Women Rights – Part 1

i keep asking myself what is women rights from women perspective, and how it is different from our understanding, but before start jumping to conclusions lets take a look at women and their rights across the history, or at least the history that I am aware off, which is pretty short. I believe starting from Greek civilization will be a good place.

Status of women in ancient Greece varied from city to city, but they have one thing in common they don’t have the right for individuality, they always had a master, before getting married the master was the father or brother and after getting married the master is her husband. They have no right in owning properties, therefor they were not considered as full citizen, they are not allowed to have any political interference for the same reason which has mentioned before. Of course there were an exceptions but the general trend was that.

When Rome came to power, they were pretty affected by Greek philosophies and specially stoic philosophy which revolves around the relation between the cosmic determinism and human freedom, and produced a nice doctrine about sexual inequality contradicts the laws of nature, and based on it; men and women has the same capacity of virtue and equal obligation to act based on it. Stoic philosophy entered Rome as a low by our beloved senator Marcus.

Middle ages came and English common law in 12th century says all properties of wife held at the time of marriage will be expropriated to her husband while forbidding husbands from transferring properties without wife’s consent. Strange isn’t it, but who am I to judge. French married wives have always encounter restrictions in their legal rights such as selling and buying.

16th century came as decades passes by to allow more freedom to women during and after the reformation movements, but the idea of patriarchal system was agreed as rule of thumb until 18th century when it has been discovered that there is matrilineal system exists in native north American people. On late 18th and the beginning of 19th century liberation movements started to take a shape such as freedom of religion, abolition of slavery and the most important thing for this article are women rights. This reached to a critical place in Britain and France. Philosophers and thinkers joined hands to support the equality and challenged the notion of theocracy which has been misinterpreted and has been generalized to both genders. I always remember what Rousseau says

“Women do wrong to complain of the inequality of man-made laws” and claimed that when she tries to usurp our rights, she is our inferior”.

In 1971 French politician De Gouges published the “declaration of the rights of women and female citizen” which is pretty ironic because it addresses how the French revolution failed to satisfy the concept of equality. John Stuart Mill also was against inequality in 1869 he mentions something interesting in his essay “the subjection of women” describing the situation in Britain

“We are continually told that civilization and Christianity have restored to the woman her just rights. Meanwhile the wife is the actual bondservant of her husband; no less so, as far as the legal obligation goes, than slaves commonly so called”

Women started to get their right in Europe starting from the mid of 20th century, and government started to put women rights laws starting from 1950 starting from Britain, France and USA and spanned across the globe after that

Why did I talked about all of these historical events in Europe, and talked about Greeks and romans before that. I did that in order to shape the idea that women rights now a days was based on some philosophical dogmas from the very beginning, and it has took a shape after; when there were no wars, famines, plagues, … Etc., it started to take a shape when we are not busy enough to dedicate some place in our mind to think about it.

Human principles used to change across the history so what about philosophical doctrines. When I look at women rights I feel myself like being in Utopia with Plato arguing about the republic taking into consideration that he didn’t believe in this type of equality among genders.

Now all the women across the globe believe that they have the right of equality without knowing the origin of this equality and the conflicts it made across the history. And I really envy them in a way they don’t know and they keep insisting on following what they don’t know and almost all of them thinks that they will find the absolution by doing so.

So forget about my boring introduction, and let’s get back to the subject. What are women rights from their perspectives? I believe I could summarize it in one sentence

“Women have the right to become a man on every aspect while not being a man.” and what I mean by not being a man, is to have man parts. Maybe you will say that I’m against women which is not, or I hate them which is not also, but any way who am I to judge me; you know better.

I will stop now, and I will continue tomorrow if I stayed alive until tomorrow.

 

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