Thesis Number: #7 (Page 5 of 8)
Women as Collateral Damage
The international community of nations concentrates on a few major crises: damage to the environment, damage to the economy, damage to people through poverty. These are symptoms of the flaw in the structure of the prevailing social paradigm. All the major pathologies are symptoms that can be traced back to a single fault: property rights that legitimise the misappropriation of the rents that everyone helps to create through his and her participation at all levels of society, from the local to global. The mistreatment of women and their children is another example of collateral damage. It does not attract the same level of public concern, now, as (say) the eco-crisis. The maltreatment of women ought to receive primary attention for this reason: arguably, women ought to be assuming the leading role in guiding humanity out of its existential crises (Box 5).
The UN is found wanting
On October 31, 2000, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1325, which urged all member States to “put an end to impunity and prosecute those responsible for….sexual and other violence against women and girls” (Para.11). And yet, 12 years later, a report by the Institute of Development Studies, called From the Ground Up (Justino et. al, 2012 ), revealed that the special skills of women were not being used in theatres of conflict; and that the UN had failed to enforce its own resolutions on the rights of women.
In terms of priorities for action, we need a synthesis of all issues into a single, harmonious vision. There is no need to fragment the feminist cause from, say, the eco-crisis.
- Nature will take care of itself. Humans are responsible for extinguishing living species. This is offensive to human sensibilities, but does nature care? The space vacated by an extinguished species will be automatically filled by adaptation into those voids of other forms of life.
- Women have the most intimate interest in restoring justice. Every woman is the guardian of the biological legacy of humanity. Every woman is psychologically committed to optimising the welfare of the community. Every woman assumes the long-term view, by nurturing the inter-generational perspective.
This contrasts with the characteristics of males. But the problem is not with the specifics of gender differentiation as with the fact that, today, a proportion of the male population draws rich material rewards from the pathological flaws that disfigure society. They will fight to the death (literally or metaphorically) to preserve the status quo.
At the dawn of human time, females were bestowed with exceptional psycho-biological capacities. Is it not reasonable to expect women to insist on recovering their evolutionary role, so that they may lead us into the next phase of development of the social galaxy? This places a heavy burden of responsibility on womankind. Is this fair?
Social and environmental crises are converging in ways that threaten the existence of humanity. These threats demand acts of supreme wisdom which are not being provided by men. There is no denying that many men “have their hearts in the right place,” but absent is the leadership that is needed to facilitate progress to a post-exploitative age.