November 29, 2014
Of all the modernizing "revolutions" (Industrial, Religious, Political, Scientific, and even Nuclear), the most destabilizing has been the emancipation of women. Opponents of the female revolution are engaging in a last ditch effort to put that particular genie back in the bottle, but they are losing.
Women have only been emancipated in liberal democracies. In the Western world (and only there), even from antiquity, wise men, Plato among them, speculated that if women had men?s educations, they would be equally capable of intellectual excellence. Plato was an outlier in this belief, but this idea has always lurked there, throughout the history of Western Civilization.
It was revived in the 19th century by one British thinker, John Stuart Mill, who believed that women were capable of participating in voting just as men were. And, of course, intelligent women in both Britain and the United States took up the cause of Black emancipation and later female emancipation, a struggle that continued until the end of World War I. This was a revolution in which the violence was exclusively male. Women were beaten, force-fed, jailed, reviled, and barraged with the arguments of "learned men" that their brains were too small and their ovaries too sensitive to permit them freedom.
These misogynists clearly saw that female emancipation would destroy a system that had made male lives pleasant. Half the population dominated the other half and held women as property to use as they pleased (for sex, labor, procreation, and sadism). There was widespread fear that if women were emancipated, they would get even, which, surprisingly, they have never done.
Getting even is pure projection, of course, but it is amazing that women have never poisoned their tormentors, as they should in Nigeria, for example, where women suffer unremitting childbirth until they have sons. Miserable Niger keeps churning out babies because Muslim polygamy promotes competition among wives to produce sons. Their poverty and increasing hunger are no mystery.
In America, the emancipation of women came two ways: enlargement of participatory governance (voting), first to propertied men, then to all White men, then to all men, and finally (and by a one-vote majority in Congress) to all women. The other road was through scientific technology: reliable contraception. For the first time in a million years, women were able to control their own fertility. This is still the most important weapon in defense of female autonomy, a weapon forbidden in the world?s most backward cultures, which reject female emancipation.
In majority-Muslim countries, the issue is not just hatred of the west or even hatred of Jews, but is fear and hatred of women. Why else would a 15-year old Pakistani girl who advocated education for girls be shot in her school bus by an assassin? For sheer hatred, African-Muslim states top the lists with enforced, underage marriages and female genital mutilation. [Economist, July 26, 2014.] ISIS and Boko Haram go further. They follow the Prophet?s example: overrun the enemy, convert or decapitate the men, and take the women as "booty."
Islamists like technology to provide them with Viagra, but not for women to have access to contraception. Iran and Turkey regret the contraceptive programs they once supported and their leaders are hectoring their women citizens to return to hearth and home and produce babies. The women refuse.
The annual Gender Gap Index (World Economic Forum) ranks progress in closing this gap. Surveyed are health, wage gap, and political participation. Out of 136 nations surveyed, India dropped to 114th, well below South Africa (18th), China (87), and Brazil (71). Top rankers are Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. The US has moved up from 23 to 20 this year. At the bottom of the list are Yemen, Pakistan, and Chad, no surprise there.
The next great female revolution is happening in the Arab Muslim world, where some bad practices are resulting in plummeting birthrates. Enforced marriages, preferably to first cousins, have produced endemic birth defects, mental retardation, and other serious anomalies. In that unenlightened world, unless women defy their terrible cultures, Mother Nature will do it for them with starvation, disease, and stupidity.
Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman is a historian, lecturer, and author of God's Law or Man's Law. You may contact her at Lfarhat102@aol.com or www.globalthink.net.