Conservative men have always had a problem with women taking to the streets to protest.
Starting with suffragettes, through the feminists from the 70s of the 20th century to their younger colleagues, who nowadays have to fight for equality. Because once again, they do have to fight. Primarily because, the male world has been constructed in a way where women’s rights in a public space – in the political environment, creation of the law, enforcement of the authority- are seen as an intruder. Exception to the rule. In the eyes of a conservative man women’s role is to to stay at home, preferably looking after the children. Ideally, without a right to decide about her own body.
To this day (starting from the 19th century) a conservative man considers everything he does outside the house as a “natural” thing. He perceives these as a “naturally” assigned activities. He doesn’t describe these activities with adjectives, he doesn’t make fun out of them, and he doesn’t trivialise them. He doesn’t look for an excuse. “Homme public”- from French – a man/human, a public person. Men have never been judged on their political and social ambitions. Whereas women, still have to explain themselves for their decisions. “Femme publique” from French refers to a public woman. At first, it seems like the same adjective, however, it has a different meaning. It doesn’t sound right. It refers to a prostitute (yes, the public space- the streets belong to her but for a price of disrespect). Or even less natural example, “crazy feminists”, whose lack of love, sex or family and “real responsibilities” is being compensated by taking to the streets . And forcing themselves into the men’s world.
Even though the world has changed since the suffragette’s rebellion, the traditionalists still view women who seek fulfillment in the politics, science and workplace (and especially,if they don’t suffer the financial pressure to do so) as those who go against ‘nature’. Not to mention the discomfort those women may cause by being fully competent rivals in the race for success and position. Women who take to the streets to demand respect for their basic rights cause disruption to the peace of mind of the conservative man. Everything women do in the struggle for equality is supposedly ‘unnatural’. And since it all happens outside of the household, it is also ‘political’. The conservative man who is convinced that the public life belongs to him alone can be found worldwide. He keeps coming back in new personas. Such as the councilor Piasecki, who beats up his wife, so that she understands the concept of a Christian woman and wife and how she should serve her husband. Because that’s her only ‘natural’ and ‘traditional’ place.
8 March may come as a shock to the conservative man. Women have found the new way of entering the public life and demanding their rights. It has never happened before that they managed to join forces to such an extent. In 46 countries, on 5 continents, in both Americas, Asia, Europe and Australia women take to the streets on the same day. They become part of the public life so that ‘femme publique’ is no longer an offence and equality is no longer a fictional concept. They take back their bodies. They forbid conservatives to use violence against them as a political tool. They will speak to the conservative man. They will speak to the conservative governments. This is the end of movements secularised as we know them. The wave has taken over the world.