On the Education of Women

“Unfolded out of the justice of the woman all justice is unfolded, Unfolded out of the sympathy of the woman is all sympathy; A man is a great thing upon the earth and through eternity, but every of the greatness of man is unfolded out of woman; First the man is shaped in the woman, he can then be shaped in himself.”
-Walt Whitman
Unfloded Out of the Folds

 

As far as I can see, the history of the American empire has been a history of man and by the term “man” I mean the male gender and not mankind. Indeed, the feminist movement has made magnificent strides in freeing women from the constraints of patriarchy, yet as our nation grows I am constantly troubled by the notion that political power has historically rested in the hands of a select few men. For this reason, I subscribe to the idea that the majority of the progress bolstered by the feminist movement was geneological in nature and not historical. It was geneological in the sense that the progress was disconnected with the traditional units of power (much like the Civil Rights movement) opposed to historical change which is nothing more than a narrative of the burgeois class.

To further clarify this idea of America as a stringently patriarchal society, I must first explain my use of the word political. My idea of political action is directly drawn from that of the Frankfurt School, that is to say I believe political action is that which “transforms the potentialities of the world into realities.” Without a doubt, the suffrage movement and the labor movement has signified important political steps in our nations past; nonetheless, with the increasing bureaucratization of the public sphere, the rampant privatization of the economy, and the withering power of capital these advances have descended into the realm of those changes which have the most negligible influence.

It is no lie the United States perpetuates the theory that the quintessential totalitarian is also misogynistic and the tyrannical state is by definition patriarchal. But one does not have to retreat to the annals of history to come to this realization because its consequences permeate every facet of our culture from the television we watch, to the products we buy. Our country is accelerating into a state of hedonism highly reminiscent to that found in Aldous Huxley’s classic novel Brave New World. In this novel the only form of literature that the people read was pornographic and the only way the citizens could function was if they ingested a narcotic that stimulated all except their reasoning faculties (the element that matters the most!). He created a universe immersed in sensationalism and entirely removed from intellectual pursuits. How frighteningly relevant the tale rings today. For what is the United States but the non-fiction counterpart to 26th century London and what is Viagra if not the non-fiction counterpart to soma?

And the train doesn’t stop here. If one wants to get a glimpse at the nexus of this totalitarian agenda look no further than the media industry. Is not every commercial saturated with sexual innuendos? Is not every reality show the choreographed story of an alpha male surrounded by women who fawn and surrender themselves to “his standards“. Is this not the country that broadcasts penis enlargement commercials in the middle of the day and give women standing ovations simply because they are beautiful? Is this not the country that deems a man socially inferior if he finds something more interesting than sex? Is this not the nation whose most beloved woman is a Wasilla beauty queen who represents nothing less than the chauvinist’s daydream? Is this not the country who bestows pimps like Hugh Hefner with titles like “entrepenuer” and “business man”? Is this not the country that looks at physical beauty as an accomplishment and moral integrity as an abnormality? Is this not the country that welcomes women to worship on Sunday morning so long as they are not allowed to sit in the pastor’s chair at the pulpit? Why else would we applaud starlets like Megan Fox? Why? Because she’s beautiful and that’s all that matters. Why must we be so puritanical?!

One might ask when faced with this moral ineptitude, “how shall we remove ourselves from this tradition” and the answer lies in one notion and one notion only. That is the notion of educating the women of the nation. Unequivocally, the liberation of the state is inextricably bound to the amount of time committed to the education of women. By “education” I do not mean formal schooling rather I mean that there should be a grassroots transformation of the image of women as an organism much more than a child bearer and sexual object. As a country we must intensify what Plato called the “gentler nature of life”. As Socrates claimed in his magnum opus, The Republic, we cannot only satisfy the body with gymnastics but we must also satisfy our souls with music. This deeply entrenched illness has reduced all of the state to sensations, feeding our aggressive nature, feeding our lust for power, and our perceived necessity for war. This being said, it would be nothing less than a moral embarrassment if we were to go on indifferently as if this did not exist because as the learned one says, “indifference to evil is more insidious than evil itself.”

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