Do men hate women? That is my provocative question. Deep, deep down are men happy that women are suppressed and second place in the race for equality?
“Where did those questions bubble up from?” you may ask.
Like most people I have watched the tragedy in Afghanistan take prominence in the media this past week and have reacted with horror and pain, often turning off the news as the pictures and the suffering became too grim.
I labelled the Taliban as medieval murderers in sandals. This was of course said in the safety of my own home, thousands of kilometres away. That was my first assessment, and I don’t think I have changed my mind.
The Taliban have for many years promoted a policy of brutality to both men and women to foster their aims. They instil fear and keep their population ignorant and downtrodden except for the lucky few leaders who, no doubt, have worked out ways to plunder their country.
No doubt, these leaders have access to offshore tax havens, setting up anonymous shell companies to hide their booty. The few get rich at the expense of the many. And the lesser members down the pecking hierarchy get to manipulate their followers, get off on power and exploit women and use them as chattels with fewer rights and freedoms than a dog.
As a woman, I weep for the women of Afghanistan and for all women who are restricted in their human rights and treated as less than human.
I have been fortunate to grow up in a liberal democracy that generally values all its citizens and has generally given women the chance for an equal life with that of men.
I have worked in an industry that gave women equal pay and opportunities eons ago. I have had the luxury to have control over my own fertility.
I have suffered little overt prejudice because of my gender except for that time in year 12 calculus when the teacher walked in and demanded to know why two girls, one of whom was me, were in his class. Small prejudices really.
But that is not always the story for many women even here in Australia. Women here are not facing the terrible repression and brutality of Afghanistan, but they do face other issues.
The salaries of women overall are less than men, we have fewer women in CEO roles, we do not have equal numbers representing us in parliament and women still do the vast majority of housework and child raising, despite often working full-time jobs.
So, I get back to my question.
Do men hate women or at least fear that they may gain power and control that men rightly feel is theirs?
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