Response To The Post “Women Are Second Class Citizens “

jalal michael sabbagh on October 10, 2012 at 6:45 pm said:

Jofelyn,your post about women being second class citizens is true in most country .l believe firmly God created us equal.Man is the one who invented laws to be the boss.I believe Women will do much better job if they rule the WORLD.My regards.jalal

Jofelyn M. Khapra on October 11, 2012 at 6:30 am said:

Jalal I would rather live in a world where a person is no longer define by gender but as human. Where he and she is irrelevant. The person who have the best capacity to rule should rule regardless of gender. 🙂

Ruth Rainwater on October 11, 2012 at 12:44 am said:

Unfortunately, it isn’t only in 3rd world countries where women are second class citizens, but in the US also. Women have come a long way here, but there is still a long way to go. I look forward to a time when women can be who and what they want to be, just like men are.

Jofelyn M. Khapra on October 11, 2012 at 6:26 am said:

I and my husband had been discussing this same issue a few weeks back, we came to the same conclusion, sadly.

The Quote:

‘Anyone could tell us two writers shouldn’t be together. Or rather, that a competitive American shouldn’t be with a woman who has written a book.’
‘That’s right,’ he said. ‘It’s a challenge to my sexual superiority, and that isn’t a joke.’

‘I know it isn’t. But please don’t give me any more of your pompous socialist lectures about the equality of men and women.’

‘I shall probably give you pompous lectures because I enjoy it. But I won’t believe in them myself. The truth is, I resent you for having written a book which was a success. And I’ve come to the conclusion I’ve always been a hypocrite, and in fact I enjoy a society where women are second-class citizens, I enjoy being boss and being flattered.’

‘Good,’ I said. ‘Because in a society where not one man in ten thousand begins to understand the ways in which women are second-class citizens, we have to rely for company on the men who are at least not hypocrites.’

‘And now we’ve settled that, you can make me some coffee, because that is your role in life.’

‘It will be a pleasure,’ I said, and we had breakfast in good-humour, liking each other.

– from The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing

9 thoughts on “Response To The Post “Women Are Second Class Citizens “

  1. Before the liberation of women:

    A man’s income was typically enough to support the whole family.

    Women were able to raise their own babies/ children (no need to pay for daycare). This also encouraged a strong mother/ baby (or child) bond which is essential for a healthy child development.

    Women were able to work full time on childcare and maintaining the household (cooking, cleaning, gardening, mending, shopping etc). Although this was not paid work, it was not taxed work either. All work and all productivity directly benefited the family (rather than a significant proportion of that productivity being syphoned off to benefit government programs, the banks, the military industrial complex etc).

    Plus a ‘women’s work’ during the day generated more free time in the evening and at weekends for the whole family, it provided cost savings (home made food is cheaper than ready meals), it allowed time for things to be mended or home made (another cost saving).

    Women staying at home meant people were always around in the street and in the local community. This acted as a deterrent to crime and enabled children to play out in the street etc. Plus childcare could be shared and any elderly relatives and in laws could be looked after if they lived nearby or in a ‘granny flat’ at home. This meant they did not have to go into a home (another huge saving).

    In times of need (or want) a woman could still get part time/ full time work – albeit in a more limited range of occupations than today (teaching, nursing etc). Even if this pay was not great it was still money earned in addition to the man’s salary which was typically enough to support a family anyway. Thus it was ‘extra’ income for the family – a valuable safety net!

    After the liberation of women:

    After women flooded into the workplace the government was able to raise taxes so that now even with both parents working full time a family struggles to support itself. A man is not usually able to support a family on his own (not even one without any children).

    With women working full time all household chores (cooking, cleaning, shopping, mending, gardening etc) must be outsourced (at a cost) or done in the evening and at weekends, or not at all.

    With both parents required to work, young children must be put into daycare and in the evening they’re typically dumped in front of the TV because the parents too busy (or tired) to interact with them.

    Babies are often abandoned after just a few weeks so that the mother can go back to work full time. Even when the mother can afford to take more time off work (or leave her job completely for few years) she is often pressured by society to view her career as more important and ‘fulfilling’ than the role of ‘full time motherhood’. Part time motherhood used to be called neglect. Not any more. As a result of this neglect many children / teenagers (and later adults) are experiencing mental health problems.

    If the family need extra money for a holiday, a house extension or some emergency (illness, accident etc) the woman is no longer able to take on extra work (they’re already both working flat out). So instead they will get into debt. Personal debt was almost unheard of in the 70’s. Today it is the norm.

