I don’t mean to be insensitive, but there’s so many injustices to address. We need better vocabulary for the victims of patriarchy. And patriarchy tends to be “white” in color. February is Black History Month and March is Women’s History Month. These are important reminders, but I have trouble focusing on an entire month, let alone a day—particularly if it’s a work day. That doesn’t mean I don’t support my fellow human beings. So today’s International Women’s Day. I frequently wonder why it’s so hard for a particular type of man to see and treat women as equals. I’m afraid that it often comes down to might making right, which we all know is wrong. While power may not be inherently corrupting, many people are weak and are too susceptible to its blandishments. And power likes nothing better than similar people and sycophants. Women remind us that we can do better.
We don’t see those women elected to high political office grasping for the power to be queen for life (except queens, but that’s a different story). Instead we find a spirit of cooperation instead of this constant atmosphere of competition that seems so testosterone-driven that it ought to be X-rated. I don’t stereotype women as docile, but female leaders aren’t known for starting wars. And none of us would be here if it weren’t for women. The spirit of the times is one of wide representation—the principle of hearing all voices instead of only those of the powerful and ultra-wealthy. I’m not sure why men feel so threatened by women that they try to deny them a place at the table. Or pay them less for the same work.
Perhaps we fear societal change, but change finds us no matter what. We now know that sex, gender, and race don’t make any person inferior. Indeed, the struggle to be dominant often creates these categories in order to assert oneself over others. As any mother of multiple siblings knows, teaching children cooperation leads to much better results than setting kids off against each other. It’s a lesson that politics has yet to learn. Culturally, it seems, this is well accepted. People deserve to be treated equally. That concept is called “justice” and our entire legal system is based on it. Why don’t our politics match our culture? I don’t want to stereotype, but it seems to me that far too many men are involved. It’s International Women’s Day. Let’s take the opportunity to rethink how half the human race is treated.