“A woman was nominated for the Presidency of the United States by a major political party that is still quite dominated by men as a group. That woman is Hillary.
Some discussions are occurring as if we shouldn’t talk about what is occurring based on Hillary being a woman or we should ignore the relationships as if she is no different than a man. How convenient! How wonderful that notion is for denying women’s history while it is occurring! How else can we come to such an important event and think we have to NOT give it that accurate historical context and its huge significance?”
As many of you know who know me, I have advocated for women’s history for years. Most people think that just means that we should have an additional class in schools and a list of women’s accomplishments that is a mirror to what we have for men revolving around traditional American history of politics and war. However, that understanding is very shortsighted from the fact that we don’t have women’s history and don’t know what the history of the rest of the world would look like. It would not be a duplicate of what men created.
To explain thoroughly, this would take an book. No, actually, it would take volumes and perhaps take as many as 12 -16 years of study as it does for what we already learn from a historic educational system that has always been controlled by men and about men at the level of decision making authority. It is isn’t just what we learned, but what we have to unlearn. It is what is missing that goes on for 12 years of public school and beyond that we ignore and devalue but absolutely exists. We can’t know what is missing if we never had it.
That said, I need to just take a chunk of that large issue and speak about part of it.
And one of the things that happens to women when they don’t have history is that they learn to see the world as if all that matters and deserves attention revolves around men and the values that men teach because there is no choice not to. Half of the world and its importance is devalued. This is so for everyone. Women cease to exist as a being of themselves unattached to men’s importance and men’s values and ‘being like a man so our perspectives of who we are change.
That attachment right now is based on social survival.
In fact this, in some ways, can happen that transcends gender. When women and men do this together one of the things that happens is that we don’t count women’s history even before women’s lives are over. We replace a thorough and complete view of women’s lives and bodies with a mythology that supports all the ideas created by men of economic and social power which is only ever a small narrow part of all of humanity.
In other words, we systematically do not count women’s lives, bodies, and work as important nor do we count what the conditions actually are even immediately after they happen. Women themselves may even debate such things based on information they have received and were taught and how they perceived related events connected to their lives. In other words, when you teach ½ as a whole, we have faulty teaching, educational system and viewpoints that result. That faulty teaching enables people to segregate in groups based on like-thinking because this basis of existence based on false differences and inaccurate assumptions is central to the teachings of men as a group and what is presented as central man.
Within this social dynamic many things occur, but one thing is that the very real inheritances of women’s work is often handed freely – or stolen – to men as a group who then circumvent and use this work for their own social importance. That work coopted by men, and used for their own lives interrupts a direct line of inheritance from mothers and women to the next generation. Information about women is thus lost and misunderstood from generation to generation. The result is not an honest appraisal of women’s living while alive and this is most felt as women grow older – and from there, much goes unrecorded and not passed on down. Young women, as it goes for most children, do not question the teachings of our forefathers or adults as often the importance is placed very early on children to obey and listen, not question the lives of adults or authorities.
So the lack of women’s history is not a simple matter but it is an important one.
Women are then vulnerable to criticism from any angle in any way because there is no real basis to evaluate their lives in factual context separated from the teachings of men that ignore, exclude and devalue them – usually unconsciously.
We also don’t count our mothers’ lives of work in terms of economics and value so daughters and mothers, unless they have a very unusual relationship that is uninterrupted by the teachings of men, often do not realize their own inheritances or they, too, become aware of the systematic faulty functioning . Adult women’s lives are spent just trying to meet social demand and the only way of learning what doesn’t exist for them is from experience which is what years of education overstep and didn’t teach them. Education that is suppose to prepare children for adults lives fails to do so. Men never gain this experience directly unless they learn by witnessing women’s lives. This is no accident as our foremothers were deliberately kept out of all social positions and kept under control of men’s authority in all social places. Often men not allowing women’s perspectives as valuable for social determinations.