    With babies and children spending more and more time in the hands of childcare, government schools and mass media (Hollywood, MTV, Disney etc) they are being more heavily influenced by the moral values and social / political mindset of those institutions. Equally, less time spent with their parents means their parents’ morality and attitudes has less influence on them. Government schooling today is based on the Prussian System. Many Hollywood blockbusters are scripted by the Pentagon and the music industry is also infused with propaganda. This is all completely as we would expect. The only reason most parents today don’t see it is that they were also brought up in this way too in the 80’s – albeit in a slightly less extreme way.

    Some thoughts / questions….

    Have women (and families as a whole) actually gained more freedom (choices), or lost freedom (choices)?

    Is ‘equality for women’ even a good thing if it means women gaining equal status as men – so that they are now just as equally enslaved to the state/ the banks/ the oppressive and violent social hierarchy as men already were?

    What about children’s rights….. such as the right to be raised by at least one full time parent? In this respect children have lost ground over the last few decades.

    With most women’s magazines encouraging women to think of their own ‘right to a fulfilling career’ (rather than their children’s needs, or the possibility of motherhood itself being a fulfilling role), who is standing up for children’s right have to at least one a full time parent?

    Was the whole feminist movement hijacked from the very beginning?

    If a young ‘liberated’ woman replaces having a man-as-provider with having the state-as-provider is that a step forward or a step backwards?

    Should women be fighting for ‘equality’ relative to men….. or individual freedom for all (men, women and children)?

    1. You raise a lot of valid points and to a certain extent I agree with you. A child needs structure to grow into a normal responsible adult. But your argument sounds one dimensional disregarding some other factors.

      The scenarios you describes are all very well on paper. Idealistic, practical but not realistic. You describe woman and man as if they are machines performing their duties routinely day in and day out , sans emotion, dreams, passion, individuality. All husbands are responsible, they are not drunkards, addicts, gamblers, and wives are born for the domestic life, they don’t want to explore, create, think. They only want to give birth and raise children. And life goes on smoothly, no accidents, no tragedies, no wars . All husbands will always outlive the wives so there is no need for them to learn any set of skill to earn a living. Or perhaps the women are so extraordinarily gifted they can suddenly acquire outstanding work experience when the need arises therefore saving her children from starvation? Why stop at the thought against a woman working in the office? Why give them any education at all? Does that sound too medieval for you?

      You suffer from an affliction of looking at past through rose colored lenses as if the world was any better before. Less crime? Because the women were at home? Crime increased because of less resources and inflated population and a loss of sense of community not because the women left home and started working.

      I guess you must be a man sir for If you are a woman I cannot imagine how you can favor the suffocating life of a woman before she was given a choice to do whatever she wanted. be it leading to a life of fulfillment or misery at least it is her choice and not imposed upon her.

  2. “…You raise a lot of valid points and to a certain extent I agree with you. A child needs structure to grow into a normal responsible adult. ….”

    I would go further and say that infants and small children need a mother in order to not be developmentally damaged.

    We accept pregnancy must last nine months. Except for extreme medical reasons, we understand that inducing a birth prematurely is not an option. But physical, emotional and cognitive dependency on the mother does not just end at birth, it continues for *years* while diminishing gradually and naturally. Yet there is this new idea being promoted that you can just whack your infant into full time daycare only a few weeks after giving birth. This is abandonment. We recognise abandonment with lion cubs or baby ospreys… but we struggle to grapple with the concept when it comes to our own species 😦

    “..But your argument sounds one dimensional disregarding some other factors….”

    The pre/post feminism comparison wasn’t really supposed to be an argument. And yes I admit it was totally one dimensional, missing out loads of other factors. But I just wanted to point out those things which *don’t normally get mentioned*. I don’t disagree with the conventional arguments that feminism has liberated women in many important ways – it obviously has….. but I just think there is a lot more to this picture.

    Just because being shackled to the kitchen sink and dependent on your husband was a bad thing doesn’t mean being shackled to your office desk and dependent on your boss, the state and the banks is a good thing.

    I believe feminism was never a two way battle between men and women (as it has been portrayed to us). It was always a three way battle between men, women and the state. Every economic gain made by women has been targeted by the state as a source of extra income for them, and every feminist argument has been hijacked by the state as a means increase THEIR influence over society.

    The problem is that state does not generate any wealth for itself, it has to rely on stealing the wealth which we ordinary people produce. As women have gained more economic freedoms the state has attached its parasitic fangs onto that wealth. When women entered the workplace and started bringing in money it should have made families twice as rich, twice as free, twice as happy. But instead families now are more likely to be in debt, and don’t have as much time for anything (including parenting!).

    My point is that women have gained ‘equality to men’ but men were never free to begin with!

    As long as the state is able to use force to steal our wealth (AKA ‘taxation’) we will *never* become genuinely liberated or independent. We will always be allowed to keep just enough wealth to pay the bills and put food on the table ….but no more.

