Broad Based Opposition
(I know this picture may seem a little strange in this context but I couldn’t resist. She is holding out something glowing and wondrous to all of us.)
Seregon in her comments pointed out the opposition of some women to feminism. I have to say I haven’t been attacked for expressing my support, but then I haven’t spent much time in public making declarations. But I do have to wonder if men can declare support and other men simply dismiss them. But when women declare their independence it seems that is a threat and the opposition is made public.
The Threat of Change
But the threat is not just to the patriarchy. The threat may well be to the stability of the system which will affect women as well. As a psychologist I have had to conclude that people hate change. Doesn’t that sound awful? But the fact is I spent much of my career dragging people toward their future. There is good reason for the resistance in terms of internally established systems which I won’t go into here. But at one level we can see how the fight for women’s liberation is truly broad based. It is actually exceedingly complex.
One of the things we have to face is what the anthropologist Leslie White called the extrasomatic stream. Even my computer hates the term and stubbornly refuses to keep it the one word it is. There is something for everyone to love and hate in culture which is what that stream is. It lies outside of ourselves and requires our attention in a demanding fashion.
When women stand up for themselves, they demand change which affects us all. Some people have insufficient perspective to accept an exploration that change often brings benefits and an enhanced future. And they construct excuses, as is the case in regard to women’s reproductive rights, so they can deny women those rights. Some may be uncomfortable but we have to look at what might then be. Of course, that is something, with my personality type, I love. Possibilities are the luscious fruit of my existence. But it does have to be found and tended.
Understandably some women will stand in opposition to these changes and it is our purpose in having discussion and dialogue to open the view of benefits and, yes, justice. I introduce the word justice because it is at issue. When you don’t have rights, or not all rights, then you do not receive justice. We see it in the cries from the black communities and from women as they look at their own possibilities.
The True Meaning of Resistance
And what we face is not an abstraction. As women emerge from subjugation there are many changes both subtle and glaring. They appear at the head of corporations and ask to breast feed their child in public. I have never understood why a discrete woman is to be prevented from tending her infant. And then at church their heads are covered. As I child when I first saw it, I asked but received no acceptable or, to me, meaningful answer. I understand the rationale now but find it still absurd.
The resistance to the change takes so many forms and it seems most of it does not go to the true meaning of the resistance.
Yes, we face change and have to step back and ask, why not and what are the benefits?