PATRIARCHY FLIPPED ON ITS HEAD DURING WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH.
I read this article, linked below, written by a male clinical psychologist, that is a fine example of how knowledge in 2017 continues with a lack of consciousness about women’s lives because it lacks women’s history. What follows is how I read the article differently as the result of having an education and independent research in women studies backed by being adamant about finding the truth about my life as a woman. Then I list my interpreted excerpts of the message underlying the factual narrative of the writing of a woman’s life .
Let me just, first, remind my reader that this year, 2017, we almost had a woman in power which would have taken her to a position of authority over many, many, men, including the most powerful. Like never before. Something that never happened in the history of the United States. No man. No American. No woman has that experience. Yet.
This fact, of a woman in charge of all men, flips our traditional norm upside down. It alone shakes up an unsettled society but probably, and especially, shakes up men that have security in their long history of social positions of power. There is also insecurity now in an entire system that has been guided by the most powerful men’s communities, continuously, over years and years of time.
This possible change impacts the core of our consciousness of how the world operates.
Below is the link to a story published during Women’s History month, 2017, with the same story dynamic about women and power but, despite facts, is not real. Fabricated. As I said, did not happen. Yet the fabrication is not detected in a world that is familiar with the elimination of women’s history which is also manipulated from fact by a technique we have yet to understand. More clearly, here is a story of a powerful woman that, according to how it is told, has already been in authority and responsible for the behavior of all men in power. Yup, that’s right.
Think I’m kidding? NOT. It’s the message behind the fact filled article that I’m pointing to.
This story is, nonetheless, a history of a woman’s life as told by a man who isn’t a woman. A man that seems unconscious, however temporarily, about the reality of women and men in the 1950s-1960s. I realize that not living the experience might make it harder to actually know or remember the experience. But it makes it really easy if women’s history isn’t important and we can view women stereotypically without the contextual information about their lives.
So keeping within the context of women’s history and the 1950s-1960s as the time period of this woman’s behavior and life story I take liberty here with the meta-messages, the underlying meanings, and place them here as my excerpt.
Here’s what I read: (Try not to laugh. This is serious.)
A woman is responsible and the creator of making society selfish.
A woman is responsible for making the powerful selfish.
A woman is responsible for making powerful men selfish.
Thus a woman is responsible for the present demise of our country.
A successful woman writer of the 1960’s creates a harmful form
of self interest in men.
A woman is responsible for men having sexual affairs in the 1960s.
A woman is responsible for a harmful affair with a younger man.
A woman is abusive to a vulnerable young man.
A woman ‘scorned’ humiliates a man. Dishonoring a man!
A woman is responsible for a man’s drinking.
A woman put an ‘impotent curse’ on a man. Who else does but an evil witch?
A successful woman may make men impotent.
A woman physically assaults a man.
A woman has behavior that Hitler would admire.
No, not a comparison to Hitler – but beyond Hitler. Worse than Hitler.
A woman’s community is responsible for threatening a man’s life,
a possible assassination, so that he has to move away from that community.
(Yes, in the 1960s.)
A woman, her philosophy and her book is responsible for a man’s lucrative
success based on ‘her” teaching him about his own self interest.
A woman didn’t care about the health of young members of society.
A woman made heroism selfish.
(Does he mean that all the white male heroes, that excluded any other kind as possible heroes for decades, wasn’t selfish and/or didn’t exist?)
A woman, a bad woman, influences and intoxicates men.
A woman, unbelievably, believes in objective reality.
(I thought that is the basis of science).
A woman’s ‘reasoning’ was simply a tool to control the universe.
A woman actually mocked emotional moods but admired writings filled with them.
A woman was intellectually inconsistent which eliminates challenges to authority
and independent thinking.
Let’s get this straight.
A woman eliminates challenges to authority and independent thinking.
(Like we don’t have a system that insists on it? Traditionally for women?)
A woman’s integrity became about getting as much money and control as possible.
(And it’s not important that even one man does this and can be used as a stereotype for men?)
A woman supported Big Business and is responsible for leading young minds
astray. (Big corporations didn’t? No, this single powerful woman writer
from the 1960’s did it! Wow. It was Rand.)
A woman is responsible for how major political figures used her books even
though they publicly steered clear of her because they and their religion
were superior to her inferior morality.
A woman made it possible for men’s morality to not pay their fair share.
(Seriously, Talk to any grandmother about this.)
And…A woman liberated society from caring about the suffering of others
even the suffering of children.
Notice anything here about this list of meanings? What?
I’ll let your own mind work for a second.
Does it sound a bit upside down? Flipped around? What do you think?
Later I want you to ponder what message this article is going to give young children in terms of the reality of the lives of men and women in the 1950s-1960s.
That woman was amazingly powerful and bad!
