A Male View On How Women Have Overcome Oppression Throughout History

rosie-the-riveter

By Victor Correa

A woman is one of the most complex creatures on the Earth. However, today she’s still subjugated, oppressed and treated as a mere zoo animal.

In recent years, many news stories about rape and sexual assault have increased across the four corners of the globe, showing that the value of women as well as their voices are continuing to be silenced. Is it a consequence of a patriarchal society? Or perhaps a lack of information and awareness of these issues. Unfortunately, it is both.

Since the beginning of humanity, women were in the caves taking care of their kids, while the men were out looking for food. But the big question here is: Just because the caveman followed that gender role in the past, why do some people still feel the need to adhere to those roles even today?

These days there is a huge push for women to achieve the same rights, and equal importance in society, as men always had. Areas such as engineering, mechanical, among other STEM professions are seeing a steady but slow increase in the number of women. Step by step many women are giving their blood and chasing their dreams, just showing to the world that sex does not determine their competence.

But on the other side of the coin, we still see some women ascribing to the notion that they are the “weaker sex”, that they are going to be taken care of by a man. A lady who will have all the possible luxuries thanks to the high social position that her husband has, is something that is still much sought after.

We know that every choice is individual and very personal, but what we may not always realize is that an apple spoiled can influence the growth of the others too much.

Where does this culture of submission come from? In childhood, is the obvious answer. How many Disney movies did you watch as a kid? What about fairy tales?

When you look closely, you see that a woman is portrayed in two distinct ways; the good girl and essentially subservient, and the stepmother, or a witch, who is essentially malevolent, although she has the authority and independence that others do not get. It is clear that from a very early age, girls are created to serve the next, abdicating their own values, as if the self-sacrifice was the greatest gift of humankind.

But it is not that way, because if you stop to think about it, an ideology of this level comes from the middle ages. Century after century, it is the silence of thousands of women which obey a corrupt system of beliefs that contributes to that. A quiet animal suffering physical, emotional and psychological violence goes on ad infinitum.

Despite that, we see small sparks of light emerging over the course of this dark tunnel. Going back to the example of Disney movies and fairy tales, we have seen a major change in the development on female characters more recently. Movies like ‘Brave’ and ‘Frozen‘ are perfect examples. In ‘Brave’ we have Merida, a clever archer determined to pursue their own destiny, a synopsis which by itself already is a huge change in the female perception.

Perhaps the children who are the offspring of millennials will not grow up with the same limited notion of gender roles within relationships, because of the better examples we are seeing in everyday culture and in the media.

Millennials, however, are coming from a generation marked by icons such as Cinderella, who was cleaning the floor all night while the others were having fun behind her back. She was a subservient victim.

We’re leaving a generation of women who have this very bad habit firmly instilled in their viscera. Women with low self-esteem because maybe they’re told they’re too fat, less intelligent, don’t have enough money, or have not found the perfect husband etc.

This shift is seen more strongly in teen movies, where girls who are 18 years old are becoming fighters of action and adventure stories (‘Kick Ass’ for example).

Equality means women being allowed to make the same mistakes, acquire the same imperfect thoughts as men. Equality may mean a different dress code for some, but gender shouldn’t dictate anything in your life.

We can look at other more non-traditional examples throughout history, away from patriarchy-dominant cultures, to get a glimpse into how women were revered.

In a book called Women Who Run With The Wolves, by Mexican author Clarissa Pinkola Estes, it portrays a woman who was fierce and strong because it was a necessity. She was “The Wild Woman”.

At the beginning of the book there is a constant contrast between the women and the wolves. As, for example, both have a sharp perception, liveliness spirit and a great concern with their pack, partner and puppy.

Not just an author, but also a psychoanalyst, Clarissa speaks on topics from sexuality to spirituality too. She really puts all the cards on the table, saying that female sexuality must to be seen as a blessing, not as something to be corrected or sinful. Due to the excess of domestication, cultural or even familiar traditions, it seems women over time have been forced to abandon this “wild” nature in favor of a more submissive one.

According to the book, women must regain their relationship with their wild nature, because it is lying dormant within themselves. In the book the Wild Woman is nothing more than the archetype of the female soul, a fullness being.

However, if we stopped to think about the traditional woman in the 21st century, we realized that there is something seriously wrong.

Today, women are more interested in creating masks, aka makeup, using strategies to grab a man, and competing with each for who has the best dress and so on. Modern childhood shows clear signs of this inconsistency. Girls are being duped into thinking Barbie is the cultural standard for beauty, from a young age. It is unbelievable and sad.

Perhaps you are feeling more relieved, because you acquired your own financial stability through your dream job, feeling that you are the boss of your life. But be careful, remember that financial independence is not everything, and is far from being the path to happiness; it is only a shortcut, a door that takes you toward your greatest desires.

And what about relationships? Are they doomed to fail with the rise of empowered women? Some women may feel they need to be a little subservient in order to “prove their love”, or they create this mask which says the one who pays the bills is the boss in the relationship.

In a healthy relationship there is no hierarchy, because the couple is walking side-by-side on the same speed, there’s no leash. The key word for the woman is self-sufficiency, the ability to lead her life with her own hands, creating her own path, because it will be a fight to get you down again.

Independence and peace of mind is what every woman needs. Women still are, in many ways, under the pressure of centuries of oppression. They are trying balance out the scales, and learn from the new culture of equality.

At the end of the day you have to ask yourself: what does it mean to be a woman today? Is it someone who simply exists to give birth? Or it someone able to create her own destiny? The choice is yours.

victor-correa

Victor Correa is a visionary freelance writer and copywriter, who loves everything about psychology and entrepreneurship. He enjoys a cup of tea, rainy days, and horror movies.
Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, and his Website.

 

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