Men lacking ‘other’ experience also wind up in positions of authority where they lack the knowledge and experience that is required to be authority. The historical practice of a body part for authority by gender has had consequences of lost understandings of our world.
In study of laws and obscenity, it is clear that historically the truth of women’s bodies and lives, even such things as birth control and pregnancy, were seen as taboo subjects and material labeled as illegal and obscene. On the other hand, anything men wanted to produce in fantasy about women, including sexual and scientific fantasies, no matter how cruel or horrific was considered entertainment or rational literature.
As Dale Spender said, Speaking up to male power has never been rewarded.
It is often taboo in some way for women to speak their truth (while alive) that disrupts the current control of authority and power as social rankings and hierarchies of authorities exist and even if they can and did speak truth, we rarely listen when it seems at odds with the dominant media voices of economic power, authority, trainings and current fashions that are already established from still, mostly, men in economic and social power. Unfortunately this surrounds the fashion waves surrounding the latest creative inventions of technology that is very disruptive of all social functionings and relationships. New inventions have never been evaluated on the potential social disruption and harm.
While this point could be illustrated by many examples and while we can point to individual exceptions, we need to see what is actually missing here. Bear with me if you don’t see what I just described. That proves my POINT! It’s not what exists that is so important as it is what is missing that is horrendously vital! You have to be open and take time to observe what is happening to see it. That missing part is what consciousness raising was about and what I am pointing to from our foremothers. Yet that very consciousness raising that did occur has, once again – as in women’s history – been used in a way that facilitates economic and social power of a few individuals and not necessarily as had been intended for the good of community as a whole. Some of the most important freedoms that women have gained have come about by the work of radical feminist foremothers, but there is no tradition of honor for such work. Contrary to how we treat freedom fighting forefathers, radical feminists fighting for freedoms have been disparaged, devalued, dishonored and criticized widely by some that simply wish for women to not have the same sense of freedom.
Now I had to say all that just for the context that is missing for what I really started this writing about – the way the events surrounding Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are being spoken about.
But realize that what I want to say in this writing is not about politics and about the usual, current bantering about two personalities and their behaviors nor to try to win a vote for either candidate. This article is about the context of that bantering and our present social system and what that lack of women’s history does to our perceptions of the world around us.
If you take the time, to study what I just wrote and see how it applies to the current situation of a woman possibly being president of the United States, you may be able to NOT discount that history as unimportant to current events.
Whatever happens in the future, at this point, will either be a repeat of women’s history or it will be an advancement moving differently against women’s history – or a combination.
Let me summarize what I just said. When we lack women’s history as part of our consciousness and discussion we eliminate not just historical facts, but facts about someone’s life that’s alive now – a woman’s history – and right now I’m referring to how this happens to women in particular. And the important problem when facts are removed, is that we are only left with fiction. Yes, that’s right. Move from facts and you have nothing but fiction.
This blog actually centers around my own history, my local history, my own foremothers, and then from there that connection to the national history of our foremothers, Then the connection to our forefathers. Opposite of what school often does that is missing in national debates and consciousness. It includes history of me and my foremothers – names provided in previous post. I am not kidding! I am not talking abstractly. I physically did it! I have the facts.
When we concentrate on individual women’s personalities without the social factors of our own foremothers connected as valuable, we create stereotypes of women and we stop talking about the real alive woman-especially when we claim to discuss personalities.
This way of treating women is in historical records.
As women’s body types are used in media with popular fashions and styles that come and go, the same is done with women’s socially approved personalities and what is popular demand for behavior for women at any given time (often contradictionary, catch 22 results) while the real variety of bodies and personalities are denied through major mainstream media outlets. And I want to say – especially around politics. We need to count the social relationship dynamics of the entire group in order to understand the actions of members within a group, but we haven’t been taught to do this and think this way in particular situations concerning women.
