Devaluing Women and Blocking Their Autonomy
The theocratic Gilead of The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu) devalued and disempowered women and forced them from the public sphere.
It all happened gradually… drip, drip…
Mirroring what some in the (probably more fundamentalist Christian branch of the) Republican party try to do today.
Like their fight against birth control, which keeps women in the home and dependent, as we’ve seen.
But there’s more. Here’s a sampler:
Child marriage in New Hampshire
In March New Hampshire Republicans voted against raising the legal age of marriage to 18. Under current law girls as young as 13 can marry in NH with the consent of a parent and permission from a judge.
What 13-year-old really understands what she’s getting into with marriage?
And marrying young is disempowering because we are dependent and manipulable at such a young age.
Unequal pay in Utah
Utah has the second-biggest wage gap between women and men (only Bible Belt Louisiana is worse). And one Utah legislator recently argued that women should get less pay than men.
Wasatch County GOP Vice-Chair, James C. Green insists men deserve higher pay because:
- Men are the primary breadwinner so they need more money.
Women never provide for their children? My divorced mom did.
- If women got equal pay, companies would have to pay men less! And then men wouldn’t be able to support their families by themselves
Clearly, Mr. Green feels that women are second-class citizens who should be dependent and not independent.
And they should be home, not in the public sphere.
Women should be seen but not heard in the US Senate
Apparently women should be seen but not heard in the US Senate.
When Senator Elizabeth Warren read the words of another woman — a letter by Coretta Scott King on the Senate floor, Republican Senator Mitch McConnell infamously silenced her. That was pretty much the only time such a censure has been made.
Women should “dress like women” says Trump
Donald J Trump insist that women who work at the White House should dress like women.
Combat boots like women soldiers wear?
Trump is a traditionalist so he’s probably talking skirts and pumps.
Women “dressing like women” may seem trivial, but it sends a message that privileges men.
- Men get more comfortable clothing — pumps are not comfortable. And skirts are drafty in colder seasons.
- Suits allow more freedom than skirts, which leave women monitoring themselves for modesty.
- Women’s clothing choices are dictated by men, helping women to get accustomed to being controlled by men.
- It’s easier to put men on top if you emphasize gender differences. Viva la difference.
The Republican Convention was hostile to women
Trump’s Republican Convention was also hostile and insulting to women with calls of “Lock her up!” and “Trump that bitch!” or “Trump can grab my pussy!”
Unfortunately, women often unconsciously internalize misogyny and join in. Just as the women of Gilead did.
The Jakarta Handmaid’s Tale
In other parts of the world countries like Jakarta, Indonesia are also looking more and more like a realization of The Handmaid’s Tale.
Jakarta is majority Islamic yet has leaned toward gender-equal democracy until recently, as Islamic fundamentalists make inroads.
Their High Court recently struck down a law allowing the federal government to invalidate discriminatory local laws, like those regulating morality or women’s behavior.
Since 1998 more than 440 local ordinances have been adopted imposing elements of Islamic Shariah law… What the Islamists have in mind already exists in Aceh Province, on the northern tip of Sumatra.
Over the years, the law has become increasingly strict: Women are required to dress modestly, alcohol is mostly banned, and adultery and homosexuality are punishable by public caning. The morality police roam the province, scouring hotel rooms and beaches for immoral behavior and ordering people to go to mosques and pray.
It all happened gradually… drip, drip…
Whether in the US or Jakarta, women and the men who love them must be more assertive in demanding their rights!
Posted on May 8, 2017, in sexism and tagged Child marriage in New Hampshire, dress like women says Trump, GOP Vice-Chair James C. Green insists men deserve higher pay, GOP war on women, Mitch McConnell silenced Elizabeth Warren, Republican Convention was hostile to women, the Handmaid’s Tale Hulu. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.