A Personal Look At Gender Inequality August 24, 2018 06:00 1 Comment
This is not a generalised blog post with statistics and facts. These are just a few of my experiences with gender inequality.
I understand my perception is skewed, mostly by the fact that I (along with all humans) have been raised with certain beliefs and ways of being that completely cloud my thinking, and make it almost impossible to even notice the more subtle manifestations of a patriarchal system.
This is what I can no longer tolerate, from my (admittedly privileged) point of view.
I immediately feel the need to apologise for what I'm about to say, but in the spirit of the post, I'm not going to do that :)
1. Uneven Division Of Domestic Labour
When people join forces and start building a life together, all responsibilities should be shared. It is very rare that only one half of a couple earns an income, and whether or not they each bring in equal pay (let's not get into that) both parties will probably spend similar amounts of time at work.
Yet most domestic chores still fall on women, while men casually exclude themselves from most of the running of a home. Why?
Why do men need cheerleading to contribute to their own homes? Why should we be eternally grateful when he does the dishes or makes dinner? Why should we even have to ask for help? It is not a woman's job to be a manager at home. You're both in it together.
2. Guy Talk
Why do men think they're paying you great respect when they apologise for demeaning women in front of you?
Why are all things female used in derogatory terms: naming women's genitalia for weakness; expressing an emotion; changing your mind; etc.
This constant dismissal in small ways can only perpetuate and reinforce dehumanisation of women and it must stop. Whether or not you've forgotten there was a woman in your presence.
3. Being Unreasonable And Complicated
I have yet to meet a man more straight-forward than me. I have found men to be just as complicated and unreasonable as women are always accused of being. They're just really good at deflecting it.
Also, historically, women have not been allowed to express emotions frankly, always having to be pleasant and mild mannered. The frustration has to go somewhere, and it generally comes out quite explosively.
The best way to avoid this is to listen without dismissing emotions, and encourage honest communication.
4. Obligatory Beauty
It is not my duty to be beautiful, thin or make any effort whatsoever to be physically pleasing to you.
I am a human with actual characteristics, skills and qualities that make up far more of me than you can see.
I'm tired of being scared when walking to my car after an evening out. Or even just walking my dog in the park. I'm sick of looking over my shoulder waiting for someone to harass me.
I'm tired of modifying my wardrobe and not showing too much skin in summer in case someone thinks I might be "asking for it".
I'm not interested in your catcalling. It's not a compliment that you think I'm attractive. Again it's just objectifying and dehumanising and it makes me afraid for my own safety.
I'm tired of hearing story upon story from women around me about how they've been abused, raped and harassed.
We need to move away from thinking "don't get raped" to "don't rape".
Yes, this is an angry post, but things that threaten my well-being make me angry. I'd love to hear some of your experiences.
Photo Credit: Peter Driessel