Wednesday the 9th of August is International Women’s day.
I had some thoughts.
In the movie Gigi, which I saw about 100 years ago, Maurice Chevalier sang thank heaven for little girls.
I sing, thank heaven for the women that little girls become!
What is really fascinating to me is that so many men have written so many songs about how much they love women and how devastated they are when the woman rejects or leaves them and yet women are so judged by these very same men.
There is so much misogyny (woman hating) in the world – We see this most in the men who are most chauvinistic. Beneath this chauvinism lies a deep sense of inadequacy and vulnerability and to compensate for this, men need to control and dominate women.
In addition, men often find women intolerably desirable, which makes them feel powerless in the face of their desire and so they have to put women down and judge them.
My longstanding references to Donald Trump have not ended.
He is the archetypal misogynist.
Making distasteful references to women’s menstrual cycles and his desire to grab them by certain body parts, which simply demeans them, which in turn reflects his inadequacy and desperate need to overpower them. (Of course he wants to overpower everyone!)
Horrifyingly typical of this prejudice is the fact that the word “hysteria” comes from the Greek word hysteria, meaning “womb.”
It used to be believed that a wandering and discontented uterus was blamed for that dreaded and supposedly female ailment, of excessive emotion hysteria, and you can bet that this absurd – no insane – belief, was created by men!
So men are apparently ‘beautifully emotionally regulated’ and women are hysterical?
The violence men perpetrate against women (there is a rape every 26 seconds in South Africa – #1 in the world – and every 6 minutes in the US) and against other men, is in my opinion hysterical.
In actual fact most men are simply emotionally blocked, (which is not to say that there aren’t women who are also emotionally blocked) and are out of touch with their emotions and in order to manage the anxiety that this creates, women are attacked for being hysterical.
So when a woman gets angry she is considered to be excessively aggressive and out of control, whereas men are considered tough or simply difficult.
The Glass Ceiling
There are endless stories about women in business hitting the glass ceiling, about women being considered second-class citizens, about them not being smart, about them being physically abused and sexually harassed, about them lacking political rights and being considered subordinate to their husbands in particular and to men in general.
There was an extraordinary experiment conducted recently by Martin Schneider and Nicole Hallberg. They switched email signatures for a week to test how much sexism occurs in the workplace.
People thought they were corresponding with him when in fact they were corresponding with her and vice versa.
She said that she had one of the easiest and most productive weeks of her career while he said he was “in hell.”
In other words, when people thought they were talking to a man they were respectful and dignified, whereas when they were talking to a woman they were demeaning and disrespectful.
In a further article Hallberg describes her boss at the time, who was a man, talking about Schneider and saying: ““Oh, he’s a good writer, but he tends to get over emotional about things and let that get in the way of his writing. He’s kind of a girl like that.”
He apologized after realising what he had said, but the apology doesn’t eradicate the prejudice!
The Rising Spirit Of Women!
So, on this woman’s day 2017, I have a plea.
We need to eradicate this prejudice against women, not only because it is a prejudice but because in doing so we are depriving the world of some of the great qualities which women have, which most men don’t. The qualities that put relationship alongside the value of logic, that honour intuitive truth alongside problem-solving and strategic thinking, that value what we say and who we are rather than our gender.
I believe that it is incumbent upon women and the enlightened men in positions of power to call men on their chauvinism and sexism and to educate and empower women to not fall back into the disempowered and prejudiced roles passed down by history.
I’m recommending zero tolerance of sexism and prejudice, not to be attacked in the way that some men might do it, but in the spirit of the pursuit of truth and equality.
Men struggle to see what they are doing because they cannot own their prejudiced projections, they have too much anxiety to do that.
We need to help them with this struggle through consistent, powerful and gentle pressure. If we are not gentle we will simply threaten them – and we will be using an outdated masculine model – and if we do not use consistent pressure, they will simply laugh as off, which is what they do most of the time.
In addition and really importantly, women need to support each other in this quest to eradicate sexism. Meaning, they need to notice when their friends and colleagues are being judged and to rush to this support, calling the men out verbally.
A man doing this is even more powerful than a woman doing it because he is likely to be more respected by the sexist men, so if there are any men out there reading this blog I ask you to come to the support women in this quest.
Let the noble spirit of women rise to transform this world.
If you would like to meet with me face to face or via Skype to work with any of the issues shared in this blog, please drop me a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org