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My take on feminism is described by analogy to a half-born baby. The head's out, but the hardest part is till to come. The most perilous part is where we are now. In the first world women have fought for and insisted on more emancipation and have achieved rights hitherto denied them for centuries by patriarchal systems intent on preventing it. However much of the world remains heavily patriarchal and watches our evolution with horror, pushing back with ever-growing intensity fearing these ideas will spread to their lands.

Millennia of human evolution determined separation of roles and responsibilities between men and women. By muscular superiority mens' skills were deployed away from the hearth, in the hunt and at war, while the women tended the home and learned the skills that do not depend so much on muscle mass as horizontal thinking, multi-tasking and nurture of the young, so vulnerable amongst the rest of the animal kingdom, so slow to form autonomy.

In a perfect world men would never have profited from superior strength to force women to obey them, or womens' wits would have found ways to preclude this enforced subservience, and the better examples of this are still visible in today's vastly morphed gender landscape.

The baby's not going back into the womb. Women who have tasted more freedom to be authentic and less dominated by patriarchy have not had an easy time reclaiming their rights and they are loath to re-yield them, justly. Few women choose to return to the old ways, with some notable exceptions in communities like the Amish for example. In 'primitive' societies the women themselves willingly enable patriarchy by teaching their sons to respect men more, by genitally mutilating their daughters, or in history binding their feet and condemning them to a life bereft of clitoral pleasure or chronic pain and inability to walk in a normal manner.

Because the bulk of feminism is still unborn, the major work ahead for feminism is to detoxify the Stockholm syndrome that encourages women to perpetuate patriarchy, the learned helplessness that is the hallmark of women fatalistically accepting their lot will always be subservience by biological dint of their slighter builds.

On one hand we have the will and prayers of billions of women still victims of gender discrimination all calling for the yoke of patriarchy to be lifted, all trying to midwife the child of true equality and mutual respect between the sexes, and the forces of privilege, the males who have been able to bully their women into indulging them, pampering their egos and permitting them the myth of their superiority, in return for the muscular protection of being possessions, baby-farms, chattel not far above cattle in social status.

On the other hand Feminism as such has only been around little more than a century. That's the head. The resistance endangering the complete birth comes from the billions of men whose self esteem is falsely rooted in their roles as deciders, leaders of the family, tribe or state. This 'arrangement' has been thousands of years in the making. That's the body, still stuck.

Only the most confident of women will choose autonomy and the ensuing vulnerability in today's world. These few women seek men whose feminine sides are developed, with whom they can have relationships that transcend gender differences, meeting on a plane of human respect and enjoyment, a very different kettle of fish than traditional fear-based protection agendas. Only the most confident of men will nurture their own femininity, braving the gauntlet from their fellow men for 'betraying the brotherhood', jumping ship, going 'wet' or earning epithets like 'wimps' or 'pussies' by relinquishing the male-dominant hierarchy and finding what's beyond.

The richest emotional experiences are closely related to achieving a high status, apparently.

'They' spend billions wanting us to believe that, with great effect.

How much would you like to push against?

Rome wasn't built in a day, change of the profundity this diary discusses may take a millennium. I am still glad the journey to gender justice is well on its way, remaining in the dark ages is to remain victims to the worst patriarchy offers. What we do now will help future generations of our children and theirs beyond to have better lives, what else are we here for? Full human rights increase our potential to be more wholly actualised as a species, that's a destination worth struggling towards.

Once the shoulders are out the rest will come easier. Hierarchy may well be as irrelevant as the placenta come that time.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Jun 15th, 2014 at 08:05:00 PM EST

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