Wake Up and Smell the Patriarchy

It is painfully obvious that I am a feminist. Painfully because it has become so that it is not possible to have any other conversation other than my feminism. Somedays it peeves me. Some days, I say, “Wake Up and Smell the Patriarchy People”! This I tell to myself and those that are blissfully in denial. It is everywhere you turn, it is in everything you do, it is written all over the thing that drives our day to day. Literally, it is all over our money.

Let’s take a look at a woman’s life, her home. Each home, whether we like it or not, is designed based on gender. The living room is a man’s realm; the kitchen belongs to the woman. Everything else outside the door belongs to men. You may ask, to what end? To ensure that the oldest and most powerful male in the home gains the best of the homely comforts, of course! Who sits in the best seat in the home? Who has his name on the door, regardless of who put the money down for it?  Who gets the choicest morsel of food? The patriarch.

Basic nutritional biases are based on gender. Chickens are a rare food item in Ethiopia, where we only kill a chicken to make the delicious ‘doro wot’ (Chicken sauce) on special occasions. Traditionally, the breast meat, the most nutritionally rich piece of the chicken goes to the man of the house. Not to the pregnant woman; not to the sick child or the toddler but to the man of the house. Which is probably why for a good portion of my childhood, I only tasted chicken breast from my father’s plate.

I once asked my mother why I have my father’s name. She simply stated because that is our culture, everyone does it. Since we do not have surnames in Ethiopia, the embedded patriarchy of the inclusion of the father’s and paternal grandfather’s name brands the children as their father’s. My daughter’s identity was no longer tied to mine as soon as we got her birth certificate. I was just the manufacturing plant; so she carries her father’s name. Soon enough, I will not even exist as part of her identity and her grandchildren may never know my name. Wake up and smell the patriarchy mommy!

Ask yourself, why on earth are we fighting over a statue for Empress Taitu Betul, the only woman in contemporary Ethiopian history, that has succeeded in politics and ruled beside her husband as co-regent in anything but name! This same woman led an army against the Italian invasion and masterminded the victory of Adwa. No matter which class you are; no matter what ethnic group or religious belief, whatever passport you carry, I think it is time for you to wake up and smell the patriarchy.

Ask yourself, why are there so few women in African politics? Ethiopian politics has become engaging for the first time in over a decade, but where are all the women? Did the Tanzanian president just say that women using birth control are too lazy to feed their kids? Was he the same man that said pregnant teenagers cannot go back to school? I keep asking, where are all the women?

Patriarchy is a system of rule that benefits certain men, older, than others. As with any other system of oppression, it does not offer benefits to all that confirm, it is like- “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.” Yes, there has been injustice in the past but women have been sidelined, instrumentalized and denied their voice for longer. Look into history, our justice system and basic economic gains in just the last century. Often, women are sidelined, becoming enablers at best, catalysts to the political systems and processes or passive observers, sitting silently by. Look at your day to day rituals, our funerals, weddings and places of worship. Keep asking yourself, Where are all the women?

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3 thoughts on “Wake Up and Smell the Patriarchy

  1. Hey you are so right about all this as I can relate a lot. I am a feminist myself and i can smell the patriarchy deep rooted in my state too. It is astonishing how people sleep on it and choose to stay in denial.

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  2. I remember putting a chicken piece on my father’s place and my mother said that men don’t eat this part of the chicken. To this day I still wonder if he would have suffered an allergic reaction had he consumed that part or maybe his manhood would have shrivelled up.

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  3. PRACTICABLE, Instant, FULFILLED Democracy EVERYWHERE: let all for Ranked Ballot write it in, in Every Election (leastwise for their least significant contest): PERFECT MARRIAGE OF Woman & Man, Red, Brown, Black, Purple & Yellow, Tradition & Modernity, Young & Old, Frugality & Liberality, Rich & Poor, Left & Right, Freedom with an eye for Justice & Justice with an eye for Freedom, Self-interest & Idealism, City & Country, & Palestinian & Jew

