The American Matriarchy is hurdling toward us like a cultural tsunami and most of us can’t see it coming. It’s barley visible. It’s taking its time. But the increasing democratization of our democracy is making it both possible and inevitable. Girls will be girls and they will be doing it in places we haven’t yet imagined.
Why is it coming?
The simple answer is the vote. The move toward democratic governance was the first step in a return from centuries of patriarchy to rule by women. The move to extend the franchise to women was the second, and equally significant, move. The Nineteenth Amendment put us on this track and there is no going back now.
I don’t see it!
You’re not looking. More than half of the graduates of American colleges, universities, and law and medical schools are now women. Women are increasingly the primary or sole breadwinner in American families. Take a moment to think about who has the most education among your siblings, children and grandchildren. Now think harder about what kinds of jobs these educated women are getting compared to their less educated brothers, husbands and sons. Now think even harder about how many of the families you know in your everyday life are fed and clothed by the income of women.
Equal pay for equal work is coming, whether corporate America wants it or not. And that’s because all those women graduates, particularly the lawyers, are going into politics. There’s a critical mass of them rolling toward the House and the Senate and the Supreme Court. A tsunami lifts all boats – often when we least expect it.
What difference will it make?
A big difference. A gigantic difference. A revolutionary difference. I intend to write more about that in the coming months. But let me begin by suggesting that the current debate over women’s reproductive rights, the debate over equal pay, the debate over economic disparity, and the debate over single payer healthcare are really just skirmishes in the proxy war over whose values are going to control the American family and, with it, the country: Dad’s or Mom’s.
The battle between the sexes has been raging since the creation of the species. But the fighting field has dramatically shifted. In 21st Century America, the weapons of choice in the civic area are the ballot box and the classroom. And for as long as women have the right to those two things, the eventual outcome is preordained. The matriarchy is coming, whether the patriarchy is ready or not. The impact of this coming tidal wave will change how we live, how we work and how we govern.
I, for one, can’t wait until it gets here.