I was raised to believe that Women and men were intellectually equal, entitled to the same respect and dignity, and both capable of achieving the same things.
So I am frequently amazed when I discover how badly men treat women based on an assumption of superiority in those areas.
I was absolutely floored today when I watched this video:
And sickened when I read the accompanying story about female candidates for office being continually and sickeningly harassed.
I’m not naive. I do understand there are a sizable number of men who apparently still believe they are superior to women, and that women can’t do the same jobs as men. And surely some men fear losing power to women.
But come on guys, what the hell!!??? It’s one thing to have that superior attitude, which is bad enough, but to actually contact someone with the intentional purpose to denigrate them is sick.
You have a serious problem if you are contacting a woman running for office and telling her she needs to be at home raising her kids, or trying to give advice on how to dress, or insulting them.
I realize it’s futile, but I’m still going to point out a few things as to why it’s so ridiculously silly to harass women, and laughable for men to think they are smarter or superior to women.
Women Have Been Achieving Great Things Throughout History
It’s not as if women just all of a sudden started seeking power or achieving great things.
Check your history. Women have ruled empires and countries. Catherine the Great, 1729–1796, Queen Elizabeth I, 1533–1603, and Cleopatra, 69BC-30BC are just three well-known such women. Here’s a list of powerful women throughout history.
Women have made significant scientific discoveries. Marie Curie, 1867–1934, won the Nobel Prize in Physics and Chemistry and helped develop the first x-ray machine. Dorothy Hodgkin, 1910–1994, won the Nobel Prize for her work on penicillin and vitamin B12, and also discovered the structure of insulin.
Women have demonstrated remarkable bravery in war. Mary Edwards Walker, 1832–1819, won the Medal of Honor in 1865 for her work as a surgeon during the American Civil War. Joan of Arc, 1412–1432, led the French to victory over the English at the battle of Orleans, where she was wounded in battle.
Women have accomplished significant artistic achievements. Jane Austen, 1775–1817, wrote several novels, such as Pride and Prejudice and Emma, that are still popular today.
Women are Just As Smart as Men
When you actually bother to spend a few minutes researching online it’s simple to tell that women are just as smart as men, and always have been.
As previously stated, women won the Nobel Prize over a hundred years ago. Women continue to win Nobel Prizes in fields that require intellect. In 2008, Francoise Barre-Sinoussi shared the Nobel Prize for her work in discovering human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the cause of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
There are many women taking significant roles in advancing robotics, a field that requires mastery of mechanical engineering, electronics engineering, and computer science.
Women lead men in college completion (see Women Now at the Head of the Class, Lead Men in College Attainment). Statistics show that colleges have been graduating more women than men for more than 20 years.
In fact, there are scientific studies that show that women score higher than men in emotional intelligence. In general intelligence, studies show there is no difference between men and women.
Women Have Displayed Remarkable Cunning and Ingenuity Throughout History
Not only are women just as smart as men, there are numerous examples throughout history to demonstrate that women are just as capable as men in displaying cunning, or skillful deceit.
Cleopatra skillfully outmaneuvered her siblings to attain the throne of Egypt, seducing and using both Julius Caesar and Marc Antony in helping her achieve that end.
Madame de Pompadour, 1721–1764, was the official (yes, official) mistress of French king Louis XV. Mistresses of kings typically had a short reign because they relied solely on their beauty for their position.
Madame de Pompadour, however, cultivated friendships with influential people in the royal court, played up to the king’s artistic sensibilities, and even created a royal brothel for the king.
As a result she remained the king’s official mistress for 20 years and used that position to strongly influence politics in France.
Margaret Zelle, better known as Mata Hari, came to Paris in 1904 from Holland nearly penniless (or Franc-less), but rose to fame and fortune by creating an air of mystery about herself, manipulating both the press and the public about her persona.
You Are Fighting a Losing Battle
Why you would want to harass women seeking elected office, or any woman, is mystifying enough, but it should be obvious that women are not backing down from running for office, or any endeavor they choose.
The reasons are also obvious. Women want to achieve elected office so they can do something about the harassment, and superiority, they face in their everyday lives.
Lauren Underwood, 31, a Democratic House candidate in Illinois said:
“I think that’s part of the opportunity in running for progress … It’s an opportunity to fix this and stop it from happening in the future.”
Newton’s Third Law states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. If you push on something it will push back.
That’s what you see from women running for office. Men harass women and women push back, seeking elected office to do something about the harassment they face and the superiority that men demonstrate towards them.
In fact, 2018 has been record breaking year for women running for elected office. The reason, according to Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), is:
“I think women are much more empowered today and are being paid a lot more attention to and being valued more for what they bring than in the past.”
It’s plainly obvious that women are increasingly becoming more politically relevant. This has been a trend for years and it’s increasing by leaps and bounds. There’s no way it can be stopped.
Women are just as smart as men, can be just as cunning and ruthless as men, and can and will accomplish as much as men. It’s also futile to resist women’s assertion of their political rights.
Whatever your reason for harassing women seeking political office or in general, whether it be notions of superiority or a desire for men to hold onto to power, the facts make it clear that both ideas lack merit.
Women are responsible for incredible achievements that benefit men and society as a whole. When you try to discourage women running for office you are only hurting yourself.
I know it’s too much to expect some people to grasp a concept that lacks immediacy to them, but it should be immediately obvious that women aren’t inferior to men and nothing will prevent them from achieving their ambitions.
4 Things to Consider for Men That Harass or Think They are Superior to Women was originally published in The Ascent on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.