Monday, October 28, 2013

As She is Mine I may dispose of her

Tonight I watched an episode of NCIS (Anonymous was a Woman) that made me 1.) Cry and 2.) Think about how lucky I am to be born in the place and age I was born in.  We watch all this with bated breath---these things that happen to women someplace far off, like Afghanistan---or Iran and we think how superior our culture is.  I know people who would throw those things out as an example of how there is not a war on women in Western culture, because, if there was a war on woman, they would be denying us driver's licenses and making us take male relatives with us everywhere we go.

It's not just neo-cons either, it's us "liberals" as well.  We're quick to put our own culture on a pedestal.  We want to think we're superior in every way.   We're not.  The place we're at now is the result of the blood, sweat and tears generations of women (and the men who supported them) fighting for equality in this country and in this culture.  Of people standing up and demanding the vote, property rights, equal pay for equal work, and the opportunity to compete with men. The company I work for, up until August of this year when we joined another agency, was woman owned and woman run.  I suspect that part of the reason there were no men working there is because, well, they just don't want insurance jobs unless it's being an agent (we've had one male job applicant come in for an interview in 7 years.  He was a really hot guy in a wheelchair who couldn't type applying for an office job.  Let that sink in for a minute) and because back when our agent was a young woman doing CSR work and said she thought she wanted to be a producer, she got laughed at.  They laughed at her and told her she couldn't make it doing that because she was a woman.  She proved them wrong.  Damn well if I may say so myself.   This was about thirty years ago when this happened.  (I think.)

But don't kid yourselves, the need to oppress and posses runs deep in Western culture as well.  Just last Easter, the world gasped in awe because a Pope washed womens' feet.   Dirty convict women too.  The world was scandalized.  Well, not so much the world as the old men surrounding said Pope who are terrified that women might be given an equal place at the table in the Roman Catholic Church.  In the United States, state legislators spent a lot of time and money last year trying to regulate womens' bodies.   Hobby Lobby is suing the government because it can't impose Mr. Green's religious beliefs on his female employees.  A Texas woman performed a heroic filibuster to try and stop a law that would have closed down all but three abortion clinics in the whole state---and with them women's health services that are desperately needed.  That law was overturned by a federal court as unconstitutional, but they still tried.

A lot of this is done in the name of religion disguised as fear.   Jesus, as far as I can tell, refused to participate in the objectification of women.    He refused to condemn the adulterous.  The woman who'd been married five times and was living with a man she wasn't married to?  He gave her the water of life.   The woman he cast seven demons out of became one of his disciples.  He declined to condemn the woman who washed his feet with her tears even though the Pharisees practically begged him to do so.  Rebuked Judas when he complained about another anointing him.  The first believers to see him post resurrection were women.   There is nothing in the gospels to suggest that Jesus was real excited about the nasty game his culture engaged in when it came to women.  I don't see a way to use the Son of Man to support this devilish enterprise, unless, of course, you're more interested in control than Truth.

I think that's the problem.  In Anonymous was a Woman the women's' shelter was under attack by five cowardly men with molotov cocktails and big assault rifles. The women outnumbered the men outside at least two to one.  They were afraid.  They stayed inside hoping they would survive the night.   Gibbs goes outside and just stands in front of the building.   They don't shoot.   He's an American and the Americans have bigger guns?  One of them attacks Gibbs.   He disarms him quickly without actually hurting him.  Continues to stand there.  McGee shoots a molotov cocktail out of one asshole's hands.   The UN peacekeepers arrive.    The women become refugees in America.  Unfortunately, this is not how it goes down most of the time in real life.  In any case, I think it is time that women everywhere quit waiting on men to rescue them.  Even sexy old guys like Mark Harmon.   We need to rescue ourselves.  Quit waiting on some guy to show up in a shiny white pickup truck and save us.   We need to quit allowing this shit to happen.

Why? Because that would scare the shit out of these men.  They hit, the legislate, they trap and control and manipulate.  What they can't stand, can't bear, is a girl who can do something for herself.  A girl who can think for herself.   A girl who might just realize that the whole value of her life isn't tied up in the day when her dad takes her hand out of his pocket and drops it into her husband's.   They might have to find a way to be interesting these men.  These brutes.  These assholes with no self worth of their own except in what they take from other people.  They might have to be interesting to appeal to women.

What a concept.

As she is mine, I may dispose of her: Which shall be either to this gentleman Or to her death, according to our law Immediately provided in that case.   
~ William Shakespeare, Theseus,  A MidSummer Night's Dream. 

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