I wrote this post four years ago. Over the past few months the still pronounced sexism of this country has been thrown into the spotlight, so this post seems just as appropriate today.
To suppress or disdain women (or any “Other”) is to “posture,” as one article I read recently put it. To posture, to pretend, is to be inauthentic. This takes mental and emotional energy — it takes a psychological toll. This is from a recent study:
“Men who see themselves as playboys or as having power over women are more likely to have psychological problems than men who conform less to traditionally masculine norms, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.”
Similarly, I would assume, women who allow men to have power over them or belittle them as sex objects, would suffer emotionally. (I know I would!)
We are not born hating another; it is learned behavior that goes against our natural need to belong in community and be loved and to love. Our “traditional” roles are not necessarily “natural” and if we insist that we and others play them, we are hurting everyone involved. We have to stop photoshopping our society to supposed ideals intended to keep the hierarchical, “power-over” status quo in place. It’s time for “power-with”!
I recently read Suzanne Venker’s article: The War on Men in which the author blames us liberated women for upsetting the “proper” way of the world by forcing men to compete with us instead of doing what they all prefer, which is, apparently, look after us incompetent creatures. Apparently we’re just not womanly enough anymore and – poor guys – they’re so confused. But, the author, happily concludes: “there is good news: women have the power to turn everything around. All they have to do is surrender to their nature – their femininity – and let men surrender…
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