I’m feeling despondent.

October 28, 2012

Again, it seems I’ve hit another moment where it all feels a smidge overwhelming.

I’m a bit low about it all.

I keep seeing – hearing – absorbing – feeling – more and more examples of horrible behaviour, greedy behaviour, hateful behaviour…

…and I just don’t understand.

I don’t understand why intelligent men and women sit back with a desensitised indifference or, worse still, defend certain elements of our society – making us tip out of balance. I feel like we’re sitting on the side of the balance that’s just started its descent…and it’s going to reach the bottom at an accelerated and unstoppable pace…

Or have we reached that ‘point of no return’ already?

I’d like to think not. I’d LOVE to think not. But am I being naive to think we can put on the brakes?

Because I’m starting to doubt that it’s possible because there seems to be a lot who defend the need for cesspools in different pockets of our existence.

It’s depressing to entertain this thought. It is.

For me, this is the crux of it:

The world is going down a slippery chute – because of money and power.

And it doesn’t matter how you look at it – proven statistically – whatever the culture around the globe, whatever the economic status…

the true victims of any society, are women.

And the ones who wield the power and dominate, are men.

Not ALL men – but most of those who are in positions of power, are – however they came to be there. They’re the ones ruling this planet. Fact.

But I’m wondering, if there are so many of you out there – and I know in my heart you are out there  (regardless of gender) – who feel like a lot of the things being brought to light are wrong:

Question #105: Where are you?

I see women like Melinda Tankard Reist and the phenomenal team at Collective Shout, who are doing wonderful, extraordinary work. They have won so many battles against things that seem inconceivable, to have been allowed to be put in our society in the first place. Inconceivable. They have little money and are flying by the skin of their teeth. But they keep going because it simply has to be done.

Where’s the equivalent loud male voice – a face – who also thinks things are very, very wrong?

Where are the voices of ALL of us, regardless of gender?

In a previous post Feeling a bit ineffectual I listed how women are the victims of this world.

Women are raped by the thousands in places like Africa – used as a weapon of war – DAILY. Women infected with diseases from it.

Women / baby girls around the planet – who are raped, molested, sexually assaulted, trafficked – DAILY

Countless countries forbidding girls from being educated. Shooting a targeted girl, point blank, in the head for wanting one. These are the countries that like war. They have their women – who could stop them if they were in decision-making positions along side them – submissively kept at home.

The poverty, the pain…

And here? In the capitalist world? Here we only reward one thing;

Making money – at whatever cost.

Most of us do it the right and honourable way – with our ethics and morals intact – but the thing I don’t understand is why we actually stand back and let the soulless monster loose in big business  – to OUR detriment. OURS.

We are creating a MINDLESS culture by allowing men – yes men – the ones in power who hold 97% of clout positions in Advertising, Publishing, Tele-communications and Entertainment – to feed on all our weakest and most vulnerable points..to make money. To make a LIVING.

With their fellow men it’s done through sex and with women it’s done through vanity.

Except for the men it’s a dominant weakness and for women it’s a submissive one.

Men are happy with their vice – by indulging in the world of hyper-sexuality and porn…but women never are! Which woman actually believes they’re beautiful enough? Good enough?

What the hell’s THAT about ladies? Seriously!

We’re allowing companies to target and condition our youth to become MINDLESS.

Our silence and indifference gives them permission.

WHY are we doing this? Because it’s good business? The more we say that, the more we pave the way for another to push the ethical frontiers. I’m beginning to wonder if there are any left.

Seems like a free-for-all.

The infuriating part is that we could ALL sell-out and make a quid the fast way.

We ALL have the capacity to steal. We ALL have the capacity to cheat. We can be unkind, selfish, greedy, hateful – but for the majority of people – we’re decent.

Question #106: So, why are we letting the men in power dictate how they will feed off ALL of us – men, women and children – in this detrimental way?

All’s fair in love, war…and capitalism, it seems.

I wonder, with a heavy heart, if the line above does encompass the general attitude amongst the masses…

Again, I hope not.

This is a worthy cause, isn’t it?

Deep Breath.


Pass it on. Speak up. Anything to help create change.

