Once and Future Gender Equality
Most people don’t realize that the world wasn’t always male-dominant.
Even today a few egalitarian societies remain. Like the !Kung of Africa or New Guinea’s Tchambuli.
Going back in time, when Europeans first set out to conquer the world, they were surprised to see how gender-equal some of the peoples they met were. Like American Indians and Pacific Islanders. Read the rest of this entry
Feminism Is Good For Men, Too
Gender equality is good for men — and for everyone, says CUNY Professor, Michael Kimmel, expert on men and masculinity, and all-around good guy.
Check out his TED Talk. (I summarize his main points below — and add a few of my own.)
How is gender equality good for men? And for everyone? Read the rest of this entry
A World Before Male Dominance
Think the world has always been male-dominated? It hasn’t.
The earliest societies worshiped the great mother goddess. In some early Middle Eastern cultures women’s graves were central and richly decorated. New Guinea’s Arapesh and Tchambuli, ancient Crete, the !Kung of Africa and many American Indian tribes all tell us that patriarchy is not inevitable.
Take, for instance, the Iroquois of North America. We know of them from the French Jesuit missionaries who arrived in the 17th and 18th centuries, along with some later observers. Read the rest of this entry
The Islamic State Isn’t Islamic
The Islamic State is not Islamic.
Neither was Afghanistan under the Taliban, even though its leaders said they were striving to build, “the perfect Islamic state.”
Many will be surprised to learn that the Quran has very little sexism and gave women many rights that most women in the world did not enjoy in the 7th century, when the Quran was written.
In fact, most of the sexism you find in the Middle East comes from culture, not scripture.
The Quran gives women the right to: Read the rest of this entry
Go Topless for Equality?
I once heard a man say he wished women would go topless all the time. Many men have probably desired this.
Be careful what you wish for.
If it actually happened, men would likely lose interest.
In cultures where women go topless all the time, as with tribal societies, breasts are no big deal.
A similar phenomenon occurred in Europe in the 80s when women went topless at the beach, in magazine and television ads, and on billboards.
Female nudity was used in European advertising because it caught the attention of both men and women.
But after a while, people stopped noticing. Nudity became blasé.
Male European students studying in the U.S. began asking why American men thought breasts were such a big deal. They’d grown up seeing so many of them, they couldn’t fathom the mystique.
National Topless Day protesters say women should have the same constitutional right as men to bear their chests. They want women to see that their breasts are noble, natural, and not something to be shamefully hidden.
The Go Topless campaign argues that feminism has led women to repress their femininity, which is “a powerful asset.” Go Topless doesn’t get that in the end, uncovered breasts would likely lose that very power.
In fact, some feminists have advocated going topless, arguing that if men were continually exposed to breasts, they would lose their status as sex objects – and so would the women who are attached to them.
Is Go Topless really concerned with women’s equality? As Jezebel reports, their founder, Claude Vorilhon, who now calls himself Rael, says a UFO inspired him to start a church, complete with an “Order of Angels,” really, a group of women who sexually service Rael and his friends. Go Topless looks more like shock PR for his church than a real concern with gender equality.