|From Part I Chapter 4 Socialization of Female Oppression
By Shane Stewart
Conditioning Children for Female Oppression
The negative male ego has divided human society into a multitude of differing and warring factions, intent upon dominating or destroying each other. But divided as they may be by their differences, men stand as a unified force behind a perpetual campaign of maintaining female oppression. The human male has had unbelievable success in sustaining domination and control over women across thousands of generations. Most men are constantly at work assuring that the image of male superiority stays in the forefront of human consciousness. However, like all tyrannical despots, the power that men hold over women is simply the result of successful, but baseless propaganda, programming, advertising, and brainwashing that is subject to unravel very quickly in the face of truth.
Men have forced us to live in a social construct based upon false images of reality. Most of what we are taught to think of as truths are actually fallacies. The greatest fallacy under which humanity is laboring is that men are superior to women. Our world has functioned within the parameters of this falsehood for thousands of years and look where it has lead us! Women are fully aware that male superiority is just an image; a false belief. Men also know it is inconceivable that they could possibly be superior to the very women who give them life, but the compelling male ego is determined to dominate the female, and men sternly and seriously wear their mask of superiority in hopes that it will continue to intimidate women and keep them in their place. The shallow idea that men are superior to women is nothing but a cruel and vicious charade conjured up in the primitive minds of ancient men and maintained by “modern” men. One of the greatest fears men have is that someday women will wake up and realize they have been tricked into playing a fool’s game.
To prevent this horrifying scenario from occurring, men keep women under control by assuring that each new generation is thoroughly indoctrinated with the image of male superiority by its previous generation of males The remarkable success men have had in accomplishing this goal over the centuries is done by concentrating on the fertile and impressionable minds of children, programming girls and boys with stereotype, gender-specific attitudes and behavior patterns that reflect the superior male and inferior female behavior roles afflicting our society today. Conditioning young minds to accept and believe that the fallacy of male superiority is the “truth,” is not something men do by secretly cramming children into brainwashing machines, or strapping electrodes to their heads. Thinking that men would use such outrageous methods of controlling the minds of young children is quite disturbing as humans like to think of themselves as creatures of “free will.” Men see to it that children are programmed with gender-specific behavior and attitudes through a much more subtle and acceptable process in which every human being is an unwitting accomplice: that of simple observation imprinting.
The interaction between men and women in every culture on earth is an open exhibition of superior male and inferior female stereotype behavior patterns. Children learn how they are expected to behave by watching the men and women around them as they go about their daily business performing appropriate, authoritative male and subordinate female roles of behavior. These everyday displays of gender-specific male/female behavior patterns are deeply absorbed into the child’s mind; imprinting the attitude that the male is most certainly superior to the female. Children automatically accept, adopt, and mimic the human behavior they observe around them as being normal, and will continue to display such normal human behavior as they journey throughout their lives. The exhibition of dominant male and submissive female behavior is essential to the process of planting and nurturing the seeds of male superiority and female inferiority into the minds of young children.
Seeing that each new generation of males is properly conditioned to maintaining female oppression is paramount in the lives of most men. Throughout the world men find their importance in the male ego image of being superior to women. Indeed, manhood is defined by a man’s ability to dominate and control the inferior females around him. Conditioning young boys to believe they are superior to girls must begin at an early age. Men form boys unto their own negative image by planting the seeds of violence, aggression, and superiority into their young minds. Men insist that boys be physically aggressive and dominant. They teach them that they are superior to, and vastly more important than, weak and inferior girls. Men fully understand that male dominant programming cannot be put off until later in life. This programming must be completed before a boy reaches the “age of reason” or he may find it very difficult to accept the primitive notion that one human being has an inherent right to dominate another. If boys were allowed to develop naturally, without being saturated with the attitude of male superiority, they would develop not as oppressors of women, but as human beings, existing in a gender equitable world.