Many women over decades have often talked about feeling and being invisible or commented on the importance of telling their stories and being heard. Being heard for women isn’t just about opening one’s mouth and having words come out and constructing a story. It is about being counted, seen as valuable with valuable experience with respect in relationship to others and actually understood and listened to as if what a woman says counts for overall social functioning. In this way, it is completely easy to name a woman a liar, airhead or anything that would help to discredit what comes out of her mouth, such incoherent or incompetent. I would bet at this point in our society, there is no way a woman can be involved in such a high level of election without being labeled in some way in attempts to disqualify her. History shows that is how white males have maintained social power for centuries. Why do we think we are beyond it?
In the American traditions, men often claimed women were incomprehensible, emotional or point black incompetent or unintelligent (and for many jobs) by their gender alone which has lead to an inheritance of repetitive ways that women can still be treated as such even if the beliefs have died out on a surface level. Lack of awareness doesn’t mean something doesn’t exist. it just means we don’t grasp it is happening or the details. And there is – that denial of what is – still there. It is no accident that Hillary can be claimed a liar as a major media theme in the midst of clear deception and dishonesty rooted deep and across the board.
Or if you don’t agree with the way I worded that, you might come to see that the very fact that it is an issue to be discussed at all is no accident. It is the crux of what I am addressing here. There is no point in discussing something that doesn’t need to be discussed.
I’m not even discussing whether Hillary is or is not a liar. I am saying that we do not have the conditions to debate that fact accurately because of a lack of education and history about women and their lives that is missing across our society and how media operates as a result. There is no coincidence that a number of our leaders can base their policies or opinions about women for women without education or scientific facts because it’s never been required. That’s what women have been doing for the last four decades – trying to change that requirement and condition.
What job do you know of that people do not have to be qualified for the job and be incompetent and not get fired?
When you live in a society in which people get important jobs based on a variety of things including, historically, body parts and skin color alone, you get people unqualified and uneducated. Authority becomes a scam. Yet we believe in that kind of authority simply because we have had only had that kind with white males as the only authorities until recently in the United States.
If women are perceived as incompetent in some way, like stereotyped as a liar or not qualified, their words are meaningless, then they can be denied social power even if they are given the social position. In this way, history repeats what was done to our foremothers.
Authority to be real has to have education and experience as a basis. Otherwise the word is meaningless and just a display of sham power. Trump is not as unique as many think. He is just an extreme in the midst of a society in upheaval. Our history shows that authority between men and women was not based on experiences and education of life evenhandly and fairly, but on sexual body parts, violent wars and the ownership won by battles which is often played out in bodies, relationships and behaviors marked by social requirements for dress and manners perceived as civil – even when horrific. In women’s history it is not denied that men were authority by gender while women were the subordinates by their gender. This creates invisibility of one group by another but also the invisibility of the dynamics of historical change.
Invisibleness is not about being a ghost of a person – as if the person isn’t really fully there in skin and body parts although creative invention can do that. Invisibleness is about what we use our eyes to focus on, learn about, write about, take photographs of and then what we think about and know as a result of concentrated attention to that part of life.
It is about what we look at and what we miss because we are looking at something else. That’s how our eyes work. Look straight up at the sky and you will not see what is happening on the ground. We are not omnivisual people. We can’t see it all. None of us can. Look completely to your left and you will miss what is on your right. And the very idea of discussing people abstracted in text and image without counting our human limitations and environmental factors as well as location and conditions as a basis of behavior is a massive problem for faulty judgment; not just from incomplete teachings but from a long standing human practice of using image and text technology. Our beliefs about image and text technology are, too, teachings that are rooted that eliminates women’s history and other histories as part of it.
Without this technology, we see directly. With it, we learn to see and we learn about our world and about people and how to see. We learn through our technology before we know someone and begin to evaluate someone, often without ever actually any direct experience. Something is wrong when we reach the point where we think we can honestly know something without ever experiencing it or being with it. Or that we can make a correct judgement in less than a few minutes without stereotypings. We fool ourselves. We fail to understand a society that may very well be collapsing from the faulty functioning that is a result of the very technology we value and the ways we were taught about it and our history of those elements.
