In early 20th century, people moved to the cities in tandem with the arrival of electricity, tap water, toilets and jobs. It was the beginning of tangible societal empowerment. In 1913, the bankers in the City created the US Federal Reserve Board, and it officially opened the door to globalization. The first item on the City’s agenda was the bulldozing of the Ancien Regime countries of the Holy Roman Empire in Europe, as well as Tsarist Russia, the Ottoman Empire, Japan and China. Although the two World Wars that followed created havoc in America, the result was mostly positive for the women who got good paying jobs. After WWII, because America was now considered to be an Eldorado, all the citizens of the world wanted to go to that great land in order to create wealth, and a lot was created in a very short period of time.
People experienced greater comforts and prospects, and as societal empowerment took root, it was the males who got the diplomas, the managerial responsibilities, and the investing and inventing opportunities. Males were cast in the ‘father knows best’ role, and that didn’t augur well for the females. Although some women got jobs, they were of the office secretarial staff and factory production line variety. The parents wanted their sons to have a good education, get a good job, make good money, and marry a good woman, while for the daughters, it sufficed to get a good man, a ‘somebody’. The world continued to be very macho because women’s ambitions were geared to that of their men.
However, in 1920, after the passing of the 19th amendment, women got the right to vote, own property, and manage their bank account without their husband’s permission. After WWII, there was a move to the suburbs and the good life, and that’s when the real trouble started. It was the beginning of a world of comfort, leisure and plenty, a world for which our specie is absolutely not genetically programmed. The desperate housewife was being born.
The women had to wait for the 1960’s and the advent of the pill in order to be emancipated in a real sense. That’s when they were freed from male sexual domination and abuse, at least in part. For the first time in 3 million years they could claim that they were in charge of their own body, and free to decide whether to have children or not. But though the females did gain some sexual freedom, social parity remained very much out of reach.
Genetically, women are programmed to get the best male with the best genes, as dictated by natural selection. But when we left the world of natural selection some three million years ago, though our genetic make-up remained unchanged, the relationship between males and females took an abrupt turn for the worse. So, at the first opportunity, that is, in the 20th century, women unwittingly attempted to go back to the good old natural selection days when they were the ones who more or less ran things. But unfortunately, instead of consciously trying to reclaim their social role of old, they decided to make themselves more attractive and concentrate their energies on getting themselves a potential male alpha. They didn’t know at the time that fighting for emancipation by attracting pseudo alpha males with their badge of femininity would not only be a missed opportunity, but a disastrous social experiment as well.
The male entrepreneurs were quick to exploit that sexual aberration by taking charge of the fashion world generally, like they had Hollywood years before. The badge of femininity, as a symbol of independence and success, was adopted with a vengeance when technicolor hit the big screen in 1936, and especially the small screen in 1966. As they did so, the women naturally morphed into Barbies, and it made many heterosexual and homosexual males of the fashion and cosmetic world very rich. In wearing her mask, the female couldn’t hope to find a partner who was her equal and a job worthy of her potential, and she was an easy prey for any lame alpha male who came along. Establishing a meaningful relationship was almost an impossibility. She certainly wasn’t aware that wearing the badge in order to get a man or a job was not only ugly and vulgar, but counterproductive as well. To be fair, the pill had hit the market like a tsunami, and overwhelmed, women had responded instinctively by looking for an alpha male like they had always had in the world of natural selection millions of years before. Unfortunately, they weren’t aware that wearing the badge was putting a damper on their chances for gaining independence and parity.
It now seems obvious that if women are to achieve social equality and parity, they must discard the badge of femininity as an absolute prerequisite. They have to fight tooth and nail for equal education and equal jobs for equal pay, and getting free universal child care and parental leave, and having access to pro-choice clinics, are all a must. Women would be well advised to stop making their quest for alpha males a priority, for ever since we left the world of natural selection, the alpha males simply no longer exist. The alpha male of old was objective in his role and was concerned with the welfare of the group, whereas today, the perceived alpha male only wants to feed his ego. The female should look for an ordinary loving man like her in order to build and share the joys of a family and life in general, instead of looking for a virtual Adonis.
In our intelligent world, the secret is to find a partner with whom we can establish a lifelong relationship based on trust, honesty, and respect. And if equality and parity are to be achieved, women have to stop using sexuality as a tool, and throw their badge of femininity in the trash can. It can be done. If Marlboro Man, the macho man, was dethroned years back, surely Barbie, the bimbo, can be as well today.