THE struggle for equal rights for women continues and intensifies. And the equal rights movement may soon be joined by men – many of whom are coming to the realization that the savage brand of American capitalism is ravaging their lives as well.
You may have come a long way, baby, but it’s too soon to give up. Females the world over are still regarded as the lesser sex and are often treated brutally to reinforce their inferior status.
The painting above depicts the inferior status of medieval women. Here a woman named St. Barbara is tortured because she converted to Christianity against the wishes of her pagan father. Tradition has it that by a variety of miracles she was cured each night of the disfigurement inflicted by the tortures. Finally she was beheaded, her father delivering the fatal blow that elevated her to martyrdom and sainthood. Many fundamentalist religions even today relegate women to an inferior status and are not above inflicting cruel and unusual physical punishment for “sins” they committed.
Though women have made great strides in their quest for equality, the fair sex was exploited viciously in America in the early twentieth century; and for nothing more than standing up for the right to fair treatment, decent working conditions and a living wage. Those brave ladies who protested the indecent, often uncivilized, conditions under which they worked and existed, were often savagely beaten in the dark of night by goons hired by the early masters of American capitalism.
In one of hundreds of incidents that comprised the American labor movement, one hundred and forty six young women and men were burned to death in a fire that occurred at the Triangle Waist Company in New York City. The hundred year anniversary of the calamity that occurred on March 26, 1911 was recently observed in New York.
Most of the bodies burned in that tragic incident were ravaged beyond recognition and after they were recovered, firemen and police lined the corpses up on a nearby pier for relatives to come and identify and claim and finally to give a decent burial to their loved ones.
The book by David Von Drehle – Triangle-The Fire That ChangedAmerica – relates the story of these heroic women in savage detail. A great book no doubt but it was decades before American workers achieved real change and many were murdered in the process.
Are savage modern day capitalists seeking to return to the days of old?
In a word, absolutely. Have no doubt the Barons of the modern economic system would spare no cruelty should their domination ever be seriously challenged. The brutality and violence waged against American working men and women in the past may be a harbinger of what lies ahead.
Is it an exaggeration to apply the conditions portrayed by the artist to the modern world? Perhaps. But in some societies, physical cruelty toward women, included beheading, exists today.
Yes, you’ve come a long way, baby. But you’re not there yet.
And if you happen to be a male who thinks he’s safe, well think again. The Barons are coming after you. They have already successfully lowered wages in many industries and reduced benefits and eliminated pensions. And now they want your Social Security. And you know what? They’ll get it. The real mystery is why so many Americans vote to give it to them.