Women are our best hope to improve society and curb macho instincts

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 June, 2017, 9:02am
UPDATED : Sunday, 04 June, 2017, 10:02pm

Hong Kong women and their mainland sisters can have an important role to play in bettering our world. Why? Because they make up the largest common language and ethnic group on the planet. Their unified efforts would achieve great results.

Unfortunately, present social systems denigrate women and ignore their values, since political parties, their military colleagues and the corporate world are dominated by men with macho instincts and outworn ideas.The parties view women as mere docile voters; the military brass see them as more submissive soldiers and the corporate world wants women to buy things and increase its profits. Is anyone surprised at the military violence, the eco-destruction, the abuse of women and the human rights violations we suffer?

The masculine world prefers to invest in nuclear bombs, missiles, bombers, aircraft carriers and poison gas rather than in education, medical care, child care, old-age support and peace-building efforts. If women call for reduced military spending, they are condemned as traitors. If they demand a fairer allocation of tax revenues, they are denounced as dissidents.

In democracies, women have the vote, so they should be able to reform things, but the system is rigged against them, as was seen in the last US presidential election. Entrenched power is rarely surrendered without a fight.

In autocratic societies, some women can be selected for token administrative posts in a male-dominated system. They are told that women “hold up half the sky”, lovely words meaning “serve the state, work in factories, have one or two babies, abort the rest, raise the kids, take care of the elderly and obey your commissars”.

So what can concerned women do? The answer is clear. Start in the home, where mothers can teach their children to reject the macho instincts, the military ethos that pollutes our world. They can stop buying useless stuff and use the money for social advocacy. They can ask their menfolk to be more alert and supportive of women’s real needs in the workplace and marketplace.

Any society which is unbalanced (military desires versus civilian needs; masculine versus feminine values) must eventually be made to change and improve. The timetable for such reforms depends on dedicated and knowledgeable citizens, men and women.

Of course, if you prefer our world as it now is, you are probably a man in power. Don’t let busybody females upset your happy hours.

J. Geitner, Sham Shui Po