything I was thinking though, so, as with most things in life, views on feminism and opression are clearly heavily coloured by personal experience.

As for this though: "As I said, why don't single women band together and form co-ops to provide child care for their children. In fact, why don't women, generally support each other a bit more, and accept support a bit more..."

Wow, that's a whole 'nuther issue, LOL, and something I ponder on an almost daily basis! Why is that we *can* be incredibly supportive of each other and yet choose to be incredibly bitchy and divisive sometimes?? The one and only (large-ish) group of women I have ever come across that aren't run the local Baptist church Playgroup. So does faith (and/or a religious community) have something to do with it? Our society also promotes independence from our families rather than extended families living together or close by, and job security is a thing of the past, so perhaps that underlying insecurity has something to do with it??
Sif said…
LOL, well, some might say my pov is different because I grew up in a matriarchal society, and some might say it's different because I don't see men and women as seperate at all but rather part of one continuum, and so I don't believe men can oppress women without oppressing themselves, or that women can be oppressed and not in turn oppress men... I simply feel the mode of expression is different, and we have a tendency to put more emphasis on the male mode as negative than the female mode... And perhaps we're better at communicating our feelings and so we don't really know how men feel oppressed or we don't give that much credit because they don't express it as coherently as we do...

As for women being bitchy and devisive, I've heard feminist theory that says this is how men control women by causing them to fight amongst themselves and focus on superficial foci such as who has the best man, who is the best looking, who is the best mother... Basically, our bitchiness is mens fault as well... See, we don't have to take any personal responsibility at all if we're not inclined to do so...

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