Women. The word was created as ‘Womb’ + ‘Men’. Which means women have something special over men, and that’s a womb, where life begins. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them. Yes, I know that sperm is required, but a woman is needed for that added touch to procreation. So with all this power, why are so many women all over the globe still suppressed, and in some cultures and countries, classed as ‘lower’ amongst the hierarchy?
There seems to be a double standard in society with women. They can not sweat, but can perspire, even if that. They can’t be seen liking sex, compared to men. If a guy has a lot of sex with different women, he is seen as a stud. If it was a woman, she would be seen as a slut. In some industries, women are not highly visible. However, there are some, like in publishing and finance, that are running the show.
Recently I was watching my two favourite television shows – Bewitched and Sex and The City. Bewitched was a show about a witch (with powers), who decides to do the normal housewife thing, which was a running theme on American TV from the 50s and into the mid 60s. Her husband, Darrin, wanted her to stop using her natural powers. He wanted her into normalcy and suppression. But she couldn’t resist a twitch or two. Even Elizabeth Montgomery, who played Samantha, wanted to freshen things up with another character called Cousin Serena, who she also played. Serena was the fun witch who I guess Samantha wanted to be, but knew it couldn’t fit with her current ideal life. However, she was still strong. Darrin really knew who had the power.
Sex and The City was a groundbreaking show, well for the US. It showed a woman can love and adore sex as much as a man could. When you look at the four main characters (Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda), you see that it is about one actual woman. In every woman, there is a creative part, a sexual part, an intellectual part, and part that is optimistic. The show was an eye opener to the times of the late 90s. It showed women can have it all, but not necessarily at the same time.
Women do have so many pressures. They have to raise a family, have a career, and still look ‘young’. One time, I knew this guy who worked for Channel Ten in Sydney. He worked in the Publicity & Marketing departments. He told me that the female news anchors (circa 2000) got more mail on how they looked and were presented, than the male news anchor at the time. Many people didn’t like said person’s hair, or they thought what she was wearing was awful, or too boring. The first female Prime Minister in Australia, Julia Gillard, was even harassed through the media for how she looked and was presented, compared to the many male Prime Ministers before her.
When you look back on history (his story), which is even from a male perspective, you see the many issues and problems women went through. Women couldn’t even vote. However, on the 19th of September 1893, women in New Zealand were allowed to vote in parliamentary elections. This made New Zealand the first country in the world to do so. Australia followed in 1901. In 1918, the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed an act granting the vote to women over the age of 30 who were householders, the wives of householders, occupiers of property with an annual rent of £5, and graduates of British universities. In 1920, the United States allowed women to vote.
In 1692, witchcraft came to Salem (Massachusetts). It was a time of high religious morals and suppression, especially with sexuality. The witch hunts, which also spread to other areas of the US and into Europe, were based on fear and religious dogma. Actually religion is very much responsible for women’s suppression. Some churches still don’t allow women priests. The Catholic religion actually is quite suppressive with women. During sex, which has to be after marriage, the use of contraception is outlawed. Even if one was to get pregnant, but didn’t want the pregnancy, abortion is out. They think that life begins at conception. When I did anatomy physiology at College, I saw what happens from pre-conception all the way to 9 months later. For the first two months at least, the fetus is just a group of cells constructing something that looks quite alien like. Some esoteric people think that life (the soul) begins after the first trimester. It’s usually all about biology prior to that, as the body can reject the fetus.
So, we are in the 21st century. We are in the world of many opposites. But the one thing is that suppression isn’t healthy – for anyone. It can manifest into the physical. As everything is connected (mind, body, spirit), we have to honor women from their virtues to their wildness. Over the many centuries of persecution, guilt, and suppression, we have to question whether these are the reasons for many diseases, such as breast and ovarian cancers. Many Chinese Medicine practitioners know the connections between thought, feeling and the physical manifestation in the body.
But there is hope. There are many more empowered women out there. Are you one of them?