March is Women’s History Month. It is a matter of fact that women hold up one half of the world, but this fact has not always been acknowledged or appreciated. It is becoming more evident, however, that the position of women has been influenced more by the political and social machinations of society than by reality. As human beings are recognized as vessels of mind, many people, whether society views them as competent or not, realize that they shape their own lives based on their actions. This is true of both men and women.
Women have actually come a long way. There was a time when women couldn’t own land, couldn’t vote, and basically were relegated to life as property. The element of choice eluded most of them. There were always, however, women who did not fit the mold that society had created for them. In the African American community, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells, and many others, often unnamed, put their lives on the line to ensure the survival of the Black community.
Today, women have a long way to go before they reach parity. There are still men who feel, in spite of evidence to the contrary, that women should remain in the home “pregnant and barefoot.” Basically, women have had a very rough time in Western patriarchal society. The relationship between men and women can be somewhat likened to that between Black and white people. White people have often considered Black people as inferior, and Black men have often considered Black women inferior.
Currently, the value of women is becoming increasingly evident. The Black Lives Matter movement was started by three Black female activists. Oprah Winfrey has been making major waves in the world as a billionaire philanthropist and has influenced many positive projects in the United States and abroad. Filmmaker Ava DuVernay is forging new territory as a moviemaker. Also, Marvel Comics’ “Black Panther,” showcased women in a more assertive light.
Women are becoming captains of industry in increasing numbers. Young women and girls are now being raised with the idea that they can become anything that they want to be. They have even penetrated the barriers erected by the clergy and are leading huge congregations.
The blowback of years of second class citizenship is also becoming evident. The “Me too” movement, initiated by a Black woman, Tarana Burke, has opened up the proverbial can of worms to such an extent that it has reached all the way to the White House. Scores of men have been outed as abusers, some serially so. It is an open secret that women have faced maltreatment by men in the workplace on a routine basis, and no doubt, many of them are shaking in their boots waiting for the next shoe to drop Predictably, some men are calling this a witch hunt. But the positive outcome is that the days of the maltreatment of women, especially in the workplace, could be coming to an end.
To be sure, there are real differences between men and women that are not just connected with physicality. Women tend to be more nurturing than men, though there are certainly nurturing men who exist. But if more women take on responsibilities in society, a certain trend toward balance might become evident. It is doubtful that women in positions of power would be as prone to nuclear proliferation (hopefully) as men have traditionally demonstrated. With this said, as we honor Women’s History Month 2018 we applaud the rise of women and hope that the balance that they can provide to society will lead us into a better future for humanity. A Luta Continua.