“What was is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun,” Ecclesiastes 1:9.< p>“The more things change, the more they stay the same” Translated from French, Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, 1849.
Why an article on the Attack on patriarchy start with quotes? by men living in biblical antiquity and the 19th century?
To illustrate the contradictory stupidity of wisdom. King Solomon was having a rough time early in Ecclesiastes, hence the world-weary despondency in his laments.
Karr also came from a place of cynicism, very French of him. Both men are right, and both men are incredibly self-indulgent. Yet her words have become canon for the weak and are constantly used against optimistic dreamers like me who try to preach the gospel of a better world if we bother.
Well. Change cannot take place in an atmosphere of defeat. I wrote last week about the dire situation men are in in Tanzania. Men are increasingly committing suicide, the boy is marginalized and, worse, abused. This is not done by women – this is a social evil that is our collective fault. And we know it.
You can hardly open an online conversational app in Tanzania and not stumble into a discussion about family, men, women, relationships and parenting. The frequency with which these issues recur is an indicator of how many of us are struggling.
Significantly, the discussions lead to the emergence of two camps: the conservative majority, who embrace modern life and technology blame disease for our social life and the minority of progressives who say the problem is not with things but with people and how we live.
One camp is rooted in fear and resistance to change, the others embrace potential and preach agency. Guess which one is likely to help us “win” in life from the individual level to the global level?
I promised last week to address how to deal with the dark side of our society , which allows the patriarchy to keep oppressing and killing us. The site that leads to child pornography, pregnant school girls, domestic violence, suicides, sexual harassment in the workplace, state violence against tribal peoples… the list is endless.
I’m afraid the answer to such big questions is annoying simple: practice radical love. Radical love, in stark contrast to the attitude in the two quotes, cannot afford to be idle and passive. It is dynamic, a force to be reckoned with.
Radical love places a duty on partners in love and life to support and respect one another in order to honor their relationship. It requires parents and guardians to give their children the best of themselves, requiring selflessness that sometimes borders on insanity.
Radical love of community makes you a servant. Radical philanthropy will turn you into a pacifist and a feminist sympathizer because you will side with the oppressed.
As a feminist, this is part of what I find both attractive and challenging about this political stance think.
Feminism is full of angry people because they can’t stand injustice. It’s full of questioners because it challenges the status quo. But it’s also full of radical love because it’s obsessed with justice, healing, understanding and improvement.
The starting point is women as subalterns in patriarchy, but it’s really the radical love element of feminism that makes it care Everyone. So next time you decide to know what the endgame of feminism is, make sure you don’t confuse it with matriarchy, which is patriarchy with a female face.
The kind of feminism that I practice is one that aims at self-destruction. When the goals of gender equality and equality before the law are achieved in our societies, there will be no need for feminism like me. We can just work to be the best people we can be, regardless of gender and/or gender. And that’s why I’m happy to study masculinities as part of my feminist practice. I know from testimonies and from scientific reading that men are victims of patriarchy, which is why its dismantling is in everyone’s interests. And feminism is the only political stance whose sole purpose is to do just that.
If we want our boys to be safe, enjoy the privileges and protections that are increasingly offered almost exclusively to girls become, then we radicalize them. We must see them as children first and raise them with all the radical love that goes with it. Those of us who can must try to love grown men out of their trauma, poor upbringing, fear, ignorance and violence and rehabilitate them where possible.
We may even have to give them a whole new way of being that doesn’t threaten their identity while giving them space to be authentic and free from the yoke of sexism.
Finally, I wanted to offer a male poem by Whitman or Kipling, but they were that to death did. Instead, let me offer you the wisdom of singer Des’Ree from her song You Gotta Be. It’s an excellent anthem for anyone trying to live well in the 21st century and maybe even beyond. Love will save the day.
Elsie Eyakuze is a consultant and blogger for The Mikocheni Report: Email: [emailprotected]