Onward Angry Women……The Rise of the Femi-nazis?
There’s a term Mr. Rush Limbaugh came up with (or at least he coined it) years ago on his radio program to describe American women who want gender equality in the eyes of the law; it’s “femi-nazi”
And it would appear, that Mr. Limbaugh would like for his listeners to believe that Camp Feminazi want to take over the world; As the primates did in “The Rise of the Planet of the Apes”?
Only feminazis (women) aren’t sub-human, (sub –male) creatures wishing to overtake humans (males) nor do they want to take over the world, but there’s a great many people who want us to believe this scenario. Acknowledging the disparity between this perceived agenda and the real one is just downright depressing, despite all the strides made over the past one to two hundred years, in America- and worldwide.
There is no discernible and radical agenda, by design- historically or even presently for demands of special treatment or for “things” (despite what the above movie poster I butchered with my own handiwork, in an attempt at satire, suggests) no violence, or threats of it, perpetrated on the behalf of women and the men who support them, to gain equity of rights. The sentiment “If you give a pig a pancake, then she’ll want……”accompanies these requests for equality. Complexity riddles gender equality issues. At least that’s what’s convenient, for us, as an American society to believe.
This truth is since the dawn of civilized (man)kind, women haven’t ever truly been seen as equal- equal in the sense of value, across cultures, on paper, figuratively, monetarily; in all cultures the proportion of the distribution of wealth and power, comparatively speaking, is vastly inequitable; and has never, been equal, not today, not ever. And it isn’t for lack of value, it’s quite the contrary; Why have so many resources been devoted to depriving women of equality, in the eyes of the law, here in America and elsewhere?
For as long as the duration of civilization, the law of the land was that women attached themselves to men, taking their husbands’ surnames, and in some cultures there were gentiles and chivalry, but in most cultures, not so much. Women have had little choice in their futures, bought and sold, perhaps not for their market value, but dowries were paid, bargains were made, and love was an afterthought and optional. This hasn’t just existed “in Far-Far-Away Land” this has been, and continues to be true even in “the West” and in some cases, here in America until the very recent past, as the practice of arranged marriage isn’t exactly extinct.
In fact, the very existence of the word “mankind” reminds us of this fact; the idea that the noun used for humanity/being fully human- the word, used as a qualification, “man” is a prerequisite, is telling of this fact. Here’s where it really starts to get messy; in trying to strip away patriarchal, societal, and religious and patriarchal layer upon layer, herein lies the “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” predicament: From where did this perpetual inequality arise, and why? Aristotle’s explanation for female submission was simply this:
“The works of Aristotle portrayed women as morally, intellectually, and physically inferior to men; saw women as the property of men; claimed that women’s role in society was to reproduce and serve men in the household; and saw male domination of women as natural and virtuous.
In Symbols by Gerda Lerner, she states that Aristotle believed that women had colder blood than men, which made women not evolve into men, the sex that Aristotle believed to be perfect and superior. Maryanne Cline Horowotz stated that Aristotle believed that “soul contributes the form and model of creation.” This implies that any imperfection that is caused in the world must be caused by a woman because one cannot acquire an imperfection from perfection (which was perceived as male). Aristotle had a hierarchical ruling structure in his theories. Just as he believed that the Greeks were greater than the barbarians, he also duly believed that men were greater than women.”
What Aristotle and the molders of mankind did not know is this simple fact; Adam (man) hasn’t any fewer ribs than Eve, (woman) *This a common misconception- many are told and believe men to have one fewer rib than women-as scripture in Genesis describes the creation of Eve, a female companion for Adam, through the extraction of one of his ribs* and upon conception-until precisely 27 days afterward, the basic human life form and brain, is female; Until an androgen wash begins the genotype/phenotype expression of the male “Y”. One must ask the question “ If through scripture, alone, patriarchs tell us that women came from men, how can that be, when the basic human form begins as female?” And say this is true (which it is): So what? Why must one stand over another?
The fabric of just about every society, taking exception to pockets of hunter/gatherer tribes, Scandinavian societies-whose origins tended to be more egalitarian with the common denominator being an absence of organized religious influences– has been tightly woven by the words of patriarchs, scripture, and the course, unbreakable thread of these well-defined roles. Today, comparatively to other developed nations, the U.S. has fallen to 22nd place, in the race toward fairness/equality in the eyes of the law, economic opportunity and growth for women. (Note: Cuba and Nicaragua are ahead of the U.S. in terms of gender equality, which is startling)
Growing economic opportunity and freedom for women, comes a hefty price-tag, both imagined and real. A woman in America, no longer has to solely depend on a husband to support her, if she so chooses, she does not have to marry him, and can now apply for government assistance, if she has children and cannot support them entirely on her own, whether she works or not. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, since 1979, when women made approximately 62% of her male counterpart’s wages, she now makes somewhere between 75-80%.