9 Responses to “I’m feeling despondent.”

  1. Verina said

    I share your despondency…but I will continue to fight….
    there are a couple of sites run by men… “todays gentlemen”
    you can find them on FB
    “The grey man” you can also find them on FB
    They don’t get alot of attention but are fighting too…..
    We also need to get women to stop participating in this exploitation…Every time we say “it’s nothing” “your over reacting”
    we give this stuff credence.
    We cannot continue to say “it’s her decision” and “if she wants to do that” because it filters to everyone else.
    We cannot decry the subjugation of women and rave at the same time about 50 shades of grey..
    We cannot demand that men treat us as equals while in the same breath telling them how much we love that book…
    men will never take us seriously as long as we women keep making them think we don’t really mean it…

  2. Gravitas said

    I can’t say I agree with the image you posted. I believe that today, it is inevitable that change will be televised… look at the Middle East revolutions from last year, online videos were the main channel for dissemination. Now other societies aside, I have found that on the whole, women aren’t prevented from promotions or wielding power based on their gender alone. Anyone with a driving ambition, and some intelligence helps, to succeed in the corporate or political world will usually get there in the end. The downside of a driving ambition is often family, which is why most ‘ambitionistas’ end up single, in a dysfunctional (or broken) family unit or find a partner in their own image. Business is such that it loves those with driving ambition and it is not sexist with who it recruits.

    I include the media when I refer to ‘business’ and I think you’ll find many women in positions of authority in the media, and I do believe they, as well as men, are complicit in the downward trend you mention.

    This powerful group you mention ie “Advertising, Publishing, Tele-communications and Entertainment” does have an achilles heel. The thing they fear the most is irrelevance. Losing relevance means losing power. One way of losing relevance is to point out the reality that their product does not make an ounce of difference, which is best done I believe, through the same channels they use. I suggested this in a previous rant.

    Lastly, about your despondency. Corny alert! I’m going to refer you to an apt song (I think) for what you may be feeling. There are many lyrics to “Hey Jude” but here’s some that may resonate:

    “Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders.
    For well you know that it’s a fool who plays it cool
    By making his world a little colder.”


    “So let it out and let it in, hey jude, begin,
    You’re waiting for someone to perform with.
    And don’t you know that it’s just you, hey jude, you’ll do,
    The movement you need is on your shoulder.”

    I’ll just finish with…

    Na na na na na na ,na
    Na na na na
    Na na na na na na ,na
    Na na na na

    • questionsforwomen said

      Well, that’s a lovely way you chose to end your message. I’m sure you felt I deserved that somehow?
      Don’t like reading emotional posts?
      My feeling of despondency doesn’t need to be mocked by you and I don’t apologise for it.
      I’m feeling a bit better now, thanks to your response. Just the ticket.
      It’s clear you interpreted many things differently to how I expressed them.
      The image is a bit cryptic. I want people to stand up because it’s the right thing to do, not seek attention. Maybe it was TOO cryptic – but hey, I’m writing for me and anyone else who is like-minded and gets what I’m saying. So although it’s not what I meant, I agree with you, yes, change will be televised.
      The image you painted of ‘ambitionistas’ is a cliche. It IS as you describe – no argument – because society is conditioned to think ‘that’s the way it is’ and then, in turn, perpetuate the cliche. So yes, I agree, the stereotype of the ‘how-to-make-it-as-a-woman-at-the-top’ manuel you just read from (written by a man) is spot. on.
      Yes, there are women at the top in business – 3% of them.
      I know the achilles heel of the power group – I’ve been writing about it over and over again. There’s no need to patronise me.
      Now let me explain, succinctly, the whole point of this last post.

      It’s to ask why we’re standing idly by and letting the shit state of things STAY THE SAME – if not worsen.

      That’s it.
      So thank you SO much for simply stating the way things are. I’m aware of them – communicated through every post – and that’s why I’ve moved just a little bit further along and started to speak up – in the hope of waking people up into ACTION with a simple raising of their voice – ESPECIALLY women. Until women say enough, it ain’t changing.
      We are emotional creatures which is just as valuable and needed in our world. So I WAS despondent – but you have just lit a fire in my belly.

      PS Do you even understand the lyrics of Hey Jude? The first verse you put in, is saying don’t hold it in – a fool for bottling it up and playing it cool. I’m not carrying the world on my shoulders, nor am I playing it cool. ???
      The movement is on my shoulders? Yes, and I’m acting. Starting with me. I’ll do.
      Hope MANY will join me…but there won’t be any cameras.
      Get it?