Contrary to what the male ego wants us to believe, humans are not predisposed to gender-specific behavior. We are not born with a “gender behavior road map” that leads us to act as stereotype males and females. Behaving as a boy or girl is not a genetically inherent human trait, but comes out of an applied process that indoctrinates children with appropriate images that represent superior male and inferior female behavior patterns. Gender specific behavior is a learned process. We are designated male or female dependent upon the shape of our bodies. The male body has the shape of a penis. The female body has the shape of a vagina. The type of behavior programming children receive is determined by whether they were born with a penis or vagina. Children born with a body in the shape of a penis are programmed for dominant and aggressive behavior. Children born with a body in the shape of a vagina are programmed for subservient and submissive behavior. This is easily accomplished because children constantly observe men displaying dominant and superior behavior over women, and women displaying submissive and subservient behavior under men in everyday life.
Programming the child’s mind for gender specific, male/female, stereotype behavior is critical to the foundation that supports the perpetual image of male superiority. Infant boys and girls are born onto this earth with no concept or preconceived idea of proper gender behavior. They are open and receptive to learning. They cannot act like a boy or a girl unless they are conditioned to do so. Contrary to a popular nursery rhyme of my childhood, boys are not made of “snakes and snails and puppy dog tails,” and girls are not made of “sugar and spice and everything nice,” This is a fantasy of course; a fairy tale we playfully share with our kids. But it seriously represents the attitude we expect young children to display as a boy or a girl. Gender programming conveys to boys that they are to be strong, aggressive, and socially superior. They must be emotionally hard and cannot cry like a girl. Gender programming conveys to girls that they are to be helpless, fearful, and socially inferior. They must be emotionally soft, and are supposed to cry at the slightest disappointment.
Boys are supposed to be tough, active, extroverts, who play hard, get dirty, and have no fear of handling creepy, crawly, creatures. Girls are supposed to be weak, passive, introverts, and shriek at the mere sight of a creepy, crawly, creature. Girls are taught that they are expected to be meek and subservient. Boys are taught that they are expected to be strong and dominant. Girls are taught that boys are hard, superior, decisive leaders. Boys are taught that girls are soft, inferior, indecisive followers. Boys are told to be tough and stand up for themselves. A young male that avoids fighting, or is averse to demonstrating violent, aggressive behavior, is criticized for acting like a sissy girl or being a “momma’s” boy. A young female that enjoys running, jumping, climbing trees, building things, and standing up for herself is ridiculed as a “tomboy.”
In fact, how we expect and encourage girls and boys to play “games” is integral to the programming process. Girls are taught that when they are playing with boys, they must play secondary, obedient roles such as nurse or secretary, while boys are taught they must play primary, authoritative roles such as doctor or boss. Boys are taught to “be boys” through rugged, aggressive games that require physical contact in which girls are not allowed. Girls are taught to “be girls” through passive games such as jump rope, playing house, playing with dolls and kitchen sets, all designed to prepare them for their coming role as subservient mothers and wives. Girls see mommy serving daddy and their brothers, and they adopt the attitude that they are also to serve the male. They follow their mother’s pattern, learning to do “women’s” work; cleaning the house, doing dishes, and washing clothes, while their brothers get to go out in the yard and play fun, aggressive games with their father.
By the time children start school, they are fully imprinted with appropriate male/female attitudes, and saturated with images of how boys and girls are supposed to behave. Seeing all the other kids at school displaying the same gender-specific behavior reinforces a child’s belief in male/female stereotypes. Children will continue, consciously or unconsciously, to exhibit and support superior male and inferior female behavior patterns throughout their entire lives and will, in turn, pass those patterns on to their own children as being normal and expected human gender behavior. Among the most important attitudes that a man must convey to his children to demonstrate that he is more important than mommy, is the attitude that they are really daddy’s kids. Mommy gave birth to them of course, but she did that for daddy. It was her duty as a good mommy. The children must understand that no matter what mommy says or does, daddy is the final authority. They are daddy’s kids and that is their identity.
The role of the male as “authority” over the female is absolute regardless of the female’s role as wife, daughter, sister, mother, aunt, grandmother, friend, associate or complete stranger. Void of any internal sense of self, men depend upon the role of superior for their identity and social patterns of behavior. Removing the false image of superiority with which men have surrounded themselves, would expose them as having no identity, and leave them without a guide for their behavior. To assure that the power woven into the role of superior male continues to be accepted in the world’s societies, men have concocted myths and fallacies designed to promote the image of male superiority as truth. One such popular fallacy is that male superiority is an instinctive behavioral trait inherent in human consciousness and therefore is irrefutably the natural and intended behavior pattern of men and women on Earth. This is one of the strongest falsehoods used by men to brainwash women into continuing to perform their role as inferiors and not question the reality of male superiority. It has been quite successful.