No matter what you do in life. Goals are met when you take the right actions to meet those goals. When something isn’t working, it’s time to stop and reconsider actions for change to meet goals. What are the goals now?
What can be true about a person if we don’t know the facts? What happens when we judge others without considering what information we actually have to judge with? How can we judge what is up and down, right or left, in or out and anything of accuracy when we exclude environmental factors in which a person functions? We treat humans abstractly as if they live above and beyond and apart from the planet in some intellectually created space of image and text. This abstraction is fiction. We end up treating another human as if they live outside of any context or experience but what we alone know from our own limited lives as fact.
Science took us from some beliefs of ancient thinking to a practice of observing our world to learn about it. Unfortunately, we haven’t quite done accurately the same things for understanding humans on the planet earth. We have carried some ancient thinking into the academic world, used technology without considering the consequences, and even in the best efforts to evaluate human behavior have done so outside of social context, it’s been almost taboo to actually question some of the most basic assumptions.
What we are taught to look at with our eyes in the world around us and how image/text technology is functioning in how we see things in our world must be addressed. And while the technology and teachings of man have allowed so many amazing things to happen, it has also brought to us many problems that can even lead to a disintegration of the social fabric of how people live. This is not a prediction. It is an accurate telling of what women have learned from their own experiences that has already happened.
In the last few centuries with the invention of the camera for image, and the mass production of books for text (0nce only about men completely), we often learn more about our lives through technology than we do from experiencing it ourselves or the worlds of people around us. We then have to induce more stereotypes in order to interact with people that we do not have the time to get to know by learning about them individually. While we have access to others socially across geographic locations we sacrifice the very information that takes time to evalue and judge and know the conditions accurately.
The other thing that happens is then we create cycles of fiction by individually focusing on characteristics – inaccurately then this helps create more fiction about individual women and deny their collective history simultaneously. We think with the progress of women’s work lives that we somehow have left the problem our foremothers had behind, but that has happened in only in a very minor way. In a large way we have continued and repeated what our foremothers had experienced but in new ways.
In this cycle of fiction about women’s lives through image and text technologies and knowledge products created by men, the cycle feeds itself as one creates the other and then that creates more of the same. This enables more contributions to stereotypes which keep growing and fiction because, in fact, one can not be judged without the environmental factors accurately. Environmentalism isn’t just about counting the natural world. We need environmentalism, wildlife protection and refugee for humans and their habitats as well as the earth’s living ecosystems. Environmental Conditions are part and parcel that explain the actual behavior plus the reason for human behavior which would then contribute to a correct understanding of a person.
We believe that people make choices based on conditions. Of course. Our bodies are real. Our lives and movement is connected to resources of which we use for movement.
I know this is all a bit much to chew on and took me years of study. Yet It’s important to know or at least consider.
We all know that humans make choices based on conditions, locations and time. You don’t do the same thing in the black night at 2 am that you do at 12 noon or in the cold snowy winter day that you would on a 100 degree hot summer day. This also holds true for varying social conditions of people in our lives. We behave based on the social dynamics of the group we live within and availability of resources and our technologies we have to work with.
When it comes to women and men our very lives are socially conditioned from the start to have choices that are agreeable to our elders within the larger social groups. When we misunderstand the context and reasoning of why someone chooses certain behaviors, we can’t possibly evaluate their behavior accurately.
In fact, we have all learned that human behavior is different than animals based on our intellectual ability to rationalize and make choices. At least, that was the teachings about humans of the forefathers in educational institutions that we still carry. So then why is it that when we evaluate other human actions we do so as if there is no environmental limitations?
Our society has a horrific problem when we actually don’t consider environmental conditions not just in social behaviors but for our health, our spirituality, our emotional well being and so forth. We are experiencing this as a whole throughout our society as we see the harm and violence increasing. There is no doubt that there are contradictions in what we learned in order to deny half the world’s population and what they are doing.
So enough of the social analysis here.
Right now something has just happened that is very tied to the history of women in our society, the decades it took for that something to happen and yet discussions can occur as if it hasn’t happened at all. That something is obvious to us all.
