Friday, 22 July 2011

Amy and Antony - Part Six

Three months later

Amy sidled into the meeting hall, feeling nervous and yet excited at the sight before her.

The room was filled with women and girls. There was not a single male to be seen. The organisers had squeezed in as many chairs as possible but it was still likely that many of the attendees would have to stand.

The stage was decked out with long tables and chairs for each of the speakers and a podium. There was also a projector sitting on a small table and a projector screen. But these details were completely overshadowed by the white banners hanging from the walls behind the stage.

Printed upon the banners, in a bold blue, was the universal symbol for femaleness, and underneath, the words "Female Dawn".

All of the women present waited expectantly until, a few minutes later, four women appeared on the stage. Each of them was dressed in a white jumpsuit with the symbol for femaleness printed on the left breast.

Amy recognised one of the women immediately. It was her Headmistress, Dr Craig.

The four women on stage all looked very solemn and serious.

Without being prompted, the audience burst into applause.

Dr Craig walked over to the podium and waited until the applause died down.

"First, and most importantly, thank you for attending the first ever meeting of the Female Dawn movement. It gladdens our hearts to see so many women here!"

Dr Craig paused as the audience applauded once more.

Dr Craig next introduced her co-speakers. Dr Natalie O'Toole was an eminent psychologist who had high ranking politicians, celebrities and military personnel as her patients, Professor Esme Keith was the foremost academician on women's history and women's studies and had written many books about those subjects. Dame Veronica Riche was a self-made millionnairess who had built a food empire out of her kitchen and who had won her title for her charity work to help girls from disadvantaged backgrounds through scholarships and financial aid to help them do better at school.

Amy, and the rest of the audience, politely applauded as each guest speaker was introduced.

Dr Craig then set her face into a more serious expression.

"Now, Ladies, for the reason why we are here. What Female Dawn is all about. I bet you're probably wondering".

The audience nodded in agreement.

"Let me enlighten you, my sisters" said Dr Craig "We women have come a long way since the days when our aspirations were confined by society to marrying a man, keeping house for him and bringing up his children. We stand on the brink of actually taking control of everything. Political power. The economy. Monetary and non-monetary wealth. Everything!"

The women, Amy included, held their breath in awe.

"But, sisters, all we have won and hope to achieve is in peril! The male of the species, frightened out of his wits at the prospect of women having complete control over their own lives and having greater power in the world than they have ever had before, is re-grouping and organising a backlash to take away all that we have earned!"

"Our main opponent is, of course, that pernicious and misguided organisation, the Alpha Movement. Preaching the virtues of masculine rule and bemoaning that society has become dysfunctional as a direct result of the diminuation of male authority. They are seeking political power to form a government and to, as they put it "heal the wounds caused to the fabric of society caused by feminism. And they are gaining a significant following".

The women in the audience looked at each other in dismay.

"We can't let the Alpha Movement gain too much power in the political system. Were that to happen, we women, all of us here, would find our world once again reduced to the home and the cradle. But fear not, my sisters, together we can stop them! How?, I hear you ask, by forming our own political party. Female Dawn".

Everyone in the audience had already guessed what the solution might be, but enthusiastically clapped anyway.

"Already Female Dawn meetings are being held in every major town and city to alert our sisters to the threat facing them. We must remain united and together we will ride and overcome the tide of male supremacy that threatens to overwhelms us! I urge you to join the movement!"

Dr Craig's speech was so passionate, so sincere, that everyone in the audience jumped to their feet in unison and applauded for several minutes.

For the first time that evening, Dr Craig's lips formed a smile.

Dr Craig turned the meeting over to the first guest speaker, Dr O'Toole. Dr O'Toole spoke at length about the male psyche, using the projector to illustrate her points. Gleaned from over forty years as a psychologist, Dr O'Toole shared with the audience her observations of the psychologies of both sexes. Whilst the female pysche tended to be stable and rational, the male psyche was afflicted by aggressive tendencies, loss of focus and irrational and unpredictable behaviour due to a lack of self control.

Based on this evidence, Dr O'Toole pointed out, it was as clear which sex was better equipped psychologically to wield power in society. Yet, the Alpha Movement advocated that power be held by the sex whose psychological balance was more prone to dysfunction! On the basis of psychology, the male of the species was unquestionably the weaker sex.

Professor Keith was next up. She expounded on the raw deal women had been getting since the days of Eve, the years of struggle to get the vote and then more decades of struggle for women to get anything like equal status with men, and this had still not quite been attained. Now though, with many more girls than boys graduating from university, more women in senior positions in every sphere of society than ever before and even more women in the workforce than men, the tables were turning! The balance of power was rapidly tilting in favour of womankind.

At some point in the future, for the first time in recorded human history, the world would be dominated by the stronger sex: the female.