    Because it gives an equal chance of winning to not just all parties, but all combinations of programs, Ranked Ballot, voters ranking candidates in order of preference, is simultaneously both most Just AND most Free. (See Preferentiality on Yahoo Groups. (PREFER-entiality. PREFERENTIAL-ity.) for what RB might & might not accomplish.)
    Because of this great light in the eyes of the world & cause it always takes its majority from the middle (while giving an equal chance to all PROPOSALS, on a case by case basis, not just one every eight years & to all VIEWPOINTS to sway the mass in their direction) RB is more top-dead-center counter-extremist than all the many recent retrenchments combined.
    Here’s a HOW TO: Let everyone for Ranked Ballot write it in, in Every Election, (leastwise for their least significant contest), let all for RB, particularly students & professors, churches & other local associations, with their great proximity & pre-existing democratic organization, install RB locally, try to get on the ballot to run on the single issue, ask those who’ve signed their petition to petition for them as well, promise a Citizens’ Advisory Board based on RB-based “Organized Communications” (OC), do local bulk mailings, demand a response from office holders to RB, vote for those supporting RB, tell all their friends about RB, help publicize RB (a full page US national ad would be sufficient to put RB to all the world, assuring that everyone knows that everyone knows about RB, making it impossible to ignore (as big media did in the case of the 2016 victory in Maine (including PBS) &/or see preferentiality on yahoo groups. (If you’re paranoid, & I know you are, these are things you can do without going outside your comfort zone. This general paranoia is the biggest reason why it is important that MJ be decriminalized, to free us to talk with each other, asap. Not only are the current laws robbing us of our current Freedom, but they’re undermining Freedom in general in the future.)
    The (simplest to explain & sufficient for all good purposes, requiring no legislation to accomplish) “additive” form of (Single Member District) RB is counting the first choices & then, if noone has 50%, adding in the next, & so on, til someone finally does. Running on the single issue of RB, promising a Citizens Advisory Board, randomly assigned discussion groups electing reps (by RB) to higher & higher random levels, til one small group remains, most in the middle, will give us instant practicable fulfilled Democracy everywhere (& could even make insecure electronic voting unnecessary).
    RB will give us Practicable, Instant, Fulfilled Democracy Everywhere, a PERFECT MARRIAGE OF Woman & Man, Red, Brown, Black, Purple & Yellow, Tradition & Modernity, Young & Old, Frugality & Liberality, Rich & Poor, Left & Right, Freedom with an eye for Justice & Justice with an eye for Freedom, Self-interest & Idealism, City & Country, & Palestinian & Jew, All Powers to Their Lowest Appropriate Level, Right (ALL ENCOMPASSING) Action (The Buddhist Eightfold Path is right view, right resolve, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness & right union with the most high), A Head for the Headless (Tech) Beast & The True Commonwealth of Sharing the Work
    Among the SPECIFIC things that RB might accomplish is Win-Win Sharing the Work, STW, the work week attached to the unemployment rate. STW will make politics way more irrelevant (& even end the simmering neo cold war through its marriage of communal action & free market). STW is what’s best for BOTH all workers & all bosses. (The legislature might, for instance, set a small % by which the pay for each additional hour beyond the first hour’s agreed upon rate would be increased, making employers give less OT & hire more new workers so as to spread the work around, thereby sharing it.) This will end both too-big-to-fail & any need for make-work or foot dragging, motivating maximum productivity & giving us TRUE full employment.
    FDR (or Bismarck?) gave us the 40-hour week, so this is not unprecedented.
    The % difference between a 40 & 35-hour week is greater than the unemployment rate at the depths of the recent Great Recession. Workers, always having the prospect of more work, would, with a minimum of PR, take to being as (creatively!) productive as possible, eliminating large parts of the welfare state & lots of management, maybe even the need for standing armies, with all the consequent savings. Had we had such a scheme, at the start of the recent Great Recession, no-one would have seen any need for spending trillions to save giant corporations. Perhaps STW would make government so small it might be hard to find volunteers to do the job. It will cause other countries to adopt a similar plan to stay competitive (& drop costly plans to dominate the world) & the current US duopoly to let go of their own (structural) authoritarianism. Whoever adopts STW first will outstrip all others. With STW, employers would still have the right to fire for laziness or incompetence & hire for less or more than the standard work week. There’d soon be more free time, greater productivity & wealth, as well as more opportunity for individuals to start their own businesses &/or improve their skills. (Meanwhile everyone works hardest when they work for themselves.) STW is not mere “full” employment, or just a workers’ job market, but an actual Commonwealth. We’d be working half as hard for twice the wealth in no time. It will be the end of poverty. Once the rich realize they don’t have to pay all that freight for exclusivity, & that RB will give us All Powers To Their Lowest Appropriate Level, they’ll be leading the parade.
    The recent 2016 win for RB in Maine, the FIRST RIGHT-LEANING PLACE to adopt it, will be tranformative. RB will allow truly anything from STW, (through Women’s Equal Representation, WER, one of each districts’ reps a woman, the only permanent affirmative category) all the way to replacing public education with having to prove literacy to vote (now that learning is universally valued & there’s mobile, broadband, 24/7, infinitely reiterative teaching machines, aka cellphones, should the people so decide. Teachers will have more time to focus on turning all their charges into independent learners, besides the usual babysitting. (RB also won in Benton County Oregon at the same time.)
    RB is the answer to all things. It will give us the breathing room to sit back & work out all the details at our leisure, secure in the knowledge that whatever the result, there will be maximum Freedom AND maximum Justice, but it will not change the essence of anyplace that adopts it, only give more nuance. No program could possibly be worth more.
    Men do not light a light & set it under a bushel. The lodestar of RB must be kept in mind in relation to all individuals, advocates, politicians & policies. RSVP. Tell us where we’re wrong.

    zoe morgan roman roman christian sydney z
    movement for ranked ballot
    USA, Planet Earth

