Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water
You can scroll the shelf using ← and → keys
You can scroll the shelf using ← and → keys
Our political process in America has never been such a shocking reality show. The whole world is tuning in while we use the presidential election of 2016 to display our worst national attributes in public. Sexism has reared its ugly head and is parading around as if it were the only important issue we have to consider. It is paramount to perceive how much of our own thought processes are controlled by outside forces. Both men and women are subject to our inherited stereotypes. We may also carry deep prejudice about foreign cultures, races, or religions about which we have no direct knowledge. These oversimplifications of society’s condition harm everyone. The fact that a woman is running against a man has engendered some kind of cartoon version of public consternation, indignation, and unacceptable conduct by almost everyone.
I propose that we take a step back and see our personal situation as an integral part of a much larger scheme. People everywhere vote because of their feelings about their own economic future. This is not strange. It is survival instinct. In times of dramatic change and disruption dysfunctional systems must give way to new ideas for the survival of the entire environment. Civil rights were first won by serfs who existed as chattel to nobility. The hard fought war against tyranny will not be won in physical battle, but in hearts and minds. Terrorism begins at home, in the angry hearts and minds of indignant citizens. By imagining evil enemies everywhere we maintain a militant mindset that does not foster peace.
In ancient Greece Aristophanes wrote a comedy about women and war. The heroine, Lysistrata proposed that women take over the treasury, since the old men had squandered all the funds:
“What matters that I was born a woman, if I can cure your misfortunes? I pay my share of tolls and taxes, by giving men to the State. But you, you miserable greybeards, you contribute nothing to the public charges; on the contrary, you have wasted the treasure of our forefathers, as it was called, the treasure amassed in the days of the Persian Wars. You pay nothing at all in return; and into the bargain you endanger our lives and liberties by your mistakes. Have you one word to say for yourselves?… Ah! don’t irritate me, you there, or I’ll lay my slipper across your jaws; and it’s pretty heavy.”
The men were duly concerned:
“Chorus of old men: If we give them the least hold over us, ’tis all up! their audacity will know no bounds! We shall see them building ships, and fighting sea-fights like Artemisia; nay if they want to mount and ride as cavalry, we had best cashier the knights, for indeed women excel in riding, and have a fine, firm seat for the gallop. Just think of all those squadrons of Amazons Micon has painted for us engaged in hand-to-hand combat with men.”
― Aristophanes, Lysistrata
I think we are once again at a pivotal point in history. Equality will serve as the only kind of chivalry we can afford to accept. What do you think, gentle reader?
For those of you who do not know what mansplaining is, you may be inadvertently doing it. You may also be a victim of it. Not all mansplaining is done by men, unfortunately. This powerful force in society is spreading like wildfire. The comedy of it is hilarious, but the reality is disconcerting. It plays out in the political campaign, naturally. It also plays out when any woman has interactions with the government. Our government has completely embraced the custom of condescending to citizens who want functional systems. We pay for everything these public “servants” do, but they live in a highly insular world where it is perfectly acceptable to sit around and mansplain to each other. The #squadgoals seem to be ignorance and sexist bliss.
If mansplaining does not work it is usually followed by some gaslighting. This is a practice of indicating that a woman must be out of her mind to be the way she is. This is a more sinister form of mansplain, just more extreme. Here in Tucson I reported the same egregious crimes to the Tucson Police Department for a decade, always being told that the crimes were not crimes at all, but civil matters. I persisted because the crimes seriously effect everyone in my neighborhood. Groups of neighbors, both male and female, petitioned to stop the crimes for years to no avail. The situation had been totally mansplained internally, so we could get no law enforcement help. Finally this year a cop came out in person to mansplain to me why the fake neighborhood watch to promote crime and willful blindness in our neighborhood was serving and protecting us. He informed me that he is the law, as if a person could be the law. When I did not accept this concept he came back the next day to gaslight me with the mental health division of the TPD. After passing my mental exam they just decided to pretend that I did not exist, which after all, is the goal of both mansplaining and gaslighting.
This disastrous plague needs to be exposed as well as eradicated. Everyone’s justice is compromised by this common practice. Have you had experience with mansplaining or gas lighting, gentle reader? Do tell.