As I’ve mentioned previously, feminism is a word corrupted by overzealous and oversensitive zealots contaminating the true ideal and struggle of the movement, with sadly extremism. Whenever there is hate, it won’t work. I wouldn’t say all feminists hated men, but I would say that any movement (led by extremists who are just handful) are hateful. How could a beautiful ideal be successful if led by (or transformed into) hate?
I will reiterate that gender is not equal (full stop). I strongly believe that we should respect and appreciate such “gender inequality”. It is only when we learn to appreciate the diversity in genders (including homosexuals), that we can appreciate and preserve such qualities.
Take for example,
- We can’t expect men to deliver babies.
- We can’t force women to work in construction (or as lone night watchmen) just because they wanted “equality” in profession.
- We can’t place a quota (e.g. 1-to-1 ratio) on every profession in the world just because women wants “fair share” to professions, because this is illogical. Gender differences in physique and “mental” capacity (used in a positive way), would preclude such scenario.
- We can’t expect men to have same amount of maternity leaves as women (employment rights), because of the differences in dads’ role over moms’ (exceptions are single dads or moms in which case, they have no choice).
- Everyone in this world wants a fair amount of salary for the same amount of work/time at work. Construction workers in some countries are underpaid and their job is undeniably dangerous and important. Domestic helpers are underpaid considering that their responsibility is no less important. Men of different skin colours want equal footing in promotion opportunity and salary and not to be biased. There are so many people of different makes (be it gender, age, race, physique, hair colour, political ideal, etc) who constantly think that they are being marginalized. If we think that we are being marginalized, just move on to better companies because bad companies that prefer sycophants rather than gems, will fall because they can’t identify gems from junks in the company. But to associate all inequality to gender bias is really unhealthy! If it is a government, then use your power to vote against the political party. In my opinion, the struggle by women (and men, especially caring dads) for equal rights to vote by women in general elections is one of the most successful healthy feminism in action, not to mention rights for education.
- Men and women are different. A struggle to abolish gender based product or packaging by overzealous feminists is unhealthy. Being oversensitive and constantly suspicious of campaigns by manufacturers or advertisements to undermine females is unhealthy. Being defensive over normal conversations with friends or family members is unhealthy. Being too proud to be labelled a feminist is very unhealthy! Feminism is a means to a cause, and not a prestige (or exclusive club).
Again, feminism is an unpopular word because their struggle was narrow (not sure about it now). However, as Emma Watson pointed out, if men are involved and their struggle be heard too (especially considering men and women make up family units), it would be a more holistic approach to fight for inequality.
Correction to current perception
- Do men and women behave the same? No, men and women don’t behave the same. If you thought that men don’t talk emotionally just because they were programmed by how they were raised, you were wrong. Boys as young as 2 to 3 years old are not as proficient in expressing themselves as compared to girls and such gender differences should be studied scientifically, rather than “force” boys to be expressive. The sexes are wired differently!
- Aggressive behaviour (inquisitive, daring, etc) is hormonal (or biological) and is neither deliberate nor resultant from child abuse (although abuse is a contributing factor). Males should be recognized positively for this tendency (but not biased); but don’t get me wrong, any behaviour can be conditioned/regulated by the mind. We are primates after all with higher mental capacity. Note that aggressive behaviour is used to be a survival instinct.
- Similarly, girls will be timid and cautious (and some boys do that too, not because they are sissy, but rather it’s a survival skill). So please don’t demerit them for such behaviour because such quality is a survival instinct.
What we can do though
- Equal opportunity to lead not based on gender, but capability and support (in democratic society).
- It’s alright to have a skewed numbers of gender representative in professions, e.g. more females in teaching profession, medical, administrative, whereas more males in other callings.
- Education for all, which is a success in most countries but again zealots in religion/politics are preventing this in some countries.
- “Skewed” benefits for women in workplace is okay, considering that they have a complex role in society. Hence, more maternity leaves, health benefits, flexible work hours etc. should be encouraged. A reciprocal treatment for men in other aspect should not be seen as less acceptable.
Just a thought