I was thinking of this as I contemplated how strongly these days society calls women to participate in the fighting. To leave behind caregiving for the pursuit of paid occupation, striving for a dollar. It occured to me that men have been called to this even more relentlessly for a far longer time. Now that both genders are drawn in to the paradigm of battle, competition, strife, who is left to hold peace?
I'm not saying women shouldn't be allowed to work outside the home if they want to. I believe absolutely that every woman, and every man, should have the choice of how they want to spend their lives, as much as possible. Honestly, this is not about gender, except insofar as historically women have been the peacemakers, homemakers, caregivers. Now they have liberated themselves from that requirement, which is good - no gender group should be forced into a circumscribed identity. However, I do wonder if our liberation has changed the dominant masculine paradigm of society in any truly fundamental way, or if women have become even more entangled with it, joining the fight rather than working to spread the homey peace we used to be responsible for within our limited sphere. Perhaps in a society ruled by the great golden king Dollar, real change is impossible.
Certainly it seems that the idea of holding peace is no longer valued other than in terms of paid occupation - ie, how much monetary value there is in being a carer. Many people of all genders work to better the lives of others, care for the environment, and bring political peace to the world - but what I'm especially thinking about is the everyday role of creating serenity and safety for one's family and neighbourhood; the dedication to the gentling and comforting of life. I fear as we turn more and more to consumerism, we are losing peace from our days, our language, our entertainment, our imagination, and our attitudes towards each other.
And that's all I have to say today. I'm just noting an issue, and grieving for it. I have no solutions. I'm not even sure there are any.
art by vladimir volegov