Happy International Women's day Some thoughts on making the world a better place for women

Happy International Women's Day!  While not well celebrated in the U.S. it is a national holiday in many countries.  http://www.internationalwomensday.com/about.asp
Women have been making many changes in their lives over the past 100 years (ok, probably since the dawn of time) that have helped shape society as we know it today.  In celebrating this today, I would like to propose that we move to a more gender positive culture.  For both men and women there are many negative stereotypes and teachings that are holding us back from having a bliss filled coexistence together.

I once asked an indigenous healer why men and women have such a hard time getting along.  He laughed and said "they have different purposes... Women's purpose is to bring life into the world, and men's purpose it to bring death in the world.  Both are needed to prosper, as part of the death-life-death cycle, but both are fundamentally at odds with one another."  Profound!  Talk about "killing me softly with his song"...

It got me thinking... Men are blamed for everything that is going wrong in the world today.  Maybe justifiably so.  However, for every man out their raping and pillaging mother earth for material wealth, there is a woman (or women) backing him and enjoying the exploits.  I sometimes wonder if so much of this behavior occurs because at some level it does get the girls.
Maybe if women stopped having sex with the men pillaging the place, then maybe that model of success would die out.  (This of course is how women got the right to vote... stopped having sex with the men till they got it!)  After all 95% of male actions are directly or indirectly related to making sure they have some place in the sexing order... JK but you get the point.  The messages I received as a young man was that it was more important to get money and material things to insure my mating success than it was to do it in a way that did not destroy the planet we live on.  Consequently, we have people destroying the place to support their families, because that is the model of success we have been shown.

Speaking of raping and pillaging... The rape and assault of women must stop.  On Friday March 2 Democracy Now had a good interview with Eve Ensler, author of "The Vagina Monologues".  http://www.democracynow.org/2012/3/2/one_billion_rising_v_days_eve
In it she is calling for a day of action Feb 14, 2013 of a billion women world wide walking out of jobs, schools, ect in solidarity with women who have been raped or sexually assaulted.  I hope all 7 billion of us shows up, because it affects us all.  As  a physician, I am continually shocked at the sheer number of women that answer positively to this question on our intake form.  Our brief work in Haiti after the earthquake was probably over 90% of our female patients were sexually assaulted.  I fully agree with Eve Ensler's notion that the rape of the planet and the rape of women is one issue.
This of course gets me thinking...What has to happen to men to get them to rape?  I think it is more complex than they want power... I think something has to happen to them (and of course their dopamine pathways) to make this.  What has to happen so they don't see the joy and beauty in the feminine form and energy?  The nature vs nurture debate, I think that society makes rapist, that it is not inherent in our genetics or in maleness.  Initially I wanted to blame the media and pornography, but rape has been happening well before these came around, and it is unknown what effect this has had on rape rates as it is hard to get good statistics as it is a very under reported crime.  (Most of my patients raped or assaulted did not report it)

Check out Tony Porter's TED talk on "the man box" and his programs as one idea how how men may be socialized into assaulting women.  http://www.ted.com/talks/tony_porter_a_call_to_men.html
As someone with a young daughter, we need to change this type of socialization immediately.  Not just for Penelope's sake but for the sake of all women and men.

I guess a solution for me would be this: just like we have classes and programs teaching women how to avoid, prevent, and stop rape, we should also drop some money into researching why men rape and under what circumstances and also have classes for men and treatment well before they get to a point of acting out.  I have some research work to do... Stay tuned.  Please support Eve Ensler's programs as well as Tony Porter if these issues affect you in some way.  Unfortunately, it effects us all.  For more links on the topic of International Women's day (as well as other issues of individual and social change, see our facebook page "Upstartist" http://www.facebook.com/pages/Upstartist/198739706861199