Power Shift: The Longest Revolution


The 2019 Massey Lectures were delivered by Sally Armstrong. You can listen to them on CBC radio by using the free CBC app. A book on the lectures is already out called Power Shift: The Longest Revolution.  The theme of the lectures was the arrival of women’s fundamental equality. Armstrong argues The better off women are, the better off we all are.

Many parts of it were very interesting. The last 5 minutes of the last lecture were one example. With passion she concluded her lecture series this way:

“Man the hunter is bogus. There is no evidence that woman was not right there beside him hunting. The ancient past is a flawed account that was history recorded mainly by men and mostly about men. In fact, for millions of years we now know that men and women had equal status. And then they didn’t. It was during the agriculture era when food became plentiful, when they could focus on development rather than sheer survival until tomorrow, then both men and women realized that the future depended on producing more labourers and only women had the sexual reproductive capacity to deliver a child. Pregnant women were appropriated by men to produce the next generation, as much as land was prioritized and acquired by men at that time. That was the birth of patriarchy and subordination of women. That subordination was heightened when religion was formalized and institutionalized in the early legal codes. It has taken 10,000 years and a million years to right those wrongs. The power shift came from goddesses and priestesses, seers, diviners, nuns, healers, writers, reformers, activists, suffragettes, and feminists who took on the prophets and the kings, the orators and the philosophers, the politicians and the bullies, to find justice, fairness, and equality for all. It has been indeed the longest revolution.’

It really is time for male dominance to end. Even men would be be better off if that happened.

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