Power and equality in Society

Two days ago I read a fascinating blog post by Lourdes Acevedo, a talented feminist writer. Her piece was inspired by this book: The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  The gist of Lourdes’ blog post was the exploration of the seeming contradiction within feminism as it relates to professional women who employ domestic workers to care for their homes and children while they fight for equal pay and build careers for themselves in white collar professions. The disparity in pay and many times working conditions alone made this a fascinating situation to discuss and consider not least because Lourdes posed a very important question mid way through her post: It makes me wonder, is feminism only for the privileged few?

Is it? Or is this simply a perception we have based on outmoded models of what power and equality actually is. Do we as a society view people only through the narrow lens of our own economic and social class; judging them based on our personal level of achievement? Whether we are feminists or not appears to be becoming increasingly irrelevant now in this era of the plugged in global village when we are discussing the state of our social and moral health. Every gender, faith, race and age is an active participant  in the events of a world that is regressing socially, in the form of rioting, looting, flash mob violence and an epidemic of abuse against children. Perhaps it is time to look beyond simply our feminist perspective now, to evolve that ideology into something more embracing of all, to a higher level that will address the most persistent human flaw which is the twisted root of everything destructive:  selfishness.  We need to do it soon because the chasm between the rich and poor, the safe and the violated or more specifically, those with power and equality and those without is widening at an accelerated rate.

Obviously, Lourdes‘  thought provoking post was a catalyst for  me to insert the notion of power and equality into the greater framework of poverty and violence and the unfair distribution of wealth on this planet, particularly in light of the economic crisis that has laid to waste  many social programs that assist women, children, the disabled and the elderly. Economic hardship and the resultant behavior of the populace, makes a mockery of the political rhetoric that claims compassion and the care of our most vulnerable citizens as the cornerstone of our western society.  There is nowhere to hide in this media saturated world, from the incontrovertible truth that this is a preposterous social lie designed to make us feel better about not doing the right thing for each other. It is easier to live in denial than share the wealth when it is our own. We do not demand that CEO’s end the greed because we indulge our own avarice by shopping for more food, clothing, vacations, jewelry, computers and appliances than we will ever use or need. We are swathed in guilt that feeds this mass indifference, a denial that is only being penetrated by the thoughtful discussion and problem solving that is happening in one sector of society: Feminists. This very nicely brings us back to the origin of this post,  to the question Lourdes posed: It makes me wonder, is feminism only for the privileged few?  The fact that a feminist is asking this question supports a notion I have, no, more than a notion; a probability that it will be the women, not science, religion or politics which will end the social and moral decline of the human race. It will be mothers, daughters and sisters, the life givers of this planet that in the end will save it. Why? Because it is a natural and yes, maternal urge that is without question the most potent force on this earth.  To quote a line spoken by Jeff Goldbloom’s  character in Jurassic Park: “Life will find a way.” Indeed, and who better to tell you this than women?

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Author: valo

I am a poet, writer and activist with a special interest in human rights for children and women as well as the elimination of poverty worldwide. If you read this today, feed someone locally for me will you? Drop off a non perishable food item at the food bank nearest you and consider yourself hugged. Thank you!

13 thoughts on “Power and equality in Society”

    1. Thank you Lourdes 🙂 This happens sometimes to me but it sure can’t compare to what I experienced while going through the justice system. I had things said to me there that were totally disgraceful but my child’s life was a stake and I let it go because I had no choice. The truth is that we live in a society now that is very barbaric and lacking in empathy. If anything takes us down the road to extinction it will be our disenfranchisement from each other emotionally. HUGS

  1. I have decided to delete a comment that was left here because as a victim of brutal violence I found it offensive. Let me expand. My child and I escaped a situation that was dangerous and we barely made it out with our lives and therefore I find that there is nothing to be gained by having a discussion descend into bashing victims of violence into the ground be they children, women or men. This is only the second time I’ve used the comment moderation in this way and it makes me sad to do so but my own scars( PTSD) and the deep love and respect I have for all who have suffered and who may read this blog leave me no other alternative. When I say those who have scars I am referring to the following: Families of murdered children, spouses, siblings or parents, rape victims, child abuse and child rape victims, survivors of war such as combat veterans or citizens caught up in battle situations and their families. If there is no sensitivity for those who are survivors of horror then what have we got left on this planet? When our humanity is driven by the need to be right instead of compassionate, kind and loving, then our society is in serious peril. I for one hope this isn’t true.

