The Ignorant White Man: Institutionalized Oppression of Women.

To start off with, this is not a completely fleshed out piece that I was hoping for. However, it is a piece that I hope with get some men out there to realize reality. Reality in many areas, some you may not even know I was going to come at you with. Eventually I’ll get that well formed piece of work with all the notations, citations, and other tions, but for now, here you have it, from a man in the middle of his worst Fibromyalgia Flare in years.

Sexism image

Society is a bunch of institutionalized isms. I hate the word ‘institutionalized’ these days. But, it’s a fact and we can’t avoid it and shouldn’t. Avoidance is one of the ways we are the way we are now.

Depending on whether you believe in some type of faith or you’re an atheist that believes in the evolution of man from molecules to man, at some point man flexed his muscles and put woman in her place. Okay, he put her where she couldn’t do him any harm and couldn’t have power over him.

In the beginning, as soon as there was both male and female on this planet, they were partners. One hunted, the man, and the female gathered, probably because she was smarter and was stuck taking care of the kids because men didn’t want to be bothered by the task, and thus couldn’t really travel to far. So, right there is the first sign of sexism and the oppression of women.

Many scientist and historians don’t think of men exerting authority until agriculture became a reality. At that time, men wanted to make sure the kids that would inherit his lands would have his DNA and not the neighbor’s.

Being a man of faith, the Christian faith, I believe God intended man and woman to be partners. After all He said;

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.”

27 So God created man in His own image;
He created him in the image of God;
He created them male and female. —Genesis 1:26-27

The word man here is not speaking of a male, but of people, human beings. Then you see God created human beings in His own image, male and female. You see God doesn’t look like us, at least not as far as I know. When we are made in His image, I believe this speaks to the aspects of God, the characteristics of God. After God has created male and female, saw everything he had created, and it was very good. He didn’t say this before Eve was created, but afterward. This means it all wasn’t very good without female, without Eve, the female characteristics of God.

And before anyone decides to jump to the comments and say God is a man and not a woman, I’m not saying anything to the contrary. What I am saying is that God is the mother and father of us all. He has all those characteristics in Him.

Eve was created to be Adam’s mate, his partner in taking care of everything. God gave everything to man, human beings, to have dominion over, not just the men. But once humans were kicked out of the Garden of Eden, that’s when things began to change.

People have used religion to oppress women for as long as there has been religion. In the Old Testament of the Bible, you see multiple wives, selling and trading women and daughters, and a lot of demeaning things. God didn’t approve of the idea of the whole multiple wives thing, it’s just what was happening so that’s what was written in the Bible. Then since the Ten Commandments apparently wasn’t clear enough he gave a set of laws for the Jews to follow, which included some pretty bad things. I’m just happy Christians don’t have a reason to look to Leviticus as a guide for our own way of handling things. The sad thing is, some Christians use the Old Testament to put women in a subservient role in the household.

I think in those very early days, like when Adam and Eve were first out of the Garden, the dividing of duties was simply a case of what made sense. Adam could travel farther to hunt, while Eve was able to breast feed the children and stay in the same area while she gathered, which research says provided as much as 70% of the calories for ancient human beings. Yep, women were the boss in that aspect.

As the centuries past, men exerted their strength over women to become more and more in control, to the point there was no questioning what was happening. It was all seen as a given. Oppression of women was part of the fabric of society, part of the institution of society.

In ancient Rome, during the 1rst Century AD, women were not even allowed to speak in public gatherings, which is in part commented on in Paul’s letters to the Corinthians in the New Testament of the Bible. Some men in Christian churches these days look to these letters to show that women are not supposed to speak in church, or even to teach. The fact was Paul was responding to a letter he had been given about problems in the church of Corinth. They had all sorts of people speaking at the same time, trying to take control of the church meetings. Not only women, but people speaking in tongues, which meant they were speaking in foreign languages. Paul basically said for everyone to be silent while whatever leader had been given the most recent incite to the teachings of Jesus took the lead for that meeting.

I speak about Christianity because that is my faith. Other faiths also oppress women, but they are not my area of expertise so I don’t feel I have a right at this time to comment on them.

As the centuries have past and scholars have been enlightened about many things regarding genders being equal in all the ways that matter, the Ignorant White American Man somehow believes that all things are equal in the systems of America. They should be, but, there are men who don’t want to give up their power to women. They are afraid of women for some reason. I suppose they think women may take some type of revenge on men of today for the millennia of mistreatment of women. Those men in power, in control of changing things for equality are basing women’s reaction on what they would do.

