Misogyny is a scourge that we have to live with on a daily basis. From the seemingly most developed and democratic countries, to the poorest and most under-developed ones, it is a blot on humanity’s conscience that societies have yet to erase.
It is not difficult to guess that this is not a new problem, but it is even beyond. It is a deeply entrenched issue that has plagued our civilizations and cultures for thousands of years.
This is most surprising, because women are the most beautiful blessings God created in this world. They are superior to men in many ways; they are kind, compassionate, have an incredible potential for love, considerate, attentive; the list goes on and on. Therefore, it is almost bewildering that they had to suffer so much. Civilizations changed, generations changed, new cultures rose, but their ordeal remained.
For the sake of keeping this essay brief, we are going to give only a few examples from the misogynists of the history but they will be enough to show how women had always been wronged throughout world’s history.
In the Roman Empire, many baby girls were abandoned on rubbish dumps, as a result of which men always outnumbered women. Sometimes, abandoned infants were taken in by others to be used as slaves or raised as prostitutes for brothels. One can only imagine the number of poor women that perished this way.
‘Similarly, in China, Yang Chen, a statesman in the Second Century AD, claimed that women ‘…bring shame on the Imperial Court… (they) should not be allowed to take part in government affairs.’
The shameful misogyny prevalent in some parts of today’s India existed in ancient India as well. For example, the Fifth Century Hindu epic, The Mahabharata, claimed that the birth of a daughter was a misfortune and said, ‘…women are the root of evils’.
In Medieval Europe, women were burnt alive for supposedly being witches, while in England of the 1600’s; women essentially had no legal rights. Until they got married, their fathers were in charge of them, and when they married, their husbands would take absolute control of the women’s personal property. Misogynists were so delusional that they even came to believe that women couldn’t have a direct connection with God, their Creator. The famous English poet John Milton wrote, ‘He for God only, she for God in him’.1
In the 17th Century, British Prime Minister Gladstone unabashedly opposed suffrage2, while another notorious misogynist, Charles Darwin, claimed that women were inferior. He believed that advantages of marriage included: “…a constant companion, (a friend in old age) who will feel interested in one, an object to be beloved and played with—better than a dog anyhow—Home, and someone to take care of the house…”3
The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche believed that women were the enemy of the truth, while Sigmund Freud claimed that women were the enemy of civilization. No doubt, that duo had a direct effect on the growth of misogyny in the 20th century. Inspired by Nietzsche, the German dictator Adolf Hitler denounced that women’s rights were something invented by Jewish intellectuals and suggested ,”Jews, prostitutes, Marxists and modern women were part of a sinister plot against motherhood and ‘Teutonic’ civilization.”4 (Jews are beyond his claims)
Even when there seems to be progress, women would receive a backhanded blow. For example, when the British occupied Egypt in 1882 and condemned the veiling of women, they didn’t refrain from cutting the funding for education of girls.5
Today, we are supposedly living in a modern world, where human rights are secured by laws and where there is supposedly gender equality. However, in reality, the situation doesn’t seem to have changed all that much. According to some statistics:
There are 1.3 billion people living in poverty and 70% of them are women.
60% of primary school age children that do not attend school are girls.
66% of all the labor in the world is done by women but they earn less than 5% of its income.
All around the world, at least one in three women or girls, have been beaten or abused.
For every 100 government ministers around the world, only six are women.6
Women are wonderful gifts from God; they deserve the most of love, respect, admiration and appreciation. It is long past time that they get the love and respect they’ve always deserved. One thing is certain: Nations who do not give the real value of women are always doomed to failure. History is our witness.
4 Holland, Jack. “A Brief History of Misogyny: The World’s Oldest Prejudice.” iBooks.
5 Holland, Jack. “A Brief History of Misogyny: The World’s Oldest Prejudice.” iBooks.