    At any moment in time there is finite wealth available. When the government starts giving young ‘independent’ (and often single) women and mothers ‘free daycare’ or ‘free education’ it does so by taking out loans (at interest). Who has to pay back these loans (plus interest) – we all do! The idea of ‘free stuff’ from the state is a con!

    Therefore it might seem as though women have gained a lot more economic independence, and on the face of it women have. But the old paradigm of hubby bringing home a wage packet is an example of REAL wealth….. whereas the government borrowing in order to provide ‘free stuff’ is PRETEND wealth.

    Let’s not forget the economy is crashing right now as a result of government’s massive borrowing (as well as ordinary people being taxed so heavily they also need to take out loans).

    Without government interference (and their use of force) women’s lib would have made everyone freer. But with government interference (and their use of force) the whole thing is a total disaster.

    “…You describe woman and man as if they are machines performing their duties routinely day in and day out , sans emotion, dreams, passion, individuality. All husbands are responsible, they are not drunkards, addicts, gamblers, and wives are born for the domestic life, they don’t want to explore, create, think. They only want to give birth and raise children….”

    Not at all. I want freedom for all 🙂 Babies today are already born in debt thanks to government borrowing. IMHO that is treating people like cogs in a machine. Like I say, men and women ARE now more equal, but they are more equally enslaved by government debt too! This is not freedom.

    I’m just saying that being a ‘tax cow’ for the state is not freedom for men OR women. The social engineers love to pit men and women against each other. Then we ignore the real forces which are limiting all our freedoms – the state.

    I’m not trying to knock feminism, I’m just saying we can do better than this. Is it acceptable, in the 21st century (!) that millions of middle and working class people (single or married) still can’t afford to actually own their own homes? Is it acceptable that mothers are often forced to abandon their children and go back to work soon after giving birth? Is it acceptable that these same mothers are forced to hand over a percentage of their earnings to fund illegal wars of genocide which murder thousands of children and babies – and if these mothers refuse to fund these wars they are kidnapped and thrown into a cage?

    Is this a society which really respects women, feminine values, motherhood, children, freedom or even humanity in general? I say ‘no’.

    The most ‘successful’ women (by the standards set by mainstream society, glossy magazines, the media etc) are those who support this patriarchal, pyramidal, violent social hierarchy. Women who get a high flying ‘career’, earn lots of money, pay their taxes, don’t speak out against wars, squeeze out a couple of babies and put them straight into daycare and with nannies and who think ‘femininity’ means botox and Manolo Blahnik’s.

    And if you think having a child is not being ‘creative’ then what on earth is it?!!!

    “….And life goes on smoothly, no accidents, no tragedies, no wars ….”

    Wars are a direct consequence of forced taxation and fiat currencies. WIthout forced taxation and fiat currencies there can be no wars. End of story.

    “…Why stop at the thought against a woman working in the office? Why give them any education at all?…”

    I am all for everyone getting an education and being able to work in whatever jobs they set their sights on. I am not arguing against freedoms, I am pointing out that the state has taken advantage of women’s increased freedoms and wealth. That is called exploitation. And as a result women are not nearly as free or as wealthy or as independent (or happy, fulfilled etc) as they should be in this ‘post feminist’ world…… and nor are children and nor are men for that matter!

    “…You suffer from an affliction of looking at past through rose colored lenses as if the world was any better before….”

    Sure I was only listing the positive aspects, I agree. But my point was that we have forgotten about those positive aspects. They weren’t the whole story, but they were important factors.

    Women were enslaved in, say, the 1950’s because of attitudes. These attitudes have now changed thankfully which is a good thing. But they also enjoyed some freedoms which we don’t have today. Suppose today a couple with young kids (or a baby) actually WANT to strike up a deal (a partnership in the true sense of the word) where he earns a wage outside the home and she raises the children inside the home (or perhaps she goes out and he stays in). Today it is unlikely they will be able to afford to do that. So that is one HUGE freedom we do NOT have today which we once did.

    If women are *forced* to stay at home when they’d rather not, then that is obviously oppression and exploitation. But when women are *forced* to work and pay taxes when they’d rather stay at home and raise their children that is also oppression and exploitation.

    The exact type of oppression and exploitation may have morphed over the decades, but it has not gone away. It has just become a lot more complex. At least women in the 50’s and 60s knew that they were being oppressed and exploited. If you try and point how women are oppressed and exploited today no one understands…. or worse they assume you are a ‘man’ 😉

    I hope I make more sense now 🙂

    …… It’s all very confusing. To me this woman is a man! But most people would swear she is a woman….

    1. Okay first I think this statement is uncalled for, ” And if you think having a child is not being ‘creative’ then what on earth is it?!!!” you knew what I meant.

