It is often hard for most people to really understand that we live in a masculine centered, misogynistic culture. I think one of the simplest ways to clarify this reality is by looking at the conflicting values that we ascribe to women: we tell them that they should shave their legs and their armpits, wear make-up, work out a lot and eat right and have a tight body, that they should have big boobs in order to get noticed—and all of this simply to please men, to be desirable. And then yet, if a woman takes pleasure in her own sexuality, if she empowers herself to enjoy her body, then she is a whore. So we tell women both that they should be sex symbols—objects of desire—and yet that they can’t take undue pleasure in their own sexuality.
Men, on the other hand, are given increased status for their sexual prowess and conquests. Every boy secretly wishes to be a pimp, like Snoop Dogg (before he got rich and discovered the small joys of parenthood and home life). To use em and leave em, like all women were just tools designed by god to get men off. And all of our culture reinforces this notion of women as commodified objects, including many women themselves, who are trained as youngsters to compete to be the most successful objects of desire possible. Sure, women are lawyers, politicians, army officers, etc. But all you have to do is turn on the TV to see just how far they’ve still got to go.
Women should be revered for their beauty and sexuality, there’s nothing wrong with that. What’s wrong is when their beauty and sexuality is used to sell products to children. What’s wrong is when goddesses are rendered so confused and insecure by all the conflicting values thrown at them that they don’t even know how to see their own beauty. What’s wrong is when men are given all the power, and as in any situation where there are those who have power over those who have relinquished their power, women are mentally, spiritually, or physically abused.
The deleterious effects of masculine values—such as of aggression, territoriality, and short peak climaxes—can be seen the world over. Aggressive corporate shortsightedness, little or no political diplomacy, global warming, global sex and drug trading, you name it. Of course feminine powers are everpresent and quietly intertwined, working always to balance. But until the feminine values of intuition, empathy, flowing continuous risings, and flexibility are given greater prominence and cultural enforcement, the misogyny will continue. Our children will continue to be sexualized in order to sell them products, our women will continue to relinquish their own power to be successful, and our men will continue to think that treating women like sperm receptacles is the right thing to do.