The Ignorant White American Man looks at Supreme Court Justices being female, governors, Senators, members of the House, Cabinet members, CEOs of major corporations and other positions where women are still in a very small minority and say, “see, things are equal.”

In the 2018 Fortune 500 list of CEOs, only 4.8% were women, a drop of 25% from 2017.

23% of the Senate are women.

19.3% of the U.S. House are women.

12% of the U.S. State Governors are women.

23% of the 100 largest cities in the U.S. have women as mayors.

Just these numbers alone show that we, as a country, are not equal.

In music 2017:

16.8% of artists are women.

Of 2,767 songs 12.3% were credited female, a 6-year low.

https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/8096196/new-report-shows-major-lack-representation-women-music-industry

2018 © Copyright-All rights reserved-RonovanWrites.wordpress.com

Advertisements

The Ignorant White Man.

Man with his head in the sand.
The Ignorant White Man

The definition according to the Cambridge Dictionary of Ignorant; not having enough knowledge, understanding, or information about something.

With that in mind, let’s move on. I was an ignorant white man for most of my life. Studying history at university and then teaching to the young minds of America, I thought I had a grasp on what reality was. I wasn’t prejudiced against anyone. I didn’t consider myself racist either, nor sexist. Not a bigot, or homophobic.

Thus, I was ignorant. I was all of them.

No, I was not them intentionally, nor are the vast majority of the white men of the world, and America specifically as a subject here. We were born into it. We were born into ignorance, racism, sexism, and so forth. Why? How? Because most of our parents were. Our country has been born into it for decades if not centuries.

In the coming weeks I plan to share some specifics about certain topics I’ve been exploring as I examine who I am, but for today I want to share this; white man America either doesn’t realize or chooses not to recognize, that things have been built in this nation from day one with White Man Privilege in mind, which in just a few generations became White Man Ignorance. Our nation has oppressed first the woman, then the Native American, and then the African. This is why people say racism is Institutionalized in America, it’s part of the framework.

As generations come and go they fall further down the hole of ignorance until we reach today. Today we Ignorant White Americans say let things be equal, but we, the majority, do not actively do anything to make a change, or we say things are already equally available to all and thus we show our ignorance by thinking equality is a reality.

Many years ago, Atlanta was home to something called Freaknik. It was like the Spring Break for young Blacks. Man did they go wild, just like the young people did at the beaches around the country, but were less reported on. There were news reports of cars being stolen, other thefts, attacks, and even defecating in people’s yards. I, however, did not let this deter me from attending the Atlanta Braves baseball game that I had tickets for. This was during their dominating years. (Sigh, those were the days.)

There I was, on the bus that was returning fans from Fulton County Stadium to the MARTA train station. All of us blissfully Ignorant White Americans, and one young black man. The bus was surrounded by Freaknik partiers. But you know what? I didn’t feel afraid. Not one ounce of fear came over me, even with some of the threatening gestures made toward us and the words shouted about us. I looked at the young man and he looked afraid but at the same time he was shaking his head at what was going on outside the bus.

Thinking back on that moment now, I reversed it all. What if that was an all-white crowd going crazy and that bus was full of Black Americans? Do you think they would not have had an ounce of fear? I can’t bring myself to think that. For one thing, we’re in Atlanta and the South in America still has that reputation from all those years of slavery and then the KKK during the Civil Rights Movement. So, I get it. (More on the truth of racism in the South and the US another time.)

The first step to shaking off your ignorance, and I am looking at you White Man, and yes, you too White Woman, is to realize equality does not exist outside of being a white man. And don’t begin to talk about affirmative action. What some companies consider a token position here and there just to avoid a law suit or to look good to others does not make a change, nor does a half white/half black President without the support of his Congress.

It’s time for each person to examine their own lives as well as the society they live in, wherever they live, and come to the truth. The Ignorant White Man might then be able to understand why Black Lives Matter is such a powerful and needed movement and why the #MeToo one is as well. But there is also an opportunity for the other side to realize the Ignorant White Man does need to learn, needs to realize the truth, but has a lifetime of ignorance to overcome. It all takes time, but as long as we move forward, always, then we are moving in the right direction.

2018 © Copyright-All rights reserved-RonovanWrites.wordpress.com