The 21st century is a strange place to live. One percent of the world’s population makes 90 percent of the wealth. The liars and cheaters such as the heads of the major banks, Enron executives, and their ilk, receive little or no punishment. Truth-tellers are sought out by governments who plan to give them maximum punishment. Freedom is fading as secrecy grows. And women have many different rolls, and are trying to find their place in an upside-down world.
Everything about our planet is changing. The weather is more severe. Leaders of governments are stepping down, or being forced from power. Once great powers are sliding in strength, power, and favorability. The most important and ignored fact is that the role of women is changing at breakneck speed.
Throughout history, the women of the world have performed the majority of the labor. They work in the fields, give birth to children, are responsible for cooking, cleaning, and the great majority of child care. In the United States, more women graduate from college than do men, and they outnumber their male counterpart in the workplace. Positions of higher responsibility are often awarded to women, and they control the majority of the nation’s wealth. And in 2016, The United States may have its first woman president.
Sadly, at present, it remains a male dominated planet. And men continually exercise their power over females all over the world.
Women in Islamic dominated societies are ruled by laws not applied equally to men. In many of the world’s nations, rape and other forms of sexual abuse are acceptable. In the United States military, sexual violation of women has been ignored, or given minimal punishment, which is often given amnesty, and the offender’s record expunged. The world remains misogynistic, placing women a subservient position.
The World Health Organization, (WHO), has called the uneven division of labor, physical abuse, and sexual assault on women an “epidemic.”
In most nations, women are not allowed decisions about their own bodies. In most of the world’s countries, the decision to have or not have children is the husband’s decision. Abortion is virtually unheard of, even in cases when a physician has informed the father that giving birth to the child would result in the death of the mother.
In the United States, a Puritanical ideology dominates countless citizens. Religious leaders have incited their flock into believing that aborting any fetus, at any stage of conception, is murder. The Constitution, which gave individuals the right to choose how they would care for themselves, is being ignored. It has been replaced by a group of men who have decided what rights women have, and interpret our nation’s highest law to their advantage.
Although a very small group of women are in the upper executive level, the majority of female employees are paid less than their male counterparts for the same position. Although there exists more female single-parent households than male, women struggle to balance home and career while having less financial assets to do so.
Women have always been superior to men, but have not been treated as such. They have always juggled many tasks without complaint or concern for themselves. Unlike their male counterparts, they seldom let ‘ego’ be the basis for decision or action. They lack the need to dominate other human beings, and have accepted a subservient position in many societies.
Religious organizations symbolize the segregation and disparagement between men and women. In the Catholic Church, and most Christian-based religions, women are not allowed to hold the priesthood. In order to ‘serve the Lord,’ they must take a lesser role and become nuns or ‘sisters.’ In the Mormon and Jewish religions, women are separated from men, as men are given ‘higher’ positions within the congregation. Islam requires women place themselves in servitude to their spouses. They have no place in most religious celebrations and are never a part of the mosque hierarchy.
This is the way men would prefer the world to be. But, change is inevitable. In nations where voting is universal, women are voting in greater numbers than men.
In the United States, more women are aspiring to the political arena. While the population of females and males is dominated by the ‘fairer sex,’ their interest in politics remained less. That was the past; welcome to the future.
Women no longer ask for equal rights in the workplace, the military, and the home, they demand them. No platitude fits the attitude of women this days more aptly than, “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”
Women are beginning to find their place in a world that is turning upside down. And they are choosing that ‘place,’ and men are no longer expected to give it to them.
Alfred James reporting Op-Ed