Men realize that as girls grow and mature into women they may begin to develop rational doubts about the fairness and justice of living their lives in a secondary position as a support group for the male ego. This period of doubt cannot be allowed to persist as it could lead to demands for independence and equality by the female and thus would weaken the grip of male domination. To soften the impact of this rise of doubt that pierces the mind of all maturing young women, men plant the seeds of female inferiority into the minds of young girls as soon as they reach the age of comprehension. Girls are particularly saturated during childhood with imprinting designed to condition their psyche to the belief that male superiority is a result of the natural and normal development of humanity and not arbitrarily established by men. I feel much empathy for women in our world today. If a woman persists in questioning male superiority she is subject to being belittled, ridiculed, marked as unstable, dismissed as maladjusted, and derided as anti-family, and anti-God. In some, more primitive cultures, a disobedient woman will be ostracized and cast out of the group, which may result in her imminent death. How can she possibly stand against that?
If allowed to develop individually, human beings would not instinctively display stereotype behavior based upon gender. Various types of aggressive, submissive, authoritative, and/or dominant behavior would be developed in equal balance between males and females. Positions of leadership in government, business, religion, society, and so on, would not be dominated by men, but would be naturally distributed more evenly among men and women. However, as long as the male ego dominates and controls human culture, children will never be allowed to develop non-gender character. Men are determined to maintain their position of superiority by continuing to mold young females to accept roles of behavior designed to serve the needs of the superior male. Children are not aware of, nor do they care about, rules of proper gender behavior. They are children, bubbling over with natural childhood energy, excitement, and curiosity about themselves and life. Their young minds, if left uncorrupted, would develop a sense of true human equality between males and females. But children quickly become captives of gender-specific behavior roles. Children are squashed, stretched, molded, and trained to act appropriately as a boy or a girl, and forbidden to explore and develop their own character. Every new generation of children is steeped in the kind of behavior we expect them to perform throughout their lives as males and females. Every new generation is a brainwashed victim of the generation that preceded it. We live in a society where men are paranoid about maintaining proper male/female behavior patterns because these patterns are strictly designed to keep men in control of women.
The “Attitude” of Male Superiority
(A living example)
We are in the maternity ward of a local hospital. A new mother is lying in bed, exhausted, gently cuddling her newborn twins; a girl and a boy. She is proud of her healthy, squirming, little infants, and lovingly engages them in baby talk. Her husband bursts into the room and approaches the bed. He is excited about the birth, but barely acknowledges the presence of his wife. Immediately he asks, “Which one is my son?” His wife nods in the direction of the boy. “My son!” he exclaims with smiling pride, looking down at the boy. “You are my son!” He ignores his daughter and picks up his son. He circles around the room, talking to the boy as if it understands his every word. But wait! Is this actually his son? He gently unwraps the child in search of the penis. Observing it, he is satisfied that this is indeed his son. He wraps the child back in the blanket.
“Hey little man!” He exclaims, beaming down at the child. “The whole world is yours little fella. I’m gonna make your life great! We’ll have so much fun discovering everything! It’s you and me little guy! You can be anything you want to be. Let’s see; hmm; how about a doctor, or an astronaut, or a great scientist?” He chuckles, “Or maybe the greatest ballplayer of all time! And the girls! Man, you’re gonna have all the girls you want, you handsome little devil, just like your old man; a chip off the old block.” The man rambles on and on with the boy, oblivious of his wife and daughter. How can this man show such pride and lavish such attention on his son, ignore the woman who gave it birth, and not even acknowledge his daughter? He does it because the boy is in his image as a male. It is his son. Of course, he loves his wife and daughter too, but they’re importance is diminished in the presence of his son because they are females. The boy is his child; the girl is her mother’s. This is the male ego in full bloom, bonded in the shared identity of the penis.
