We are now, for nearly a month, free of the would-be dictator Donald Trump. An enormous relief swept over me and remains since he was defeated by Joseph Biden.
But when contemplating Trump's many misdeeds a FaceBook friend wrote that she considers patriarchy to be "a conspiracy against women and nature." I took the time to explain why I disagree with her, a friend with whom I usually agree.
Here is what I wrote: "I think words matter (I'm a writer after all). And so I disagree that patriarchy is a conspiracy against women and nature. A conspiracy implies that individuals get together with a specific goal they wish to achieve. That isn't what makes for patriarachy. Patriarchy is an unexamined worldview, a paradigm under which all major cultures have been operating for millennia. As such this paradigm has many corollaries, among them for example, that men are by nature more suited to lead, or that women by nature are too "soft" "empathetic" to lead and are suited for child bearing and caring. These unexamined beliefs subconsciosuly guide the choices a society makes, the men and the women as well...with the result that men have been doing the leading outside the home in the major socieites for millennia. It is all-male leadership that is patriarchy. It is in the very name patri- and archy. And a driving motivation highly characteristic of the males of our species is the desire to rule, to control, to achieve status, to have power. Much much stronger in men, in general, than in women. It is that quirk of human nature, that if unchecked by laws or customs that suppress its excesses, that gives us patriarchy. No conspiracy need be involved. Just plain old unrestrained male human nature acting over time. And the end result IS the domination, often destructive, of women. And the rape of nature for profit which conveys status/control. I have written books and essays galore about this. Until men and women understand the true source of patriarchy (not some conscious cabal) and resolve to make the corrections necessay (viz., the education and empowerment of women to share with men in leadership of our lives), patriarchy will remain the destructive curse it has been for thousands of years."
Happily I live in a time when it is, slowly but surely, becoming evident that including women in governing tends to produce a "better" result. Biden, for example, has selected a woman, Kamala Harris, as his Vice President, the first women in this high office in over two hundred years. Wow! And he has chosen a woman as Ambassador to the United Nations and other women are being considered for other offices. It is my firm hope that not only will his administration fulfill his campaign promise to "Build Back Better." It will be the launching of a new American Renaissance.
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Dr. Judith Hand writes historical fiction, contemporary action/adventure, and screenplays. Hand earned her Ph.D. in biology from UCLA. Her studies included animal behavior and primatology. After completing a Smithsonian Post-doctoral Fellowship at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., she returned to UCLA as a research associate and lecturer. Her undergraduate major was in cultural anthropology. She worked as a technician in neurophysiology laboratories at UCLA and the Max Planck Institute, in Munich, Germany. As a student of animal communication, she has written scientific papers on the subject of social conflict resolution.
Astronomy image credit: NASA: Full Hemisphere Views of Earth at Night.