The following question was posted on an email list that I subscribe to arousing my interest and therefore this posting.
What would women be like if we had not become Greer’s “subjugated caste” for thousands of years?
How would we live?
How would we learn?
How would we care for children , the elderly?
How would we work?
What sort of government would we have?
Sadly so many of us know how absolutely patriarchy has reduced our senses and minds
In The Women Centred Economy: Ideals, Reality, and the Space in Between, Sonia Johnson has written:
‘I chanced one day upon what may have been the world women knew before patriarchy, that world of wholeness and unity so lost to us as I gazed upon a beautiful wood so green and intense, the vision of which burned along every nerve and bone and muscle.’ As she gazed Johnson felt released from time with the timelessness affecting her deeply. She was awed by everything around her and wanted to clap, laugh and weep. ‘I wanted to remain the rest of my life in that state of complete knowledge of myself and of intimate, loving participation with the earth,’ wrote Johnson. Recollecting that blazing green, timeless forest she is reminded of the possibilities for her life. She questions why we choose to endure the patriarchal life when all around us there is an alternative world for us to enter.
In order to establish hierarchy, patriarchy needed to create scarcity of respect, honour, food but most of all of time.
Johnson writes that most of us constantly complain about the lack of time. But Johnson doesn’t just complain and endeavours to understand this concept of time that she says is very strange. ‘There is an infinite supply of time on the universe, and time is life’, she writes. If there is much time and I don’t have it then, where is it, who has it, and how can I get some.
As we moan about being constantly time poor let’s try to make some sense of how this has come about. Patriarchy tyrannises us all by taking our time from us. It does this by making us believe that we must spend most of our time working. We have been indoctrinated with the belief that we are ‘good’ if we are working, and ‘bad’ if we are not and that paid work is superior to work done freely.
The concept of time was absolutely necessary for patriarchy to take control of our minds and therefore run and ruin the world. Our adherence to these patriarchal assumptions of time, put us ‘at the mercy of the cruelest taskmaster of all fathers – ‘father time’.
Johnson suggests that we need to cease this reverence for the eight or more hours work a day, and asks us to consider what would it be like to not feel so hurried. But then change is not easy and although we know that working in patriarchy every day is ‘killing us’, we are terrorised by money scarcity.
But women haven’t always lived according to patriarchal rule according to Judy Foster’s research featured in her new book: