Thursday, 11 August 2011

Sickening Society Makes Women Sick

Over the last couple of days, the CBC (bastion of useless news as it is now becoming) has run a few stories on womens' health issues. Things like the link between depression in women and stroke, or the "fact" that female smokers face higher heart risks than men do. So, what can one glean from these stories? Well, if you're a douchebag commenter on the CBC website (perhaps using the handle 'Whirl'd Pease' ... what an asshole) you'd draw a conclusion such as this:

This doesn't surprise me. The genders aren't equal when it comes to alcohol either. Due to differences in biology, some things affect men and women differently.
Not that any of my readers are idiot douchebags, mind you. So, this conclusion would never come to any of you. That's just for laughs.

No, a better conclusion to draw might be this: middle to upper class women in western society are sick. As in ill. But, just about everyone in western society is sick, so let's look deeper. In all the blah blah blah about smoking and stroke and depression, just what is making women sick? Why are more women smoking than men? Why are women depressed to the point where they're taking stroke-causing medication by the butt-tonne?

The answer is society itself, or rather the patriarchal rape-culture we live in. Smoking? Well, that's an easy one. For years the tobacco lobbyists have been telling women that smoking equals slimness. Now, everybody knows that smoking causes cancer. But, in this rape-culture patriarchy, women are worth only as much as their outward appearance to men, so they must take risks. Dangerous surgeries. Crazy fad diets. Injecting botulism into your face. Burning your skin off with chemicals every few weeks. Tearing out every hair that's not on their heads. So, smoking? No biggie. And, if you convince yourself it's relaxing, a stress-reliever, well then, you've got yourself a habit. So, women will smoke, for either or both of these reasons. And men will say, that's silly, but never realize that it's their fault for creating a world where giving yourself lung cancer is better than the alternative to some women.

And doesn't this tie into depression? Don't all women on some level know about, feel the existence of the patriarchy? Even the most dude-culture lovin' lady out there has some knowledge about the hierarchy. Why kiss up to dudes and use the b-word and watch Judd Apatow flicks if not to try and fit in, fly under the radar, so to speak? Living in a society that wants nothing more than to humiliate, rape, use and eventually kill you is kind of a downer. Depression is rampant these days. It's a stressful world we've created for ourselves, even under the best of circumstances. But, in almost all cases, women have it worse. Anti-depressants fuck you up, plain and simple. They don't work, they have more side effects than being bitten by a radioactive spider and they're expensive as hell. In short, anti-depressants are depressing, too.

What never seems to be examined is the why, however. Symptoms and quick fix solutions are tossed about liberally enough, but the root causes of the state of womens' health are never pondered. Female medicine, that is, medicine and medical treatments specifically for women, haven't evolved much past the dark ages themselves, so this isn't entirely surprising. Dudely doctors, surgeons and other such medical professionals probably feel as though they already know everything there is to know about lady-physiology at this point, so why try harder? Patriarchal society cuts women off at the knees at every juncture. Even female doctors learn from textbooks written by men, to work in hospitals run by men and to exist in a world that is male-centric. If they don't practice medicine like the other men, they may not be able to practice medicine at all. The doctors can't help women. Other women can help women, but dudes need to shut the fuck up and get out of the way.

Your mother is dying. Your sister is dying. Your daughter, or niece, or aunt, or girlfriend, or best friend or wife is dying. The patriarchy is killing her. It's not just the pollution of air, water and food. It's the chemicals they sell her on T.V. and in magazines. It's the billboards and movies. It's the porn websites and fashion bigwigs. The sickness attacks not just body, but mind and soul, too. Men need to realize the damage that we're doing. It's enough already. There might still be time to turn back. The pornographers haven't won yet. Especially here, on the internet, there is a huge and living feminist community. People fighting to make sure that women aren't run over roughshod by the patriarchy, turned into sickly breeding machines or worse. Far fetched? Hardly. I don't want to , I won't sit idly by and let a future like that come to pass. If women are sick, humanity itself is sick. But men are making women sick. We're destroying ourselves.

If you're a man, that is to say, a male-identified type person, and you're reading this, just stop and think about it for a minute. Just stop to consider the possibility that I'm right. There must be a female out there somewhere that means something to you. She and every other woman and girl out there have to face the same world every day. It shouldn't be as hard as it is for her. Something can be done. An egalitarian society where women and girls are free from the pressures of the patriarchal system is possible. We just all have to work together to make it so, under the leadership of those most oppressed. Who else would be more qualified to lead then those who are in greatest danger by the patriarchy? Feminist-leaning men should be ready to follow, but not to lead. We've made enough of a mess as it is. We can't be counted on to lead the clean-up effort. But, I believe (and I hope I'm right) that we can help. That we must help. We owe it to all the women who've been hurt along the way.

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