It’s been nearly a hundred years since the Great Depression [GD], and now here we are on the verge of another one. It’s been 89 years since women’s brave and persistent efforts won them the vote. For a timeline of their efforts to achieve this: http://www.thelizlibrary.org/suffrage/index.html
The GD lasted for 10 years and during that time forward, women held onto their slim gains of equality by the skin of their teeth. While men of property and wealth were devastated and several corporate fat cats defenestrated, women, always the most depressed class, suffered more than any other group.
A revival of the movement followed some time after the end of the depression, advanced by WWII, which provided the need for women to work outside of the home. They were magnificent; building planes and ships; working in factories and on farms.
Although on balance, this period ushered in several years of change for the better, some of the changes were cosmetic. Many women took their newfound freedom and ran with it – right into the pits that their mothers had so recently dug their way out of.
And what a boon to men it was when these women took the attitude that they could be and dress and do anything they wanted to. What the women called freedom, the men saw as their just deserts – women were accepting their proper place as serving mankind – continuous eye candy.
Women were allowed better jobs and education by acts of Congress but for many of them it was a bloody battle to secure and keep these rights. The money and power still belonged to the establishment. For many women, to get along meant to go along. It meant to go along with the sexism in the workplace and campus – just laugh and pretend it didn’t hurt.
Others resisted and fought back. Some have recorded their experiences and written about them as fiction to avoid threatened lawsuits. The Gutenberg Project chose one of these, Wild Justice, for their on-line book collection. Anyone may read or download this ebook at: http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/1/5/152/152-h/152-h.htm
One of the most horrific things in the Woman’s Movement for Equality is the incidence of woman on woman misogyny. We can celebrate the many men who support our cause despite the real risks they take from the brotherhood, but oceans of tears cannot remove this blatant perfidy of women.
The mere fact that a superbly qualified woman could win the most votes and the most delegates in her Party’s Primary and be denied the candidacy by the illegal acts of the men and women of the Party should tell you something.
Amy Siskind wrote in A Year Ago Today, about her awakening to the fact that the Democratic Party did not support women. She wrote graphically of how our children have been programmed to hate women by the media.
“It’s when your 5th grade daughter’s friend gets into your car after school one day. And her friend is crying because a gang of boys had acted out on her. And the girl is told she is a “bitch” and a “whore” by a pack of circling boys for breaking up with their friend. And then you see that it starts very early. And then you notice the familiarity of those words as having heard them in prime time on the cable news. And then, with eyes now open, you realize that you can no longer sit at the sidelines and still live with yourself.”
Many women woke up just recently when the male national media went absolutely ga ga at pictures of Obama in bathing trunks. They realized that hard bodies are what many men really desire to look at and admire; women’s bodies were only for carnal conquest and possession.
[We are generalizing here. There are men who have evolved beyond the juvenile developmental stages of reporters and Democratic speechwriters.]
To many men, women’s bodies are in the same class as their cars, sports, boats etc which they own. This may be the true indicator of why they have no compunction in the way they refer to her as bitch, c*unt or barnyard animal. It may also explain why the “preferred” or “prized” woman is a stick figure with breasts.
Many men admire the bodies of a Putin or an Obama and admire the men too, but are content with their own appetites and the resulting beer bellies and DD size drooping male boobs, er, pecs. They walk around our beaches dressed only in shorts. They are kings and privileged to display and enjoy themselves by right of gender.
Women, even those with good healthy bodies or even the “Twiggys”, must keep certain areas of their bodies covered in public. Although décolletage is allowed as it “appeals sexually” to the male, a woman may not breasts feed a baby in public without consequences. As one person said, “women’s breasts are to fondle, not to feed.”
Sadly, many women spend their lives trying to obtain bodies our society approves of, bodies like those that are constantly taunting them in commercials, TV and movies. They may even forfeit their health to attain them.
So what sank the Woman’s Equality Movement? Probably a long list of things but we think at the top of the list was the use of the word feminist and then the splitting off of various groups: economic, sexual preference, race and age for example. Then, and still continuing, came the creation of various cults such as Post Feminist, Neo-Feminist etc, as academia beat the hell out of any common sense, united type movement.
Now we see Blogs attempting to rally women to activism and mercifully they are not all using the feminist word. Just when we need all our strength to pull together, really great, well-meaning people may be pulling us apart. Who has the time and money to support all these great efforts?
Here are just 3 that appear to be making an effort to politically and actively unite women to actively fight against sexism and misogyny: Puma, 51 Percent and The New Agenda – and they are just the tip of the iceberg, there are many more. Is there any way to unite all of us to make a powerful movement that will make it clear that women will no longer tolerate misogyny and sexism?
We saw how easily many women, who formerly supported HRC, turned happily to Obama, ignoring the misogyny and sexism of his campaign.
Will the women of ’09, who are again being hit hard by the economic depression, persevere and rise united again stronger than ever? Or will they just jump out of the windows of expediency again?
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