Monday, February 22, 2010

Riane Eisler Quote of the Week- The World's Woman Problem

From The Chalice and the Blade:

"[T]hose who would reimpose strongman rule over both women and men see so-called women's issues like reproductive freedom of choice and equal rights under the law as primary issues. Indeed, if we look at rightist actions- from the American New Right to their counterparts in both West and East- we see that to them the return of women to their traditional subservient place is a top priority."

The similarities between the fundamentalist Christianity insistence that men and women have clearly-defined, separate, and complementary roles in life wherein the women is subservient to the man, is indeed similar to that of the fundamentalist Muslim or Orthodox Jew.

Still, Eisler doesn't let the Left off the hook. Continuing on:

"Yet ironically, for the majority of those committed to the ideals like progress, equality, and peace, the connection between 'women's issues' and the attainment of progressive goals remains invisible. For liberals, socialists, communists, and others from middle to left the liberation of women is a secondary or peripheral issue- to be addressed, if at all, after the 'more important' problems facing our globe have been resolved."

Unfortunately, too many on the left still don't "get" that when the "basic model" of male-female relations is built upon domination-subordination, a strong dominator mentality is internalized and carried over to form hierarchies and Others in all human relations. That's why religionists and atheists who get into those "Which ideology has been responsible for the most killings in the history of the world, religion or atheism?" debates are missing the point.

The solution isn't for society to collectively determine whether religion or atheism is "worse" so as to eradicate one or the other ideology, but to prioritize freeing women from our man-made role in life as the Second Sex. This will involve the radical notion that it's the responsibility of more than just Western feminists to solve all of the worlds "women's issues."

See also, Ursula Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness, a contemplation of a gender-less society devoid of the dominator model of human relations.

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