  2. Perhaps we don’t aim to speak for other women, perhaps we are just asking questions about our societies, and about life. I think that the most thoughtful and informed among us are those that ask the most questions. Socrates would agree.

    1. Indeed he would agree Lourdes! He probably loved his mother a great deal. 🙂 Perfectly said my friend. You and I can also say perhaps that women are the only experts on being female and speaking to the womanly experience is really our domain. I could no more tell a man what it is like to be a man than a man can tell me what it is like to be a woman, although they do keep trying! 😉

  3. dear, take a translator: when a man says “men”, it means men in general; when a woman says “women”, it means “me, myself, i”.
    please, have a look at your answer to see it “I’ve earned ….I have …I have I earned …I started…my child’s …I cut ….”

    and, please, don’t forget that every time a woman says “women”, she only talks about her, and NEVER for other women.
    if you cannot handle that point, you can still continue to think that feminism is not the fascism it really is, that won’t change a single thing on earth, peace will still reign under batlles, wars, ideologies, greed, aso..^^

    1. Thank you Gilles-Marie for your vigorous and revealing comments that have given us all a very clear view of your personality as it is expressed by your core beliefs regarding children, women, woman, men, man and life. It is important that everyone has an opportunity to voice their opinions. Please tell your mother I said hello. 🙂

  4. “It makes me wonder, is feminism only for the privileged few?”…go on, don’t stay just at the start of the question.
    look, 70% of the western world population is living in towns; what is life for a “supposed free from infamous male domination” woman? 10-12 hours of work and transportation, 8 hours of sleep….everyday…so, she just has 4 hours a day to make all the rest, including raising her children (and including things that has to make a modern woman^^ -shopping, hairdresser, aso).
    one conclusion: feminism make women dismiss of their motherhood status (not the biological part, but the human part), coz now motherhood is contracted out .

    but, you know, that’s what happen when some pretend equality without seeing where’s the real power and without hearing what’s others are saying (remember the female mode of sharing “what is yours is ours, and what is mine stays mine” ^^).

    1. “what is yours is ours, and what is mine stays mine” ^^). I’ll have to remember this Gille-Marie, because darling I’ve earned everything I have by my own hand. I have very little but what material possessions I have I earned working nights in a care home feeding, bathing and caring for elderly men and when that was done I started a house cleaning business from nothing but fifty dollars, a vacuum cleaner and an empty cupboard where food should have been. As for my child’s father, the only thing I recall him giving us is abuse, hunger and imprisonment. I cut wood daily to heat a shack on a reservation where the walls had holes the size of fists and rats the size of a cat. He has never supported her in any way ever. My face Gilles-Marie is the true face of feminism and the next time I’m down on my hands and knees (which will be tomorrow morning) scrubbing a floor I will try to remember your words detailing the ease with which I live. In the meantime, it may be a good perspective exercise for you to contemplate who carried you inside them for nine months and then suffered pain to bring you into this world so that you and I could meet here at this very time in history so you could tell me how easy I have it.

    1. Me too Denise. I will go see the movie but only after I’ve read the book. Lourdes Acevedo has influenced my thinking and subsequently I’ll be buying it this weekend. I read the link and I like her writing very much, therefore she is part of my bookmark gallery. Please drop into Lourdes blog and give her a read Denise, she is fantastic and has poetry as well as very interesting and intelligent opinion pieces like the one I linked to. She is new to the blogging world so lets direct some traffic her way. HUGS

      1. What an wonderfully thought-provoking piece Val. Thank you so very much for featuring my work and for your kind words, links. I think you have beautifully conveyed exactly what is most important: not feminism, not male verses. female, me verses you but finding that which brings us together. If we can find methods for engendering compassion towards those suffering in our society, perhaps we can find solutions to our biggest problems. I do believe whole-heartedly that among women, this compassion, which is already found in abundance, can meaningfully and effectively be spread.

      2. Thank you Lourdes, and thank you for providing the inspiration that really had me contemplating so much for the past couple of days. I’d like to share something odd that happened that is related to this. I had a new client yesterday and when she was showing me around her home, telling me what she wanted me to do I noticed a book sitting on the corner of her night side table. You will never guess what it was, yes, you guessed it, it was ‘The Help!’ She and I started talking about it, this woman I was going to clean for and I told her about your blog as the discussion we were having and it was a perfect opener for what looks like a long term working relationship. Anyone who says the internet isn’t real and doesn’t connect to or affect daily life is full of it Lourdes and I’m so happy we’ve hooked up on this thing to do important things for women. hugs

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