THE FLIPSIDE: Know-It-Alls and the Suffering of Women

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Editor’s note: Welcome to The Flipside, where we offer a different view of this week’s news. The Flipside … posting every Friday afternoon

When men get hold of an idea, and believe in that idea exclusively, women suffer. We’re just stubborn that way. Hardship often comes with the implementation of a restrictive approach to government (religious or secular), and women are often beaten down — figuratively and literary — in the process. Such is the case in vast swaths of Iraq and Syria right now.

Child brides, families selling daughters in order to survive, sexual violence and trafficking young girls are on the rise. Women, with a few exceptions, don’t fight, yet suffer at the hands of men who do. Reason, or appealing to the needs of women and children, fall short in front of a man with a gun and a bunch of silly ideas rolling around his skull. He’ll win the argument every time … until someone with more or a bigger gun comes along and “tells” him that he’s wrong.

Even when a restrictive philosophy promises to raise the status of women, as in the case of Communism, the results often don’t bode well for the fairer sex in the long run. If all of those revolutionaries back in the day could have foreseen the massive uptick in human trafficking and mail-order brides from Eastern Europe, do you think they would have signed on to regime change so eagerly?

In Asia, the proverbial fecal matter has hit the fan as far as women’s rights are concerned when it comes to trafficking. Rich, yet still technically Communist China, craves young brides. (Not enough to go around.) And in modern China, many now have the means to buy a trafficked bride.

Mao’s utopia, embodied by his famous quote, “Women hold up half the sky,” failed to mention that many of these women, especially uneducated girls from the countryside and foreign slaves (aka brides) would be fettered in chains while doing so.

Cheery stuff, isn’t it? And so much of this comes from Man’s inability to compromise. Here you might expect me to say something about how the world would be better off if women (famed for knowing how to comprise) ruled. I’m not sure if that’s the case either, but it seems to have worked out all right for Iceland.

Regardless, life for both sexes would improve substantially if all of these dudes with dogma and guns wandering around the planet could just chill the fuck out and realize they don’t have all of the answers. Of course, try telling a young man (and quite a few old ones) with or without a gun that he doesn’t know everything worth knowing … let me know how that works out for you.

Carl Pettit is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine

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