How weird. Within 60 seconds of posting this morning’s blog – “Racism and the United States” – I read Charles Blow’s “Yes, All Men,” in the New York Times.
“Yes, All Men” motivated me to write this companion piece to my blog “Racism and the United States.” “Misogyny and the United States” is a good partner for “Racism and the United States.” And we can add in “Homophobia and the United States,” too. I blog about these various items fairly regularly. And I speak up when I present and I write.
So here goes…. Again and forever until we have equity for all!
“Sexism” … A bit of an easier word than “misogyny.” But are they different? Not in action. Socialized and institutionalized behaviors. Even women can be misogynistic.
Check out Wikipedia:
Sociologist Allan G. Johnson says, “misogyny is a cultural attitude of hatred for females because they are female…misogyny…is a central part of sexist prejudice and ideology and, as such, is an important basis for the oppression of females in male-dominated societies… Misogyny functions as an ideology or belief system that has accompanied patriarchal, or male-dominated societies for thousands of years and continues to place women in subordinate positions with limited access to power and decision making.”
Yes, that still happens. Yes, the U.S. is that kind of society. Did you know that the U.S. has a larger gender gap than 22 other countries? Did you know that the U.S. ranks 84th in the world in the number of women in elective office at the federal level? (We used to rank 82nd.)
The gender gap. Sexism. Misogyny. In the U.S. In many countries. In various religions. Part of various political philosophies.
“I believe it’s very important for everyone to be a feminist.” That’s what Mr. Blow’s son said to him… And that’s how Blow begins his op-ed piece today.
Blow continues with: “Yes, we should all be feminists, but too often we believe that the plight of the oppressed is solely the business of the oppressed, and that the society in which that oppression is born and grows and the role of the oppressors and beneficiaries are all somehow subordinate.”
But that’s just plain wrong, as Blow notes. “Fighting female objectification and discrimination and violence against women isn’t simply the job of women; it must also be the pursuit of men. Only when men learn to recognize misogyny will we be able to rid the world of it.” (Actually, fighting any oppression is the responsibility of everyone, not just the oppressed, not just the marginalized. White people marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. Straight people march with the LGBTQ community. Men march with women.)
Sexism. Misogyny. It’s real – just like human made climate change is real. Facts prove it. YES, FACTS!
- Check out the World Economic Forum annual gender gap report. Read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from the United Nations, written at the U.N.’s founding. Check out the U.N.’s WomenWatch, the gender equality news feed.
- Are you familiar with UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women? Have you read the requirements of the Commission on the Status of Women – and the requirements for gender equality?
- And there is so much more research and documentation and facts about the poor status of women…
So are you a feminist? I’m so tired of hearing women and men say “Well, I just don’t identify with that word but…” Again, from Wikipedia: “Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates for or supports the rights and equality of women.”
A feminist advocates and supports the rights and equality of women, equity for women. What’s not to like? Cut the simplistic crap and the word games. Are you a feminist? Do you believe in equity – for women and men and people of color and homosexuals and heterosexuals and and… ?
(Guess what I just learned? Charles Fourier, a Utopian Socialist and French philosopher, apparently invented the word “feminism” in 1837. And the terms appeared in France and the Netherlands in 1872.)
By the way, philanthropy and the nonprofit/NGO sector are enmeshed in this same moral dilemma of inequity and power.
Okay. That’s the end of today’s ranting. I’ve got client work to do.