March the 8th, International Women’s Day, has come and gone. We are apparently supposed to “celebrate women” on this day, whatever exactly this means, in our world today. The day itself has its origins, more than 110 years ago, in the struggles of women to be granted the vote, in the US and Western Europe, among other human rights.
When kings and queens and their feudal systems were overthrown, often violently, by the newly rich capitalists, they set up new systems of government called “Republics” with an executive, judiciary and parliament. All these three branches of government were then, just as now, dominated by men; because it was men who were not members of loyal families who became very rich and wanted to have a say in how they were governed, who created this system, for themselves. Children and women were possessions of men, then, as it largely is, today.
All over the world where such rich men begun to appear they fought kings and overthrew them also because such men were so rich that they actually owned private armies. Kings ruled because they too were men who become powerful in wars, and conquered other people, violently, and forced them to obey them, and to pay taxes to them. This way, kingdoms were built, everywhere.
With the ever-available supply of religious, intellectuals and educated parasites to powerful men (see how such parasites are falling over each other to please HH, and get jobs and favours from him!) kings were helped to rule over their kingdoms. Religion supplied the obvious lie that those men apparently had a workshop with God in which he appointed them and their descendants to become kings for ever.
Intellectuals and educated people, always loyal parasites on powerful men, supplied the ideas and created the systems that helped kings to rule. So it is to this day; we are told by our intellectuals, academics, pasters, priests, mullahs, rabis and our own African spiritual men and women that unless God has anointed you, you cannot become the president of Zambia, a clear wicked lie! Presidents are lying politicians who win votes, or armed men from the barracks who overthrow these elected liars, that’s all.
Women have since won the right to vote all over the world, but still, they are largely treated as possessions of men, and are regarded as inferior to men, in these systems of government and societies created by men, for men, called “democratic republics”! Zambia is such a poor photo copy of a “democratic republic”. Look, we actually still have judges who are called “my lord” as if they belong to a feudal monarchy, and the language used in our courts mimics the dramatic language used in an English court, 58 years after our independence.
And of course, just like at the violent founding of these “republics” in the 18th and 19th Centuries, the man who became the “prime minister” or newly elected ruler also became the “Commander in Chief” of the nation’s armed forces. At this stage, most private armies were disbanded and collapsed into one national army with many divisions. For the men to control their civilian population, a civil armed group of men was needed; thus, the police were born.
The police too, carried out their duties in the name of the “prime minister”, in our case such a “chief minister” is called “president” – mimicking the US political system. Today when a policeman arrests you, it is in the name of the president that she or he will do so!
You may wonder, what then happened to kings and their families, especially those who were not killed such as in the country today called the United Kingdom? These powerful men who overthrew kingdoms made a pact, a deal, with the dethroned kings; the kings would become ceremonial and the new rulers would protect them and their wealth. This way, the new rulers, the powerful men with armies, combined their own power with traditional authority previously enjoyed by kings! This is why even in Zambia today, even as we are no longer ruled by our kings, our traditional rulers are protected and their welfare taken care of by the Zambian republican government; this way our president enjoys the support of our dethroned African kings even as he also commands the armed men and very few armed women too, in the Zambia police and army.
By declaring Zambia, a “Christian Nation”, the president then gets the loyalty of our pastors and priests, and their followers. Thus, the system of male domination is complete even as we pretend to be “a democracy”: the Zambian president has the support and loyalty of the army, through his party he creates a parliamentary majority for himself and no parliamentary bill can become law without his signature, he appoints judges, using our taxes he bribes our African kings by paying them salaries and other perks including houses and vehicles thereby hopefully indirectly buying the support of their subjects. And finally, the best among our intellectuals and academics ruthlessly fights among themselves for his attention, for jobs.
This explains why the president of Zambia is such a powerful man and the job of president so fiercely fought for, by men. This also explains why no woman has been president of Zambia – the system is rigged by, and for, powerful men. The president directly or indirectly controls and rules over the Church, our African kings, parliament, judiciary, and the armed forces, and over our intellectuals, professionals and academics. And over all of us. He is, in a sense, a modern king because we, the people, suffer the illusion that through the ballot, we elect such a one.
To complete the picture, in our society, men own more property than women, marry women and pay bride price (lobola), they occupy leadership positions at work, and almost everything in our society is dominated by men. And our African traditions and the Bible anoints them heads of the family, even when they are brainless.
At the heart of this system of male domination, today and historically, is the complete subjugation, domination, oppression and exploitation of the girl and woman, by the man. This is the essential and necessary foundation of this system of male domination.
This is how our society, our country, our nation, Zambia, is organised, governed and led; by men. We are a poor, very inferior carbon photo copy of the original male dominated Western European capitalist government and society. This perfectly explains the horrible poverty, exclusion, low status and inferior position of girls and women in our country.
Governments and countries are made for men, by powerful men.
I ask, our modern, well-meaning women Zambian female worriers in the struggle for the emancipation of the Zambian girl and woman and for equality between the sexes: when they say they want women to be fully included and represented in our society, what do they actually want? That women must be fully represented in a system that thrives on, and originates in their subjugation, domination, oppression and exploitation, by men? That women must join in equal numbers to men, in the subjugation, domination, oppression and exploitation of girls and women, by men? Is this sanely possible?
I am just asking, and I am happy to be taught differently and corrected, by anyone, female or male, girl or boy, where I am wrong. For myself, I do not celebrate “International Women’s Day”. I curse what it has turned out to be; a day full of hypocrisy, about the real struggles for the emancipation of women, and equality between the sexes.
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