  3. afeministmother said

    I understand your feelings of being overwhelmed. I too am often struck by the deep and widespread oppression and suffering of women and girls. There are the many instances I read about that are extreme and desperate, and then there’s the everyday sexism and or misogyny closer to where I live, some of which is very intimidating and threatening. When I hear about it happening to my own daughters – or see older men oggling my young teenager I get really mad, and this madness sustains me most of the time. So while the attitudes are so entrenched and I do despair of it ever being good for women, there is no way that I can move on and just accept it. Getting involved in women’s services locally is good for those who can, as is reading, writing and talking about it. How I am as a parent is the main way that I have tried to have an impact – that and reading as widely as I can. It is a relief to know that there are people out there who share the same views – once the veil has lifted and you truely see how the world operates, there is no way the reality of it can be ignored by the passionate feminist.

    Reading your blog is great motivation.

    • questionsforwomen said

      Thank you so much. I know in my waters that change will come. I won’t stop either – knowing that there’ll also be MANY more moments of feeling helpless.

  4. Gravitas said

    I’d like to clarify some things. First of all, My previous post (as well as this one) was never meant to mock your despondency or in fact patronise you in any way. My apologies. Sometimes men, when we are confronted with an issue, we try to fix it without truly listening. My reply obviously wasn’t received in the way that I’d hoped, but sounds like you are no longer despondent anyway.

    At the risk of getting you more fired up, if men are holding all the power, shouldn’t they be a priority that you should be trying to convince to speak up? As a writer and communicator, you may want to consider how to resonate more with them.

    While my perspective may be cliched, it comes from years of working in the corporate culture and seeing all kinds come and go. In my experience, the best and most sustainable change comes from those who have the vision and the power, which typically comes from knowing how to work the system. It’s a bit old school and I know it’s theory-based, but google Kotter’s eight-step change model. It’s a proven framework for implementing change and you look to already be up to Step 2.

    PS. I’m not going to debate the meanings of “Hey Jude” but it was meant as a compliment. That your passion for what you are doing is your greatest asset and that you are empowering enough of yourself.

    • questionsforwomen said

      Apology accepted and I also apologise for misinterpreting the last part of your response. As you started that last part with a corny alert, followed by the lyrics and then na na na na na na, na (which without the ‘Hey Jude’ read as a childish taunt) – it was hard to see what you meant by it.

      Talking to the men in power is something that’s done time and time and time again. They don’t listen. If they did, things would be different. The women at Collective Shout (as well as countless others, including men’s groups) are tirelessly writing and campaigning against things that are so wrong it defies logic, and yet the ‘powers that be’ disagree – time and time again.
      The bottom line is money and it’s predominantly men at the top who will stop at nothing to push the boundaries to get it – because we (society and sadly, predominantly women) lap it up.
      That’s why I’m aiming from the ground up because access to the top is virtually impossible.
      One example? Facebook not taking down ’12 year old slut memes’ page but shut down a page with images of breastfeeding. There’s a petition, but to no avail.
      I won’t go on because there are a gazillion examples.

      I know what the corporate world is like – my sister is well and truly in it. I guess I’m tired of women’s true nature being shunted aside as invaluable (always has) – too emotional = unsteady. To make it to the top you have to have ‘balls’. Be more masculine so that you can fit in with the ‘boys’ in their world of business. Well aggrerssion is an unsteady emotion too and our world is submerged in it. And it’s shit. We need more of us to be despondant and act for change.

      I don’t want to work the system. I want to change it. Completey. Equality for all.
      Thanks Gravitas.

      PS When I talk of ‘men’, I talk of the evidence of their decsions that come from THE TOP. Not personally to men in general. But just as our female attributes are always put down, surely men can see that the bad male ones are ruling this planet and that this needs to change.
      You also have wonderful and amazing attributes. How could you not? We’ve been created that way, to intertwine together and create a balanced world.
      Call me naive but that’s my dream.

  5. afeministmother said

    Gravitas – There is a wealth of material out there with which to educate yourself. I think the issues are conveyed very well on this blog; time and thought has obviously gone into all the posts. A typical way to keep women busy and undermine their efforts towards what they are working for is to question their skills and suggest that they pander more to men and act like them in order to succeed. To use your words – to better “resonate”, make men a “priority” and use “old school” techniques to have a chance of getting anywhere.The problem is just too great, too urgent and too long standing and many women see the best option is address women directly – for example, to pose questions for women (title of blog) to get THEM thinking and acting. Trying to persuade the majority of men to give up their dominance seems to be the miserable task of the liberal feminist and they have a very hard time of it. The ambition you talk about is modelled on socially constructed male behaviour – feminists like myself do not want to work the system we want to change it so that it works well for everyone, rather than just the white, well to do priviledged males. I could go on, but this is not my blog.

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