Depressing realisation - men rule the world!(40 Posts)
All this talk about Maggie making great strides for women. What a load of BS.
I went to a meeting today. Quite high level, senior mgrs, MDs etc. Must have been about 150 people at least - blue chip, government, small business, multi nationals all represented.
Only FIVE people out of that entire group, were not white, middle aged men. FIVE!
Two ethnic minority men, and three white women. And 150 white men, all more or less between 40 and 60.
How fucking depressing is that. Nearly 150 grey suited clones.
So easy to think things have changed if you watch business programmes on the TV. The reality is very different .
Things ain't perfect but I'm prepared to work in imperfect system
I've also had great male colleagues,empathic,kind,switched on
Being male doesn't necessarily render man a greysuit clone.men arent homogenous,neither are women
It does. Maybe that's what put me off.
bourgois feministe sound like a new eyeliner from maybelline
dh and i work in same field. when a job comes up that pays more and looks like a prospect if we have a discussion, we have discussed how dh is more likley to get the job becuase of his gender
its not even a traditional gender aligned job suh as nurse or road digger
So I've got as far as her saying there are two 'sides', there are women who want equality with men and perpetuate the class system, and there are women who align themselves with all workers.
Those are my only choices are they?
I couldn't, just possibly, think that this is a made-up picture of feminism by someone who doesn't like feminism very much?
Apologies if that seems harsh but I think she's being fucking rude to be entirely honest.
Didn't say she was male, though.
Ok, I will have a listen.
I've got to admit, though, my heart sinks when people start insisting it's not enough to be a feminist and to agree the class system stinks.
Ignore the title. Have you listened to her. She isn't male!
That sounds awfully like a label applied by people who think that the struggles of left-wing men are more important than feminism, to be honest. I find it hard to believe anyone labels themself a 'bourgeois feminist'.
The difference between marxist feminism and bourgeois feminism
Gosh, I'm confused...
Clearly it's always been a class issue. The ruling class dominates those beneath. This is nothing new; I don't understand why this even has to be positioned as if it's a revelation...
But how is that ruling class - in every society known to humankind (and, let's face it, most animal kingdoms), right back into the dim annals of history - structured? Who makes that class up?
Rather the men are passive but in their passivity they give quiet approval.
Exactly, because the men can afford to do that can't they? They can afford to be the nice guy because their position is secured whilst the women actively pass on the values to their daughters because they know from their own experience the penalties their daughters will pay if they don't. A girl who is uncut wont get a husband and the mother knows it.
It's the Mr / Mrs Bemnett syndrome.
To be fair, I think people have been arguing that it's fundamentallly a sex struggle well before Marx.
It is both a class thing and a sex thing. I certainly agree women alone can't change the future and that women participate in a class system that subordinates other women.
But we can't get away from the fact that women are oppressed in order that a ruling class, which is male-dominated, can profit. The majority of people living in poverty worldwide are women and their children.
I think it was Firestone who turned marxist analysis on its head by saying the history of human development was the history of the struggle between the two sexes. Rather than the history of human development "is the history of class struggle". I don't agree with the non-materialist analysis because before we can reproduce life we must first produce the means of subsistence.
I was listening to Selma James on sexism within left politics and I agree with her, she says that women need to work with men to overcome their oppression. I agree because women have been active in shaping society, we haven't been passive. Even if you consider one single issue such as FGM, you find that older women within the tribe are the ones keeping this practice alive. But why? It seems to me that again this can be analysed from a materialist perspective. Daughters are costly to raise (just as all children are) they can not be kept financially by the birth family into adult hood in an economic system which is pre-capitalist. So the cutting continues because it is believed that this will ensure an exchange takes place and the daughter married off. This effectively "shapes" the commodity (the daughter) to fit with the economic/market/social expectations. It is driven by fear that without performing this hideous act, the daughter will not be able to "eat" let alone reproduce. What is also interesting from what I have read is that very often men do not question this practice, they are not actually as active in keeping this "tradition" alive as some would have you think. Rather the men are passive but in their passivity they give quiet approval.
