Browsing the web, I was looking for something to write on uplifting women. What I found was site after site on, either wearing the right-fitting bra, or religious (read Christian) pep talks with scripture, about how Jesus is the answer and will make everything all right. What a paradoxical source for helping women, when, historically, for thousands of years, the Bible has been instrumental in keeping women “in their place!” Hypocrits!
When I read anything to do with the Bible that is used to “uplift” women, I shut down, knowing that the Bible is generally one of the worst sources of material for evidence of women’s self-empowerment and equality. The book is sexist and reading it can make the thinking woman stare at the cruelty and accepted abuse of other women, their 2nd class citizen status, their history of bearing the brunt of the grunt work and holding no power, except when holding their husbands.
I also read several sites written by men for women. In most cases, they don’t have a clue. I actually felt nauseated at one particular site with pictures of religious authoritarian men saying, in essence, nothing that actually helps women. I say, “Walk a mile in our stilettos and THEN talk!”
When I read about stoning of unmarried pregnant women in Saudia Arabia, and the savage and brutal cutting out the clitoris of females to ensure their fidelity in African societies, and the trafficking of kidnapped or selling of girls into slavery and prostitution in many countries, my heart feels like collapsing. When I hear of women who have been raped, molested, abused and beaten, I feel angry and disgusted. And this is not just happening in 3rd world countries; it is right next door to us! Or in our own homes?
So much for trying to find something uplifting. Maybe it is my own filters that cause this negative outlook; yet how can I ignore these ongoing atrocities--in 2011???
I would like to think that things are getting better for women, and, it seems that in some ways they are. Especially countries like India, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka are instituting laws to help women become more empowered. Bravo to them!
Efforts are ongoing in African countries to improve the condition of women, so families survive. So many men have been killed or maimed, or have left their families for war, and women are usually left alone to fend for themselves, not having a trade, but having plenty of children to support. I can’t even begin to imagine how challenging that situation is for these African women, especially with approximately 40% of their population under voting age.
OK, how does this information make you feel? (Rhetorical question.)
Oh, yes, let us use self-affirmations and read uplifting poems, if that is what gets you through the day. However, I see those efforts as being insular, naïve and short-lived. Leave that pseudo-psychology for the motivational speakers! The only way to feel better about such injustice is to take some kind of action—to EMPOWER YOURSELVES.
SEE POST: EMPOWERING WOMEN 2