On of the major themes of my generational saga, The Peacemaker available at http://kentuckywoman.net is that our society has come into the 21st Century in a seemingly unending cycle of social injustice and ever increasing violence spurred by endless war. The historical reasons for this as examined in the novel, stem from one basic fault in American government, the disenfranchisement of women. If women had had the right to vote from the inception of our government, there would have been no slavery, no genocide of the indigenous people and no military industrial complex and endless war.
Not having the right to vote for over 40 percent of our government’s history has brought us to this point in the 21st Century. Institutions based on imperialism, colonialism, endless war, and destruction of the planet that sustains us were planted and allowed to grow and germinate during this time. In fact, the primary cog that runs the government and society itself is money and uncontrolled consumerism and accumulation of grotesque wealth concentrated in the hands of a few people. Even those so called “good” billionaires have far too much money because they also control people’s lives by deciding who gets a share of their wealth. Unfortunately, females have bought into this system and are simply following the path determined by the white, male oligarchy that established it in the first place.
.A thoughtful reading of our Founding Mother’s documents of freedom and essays reveals why these women pushed for the vote in the first place. These
females realized they could not have the peaceful, egalitarian society they wanted without the vote. Unfortunately, by the time women got the right to vote, only one-quarter of the females in this country voted and when they did, most did not vote from a well-informed knowledge base, they voted according to the propaganda from the white, male ruling class that stereotyped them into roles of passive, supportive wife and mother.
There is an interesting essay written by novelist and poet Alice Duer Miller in 1915 on the subject of roles and voting rights. It is entitled “Why We Oppose Votes for Men.” The purpose of the essay was to point out some of the qualities of men that weren’t so favorable to a peaceful society.
It reads as follows:
- Because men’s place is in the army.
- Because no really manly man wants to settle any question otherwise than by fighting about it.
- Because if men should adopt peaceful methods women will no longer look up to them.
- Because men will lose their charm if they step out of their natural sphere and interest themselves in other matters other than feats of arms, uniforms and drums.
- Because men are too emotional to vote. Their conduct is baseball games and political conventions shows (sic) this, while their innate tendency to appeal to force renders them particularly unfit for the task of government.
Over the years women have forgotten the teachings of our Founding Mothers as they have continued to buy into the values listed above. Women have joined political parties and taken part in the building of the military industrial complex and fight for control to use these principles in the best way to provide social justice. The fallacy is that it didn’t work in the 19th and 20th Centuries and has only led us down a dangerous precipice in a 21st Century facing a planet gone mad and trying to figure out how to save it.
Until women have an understanding of this and start to speak out against war and lobby for programs that result in clean air and water, production of nourishing food by sustainable methods and lobby for this instead of food stamps, college loans, insurance and pharmaceutically driven “health care,” college educations and more and more consumption, our individual physical and emotional health as well as the health of the earth that sustains us will continue in its downward spiral.
Women are the nurturers and genetically responsible for the care and training of the children. I support a woman’s right to a career, but, as a female, we are responsible for making sure the compassionate, nurturing component of decision making does not get lost in the process. More women are finding that they are better suited to entrepreneurship and working from home with a more flexible schedule if they have young children than the hard driving corporate life. We need more women doctors who think more about public health than a career driven by profit and the pharmaceutical industry. We need women who are willing to admit we have sold out to the white, male oligarchy that has told us what to do for many years and, in a sense, is still telling us what we need to be.
As the world’s population explodes to an unsustainable level, there is little reason to have more children and a woman certainly has the right to choose whether or not to have a family. But these females have a special place in society because they can still function in careers where they can bring the feminine spirit into workplaces and international bargaining tables still functioning from money driven madness. That is the responsibility of women and I hope that women can return to the studies of our female ancestors who showed the way for us into a world where there is social justice and peace for all.