Aug 17

Arousal or Passivity?

In Brief—This piece is not about sexual arousal. It is about oppression, specifically, female oppression. This is an important subject that deserves full exposure rather than being confined to the Comment section of my earlier piece. Females deserve to be recognized as the complete individuals they are. It’s past time for all of us, females and males, to bring that to fruition.


Aware or Unaware, That’s the Question—

Several readers of the preceding piece, “Ladies, You Are Second-Class Citizens”, both those who commented officially and those who wrote me privately, raised the question of whether the women I addressed in my latest piece were wrongly assumed to be unaware.

Without question, some of the women subscribing to the blog are not only aware of the discrimination against females but active in combatting it. Some of the readers are aware of the problem yet choose not to involve themselves with the issue for what they believe to be valid reasons. By contrast, some of the readers at the other end of the spectrum seem to be only vaguely aware of the issue while others are, for a variety of reasons, totally unaware of the problem. Much of this, but not all, is based on my assumptions rather than hard facts. Based on the evidence, I have assumed that there are some in the audience who have been called upon to arm themselves with available facts and get involved. But the same evidence reveals too much non-involvement to ignore.

 Possible Reasons for Failure to Get Involved—

The reasons for failure to get involved range from advanced age or disability to being busy earning a living and putting bread on the table, raising children, demands imposed by school, isolation, compulsion or just plain disinterest. Not all females have the wherewithal or conditions that would allow involvement and a few are simply not interested. These are the reasons for the assumptions I have made.

But does this lack of involvement prevent females from learning who is responsible for the discrimination? Does it prevent a person from voting their oppressor out of office? Does it prevent a person from writing a letter or posting a comment on a press site? It’s to these females most of all that I directed my call to become aroused and take part in opposing their oppression. Those already involved can congratulate themselves without resenting my general plea.

 Where Do I Get My Ideas?—

One of my readers wonders where I get the idea that females are allowing themselves to be passive on the issue of their oppression. In answer, I have done a massive amount of reading, primarily in the press and magazines. Without exception, the information I have received indicates either ignorance or passivity on too great a scale.

States add restrictions on a female’s right to unencumbered reproductive health care. Women are denied advancement because they might get pregnant. Women are paid less than a male for the same or comparable work. Despite this and other instances of discrimination, the oppressors are reelected, the employers continue their discrimination, the conservatives on the Supreme Court feel free to rule for the oppressors. Where are the masses of females needed to reverse this unjust tide?

This is where I get my ideas and the rationale behind issuing a broad call-to-arms. I’ve done it many times in previous pieces, I did it on this important issue and will do it again in the future.

Finally, though I believe I have adequately explained my position, there is the question of why Republicans and conservative Democrats are reelected despite their war against females and democracy. The reasons are numerous: the power of incumbency, ignorance of the issues and voting records, off-year elections, apathy and much more.

That women are a part of this shamefulness only underlines my effort at raising female awareness. Females make up more than half of the population of America, so if I can reach even a small percentage of them with my blog, then we might break the logjam that afflicts America. Men might come along, particularly those fortunate enough to have daughters and women in their lives, but I’m reaching out to all females.

While men are traditionally believed to be the oppressors, females are the ones who have the power to change that if only they arouse themselves. Grasp that power, ladies! Revel in it. Get aroused, become aware and get involved. The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.



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    • Linda on August 20, 2014 at 19:15

    “Females make up more than half of the population of America, so if I can reach even a small percentage of them with my blog, then we might break the logjam that afflicts America. Men might come along, particularly those fortunate enough to have daughters and women in their lives, but I’m reaching out to all females.”

    Here’s the thing: The call to arms for equality, in this case gender equality, is a call that should be directed to everyone, men and women alike. Isolating it can add to the existing apathy as it becomes categorized as solely a women’s issue and solely their responsibility to correct. It is a societal issue and it exists for much of the same reasons that plague the inequality of minority groups. Like other minority groups, women are thought to be less able or less deserving.

    A minority group does not necessarily translate into the group with less numbers. As we can clearly see in current events taking place in Ferguson, Missouri, the majority population of African Americans is not the majority in power and has for years struggled with injustices of inequality. If the black population does not get support from the white population and those in power, the fight for equality is harder and longer. If for racial equality, the call was only to blacks with the hope that others would come along, it becomes as it is often labeled, a black problem. It is not.

    It is the same with women. If your blog motivates women who are apathetic about women’s rights that’s great but don’t count on breaking the logjam unless men get the message, too. Just as I believe that raising our boys differently is essential, I believe reaching men is as crucial as reaching women. If you want real change, everyone – men and women – must be on board.

