Thursday, 18 January 2018

Rough and Ready Pragmatism or Calculated Oppression?

Past history can be seen as a conscious, deliberate and calculated series of oppressions by one group of another. Or, alternatively it can be seen a recourse to sensible and pragmatic solutions. Taking the latter tack, patriarchal societies in more primitive times can be seen as sensible solutions to problems set by biology and evolution. In more primitive times it would have been foolish not to use men as protectors of their women from rape, while pregnant and while nursing. The relative freedom from these very consuming (especially when life was ‘nasty, brutish and short’) female roles also made it sensible for men to take up the burdens and responsibilities of decision-making (although one can, perhaps, assume that most male rulers would have been aware of what women in his tribe thought). All of this was done in order to best guarantee the main object of evolutionary imperatives – the survival of the race and its genes.

History moved on. Technology moved on. The Industrial Revolution allowed the human race to move up Maszlo’s Pyramid of Needs. This, and, later on, the arrival of birth control, freed women more and more from the constraints of their biology (constraints not, notably, put in place by men but by evolution) thus enabling them to participate more and more in decision-making processes. This is right and proper and a real social evolution.


Looking back, though, if you make the dire and crucial mistake of seeing history as calculated oppression rather than rough and ready pragmatism you may be led to seeing the present as a time for vengeance. If you do you consent to and encourage a vindictive division in society down gender lines, the only people it can please are the enemies of the human race. How better to undermine and destroy a race which reproduces sexually than cause the two genders necessary to procreation to be at war with one another? 

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