I have come to realize that most of the people, men and women, who go up in arms against the movement of Gender Equality do not really understand what the movement is about. And little wonder that, because it just so happens that most of its proponents do not get it either.
And this is something that baffles me, because it really is not rocket science.
I just recently read a piece on The Naked Convos, a firm denunciation of Gender Equality, where the writer began glorying in her miseducation when she labelled gay rights and gender equality as trends.
They are not trends. These are real life issues, affecting real persons.
The writer says: “I love being ‘feminine’ and everything that comes with it. I love the fact that I am delicate and soft spoken. My body is soft, not rigid and hard textured. God did not make a mistake when he said we are ‘weaker vessels’.”
That right there is the point of all this contention, this belief that some women and men have that proponents of gender equality have an agenda to get both sexes to strive to be the better man. It is Gender Equality, not Gender Sameness, not Sex Equality.
In fact, I find it very creditable to the woman who can kick ass in her area of expertise whilst she’s clad in the shapeliest outfit and sky-high stilettos. Chimamanda Adichie once spoke about a dilemma she suffered over the decision to apply lipstick and wear a figure-hugging dress for a function, because she was torn over the expectations of a woman striving to make a mark in a man’s world. Eventually, she came to the realisation that she didn’t have to discard her femininity to demand to be regarded as a man’s equal.
And this is because she’s a woman. A woman. Not a man. Not a he-woman. A woman. This whole rhetoric that advocating for women’s rights is related to wanting them to be men is just ridiculous.
The goal is not to see which woman can have more balls than the man. Men and women are of course not the same. Men and women have distinctive roles to play in a society, but men and women make up an equal society. And the movement is asking for society to recognise that.
There are enough cultures in this world that ultimately disrespect the existence of woman: promoting the birthing of male children over female children to the point of enforcing sex-selective abortions, robbing girls of education because of their gender, harassing single women on the ridiculous premise that they are incomplete without men, educating young girls to aspire to the fulfilment of future husbands instead of self fulfilment, passing rightful inheritances over widows and female heiresses because of their genders.
These societal atrocities are endless. And serious. And affect real lives. And should be considered without the lofty condescension or ignorant rhetoric of the woman who thinks she’s being asked to grow a penis or tighten her muscles or be a man-hater.
I read something which powerfully shows how ridiculous it is to keep ascribing these strict lines to the genders.
There is a fundamental assumption that there is one way to be male or female. Not all men are super strong, just like not all women are super girly. There are incredibly athletic, powerful women, tomboyish women, girly women, emotional women, cold-hearted women etcetera. Drawing weird lines between attributes that are all part of being human – being logical, being aggressive, being emotional, being nurturing, being driven etc. – and making some more “feminine” also prevents men from expressing their full selves.
Many men don’t know how to properly process and express emotions other than anger, lust and joy because that’s what this “women are soft, men are hard” dynamic allows. When it comes to fear, depression, sadness etc. it’s a different story. At the end of the day, enforcing strict gender roles doesn’t help anyone. It doesn’t help men who can be restricted from expressing their full selves and it doesn’t help the women who end up in relationships with them.
Men and women are different, men unto themselves and women unto themselves. And Gender Equality is asking that you both recognise and respect these differences.
Respect that there are family dynamics that work well with the man being the house husband and the wife being the bread-winner.
Respect that bluster and a penis does not a better employee make.
Respect (and this is for the proponents of the movement) that when a woman chooses to be a housewife, perhaps drop her career in favour of full-time motherhood, it doesn’t automatically translate to a diminishing of herself.
People need to stop placing an inferiority compass on women and on perceived femininity.
And honestly, running to the bible to yank some quote from its pages about your weaker vessel-hood as a sanction against Gender Equality? *sigh* There are no words. This is exactly how progressives get armed to sneer at the dictates of religion.
I am @Walt_Shakes on twitter