Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

Feminism 101: International Women’s Day Still Actual

What is Sexism? It’s the Oppression of Women. What is Feminism? It’s the Liberation of Society and of Women from Sexism.

Oppression and Liberation

Oppression is in the heads of the oppressed (Internalized) and of the potential Allies (together with their own Internalized Oppressions) and in laws (Institutionalized). To be explained further, below.

Oppressed groups are not always minorities. Women. Working Class. Non-Whites (Whites are a very rare minority).

All oppressions have things in common and each oppression has specific things. Presently there are no people who are not oppressed. Most people are oppressed in many ways, though they don’t always realize that. The eliminations of all oppressions are interrelated. When the Oppressive Society is peacefully replaced by a society where every life and the environment count, everyone will gain – there will be no looser.

Oppression is the systematic hurtful one-way mistreatment of people by society. Man hits woman: mistreatment and oppressive. Woman hits man: mistreatment.

Internalized Oppression

Oppression is excused by oppressive ideas, but the oppressed never caused any of the oppression. Sometimes oppression is wrongly rationalized and justified by pointing at scars left by the oppression. “Women are more insecure.” There is no need (and no rationale) to blame the victim, even not by the victim. It’s not your fault!

Oppressive hurt that is not healed leaves mental scars (so to speak – not real scars) that can be u8nderstood as Internalized Oppression. An oppressed person can liberate herself from her Internalized Oppression. (To remove the Institutionalized Oppression takes the combined effort of many people – see below.)

Example: treating someone as unimportant (neglecting) at first will be met with protest and tears. When it becomes overwhelming, the victim may have become numb to the hurt and began to think about herself as second class. Treating her as valuable and important may at first be strange to her and she could protest that she’s not that important.

Internalized Oppression is the main source of self-oppression and infighting (attacks on liberation leaders).

The greatest powers that keep Society Oppressive are the Internalized Oppressions (people oppressing themselves and infighting within the Oppressed groups) and oppressed groups oppressing each other. The most powerful antidote is to become an expert Ally against all oppressions (see below).

The goal of splitting up in Oppressed Groups and Ally Groups is not to divide – almost everyone hates divisions. Rather, to get things right together in home groups and then reunite in non-oppressive ways.

Allies

Every leader of Liberation X needs to become an expert Ally for all other Oppressed groups, since colluding with other oppressions is going to hamper X’s Liberation.

Oppressed people can help each other to step outside of the Internalized Oppression and heal the old hurts. Allies (see below), who never were oppressed like that, can humbly help them heal and support their own leaders, if they make sure that they do not repeat the oppressive attitude meanwhile.

People who want success in uprooting Oppression will win, train and maintain humble but powerful Allies. Children, Gays and Lesbians are the best Ally-winners there ever where. Learn from them. (Look at this beautiful piece by a heterosexual woman valuing them and others: Esther, heroine for those who must hide.)

Naturally, no one would oppress anyone else. However, through oppression, everyone learns to identify as victim (and begins to oppress themselves) and with oppressors, learning to mistreat others. Just like Internalized Oppression was forced on us when we were lacking resources, so is modeling oppressive behavior pressed on us. At heart, none of us are monsters.

Agents of oppression can learn to become Allies of oppressed groups. Allies should meet as Allies, to help each other to become more capable Allies, to help the oppressed to unite and organize the healing of their Internalized Oppression.

Allies can become better at being Allies by working on their own Internalized Oppressions, but they should first regain their pride, not to become obsessed with and stuck in their own victimhood.

One cannot love and oppress people at the same time. Love is to think well about someone, to strive to make their lives more beautiful. If love is hard, respect will do. Listening is the ultimate support. When in doubt, shut up. If you have a great idea, smile supportively and see if your friend will come up with your great idea even in a better form when you show respect and trust.

Being an Ally is not a favor to the Oppressed but a proper way to quit lending a hand to the Oppression. It will liberate the former Agents of Oppression’s lives first. Be selfish: stop mistreating others and get the best life possible.

When we behave in a certain way, in the end oppositional feeling and thoughts die out. Don’t wait till your head is clear of oppressive nonsense. Acting as a proper Ally will clear your head eventually. Remember that you cannot liberate others – you can only be (very) helpful if you volunteer humbly to assist. Don’t be defensive. Use Pride against guilt feelings. Listening to the anger of the oppressed may give you great information on what not to do or say, and on what to do and say. Strive to be non-oppressive but do not claim to be a success.

Allies of X, and not the X (Oppressed), are responsible for uprooting and ending the Oppression of X. X should be plenty busy healing the Internalized Oppression.

Most oppressions kill but in any case ruin lives. Allies at the same time should work on removing Institutionalized AND Internalized Oppressions.

Sexism and Feminism

Women do not need to settle for anything less than absolutely everything!

Women can do anything Men can do and more. Ginger Rogers made the same dance moves as Fred Astaire, on high heels and backwards.

There still is blatant Sexism, like in: Trending: Sexist remark sparks uproar in European Parliament and Homophobic rabbi who mentors soldiers says IDF turns women ‘crazy’ (correction: Netanyahu hails female troops after uproar over rabbi’s derisive comments), but more painful and confusing is subtle oppression: I love you, but ….

It is important to learn what the Institutionalized Oppression of Women looks like, like some of this info: The kids aren’t alright.

Sexism will not leave easily. Forty years ago liberating seemed that women would be free to work outside the house, sharing home-making with their husbands. Now we see that most women need to juggle paid work and home-making while their husbands only do paid work.

The situation of women is slowly improving and is not the same for everyone. Here’s what it looks like in Jerusalem today and Chaderah.

This is an important call for the need for self-defense for women and girls in case you need the encouragement: a road map for women on international women’s day. I found the following delightful, upbeat (pun not intended) and proud: Chloe + Renny: How to Fight Like a Girl in 7 Steps. There is no arguing or defense against powerholics. Move away from them to safety quietly.

The more Women of Color, Working Class Women and Women With Disabilities will be supported to be leaders of general Women’s Liberation, the fastest things will go.

Men have been systematically mistreated but are not oppressed as Men – sorry. Men, stop whining and relearn to cry with each other, be proud of ourselves and be good Allies to Women – and everyone else. Men can be patient, respectful and may have unlimited high relaxed expectations of Women.

Feminism and Judaism

At the moment, Orthodox Judaism has a great problem with Feminism. Historically, Judaism gave women many tools and much support to be seen as valuable and powerful. Women got us liberated as a People, made us survive the Diaspora and rule the house, the center of Judaism (no, not the synagogue!). However, Western Modernity has caught up with the Bedrock of Western Civilization. Here are some of the issues: Orthodox women rabbis don’t ‘count’ in prayer quorums. Should they? We’ll work it out, but presently it’s a mess.

Zionism is an important part of the Liberation of the Jews. Jewish Women always have led everyone’s liberation struggle, including all of Women’s Liberation. That is true of Lesbians too. Gentile Straight Women Liberation leaders need to honor their Jews and Lesbians. That is difficult (shame to be identified as Jewish, Zionist or Lesbian), but there is no other way to success.

About the Author
The author is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (DES - Diethylstilbestrol), born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a vegan for 8 years now. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. To see other blog posts by him, a second blog - under construction - can be found by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture.
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