top of page
  • Writer's pictureDavid Williams

The Worldwide War on Women by David Williams, Sunday, December 10

For women everywhere the news is not good. Worldwide, there is a war against women being waged that comes from a conglomerate of forces: the American Right, the Russian government, the Chinese government, many Arab theocracies, and more.

In the United States, in Texas, a pregnant woman, Ms. Cox, with a severely diseased fetus with almost zero chance of survival (the pregnancy of which could also jeopardize Ms. Cox’s health and future fertility—uterine rupture and hysterectomy) went to court to try and get permission to have an abortion, since now in Texas almost all forms of abortion are outlawed. Considering her dire medical condition Mr. Cox was granted that permission, by the lower court, to have the needed abortion. But the Texas Supreme Court overrode the lower court’s ruling, while the asinine Attorney General of Texas, Ken Paxton, (himself recently having skirted an impeachment attempt brought on by his own Republican Party over extensive corruption), said that even if Ms. Cox had the abortion under the lower court’s allowance, that would not prohibit all of the state’s draconian laws against abortion being thrown at her. Ms. Cox would become a felon if she terminated her diseased pregnancy. Shakespeare could hardly have devised a more villainous plot and more devious characters. [Update: today, on December 11th, the Texas Supreme Court turned down Ms. Cox's plea for an emergency abortion. I believe that the state of Texas should be accused of human rights violations by the International Criminal Court--for crimes against humanity].

Meanwhile, in September, 2023, China drafted a state law declaring that anybody who is found to be wearing clothes or symbols that “undermine the spirit or hurt the feelings of the Chinese nation” may face imprisonment of 15 days, with fines up to 5,000 yuan. This is the banning of clothing that “hurts people’s feelings!” Of course, the law is intentionally vague enough to allow for virtually anyone to be arrested for anything—as who can’t get their feelings hurt over any imagined infraction having to do with attire. Recently, people wearing rainbow print clothing were denied entry to a concert in Beijing by government forces.

While in 2017, Russia decriminalized any domestic violence that does not lead to broken bones and hospitalization--in an effort to support “masculine values." Aligned with the Russian Orthodox Church, the old gender stereotypes are being pushed forward in Russia as the only acceptable way Russian women and men can act. Meanwhile, rape as an instrument of war is once again being propagated on the women of Ukraine by Russian soldiers. Putin has also been urging Russian women to havev eight or more babies, because of the massive deaths of Russian men sent to fight in Ukraine. China is also vigorously pressuring women to have three kids now, overturning the one-child rule of Maoism.

In Iran, the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was killed while being detained for an alleged head-scarf violation, has caused millions of women in Iraq to pour into the streets march, demanding the Morality Police be abandoned and that women’s rights be restored. Of course, the Iran government unleashed their military might on these brave women throughout the country, hanging four and killing hundreds.

These stories are just the tip of the iceberg as authoritarian. fascist, communist, capitalist, and theocratic governments join spiritual forces to obliterate the rights and lives of women. What does this tell us about human nature? As I have written before, as a species we certainly do not seem to be acting like the peaceful and female-led bonobos--but more like our male dominated chimpanzee cousins. Truth is, in nearly all human societies males are given preference, with females relegated to a lower class. In state-level societies this often became highly exaggerated, with some women being treated like chattel, bought and sold, which happened in the US as well for several hundred years. As the great Black American author, Zora Neal Hurston wrote, “Black women are the mules of the world.”

Male obsession with menstruation is another case of discrimination, found in societies around the world. Women have often been made ,into pariahs, shunned by society, during their “periods.” My own experience living around medicine men in various primal cultures attests to the fact that these medicine men or shaman feel their power will be sapped from them if they are in close contact with a menstruating woman. Likewise, the fascination with virginity is another odd twist, as most cultures look at this state as the most revered, like the Lakota’s White Buffalo Calf Maiden, or the Catholic Church’s Virgin Mary (where only a virgin is capable of delivering an official son of god). But virgins who are no longer virgins often face shame in many cultures and are unable to obtain a spouse. Birth outside of wedlock is still frowned upon by many cultures. Virginity, of course, has everything to do with ratifying male paternity, so that any given male is sure that any children he is providing for actually carry his genes and not those of another male. This need also explains the common practice of many male animals entering a new pride or troop (lions or gorillas for example) and killing the young sired by the previous head honcho. This is a behaviorial trait that staggeringly predates any conscious knowledge of fatherhood; yet evolution has ensured that this knowledge be unconsciously made quite clear.

There are clearly dispositions at work here that are not good. Cultures and individuals do not HAVE to be misogynistic or sexist, but as a species we certainly have a propensity for our worst traits to arise. Overall, woman are MUCH less violent than men, much kinder, and much more compassionate, and have shown themselves (as far as I'm concerned) to be superior to men when it comes to the job of governing; yet it always seems that women’s rights are two steps forward and one step back, or even two steps back, or three. For human beings keep electing or allowing despicable men to obtain power. How the Christian Right bestows such devotion on Trump--an avowed misogynist, abuser, molester, and violator, of women—I cannot reconcile. But of course, it is not just men who vote these kinds of people into power. Women also have a say in all this as well, and too often blind allegiance—to a religion, a cause, a government, a power—ends up with critical thinking going the way of the Dodo. Most people love their mothers yet fail to see it is the rights of their mothers here that we are talking about, and the rights of their daughters as well. Far too many women buy into the biases instilled in them by religious or secular training, seeing themselves as unworthy, not as completely human as males, and of course there is still the ongoing fight amongst women as to which side of feminism they are for or against.

But right now, the war against women is full-blown and bursting at the seams--but few are seeing it--few are paying attention to the graffiti being written on the walls.


bottom of page