About Forget the Spin
Forget the Spin was born of a desire to counter assertions that are meant to manipulate rather than elucidate. Cutting through the bullshit spin proffered by religious, cultural, political, and corporate leaders, that is often repeated by the press with no following analysis. Until recently, this kind of spin was rarely challenged, and it's still not being challenged nearly enough.
Spin relating to women's rights and women's issues was the focal point, for example; the claims that women have equality and feminism is no longer necessary, that the only feminists left are humourless man-hating shrews, and that culture and religion are sacrosanct and more important than women's equality. Much has happened since 2009, when I last wrote an article for the blog, including the revival of feminism, a revival in reaction to the growing backlash against women's empowerment.
We know from the reams of evidence produced over time, that in places where women have higher representation in government, there is more progress with both environmental and social issues. We also have also seen that where women have gained access to education and the means to control reproduction, the result has been an economic benefit, not only for individual women, but for their families, communities and entire nations. Less poverty, better social safety nets, and more attention to the environment we depend on, are all things that benefit men, as well as women. On balance, the patriarchy does far more for the ruling class, than it does for the rest of us.
The rise of far-right authoritarianism and the increase in the number of dictatorships is a fundamental threat to women's basic human rights. Democracy is fragile and must never be taken for granted. For women, democracy is the single most important means through which women can maintain what rights we have now, and for any further progress. In the context of history, democracy has existed for a blink of an eye. Women's rights? A nanosecond.
The patriarchy is everywhere - there is no matriarchal culture found anywhere, or at anytime in documented history, that has equivalence. There are a few small groups/cultures in which you could say women have equal respect, but these are tiny pockets outside the norm in a world of 6 billion people. The patriarchy is a creature with an infinite capacity to mutate, as needs be, in order to maintain supremacy.
It permeates every aspect of human activity and human thought, affecting our beliefs, expectations, perceptions and choices, and on the macro scale, it pervades every system of religion and culture, our philosophical and political beliefs, the way we have built our structures and our cities, the directions in which we push scientific inquiry and technological innovation, and so on.
We are currently seeing a global backlash against women's rights, that's terrifying in it's goal. In the Western world, the age of information has become the age of disinformation, and the patriarchs are winning. The patriarchy is willing to use any tool or means to achieve their ends, no matter the cost. If there was ever a time for women, and men who support equality, to speak up and be heard, it is now. Bringing the masculine and the feminine into balance has the potential to create the kind of radical shift in consciousness that the world so desperately needs.
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