Strategies for Neo-Humanism
By Diipali, PNA/New Haven
The question, “What is it you women want?” has been asked by men for, doubtlessly, as long as we have existed. We want respect; we want economic independence; we want self-determined and noble destinies; we want spiritual unity.
A healthy, dynamic society is one where men and women work in co-ordinated co-operation, not subordinated co-operation, solving together the necessities of the hour. This dynamism requires time and expanded understanding that is non-existent in our society. Finding solutions to women’s economic dependence requires expanded and accelerated movements. The solution that women should be ‘taken care of’ by men is not only irrational, but is women-defeating. The statistics on women and poverty clearly indicate the irrationality of trusting women’s welfare to ‘their men”. It is women-defeating, because its core sentiment is that women cannot be self-reliant.
As PROUTists, in our movement toward Neo-Humanism, we demand that:
- Women’s full potential—physical, mental and intuitional—be acknowledged, trained, utilized and equitably compensated.
- Women should not have to trust anyone else for their economic welfare.
- Teachers of children should be highly compensated, trained and respected.
- All careers should be open to the pursuit of both men and women.
- Employment must be adaptable to women’s needs.
- Paternity must be respected.
But only through personal transformation will these changes be instigated. The fastest, most effective way to make personal changes is through spiritual practices. Practices that many times force open the shutters of preconceptions to let an inner, clearer light shine in. Practices that, while strengthening personal resolve and courage to forge a new way, still leave the good of the old way intact. It is through this intense inward turning that we as women and men can crack the shell that binds us to this un’wholey’ alliance.
However, it is an illusion to think that all people will willingly give up their exploitative power over a few people’s personal revelations. Along with the personal changes, there need to be corresponding changes in society’s institutions. These political changes must cater to the varying needs of women, regardless of their marital status. These changes must incorporate four major situations women face: married women without children, wanting to work outside of the home; women with children wanting to work outside of the home; women with infants wanting to return to work; women wanting to work in the home.
PROUTist recommendations to accommodate all these needs are:
- Enforceable laws against employment discrimination[Even WITH such laws, exploitative corporations like Wal-Mart manipulate the court system to continue to treat women employees as second class citizens as with the recent Supreme Court decision against women composing a legitimate class for a class action lawsuit—Dukes vs. Wal-Mart– that over one million female Wal-Mart female employees brought against the company for discrimination in wages, promotions and working conditions (Ed.)].
- Comparable pay standards set by boards.
- Equitable divorce and alimony laws.
- Equitable inheritance for daughters as well as sons, widows as well as children.
- Subsidized career counseling, and job training for women re-entering or changing careers.
- Technical assistance and subsidy for home businesses.
- Continuing technological advancements that make housework less time consuming.
- Consideration of home administration as legitimate employment with comparable pay.
- Insurance through community support that economic dependence should never be the only reason for a woman to remain in an exploitative marriage.
- Provision of the necessary technical assistance and economic capital so that a woman’s home life becomes more economically secure and psychically fulfilling.
- Establishment of a major and potent Department of Women at all political levels.
Political and personal changes go hand in hand. Political changes must be there to reinforce personal changes. Children raised in a new political environment will have fewer personal scars to shed. The current leaders of society will fight hard to maintain their status quo. Men and women are pitted against each other in their pursuit for survival while leaders claim that there is not enough cash/food/jobs to go around. Only through an open challenge to these political misconceptions as well as to exploitative leaders will Neo-Humanism emerge.