The modern world includes the reality that everyone is competing for resources to ensure their survival; Not just men on behalf of their families; Women are, too.
Imagine this: A sister and brother open up a lemonade stand, together. Both do the same amount of work, cohesively, fair and square, and at the end of the day, their parents help them divide the profit. They profited $18. So, instead of dividing it down the middle, which would result in earnings of $9 each, sister gets $8 and brother gets $10. When sister begins to complain about this injustice, she’s encouraged to perform better, to bring more to the table, next time. But she had. She had brought “it” this time. (Let’s hope that brother recognized this inequity, and split the difference with her). However, in Real-ville, no amount of hope, or even the best, and empathetic brother can fill in this deficit on her paycheck, as she’s trying to support her family-again, whether she’s a single mother or not.
Many put forth the idea that “Women have just switched “husbands”; She chooses not to have (or chooses to divorce) an actual husband, and instead, marries Uncle Sam.” While I, myself, am not a fan of the upward trend of broken families and government-dependence, the idea that the modern “American Woman” with her dangerous ambitions to have a career, while also being intolerant of an unhealthy dysfunctional marriage, has inspired the downward spiral of America, is invalid. While the choice is a luxury, not afforded to other women in other regions of the world, American working women/mothers-single or married, should not have to sign up for a 3/4th or, at best, a 4/5th existence.
There are many criteria that go unnoticed, both in terms of the growth of gender equity, and the societal denouncement of oppression based on gender within a nation. It isn’t simply economic policy, or pro-active and protective legislation that contributes to the health of gender-equitable nations, it’s also the religious, media and entertainment trends and undertones (sometimes overtones) within it that causes its priorities to “shape-shift” with regard to opportunity afforded or denied to, and attitudes toward girls and women, for better or for worse. In American society, the number of violent acts, perpetrated against women on television (sometimes on prime-time television, for children to see) and the film industry, leads the world. The horrific rape and murder of an Indian woman last year, was a result of “Rape Culture”- which, by definition, women are objectified, used, and punished for being female. In under-developed countries, the subjugation of women, rape, punishment, are used as weapons of war, but in America, they are used as a means for profit –see here, why unbridled capitalism widens the inequality/women’s rights gap.
The case that society has much work to do was made apparent in Stubenville, OH-when young men of this community took photos of, laughed at, and openly exploited the victim, without legal recourse, at this point-watch here, and the fate of the victim’s rapists was of more concern to the public, through the filter of multiple journalists, than that of the victim (the victim received death threats for pressing charges); as through our entertainment industry, the exploitation and degradation of women in porn, and in music lyrics is highly profitable; Misogyny is among the most highly profitable business models, and it’s perfectly legal (thanks to First Amendment rights of bigots with microphones, exploitive pornographers, and various other “artists”). The tie between the victimization of children through the sexual victimization women continues through the porn industry, as “barely legal/teen” is the number one searched porn term, And becoming more mainstream; the sexual commercialization of adolescent girls is in full force; While there’s no logical or physiological rationale for this (women are most fertile between the ages of 22-26) this phenomenon is still very present. Bondage porn is the second highest porn search term in America; for those not familiar, bondage porn includes sadist/masochistic, fantasy abuse; where women are sometimes hogtied and bound; and are more often than not, the recipients of pain inflicted upon them by a sadist.
America, a nation that produces worldwide women’s advocate champions, cannot rid itself of the very things, as a society, that do not advance the female rights and humanity we so adamantly attempt to save in other countries.
Instead, we are idle, watching that very humanity quietly being stripped away from our own American women; For all the strides made; steps taken forward, the widely accepted, commercialized objectification of girls and women has forced a state of retreat. Both men and women in America are desensitized to the objectification of women and empathy fades away when an individual, industry, community, or a nation strips objectifies a human being; they strip away the objectified person’s humanity-the objectified ceases to be human, she (woman after woman, in this case) is an object. So, the fact of the matter is that some greasy, sleazy producer of porn, is living in a multi-million dollar mansion, enjoying the fruits of the labor of the girls (teenagers are GIRLS) women he has exploited, as a pimp would of his prostitutes, and it’s all perfectly legal on the basis that it is First Amendment “art”.
Relatedly, in politics, it must be noted, that this upward, misogynistic, continual trend has resulted in the public sexually-charged smearing of female leaders and innocents, Sandra Fluke, Nancy Pelosi, Hilary Clinton, Michelle Bachman, and Sarah Palin- how dare they be “female” and be “out there”. It happens to female leaders on both sides; the idea that women are “asking for it” when they run for public office or execute duties of public office. This is very thing that deters many women from running and wanting to hold public office in America- A record number of women hold office, 17% in the Senate, 18% in Congress, and 20% in cabinet positions; which is really quite pitiful.