"Sisters!" said Professor Keith "We girls all know instinctively from an early age which is the stronger sex. We do better at school from day one than boys right through to postgraduate studies. We are more focused, more determined, more driven to succeed. Women are doers and get things done. Men get easily distracted by pleasure and put the serious business of life off. They assume that they are superior to women merely because they are male, but fail to realise that without ability and application they are doomed to failure, and are too trapped by their notions of what it is to be man to ever change. Sisters, we are the stronger sex. We have always been the stronger sex and always will be!"

There was rapturous applause to that speech!

Dame Riche was the final speaker. It was an old cliche, Dame Riche observed, but valid in any point in history and most especially the present day, "Women mean Business!" Dame Riche, a student herself of history, could scarcely credit that any society would be so short-sighted to exclude from the conduct of business the sex best qualified to perform it! Dame Riche recounted her own experience. The daughter of a successful businessman, she had quickly learned with bitterness how patriarchal society operated, as her father made no secret of the fact that when he passed on, his assets would go to Dame Riche's younger brother, in line with tradition.

Dame Riche, who had known herself to be a natural businesswoman, whilst her brother, though charming, was a dilettante in such matters, rejected her father's proposal that she should train to be a secretary and ultimately become her brother's assistant and moved out of the family home forever.

Difficult times followed. Dame Riche had to take waitressing jobs and jobs filing paperwork in order to make ends meet but she never lost sight of the dream and bore every humiliation and setback with a smile. Finally, at the age of twenty, she had amassed enough savings to start her own bakery business. From that point, she had never looked back. Within three years, she had become a millionnairess in her own right. Another three years later and she controlled a vast empire of business interests.

In the meantime, her father's business had not done so well. Dame Riche bought him out and put him out to pasture. She remembered the shock on her father's face when she revealed that it had been she who had acquired his company and the sudden knowledge that, out of all of the family, she had the business brains, and he had failed to see past outmoded notions of gender roles.

Her brother, effectively disinherited and without a role, begged her for a job. He was now HER Personal Assistant!

The ladies clapped loudly at that!

Dame Riche said that women were better at business than men. It was undeniable. Any business run by a woman, where the majority of the board were female, or even where a junior management team was mostly female saw increased profits and returns. A female run business invariably outperformed male competitors in the same sector. Even in investment banking and stock market futures, women's judgement was more often on the money than those of the men. Dame Riche showed facts and figures on the projector.

Women mean Business! was Dame Riche's closing statement.

There was more rapturous applause.

Dr Craig resumed control of the meeting "Sisters! You have heard today of the massive, yes massive, potential of our sex to change society for the better and to take control of the world for the good of all, be they female or male! This noble goal is within our grasp. But, as you have also heard, our destiny is threatened by attempts by the discontented male sex through political agitation to turn back the clock!"

Dr Craig's face was set in a most determined frame.

"This abominable scenario will never happen sisters! As long as we stand together! Join the movement! Help us along the road to a Female Dawn!"

Sweat poured from the brow of Dr Craig as she finished her speech and she slumped slightly, clinging to the podium for support.

Everyone present, leapt to their feet and gave Dr Craig a thunderous round of applause that lasted for well over ten minutes.

Dr Craig was now beaming "Thank you, my sisters! Your response has given the movement what it most needs in these dark times for womankind: Hope for a bright future for us women. Now, please prove your commitment to the future we all desire by joining the movement!"

Amy, fired up with passion to support the movement with the last strength of her body, hastened to the stand set up for enrolling new members. She had to wait a long time, aware that her father was waiting outside in his car to take her home. By the time she got to the stand, she realised with dismay that even the fee for the junior section of the movement was in excess of what she had in her purse.

The woman running the stand was about to turn Amy away with an air of disdain, when Amy felt a hand fall on her slender shoulder. "Enroll this sister immediately! I will pay for the cost of her membership!"

The membership secretary hastened to comply.

Amy turned around to see Dr Craig, looking at her with approval "I am greatly pleased to see you here sister!" she said.

Sister! Not Amy, or girl, or some other label a headmistress might apply to a female pupil under her control.

She was addressing her as an equal!

Amy was flustered, but determined "Dr Craig, I can't let you pay for me!"

Dr Craig said "Believe me, Amy, seeing you here is worth more than a few pounds. The movement has just been born, but already we are looking to the future. We anticipate that the struggle may take some years, even decades, before we achieve the desired outcome. You, Amy, are the future of the movement!"

Amy was stunned.

"Yes, we anticipate that you should be the next leader of the movement! You've indicated by your actions so far that you have the talents and abilities to drive the movement forward, when your time comes!"

Dr Craig paused for a long moment and then said

"You ARE ready for leadership?"

Amy faltered, but only for a moment and said "Yes" in a firm voice.

"Wonderful! I sense that you will be a powerful force within the movement! A great force!"

Amy was stunned when Dr Craig hugged her. It was the last thing she had expected.

"Sister! Our minds are as one, I know it. Women are destined to rule! Men to serve. All the statistics show that women and girls are outperforming men and boys at every of education and gaining more and more jobs. It's time that women ruled!"

Amy said "I agree!".

"Good! Work towards it, Amy! One day, the world will be a woman's world!"

Amy hoped so, in her heart.

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