Science seems to be asexual. However, in fact, it is male, a father, and got syphilis too. (Virginia Woolf)
How many centuries has this world been dominated by men? Uncountable centuries.
Therefore, it is not a coincidence if sciences have emerged from men’s way of thinking while women have just sat on the spectators’ chairs. Men who conquer the world using their way of thinking, turn their experiences as men living in this world into many kinds of theories in many kinds of sciences without involving women’s experiences and way of thinking since their role has always been only as spectators. Unfortunately, then, men generalize that their way of thinking represent both men and women. Women who were not involved in the invention of theories (because they were domesticated) are obliged to view this life using men’s perspective.
A very simple example. Men always think that they are stronger than women because they invented the parameter of what ‘strength’ is. Men can easily lift, let’s say 100 kilograms, things easily while women cannot do that. Well, at least, not many women can do it easily.
Women’s movement started to rise in the beginning of the nineteenth century with its summit in Seneca Falls America in 1848. This summit can be considered as the starting event of the increasing of women’s movement to make themselves equal with men, to liberate themselves from domestication. The emergence of this first wave women’s movement struggled to give women rights for education and suffrage. In the long run, this movement was followed by many other actions by women.
Referring the very simple example above, women’s movement created a different parameter to define what ‘strength’ is. Why different? It is because women have different experiences to live this life from men. Why did God create women—that men considered as weaker sex—to have womb and ovum? And from this womb are the next generation. Being pregnant and delivering babies are not simple and light things to do. It must be because women’s bodies are stronger than men. Besides, more women outlive men. It means they are stronger than men.
Women with their experiences as the marginalized party in this patriarchal society start to rise and enter the so-called exclusively masculine sphere, SCIENCE. Women start to invent new theories, using their way of thinking and involving their experiences as women. This of course results in new perspectives.
In literature, for example, women’s movement has dug out literary works written by women that have been buried and forgotten for decades even centuries. Before women’s movement, mostly men’s literary works were canonized, and only a few women’s works were included in the canonized works. For instance, take a look at THE NORTON ANTHOLOGY OF AMERICAN LITERATURE. You will mostly find men’s works that perhaps will make you think that women in the past didn’t create anything, and just became the consumer of men’s works. If you find a woman’s name, well, mostly you will only find EMILY DICKINSON. While in fact, during the nineteenth century, not only Emily Dickinson wrote stories/essays/poems/novels. Why were other women’s works not canonized? It is because the critics were very male-oriented.
Women’s movement have discovered some great women writers, such as Charlotte Perkins Gilman from America, and Anna Wickham from England.
Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar have published THE NORTON ANTHOLOGY OF LITERATURE BY WOMEN. By using their perspective and experiences as women, Gilbert and Gubar believe that many works written by women deserve to be canonized too.
This example I took from literature discipline, we can make a conclusion that male-dominated society has treated women unfairly.
I started this article by quoting Virginia Woolf, and to end it, I want to quote Annie Leclerc:
“I covet a world where women learn to view and value things using their own perspectives and not through men’s way of thinking.”
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