On women


It’s a shock that these brilliant minds of the enlightenment period did not see the link between denying women opportunities for leadership and their absence from those posts. Almost all of them argue women are not fit for leadership because there have been no women leaders. I however believe had they lived long enough to see that when given opportunities, women can and have made good leaders.

With that, we can listen to Spinoza

But, perhaps, someone will ask, whether women are under men’s authority by nature or institution? For if it has been by mere institution, then we had no reason compelling us to exclude women from government. But if we consult experience itself, we shall find that the origin of it is in their weakness. For there has never been a case of men and women reigning together, but wherever on the earth men are found, there we see that men rule, and women are ruled, and that on this plan, both sexes live in harmony. But on the other hand, the Amazons, who are reported to have held rule of old, did not suffer men to stop in their country, but reared only their female children, killing the males to whom they gave birth. But if by nature women were equal to men, and were equally distinguished by force of character and ability, in which human power and therefore human right chiefly consist; surely among nations so many and different some would be found, where both sexes rule alike, and others, where men are ruled by women, and so brought up, that they can make less use of their abilities. And since this is nowhere the case, one may assert with perfect propriety, that women have not by nature equal right with men: but that they necessarily give way to men, and that thus it cannot happen, that both sexes should rule alike, much less that men should be ruled by women. But if we further reflect upon human passions, how men, in fact, generally love women merely from the passion of lust, and esteem their cleverness and wisdom in proportion to the excellence of their beauty, and also how very ill-disposed men are to suffer the women they love to show any sort of favour to others, and other facts of this kind, we shall easily see that men and women cannot rule alike without great hurt to peace. But of this enough.

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

43 thoughts on “On women

  1. carmen says:

    I liked the last sentence – “But of this enough”

    Like

  2. I think he managed to shoot himself in the foot sufficiently with that one paragraph.

    Liked by 3 people

    • makagutu says:

      There is consensus he managed to shoot both feet

      Liked by 2 people

    • Violet says:

      Recently I was pondering your views on women being oppressed in the west. I was inclined to think it wasn’t too bad, and was then brought up to reality after reading an article about US tennis champ Serena Williams. Serena is a beast in her sport and has dominated it for over two decades, winning something like 29 championship games and several olympic gold medals. A few weeks ago she had a HUGE scandal. What might that be, you ask? Well, her nipples were noticeable in her tennis costume on the day she won another championship at Wimbledon. People call it “nipplegate.” 😦

      http://www.totalprosports.com/2016/07/07/serena-williams-nipples-wimbledon/

      Liked by 3 people

      • Thanks Violet, for that. Firstly, she is a cracking tennis player. And, secondly, she is a cracking tennis player. So therefore there should be no more to say.

        Oh? But wait! She’s a woman. Must. Make. Her. A. Sex. Object.

        When I say oppression, I am talking about women as a class being kept down. And so, in your perfect example, we have a brilliant athlete being demeaned as people choose to talk about her nipples.

        Interestingly, if you look at it the other way round, Nureyev was never criticised and told to make his genitals less obvious. He was regarded as macho man. One role for men, and one rule, or rather many rules, for women.

        Regarding women, I accept I have a minority view (as I do about most things), and I live with that. I have spent a lot of years in feminism, but you have spent more years in catholicism. My knowledge of which can be reduced to the difference between con and transubstantiation, all good catholic girls went on the pill and had sex before marriage, and after Sunday mass everyone dived in the pub, ter be sure (Irish Catholics).

        We are all a product of our upbringing. Some of us choose to explore elsewhere, as you have done. So did I, but differently.

        I think I will include your nipple feature in my draft post. It really says it all. Who gives a shit about her tennis. Let’s watch her tits. Groan.

        Liked by 1 person

        • makagutu says:

          Some comedian said the Catholic gives offering on Sunday as a means to purchase absolution from sinning during the week.
          It’s a strange world. Rules for men and roles for women!