Now, how does such a 1960’s story get told like this when women were at the dawn of even being allowed to speak credibly in public and treated with respect except for rare occasions? This, in a time when women just made entrance into colleges en masse and permitted by men to have positions ‘outside the home‘ in a man’s world? When financial independence, let alone renting an apartment or being an independent customer of the bank system, was denied many married women. And single women under suspect. And in order for women to be able to leave the home and face then called agoraphobia, the fear of the marketplace, or say, perhaps, write a book and get it published, women had to be like a man, act like a man (but still maintain some subordination to them and their group power overall) just to be given the privilege of being there? How does this make sense?
This was a time when women writers and artists were barely acknowledged (that changed in the 1970’s) to exist and completely marginalized for any serious employment beyond just a few women that managed to make their presence among men favorably enough to be taken serious.
First know this. We are all taught in mainstream media the order and logic of a man’s world which includes misperceptions of women and their history. Women’s views opposing men’s has to do with different experiences and has consistently been battled. Often, but hardly, have women’s views ever been embraced by men and young minds as a powerful force if they make men uncomfortable.
For gracious sakes, we still don’t
even have a full TV channel
beyond Oprah and Lifetime
all over it.
But here’s how this is done: We stereotype a powerful woman, instead of having a real one (or many real ones) which eliminates fact or reality about an individual woman and her power. We make an individual woman as powerful in fiction which only happens when we eliminate facts; women’s history.
We live in historical fiction and present fiction about women and their power constantly. We have no reality of women in power over all of society, and especially, over large groups of men. But this author makes it so by his use of facts.
This is a story written of a woman in such a way that allows men’s entire culture of the 1950s-1960s to drop from the background of a woman’s life and replace it, falsified, by it’s complete elimination in the context of telling an individual woman’s life as it didn’t exist – and never has existed.
This is important. We make no story about how fathers of history have impact on today’s conditions for women and society as a whole unless it a glorified hero commonly done in education in our system experiences, traditionally. Even the very subject matter, categories of life that are valued enough in schools are the result of glorified male’s intellectual capacities – and to think like them. Women’s contributions have had to be maintained within those categories to be considered credible. Women studies and women’s history is not uniformly embraced. It rarely gets any airtime. Experts exist but are unknown.
Who are the experts on women and their lives?
We make no connection between the entire system and the powerful selfish men of the 1960s with the offspring of that in 2017. This well worn story squarely nails a single woman for it all in one sweep – a few paragraphs!
Blaming a woman is so pervasive in our society that we all still believe it precisely because women can never adequately describe their world, have their version live on credibly to another generation, without interruptions of men’s control and cooptation of woman’s language, and knowledge products, because of a cultural history that allows men to have power over women in that very way.
Let’s say, a lack of women’s history, built on a lack of women’s history creates an interesting way for us to see a woman as individually powerful over men. At the same time this technique perpetuates a real fear of the possibility that might, someday, come into reality if a woman is allowed to actually be in a position of power over all men. We have already been, time and again, warned and told what that would look like.
I’m not saying Rand’s impact didn’t exist.
I’m not denying her existence. At the very least there should at least a shred of evidence that she had to deal with the social climate of men and women at the time.
I’m questioning the interpretation of her existence in the context of the
social arrangement of our society and how men are taught to view a woman’s life and at the same time not count it. Universally, men have told the stories of women’s lives and can do so credibly. Simply because they, traditionally, had gendered authority and women were gendered subordinates. Not to mention that even today men are taught that girlie movies and women’s circles are boring and not worthy of their attention.
Imagine. There has even been substantial change!
I am not in dispute, nor can I question, the facts of the story written about Rand and her behavior with Brandon and others. I am not disagreeing nor denying what Rand did or did not do.
No, I am asking readers for something different. I am asking for readers to follow me in consciousness raising about women’s lives. I’m asking readers to understand that a lack of women’s history and context of women’s lives perpetuates a situation or story in which a woman’s individual behavior is perceived in such a way that completely denies the real existence she has in relationship to men that, in fact, are and have been the only group that has held such power with suits and ties.
We know that a woman was not in power in the 1960s, especially pre-1970’s, but that many men everywhere were gatekeepers that held power over women.
Which came first the chicken or the egg?
Rand created a group of selfish men? Or selfish men existed that embraced a woman into their midst, even exploited her tokenism to improve acceptability; a woman that helped and supported their interests in being selfish?
At the same time, I am simply asking readers to notice and become aware of the mindset of the writer of a story told of a powerful woman that is so normal in our society’s storytelling that we don’t notice that women’s historical factors are missing in a way that make no sense.
We believe women have power over men, but men and society consistently deny that men have power over women and society as it evolves. I am asking one to notice how the facts of the story are used; what is brought forward in consciousness and what is eliminated from consciousness.
After all, it’s women’s history month.
What I am asking readers to consider is the reality of women’s history in the 1950s-1960s. That includes the reality of a woman writer; her power across society to control men who themselves are in power at that time and how men, holding tight to power determine what they do and don’t accept, actually holding women’s power back in huge ways, against women’s wishes, and most undoubtedly would only accept a woman writer’s work if it helped them in their own power or their own wealth.
