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Sometimes it takes a long time to get a message through, even to myself. Like maybe 50 years. However late, I finally received it. My parents started the message, my college professors endorsed it, a tiny fraction of the media kept pushing it, I sort of believed it but never fully embraced it, life experience forced me to live it and finally after reading the November issue of National Geographic I fully absorbed the message. 

Women are equal to men. Period.

Women are equal to men.

Women can and have proven they can do what men can do.

Typically, the argument has been that women aren’t as tough as men but as we can see, USMC Cpl. Gabrielle Green is certainly one tough, strong woman. I’m not particularly fond of the military but I understand the necessity of at least some form of a standing army and I certainly respect those who have served due to a calling they hear and answer. Can every woman pass Marine training? Of course not. But then again, can every man?

1marinehttps://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/first-woman-makes-it-through-navy-seal-officer-assessment-and-selection

No, they cannot. Women can be just as strong as men. While I am addressing this, let’s get the birth thing out of the way too, can men give birth or would they be too weak? It’s a dumb question but has been bandied about in discussions about male/female endurance. If men could give birth they would be as successful as women because nature wants us to reproduce. The focus isn’t can a woman do what a man or can a man do what a woman can? The emphasis should be, humans who work towards a goal can achieve it with practice, education and support. The Navy, Army, and Marines have recruits drop out at roughly the same rate as each other, between 11 and 14 percent annually.”

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatshepsut#/media/File:Hatshepsut.jpg

Are women good leaders? Certainly they are equal when given the opportunity. Hatshepsut was a Pharaoh (the first female pharaoh) whose reign was relatively peaceful and launched a building program that would see the construction of the ancient architectural marvel, Deir el-Bahari, a great temple at Luxor. She also launched a successful sea voyage to the land of Punt on the northeast coast of Africa, where they traded with the inhabitants, bringing back “marvels.” 

There are currently strong female leaders, for example; Tsai Ing-wen who was reelected as Taiwan's president by a landslide Saturday, January 11, 2019 signaling strong support for her tough stance against China among voters determined to defend their democratic way of life. "Today I want to once again remind the Beijing authorities that peace, parity, democracy and dialogue are the keys to stability," Tsai said in her victory speech. "I want the Beijing authorities to know that democratic Taiwan and our democratically elected government will never concede to threats."

In the parliament of Rwanda women hold more than half the seats. No other country has that many women in government because the genocide of 1994 left Rwanda in chaos. After the genocide, Rwanda's population of 5.5 million to 6 million was 60 to 70 percent female. The call for equality was led not by thousands of women but by one man — President Paul Kagame, who has led the country since his army stopped the genocide. Kagame decided that Rwanda was so demolished, so broken, it simply could not rebuild with men's labor alone. So the country's new constitution, passed in 2003, decreed that 30 percent of parliamentary seats be reserved for women. The government also pledged that girls' education would be encouraged. That women would be appointed to leadership roles, like government ministers and police chiefs. Kagame vowed to not merely play catch-up to the West but leapfrog ahead of it. 

The country embraced Kagame's policies and even went beyond his mandatory minimum. In the 2003 election, 48 percent of parliamentary seats went to women. In the next election — 64 percent. Today Rwandan politics is cited as a model of gender inclusiveness.

Matriarchal cultures are not new, there are some currently and have been in the past. Nubian warrior queens fought for the interest of the Nubian/Kushite Empire, and many Nubians worshipped the queen of all goddesses, Isis. At four million people, the Minangkabau of West Sumatra, Indonesia, are the largest known matrilineal society today. In addition to tribal law requiring all clan property to be held and bequeathed from mother to daughter, the Minangkabau firmly believe the mother to be the most important person in society. 

Art? Music? Architecture? Women have been doing that too. Female artists have been creating masterpieces right alongside men. We just haven’t seen their works displayed the way men’s works have been.

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St Mary’s church, architect Sara Losh 1785–1853

https://www.visitcumbria.com/car/wreay-st-marys-church/

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Artemisia Gentileschi, The Annunciation, 1630.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

We all know Mozart but how many know his sister was also a composer? Maria Anna Mozart (1751–1829) You can sample her music here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxqJnYuOh7I

It has been a worldwide cultural fallacy that women are not equal to men, that women don’t deserve equal rights and should not be allowed any kind of power at all, not even over our own bodies. Here we are in 2020 still fighting for equal rights. Why? Money, power and men. We have all bought into the philosophy that wealth and strength by men are the way of the world. I insist that is a lie that has been perpetuated by men and religion for far too long. Just because humans have believed something for a long time does not make it truth. We used to believe that bleeding was a legitimate health practice. We used to believe that eating before swimming would cause us to drown. We used to believe putting brandy on a babies gums relieved teething pain. We used to believe sacrificing animals pleased gods. We now know through science that those things are simply untrue. Longevity of belief does make anything factual. It’s time to bury the "men are better" myth. Perpetuated by who? Oh, yeah men.

The field of science is rife with women’s advances and discoveries that have been usurped by men, sometimes because the woman herself realized she would never be accepted if published under her own name. Mary Anning is one such person. In spite of this recognition, the majority of Mary's finds ended up in museums and personal collections without credit being given to her as the discoverer of the fossils. As time passed, Mary Anning and her family were forgotten by the scientific community and most historians, due to the lack of appropriate documentation of her special skills. Contributing to the oversight of Mary Anning and her contribution to paleontology was her social status and her gender. Many scientists of the day could not believe that a young woman from such a deprived background could possess the knowledge and skills that she seemed to display.” 

American heroes? Ever heard of Prudence Cummings Wright, Minute Woman? The women of Pepperell, Massachusetts formed their own militia to protect the remaining townspeople when their husbands and sons went to fight the British, called “Mrs. David Wright’s Guard.” The women wore their husbands’ clothing and carried weapons ranging from muskets to farm tools. 

And no I’m not a libtard, fire breathing, radical feminist who wants to enslave men. I love men. I live with one, one of children and 3 of my grandchildren are men. I simply want for a world where gender is not a barrier to personal achievement. A world where my daughters get the same pay and opportunites and advancement that my son does and where my granddaughters have the same opportunity as my grandsons.

I will be sharing a weekly post, “Woman In History” here, I hope you join me in learning about the awesome and wonderful but often overlooked contributions women have made thorugh huistory.

It’s time, I think, for women to lead. Everything. No, I don’t think men should be subservient. Why would I want that? Why would I want men to experience humiliation, degradation, inequality, and suffering and torment just because they have a penis? The mark of a wise leader and true leader is to be better than those that came before, to be fairer and more just than those that came before them. I am suggesting that men take a rest, hand over the reins and pursue other endeavors. I would imagine that a few thousand years of rule would be rather exhausting. If we’re honest men haven’t been that successful; wars, pillaging, excessive consumerism, cultural and climate destruction, not exactly an admirable track record. Certainly male leaders have achieved admirable objectives and solutions, there is no denying that there have been great men throughout history. I could name them but I’m not going to because you already know who they are, that’s the point. Men have dominated all aspects of our lives for millennia. What we don’t know much about is the successes of women.

Deborah Baron

Deborah Baron

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