Feminism is a term that became popular after World War II when women started to stand up for the proposition that they were equal to men in all respects. At the time, men reacted quite violently to the proposition that women had a place in the workplace, government, the professions and the arts. However, women had enjoyed an increased sense of importance during World War II as they assumed roles all across society that had been held by men. When men returned from the war, they found that women had taken their roles, and men assumed that women would meekly return to their supportive roles.
The concept of feminism suggested the end of patriarchy, and a return to the Divine Feminine. The Divine Feminine is a concept recently adopted by the New Age movement, but actually finding its roots in France based on the legend that Mary Magdalene left Palestine after Jesus ascended and started churches in Southern France. The etymology of the word feminism comes from a French word “feminisme” allegedly created by a French philosopher in early 1800’s. The concepts of feminism were founded much earlier, based upon the legends of the Amazons and Valkyries of Europe and the religion of the “Black Madonna” in southern France.
Feminism is not a simple concept in modern times. Terms like “White Feminist”, “womanist”, “Intersectional Feminist”, “sex positive”, and “TERF” make the concept of female equality quite muddy. How one views slave trafficking, pornography, and abortion makes debate quite passionate and divided. However, regardless of the politics or issue specific debates, feminism is a concept whose time has come.
First of all, feminism must champion the ideal of compassion and understanding. In other words, we have to start listening to each other, rather than be stuck in the old rhetoric that men’s opinions are greater than women’s. Women have to insist from their male counterparts that they must listen to what women have to say.
Men have a tragic history of teaching youth that the male point of view has more merit than any other and that must stop. The whole concept of the Divine Feminine rests upon the ideals of compromise and cooperation. For women to meekly do whatever they are told is not appropriate any longer. We have to start building consensus across sexual barriers. We have to start teaching our youth that we live in a world that has reached the brink of destruction because we have ignored our Divine Mother and desecrated her temple, the Earth.
Second, feminism must embrace the notion that all people are equal, not only on a sexual basis but also racial, cultural and religion. Feminism must especially embrace the equality of religion or we will continue to destroy ourselves in religious crusades to wipe out all competitors for God. For God’s sake, we can no longer kill each other in the name of God. All of the energy that is now being expended on the debate of where people are supposed to pee is avoiding the more important issues of violence and prejudice.
This also brings into play the debate of women in the military. We have totally missed the issue. It is not about getting women into the military, it is about eliminating the need for the military for any reason. Putting women in the military only brings women down to the level of the Neanderthals that think violence is a solution to anything. Women have to create a consensus of peace because men are incapable of doing it by themselves.
Third, more women have to start voting. There are more women than men in this world. So there is no excuse for men to win any political agenda. The women who have led their countries since World War II have done as well or better than male counterparts. I am referring to Indira Gandhi (India), Mary Robinson (Ireland), Margaret Thatcher (England), Golda Meir (Israel) and others. It is time for women to start lobbying in earnest to be the leaders of religious movements as well. It is time for a female Pope, Dalai Lama, and other religious leaders. Men have to be convinced of the wisdom of balancing the power of the sexes.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we have to accept that pornography, prostitution and slave trading is all about male dominance over women. Feminism must stand up and stop this, perhaps before we tackle anything else. The concept that women will sacrifice their bodies to make money is as old as history. The temple virgins of ancient Greece and Rome weren’t virgins at all; they were religious prostitutes.
Being a former lawyer, I recognize the impossibility of regulating morality, but this is a fight worth fighting. We have to empower women to stop selling themselves if we hope to create equality; if we are to survive.
Feminism must enable everyone to speak for justice and equality. The time for patriarchy is over.
Reprinted from The Elephant Journal