As John Stuart Mill said more than 150 years ago… the general opinion of men is supposed to be that the natural vocation of a woman is that of a wife and mother. I say, is suppose to be, because judging from acts – from the whole of the present constitution of society, one might infer that their opinion was the direct opposite.
In other words, if it’s suppose to be natural for women to not have power or be in their power then why do men have to spend so much time and effort trying to prevent them and circumvent them from having it?
And even when changes substantially do occur it seems we still have to revisit a brutal past.
Now a story, decades later, written by a male psychologist, an implied expert about social selfishness, tells his story. An expert, again, that probably has never had any serious social demand or requirement to learn about women’s history or lives as part of his own training, writing or thinking.
Probably not even one required, single, academic class that focuses long enough on the facts of women’s lives to even begin to give a little serious attention to facts abut women which is what women’s history month is suppose to do and be about.
Like for many authors, opinion, personal beliefs and subjective experience is all that’s necessary to write a story about a woman’s life which includes a tremendous pass into anything goes for the whole of men’s social behaviors and women’s social position told as an informational story, or lack of it, whether for five decades ago or for this past year.
In fact, in 2017, to ask our society to bring women’s history into our collective consciousness and notice when it is missing in men’s writing is absolutely radical and yet a necessary step that has found “It’s Time!”
Because of this we have no standard or requirements when anyone speaks about society. Anyone can say anything and has the right to say it and have it counted as expert as the next guy – no educational background or experience necessary.
No where else in life do we do this.
We don’t have plumbers or electricians who get into argumentative public discourse with car mechanics or car mechanics that get into rude, disrespectful conversations as if each opinion is just as expert as the other. I don’t need to tell anyone the whole of our society needs to change our ways of respecting each other.
We must understand that we just had an election year in which public discussion went ballistic yet remained completely quieted about the entire history of women’s actions that have sowed the seeds for the possibility of a woman to actually become president. We were actually required to not discuss the monumental advancement in terms of being a woman. It is incomprehensible to discuss any American advancement without basing the discussion in historical fact.
We are so unlearned about this that we can’t even grasp what just happened. We don’t know how or why white men alone have been in and maintained that power even though we just had a front row seat to witness it. This is because of a blind spot, and huge imbalances, in our educational understanding of our lives and the world we live in.
We must understand that men’s history, men’s history alone, is a requirement and a non-stop topic that bends our minds and influences our rationality about Presidents as well as day care workers.
Do not continue to read stories until you can look, beyond the facts pushed into your mind to what has been done with the meaning behind the facts of a story. Look at a writer’s message. Look at how one constructs a story which isn’t just laying out tons of facts but how a story is constructed by using facts in particular ways.
Some of those ways are old, acceptable and unconscious. Some are new and provoke us to think. Life is always a complexity that no one story can encompass. Our lives, in reality, are made up of many, many diverse and conflicting stories. Mine is just one. One that struggles to be heard against a dominant one that we are all well use to as the one to believe. Or at least, use to be.
And what I hope to accomplish is to bring an awareness of how 2017 stories continue about women in general, but in this linked story, how a successful woman is viewed that is traditionally marked as evil, and warranting opposition in ways not called for male writers. Over selfishness. Notice how a part of the actual silencing of women’s history that facilities men’s power over women, generation after generation, actually exists within this factual story of a woman’s life that conveniently, and ironically, removes women from their own social power no matter what social position they attain.
This can only happen if we do not count women’s history and if we continue to accept the stories about supposedly powerful women who will harm men and our society.
There are many facts of someone’s life that can be used to give a message.
I’m pulling out the message I see that has framed the facts of this woman in historical context. We all have different situations that allow us to view the world through them but we also have dominant, familiar stories in our society that are so part of who we are that we carry complete blind spots we don’t realize. LIke air we breathe it surrounds us but we do not see it.
Let’s breathe in a story that shows the reality that men have been Presidents in power throughout United States history and that men as a group have been highly resistant to not only including diversity of that power but also resistant to diversity in views about the world and about men and their power.
Dale Spender said No one gets rewarded for speaking about men’s power. Is this going to continue?
Until we see a group of political power in which stand one man among a majority of women, men are in power. Frankly, I can’t say I think that will ever happen – or even should happen. The point is let’s get real.
There is a new technique that women are embracing that have been living among men in positions of power. They tell us that three women have to say something before her message won’t be ignored. It’s called echoing. I ask my readers to echo this story because if I’m the only one saying it, it won’t readily be believed.
It’s been going on since the Declaration of Independence has been signed. That is, that Men are in political power, selfishly, and Rand is not responsible.
Men do not want solely the obedience of women, they want their sentiments. All men, except the most brutish, desire to have, in the woman most nearly connected with them, not a forced slave but a willing one, not a slave merely, but a favourite. They have therefore put everything in practice to enslave their minds. The masters of all other slaves rely, for maintaining obedience, on fear; either fear of themselves, or religious fears. The masters of women wanted more than simple obedience, and they turned the whole force of education to effect their purpose. John Stuart Mill, (1806-1873)