I have heard and for such a long time now persistent voices asking for sexual equality in male dominated societies. I am not an activist in this respect because I have chosen to live far from this struggle so that I can one day delve into the essence of life in its comprehensive existential meaning. Having said that, the on-going debate on this subject has led me to think about it and try to understand some of the obstacles preventing women from picking themselves up out of their dark ponds. I think this will become possible only through a radical transformation in the feminine behavior and dreams.
The patriarchal regime has strengthened a masculine notion which looks after its interest. It appointed itself as the ultimate goal of life for a woman, a dream she cherishes from an early age and this of course has been further reinforced by god and religion.
There is no doubt that the patriarchal society has transformed the woman from a human being to a mechanical slave hailing her executioner, and even more than that it turned her into an enemy of her own body, her organs and a vile fiend her own kind, other women like herself. Most advocates of women’s rights are particularly aggressive towards other women.
Let us first examine the meaning of equality. Before anything else, it is equality in rights and duties, equality in terms of civic rights, profession and citizenship status. But here is where the problem resides, as we know a slave is incapable of providing that which he lacks. The continuous demands and complaints are useless when addressed at a male dominated society. This social configuration is itself founded on discrimination among its members, the Muslim thinks of himself as God’s lover and the Christian considers himself as a glimpse of the divine spirit…etc. And then if we look at the individuals who are in control of the economic wealth of this country we see that the one who has more material wealth thinks he occupies a privileged position and has rights that other don’t have. If again we take a look at those who claim to possess knowledge we find them unable to accept any unfamiliar idea, be it scientific, philosophical or other, they reject everything they cannot perceive, they are constantly inflating their own egos.
The voice of the ‘feminist’ or woman in general is lost amidst the chorus of this colorful and disfigured collective ego. This voice becomes a reflection of masculine distortions. It is trying to preserve its virginity hoping to get some masculine sympathy and praise, saves it for a romantic moment, for her knight in shining armor, the man of her dreams as if she was presenting him with a plate full of diamonds. She abstracts herself in a reproductive organ; it becomes a central foundation of her being. She would lash at anyone who comes to help her. That is why we need to stop for a while, and think about the negative role played by the woman in reinforcing her own subjection as an important cause in maintaining it.
The male dominated society looks with hypocritical sympathy to woman as a being who is not made for work and psychical effort, she cannot put up with excessive fatigue. And out of pity for her she must stay at home (where she is loved and respected) or rather humiliated and subjected to the power of her impotent macho man unable to cater for all her desires and pleasures. In reality, sexism wears a very thin mantle which is better exposed in the masculine double standards as in the misleading use of words and moral codes. Morality is based, especially in religious countries, on a masculine principle looking after personal interests.
Feminist struggle in the West is characterized by its women’s continuous endeavor to gradually secure their rights by organizing various demonstrations. There are famous women’s names that are celebrated and recognized for their crucial role in bringing about a significant change and this is best obvious in women’s massive access to different professions during WWII. Then the society was compelled to acknowledge women’s role as an economic force. The feminist demands have been supported by female collective demonstrations paralleled by a feminist literary movement. But despite the reforms and equality before the law, the demand for more changes is on-going to achieve absolute equality in every sphere.
Let me come back to women living in male dominated societies. They have to persevere in their struggle to achieve their rights at the level of civic rights, labor, inheritance laws, the right to divorce, monogamy…etc. They have to persevere on the path towards changing cultural, moral and religious concepts. It is not enough for woman to turn her labor into productive labor in these societies. She needs to undertake a wholesome act of emancipation and independence from men and this can be achieved through material independence, the ability to have her own home and she needs to move beyond the idea of the necessity of having a man by her side, and this is a form of emotional independence that can be achieved only after doing away with all gender attributes (as the maternal instinct, feminine sympathy, masculine generosity…etc.) such notions can only enflame sexism.
It is for this reason that woman feels in these countries that she is physiologically weak and that the female productive organ is less important than the masculine one. Such notions have been put in women’s heads by the culture in which they grew up. This is why I think that the woman’s reproductive organ should be used as a weapon against masculine oppression. What if all women decided to take a peaceful measure and organize a strike and refrain from having a relationship or having children? Then, the entire society will stop reproducing till further notice.
But we also need to think of solutions which may help women to recover their self confidence in their own bodies and use this principle on the powers implicit in her organ of reproduction to become a means of emancipation rather than an instrument of her own enslavement.
I think the responsibility falls on feminist organizations to increase women’s awareness, especially women who occupy influential governmental positions. They have to annihilate masculine notions grounded on the principles of patriarchal power and then need to voice their opinion through the media, in films and in books. When woman rids herself of her rosy nightmare, that is the quest for a husband to achieve her dreams and ambitions, when she stops thinking of him as an essential goal in life, then we can say that the process of change has effectively started. Life cannot be reduced to a romantic relationship or a family commitment, it is much deeper than all romantic or social forms of commitment, it is stronger than all the formula used for groups such as the idea of security. It is the sum of skills and suffering and it is a journey across cultures to discover the living self and delve deeper into its mental images everywhere in order to try and reformulate them all over again.
I think that freedom comes at a cost, and women must pay that price and that is when they put an end to their rosy dreams, surrender some of their superficial and tiny achievements and stop crowning their hymen as a valuable attribute. Women do not need any help to achieve their freedom and their rights can be granted only through an intellectual revolution which starts against the notion of a god who supports the culture of women’s oppression, a revolution against all its religious follow ups, she needs to reconstruct a new culture. She must then rid herself of that fear which lurks in the depths of her mind, muster her hidden strengths to emancipate herself by piercing its false hymen. She also needs to stop thinking of other women as competition just to please men, women must unite and declare a general strike against the social legislations and laws which shackle them and deprive them of their being and why not begin with the announcement of a national deflower day!