    PS:
    Glad to see that Trump appears to have favored Free Trade with the Democracies of Western Europe, but we have to hope all those “individual” deals with all the TPP members are going well. It would serve to strengthen Democracy in SE Asia, & the world. The biggest thing wrong with it was making the court of final resolution the corporations themselves & not the signatory nations.
    The only tariff there SHOULD be (outside of MATCHING those of all other nations (on a case by case basis) & enough to cover the cost of customs) is a small, GRADUALLY increasing one, on all imports, country by country, based on their ranking on a Freedom & Democracy index (with 100% only for PREFERENTIAL Democracies, whether Presidential or Parliamentary?), to eventually pay for the entire defense budget. Probably just announcing the intention should be enough to change things a lot.
    At the time of the Russian Revolution, there were only a handful of democracies in the world, all of them English speaking, outside of France & it resulted in the dictatorship OVER the proletariat, not OF it, something that ought to give rise to some COMPASSION among the DEMOCRACISTS the “Democratic” Centralists having confused form & substance & become locked in fear, failing to recognize the Democracies as their Fellows in the cause against injustice. The original vision of the first communes, self-evidently, must have involved democracy. Nothing the collective does should prevent private individuals from doing the same & nothing the collective does should prevent private individuals from entering into contracts with each other, all things being equal,. All that is necessary for the collective leaderships to be true to the original vision of “commune-ism” (with an e) is for them to make it that there are an equal number of women all all committees (so as to EXPAND THE SIZE OF ALL RULING BODIES) & democratize their parties & adopt RB internally, both regarding candidates & policies.
    Besides ALL POWERS TO THEIR LOWEST APPROPRIATE LEVEL (which ought to have something for both sides) RB will give us, a CONSISTENT foreign policy, useful in our conflict with authoritarianism (with their “presidents” for life in distinction to our own drunken stumbling back & forth between extremes). RB will give all the Movements for Democracy a common point of agreement & something worth fighting for, give the Parliaments a chance to do away with the last vestige of Biggest-Gang-On-The-Block-Ism by choosing their Prime Ministers by RB & Presidential systems the means to end the last vestige of King-Of-The-Hill-Ism by choosing their Presidents by RB, give both a shining example to show the world, give the Arabs a means to choose their leaders from the great non-violent mass in the middle, give collective leaderships a means to avoid adventurism & subjectivity & save all that money being wasted on dead-end war & war preparations. Yet how can we ask it of others if we do not have it? Would it not be a great sign of optimism for the planet were all the collective leaderships to double the size of their true ruling bodies by having an equal number of women?
    If the Arabs will not accept the right of the Jews to be in Israel & their original responsibility in the contest, for invading the newly declared independent state of Israel, which caused the refugee problem to begin with, then let the WORLD give the immigration quotas of all such nations to BOTH the Jews & Palestinians. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. The Jews were not renters when they declared independence.

    PPS:
    Certainly immigration & integration with all the world would help in the struggle for Freedom & Democracy, but thanks Dems for having to have to be for open borders (“citizenship”) (after she had already secured the nomination!)) not just BENEVOLENCE, but throwing the doors wide open & otherwise failing to sufficiently support Irreplaceable Democracy. Giving them even only residency, without stopping all FUTURE DACA amounts to throwing the doors wide open. “Pivoting” to the SE Asia Sea after the horse got out of the barn is to say the Feds can’t walk & chew gum. Nor will RB result in normalizing self-mutilation. Nazi human-skin lampshades were agitprop for the Allied cause. Have I got it right, they want to give free 5 star health care & college to all plus guaranteed annual income, all the while throwing the doors wide open? Don’’t nobody tell the Republicans.
    With all those guns & bombs & lives, aid & money, sacrifice & suffering & sex & drugs & rock n roll, had we been on any sort of correct side, we could not have help but tuern the Ho Chi Minh Trail completely around. Lost a more than fair fight back there, gave them a choice & they didn’t take it.
    SINGLE (not multi) MEMBER district) RB is simplest to explain, human scale, Women’s Equal Representative (one of each district’s reps a woman), SUFFICIENT for all good purposes, ideologically neutral, (not structurally pre-determining the result), not based on unnecessary & divisive identity politics & INSTANTLY doable (not requiring legislation to accomplish). With really only three general issue areas (economic & social & foreign policy) & three general directions (left, right & stay the course), its unlikely MMDs would be needed, even if their proponents are correct in their descriptions (as if there would be no ethnically liberal candidates along the entire length of all three spectrums, what with all the candidates there’ll be).
    Should have thought about all this ahead of time? Each President should get to have named only one Scotus Justice OF EACH GENDER per term, a super majority should be required for confirmations so as to prevent the too extreme getting picked & the Chief Justice should be chosen by the Associates, not the President. Could we even possibly get THAT much out of them? So what, if there ended up being more or less than the current artificial number of justices. SCOTUS nominations are not the same thing as a President having an administration of his own choosing. Guess the Founders just ran out of steam by then.

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