For whatever reason, Feminism has earned itself a bad rap – and it’s appalling that that’s the case. From my understanding of what feminism is, there is no need for it to have earned a negative connotation. After all, it is simply a branch of humanism.
Of course, I am a bit bias since I, myself, am a woman. I live in an extremely liberal part of the world, and (to my knowledge) haven’t experienced any wage differences. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist. I believe that there are parts of the country that do. I have, however, had a male landlord refuse to speak to me because I am a woman. I’ve had a cable guy come to fix whatever it was and not listen to anything I said until my male roommate arrived and said the exact same thing – which he did listen to. I have been called out on my ability to work or opportunities to do my job due to my weight or that I wasn’t blond. I have been cat-called, had my boobs the only thing worthy of eye contact, and I have been grabbed at repeatedly. I’ve worked in bars and pubs, and run my own little experiments – I get more tips the lower cut my shirt is, regardless of how crappy of service I give. I’ve given excellent service – chit-chatty, smiling, pleasant, and making sure that glasses were never empty – while wearing no make-up and a respectable shirt and gotten hardly anything for tips.
Woman are still objectified, and this is a problem. What’s more, is it’s not just men that are doing it. Women are playing into it. Women know that sex sells, as my bar example shows, and they play into it, knowing that’s how they’ll get ahead. It’s terrible. What’s more, it’s exploiting men. Though, again, men exploit women just as much. Neither set of circumstances is tolerable.
In my town there were a group of girls in one of the middle schools that were sent home because they all chose to wear skirts. The school said that it was distracting. The girls took a stand, and said they shouldn’t be shamed. They were in the newspaper, and their skirts were no shorter than any pair of shorts they would wear in a month.
They were not provocative, the tops they wore were high necked and long sleeved, and some of the girls were even wearing tights. (edit: this was not the case. There was no cleavage or bra straps, but not all dresses were “high-necked) There was nothing inappropriate about what they were wearing. The problem in this situation was certainly not what they were wearing, but that those that were distracted by it had neither the discipline nor respect to not be distracted by it.
(for more information on just what these girls were wearing, here’s a video)
(You can read more on the event in the Bellingham Herald)
I am not a man hater. On the contrary. I think men are just as necessary and capable as women, and women are just as capable as men. I believe in humanism. I believe that we are creatures crawling around on this earth together, and that no one is worth more than another person.
We are coming into a time where lines are being blurred between gender roles – and thank God for it! men are becoming stay at home dads and women are being career driven. Thus, partnerships are developing, which is ultimately what is needed.
The most important thing about gender equality is that it opens up the conversation for those that identify with both or neither gender. How can we create and accepting atmosphere for people to be who they feel they are if we can’t even give people equality for their biology? Those that are transgender fight a battle that those of use that don’t identify similarly can’t understand. And for society to make it harsher to come to terms with the person they want to be is disgusting.
We are long from the dark ages. However, we are long from an enlightened era where people can simply be, and allow others to be as well. There is no equality for the moment, and it’s a sad truth. However, I believe that the more it’s talked about, the more the issue will come to light, and the more things will change. There is nothing to be gained from keeping other people down. All it does is stunt the great minds that could enhance our world. These are men, women, people.
Remember that no one is their encasing. Everyone is their own being existing along side the rest.