This blog is in response to Margaret Atwood's novel A Handmaid's Tale.
If you haven't read the book, check out the wikipedia page to get a quick gist of what I'm referring to:
I think that the lives of all women in the world, of all shapes, sizes, races, and flavors, may be subjected to a handmaid's tale of their own. What I mean by this is that all women are oppressed in some way, although in different ways and to different extents in each country. In America, we are oppressed by the media. Our country is still ruled by men, overtly masculine men, at that. The first Americans and their ancestors before them have displayed women as the submissive, soft, dainty, and matronly human gender of the world for centuries. I have noticed that even homosexual men may subject themselves to the stereotypical female role in their relationships.
We are all brain washed by the media and previous notions passed down through generations from the time we are born. Our parents either dress us in pink or blue, we play with barbies or fake guns, we want to be a fire fighter or a princess, and we learn that to want anything otherwise is "weird". The sexes are divided right from the start. Now, I know that our country is not REALLY a theocracy, but it is to some extent. These separations and limitations of the sexes (and therefore gender roles) are inherited from Christianity. Our paper money includes "In God we trust," and our patriotic songs include blessings from the Christian god, as well. In fact, most rules, regulations, limitations, assumptions and admirations come from Christian influence. Why else would everyone be forced to lay their hand on a bible in court? What about me? I am an atheist, so swearing truth on a bible is like swearing truth on the latest edition of Oprah's magazine. This amount of religious influence is all too ironic for a country that is based on freedom and justice including the "separation of church and state".
Now, it is 2011, so you would think that things would have improved much more by now. For example, Christianity is less forced in schools, but gender role/sex divisions are still a highly promoted idea and create a lot of inequality amongst the two sexes. Women are still paid less, are expected to constantly comply, are bred to be submissive caregivers, and are portrayed as sexual objects in all forms of media. One of the greatest examples of gender separation is the fact that most men desire a smaller, leaner woman with no pubic, leg, armpit or facial hair. Some women are even influenced so much as to wax their arms! Why are prepubescent qualities so attractive to grown men? Women have hair because they are mammals. Oh yeah, and they also poop, too. Also, have you ever noticed how many commercials on TV are aimed at the female demographic? Have you ever seen the beauty/toiletry goods isles in a grocery/drug store? There are too many products to choose from.. and they're mostly all the same! But one shaver has a pink handle rather than blue....
I say all of these things as if they are all of the male populations' fault.. but in all honesty it is women who need to break the trend. Women give into the brainwashing and feed the system. Women that marry for wealth, pay thousands of dollars a year for manicures and beauty products, and use their bodies to make money are only making things worse. It is NOT only mens fault. They may have started it, but it's up to women to end it. In ancient Greece, and in other ancient societies, women were worshiped. There were many different Goddesses that were praised for their natural female power to give life. They were portrayed as strong, prevalent warriors. They had curves, hair, AND respect. Nowadays, women are bare, fragile, insecure and powerless (most of the time). For these reasons and more, A Handmaid's Tale is all too relevant.