Again, I say…
A woman was nominated for the Presidency of the United States by a major political party that is still quite dominated by men. That woman is Hillary.
Some discussions are occurring as if we shouldn’t talk about what is occurring based on Hillary being a woman. How wonderful that notion is for denying women’s history, as well as HIllary’s history, while it is occurring! How else can we come to such an important event and think we have to NOT give it that accurate historical context?
Let’s vote and discuss Hillary and what is happening without considering any fact about her being a woman or the importance of this history. That’s part of the message right now. The thinking is that’s unfashionable to discuss! It’s fallen into what is called ‘sexism’.
Really? That is a classic example of how sexism that is labeled sexism is not a problem but the solution but the result of removing the context of location and social relationships accurately. I think it’s the NOT discussing women’s history and lives that is fashionable and the continuation of sexism. It is the complete denial of a woman’s life that is oppression and while this is occurring, it is being done in a context that is different than our mothers and that context has us all thinking in slants of reality.
But what I ask is for all of us to watch from here on out how the denial of women’s lives and their history plays out when truth is obvious. Look for the accusations – often of women’s characteristics – that are attempts to avoid discussion of women’s history as well as control the socially as to not impact society in certain ways. The accusations exist all around us. We are desensitized to them. You just need to be able to observe them by looking.
Here is an important fact that became history recently.
For all of United States history, there has never been such favorable conditions for a woman to run for the United States Presidency by a major political party and actually win that position. Never before in history has a First Lady turned around to possibly be the Mother of this Country as President. There should be no argument over this fact. And there should not be foolish discussions that maintain an avoidance of not only this fact, but the fact of all women’s lives and what this has meant in the past to create a world that has huge imbalances that harm us all. Right now even the highest women leader in this country is still very much in a social position with men as a group in power over women. It can’t be any other way yet.
But along with this observation of our present time, we must include the historical fact that a woman has never come this close to being President because of certain social behaviors and conditions and how it occurred in men’s behaviors to prevent that from happening and what has changed throughout United States’ women’s history that this event has now occurred but also what behaviors may be a repeat of women’s history.
And in fact, for a complete understanding of who Hillary is, we DO need to look at Hillary Clinton’s life, her behaviors, in fact without judgment and criticism of her personhood as stereotyping outside of women’s history, but instead as we have looked at male presidents and the history of the United States for decades. That is men who held positions within the context of the United States History.
And we can not do this accurately unless we see Hillary Clinton’s life choices and conditions based on the United States conditions that she inherited from her foremothers and what she has actually lived through and done based on her being a woman in a world that was not welcoming the participation of her from the very start and that no other woman has done. Who are we to judge critically something that we ourselves have not done nor could do ourselves?
We must count not just what she did, but what our foremothers did that brought this important event to pass. So in this way I share a thought to discuss what Hillary has done that actually brought about this important contribution to our society to begin with – despite her compliance with the group she had no choice but to work with. This, after all, should be, in part, a basis for not voting OR for voting for her. To gain a vote is not the goal here in my writing. Oh, no. My goal is much bigger than that. My goal is to help create a harmonious society that functions in truth of people’s lives by ending false evluations and to make clear choices about women freed from inherited practices and stereotypes that create not just fiction but lessen the quality of lives for everyone. This is why I write this. Whether Hillary or Trump gets in office, the goal for a harmonious society is going to be in front of us.
But I have a favor to ask. Please comment. Please contribute comments on what you see are the accomplishments and history of your own mothers, and our collective foremothers that laid the ground for our perceptions of women, including Hillary, in this world as they exist today. Comment on what you value and your goals to meet those values. Have a productive and thoughtful conversation devoid of negative, unfair and inaccurate criticisms but seek to learn about real people with respect to honor our environmental and social conditions and the people that are struggling to live and work within it. In fact, seek to learn the history before you evaluate a person as if their history – that is, their lives – isn’t real but a fiction of your imagination.