The following author writes from an Arabic perspective, having grown up between Germany and Jordan. She completed her doctoral studies at the University of Vienna, Austria, and specialized in journalism, communication, and mass media, specifically in the area of the culture of resistance and the dialectic of opposition in the inter-cultural communication landscape.
By Dr. Razan Jadaan
During a discussion about men and women and the perspectives of balance between them, the thought of equality came to mind, observing how far the concept of equality has been able to reach between its practices and intrinsic nature or essence in societies around the world. In this article, men and women are seen as two fundamental bases of existence, building their society with their presence, and equalizing it with their intertwining natural and cultural relationship, constantly moving from the past to the present and heading towards the future.
Every woman is a pillar in her society, and every man is the other, irrespective of how they see themselves, how they define themselves, or even how they want to be. They both try instinctively, cognitively, and culturally to preserve their environment of natural and social interaction, as well as the ethics of their existence in both positive and negative ways.
Globally, the folds of history at many times and still do carry the power of tyranny within the chapters of its evolution at many times, and endeavors of justice and peace Those two pillars had their attributes in every phase of eras, which played, and still play, a major role in raising or ruining societies into different shapes, ways, and kinds of cultural systems, establishing them, starting with the simple way of handmade life, developing them into feudalism, capitalism, socialism, communism, technocracies, religions, ideologies and axioms, which they turned into the Earth’s different geographies, political systems, economical systems, social systems and constructions.
In the ebbs, flows and harmonies between the two bases of life, the world was born, societies have been created and developed back and forth, continuing to evolve, founding forms of cultures and civilizations that we know today.
The evolutionary human experience should be a revelation for the wise and enlightened public opinions, in realizing the state of the world today, what it has been going through, and where it has constructively and destructively reached in the present time. This is a history that is continuously moving forward, demanding from humans to focus and work towards reviving the leading paths towards illumination, opening new ways in direction of wisdom of thought, transparency of knowledge and intelligent decision-making.
When observing the circumstances of reality, one can see the world floundering between reality, which humans are a natural existential part of, and steady objectivity, which humans gained from their life experiences. Humans love to control and possess power over all else, and finally, the ambitious benevolent part of humanity, which surely exists in every human spirit, and always opens the doors to justice and peace.
Furthermore, in terms of actual equality between those two pillars of society, in most phases of history, humans evolved towards separating the nature of unity between women and men, losing the togetherness required towards embracing and completing each other, to create harmony in life.
Ever since this constant separation between the two most important variables of life, the communication between men and women started to shape into policies of manipulation and domination, creating two and more distinct bickering societies, from an originally unified one. This consciousness guided the concept of patriarchy to take overpower in many times of history, when the society of men began to force its perception of culture steering life to suit their physical, mental, and social establishment and thought, while giving themselves the assignment of maintaining humanity’s tangible survival.
Matriarchy, on the other hand, found itself marginalized, failing to fulfill its humanity, being made inequal by others and by women themselves, ignoring women’s enormous potential and interactive energies in developing blooming cultures, that could have created a much more civilized, mature, and glorious worldwide society when compared to its current state.
Since the separation of humans into two confronted societies, and since men monopolized power, or thought they were in command, the social relationship between men and women transformed into a long-term competition. This conflictual contesting is reflected in desires of the need for companionship with the other and the passion of taking revenge on the oppressor who decides the laws according to one sided profits and moods, narrates history relating to self-centered points of view, and treats others with selfishness, biased shallow emotionalism, and objectivity.
Facing the harshness of the circumstance, women decided to revolt against the tyrannic patriarchy. The women’s society stood up for its freedom, it started to passionately fight in every direction. However, women made the same mistake as men, when they worked on their monopoly, because they fought in a chaotic framed way, and they continued their battle in the consciousness of the mainstream society and the majority’s system of thought across nations and generations.
This caused women’s society to stay imprisoned and limited within the cultural measurements of patriarchy, when thinking of freedom and working for human rights, equality, and justice.
Subsequently, women revolted against the norm of tyranny by working diligently to frame their rights, equalities and freedoms within the instinctive and cultural consciousness created by men, narrowed by patriarchal physical, mental, and behavioral perceptions. This brought about -and continues to do so, persecution of women’s societies by scales from the other side, as well as by the constantly dependent and manipulated women’s awareness itself, which still is caught in a delusional convincement of freedom and independence.
On the other hand, men continued -and still do- to engage in the same way of thinking , acting and reacting, with the same cognition that they got used to, trying to adjust to their reality, believing that everything is alright with women, society and the world, and being convinced that there is no need to change or to be changed. It is only in way and no other.
In this cultural, inter-cultural and global conflictual dilemma, humans –women and men– should stop for a moment and observe the geometries of equality from the different angles of reality and perception. One such insight could reveal that women are an essential element of society, and men are the other vital segment. Both are elementary foundations; both can form an ideal worldwide global society.
Those foundations should not be viewed, or view each other, as two conflicting poles, but as scopes that complete each other, where both structures are needed as meeting points of Being and as sharing architects of an equal, mature, and stable society.
Thriving towards such ambition, it becomes the duty of women and men to think together, instead of remaining in opposed dualisms, engaged in clashes and greed for power and control. Only then will it be possible for the world to realize the different formulas of nature and cognize its variant cultural constructions. Only then, will people appreciate the forms of thought that women and men created over history to keep the communication going on one hand, while maintaining quiddity or the essence, on the other hand.
Following the creation of consciousness, after humans reach the cognitive maturity and when societies reach the wisdom that brings both women and men together, it becomes possible to innovate laws of equality and equity within cultures and between them. Such change would transform the opposing dynamics into an act of symbiosis, switching the behavior of conflict into dialogue, leaving the ambition of control and dominance aside, focusing on the aesthetics of the relation between the creation of man and woman, realizing the extent of sublimity that men and women are capable of walking hand in hand through the path of life, with an unknown past; a past that was only taught through the narratives and interpretations of history. Communicatively moving Forward in time, Humans could walk as women and men through the present, sharing awareness and mutual pride of each other, fueled by the energies they gained by building civilizations, as well as by the ambitions they got gifted by creating cultures.
In conclusion, a suggested thought comes to mind, for all ladies, gentlemen people in between on the globe, to observe the present time of equality and its practices, to revise history involving his story, her story, others’ stories and their interpretations, while discussing the perplexity of diverse viewpoints, in order to reach authentic dialectics that balance the scales of perspectives and fulfill the essence of equality.
Dr. Razan Jadaan is currently a freelance journalist who contributes to local, regional, and international newspapers both within the Arab world and globally. She is the author of the book “Intercultural Communication: Reality, Axiom, Image.” Some of her other research explores the image of the Occident in the Orient, worldwide public opinion, and the interplay of reality, perspectives, mass media, and public opinions in intercultural communication.