February 25, 2017 by Judith Liebaert
A woman who forged her inroad among men, who believes that having a hand in the governance of her country is her right—the right of all women, was silenced. More so, she was put in her place, being secondary to the men on the floor allowed to speak. Still she persisted in her mission.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Susan B. Anthony
These women, like so many others named by history and so many more forever nameless, persisted against unfairly stacked odds. They resisted the unequal treatment handed them by fathers, husbands, bosses, clients, and even strangers. They rose above their acceptable place. They prevailed in spite of men who dismissed their substance often without forethought—so engrained is the entitlement of male superiority.
It’s been a tough few months for me since the election. Throughout the campaign I watched a woman being demonized by men afraid of losing control. But she persisted and I believed putting a woman in the White House was, finally, a sure thing. How very smug of me, how audacious to step so far out of my place as a woman. Now, watching the unraveling of complex multiple forces that resulted in defeating the best prepared and equipped candidate, I feel battered by an unseen but palpable hatred directed at women, and more so at the feminine persona in whole.
The men wresting control of our county, those elected, those in the banks, the boardrooms and the neighborhood bars, do not represent all men, but it’s evident they believe men should take action and women should take a seat. I think it’s safe to say they are a demographic not well studied in Jung’s archetypes. They sort women into four basic pigeonholes: virgin/princess, lover/seductress, mother/nurturer and whore. Respectively, they believe their duty is to rescue the princess, seduce the lover, take solace in the mother and own the whore—all positions of power.
Yet it’s not just our physical encroachment into their territory they are now fighting against. Healthcare, education, free school lunches, social programs, medicare, environmental protections, and offering comfort and aid to immigrants and refugees are all in the crosshairs of their scope. It’s not ironic that at one time women made up the majority workforce in these professions, or that these endeavors are generally accepted to be based in caregiving, nurturing and compassion—aspects of the feminine archetype.
In the current political atmosphere It’s becoming more difficult not to believe that women and everything we stand for are the enemy.
I’ve always known these men were out there, but in the ensuing weeks since their king and leader has invaded our land, it’s been difficult seeing the growing magnitude of their numbers each day. Seeing the self satisfied smirk on Mitch McConnell’s face and hearing the hubris of our president declare that women employed in the White House should wear a skirt and high heels (most certainly for the pleasure of his gaze) is demeaning.
Having men I’ve known all my life, tell me on my social feed to shut up and get over it, is demoralizing.
Being dragged backward in time by my hair feels like defeat.
Never the less I continue to persist.