What does it mean when women ask to not be inferior to men anymore?
What does it mean when women ask not to be raped or physically assaulted by men?
What does it mean when women call for rapists and abusers to be put in jail?
What does it mean when women are empowered?
Does it mean men are no longer the superior gender?
Does it mean men can no longer feel they are entitled to use women’s body as they need?
Does it mean men will be put in jail?
Does it mean men are disempowered?
In Greek mythology, Gods get angry and Gods punish disobedience and human error. It was a teaching method. Gods control the lives of humans. Humans acquiesce to please the Gods.
This is widely understood and accepted.
Regarded as sacred text, we inherited similar classics.
Noah and the flood.
God caused a flood to kill people because he was displeased.
People believe they can follow rules and please God and follow ‘his will’.
If one doesn’t follow the will of God, what happens?
God brought forth his son, Jesus, to save people from
eternal punishment for disobedience and human inability to please God and fulfill God’s will.
Desire. Obedience. Punishment. Rewards or Torture.
You can’t get more to our social core inheritance than that.
Up until recently in American culture, children in homes and schools understood this same thing. Obey and please adults. Not just as religious instruction. Every day and everywhere.
Obedience to adults reigned as the most important goal above others.
Parents are still perceived ineffective parents if they have disobedient or socially
offending children. Obedience is, above all, common practice. If not, you end up jailed.
The result of this idea? You sometimes live in fear, but you obey, you do what you are told, do a good job and you don’t make your *superiors* angry or unhappy.
It’s the way most workers do behave.
Make your boss angry or unhappy and you are fired.
Even nuns in catholic schools were most stern in the ideas of students and obedience.
Obedience was a requirement for the love of God. Behaviors to teach love were overruled in the necessity of teaching obedience.
Physical assaults used for obedience.
Human fallibility needs guidance and a savior.
When it comes to the President of the United States or High Ranking Officers in the Military or High Ranking Officials in any part of organized society, the acquiesce of subordinates is called *respect*.
Respect for authorities. Respect for superiors.
Obedience for subordinates. Obedience for inferiors.
Likewise, it was a long standing cultural practice that women and children,
especially within the private home, were to be obedient to the Father.
The Man of the House. Up until newer technology, believing in the Father was
shrouded in mystery. There was no proof who a father was. You had to just believe…
and obey out of fear. And the social rules shored up completely Father rule and who he was by controlling women’s lives and women’s sexuality.
Men were (are?) *superiors* and authorities by ownership of their sexual body part and
hierarchal structuring given to male as he is the *superior* gender but in addition, acquiring additional status that ranks Father as superior and authority among men. The named Fathers. Google it. We give the name Father to men who have creations and inventions, even if childless. Father in our culture has meaning.
It seems logical to me that someone who has been taught this most common understanding then applies it and lives it.
This is not the least bit unusual.
It also seems common that if someone applies it and disobedience and anger
erupts, there begins heightened attempts to control and work to acquire the obedience and acquiesce. This can produce an escalating cycle if disobedience, disrespect and non-cooperation continues. Violence is part of such a cycle and can erupt at any time
or become worse incrementally over time. Violence serves the purpose and goal to attain obedience.
I also understand well that there were once societies (some still) in which the King (a male gaining a particular Father status of a territory of conquered land afforded that privilege through a specific lineage of father to son inheritances) was authority and he ruled with the same ideas of being superior and demanding obedience. It was contrived that Kings had *royal* blood passed from father to son that gave reason for the social arrangements. Women didn’t have blood that mattered. They were the vessel for it. Divine blood was even believed to be blood that was in a more pure and direct line from God. The royal blood that they inherited gave the rationale for the behavior as DNA of fathers today marks specific behavioral responsibilities and privileges. It was for royal families appropriate to gain and handle accumulated wealth for themselves to rule all the while requiring obedience of others. And no one could really question the King and his demands.
Democracy actually spread the idea of being a king with divine blood. That is, all men could be Kings. We shall have not one. But many.
This is all well known information and lived practice.
In fact, it is well known that even many deaths were ordered by Kings and Church fathers for disobedience and deviance to the King’s pleasures, desires and will.
Accumulation of earth’s resources and material possessions got tied with obediences where inferiors were systematically defeated of their lives, their bodily rights and access to resources. Let’s just make note here that kings don’t exist without slaves and slaves don’t exist without kings.
Democracy is partially the idea that a group of people can live without such authority and *superiors* but self govern and self control. It is an idea that people aren’t inferior or superior, but equally adequate and can choose to live cooperatively rather than in an obedience dominated structure of superiors and inferiors with a superior one in command at the top of the hierarchy while there are the masses of inferiors.
The hierarchal structure itself and the ideas that create it were never abolished. They are still well established and functioning despite dysfunction or, as is often mentioned, corruption. Corruption is simply a deviation from the structure of rules proposed that people should be obedient too. Corruption can also be a deception that appears as if the rules are still being maintained, but actually are not.
The hierarchy that relies on obedience still exists as it makes up the military, the government and the President as Commander in Chief; a newer version of the old one of what Kings and their militaries did.
In the last decade, the *new* war on terrorism is simply a restructuring of the old format because of our new technologies and global rearrangements of power and wealth. Our entire former system of hierarchy that once held the supreme power of rule and obedience has been diminished and replaced with the latest restructuring with new organizations of hierarchy closely tied with economic wealth using the former model in new ways but still based on more ideas of obedience to countless rules, laws and behavior requirements. It’s grown not been diminished.
Large corporations that have gained such power are an enormously growing, emerging hierarchal structure creating new rules and new consequences to not only maintain their power and wealth but to eliminate those who are incapable or resisting obedience.
But the shifting isn’t new. It’s only new for those living through it in our present time.
In the founding of America, it was sons that rebelled and restructured themselves against the authority of the *social* fathers – the King of England and the Catholic Church. But the power that was held by Fathers was acquiesced and distributed among sons.
After sons succeeded with ridding themselves to a degree of the Power of the Fathers.
Daughters, too, sought to change their relationship to the Fathers as authority.
Amongst this structure of descending ranks and shifts of ranks, the woman, in the simplest terms, is the category of humans that reproduces another human. Because of this ability, woman has a particular set of rules and different obligations of obedience within the larger social structure that does not apply to other subordinates or even themselves in other categories they may live in as well.
The ancient rules set by the Fathers served a specific purpose. That purpose was to use the woman ‘s labor to gain sons to maintain the power of the Fathers in socially controlled structures and conquered land that built by wealth, by Family Name and in social rankings including royalty and religious organizations.
Inheritance was only something that passed through women until black male slavery ended and women were granted property rights in America in the late 1800’s after the civil war.
In this way for centuries, Kings and their families of Royalty maintained their wealth, and power. (So as GWBush and Obama recently did as well.)
So what does it mean when women attempt to disrupt this rule for power and obedience between men and women as groups?
What does it mean when one who is socially designated as authority has the privilege to acquire obedience from subordinates – or use that privilege for other motives as well?
What does it mean when we take these traditional behaviors of authority as conquering superiors and call them abuse and misuse of power? What does it mean if we ignore
the structural requirement of obedience and call one a perpetrator and one a victim?
What does it mean when we want love and acceptance and harmony in society but
we are straddled with harm, conflict, and intolerance instead?
Some might think I am opposing the recent developments regarding issues of abuse
and violence, but in fact, I do not believe we can address abuse and violence
effectively until we address the structural foundations and the belief systems that
are in place and have functioned for economic purpose and obedience productively at the price of abuse and violence to others. I think we need to seriously think about the structural functioning we are wanting to change about abuse and obedience.