Saturday, 21 October 2017

History and Patriarchy

A frequent claim made by people involved in backlash against feminism is that patriarchy is necessary for the civilization, and that women's rights lead to end of civilizations. This claim is disputed by both historical and present fact.

The most advanced countries in the world, such as Sweden, Netherlands and America, all have a strong presence of woman's rights. Whereas the least advanced countries in the world, such as Somalia and Afghanistan, have minimal women's rights and are vastly patriarchal.

Historically, China did its best under the Tang Dynasty in 8th century, when it had half the world's GDP and had women's rights. Less known but no less significant is the Pala Kingdom in modern-day Bengladesh, in which commerce and science were advanced and so was the status of women. The first was ended by another dynasty getting in power and messing up the country. The second was ended through foreign invasion. In neither case was women's rights to blame.

One argument being made by participants in the backlash is that Roman Empire declined due to women's rights, which they equate with decadence. Once again this is not the case. Roman Empire was conquered a century after it became Christian and "decadent" practices – as well as women's rights – were done away with. The real reason for the failure of Rome had nothing to do with anyone's personal behavior. The real reason was stupidity. In 20AD, Hero of Alexandria invented the steam engine. The Romans thought that it was uneconomical, as slave labor was cheap and abundant enough for them. If they had thought ahead, they would have industrialized 1800 years early, made military machines that would have made mincemeat of any invading army, and would have been able to end the horrible institution of slavery that was the true immorality of Rome – as well as Also the true source of resentment against Roman Empire and against "the world."

Instead, there is evidence that women's rights are good for the countries, both economically and politically. The Western countries are far more advanced economically now than they were before feminism began. Rwanda today, with 50% of parliamentarians being women, is leading Africa in economic growth and social peace, which is a far cry from where it was in the 1990s – and a still further cry from those of its neighbors that do not have women's rights. A woman who has property and power will use it to improve the lot of her children and would be much less likely to squander it on invasion or genocide. As nurturers and as mothers, the women tend to be more dedicated to their children's well-being and strive for their education and prosperity; And being naturally less violent than men work to create a livable peace rather than conquer one's neighbor.

The Western civilization itself has had a lot of major female influences. Maria De Medici was instrumental in moving Europe from feudalism to civilization. Queen Elizabeth I took England from a feudal backwater to the world's most powerful empire. In computers, in science, in technology, in arts and literature and psychology, women were instrumental. And what is most impressive about these women is that they were able to make their contributions while facing societies that degrade women.

That does not mean that women who want the traditional wife role should not be able to have it. Far from it. Freedom means freedom, and social progress measures progress to greater freedom of choice. If a woman wants to be a traditional wife, she should have every right to do so. But the right that she – and people around her – should not have, is demand that everyone do as does she.

So no, women's rights do not lead to collapse of civilizations; Instead they give their civilizations the best times in their history. And for as long as the Western civilization embracees women's rights, its better days are still ahead.


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