    1. Exactly, Linda.

        • Don Bay on August 21, 2014 at 16:37

        In light of your agreement with Linda, I urge you to read my response to her rather than my repeating it here. If you disagree with my reasoning, please let me know and why you disagree. Meanwhile, heal well and quickly.

      • Don Bay on August 21, 2014 at 16:31

      It might help to be aware of the factors behind my reasoning in addressing females and not men about the oppression of females. Research shows that individuals who are given facts that prove them wrong on an issue will resist those facts even stronger than before, in effect, they will dig in their heels in believing that their view is correct despite the contrary evidence. To address men as well as females in a call to oppose the oppression of females is therefore ineffectual if not counterproductive.

      As I see it, men fall into roughly three groups: 1) those who are already aboard the effort to get equality for females; 2) those men who are neither committed to female equality nor ready to join the fight for equality or are simply uninformed for one reason or another; 3) those who are committed to keeping women as second-class citizens for religious, pecuniary or other reasons.

      By addressing only women, there’s no reason to include the #1 group of men in a call to action because they’re already aboard. There is no incentive to addressing the men in group #3 because they are firmly opposed to seeing females as equals and, what’s more, they are likely to dig in their heels and become even more committed to keeping females as subservient (see the research mentioned above). It’s the men in group #2 who are reachable. I don’t include them for the reason stated in the piece: they may have daughters or other females in their lives and will be affected by the attitudes of those females. In addition, some are at least not committed to keeping females “in their place” and thus can be won over by a visible push from females for equality.

      Where you hit the nail on the head, both in your comment above and in the previous piece where you describe your coworker’s situation, is the necessity for raising our male children to value female equality. This solution will result in delay at reaching our goal, but it will some day assure that females are valued as equals. The old views will die off (except in an ever-narrower religious group), but positive change will eventually win. Your solution offers common sense hope for equality for both sexes.

      Meanwhile, I see it as essential to reach out to all females to step forward and let their voices be heard loud and clear. If the issue is prominent, men and uncommitted females will choose. I’m betting that group pressure will ensure that all females will at last be able to stand on equal footing with men.

    • Linda on August 22, 2014 at 04:00

    The groups you categorized men into could easily apply to women as well. Females coming from households where the father or males fall into your #2 category are a guiding influence that will help establish attitudes in these females. Thus, because men might have daughters in their lives does not guarantee that those females will grow up to understand their position in society and later persuade their fathers or other males in their household of the importance of gender equality.

    If research shows that presenting facts to individuals that proves them wrong on an issue will cause those individuals to resist the facts more, this too could apply to the women you are addressing. Whenever one is debating any issue, one runs the risk of turning some away but that is, in my opinion, not reason enough not to discuss the issue or present the facts. It is not enough reason to only address one group, especially if the other group will play a strong part in the end result. In this case, I hold firm that without those in power – predominately men — the struggle for gender equality will be longer and harder. To exclude men or excuse men from your call to achieve gender equality seems to rest the responsibility solely on women, making it only a women’s issue and it is not.

    Clearly we disagree but the importance of this dialogue you have opened up is not lost on me and hopefully not with others. Thank you for this discussion!

      • Don Bay on August 22, 2014 at 10:21

      I have stated the rationale for my views on why I addressed women rather than both men and women. That stands both because my rationale remains the same and because the posts are already history.

      I am not only a male who sees the advantages of sexual equality but I do not have a dog in this fight. Females definitely do and, in my view, the hardline male opposition and religious extremists do. It’s still a struggle for females and the men who either support them or who will come along. It won’t be easy but the flow of history will ultimately carry females to victory. The hardliners and religious extremists won’t change regardless of the circumstances, but they are fighting a losing battle against aware females. My efforts have been to awaken the awareness of passive females who are out there but not engaged. Once they have joined the active group, the struggle will be won sooner.

      As pointed out in my pieces, the women who fought for equality in the past succeeded in advancing the cause and did so against greater odds than exist today. My call to arms was addressed to females today who have enjoyed the advances their predecessors won, but much still remains to be done. Females have the power if they will just use it. Males will either come along or they won’t.

      As you have pointed out, raising our children in an atmosphere of sexual equality will determine the future, a future that I believe is not only inevitable but will be brighter for females. The old ways die and are replaced with the new. My efforts and my belief are that the new will see women winning the war. We are on the same side even as we hold differing views as to how to achieve the goal of equality. Aware females are the key.

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