A satirical take on human history and the woes that befall women.
‘Women: DOWN Through the Ages, How Lies Have Shaped Our Lives’ by Jerry Schaefer takes us from the very creation of humanity (both evolutionary and religious origins) through to recent times, describing human life at each stage and the consequences of the slow development of the patriarchy had on women.
Powerfully written and, both cynical and scathing at times in tone, The author picks out how “Once men took over the plow, they buried any memory of women’s former egalitarian days”. Alongside this the author also points out that throughout history men are also harmed by the patriarchy, always having to pretend to be something their not: the stereotype of the strong, stoic figure.
A satire in the way it uses a light-hearted tone to point out the absurd realities of women’s history, I found this equally interesting and infuriating: entertaining while also fueling my frustrations at the patriarchy and its impact on women. In between each section there’s a quiz, meant to be taken in the same vein as the rest of the book; the multiple choice answers may induce a reaction, even if it’s a snort of derision. Ending on a rallying cry to start over, to move away from the civilisation we have that’s left us “on the brink of self-destruction”. This book explores, pokes fun at absurdity and highlights trauma. It’s a conversation starter about our past, that could open the floor for a discussion about how to move forward.
This book is a clear and unequivocal indictment, not only of men (written by a man), but of the civilization they have produced. By eliminating women from the equation at the very beginning, a disastrous cycle of war and destruction was begun which continues to today, when the final bill is being paid on men's wanton reign of destruction: the planet itself is beginning to wobble. Not to mention the continuing violence and rape from one end of the globe to another, another fringe benefit of "progress." The "lies" begun back then (Garden of Eden), continue to haunt both men and women today, putting the lie to "civilization"-how "civil" can it be, built as it was/is on theft through blood and forced slavery? Men too are trapped in the "charade of the sexes," having to pretend at who and what we are. Even the "most powerful" men, the ones who own and run the world, are helpless to escape the "manhood trap" they've set for themselves. Out of balance, their testosterone-obsessed quest runs riot. Their deluded script substitutes money for mommy. Woman DOWN through the Ages, How Lies have Shaped our Lives, is a capsule summary of civilization under men's thumbprint. It's a light-hearted romp through the tragedy of history, a nightmare we've yet to awaken from. We're still in a deep-sleep of tradition, lulled by the enslaving and enchanting tricks of the marketplace. There's still hope. We know how we got here, through false promises and premises, and the lies that sustain "life as we know it." We can still get back to the Garden. We didn't need to leave in the first place.
|Publication date:||6th December 2007|