I know why Hillary did not get elected. It’s not because so many American women voted for Donald Trump (about 50-65% of white women) but rather because we are swimming in an INVISIBLE out-dated culture (with old mindsets and systems) that leads us to make to bad decisions. I think that if we challenge this culture (I urge everyone to read my three books that explain this in more detail) we will not make the same mistake again.
Here is an excerpt from my book “Occupy Women-A Manifesto for Positive Change in a World Run my Men” that explains what caused Americans to vote in an incompetent, sexist and racist candidate.
“We humans have lived on this planet for almost 4 million years and yet it has only been in the last 3,000 years that men and women have not lived as equals. Indeed, archeological evidence suggests that about 10,000 years ago women were not only worshipped as goddesses, but held a somewhat higher status and were more respected than men.
We currently live in societies where small groups of men are in control of politics, money, media and power. They retain their control by maintaining a gender bias and keeping women out of power. Although this may sound somewhat sinister, I do not ever think of this as a problem solely having to do with men. Rather, I see this as a dilemma with our whole “operating system.” This system has been researched by many academics and has apparently been evolving over thousands of years. It is a system that was essentially designed by men for the benefit of men.
So here’s the question I want to ask: Who gave men all this power? Who built the political system, the economic system and the corporate laws that allow our hierarchal institutions to flourish? How did we as a society come to think that this type of societal organization is the best or only way to function? More importantly, why can’t we see what is really going on?
Many years ago, the legal scholar, Catharine McKinnon, used the metaphor of a playground to examine this quandary. She asked women why they would want to play in a playground where the slide is so massive that women can’t even step up onto the first rung of its ladder. Or why we would want to play on the swings that are so high that when we get pushed off we break our legs. She suggested that it might be easier for women to build a whole new playground rather than to try to play in or rebuild the one that’s been built for men.
But changing it seems so daunting, as author Ken Dolan-Del Vecchio explains:
“One reason for our complacency is that the roots of inequality within our society have grown deep, strong and validated by law. Europeans brought with them to this land a hierarchal system of wealth and property ownership that was the forebear of our current economic and political order. Within that system, hierarchies based upon class, gender, race, and sexual orientation were mandated by law.”
Essentially, we can’t blame women for inaction. Not only is the problem invisible but most women do not have a moment to spare. Nor do they have access to information or practical advice on how to easily dismantle a patriarchy! Indeed, the type of research-based information contained in this book took me almost 10 years to find, read, understand and synthesize.
I personally think that if we are able to shift our societal operating system so that it better reflects and represents women, we can build a better world with men and women as full partners.
So what shall we do?
- First, we must admit that women in the world today are held back and suffer in ways that men do not. We must recognize that it’s not the fault of men or women, but rather the system that is designed to favor men. We must acknowledge women’s reality and see the link between “women’s problems” (such a violence, poverty and discrimination) and our society-wide “operating system.”
- Second, we must look at the various parts of this system and notice how they work together to keep women down. We must investigate our personal beliefs as well as the institutions we built upon these beliefs together with the tools we use to reinforce this system – just as an anthropologist would if examining an ancient society.
- Third, we must take action and build a better society – men and women together as partners.
As you read this book will begin to see how our institutions and biases work together to maintain the status quo and exactly how women are held back, not by particularly evil people, but by our whole societal system. You will also learn (in the form of 21 strategies) how to dismantle and re-build a new system that is not just good for women, but for the world.
A Note About Occupy Women
I am not the first woman to write about how women in the world are held back by our whole society. Nor am I the first to talk openly about our patriarchal roots and our male-favoring institutions. But what I have done here is explain these concepts in a straightforward and practical way. My aim is to quickly educate women so they can both understand what is really going on and take action (without having to read several 300-page academic books).
In this book I do three things.
- I acknowledge women’s reality and shine a light on the link between “women’s problems” and our patriarchal system. I refuse to blame men or women and instead blame the system.
- I describe the problems that we can see (such as poverty and discrimination) and also the relationships to the deeper roots of the problems. These include our beliefs about women, our institutions (such as our corporations) and our tools of implementation (such as the media and religions).
- I provide specific action steps that both men and women can take to bring about positive and long-lasting change.
In writing this book, I hope to stimulate a movement – Occupy Women.
I want to remind all women that they are perfect just as they are and that although they are currently being treated poorly and unfairly in our society, as human beings, they deserve so much more and in my humble opinion are never secondary.
Please join me in this Occupy Women Movement. As actor Emma Watson so eloquently said in her famous 2014 speech to the United Nations (launching the UN-based movement “HeforShe”): “If not me, then who? If not now, then when?” END
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