Cultural and Legal Practices by Tolu2

CHAPTER 4

“There are more laws, funding, and organizations in existence for the protection of animals worldwide than for females.”

                                            —ToLu2

Cultural and Legal Practices

 

There is not a country in the world that either has not or does not incorporate cultural and legal practices that support and complement the exploitation, oppression, and suppression of women. Adherence to these practices creates and sanctions second-class citizenship worldwide. And so, in many cultures, females are less respected and valued than animals.

 

Exploitation of females is established by cultural norms, and then backed up with religion and laws. What males have done is set up cultural values and legal statutes that sanction exploitation. There are so many examples of this all over the world, even in Western culture. We females in the United States are still battling, either to get what we deserve or to maintain what little rights we’ve fought for and won. Exploitation of females in some form is alive and well on all seven continents. You can be assured that females are second-, third-, or fifth-class citizens worldwide. In other words, female exploitation happens in degrees. It may be the case that 20 years ago females had practically no legal rights and today have risen in society’s eyes to be second-class citizens. However, females are still not where they deserve to be.

 

There are a few circumstances required to render females powerless. One way is to set up a culture with mores that support women’s oppression. Cultural bias keeps women powerless in order to control them! Religious dogma also teaches the suppression of females and sets up the religious culture to complement the social practices used against females. Then the legal systems validate the laws written against females.

 

Females have been hog-tied. Hog-tied means your feet and hands have been tied together and you are on your back, so you can’t get up on your own. There is no way you can move. There is nothing you can do to free yourself. You can’t do anything until the ropes are removed from your hands and feet.

 

Women are being hog-tied when cultures, religions, and the laws all support their oppression. In fact, it is implied that it is not just okay but expected for any man to be in charge of any adult woman. There’s a big problem here. This is very lopsided. What has happened is that all of the places a female should be able to go for help and support have become a big part of the problem. Oppression of females has been institutionalized.

 

When oppressive ideologies and practices are institutionalized, you have laws, religious dogma, and cultural mores saying it’s okay for a brother to whip his sister, or in some instances kill her. Then he can consider it an honor that he has done so because maybe the sister has shamed the family in some form. This provides a sick atmosphere where females are controlled and abused by even male family members.

 

For example, in many parts of the world, you will hear that a young woman was killed by her brother or some other male relative because she got pregnant. Well, why didn’t they go and kill the doggone guy, the male who impregnated her? And oftentimes that guy who impregnated this woman or girl was a grown man who knew better and had taken advantage of the girl. In most cultures, it is not easy, and oftentimes it is impossible for a young woman (or a woman of any age) to refuse sexual advances from a male. Now see, this is why it is so ludicrous to hold the female alone responsible for getting pregnant. Since it is institutionalized that men are in charge, and a woman must do as men bid her, how easy is it going to be for a female to protect herself from the unwanted sexual advances of any male? How does she all of a sudden have all of this power and the institutions working to protect her right to say no? No does not mean no, in many countries.

 

All over the world, there are too many horror stories of females suffering open abuse from any male in their culture. I mean, this topic could be a whole book by itself. But I can only share very minuscule portions of the many ways that law and culture help to victimize women worldwide.

 

The laws in many countries do not give women any rights whatsoever. Even if they are raped, they can find themselves in jail for being raped. When you hear this, if you have not been familiar with these kinds of things, it sounds unbelievable. It’s like, what is this person talking about, is she crazy? But it is true; it is a fact and it’s been documented.

 

As I’ve said, female hog-tying is established legally. In the case of divorce, the parental rights to the children in most countries lie with the male. Women from many cultures—and even some religions—know that if they leave their husbands, they have no rights to their birth children. They are not allowed to keep their children unless the male, for whatever reason, allows them to have the children. It’s not an accepted practice that the females will be able to carry their children with them. When women can’t have custody if they end the marriage, it sometimes forces them to stay in abusive situations, just so they don’t have to give up their children.

 

It is a fact that in many countries, females are not given the equal opportunity to get an education. Females are educated last and least, if at all. Any idiot or boob male who wants to be educated will be sent to school before a female is sent. It is not a he-or-she situation. It is always going to be the male.  He may not be the one with the highest IQ, but it is he who will get the education or the skills training. This usually renders the woman unable to provide for herself, trapping her into depending on a male for the most basic necessities.

 

If society, laws, culture, and religion have said you don’t need to be educated, then what they have said is that you have little or no value. Again, you’ve been hog-tied with another set of ropes preventing you from either expressing your feelings or leaving bad situations, because you can’t provide for yourself.

 

It’s the same thing with inheritances. In many cultures, if not most, inheritance laws or practices will give the money, land, and the animals, whatever can be passed on, to the male children of the family. It is not divided up amongst the males and the females; rather, everything is given to the males.

 

If your brother or uncle decides to let you have a chicken, that’s on him. He doesn’t have to. As his sibling, you have to ingratiate and prostrate yourself before this male family member in order to maintain yourself. If the head of your family, who will be a male, has died, the next senior male child takes his place. Your mother and father both could be living. When the father dies, in many cultures, the inheritance does not go to his wife, your mother. It goes to the senior male family member. The male could be out there on the back of a truck drunk. But when the father dies, even though every female there has been contributing by all sorts of means—selling in the market, having a garden, or by a more sophisticated venture, it doesn’t matter—the next senior male then rules everything that females have contributed to. If you don’t have a brother, people will find an uncle or a nephew. But again, you see where I’m going.

 

These are all additional ways of suppressing women and keeping them down. If you don’t have money and you don’t have resources, you have no power as a group. Most cultures back up this practice of standards by which females should be valued. This substandard and abusive treatment must first be incorporated as acceptable in the community. After that happens, females have no hope of climbing out. In many cultures, it is very dangerous to be a female. So when you are female, it doesn’t matter whether you are 5 or 35 years old. There is and will be a male who controls you. You are under a male’s dominion.

 

There’s a saying: Females belong to their fathers. Once they get married, they belong to their husbands. When they become elderly or the husband dies, they belong to their sons. So it is from a belief in this concept that some male, regardless of his lack of abilities as a fellow human, will always be in charge of and ruling over you at every point in your life. The man could have been born retarded. And here he is telling you, a genius who is a wizard in some area of finances, what to do. You are expected to listen to this guy and to abide by what he says.

 

This is particularly overt in other cultures outside of the United States. The way it works out in the United States is that a lot of women have divested themselves in one form or the other from being in this position with males. But what they end up doing is picking up some bum and carrying him like one would carry a child. The male then resents the woman. He wants to enjoy all that she has and has accomplished, but at the same time, he resents her.

 

Traditionally, and even well into the 21st century, men have come up with cultural and legal means to keep women hog-tied. Females in many tribes, especially in Africa, have had their clitoris cut away. It’s euphemistically called “female circumcision,” but more appropriately female genital mutilation. The clitoris is where a lot of the sexual pleasure is for the female. It is not the opening; it is not in the vagina where the female gets her sexual pleasure. The female’s sexual pleasure comes from the clitoris being stimulated.

 

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