It is day 4 of Women’s History Month and its seems appropriate to address the Matriarchy, or the lack thereof in the United States. A matriarchy is a system of government in which women women rule. Currently there are 6 functioning matriarchies today, in contrast there are 195 governments in the world and all but the 6 are in practice patriarchies. Some may take this moment to argue against the previous statement and if you are among the some than you are part of the problem.
See, I put the word in practice there and I would challenge you to show me one government that has equal representation for men and women. It doesn’t exist (if it does please comment on this post so that we can celebrate the steps forward).
When confronted with the reality of the patriarchy in the United States and how it has shaped the treatment of women I have to ask myself why and how. Why do we think a government that does not accurately represent women is ok and how did this happen in a nation where we hold fair democratic elections for office?
It happened because few women run for political office and few people vote for the women that run. Teach your daughters, and nieces that they are equals. Support your sisters and wives while they are trying to break through the glass ceiling and reject the gender stereo types. There is nothing wrong with a father who stays home with the children.
It happens because men in power implement rules while in power to stay in power. Fight and vote for politicians that work towards breaking the gender stereotype endorsing laws. Did you know that martial rape wasn’t illegal in all 50 states until 1993! In some states even though illegal the penalty is a little more than a slap on the wrist and through many legal loopholes men can rape their wives without punishment! There are so many laws no that restrict womens reproductive rights now as well, now if you are in the camp of “abortion is not a reproductive right” (it is actually see yesterdays post), I would challenge you to speak with a woman under the age of thirty who has tried in the United States to have surgery to prevent child birth. Here is a list of 11 laws that still exist;
1. In Massachusetts, you can’t advertise birth control through the mail.
2. Women cannot show ‘too much cleavage’ in Cleveland.
3. In North Carolina, a woman cannot withdraw consent and call subsequent actions rape.
4. Women cannot wear sleeveless tops or dresses to Congress.
5. In this California town, a woman must have a permit to wear shoes with heels that are over two inches high and less than one square inch thick.
6. An unmarried woman in Florida cannot parachute on a Sunday, or else she will be fined or arrested.
7. Child marriage is still legal
8. A man cannot seduce a corrupt, single woman in Michigan.
9. Rapists have parental rights in seven states.
10. In Michigan, a wife must obtain her husband’s permission before she can cut her hair.
11. Women can’t wear pants in Tucson, Arizona.
Teaching and voting is serious business and the United States of America is from form equal and definitely a practicing patriarchy. When you teach the children in your life girl or boy please teach them that gender does not determine what they do and how they do it. When we vote lets all make a conscious effort to vote for someone who will fight or true equality and if we can vote for a woman to balance out representation. If you are a woman in the United States consider running for office and enacting some real change!