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What on earth is going on?

There seems to be an outbreak of blatant misogyny.  I feel as if I’m in a twilight zone of female dissing.  In the past three months alone in the United States …

(Of course, this is just what has been going on in this country recently. If I listed all of the global injustices against women, I would probably crash the WordPress servers.)

Someone summon Lucretia Coffin Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton to rise from the dead.  Apparently we need a second Seneca Falls Convention and a modern-day Declaration of Sentiments.  While we’re at it, bring back Harriet Tubman to remind us how brave and staunch in the face of risk women are; and Sojourner Truth to remind us how strong. “If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, together women ought to be able to turn it rightside up again” (Sojourner Truth at the Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio, on May 29, 1851).

And get Gloria Steinem on the phone to see if her schedule can be cleared for a massive round of rallies and speaking engagements.  The ERA was not passed in the 1970s and it seems that the attitudes that brought about its felt need remain within American society.

Scratch that…of course they remain.  I guess sexism has been more latent and insidious in the years since the 1970s as compared to its nasty head popping up in plain view presently.

Obviously I am raging.  But even in the midst of my fury, I can see clearly.  This is not an entirely bad thing.  As a matter of fact, it might just serve quite well.

After Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941 Japanese Admiral Isoroky Yamamoto was quoted as saying, “A military man can scarcely pride himself on having ‘smitten a sleeping enemy’; it is more a matter of shame, simply, for the one smitten. I would rather you made your appraisal after seeing what the enemy does, since it is certain that, angered and outraged, he will soon launch a determined counterattack” (Hiroyki Agawa, The Reluctant Admiral: Yamamoto and the Imperial Navy, trans. John Bester [Japan: Kodanasha International, 2000], 285).

And indeed we did…to the (horrific) tune of forcing the Japanese to surrender and finally end World War II.

I am certainly not advocating the violence and destruction of war.  I use this moment in American history to suggest that perhaps metaphorically it is soon to be repeated. What is being done to women presently (still, to be more accurate) is shameful.  I think (I hope), though, that all of this unveiled sexism has awoken an American public that has been sleeping.

We have allowed ourselves to slumber, feeling that “enough” progress (whatever that means) in the realm of equality for women has been made. (e.g., More women are in the workforce than ever before.  This generation of fathers is participating more in the rearing of children and household duties than did their fathers.) But clearly, as recent news, events and social networking offerings have shown (see above), this is not the case.  If we are moving at all, our direction is most certainly not forward.

Bottom line, I am thankful for this stuff. There isn’t anything about each of the above-bulleted scenarios that doesn’t stink, mind you.  But the misogyny in the air as of late seems to have performed a much-needed function.  Anger and outrage are already being expressed for American nuns.  I certainly hope that this is not the end of the Equal Pay Measure. At the very least I have a feeling that we haven’t heard the last about the Senate’s shortsighted action. It is an election year, after all, and we do get the chance to express ourselves definitively about it in November.

What more is to come only time will tell.  And I do believe that it will come.  For women have (once again) been smitten.

“Lioness” from mfs.piccsy.com via Pinterest

Arise, lionesses, and roar.
You are the hunters;
you are the providers;
you are the mothers;
you are the keepers of this pride.
The desert forgets
your prowess and power,

and is haughty in its disrespect.

There is a rumbling in the depth of my spirit,
a growl of displeasure vibrating.
It is deep enough
that some may mistake it for a purr.
But there is fire in my eyes
and my ears are flat.
My sisters and I have caught scent.
You might steer clear of our path.

For when she bellows and bears her teeth,
all of the desert knows
the lioness is prone to attack.
And then it remembers
why it fears her.