I follow a blog, written by a gentleman. Many times I am unable to understand what he’s saying. I do not understand the way he thinks. We come from very different places, not only in geographic terms but in the way we see the world as well. He’s male, for one thing, and he’s peaceful, calm and meditative. He writes that kindness and compassion can change the world. I believe that too but only in a utopian kind of way, somewhere on a different planet.
Here’s the thing. If our foremothers, who were only supposed to have their names in the paper twice…once when they married and then when they died, didn’t come out of their houses, stand strong when pelted with tomatoes, get dragged through the streets by their hair by hateful males, go to jail, go on hunger strikes, march, march and keep marching through male dominated streets and NEVER back down, I wouldn’t have been able to go to college. If not for them, I wouldn’t have been able to own property, inherit property, work, vote, get out from under the thumb of my father, and the next line of men who controlled everything I did. I am the descendant of those women. I never forget what they did for me. Never forget what they gave up, so that I could have a better life. My Master’s is in Women Studies because I am grateful to those brave women for living their lives in such a way that they made a better future for all the women who would come after them. I am overwhelmed by their courage. At a time when women had absolutely no freedom, they defied every male law and hit the streets to demand equality. How can I do less?
Not a single woman reading this post would have the freedom they have if it wasn’t for those incredibly brave women. They didn’t stay home and chat, sew, be nice and compassionate. They put their hats on and took to the streets. They didn’t ask politely for change, they DEMANDED it. They knew men would never give them what they wanted, so they WENT OUT AND DID SOMETHING ABOUT IT in a big way. Poor women had the most horrible lives imaginable and by women standing up for themselves…THEY CHANGED THE WORLD and we are still reaping the benefits from what they did. That generation of courageous women must never be forgotten, even if kids do not learn about what they did in school. THEY WENT TO WAR AND WON. Men/the establishment/the status quo don’t want children to know about what those women did, so there are few things they will ever find in school books that tell the truth about what took place. Women’s fight is downplayed and erased, made to seem inconsequential…it was anything but that. Those women attacked and turned the male world upside down and they did not stop until they got what they wanted.
It’s also safe and easy to sit back and let others do the hard work. The benefits belong to everyone, even if they did nothing to earn them. That’s the way it works. But our foremothers gave there lives for the women of today. Men work to keep us down…powerless and dependent. We are still fighting. The women who came before us would want us to keep going. Those of us who know that nothing will change unless we change it, will never sit back and hope that being kind will bring about freedom. It won’t. The balance of power is one sided and it’s against females. Men can’t understand that, some women can’t either. For the rest of us it’s the truth. So, you can talk about rape on campus all you want but female students are staging demonstrations and that’s bringing the truth into the open. Men lie. Schools hide things, so their reputations remain untarnished, but women are marching and because they are, the lies can no longer be hidden. Marching women are on the covers of magazines. It’s the way it works for us. So, the gentleman of whom I speak, cannot understand where I’m coming from anymore than I can understand what he sees. Our lives and worlds are far too different and all the talking in the world will not change that.