Saturday, September 22, 2007

The society that was built on female slavery (Yoko Ono Lennon)

The was written by Yoko Ono in . The article was published a. in abridged version in , and b. in an unabridged version in . It is now 35 years ago, that the text was published, and to me it did not lose topicality and relevance. In contrary, parts - and these I cite below - have a very close relationship to nowadays society in neo-liberal daze. I have the impression, that we live in an age, in which female freedom defined by men was alienated to "STARS", because financial freedom equals individual freedom, nowadays. Some kind of "hyper-feminine chimera" are imitated nowadays. I mean the always-young, surgically re-conditioned and nubile tableaus poising in preciosity.

Yoko Ono Lennon (1971/1997) explains:

The aim of the feminist movement should not just end with getting more jobs in the existing society, though we should definitely work on that as well. We have to keep on going until the whole of the female race is freed.

How are we going to do this? This society is the very society that killed female freedom: the society that was built on female slavery. If we try to achieve our freedom within the framework of the existing social set-up, men, who run the society, will continue to make a token gesture of giving us a place in their world. Some of us will succeed in moving into elitist jobs, kicking our sisters on the way up. Others will resort to producing babies, or being conned into thinking that joining male perversions and madness is waht equality is about: "join the army", "join the sexist trip", etc.

The ultimate goal of female liberation is not just to escape from male oppression. How about liberating ourselves from our various mind trips such as ignorance, greed, masochism, fear of God and social conventions? It´s hard to easily dismiss the importance of paternal influence in this society, at this time. Since we face the reality that, in this global village, there is very little choice but to coexist with men, we might as well find a way to do it and do it well. [...]

We are in a serious identity crisis. This society is driven by neurotic speed and force accelerated by greed, and frustration of not being able to live up to the image of men and women we have created for ourselves; the image has nothing to do with the reality of people. How could we be an eternal James Bond or Twiggy (false eyelashes, the never-had-a baby- or-a-full-meal look) and raise three kids on the side? In such an image driven-culture, a piece of reality, such as a child, becomes a direct threat to our false existence.

The only game we play together with our children is star-chasing; sadly, not the stars in the sky, but the "STARS" who we think have achieved the standard of the dream image we have imposed on the human race. We cannot trust ourselves anymore, because we know we are, well ... too real. We are forever apologetic for being real. Excuse me for farting, excuse me for making love and smelling like a human being, instead of that odorless celluloid prince and princess image up there on the screen.

Most of us, as women, hope that we can achieve our freedom within the existing social set-up, thinking that, somewhere, there must be a happy medium for men and women to share freedom and responsibility. But if we just took the time to observe the very function of our society, the greed-power-frustration syndrome, we soon would see that there is no happy medium to be achieved. We can, of course, aim to play the same game that men have played for centuries, and inch by inch, take over all the best jobs and eventually conquer the whole world, leaving an extremely bitter male stud-cum-slave class moaning and groaning underneath us. [...]

We are now at a stage where we are eager to compete with men on all levels. But women will inevitably arrive at the next stage, and realize themselves as they are, and not as beings comparative to or in response to men. As a result, the feminist revolution will take a more positive step in the society by offering a feminine direction.

In the past two thousand years of effort, men have shown us their failure in their method of running the world. Instead of falling into the same trap that men fell into, women can offer something that the society never had before because of male dominance. That is the feminine direction. What we can do is take the current society, which contains both masculine and feminine characteristics, and bring out its feminine nature rather than its masculine force which is now at work. We must make more positive usage of the feminine tendencies of the society which, up to now, have been either suppressed or dismissed as something harmful, impractical, irrelevant and ultimately shameful.

I am proposing the feminazation of society; the use of feminine nature as a positive force to change the world. We can change ourselves with feminine intelligence and awareness, into a basically organic, noncompetitive society that is based on love, rather than reasoning. The result will be a society of balance, peace and contentment. We can evolve rather than revolt, come together, rather than claim independence, and fell rather than think. These are characteristics that are considered feminine; characteristics that men despise in women. But have men really done so well by avoiding the development of these characteristics within themselves?

Already, as I catch a glimpse of the new world, I see feminine wisdom working as a positive force. I refer to the feminine wisdom and awareness which is based on reality, intuition and empirical thinking, rather than logistics and ideologies. The entire youth generation, their idiom and their dreams, are headed in a feminine direction. A more advanced field of communication, such as telepathy, is also a phenomenon which can only be developed in a highly feminine climate. The problem is that feminine tendency in the society has never been given a chance to blossom, whereas masculine tendency overwhelms it.

What we need now is the patience and natural wisdom of a pregnant woman, an awareness and acceptance of our natural resources, or what is left of them. Let´s not kid ourselves and think of ourselves as an old and matured civilisation. We are by no means mature. But that is alright. That is beautiful. Let´s slow down and try to grow as organically, and healthfully as a newborn infant. The aim of the female revolution will have to be a total one, eventually making it a revolution for the whole world. [...] It´s good to start now, since it´s never too late to start from the start.

I feel happy, that I have grown up in a part of society to take equality as a fact and given. Emancipated women introduced me to and writers like , or . Notably my parents stressed equality in their three childrens´education free from religious or similar oppressions. In school we learned lots about emancipation and womens´ lib, and how hard it was for women to be admitted at the University or professional work, and why. In we were instructed to bear in mind, that this High School was the first to establish women in higher education via the . To me, equal rights and duties in all related issues, are self-evident. I concede equal rights and duties to men and women everywhere in the world and I am free of religious regulations, too. Human dignity was and is still infringed in this world. Acceptance and respect should be promoted to make a difference in our minds. It saddens me, that in some societies, and some members of society, still hang on assumptions,  like "women do the chores". I feel embarrassed and indignant with stereotypes, like this or that would be "exemplary for women". Generally I think, scientists should participate in discussions in the media and here especially reinforce . The topic is so virulent, that the University Vienna has this and a focus on

Quote of the Day: Sharing money is what gives it its value. - Elvis Presley

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