The war on women

I am in the middle of reading “The war on women” by Sue Lloyd-Roberts. The book was finalized without her input after she suddenly passed away in 2015. I wish that I could still contact her.

Because then I would talk with her about her own bias. She sounds convinced that there is a division between the “liberal West and the traditional East”, and it made her slightly blind to what went on in, say, her own country, assessed by the UN as perhaps the most openly misogynistic country in the world. That can probably be explained that she’d been living on the Spanish island of Mallorca since 2003.

I can’t allow myself to be blind to the fact that people in the West who condemn what goes on in other countries but are blind to what goes on in their own culture may be helping their causes less than they think.

But I am the first to admit that bias and a certain degree of blindness are a given. I often catch myself making biased statements and having skewed views too. What we grow up with, we tend to accept as the norm. That’s why it is so important to listen to voices from “the traditional East” in all the discussions we are having in the world.

Aren’t women in stiletto heels and mini skirts or who voluntarily submit to various kinds of risky and unnecessary (cosmetic) surgery also trapped? And what about domestic abuse in the West? The many teenage girls in the West who believe that violence and abuse are normal in relationships with men? The revelations that keep rocking the Catholic church and the abuse that went on and to some degree still goes on in so many children’s homes and schools? Are they truly signs that the West is so much more liberated than the East?

But when you read this book, about how women all over the world are caught, kept and sold exactly like poachers do to wildlife, I hope that you also see how the way we treat other species is directly linked to how we treat each other. It is all connected.

I can’t be allow myself to be blind to the fact that a society that depends on the abuse and torture of other species for its food supplies and that has universities like Texas A&M and Pitt deliberately abusing animals cannot be considered highly advanced. This is also related to commodities such as feather down, wool and leather, of course.

So, there is hope, also for women.

Because there are several trends of emancipation going on in the world right now and it includes the emancipation of animals. Our acknowledgement and commitment to the fact that animals too experience emotions as well as pain and joy and possess cognitive powers – and that we need to respect that and treat them accordingly.

Only yesterday, women were not even allowed to attend university. Of course, there is the question whether women aren’t still trying to emulate men and attempting to reach milestones set by men. But I think that that’s unavoidable and will eventually correct itself.

When I walk down the street the other day and see a large commercial at a bus stop showing a man having breakfast in his kitchen with his dog next to him, in a situation that does not depict the man as tough and bossy but as kind and gentle and very capable of household tasks, in a situation that would have gotten such a man derided not that long ago if others knew about it, I realize that the role patterns that I grew up with really are changing.

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