There is much ire directed towards the left "left wing men are sexist" "working class men are sexist" I think women alone can not tackle this. Just as men alone haven't shaped human history, so too women alone can not change the future.
The class system, ensures even if some women do well, they are still part of a social system that subordinates other women. In fact some might say that the Maggies of this world do at least as much harm to working class women as the Blairs of this world.
I would even posit that whilst ruling men benefit most from the subordination of women (esp working class women) that women with social power perpetuate the exploitation because their power relies upon class society too.
Power must have its opposite, in order for one person to have power, there must be another who doesn't.
Completely agree with that mini - we won't overcome women's subordination in a class society.
But I totally disagree with mug that this means the patriarchy doesn't exist.
A man, whatever his class level, has more power than a woman at the same level.
There are countries in the world, and cultures within countries, where women will never attain the class level some men have.
Saying that isn't saying that it'd be brilliant if women did, that it'd be great if only women were equally good at being the Maggie Thatcher types, because class society is fundamentally flawed and oppressive - but IMO until we acknowledge that class society as we know it is also inherently misogynistic, we'll never get rid of it because we will never tackle one of the most important ways it perpetuates itself, which is by oppressing women.
Reading Gerda Lerner (creation of patriarchy) it seems that slavery and the capture of women and children & the exchange of women btw tribes that the subordination of women happened first before the creation of archaic states/nation states and the class system.
It isn't as simple now to separate class/race/gender/sex oppression. And we won't overcome women's subordination in a class society IMO which is why every time I see someone say we need more women CEOs I want to scream. I don't think playing patriarchy top trumps/ who can shin up the tree the quickest wearing a dress and carrying female chromosomes is any different to having men wield power over others. Thatcher is a perfect example of a powerful women who abused her position to harm a great many people, men and women.
As the theory goes, Mug, every rung of society/patriarchy contains men and women, and within that rung the men are lording it over the women. As intricate as it sounds, that is how it supposedly works.
White, middle class men rule the world? Really?
Which part of the world would that be?
US? China? India? Saudi? Iran? N Korea? S Korea?
Well said Mini . What is the patriarchy I hear so much about? Most men have about as much power as is allowed under a classist society-virtually none.
No, there isn't many of them, they have all given up and gone shopping. We now vote at the tills.
Democracy is an awful system. Have you seen the voters?
If I ruled the world........
I don't want to what is needed is more democracy not less.
I am just saying that the statement "men rule the world" is incorrect.
Some men rule the world.
Would such pedantry change the world? Yes I think it would because class society is at the root of this inequality.
Am I worried about the lack of women in politics, yes very much. Do I personally think we need more women business leaders......well no, not under the capitalist mode of production which creates and perpetuates class society.
MiniTheMinx wrote - "It would be wrong to say that men rule the world.
There are a few women who are political leaders or business leaders, but men dominate the world's power structures in politics and big business. As power in the sense of "running the world" is about upholding patriarchal values, people in power have to support those patriarchal power structures, whether they personally like it or not, but I suspect that almost all of the people running the world actually love patriarchal power.
If men aren't running the world, then who is? Given a choice of men, women, boys or girls, I think it's men. I suppose we could say some phase like "99.9999999% of the people who run the world are men". Would such pedantry change the situation substantially? I don't think it would significantly change our understanding of the cause of the problem. I think it would have negligible impact on the main point, that patriarchy ensures there is a huge and unfair power imbalance between men and women.
MiniTheMinx wrote - "Some men actually have very little power."
I am sure that there are fewer powerless men than there are powerless women, but yet again, the majority of powerless adults (women) are being urged to bend over backwards to help the minority of powerless adults (men) to gain more patriarchal power (over women).
Left-wing governments or right-wing governments, it doesn't matter, women are marginalised by patriarchal power structures. For example, I think the politburo of the USSR included only 3 women in its 64 years of existence. I'm not at all surprised that the last female member of the Soviet politburo was given the "women's issues" ministerial portfolio of "women, family and children" - another example of patriarchal sexist "group think".
If I ruled the world, it would be a far nicer place. Benevolent dictatorship is the way to go.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.