      I am not a feminist and I never supported feminism, I never cared for the gender wars as explained on my newest post.

      I understand and agree with all that you said. Feminism was hijacked by capitalism turning it into a highly materialistic, consumerist idea that you can fit into one Cosmopolitan magazine. I also believe that it reached a point of hysteria and became too extreme. Which happens to any ‘ism’ that has been widely propagated.

      But I still don’t agree in the idea that it is the woman who has to stay at home. Though I can see the merit in what you said I can also foresee the danger it would lead to in the future. Danger of giving less importance on women’s education. People don’t think alike, not all are generous and benign nor reasonable. What’s to stop a father from saying “why do we need to educate her, she will only stay at home anyway when she get married.” Then we’ll come full circle in this vicious cycle.

      I know you are thinking largely for the benefit of mankind and I am being selfish and romantic but I cannot see myself living in the kind of world you propose. I am glad I am born at this time and not at a time when women were expected to be just housekeepers. I would rather not be born a woman. Or not be born at all. Men have never been and will never be free anyway.

      1. Sorry if I came across as a bit aggressive or disrespectful in either of my comments. Yes, I knew what you meant but it just annoyed me that you used the word ‘create’ in the context of having a career but not raising a child.

        We obviously agree that feminism was hijacked and that a big part of it is about ‘gender wars’ which is not very constructive. I would disagree about the ‘capitalism’ bit though. Everyone has their own definition of capitalism. To me capitalism just means free trade, free transactions with no interference from the state – and crucially no *initiation of force* by the state (or by anyone). A capitalist society is just one full of voluntary transactions. I do not think we’ve ever had capitalism in that sense.

        I would say feminism was hijacked by socialism and even corporatism (corporate fascism) but not capitalism.

        “…But I still don’t agree in the idea that it is the woman who has to stay at home….”

        I’m not saying women have to stay at home. I *am* saying an infant needs a full time mother, as do small children (obviously this need diminishes as they grow up). Let me try and make my case…..

        Suppose a woman takes four years off from her new career to have a baby. She returns after five years on a part time basis, and eventually back to full time after another few years.

        We all agree her career will suffer somewhat as a result. There’s no way round it. She’ll be out of touch with the latest developments in her field, she’ll have lost touch with valuable business contacts, as they will have done with her. She’ll lose out on promotion and forget half her training and end up terribly out of practice. No career trajectory can possibly be unaffected by taking 5+ years off to have and raise a child.

        OK, so now let’s flip the argument around.

        Suppose a woman has a baby and a couple of months after giving birth she gives up full time motherhood in order to focus on being a full time marketing executive, or management consultant or whatever. She returns to full time motherhood after five to seven years of management consultancy. During this this time (the most critical time for the development of the child) temporary stand in care is provided to cover for the mother’s absence.

        According to ‘popular wisdom’ that baby’s development will not be adversely affected. This is because healthy careers need full time attention (working hard, overtime, bringing work home with you, working weekends etc) and start up businesses need lots of ‘nurturing’ to have any hope of being successful (no holidays, working 7 days a week, staying up all night etc)…… but babies and small children don’t need that level of attention. They can be brought up by anyone, passed around from day care worker to day care worker, plonked in front of the TV etc and they’ll turn out just fine!

        No one complains that they have to work flat out and be chained to the office to have a successful career or start up a new business, or that they have to make huge sacrifices to achieve these things. But if you suggest that raising babies and small children also require huge sacrifices everyone thinks you’re trying to send them back to the 1860’s and imprison them in the home..???

        If people want high flying careers that’s great. If people want to have children that’s great too. People who have children generally get a free taxi service and lots of TLC and financial help when they’re old and decrepit…. this is especially true if they raised their children with loads of love and attention when they were young. That’s not *why* we should raise our children with love, it’s just a fact of life.

        People who choose to have a high flying career with a big salary instead of having kids will need that extra money to pay for their own care when they get old. The same is true if they raised their kids as if they were an inconvenience and a burden …. this is also how their kids will view their parents when they get old.

        Everything in life is ‘swings and roundabouts’. What goes around comes around…

        My argument is that there is no such thing as a free lunch and we can;t ‘have it all’…. but there IS more than enough wealth, freedom and opportunity for all. But to unleash it we need to take the guns away from the state!

        I believe freedom MEANS responsibility. Anyone (such as the state) trying to sell us ‘freedom FROM responsibility’ is actually trying to trick us into giving our freedom away. (ie dependence on government, socialism, Brave New World society etc).

  3. wow.. a very insightful and interesting read… i need a bunch of kleenex just to wipe the blood rushing down my nose.. both your points are note worthy.. kudos!

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