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          • I’ve not met any Catholics who shoved religion in people’s faces. They always struck me as being pragmatic, qv your comment about sinning during the week, confessing on Sunday, saying fifty Hail Marys and starting all over again.
            Rules and roles? I think women suffer more from both. Pushed into false roles and abiding by man-made (literally) rules.

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          • makagutu says:

            You know I agree with your comments on women.
            Being a former Catholic, I recall they said salvation is ongoing and ends when one meets with da lord. That way as long as one can receive sacraments, no problem there. Though the priest would encourage you to try not repeat the same infractions

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          • I remembered you were catholic before the enlightenment. 😉 I like the way they accept people get things wrong but you don’t normally get sent to hell for minor, or even major, infractions. It’s still crazy though.

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          • makagutu says:

            I think Catholics are pragmatists. They want the business model to work and they realised maybe, too late, during the Reformation that threats were counterintuitive. Access to heaven gets expanded by every new pope

            Liked by 1 person

      • Apparently, even the outline of female nipples showing through sportswear poses an existential threat to civilization. Oh, the humanity!

        Liked by 2 people

      • makagutu says:

        That’s scandalous!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. He shot himself through both his feet and his hands with that paragraph.

    Liked by 2 people

    • makagutu says:

      I was hoping to cut him some slack. He is a product of his time

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes indeed. However, I know far too many men today who’d whole-hardheartedly agree with all he says about women. So, I can’t just say his ignorance is due to his time. Part of the male brain is just fucked when it comes to seeing women as equals, I believe. A genetic defect perhaps? Or, perhaps just willful ignorance.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s a fair comment, especially as the Enlightenment preceded the suffrage movement, although not calls for greater equality as you know.
        However, to what excuse/reason/rationale would you attribute the same comments, not so elegantly worded, that come out of the mouths of men and women today? Is Trump a product of his time? In terms of corporate greed yes. Is Clinton (Bill, the has-been) a product of his time when he makes a speech at the Democrat convention nominating his wife for president and he witters on about her not wearing make-up, and wearing glasses, and how he was attracted to her? Very good. Just like Spinoza referring to women’s appearance and how we judge their abilities in proportion to that. Plus. Ça. Change.

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        • makagutu says:

          Fair question my friend.
          What excuse do those today have for making the same or worse comments about women? Ignorance perhaps. Or just perpetrating misogyny. Or both and more that I can’t think of presently.
          To measure someone’s ability by their looks is a strange model. I can’t make excuses for it.

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          • Ignorance indeed. Lack of (personal) interest, or in other words, self-interest. Sexism. Misogyny. Spinoza’s comments about weakness, nature, institution, men and women living in harmony – when men rule – could equally be said by a myriad of people today, whether politicians or person on the street.

            Our media don’t help. As soon as Theresa May became British PM, we had sexist comments about putting people under her herls, or similar, can’t remember the detail, I’ll look it up. We don’t get these comments about male politicians, but women are subjected to it all the time. It is oh so witty. (Not, just for clarity)

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          • makagutu says:

            Actually, the media is a big culprit. Two instances of very recent memory; some int’l paper had a picture of Clinton, no the other one, instead of Hillary and the headline was about her clinching the nomination. The second one is a local daily with nationwide circulation referring to a woman in the cabinet as the only man.

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          • Excellent examples Mak. The second one is redolent of the Thatcher prime ministerial years when she was referred to as the only man in the Cabinet.

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          • makagutu says:

            I can tell you there is some little hope. The day after that headline in our daily, several people on twitter were on the paper’s case for that reference

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          • That’s something. I’ve got some links to some article too that criticise sexism in the media. Attempting to write this afternoon.

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          • makagutu says:

            Attempting is good. I am sure it will bear fruit

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          • 🍉🍌🍏🍒🍇🍊🍍🍐🍓🍋🍎?

            Like

  4. Hariod Brawn says:

    We all make mistakes. 😳

    Liked by 1 person

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