If You’re Blind, You Can’t See
Statements of the obvious. Who doesn’t love those? And yet, in our world, the blind lead. The one-eyed are not queens, and the fully-functioning two-eyed are trampled and enslaved and silenced and over-worked.
We worship our blind leaders. The men.
Confused, yet confident at the same time, men design solutions to problems they can’t truly see. We’re lucky if they acknowledge a problem at all. Often glaring problems are spun in a way as to seem natural or inevitable or something that will be worked out in the end or, my favourite – a necessary evil.
Let’s look at overpopulation. Women are blamed for this time and again. And the finger pointing comes from men. “They should stop getting pregnant.” “They should take birth control.” “They should stop having babies.” “They should get abortions.” There may be comments blaming women for their poverty. “Poor, uneducated women have too many babies.”
No where in the world are women in control of their bodies. In most places, marriage is mandatory. In all places in the world, women must provide sex to men, free or paid. There is no choice to refrain from hetero-sex without serious consequences. Men have designated penis-centred sex as MANDATORY. Most women don’t have access to birth control or abortion or safe spaces free from male pestering and abuse. Men have no interest in inconveniencing themselves with condoms, vasectomies, or masturbation-instead-of-sex. Women and girls get pregnant. Babies are born. The fault lies with men and the the penis-sex they force upon women. Stop mandatory fucking and give women education and opportunities (i.e., reduce dependence on men) and you will lower birth rates (and rape, and STIs, and female death, and female poverty, and and and).
But men won’t acknowledge that they are the source of the problem, so they point the finger at women, and it is, as usual, up to women to shoulder the blame and clean up. But it can’t be cleaned up until we get to the true source.
Ah, the world’s oldest profession. WRONG. The world’s oldest form of slavery. Prostitution is not a profession. Like marriage, it is a direct manifestation of male dominance and female submission and slavery. Prostitution is not a choice, it is a last resort, an act of desperation, or enforced slavery (for many). For a few, it might be a misguided attempt at sexual liberation (as defined by men, of course).
Men may acknowledge it is a problem, but a women’s problem, in that either a) women are spreading diseases, b) contributing to the moral decay of society, or c) aren’t accessible ENOUGH for their liking. However, most men don’t really see prostitution as a serious problem. It doesn’t affect their daily lives, and for many, satisfies a ‘need’ they feel they are entitled to. They may even rationalize that prostitutes save ‘real women’ from the bulk of men’s demands and violence. They are a necessary evil.
But women are not the problem. The fact that prostitution exists at all is the problem and a symptom of vast inequality between men and women. The fact that men believe they are entitled to unfettered access to women’s bodies is the problem. The fact that men dictate women’s available economic options is the problem. The fact that this so-called job affects the status and safety of ALL women, including first and foremost, the prostituted, is the problem.
Women have shouldered the blame and do the bulk of the clean-up. Unfortunately, there is a growing movement of anti-feminist / pro-penis / pro-abuse women seeking to make sure prostitution is here to stay. And it will stay unless we get to the root of the problem: male dominance and entitlement.
Systems of currency are based on hierarchy. Hierarchy is a male invention. Capitalism, the ultimate currency-based system of hierarchy tells us that some of us have more value than others and deserve more than others. It also tells us that those of us who cannot survive under this system deserve what we get. Failure to survive is explained away by the men on top (and even men lower down on the hierarchy) as the simple result of ‘natural’ competition rather than bias, disadvantage and just plain unfairness due to misogyny, racism, etc.
Since before the invention of currency, women have been forced into a dependent role by men. The development of currency hurt women even more deeply and reinforced sexual servitude. Not permitted to work for currency, women were forced to assume roles as slaves to men. Women’s labour, even to this day, is primarily unpaid or underpaid. Prohibited from competing on a fair playing field, women have always been vulnerable – their fates tied to male whim and male mortality. Disobedience towards a man, being discarded by a man, or left alone following the death of a father or husband, have left women on the streets destitute and unskilled and in danger from the rest of male society, with very few options for survival.
And so we have poverty.
Men choose to blame the problem of women’s poverty on the women themselves. Women are lazy, vain, focused on their looks, stupid, unable to compete, baby machines, weak, etc. You name it, men have used it as the reason why so many women live in poverty, why women should be kept out of paying jobs, and why poverty exists at all. They’ll never see themselves at the root of the problem.
Male dominance, enforced female dependence, and reliance upon an unfair currency system that over-rewards penised-people for doing unremarkable things are the problems. But until we can name the root of the problem correctly, poverty will continue. Women will shoulder the blame, and will form the bulk of the unpaid/low-paid clean-up crew. Men, meanwhile, will pontificate, design ineffective solutions or ignore the problem altogether.
The Bottom Line
The ‘problem solvers’ who tend to get attention and funding and political support are almost always male. Women are only included when there is blame to be doled out or grunt work to be done on implementing solutions. Women are scapegoats and free labour clean-up crews. Always.
When you don’t approach a socio-econo-enviro-political problem from a feminist perspective, you will never be able to get to the heart of the matter and solve it. Enough with the blind kings, already.
Posted on October 22, 2015, in Feminism, Male Privilege, Misogyny, Patriarchy and tagged capitalism, economics, overpopulation, poverty, prostitution, women. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on If You’re Blind, You Can’t See.