A Gap in Time – 5
The women are hell-bent on taking control of the men’s village. Equality is an ideal that few believe in. The plan is simple. Catch the men off-guard and overtake their village. The worldwide movement for women’s rights—and many men’s resistance to it—will end. In nature, animals battle for dominance; so will humanity. Women will finally control the public order, and a matriarch society created.
Bess, Elizabeth and Eliza—still advocate for equality between the sexes—discuss ways to stop the imminent course. Division, inequality and control are not the answer.
“We each have a story to tell,” says Eliza. “If we tell of our unique experiences, maybe we can help others understand how equality can be achieved.”
“I can speak of the experiences of women from my time,” says Bess. “People’s intellect has supposedly evolved. They will understand how fear and ignorance took women’s rights away.”
Elizabeth’s pensive brow softens. “In my time, Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress fought against apartheid and the rights of all South Africans. The ANC won the fight, and Mandela became the first black prime minister of South Africa. There was fear that white South Africans would face retribution. But it didn’t happen. Mandela and the ANC sought equality for all South Africans, not only for people of color. It wasn’t easy bridging the gap between the ethnicities, but they tried hard for equality, that one side not succeed at the expense of the other.”
“I understand why men may fear women,” says Eliza.
“And why women fear men,” chimes Bess.
“Respect,” says Elizabeth. “Surely, it all comes down to respect. The golden rule: treat others as you want to be treated. See the person and not the gender or color.”
Eliza sighs, exasperated. Her travels showed her how cruel people can be to each other. Is it possible for such a small group to change the future?
The women sat in silent contemplation. It seemed so simple and yet so complex.
“We need men,” Bess states.
Eliza and Elizabeth turn to Bess with blank expressions.
“We are women! Men won’t listen to us any more than women would listen to men. Trust is damaged. We need men who desire the same future as us.”
“You’re right,” says Elizabeth. “Perrin…and Michael.”
The plan is coming together. Bess is sure she can bring Perrin to understand what they are doing and agree to stand with them. Elizabeth is equally confident that her friend, Michael, will join them. If Eliza can locate those hiding outside the village walls, they might come to add to their voices.
“It’s not a case of the loudest voice, but the more determined spirit. Let’s hope trust is not damaged beyond repair,” states Eliza.
This story has no ending as it continues to play out. Success is up to us. Our time travel allows us to see the past. The future can be chosen from this generation. A future that repeats itself and keeps men and women unequal. Or a lot that recognizes and embraces our differences. Respect and equality for women have been unequal since the beginning of time. Men should not be negatively affected by the pendulum swinging too far.
Women can protect and provide for themselves. But men want to be needed just as women need to be valued. Men who notice and nurture women’s strengths and ask are what women want. Similarly, a man requires a purpose that uses his unique skill set. He doesn’t need to be criticized for it.
Society’s evolving roles make it difficult for both genders to find their place and identity. We can learn from each other rather than allow this to push us apart. Men throughout history have provided examples of leadership, demonstrating how to be a good leader. One is not better than the other. It is not unmanly to cry or to nurture children. It is not aggressive for a woman to strive and fight for her ambitions. These things are not good or bad. They just are.
The damage of inequality throughout history is done. We cannot change it. But the future lies as a blank sheet of paper before us. Men and women are a team filled with varying gifts. We can find a balance by acknowledging our differences and accepting our inequalities. Can we learn to be individual-focused rather than gender-focused before it’s too late?
Power comes in unity. The strong build others up rather than pull others down to feel powerful.