Ashley Judd just recently announced she would not being running against Mitch McConnell for his seat. Although it cannot be presumed, and she hasn’t said the words, stop for a moment to think; How could she not consider the fate of a hypothetical political campaign; to be objectified and scrutinized in this manner, as other women before her? The opposing political machines and the press would have had a field day with her. Pretty, capable, AND intelligent? They would dig and dig and dig. We all know this. She knows it too.
As we’ve experienced through-out American history, we’ve had peaks and valleys, victories and defeats, federally and through-out individual states’ policy, in women’s rights; Women’s Suffrage, Roe vs. Wade, (Lily Ledbetter) Fair Pay Act (which, to be fair, isn’t truly ensuring “fair pay”-it’s ensuring the right for women to legally pursue an employer should she discover she’s earning less than her male counterpart for doing the same amount of work, etc) and the most recent victory with the re-authorization of the “Violence Against Women Act”, despite solid opposition in the House of Representatives, by many republicans, with a 286 yay, and 138 nay, it passed.
It remains to be crucial for the federal government to secure and uphold the rights of women OVER the states’ powers to deny (and to violate) the safety rights of women, children, and families. When women’s safety is secure, so are the safety needs of children, and we help to create the conditions that foster health and function, not cyclic domestic violence. Having the opportunity to be a CASA in my community (a Court-Appointed Special Advocate for children) I can testify to the inter-connected-ness of the correlation between the perpetration of domestic violence toward women, and the predictable accompanying abuse (indirect or direct) of the children in the household. Among high-income countries, the U. S. accounts for 32 percent of the female population but 70 percent of all female homicides (Hemenway, pg. 101, 2002 Hemenway, David and Azrael, Deborah, “The Relative Frequency of Offensive and Defensive Gun Uses: Results from a National Survey,” Violence and Victims 15(3) (2000): 257-272) If, as citizens we choose not to look at the human capital casualties, then from a fiscal standpoint, it’s necessary to point out the health-related costs of rape, physical assault, stalking, and homicide by intimate partners exceed $5.8 billion each year (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2003).
The reauthorization and enactment of the Violence Against Women Act would have directly prevented the following tragedy in Jessica Gonzales vs. United States, from occurring: Further, in terms of unregulated 2nd Amendment rights vs. the rights of female murder victims of domestic violence and stalking, to have lived, there is no contest. There is no legislation protecting women, even if there is a restraining order in place, from the firearms of these men. Upon the issue of a restraining order, ALL firearms privileges must be revoked until the restraining order expires. Yes. That means once there is probable cause for a restraining order (domestic violence, battery charge, threat, stalking, etc.) the recipient of this restraining order must forfeit his (or her) firearms until the expiration of the restraining order. Restraining orders should be swift and efficient- and shouldn’t depend upon which jurisdiction a woman resides, these procedures should be universal, and they are not, and often, they fail to be implemented effectively (or even at all).
When I was pregnant with my third child, Owen, in 2011, I had been receiving prenatal care from the Voss Center, here in Muncie, IN. There was a lovely, kind, caring woman behind the front desk. Her name was Lisa Hankins. She had a warm smile, and beautiful blue eyes. She had an amazing ability to connect with patients even when directing traffic, she had an impeccable memory; Remembering details of my pregnancy, making me feel good about myself (when I felt like a mama whale). She made me feel special, as she did so many other women who walked in and out of the clinic, as well. On June 4th, 2011- her estranged husband, Gaston reserve officer Benjamin Hankins, shot her multiple times, taking her life, while their youngest daughter was outside, waiting for her mother in the car. (She saw and heard everything) Hankins had made multiple threats toward Lisa, via text message and email, and finally made good on those threats. No restraining order had been issued.
The civil rights in America, for all groups; minority groups- LGBT individuals, women are determined by public interest; to be voted on by members of the majority. And, for example-that same majority, despite the intentions and anti-slavery roots of the Civil war, took over 5 years from the cessation of the South for the 13th Amendment to the constitution, banning slavery altogether, to pass in the House and become law. Subsequently, the 15th Amendment passed, and allowed African-American men to vote. But it wasn’t until 6 Amendments and decades later between the 13th Amendment and the 19th, until women were allowed to vote. As much as racism is still alive and well in America, tells us a different and compelling story; Reminding us that true gender equality is significantly elusive, even still, today and that the “Rise of the Feminazis” as exciting as it may sound, is as real as the contents of that movie poster, horrible artwork and all.