This man’s entire value system was molded in a world in which females are considered unimportant except in how they can serve men. In this man’s mind, his wife has merely performed her duty in giving birth to his children. More precisely, it is his sons she must produce in which he can take pride. In our male dominated, patrilineal society, sons carry on the family name, daughters do not. This man’s daughter, through no fault of her own, will spend her entire life suffering the gross injustice of inequality that exists between men and women throughout all societies on earth. In reality, these twins are just people, equal human beings. They were conceived together, shared the same womb together, and arrived on Earth through the same mother, at the same time. This girl and boy shared the same path as they journeyed toward Earth, but when they arrived on Earth, they were placed onto two separate, unequal paths. The boy was placed onto the path of male superiority. The girl was placed onto the path of female inferiority. From the moment of their birth, and throughout their childhood, these two untarnished, innocent minds will be twisted, corrupted, and formed by the programming they receive as a boy or a girl. They will be taught and shown how to think, feel, speak, and act appropriately, according to their gender.
In the maternity ward, this man paints a bright future for his son. But he has nothing to say to his daughter about her future because she has no future of her own choosing. She is a girl and her future is set. Everyone knows what she’s supposed to be in life, and regardless of what she wants, in the final analysis, as a female, she will fulfill her duty in the service of the male ego. During her childhood, she will learn that her brother comes first. As a boy, he is the favored one. Her needs will come second to his. She will not be encouraged to discover life, as her brother will be. She will not be encouraged to become someone, like her brother is going to be. She is a girl. She will be trained as a girl with toys and things designed to prepare her for the eventuality of being a housewife, a mother, a secretary, nurse, or one of the many other secondary positions designed for women to support the superior image of the negative male ego. She will receive dolls, cooking toys, baby things, a playhouse, and books with graphic pictures depicting women in roles that place her in subordination and servitude to men.
A Girl Must “Defer” to Her Brothers
(A living example)
Julie is eleven years old, the first born child of Rachael and Robert. She has two brothers, Robert, Jr. (Robby), who is nine, and James (Jimmy), who is 7. They live comfortably in a mid-western town where Robert makes a decent living as a shift-foreman in a large, furniture manufacturing company. Rachael and Robert belong to various community groups, attend their son’s school sporting events, and take their children to church every Sunday. They are just everyday people in this everyday town, born and raised here, and will probably spend their lives here. Rachael and Robert were loyal sweethearts all through high school, the envy of all their friends. They married the same day they graduated. Rachael was pregnant with Julie at the time, but that was not the reason they married. They would have done so anyway. They were young, excited, and forever in love.
But the passage of time and the encroachment of reality will eventually erode every fantasy born of the young mind. For Rachael and Robert, their burning love, once fueled by the fire of youth, passion, sexual energy, and unbreakable dreams, now leaned heavily upon the crutches of duty and responsibility. “The honeymoon is over. The bloom is off the rose.” After being married eleven years Robert realizes that his life will probably remain what it is now. He is no longer optimistic about achieving greater success. As a father to Julie, Robert is stiff, cold, and “proper.” As a father to his sons, he is protective, attentive, loving, fun, and exciting. As a husband to Rachael, Robert has become mechanical and distant, having long ago lost all interest in her as a “lover.” She is no longer his sweetheart; she is now the mother of his sons. But Robert is considered a good man and does not fail to meet the financial needs of his family.
Over the years, Robert has engaged in extramarital affairs. Some are known to Rachael, some are not. They do not discuss it. Rachael, quite an attractive woman, has yet to stray beyond the marriage. However, with the lack of love and passion from Robert, she is increasingly tempted to find it elsewhere. Rachael does not lack opportunities to do so. She is constantly flattered by many admiring, successful, and handsome men who let it be known that they find her very attractive. When Julie was born, Rachael still had her fantasy about life with Robert and was overjoyed at having the baby. Julie was the product of their undying passion. When their relationship was fresh, they spent hours fantasizing and planning how wonderful their family was going to be. As they progressed toward marriage their bond became absolute. But over the months, the birth of Julie turned Rachael’s dream into a nightmare. Shocked and stunned, she could see that Robert wasn’t sharing the joy of their first child even though Julie was the fulfillment of their dream. She was the beginning of their family, their love child. This was not the way it was supposed to be. How could Robert not be happy? The truth, unbeknownst to Rachael, was that Robert was angry and extremely disappointed because Rachael didn’t give him a son as their first child! She had a girl. A girl! Robert felt betrayed. He wanted a family with Rachael of course, but he wanted sons, not daughters, especially the first child! A son is someone he could brag about to his buddies. A son was his image. What could he do with a daughter?
