In my upcoming book ON THE ORIGIN OF SEXISM, A Thought Adventure, I outline a theory of how sexism began and why it continues on in society today. I’ve started this blog to get some response to its main ideas. By sexism I mean prejudice or discrimination based on sex whether directed at men or at women.
If “the relation of man to woman is the most natural relation of human being to human being” (as Karl Marx put it), why have we botched it so badly? As if the war of the sexes were an immovable fact of life instead of a mystery crying out for an explanation, a pathology in need of a cure!
Who needs this old topic again you may sigh. Didn’t the women’s movement thrash it all out a long time ago, like in the sixties? It’s just a matter of time before misogyny is history, right?
I disagree. I think we’re nowhere near an end to the inequality between the sexes. First, we’ve never even asked the most basic question: why is there sex discrimination at all? Second, by trying to dig women out from under erroneous ideas about femininity, the feminist movement addressed only half the problem. The other and equally important half--digging men out from under equally false ideas about masculinity--is still largely unaddressed.
Faced with the enigma of how women--the very objects of most male desire--can stir so much contempt, and even loathing in men, I make the following suggestions. Somehow, at some time, something went seriously wrong with heterosexual men’s healthy instincts. And for such an unnatural thing to happen--one so odd it’d be comical if it weren’t as great a tragedy for men as for women-- there must be some pretty formidable reasons.
In order to pull up sexism by its roots, I believe we must find out why it got planted in the first place. I will therefore try to answer some key questions that as far as I know have not even been asked yet:
* What lies behind the establishment of a society where only men decided on political, economic, legal and administrative matters? A society in which women had no right to be educated, own property and seek occupation outside of the home?
* Why did the violence against women that this society allowed men to practice become accepted as normal all over the world for thousands of years, and why is it still common in many parts of the world?
* How did this treatment affect women and what was their response to it?
Now since I don’t believe any social order can last without the compliance (vocal or silent) of its constituents, I’m forced to assume that women went along with their rank as the second sex. And since I find this unlikely without women exercising a power of their own as compensation, I presume that the apparent imbalance of power between the sexes is in reality a balance.
We’re in it, sisters, up to our necks!
One of the most important things for us to find out, then, is this: What have women in patriarchy done to compensate for their lack of outer power and restore the power balance with men?
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For the full blog click originofsexism.blogspot.com