the problem of women and the problem with men’s solutions

"Woman Problem" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Woman Problem” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

A friend of mine posted an article, Women, LGBT, least safe on Facebook, despite ‘real name’ policy. It’s about how women, as well as LGBT people, are least safe on Facebook, in spite of its policies that it claims protect survivors. It’s horrible. Read the comments on articles like this, and most of them express the sentiment of this cartoon: Get off of Facebook!

It’s the same about places of worship. My popular Sophia image Trapped was stolen by an online group and they turned it into a meme that basically said that a woman who is a part of a religion that disrespects women is stupid. Women shouldn’t be religious was the message. It was the exact opposite of what the original image was meant to communicate: that women should be free to do what they want, including choosing and observing their religion. I reported it and it was removed. But women get the message: Don’t go, but if you do, be quiet!

The gaming community is notoriously misogynist. Read this article Game of Fear and it will give you a taste of what’s going on. Or watch Anita Sarkeesian’s of Feminist Frequency give her talk about the lack of safety for women gamers. They get the same message: Don’t play!

I could have included many more frames, including the workplace where women get 77¢ for every $1 a man makes. Even though this number is disputed, it is still agreed there is a gender pay gap. That’s just in the USA! Here’s a humorous video critiquing this reality. But the message seems to be: Stay home!

The logical conclusion of all this is the bottom line that women are second-class citizens. If there is no equality for a certain group, that paves the slippery slope towards discrimination against that group, and that paves the slippery slope towards violence against that group. It leads to hatred, and hatred is the emotion of violence and murder. It’s not an accident I used the word “solution” in the title.

I realize this is intense language, but it seems only appropriate to address the violence women are experiencing in their daily lives. If you want to read an excellent book, read Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things To Me. Short and to the point.

Thankfully, as Solnit and others concede, this does not include all men. And even though this is not the experience of all women, it is the experience of enough that it points to a serious problem. But a generalization does not lessen the specific reality.

Over half the membership of The Lasting Supper is women. Come and join them. You’re welcomed there.


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1 Response

  1. Ducatihero says:

    Women shouldn’t be religious… discrimination against that group”. These are abhorrent. Every woman has a right to practice a religion of her choice (including atheism) and to be entitled to be free for discrimination.

    I think difficulty arises with what is considered to be “safe” in terms of cultivation of behaviour such that no-one should have to suffer and that benefits all sounds great. However if all that happens as a result is that different interpretations of what that is happens then it instills fear to go against any prevailing thought in culture. As you rightly say David fear and control go together. So a cultures of fear and retribution are created where there are differences of views on what constitutes safety, relief from suffering and what is beneficial.

    Without mutual deference then never ending circular arguments persist with a lot of pissed off and exhausted people. In highly individualistic and competitive cultures like ours it can be difficult to resolve this.