Over the next few months Rachael slowly realized her world had forever changed. She had no idea Robert felt this way. He was cold and distant. The man she married was disappearing before her very eyes, the burning flame of love rapidly being reduced to smoldering cinders. Rachael was beginning to see that life with Robert was never going to be the wonderful journey she had so happily fantasized. Rachael wasn’t sure why, but she stayed with Robert; maybe out of some dim hope that somehow, they could rekindle the flame. That did not happen. Over the years, she gave birth to two more children, both sons. Robert was relieved and thankful that she was finally “getting it right.” Robert made feeble attempts to show Rachael affection, but she knew those were just intellectual nothings, maybe presented out of a sense of guilt. Their love had begun dying long ago. Any love that Robert had left in him went to the boys. They were the focus of his life, the center of his universe. Rachael and Julie were in the picture of course, but being females, they were relegated to the unfocused background of Robert’s life. The boys dominate the family. They get whatever they want, and whatever Robert wants them to have. Julie gets the bare minimum. If money is tight and a choice has to be made, the boys always come first. Robert sees to it that they have everything they need to be the most active and popular kids in the neighborhood: baseball equipment, football stuff, new bikes, a club house, and a big back yard to play in. “Robby and Jimmy’s house” is the central focus for all the other neighborhood boys. Robert makes sure his boys have all the best camping and fishing stuff for the many weekends that he takes off alone with them. He has never taken Julie anywhere alone, not even to school.
When Julie was nine, money was tight in the family and she was supposed to have a new dress to wear to one of her friend’s birthday parties. But Robby got a new baseball mitt instead. Robert told her she needed to understand that summer was coming and Robby had to have that mitt to play baseball. Besides, Robby was her brother, and it was her duty as a sister to sacrifice for him! But Julie resented that. Even as a very young girl she knew there was something terribly wrong with that picture. Rachael tried to talk to Robert about his distance with Julie. He never displayed affection toward her, never showed interest in what she did. But he wouldn’t listen. Robert insisted that he wasn’t ignoring Julie. It was just that being a father to a daughter was different than being a father to his sons, and it was hard for him to relate to Julie because they had no “common ground” upon which to meet. Rachael destroyed that reasoning by countering with the fact that “love is common ground” that needs to be shared between father and child, regardless of their gender.
Robert always says he loves Julie (and he does), but that she doesn’t need the kind of attention and all the things the boys need to prepare them to be strong, and confident. “She’s a girl. What’s she going to do with strength, and confidence?” he would say. And besides, isn’t she learning all the stuff a girl needs to know from her mother; how to cook, wash dishes, clean house, do laundry, and iron clothes? “What else is there that she really has to know?’ he would ask, feigning confusion. “And I don’t want to see the boys doing any of that stuff” he insisted. “They can’t be doing girls work.” So, while the boys get to go out and play ball and do other fun boy stuff with their dad, Julie must stay in the house and work with her mother. Julie quietly accepts that she will always live in the shadow of her brothers, she just doesn’t know why.
This family scenario Illustrates the emotional, mental, and physical deprivation that pervades the lives of many beautiful young girls. Girls who are denied the love, recognition, and personal encouragement from a father obsessed with his male ego and saturated with the image of male superiority. Because she is female, Julie is not given the respected human and social value that is heaped upon male children. Her only value comes through a secondary role that is designed to serve and support the needs of the males in her young life. She resents it, and knows it is wrong. But she is no match for the strength of the fallacy of male superiority in her life, and her resentment will not be enough to prevent her from continuing to be thoroughly conditioned and trained to perform her female role in life. Regardless of what she thinks her life could and should be, she will always stand as inferior in the shadow of the male ego.
