The Romans believed that the heart of the Roman Empire was family; strong families meant a strong Rome. To a point, sociology and history agrees.
Society and its underpinning culture, is an expression on a grand scale of your nation’s average family unit.
Culture could be considered a representation of what your nation’s average-family ideals were during that nation’s early development, ideals that were then built upon over time by their offspring. Culture permeates and helps create National Identity, and National Identity is attached to our Personal Identity.
As a more relatable example, culture might be considered the societal equivalent of that parental voice you hear in your head long after you have left the home, long after your parents have passed. It’s a voice that even when you don’t agree with its outdated values, you still hear.
One of the challenges faced by people seeking gender equality is that Gender Role is attached to culture. Why is that an issue?
Gender Role is built on the idea of gender equity, not gender equality. The very purpose of Gender Role is to acknowledge biological difference between males and females and to assign task and role based on survival-focused thinking, thinking that isn’t as useful in a world where women dying in childbirth and men dying fending off wolves and bears, is no longer common place. In short, Gender Role by its very nature creates gender inequality.
As Gender Role far predates Gender Equality thinking, culturally each of our families is to some degree being influenced against the equal treatment of the genders. How many times have you thought that a man or woman should behave a certain way? This is cultural Gender Role speaking.
However, that influence does not only travel in one direction.
Our family unit and society as a whole, is a constantly evolving structure. We as a people put our thoughts, hopes, dreams and bias out into society. We embed it into our government, our education institutions, our religious institutions, our media, as well as our literary, TV, movie, musical and artistic products. Those institutions, those constructs, feed those family goals and ideals back into the nation to pass on and recreate the identity of each following generation. It is a cycle, family influencing institution, institution influencing family and the outcome of that cycle creates new societal norms.
Once you have a basic understanding of this, once you believe this, you can essentially have a Neo in The Matrix moment:
Or in other words, there are no groups other than family.
The failure of most equality ideology is that it portrays the opposite gender as a grand nemesis, or alternatively applies an institutional face acting on behalf of a gender that must be fought as an enemy—
But there are no overarching groups. There are only sons, fathers, daughters, mothers, brothers and sisters. What this means is if you see injustice, if you see inequality and if you want to change the world—then start at home with your family. If you think your home is ok, speak to your friends, then your neighbours, then their neighbours and tell them to do the same with their families because fundamentally, that’s where societal change begins.
In a world that grows ever smaller, it is more important than ever not just to fight for your beliefs, but to befriend for them.
Because if we live in a world where culture and society are just an extension of family, our ideals are more important than any ideology. In a world that is an extension of family, there is no ‘them’, there is only ‘us’.