Breaking the dryspell with a feminist rant

February 29, 2008 at 2:27 am (feminism, NPR, rants)

Oh, I just couldn’t let this one go.  I am currently deeply entrenched in my dissertation which is why I haven’t been feeling especially inspired lately to write much else.  But I heard a couple of things today that made me so incensed it got my creative juices flowing again.  I wake up to NPR in the morning.  I figure as I snooze, the latest news and current events will find their way into my brain.  Often what happens is that I think of something later in the day and wonder if it was a dream or was it actual news that president Bush vetoed another piece of legislation that would have benefited women or kids.

Unfortunately, I was very much awake when I heard an interview of a woman (I think the woman was interviewed at her church) about what presidential candidate she was excited about.  I think she said something about thinking it was nice that a lady could run for president, but that its really just a man’s job because of her strong belief that women hold a submissive place in the world and that she liked the leadership style of men.  I’m just wondering what her point of reference was.  The simple fact is, we have very little evidence of what a world controlled by women would look like.  So lets analyze what a world mostly ruled by men looks like.  Wars, religious fanaticism, dictatorship, genocide…Gee I can see why the status quo is so attractive!  I would have been sickened had a man said this, but to hear a woman say it literally made my skin crawl.  It greatly saddens me to think of a woman being raised in a faith which conveys to her, from infancy no doubt, that she is inferior and limited in what she can do.  Yet another in the list of a million reasons I’m proud to call myself an atheist.

And speaking of religion and discrimination, I had the pleasure on my way home from work of listening to another NPR story about the recent establishment of segregated mass-transit systems in many large cities.  They interviewed Israeli women on both sides of the issue.  The segregation in Israel is religiously based.  The point is apparently to keep men away from the wanton temptation of all of those seductive women.  One woman compared allowing her husband to sit next to another woman to allowing a baby to play with a loaded gun.  Seriously, she said those words…and then my head exploded.

I suppose it shouldn’t, but it continues to shock me when women willingly step backwards in time and give up the status and rights that ambitious and powerful women before them have earned all of us.

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