Saturday, May 3, 2008

Shattering the glass of ignorance

I get so tired of people who apparently know nothing of history, insisting that civilization is men's doing.

In refutation of yet another such ignoramus, I posted the following on a message board:

It is utter fallacy to assume that, just because they were not "allowed" to read, write, etc., in some cultures, that Women contributed nothing to civilization. There is probably no field of human endeavor to which Women have not contributed -- sometimes quietly, sometimes overtly.

Even the briefest glance through history would disabuse anyone of the notion that civilization is all men's doing. From Hatshepsut of Egypt to Elizabeth, Queen of England; from Sappho to Susanna Centlivre; Molly Pitcher to Marie Curie, Women have been leaders of nations, writers, scientists, artists, warriors, even pirates on the high seas.

Social sanctions, backed by the threat of brute force, which are what have historically been used to keep Women down, do not equate to superiority. The man who holds a gun to my head in order to take my wallet, is not my superior. He has a gun, that is all.

Without such a figurative, and sometimes literal, gun to their heads, Women in the modern world are now surging ahead of men in all important human endeavors. Thus we see clearly their true superiority.


Chase March said...

People are often not recognized for the good they do. But I agree women are still overlooked. However, I’m not sure credit is such a good thing. We can do things without expecting or needing credit of any kind. This is the best way to do good in the world.

Ela (braveheart) said...

You are the first person I met who have such a, I can't really describe it, about Women.
It is like you have a role in changing the world, a purpose in spreading the word, a message that needs to be spread.
Amazing just amazing
and for that I bow my head and honor your being.

Eastcoastdweller said...

Chase: You are wise, as always. I have found, too, in my discussions, that most Women do not seek to have a marching band trumpeting Their every move. They want equality, They want access, no more, no less.

But if we do not call attention to Their achievements, we risk promulgating the ignorance that says They haven't done anything and have no right to complain.

Eastcoastdweller said...

Ela: Not I, but we, have a role in spreading this word. Into our paths at sometime or another will come a Woman -- perhaps a colleague, a friend, a Sister, who doubts her worth, who doubts Her abilities.

We can lift Her up, we can encourage Her.

So do not bow Your head. For too long, Women have bowed Their heads. Stand tall and strong, proud of Your membership in the universal Sisterhood. Be aware of, and be confident in, Your many abilities and Your gifts as a Woman. There is nothing of any importance that You cannot do!

Your life has infinite value, infinite possibilities, infinite beauty.

And find a gallery for that gorgeous art of Yours!!!

Rebecca said...

And there were sometimes some very enlightened men who reveled in their women. I was thinking of John and Abagail Adams. Their love was based on a deep mutual respect of both their hearts and their intellects. Abagail's influence on John was no secret in the incubator that was to become Independence Hall, Philadelphia.

Janice Thomson said...

I think as long as advertising uses beautiful women to sell their products from cars to toothpaste there will always be a problem. Even if they used heavier women or ones who have inner beauty it would help change the masses opinion.
Thank you for your compassion and understanding and most of all your support for women across the world.

Trisia said...

The text is nice, and the general ideas too, but I find your conclusion quite disconcerting, Ecd.

The exact nature of this "true superiority" eludes me (and to think you thought it was crystal clear).

Very much digged the Rousseau 'wallet at gunpoint':P reference, even if that chap is not one of my favourite writers.

Eastcoastdweller said...

Rebecca: I really found Your comment on the Adamses to be intriguing and something deserving of more research.

Such enlightened men have existed in history, surely, and they were no doubt blessed men, having found the secret of true joy, which is, no more, no less than this: bring joy to Womankind, or at least, to a Woman. Respect Her, adore Her, be inspired by Her.

Janice: Even if She is heavier, or Her facial features don't match Kate Moss or Tyra Banks,a Woman, every Woman, is still beautiful, still desirable, still wonderful.

Only when She betrays Her Feminine birthright by making ugly choices -- to be bitter, cruel, selfish -- does She truly become unattractive.

Trisia: The facts are there: Women have achieved amazing things through the years in spite of the obstacles placed before Them.

Now that the playing field is being leveled, it is Women who are winning high school honors such as valedictorian, attending college in greater numbers than men, scoring more highly, getting the higher degrees, etc.

Biologically, Women outlive men, hear better than men, empathize and communicate better than men, etc.

You feel disconcerted because you are not used to hearing it.

It's not anything that you as a Woman need to flaunt. Just enjoy the knowledge and call on it quietly whenever some male moron - or unenlightened Woman -- tries to tell you that you can't do this, can't do that, because you are a Woman.

And it doesn't mean that men are usless, hopeless or worthless. Men, some men, are wonderful. Certainly, men have a purpose in the universe, too.