What a time we are living through in America. I am indeed "triggered" by the SCOTUS hearings and I've been feeling so many things about women and our place in the world, in this country. I've signed off Facebook for now because it is all too much. The news, daily, disturbs me deeply and makes me wonder of the gender dynamics will ever change for the better.
What I am mulling over is women's power, empowerment and ability to be taken seriously in a world that downgrades our status throughout our lives. I am talking about a culture that hypersexualizes women through mass media, Hollywood, and the fashion industry.
That we are seen as appendages to men, to their desires and to their entitlement is obvious. That we are vulnerable in the world in a way that men simply are not is another given. Fashion dictates that (and this applies mostly to young, conventionally beautiful women) we constrict ourselves with impossibly high heels which make walking in the world a dangerous thing, and dress in ways that call attention to our sexual allure as it relates to the titillation of men.
Just look at the way the women on your local t.v. news program dress: curve hugging, low cut, leg showing, jewelry laden, perfectly made up faces. They are Barbie Dolls. When did this start happening? Why are women broadcasters doing it? Because, stupid, it sells. Our physical attributes trump our intellectual ones, and so it goes, and has gone, for all time.
On the flip side, there are countries and cultures which require women to completely cover their bodies and their faces in order to keep male lust in check. Half of the population (women, duh) are responsible for the lustful urges of the other half. The consequences of inciting lust? Assault. Rape. Death. Imprisonment.
It all comes back to male behavior; it is the men to which all women are forced to cater to if they seek success and approval. No surprise there. We have a male-dominated Congress, male-dominated Fortune 500 companies, male dominated movie making industry, male dominated sports franchises, male dominated academic institutions. The list goes on.
How would our world look if women held half the positions of power in the above noted areas?
Steve and I saw the movie "The Wife" this weekend, and its themes dovetail perfectly with what is going on in DC. Glenn Close gives her usual stellar performance, and the film deeply personal as well as globally political -- the rocky ground of marriage and interdependence. The internalized subjugation of women. It's in limited release for some reason (probably too serious and mature for the average movie goer) so catch it now if you can. It is multilayered with fully realized characters with all their flaws. A really fascinating piece of work.