This family is in full display of stereotype male/female behavior. Through observing and participating in such behavior, the children are being deeply imprinted with their appropriate gender attitudes and behavior patterns. Robby and Jimmy are developing a consciousness of superiority and an attitude male of dominance. Julie is developing a consciousness of inferiority and an attitude of female subservience. Throughout their lives they will completely absorb these attitudes as normal and will, in turn, pass them on to their own children. It is this endless cycle of gender-specific behavior imprinting (deeply rooted in the “family” unit) that allows men to maintain eternal control and authority over women. As an egotistical male saturated in the image of male superiority, Robert is pleased that his children behave the way boys and girls are “supposed” to behave.
Robert does not intentionally oppress Julie. He is neither a bad man, nor a bad father. According to his standards, and most of the people he associates with, he’s just a normal guy. He is simply passing on to his children the behavior patterns that were imprinted into him when he was a child. He doesn’t give a second thought to being any other way, nor would he raise his children any other way. He wants “his boys” to grow up strong, have successful careers, and succeed like men. As for Julie, he is trying to mold her with the patterns that he thinks will give her the best opportunity that will allow her to get a good man and be a good wife and mother. In Robert’s mind, a woman’s success lies entirely in getting a husband, giving her husband his children, and being obedient to her husband’s needs and judgment.
Most men in the world are like Robert, programmed with the same authoritative male patterns and negative attitudes about women. Men only differ in terms of the degree of their attitude of male superiority. Most men are just regular guys like Robert, bloated with male ego and saturated in the fallacy that men are supposed to rule the world and women are supposed to support them. That’s how it was, that’s how it is, and that’s how it’s always going to be.
But it must be noted that regardless of the above scenario, every human on Earth is genetically both male and female. We all have a mother and father. Therefore, human female creational consciousness resides within all human beings, even men. This is an obvious fact, a biological truth, and something “everybody knows.” But it is rarely considered when we talk about “who we are.” This is because the negative male ego discourages discussion, debate, and acknowledgment of this “truth.” We’ve been programmed to think of ourselves as being entirely male or entirely female. We are “men” or “women” period! The male ego does not want us to dwell on the fact that everyone is half male and half female. Why not? Whether you are all male and half female, (man) or all female and half male, (woman) does not determine your “character,” the “kind” of person you are, or your sexual “preference.” And this is what “frightens” many men about recognizing that they are half female. But it is just a biological fact. This biological fact has nothing to do with whether you participate in life as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or otherwise!
My body is a male body. But I acknowledge the fact that I am also biologically half female (my mother)! This does not mean that as a man, if I accept the truth that I am half female, it will lead to the exhibition of “feminine” characteristics in my behavior. I am not “feminine,” but I am half female. The only thing about us that our physical “maleness” or “femaleness” determines is our reproductive capability. Most everything else about our “being” male or female comes out of the process of stereotype, male/female, gender behavior programming we receive during childhood. I have talked with many men who will not even discuss the fact that they are “half” woman, especially the “macho man.” These men focus upon being a “product” of their father. It’s almost as though they consider that their mother had nothing to do with their journey toward, and subsequent arrival upon, the Earth!
The fact that everyone is physically half female or half male leads to a greater truth of humanity. This greater truth is the fact that we all possess half male or half female “consciousness.” It is within this world of consciousness where men must be willing to journey. Female creational consciousness resides within all humans. Even macho men can keep their “manliness” if they would accept that qualities such as compassion, cooperation, compromise, and community are not “female” qualities, but human qualities that every human being can be proud to exhibit. For a man to express these qualities would truly be the exhibition of “strength.” That strength is the strength of character, not the strength of body. Men must now be willing to ask women to teach them compassion over cruelty, cooperation over destruction, compromise over conflict, and community over selfishness.
Men were once the proud “protectors” of our species, but they have left that fact far behind and now only seek “power” through domination and destruction. But miracles do happen, and I think men will eventually be able to shed their violent male ego and join with women in creating a peaceful world and pull us back from the brink of annihilation upon which the male ego has placed us, setting us once again on the path of our natural, creational journey through human evolution.